The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women: From the Earliest Times to 2004

By Elizabeth Ewan; Sue Innes et al. | Go to book overview

I

INGEBJORG ('mother of earls', jarlamó ðir), Queen of Scotland, Countess of Orkney, fl. c. 1025–70. Daughter of Bergliot daughter of Halvdan, and Finn Arnesson of Giske.

Ingebjorg was probably born on Giske, an island in Romsdal Fjord, west Norway. Most of her family were strong supporters of Olaf Haraldsson (St Olaf) in his struggle to maintain power in Norway. He was the brother of Ingebjorg's grandfather, Halvdan son of Sigurd Syr. Olaf probably arranged her marriage to Earl Thorfinn of Orkney, in the late 1020s, to help tie the Earl into his circle. Thorfinn and Ingebjorg named their eldest son Paul, the first Christian name in the family, perhaps reflecting their commitment to the new religion. The comment in Orkneyinga Saga that the Earl loved Paul and his brother Erlend dearly is unusual, suggesting a close family relationship. So does the remarkable story of Thorfinn's flight from his burning house, when he broke through a wooden partition wall and '… escaped carrying his wife Ingebjorg in his arms' (Palsson and Edwards 1978, Ch. 28), a rare personal detail.

According to the saga, after Thorfinn's death in the early-mid 1060s, Ingebjorg married Malcolm III of Scotland (r. 1058–93), and bore a son, Duncan. Duncan's legitimacy has been doubted – a later chronicler refers to him as a bastard. However, he was important enough to be taken as a hostage to England by King William (the Conqueror) after his 1072 expedition to Scotland. The absence of any other record of the marriage must reflect the fact that Malcolm's second marriage, to Margaret, (see Margaret, Saint, Queen of Scotland) established the medieval Scottish royal line. It has been questioned whether Ingebjorg's marriage to Malcolm was possible, and there has been unwarranted surmise that it must have been Thorfinn's daughter, rather than wife, who was meant. Ingebjorg may also have borne Donald, mentioned in one Irish source as Malcolm's son.

In 1066, the earls Paul and Erlend joined Harald Hardraada's army. They survived the defeat at Stamford Bridge and returned to Orkney. After William's victory at Hastings, the survivors of the Anglo-Saxon royal house fled to Scotland. Malcolm decided to marry Margaret in 1070/1, and it is unclear whether Ingebjorg died or was put aside in favour of Margaret. She was certainly eclipsed as Scottish queen by her saindy successor. She was certainly eclipsed as Scottish queen by her saintly successor. In the Durham martyrology she is commemorated as Ingeberga comitissa (Countess Ingebjorg) perhaps in pious remembrance by either Malcolm or their son Duncan. Her designation as Countess in this source may also suggest that her marriage to Malcolm was not recognised as completely regular, BEC

• Palsson, H. and Edwards, P. G. (trans.) (1978) Orkneyinga Saga.

Crawford, B. E. (with Clancy, T. O.) (2001) 'The Formation of the Scottish Kingdom', in R. A. Houston and II], Knox (eds) The New Penguin History of Scotland, pp. 84–6; Duncan, A. A. M. (2003) Kingship of the Scots, Ch. 3; Wall, V. 'Queen Margaret of Scotland, 1070–93: burying the past, enshrining the future', in A. Duggan (ed.) (1997) Queens and Queenship in Medieval Europe, pp. 27–38.

INGLIS, Elsie Maude, born Naini Tal, India, 16 August, 1864, died Newcastle upon Tyne, 26 Nov. 1917. Doctor, pioneer of *Scottish Women's Hospitals abroad. Daughter of Harriet Thompson, and John Forbes Inglis, magistrate.

Elsie Inglis, second daughter and seventh child, spent her childhood in India until the family settled in Edinburgh in 1876. Educated there and in Paris, for a time she stayed at home to help her father, to whom she was devoted; his death in 1894 devastated her. In 1886 it became possible to attend, as a home student, the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women founded by *Sophia Jex-Blake, from whom, however, Elsie Inglis and others soon parted

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The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women: From the Earliest Times to 2004
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Advisers to the Project viii
  • Contributors ix
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Readers' Guide xxiii
  • Introduction xxv
  • The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women 1
  • A 3
  • B 21
  • C 56
  • D 90
  • E 109
  • F 115
  • G 130
  • H 153
  • I 177
  • J 181
  • K 188
  • L 200
  • M 214
  • N 280
  • O 285
  • P 289
  • Q 294
  • R 295
  • S 310
  • T 350
  • U 358
  • V 359
  • W 361
  • Y 383
  • Z 384
  • Thematic Index 386
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