As we all know, history was written by the last man standing, so to speak. Such is the case with Malcolm III Canmore. As the eldest son of Duncan II, Malcolm was the heir who claimed Scotland from the usurper Macbeth. Where did this rumor come from that he was the illegitimate son of Duncan and the miller of Forteviot’s daughter? I wonder if it was put about by his younger brother Donald Bain (or Donald Bane), who took the crown for himself after the death of Malcolm, putting aside the claims of his nephews. From what I can tell, his alleged illegitimacy was not claimed during his lifetime, which could have been a great coup for William the Conqueror. And it certainly did not stop Malcolm’s sons from stepping up to the throne after Donald Bain’s demise.
The supposed illegitamacy was mentioned in the “Chronicle of Andrew of Wyntoun” c.1420, who claimed King Duncan fell in love with the Miller’s daughter and gave her a child. There is a place in Forteviot called Miller’s Acre, which could refer to this event. I did visit this sleepy little village, myself, but aside from a plaque indicating that the town was once associated with a royal seat, I found nothing that could enlighten me as to Malcolm’s rumored beginnings.