Fact Versus Fiction

Promise of the Rose

Promise of the Rose Cover

Chronology of Historical Events.

Malcolm III (Malcolm Canmore), King of Scotland, 1058-1093.

William I (William The Conqueror), King of England, 1066-1087; he is also Duke of Normandy.

1070 Lanfranc appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.

1072 Malcolm III force to swear fealty to William I at Abernathy; Duncan sent to English Court as pledge of peace.

1079 Malcolm III invades England and fails to advance his frontier, forced to swear fealty again.

It worked. One year later, 1070, there was a last uprising in the fens, led by Edwin, Morcar, and Hereward the Wake. Because of treachery from within, the rebellion failed. Morcar was killed, Edwin captured and imprisoned for life. Hereward’s fate is unknown.

1087-1100 William II (Rufus the Red) King of England.

1088 Rebellion of Norman barons led by Odo of Bayeux, Earl of Kent; rebels crushed, Odo is banished, his lands forfeit.

1089 Lanfranc dies, the seat of Canterbury left vacant for four years. William II claims Normandy, campaigns there with some success.

1091 Malcolm III is forced to swear fealty to William II at Abernathy.

1092 Carlisle is conquered by William II’s forces, its local ruler driven out.

1093 Anselm of Bec appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.

November 13, 1093 Malcolm III killed at Alnwick by The Earl of Northumberland’s forces. Edward is fatally wounded.

November 16, 1093 Queen Margaret dies at Edinburgh Castle. Donald Bane attacks Edinburgh Castle; his nephews flees, taking the Queen, their mother with the, and burying her at Dunfermline. They flee to the Court of William II.

May 1094 An Anglo-Norman army deposes of Donald Bane and Edmund; Duncan becomes King of Scotland. His half brother Edgar is one of the charter’s signatories.

November 1094 Duncan II is overthrown and murdered by Donald Bane and Edmund.

1094-1097 Donald Bane and Edmund, joint King’s of Scotland.

1095 Robert, Duke of Normandy, goes on Crusade and mortgages Normandy to William II.

1100 William II dies in a hunting accident or is murdered. Prince Henry (Henry Beauclerc) seizes the treasury that day; three days later he is crowned at Westminster; a few months later he marries Matilde (Maude), the daughter of Malcolm III and Margaret, taking her out of a convent to do so.

1100-1135 Henry I, King of England.

1106 Henry I invades Normandy, victorious at Tinchebrai; he unites the kingdom of England and the duchy of Normandy; his brother Robert is imprisoned for the rest of his life.

1106-1124 Alexander I (The Fierce), King of Scotland.

1124-1153 David I, King of Scotland.


This is a work of fiction, and I have interpreted the above events and the historical character who moved them with great liberty, and much enjoyment. I tried to adhere to the chronology as closely as possible, but the reader may note that Carlisle was taken in 1092, not 1093. Also, while Edinburgh was not the official seat of the King of Scotland. I made it so because history does show that Mary and her brothers fled the burgh in November 1093 after the deaths of Malcolm, Margaret and Edward. I hope my readers will forgive me for any errors I might have made. There is much conflicting data for this period, when there is any data at all.

I would like to say a word about the Church in the eleventh century. It was hardly as rigidly defined as it is today. The King still exercised vast powers over many religious affairs, although at this time many reformers in the Church began to argue and fight for complete jurisdiction of their affairs, such as the right of appointment, investiture, etc. There were high prelates who were irreligious or atheists, men who, it appears, were great knights rewarded with their offices by the Conqueror and his sons—just as there were truly great and saintly men. Some archdeacons in this period were not ordained—like Geoffrey de Warenne.

Finally, a very interesting note. When embarking upon this venture, I was locked into this time period because Stephen was conceived in this book’s prequel, The Conqueror. My muse told me that his love would be a Scot princess named Mairi. Thus I was compelled to accept Malcolm and Margaret as Scotland’s King and Queen—as her parents. I was thrilled when my research unearthed such a rich conflict for me to use. But I was soon stunned. For when I paid closer attention to Malcolm and Margaret personally, I found that not only had they six sons, but two daughters—and the oldest one was named Mary, and she married a Norman count.

Of course, I have fictionalized her life completely. At least, so I think…

Websites of Interest


Follow the history of Medieval Britain from the time of Alfred the Great, through the Norman Conquest and up to the start of the Tudor Age.


An informative online website, for both travellers and historical enthusists

Undiscovered Scotland

The Ultimate Online Guide

Medieval Tymes