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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Western Scotland

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Immigration and Emigration
Dalriada: The Land of the First Scots

Scone Palace
© SCRAN
It is at this point that Kenneth Mac Alpin enters the story. Although Kenneth was a Scot, he was also related to the Pictish royal family through his mother, and launched a claim for the vacant throne. One story goes that Mac Alpin invited his main rival for the crown to a meeting at Scone, only to slay him - possibly the first but not the last "Black Dinner" in Scottish history.

Whatever the truth of the story, the fact remains that Kenneth had taken the throne by 844. He was not the first to rule both Picts and Scots, but whereas the Pictish kings who had exercised this power before had ruled as overlords of the Scots, Mac Alpin was the first Scot to rule both kingdoms, and the first to rule them as one.

As the Gaels of Dalriada triumphed in Pictland, their period of rule in Dalriada was coming to an end. A massive Viking fleet attacked the remote western areas of the kingdom and the Gaels decided it was time to leave. Soon the Scots had followed their king east, where they settled in the Pictish lands of Fortriu, in today's Perthshire.


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In Search of Scotland - Birth of a Nation
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