The Norman Conquest in 1066 imposed feudalism over most of England at a stroke. In Scotland, it arrived peacefully through the deliberate policies of Scottish kings. It was imported in a fully-developed form but unlike England its introduction was gradual and its geographical impact piecemeal. Feudalism was a system under which all land belonged to the king and was held from him by vassals in return for precisely specified obligations the most important of which, initially, were military in character. Major vassals in turn granted or sub-infeudated their lands in turn to lesser men. The spread of feudalism produced major alterations in the social and economic organisation of Scotland but many of its attributes are now considered less revolutionary than was once thought. In theory feudalism contrasted strongly with the tribal, kinship-based structure of Celtic society. In practice, however, many aspects of eleventh-century Scottish society, notably tenure, food renders and military service, were already essentially feudal. It is doubtful if, at the lower end of the social scale, the bulk of the population noticed much difference with the transition from Celtic to feudal lordship. Nevertheless, any feudal elements in pre-twelfth-century Scottish society were structured only within individual earldoms and lordships. From the twelfth century onwards these were increasingly integrated into a single all-embracing framework. Its lack of a kinship basis also allowed Scottish kings to use feudalism to make major changes in patterns of landholding. Malcolm III and Queen Margaret are sometimes considered to have introduced feudalism to Scotland. Certainly they were receptive to English and continental influences but the scale of their innovations was limited. The English who came to Scotland during their reign appear to have been a handful of court followers rather than a wave of settlers. Malcolm’s, and especially Margaret’s, greatest legacy was an indirect one; the influence they exerted on their sons. Yet there is also little evidence of significant Anglo-Norman influence in Scotland during the reigns of Edgar and Alexander I. It was David I (1124–53), only a boy at the time of his parents’ death, who was the real innovator. Changes before his reign were limited and their impact has been over-emphasised.