The History of Leith

August 22, 2011

Donald Bane

St. Margaret had scarcely expired, when Bishop Turgot, her children, and the whole court, were filled with terror, on finding the fortress environed by an army composed of fierce western Highlanders, “clad in the dun deer’s hide, striped breacan, and hauberks (or lurichs) of jingling rings,” and led by Donald Bane, or the fair-haired, the younger brother of Malcolm III., who had fled to the Hebrides, as the latter did to England, on the usurpation by Macbeth.
Without opposition he had himself proclaimed king, and promised to give the Hebrides and other isles to Magnus Barefoot, King of Norway, for assistance if it were required. He had resolved to put the orphan children of Malcolm to death, but believing that egress from the fortress on the steep could only be had by the gates facing the little town, he guarded them alone.
The children thus escaped by a western postern, and fled to England, where they found protection with their uncle, Edgar Atheling. The two princesses were afterwards married : Mary to Eustace, Count of Boulogne, the great Crusader; and Matilda to Henry of England—a union extremely popular with the Saxon people.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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