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IV238238   This is Letter CXXXII. of Book III. in Gerberon’s edition.

To Alexander, King of Scots.239239   Son of Malcolm Canmore (the Malcolm of Macbeth) and St Margaret of Scotland: brother of Matilda, the wife of the English King Henry I. He reigned from 1107 to 1124, and was succeeded by his brother St David.

TO Alexander by the grace of God King of Scots, Anselm servant of the Church of Canterbury wishes health and promises his faithful prayers and sends him the blessing of God and, for what it is worth, his own also.

Both I and the whole society of Christ Church, Canterbury, thank God and rejoice that God has advanced you by right of inheritance to your father’s240240   Malcolm Canmore. He succeeded to the kingdom of Scotland in 1057, married the English princess St Margaret as his second wife in 1068 and died in 1093. kingdom after your brother’s241241   Edgar, son and successor of Malcolm Canmore. He was named after his uncle, the English prince Edgar Atheling, St Margaret’s brother. He reigned from 1094 to 1107. decease, and has adorned you with a character worthy of your royal dignity. As to your brother who by his holy living deserved to make a good end at his departure by God’s mercy out of this life, we pray and will pray for him, as you request us, as for one who loved us and whom we loved, 146that God may grant to his soul eternal joy in His glory among His elect, and everlasting happiness.

I know that your Highness loves and desires my counsel. And so first praying God that He Himself may so guide you by the grace of His Holy Spirit and give you His counsel in all your acts, that He may bring you after this life to His heavenly kingdom, I advise you earnestly to preserve by His help, from whom you received them, that fear of God and those good and pious habits, which you began to have in youth and even in childhood. For kings reign well when they live according to God’s will and serve Him in fear; and when they reign over themselves and do not become the servants of their own vices, but master the impetuosity of these by courageous constancy. For there is no inconsistency between constancy in virtue and royal courage in a king. For some kings, like David, at once lived a holy life and also governed the people committed to their charge with vigorous justice and gentle kindness, according as the matter in hand required. Do you show your self such that the wicked may fear you and the good love you; and, that your life may ever be pleasing to God, let your mind ever remember the punishment of the wicked and reward of the good which shall be after this life. May Almighty God entrust you and all your actions to none other than to His own gracious government.


As to our brethren,242242   Probably Benedictine monks from Canterbury. Both Edgar and Alexander were interested in the introduction into Scotland of the religious institutions prevalent in England. Edgar had refounded Coldingham for Durham monks; Alexander at a later date brought Canterbury monks to Dunfermline. whom we have sent into Scotland at the desire of your brother, who has departed, as we trust, from the labours of this life into his rest, we have not thought it necessary to request your kindness for them, because we know well your good will toward them.

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