MALE Crínán (or Crónán)

Abbot of Dunkeld (Dún Caillen), d. 1045.

Crínán was killed in 1045 in a battle among the Scots, probably related to the battle five years earlier which had resulted in the death of Crínán's son Duncan I, king of Scotland, at the hands of Macbeth (ruled 1040-1057).

Date of Birth: Unknown.
Place of Birth: Unknown.

Date of Death: 1045.
["Cath etir Albancho ar aen-rían cur' marbad and Crínan ab Duín Calland & sochaidhe maille fris .i. nae .xx. laech." AT s.a. 1045; "Cath eter Albanchu fein i torchair Cronan, ab Duine Caillen." AU s.a. 1045; "Cath etir Albanchaib etorra pfein, a torchair Cronán, ab Dúin cuillend." ALC s.a. 1045]
Place of Death: Unknown.

Father: Unknown.
See the Commentary section.

Mother: Unknown.

Spouse: Bethóc, daughter of Máel Coluim (Malcolm) II, king of Scotland.

See the page of Duncan I.

MALE Donnchad mac Crínáin (Duncan I), d. 14×15 August 1040, king of Scotland;

Probable child:
Son of a Crinán (the same one?)

MALE Maldred, ancestor of the earls of Dunbar;
m. Ealdgyth,
daughter of Uhtred, earl of Northumbria.
Maldred is given as a son of a Crinán in three of the works of Simeon of Durham, with Crínán given the title of "thane" (tein) in one of these works. Maldred married Ealdgyth, daughter of Uhtred, earl of Northumbria, by whom he Dolphin, Waltheof, and Cospatric (ancestor of the House of Dunbar) ["Postea vero illo, scilicet Ucthredo, proficiente magis et magis in re militari, rex Ethelredus filiam suam Elfgivam ei copulavit uxorem. Ex qua habuit filiam Aldgitham, quam pater in conjugium dedit Maldredo filio Crinan tein, ex qua Maldredus Cospatricum, patrem Dolphini et Walteofi, et Cospatrici." Sim. Durh., De Obsessione Dunelmi, c. 2 (1: 216); "... Cospatricus, filius Maldredi filii Crinani ... Erat enim ex matre Algitha, filia Uchtredi comitis, quam habuit ex Algiva filia Agelredi Regis. Hanc Algitham pater dedit in conjugium Maldredo filio Crinani." Sim. Durh., Historia Regum, c. 159 (2: 199); "Deinde Uctredus filius Walthefi administravit comitatum omnium Northanhymbrorum provinciarum. Huic rex Eathelredus suam filiam Ælfgeovam dederat uxorem. Ex qua filiam habens Aldgitham, dedit in conjugium prædiviti cuidam, Maldredo filio Crinani: de qua habuit Cospatricum comitem, patrem Dolphini, Walthefi, et Cospatrici." Sim. Durh., De Primo Saxonum Adventu (2: 383)]. Anderson states that Maldred appears to have ruled in Cumbria [ESSH 1: 577], but there does not seem to be a clear source for that statement [however, see ESSH 2: 37 for the possible Cumbrian origin of Maldred's son Cospatric I]. No primary source explicitly identifies the Crínán who was Maldred's father with the Crínán who was Duncan's father.


Supposed father (chronologically doubtful):

Donnchad (Duncan), d. 965, abbot of Dunkeld.
Since the abbacy of Dunkeld may have been hereditary in Crínán's family (his grandson Æthelred held the title), it has sometimes been suggested that Crínán was possibly the son of this earlier abbot of Dunkeld whose death is known from both the Irish and Scottish sources [e.g., AU; ESSH 1: 471, 473, 577; KKES 252]. While the relationship is not impossible, the chronology is very long (if true, Crinán would be eighty at his death in battle even if born in the year of his father's death), and there is no known evidence to support it. The alleged relationship cannot be accepted without further evidence.


ALC = W. M. Hennessy, ed. & trans., Annals of Loch Cé (Rolls Series 54, London, 1871).

AT = Whitley Stokes, ed. & trans., "The Annals of Tigernach", Revue Celtique 16 (1895), 374-419; 17 (1896), 6-33, 116-263, 337-420; 18 (1897), 9-59, 150-303, 374-91.

AU = Seán Mac Airt and Gearóid Mac Niocaill, The Annals of Ulster (Dublin, 1983).

ESSH = Alan Orr Anderson, Early Sources of Scottish History, 2 vols. (Edinburgh, 1922, reprinted Stamford, 1990). [Contains English translations of many of the primary records]

KKES = Marjorie Ogilvy Anderson, Kings and Kingship in Early Scotland (Edinburgh, Totowa, NJ, 1973).

Sim. Durh. = Thomas Arnold, ed., Symeonis Monachi Opera Omnia, 2 vols. (Rolls Series 75, 1882-5).

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 5 August 2001.

Revision uploaded 20 June 2010 (added quotes from Simeon of Durham).

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