Siward, the Earl of Northumberland, is the leader of the English troops lent to Malcolm to retrieve his throne. On hearing of his own son's death, Siward's only fear is that the young man may have been killed from behind. When he learns that his son died fighting, he is quite reconciled to his death.
Considered a principal source for Shakespeare's play, the Daemonologie of King James was published in 1597 and included a news pamphlet titled Newes from Scotland that detailed the famous North Berwick Witch Trials of 1590. The publication of Daemonologie came just a few years before the tragedy of Macbeth with the themes and setting in a direct and comparative contrast with King James' personal experiences with witchcraft.