In this context, one is reminded of the lengthy genealogies included in the later Anglo-Saxon chronicles which, as discussed in the Introduction to the document ANGLO-SAXON KINGS, were probably designed to reinforce the legitimacy of usurping monarchs and are of dubious factual accuracy.
An interesting case from the Scottish documentation appears to support this hypothesis: that of King Eochlaid, whose reign is dated to the 880s.
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The only reference to succession practice which has been found is the report in the Chronicle of John of Fordun which states that King Kenneth II decreed a change to enable "the nearest survivor in blood to the deceased king to succeed".
The move would obviously have been unpopular in the wider royal family, and King Kenneth was not powerful enough to carry it through, as shown by his murder in 995, alleged in the same source to have been committed by his collateral relatives.
He is named in the 10th century Cronica de Origine as successor to his maternal uncle King Aedh. If our hypothesis is correct, this omission may have been intentional as his relationship to his predecessor through the female line was considered incompatible with the idea of male-line royal continuity.
Another point relates to the alleged burial of the early kings on the island of Iona.
It is of course not known which earlier sources, since disappeared, may have been used in the compilation of the later manuscripts.