Edith of Scotland was born at Dumferline in 1080. Her father was Malcolm III King of the Scots, her mother Margaret Atheling, daughter of Edward Atheling of the ancient Saxon House of Wessex. At the christening of Edith, Robert Curthose, son of William the Conqueror was her godfather, and Queen Matilda of Flanders, William’s wife, her godmother.
Edith was educated at Romsey and Wilton Abbey, where she was trained in English, French and Latin, languages to help her in later life.
In 1068, Edgar Atheling joined forces with Earls Edwin and Morcat against William’s rule… This proved a bad move in the long term, as they were forced to flee their lands, for fear of their lives.
Storms drove their ships towards the Scottish coast, and they were welcomed by the court of King Malcolm of Canmore. This Saxon princess, that graced his court, and the prospect of an alliance with an Ancient Anglo-Saxon royal house was a tempting thought. By the end of 1070, they were married.
Edith had been betrothed to Alan Rufus, Lord of Richmond in 1093. A row erupted between her father and William Rufus, and the then King of England on Cumbria and Lothian boundaries.
William Rufus, drove the Scots to the north of Solway, then invited the Scottish King for talks at Gloucester.
Malcolm III King of the Scots was insulted by the English King who refused to receive him. This insult led to Malcolm III riding with his Scottish Army on the lands of Northumbria.
On the 13th November 1093, Malcolm III was struck in the eye by a lance, while accepting the keys in surrender of Castle Alnwick. He died as did his son Edward.
Donald Base Malcolm’s brother seized the throne of Scotland.
Within three day’s Queen Margaret had died and Edith was now an orphan.
In August of 1100, William Rufus died, and the English throne was seized by brother Henry: King Henry I.
Henry made no secret of it, he wished to marry Edith, for he had been attracted to her from a distance. Henry needed a bride with an ancient Saxon blood line, which would increase his popularity.
This Scottish princess had grown up in a convent, and questions were asked whether she had taken her vows as a Nun. Edith testified she had been at the Abbey for educational purposes, and the Archbishop of Anselm confirmed she was not a Nun and approved the marriage of Edith and Henry.
On the 11th November 1100 Edith and Henry were married at Westminster Abbey by Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury Cathedral. She was given a Norman name; Queen Matilda of England.
Their marriage proved a success, as relations with Scotland improved, and she became his Regent during his periods of absence.
Was it what she learnt at the Abbey or the saintly attitude she gleamed from her mother, she devoted herself to doing good causes, even washing the feet of the poor … as Jesus did.
Her husband Henry I was an active adulterer and believed to have fathered twenty children from a string of mistresses.
Queen Matilda died on the 1st May 1118 at Westminster Palace and was buried at Westminster Abbey.