House of Alpin

House of Alpin

Timeline House of Alpin
The House of Alpin is the name given to the kin-group which ruled in Pictland and then the kingdom of Alba from the advent of Cináed mac Ailpín in the 840s until the death of Máel Coluim mac Cináeda in 1034.

Kings traced their descent from Cináed mac Ailpín, and not from his father, and Irish genealogies in the Book of Ballymote and the Book of Lecan refer to the kindred as Clann Cináeda meic Ailpín, prioritising descent from Cináed. [Woolf, "Pictland to Alba", pp. 222–224; Broun, "Irish Identity, pp. 173–174.]

The origins of the family are uncertain. Later genealogies of doubtful reliability make Cináed a descendant of Áed Find. While plausible, such claims are unprovable and appear only in the late tenth century. [Woolf, "Pictland to Alba", p. 173.] The associated idea that Cináed had been a king in Dál Riata before contending successfully for power in Pictland in the 840s, following the death of Eóganán mac Óengusa, is supported by near-contemporary evidence. [Woolf, "Pictland to Alba", pp. 93–98 & 116–117.]

Early kings of Clann Cináeda meic Ailpín are described as kings of the Picts, and the third king, Constantín mac Cináeda appears to have been regarded as the last of the seventy Pictish kings soon after his death. The descendants of Cináed were ousted in 878 when Áed mac Cináeda was killed by Giric mac Dúngail. They returned in 889 on the death of Giric. Following this, the title king of Alba is used. [Woolf, "Pictland to Alba", pp. 122–126.]

During the tenth century, succession alternated between the descendants of Constantín mac Cináeda and those of Áed mac Cináeda. Internecine strife in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries left the descendants of Constantín unchallenged by male-line descendants of Cináed mac Ailpín, but Máel Coluim mac Cináeda left no male heirs. On Máel Coluim's death, the line of kings descended from Cináed came to an end. Future kings, while still tracing their descent from Cináed, were descended from Máel Coluim's daughter Bethóc. [Woolf, "Pictland to Alba", pp. 225–230.]

Descent of the Alpínid kings

The tables below set out the relationship between the kings of the House of Alpín. Except for Alpín, only those recorded as kings are shown.

1=Alpín mac Echdach
3=Domnall mac Ailpín d. 862
2=Cináed mac Ailpín d. 858
4=Áed mac Cináeda d. 878
5=Constantín mac Cináeda d. 876
10=Domnall mac Constantín d. 900
9=Constantín mac Áeda abdicated 943
20=Máel Coluim mac Domnaill d. 954
18=Ildulb mac Constantín d. 962

1=Ildulb mac Constantín d. 962
2=Amlaíb mac Ilduilb d. 977
3=Cuilén mac Ilduilb d. 971
6=Constantín mac Cuiléin d. 997

1=Máel Coluim mac Domnaill d. 954
2=Dub mac Maíl Coluim d. 966
3=Cináed mac Maíl Coluim d. 995
5=Cináed mac Duib d. 1005
7=Máel Coluim mac Cináeda d. 1034





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