Were the Kings of England Lords Paramount over Scotland?

The question over the relative political positions of England and Scotland in the medieval period is one that is almost inevitably dogged with bias, both modern and historical. The question is drawn most brightly into focus in the late 13th century with the decision by King Edward I of England to depose and imprison King John of Scotland, a man whom he had decided had the best right to be King of Scots only a few years previously. The subsequent wars between England and Scotland lasted pretty much without a break into the mid 14th century, when Edwards grandson, Edward III, accepted the resignation of all rights he had in the crown of Scotland from Edward Balliol, and promptly focussed the majority of his efforts on war with France. Whilst the question remained unresolved, it was not really the case that England made a concerted effort for dominance until the reign of Henry VIII and the Rough Wooing, some two centuries later. The irony, of course, is that with the death of Henrys daughter Elizabeth in 1603, the King of Scots, James VI Stuart, became King of England also.

So how did the question of supremacy ever come to rise? Inevitably, the question does actually go back to before the medieval period, when the provinces of Britannia were part of the Roman Empire. The comparatively disorganised society of northern Britannia saw Rome advance and withdraw across what is now southern Scotland several times, and at least twice send armies as far north as the vicinity of the Moray Firth. More than one Roman author claimed that all of Britannia was subdued, and even that the king of the Orkney Isles paid tribute to the Emperor Claudius.

Despite this, Roman authority over the territory north of Hadrians Wall, and to an even greater extent north of the Antonine Wall, was patchy in terms of timescales and geography. Nevertheless, the assumption of Rome – and the post-Roman kingdoms that followed – was that the lands north of the Wall(s) were uncivilised, barbaric, and inferior to those to the south. As the Roman hold on northern Britain grew weaker, and northern Britannia suffered extensive and repeated raiding from the north, this growing sense of savagery was reflected in source materials.

Although question marks are now being asked of the nature of north British society in this period, it is clear that there was a social divide between those within and without the province. As the eastern and southern parts of the province developed into the oft-lauded “heptarchy” of the seven English kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Wessex, Essex, Sussex and Kent (a distinctly dubious identification) it would be naïve to expect that the areas which were not dominated by Germanic heroic society did not also coalesce into larger political units. The kingdom of Northumbria itself developed out of multiple entities – Bernicia, Deira, Cumbria, Lindsey, Elmet for example.

Without this area, to the north and west, were also multiple political entities. There were, for example, two kingdoms of the Picts, the “British” realms of Strathclyde and Rheged, the “Irish” realm of Dal Riata, the realm of Galloway, and then the unheralded realms still further north and west. By the 9th century some of these had become Scandinavian in appearance – Shetland, Orkney, Caithness, the Outer Hebrides and Assynt for example. It is also the case that during the 9th century, the Scandinavian input became destructive, causing the amalgamation of the two Pictish kingdoms and Dal Riata, and the creation of the Norse-dominated area stretching from Dublin across Man to York.

In 685, Northumbrian expansion northwards had been stopped by the Picts at the Battle of Dun Nechtan (site unidentified) but their core lands by this point included those of Bernicia – which can broadly be identified as stretching from Lothian (western extent uncertain) down to the Tyne. The 9th century is believed to have seen the western parts of this reconquered by the Picts after the Northumbrians were defeated at York in 867. According to Roger of Wendover, in 973, King Edgar acknowledged that Lothian, as it was now called, should be identified as part of the realm of Kenneth II of Scotland – provided that the king of Scotland attend every official crown-wearing of the kings of England.

In 1018, a battle was fought at Carham-on-Tweed between the Scots and English. The result was a defeat for the Scots, which has been identified as the point at which the Scottish border was fixed at the Tweed. I’m not so sure this is the case, and it seems more likely that it was part of a much longer and larger conflict over the old realm of Bernicia which was largely overlooked because of more significant (in the eyes of monastic chroniclers) events to the south, involving King Swegn of Denmark, his son Cnut, and the English King Aethelraed II. It is of particular interest that the Cathedral church of Durham, dedicated to St Cuthbert, was of major importance to the Scottish king Malcolm III and his queen Margaret, and that in 1093 both Malcolm and his designated heir Edward were killed at Alnwick.

Although Cnut, Earl Siward and William the Conqueror led armies into Lothian and beyond, it was really only Siward who seemed interested in permanently annexing any land, and he may also have been interested in regime change in Lothian – under his supremacy. By comparison, royal visits were punitive in nature, and appear mainly designed to force the kings of Scots to acknowledge the superior power of the kings of England. When William the Conqueror led an army and navy north against King Malcolm III in 1072, in the words of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle the king of Scots “became his man”, handed over his eldest son Duncan as a hostage, and arranged peace between William and Edgar Atheling (Malcolm’s brother-in-law). This vague phrase is also attributed to Harold Godwinsson during his trip to Normandy, but the terms and definition cannot now be known. Following the murder of the Bishop/Earl Walcher in 1080 by the Northumbrians, King William sent his eldest son Robert north to found a new castle on the Tyne.

As far as we know, King Malcolm chose not to oppose this foundation, despite it isolating him from the Durham church. However, when William II confiscated Edgar Atheling’s lands in England and fled to his court, Malcolm thought his time had come and marched south to besiege Newcastle in 1091, whilst William II was fighting his brother in Normandy. He had miscalculated, and when William returned, he was forced to become “the man” of William II as he had been forced by William I. IN 1092, Malcolm was snubbed publicly by William, and returned to Scotland in a rage, and the following year he and his army is said to have ravaged parts of Northumbria, by now with a competent earl in the person of Robert Mowbray. Returning northwards, Malcolm and his son were ambushed and killed by Mowbray and his men.

King Malcolm III, then, was the first king of Scotland to have his relationship with the Norman kings of England defined by his contemporaries. However, this relationship, the business of being “his man” was by definition a personal one, and at no point is there any reference to territory being regarded as integral to this. Harold Godwinsson swore to be “the man” of William of Normandy. It is beyond belief this could have any relevance to his estates in England – and there is no mention anywhere of the Duke granting Harold lands in Normandy to hold as “his man”. These oaths could only really have involved an agreement by one man – Malcolm or Harold – to uphold the other in matters of war, diplomacy and the like. Not harbouring traitors or supporting enemies was probably part of this.

However, in the turbulent years following the death of Malcolm III, matters changed. William II of England faced a rebellion by Mowbray in Northumbria, and Scotland was riven by civil war between competing members of Malcolm’s family for the throne. Both Duncan II, Malcolm’s eldest son, received limited support from William for his bid, and after his death in 1095, so did Edgar. However, William was campaigning in Northumbria at the time, and it is notable that Edgar only successfully took over Lothian, so it seems probable that William was installing him as a dependable man in part of a troublesome province, and was not really that bothered about him becoming King of Scots. However, in a charter issued at Durham, Edgar is named as “possessing the whole land of Lothian and the kingship of the Scots by the gift of my lord William, king of the English, and by paternal heritage”. This is sometimes taken to mean that William gifted the Kingship of the Scots to Edgar, but this is unlikely. As Richard Oram has highlighted, it is more likely that William gifted Edgar all of Lothian, and that the kingship was Edgars by paternal heritage.

Edgar continued to appear at the court of William II, and was paid a maintenance of 40 or 60 shillings a day for his attendance at court. This is not something which could be applied to a feudal dependent, and to me it therefore seems likely that William did NOT hold Lothian from William, and was not therefore his feudal man. The fact that Edgar did not attend the court of Henry I even once reflects the fact that the relationship between Edgar and William II was also a personal one, and one which was not renewed by Edgar in 1100.

Edgar died in 1107, naming his brother Alexander as his successor, and granting an appendage to his youngest brother David, the extent of which is disputed, but was in southern Scotland. David was later referred to as Prince of the Cumbrians, indicating that part at least of the appanage was in south-western Scotland, perhaps including Strathclyde – and it is feasible that Lothian was also intended. David had also spent much time at the court of William II and was a regular at that of Henry I, and it took the influence of King Henry to secure David’s inheritance in 1113. David was not seen as a likely heir to the throne at this point, and he was granted authority over extensive lands in England in right of his wife, who had inherited the lands of the earldoms of Northumberland (which included Westmorland and Cumberland) Northampton and Huntingdon.

When David became king of Scots in 1124, he was still in the favour of Henry I, and his claim to the kingship was almost certainly backed by the king of England. However, it was not politically wise to allow the entirety of his northern kingdom to be in the hands of the independent monarch of the neighbouring kingdom, and it is certain that Henry viewed the matter with some concern. The matter had not properly been resolved by the time of the old king’s death in 1135, although it is clear that once again, there was a strong personal relationship between the two kings.

Indeed, it was the son of David, Prince Henry, who swore fealty to Stephen for Carlisle, Northumbria and Huntingdon, although from 1139 he held the northern lands as a Scottish fief. There was no question in this period of Lothian being anything other than Scottish, and given Stephens domestic problems, he was in no position to even consider trying to assert his dominance over his northern neighbour.

And so we come to Henry II. Kings David and Stephen died within a year of each other, and David’s heir Henry had predeceased him. This left Scotland in an unenviable position. With a child-king on the throne of Scotland (Malcolm IV was only 12 years old) and an active, aggressive and militarily proven king of England, it was to prove a difficult time for Scotland. As king of Scotland, Malcolm came to Henry in 1157 to receive his lands, along with his younger brother William. He had assigned his rights to Northumbria to William, and kept his rights to Cumbria for himself. In the event, King Henry refused to grant either to the Scots. Instead, he granted the earldom of Huntingdon to Malcolm; William got nothing of significance.

Malcolm swore fealty to Henry II for his English lands, and was knighted by Henry whilst on the continent serving in his army. It is almost certainly the case that he was serving Henry in his capacity as Earl of Huntingdon, as was his feudal duty. However the whole affair soured relationships between the two kings, and when Malcolm returned to Scotland, he was not on good terms with Henry, and by serving the King of England he alienated a significant proportion of the Scottish nobility. Having resolved this, and suffering similar poor health to his father, Malcolm died in 1165, leaving his disaffected brother William to become King of Scots. William spent some time at the court of King Henry (there is no mention of him becoming “his man” but instead we do know that he pursue the matter of Northumberland unsuccessfully, but was permitted to retain the Huntingdon title and lands. William was not happy, and started to turn against Henry, forming an alliance with France in 1168, and joining the Young King in his rebellion of 1173.

Henry II as king chose to use the reign of his grandfather Henry I as a point at which “good government” existed. By doing so, he was able to go through a process of undoing much of the “bad government” of the Anarchy. He ordered the destruction of castles which had been raised without permission, and much of the activities of the nobility came under scrutiny. He did not go about things in a punitive way, but was rather more subtle. In the case of Scotland, he was not prepared to honour his earlier pledge to restore the northern counties to the Scots. The actions of King David in annexing the lands which now comprise Cumbria, Westmorland, Northumberland, County Durham and much of Lancashire reduced the English kingdom of Henry I by perhaps a third, and that was not something Henry II would tolerate. With the realms of England, Normandy, Anjou and Aquitaine all behind him, and a weakened Scotland, he was able to restore the borders to those of his grandfather’s time, deny the Scots the revenues of their wealthy midland earldom, and assert his clear dominance. By doing so, he certainly put the Scots kings’ noses out of joint, but it was not a matter for concern for him. However, even in these circumstances, there is no evidence that he asserted Scotland was held by his gift, or that he was its overlord. In all ways that mattered, he held that position, but perhaps even Henry realised there was only so far he ought to go.

He mistook the depths of King William’s frustration. Denied what he saw as his birthright (Northumberland) he was not prepared to accept its loss, and it is notable that the Young King seems to have promised its restoration in return for William’s support in his rebellion against the king. Unfortunately for King William, the rebellion did not go according to plan. In 1173, he had attacked Newcastle and Prudhoe castles without success, and had returned to Scotland. The following year he invaded a second time, leading a force which included a large number of Flemish mercenaries. He found Prudhoe more strongly held then previously so returned northwards to besiege Alnwick, but allowed his forces to spread out, believing himself secure.

On 13th July 1174, whilst on campaign in Northumberland for the second successive year, William was attacked in his camp by a force of about 400 knights under the leadership of the Justiciar, Ranulf de Glanville. Although he attempted to fight, only William’s personal bodyguard of about 60 knights were with him, and he was captured and taken to Newcastle and then Falaise as a prisoner. In order to obtain his freedom, William was forced to sign the Treaty of Falaise, the opening paragraph of which is translated on Wikipedia as follows –

“William, king of Scots, has become liegeman of the lord king (Henry) against every man in respect of Scotland and in respect of all his other lands; and he has done fealty to him as his liege lord, as all the other men of the lord king (Henry) are wont to do. Likewise, he has done homage to Henry the king, son of King Henry, saving only the fealty which he owes to the lord king, his father.”

In short, at Falaise in 1174 William had explicitly acknowledged that he held the realm of Scotland from King Henry II, but it did not describe Scotland as an English fief. It was therefore the case that Henry was the overlord of Scotland, not that it was part of the same realm. Scotland is referred to as a land, not a kingdom, and William is described as king, whereas Henry is described as lord king. Scotland had at a stroke assumed an inferior status, but as there is no specific mention of Lothian, it would appear that Lothian was considered to be part of Scotland proper at this date. In order to secure his freedom Willam agreed to hand over five of the realms more important castles and garrison them with English troops at his cost – and most of not all these castles could be considered to be in “Lothian” which may reflect something of importance now lost in the depths of time. It was a humiliation, but one which meant Henry had no need for the rest of his reign to do anything further with Scotland, and left William licking his wounds, but largely free to act as monarch of his lands.

However, in 1189 King Henry died, and his son Richard had other priorities. On 5th December that year, Richard issued the Quitclaim of Canterbury, which states (again translated by Wikipedia) “Accordingly, William, king of the Scots, came to the king of England at Canterbury in the month of December, and did homage to him for his dignities in England, in the same manner that his brother Malcolm had held them. Richard, king of England, also restored to him the castle at Roxburgh, and the castle of Berwick, freely and quietly to be held by him; and he acquitted and released him and all his heirs from all homage and allegiance, for the kingdom of Scotland, to him and the kings of England, for ever. For this gift of his castles and for quitting claim to all fealty and allegiance for the kingdom of Scotland, and for the charter of Richard, king of England, signifying the same, William, king of Scots, gave to Richard, king of England, ten thousand marks sterling.”

Basically in return for 10,000 marks, Richard nullified Falaise and restored Scotland to a fully independent status after a 15 year period where King Henry II and his heirs were held to be overlords. William continued to smart over the loss of Northumberland, and repeatedly offered cash for its return, but an agreement was never reached, meaning that the partition of Northumbria into Lothian and Northumberland was permanent.

When Richard died in 1199, his brother John had a more volatile relationship with William, who was to live on until the age of 72, when he was spent and sick. The latter years of his reign were concerned with borders to the north and south – and securing the inheritance of his young son, who would be crowned Alexander II in 1214. John was perhaps not as concerned with Scotland as we might expect, refusing Northumberland’s return to William (again…) and falling out with him over rival castles at the mouth of the Tweed. When it was rumoured in 1209 that William was considering an alliance with France, John felt it was necessary to act, and led an army north. The army was large enough to shock the ailing William into submission, and he agreed to pay John £10,000 to go away, along with the authority to determine the marriages of his and daughters. The Treaty of Norham did not, however, stray into questions of overlordship. In 1212 a further agreement between the two kings made at Durham gave over the right to Williams son Alexander in return for English support against rebels in the north.

When John died in 1216, the young Alexander II had suffered at his hands – John had sacked Berwick in 1215. However there was no treaty and no agreement between the two realms, and in fact, Alexander was able to swear allegiance to Prince Louis in defiance of King John, having led a Scottish army to Canterbury. In the end, John’s death changed matters drastically since the barons were more inclined to deal with the minority regime of Henry III led by William Marshal than that of John, and although Alexander pressed his own claims to Northumberland, the discussion was postponed until Henry achieved his majority.

Alexander did not attend Henry’s coronation, and returned north, where he continued to attempt to assert his dominance in the area, but he was fighting a losing battle, with the Pope taking the side of young Henry. By the end of 1217 he was on his own, and even the income from the Huntingdon earldom, which was held by his elderly and possibly failing uncle David, was being held back from him. There was no question of King Henry being Alexander’s overlord, though, and throughout the rest of his reign, which involved much warfare in the north, there was a lack of conflict with England – or assertion of this position by England. When Alexander died in 1249, however, there was scope for this to change. Henry III was a mature king, and the young Alexander III (betrothed to Henry’s daughter) was the one at a disadvantage.

On 25th December 1251, Alexander III was knighted by King Henry at York, and the following day was married to Margaret, the second child and eldest daughter of King Henry. The chronicler Matthew Paris tells us that Alexander did homage at this feast to Henry III for the lands which he held in England. Paris goes on to state that Alexander was “required” to do homage for the lands of Scotland as his predecessors had done, and as recorded in “the chronicles of many places” but declined to do so. He then tells us that Henry backed down.

Since this would have been a major diplomatic event, and of huge political importance, but it is not recorded in any documents of an official nature at the time (English or Scottish), this has to be doubtful. Paris is not the most reliable of sources in any case.

It is however the case that Henry repeatedly interfered in the government of Scotland during Alexander’s minority, with varied impact. As father of the queen, he no doubt had to consider the wellbeing of the queen and the realm into which she had moved, but at no point did he specifically attempt to assert dominance or lordship on the Scots other than by attempting to manipulate the personnel in government. Norman Reid in his “Alexander III” covers this in some depth.

And so we come to the late 13th century. Alexander III, who had specifically reserved the kingdom of Scotland as not being subject to the new King Edward in 1274, had lost both his sons, and his daughter was married to the King of Norway. His grand-daughter thus became his heir, but dies shortly after being returned from Norway, leaving nobody who could clearly assume the throne. The Scots lords were divided into factions, and there were many individuals who could conceivably have a dynastic claim to the throne.

Alexander II had no children other than Alexander III. The only one of his sisters to bear children was Margaret, who had been married to Hubert de Burgh. Their daughter Margaret married Richard de Clare, but the marriage was childless. So there were no legitimate descendants of King William to choose from. This meant the next monarch must be a descendant of Prince Henry. The younger brother of Malcolm IV and William was David, Earl of Huntingdon. David’s son John “the Scot” earl of Chester had died without children, but David also had three daughters. Margaret had married Alan of Galloway, Ada had married Henry Hastings, and Isabella had married Robert Bruce. Although Earl David had three married sisters, their descendants had a lesser claim as they were survivors through a male line.

Alan of Galloway and Margaret had three children, but the only one with children was Devorguilla, who was married to John Balliol of Barnard Castle. Their son was another John Balliol. Henry de Hastings and Ada had a son, also Henry, who had died in 1268, and he had two sons, John and Edmund. Robert Bruce and Isabella had a son, also Robert, who had four sons and a daughter, the eldest son being yet another Robert Bruce.

The ruling council of Scotland was unable to come to a decision on the matter and asked Edward I to arbitrate. He agreed, provided that they acknowledged him as overlord of Scotland. They replied to say that they couldn’t as that was a matter for the King of Scots alone to decide, and there wasn’t one. In the end, Edward was forced to accept this, but had most of the Competitors acknowledge personally that they accepted him as such, including the three main claimants, Balliol, Hastings and Bruce. This was again a personal matter between each man and King Edward.

As we know, in the end Edward chose John Balliol, who was descended from the most senior line, although Robert Bruce (grandfather of the future king) claimed precedence on the grounds he was a generation closer to Earl David than Balliol. John Balliol was duly crowned as king, having sworn personally to accept Edward as his lord for the realm of Scotland. This is an important point, because it meant that Edward had the right to depose the new King if he felt inclined to do so, but that the “community of the realm of Scotland” as they would be called in later years, did not accept his right to do this, and rage though he might (and did!) about their perfidy, the insistence of the Scottish nobility to act in the name of King John was actually upheld by the strict legal situation. It was then a matter of King Edward seeking to have each of the nobility swear allegiance to him – as he was to do with the Ragman Rolls – in order to overcome this situation – and once they had sworn to recognise this without reservation, he became their lord and master.

It is therefore the case that the brutal realpolitick of Edward I in seeking to have the nobles of Scotland swear allegiance to him did actually place any of them seeking to support the outlawed Robert Bruce as king of Scots themselves outside the law, and subject to Edward’s jurisdiction. Those who chose to do so could expect the weight of the English King’s displeasure to come crashing down on them, since they had sworn to accept him as their lord. This was a far different picture to that faced by William after Falaise, or any of his predecessors. Whilst couched in legal terms, the English king had chosen to annex Scotland by force, and came close to succeeding. Unlike in previous years, the actions taken by Edward in the 1290s related to the land of Scotland held by the nobles, and to his successors. As had been the case at Falaise, Scotland was now a “land” not a “kingdom”, but now nobody held it all, and all nobles held it from Edward and his heirs.

The situation remained exactly the same throughout the reign of Edward II. Although Scotland had a crowned king in Robert Bruce, he was not acknowledged by any as king, and all of the nobility who supported him were considered to be outwith the law. The last king of Scots was John Balliol, who had died in 1314 having been removed from the position. His son Edward Balliol was crowned in 1332 backed by his overlord Edward III, and remained in law King of Scots until he resigned all his rights in it to King Edward III in 1356. Practically speaking, Edward III retained the position of superiority over the Scottish nobility, but increasingly chose to focus elsewhere in the face of a realm of Scotland increasingly united against the English.

When David II died in 1371, and Robert II succeeded him as first of the Stewart dynasty, English power had all but vanished in Scotland, and although the claim to supremacy was never revoked, the matter had become largely academic. Although warfare did not fully cease for centuries, there was never a war of conquest attempted. Mostly the border warfare came to be between powerful magnate families like the Douglases and Percies, and often English support was sought during the repeated Stewart minorities, or indeed civil wars, until the reign of Henry VIII.

King Henry VIII was infuriated by the refusal of the Scots to have their infant Queen Mary betrothed to his young son, Prince Edward, and chose to express his anger with a lengthy military campaign lasting from 1543 to his death in 1547 and carried on in the name of Edward V until 1551. It was the first time that a union between the two realms was proposed, and it is questionable therefore whether the war should be interpreted as a matter of supremacy, conquest or something else entirely. In the end the matter of Scotland was not resolved in this way, and indeed the Reformation then came along to throw religion into the already bubbling mix.

So then, in conclusion, I believe that the question of the “Lord Paramount” is reasonably straightforward. In every relationship between the kings of England and Scotland up until 1290, there is no such thing. If a king of England is acknowledged as the superior of one of the kings of Scots, it was a strictly personal matter between two monarchs, to be maintained or ignored as necessary upon the change of either person. Scotland was for long a less numerous and less wealthy area, seen as lesser in many ways from antiquity onwards, but – as we might expect in warrior-based society – status and strength mattered, and whichever way the power balance tipped allowed for flexibility in this relationship. It was in the interests of both parties to keep the relationship slightly vague, and terms ill-defined. However, in the persons of Henry II and Edward I, we have very strong, capable kings, who chose to interpret matters very strongly in their favour – and to have things recorded very clearly. In both cases their reigns followed a period of civil war in England in which royal prerogatives were eroded – and in both cases they looked back to the period before this as a point to which they wished to return things.

Medieval kingship involved being able to take advantage of circumstances, and in the 1290s, King Edward certainly did that, by establishing a prior relationship of dependence with every single one of the Competitors who was hoping to stand a chance of becoming King of Scots. He was then able to fill in the notable blank after the deposition of King John by ensuring the landholding classes all swore to him personally – and therefore accepted him as their king. In effect Edward abolished the kingship, and therefore anyone declaring themselves King of Scots was an outlaw and subject to his punishment.

With the decision of Edward III to support Edward Balliol, the English king was exercising his authority over the land of Scotland, and by accepting the resignation of Balliol’s rights in 1356 was continuing to do this. However, he was the last to do so in a meaningful manner, and it might be said that with the death of Edward III in 1377 the authority was allowed to lapse, unless the Treaty of Fotheringhay in 1482 whereby the Duke of Albany promised to do homage to Edward IV for the realm of Scotland counts. (A short lived political rebellion ensued in Scotland, and the future Richard III led an army to Edinburgh to help Albany on his way – but Albany was never crowned and the only real outcome was the final seizure of Berwick by the English).

In short, there were four real Lords Paramount of Scotland; Henry II, and Edwards I, II & III. However, it appears only to have been the first Edward who exercised the power fully in abolishing the Scottish Crown altogether. Edward II made ongoing attempts to assert his dominance with varying effect, and Edward III chose instead to support a rival candidate in the face of the Bruce kingship, at which point the matter seems to have been abandoned, although subsequent English monarchs would certainly do their utmost to interfere and dominate the northern realm. The ultimate irony, as I said, is that it would be the Stewart dynasty who outlasted their English neighbours, and became kings of England, only to largely abandon their northern kingdom in favour of the wealth and power to be found further south.