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VOL. in. 

" The sovereignty of the Gael to the Clan Cholla, 
It isright to proclaim it." 

Inberurss : 






















In issuing the third volume of this work, the 
authors are much concerned at the long delay that 
has occurred in its preparation, and they feel that 
an apology is due to their subscribers as well as to 
the general public who are interested in the subject. 
The protracted interval between Volumes II. and 
III. has been due to a variety of causes more or less 
connected with the extensive and complex character 
of the work, the numerous branches that sprang 
from the parent stock — many of them never before 
dealt with—and the many sources, public and 
private, from which they endeavoured to elicit 
authentic information. These and other causes 
tended to delay the appearance of the volume to an 
extent that was never anticipated by the authors. 
Though the volume is in the main genealogical, it is 
not entirely so. The first two chapters are taken 
up with the history of the House of Sleat, which 
the exigencies of space did not allow of being 
incorporated in Volume 11. ; the third deals with 
the thorny question of the chiefship, and the fourth 


takes up more or less exhaustively the social history 
of the clan from about the middle of the 16th 
century. The Volume also contains chapters on 
the Bards of the Clan and other outstanding 
Clansmen. The interest and attractiveness of the 
volume are greatly enhanced by a number of 
portraits and signatures of prominent clansmen. 
The authors acknowledge gratefully the kindness 
of many representatives of the various families in 
placing at their disposal original portraits and 
miniatures, and often taking much trouble in sup- 
plying reproductions of pictures which, from their 
character, were not adapted for removal. Among 
these may be mentioned the Right Honourable the 
Earl of Antrim, the Right Honourable the Lady 
MacdoDald of the Isles, the Honourable Lady 
Macdonald of Clanranald, Mrs Macclonald of Sanda, 
Miss Macdonald (of Dalchosnie), Barnfield Hill, 
Southampton, Mrs Macdonald Stuart of Dalness, 
Mrs Head of Liverailort, Mrs Aylmer Morley, 
Angus Macdonald of Clanranald, J. R. M. Macdonald 
of Largie, Colonel John McDonnell of Kilmore, 
J. A. R. Macdonald of Balranald, Allan R. Mac- 
donald (of Belfinlay), yr. of Waternish ; Professor 
Arthur A. Macdonell of Lochgarry, Oxford ; Dr 
Duncan Macdonald, Oban; Alexander Macdonell 
Stewart, Lynedoch Place, Edinburgh ; Allan Mac- 
donald, LL.D., Glenarm ; and Andrew Macdonald, 
Sheriff-Clerk of Inverness-shire. 


The authors also desire gratefully to acknowledge 
the assistance rendered by many members of the clan, 
and others, who placed family genealogies and relative 
records at their disposal, or otherwise helped in the 
preparation of this volume. In this connection they 
acknowledge their indebtedness to the Honourable 
Lady Macdonald of Clanranald, Miss Macdonald of 
Dalchosnie, Mrs Head of Inverailort (representative 
of Barisdale), Miss Josephine M. Macdonell, London, 
Miss Susan Martin of Glendale, Angus Macdonald 
of Clanranald, Captain William M. Macdonald, late 
of the Cameron Highlanders ; the Rev. R. C. 
Macleod of Macleod, Admiral Robertson Macdonald 
of Kinlochmoidart, Colonel Martin Martin, Ostaig, 
Skye ; Lachlan Macdonald of Skeabost, Dr Keith 
Norman Macdonald, Edinburgh ; H. L. Macdonald 
of Dunach, Dr Duncan Macdonald, Oban : Allan R. 
Macdonald, yr.- of Waternish ; Allan Macdonald, 
LL.D., Glenarm ; Graeme A. Maclaverty of 
Clianting Hall ; the Hon. William Macdonald, 
Senator for British Columbia in the Dominion 
Parliament of Canada ; Rev. W. J. MacKain, 
Clifton ; Mr Murray Rose ; and the late Evander 
Maciver of Scourie. 

In a work involving so much minute genealogical 
research, errors no doubt have unavoidably crept in; 
but these will be found to be few and of little 


The authors desire finally to record their grateful 
sense of the never-failing kindness and courtesy of 
Mr R. M. Grant, the Manager of the Northern 
Chronicle, while the volume was passing through 
the press. 

December, 1904- 



Hugh the founder. — Invasion of Orkney. — Charter from Earl of Ross. — 
Hugh and the forfeiture of the Lord of the Isles.— Grant of 
Superiorities.— Barony of Troternish.— Hugh's Charter of Confir- 
mation. — His death.— John Hucheonson succeeds. — Scatters the 
patrimony. — Koyal Charters to Macleods. — Sinister influences. — 
John resigns Sleat and North Uist. — His death. — Donald Gallach 
succeeds to the Chiefship.— The Chief's brothers.— Black Archibald. — 
Murders of Donald Herrach and Donald Gallach.— Archibald as 
pirate. — Angus CoUach in North Uist. — His death. — Death of 
Angus Dubh.— Donald Gruamach and Ranald Macdonald Herrach. — 
Death of Black Archibald.— Donald assumes Chief bhip.— Bond with 
Cawdor, — Alliance with Mackintosh.— Expels Macleods from Troter- 
nish. — Is summoned to Edinburgh and submits. — Death of Donald 
Gruamach. — Donald Gorme. — Donald Gormeson. — Archibald the 
Clerk's tutorship. — Donald Gormeson in Lewis and England. — 
Tack of North Uist. — Charter of Troternish to William Macleod of 
Dunvegan. — Archibald the Clerk signs Commission for Donald 
Dubh. — His Death. — Grant of Troternish bailiary to Argyll. — Charge 
against Donald Gormeson by Kintail.— Commission of fire and sword 
against Sleat. — His attitude towards the Crown. — Adopts Reformed 
tenets.— Claims Lewis. — Contract with Argyll. — Joins Sorley Buy. — 
Makes friends with Kintail. — Receives gifts and promises from the 
Crown. — Donald Gorme Mor succeeds as minor. — James Macdonald 
of Castle Camus. — Obligation to Bishop of Isles. — The Clan Gil- 
lespick Clerach. — Their position in Troternish. — Hugh MacGil- 
lespick. — His outlawry. — His ambition and treachery. — Donald 
Gorme Mor's Feud with Maclean. — Skirmish at Inbhir Chnuic 
bhric. — Donald Gorme summoned to Edinburgh. — His Bonds with 
Huntly and Mackintosh. — Invasion of Mull. — Battles of Cranalich 
and Bachca. — End of Feud with Duart. — Donald Gorme goes to 
Edinburgh. — Imprisonment and fine. — Summons of treason. — Goes 
with 500 men to assist Red Hugh O'Donnell. — His return. — Pro- 
posals to Crown. — Receives Charteis and infeftment. — Donald 
Gorme's feud with Macleod and its causes. — Macleod invades Troter- 
nish. — DomhnuU Maclain 'Ic Sheumais, — Battle of Cuilean. — 
Donald Gorme invades Harris. — Macleod invades Uist. — Battle of 


Carinish. — Privy Council intervenes.— Surrender of hostile chiefs. — 
Reconciliation. — Hugh MacGillespick Clerach. — Conspiracy and 
death.— Donald Gorme at Aros.— Bond for Improvement of Isles. — 
Statutes of I Columkill. - Charter to Clanrauakl.— In ward in 
Glasgow. —Ordered to Dunnyveg. — ISTew Charter.— Taken ill at 
Chanonry.— Death of Donald Gorme Mor.— Donald Gornae Og 
succeeds. -Settles with Rory Mor. — Obtains titles.— Baronet of 
Nova Scotia.— Royalist sympathies in Civil War.— Summoned 
before Commission of Estates.— Death of Sir Donald Gorme Og., 
Bart 1 



Sir James Macdonald succeeds his fathei-, Sir Donald. — His attitude 
towards the cause of King Charles I.— Supports the cause of 
Charles 11.— The men of the Isles at Worcester. —Sir James's con- 
duct under the Commonwealth. — His domestic policy.— His relations 
with the Government of Charles II. at the Restoration. — Receives 
a Crown Charter of his lands in Skye and Uist. — Appointed Sheriff 
of the Western Isles. — Troubles in Lochaber. — Domestic difticulties. 
—Sir James matriculates arms.— His death.— Sir Donald Macdonald 
succeeds his father, Sir James.— He supports James VII. — "She 
Sleat men at Killiecrankie. — Their subsequent movements. — For- 
feiture of the young Chief of Sleat.— Sir Donald refuses to submit 
to the Government of William of Orange.— Defeats the Government 
force sent against him to the Isle of Skye.— Sir Donald finally takes 
the oath of allegiance, and submits to the Government. — Death of 
Sir Donald. — Succeeded by his son, Domnull a Chogaidh. — Sir 
Donald joins the Earl of Mar. — The Sleat men at Sheriffmuir. — 
Forfeiture of Sir Donald. — His death.— Succeeded by his son, 
Donald. — Sir Donald enters into possession of the Estate. — His 
death. — Succeeded by his uncle, James Macdonald of Orinsay. — His 
conduct at the time of Spanish Invasion of 1719. — Death of Sir 
James. — Succeeded by his son, Sir Alexander, a minor. — The Estate 
purchased fr(;m the Forfeited Estates' Commissioners for behoof of 
Sir Alexander. — Sir Alexander at St Andrews. — His relations with 
hi» tenants. — SoitJieaeh nan Daoine.- — Sir Alexander's conduct 
during the Rebellion of 1745. — Death and burial of Sir Alexander. — 
Sir James, his son, succeeds. — Educated at Eton and Oxford. — His 
travels on the Continent. — His reputation for learning. — His 
relations with his people. — His popularity. — His accident in North 
Uist.— His death at Rome. — Succeeded by his brother, Alexander. — 
Sir Alexander as a landlord. — His quarrel with Boswell. — Created a 
Peer of Ireland. — Raises a regiment. — His death. — Succeeded by his 
son, Alexander Wentworth, as second lord. — Raises the Regiment of 
the Isles. — His death. — Succeeded by his brother, Godfrey. — Con- 
troversy with Glengarry. — His death. — Succeeded by hii son, 
Godfrey, a« fourth lord. — Somerled, fifth lord. — Ronald Archibald, 
•ixthlord 58 




Fall of Lordship of Isles.— Feudal and Celtic tenures. — Bond of Kindred. 
— Differentiation of offices. — Legal system. - The Cinn-Tighe and 
their holdings. — The tribe. — Agriculture. — Trading. — Fishing. — 
Arms and clothing.— Statutes of I Columkill. — Modern Tacksmen 
merging. — Incidence of Cowdeicheis and Calpes. — Social state of 
chiefs. Hunting and arms. — Restriction on chiefs' retainers, 
Galleys, Arms, unsuccessfully attempted. — Hereditary and other 
offices. — Marischall-tighe, Cup-bearer, Bard, Harper, Piper, Physician, 
Armourer, Miller. — Celtic Customs. — Handfasting.— Marriage Con- 
tracts. — Fosterage. — Rise of modern Tenures. — Tacksmen. — Wad- 
setters. — Feu-farmers. — Steelbow tenants. — Small tenants. —Intro- 
duction of Kelp. — Of the potato. — Educational condition of Isles in 
16th century — Donald Dubh's barons. — Gaelic culture. — Carse- 
well's prayer-book. — Legendary lore. — Educational policy of Govern- 
ment. — Culture among Tacksmen. — Attitude of Clans to Crown. — 
Mistaken policy of appointing Lieutenants. — Change of Islemen's 
attitude explained. — Abolition of Heritable Jurisdictions. — Dis- 
arming and unclothing Acts. — Dissolution of Clans. — Rise in land. — 
Commercial policy of chiefs.— Emigration. — New townships on 
Clanranald Estates. — Formation of Fencible Regiments in the Isles . 104 



The Chief ship of a Highland Clan not a feudal dignity. — Held by the 
consent of the Clan. — The family of Dougall of Clanranald excluded 
from the headship of the Clanranald branch. — Ranald Gallda and 
John of Moidart. ^Deposition of Iain Aluinn. — The Chiefs of Sleat 
hold their lands without feudal investiture defended by the Clan. — 
The Law of Tanistry. — Issue of Handfast Marriages and bastards 
eligible for Chiefship. — Instances of Lachlan Cattanach Maclean of 
Duart, John of Killin, Angus Og of the Isles, and Donald Dubh. — 
History of the Chiefship of the Clan Donald traced from early 
times. — The family of Alexander, Lord of the Isles, excluded from 
the Chiefship. — Succession of Donald of Isla. — Celestine of Lochalsh 
and Hugh of Sleat. — Claim of Lochalsh family to the Chiefship, — 
The Earldom of Ross. — The Chiefship of the Clan Donald in the 
family of Sleat. — The Glengarry claim ...... 155 




The Lords of the Isles 173 

The Macruaris of Garmoraii and the Norfh Isles ..... 183 

The Macallisters of T^oup 184 

The Alexanders of Menstrie 189 

The Earls of Caledon 192 

The Macallisters of Strathaird, Glenbarr, Torrisdale, &c. ... 194 

The Clan Donald (jf Ulster 199 

The Clan Donald of Leiuster 202 

The Macdonalds of Ardnauiurchan 210 

The Macdonalds of Glenco and Cadets ....... 212 

The Macdonalds of Daluess 216 

The Macdonalds of Achtriachtan . . . . . . . .221 

Descendants of Allan Dubh Mac Iain Duibli ...... 225 

The Macdonalds of Clanranald 226 

The Macdonalds of Kuoydart ......... 238 

The Maceacheu-Macdonalds ......... 239 

The Maceachens of Howbeg aud Glenuig ....... 248 

The Maceachens of Peninuren ......... 250 

The Macdonalds of Morar 251 

The Macdonalds of Bernish 258 

The Macdonalds of Geridhoil, in Uist 260 

The Macdonalds of Drimore 262 

The Macdonalds of Gleualadale 263 

The Macdonalds of Benbecula ......... 277 

The Macdonalds of Milton 279 

The Macdonalds of Dalelea 282 

The Macdonalds of Rammerscales ........ 285 

The Macdonalds of Belfiulay 287 

The Macdonalds of Boisdale 291 

The Macdonalds of Kinlochmoidart 298 

The Macdonalds of Glengarry 308 

The Macdonalds of Shian 316 

The Macdonalds of Lundie . . . . . . . . .318 

The Macdonalds of Scotus 320 

The Macdonalds of Lochgarry . . • . .... 328 

The Macdonalds of Greenfield 333 

The Macdonalds of Barisdale 336 

The Macdonalds of Arduabie ......... 345 

The Macdonalds of Leek 347 

The Macdonalds of Aberchalder ........ 350 

The Macdonalds of Culachie ......... 355 

The Clan Godfrey 359 

The Macdonalds of Dunnyveg and the Glens ...... 374 

The Macdonalds of Largie ......... 380 

The Macdonalds of Sanda "... 387 

The Macdonalds of Colonsay ......... 396 



The Macdonalds of Antrim 

The Macdonalds of Keppoch 

The Macdonalds of Bohuntin . 

The Macdonalds of TuUoch 

The Macdonalds of Dalohosuie . 

The Macdonalds of Aberarder . 

The Macdonalds of Ci'anachan . 

The Macdonalds of TuUochcrom 

The Macdiinalds of Gellovie 

The Macdonalds of Fersit . 

The Macdonalds of Murlagan . 

The Macdonalds of Achnancoichean 

The Macdonalds of Cliauaig 

The Macdonalds of Tirnadii«h . 

The Macdonalds of Inch . 

The Macdonalds of Killiechonale 

The Macdonalds of Lochalsh 

The Macdonalds of Sleat . 

The Clann Domhnuill Herraich 

Macdonalds of Balranald . 

The Macdonalds of Heisker and Skaebost 

The Macdonalds of Castle Camus 

The Macdonalds of Cuidreach . 

The Macdonalds of Ostaig and Capstill 

The Macdonalds of Rigg and Balvicquean 

The Macdonalds of Camuscross and Castleton 

The Macdonalds of Glenmore . 

The Macdonalds of Totscor, Bernisdale, and Scalpay 

The Macdonalds cf Sartle .... 

The Macdonalds of Totamurich and Knock 

The Macdonalds of Balishare 

The Macdonalds of Aird and Vallay . 

The Macdonalds of East Sheen . 

The Maclavertys 

The Mackains of Elgin .... 

The Darrochs 

The Martins of Beallach and Duntulm 
The Martins of Marishadder 

. 408 
. 418 
. 494 
. 429 
. 431 
. 442 
. 446 
. 448 
. 450 
. 454 
. 456 
. 457 
. 4.^8 
. 459 
. 461 
. 463 
. 464 
. 467 
. 479 
. 487 
. 494 
. 499 
. 511 
. 513 
. 515 
. 517 
. 523 
. 528 
. 531 
. 533 
. 536 
. 540 
. 548 
. 550 
. 553 
. 555 
. 558 
. 567 

The Birds of the Clan ^^^ 

Alastair Mac Colla ^^^ 

Flora Macdonald ^^^ 

Marshal Macdouald, Duke of Tarentum ^^^ 

Sir John Alexander Macdonald ^^6 

Sir Hector Macdonald ^^^ 

George Macdonald, Novelist and Poet ^^' 

Signatures ^""^^'^ ''^ 1^^^"^ ^^"^ 

Addenda ,....••••••"'' 



Panegyric on the Macdonalds. C. 1500 ....... 647 

Contract of Marriage betwe«n John Macdonald of Clanranald and Marion, 

daughter of Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan. 1613 .... 648 
Tack by Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat in favour of Neil Maclean of 

Boreray. 1626 650 

Tack by John, Bishop of the Isles, of the Teinds of Troternish, and 

others, to Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat. 1630 .... 651 
Declaration of Chiefship in favour of Sir James Macdonald of Sleat . . 654 
Declaration of Chiefship in favour cf Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat by 

Coll Macdonald of Keppoch 655 

Contract between Donald Macdonald of Clanranald and Roderick Mac- 
donald of Glenaladale. 1674 655 

Commission by King James in favour of John Macdonald of Bor- 

niskittaig. 1689 658 

Judicial Rental of Sir Donald Macdonald's Estate of North Uist. 1718 . 659 
Attestation by the Gentlemen of Troternish. 1721 .... 663 

Attestation by the Gentlemen of North Uist. 1721 . . . .664 

Testimonial by the Presbytery of Uist in favour of Alexander Macdonald 

of Boisdale. 1746 664 


Rev. A. Macdonakl, Minister of Killcarnan 
Rev. A. Macdouald, Minister of Kiltarlity . 
Sir Donald Macdouald, 1st Baronet of Sleat 
Sir Donald Macdouald, 4th Baronet of Sleat 
Sir Alexander Macdouald, 7th Baronet of Sleat 
Sir James Macdouald, 8th Bart, of Sleat 
Alexander Macdouald of Boisdale 
Captain Reginald S. Macdouald, R.A. (Vallay) 
Hercules McDonnell, Dublin 
Jame.s Thomas Macdouald of Balranald 
Robert McDonnell (Tyuekil^ . 
Eweu Macdonakl of Glencoe 
Major-Gen. Alex. Macdouald, Invercoe 
Captain Macdouald, Invercoe . 
Major D. C. Macdouald of Glencoe . 
James Macdouald of Dalness . , 
Admiral Sir Reginald Macdouald of Clanranald 
Alex. Ruadh Macdouell of Glengarry 
Captain Macdouell, R.N. (Glengarry) 
Gen. Sir James Macdouell (Glengarry) 
Allan D. Macdouald of Clanranald . 
Angus R. Mac.ionald (Clanranald) 
John Macdouald of Gleualadale. 
Angus Macdouald of Gleualadale 
- Colonel John A. Macdouald, C.B., of Gleualadale 
Archbishop Angus Macdouald of St Andrews and Edinbur 
Bishop Hugh Macdouald of Aberdeen (Gleualadale) 
Ranald Macdouald of Btlfinlay .... 
Major Allan Macdouald of Wateiuish 
Captain Allan Macdouald of Waternish . 
Allan R. Macdouald, yr. of Waternish 
Ranald Macdouald of Staffa, afterwards Sir Regi 

AUanton, Bart 

Colonel Donald Macdouald, Boisdale . 
Hon. William Macdouald of Vallay . 
D. J. K. Macdouald of Sauda . . . • 
Hector Macdonald-Buchauan (Boisdale) . 
Admiral Robertson Macdouald of Kinlochmoidart 
Alastair Dearg Macdouald of Glengarry . 
Alexander Macdouell of Glengarry . 
Colonel A. A. Macdouell of Lochgarry 
Captain A. A. Macdouell of Lochgarry . 
Professor A. A. Macdouell of Lochgarry . 
Archibald Macdouald of Barisdale . 
William Macdouald of Sauda . . . • 

Facing Title-page 
Facing Title-page 
. 54 
. 79 
. 85 
. 97 
. 202 
. 202 
. 202 
. 202 
. 202 
. 212 
. 212 
. 212 
. 212 
. 212 
. 226 
. 238 
. 238 
. 238 
. 238 
. 238 
. 263 
. 263 
. 263 

•gh (Glenaladale) 263 
. 263 
. 287 
. 287 
. 287 
. 287 

I aid 


■t Seton of 

, 328 



Largie Castle ...... 

Tomb of Ranald Bane Macdonald of Largie 

John MacdonaW of Largie . 

Archibald Macdonald of Sanda . 

John Macdonald of Sanda 

John Macdonald of Sanda . 

Sir John Macdonald of Sanda . 

Arch. Macdonell of Barisdale 

Dr James McDonnell (Colonsay) 

Dr John McDonnell (Colonsay) 

The Hon. Sir Schomberg K. McDonnell 

Sir Alexander McDonnell, Bart. (Colonsay) 

Colonel John McDonnell of Kilmore (Colonsay) 

Randal, 4th Earl of Antrim 

Alexander, 5th Earl of Antrim 

Randal, 6th Earl and 2nd Marquis of Antrim 

Ranald Macdonell of Keppoch . 

Major Alexander Macdonell of Keppoch 

Major Alexander Macdonell, brother of Keppoch 

Richard Macdonell of Keppoch . 

Sir Claude Macdonald .... 

Lieut. Alex. Macdonald (Dalchosnie) 

Captain James Macdonald (Dalchosnie) 

Captain John Allan Macdonald (Dalchosnie) 

Captain Donald Macdonald (Dalchosnie) . 

Hon. Alex. Macdonell of Culachie 

General Sir John Macdonald of Dalchosnie 

General Alastair Macdonald of Dalchosnie 

William Macdonald (Dalchosnie) 

Captain Charles Macdonald (Dalchosnie) . 

Captain Donald Macdonald (Dalchosnie) . 

Alexander, 1st Lord Macdonald 

Godfrey, 3rd Lord Macdonald . 

Godfrey, 4th Lord Macdonald . 

Ewen Macdonald of Grimini^h (Vallay) 

Douglas Macdonald of Sanda 

Alexander Macdonald of Balranald . 

J. A. R. Macdonald of Balranald 

Richard McDonnell, Provost of Trinity College 

Major Alexander Macdonald of Courthill . 

George Macdonald, Novelist 

Captain Allan Macdonald of Kingsburgh . 

J. R. M. Macdonald of Largie . 

John Ranald Macdonald of Sanda 

Dr K. N. Macdonald 

Alex. Macdonald of Vallay 

Sir Richard G. McDonnell (Tynekill) 

Colonel Alex. Macdonald of Lyndale and Balranald 

Captain Alex. Macdonald, Knockow . 

Sir Archibald .Macdonald, Bart., Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer 

Marshal Macdonald, Duke of Tarentum 

Dublin (Tynekill) 


Macdonald, The Right Honble. The Lady, of the Isles, Ai'madale 

Castle, Skye. 
Macdonald, The Hon. Lady, of Clanranald, a1 Ovingtoii Square, 

London, W. (large paper). 
Atholl, His Grace the Dnke of, Blair Castle, Blair-Atholl. 
Antrim, The Right Hon. The Earl of, GlenaiTa Castle, County 

Antrim, Ireland. 
Lovat, The Right Hon. Lord, Beaufort Castle, Beauly. 
Macdonald, The Hon. Hugh J., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. 
Ayhner Morley, Mrs, Whitcrdine, Founhope, Herefordshire. 
Bailhe, J. E. B., Esq. of Dochfoui-. 
Bain, James, chief Ubrarian, Public Library, Toronto. 
Barret, F. T., Esq., Mitchell Library, Glasgow. 
Barron, James, Esq., " The Inverness Courier, " Inverness. 
Bethell, W., Esq., Rise Park, Hull (large paper). 
Beveridge, E., Esq., St Leonard's Hill, Dunferailine. 
Blair, Sheriff, Ai'dross Terrace, Inverness — deceased (3 vols.). 
Brown, W., Esq., bookseller, 26 Princes Street, Edinburgh. 
Buchanan, A. W., Esq., Larkhall, Polmont. 
Bums, W., Esq., solicitor, Inverness. 
Cameron, Donald, Esq., Lochgonn, Inverness. 
Cameron, Duncan, Church Street, Inverness — deceased. 
Campbell, Alex. D., Komglia, Cape Colony. 
Cazenove, C. D., bookseller, 26 Henrietta Street, Covent Gardens, 

Lcundon, W.C. 
Chisholm of Chisholm, Mrs, Erchless Castle, Beauly (large paper). 
Clark, Lt. -Colonel J. Cumming, Ballindoun House, Beauly. 
Clarke, G. T., Esq., London — deceased. 
Colquhoun, Sir James, of Colquhoim and Luss, Bart., Rossdhu, 

Loch Lomond (large paper). 
Constable, T. & A., 11 Tliistle Street, Ediubui-gh. 
Cooke, Mrs Raeburn, Boscombe, Bournemouth. 
Cunninghame, Jolm, Esq. of Balgownie, Culross. 
Darroch, Duncan, Esq. of Torridon, Auchnasheen. 


Bow, Rev. John, Knockbain Manse, Munlochy. 

D'Oyley, The Most Hon. The Marchioness (3 copies, large paper). 

Drayton, Mrs Theodore Drayton Grimke, CHfford Manor, 
Newent, Gloucestershire. 

Ellice, C. H., Esq., Bronipton, London (large paper). 

FergTison, Rev. John, The Manse, Aberdalgie, Perth. 

Fletcher, J. Douglas, Esq. of Rosehaugh (large paper). 

Eraser, A., Esq., of Messrs A. Eraser & Co., Union Street, 

Eraser-Mackintosh, Charles, Esq., LL.D., of Drummond, Inver- 
ness — deceased. 

Gibson, Rev. Jolm Mackenzie, 22 Regent Terrace, Edinburgh. 

Hay, Colin, Esq., Ardbeg, Port Ellen, Islay. 

HendersoD, Rev. Georgei, M.A., Ph.D., The Manse, Eddrachillis, 

Henderson, W. H., & Son, St Andrews. 

Hunter, R. W., Esq., bookseller, 19 George IV. Bridge, Edin- 

Lacourt, Randolp Macdonald, Chili. 

Lawlor, Henry Cairnes, 10 Wellington Park Avenue, Belfast. 

Livingston-Macdonald, R. M., Esq. of Flodigary, Skye (large 

Mainwaring, Charles, Esq., Eeugh Cottage, Banchory, Aberdeien. 

Maitland, Mrs J. Keith, Theresia, Ceylon. 

Martin, Adam W., Esq., Knocli, Belfast. 

Martin, Colonel Martin, R.E., Ostaig, Skye. 

Macalister, Major, C.B., of Glenbarr, Kintyre. 

Macallister, James, Esq., wine merchant, Ballymena. 

M'Connel, Wm., Esq., Knockdolian, Colmonell — deceased. 

M'Crindle, John, Esq., Auchinlee, Ayr. 

Macdonald, Lieut. -Colonel A. H., Moreton, Benbridge, Isle of 

Macdonald, A., Esq., Commercial Bank, Thurso. 

Macdonald, A. R., Esq., Ord, Isleornsay, Skye. 

M'Donald, Rev. A., F.C. Manse, Ardclach. 

Macdonald, Alex., Esq., 65 Oswald Street, Glasgow. 

Macdonald, Alex., Esq., solicitor, Portree — deceased (ordered 

vols. I., II., III.). 

Macdonald, J. A. Ranald, Esq. of Balranald, Edenwoocl House, 

Springfield, Fife. 
Macdonald, Capt. A. W., Invernevis, Fort- William. 
Macdonald, Rev. Alex., Napanee, Ontario, Canada (large paper). 


Macdonald, Alex., Esq., Shannon, Wellington, New Zealand. 
Macdonald, Allan, Esq., LL.D., Glenarm, Co. Antrim, Ireland. 
Macdonald, Andrew, Esq., slierifT-clerk, Inverness. 
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Hugh the founder. — Invasion of Orkney. - Charter from Earl of 
Ross. — Hugh and the forfeiture of the Lord of the Isles. — 
Grant of Superiorities. — Barony of Troternish — Hugh's 
Charter of Confirmation. — His death. — John Hucheonson 
succeeds. — Scatters the patrimony. — Royal Cliarters to 
Macleods. — Sinister influences. — John resigns Slcat and 
North Uist. — His death.— Donald Gallach smeceds to the 
Chiefship. — The Chief's brothers. — Black Arci)ibald. — 
Murders of Donald Herrach and Donald (jfallach. — Archibald 
as pirate. — Angus Collach in North Uist.- -His diath. — Death 
of Angus Dubh, — Donald Gruamach and Ranald MacDonald 
Herrach. — Death of Black Archibald. — Donald assumes chief- 
ship. — Bond with Cawdor. — Alliance with Mackintosh.— 
Expels Macleods from Troternish. — Is summoned to Edin- 
burjrh and submits — Death of Donald Gruamacl'. — Donald 
Gorme. — Donald Gormeson. — Archibald the Clerk's tutor- 
sliip. — Donald Gurmeson in Lewis and England. — Tack of 
North Uist.— Charter of Troternish to William Macieod of 
Dunvegan.— Archibald the Clerk signs Commission for 
Donald Dubh.— His death.— Grant of Troternish bailiary to 
Argyll. — Charge against Donald Gormeson by Kintail. — 
Commission of firo and sword against Sleat. — His attitude 
towards the Crown. — Adopts Reformed tenets. — Claims 



Lewis. — Contract with Argyll. — Joins Sorley Buy. — Makes 
friends with Kintail. — Receives gifts and promises from the 
Crown. — Donald Gorme Mor succeeds as minoi'. — James 
Macdonald of Castle Camus. — Obligation to Bishop of Isles. — 
The Clan Gillespick Clerach. — Their position in Troternish. - 
Hugh MacGillespick,-— His outlawry. — His ambition and 
treachery. — Donald Gorme Mor's feud with Maclean. — 
Skirmish at Inbhir Chnuic bhric— Donald Gorme summoned 
to Edinburgh. — His Bonds with FTuntly and Mackintosh. — 
Invasion of Mull. — Battles of Cranalich and Bachca — P^nd 
of Feud with Duart. — Donald Goime goes to Edinburgh. — 
Imprisonment and fine. —Summons of treason. —Goes with 
500 men to assist Red Hugh O'Donnell. — His return. — 
Proposals to Crown. — Receives Charters and infeftment. — 
Donald Gorme's feud with Macleod and its causes. — Macleod 
invades Troternish. — Domhnull Maclain 'Ic Sheumais. — 
Battle of Cuilean.' — Donald Gorme invades Harris. — Macleod 
mvades Uist. — Battle of Carinish. — Privy Council inter- 
venes. — Surrender of hoi^tile chiefs. — Reconciliation.-— Hugh 
MacGiliespick Clerach. — Conspiracy and death. — - Donald 
Gorme at Aros. — Bond for improvement of Isles — Statutes 
of I Columkill. ^Charter to Clanranald. — In ward in Glas- 
gow. — Ordered to Dunnyveg. — New Charter. — Taken ill at 
Chanonry.— Death of Donald Gorme Mor. Dona'd Gorme 
Og succeeds. — Settles with Rory Mor.— Obtains titles. — 
Baronet of Nova Scotia — Roy;ilist sympathies in Civil Wnr. — 
Summoned before Commission of Estates. — Death of Sir 
Donald Gorme Og, Bart. 

The Macdonalds of Sleat are descended from Hugh, 
younger son of Alexander, Earl of Ross and Lord of 
the Isles, whence the tribal name of the family is 
Clann Uisdein. The first notice we have of Hugh 
is contained in the traditional histories of MacVurich 
and Hugh Macdonald. We are told by the Sleat 
Seanachie, who goes more into detail, that Hugh, 
accompanied by William Macleod of Harris and the 
young gentlemen of the Isles, went on a piratical 
exp3dltion to Orkney. The Orcadians, who seem to 
have had notice of the impending invasion, encamped 


on a certain promontory on vvhicli the foe was 
expected to clisenil)ark, and where they hoped to 
defeat them on their attempting to land. The 
Western Islesmen, like skilful straten^ists, adopted 
different tactics from those expected or desired. 
Ohserving another promontory separated from the 
defending host by an arm of the sea, Hugh landed 
his men there, and marshalled them in order before 
the Orcadians could change their position and 
manage to attack. The Earl of Orkney, on coming 
up with the invaders, attacked them with great 
fury, but the onset was repulsed with much loss to 
the defenders, who were compelled to retreat, the 
Earl himself being among the slain. Hugh pro- 
ceeded to ravish the country, and carried off much 
booty. ^ On his return, he landed at Caithness, and 
became the guest of a prominent member of the 
Clan Gunn, who was at the time the Crowner of 
that region, and with whose daughter the young 
Islesman formed a matrimonial alliance. By tliis 
lady he had a son, afterwards known as Domhnull 
Callach, on account of his connection with Caith- 
ness, which, ])y reason of its Norse population, was 
of old and still is in the Gaelic language called 
Gallabh, that is, the land of the strangei-. At the 
time of his invasion of Orkney, which took place in 
14G0, it does not appear that Hugh possessed a 
feudal title to any of the lands which were after- 
wards in the ownership of his family. 48 a matter 
of fact, we find that in 1463 the Earl of Ross gives 
a errant of the 28 n»ei-klands of Sleat to Celestine, 
Hugh's oldei- brother, in addition to extensive 
estates which he had given him the previouL year 

1 Hugh MaaloiiMl.l MS. in Cll. de Rcl.. \\h. MacVuridi in Keiici. Celt., 
p. 213. 


on the West of lioss. To both these grants the 
Royal confirmation was given on 2 1st August, 1464. 
In 1469 Hugh received from his brother, the Earl 
of Ross, a grant of lands which at once gave him a 
leading position among the barons of the Isles. 
This grant consisted of the 30 merklands of Skeir- 
hough in South Uist, the 12 merklands of Benbecula, 
and the merkland of Gergryminis, also in Benbecula ; 
the 2 merklands of Scolpig, the 4 merklands of 
Tallowmartin, the 6 merklands of Orinsay, the half 
merkland of Wanylis, all lying in North Uist ; also 
the 28 merklands of Sleat — all these lands forming 
part of the lordship of the Isles. Hugh was to hold 
these lands of the Earl of Ross, and they w^ere 
entailed on his heirs male, lawful^ or unlawfully 
begotten or to be begotten, between him and 
Fynvola, daughter of Alexander Macdonald of 
Ardnamurchan, all of whom failing, to the heirs 
male of Hugh and any other woman chosen by the 
advice of the Earl's Council or relations.^ If the 
MacVurich Seanachie is correct in saying that 
Celestine died in 1472, then it is apparent that 
he must have resigned the lands of Sleat in his 
brother's favour before 1469, thougli of this there 
is no trace in the State Records of the ag-e. The 
earliest residence connected with the barony of 
Sleat in occupation of the Clann Uisdein was the 
fortalice of Dunskaich, lying on the Soiuid of Sleat, 
and a place of considerable strength. 

" Hucheon of the His of Slet" appears as one of 
the Council of the Earl of Ross in February 1474-5, 
probably in succession to Celestine, who was b}^ this 
time dead,- and we gather that he took a prominent 
part in the proceedings that led to the forfeiture of 

' The Great Seal. - Act. Dom. Cou. 


the Earldom in 147G. 'J'he fact has been liitherto 
overlooked by historical writers, but we find that 
Hugh of Sleat greatly facilitated the action of 
George, Earl of Huntly, in securing the surrender 
of the Earl of Ross. He did this, we are told, by 
" the expulsion of oure said rebellis and oi)tening of 
oure Castle of Dingwall/' This was apparently in 
antagonism to his brother John, but in the desperate 
position of affairs it may have been the best service 
he could render. As a reward for his conduct the 
King promised Hugh a grant of " twenty pundis 
worth of our landis liand in competent places in the 
north partis of our realme and infeft him heretably 
therein be charter and seasing before the feast of 
Witsonday and attour we sail gev deliuer and pay 
to the said George fifty merkis and the said Hucheon 
ten pundis of silver," &c. This was given under His 
Majesty's Privy Seal at Edinburgh, 23rd October, 
1476.^ We find Hugh in Edinburgh the same year 
at the drawing up of letters of agreement between 
Duncan Mackintosh and Sir Alexander Dunbar, in 
which he is described as brother of the Lord of the 

Whether Hugh ever got the 20 pounds worth of 
land which was promised him by the King we have 
been unable to ascertain. There is a tradition wliich 
appears persistently in Hugh Macdonald's MS. that 
the early barons of Sleat claimed the lands of 
Kishorn and Lochbroom on the West of Koss. 
These lands became the property of Celestine by 
chartei- from the Earl of iioss in 1462, and it is 
possible that Hugh held them, or part of them, as 
the reward of his services either directly from the 
Crown or as the vassal of the chiefs of Lochalsh. 

' Gordou Tapers. 


Besides the lands granted him by theEail of 
Ross, Hugh appears to have received from liini the 
superiority of lands in South Uist, Arisaig, and 
Morar. Yet while we find him in 1495, on the fall 
of the Lordship of the Isles, confirmed in the grant 
of 1469, of the grant of superiority we do not find 
any confirmation, though it remained in the family 
for many generations. 

The barony of Troternish, though claimed, and 
actually possessed by Hugh's descendants, does not 
appear to have belonged to him by any feudal title. 
It is interesting, however, to notice that in the 
recently discovered cha.rter by Angus Og, son of 
John, last Lord of the Isles, to the monks of lona in 
1482 (reproduced in Vol. IT. of Clan Donald), Angus 
is styled " Master of the Isles and Lord of Troter- 
nish." Angus died in 1490, and the family of Sleat, 
after the final forfeiture of the Island lordship, 
claimed with much show of right to be the heirs of 
his property and position by asserting and finally 
vindicating their right to the barony of Troternish. 

The lordship of the Isles was finally forfeited in 
1493, and vested in the Crown, and Hugh, in order 
to secure his lands, obtained in 1495 a royal con- 
firmation of the grant bestowed on him by the Earl 
of E-oss in 1469.^ Hugh would, by this time, have 
been advanced in life, and his son John appears the 
same year that the confirmation was granted, giving 
his submission to the King at the Castle of Mingary. 
Hugh died in 1498, and was buried at Sand, in 
North Uist. He was succeeded by his oldest son, 
who appears in contemporary records as " John 
Hucheonson." His career as Chief of Sleat was brief 
and inglorious. Having apparently no heirs of his 

^ Reg. Mag. Sig. 


own body, the chief aiin and purpose of his Ht'e 
seems to have been to alienate the patrimony of his 
house from the just and lawful successors. The 
very year of his succession he resigned lands and 
superiorities, inljerited fiom his father, to the Crown. 
Tlie lands of Kendess, Gergry minis, the 21 merk- 
lands of Eigg, and the 24 merklands of Arisaig were 
immediately after this resignation bestowed upon 
Ranald Bane Allanson of Clanranald in two separate 
charters, while the merklands of Benbecula, Eigg, 
Arisaig, and the 12 merklands of Moror were 
bestowed upon Angus Keochson of the Clanranald 
family.^ We also find the lands of Troternlsh dealt 
with by royal charters after Hugh's death, but there 
is nothing to show that they formed part of the 
territory resigned by his successor. In June, 1498, 
the King and his Council being in the town of 
Stirling, granted to Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan 
— known in his day as Alastair Crotach — along with 
many other lands in Harris and Skye, two unciates 
of the barony of Troternish with the office of bailiary 
of the whole lands thereof In October of the same 
year the King granted to Torquil Macleod of Lewis 
and to his heirs by Catherine Campbell, sister of 
Archibald, Earl of Argyll, the very same office of 
bailiary of Troternish which in the previous June he 
had granted to his namesake of the Siol Tormoid 
with 4 merks of the Terunga of Duntulm and 
4 merks of Airdmhiceolan.^ 

The extraordinary facility with which charters 
for the same lands and offices were thus given to 
different individuals within a limited period of time 
seems to suggest that anyone who came with a 

1 Clan Donald, vol. 11., p. 238. 
- Duuvegau Charter Chest. 


plausible story, with lyrima facie evidence of its 
truth, to the King, with, perhaps, a bribe to the 
leading Councillors, would have a good chance of 
obtaining a sheep-skin right. The number of 
charters given of lands in the Highlands, and par- 
ticularly in Clan Donald territory, which proved 
utterly valueless because of the impossibility of 
taking sasine and receiving infeftment, seems to 
suggest that sinister influences must have often 
been at work. Many such instruments of tenure 
were granted during the minority of the Stewart 
Kings in the 1 5th and 1 6th centuries, and we 
are by no means surprised to find James IV., 
on attaining to his majority, revoking in 1498 all 
the charters given during the period of his non- 
age, including the whole of them, righteous and 
unrighteous, in a common condemnation. Keturn- 
ing to John Hucheonson, we find him on the 23rd 
August, 1505, resigning the lands of Sleat and 
North Uist, with the Castle and fortalice of 
Dunskaich, to Ranald Allanson of Island Begrim. 
The reason for this wholesale impoverishment of 
his race is not easy to guess, but it has very natur- 
ally been conjectured that there was little love lost 
between himself and his half-brothers, whom he thus 
desired to rob of their lawful patrimony. Doubtless 
much of the territory resigned by John consisted of 
superiorities of lands of which his ownership was 
more nominal than real. But the abandonment of 
Sleat and North Uist must be viewed, in the absence 
of evidence to the contrary, as betokening a craven 
spirit with little regard for the honour of his house. 
As a matter of fact, the proceedings by which they 
were alienated seem entirely incompetent. John, 
Earl of Ross, entailed these lands of Skeirhough, 


Benbecula, North Uist, and Sleat upon Hugh's heirs 
whatsoever, legitimate or the reverse, and whatever 
view may be taken of the legitimacy of John's 
brothers — a point to be considered hereafter — the 
terms of the charter were sufficiently wide to 
cover all possible contingencies. Hugh's charter 
afterwards received a royal confirmation, and no 
subsequent events occurred to disturb its validity 
or force. It was on this charter that Hugh's 
d-escendants continued to insist upon their rights, 
and as no forfeiture had taken place, John's resig- 
nation and the Crown confirmation to Clanranald 
might well be regarded as irregular. Even the 
Crown cannot legalize an illegal act, and Hugh's 
charter and confirmation maintained their validity 
in the face of all other instruments that were or 
could be devised. On the death of John Hucheon- 
son, which is said to have occurred without 
issue, the Chiefship of the Clan Uisdein, and the 
legal ownership of the estates, vested in Donald 
Gallach, the second son of Hugh of Sleat. Owing, 
however, to the manner in which the family inheri- 
tance had been disposed of by his predecessor, this 
Chief's name has no place in those public records 
which detail the tenure of lands, and our entire 
information regarding him is based upon tradition. 
The first notice we have of him is at the battle of 
Bloody Bay in 1484, where, according to the 
historian of Sleat, he fought on the side of Angus 
Og, Master of the Isles, and against his father, John, 
Lord of the Isles. Though his title to his father's 
estates was largely discounted by John's action, he 
and his brothers, some of whom weie of a turbulent 
and ferocious disposition, managed to retain actual 
possession of their patrimony both in Skye and Uist. 


The interest of Clan Uisdein history at this period 
centres largely, not in the relation of that tribe to 
other claimants to their inheritance, but in those 
domestic broils, conspiracies, and assassinations which 
have cast so terrible a stain upon the early annals of 
Sleat. Donald Gallach resided in the Castle of 
Dunskaich, in the barony of Sleat, where, notwith- 
standing Clanranald parchment, he exercised the 
powers of a great Highland Chief His father had 
several other sons, of whom some notice must now 
be taken, as they were involved in proceedings which 
bulk largely in the history of Clan Uisdein in the 
early part of the 16th century. One of these was 
Donald Herrach, or Donald of Harris, so called from 
the fact that his mother was a daughter of Macleod 
of Harris, where Donald probably passed a portion 
of his early life. There was another, known as 
Angus Collach, whose mother was the daughter of 
Maclean of Coll. Another, whose name was Archi- 
bald, was the son of a daughter of Torquil Macleod 
of the Lewis, and one of the name of Angus Dubh 
was by a daughter of Maurice Vicar of South Uist. 
In the continuation of Hugh Macdonald's MS., as 
yet unjDublished, there is the following reference to 
Donald Gallach, the chief, and some of the other 
sons of Hugh : — " Donald Gallich was a moderate 
man, inclined to peace, black haired and fair skinned, 
and lived in the time of King James TH, and IV. 
He divided all his lands and possessions with his 
brother, Donald Harrich, when he arrived at his 
majority, by giving him North Uist, the upper 
Davach of Sleat, and the Davach of Dunskaich, 
with four Davachs in west side of Trotternish, and 
kept the rest of the lands and estate of Lochbroom 
to himself Two of their brethren were allotted 


particularly for their patrimony for each of them. 
Donald Gallach was to provide for Archibald and 
for Anous Collach, Donald Herrach was to provide 
for John and Angus Du." We have here the uncon- 
firmed tradition that the Sleat family possessed lands 
on the west of Ros? and in the region of Lochbroom, 
but for the accuracy of the statement it is, of course, 
impossible to vouch in the absence of more reliable 
authorities. There seems to be still less foundation 
for the assertion that Donald Herrach possessed 
lands in Skye, as both history and tradition connect 
the Clan Domhnuill Herraich with North Uist 
exclusively. That Donald Gallach made provision 
for John, the son of Hugh, who was dead by the 
time the former became head of the house, is, of 
course, absurd. 

Archibald, the son of Hugh, known as Gilleasbuig 
Dubh or Black Archibald, appears to have been dis- 
contented with the provision made for him out of 
the family inheritance, and the flame of discontent 
was fanned by his foster father, Mackinnon, who 
taunted him by saying that the whole of his father's 
estate was divided between the son of the Crowner 
of Caithness's daughter and the son of Macleod's 
daughter. We have this on the testimony of the 
traditional historian, who further states, what later 
events were to confirm, that from that day Archibald, 
the son of Hugh, whose soul was as dark as his com- 
plexion, resolved to put both Donald Gallach and 
Donald Herrach to death. The dreadful resolution 
was ere long put in force. His two half-brothers, 
Angus Collach and Angus Dubh, were instruments 
ready to his hand for carrying out the inhuman and 
uimatural scheme, and he promised that if they 
aided him he would greatly increase their patrimony. 


The circumstances attendant on the murder of 
Donald Herrach may be more appropriately detailed 
in connection with the cadet family of Griminisli and 
Balranald. Suffice it to say here that Archibald, 
Angus Dubh, and Angus Collach compassed his 
murder on the Inch of Loch Scolpig in a barbarous 
and revolting manner. 

Archibald having carried through one part of his 
desperate resolve went from Uist to Skye for the 
purpose of completing it. On his arrival at Dun- 
skaich, the chief — Donald Gallach — was delighted 
to see him, and after dinner brought him out to see 
a galley that he had on the stocks, and wherewith 
he had purposed to pay him a visit in Uist as soon 
as it should be ready. After a careful inspection of 
the boat, Archibald bent down to examine the stern, 
and observed to his brother that there was one 
faulty plank at least in the galley, namely, the keel 
plank. Surprised that such should be the case, 
Donald bent down to satisfy himself as to the 
correctness of the observation, when Archibald drew 
his dagger and stabbed him in the back. The blow 
was not immediately fatal. Donald fell, but had 
time to remonstrate with his brother as to the 
fiendish atrocity of his conduct. The latter stared 
for a moment at his victim, dropped his weapon, fell 
on his knees, and, struck with remorse, poured out 
his lamentations, regrets, and self-rejj roaches, and 
would give the world that the deed was not done. 
Seeing this, the dying man begged of him to spare 
his son, who was a mere boy, and the murderer 
assured him in the most earnest manner that he 
would rear him with the same care as if he were his 
own son. Singular to say, this promise appears to 
have been kept. Archibald, who, though married, 


had no family of his own, hved in the island of 
Oronsay, in North Uist, and broug'ht up the sons of 
the two murdered brothers, Donald Gruamach, the 
son of Donald Gallach, the heir to the chiefship and 
patrimony of the House of Sleat, and his cousin 
Ranald, the son of Donald Herrach, as if they were 
his own offspring.^ He was evidently satisfied in 
having the control of the Clan and the possessions 
of the family, and not having a son of his own was 
content that in due time his nephews should enter 
into their kingdom. Not long after the double 
tragedy, which seems to have taken place in 1506, 
Uist appears to have become too hot for the blood- 
stained Archibald, and he was forced by E-onald 
Bane, the laird of Moydart, to betake himself to the 
Southern Hebrides, where he joined a band of 
pirates, and was for about three years engaged in 
the congenial employment of robbery on the high 
seas. Archibald did not possess the honour which 
is said to exist among thieves, for at the last he won 
the favour of the Government by rounding on his 
partners in crime, John Mor and Alister Bearnich, 
of the Clan Allister of Kintyre, takmg them by 
surprise and handing them into custody. After this 
he returned to the Clan Uisdein country, assumed 
the leadership of the Clan, and obtained the bailiary 
of Troternish, all with the consent of the Govern- 
ment, who seemed to have winked at his previous 
enormities. He was acting in this capacity in 1510." 
During the period of Archibald's piratical career, 
the history of Clan Uisdein in Uist is a tale of 
violence and lawlessness. Angus Collach, the son 
of Hugh, who had a hand in the murder of Donald 
Herrach; paid, according to the Sleat Seanachie, a 

^ Long Island tradition. -' Privy Seal, 


notable visit to the Island of North Uist — a visit 
which proved to be his last. This hero travelled in 
state, taking a considerable number of followers 
in his train. Sunday coming round, Angus and 
his "tail" attended divine ssrvice in the Parish 
Church of Saint Mary's, though the sequel does 
not suggest the possession of profound piety. 
Donald Macdonald of Balranald, a gentleman of the 
Clan Gorraidh, was at the time from home, but his 
wife, a lady of the Clanranald family, was present 
in Church. Angus Collach, meeting her after 
service, proposed that he and his followers should 
partake of the hospitality of Balranald for that 
night, as it was in the near vicinity of the Church. 
This was cheerfully agreed to, but when other pro- 
posals inconsistent with the marriage vow were 
made by Angus, the lady of Balranald had, in the 
first instance, to dissemble, and afterwards contrive 
by stratagem to make her escape to her friends in 
South Uist. The result was that 60 men were 
sent to North Uist under Donald MacBanald, who 
collected a further large contingent of the Siol 
Ghorraidh, with whom he surprised Angus Collach 
at Kiikibost, killed 18 of his men, and took himself 
prisoner. Angus was sent to Clanranald in South 
Uist, where he was tied up in a sack and cast into 
the sea. His remains afterwai'ds turned up on the 
shore at Carinish, where also they were buried. 
Such was the violent end of a lawless life, Ano^us 
Dubh, another son of Hugh of Sleat, seems to have 
been involved in the irregularities of his brother, 
and was about the same time apprehended by Clan- 
ranald, and kept for a long time in close custody. 
One day he was let out of ward, and permitted by 
his guards to run on the Strand of Askernish, in 


South Uist, to see if be could do so as swiftly 
as before bis incarceration. Angus finding tbat bis 
fleetness of foot was almost unimpaired, attempted 
to outrun bis keepers, wlio closely pursued him, and 
one of them bitting bim on tbe leg witb an arrow, 
and the wound being considered incurable, he was 
put to tbe sword. 

By this time almost all tbe sons of Hugh of Sleat 
have come to a violent end, and as the years are 
passing, tbe dark shadow of retribution is falling 
deeper and darker on the first villain of the Clan 
Uisdein tragedy, the treacherous and unnatural 
Gilleasbuig Dubh. Soon after his return, we find 
bim taking a terrible revenge upon the descendants 
of Godfrey, who were concerned in the capture and 
punishment of Angus Collach, by putting a large 
number of them to death, but Nemesis was no less 
surely drawing nearer to himself, and was destined 
in the end to overtake him, however slow and 
deliberate its tread. 

The story of the events that led up to the final 
catastrophe in the life of the Captain of the Clan 
Uisdein is told witb very circumstantial detail by 
the Sleat Seanachie. According to this authority, 
Donald Gruamach, son of Donald Gallach, was at 
the time of his coming of age resident in tbe house 
of the Earl of Murray, and bis uncle Archibald 
sent for himself and his cousin Ranald, son of the 
murdered Donald Herrach, to go to see him in Uist. 
Another traditional account culled from the best 
Seanacbies in Skye and Uist between 40 and 50 
years ago, and which appears to us the more 
reliable of the two, states that the two young men 
were all along under their uncle's guardianship, and 
as they both approached manhood occasionally dis- 


played slight symptoms of disaffection towards their 
uncle — symptoms which were perceptible only to 
Archibald's wife — he himself being so far put off his 
guard by their uniform gentleness and obedience. 
[t was a beautiful day in summer, and Gilleasbuig 
and his nephews, with their crew of Gilliemores, 
were on a hunting expedition in the hills called 
Lea, which lie to the south of Lochmaddy. While 
their attendants were beating up the hill, the Captain 
of Clan Uisdein and his young kinsmen were stationed 
at the pass between the two Lea hills called 
" Bealach a Sgail," waiting until the game should 
be driven through. Overpowered by the heat of 
the day, Gilleasbuig Dubh stretched himself on the 
heath, and fell fast asleep. This sleep was to be his 
last. His two nephews immediately planned his 
destruction, and the question was who would be the 
executioner. Donald Gruamach appears to have 
had scruples against having a hand in the deed, but 
on Ronald consenting to undertake it, he is reported 
to have spoken these words^"Dean, dean, agus 
cuimhnuich m' athair-sa agus t' athair ft in " (Do, do, 
and remember my father and your own). The blow 
v\as struck with fatal effect, and this man of blood 
paid the penalty of his crimes by death, while tradi- 
tion loves to record that on the spot where his blood 
flowed out neither grass nor heather ever grew. 
Such was the detestation in which not only his 
fellow-men but even inanimate creation held the 
memory of Gillcashuig Dubh. 

On his uncle's death, which probably took place 
about 1515-20, Donald Gruamach, who was prob- 
ably now of age, assumed the leadership of the 
Clan Uisdein as the third chief of his line. We do 
not find much of his history in the State Records, 


but it is clear that he did a great deal by his bravery 
and force of character to raise the status and repair 
the fortunes of his house. He had a difficult part to 
play in view of unfriendliness in high places, and no 
doubt the "grimness" from which he derived his name 
stood him in good stead in those troublous times. 
On 3rd July, 1521, "Donald McDonald Gallych of 
Dunscayth " entered into a Bond of raanrent with 
Sir John Campbell of Cawdor "to be commyn man 
and servand to ane honorabyll man Sir John Camp- 
bell &c. Knycht both meself and my broder and 
John McKorkyll Mcloid &c. signed with my hand at 
the pen at Castle Mear." The following year Colin, 
Earl of Argyll, assigned to his brother, John Camp- 
bell of Cawdor, a Bond of Manrent which had been 
given to the Earl by " Donald Gromach McDonald 
Gallach and Alexander Mc Allan Mcroyrie." This 
assignation was signed at Inveraray, but the par- 
ticular day and month are blank. 

The year 1523 seems to have been a somewhat 
eventful one in the life of Donald Gruamach His 
Bond of Manrent to Cawdor bound hun to the 
service of that chief, and this appears to have led 
him into courses which do not reflect lustre on his 
memory. The Chief of Sleat seems to have followed 
Cawdor in the campaign of the Duke of Albany 
against England in 1523, which had a somewhat 
inconclusive and inglorious termination, for we find 
him among a number of notabilities, who, along with 
Cawdor, received a remission for quitting the field, 
or, as it is called in the Act of Remission, " le hame 
seek in" while engaged in the siege of Wark Castle. 
It was probal^ly while on their way home from the 
bordeis that Sir John Campbell of Cawdor and his 
accomplices, among whom was the Chief of Sleat, 



assassinated Lauchlan Cattanach of Duart. in the 
burgh of Edinburgh.^ For those and other offences 
Donald Gruamach received a remission in Edinburgh 
on the 15th December, 1523. In 1524 he entered 
into an important alliance with the Chief of Mackin- 
tosh, and in 1527 he formed a bond of a similar 
nature with Mackintosh, Munro, Foulis, Rose of 
Kilravock, the inevitable Cawdor of course heading 
the list."- Donald Gruamach authorises his sign 
manual to be adhibited as " Donal I His with my 
hand at the pen." These various Bonds of Manrent 
and alliances in which Donald Gruamach was con- 
cerned with mainland chiefs not in his near neigh- 
bourhood, show that his support and co-operation 
were greatly prized, and that the Clan Uisdein, 
though technically "'' broken," were a powerful and 
influential community to be seriously reckoned with, 
and whose assistance was greatly prized in those 
unsettled times. Donald Gruamach received con- 
siderable aid from his half-brother, John Mac- 
Torquil, Chief of the Clan Macleod of Lewis, 
in his efforts to vindicate his rights, and in 1528 
their joint forces were successful in expelling Mac- 
leod of Dunvegan and his vassals from the Barony of 
Troternish. In return for this the Chief of Sleat 
afforded valuable aid to the Chiief of the Clan Toiquil 
in obtaining effective possession of Lewis. 

Macleod of Dunvegan naturally objected to being 
driven out of Troternish, and at his instance a 
summons was issued that same year by the Council 
against both the offending chiefs for this wrongous 
ejection. As the disturbances in the Isles continued 
to increase instead of diminishing, the Privy Council 

' Clan Donald, vol. I., pp. 3.36-7. 
- Thanes of Cawdor. 


In 1530 ordered the tenants of the Isles, and prom- 
inently among them Donald Gruamach and Macleod 
of Dnnvegan, to appear before the King on 24th 
May, 1530, to commune with him for the good rule 
of the Isles, In the course of the same month 
these two chiefs and seven others of the principal 
island chiefs sent an offer of submission to the King, 
who granted them a protection against the Earl of 
Argyll, provided they came to Edinburgh, or where- 
ever the King held his Court for the time, before the 
30th June, and remain as long as the King required 
their attendance, the protection to last 20 days after 
their departure on their way home.^ In the following 
year both the chiefs and Ewen Mackinnon of Strath- 
ardill were frequently cited before Pailiament, but 
failed to appear. After 1530 Donald Gruamach's 
career seems to have been peaceful and uneventful — 
at anyrate we do not again find his name appearing 
in any of the State records of the time until his 
death, which appears to have taken place i)i 1537. 

Donald Gruamach was succeeded in the chiefship 
of Clan Uisdein by his son, Donald Gorme, wiiose 
brief but brilliant career was terminated by his 
death at the siege of Islandonan Castle. This 
having been already recorded in the first Volume of 
our History obviates the necessity of dealing with it 
in the present chapter. Donald Gorme was suc- 
ceeded in the chiefship of his clan by his son 
Donald, who was a child at his father's death, and 
who always appears in subsequent historical notices 
as Donald Gormeson. The leadership of the Clan 
Uisdein during the minority of its young chief 
devolved upon his grand-uncle Archibald, surnamed 
the Clerk, son of Donald Gallach. This Archibald — 

' Acts of Lords of Council, 


in view of his designation — must have received 

training qualifying him for holy orders, but Gdleas- 

hui^ Cleireach does net appear to have exulted in 

his attainments when he exchai oed the pastoral 

staff for the sword, for he allows his name to appear 

in the list of Donald Duhh's barons as signing like 

the rest with his " hand at the pen," always an 

avowal of illitfracy. According to the traditional 

historian of Sleat, a strong effort was made by the 

Privy Council to get hold of the person of the 

young Chief of Sleat. In view of his near kinship 

to the Lords of the Isles, and his father's pretensions 

to the forfeited dignity, as well as in view of 

subsequent events, the seanachie's statement has the 

stamp of credibility. He further informs us that 

the young chief was first of all conveyed for safety 

to his uncle, Roderick Macleod of the Lewis, when 

for greater security he was for a while kept in a 

fortified island named Barvisaig, lying to the west 

of Lewis. Afterwards his uncle, Gillesbuig Clerach, 

took him to England, where he lived for some years 

at the English Court, enjoying the protection and 

apparently the hospitality of Queen Mary,^ and 

for this reason he was in later life known 

among his countrymen as Donald Gorme Sassenach. 

Archibald the Clerk was evidently recognised 

by the Government as the representative of the 

family of Sleat, for in 1540, the first year of 

his tutorship, we find the whole of the island of 

North Uist, amounting to 45 merklands, exclusive 

of the Church lands, let to Archibald on a lease (^f 

five years for a yearly rent of 66 pounds. Tliere is 

evidence in 1542 that Archibald the Clerk made his 

aniuial payments. We have also notice of an inter- 

^ Vide Clan Donal.l, vol. II., p. 7G0. 


estirig and somewhat remarkable fact to wliich 
allusion is made in the Exchequer Rolls of 1542. 
It is stated that the whole Island of North Uist 
extends to GO merklands, of which twelve belonged 
to the Cliurch and the rest — 48 — to the King. Of 
these, however, it was observed that two merklands 
were destroyed by the inroads of the sea, thus 
leaving 46 merklands claimed by the Crown. 

In 1542 a charter is given by James V. to Alex- 
ander Macleod of Dun vegan in liferent, and to 
William Macleod in fee, of the lands of Troternisli, 
Sleat, and North Uist, for good, faithful, and free 
service. The reasons for the grant it is impossible 
to fathom, for during the previous two years it does 
not seem that the Chief of Dunvegan was in any 
greater political favour than the rest of the 
Hebridean chiefs — in fact, he shared their captivity 
in 1540, the year of the King's voyage round the 
Western Isles — an occasion on which the Captain 
of Clan Uisdein was allowed his freedom. The 
charter was never followed by infeftment, and the 
King's death shortly after it was given rendered it 
still further inoperative. In 1545 the Captain of 
Clan Uisdein appears as signatory to the Com.mission 
granted by the Barons of the Isles to the two Com- 
missioners who. were to treat on behalf of Donald 
Dubh with the English King. From this date we 
lose sight of Archibald the Clerk, who, according to 
the Seanachie of Sleat, was murdered by his own 
nephew, John Og, son of Donald Gruamach. We 
still further gather from the unjjublished portion of 
Hugh Macdonald's MS. that John Og had before 
then been appointed by the Clan Uisdein tribe to 
the tutorship of the young chief of Sleat, as the 
Clerk must have by that time been advanced in 


years and unable to lead the clan in battle. John 
Og probably acted in loco tuto'ris until Donald 
Gormeson came of age. 

We are not aware of the year when the young 
chief attained to his majority, or whether he was 
still a minor iri 1552, when a grant of the bailiary of 
Uist, Troternish, and Sleat to Archibald, Earl of 
Argyll, was subscribed by Queen Mary. The tirst 
notice we have of Donald Gormeson in history is in 
1553, when Mackenzie of Kintail charges the 
Government " not to suffer McGorme ane broken 
Hielandman to tak ony tymber furth of his boundis 
for making of lar.gfaddis."^ From this and other 
sources we gather that the feud betvveen the family 
of Sleat and the Mackenzies, in which the late chief 
lost his life, was still unabated. 

For some time prior to 1554, the factions in the 
State were a source of great weakness to the Scot- 
tish executive, and disorder and anarchy prevailed 
to an unusual extent in the Highlands. In that 
year, however, the Queen Dowager took the reins of 
government with a strong hand, and steps were 
taken for the restoration of peace and order. The 
Privy Council ordained that the Queen's lieutena'its, 
Argyll and Huntly, in their respective districts, 
should pass with fire and sword to the utter exter- 
mination, among others, of Donald Gormeson and 
Macleod of Lewis and their associates who had 
failed to present hostages for their good behaviour. 
Donald Gormeson appears to have submitted to the 
Government shortly after this, and for a period of 
eight years acted the part of a peaceable subject. 
Towards the end of these years, however, we find 
himself and his clansmen at variance with the 

* Compota Thesaurie Scotie. 


Macleans of Duart, for in 1562 he and James 
McConnel, liis uncle, Donald McGillespick Chlerich, 
Angus McDonald Herraich, and others, received a 
remission from Queen Mary for fire-raising, her- 
schipps, and slaughter committed in the Maclean 
territories of Mull, Coll, and Tiree. The nature and 
causes of the quan-el leading to these outrages do 
not appear to be known, unless they were connected 
with the quarrel of the Clan Iain Mhoir with Duart 
regarding the Rhinns of Isla, which seems to have 
broken out about this time. 

In 1565 the Earl of Argyll and vassals were 
involved in the rebellion of the Duke of Chatel- 
herault and tlie Earl of Murray as regards the pro- 
posed marriage of the Queen and Henry Lord 
Darnley. Commission was given to the Earl of Athole 
to proceed against the rebels, and Donald Gormeson 
was among the chiefs who took an active part in 
quelling the insurrection. Though the Chief of 
Sleat on this occasion stood by the party of the 
Queen, he appears to have adopted the teneLs of the 
Reformation, and was of much service to the party 
of James VI. during the Regency of Murray and 
Lennox. He became a great favourite with these 
two noblemen, and obtained from each of them a 
promise that when any lands in his neighbourhood 
happened to fall into the King's hands through 
forfeiture, he should obtain a grant of them. 

In 1566 there arose a somewhat peculiar episode 
in the history of the Chief of Sleat. In that year he 
advanced a claim to the patrimony of the Macleods 
of Lewis, a claim which arose out of a curious page 
in the history of the Siol Torquil, and must now be 
briefly referred to. Roderick Macleod of Lewis was 
first married to Janet, daughter of John Mackenzie 


of Kiiitail. The supposed issue ot* this marriage was 
Torquil Coiianach, so called from his residence among 
his maternal relations in the region of Strathconan. 
This Torquil Conanach was, however, disowned and 
disinherited hy his father, on the ground of the 
infidelity of his wife, that is Torquil's motlier. 
Roderick Macleod of Lewis consequently divorced 
his first wife, and mariied Barbara Stewart, by whom 
he had another son Torquil, designated " Oighre " 
or heir, to distinguish him from Torquil Cunanafh. 
That the Chief of tiie Clan Torquil had good grounds 
for his action there cannot be the shadow of a doubt. 
On the 22nd August, 1566, a declaration was made 
before Patrick Miller, notary public, by Sir Patrick 
McMaster Martin, parson of Barvas, to the effect 
that " Hucheon Breve of Lewis " confessed on his 
death-bed to his being the father of Torquil 
Conanach. In 1566, the very year of this strange 
disclosure, Torquil Oighre, the rightful heir, was 
drowned at sea on the way from Lewis to Troternish, 
and Donald Gormeson, as nearest heir through his 
mother, the heiress of " John MacTorquil Macleod," 
advanced his claim to the succession, in which, 
apparently, he was not opposed. Donald Gorme- 
son's territorial ambitions were destined to be 
disappointed. The baron of Lewis was not to be 
tiiwarted as to a successor through an heir of his 
c'vn body, and his second wife dying, he married as 
K"s third wife a sister of Lacldan Maclean of Duart, 
by whom he left Torquil Dubh to conteu'l with 
Torquil Conanach in future years for the possession 
of his father's estate. 

During all these years Macleod of Dunvegan had 
been — so far as recent charters could constitute a 
right — the legal holder of the Clan Uisdein lands, 


though tlie Macdoualds enjoyed possession, which is 
nine points of the law. This anomalous state of 
ntatteis seemed in a fair way of heing remedied in 
15G7, when Donald Gormeson entered into a contract 
with the Earl of Argyll for the purjjose of acquiring 
legal titles to his estates. The contract was, in 
brief, as follows : — ( l) The Earl of Argyll was to get 
himself infefted in the lands of Troternish, Sleat, 
and N. Uist ; (2) he is for various good causes, 
particularly for future service, to make Donald 
Gormeson and his heirs vassals in these lands, they 
paying him a penny more duty than the Earl was to 
pay to the Crown ; (3) Donald was to pay lOUO 
merks to the Earl as soon as he should be received 
as the Earl's vassal, with 500 merks additional to 
form part of the dowry of Mary Macleod, grand- 
daughter and lieiress of line of Alexander Macleod, 
to the gift of whose ward and marriage Alexander 
had acquired right; (4) he is to deliver to the said 
Earl at the same time, under penalty of all the other 
proceedings being declared void and null, a bond of 
manrent and service from himself and his successors 
to the Earl and his successors in the most strict 
form and against all and sundry, the royal authority 
only excepted, and upon their failure to serve the 
said Earl with their whole force whenever they 
shall be required, all the provisions in their favour 
contained in the present contract shall become null ; 
(5) lastly, the said Donald is to concur with, assist, 
and defend Tormod Macleod, uncle of Mary, heir 
male of the family, when he shall be required to do 
so by the Earl. The contract is dated 4th March, 
1566-7, but we have no evidence that the provisions 
were ever implemented,^ though the document 

' Gen. Keg. of Deed» IX., 20. 


throws valuable light upon the ikvourable [)usition 
occupied by the Chief of Sleat in the esteem of the 
powers that were. 

Donald Gormeson appears to have been regarded 
in his day not only as the lineal descendant of the 
Lords of the Isles, but as the actual possessor of that 
dignity. In 15G8 he joined Sorley Buy in his 
canipaigns, and in the Calendar of State Papers he 
appears on more than one occasion as " Lord of the 
Oute Isles." The following year we find Donald 
Gormeson at feud with Colin Mackenzie of Kintail, 
the old enmity having doubtless been intensified by 
the connection of the Sleat family with the Macleods 
of Lewis, with whom the Mackenzies were at daggers 
drawn. The two Chiefs — Macdonald and Mackenzie 
— appeared before the Council at Perth, and the 
settlement of their quarrel was referred to the good 
offices of the Earl of Murray. They agreed to forgive 
each other and forget the past. Donald was to cause 
Pcory Mc Allan, aliaa Nevynauch, to cease from 
molesting the Laird of Gairloch's lands ; Mackenzie 
was ordained to cause Torquil Conanach to cease 
from molesting the lands of Donald. 

In 1571-2 Donald Gormeson, who by his loyalty 
had risen high in the estimation of the King and the 
Protestant party, began to reap the fruits of his 
discretion, He had already promises of gifts of land 
tliat miiiht fall vacant throuo-li forfeiture, and now 
further favours were bestowed. He received the 
patronage of the Bishopric of Boss, while out of the 
Bishopric of Aljerdeen 1000 merks a year were voted 
to him, pending the fulfilment of the royal promise 
as to the bestowal of landed estates. On the 16th 
January, 1572, and at the Castle of Dunskaith, the 
Chief of Sleat entered into an obligation with the 


Bishop of the Isles regarding arrears of teiiids due 
by liiiii to that dignitary, an obligation which after- 
wards devolved upon the guardian of hie successor. 
This is the last notice recorded of Donald Gornie 
Sassenach, his death having taken place in 1573. 
The succeeding Chiefs, as well as the whole Clan 
Uisdein, owed much to his sagacity in having brougiit 
the prestige and prosperity of his house to a higher 
pitch than they had enjoyed since the days of Hugh, 
the first Baron of Sleat. 

Donald Gormeson was succeeded by his oldest 
son, Donald Gorme Mor, who was a minor at his 
father's death. The young Chief was placed under 
the guardianship of James Macdonald Gruamach, 
his grand-uncle. This James Macdonald was styled 
of Castle Camus, and was known in his time as 
Sen mas a Chaisteil. He was the founder of the 
Kingsburgh family. In 1575, James, as the repre- 
sentative of the House of Sleat, subscribes an 
important obligation to the Bishop of the Isles 
respecting the payment of dues owing in the lands 
of North Uist, Sleat, and Troternish, that he had 
intromitted with since the death of Donald Gorme- 
son.^ This obligation to pay church dues proves, at 
least, that the family of Sleat, though technically 
unconfirmed in their estates b}^ the Crown, were still 
regarded as the legal possessors. We gather from 
the tenor of this obligation that the granter — James 
Macdonald of Castle Camus and the Clan Gilleasbuig 
Clerich, the descendants of his uncle the clerk — had 
made a division of the lands belonging to the late 
Chief, and that the accounting for church dues was 
to date from his death down to the division referred 
to. The principle of the division can only be 

' Coll. de lleb. Alb., p. 9. 


gathered iiifereiitially ; but it seems quite clear that 
the Gilleasljuig C'k-rach Sept were in occupation of 
Troternish, with Donald MacGilleasbuig as bailie of 
that region, vvhil«" James Macdonald of Castle Camus 
held the bailiary of Sleat. How North U'st \Aas 
held we cannot exactly say. It appears that the 
Bishop had suffered loss at the hands of John Og, 
son of James Macdonald, the tutor of Sleat, who in 
March of the previous year had broken the " blak 
boitt " belonging to the same, and the Bishop was to 
be satisfied and recompensed as to the damage thus 

In 1580 there is evidence that the intromitters 
with the teinds and other dues pertaining to the 
Bishopric of the Isles and the Abbey of Icolumkill 
were behind time in their payments — so much so 
that an Act of Council and Session was passed 
ordaining that a summons, which had already been 
issued more than once, should again be raised 
against the tutors of Donald Gornie — among others — 
that is to say, Donald and Hucheon MacGilleasbuig 
Clerach. Althouo-h the name of James Macdonald 
of Castle Camus does not appear in the list of 
defaulters, we must not infer that his intromissions 
were regularly conducted, for the following year he 
and the Clan Gilleasbuig tutors w ere declared rebels, 
put to the horn, and forfeited for failure to pay, and 
their escheit was granted to the Bishop of the Isles, 

The fact that James Macdonald of Castle Camus, 
the tutor of Sleat after the death of Donald Gorme- 
son, consented to divide his authority with the Clan 
'Illeasbuig sept of Troternish, was an acknowledg- 
ment of the power and influence the latter possessed 
in that part of Clan Uisdein territory. This influ- 
ence and prestige were of course largely owing to 


the long period during which Archibald the Clerk 
exercised sway as the Captain of the Clan, in con- 
sequence of the lon_;^ minority of Donald Gormeson. 
This, in addition to the fact that Archibald the 
Clerk was assassinated by John Og, son of Donald 
GruaiTiach, and that the reins of ^-overnment passed 
to a large extent from the Clerk's family to anothei- 
son of Donald Gruamach, necessarily embittered their 
mutual relations and sowed the seeds of discord 
which was prolific in future trouble. 

We have seen that in 1581 the leading members 
of the Clan 'Illeasbuig — Donald, bailie of Troternish, 
and Hugh — had been put to the horn and denounced 
as rebels. By that time, however, Donald was dead, 
and Hugh was the leading surviving member of the 
sept. When Donald Gorme Mor steps on the scene 
in 1585 as the leader of his Clan — tliat probably 
being the year of his majority — Hugh also appears, 
and is then and for some time thereafter the evil 
genius of the House of Sleat. According to some of 
the authorities Hugh was the nephew of Donald 
Gorme Mor, and the younger son of Archibald the 
Clerk, son of Donald Gormeson. We cannot enter 
here into the full details of the genealogy, but it is 
clearly impossible that Donald Gorme Mor's nephew 
could in 1585, and several years previous, have 
been of an age to act the part that was played 
by Uisdein Mac \TUeashuig Chleireich, who must 
have been either the son or grandson of the original 
Archibald the Clerk, the son of Donald Gallach. In 
the latter case the designation Mac 'Illeasbuig 
Chleireich must have been simply a sept name or 
patronymic rather than a description of whose son 
he was. It is not, however, by any means impossible 
that the fomier supposition is correct. 


The outlawry of Hugh which commenced in 1581 
seems to have continued for several years. This 
might in other circumstances have been quite con- 
sistent with friendliness towards Donald Gorme 
Mor, Imt the unscrupulous and treacherous clansman 
seems to have inherited a rich legacy of hatred 
towards the descendants of Donald Gruamach, and 
no motives of loyalty to his Chief would j^revent him 
from doing him as much injury as lay in his power. 

In 1585 Donald Gorme of Sleat, being on his 
way to visit Angus MacDonald of Dunnyveg with a 
considerable retinue, was forced by contrary winds 
to take shelter in the Island of Jura, which was then 
divided between the Chief of Clan Iain Mhoir and 
Maclean of Duart. The portion of the island on 
which Donald Gorme and his men landed happened 
to be that which was owned by Maclean of Duai't. 
Huffh Mac 'lUeasbuiof, who seems to have been still 
under sentence of outlawry, and engaged in piratical 
excesses, had associated with him in these nefarious 
pursuits Angus Macdonald of Griminish, the head of 
the Clan Domhnuill Herraich. These two worthies 
evidently kept their eye upon the movements of the 
Chief of Sleat, and having like him been driven by 
stress of weather to land in a creek in his neighbour- 
hood, they readily embraced the chance of doing 
him an injury by carrying off' by night a number of 
cattle belonging to Maclean's vassals, and as soon as 
the weather moderated making for the open sea, 
correctly judging that their Chief would be blamed, 
and might probably be embroiled in a quarrel with 
Maclean for the perpetratioji of the outrage. Their 
expectations were not <lisappointed. In the course 
of the following night the warriors of Sleat were 
attacked by a large body of Macleans at a place 


called Inhhir-a-ChnvAc hhric, and it is said that 60 
of them were slain, while the Chief only escaped 
captivity or death by the fortunate circumstance 
that he had slept on board his galley.^ This was 
the beginning of a sanguinary and disastrous feud 
that lasted several years. 

Donald Gorme Mor was deeply incensed at what 
appeared a gratuitous and unpro^'oked insult, and it 
is certain that he left nothing undone to inflict sum- 
mary vengeance upon Maclean. The records of the 
time are neither definite nor reliable. A.11 we know 
as to the earlier stages of the conflict is that the 
Macleans appear to have been reduced to great 
straits, and that in September. 1585, James VL 
wrote Roderick Macleod of Dun vegan, earnestly 
requesting him to assist Maclean of Duart against 
the Clan Donald, who had done him much injury, 
and were threatening to do more. It was probably 
about this time also that Donald Gorme and several 
other Chiefs were summoned before the Privy 
Council to commune regarding the good rule and 
pacification of the Isles and Highlands under pain of 

On the 20th May, 1586, Donald Gorme Mor 
entered into d Bond of manrent and maintenance 
with the Earl of Huntly at Elgin, an arrangement 
which seems somewhat utiintelliofible in view of the 
fact that the Chief of Sleat was in the verv middle 
of his feud with Maclean of Duart, and presumably 
not in the best favour with the Crown or Executive 
Government. The mission of Angus of Dunnyveg 
to Mull to efl'ect an amicable understanding between 
the contending Chiefs of Sleat and Duart and the 
disasti'ous consequences that ensued have already 

^ Seanachie's History of the Macleans, p. ^>Q. 


been detailed in Volume IT. of this work. The 
interest of these events for our present purpose 
consists in the fact that the Dunnjveg Chief, fiom 
being a sympathiser with, became an active helper 
to Donald Gorme. The quarrel of Sir Lauchlan 
Maclean of Duart with the Chiefs of Sleat and 
Dunnyveg united these two Chiefs in a common 
cause, and a strong confederacy of Western Clans 
was formed to support them. The two Macdonald 
Chiefs numbered among their auxiliaries the Clan- 
ranald, the Clanian of Ardnamurchan, the Macleods 
of Lewis, the Macneills of Gigha, the MacAllisters 
of Loup, the Macfies of Colonsay, and other minor 
septs. We find Donald Gorme and Angus of 
Dunnyveg also strengthening their position in the 
north of the Mainland Highlands by entering into 
a bond of alliance, offensive and defensive, with 
Jjauchlan Macintosh of Dunachton, Captain of the 
Clan Chattan. The bond was drawn up at Liver- 
ness on the 30th May, 1587, and was directed 
specially against Mackenzie of Kintail and Kory 
Macleod of Harris, whose hostility was to be guarded 
against in the then condition of affairs.^ 

The story of the war of vengeance conducted by 
Donald Gorme is much less clearly indicated in the 
records than the feud of Angus of Dunnyveg. It is 
no doubt referred to in great detail in the history of 
tlie Clan Maclean by Sewmiachaidh , and by other 
more recent historical writers, who have uncpiestion- 
ingly incorporated his tradition. Like all accounts, 
from a clan point of view, based uj)on unsupported 
tradition, the Maclean historian's account of these 
troubled years must be received with the greatest 
caution and reserve. The Chief of Sleat, accom- 

' Charter Cliest of Slcat. 


panied with much unwillingness bv his vassal, 
Maclean of Borreray, is said to have invaded the 
island of Mull, probably in the latter part of 1587-- 
and this in the face of a Privy Council prohibition 
against gathering in arms. In this invasion Donald 
Gorme and his allies appear to have scored the first 
successes at a place called Cranalich, but on the 
following day, at Leac Li, the Macdonald host is 
said to have been completely routed. Not long 
after this there was a fresh levy of the Macdonald 
confederacy, and a rendezvous was appointed to 
take place at a small island on the coast of Lorn 
and South of Kerrera named Ba3hca, being a con- 
venient place of meeting between the Clan Donald, 
North and South. Maclean, on learnino- of these 
preparations for renewed hostilities, determined to 
assume the offensive on the very first opportunity. 
He summoned to his aid his own and other friendly 
clans, but still, according to the Maclean historian, 
there was a great disparity in point of numbers 
between the two sides, the Macdonald host number- 
ing 2500, while Maclean's followers were only 1200. 
We are not disposed to deny the defeat of Donald 
Gorme on a pvrori grounds, even in the face of his 
numerical advantages ; but the circumstances as 
detailed by seanacliie make rather heavy demands 
upon the historical imagination. We are told that 
Sir Lauchlan attacked the Macdonald warriors at 
the principal landing place of Bachca early in the 
morning, the archers driving them back with flights 
of arrows upon their interior defences at the centre 
of the island. Here the attack was pressed home 
with such vigour that 340 Macdonalds were killed, 
and many prisoners — including Donald Gorme him- 
self — were captured, while the Macleans only lost 



two men killed and one wounded ! The 1800 
Macdonalds who were not killed or captured man- 
aged to make their escape. All this is recorded 
with the utmost gravity by seanachie, who seems to 
think it the most natural thing: in the world that a 
force of Macdonalds, twice the number of their 
opponents, should meekly submit to being massacred, 
captured, routed, without striking a blow in self- 
defence. Unfortunately, we have no means of 
testing the historian's fidelity to truth except the 
inherent absurdity of the tale, and the fact that 
there appears to be no record whatsoever in the 
muniments of the age verifying the imprisonment of 
Donald Gorme and several hundreds of his friends 
and vassals on this particular occasion. 

The terrible feud between Donald Gorme and Sir 
Lauchlan Maclean, entirely the result of a misunder- 
standing, seems to have terminated in 1589. En 
that year tlie Chief of Sleat, his brothers Archibald 
and Alexander, his grand uncle and former guardian, 
James Macdonald of Castle Camus, and Hugh Mac 
Gillesbuig Chleireich, received a remission for all the 
crimes committed by them against the Macleans. 
On the strength of this dispensation, Donald Gorme, 
along with Sir Lauchlan Maclean and Angus Mac- 
donald of Dunnyveg, were induced to go to Edin- 
burgh to consult with the King and Council for the 
good rule of the country. On their arrival the three 
Chiefs were apprehended and imprisoned, and the 
Kincr and Council turned to advantacje their dis- 
honourable manoeuvre by imposing heavy fines as 
a condition of their liberty. Donald Gorme was 
mulcted to the extent of .£4000, and had, besides, 
to procure security for his obedience to the Scottish 
Government, as well as to the Irish Government of 


Elizabeth. Campbell of Cawdor is said to have 
acted ill the required capacity of suret}'- for the 
Chief of Sleat. The amount of the fine shows that 
Donald Gorme was regarded as a chief of consider- 
able wealth and importance. 1.4708^11 

Campbell of Cawdor was assassinated in 1592, 
and his death doubtless removed a restraint which 
might have kept the restless scion of Clan Uisdein 
in law-abiding paths. As it was, he did not seem to 
be much concerned about obeying the behests of the 
authorities, or providing securities for his subjection 
to the laws and the payment of his Crown dues. It 
was probably in consequence of Cawdor's death that 
a summons of treason was produced against Donald 
Gorme, dulv executed ; but no sentence of forfeiture 
seems to have been executed. While these pro- 
ceedings occupied the attention of those in high 
places, Donald Gorme was busy making preparations 
for military adventures across the Irish Sea. The 
security, demanded in 1591 for good behaviour 
towards the Government of Queen Elizabeth in 
Ireland, was no superfluous measure, though we 
cannot trace the causes of suspicion against the 
Chief of Sleat at that particular time. In company 
with Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan, he resolved to 
respond to an invitation to go to the help of Red 
Hugh O'Donnell, who was then in rebellion against 
Queen Elizabeth. Each Chief, at the head of 500 
warriors of his clan, crossed over to Ireland in 1594. 
Landing on the shores of Lough Foyle, and bei?)g 
informed that O'Donnell and his army were then 
besieging Inniskillen, they sent a messenger to him 
to intimate their arrival. When O'Donnell received 
this message he left Inniskillen, which was being 
besieged by his army, and met and entertained the 


Skye Chiefs for three days and nights. Donald 
Gornie does not seem to have stayed long in Ireland. 
He left his clansmen under command of his brother ; 
but tiie subsequent history of the Clan Uisdein 
contingent in Hugh Roe's rebelhon seems to have 
been uneventful. 

In 1595 there was a resumption of amicable 
relations between Donald Gorme and the Crown — 
and the Chief of Sleat is in treaty with King James 
over the lands occupied by him in the Isles. He 
desired that His Majesty would be graciously pleased 
to grant him such lands as he presently occupied 
upon such reasonable conditions as he might be able 
to perform, or as should be granted to others in the 
Isles. He declared at the same time that he pre- 
ferred dealing directly with the King according 
to his ability, rather than through the medium 
of any of His Majesty's subjects who might 
desn^e to interfere in the matter. The followinti" 
year Donald Gorme Mor's proposals received the 
most favourable consideration. He came volun- 
tarily to Court, and entered into an agreement with 
the King and Exchequer, by which he succeeded in 
acquiring considerable j^roperty in heritage, which, 
since the time of his ancestor Hugh, had been held, 
partly in lease, by force, or on sufferance. In 
accordance with a decision of the King and 
Privy Council in 1594, a charter was granted 
him of the lands contained in the old charter 
of 1469 to Hugh of Sleat, and which were 
now claimed by Donald Gorme as his heir male, 
under the reservation of lands to the extent of 
40 shillings in North Uist, and providing that the 
Castle of Camus should in future be always open to 
the King or his successor?, their lieutenants or 


chamberlains. The grantee paid 2000 merks for a 
discharge of all feudal casualties due from these 
lands, and the annual feu-duty to be paid was £146 
On 17th August Donald Gorme received a lease for 
five years of the Crown lands of Troternish 8 raerk- 
lands of which were reserved to the King, and it 
was agreed that if the King did not place Lowland 
tenants in these and the lands reserved in Uist, 
Donald himself should be preferred to any other 
Highland tenant. A precept of sasine followed 
upon this charter in December, 1597/ This favour- 
able settlement of his affairs saved him from 
molestation by the Act of Parliament of this same 
year, which ordered all the inhabitants of the 
Highlands and Islands to appear before the Lords 
of Exchequer and show the title-deeds by which 
they claimed right to the Crown lands. 

Donald Gorme does not seem to have been con- 
tent to settle down upon his estates to which he 
had now obtained so secure a title, and we soon find 
him mingling in some of the intrigues that entered 
so largely into the relations between England and 
Scotland at that time. In 1598 ofieis are made in 
his name to Queen Elizabeth, in which he seeks to 
bind not only himself but the wliole of the island 
chiefs to her service. He describes himself in the 
preamble of this lengthy document as Lord of the 
Isles, by which title he also designates his late 
father in another communication he makes to Her 
Majesty. He undertakes, if the Queen should so 
desire, to create much trouble in the realm of 
Scotland, as well as great expense to the King in 
putting down rebellion. He also undertakes to do 
duty in Irefand against Her Majesty's rebels, and 

^ Sleat Charter Chest. 


promises various secret services which it is un- 
necessary to detail/ It is hardly possible to believe 
that Donald Gorme, who at this time had been 
newly put in legal possession of his lands by King 
James VI., should have been actively conspiring 
against his authority. On the other hand the 
document contains internal evidence of having been 
concocted by Sir Laachlan Maclean of Duart, the 
greatest diplomatist and schemer among the High- 
land chiefs of his day, and who did not long survive 
its composition, as it is marked by the year of his 
death. That Donald Gorme was earnest in his 
desire to take service in the Irish war is proved by 
a letter written from the Antrim Glens on the 3rd 
August of this same year and addressed to the Lord 
Deputy. He promised that on being guariinteed 
sufficient recompense he would serve the English 
Queen against all and sundrie, the Scottish King 
excepted. This exception in King James' favour 
throws still further doubt upon the authenticity of 
the offers to Queen Elizabeth, which made no such 

The Chief of Sleat does not seem to have received 
any encouragement in his search for Irish adventure, 
and as the sinews of war were not forthcoming, he 
soon returned to the Isles. It was probably not 
long after this Irish visit that a feud arose between 
Donald Gorme of Sleat and his neighbour Rory 
Macleod of Dunvegan, which convulsed the extensive 
regions over which they both held sway. The 
merits of the controversy are, like many other 
historical questions relating to the Highlands, 
clouded with much obscurity. The accepted version 
of the story has been that Donald Gorme Mor 

' Clan Doiiakl, vol. II., p. 757. 


married Mary Macleod, sister of the Dun vegan 
Chief, that after some time he divorced and sent 
her home to Danvegan, and immediately thereafter 
married another lady. This story has been further 
embelHshed by a tradition that did service 
before, namely, that the Macleod lady was blind of 
an eye, and that she was sent home on a horse, 
followed by a dog, and accompanied by an atten- 
dant similarly afflicted. There is reason to believe 
that the actual occurrence was somewhat different 
from this. The practice of handfasting — of having 
wives on approbation — had not quite died out in 
the Highlands in the time of Donald Gorme Mor. 
It was still regarded as Celtically legal, and the 
Church of Rome recognised its validity and the 
legitimacy of the offspring, but not being 
celebrated before the altar, it was from the 
feudal standpoint irregular. It is highly probable 
that the union between Donald Gorme and the 
sister of the Dunvegan Chief was of this loose and 
irregular description. In 1601, after much blood 
had been shed, an obligation was given by Donald 
Gorme to Rory Mor, to which reference may now be 
made by anticipation, because it contains an allusion 
to the repudiated wife. It is somewhat significant 
that she is alluded to in that document as Mary 
Macleod, lawful sister to Rory Macleod of Dunvegan, 
without a word to indicate that she had been the 
lawful wife of Donald Gorme. What led the Chief 
of Sleat to cast off this lady is a mystery upon which 
no light is shed either by history or tradition ; 
suffice it to say that it proved the casus belli in a 
bloody and disastrous feud. Roderick Macleod of 
Dunvegan, or Rory Mor as he w^as called, having 
failed to induce Donald Gorme Mor to take back the 


repudiated wife, embarked on a policy of revenge. 
Assembling tlie fighting men of his clan, he carried 
fire and swoid int') the district of Troternish, so long 
the bone of contention between the rival families, 
while we are informed that the Clan Donald, by 
way of reprisals, invaded Harris, slew many of the 
itihabitants, and carried off a spoil of cattle. This 
feud between Donald Goime Mor of Sleat and Kory 
Mor Macleod of Dunvegan was the occasion for the 
emergence out of obscurity of one of the bravest, 
most powerful, and skilful warriors, as well as one 
of the most interesting characters in the history of 
the house of Sleat, Donald Macdonald, known in 
the songs and traditions of the Isles as '' Domhnull 
Maciain 'Ic Sheumais." He was the grandson of 
James Macdonald of Castle Camus, late tutor to 
Donald Gorme Mor, to whom he stood in the 
relation of second cousin. While part of the story of 
his life may appropriately fall under the genealogical 
section, we must make some record of the large 
part he played at this criticpJ period in the history 
of the Clan Uisdein. 

The traditions of the Long Island and Skye are 
at issue with Sir Robert Gordon, author of the Earls 
of Sutherland, as to the sequence of the two great 
fights that signalised this feud, namely, the battles of 
Culeen and Carinish. Differing from the authority 
just referred to, there is good reason to accept the 
tradition that it was at the battle of Culeen that 
Domhnull Maciain 'Ic Sheumais made his first 
appearance as the Achilles of the Clan Uisdein. 
This warrior spent a great ])art of his life in Uist, 
and the traditions of that reo-ion have the best claim 
to credibility as regards the earlier })ortion of his 
career. At the battle of Culeen the Macdonalds were 


under the command of Donald Gorme Mor of* Sleat 
and his younger brother Archibald, surnamed the 
Clerk ; while the Maclsods, in the absence of Kory 
Mor, who was away in Argyll, were led by his 
brother Alexander. The Macleods encamped besidi 
Ben-na-Culeen, and awaited the attack of the Mac- 
donalds, on whose arrival the battle commenced. 
Both sides fought with great bravery and resolution 
during the greater part of the day. According to 
our traditional account, Donald Mac Iain, who at 
that time lived at Eriskay, a small island south of 
South Uist, arrived at the Culeens just as the battle 
was about to commence. It was his first serious 
engagement, and at once his soul was filled with 

" That .steini joy which warriors feel 
111 foemen worthy of their steel," 

and laid about him with his broadsword to such 
purpose that his efforts contributed materially to 
the victory of his Clan and the total rout of the 
enemy. Alexander Macleod, the leader of the 
Dunvegan men, and 30 of the chief heads of families 
were taken prisoners. The hero of the conflict, 
Donald Mac Iain, who courted the muses almost 
as successfully as he wielded his mighty brand, 
celebrated the battle of Culeen in lines which still 
linger among the people of the Western Isles — 

" Lhtha dliomh 's a' Chuilthionu chreagach, 
Bha beul sios air luchd nan leadan ; 
Bha larach am brog san eabar : 
'S lad Clann Domhnuill rinn an leagadh ; 
Lamh-dhearg Dhomhnuill lamh Ghilleasbuig." 

The next noteworthy phase in this feud was the 
battle of Carinish, which must have been fought not 
many months after the Macleod reverse at Culeen. 


Eory Mor, exasperated by the continued success of 
liis 0]>ponent, and wishing to strike iiim unexpectedly 
at the 2)art which was at the time weakest, invaded 
the iskmd of North Uist, the property of Donald 
Gorme, at the head of 60 warriors of his clan, all of 
them expert bowmen. They landed at Loch Ephort, 
on the east side of the island, where the chief 
remained with a small body-^ruard, while his kinsman 
and second in command, " MacDhomhnuill Ghlais," 
went on a raiding expedition through North Uist at 
the head of the remainder of the force. 

Meanwhile tidings of the invasion and " spulzie," 
scjcula nan creach, reached Maclain 'Ic Sheumas in 
his island home at Eriskay, and no sooner did they 
come to his ears than he took prompt and immediate 
action. Accompanied by his twslve gillemores, the 
stalwart band that always manned his galley and 
followed him to battle, he started for North Uist, 
and although his force was numerically but a tithe 
of that which he expected to oppose him, he was 
neither disheartened nor dismayed. During his 
progress towards Carinish his force was augmented 
to 15. and as he approached the mainland of North 
Uist, early in the forenoon, he learned that the 
Macleods were assembled with their spoil in the old 
temple of Trinity at Carinish, after having break- 
fasted on a cow, part of the proceeds of their foray. 
No sooner did the Macdonald warrior learn the 
position of the Macleods than he placed his men 
in the most advantageous positions. The Macleods 
had no idea that danger was so near. Up to this 
time they had it all their own way, had encountered 
no opposition, and were expecting none. Maclain 
Ic Sheumas was too skilful a strategist to attack 
the Skyemen in so strong a place as the Temple, and 


being well acquainted with every inch of the ground, 
he disposed his men as follows : — -Dividing them 
into three detachments, he concealed the first, which 
consisted of seven men, behind the rising ground 
north-east of the Temple, and south of the rivulet 
called Feithe na fala — ^the bloody brook ; the next 
division, consisting of four men, he placed in conceal- 
ment behind a knoll, half-way between the position 
of the first detachment and the Temple, and the last 
(consisting of the remaining four) was appointed to 
proceed towards the Temple and give the alarm to 
the Macleods that Maclain 'Ic Sheumas had arrived. 
Each division had its definite instructions, and 
Macdonald himself took up an elevated position in 
the neighbourhood of where his first division stood. 
Thence he had the satisfaction of seeing his little 
band carrying out his instructions to the letter. 
The alarm having been raised, the Macleods rushed 
out of the Temple in great confusion, and before they 
were aware of the imminence of the peril four of 
them were taken down by the cool aim of the 
Macdonald archers. These having carried out so 
much of their orders, fell back with all speed upon 
the second party and awaited the approach of the 
enemy. The latter hurrying on, not in the best 
order, were suddenly checked by another shower of 
arrows, which made eight of them to reel and bite 
the dust. The Macdonald second and third divisions 
now together retired to the position in which the 
first or main division was concealed, and waited as 
before until the enemy was within range, when all 
suddenly springing up and letting fly a third dis- 
charge of arrows with the same galling effecc, rush;ia 
across the hollow through which the road now 
passes, and took up their position for the brunt (^f 


the day a little below where their leader stood. 
The Macleods, now perceiving the force which 
opposed them, pressed on with great fury to contend 
with their adversaries upon even ground. At this 
moment it is said that Macdonald received a further 
accession to his strength from an unexpected quarter 
in the person of a foster brother who had crossed 
with the Macleods, but on a favourable opportunity 
arising came over to Maclain's side and gave him 
valiant assistance during the rest of the day. There 
was one circumstance that militated greatly in favour 
of the Macdonalds, and which, as soon as discovered 
by their leader, was instantly taken advantage of. 
Early in the fight Donald Maclain observed that 
the bows of his opponents were much less powerful 
than those of his followers, and that consequently 
their range was much more limited. Greatly 
desiring to preserve the members of his little force 
as nmch as jjossible, he caused them to retrograde 
gently during the course of the action, so that while 
their arrows told with deadly eftect upon the 
Macleods, the arrows of the latter were falling spent 
at their feet. MacDonald Glas, the Macleod leader, 
saw his ranks gradually growing thinner, without a 
gap being made in the small band of his adversaries, 
for though he was gaining, and his foes retiring, this 
was achieved at terrible cost. The disparity in 
numbers was now so much reduced that MacDonald 
Glas, seeing the day assume a more and more 
unfavourable aspect, and that the line of his retreat 
to Skye was in danger of being cut off, made a 
furious onset upon the Macdonalds. He was met, 
however, with the most stubborn resistance, which, 
combined with the same skilful tactics, still further 
reduced the number of efficient Macleod warriors. 


Donald Maclain, who was now apparently on the 
eve of victory, approached nearer the enemy than 
was prndent, and received a wound from an arrow 
which laid him on his length in the brook, called 
from this accident, Feithe na fala. The Mac- 
donalds, seeing their loved header laid low, got 
exasperated, rushed furiously upon the foe, and in a 
few minutes cut them all to pieces. Five or six 
managed to make their escape, and took to their 
heels in good earnest. One of these, who, from his 
spare lean form and extraordinary swiftness, was 
called " Glas nam beann," made for the fleet at Loch 
Ephort, and was the first to carry the woeful 
intelligence to the Du-ivegan chief The latter 
refused to believe the news, and threatened to hang 
the bearer, but another fugitive, covered with sweat 
and blood, repeated the tale of misfortune, and 
Macleod, seeing that matters had come to the worst 
possible pass, took to his boats and held off the land. 
The other fugitives were not so foitunate. The 
Macleod leader and two or three of his men, finding 
their retreat cut off, made for the island of 
Baleshare, but were overtaken by some of the 
Macdonalds and slain upon the strand, which is 
known to this day as Oitir Mhic Dhomhnuill ghlais, 
the strand of MacDonald Glas. From the effect of 
the wound he had received Maclain soon recovered, 
for he is not many weeks thereafter on his way to 
Skye to visit his chief in the Castle of Duntulm. 
Such was the battle of Carinish, one of the most 
remarkable fights in the history of Highland warfare. 
The feud between Donald Gorme and Kory Mor 
had now assumed such disastrous proportions that 
the Privy Council actively interfered, and the rival 
chiefs were ordered to disband their forces and 


desist from further molestation of one another. 
Macleod was enjoined to t^nve liiinself up to tlie Earl 
of Argyll, Macdonald to surrender himself to Huntly, 
and both were strictly charged, under penalty of 
treason,' to remain with these noblemen until the 
controversies between them were settled by the 
Kincr and Council. It is said that a reconciliation 
was brought about by the good offices of Angus 
Macdonald of Dunny veg and other friends, and they 
agreed that their differences should be adjusted by 
the peaceful arbitrament of the civil power. During 
the course of these negotiations, the two chiefs 
entered into an miderstanding, first at Ellandonan 
and afterwards at Glasgow, in which it was agreed 
that the peace should be preserved ; but this was 
not to prevent Mary Macleod taking such civil action 
against Donald Gorme as she might be advised to 
do. The quarrel appears to have been definitely 
adjustedin IGOl. 

It was probably not very long after the events 
just recorded] that the conspiracy of Hugh Mac- 
Gillespick Clerach against his Chief came to light. 
The powerful position of this M^cGillespick sept in 
Troternish, and their hostility to the family of the 
Chief, have already been alluded to. A few inci- 
dents in Hugh's career since he caused the embroglio 
with Maclean ^[^of Duart may now be referred to. 
We find him in 1586 molesting those engaged in the 
fishings of the North Isles and adjacent mainland, 
for whiclr>onduct he was summoned before the 
Privy Council. In' 1589 we find him bailie of 
Troternish, and receiving a remission for crimes 
committed against^ the Macleans, but his bailiary 
seems to have been very unacceptable, and was 
probably very lawless, for in 159G, when Donald 


Gorme was coniinD- to aa understandins: with tlie 
Crown regarding his property, and it was ordained 
that the Castle of Camas should be a royal fortress, 
there is the strict stipulation that " Hucheon 
McGillespick Clerich" should be " plaige and none 
other." This proves that he was no longer bailie of 
Troternish. and that his danoferous character was 
clearly recognised. Indeed, in the King's letter of 
Tack, granting the 8 merklands of Troternish to the 
Chief of Clan Uisclein, the bailiary was meanwhile 
reserved. It does not appear that Hugh was loner 
detained in captivity as a pledge, for the traditions 
bearing upon the dark deeds of his latter days 
imply his personal liberty. There are hints in the 
records of 1600 which seem to suggest a total breach 
in the relations between Hugh and his chief. In 
April of that year he is accused along with others of 
robbery on the high seas, and receives the designa- 
tion of " Hugh M'Gille,?pick in Walernes." The 
fact that the locus is no longer in Troternish, but in a 
district belonging to another chief, is a very signifi- 
cant comment upon Hugh's relations at the time to 
the chief of Clan Uisdein. a state o" matters which is 
confirmed by the whole trend of island tradition. 
It would appear, however, that after the peace was 
made up between Donald Gorme and Rory Mor, 
Hugh was once more received into favour at 
Duntulm. He was permitted to build a residence 
for himself at a place called Cuidreach, and also a 
strong fort at the sea side, the ruins of which 
survive, and are still known by the name of "Caisteal 
Uisdein." About the time this stronghold was on 
the eve of completion, Hugh was forming a con- 
spiracy for the destruction of Donald Gorme and the 
leading men of the Clan, after which he himself, 


with the support of those wlio were with him in the 
plot, would assume the chief'ship. 

The bold and treacherous design was to be carried 
out at a feast which was to celebrate the completion 
of Hugh's new residence. His own hand forged the 
weapon which wrought his doom. While in Uist he 
wrote two letters — one to William Martin, a tenant 
of Donald Gorme's, at Eastside of Troternish, in 
which he solicited Martin's assistance in his nefarious 
scheme — the other to the Chief of Sleat, con- 
taining warm professions of affection and fidelity. 
By a strange oversight the letters were wrongly 
addressed, the Chief's letter going to Martin, and 
Martin's finding its way into the hands of Donald 
Gorme. The Chief at once decided to take effective 
measures, and sent a strong party to apprehend him 
under the command of that pillar of the House of 
Sleat, DomhnuU Maclain 'Ic Sheumais. Hugh, who 
knew that such emissaries were on his track, took 
refuire in an ancient fortress, called Dun-a-Sticir, 
situated on a lake at Newtown in the Sand district of 
North Uist, communicating by stepping-stones with 
the shore. There Hugh, who was a man of immense 
physical] strength, was, with some difficulty, seized, 
and carried prisoner to Skye, where he was incar- 
cerated in the dungeon at Duntulm, and, as tradition 
reports, allowed to die in an agony of thirst. 

The first decade of the 1 7tli century was a some- 
what (juiet and uneventful period in the annals of 
the House of Sieat. In tiie month of August.. 1604. 
we find the Chief, with Sir Kanald Macdonald of 
Antrim, in the north of Ireland, at the head of seven 
score men, but on N\hat errand it is impossible to 
guess. Donald Gorme seems again quiescent until 
1607, when he is found co-operating with Angus of 


Uuunyveg in his efforts to save his inheritance from 
Campbell rapacity, and fears were entertained by 
Qneen Elizabeth's de|)uty in Ireland that an invasic^i 
of that kingdom was contemplated. The movements 
of the two Macclonald Chiefs did not go beyond 
a demonstration in force. The year 1608 was an 
important one to the Highland Chiefs, for it was 
then that the Statutes of I'Columkill were enacted, 
and a fresh chapter was opened in the social history 
of their country. Donald was summoned by Lord 
Ochiltree to meet him at Aros ; was involved in the 
somewhat shabby trick by which a number of the 
Highland Chiefs were inveigled on board the Govern- 
ment ship " Moon," and was placed in durance vile 
in the prison of Blackness. He was one of tiie 
signatories to the petition to the Privy Council, also 
subscribed by Maclean of Duart and Maedonald of 
Clanranald at Blackness, praying to be restored to 
liberty, and promising good conduct for the future. 
Donald Gorme was liberated some time pfterwards 
on condition of finding security for returning to 
Edinburgh on a certain day, and for concurring with 
and assisting the Bishop in making a survey of the 
Isles. The survey was completed in the summer of 
1609, and in the last week of August the Bishop 
held a Court at I'Columkill of the Chiefs and gentle- 
men of the Isles. On the 23rd August the Statutes 
of I'Columkill were formulated, and on the following 
day Donald Gorme and eight other principal Isles- 
men signed a bond declaring their adhesion to the 
Protestant religion, and binding themselves for the 
improvement of the Isles. Although there are no 
evidences of hostility to be traced between the Chief 
of Sleat and his great rival, Bory Mor Macleod, since 
the peace was made in 1601, there is strong reason 



to suspect that tlie relations betwetii them were by 
no means of tlie fVIendHest, otherwise it would not 
have been necessary that on the very next day after 
the Statutes of rColumkill were enacted, and very 
appropriately on that holy isle so long dedicated to 
the doctrines of peace and brotherhood, they should 
be made to enter nito a contract of friendship and 
mutual forgiveness of injuries. What the nature 
and extent of the injuries were that made such a 
bond necessary at this particular time we have no 
means of ascertaining. 

Durino- the remainder of Donald Gorme's life 
much of the history of Clan Uisdein consists of 
annual statutory compearances and exhibitions of 
chieftains in Edinburgh, which do not in themselves 
demand detailed notice. In the summer of 1614 we 
find the Chief of Sleat in the Scottish Capital 
engaged in the transaction of important business. 
On the 21st July he received a new charter for the 
lands of Sleat, North Uist, and Skeirhough, with the 
reservation to the Kinof of Castle (Jamus and 40 
shillings of the lands of North Uist. The rents 
payable to the Crown as superior were fixed — with 
augmentation — at the gross sum of £257 6s 8d. 
Why Donald Gorme, who had been duly infefted in 
all these lands in 1597, should have sought fresh 
titles in 1614 is explained by a new move on the 
part of his neighbour, Rory Mor. In 1613 this 
somewhat grasping and ambitious, though able. 
Chief, who had by this time been knighted by James 
VI., got himself served heir to his uncle, William 
Macleod of Harris, for the lands of Troternish, Sleat, 
and North Uist, and on the 11th December of that 
year obtained a charter for the same. A precept 
of sasine followed on the 12th June of next year, 


and sasine was actually taken at the principal 
messuage of Duntulni. The charter of 1542 by 
James V. to the Macleod of that day is (jiiuted as 
the chief ground for these proceedings, and it is 
provided in the new charter that corporeal and 
actual seizure of earth and stone at Duntulm would 
suffice for possession of Sleat and North Uist, as 
well as for the Barony of Troternish. Speedy action 
was evidently demanded by the exigencies of the 
case. How it was found practicable to obtain sasine 
even at Duntulm without any hostile movement on 
the part of Donald Gorme is somewhat inexplicable. 
This attempt on the part of Rory Mor to wrest from 
the grasp of the Chief of the Clan Uisden the bulk 
of his patrimony explains the steps which the latter 
took shortly thereafter to secure his inheritance by 
a new Crown charter. Sasine followed upon this 
charter on the 14th August, 1614. The Barony of 
Troternish, of which Donald Gorme obtained a 
lease in 1596, probably continued to be effectively 
occupied by himself and his clan, notwithstanding 
the charter and infeftment granted to the Chief of 

During Donald Gorme's visit to Edinburgh in the 
summer of 1614 he appeared, like other chiefs, before 
the Council for the renewal and ratification of the 
Acts passed for the peace and welfare of the Islands 
in 1609. Being required, like others, to name a 
domicile in which he was bound to remain until he 
received liberty to depart, Donald Gorme, either on 
his own initiative or perforce, chose Glasgow as the 
scene of his compulsory sojourn, for on the 14th 
September he received permission to go from thence 
to Islay to assist the Bishop of the Isles in the 
reduction, or in procuring the surrender, of the 


foitress of Dunuyveg. The Bishop was probably 
calciilatino- on tli<^ fonner frleiidsliip l:>etween tbe 
families of Sleat and Dunnyveg to l)i'ing al)Oiit a 
voluntary surrender ; but the attempt ended in 
failure, and Donald Gorme and his escort returned 
to the North Isles. 

In January, 1G15, Ptory Mor Macleod is still 
casting liungry eyes at the lands of Sleat and North 
Uist, out of which, he complains to the C^ouncil, the 
C^lan Donald liad most violentl}' " detrude his for- 
bears." He requested "justice" against Donald 
Gorme ; but, as this meant that the (Jhief of Sleat 
should virtually be stri})ped bare of all his lands, 
such one-sided equity was not likely to be carried out. 
This was the year of Sir James Macdonald's escape 
from captivity, and in the course of his movements 
through the Isles lie is said to have visited Skye 
and had an interview with Donald Gorme. The 
latter did not personally join Sir James, but many of 
his clansmen actively espoused his cause. In a 
letter from Sir Rory Macleod to Lord Binning, 
dated June 18th, 1615, he accuses the Sleat family; 
the Chief; Donald Og, his nephew and heir, and 
their wives and vassals of receiving and entertaining- 
Coil Mac Gillespick, a leader in the Dunnyveg 
rebellion.' No doubt, in making these repre- 
sentations the astute Rory had Sleat, Troternish, 
and North Uist in his mind's eye. The reader 
may be reminded that the five years' lease of Troter- 
nish granted to Donald Gorme in 151)0 had long 
expired, and there is no evidence that it had l)een 
renewed, or that a more permanent title had been 
bestowed. About this time Donald Gorme, like a 
number of the othei- Highland Chiefs, was, no doubt, 

' Macleod Papers. 


under suspicion of complicity in Sir James Mac- 
donald's rebellion — an event that had so distui-l)ed 
the politics of Celtic Scotland that the annual 
compearance of the chiefs before the Privy Council 
in Scotland was for some time interrupted. In July, 
16 L6, they were all summoned to Edinburgh to 
subscribe new and more stringent conditions of 
feudal tenure. Donald Gorme was on his way to 
Edinburgh when he was seized with sudden illness 
at the Chanonry of Ross. A certificate, signed by 
the Chancellor of Ross and others, testifying to 
Donald Gorme's sickness, and his being still laid up 
at Chanonry, was forwarded to the Council, and 
received on the 11th July. His absence was, in 
these circumstances, excused ; but he was ordered, 
if his health permitted, to come to Edinburgh before 
his return to the Isles. It appears that he had to 
remain for some time at Chanonry ; for a fortnight 
later the names of his chieftains were, according to 
statute, given in to the Council, not by himself, but 
by other chiefs. By the 26th August the Chief of 
Sleat seems to have so far recovered from his indis- 
position as to have got the length of Edinburgh, and 
implemented the proceedings that had been taken in 
his absence. He found the sureties required for his 
peaceable conduct ; was allowed a retinue of six 
gentlemen ; an annual consumption of four tun of 
wine ; was every year to exhibit to the Council 
three of his principal kinsmen ; and named Duntalm 
Castle, in Troternish, as his principal residence. 
This last arrangement is a strange comment upon 
the value of charters in that ap'e. as it will be 
remembered that, only two years before, Troternish 
and its Castle of Duntulm had been granted by 
Crown disposition to Rory Mor Macleod. This was 


Donald Goime's last visit to the Scottish Capital. 
Though not hy any means advanced in years, he 
already shewed signs of breaking up, a fact to which, 
no doubt, the broils and troubles of his early life had 
materially conduced. As a chief he was bold, rest- 
less, and ambitious, but it evidently took him all his 
force and resolution to hold his ancestral acres 
against his grasping and ambitious neighbour. He 
died in December, 1616. He left no heirs of his own 
body, and was succeeded by the son of his brother, 
Archibald, " Domhnull Gorm Og Mac Ghilleasbuig 

In the summer of 1617 the young Chief of Sleat 
attended the Court of James VI. in Edinburgh, and 
must have been knighted shortly before then, for he 
is described in the contemporary Privy Council 
Record as Sir Donald Gorme of Sleat. ^ There was 
every need for his taking precautions to secure the 
property, for Sir Ilory Macleod was again beginning 
to show symptoms of aggressiveness regarding the 
Macdonald lands in Skye and Uist. As early as 
April Sir Donald complains to the Council that 
Macleod has begun to give trouble in those regions, 
and he asks the President to protect him in his 
rights.^ It is singular that he bases his right on the 
charter of 1597, and not on the more recent one of 
1614. On 6th May, 1617, Sir Donald was served 
heir to his uncle in the lands which had been owned 
by the latter in Skye and Uist, with the exception 
of the Barony of Troternish. The following year 
there was a settlement of the litigation which had 
gone on for so long a time between the late Chief 
and Bory Mor. On lL>th March, 1618, the Chiefs of 

'Rec. r.C, 17tli July, 1617. 
■■' Act Ddiii. Con. 



Sleat and Dunvegan resigned into the King's hands 
the lands of Sleat and North Uist, of which both had 
charters, and Sir Donald resigned the lands of Skeir- 
hough and Benbecula. Upon this resignation a new- 
charter was given to Sir Donald Gorme for all the 
lands he possessed in Skye and Uist, with the 
exception of Troternish.^ It was decreed that a 
certain sum of money should be paid to Sir Rory 
Macleod in lieu of all his claims, and that he should 
have possession of the lands of Troternish until 
these claims were satisfied. Thereafter the lands in 
question were to revert to Sir Donald and his heirs. 
In February, 1621, Sir Donald Gorme and other 
chiefs were summoned to appear before the Privy 
Council to give security for the peace of their clans 
and for future obedience ; but, owing to a severe 
illness from which he suffered at the time, his 
presence in Edinburgh was excused. In 1622 a 
serious difference arose between the Chiefs of Sleat 
and Clanranald over the lands of Skeirhough, of 
which the former was superior ; but the settlement 
of this dispute has already been fully detailed.'^ In 
1625 Sir Donald was created a Baronet of Nova 
Scotia, with a clause of precedency making him the 
second of that order, though several others were 
created before him, Sir Robert Gordon, tutor of 
Sutherland, being first. In 1633 we find Sir Donald 
receiving a grant of the Island of Canna, which had 
formerly belonged to the Monastery of lona ; but it 
does not appear that he or any of his successors 
enjoyed actual possession. At the commencement of 
the great Civil War, in 1639, the King signed a 
Commission appointing the Earl of Antrim and 

^ Sleat Charter Chest. 
'Clau Boiiald, Vol. II., pp. 320, 321. 


Sir Donald (jloriii Macdonald, " conjiiiictlie and 
scverallie," His Majesty's Lieutenants and Coni- 
niissioners witliin tlie whole Highlands and Isles of 
Scotland for the purpose of arresting the King's 
enemies throughout the kingdom. This Commission 
was issued hy Charles from a place called Birks, near 
Berwick on the Tweed, where he had encamped to 
await the result of a deputation from the Covenanting 
Army, which also lay in that vicinity. In the King's 
letter to Sir Donald — accompanying the Commissioii 
— he promised to bestow on him the lands of Ardna- 
muichan and Strathordlll, with the islands of Hum, 
Muck, and Cknna, which were to accrue by the 
expected forfeiture of Argyll and the Chief of the 
Mackinnons, " seeing that the said Sir Donald Mac- 
donald of Sleat stood out for the good of His 
Majesty's service, and was resolved to un.dergo the 
hazard of his personal estates for the same." This 
promise His Majesty undertook to ratify to Sir 
Donald and his heirs in any manner they might think 
proper, provided he used his best endeavours for the 
King's service at this time according to his Commis- 
sion.^ So(jn after this time the Scottish C^onnnittee 
of Estates, having written a letter to the King of 
France requesting him to mediate between King 
Charles and them. Col. John Munro of Assynt, to 
whom the delivery of this letter was entrusted, gave 
it up to Sir Donald Macdonald, by whom it was 
handed to King Charles." This Col. Munro, having 
been afterwards imprisoned by Parliament for his 
breach of trust, presented a petition desiring to be 
set at liberty ; but, before this was granted, a Com- 
mission of four noblemen was appointed to examine 

' Lodgu's Peerage. Hills Macdoiialds of AiiLiiin. Appeiuli.x. 
-Balf., Aim. IlL, 76. 


Sir Donald, who was cited to a[)peai' before them for 
that purpose.^ This was not the only reason for 
bringing Sir Donald before Parliament. In 1640 he, 
along wath other Scottish noblemen, w^ent to England 
to countenance and assist His Majesty, and this at 
the King's own request. For this alleged offence 
also he and others were charged to appear before the 
Covenanting Parliament in Scotland to answer as 
incendiaries and deserters of their country. What 
further active part — if any — Sir Donald took in the 
warlike proceedings of these troubled years history 
does not record, but his action does not seem to have 
entailed more than one compearance in the Scottish 
Capital in 1641, after which he was permitted to 
return home without further molestation. In 1642 
Sir Donald, along with other islanders, was sum- 
moned to appear before the Council, when the 
obligations that were in force in the reign of 
James VI. were renewed. He died the following 
year — 1643. He may be said to have been the first 
of his family who was an out-and-out supporter of 
Scottish nationality as represented by the Stewart 
dynasty, and he transmitted the same spirit of 
unflinchinji^ loyalty to several generations of his 

' Act Pari, v., 412. 




Sir James Macdunald succeeds liis father, Sir Dunald. — His attitude 
towards the cause of Kiiiy diaries I. — Supports the cause 
of Charles II. — The men of the Isles at AVorcestcr. — Sir 
James's conduct under the Commonwealth.— His domestic 
policy. — His relations with the (Jovernment of Charles II. at 
the llestoration. — Receives a Crown Charter of his lands in 
Skye and Uist. — Appointed SheritI' of the Western Isles. — 
Troubles in Lochaber. — Domestic dithculties. — Sir James 
matriculates arms. — His death. — Sir Donald Macdonald 
succeeds his father, Sir James. — He suj^ports James VII. — 
The Sleat men at Killiecrankie. — Their subsequent move- 
ments. — Forfeiture of the young Chief of Sleat. — Sir Donald 
refuses to submit to the Government of William of Orange. — 
Defeats the Government force sent against him to the Isle 
of Skye. — Sir Donald finally takes the oath of allegiance, 
and submits to the Government. — Death of Sir Donald. — 
Succeeded by his son, Domhnv.ll a' Choyaidh. — Sir Donald 
joins the Earl of Mar. — The Sleat men at Sheritt'muir. — 
Forfeiture of Sir Donald. — His death. — Succeeded by his son, 
Donald. — Sir Donald enters into {possession of the Estate. — 
His death. — Succeeded by his uncle, James Macdonald of 
Orinsay. — His conduct at the time of Spanish Invasion of 
1719. — Death of Sir James. — Succeeded by his son. Sir Alex- 
ander, a minor. — The Estate purchased from the Forfeited 
Estates' Connnissioners for behoof oi Sir Ale.xander. — Sir 
Alexander at St Andrews. — His relations with his tenants. — 
Suif/itiir/i nun Dd'iine. — Sir Alexander's conduct during the 
licbellion of 1715. — Deatii and liurial of Sir .Mexander. — 
Sir James, liis s(jn, succeeds.- -Julucated at Eton and Oxford. — 
His travels on the C'ontinent. — His reputation for learning. — 
His relations with bis peoi)le. — His popularity. — His accident 
in North List. — His death at Home. — Succeeded by his 


brother, Alexander. — Sir Alexander as a landlord. — His 
quarrel with Boswell. — Created a Peer of Ireland. — Raises 
a regiment. — His death. — Succeeded l)y his son, Alexander 
Wentworth, as second lord. — liaises the llegiment of the 
Isles. — His death. — Succeeded by his brother, Godfrey. — 
Controversy with Glengarry. — His death. — Succeeded by his 
son, Godfrey, as fourth lord. — Somerled, fifth lord. — Ronald 
Arcliibald, sixth lord. 

Sir James Macdonald of Sleat had barely succeeded 
his father, Sir Donald, in 1644, when the civil com- 
motions of which the Marquis of Montrose was the 
central figure broke out in Scotland. He appears to 
have held aloof at first, probably more from con- 
siderations of prudence than any lack of loyalty to 
the cause of King Charles. He was accused, how- 
ever, by the partizans of the King of not being 
very hearty in his support of the royal cause 
at any time, and it is certain, whatever his 
reasons may have been, that he did not appear 
personally in the field. On the arrival of Alastair 
Macdonald with the Irish auxiliaries of the Marquis 
of Antrim on the West Coast in the autumn of 
1644, he offered the command to Sir James, but the 
latter excused himself from accepting this honour on 
the ground, as he alleged, of the smallness of the 
Irish force. ^ Alastair Macdonald appears afterwards, 
while on one or other of his recruiting expeditions 
to the West Highlands and Islands, to have prevailed 
upon Sir James to send a contingent of his clan to 
join the royal forces. After the engagement at 
Inverlochy, Montrose marched northwards. From 
Castle Stewart he writes to the Laird of Grant, 
shortly before the action at Auldearn, informing him 
that, among others, 400 of Sir James Macdonald's 

^ Mac^'uiri(!h. 


men had joiiicd him.' As to who commanded the 
Sleat contingent, or what [)ait they played, during 
the remainder of the Montrose campaign, family 
records and the historians of the period are alike 
silent. The })robability is that they fought under 
the immediate command of Dorjald Macdonald of 
Castleton, Sir James's hrothei-. The Sleat men 
continued in arms for some time after the deleat 
of Montrose at Philiphaugh. Wlien he again came 
North to re-organise an army for the King, Sir 
James's men wei-e among the few that rallied to the 
royal standard. They took part with the Royalist 
leader in the siege of Inverness, which Montrose 
was obliged to abandon on the approach of the 
Covenanting Army under Middleton. When the 
King surrendered to the Scottish Army at Newark, 
and ordered Montrose to disband his forces, the 
Macdonalds of Skye and Uist returned to their 
homes. Sir James Macdonald now made terms 
with the Committee of Estates for himself and 
his principal followers who had taken part in the 
late insurrection. Major-General Middleton, in 
pursuance of the powers giv^en to him by Parlia- 
ment, gave an assurance to Sir James and his 
friends that he and they " sail be free of all cejisure 
pain or punishment in thair lyftes or fortunes for 
anie deed done by thame or anie of thame in the late 
rebellion."" Sir James's friends and followers who 
liad been conspicuous in the late rebellion were 
Donald Macdonald of Castleton, Donald Macdonald 
of Arnishmore, Angus Macdonald of Sartill, Neil 
Maclean of Boreray, Ronald Macdonald of Barrick, 
Somerled MacNicol of Dreemyl, Alexander Mac- 

' Cliiot5 lit' (JiiUil. -■ Sleat Charter Chest. 


donald of Skirinish, and Kenneth Macqueen of 

Middleton, in so readily reniitting the penalty 
due to the political transgressions of Sir James 
Macdonald and the captains of his host, had, no 
doubt, in view the securing of their services for the 
Scottish Committee of Estates in their now changed 
attitude towards the ro3^al cause. The King had 
opened negotiations with them, and "engaged" to 
become the covenanted monarch of his Scottish 
subjects, [n return for his concessions, the Estates 
espoused the King's cause, and an army under 
the Duke of Hamilton was sent across the 
border to rescue him from the grip of his 
English enemies. In his " engagement against 
England," as it is called, Sir James Macdonald was 
deeply implicated. The men of the Isles, who had 
mustered in large numbers, joined Hamilton's force, 
and shared his defeat at Preston. After the expedi- 
tion against England had failed, the engagers were 
replaced in the Government by a new Committee of 
Estates, composed of the Church Part^', with Argyle 
at their head, and, at a meeting early in 1649, Sir 
James Macdonald was cited to find caution for his 
good behaviour.- Of this citation Sir James took no 
notice, and only waited for another opportunity to 
strike a blow for the royal cause. 

King Charles II. arrived in Scotland in the 
summer of 1650, and being acknowledged by the 
dominant faction, he was crowned at Scone in the 
beginning of the following year. Charles now 
appeared for a brief period in the character of a 
Covenanted King. In expectation of Cromwell's 
advance, he appealed for support to his Highland 

' Sleat Charter Cliest. - Ibid. 


adiieients, juhI to Sir James MactLjuald, among 
others, he gave a commission to levy a regiment of 
his clan in Skye and Uist. Sir James completed 
his levy in January, 1051, and his regiment in due 
course joined the royal standard.' Whetlier Sir 
James led his men in person, or delegated the com- 
mand to one of the cadets of his family, does not 
appear, nor can it be ascertained with any degree of 
certainty what the subsequent movements of the 
men of the Isles were. On the disastrous day of 
Worcester they formed part of the Highland wing 
of the royal army at the head of which the King 
himself fought with great bravery. Sir James Mac- 
donald's regiment and the Macleods suffered severely 
in this engagement, only a small remnant of both 
regiments returning to the Isles. The defeat of the 
royal forces at Worcester was followed by the rule 
of the Commonwealth in Scotland. Cromwell was 
now master of the situation, and King Charles fled 
to the Continent. The afl^airs of the King being in 
a desperate state. Sir James Macdonald accepted 
the situation, and yielded with the best grace he 
could to the rule of the Usurper. After this he 
remained quietly at home, and, although much 
pressed, refused to join in the attempts of the Earl 
of Glencairn and others in 1653. He is obliged, 
indeed, to ask the protection of the Government 
against the threats of his former friends and allies. 
Glengarry, above all, made himself conspicuous as a 
loyalist, and strenuous efforts were made by him in 
the Isles to impress Sir James and others into the 
King's service. Sir James, writing from Duntulm 
to Colonel Fitch, Governor of Inverness, informs 
him that " Glengarry and others are drawn to an 

' Sleat Charter Chest. 


bead to disturb tbe peace of tbe country."' Neitlier 
he, nor any of bis followers, has any sucb intention, 
and be bopes he may be protected by tbe Govern- 
ment in tbe event of an invasion of bis island 
territories by tbe Royalist forces. In reply to this 
communication, tbe officer in command at Inverness 
assures him of his receiving every consideration at 
the bands of the Government, and in proof of this 
be sent bim a written protection in tbe following 
terms : — " These are to require you to forbear to 
prejudice any of tbe inhabitants of the Island of 
North Uist belonging to Sir James Macdonald of 
Sleat, either by taking away of their horses, sheep, 
cattle, or goods, or offering violence."^ 

Sir James Macdonald commended himself to the 
Cromwellian Government by tbe great prudence 
and ability with which be behaved in a difficult and 
delicate situation. His correspondence and inter- 
course with that Government leave no doubt as to 
tbe high estimation in which be was held. By one 
high in authority he is referred to as " tbe great 
man in the Hebrides, a man of very great ability 
and judgment." In a letter full of pious expressions 
by Argyle to Lilburne, one of the Cromwellian 
officers, he commends Sir James for his sincerity 
and desire to live peaceably, and concludes by 
declaring his high estimation of his character and 
ability : he is " considerable in tbe Highlands and 
Islands." In spite of all the efforts made by Glen- 
garry, and others, to disturb the peace of tbe 
Highlands, tbe Cromwellian Government succeeded, 
by a combination of firmness and lenit}^ in main- 
taining order among the clans. Of all attempts 
ever hitherto made by the English to rule in Scot- 

1 Clarke MSS. - Ibid. 


land, that of C^mnnvt'll was without any doubt the 
most successful. It would be indeed difficult 
to find anywhere or at any time a military govern- 
ment whose conduct in the administration of 
justice and the maintenance of peace and order 
was so humane. Though often greatly provoked, 
no harsh proceedings can fairly be traced to the 
otHcers of the Cromwellian Executive. They only 
demanded security for the peaceable conduct of the 
chiefs, and readily accepted their bonds for one 
another. Sir James Macdonald was apparently the 
most highly respected of these, and the one in whom 
the Government placed the greatest confidence. 
While he required no security for himself he was 
obliged to find security for others. In September, 
1653, he became security in the sum of £6000 
sterling to the Keepers of the Liberties of England 
for the personal appearance of Rorie Macleod of 
Dun vegan before Colonel Lilburne, the Commander- 
in-Chief in Scotland.^ Sir James at the same time 
bound himself in a like sum for the good behaviour 
of the Chief of Clanranald, while later it required 
the combined assurance of Sir James, Macleod, 
Clanranald, Morar, and Benbecula, to satisfy the 
Government for the pfood conduct of Gleno-arrv^ 
Glengarry, who had in the interval " deported 
himself peaceablie and quytlie and given all due 
obedience to his Highnesse Oliver Lord Protector," 
gave his bond of relief to Sir James in 1656.^ 

Sir James Macdonald's affairs appear to have been 
in a flourishing state at this period. The family of 
Clanranald, who had not been so fortunate, had now 
become deeply involved on account of the part they 
had acted during the recent civil wars and other 

' Sle.1t Chill tcrClie.-t. -' ILi.l. ' H-M. 


disturbances. The friendly assistance- which Sir 
James was able to render to his kinsmen at this 
juncture, and his prudent example and wise counsel, 
had the effect at least of keeping them out of the. 
Glencairn rising. To relieve them of their pecuniary 
embarrassments, and " for the weel and standing of 
their house," John and Donald, elder and younger 
of Clanranald, were obliged to wadset to Sir James 
their lands of Moidart and Arisaig for the sum of 
£40,000 Scots.' 

Taking advantage of the security afforded by the 
Cromwellian Government, Sir James Macdonald 
turned his attention to the affairs of his family and 
estates. In 1657, he executed a deed of entail of 
his lands of Skye and Uist in favour of his eldest 
son, Donald, failing whom and the other sons and 
brothers of Sir James, in favour of the nearest male 
heir of the family of Macdonald. The lands detailed 
in this deed were the 20 pound land of old extent 
of Sleat, the 40 pound land of old extent of North 
Uist, and the 30 merkland of Skirhough. '1 he 
money rent of Sir James Macdonalcl's vast estates 
at that time amounted only to £6050 Scots yearly, 
as the same were valued by the Commissioners of 
Assessments of the Sheriffdoms of Inverness and 
Ross at Chanonry.^' In the year 1644, when Sir 
James succeeded his father, Sir Donald, the money 
rent was £10,133 Scots. In addition to this there 
was the rent ]md in kind, besides military and 
other services. The population of these extensive 
estates was estimated at 12,000, in consequence of 
which Sir James occupied a prominent position 
among the chiefs, while the command of so large a 
following made him a power to reckon with in the 

^ Sleat Charter Chest. - Ibid. 



Hii;l)laii(ls. Ill liis letters and other papers, pre- 
served in the Charter Chest of Lord Macdonald, 
there is abundant evidence of his outstanding abiHty 
and l)usiness capacity, and of tlie high estimation in 
wliicli he was held i)y his neiglibours. 

The restoration of Charles II. to the throne of 
his ancestors, an event which occasioned gj-eat 
rejoicing among royalists everywhere, can hardly 
have been a welcome change to Sir James Macdonald 
of Sleat. While his kinsman, Angus Macdonald of 
Glengarry, was rewarded with a peerage, Sir James, 
in consequence of his accpiiescence in the usurpation 
of Cromwell, and especially for his su})posed luke- 
warmness towards the cause of the exiled monarch, 
was fined, it is said, in a lai'ge sum, at the instiga- 
tion of the P^arl of Middleton. Middleton, according 
to Douglas in his Peerage, got a grant of the fine. 
Of this there is no evidence to be found in the 
Charter C-hest of Sleat, although there is ample 
evidence of many pecuniary transactions between 
Middleton and Sir James, nor is any evidence of 
such a fine having l>een imposed in the ])rocep'dings 
of the Parliament held immediately after the 
Restoration, which include a record of the fines and 
forfeitures of the period. Whether Sir James 
experienced the Kings (lis})leasure to the extent 
of being fined at the Restoration or not, it is certain 
that immediately tiiereafter he was so far favi ured 
as to have received from Charles a Charter of Con- 
firmation of" all his lands in Skye and Uist, dated 
July 22nd, 1661.' As further evidence of the good 
relations between him and the Government, he 
received a commission in I Hi) 5 to appieiiend the 
murderers of Alexander Macdonald of Keppoch and 

' Sleat Charter Chest, 


his brother, a service which was performed l)y a party 
of Sir James's men from Skye and Uist, as already 
related in the preceding volume of tliis work Foi- 
his services on this occasion, Sir James received a 
special letter of thanks from the Privy Council, and, 
as a further proof of his being in high favour with 
the Government, he was appointed Sheriff of the 
Western Isles. ^ 

Sir James Macdonald's jurisdiction appears to 
have extended beyond the bounds of the W(^stern 
Isles. VVhether it was in acknowledofment of his 
claim as chief of the whole Clan, or because he was 
looked upon as the most prudent and capable among 
the principal men of the name, or both, he was 
certainly held responsible for the good behaviour of 
the Clan in the Isles, and on the Mainland. And 
the Clan was not at this time on its good behaviour, 
especially on the Mainland. A desperate feud had 
broken out between the Macdonalds and the 
Camerons hi Lochaber, and both Sir James and 
his son, Donald, were required to repair to Edin- 
burgh to receive the Privy Council's instructions 
with a view to a speedy termination of the quarrel 
between the clansmen. Owing to tempestuous 
weather and indisposition, Sir James failed to put 
in an appearance at the Council meeting. Mean- 
while Donald, younger of Slea':, is requested to 
present before the Council the person of a notorious 
clansman and Lochaber leader, known as the 
" Halked Stirk." In due time Sir James succeeded 
in restoring order in Lochaber, and the " Halked 
Stirk," after being presented before the Council, 
was liberated, though not without misgivings.- Sir 
James further produced several persons of his name 

^ Sleat Charter Chest. - Acts of Privy Council. 


who were obliged to give their bond for the peace o 
the Higlilands.' Tlu' LochalnT tnnibles had barely 
been settled wlicii. in 1G74, 8ir James's services 
were again in retjuisition as chief of the Clan. In 
April of that year, a missive was directed l)y the 
Privy Council to Sir James setting forth that it had 
been represented to the Council that Alexander 
Macdonald of Glencoe, who had been committed 
})risoner within the Tolbooth of Inveraray by order 
of the Earl of Argyle, had succeeded in effecting his 
escaj)e. Glencoe, who was destined afterwards to 
perish at the hands of the Cami)bells in the notorious 
massacre, had been incarcerated for certain crimes 
wliich are not specified. Since his escape from 
prison, he is accused, with John Macdonald of 
Achtriachatan, and their accomplices, of having 
committed " several murders and depredations" in 
the County of Argyle. Sir James Macdonald is 
required by the Council to assist in apprehending 
his clansmen, but nothing further is heard of them 
in this connection. In the summer of 1G76, Sir 
James's restless clansmen of Lochaber again broke 
loose, and with their neighbours, the Camerons, 
committed great depredations (mi the lands of the 
Cam})bel]s in Pertlishire, but Sir James, although 
ai)j)ealed to, does not appear to have exerted himself 
in l)ringing tiiem to justice, and he now finally 
disappears from public view. 

Sir James Macdonald's latter days were some- 
what clouded by domestic difliculties arising tlu'ough 
the " irrecileable disseniones betwix him and his 
sone Donald with the vast debtes upon the esteat." 

For " eviteing these confusiones," the wadsetters, 
who were almost all cadets of the family, banded 

Acts ul I'rivy Cnuiicil. 


theiiiselvea U>getlier, Miid drew out, and signed a 
formal document dated February 1, 1678, in terms 
of which they resolve " before God Almightie with 
all singleness of heart and without any mentall 
reservation or equivocation qt. somever" to preserve 
the estate. Besides their loyal desire to preserve 
the estate for the family, these wadsetters had 
themselves considerable interest in it. In a letter 
addressed by them to Lord Tarbat at this time 
they propose, owing to the " discrepancies" between 
Sir James and his son Donald, to deprive them both 
of the estate until the debts are paid, allowing 
meanwhile a competency to each. " The estate," 
they inform Lord Tarbat, " stands severally engaged 
to us." The wadsetters acting up to their resolution 
succeeded in staving off the impending ruin of the 
family and preserving the heritage of the Clan 

Sir James Macdonald some years before his 
death matriculated arms which are found to be 
in some respects different from those afterwards 
adopted and borne by his family. These were : — 
" First, argent, a lion rampant, gules armed or ; 
second, azure, a hand proper holding a cross patee 
of Calvary sable ; third, vert, a ship ermine, her 
oars in saltire sable in water proper ; fourth, parted 
per fess wavy vert and argent, a salmon naiant ; 
crest, a hand holding a dagger proper ; supjjorters, 
two leopards proper ; motto, ' My hope is constant 
in Thee.' " Sir James Macdonald died in December, 

During the decade following the death of Sir 
James Macdonald, we find little worthy of notice in 
the annals of the family of Sleat. Sir Donald, the 

1 Sleat Charier Cheit. 


heir and successor of Sir James, was in iil health, 
and appears to have led a quiet life. The affairs 
of tiie family besides were not in a prosperous state. 
The tirst notice which we find in the family records 
of Sir Donald in his capacity as chief is in a 
Connnission granted by him to Lachlan Mackinnon 
of Strath, and Lachlan Mackinnon of Gembell, 
empowering them to " persew, apprehend, and 
incarcerat all thives, robberis, and sorners within 
the bounds of the parish of Strath."^ The abortive 
attempt made by Argyle in the West in 1685 in 
conjunction with the Monmouth Kebellion in 
England, brought Sir Donald and his Clan into 
prominence as supporters of the reigning family in 
the person of James YII. The Privy Council being 
informed that Argyle with several others had landed 
ill the Western Isles for the purpose of raising a 
commotion there, they directed a missive to Sir 
Donald recpiiring liim to raise 300 men and be with 
them at the head of Lochness by the 9th of June. 
Sir Donald loyally obeyed the summons to arms, 
and marched at the head of his men to tlie place of 
rendezvous. The Argyle insurrection coming to an 
abrupt end by the capture and execution of the Earl, 
tlie men of the Isles, after remaining in camp until 
the end of June, returned to their homes without 
striking a blow.^ The state of affairs at the accession 
of King James indicated a troublesome reign for the 
unfortunate monarch, both in England and in Scot- 
land. At length the inevitable crisis arrived, and 
James could remain no longer in a situation which, 
by liis unkiiigly conduct, he had made untenable. 
The sympathisers of the unfortunate monarch in 
Scotland were confined almost entirely to the 

' Sleat Cliarter C'liest. - Ibid. 


Highlands. it is difficult to imao-ine such men 
as Lochiel, Glengarry, and Sir Donald Macdonald, 
all of whom were Protestants, attached to the person 
of* such a man as James. But these chiefs were firm 
believers in a hereditary monarchy, and James, 
notwithstandin,i( all that had happened, was still, 
in their estimation, the legitimate King. And, 
besides, their hereditary enemies were all arrayed 
on the other side. When, in these circumstances, 
Dundee unfurled the standard of James in the 
Highlands, and appealed to the chivalry of the High- 
land chiefs, Sir Donald Macdonald was among the 
first to join him at the head of 500 of his Clan. 
Sir Donald, however, who had been in broken health 
for some time, had barely reached Dundee's 
camp in Lochaber when he suddenly took ill and 
was obliged to return home, leaving his son, Donald, 
in command of the Clan. At Killiecrankie, Sir 
Donald's battalion was posted on the extreme left of 
Dundee's army, where it fought with the courage and 
bravery characteristic of the men of the Isles. The 
Tslesmen were led by the young Chief in person, who 
is described as " the noble offspring of the great 
Donald, Chief of the race, and Lord of the Isles, 
illustrious in war beyond his youthful years."^ The 
young Chief is still further described as a man of 
commanding personality, wearing a scarlet coat, and 
" conducting all his actions by the strict law of 
religion and morality." The regiment of the Isles 
suffered severely at Killiecrankie, being opposed 
to the only portion of Mackay's army that 
behaved well on that day. Among the slain 
were five of the principal officers, all of whom 
weie cadets of Sir Donald's family. The fall of 

' The Grameid. 


the ^'ull.Miit hiiiidee in the act of hiiii^^ln^^ the 
C'hiii Donald tu the charge rang the deatli-knell 
of th»? cause of King .lames. The suhse([Uent move- 
ments and conduct of the Higldanders under Cannon 
first, and aftrrwards under Buclian, were such as 
miglit l>e expected under such leaders. Tlie young 
('lii«'f of Sleat remained at the head of liis men until 
the King's afi'air.' hecame (lesj)erate, and all hope 
\vi\H lost. Wh?n the tide turned in favour of the 
Whigs, Genend Mackay, wlio had suffered so severe 
a defeat at Killiecrankic. made overtures to the 
chiefs with the view of hringiiig them into line with 
the new order of things. Their answer was a digni- 
fied refusal to treat on any terms. At a meeting 
held at Birse on the f7th of August. 1G89. a 
document was drawn out and signed hy all the 
chiefs present, in which they showed unmistakahly 
their attitude towards the Government of William 
of ( )ran<:e. "Wee declare to yow," thev informed 
Mackay, " and all the world we scorne yo"^ usurper 
and the indemnities of his Govarnment."^ At Blair- 
Atholl, they signed a hond on the 24th August, 
pledging themselves to continue iii the King's 
service and assist one another to the utmost of their 
power in that service, Donald of Sleat agreeing to 
augment his hattalion hy hringing 200 more men to 
tlie King's standard.* At Tnmintoul they renewed 
their hon<l on the loth .January following, and 
vowed to ■■ stike and hid" i)y one anotiier. It is 
evident from these honds that the chiefs v^ere not 
only niiih'd among themselves, hut also most 
enthusiastic in their suppoit of the King's cause. 
It would have l)een well for that cause if they had 
chosen a leader among themselves. No man was 

' AcIm of I'arl., A|>|i*>ii<lix. - Ibi<l. 


better fitted in all respects to lead a Hiolilaiid ainiv 
than Sir Evven Cameron of Lochiel, but a Ili^diland 
chief would not serve under another Highland chief. 
The experiment had not been ventured ujjon since 
the days of the Lords of the Isles The King's 
cause would have fared better, to say the least, if it 
had been tried now. It was not tried, and every 
other effort to retrieve the fallen fortunes of the 
fugitive monarch was doomed to failure. The star 
of the unlucky Stewart race had set for e\er. 

In a Parliament held in Edinburgh in June, 1600, 
a sentence of forfeiture was passed against the 
young Chief of Sleat, and other adherents of 
Dundee. Nothing danntei, the young Chief 
remained steady in his loyalty to King Janies, and 
the King, as a mark of appreciation of the services 
rendered by the family of Sleat, kei)t up a constant 
correspondence both with Sir Donald and his son. 
Finally, when success seemed no longer possible, 
and the Highland army dispersed. Cannon and 
his officers found their way to the Isle of 
Skye, and put themselves under the protection 
of Sir Donald Macdonald. Etlbrts were now 
made to treat with Sir DoTiald. While the 
young Chief appeared willing to submit on certain 
terms, old Sir Donald continued inexorable, and 
would have no parley with the emissaries of 
King William. Lord Tarbat, a friend of the family, 
used his best endeavours to persuade the old Chief 
to accept the inevitable, but he adhered stubbornly 
to his resolution not to submit to the Government of 
the usurper. At lengt'i the Government of Williani 
took steps to force the C^hief into obedience. Two 
frigates w^re sent to Skye, under the command of 
Captains Pottinger and Douglas, each with its full 


complement of* men, witli orders, it' persuasion failed, 
to use force with the stubborn Chief Letters passed 
between Captain Pottin^er and Sir Donald with 
no satisfactory result. The latter, according to 
Pottintrer, " belched out defiances to authority and 
power." The gallant old Chief was evidently not in 
the humour to pick his words, and the paper duel 
resulted in a more serious engagement. Pottinger 
brought his guns to bear upon two of Sir Donald's 
houses, both of which appear to have been garrisoned. 
These, besides the Chief's birlinn, he succeeded in 
turn in burning to the ground, and, according to the 
Captain's own account, the garrison in Sir Donald's 
house of Sleat fled to die hills. If they did, they 
soon returned, and engaged in a hand-to-hand fight 
Avith the Lowlanders, who meanwhile had landed 
from the Government frigates. After a short 
struggle. Captain Pottinger's men were driven back 
to their ships, leaving twenty of their number dead 
on the field, and Sir Donald remained master of the 
situation. Sir Donald afterwards condescended to 
discuss terms of submission witii the Government. 
He sent a messenger of the name of Campl)ell to 
Lord Tarbat, offering to submit on condition of his 
receiving a peerage and a j)ension, and the removing 
of the sentence of forfeiture passed against his son. 
Lord Tarbat replied in behalf of the Government, 
by pointing out that, now King William's affairs 
being more prosperous, absolute surrender would be 
the best argument, and he ended by advising Sir 
Donald to throw himself on the King's mercy. Tliis, 
however, the stubborn ( 'hief was not yet prepared 
to do. The defiant attitude of Sir Donald is best 
understood l)y reference to a letter written in 
October, 1690, and addressed to the Chief by his 


cousin, PTngh Macdoiiald, a captain ni Major-General 
Mackay's regiment. The writer, after pointing out 
to Sir Donald the ntter foolishness of any further 
resistance, urges him to make terms with King 
Wilham, and write " a very obliging letter" to Major- 
General Mackay, showing his willingness to submit. 
The writer had been informed that the Earl of Argyle 
had received a commission " to reduce him if he dcies 
not speedily surrender." " Were there no other 
motive to induce you," the captain proceeds, " but 
the slavery you are into by maintaining of Irish fugi- 
tives it might make you wearied of your life. Lord 
Morton appears in your interest and advises you to 
write to Argyle an obliging letter, for he assures me 
that Argyle professes much kindness for you. This 
will not only keep Argyle from invading your 
country, but likewise make him befriend you at 
Court. I beseech you not to bring ruin upon your- 
self by papists and desperat people that resort to 
your island. Lord Morton would go on foot to 
London on condition that your peace was made."^ 
His cousin's earnest appeal appears to have had no 
effect on Sir Donald. His principal followers, how- 
ever, are now willing to submit to the Government. 
Lord Tarbat, in a letter to the Earl of Melville, 
expresses the opinion that the example set by the 
gentlemen of his clan will have a good effect upon 
Sir Donald. Captain Hugh Macdonald, in a second 
letter to his chief, assures him that he will no longer 
dissuade him from his principles. " There is 
nothing," he writes, " I wish more than that you be 
reconciled to King William, yet I shall be sorry if 
Argyle be the instrument of forcing you. Certainly 
jT-ou might make a more honourable capitulation."-' 

^ Sleat Charter Chest. - Ibid. 


But 8ii' Doijcild would uot yield, aud he wa,s now 
greatly encouraged to persist in his opposition Ijy 
the appearance in June, 1691, of four French men- 
of-war on the coast of 8kye with ample provision, 
aims, and annnunition, to put the island in a proper 
state of defence. In a letter from Colonel Hiil of 
Fort-William to the Earl of Melville he states that 
the Frenchmen give out that the Dukes of Gordon 
and Berwick are coming from Ireland with 5000 
men, and that Buchan and Glengarry have gone to 
Skye to stir up Sii Donald's people. This fresh 
movement on the part of the Jacobites, howevei', 
came to nought. Sir Donald Macdonald made his 
peace with the Government of William, but we 
know nothing of his manner of doing so, or the 
terms on which he surrendered. Lord Breadalbane 
was the person entrusted by Government to negoti- 
ate with the chiefs, but the chiefs had no confidence 
in him, and if all that is alleged agamst him be 
true, they were justified in not trusting such a man. 
He is described l)y a contemporary as a man 
" cunning as a fox, wise as a serpent, and slippery 
as an eel." He held a meeting with the chiefs at 
Achallader on the 30th of June, 1691, which Sk 
Donald Macdonald excused himself from attending 
on the score of ill health. Iti October, the Earl 
sent an express to Sir Donald on business of 
importauce, no doubt his submission to the Govern- 
ment, urging him to repair to Belloch without delay, 
or if his indisposition should prevent him to send his 
son Donald.^ Whether Donald answered the Earl's 
sunnnons does not appear. The Government had 
issued a proclamation requiring all the chiefs to take 

' ( 'hart or Cliest. 


the oath of allegiance in the }3resence of a civil judge 
before the first day of January, 1692, and hbtle time 
was now left if Sir Donald was to avoid sharing the 
fate of Glencoe. King James, to whom the chiefs 
had submitted the order of Government, counselled 
compliance. This was at the eleventh hour. Sir 
Donald Macdonald succeeded somehow in satisfying 
the Government, and ceased to give further 

AflPairs in the Highlands began to settle down 
gradually into their normal condition. The Govern- 
ment of William showed some anxiety to conciliate 
the chiefs, and, on the whole, acted fairly, and even 
leniently towards them, especially after the aifair of 
Glencoe. It was a critical time for the Government. 
There were certain economic and social problems the 
solution of which weighed with the chiefs more than 
any mere personal attachment to the Stuart princes. 
There was a slumbering discontent, not directly 
attributable either to William or James, which 
threatened to burst forth into active hostility 
whenever the opportunity arose. It was possible 
for the Government to avert many of the troubles 
which loomed ahead. Subsequent events will show 
how far it came short in this respect. As for the 
Chief of Sleat, he quickly fell into line and made the 
best of what was, no doubt, to him a very bad 
situation. His affairs were far from being: in a 
prosperous state, while his state of health rendered 
him unfit to take any practical share in the manage- 
ment of his Clan affairs. As evidence of the relations 
in which he stood to the Government, reference 
may be made to a petition by him to the Privy 
Council in the autumn of 1692. In this petition he 


])egs to be relieved of the hearth money which had 
been imposed upon him, pleading, as an excuse, the 
involved state of his affairs. The Council granted 
the prayer of the petition, and remitted the tax.^ 
Sir Donald's relations with the garrison at Fort- 
William were also satisfactory, as may be seen 
from a correspondence between the Governor, 
Colonel Hill, and Sir Donald.^ It was far 
otherwise nearer home, and where it was least 
to be expected. The attitude of Sir Donald's 
neighbouring kinsmen of Knoydart towards him 
appears to have been the reverse of friendly. The 
Cliief and Ranald Macdonald of Camuscross were 
obliged to make a joint complaint to the Supreme 
Court in 1694 against Alexander Macdonald, 
Younger of Glengarry ; ^neas Macdonald, his 
brother ; and several others, their tenants in Knoy- 
dart. The complainers allege that the men of 
Knoydart, having conceived " ane deadly hatred and 
evil will " against them, continue to molest them in 
the peaceable possession of their lands by com- 
mitting several acts of violence, and " lying in ways 
and passages where they have occasion to resort."^ 
Glengarry and his brother were required " to find 
sufficient caution that the complainers and their 
tenants in the parish of Sleat shall be harmless and 
skaithless." The relations between the clansmen of 
Glengarry and Sleat as shown in this case furnish 
a picture of the state of society in the Highlands at 
that time so vivid as to require no comment. Of 
Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat no more is heard in 
the annals of the clan. He died at Armadale on the 

' Sleat Charter Chest. - Ibid. ^ Ibid. 

j , 

- ^-|v>^V^vS|L,''<jk^^^|HM 

y'-- ■ ■ ' ■■ . ■'.■ -M, '-'■:■'■ ^■•■'' ■'■:■' 



5th of February, 1695, much lamented by his clan, 
and highly eulogised by the bards. 

" Leoghaiiu fireuchail aigli, 
Muiute, spioradal, ard, 
Umhail, iriosal, feardha, treubhach. 

Tha do chinneadh fo phramh, 

Do thi;ath, 's do phaighearan mail, 

Uaislean t-fhearainn, 's gach lan-fhear-feusaig." 

During the decade following the death of Sir 
Donald Macdonald, the annals of the family furnish 
little material for history. His successor. Sir 
Donald, known as Domhnull a Chogaidh, had dis- 
tinguished himself as leader of the clan in his 
father's lifetime. From the beginning of the eight- 
eenth century to the eve of the rebellion of 1715, 
he lived for the most part in Glasgow, " holding," 
as he afterwards affirms in his own defence. " no 
correspondence with his people in the Isles." There 
is sufficient evidence, however, to show that he had 
been during these years in close touch with the 
Jacobite party. In 1714, he acquired by purchase 
the estate of Franklield, in the parish of Culross, 
formerly called Blair. He had been but three nights 
in possession of his newly acquired property, when, 
as he complains to the Duke of Montrose, he was 
carried off prisoner from his Castle of Blair by order 
of Government, being strongly suspected of Jacobite 
designs. As subsequent events proved, the Govern- 
ment had good grounds for their suspicion, in spite 
of Sir Donald's protest. Sir Donald, too, had signed 
the address by the heads of families in the High- 
lands to King George I. on his accession to the 
throne, but from a letter to the Chief of Sleat, 
signed by Lochiel and Stewart of Ardsheal, it 


;ippeiirs that the object of the address to the Kin^ 
was to disarm suspicion, while in reaHty the chief's 
had already secretly resolved to stand together and 
do their utmost to restore the House of Stuart. 
Sir Donald's forced confinement as a political 
prisoner in Glasgow was of short duration, and he 
was released through the friendly intercession of the 
Duke of Montrose in the autumn of 1714.^ 

Sir Donald was not present at the great Jacobite 
gathering at Braemar in September, when the 
standard of the Koyal House of Stuart was raised 
by the Earl of Mar. Being in the secrets of the 
party, and acting in concert with the Earl, he 
proceeded to the Isle of Skye to raise his followers, 
variously estimated as being on this occasion 
between 700 and 900 men. The whole North was 
soon in a ferment of rebellion. The beginning of 
hostilities was signalled on the 13th of September 
by Mackintosh of Borlum proclaiming King James 
from the Market Cross of Inverness. About the 
begiiniing of October, Sir Donald, at the head of his 
men, joined the Earl of Seaforth at Brahan, and 
with him proceeded to Alness, where they put to 
flight the Earl of Sutherland, with the Sutherland 
and Reay men, the Munroes, Rosses, and others. 
Proceeding further north. Lord DufFus, supported by 
the men of the Isles, proclaimed King James at 
Tain. After assisting in dis|)ersing the Northern 
combination. Sir Donald marched South and joined 
the Earl of Mar at Perth about the end of October. 
Here he took suddenly ill, and was carried away in 
a litter when the forces of King George entered the 
city." From Perth Sir Donald was carried all tiie 
way to the Isle of Skye, but his brothers, James and 

' Sleat Charter Client . - Ibid. 


William, remained at the head of the Sleat men and 
fought in the right wing of Mar's army with con- 
spicuous braver)^ From Sheriffmulr the Sleat men 
returned to the Isles and stood out for some time, 
but when King George's troops were sent to Skye 
under Colonel Cholmondely, Sir Donald retired to 
North Uist. In a letter dated 20th April, 1716, and 
addressed to General Cadogan, Governor of Inver- 
lochy. Sir Donald offered to surrender himself in terms 
of the Act of Parliament recently passed, enacting 
that if he and others did not surrender before the 
last day of June they should stand and be adjudged 
attamted of high treason. Sir Donald pleaded that 
by reason of his continued indisposition he was not 
in a fit state to travel to Inverlochy to surrender in 
person as the Act required. Having failed to appear 
personally, Sir Donald was adjudged guilty of high 
treason, and his estates w^ere accordingly forfeited.^ 
The Commissioners of Forfeited Estates proceeded 
to make a survey of the estates of Sir Donald, and 
appointed William Macleod of Hammir as judicial 
factor. Macleod, as might be expected, was far 
from being popular in his official capacity, either in 
Skye or in Uist. The people were in extreme 
poverty. The state of matters in North Uist and 
in the extensive district of Troternish, in Skye, was 
deplorable. From a document attested by the 
wadsetters and tacksmen of North Uist and given 
in by Macleod of Hammir to the Forfeited Estates 
Commissioners, it appears that the tenants had 
lost by a plague among their live stock 745 
cows, 573 horses, and 820 sheep. The sea, too, 
had " overflowed several parts of the country, 
breaking down many houses, to the hazard of some 

1 Sleat Charter Chest. 


lives ami the impairing of the lands." On the 
Macdonakl estates in Skye the state of matters was 
no better. " Tlje gentlemen of Troternish" testify 
that by a similar plague among their live stock they 
had lost 485 horses, 1027 cows, and 4556 sheep. If 
to these lo.sses be added other and unavoidable 
hardships consequent on the troubles of the time, 
the condition of the people must have been truly 
pitiable. Sir Donald Macdonald dying in March, 
1718, his only son and heir, Donald, succeeded him 
in the representation of the family. Immediately 
after the death of his father, young Sir Donald, 
taking advantage of an Act passed in the fifth year 
of George First's reign for eidarging the time to 
determine claims on the forfeited estates, presented 
a petition to the Court of Session setting forth that, 
as his father had surrendered to General Cadogan, 
it ought to be adjudged tluit he obeyed the Act 
of Parliament, and consequently had not been 
attainted, nor had his estate been forfeited. The 
Court decided in favour of the petitioner, finding 
that the deceased Sir Donald did surrender to 
General C/adogan, that his surrender was accepted, 
and that, therefore, he had not been attainted, nor 
had the public any right to his estate. Against 
this decision the Forfeited Estates' Commissioners 
appealed to the House of Lords, on the ground that 
the Act required a surrendering of Sir Donald's 
person ; that a submission by letter to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief could never be called a surrendering 
of the person ; that his pretended surrender was at 
the best a subnn'ssion to prevent a military execution 
against his estate ; and that, though he complained 
of being unable to travel from Uist to Inverlochy, 
yet he did actually travel shortly thereafter to 


Bernera and Duntulm, wliicli did not appear to be 
the way to Inverlochy. The House of Lords gave 
judgment in favour of the appellants in May, 1720. 
By this time young Sir Donald was dead. In the 
interval, however, between the date of the decision 
of the Court of Session in his favour and his death, 
early in the year 1720, Sir Donald assumed pro- 
prietary relations with the family inheritance and 
intromitted with the rents of the estate. In a letter 
to his agent in Edinburgh, giving him a particular 
account of the state of his affairs, he says : — " I have 
just done with my sett of Sleat and Trotarnes in 
both which countrys I have been obliged to abate 
a great part of the money rents with the entire 
casualitys because of the poverty the loss of their 
cattail has reduced the people to." The death of 
Donald in the bloom of manhood was much regretted 
by his clan and friends. Educated at the University 
of Glasgow, he appears to have been a young man of 
considerable culture, and to have jDOSsessed in a large 
measure the large-heartedness and considerate kind- 
ness towards their dependants characteristic of the 
Chiefs of Sleat. The death of their beloved young 
Chief at so critical a time in the history of his family 
was looked upon as a great calamity by his clan and 

Sir Donald Macdonald was succeeded in the 
representation of the family of Sleat by his uncle, 
James Macdonald of Orinsay, who survived him 
only for a few months. Sir James, besides fighting 
at Killiecrankie, had led the Sleat men at Sheiifi- 
muir, and it is worthy, of notice that, notwithstanding 
liis rebellious conduct on these occasions, he behaved 
with becoming loyalty to King George at the time 
of the Spanish invasion of 1719, which ended in the 


jittiiir of Gleushiel. In the Act of Parliament making 
provision for tlie cliildren of Sir James, it is stated 
tliat he not only refused to join those who were then 
in rebellion, but used his best endeavours to prevent 
Sir Donald's j)eople from joining in the insurrection.^ 
The family inheritance, however, was not restored to 
him, and, before any steps were taken in this respect, 
Sir James died in the autimm of 1720. The affairs 
of the family were greatly involved, deprived as 
they were of their estate. In these circumstances, 
a petition was presented to Parliament in behalf of 
the children of Sir James, when an Act was passed 
authorising the King to make a grant in their 
favour of £10,000 out of the estate of the late Sir 
Donald. Provision was made at the same time 
for the widow and children of Sir Donald.'- Pre- 
parations were now made by the friends of the 
family with the view of acquiring the estate, which 
was advertised for sale, for behoof of the heir-male. 
The wadsetters, to whom the estate was in debt to 
a large extent in sums advanced by them for their 
unredeemed wadsets, l^anded themselves together, 
and, in their own interest as well as " for the 
preservation of the family," as they put it, offered 
to become security for the purchase price. The 
estate being exposed for sale on the 23rd of October, 
1723, Kenneth Mackenzie, Advocate, Edinburgli, 
instructed by tlie wadsetters, purchased in his own 
name the three baronies of Sleat, Troternish, and 
North Uist for the sum of £21,000 sterling. The 
rental of the estate, as surveyed by Sir Peter 
Strachan, was £1550. After deducting the pro- 
vision to tlie families of Sir Donald and Sir James, 
and the debts due to the wadsetters and others, the 

' Sleat Charter Chest. ' Ibi^. 



purchase price of the estate was very nearly 
exhausted, and only £4000 went to the public. In 

1726, a contract of sale was entered into between 
Kenneth Mackenzie and Sir Alexander Macdonald, 
the heir- male, with consent of his curators, whereby 
the whole estate that belonged to Sir Donald Mac- 
donald was sold to Sir Alexander. In February, 

1727, Sir Alexander Macdonald received a Crown 
charter of his lands erecting the whole into a barony 
to be called the Barony of Macdonald.^ 

Sir Alexander Macdonald was a minor when he 
succeeded his father in the representation of the 
family in 1720. Sir James shortly before his death 
appointed as tutors and curators to his son, William 
Macdonald of Borniskittaig, Alexander Macdonald 
of Glenteltin, Donald Macdonald of Sarthill, Donald 
Macleod of Tallisker, and Norman Macleod of Gris- 
ernish. Sir Alexander Macdonald was sent to school 
at Leith in L721, and afterwards to the University of 
St Andrews, which he entered in 1726. During his 
college curriculum at St Andrews, which extended 
over a period of three years, much deference was 
paid to him as a Highland chief, and he kept up an 
establishment befitting his station, which included 
Charles Macarthur, the family piper. The journal 
kept during Sir Alexander's attendance at College 
gives vivid glimpses of the society of the ancient 
academic city. The entertainments given by the 
young chief to the College professors, and others, 
were conducted on a very sumptuous scale, taxing 
the professional capacity of Charles Macarthur to its 
very utmost in the earnest if vain endeavour to please 
the ears of liis critical Fife audience. Sir Alexander 
was made a burgess of St Andrews in 1727. At 

* Sleat Charter Chest. 


intervals between his collet^e sessions, he travelled 
extensively throutrji Highlands and Lowlands, visit- 
ing in turn many of* the families of note in both 
regions.^ On his coming of age, he settled down on 
his property in Skye, and being a man of great tact 
'and ability, he set about vigorously to improve the 
family inheritance. In a memorial relating to the 
management of the property, it is complained that 
the wadsetters are flourishing at the expense of the 
proprietor, are extravagant in their habits, and 
unkind to their sub-tenants. Taking advantage of 
the relations between them and their chief, they are 
generally slow in making payment of their rents. 
They spend far too much money on brandy, tobacco, 
and fine clothes. Sir Alexander is to do all in his 
power to discourage these habits, l)ut he is in the 
'grip of his wadsetters. They had advanced large 
sums of money for their wadsets, and these w^ould take 
some time to redeem. Sir Alexander, however, was 
resolved to relieve the estate of these burdens, and 
free the sub-tenants from the galling yoke of the 
wadsetters, under which they undoubtedly suffered." 
Tn tliis connection it may not be oat of place to 
make a brief reference to an afl'air which caused no 
little stir at the time throughout the Western Isles, 
and to some extent even in the South of Scotland, a 
plut in which, in the estimation of the public, Sir 
Alexander Macdonald was deeply im})licated. The 
real part acted by Sir Alexander in this affair has 
})robably never been told. He was accused of giving 
countenance to the forced emigration of many of 
his own people to the American Colonies. It was 
reported that Norman Macleod, eldest son of 
Donald' Macleod <>f TV-rnera, had bniught a ship 

' Slcjxt Charter Chest. - Ibid. 


to the Isle of Skye— ever since called " Soitheach 
nan Daoine"^ — and that at the head of a rutiian 
band of young men he had captured many men and 
women, and forced them on board with the view of 
transporting them to the American Colonies, and 
selling them there as slaves. It was believed that 
both Sir Alexander and Macleod had connived at, if 
they had not actually given countenance openly to, 
these presumably outrageous proceedings. Lady 
Margaret Macdonald, writing to Justice Clerk 
Milton in 1740, denies warmly that Sir Alexander 
was concerned in any way, act or part, In the affair 
of " Soitheach nan Daolne," nor did he know any- 
thing of " thiss wicked scrape till the ship was gon.'* 
Lady Margaret, very probably, was not in the secret 
of the plot. The real facts of the case may be briefly 
told. The estates of both Sir Alexander Macdonald 
and Macleod had been for several years Infested by 
thieves, and other pests of society, and all efforts to 
extirpate them having failed, the chiefs took counsel 
together, and resolved on the novel. If laudable, 
expedient of shipping them with all possible secrecy 
to the new world. This daring snd difficult task 
was proposed to, and accepted by, Norman Macleod, 
who, at the head of a band of resolute young men, 
chosen by himself, succeeded in forcing on board a 
ship provided for the purpose this superfluous 
population of the Islands. All the parties to the 
transaction being sworn to secrecy, the real facts of 
the case probably never reached the ears of those In 
authority ; but, In any case, no action was taken in 
the matter. " Soitheach nan Daoine," in the course 
of its voyage, was driven by a strong gale on the 
North (Joctst of Ireland and wrecked there. Several 
of the " emigrants " afterwards squatted on the lands 

88 rilK ("LAN' DONALD. 

of the Ecul c)t" Ant rim. So fiir, and no further, was 
Sir Alexander Macdonald implicated in the ati'air of 
" Soitheach nan Daoine." 

Sir Alexander Macdonald's conduct during tlie 
great crisis of the '45 has been criticised with some 
severity by partisans on both sides. Sir Alexander, 
as is well known, refused to join in the rebellion. 
Several reasons may be given to account for the 
attitude he assumed, and the first thing to be con- 
sidered was whether or not the enterprise was to 
succeed. It apj)eared to be utterly hoj)eless. Sir 
Alexander's real attitude towards the Prince's cause 
may be inferred from the answer he gave to young 
Clanranald, whom Charles sent to him to persuade 
him to rise in his favour. There is every reason to 
believe that he spoke sincerely and honestly when 
he told young Clanranald that he wished well to the 
cause, but that seeing the attempt was inopportune, 
the Prince so slenderly attended, and the probability 
of success so remote, he could not support him. 
There was another matter which must have weighed 
with Sir Alexander. He could not well forget the 
favour formerly shown to him by the reigning family 
in restoring him to his estate, and the present 
prospects of the Prince were not such as to tempt 
any level-headed man to stake vast interests u))on 
them. Even Lochiel hesitated, and required the 
assurance of Charles that his estates, or the value of 
them, would be secured to him. Glengarry, Clan- 
ranald, and Lovat ke})t out of it, and sent their 
eldest sons, but Sir Alexander Macdonald had no 
eldest son fit to lead the clan. It has been repeatedly 
stated that Sir Alexander was won over to the 
Hanoverian cause by Forbes of Culloden. Forbes's 
influence with the Highland chiefs has been nmch 


exaggerated. It is as clear as anything can well be 
if Sir Alexander could only have seen his way to 
espouse the cause of the Prince, which was his 
inclination, Forbes, whose sympathies were entirely 
Lowland, would not have influenced him for one 
moment. As it was, Forbes did his best to confirm 
him in the attitude he had decided to take. No 
Highland chief worthy of the name, and especially 
one like Sir Alexander, with Jacobite tendencies 
and Jacobite traditions, would have been guided by 
President Forbes in a matter such as joining or not 
joining the Prince. 

Sir Alexander has been accused of being in the 
Prince's counsels, gaining his confidence, pledging 
himself to support him, and then violating his 
pledge. But Sir Alexander promised to join pro- 
vided the attempt was made with such an auxiliary 
force from abroad, and such necessary supplies of 
money, arms, and stores, as should give the insur- 
gents some chance of success. He refused to join 
when the Prince, without any of the assistance he 
had engaged to him and other Highland chiefs to 
bring, landed in the West of Scotland, against the 
advice of many of his devoted followers, and engaged 
in that rash enterprise which Sir Alexander distinctly 
foresaw would fail for want of means. Had the 
promises made to Sir Alexander been fulfilled, he 
would have adhered to his engagements ; as it was, 
the course he followed was perfectly justified by the 
circumstances. As further evidence of the consistent 
attitude maintained by Sir Alexander, Murray of 
Brousfhton declares that the Prince wrote a letter 
to him the winter preceding his landing desiring his 
assistance. Sir Alexander, in reply, refused to make 
any positive promise, but said that whenever he saw 


a well -concerted scheme he would readily join him. 
" I can say with certainty," Murray further declares, 
" that from that time he came under no further 
ent^agement." It is diflicult to see how, in the face 
of this definite testimony, Murray could afterwards 
say — " I should he sorry to have so bad an opinion 
of mankind as to think any of them capable of 
attemptinf^ an apology for him." 

Donald Koy Macdonald, afterwards an othcer in 
the Prince's army, was at Mugstot with Sir Alex- 
ander when Charles landed on the mainland. Sir 
Alexander, Donald Roy informs Bic-hop Forbes, 
detained him for a month, being all the time in a 
state of suspense about raising his men for the 
Prince. There was little likelihood of Sir Alexander 
hesitating at this stage. Even after the victory of 
Falkirk, when the prospects of the Prince were 
brightest. Sir Alexandei' stood untiinchingly to his 
resolution not to join him. At that time Donald 
Koy Macdonald was sent to Sir Alexander by the 
Prince with a letter subscribed by the chiefs praying 
liini to raise his men immediately and join the 
Prince's army. The written message was not in the 
least likely to suffer by the verbal glosses put upon 
it by the zealous Donald Koy, yet Sir Alexander 
remained firm in his determination to go his own 
way. Donald Roy himself, on iiis way back to the 
Prince's camj), feasted for three days at Kyle on 
King George's beef and President Forbes's Ferin- 
tosh whisky, under the hospitable auspices of Sir 
Alexander and the officers of his independent 

Sir Alexandei- Macdonald's sympathies were 
midoubtedly witii the l^rince, and, as j)roof of this, 
he did what lay in his power to protect him when 


he was a fugitive within lii.s bounds. Charles could 
not possibly Ih'ive escaped if Sir Alexander had 
been anxious to arrest him. On the contiary, he 
encouraged his dependants to facilitate his escape. 
The principal instruments employed in effecting 
his escape were all closely connected with Sir 
Alexander's family, such as Hugh Macdonald of 
Armadale, Hugh Macdonald of Balesliare, Alex- 
ander Macdonald of Kingsburgh, Lady Margaret 
Macdonald, and Flora Macdonald. 

Sir Alexander Macdonald was obliged to do 
something, and he did as little as possible to helj) 
the Government Two inde])endent companies 
raised by him to guard the passes were maintained, 
at least for some time, by himself These were more 
of a hindrance, after all, than a help to the Govern- 
ment, as they were all, officers and men alike, with 
the single exception of Allan Macdonald of Knock, 
in entire symj)athy with the Prince. After the 
Battle of CuUoden, Sir Alexander on several 
occasions ventured to remonstrate with the German 
Butcher, Cumberland, for his own savage cruelty, 
and for the wanton outrages committed in his name 
on many innocent persons, whose one fault was that 
they were of one blood with the rebels. Sir Alex- 
ander did all that lay in his power to mitigate the 
horrors of that dark and doleful time. Yet when he 
died shortly thereafter some Jacobites had no better 
epitaph to commemorate his generosity and their 
own gratitude than this — 

" If hcaTeu be plciised when siuncis cease to sin ; 
If hell be pleased when sinners enter in ; 
If earth be pleased to lose a truckling knave : 
Then all arc pleased — Macdouald's in his grave." 

Sir Alexander Macdonald, on his way to Lontltm 
to wait upon Butcher Cumberland, took suddenly ill 


at Glenelo-, and died there on the 23rd of November, 
174G, greatly lamented by his many friends and 
followers. On the 8th of December he was buried 
with great pomj) and ceremony at Kilmore, in Sleat, 
all the pipers of note in the Isles officiating at the 
obsecjuies. Iletainers and friends of the family from 
all })arts of the Hii^lilands attended. These were 
entertained at Armadale with a hospitality on a 
scale befitting an occasion so important as the burial 
of tlie representative of the ancient and illustrious 
Kings of Innsegall. It may be interesting to know 
that the funeral expenses amounted to the large sum 
of £2G45. Sir Alexander's character may be summed 
up in the words of a highly-intelligent gentleman of 
his own clan, and one who knew him well : — " He 
was a downright honest man, true to his friend and 
firm to his word. By his death we of his clan have 
lost a father and the King a good subject." 

Sir Alexander Macdonald's eldest son and heir, 
Sir James, was a minor only five years old when his 
father died. During his minority his estates and 
the affairs of the family were managed principally 
by Lady Margaret, his mother, a lady of many 
accomplishments, who acted a prominent part in the 
life of the Western Isles, and who was worthy to be 
the mother of so distinguished a son. With Lady 
Margaret were associated in the management of the 
estates, Alexander, Earl of Eglinton ; Alexander 
Mackenzie of Delvin, James Moray of Abercairney, 
Professor Alexander Munro, Edinburgh, and Alex- 
ander Macdonald of Kingsburgh. Sir James 
Macdonald was at a very early age sent to Eton, 
fn »ni which he passed to Oxford in 1759. In both 
i)laccs he had an exce])tional]y distinguished career, 
and gained a reputation for learning and other 


accomplishments which won him early recognition 
from men of talent both in his own country and on 
the Continent. His extraordinary ^ifts attracted 
men of genius and culture wherever he v^ent, while 
his refined manners, no less than his amiable 
disposition, were the admiration of all with whom 
he associated in the high and cultivated circles of 
society. Shortly after leaving Oxford, Sir James 
travelled through many of the countries of Europe 
in tlie company of the Duke of Buccleuch and 
Professor Adam Smith, the well-known author of 
" The Wealth of Nations." He was everywhere 
received witli the utmost respect. At Paris he 
discusses Hume with the French philosophers and 
divides his time between the literati of the city 
and the Court of Louis XV. Dr John Maclean of 
Shulista, himself of considerable reputation as a man 
of learning in the Western Isles, writing to John 
Mackenzie of Del vine at the time of Sir James's 
visit to the Continent, refers to his reception at the 
Court of France. " It m.ust give exceeding joy to 
us all," he says, " to hear that Sir James is parti- 
cularly distinguished at so great a Court as that of 
France ; but what gives me infinite satisfaction is 
that he studies to apply, as much as possible, what- 
ever he sees to the interest of the country and tiie 
happiness of his people." John MacCodrum, too, 
the unlettered bard of North Uist, scanning from 
afar, " amid the melancholy main," watches the 
progress of his patron and sings his tuneful rhyme — 

A' neach a shiulas gacli rioghachd, 
Gheibh do chliu aim am firiiin, 
Eadar Louis na Fraiiigc 's am Piipa. 

It was the custom at that time for gentlemen 
who made the " grand tour" to be furnished with 


introductions to eminent and distinguished fbr- 
eigners, and on tlieir reception by these abroad 
depended veiy largely the consideration and respect 
with which they weie received at home. Young 
wntlemen, therefore, entered on their travels abroad 
with far different views and intentions than prevail 
at the present time. So far from passing their time 
in places of entertainment, and travelling from place 
to place in quest of gross pleasures, they spent it in 
the society of foreign families of taste and dis- 
tinction, amongst whom they were expected to cut 
a creditable figure. So far from approaching the 
tour with feelings of contempt for the foreigner, 
they were taught that Europe as a whole was the 
large school of taste and good manners, and that in 
a wider field than our Island can afford lay the test 
of the success or failure of the education they had 
previously received. 

Sir James Macdonald, on his return from his 
Continental tour, took the management of his 
extensive property into his own hands, to the 
im})rovement of which, as well as to the social and 
material advancement of his people, he devoted 
himself with much energy and ability. Ill health, 
unfortunately, soon stayed his improving hand, and 
the plans which he had devised for the benefit of 
his people were frustrated. To what extent the 
enlifrhtened schemes which Sir James had formed 
for ameliorating the condition of his people took any 
practical sha})e does not appear. The family 
archives fuiJiish no clue as to what the improve- 
ments were which he had contemplated. His ])lans 
were probably never even reduced to writing. The 
young chief undoubtedly deeply interested himself 
in all that concerned the welfare of his people. He 


valued all tliat was l)est In the social system wliich 
had been nourished under the fostering x^h of his 
family. The lano-uaoje and literature of the Gael 
were not to him what they have become loo often 
to Highland chiefs since — things to be despised. 
Though an Oxford bred student, his was too robust 
a personality to be spoiled by an P^nglish education. 
No one took a deeper or more intelligent interest in 
the controversy that raged round the Blind Bard of 
Selma. He was well versed in the lore of the 
Feinne. For hours together he would listen to 
John MacCodrum and other recitei's of Ossianic 
ballads pouring out their wealth of tale and song. 
Such a man, and he a Highland chief of the first 
importance, could hardly fail to commend himself to 
a people so loyal and warm-hearted as the people of 
the Isles. He appreciated the institutions of the 
Gael, and had he been spared he would have been 
foremost in defending them. " Though I can do 
little," he writes Dr Blair of Edinburgh, '•' nothing 
shall be wanting to fight Ossian's cause that lies in 
my power." 

Shortly after lie came of age, Sir James Mac- 
donald, as an earnest of his appreciation of native 
talent, appointed John MacCodrum as Ijis family 
bard in succession to Duncan McBury, in Troter- 
nish, the last family bard. The song composed by 
MacCodrum on his appointment as laureate in 
praise of Sir James is struck in a lofty key, and 
fully justifies his patron's selection of him for that 
office. The emoluments bestowed by Sir James on 
his bard amounted to the annual sum of £2 os, with 
5 bolls of meal, 5 stones of cljeese, and a croft renX 
free for life. 


Sir James Macdonakl, tlioiii^h a man of hand- 
some appearance, began early in life to show 
symptoms of a delicate constitnt ion, not improved, 
it may he snrmistMl, hy his studious hahits. An 
accident which hefell him while on a visit to North 
Uist in 17G4 so undermined his delicate frame that 
he was ohlioed finally to seek refuge in a warm 
climate abroad. While out shooting with a party 
of Skye and Uist gentlemen in his own forest of 
Mointeachmhor, in North Uist, Sir James was shot 
in the leg through the accidental discharge of 
Colonel Macleod of Talisker's gun. He was at once 
carried across the hill to the house of his cousin, 
Ewen Macdonakl of Vallay, where he was attended 
by Neil Beaton, surgeon, in North Uist. The 
North Uist people showed their warm attachment 
to Sir James on this occasion in a remarkable way. 
Hearinor exatr<rerated accounts of the accident, and 
suspecting foul play, they proceeded in a body to 
Vallay and demanded the life, no less, of Colonel 
Macleod of Talisker. Ewen Macdonald of Vallay, 
and the other gentlemen of Sir James's party, 
laboured in vain to convince them of the entire 
innocence of Colonel Macleod of any intention to 
injure Sir James. They would not be satisfied until 
Sir James himself was brought in a blanket to the 
window of his room to assure them that no blame 
was to be attached to Colonel Macleod, and that 
the affair was entirely the result of an accident. On 
i)eing assured that the accident was a slight one, 
and that Sir James would soon l)e well again, the 
North Uist men, after partaking of co})ious libations 
of* Ferintosh," found their way home the best way 
tliey could. Sir James was confined at Vallay for a 
coP-siderable time, during which Ewi-n Macdonald 



beguiled the tedium of the sick chamhei' l)y com- 
posing several j)i(>haireach (Is and playing them with 
admirable taste on the bag-pipe. Two of thtse 
have been preserved — " Ciimha na Coise," Mnd 
"Sir James Macdonald of the Isles's Salute," both 
of which are I'eckoned by competent judges to be 
excellent tunes. 

The remainder of Sir James Macdonald's life may 
be briefly told. In the winter of 1765 the state of 
his health, which had been precarious for some time, 
obliged him to seek relief from the severe climate of 
his own country in the more .cfenial air of the South 
of Italy. His illness at length taking a serious turn, 
he found his way to Rome, where he obtained the 
best medical skill which the city could aflbrd. He, 
however, gradually grew worse, and, after suffering 
nuich pain, borne with great resignation and forti- 
tude, he died at Rome on the 26th of July, 1766, in 
the 25th year of his age. During his stay in Rome, 
the most distinguished members of the Papal Court 
vied with each other in their respectful attentions 
to the invalid Chief, and after his death, 
" notwithstanding the difference of religion, such 
extraordinary honours were paid to his memory as 
had never graced that of any other Biitish subject 
since the death of Sir Philip Sydney." During his 
illness the Pope himself sent a messenger daily to 
enquire for him, and when he died he commanded 
that he should be buried in consecrated ground and 
accorded a public funeral. Cardinal Piccolomini 
composed a Latin elegy in memory of Sir James. 
The death of Sir James Macdonald was nuich 
lamented by his family and people in the Isles, who, 
with good reason, looked upon it as the greatest 
calamity that could happen to them. Dr John 



Maclean of Shulista, writing to John Mackenzie of 
Delvine on receivinor the news of Sir James's death, 
gives expression to feehngs which all experienced at 
the time. "Your letter," he writes, "brinoingthe sad 
accounts of Sir James Macdonald's d(^atli T received 
in course of last post. What a disappointment 
after the great happiness which we promised our 
selves by his return, poor, unfortunate people tha^ 
we are, and very few of us sensible of the loss we 
have suftered. The youngest of us will never see a 
person of a warmer heart, better principles, or more 
inclined to do all the good in his power. It is 
natural, indeed, for me to wish all his family \vell, 
hut sure I am that T shall never see any man for 
whom I can have such a strong attachment, as I do 
not expect to be acquainted with such s person all 
the days of my life." Many similar tributes have 
been paid to the memory of Sir James Macdonald, 
both by his own countrymen and by distinguished 
foreigners, and all agree in according to him the 
distinction of havinof l)een. in the lanofuag-e of 
General Stewart of Garth. " one of the most 
accomplished men of his own or almost of anv 
other country." For his learning and mam' 
accomplishments, Sir James is usually styled "The 
Scottish Marcellus." 

Lady Margaret Macdonald, " in testimony of her 
love and the constant tenderness and affection which, 
even to his last moments, he showed for her," erected 
a beautiful monument to the memory of her son in 
the Parish Church of Sleat, bearing a suitable inscrip- 
tion written by his college friend, Lord Lyttleton. 
A more lasting monument by far was that raised in 
the lofty rhyme of John MacCodrum, the peasant 
bard of North Uist, whose beautiful elegy in memory 


of bis patron Is surpassed by few such compositions 
in any lanojuage. 

Sir James Macdonald was succeeded in the 
representation of the family and in the estates by 
his brother, Alexander. Sir Alexander was educated 
at Eton and in the University of St Andrews, and 
had a distinguished career at both places. In 1761, 
he received a commission in tbe Coldstream Guards, 
but be retired from the army on his succession t\> 
the property. To his new duties as a landed pro- 
prietor Sir Alexander devoted bimself with much 
energy and ability. He took the entii'e manage- 
ment of his estates upon himself, and held the reins 
with a very firm hand. He made no attempt to 
follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. He 
appears to have been a man of an altogether 
different temperament from Sir James. His 
sympathies and tastes were, if not wholly English, 
at least entirely anti-Celtic. For nothing dis- 
tinctively Highland did this chief care. In his 
relations with his tenants he looked upon him- 
self simply as a landlord, and in no sense as the 
chief of a clan, unless Indeed that position was to 
be held as merely honorary and conve3'^ing a certain 
dignity to the holder of It. So far as that dignity 
bestowed any social advantage In England, or any- 
where out of the Highlands, did Sn- Alexander 
value It and no further. He never made the least 
attempt to perform any of the duties of chiefshlp. 
No other than those of strictly commercial relations 
can by an}^ Ingenuity be discovered as existing 
between him and his clan. At the very outset of 
his career he made himself obnoxious by raising the 
rents of his principal tenants, all except those who 
held their lands by wadset. He was no less exacting 


with his smaller tenants. Many of these were 
evicted from their holdings, while several of the 
tacksmen, both in Skye and in Uist, were obliged 
to give up their leases and emigrate. When Bos- 
well, in cc»mpnny with Dr Samuel Johnson, visited 
the Isle of Skye in 177.S, he found an emigrant ship 
at Portree ready to carry awav Sir Alexander's tacks- 
men and their families. Boswell discovered that Sir 
Alexander was considered anything but an ideal chief; 
he even accuses him of want of hospitality when he 
and the great lexicographer visited him at Armadale. 
Boswell afterwards got Into considerable trouble 
over statements he made, both in public and in 
private, reflecting on Sir Alexander's social char- 
acter, and a duel was averted at the eleventh hour 
by the ample apology which the Prince of Biog- 
raphers made to the " English-bred Chieftain." 

In 1776, Sir Alexander Macdonald was created a 
peer of Ireland by the style and title of Lord 
Macdonald of Sleat. In the followlncr year he 
offered to raise a regiment on his estates in the Isles 
for His Majesty's service, and his offer was accepted 
by the Government. Letters of service were 
accordlnglv trranted to him. and the reo-Iment was 
finally embodied in March, 1778, and inspected by 
General Skene at Inverness. The total strength of 
the regiment, which was named the 76th, or 
Macdonald's Highlanders, was 1086 men, 750 of 
whom were raised l)y Lord Macdonald In Skye and 
North Uist. His lordship was offered the command 
of the regiment, but he declined it, and recom- 
mended John Macdonell of Lochgarry for the post. 
From Inverness the regiment removed to Fort 
George, where it remained for a year under the 
connnand of Major Donaldson. In the spring of 


1779, the regiment embarked for New York, and 
after serving with distinction in the American War, 
it returned home and was disbanded at Stirling in 
March, 1784. 

Lord Macdonald, wlio was keenly interested in 
politics, became a candidate in 1782 for the repre- 
sentation of Inverness-shire in Parliament, but he 
was not successful in secui-ing the seat. He con- 
tinued, however, to take an active interest in the 
affairs of the county, and in 1794 he raised three 
volunteer companies in Skye and Uist for the 
defence of the country and the relief of the regular 
army. Lord Macdonald was a highly cultured and 
accomplished gentleman, and though unpopular in 
the Isles on account of his anti- Celtic tendencies and 
hard dealings as a landlord, he was respected for his 
high character, tact, and business capacity. He 
was reckoned, among his other accomplishments, 
one of the best amateur players on the violin of his 
day. He composed several pieces of music for this 
instrument, some of which have been very popular 
in the Western Isles, such as " Lord Macdonald 's 
Keel,'' "Mrs Mackinnon of Corry,'' and "Mrs 
Macleod ot Ellanreoch." 

Lord Macdonald died on the 12th of September, 
1795, a comparatively young man, and was succeeded 
by his eldest son, Alexander Wentworth, as second 
lord. This Chief, like his father, was educated at 
Eton and St Andrews, and was kind, generous, and 
amiable. Being naturally shy, and of a retired 
disposition, he associated but little witli his people 
in the Isles, though the relations between him and 
his tenants were of the most cordial kind. Anything 
that had for its object the comfort and advancement 
of his tenantry had his hearty support. Tliere is 


only one sense in which Lord Macdonald is to be 
held responsible tor the evictions which took place 
in his time in Skye and Uist. He should have 
made it impossible for the mana^'ers of his property 
to evict tenants without his knowledge and consent. 
Lord Macdonald knew notliing of the disgraceful 
evictions of Clachan and others in North Uist until 
the evicted, who were the most prosperous tenants 
on the estate, had been already driven out of the 
country. Lord Macdonald, it should be added, 
lived for the most part in Eiigland, and sometimes 

In 1798 Lord Macdonald received permission 
from King George III. to raise for His Majesty's 
service a regiment on his estates in the Isles. The 
Islanders were somewhat slow in responding to the 
call to arms on this occasion. Very considerable 
pressure, indeed, was brought to bear upon them 
before the full complement of men required was 
obtained. The Highlanders as a body never enlisted 
willingly, though when they did take up arms they 
fought like heroes. " The Ilegiment of the Isles," 
as it was very appropriately called, was embodied at 
Inverness, and inspected there by General Leith- 
Hay on June 4th, 1799. It saw no active service, 
and was reduced at Fort-George in July, 1802. 

Lord Macdonald spent Jarge sums in improve- 
ments on his estates, and erected the fine mansion 
house of Armadale, in the parish of Sleat, the 
principal residence of his family. His lordship died 
unmarried, in London, on the 19th June, 1824, when 
he was succeeded by his brother, Godfrey. 

Godfrey, third Lord Macdonald, entered the 
army in 1794, saw a good deal of service, and 
finally attained the rank of Lieutenant-General. 



Very soon after his succession to 1:,he family 
honours and estates, he was dragged into a some- 
what exciting controversy with Glengarry over the 
chiefship of the clan. The aggressor, it need hardly 
be said, was Glengarr}^ A fierce epistolary corres- 
pondence took place between them, both privately 
and in the newspapers. The result might have 
been disastrous to one or both. The controversy 
at length came to such a height that Lord Mac- 
donald had all but called Glengarry " out," when 
friends on both sides interfered, and the dreaded 
duel was averted. In 1826 Lord Macdonald stood 
as a Parliamentary candidate for Inverness-shire, 
but was defeated, Charles Gi'ant of Glenelg carrying 
the seat by a large majority. Lord Macdonald died 
on the 12th of October, 1832, and was succeeded by 
his son, Godfrey William, as fourth lord. Large 
portions of the family inheritance were sold by this 
Chief, including North Uist, and Kilmuir in Troter- 
nish, with its ancient Castle of Duntulm. He 
died in 1863, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 
Somerled, as fifth lord, who was succeeded in 1874 
by his brother, Ronald Archibald, the present peer. 




Fall of lordship of Isles. — Feudal and Celtic tenures. — Ik»ud of 
Kindred. — Differentiation of ottices. — Legal system.— The 
Cinn-Tigbc ond their holdings. — The tribe. — Agricultiuc. — 
Trading. — Fishing. — Arms and clothing. — .Statutes of 
I Columkill.^ — Modern Tacksman emerging. — Incidence of 
Cowdeicheis and Calpes. — Social state of chiefr<. — Hunting 
and arms. — Restriction on chiefs' retainers, (Jalleys, Arms, 
unsuccessfully attempted. — Hereditary and other ofhces. — 
Marischall-tighe, Cup-bearer, Bard, Harper, Piper, Physician, 
Armourer, Miller. — Celtic customs. — Hanrlfasting. — Marriage 
contracts. — Fosterage.— Rise of modern tenures. — Tacksmen. 
— Wadsetters. — Feu-farmers. — Steclbow tenants. — Small 
tenants. — Introduction of Kelp. — Of the potato. — Educa- 
tional conditi<jn of Isles in 16th century. — Donald Dubhs 
barons. — (iaelic culture. — Carsewell's prayer-book. — Legen- 
dary lore. — Educational ])olicy of Government. — Culture 
among Tacksmen. — Attitude of Clans to crown. — Mistaken 
policy of appointing Lieutenants. — Change of Islesmcu's 
attitude explained. — Abolition of Heritable Jurisdictions — 
L)isarniing and unclothing Acts. — l)issolution of Clans.— 
Rise in land. — Commercial policy of chiefs. — Emigration. — 
New townships on Clunranald Estates. — Formation of Fencible 
Regiments in the Isles. 

After the fall of tlie lordship of the Isles and the 
failure of the last efforts to restore it, the various 
tribes witliin the Clan Donald confederacy came at 
unce into liistorical ])roniinence. What occurred on 
the mainland in tin* case of the ancient Mor- 
niaordoms is now repeated in the Isles. The Clan 
Donald families while under the shield of the parent 
house were larjjfelv inHuenced hv Celtic ideals, and 


the various attempts to restore the fallen dynasty 
sprang- from reluctance to come under a difterent 
and alien type of culture. After the fall of tlu* 
House of Isla the social and political life of thf 
great oii'shoots were modelled on the parent stem. 
During the greater part of the IGth century the 
Clan Donald North were destitute of regular titles, 
and their teniu'e of the lands they occupied was less 
upon the system of the feudal charter and more upon 
the ])atriarchal principle of '"duchas" or " kyndness" 
as it was styled in the low^land tongue of those 
times. It is clearly stated in the charter to Donald 
Gorme of Sleat in 1597 that, owiup' to troublous 
times, the titles and evidents w^ere destroyed, whicli 
means that from the time of John, the son of Hugh, 
who alienated the estates about the end of the 
15th century, the family of Sleat had no feudal 
tenure, while in the case of Clanranald, tliough John 
Moydartach got a charter in 1532, it was annulled 
ten years later. Hence, during a great part of the 
16th century, both these great houses and their 
Clans lived their own life and fulfilled their own 
ideals according to the unwritten laws ol the 
ancient tribal system which was at the basis of 
their political existence. 

Of course we are not to suppose that feudalism 
was entirely absent eitlier from the lordship of the 
Isles or the subordinate families, as in the case of 
the former certain oblifrations of service were con- 
ditions of holding land from the Crown. Further, 
these two types of culture possess a good deal of 
superficial similaritv. There was, however, this 
radical distinction between them. The feudal 
system was maintained on the principle of service, 
Ward and Relief and othei" casualties payable by 


the vassal to the superior. The Clan system was 
maintained on the principle of kin or blood relation - 
shi)). and the interests of one were the interests of 
;ill. Ill one respect the two were alike, and in the 
course of ages showed a tendency to coalesce, 
namely, that the feudal baron, as well as the High- 
land chief, exercised an hereditary jurisdiction, and 
exacted service from their vassals. Beneath the 
general resemblance the difterences of organisation 
were deep and marked, and proceeded on principles 
radically opposed. 

Despite the power of feudalism and the frequent 
absence of legal charters during the 16tli century, 
the Clan Donald adhered to their position, and they 
did so on the principle with which the}'' were most 
I'amiliar : they occupied their " kindly rowmes " 
just because it had been the land of their kith and 
kin for generations. This, in f\ict, was the claim 
advanced by Donald Gorme Mor, and admitted by 
the Crown authorities in 1597. The Chief and his 
Clan — Tuath and Tighearn — were connected by 
nature's bond of kindred which, unlike the feudal 
bond, was incapable of dissolution. Both were alike 
knitted to the soil, and no Government attempted 
so revolutionary a measure as to uproot or dissolve 
the social organism. Thus it was that, despite 
Crown Charters to the family of Sleat for lands in 
Benbscula and South Uist, and to the Macleods of 
Dunvegan for the lands of Sleat. Trotternish, and 
North Uist, neither the one nor the other ever 
gained real possession as against the Clanranald on 
the one hand or the Clan Uisdein on the other. 
The Gaelic principle asserted itself triumphantly in 
the face of feudal titles. 


Primogeniture was a cardinal tenet of feudalism. 
yet in the 16th century we find it again and again 
broken throuo-h, the feudal heir beino- set aside for 
one more acceptable to the community. Questions 
of legitimacy or the reverse were not too critically 
scanned. If the claimant to the chiefship was brave 
and princely and of the blood of the nobility, he met 
the necessities of the case, and secured the con- 
fidence and safety of the Clan. In the families of 
Clanranald and Keppocli the feudal principle of 
succession was repeatedly broken through. We 
dwell on these well-known facts simply to illustrate 
our contention that the predominant element in the 
social life of the Clan Donald was Celtic in the 
16th century, and that, although their position was 
feudally precarious, their occupancy was practically 

The occupancy of land among Celtic peoples in 
early times being on the principle of comnunial 
rather than individual or priv^ate ownership, the 
relation of the heads of families or tribes to the land 
was official, the Mormaors being greater and Maors 
or Thanes lesser officers. This principle we' find in 
later time^ in those bailiaries or Stewartries which 
afterward developed into actual proprietorship. All 
the power was originally vested in the head of the 
I'ace, but offices in time became differentiated and 
transmitted on the hereditary principle which so 
deeply coloured the entire Celtic organisation. The 
affairs of clans were administered by a Court or 
Mod composed of assessors or jurors, consisting of 
the heads of families, like the elders of the Israel- 
itish tribes, of a judge, deemster, or bi'eitheanih. for 
whom a portion of land was hereditarily provided, 
and in later times a clerk of court, who kept a 


record of the business. So much akin to this was 
the baron and his court, with his power of pit and 
ij^allows -the capital punishment of drowning and 
hanging-- — that the two systems easily amalgamated. 

A com})lete legal system existed under the lord- 
ship of the Isles with a su})reme court and a series 
of inferior judicatoiies. In the charter by Angus 
Og to the Abbey of lona in 1485, we find the name 
of Hulialmiis, the " Chief Judge of the Isles, as 
witnessing the deed, and the presence of such an 
official in the entourage of the Master of the Isles is 
both interestinii" and suiiiiestive. Gaelic Courts of 
Assize were held on hillocks to make them more 
imposing in the })eople's sight. These were the 
moothills or gallows hills, but it does not appear that 
hanging or drowning, prescribed by feudal custom, 
was invariably the mode of doing away with 
criminals followed by the island chiefs even in 
feudal times. In the Parish of Killean. district of 
Kintyre, the ancient territory of Clan Iain Mhoir, 
there is Dioi Dotnhnuill, a fort very strongly posted 
on the top of an isolated rocky mound of consider- 
able height. Here, according to the traditions of 
Kintyre. the ancient lords of Dunnyveg held their 
courts of justice, and criminals condemned to death 
were hurled from the top of the Dun and despatched 
by executioners at the foot. 

It is oIdvIous from the foreiiioint; considerations 
that the heads of the clans occupied the double 
capacity <>f chiefs and barons, and that Celtic- 
customs and usages prevailed in the practical 
a<lministration of the feudal law. Their legal courts 
were not conducted on the Lowland model, but 
entirely as the chiefs and their advisers thought 
proper, and they exercised both legislative and 


judicial functions. They enacted statutes fui- the 
remilation of morals and the nianaefenient of all 
kinds of estate business, while the criminal juris- 
diction seems to have been carefully exercised, and 
its decisions, whicli were accepted as just, were 
usually received without a muiinur. Dnrino- the 
16th and a tjreat part of the J 7th centuries the 
statutes and dacisions of these Courts were seldom 
if at all reduced to writing, and the code ajjpears to 
have been transmitted in the traditional form char- 
acteristic of Celtic custom. Amid the invasion hv 
feudalism of the Celtic system, the latter preserved 
its essential featvu^es. Apart from any position the 
chief might have as landowner, the clan owed him 
loyalty as the head of their race, and the confidence 
they reposed in him was seldom misplaced. But 
his rule was neither arbitrary nor despotic, and 
there were times when stern necessity compelled his 
deposition, such as in the case of Ranald Gallda of 
Clanranald and Iain Aluinn of Kei)})och, to which 
reference has already been made in another con- 

The modern tacksman holding from the chief by 
a written instrument of tenure fulfilling certain 
duties and enjoying certain privileges, is little if at 
all in record evidence during the 16th century. 
We know, however, that when this class appears in 
documentary history they do so as kinsmen of the 
chief, and consecpiently we conclude that they were 
part of the social system when there is little or no 
record of their existence. They were the Cinn- 
fighe, nobles or gentry of the clan, who were styled 
'■ Ogtieni"' or " lesser lords" in more primitive stages 
of Gaelic society. In 1596 Donald Gorme of Sleat 
received from James VI. a letter of Tack for the 


lands of" Trotternlsh 'occupied by him and his sub- 
tenants." These sub-tenants were, for one thini(, the 
class afterwards described at Wadsetters and Tacks- 
men, the gentry of the Clan Uisdein. Holdings 
under the chiefs were not always though they were 
nearly always confinefl to the chiefs own blood. In 
Skye there were septs and tribes in occupation long 
before the Clan Uisdein became a numerous com- 
munity, and we find Nicolsons, Maci[ueens, and 
Martins in the position of Tacksmen in pretty early 
times. In the Island of North Uist the Maccpieens 
are said to ha ye had a yerbal tack from the lords of 
the soil of the lands of Orin.say and others ex})ressed 
in the words " Fhad "s a ])hios baine aig boin duibh 
no Cnogaire Mhic Cuinn na bhun, ' a tenure which 
was extended in more modern forms early in the 
1 7th century. 

The position of the Tnath or Commonalty of the 
Clan Donald in the latter half of the IGth century 
is at least as difHcult to detennine as that of the 
int«»'mediate class of Tacksman, though they were 
doubtless, under the term "sub-tenants." included 
in Donald (iorme's ( 'barter of IdDG. Un the prin- 
ciple of kindred by which all belonging to the same 
race as the chief had a position un the land, the 
Commonalty had certain rights of their own, though were .subordinate to of the gentry. 
How foreign .septs came into the comnnniity and 
priyileges of clans alien to them in blood is illus- 
trated by a certain class of bonds of manrent which 
form so important a feature in the political life of 
the ancient Gael. The Bonrl of Claim Domhnuill 
Rialf/iftirh to Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat in IG.S2 
is but a specimen of many similar lx)nds -probably 
unwritten — which would haye been forme<l in 


previous generations between the native men of 
Skye — the earher inhabitants of the ishind— and 
the chiefs of Clan Uisdein, who entered into elective 
occupation in the first half of the Kith century. 
Tradition says that the CI ami DomhnuUI Riahliaich 
were a fannly of hereditary bards to the Macleods 
of Dunveofan, and that the Macleod chief, havino- 
for some reason dismissed Mac-dr/ii/lc-RiahJirdch, 
Macdonald of Sleat received him ;ind his sept, 
giving them lands on the farm of Kilmorey in 
Trotternish, which for long — perha})s to this day — 
retains the name of Baile ^fhi(■ (iJiiJle Rinh/inich. 
It was the ancient principle of kindred as the root 
idea of Gaelic society which rendered this system of 
Bonds of manrcnt necessary in the case of tribes 
seeking the protection of a more poweiful clan 

Thr* conditions of life among tlie Tnath or 
peasantry of the Isles after 1545 are not easily 
ascertained. The oldest system of cultivation that 
is known to have prevailed may throw light upon 
the subject. This was termed the Runrig system. 
Under this arrangement there was no individual or 
isolated tenure, a feature that was germane to the 
principles of C4aelic society. The peasantry lived in 
a village or township, and the surrounding lands 
and pasture were held, the latter in connnon. and 
the former — the cultivated part — was divided every 
year, under the supervision of a village otHcer styled 
maor, but, in later times, constable. 1 liis system — 
which is akin to the villein tenure of Saxon 
England — is probably a survival of the ancient 
tribeland customs — the fearwn) tuatha of early 
Celtic Scotland. 


lu the 16tli century agiiculture in the Isles was 
doubtless of a very primitive description. Hoot 
crops were unknown, and jjrobably the c'ls-chroin, 
or crooked spade, does not date iVoni a period 
anterior to the introduction of the jiotato into the 
Isles, in the 18th century, as it is unsuited to any 
other kind of culture. A primitive kind of spade, 
however, has survived in the Outer Hebrides down 
to the latter hvilf of the 18th century, and has been 
founrl in St Kilda in the IDth, called the ceib. The 
St Kildian. when leaving his tillage for the capture 
of the fidmar, was wont to say " Bhuam a cheib 's far 
mo rib," leaving the agricultural implement for the 
rope, by which, in his harrying of wild fowl, he was 
suspended over the rocks. Two ploughs were in use 
in the Isles in those early times — one to make an 
incision in the ground, to be followed by the plough- 
share, which turned the furrow. The former was 
called crann msJaidli. The idea of combining the 
ploughshare and the coulter in one implement had 
apparently not dawned on the agricultural mind 
of that age — ^or perhaps the roughness of the 
ground that used to be cultivated may account 
for the division of labour. Methods of manuring 
were equally primitive. The old verses composed in 
one district of Skye to satirize another doubtless 
conveyed a fair idea of the ancient modes o^ enriching 
mother earth : — 

'• Am fii.san a bh'ac' ami an Uige 
Cha 'n fhaca mi riamh 'nam dliutliaich 
(iaV)hail dlie 'n bhat' air mo chulthaobli 
'S smiiid as a" cbliahh luathadli." 

The primitive system lately prevalent in the 
Isle of Lewis — reaping tlx^ coin bv iiprf»oting. and 


thatching the houses with the straw not used hy 
the bestial, to be appHed to the ground in some 

future spring when saturated with peat reek 

prevailed in the lordship of the Isles over three 
hundred years ago. This is evidenced by a verse of 
a song composed by his foster-mother to Sir Donald 
Macdonald, hrst baronet of Sleat : — 

" Ge lionmhor dris air an draighionn 
No sguab clieaim-bhuidh' air achadh foghair, 
No sop seann todhair air ceann taighe, 
Tha 'n cuirt Dhomnuill Sgiath 'us claidheamli." 

In view of the great strides that modern civiliza- 
tion has made, we are apt to picture too darkly 
the social conditions of those bygone times. The 
necessaries of life and some of its comforts were 
largely produced in the Isles. They had cattle, and 
sheep, and goats, hardy breeds, easily reared, and 
before there was much demand for stock in Lowland 
markets their flesh was used for home consumption. 
They grew their own wool and flax, and both were 
manufactured within their own community, while 
they also produced, tanned, and manufactured their 
own leather. Before the days of large sheep farms 
and deer forests much more land was cultivated and 
corn raised than now. and, as the great industrial 
centres had not arisen to raise the price of labour, 
by increasing the demand for it, the land could l)e 
wrought with the minimum of expense. Hence 
land that would not now pay a fraction of the cost 
of tillage could then be profitably cultivated, the 
food it produced, though small, being valuable in 
proportion co the labour, which was infinitesimal 
in market value. Rent, in the modern sense, was 
unknown, but various casualties were paid in kind. 



In ordiiiaiv years the produce of the land was quite 
sufficient to supply the wants of the people, while 
the spoils of the chase and the products of river and 
sea increased the means of subsistence. Trading 
was also carried on in marketable commodities with 
the South, the principal items of exportation beino- 
horses, cows, sheep, goats, hides, and dairy produce. 
Attempts were sometimes made to int«nrupt this 
trading- with the South, for in 1 odd a proclamation 
was issued bv the Privy Council prohibiting any 
molestation of the Highlanders resorting to markets 
in the J^owlands. There were fairs held by license 
from the Crown at different centres in the Isles, the 
principal market being held at Portree, and, money 
being scarce throughout the country, various com- 
modities were taken in exchange for the cattle and 
other native products. 

During the latter half of the 16th century the 
fishing industry was a source of considerable wealth, 
not only to the islanders themselves, but to the rest 
of the country, as well as to the Crown. Subjects 
of foreign nations were prohibited from tishing in 
the Island seas, but men from other parts of Scot- 
land were permitted to do so on payment to the 
Heritors of small dues for ground anchorage. Loch- 
maddy, in North Uist, was the principal centre of 
the herring fishing in the Outer Islands for at least 
a hundred yeais from the middle of the IGth century. 
It is on record that the chiefs and people of the Isles 
showed much unfriendliness towards the Southern 
burgesses who came to fish in their lochs, and that 
they manifested much greater |)artiality to foreigners, 
both Dutch and French, than to the " slayers of 
herring"' who came from the Lowlands of Scotland. 


There was, no doubt, a dark side to the jjicture 
of the "good old times." Bad seasons would ukmu 
a half-starving population, and would, doubtless, 
incite many a creach and S])ulzie. Disease son\e- 
times attacked the flocks and herds, and reduced 
whole districts fr(>m comparative affluence to poverty. 
Medical skill was in its infancy, sanitary science was 
unknown, and the ravages of smallpox and other 
epidemics at certain periods decimated the ])opula- 
tion. This, indeed, explains what hap])ened to the 
surplus population, for which in those days there 
was no outlet but the gates of death. 

So much has l3een written elsewhei'e as to the 
clothing and arms of the Highlanders in the 1 6th 
century that the subject need not be enlarged on 
here. It is interesting, however, to be able lo 
verify from the poetical traditions of the clan some- 
thing at least of what historical writers and records 
have set forth in disproof of the view that the Gael 
of that age was a naked or semi-naked savage. 
Donald Macdonald, the famous warrior and the hero 
of the battle of Carinish, was a poet as well as 
soldier, and flourished c. 1570-1630. In a song or 
lullaby composed in his old age to a grandson, he 
says : — 

" 'S mi thug na tri seoid dha t/ athair 
Clogad 'us luireach 'us claidheamh." 

These tin-ee, the helmet and coat of mail, as well as 
the sword, were worn by the soldiery as well as the 
gentry, to which latter of course the bard belonged. 
This fact is proved, among other instances, by the 
slaughter of Lennox, which took place in 1603, 
when 400 freebooters, of whom Clan Iain Abrich 
formed a lai'ge contingent, came armed with pistols, 


murriones. coats of mail, &c. It is siiiiilaily proved 
that the trews were much more frequently worn 
than is generally supposed, ibr in a song composed 
not long after 1600, describnig the grandeur of Sir 
Donald Gorme's castle, we find the couplet — 

" 'S giir liouuihor triubhas 
Saoithreach seang ami." 

The early years of the 17th century witnessed 
much activity on the part of the Scottish Govern- 
ment in relation to the Isles. After several abortive 
attempts to bring the Islesmen into line with Low- 
land Scotland, and after exasperating the chiefs by 
Lord Ochiltree's kidnapping expedition, at last a 
survey of the Lsle« by Bishop Knox became the 
basis of reforms afterwards embodied in the Statutes 
of I Columkill. The proposed reforms, in so far as 
they were directed against ignorance, immorality, 
and intemperance, were no doubt needful and salu- 
tary, but in common with many other schemes for 
the amelioration of the Highlands, they displayed 
an utter want of sympathy with, as well as ignorance 
of, the social system which it was intended to 
improve. The position of the Clanranald family 
illustrates, particularly, in one direction, the rise of 
the modern Tacksman, brought about by the oper- 
ation of the legislation of T Columkill. In 1610 
Donald of Clanranald took out infeltments, and the 
same year had to find caution for observing the 
regulations imposed by tlie Crown upon its island 
vassals. One of these was the obligation of selling 
or letting his lands for fixed duties and to exact no 
more. By this means the Tacksman, from occu- 
pying his lands according to the immemorial law of 
kinship paying the ancient casualties of calpes 


cowdeicheis and others, begins to hold by tack and 
assedation from his chief. The chief was to forbear 
the taking cowdeicheis and presents, but this ordin- 
ance, like many other prohibitions and impositions, 
was more honoured in the breach than in the 
observance. About twelve years afterwards Sir 
Donald's successor, in a tack to his uncle, the Parson 
of Island Finnan, inserts a provision that he- — tlie 
superior — sliould liave a right to " cowdeicheis," that 
is, one night's meat and entertainment, the word 
being a corruption of cuid oidhche, or night's 
portion. This casualty was the Highland etpiivalent 
of coign and livery — entertainment for man and 
beast — ^to be met with in Irish Records, but of 
which there is no parallel among the Cymric. It 
was paid from very early times by the vassal to the 
superior, and no doubt gave rise to the following 
incident, handed down in island tradition. A Lord 
of the Isles once sojourned with MacNeill of Barra, 
who was of course tributary to Ard Flath hiiisa- 
GalL Kismul ('astle was apparently unprepared 
for such an invasion as a visit from the Island Lord 
and his retainers involved, and it a certain stage of 
the entertainment the wine-cup showed symptoms 
of drought. Whereupon Macd^nald, who, like 
many of his race possessed poetic gifts, indulged in 
the following' clevei' lines : — 

" S' mithich dhuiun a uis 'bhi tria 
A BaiTaidh chrion wach 'eil pailt 
Tha iia aligean ag innse' sgcul 
Gu bheil Claim 'Ic Neill nan aire 
Theirear Tighearu ri Mac Neill 
Theii'ear iasg ri« an iasg bheag 
Theirear nead ri seid a gheoigh 
'S nead an fhionnain fbeoir ge beag." 


Til the tuck to the parson of Island Finnan, this 
casualty was let'erred to as " ane nichteis meit or 
Cuddyche to me, niy household and servandis anes 
ilk yeir," while the lessee was forbidden to take 
forcibly meat or ilrink or other entertainment from 
any Clanranald tenants except he was storm-stayed 
anywhere, in which case he was to take from his 
own nearest tenants within the lands of Derrilea 
and others set in lack at the utmost three nitdits" 
meat. This form of obligation, which was evidently 
exacted from all classes of tenants, must have been 
occasionally oppressive, and it was with the view of 
obviating its necessity that the Statutes of I Colum- 
kill laid upon the chiefs of the Isles the duty of 
buildino and maintaining inns and places of enter- 

The incidence of the " calp." " herezeld," or each 
fuinu. was in early times the symbol of dependence 
paid by the native man to his lord. But in later 
ages it was exacted by the chief from his vassals. 
On the death o'' a tenant the best horse had to be 
given ovei-. The custom was forbidden by law in 
1<>I7. but Celtic customs die hard, and in a marriage 
contract of 1710 the wife, if she survived her 
husband, would, among other gear, obtain the 
second best horse he possessed, clearly imi)lying that 
the best horse went to the chief The records of the 
early years of the 17th century help to throw some 
light upon the social life of the chiefs and gentry of 
the Isles. It is clear that their manner of living 
was highly luxurious for those days, and that they 
kept high state in their great strongholds. ))erched 
upon the impregnable rocks of their country. That 
the men of the South looked on them with an 
envious eye is evidnit fi-oni the fact that the Privy 


r^ouncil sought to limit their potations to ;i iiiiuinnim 
quantity of wine. The allowance of 8 tun to Clan- 
ranald was evidently far short of the (quantity 
formerly consumed in the household of that chief 
Doubt may be expressed as to the rigid adlierence 
on the part of the chief to his allowance, and it 
would be interesting to know who kept the reckoning, 
and whethm- the meddlino- CV)uncil sent a teetotaller 
to do the duty, or, if they did, whether he broke his 
])ledge ! As to alcoholic indulgence, the households 
of the chiefs were certainly not ascetic, nor did they 
become so through the efforts of the Privy Council. 
Niel Mor MacVuirich celebrates in enthusiastic 
strains a visit to Dunvegan C^astle early in the 
17th century. The entertainment lasted six nights, 
and a numerous company sat at the festive board. 
There was the merriment of the harp and of the full 
bowl, inebriating ale, and a blazing fire. In his regal 
court drinkinp' vvas not a dream. We were twenty 
times drunk every day, to which we had no more 
objection than he had. This picture needs no 
colouring, and it is certain that Duntulm would 
vie with Dunvegan in the copiousness of its liba- 
tions. Donald Gorm Og MacGhilleasbuig Chleirich, 
first baronet of Sleat, is the hero of a song by his 
foster-mother — already quoted — which is interesting 
from the side-lights shed by it upon the social life 
of the chief and his retainers. Hyperbole indeed 
abounds, such as when she says about his galley : - 

" Tha stiuir oir orr' 
Tri chruiun shcilicL 
Gu 'ni bheil tobar fibna 
Sios na deireadh 
'S tobar fior-uisg 
Sa' cheann eile." 


The favourite amusements at Sir Donald s courts — 
drauglils, cards, dice, wrestling, and even football — 
are enumerated, while the nmsic of the pipe and harp, 
not always found in such close fellowship, are here 
side by side in friendly rivaliy. One of the services 
demanded of vassals was to attend the chiefs on 
days of hunting, and a stipulation to that effect was 
usually inserted in tacks of the early years of the 
17th century. The tenant was '• hereby obi eist to 
Intertein myne and my fcirsaids horse hound, 
haulkis and their keiperis pro rata as the remanent 
of my country people sail. ' Firearms were in pretty 
general use in the Highlands during the 16th 
century, as is shown in a poetic soliloquy by 
Domh)iuIl Maclaiii Ic Sheumais, a bard already 
quoted, as he laments the sordid surroundings of his 
declining years, and thus soliloquizes :— 

" A iiihic lui Cionii-.shuilich ;i Miiidoart 
Clia bi deatach dliubli an diidain 
A chleachd thu aim an tiirlach t' athar 
Kir oga ri losgadh fudair 
lii mire ri nuiini "s ri aighear.'' 

The early years of this warrior bard were passed 
about 1570-1 GOO, and we know that bows and 
arrows were the arms of |)recision used at the 
battle of Carinisli, which was foui:ht about the 
latter date. Yet even then firearms were in use in 
the Isle of 8kye. as the poem just quoted suggests. 
It does not, however, appear that firearms were 
used in hunting until lorg after their introduction 
into w.iriiuc. For |)urposes of the chase, bows and 
arrows continued in use far into thw 17th century. 
Even as late as 1 flC).'} — the vear of the Kep])0ch 
murder Iain Lom. the Lochaber l)ard, eulogising 
Sir James Macdonald of ISleat, says : — 


'' Bliiudh an t-iubluir ga liibudli 
Aig do fhlcasgaichemi lira 
Dol a sliiulplijil nan stuf-ljlu-ann." 

The statutes of 1 Coluiiikill laid many other pro- 
hibitions on the Chiefs of the Isles, none of which 
would have been much more effective than tiiose 
already referred to. There was the limit placed 
upon the number of retainers or body ^uard to be 
kept in their castles, which was to be restricted to 
six in the cases of Sleat and Claniaiiald, while they 
were forbidden to keej) more than one o-allev' of Hi 
to 18 oars each. The attempt had previously been 
made to take their strono-holds from tliem. Auyus 
of Dunnyveo", Donald Gorm of Sleat, Clanranald. 
and Glengarry were asked to surrender their castles, 
respectively of Dunnyveg, Camus, Islandtirrim, and 
IStrome, and this was made a condition of their 
holdini>- lands from the Crown. Thev w^ere also 
oblioed to p'ive as much land as would maintain the 
keepers. Now there is a strict limitation of the 
numbers by whom coats of mail, fire-arms, and 
swords were to be used. If these enactments as to 
arms and galleys had been strictly kept, one wonders 
how such large bodies of men could have been so 
expeditiously shipped to the mainland or how the 
islesnu-n could have fouoht with such skill and 
courage a generation later in the brilliant campaign 
of Montrose. 

It is thus clear that, despite outside influences, 
society in the Isles preserved its chief outlines at 
the beginning of the 17th century. This being so, 
the present would seem to be an ap]n'0])riate stage 
of this chapter for considering some, at least, of 
those offices and customs so long characteristic of 
Gaelic culture. The more important offices in the 


Chief's household and in the ])olity of the (ylan were 
hereditary. Martin mentions two officials of the 
Chiefs household whose functions were thus trans- 
mitted from father to son. namely, the Marischall- 
Ti^-he and the cuj)-bearer- — the latter not a sinecure, 
it' the verdict of tradition is trustworthy. Martin 
had seen the jmrchments on which their hereditary 
rii^lits were recorded. One of the otHcials expressly 
condemned and whose oliice was abolished by the 
oft-quoted statutes was the bard, but he long- 
survived, and continued to flourish after his 
de|)ositi(>n Ity the Privy Council of Scotland. 
The bards, who were more tlian any otheis 
associated with the Clan Donald, were the ancient 
line of the MacVurichs. These were descended 
from Muireach Albannach, who came from Ireland 
to the Isles in the first half of the 13th century, 
beiiio- contemporary with Donald, from whom the 
Clan derives its name. Tradition tells that he 
once made a pilgrimage to Rome, perhaps, indeed, 
in the company of the Island lord liimself, when he 
visited his Holiness in the Eternal City. On his 
return, resting footsore and weary on the banks of 
Loch Long, he exclaimed — 

'* Mi m' slmidh air cnocau nan deur 
tiiin chraicionn air nieur no air bonn 
A Righ 's a Plieadair 's a Phoil 
'S fada 'n Roinih o Loch Long." 

Under the lordship of the Isles there was a 
college oi- hierarchy of bards. In Angus Og's 
(charter to the Abbey of lona, one of the witnesses 
is Lachlan MacVurich, described as " Archipoeta," 
or chief poet. Then and afterwards the Mac 
Vurichs were learned in Irish, English, and Latin, 


and the fkt^t that they studied in the (Colleges ot* 
Ireland seems borne out by the decided Hibernian 
smack that is noticeable in many of their com- 
positions. After the fall of the lordsliip of the 
Isles, they adhered to the fortunes of the Clan- 
ranald branch, from whom they received as the 
emoluments of their office the farm of Stelligarry 
and four pennies of the farm of Dremisdale. Their 
rights in tliese weie to continue so long as there 
should be any of the posterity of Muireacli to pre- 
serve and continue the history of the Macdona'.ds. 
Failing of male issue, each successive hard was to 
educate the brother's son or other representative, in 
order to preserve the title to the lands and maintain 
the bardig order. In 1633 John Macdonald of Olan- 
ranald granted a wadset of the lands of Balmeanach 
and Gerihorornish in South Uist to Donald Gearr 
MacVurich, who must have been one of the same 
family. In 1707 the MacVurich lands ol Stelligarry 
and Dremisdale ceased to be an entirely free gift, 
though still held by them as bards and seanachies, 
foi- in a tack by Allan Macdonald of Clanranald to 
Donald MacVurich, " indoweller iu Stelligai-ry," a 
rent w-as exacted of £10 Scots, along with all public 
burdens and impositions. After 1745 the office of 
family bard and historian was abandoned by the 
Clanranalds, and the iepresentati\e of the family in 
1 800 was totally illiterate. This individual, whose 
name was Niel MacVurich, received from the Clan- 
ranald of his day a small life pension of £2 15s 6;|d. 
Besides the Red and Black Books of Clanranald, 
now in the possession of the family, there are 
numerous manuscripts left by them, preserved in 
the Advocates' Library, which can only be a frag- 
ment of their literary remains as these existed in 
the 18th century. 


Among the hereclitaiy bards were those of the 
Macdonalds of Sleat. One appears in tradition — 
MacEheatrais or MacBeathaig — who flourished about 
the middle of the 17th century, and is probably 
the individual of whom MacCodrum speaks in his 
" Di-moladlv piol) Dhomhnuill Bhain '" in the verse 

'^ IMiu i tivis uig Mac Blieatrais 
A Shoiniicadli na daiu 
Nuair theirig a chlar.sach 
'S a dh' fhailing a pns " 

which suggests that MacBeathaig was a mild 
pluralist, who combined the offices of bard and 
piper. On one occasion on which he was with his 
Chief at Dunvegan Castle in company with other 
Island notabilities, all with their bards and pipers, 
it was agreed that the bard composing the best 
eulogy to his C^'hief should receive a prize. When 
MacBeathaig delivered his soul he represented the 
other chiefs as menials, waiting on the pleasure of 
the Lords of the Isles, one a door-keeper, another 
holding his stirrup, and others discharging duties 
(piite as humble. Dunvegan's Chief was wroth and 
spoke harshly to MacBeathaig, at the same time 
admitting that his poetic effort was the best and 
most deserving of the prize. The poet proudly 
declined, and spoke the lines that follow — 

" 'S aim a gheibhinn mo dhuais 
.Ann an talla nan tend, 
Bho Dhomlmull Gonn 
Bu chomhnard ceum an comhrag arm, 
Bho Dlionilinull (Joini nan cliar 's nan creach, 
Mo bhiadh 's nio dheoch ; 
M' uisgc beatha 's m' fhion gii moch, 
'S mo ghrian air loch." 


A family of the name of Macruari held the lands 
of Achadh 7iam hard in Trotternish,. in virtue of 
their office as bards to the Sleat family : they were 
probably in succession to the MacBeathaig.s. 
Duncan Macruari, whose name appears in the 
Fearnaig MS. as the author of several short poems, 
was no doubt of the Trotternish family of bards. 
The last of them who held the office was another 
Duncan Macruari, the predecessor, with probal^ly a 
considerable interval, of John MacCodrum, who was 
appointed in 1763, and was the last of the Mac- 
donald bards. MacCodrum, Ijesides holdino- his 
croft in North Uist free, had a yearly salary allowed 
him as bard to Sir James Macdonald, and after- 
wards to Sir Alexander Lord Macdonald. The 
influence of the bards, as a moral force in the social 
system of the Isles, was, doubtless, considerable. 
It was their function to sing the prowess and fame 
of those who had won distinction in the field, and to 
incite the men of their own day to imitate the 
heroes of the past. They have been accused of 
keeping every ofl^ence from being forgotten, and 
every barbarous revenge from being repented of, but 
this charge is not sujjported by the eft'usions that 
have floated down to us on the stream of tradition, 
whose influence must, on the whole, have been 
elevating and inspiring. 

The next hereditary official in the household of 
the chief who may be placed aftei- the bard and before 
the piper in point of antiquity is the harper. That 
the harper, in some districts, had lands attached to his 
office is shewn b}^ the place-name Croit-a-Chlarsair, 
the harper's croit, met with in the parish of Kiltarlity 
and elsewhere. The harp, which was adapted more 
for the hall, as the accompaniment of the songs of 


the barcl, than for the field, gave place gradually to 
the bagpipe, which, from its rousing strains, was 
better suited to the genius of the Highland people. 
This decline of the harp may be dated from the 
beo'inning of the civil wars, when the niilitaiy s])irit 
of the Hiuhland clans was roused to such a high 
pitch of enthusiasm. Towards the end of the 1 7ih 
century the professional harpei had almost entirely 
disappeared from the social life of the Tsles. The 
last of his race is believed to have been Murdoch 
Macdonald, harper to Maclean of Coll, who died, at 
an advanced age, in 17-^9. 

It does not fall within the scope of this chapter 
to trace the origin of the Highland bagpipe. Suffice 
it to say that at the beginning of the period now 
under consideration the piper had become an institu- 
tion in the social life of the country, and held an 
important position in the chief's household. Like 
the bard and harper, his office was hereditary. The 
MacArthur family, who were hereditary pipers to 
the Macdonalds of Sleat from an early period down 
to the year 1800, liad hef-n previously, according to 
their own testimony, hereditary pipers to the Lords 
of the Isles. They occupied from time immemorial 
the lands of Hunglater, in Trotternish, valued in 
1733 at 84 merks of silver duty in virtue of their 
office. Like the MacCrimmons, they kept a school 
for the training of young pipers, to which students 
flocked from all parts of the Highlands. The Mac- 
Artliurs were reckoned by many to be equal even to 
the MacCrimmons, both as composers and players of 
pipe music. Their fame spread far and wide. Pen- 
nant, the traveller, was entertained by one of these 
in his house at Hunglater, in 1774. and he pays him 
the compliment of being " quite master of his instru- 


uient." This was the famous Charles MacArthur 
who had studied under Patrick Og MacCrimmon at 
Dunvegan. His father, Angus MacArthur, who was 
also a famous player in his day, had been piper to Sir 
Donald Macdonald of Sleat, and it was to the stir- 
ring notes of his pipe that the Clan Uisdein went 
into action at tlie battle of Sheriifniuir. When Sir 
Alexander Macdonald became a student in St 
Andrew's, in 1726, Charles MacArthur attended 
him as his piper. His salary in 1749 was £0(5 13s 
4d. The Macdonalds of Sleat kept a piper ir, each 
of their three baronies of Sleat, Trotternish, and 
North Uist. The Sleat piper in 1723 was a Malcolm 
Macintyre, who held his lands free as the chief's 
piper. The North Uist piper in 1745 was John 
Bane MacArthur, brother of Charles, with a salary 
of £33 6s 8d. His son, Angus, was afterwards piper 
to Lord Macdonald. He was the last of the heredi- 
tary pipers of the MacArthur family, and died in 
London in 1800. Shortly after his death, Alexander 
MacArthur, describing himself as the son of the late 
Charles MacArthur, and the only male representative 
of the family then living, petitioned Lord Macdonald 
to appoint him as his piper ; but, though an accom- 
plished player, he does not appear to have been 
successful in obtaining his request. 

The physicians, who, like other officials of the 
social system, were an hereditary caste, occupied an 
important position in the Isles. The hereditary 
physicians of the Lords of the Isles were the Mac- 
Beths, in later times called Beatons and Bethunes. 
According to Cathelus MacVurich. who flourished 
c. 1600, the MacBeths were of the Gaelic stock 
of the Isles, for when speaking of aicme He, " the 
race of Isla," he says that to it also belonged — 


"Clanuii Mliic i^'athu a gluiatli ^liriiiu 
Luchd siioidhc chiiainli a^us chiiisleaii.'' 

The Hist !){' tliL* i'ainily wliose name is on record is 
Fergus MacBetli, whose name is attaclied to the 
Gaehc Charter of 1408 as witness, and who was 
most probably the writer of the Deed. The Islay 
physicians had tlie lands of Balinbe(]j, Areset, Howe, 
and Saliia), for their maintenance bv hereditary 
teinne, and long after the lordsliip of the Isles was 
vested in the Drown — in 1G09 — we find James VI. 
bestowing the office of physician-in-chief, as also the 
lands enjoyed by his ancestoi-s, upon anoth^^r Fergus 
MacBeth, who seems to have been the last to fill tlie 
office, and who died in 1(521). Several otlier 
members of the same family under the name of 
Beaton, notably 'O/ i-( >llii MiuhiicJi and F('<(rchnr 
Lighichc, held similar appointments in diH'erent 
parts of the Hebrides. In North Uist a branch of 
this family were hereditary physicians to the Mac- 
donalds for many generations. The last of them, 
Niel Beaton, dird in \7iV^. In South Uist the 
line of physicians of this name came to an end 
about the beLrinnin<j: of the 18th century in the 
person of Fergus Beaton. In Sleat there wjus a 
long succession of Beatons occupying the same 
office. Ill the bamny of Trotternish the hereditary 
physicians were .Macleans, said to have been 
descended from a surgeon of that name who accom- 
panied Ronald, tin* son of Donald Herrach. from the 
Irish wars, and settlecl on the farm of Shulista. which 
he and his successors occupied (\r officio for many 
generations. The first of them, according to island 
tradition, was of the family of Brolas, and obtained 
his meilical lor*- throuirh his mother, beiiiir a 


daughter of one of the Beaton physicians of Mnll. 
The last of this race was Dr John Maclean of 
Shulista, who was also factor for Trotternish, and 
reckoned an accomplished and learned man. lie 
died in 17iK). These hereditaiy physicians were 
men of grefit learnini; and skill in their profession, 
whose acquaintance with plants and herbs and their 
virtues was extensive and tninute. They were 
voluminous writers of Gaelic medical manuscripts, 
some of which have been preserved, while their 
knowledge of botany survives in their illiterate 
descendants down to our own times. 

Another individual who held a position of some 
importance in the social polity was the smith, or 
armourer. He made and repaired arms, and being 
an hereditary official, held his lands free. He was 
also entitled to certain dues from his district, and 
H8 long as the clan system and hereditary juris- 
dictions lasted, was a personage of some distinction. 
A family of MacRury were the hereditary smiths to 
the Macdonalds at Trotternish, where they held the 
smiths' pennylands of Balvicilleriabhaich. A branch 
of the samt^ family were hereditary smiths in North 

An official of consequence in the life of an island 
pa)ish, though not aj^parently of an hereditary 
caste, was the miller. Crown charters originally 
bestowed the rights of multuie upon the ( 'hief but 
afterwards these were divided between hin)self and 
the miller. Tenants were obliged in terms of theii- 
leases to grind their corn in the mill of the district, 
and pay the accustomed multure. These milling 
rights were protected by law and practice, and 
private grinding was as illegal as private distillation 
now. A law was enacted against (juenis in the 



reign of Alexander IT., and was ever aflerwards 
very stiictly enforced. Querns, however, continueil 
in frequent use, and the law was often evaded. 
When illicit grind intr was tliscovered, the miller was 
empowered to break tlie (juerns, and it is said that 
about the niiddh' of the 18th century a raid was 
niadt* upon tlie cjuerns in South Uist, when a largt? 
number were collected by tlie millers and tluuwii 
into the sea. Fines were also exacted ; but these 
frequently took the form of a licence in favour <>f tlie 
inhabitants of the smaller islands of Uist and Skye, 
where regular mills did not exist, and private 
grinding at times was a necessity, owing to 
dangenms and stoimy ferries. [t was a recognised 
privilege, however, that people from the smaller 
islands coming to grind to the main island ])ad a 
right to be attended to immediately, even to the 
interruption of others. It was this that gave rise to 
the words of the local song — 

" Sin nuair thuirt am bodach leatlmnn, 
Cha 'n fhaigh thu bleith an truaighe gran, 
Nach fhaic thu n soirbhea.s 'gam fheitheamh, 
Agus m' eithear air an traigh." 

When the islands depended so largely upon their own 
food supply, the griiuling iudustrv was clearly ot 
great importance. 

It will now be necessary, as briefly as possible, 
to give an account of some of the more outstanding 
cu.stoms and institutions characteristic of the 
Western Gael, aufl which were largely the outcome 
of the tribal c(^nstitution of Gaelic society. The 
custom of handfasting, which has already been 
touched upon in Volume I., aflected in a marked 
degree the social life of the Isles. Marriages thus 
"contracted for certane veiiis'" were evidently 


regarded by the Scottish authorities as a danger to 
the social fabric, and sniiiniarily condeiiiiied in 1600 
by the statutes of I Cohuiikill. Presumably tin* 
supreme importance of having heirs, and thus 
securing the perpetuity and power of families, 
outweighed every other interest secular or sacred, 
and led to the fre(iuent adoption of these loose and 
easily dissolved unions, which might be cemented 
by the Church or not according to the appearance 
or non-appearance of progeny, or the existence or 
non-existence of mutual compatibility. There is no 
evidence to show what special form this custom took, 
or whether there was any kind of ceremony or any- 
thing of the nature of a written contract, but it is 
quite clear that the custom wrought much evil in 
the feuds and bloodshed which were certain to 
result, when ladies of respectable families were cast 
adrift in such a summary manner. Ranald Mac- 
donald of Benbecula, as recorded by MacVurich, 
" took unto him " five wives in succession, three of 
whom he "put away," while the fourth died, and 
the fifth probably survived him. It may be sur- 
mised that this trafficking in wives brought him 
much trouble. He was otherwise one of the wildest 
men of his time, yet MacVurich sublimely tells us 
that the barbarian was " a good man according to 
the times in which he lived. ' 

We have not seen anywhere a Macdonald 
marriage contract earlier than the first half of the 
17th century — if ihere were such, they have not 
been preserved. It is not a fair inference to con- 
clude that the absence of such documents implies 
the general prevalence of handfasting previous to 
that time, thougli, as a matter of historical notoriety, 
many such cases did arise. Be this as it may. 


the removal of this scandal from the social life of 
the Isles was one of the most useful and 
effective reforms inautrurated by the legislation of 
I Cohunkill. Marriage contracts drawn up before 
the ceremony, containing stringent provisions and 
binding the parties to celebrate the union in the 
face of holy Church, became the settled order of 
social life, and the custom of handfasting seems to 
have become a thing of the i)ast. Into the 
minutiie of these marriage contracts it is impos- 
sible in the space at our disposal fully to enter. 
The earliest and most interesting document of 
this nature that we have seen is the contract 
V)etween John Macdonald of Olanianald and Marion, 
daughter of Sir Hory Mor Macleod of Dun vegan, 
in IGl.'i, and it may be quoted as a good 
example of the fonn which these mutual arrange- 
ments assumed in the highest grades of island 
society. In the body of the contract "The 
Sikid Uorie McCloyd obleiss him. his airis t*.\"' and 
assigneyis to randii' and deliver to ye said 
Jolinne Moydort his airis, kc, in name of tochir 
with ye said moir nyne scoir of gud quick ky 
totridder with uther twentie kv ma fnue ve said 
.Johnne sail desyre thame and gaillay of twentie 
airis with thri sailing and rowing geir gud and 
sufficient within the space of ane yeir efter ye com- 
pletion of ye said mariage hot forder delay." 

One of the best and most beneficial customs in 
the social system of the Islands was that of foster- 
age. It prevailed from the earliest times, and was 
the outgrowth of the social genius of the High- 
landeis. It cemented friendship and knit families 
together in a closer bond of union than those of 
blood and kindred. It bridged the gulf between 


rich and poor, and cemented tojiJether different 
classes of* the community. The foster parent 
was always of lower rank than the j)arent of tht^ 
foster child, nor was he as a rule of the child's 
kindred. It was therefore reckoned a great honour, 
and in consequence there was a pardoiiahle rivalry 
among those who considered themselves eligihle for 
this trust. It was a desirable alhance for the foster 
parent, on account of the protection it afibrded to 
him and his family. It was stated in the contract 
between the parties that it was for the love and 
respect he bore him that the parent had chosen the 
other party as a foster father for his child. It was 
good for the foster child himself to be placed in the 
charge of a carefully selected guardian, who would 
do his utmost for his proper upbringing, besides the 
pi-ovision made for him by both parties. A. certain 
number of cattle, and sometimes a sum of money in 
addition, w^ere given by the fatlier of the child to be 
" put to increase" for him in the most profitable 
manner until he came of age. Tiie foster parent 
made a similar provision for the foster child. Sir 
Rory Macleod of Dun.vegan gave 7 mares with his 
own son Norman, the charge and keeping of which 
were to be with the foster parent in order to j)ut 
them to increase for his foster son. The care and 
keeping of 4 mares, given at the same time by the 
foster parent, were to be with Macleod to put tln^m 
to increase for the child in like manner. A contract 
of fosterage between John Macleod of Dunvegan and 
Niel Mackinnon, Minister of Sleat, in IG38, illustrates 
the custom of that time. Macleod gave his third 
son to the minister and his spouse Johnat Macleod 
" to be fosterit, interteinit, mantenet and upbrocht 
be theme ay and while he be for schooles," when 


evidently tlie period of* fosterage ended. In order 
tliat he may be better provided with means at his 
*' perfyte aige," Macleod binds liimself to have in 
readiness at the Whitsunday term of 1638, the sum 
of 600 merks Scots to \)e then invested for behoof of 
his son. The Minister of Sleat binds himself '" be 
the faith and trewtli ni his body to foster, mantene, 
intertene, and upbring the said Jon McLeod in the 
fear of God and in all maiier requisit to his equall, 
and with God's assistance to saitl" him from fyre and 
watter, and the alyke accedentis whilk may inshew.'' 
He binds himself furtlier to provide his foster child 
in the sum of 400 merks Scots to be placed in the 
hands of Macleod to be " given furtli upoun land or 
annual rent to the behuitle and utilitie of the said 
Jon Macleod, minor." It is interesting to know 
that John Macleod, the foster child of this contract, 
became aPteiwards chief of the clan, known as Iain 
Breac, one of the best and most popular chiefs in 
the Highlands, who maintained unimpaired the 
glory of his ancestors by keeping a bard, a harper, 
a ]^iper, and a fool ! 

Having thus considered at some length the more 
characteristic features of Gaelic society, we proceed 
to trace the rise of certain forms of land tenure 
within the Island comnmnlties in the 17th and 18th 
centuries. The difficulties of the chiefs, arising from 
such causes as arrears of Grown rents, fines and 
forfeitures, Induced them to adopt with willingness 
the duty imposed by Government of disposing of 
thtMr lands l)y tack or otherwise. The tacksmen, 
many of whom liad fought in European wars and 
returned to th»'li native Islands with comparative 
wealth, were able to make large cash advances to 
the chiefs on the security of the lands they occu- 


pied. The tacks of the early years of tiie 17th 
century were as a rule for leiigthened periods. 
Sometimes they were for 3 lives and 3 nineteens, 
and this was the most favoured type of tack among 
the chiefs and gentry of the Isles. Of this nature 
was the tack to Kenneth Macqueen of tlie lands of 
Orinsay in North Uist to endure during all the days 
of his life, two liferents thereafter, and three nine- 
teen years. Sometimes, as in the case of the tack 
to the Parson of Island Finnan, the duration was 
for his own life, the life of his heir male, and nine- 
teen years. The tack given to Niel Maclean of the 
lands of Boreray and others in 1626 was for all the 
days of his life, and to his heirs after him for twenty- 
one years. But in 1712 a much more lengthy tack 
is given to his descendant, Archibald Maclean of 
Boreray, by another Chief of Sleat, which is for 
the same lands, and to endure for " 3 lives and 3 
nineteens for certain gratitude and pleasure and 
good deeds paid and done." In 1734 Sir Alexander 
Macdonald adds a 4th life to the lease. The rents 
and casualties varied, but the two systems were 
always represented — -the old system of payment in 
kind and service, which was passing away, and the 
new system of silver rent, which was destined to 
displace it. At the tacksman's entry, he usually 
paid a considerable sum in name of gras.^um, which 
for a large holding might be 300 merks Scots. The 
money rent was specified as tack duty, and the rent 
paid in kind consisted of victual, butter, cheese, 
wedders, hens, fish, and white plaiding or blankets. 
The tacksman had to render the usual services by 
land and sea, was obliged to attend the baron 
Courts. " underlie the Acts and americaments 
thereof," and CArry '• his haill grindable corn " to 

136 THK (I, AN I)()NALI). 

the niill of the district. A specially vahiable and 
somewhat uiii(jue tack was tliat of Kenneth Mac- 
(jueeii of Urinsav, inasnnicli as it l)est<)\ved a grant 
of tlie haihary of the lands i;iven in assedation and 
the •■ sahnon tishlni; of tlie water ol" Kiiwartain on 
holh sides of said \vat«-i' from the sea flood to the 
sheahni^ place of (xrinisaiLr." The tacksman paid a 
duty of six shillinos '* for ilk last fish fyve jjacked 
by sea or land." For tlie l)ailiary he paid six 
shillings and eight |)ennies, and to the superior he 
had to transmit '' fwe |)ack of fresh salmond fish all 
and meikle as they sliall happen to be slaine for ye 
salmond fishing of the said water of Kilwartaine. ' 
It is clear that in the I 7th ceiituiv j)ickled salmon 
were largely exported as well as used for home con- 
sumption in the Isles, and that the Hebridean shores 
abounded witli salmon. Only in verv few instances 
were bailiarv })owers included in tacks, the only 
two instances that have come under our notice being 
this tack to Kenneth Macqueen in 1611), and one to 
Alexander Macdonald of Boisdale in 1734. It was 
however, a ])ractice with the Macdonald Barons of 
Sleat and Trotternish to delegate powers to their 
tacksmen to hold inferior, or as they may be styled, 
small debt courts, competent to deal with matters 
not involving interests of more than I'l'. 

As shewing the wealth and social position of a 
tacksman in ])osse.ssion of an ordinary-sized holding, 
we may adduce an inventory of the efi'ects of 
Alexander Macdonald of Paiblisgarry. who died in 
I ().")7. According t(j this statement, he possessed at 
his death 44 great cows, 40 year-olds, 36 work 
horses. 1*2 mares, 3 colts, 5 year-old horses. 30 pigs, 
120 sheep, 72 bolls barley, 20 bolls oats. 20 hoUs 
rye, 200 bolls of the year's crop, 22 pewter dishes, 


2 quart stoups, 1 silver cu]), 1 acjiia \ite pot, vvitli 
the fleck. The rest of the utyncils doinicells in- 
sight and household plenishing with armour and the 
abuliemente of* the defunct's body is estimated at 
X656 16s Scots. 

Wadsets — tliat is the setting of land in ])leclge 
for money advanced — were a variation u})on the 
ordinary tack. They dift'ered in two main respects ; 
first, inasmuch as the cash })ayable to the superior 
was, in the case of the wadset, paid in one sum, 
with a small annual payment in name of feu-duty ; 
while secondly, the agreement could be terminated 
by either side at Whitsunday on an indnciae of 40 
days, by the Chief insisting on redemption by 
repaying the advance, or the wadsetter demanding 
its repayment. Practically, however, these wadsets 
were of long duration, though for the tenant the 
holding was, in theory, precarious. The Chief was 
seldom in funds sufficient to redeem, and the vassal 
was satisfied with his security. According to the 
terms of the wadset-right, the superior, on pay- 
ment being made to him of a capital sum, " sells 
annualzies, and dispones " to the w^adsetter so many 
pennylands for the yearly payment of £40 Scots, or 
some such nominal sum during the non-redemption 
of the lands, to be held of the superior " as freely in 
all respects as he holds the same himself," with 
power to him to uplift duties and input and output 
tenants. He is to reHeve the superior of all King's 
mails, ministers' and readers' stipends, and all other 
public burdens, on account of his wadset lands — 
burdens which were also usually laid upon the 
tacksmen. He is to appear at the Court of the 
Barony once a year, and at other Courts as often as 
he shall be required. The superior reserves to him- 


self the holHiii^' of Haron Courts and the relative 
finsR. To this there were, at any rate, some 
exceptions, a.s in the contract nt" wadset between 
Sii- James Mac<lonald of Sleat and his brother, 
Archibald Macdonald of Borniskittaig, in 1GG7, 
when the Chief, while reserving to himself the 
Baron Courts, leaves to his vassal the half of the 
fines " and the half of the haile horses and sheep." 
In some contracts the feu-duty was doubled at the 
entry of each heir during the non-redemption of the 
wadset, while the chief ol)liged himself to receive 
the heirs (jf the wadsetter as vassals for the payment 
of one shilling Scots for each. 

Besides the wadsetters and tacksmen, there were 
those wIkj held in Je" tnmi from the chief. An 
instance of this species of tenure was Ranald Mac- 
donald of Bornish. who obtained a grant in feu farm 
fiom Donald Macdonald of CHanranald in 1(572. 
These 7^ penny lands of Bornish were formerly held 
in feu farm by his father, l)o\igal. and now they are 
to Ix" held 1)V Ranald, and John, his son. and his 
heirs after liim. foi- the sinn of six score merks of 
silver duty, with H bolls meal. (J stones butter, and 
f) stones cheese yearly. After the death of Ranald 
Mnd John, their heirs are to pav eight score merks 
of silver duty, with 12 bolls meal. 10 stones butter, 
ajul 5 stones cheese yearly, 200 merks to be paid at 
the entrance of each heii". Clanranald appoints 
Fiftnald Macdonald his heritable bailie over his 
whole lands of I'ist. with full power to hold courts. 
aj>point clerk, officer, and (lemj)ster of the same, 
punish all and sundry persons guiltv of any crimes, 
small or (rreat. anrl censure and fine all manner of 
transgressors. Clnnianald fnrthcM- grants full power 


to his bailie " to collect and receive tua aimers out 
of each peine land in Ulst, one yeuld cow out of 
each theft that sliall happen to be proven a<^;iinst 
any person, witli ane sheep belonging- to llir said 
thief with nnlnoken stack of corn tliat sliall happen 
to l)elont;- to iiini and tna pait of his household 
plenishino-."" There is a similar contract between 
Clanranald and Rorie Macdonald of Glenalladale in 
1(574. by which the latter is oranted the 2 merk 
lands of Glenalladale and the 80 shillinj-- lands of 
Glenfinan. Borie is bound to relieve Glanranald of 
the services and furnishing of men wherein he 
stands obligefl to the Earl of Argyll, his su])erior. 
He is obliged, accordingly, to furnish a sufficient 
galley of 16 oars, sufficiently appointed with men 
and necessaries for the space of 14 days yearly, 
between the Point of Ardnannu'chan and Assynt 
when required. He is further obliged to su})])ly 
100 men, if required, to assist the Earl of Argyll on 
" his lawful occasions and business." 

There were instances here and there of sub- 
letting on the steelbow system, whereby the 
tacksman provided the ground with stock and 
seed corn, on condition of receiving from the 
tenant a moiety of the profits. At the end of the 
tack the stock, with the land, reverted to the lord. 
The practice can be traced back to Anglo-Saxon 
times, to a state of society when the husbandman 
was a man without projjerty — a native man or 
servile tenant. It is found in the eisern rich of 
Germany, and the beste de fcr-bestia fen in French 
and old Latin. In the case of lethchois — the Hiirh- 
land variety of this type of tenure — the possessor, 
generally a small tenant impoverished or without 


facilities for working: the land, often furnished the 
land and seed corn, and the other cultivated it. the 
produce heing divided equally between them. There 
have been instances of it in oui- own day. 

The small ttMiants, or crofters, appear very little 
in evidence before the be^iiuiini:; of the 18th century. 
Thev were tenants at will under the tacksmen and 
wadsetters, but practically their tenure was secure 
enough, in some cases the proprietor aftords pro- 
tection to the sub-tenant against the middleman. 
In \(\\)\) Allan Macdonald of Clanranald granted 
;i wadset of lands in Eigg to John Macleod of Tal- 
lisker, the latter bindinii' himself not to remove 
tenants, nor laise their rents, which the proprietor 
had fixed. Under another wadset of the same 
lands, granted 30 years later to the son of the same 
wadsetter, leases were given to sundry tenants ; but 
this practice does not seem to have been common in 
the Isles. In the earlier tacks assignees, as well as 
heu-s, are included, thus givhig the tacksman the 
right to sub-let the whole or any portion of his 
holding to sub-tenants, but this freedom was in 
iater times withheld. The earliest evidence we can 
find of small tenants holding directly of the pro- 
prietor is in a rental ot" the estates of Sir Donald 
Macdonald in Skye and North Uist of the year 
1718. According to this rental, a large proportion 
of the lands of North Uist was in the hands of small 
tenants, the relation to the amount of lands held by 
tacksmen beinjj: much in the same ratio as it has 
l)een in om- f)\vii time. The small tenant })ai(l rent 
to the proj)rietor direct, both in money and kind, 
besides the usual bmdens and services, which latter 
were oppressive imposts. The rent paid by the 


possessor of a farthing- land at this time may here 
be ffiven : — 


Mone}' Rent £17 1 8 Scuts. 

1 Stone Butter 3 U 

6 Ells Blanket 3 12 

Carriage Money 10 

One Hen 3 4 

I Peek Horse Corn 3 

Ford Money 3 

None of the small tenants had leases, hut they 
were in a better position than the sub-tenants in 
holding directly from the proprietor, whose interest 
it was in those days to cultivate friendly relations 
with them. The Tacksman's lease afforded no pro- 
tection to the sub-tenant, nor was theie a limit set 
to the rent or services to be exacted. In these 
circumstances chere must ha,ve been instances of 
opj)ression, but probably the o-reatest grievance 
under which the sub-tenant laboured was the 
multitude of services imposed upon him. especially 
in the seasons of spring and harvest, leaving him 
little time for the cultivation of his own land and 
the securing of his crop. Yet, notwithstanding all 
thai has been written by various authors — strangers 
to the people and their language — as to the social 
economy of the Islands, and the " tyranny, oppres- 
sion, and unmerciful exactions" of the Tacksmen, 
such sweeping charges must be taken earn (prnw 
sails. The unvarying tradition of the Isles is that 
on the wdiole they were kind and considerate to 
their dependants. Men of good birth and education, 
as a rule, they were not likely, as native men, to be 
unkind to their own countrj^men, while lavishing 
hospitality on strangers in a manner that has become 
proverbial. Undoubtedly the social relations between 


the different classes in the Isles, from the chief down 
to the cottar, weie lu those days hetter and moi'e 
friendly than they have heen any time within the 
last hundred years. Hugh Macdonald of Kilpheder, 
a seanachie of re})ute in the Isles, in his evidence in 
favour of the authenticity of Ossian, dvrells witii 
much emphasis on the irood relations tliat subsisted 
between the different classes of society in earlier 
times. The Rev. Donald Macqueen of Kilmuir, 
writing 80 years earlier, speaks in similar terms, and 
reproaches the chief himself with altering the tone 
of society in the Isles, "at the instigation of luxury, 
and the ambition of cutting an unmeaning figure in 
the Low country." 

Two circumstances occurred in the course of the 
18th century which had a profound effect upon the 
material and social welfare of the people, these being 
the commencement of tlie kelp industry and the 
introduction of the potato. The second of these 
may be referred to in a sentence. The potato was 
for the first time brought by Clanranald from Ire- 
land, and taken to South Uist in 174:1 His tenants 
at first, with characteristic conservatism, refused to 
plant, and when compelled to do S(^ declined to eat 
the unknown root. In a sliort time, however, their 
attitude changed, and soon the potato can)e to be 
the staple food of the whole population during a 
great part of the year. 

Tjie manufacture of kelp, wl'ich proved a great 
source of wealth in tl^e Isles for generations, was 
iiitioduced into North Uist as early as 1726. At 
first it was not received with favour, but when the 
price advanced from 18s or 20s to £3 10s in 174G, 
and even to t!20 per ton in 1772. the industry was 
eagerly pursued by all clivsses of the community. 


At last a change came which proved a grave econ- 
omic reverse to the Islands. In response to the 
agitation by the sonp boilers and glass manufacturers, 
the duty on Spanish barilla was so much reduced 
that the price of kelp fell from £20 to £2 per ton. 
All classes suffered from the failure of the kelp 
industry. As a source of wealth it had not been an 
unmixed blessing. While it increased the peoj)le's 
comfort, they failed to see that it was but a tem- 
porary source of income, and hence the staple 
industry, the cultivation of the land, was very 
much neglected. The inducements which the kelp 
industry held out to early marriage were the mearis 
of rapidly increasing the population, and when it 
failed no means of livelihood were left to many of 
them. The proprietors, whose income this industry 
greatly increased, neglected the permanent improve- 
ment of their estates, in the belief that kelp would 
never decrease in valus. Living up to their income, 
many of them, consequent on the kelp failure, 
became greatly embarrassed, and were finally obliged 
to sell their estates. The only class in the Isles 
whom the kelp industry actually benefitted in a 
permanent way were the Tacksmen, many of whom 
acquired through it sufficient wealth to purchase 
considerable estates which the}^ transmitted to their 

A survey of the social condition of the Isles 
during the period under review would be incomplete 
without Some consideration of the intellectual devel- 
opment of the })eople. It is difficult to trace the 
extent of island culture at this period. If we are to 
guage it by the educational status of the barons of 
the Isles in the time of Donald Dubh's rebellion in 
1545, it appears to have been extremely limited. 


Not one of the 17 heads of famihes who formed the 
Council of the Island claimant could write his name. 
But a man is not necessarily illiterate because he 
cannot write, and there are many jDersons now in 
the Western Isles who can read their native language 
though never tauglit to write. In 1545 tliere were 
few printed books, and none at all in Gaelic. There 
were, however, Gaelic books iri manuscript, many of 
which found their way into the houses of the men 
who formed the Council of Donald Dubh. There 
were also the monastic hbraries, of which the High- 
land chiefs may to some extent have availed them- 
selves. The hereditary bards, seanachies, and 
physicians of the Isles were educated men, and there 
were monastic schools planted at different centres 
throughout the Highlands and Islands, to which the 
younger sous of fannlies of the better class resorted 
for their education. Carinish in North Uist pos- 
sessed a college to which many of the youths of the 
Hebrides were sent for instruction. In view of all 
this, it is puzzling to find so many of the Highland 
chiefs unable to write their own names in 1545. 
Evidently, whatever culture they possessed, they 
did not consider the art of writing a manly accom- 
plishment, and relied on others to act for them on 
the rare occasions that they were called upon to put 
pen to paper. For the most part they used seals. 
The island chiefs were not all present at the Council 
of Donald Dubh. .lame? Macdonald of Duruiyveg 
and Donald Macdonald of" Sleat being represented 
by deputies. James had been educated at the 
Scottish Court by Dean Henderson of Holyrood, 
but we know from other sources that Donald 
Grormeson could not sign his own name. It is 
worthy of note that although the redoubtable 


Captain of Clanranald could not write, his prede- 
cessor Dougal signs with his own hand a bond to 
the Earl of Huntly as far back as 1510. 

An indication of the extent of Gaelic culture in 
the Isles may be gleaned from the first book printed 
in the Gaelic language, and which was published by 
Bishop Carsewell in 1567. In his epistle to the 
reader, Carsewell apologising for any defects that 
may be found in his manner in writing Gaelic, says 
that "there are very few who know the Gaelic 
correctly, either in Albyn or in Eireand, unless it be 
a few learned men skilled in poetry and history, and 
some good scholars ; and hence if any learned men 
find any fault in the writing or composing of this 
little book, let them excuse me, for I never acquired 
any knowledge of the Gaelic except as any one of 
the people generally." From this it is evident that 
the bishop would have many readers, and that there 
was a considerable amount of Gaelic culture in 
Argyll and the Isles in his day. The close con- 
nection between the literary men and the bardic 
schools of Ireland, and those of the Isles, which had 
kept the lamp of learning aglow for centuries, was 
to a large extent interrupted at the Reformation, 
and instead of progress there was actually retro- 
gression during the remainder of the 16th centiuy. 
The Act of 1496, which made it incumbent on all 
barons and freeholders to send their sons to granmiar 
schools from 6 to 9, " until they be competentlie 
foundit" and learned ='perfite Latyne" under a 
penalty of £20, was practically inoperative in the 
Highlands. When we speak of the progress of 
letters, or the want of it, among the higher classes 
in the Isles in the 16th century, we are only on the 
surftice of the inner life and culture of the people as 



a whole. The Book of the Dean of Lismore, though 
representing what Hoated in oral tradition at the 
beginning of the Kith centnry, is equally repre- 
sentative of the mental culture of the Islanders for 
till* next two or three hundred years. Whole cycles 
of mytholoc-v lived and Hourished under the shadow 
of the (jhristian Church, It was the oi)inion of 
Bishop Carsewell that the tjdes of the Tvaf/ia de 
Danaan, the Sons of Milesius, and the Fingalian 
Saga, whose origin and development were on purely 
Pagan lines, had a stronger hold upon the minds of 
the peo|)le than the contents of the liturgy of which 
he was issuing a (raelic translation. Wiiatever the 
effects, ethically, of this particular type of mental 
culture, and we cannot believe that these were 
entirely deleterious, the tales of Cuchullin and the 
Feinn, and the fireside lore which survived far into 
the 19th century, must have been in full flood 
during the IGth and 17th centuries. 

We do not propose to enter fully into the 
educational programme of the Scottish Government, 
which was embodied in the Statutes of I Cohnukill. 
The policy a(lo})ted, by which schools were to be 
supported in every parish, was very consistently 
evaded. It was largely devised and directed by 
Bishop Knox, but it lacked the practical breadth 
and statesmanship of Carsewell's policy in the lOth 
century. Carsewell's Gaelic Prayer-book was a 
practical acknowledgment that the intellectual and 
spiritual welfare of the people of the Isles must 
be advanced through the medium of tlieir own 
language. One of the avowed objects of the Act of 
IGIG was that " the Irish language, which is one of 
the cheiff and princi})all causes of the continuance 
of barbaritie and incivihtie among the inhabitants 


of the Isles and Heylandis, may be abolish it and 
removit." When this unsympathetic and narrow 
spirit was at vvork in the high places of Govern- 
ment, and continued so long to influence those in 
power, it is not strange that for many generations 
educational reform was neither populai- nor success- 
ful ill the Isles. 

While education with difliculty penetrated to the 
lower strata of society, those of the Tacksman class 
in the Isles found ways and means of emulating the 
Chiefs, whose sons could not now be served heirs to 
their fathers, unless they had been taught to read 
and write. In the i7th and 18th centuries Tacks- 
men combined to engage a common tutor, often a 
student of divinity, who wished to utilise his 
vacation, and who itinerated from group to group 
of those gentlemen farmers, teaching their families, 
not only the elements of English, but allso the 
classics and other advanced branches of learning. 
Hence it was that the gentry of the Isles during the 
16th century were probably the best educated in 
the world. Young ladies could quote Latin and 
Greek, and gentlemen, who tuned their lyr*^s to 
strains of poesy, composed in the tongue of Horace 
rather than in that of Ossian. Donald Hoy Mac- 
donald of Baleshare, who was wounded in the foot 
at the battle of (JuUoden, composed a Latin ode to 
the wounded limb, faultless both in diction and 

So much space has been occupied in depicting 
the social condition of the Isles from a domestic 
standpoint that only a brief indication can be given 
of the attitude of the Islesmen towards the Crown 
and towards other clans, as well as the reflex action 
of this upon their own condition. The fall of the 


island lordship meant th? removal of a central con- 
trollinor authority in those regions, but it was an 
unwise |)(>licy to delegate the management of atlairs 
in tlie Hiixlilands and I'^lands to a succession of 
lieutenants, whose aim too often was to enrith 
themselves and their families by sowing dissension 
among the Clans. The Earls of Huntly and Argyll, 
to whom the task of civilisiiiuf the bai'barous liiii^h- 
landers was committed, were themselves the greatest 
obstacles in the way ot social progress. The Clans, 
it is true, may have resorted to barbarous methods 
in defending themselves against the encroachments 
of these unscrupulous noblemen upon their terri- 
tories, as v\ell as upon their liberties, but if they did 
so, and broke the pledges extracted from them to 
keep the peace, all this is not infrequently ^.o be 
traced to the machinations of the Kintr's lieutenants. 
The interference of these officials in the internal 
affairs of the Clans was certainly not calculated to 
promote peace and harmony among them. Bishop 
Knox, writing to King James in 1G08, gives a 
gloomy picture of the state of the Isles, and informs 
His Majesty that the " Islesmen are void of the true 
knowledge of God, ignorant of your Majesty's laws, 
and their duty towards you.' The feuds between 
the Macdonalds and Macleods had l^roucjht both 
Clans to the brink of ruin. Tiie King himself in 
his wisdom ho,d already solved the island problem, 
by proposing to extirpate the whole jteople of the 
Isles, and tiie Marcpiis of Huntly accepted a com- 
mission for carrying out his sovereign's wish. 
Milder measures, however, had to be adopted. 
Various expedients, more or less unsuccessful, 
terminated in tlie drafting of the statutes of 
I Columkill, which were followed up by a bond 



signed by the Islesiuen, in which tliey professed 
tiie Protestant religion, and oljliged themselves to 
carry out the reforms suggested in tlie statutes. 
Notwithstanding these eftorts, the evolution of civil 
order and political restfulness among the Clans, as 
items in the Scottish Commonwealth, appears to 
have made very little progress, even well on 
towards the middle of the 17th century, when 
the civil war broke out. The change of attitude 
at this time on the part of the Islanders towards 
the reigning family, which may be said to have 
formed an epoch in their history, has been variously 
explained, though the real motive seems to have 
been generally overlooked. There could hardly 
have been much loyalty among the Islesmen 
towards the son of a King, who, in his Basil icon 
Dor 011, advises that son to think no more of the 
Islanders than if they were " wolves and wild 
bears." The Islanders supported King Charles I. 
because his enemies were their tiaditional foes, 
namely, the Campbells and all their kind, and 
when the IloycJ Standard was ra'sed, they rallied 
round it, tliinking it a good opportunity to strike a 
blow in revenge for their wrongs. On the Restora- 
tion of Charles II., their old attitude towards the 
Government was resumed. llace prejudices and 
the incompatibility arising from ditferent languages 
and opposite types of culture and institutions 
account, to a large extent, for this attitude. When 
the next Stuart King appeals to them, they are 
ready, as of old, to rally round tV^e Royal Standard, 
but it is again to fight against the same old foes. 
The vindictive policy of the Government, added to 
native antipathies, fanned the flame of exasperation. 
Its severe measures and oppressions would have 


goaded a less Impulsive people into rebellion. 
Garrisons of English soldiers were stationed in 
different parts of the country to overawe them, 
and tht* Independent Companies, as they were 
called, were established at different centres to harass 

The legislation of 1748 followed Culloden as a 
natural secpience. As the rising of 1745 was the 
last blow struck by Highland sentiment against 
Lowland aggression still more than a dynastic 
movement, so was the abolition of the heritable 
jurisdictions tlie dividing line between the Gael of 
ancient and modern times. The Disarming Act of 
1715 was re-enacted and strictly enforced, and it 
was sought still more to break the spirit of the 
people by proscribing the use of the Highland garb. 
The universal feeling of resentment which this 
enactment created is reflected in tlie poetry of the 
time. MacCodrum, the Ixird of North Uist, gives 
expression to this feeling in the most scathing 
terms : — 

" Molachd iiii- an righ thug am bieacau dliinn 
Guidhenni air beul sios blio 'ii a «hin e 'n t-osan." 

The abolition of tlie heritable jurisdictions and 
the appointment of sheriffs responsible to Govern- 
ment completed the destruction of the outward 
framework on which the clan system rested. Some 
reservations were made which affected the lower 
jurisdiction of the baron court, and it continued to 
sit and adjudicate in cases affecting values up to 
40s, and in all cases in connection with estate 
management. The most far-reaching effect of this 
Act was the dissolution of the bond between chief 
and vassal. The claim of the chiefs upon the obedi- 


ence and service of his followers was released ; but, 
while his ritrhts were preserved, those of his vassals, 
who had for ages made the chief's position what it 
was, were left absolutely unsecured. The economic 
movement must have inevitably made a great change 
upon the social conditions. The sudden rise in the 
value of agricultural holdings was caused by the 
increased price of stock, and the change came 
about in such a way that neither tacksmen nor 
small tenants were able to cope with the new con- 
ditions. All this was the result of transforming the 
chief into a landlord, without conservino; the tenants' 
rights under the immemorial, though miwritten, con- 
tract which gave the people, as well as the heads, a 
right upon their native soil. Sometimes those who 
remained, despite the rack-renting and tyranny of 
Lowland factors, relieved their pent-up feelings by 
snatches of satirical song. Such was the case of 
an Ardnamurchan tenant groaning under a South 
country factor or proprietor, who rejoiced in the name 
of Ruddle, c. 1760 :— 

" 'Sann a iiis is beag m' fheuni 
Ged a dh' eireas mi moch 
Le m' cheib as mo leine 
Dol a reubadh nan cnoc 
Cha choisinn mi 'n deirce 
Dhomh fcin no do 'n bhochd 
'S tri mail mini ag eigheach 
Aig an eucorach olc." 

No doubt the circumstances of the chiefs tempted 
them to a commercial policy in relation to their 
estates. Many of them had become considerably 
impoverished owing to a large extent to previous 
forfeitures, and the stringent measures that followed 
the disastrous year of Culloden, and it was only 


natural they should seek to increase their rent-rolls 
when the opportunity ottered. Bui the commercial 
policy gradually alienated from them those loyal 
clansmen whose services were no longer reepiired to 
defend them and their possessions ; the farms of the 
Tacksmen were tlirown into the market and offered 
to the highest bidder, wliile great numbers of the 
Tacksmen and multitudes of their sub-tenants, 
unable to retain their holdings at the increased rent, 
emigrated to the American Colonies. 

After the troubles of the. '45 passed away as to 
their immediate eifects, we find a new feature of 
land tenure, a system of joint tenanc}- b^' tack upon 
the Clanranald estates. In some cases the Tacks- 
men emigrated, leaving the sub-tenants, or at least 
such of them as did not follow them to the new 
world, to hold directly from the proprietor. In other 
cases, wdien the Tacksman who did not emigrate 
wished to farm his own lands, the small tenants, 
instead of being expatriated, w^ere migrated to hill 
pendicles formerly used as summer grazings, and 
these, holding directly from the proprietor, were 
converted into joint tacksmen. In the new settle- 
ments houses were to be built, and march dykes 
erected within two years on spots marked out by 
the proprietor. It is interesting to note that these 
tenant tarms were organised on the principle of the 
ancient township, wlilcli modern crofter legislation 
has perpetuated. The liouses were built on one 
contiguous spot to be marked out, and the tenants 
were to obey the overseers and rulers appointed for 
regidating their labouring, times of grazing, and 
making of kelp. The stream of emigration from the 
Highlands continued to How unrenn'ttingly, until in 
1775 some 20,000 people had left their homes. It 


was not, however, till the failure of the kelp industry 
and the population had greatly increased that com- 
pulsory emigration was resorted to. The country 
was no doubt over-populated when emigration 
began ; but even after it had continued for many 
years, the pressure at home does not appear to have 
been relieved where it was most felt. There was 
no re-distribution of the people when the Tacksmen 
vacated their farms ; but, on the contrary, the 
number of large holdings was increased, and the 
remnant of the Clansmen were relegated to the least 
productive areas of the Isles. 

While many of the straths and glens were being 
depopulated, the military authorities realised what 
a valuable asset for national defence was being 
scattered to the winds by the policy of compulsory 
emigration. The necessity for increasing the 
military forces of the Crown opened the eyes 
of the authorities to the Highlands as a recruiting 
ground. Although the response made by the High- 
landers to the call to arms is said to have been 
hearty, they had not all at once turned loyal to the 
house of Hanover, nor yet was it without pressure 
that the rank and file were induced to enlist in the 
Highland regiments. Officers had much difficulty 
in making uj) their quota of men, and many stalwart 
youths fled to the hills rather than take the King's 
shilling. Lord Macdonald raised a regiment on his 
estates in Skye and Uist in 1778, giving Alexander 
Macdonald of Vallay the captaincy of a company, 
on condition of his raising 45 men, while two 
lieutenants were to raise 25 men each, and the 
ensigns 18 men. Hardly a single recruit could be 
obtained without undue pressure, and the conduct 
of the officers is said to have been harsh in the 


extreme towards those whom they compelled to 
follow them. Brave though the Islesmen have 
proved themselves to be when led by their Chiefs, 
and heroically though they fought in the American 
War for which they so reluctantly enlisted, yet 
they have always had an antipathy towards regular 
military service. The love of home and freedom 
and the traditional attitude towards the Crown may 
explain this aversion towards military service on the 
part of the Highlanders of the 18th century. 




The Chiefship of a Highland Clan nor- a feudal dignity.— Held by 
the consent of the Clan.~The family of Dougall of Clan- 
ranald excluded from the headship of the Clanranald branch. 
— Kanald Gallda and John of Moidart. — Deposition of Iain 
Aluinn.— The Chiefs of Sleat hold their lands without feudal 
investiture defended by the Clan.— The Law of Tanistry.— 
Issue of Handfast Marriages and bastards eligible for Chief- 
ship. — Instances of Lachlan Cattanach Maclean of Duart, 
John of Killin, Angus Og of the Isles, and Donald Dubh.— 
History of the Chiefship of the Clan Donald traced from 
early times— The family of Alexander, Lord of the Isles, 
excluded from the Chiefship.— Succession of Donald of Isla. 
— Celestine of Lochalsh and Hugh of Sleat.— Claim of 
Lochalsh family to the Chiefship.— The Earldom of Ross.— 

The Chiefship of the Clan Donald in the family of Sleat. 

The Glengarry claim. 

The question of the chiefship of a Highland clan 
has to be decided by the laws and customs which 
have regulated the community which formed the 
clan. It is a Celtic, not a feudal dignity, though 
feudalism aftected to a large extent the political 
organisation of the Gael from the very beginning of 
the clan system. Celtic customs survived. The 
land belonged originally to the tribe, or clan, and 
though the chief came in course of time to hold by 
feudal right, yet the clan had not lost their interest 
ni the soil. The chief exercised a certain superi- 
ority, or lordship, over the clan territory, not in his 
individual or private capacity, but as head and in 
name of the clan. The chiefship of a clan is distinct 


from feudal ownership, though both are held in the 
same person. The chief derives his position as such 
from the clan, and he cannot be put over them 
without their consent by any authority whatever. 
This may involve collision with feudal authority. 
Several instances of this are to be found in the 
history of the Clan Donald, and in each case the 
will of the clan prevailed. Dugall MacRanald of 
Islandtirrim, chief of the Clanranald branch, who 
held his lands by feudal tenure, becoming odious to 
the clan, was not only himself assassinated, but his 
sons, by the ancient prerogative of a Celtic tribe, 
were excluded from the succession. The eldest son 
of Dugall was, according to the feudal law, the 
lawful successor to the property, but he a^Dpears to 
have bowed to the verdict of the clan and made no 
claim to his father's inheritance. Another instance 
of a conflict between the jDatriarchal and feudal 
systems, and in which the former finally prevailed 
over the latter, is to be found in the case of Ranald 
Gallda, the son of Allan MacKory of Clanranald. 
John of Moidart, the acknowledged chief of the 
Clanranald, who had offended the Scottish Govern- 
ment, was thrust into prison in Edinburgh Castle in 
1540, and his feudal right was cancelled. During 
his imprisonment Ranald Gallda was discovered and 
feudally invested at Castletirrim. Ronald, though 
of the chief's family and in the line of succession, 
was not the choice of the Clanranald, and, therefore, 
he was repudiated. With the strong arm of the 
Scottish Government behind him, he was not able 
to hold the position against the wish of the clan. 
Their chosen chief, John of Moidart, on being liber- 
ated from his imprisonment, was reinstated by 
them, and he remained in possession of the chiefship 


and the heritage of the Clanranald, without feudal 
investiture, for the remainder of his Hfe — 
dli aindeoin co theireadh e. 

The case of Iain Aluinn of Keppoch is no doul)t 
somewhat different from those to which we have 
referred, inasmuch as there was no actual conflict 
between Celtic and feudal law, but it aifords a 
practical illustration of the right inherent in a clan 
to choose, or reject, its own chief. John of Keppoch 
became an object of aversion to his triba for reasons 
which do not lie within the scope of this chapter, 
and they deprived him of his chiefship, electing at 
the same time another member of his family in his 
stead. The new chief thus succeeded not only to 
the patriarchal dignity, but in virtue of his chief- 
ship, to the family iDheritance as well. The chiefs 
of Keppoch, however, did not hold the inheritance 
of Alastair Carrach by feudal tenure, and there 
were, therefore, no hereditary feudal rights based on 
primogeniture to cause any complications in the 
future between the patriarchal and feudal occupiers 
of the Keppoch lands. 

From the instances now adduced, it will appear 
that while the Highland clans usually accepted as 
head of the race the individual on whom by feudal 
law the ancestral property devolved, emergencies 
sometimes arose when ancient Celtic custom asserted 
itself and the provisions of the feudal law were for 
the time overturned. That the feudal law of 
succession remained inoperative against the wish of 
those occupying the clan territory is seen from the 
case of the Macdonalds of Sleat, who held their 
lands for well nigh a hundred years without feudal 
investiture, the strong arm of the clan proving more 
than a match for the sheepskin right of the charter 


holder, Macleod of Dunvegan. Thus it appears that 
without the consent of the clan neither the feudal 
possession of the clan territory nor the dignity of 
chief could be held, and that without chiefship 
feudal investiture could not be obtained. In this 
way the clan retained in a measure its original hold 
on the tribal inheritance. It held the key of the 
position and exercised its right when the occasion 
arose to depose one chief and elect another, as the 
British people exercised their right when in 1688 
they deposed one monarch and elected another 
member of his family to reign in his stead. 

While the law of primogeniture is the dominating 
principle of feudal succession, the law of tanistry is 
the regulative law of Celtic succession. This law of 
tanistry embraced certain main features, one of 
which was that the succession was always continued 
in the family of the chief, within three degrees of 
relationship to the main line. Brothers succeeded 
preferably to sons, with the view of providing the 
tribe with a leader in all their enterprises, while the 
succession must always be carried on with the 
approval (jf the clan. The feudal law no doubt 
greatly modified the ancient Celtic law. Primo- 
geniture as the law of feudal succession was allowed 
in most cases to supersede Celtic tradition. It was 
convenient so long as the feudal heir was acceptable 
to the community that he should also succeed to the 
chiefship, yet there were occasions when the 
unwritten law of Gaelic society broke through the 
restraints of feudalism, powerful though they were, 
and when the right of election, which in the last 
resort lay with the clan, was put in force. If the 
clan accepted him and called him to his position, the 
chief's right is not to be questioned. The issue of 


handfast marriages, and even bastards, were not 
excluded. Lachlan Cattanach Maclean, though 
undoubtedly illegithnate, was acknowledged by his 
clan as their chief. His illegitimacy has never been 
made an argument against the chiefship of the 
family of Duart, and the present representative of 
that family who is Chief of the Clan Maclean, is the 
direct male heir of Lachlan. In like manner, John 
of Killin, though illegitimate, became the chief of 
the Clan Mackenzie, and transmitted the chiefship 
to a long line of successors. Similarly, Angus Og, 
who was also illegitimate, was not only declared 
feudal heir to his father, John, Lord of the Isles, but 
was besides acknowledged by the Clan Donald as 
heir presumptive to the chiefship. His son, Donald 
Dubh, was afterwards acknowledged ae chief, and 
there is no doubt whatever that if he had left 
descendants the chiefship would have remained 
undisputed with them. The title of Lord of the 
Islee was not synonymous with chiefship. It 
certainly included, but it meant more than the 
chiefship of the Clan Donald. The vassals of the 
Lordship who were not of the Clan Donald adhered 
to the Lord of the Isles ae the embodiment 
of Gaelic supremacy rather than as chief of a 
clan. These ' vassals as separate clans adhered 
to their own chiefs, while the Clan Donald, besides 
acknowledging Donald Dubh as Lord of the Isles, 
accepted him as their chief. It will thus be seen 
that the clan, in the exercise of their undoubted 
right, acknowledged the feudal heir of the Lord of 
the Isles as their chief, in spite of the irregularity of 
his descent. 

Having so far considered the principles that 
determine Celtic succession, we shall now endeavour 


to trace the history of the chiefship of the Clan 
Donald from early times, and notice the claims 
which from time to time have been put forward to 
that dignity. The arguments which have been 
adduced point with no uncertain indication to the 
conclusion that the question of the chiefship of the 
clan must be looked at and determined not upon the 
principles of feudal law as expressed in succession by 
primogeniture, but that the elective power resting 
in the clan must be regarded as having a most 
important bearing on the issue. The first break in 
the chain of feudal succession in the family of Isla is 
to be traced to Alexander, Lord of the Isles, who on 
account of his opposition to the Bruce interest was 
deprived of his possessions and dignities. It is not 
easy to arrive at any definite conclusion as to the 
attitude of the adherents of the House of Isla at this 
juncture in the fortunes of the Bruce party. They 
may or may not have approved at the outset of the 
part played by Alexander. It may have been that 
when they saw the tide turn in favour of Bruce they 
rallied to the standard of Angus Og. In any case, 
the Clan Choi la, whose numbers must have been 
considerable at this time, accepted Angus as chief, 
and with many other adherents of the family 
followed his banner to Bannockburn. It is quite 
evident that Angus Og, feudal investiture notwith- 
standing, could not have succeeded to the chiefship 
to the exclusion of the son of Alexander, if the 
adherents of the family had chosen to oppose his 
claims. No amount of pressure from without would 
have sufficed to keep the new Lord of the Isles in 
possession of the patriarchal dignity against the 
consent of the adherents of the House of Isla. The 
sons of Alexander, who afterwards settled in Ireland, 


appear to have acquiesced in the decision of their 
kinsmen. Neither they, nor any of then' descend- 
ants, so far as we know, ever put forward a claim to 
the dignities of the House of Isla. 

The succession by primogeniture is not again 
interrupted until we come to DonakI, the eldest son 
of the second marriage of John of Isla, who suc- 
ceeded to the chiefship in preference to Reginald, 
the eklest son of the first marriage. In view of the 
claims which were afterwards put forward by the 
descendants of Reginald, and the controversy which 
arose over the representation of his family, it will be 
necessary at this stage to state the facts of the case. 
The jDrimary question which presents itself for 
solution is, in which of the two families, the family 
of Amie MacRuarie, John of Isla's first wife, or that 
of Margaret Stewart, John's second wife, was the 
chiefship of the Olan Donald handed down. In 
answering this question we shall be careful to 
remember, as already stated at length, that v/e a,re 
dealing with a Celtic and not a feudal dignity, and 
that it is necessary to separate the two questions 
and treat them in the light of the phases of social 
culture to which they respectively belong. In pro- 
nouncing upon the chiefship as a Celtic question, we 
are not called upon to consider whether the sons of 
John of Isla by Amie, or his sons by the Princess 
Margaret, were his feudal heirs. We have rather to 
ask whether there is evidence to show how in the 
order of Celtic succession the chiefship was trans 
mitted, whether through the family of Amie Mac- 
Ruarie or that of Margaret Stewart. The answer 
to this question lies in the fact, to which the 
traditional historian of the family of Clanranald 
draws attention, that the old Celtic Lordship of the 



Isles, which included the chiefship of the Clan 
Donald, down from the immemorial past, was trans- 
mitted to Donald, the eldest son of John of Isla, by 
the daughter of the King of Scotland. The inter- 
esting ceremonial by which this dignity was trans- 
mitted has already been fully related in the first 
volume of this work. All that is necessary to add 
at present is that the ceremony described by Hugh 
Macdonald, Celtic in its spirit, conception, aad 
details, and conducted with the approval of the 
gentry of the Isles, settled the question of the chief- 
ship. On a certain day at Kildonan, in the Island 
of Eigg, Reginald, the son of John of Isla, who, 
according to MacVurich, was Stewart of the Isles at 
the time, handed over to Donald the sceptre of 
Innsegall, in the presence, and finally with the 
consent, of the men of the Isles, when " he was 
nominated Macdonald and Donald of Isla." The 
MacYurich narrative indicates a certain amount of 
natural hesitation on the part of the men of the Isles 
to give their consent to Reginald's surrender of, and 
Donald's election to, the chiefship ; but in the 
course of the narrative it becomes clear that after 
all the procedure was carried out with the consent 
of the brethren and nobles of the Isles. Donald's 
proclamation as " Macdonald and Donald of Isla" 
must be regarded, on any reasonable view, as his 
appointment to the position of patriarchal head of 
his race. In recognition of this fact, all the 
branches of the family of Macdonald followed the 
banner of the Lords of Innsegall through fortune 
and misfortune down to 1493, when the feudal 
honour was for ever withdrawn. Even after the 
Lordship of the Isles as a feudal honour had passed 
away, the clan followed the lead of Donald Dubh, 


the representative of the old family, and acknow- 
ledged him as their chief The abortive and short- 
lived effort on the part of the clan to put James 
Macdonald of Dunnyveg into the place left vacant 
by Donald Dubh's demise was made in consequence 
of the fact that the only descendant of Donald of 
Harlaw qualified by birth to possess the vacant 
dignity, namely, the Chief of Sleat, was at this 
time a -child, a fact which at such a crisis in the 
history of the family was sufficient to invalidate his 

On the death of Donald Dubh the direct line of 
chiefs from John, Earl of Ross, came to an end. 
But besides John, Alexander, Earl of Ross, left other 
two sons, Celestine and Hugh, either of whom was 
quahfied by birth and position to perpetuate the 
chiefshijD of the clan. Were the chiefship a feudal 
honour, it is questionable whether these two sons 
of Alexander could have inherited or transmitted 
that distinction, seeing that both appear to have 
been the issue of those " handfast " unions, corres- 
ponding to what is known in modern times as 
Scotch marriages. These marriages were not 
solemnised by the Church, and, therefore, in the eye 
of the feudal law, their offs^^ring was not strictly 
legitimate. We have shown, however, in our first 
volume (page 432, et seq.) that these unions were 
recognised in Celtic law and their offspring was 
regarded as legitimate by the canon law of the 
Church. It is noteworthy that in the various 
charters and confirmations in favour of Celestine 
and Hugh, the term hastardus, which is always 
employed when thorough illegitimacy is meant to be 
conveyed, is never used. In the charter of con- 
firmation granted by James IV. to Hugh of Sleat m 


1495, he is refeiTed to as a brother simply of John, 
Lord of the Isles, without the qualification of either 
cmiialis or hastardiis. Nor was it deemed necessary, 
as in the case of others, that Hugh should obtain a 
charter of legitimation before receiving feudal investi- 
ture. In any case, the feudal irregularity of the 
birth of Celestine and Hugh was no barrier against 
the inheritance or transmission by either of them of 
the chiefship of the Clan Donald. In the line of 
Celestine of Lochalsh, who to all appearance was the 
older son, we should have looked for the chiefship 
after the death of Donald Dubh, but Donald Gallda, 
the grandson of Celestine, died in 1519, when the 
male representation of the family came to an end. 
Both Alexander of Lochalsh, and his son, Donald 
Gallda, however, aspired to the succession to the 
Lordship of the Isles, and the chiefship of the Clan 
Donald. Before proceeding to consider the claim of 
the family of Sleat to the chiefship of the clan, 
the opportunity seems favourable for indicating our 
opinion, and it is quite unnecessary to be otherwise 
than brief, about the Earldom of Boss. It has been 
contended that this Earldom, destined to heirs 
general, devolved upon the family of Glengarry by 
the marriage of Margaret, eldest daughter of Alex- 
ander of Lochalsh, to Alexander, the sixth of 
Glengarry. Had the Earldom of Boss been a Celtic 
honour, this contention might be successfully vindi- 
cated. It must be obvious, however, that in this 
case we have to deal, not with a Celtic but with a 
feudal dignity, and while we contend, and rightly, 
we believe, for the legitimacy of Celestine and Hugh 
for the transmission of the Celtic honours of the 
clan, neither of them was qualified without a charter 
of legitimation from the Crown to hand down the 



Earldom of Ross. If this view is correct, it follows 
that the rej)resentation of the Earldom of Ross 
passed out of the family of the Isles with the for- 
feiture of John, Earl of Ross, in 1476. 

From the death of Donald Dubh downwards, there 
is no doubt whatever as to the family which the 
general concensus of the clan regarded as containing 
the chiefship of the race of Donald. The family of 
Sleat alone stood in the direct line of succession to 
the old family of the Isles, and beside theirs there is 
no other claim that can for a moment be enter- 
tained. Though John, the second of Sleat, regard- 
less of the honour of his house, attempted to put the 
patrimony of the family past his brother, Donald 
Gallach, that does not affect the patriarchal position 
of Donald in the very least. The Clan Uisdein 
accepted Donald as their chief, and defended him in 
the possession of the family inheritance. Without 
their consent it was not possible for him to hold the 
position, and they on their part would not have 
accepted him as their chief if he had not been looked 
upon as the rightful heir of the family. That the 
Clan Uisdein and the Clan Donald generally 
regarded the family of Sleat as in the direct line of 
succession to the chiefship is shown by their hearty 
support of the claim put forward by Donald Gorm 
in 1539. Seeing that Donald Dubh was ajDparently 
a prisoner for life, and the family of Lochalsh had 
become extinct in the male line, the honours of the 
House of Isla appeared to devolve upon the family 
of Sleat. This was the view taken by the Clan 
Donald and the majority of the vassals of the Isles 
who supported the claim of Donald Gorm. Donald's 
attempt failed with his death at Ellandonan, 
Though no effort was made by force of arms to 


restore the Island Lordship after the last attempt 
in 1545, yet the Sleat family continued to be 
acknowledged both in Scotland and in England as 
the representatives of the old family and chiefs of 
the Clan Donald. Dean Munro of the Isles, who 
wrote his well-known Manuscript in 1549, and whose 
knowledge of Island history and genealogy seems to 
have been both accurate and minute, in enumerating 
the branches of the Clan Donald gives the first place 
to the family of Sleat. Donald Gorm Sasunnach, 
the son of Donald Gorm, who met his death at 
Ellandonan, appears to have been regarded not only 
as the lineal descendant of the Lords of the Isles, 
but as the actual possessor of that dignity. He 
joined Sorley Buy Macdonald in his Irish campaigns, 
and in the Calendar of State Papers he appears on 
more than one occasion as " Lord of the Oute Isles." 
In a letter by Donald Gorm Mor to the Lord Deputy 
of Ireland, he refers to the old bond between his 
predecessors, the Lords of the Isles, and the Crown 
of England, and to the hospitality extended to his 
father, whom he styles Lord of the Isles, during his 
stay at the English Court. If to this affirmation be 
added the evidence adduced from other sources, it 
will appear that the family of Sleat not only looked 
upon themselves as the representatives of the Lords 
of the Isles, but that the}^ were regarded as such by 
the country generally. Donald Gorm Mor himself 
not only claimed to be Lord of the Isles, but he was 
actually acknowledged as such by the vassals of the 
Lordship, while the Clan Donald at the same time 
acknowledged him as their chief In 1575, two 
years after the death of his father, they chose him 
" as their Lord and ruler of the Isles." In his offers 
to Queen Elizabeth in 1598, Donald Gorm refers to 


this acknowledgment on the part of the vassals of 
the Isles, and styles himself " Lord of ye Illis of 
Scotland and Chieff of the haill Clandonald Irische- 
men quhairsoeuir." He further declares that the 
Captain of Clanranald, Glengarry, Keppoch, Mac- 
Iain of Ardnamurchan, and Macdonald of Dunnyveg, 
are sworn to follow, serve, and obey him with all 
their forces. This decided acknowledgment on the 
part of the whole Clan Donald of Donald Goim, is 
enough to settle all controversy on the question of 
the chiefship, and should satisfy every reasonable 
person of the undoubted right of the family of Sleat 
to that honour, It may have been to this declar- 
ation of chiefship Hugh Macdonald refers when he 
says that the family of Sleat " can produce a paper 
signed by all the principal men of the name wherein 
they acknowledge the head of the family as chief" 
Donald Gorm afterwards, in his bond to Mackintosh, 
takes burden upon him for Angus Macdonald of 
Dunnyveg, with the remainder of " thair haill kyn 
of Clan Donald." His successor, Sir Donald, appears 
from the records of the time to have been acknow- 
ledged all over the Highlands as head of the Clan 
Donald, and held responsible for their behaviour by 
those in authority, which of itself, however, would 
have meant little if his position as chief had not 
been otherwise secured by the assent of the clan. 
Sir James Macdonald of Sleat was similarly acknow- 
ledged as "chief of the whole name and family of 
Macdonald " by a written declaration signed by 
Donald Macdonald of Moidart, A. Macdonald of 
Ardnamurchan, G. Macalister of Loup, Angus Mac- 
donald of Largie. Alexander Macdonald of Glencoe, 
and John Donaldson. This document, which bears 
no date, but must have been written before 167U, 


was ] egistered in the Books of Council and Session 
in 1726. It will be observed that all the heads of 
the branch families of the name signed this declar- 
ation except Keppoch and Glengarry. Coll Mac- 
donald of Keppoch, however, a few years afterwards, 
■ signed a similar declaration in favour of Sir Donald 
Macdonald, Sir James's son, which was likewise 
registered in 1726. The omission of Glengarry is 
easily explained when we remember that the head 
of the Glengarry family at that time was Lord Aros, 
who, presuming on his peerage and high favour at 
Court, claimed to be chief of the whole clan. It 
may have been on account of Glengarry's pretensions 
that the other heads of families felt called upon to 
draw up their written declaration acknowledging 
Sir James as chief, a proceeding which, on account 
of his well established right to the honour, would 
have been otherwise unnecessary. We shall refer 
to the Glengarry claim presently. Meanwhile it 
remains only to add from the evidence we have 
adduced that the right of the family of Sleat to the 
chiefship of the Clan Donald is clearly established. 
Their hereditary male descent in the direct line of 
-the chiefshij^ is undoubted, besides which they have 
been from time to time acknowledged as chiefs by 
the whole Clan Donald, and from the verdict of the 
clan there is no appeal. In documents of the 18th 
century the later heads of the family are frequently 
to b>e met with styled " of Macdonald " and " of the 
Isles," while they are acknowledged as such 
repeatedly by the heads of the other branches, 
including Glengarry. 

After what has been already stated in regard to 
the surrender of his claims by Reginald, the son of 
John of Fsla, and the acknowleds;ment by the Clan 


Donald and the vassals of the Isles of his brother 
Donald, it is unnecessary to dwell at an}^ great 
length on the claim of yEneas, Lord Macdonald of 
Glengarry, to the chiefship. It is not difficult to 
conjecture the grounds upon which Glengarry based 
his claim, though these are not actually stated. 
We have no means of knowing whether he claimed 
the Lordship of the Isles as well as the chiefship of 
the Clan Donald, Any claim he might put forward 
to the Lordship of the Isles through the family of 
Lochalsh, from whom he was descended on the 
female side, could not be admitted, the Island 
dignity not being destined to heirs female. Even 
his claim to the Earldom of Ross through this 
family, though possibly made with some show of 
reasoning, w^as not allowed. Though a warrant was 
issued by Charles 11. bestowing the Earldom of Ross 
upon him, when the question came to be sifted it 
was found that his claim to the Earldom was not 
well founded, and the patent never passed the seals. 
The only plausible claim he could make to the chief- 
ship of the Clan Donald was on the ground of his 
descent from Reginald, the founder of the Clan- 
ranald, whom the family of Moidart, as the senior 
branch, claimed to represent. The real ground, 
indeed, on which Glengarry based his claim to the 
headship of the Clan Donald, appears to have been 
his peerage. His peerage elevated him into a 
prominent position in the country, and being evi- 
dently a man who had a high opinion of his own 
importance, he arrogated to himself the dignity of 
chiefship probably without waiting to consider either 
his own claims or those of others. Much was made 
by a later representative of his family of an order of 
the Scottish Privy Council commanding Lord Mac- 


donald " as chief of the name and Clan of 
Macdonald" to exhibit before the Council Mac- 
donald of Keppoch, and a number of others, his own 
immediate followers. It was no doubt very grati- 
fying to Glengarry to be thus acknowledged as chief 
of the Clan Donald, but the object of the members 
of Council, who cared little for such dignities, was 
to enforce salutary discipline among the neighbours 
and adherents of Lord Macdonald, all the easier to 
be attained if they flattered his personal vanity. 
Needless to say, the clansmen referred to in the 
Order of Council represented but a mere fraction of 
the Clan Donald, nor would it have deserved any 
notice in a discussion on the chiefship except to 
show the absurdity of Lord Macdonald's pretensions. 
The Privy Council of Scotland was hardly the 
tribunal to appeal to to decide a question of chief- 
ship, and we are not aware of any other acknow- 
ledgment of the chiefship of Glengarry. In the 
following year, after the dignity of chief had been 
conferred on Glengarry by the Council, he in a bond 
with Macpherson of Cluny unwarrantably takes 
burden upon him for " the name and Clan of Mac- 
donalds as cheefe and principall man thereof." This 
assumption of chiefshij^ by Glengarry received no 
recognition, it is needless to say, from the great 
body of the clan, or in the Highlands generally, nor 
is there any evidence of his being acknowledged as 
chief of the Clan Donald even by his own tribe of 

The Glengarry claim was afterwards revived 
with great vehemence, after an interval of a hundred 
and fifty years, by Alastair Macdonell of Glengarry, 
who, to emphasise his claim, adopted the name of 
KanaJdson, as the former Angus Macdonald of Glen- 


garry blossomed into ^neas, Lord Macdoiiell. the 
first to assume this would-be Gaelic form of the 
name with the Anglican pronunciation. Alastair 
bassd his claim on his descent from Reginald, the 
eldest son of John, Lord of the Tsles, and bastardised 
all who awkwardly stood in his way. He in the 
first instance challenged the family of Moidart to 
prove their claim to be the senior branch of the 
Clanranald, asserting at the same time his own 
claim on the ground of his descent from the eldest 
son of Reginald, the founder of the Clanranald. 
But he showed the weakness of his case at the very 
outset of the controversy by laying much emphasis 
on the illeffitimacv of John of Moidart, one of the 
chiefs of Clanranald, thus unwittingly acknowledging 
the seniority of the family of Moidart in the attempt 
to prove a break in the line of succession. The 
Glengarry family had already given away their case 
by acknowledging the chiefship of this same John 
of Moidart in the bond between Angus MacAlister 
of Glengarry and Grant of Freuchy in 1571. Even 
though it were admitted that John of Moidart was 
feudally illegitimate, the fact that he had been 
acknowledged by the Clanranald as their chief, and 
that the chiefship had been transmitted in his family 
without challenge for centuries, puts the Glengarry 
claim out of cou^t entirely, and establishes without 
question the chiefship of the Clanranald in the 
family of Moidart. If the Glengarry claim to the 
chiefship of the Clanranald, based as it is on descent 
from Reginald, cannot be entertained, it follow^s that 
the chiefship of the Clan Donald cannot be in the 
family of Glengarry. The chiefship of the whole 
clan Mas the real object of the controversy between 
Glengarry and Clanranald. In the advertisement 


to the volume, " Vindication of the Clanronald of 
Glengarry," published for Glengarry, it is assuiiKjd 
that whoever proved to be chief of the ClanranalcL 
ipso facto proved his right to the headship of the 
Clan Donald. But we have already shown that the 
chiefship of the clan cannot be settled upon the 
principle of primogeniture, upon which Glengarry 
based his claim. On the same ground the claim put 
forward to the chiefship on behalf of E-anald George 
Macdonald of Clanranald in 1819 cannot be enter- 
tained. While the claim of the family of Moidart 
to the chiefship of Clanranald is undoubted, the 
chiefship of the whole Clan Donald, as already 
clearly proved, remains without question in the 
family of Sleat. 





Few prefatory remarks are needed in coiniecfcion 
with this subject. Suffice it to say that the race, 
of which Clan Donald are the principal house, was 
known, not only in early times, but even under the 
later dynasty of the Lords of the Isles, as the 
" Clann Cholla." It was well on in the 14th century 
when " O'Henna made this on John of Isla — 

The Sovereignty of the Gael to the Clann Cholla 
It is right to proclaim it." 

A genealogy of the Lords of the Isles to be complete 
must include the descent from Colla Uathais, or 
Uais, from whom the Clann Cholla derive their 
name. It may be stated at the outset that an 
egregious error has crept into the statements of the 
Seanachies in deducing the pedigree of this family, 
by which they have sunk nine or ten generations, 
namely, all the grades from Fergus Mac Ere, the 
founder of the Dalriadic nation in Scotland. The 
Annals of Ulster have fallen into the same mistake, 
and all with the result of giving an air of unreality 
to these genealogies. It is hoped that the system 
developed in these pages may remedy this error. 

I. Coll, or Colla Uathais, 6th in descent from 
Constantino Centimachus, who flourished a.d. 125.^ 

' Anuals of the Four Masters. 


The son of Constantine — or Conn Ceud-chaihach — 
was Art Aanfhir, who built the celebrated palace of 
Maigh Chuarta. The son of Art was Cormac, the 
father of another Arthur whose son was Cor bred or 
Cairbre Riada, founder of the Dah-eudini or Dal- 
riadic race, and from whom the name Dalriad took 
its rise. Corbred was the father of Eothach 
Eochaidh, or Ochains, whose son was Colla Uathais. 
From him the ancestors of the Macdonalds and 
other collateral races were termed Clann Cholla. 

II. Ethach or EocHAi, latinized Ochaius, was 
the son of Colla Uathais, and succeeded his father. 

III. Arthue,, son of Ethach, carried down the 
line of succession. In one of the Annals he is called 
Criomhthan. Some of them omit him altogether. 
But in Munro's MS. of 1549, and the Kilbride MS. 
of 1450, he is distinctly traced as the son of Ethach 
and the father of 

IV. Erc or Eric, the father of the three Dal- 
riadic princes that finally established themselves in 
Argyll.^ He flourished in the latter part of the 5th 
century. He had three sons, Lome, Fergus, and 
Angus, who are said to have received the blessings 
of Saint Patrick before they left their native shore 
for Caledonia. Lome settled in the district which 
bears his name, Fergus in Kintyre, and Angus, the 
youngest, in Isla.^ The descendants of Lome and 
those of Fergus by two grandsons, namely, Comgall 
and Gauran, sons of Domangart, claimed each in 
turn the Dalriadic sceptre, which caused much 
trouble and bloodshed. This state of things con- 
tinued from the beginning of the 9th century for 
the period of 300 years, until Fergus's offspring by 
Gauran in the person of Alpin by his father's 

^ Col. de Reb. Alb., p. 60-61. " Ibid. 


marriage with the daughter of Urquis, King of the 
Picts, united the whole of Scotland to the north of 
Strathclyde and Lothian, over which Kenneth his 
son ruled as one monarch. From the second Fergus, 
uncle to Alpin, sprang, as will be seen, the family 
afterwards distinguished as Lords of Argyll and the 

V. Fergus, one of the sons of Ere, or, as he is 
sometimes called, Fergus Mor. He commanded the 
Dalriads that settled in Argyll after the death of 
Lome, his elder brother. His grandson acquired 
the district of Kintyre first allotted to Angus by his 
marriage with the daughter of Murdoch Angus's 
son. The three brothers, the sons of Ere, landed in 
Argyll in 466, and Ere is said to have died in 502.^ 

VT. DoMANGART, SOU of Fergus, held the 
sovereignty three years only, and died in 505.^ He 
was succeeded by Comgall, son of Domangart, who 
seems to have been the eldest son, but Gauran or 
Godfrey, his brother, succeeded him. Comgall died 
in 538.' 

VII. Gauran wielded the sceptre over the Dal- 
riads for the period of twenty-two years, and died 
in 560.^ Conall or Donal, the son of Comgall, 
succeeded his uncle, Gauran, and reigned sixteen 
years. His death, according to Tighearnac, took 
place in 574. 

YIII. AiDAN or Hugh, the son of Gauran, next 
succeeded. He held the principality for thirty-eight 
years, and died in 606. He had a brother named 
Ewan, whose son was RiguUan. 

IX. Ethach or EocHA of the yellow locks, son of 
the above Aodh or Hugh, styled also Aidan of the 
golden-hilted sword, assumed the sovereigntv over 

' Tighearnac Cdl. de Reb. Alb. - I Lid. ^ Ibid. ■* Ibid. 


the Dalriads. He died in 623.^ He had a brother 
named Conan, and several sons, viz., Conan Cearr 
Bran, Domangart, Eochfinn, Arthur, and Failbhe. 

X. Donald Brec, the son of Ethach or Eocha 
Buidhe, took the sceptre neither as the immediate 
successor of his father, Ethach, nor of his elder 
brother, Conan Cearr, who was in power for three 
months only, but as immediate successor to Fearchar, 
son of Ewen, of the race of Lome, who reigned for 
sixteen years. Donald died after reigning five 
years according to the Irish Annals, but fourteen 
according to the Albanic Duan. He was succeeded 
by Conal or Donal, son of Duncan, and grandson of 
Conal (already mentioned), son of Comgall, of the 
race of Fergus. Domgall, also of the race of Lome, 
reigned over that race at the same time. Conal, 
surnamed Crandomna, died in 660. Donald Duinn, 
his son, succeeded, and Maolduinn, his brother, 
succeeded him. The former reigned thirteen and 
the latter seventeen years. They had a brother 
named Conan. Ferchar Fada reigned over Argyll 
after Donald Brec. He was of the Lome race. He 
died in 697, after a reign of twenty-one years. ^ 

XL Domangart, the son of Donald Brec, did 
not succeed to the sovereignty. His brother, Cata- 
saigh, also died young. 

XII. Ethach or Eocha Bineval, the son of 
Domangart, succeeded to the throne after the death 
of Fearchar Fada for the period of two years only. 
The son of Fearchar Fada took up the sceptre after 
his death, and Selvach, another son of the same, 
succeeded Ainceallach. Duncan, a descendant of 
Fergus, by Comgall, next succeeded. He died in 

^ Annals of Inuisf alien. 
- Irish Annals. Coll, cle Reb. Alb. ^ Ibid. 


XIII. Ethaoh, the son of* the above Ethach 
assumed the govei'iimeiit in 72G. He died in 733. 
During liis son's minority, Muireadach, the son of 
Ainceallach, was sovereign prince for a short time, 
and was succeeded by Ewen, his son.^ 

XIV. AiDAN or Hugh, the fair son of Each of 
the steeds, above mentioned, succeeded to power. 
He held it thirty years, and died in 778. 

XV. Fergus, the son of Aidan or Aodhfin (fair- 
haired), next succeeded. His reign lasted only 
three years, and during his son's minority the 
sceptre was taken by Selvach 2nd of the race of 
Lorn, who held it for four-and-twenty years. 
Eocha Anfhuinn (weak), the son of Aidan, next 
succeeded, and reigned thirty years, and after him 
Dungal, the son of the above Selvach, swayed the 
sceptre for seven years. Eocha or Ochaius estab- 
lished the throne by his marriage with Urgusia, 
daughter of the Pictish sovereign, an alliance which 
enabled his grandson, Kenneth MacAlpin, after- 
wards to claim and acquire the Pictish sceptre in 
right of his grandmother. The descendants of 
Ethach were enabled to keep a firm hold of the 
Dalriadic sceptre to the exclusion of the offspring 
of Fergus, and also afforded them an opportunity of 
extendintr the whole of Caledonia without extir- 
l^ating the Picts, as was at one time asserted by 
historians. Ethach was succeeded by Alpin, and 
Alpin by Kenneth, who removed the seat of his 
court from the western Coast of Argyll to the 

The descendants of Fergus who still remained in 
the West owned the territory of Argayl and some 
of the Isles, and there we find them when the 

' Irish Annals. Coll de Reb. Alb. 



public record.s or other collateral testimony hajDpens 
to notice them. We have no means of* doing more 
than naming these in the order of their descent, as 
shown by the oldest genealogies we have, and the 
account joreserved in the Annals of Ulster, The 
son of Fergus who represented the Dalriadic power 
in the West was 

XVI. Maine, or, according to Munro, Eacime. 
His son was 

XVII. Godfrey, whose daughter was the wife 
of Kenneth MacAlpin, and who was known in his 
day as Toshach of the Isles. The son and successor 
of Godfrey was 

XVIII. NiALGUS, or, a,ccording to some, Neill. 
His son was 

XIX. Suibne, according to Dean Munro 
SwYFFiNE. His son was 

XX. Mearedha, latinized Marcus, and Hailes 
in his Annals states that Kenneth, King of the 
Scots ; Malcolm, King of the Cambri ; and Marcus, 
King of the Isles, entered into a bond of treaty for 
mutual assistance and defence in the year 973. 
This shows that Lords of the Isles existed before 
Somerled's time. The son of Mearrdha was 

XXI. Sol AIM, Solan, or Sella, whose son and 
heir in the Lordship of Argyll and the Isles was 

XXII. Gilledomnan. It was during the life- 
time of this chief that the Western Isles of Scot- 
land were completely subjugated by the piratical 
Norsemen. His daughter married Harold Gillies, 
King of Norway. Gilliedomnan was succeeded by 

XXIII. Gillebride or Gilbert, who is men- 
tioned by the oldest Highland genealogist as " rig 
eilean Shidir," that is, King of the Sudereys or 
Southern Isles. His daughter was the wife of 


Wymund MacHeth, Earl of Moray. He was called 
Gillchride na li-Uamh, from the fact that during a 
certain period of his depressed fortunes he lived in 
a cave in the district of Morvern. From Gillebride 
are said to have descended — besides the Clan 
Donald and Clan Dougall, etc. — the Maclachlans, 
MacEwin of Otter, and others. His son was 
Soraerled rex insularum, or, as he is known in 
Hiofhland tradition, Somhairle Mor MacGillehhride. 


I. SoMERLED is known to have married Ragn- 
hildis, daughter of Olave the Black, King of Man, 
and had three sons — 

L Reginald, ancestor of the family, particularly designated 
"De He." 

2. Dugall, who had three sons — (1) Dugall Scrag ; (2) 

Duncan ; (3) Uspac Hakon. Dugall Scrag and 
Uspak Hacon died withoiit issue, Duncan was suc- 
ceeded by his son, King Ewin, or, as he is called in 
the Sagas, King John. This King John's line is 
said to have terminated in two heiresses, one of whom 
m. the King of Norway, and the other — Juliana — 
m. Alexander of Isla, son of Angus Mor. 

3. Angus, the youngest son of Somerled, had a son, James, 

whose daughter, Jane, m. Alexander, eldest son of 

Walter -Stew art of Scotland. Walter, son of Ai3xander 

and of Jane, of the house of Somerled, nj. Marjory 

Bruce, whose son was Robert II. The descendants 

of Angus MacSomerled appear to be extinct in the 

male line. 

He had another son, Gille Galium, killed at Renfrew, 

who may have been by a former wife. If this was so, 

the seanachies would be right in saying that Reginald 

Wcis Somerled's oldest surviving son, while the Manx 

chronicle would be right in stating that Reginald was 

second in order of birth. Other sons are said to have 

been Gall MacSgillin, the progenitor of the Clan Gall of 

the Glens, and Olave. He also had a daughter, Beatrice, 

who was Prioress of lona. 


IT. Reginald, son of Somerled, m. Fonia, grand- 
daughter of Fergus, Prince of Galloway. By this 
lady he had — 

1. Donald, from whom the Clan Donald. 

2. Roderick, and, according to some genealogists, 

3. Dugall. 

4. A daughter said to have married Allan of Galloway. 

III. Donald, son of Reginald, and progenitor of 
the Clan Donald, carried on the line of the Kings of 
Innsegall. He m. a daughter of Walter Stewart of 
Scotland, and had two sons, who ap2:)ear on record — 

1. Angus Mor. 

2. Alexander, known as Alastair Alor. 

IV. Angus Mor m. a daughter of Sir Colin 
Campbell of Lochow, by whom he had three sons — 

1. Alexander, his heir. 

2. Angus, called, in contradistinction to his father, Angus 


3. John " Sprangach," progenitor of the Macians of Ardna- 

murchan, Angus Mor was succeeded by his son 

V. Alexander, who espoused the cause of 
Edward I. as against Robert Bruce. On Bruce 
achieving the independence of Scotland, Alexander, 
on account of his attitude, was forfeited in all his 
estate, and his descendants cut oflpfrom the succession 
for ever. He m. Juliana of Lome, and had six 
sons — 

Black .John, Ueginald, Somerled, Angus, Godfrey, and Charles 
Alexander died a prisoner in Dundonald Castle, and was succeeded 
by his brother, 

VI. Angus Og. He appears at the outset of the 
War of Independence as attached to the English 
interest, but before long became a strenuous sup- 
porter of the Bruce, and did yeoman service in the 
final struggle at Bannockburn. He m. Agnes, 
daughter of Gu}^ O'Cahan of Ulster, by whom he 
had John, his successor. 


He had another son, John, known as Iain Fraocli, progenitor 
of the family of Glenco, and who is alleged by the seanachies to 
have been illegitimate. The mother of this John was a daughter 
of Dougall MacHenry, a leading man in Glenco. Angus Ug was 
succeeded by 

VII. John, known as "the good John of Isla," 
owing to his benefactions to the Church. He m. 
Amy, daughter of Roderick, son of Allan MacRuari, 
his third cousin, for which union they are said to 
have obtained a papal dispensation, and had 

1. John, whose son Angus is mentioned as oue of the 

hostages given to King David in pledge of the fidelity 
of the Lord of the Isles. John predeceased his 
father, and his son Angus does notappear to have left 

2. Reginald or Ranald, ancestor of the Clanranald. 

3. Godfrey, of whom the Siol Ghorraidh. John of Isla is 

said to have repudiated Amy Macrnari, his first wife, 
in favour of the Princess Margaret of Scotland, 
daughter of Robert II., whom he manied as his 
second wife. By the Princess Margaret he had 

4. Donald, his successor. 

5. John Mor Tanistear, founder of the family of Dunnyveg. 

6. Angus, who left no issue. 

7. Alexander, known as Alastair Carrach, of whom the 

family of Keppoch. 
8. Hugh, who got a Charter of the Thanage of Glentilt, 

and whose descendants, according to Skene, became 

John had also a natural son, Donald, who is mentioned 
as one of the hostages placed in the King's hands a« 
pledge for his fidelity. He had a daughter Mary, who 
married Lachlan Lubanach Maclean of Duart, and 
another daughter Margaret, who married Angus Dubh 
Mackay of Strathnaver. John's familv by the lirst wife- 
having been cut oft" from the succession to the lordship 
of the Isles, John was succeeded by 

VIII. Donald of Harlaw, Lord of the Isles. 
He m. Lady Mary Leslie, daughter of Sir Walter 
Leslie by Euphemia, Countess of Ross. Lady Mary 


Leslie, wife of Donald, Lord of the Isles, became 
Countess of Ross in her own right, the dignity 
being destined to heirs general. By her Donald 
had two sons — 

1. Alexander, who succeeded his father ; and 

2. Angus, who became Bishop of the Fsles. 

He had another son, a monk, w^hose name is not known. 
Donald was succeeded by 

IX. Alexander, Lord of the Isl^^s, and in right 
of his mother Earl of Koss. Alexander m. 
Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Seton, Lord of 
Gordon and Huntly. By her he had — 

1. John, who succeeded him. By another marriage with a 

daughter of Macphee or MacDutfie of Lochaber he 

2. Celestine, of whom the family of Lochalsh ; and by 

another marriage wiih a daughter of Gillepatrick 
Roy, son of Ror}', son of the Green Abbot, he had 

3. Hugh, the founder of the family of Sleat. Alexander 

was succeeded by 

X. John, Lord of the Isles, and Earl of Boss- 
He m. Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Lord Living- 
stone, great Chamberlain of Scotland, without issue. 

He had two naturdl sons, John and Angus, both of whom were 
feudally legitimised in a charter bestowing a new patent of nobility 
upon, and restoring the lordship of the Isles to, their father. 
John predeceased his father. Angus was marked out by character, 
the voice of the Clan Donald, as well as the precept of legitimation, 
as his father's successor, and in one charter he is described as 
Master of the Isles and Lord of Trotternish. He, however, died 
before his father, having been assassinated in 1490. John seems 
also to have had another son, presumably illegitimate, who 
appears on record in 1485 as Reginald, the son of the Lord of the 
Isles. Angus, Master of the Isles, m. Lady Margaret Campbell, 
daughter of the Earl of Argyle, by whom he had a son 

XL Donald Dubh, upon whom the Earl of 
Argyll and the Scottish Parliament tried to fix the 
stigma of illegitimacy, but whom the vassals of the 


Isles per'sistently regarded and repeatedly followed 
as the lineal representative of the Lords of the Isles. 
His great and prolonged misfortunes have already 
been recorded, and with him died out the direct 
line of the Lords of the Isles. 


The founder of this powerful family was — 

I. Roderick, the second son of Reginald De 
He, son of Somerled. Roderick left two sons — 

(1) Dougall ; (2) Allan. He was succeeded by 

II. Dougall. He had two sons — 

Fearchar and Duncan, neither of whom appears to have suc» 
ceeded or left progeny. Dougall was succeeded by his younger 

III. Allan, son of Roderick. He left tlnee 
sons — 

1. Roderick. 

2. Ranald. 

3. Lauchlan — and one daughter, Christina. 

This daughter seems to have been a half- sister of the 
brothers mentioned, and apparently the sole legitimate 
child, according to strict feudal law. She, however, 
through resignation, confirmed to her brother. Rod rick, 
his patrimonial rights, whereby he became feudally 
capable of succession. Christina m. Donald, 10th Earl 
of Mar, to whom she had two daughters. One of thci.e 
was Lady Isabel, who m. King Robert Bruce. Her 
daughter to Robert Bruce — the Princess Marjory — who 
m. Walter, the Steward of Scotland, was the mother of 
Robert II., and ancestress of the line of Stewart Kings" 
Allan, the son of Roderick, was succeeded by his oldest 

IV. Roderick, who, owing to liis sister Christina's 
disinterested action, was able to inherit his iktlier's 


property, as well as the headship of the family. 
He had two sons — 

1. Reginald or Ranald. 

2. Allan — and a daughter, Euphemia or Amy. Roderick 

was succeeded by his son, 

V. Reginald. He was killed in 1346 by the 

Earl of Koss, and with him the Macruaris apj)ear to 

have become extinct in the male line — at anyrate, so 

far as the transmission of territorial possessions was 


Amy, the daughter of Roderick and sister of Reginald, the last 
head of the house, inherited the family estates, which, on her 
marriage with John of Isla, became the property of the family of 
the Isles. 


This family owes its origin genealogically to Alex- 
ander, younger son of Donald, progenitor of the clan, 
and not, as has been supposed by some, to Alexander, 
son of Angus Mor, the deposed Lord of the Isles. 
The reasons for this conclusion have been sufficiently 
discussed in the second volume of this work, it is 
sufficient to say here that wherever we ffiid the 
descendants of Alastair Og, son of Angus Mor, 
appearing indubitably on record in the Irish Annals 
they invariably do so as MacDonalds, and never as 
MacAllisters or MacAlexanders. There seems little 
reason to doubt that all the sons of the forfeited 
Alexander settled in Ireland. On the other hand, 
though some of the df^scendants of " Alastair Mor " 
seem to have migrated to Ireland, most of them 
obtained settlements in Scotland, the principal family 
being from the outset associated with Kintyre, while 
others are found in the Lowlands of Scotland. 

I. Alexander, younger son of Donald, was the 
progenitor of the Clan Allister. He appears in the 


Highland and Irish genealogies as Alastair Mor, 
whereby he is distinguished from his nephew and 
contemporary Alastair Og. According to tlie 
Seanachies he had at least five sons — 

1. Donald. 

2. Godfrey. 

3. Duncan. 

4. John. 

5. Hector. Alexander was succeeded by 

II. Donald, who in 1291 swore fealty to 
Edward I. In this act of homage there was associ- 
ated with him 

III. Alexander, his son and successor. He 
and his descendants appear to have maintained a 
connection with their native Argyll, as is evidenced 
by the glimpse we get of the son and successor of 
Alexander, namely, 

IV. Ranald Mac Alexander, who crosses to 
Ireland in 1366 to fight in the chronic wars of 
Ulster at that time raging between Donald and 
Neill O'Neill. For the next three generations the 
succession seems obscure, but with the aid of a 
genealogical tree we infer the succession to Imve 
been in this wise — Ranald MacAlexancler was suc- 
ceeded by 

V. Alexander, who flourished c. 1400. He 
was succeeded by 

VI. John Dubh, from whom the tribe seem to 
have acquired the patronymic Clann Eoin duihh. 
As the oldest son of Alastair Og, the forfeited 
Lord of the Isles, was also John Dubh, and his 
descendants were called Clann Eoin duihli, great 
confusion lias naturally arisen between the two 
families. John Dubh was succeeded by 

VII. Charles, who appears on record in 1481 
as Steward of Kintyre. He was succeeded by 


VIII. Angus MacEoin duibh. He is mentioned 
in the Register of the Privy Seal a.d. 1515. He 
was succeeded by his son 

IX. Alexander, Laird of Loup, who on 16th 
November, 1540, received a remission for treasonably 
abiding from the army of Solway. He was suc- 
ceeded by his son 

X. John, who in the winter of 1571-2 was slain 
in the Irish wars. The entry in the State Papers 
is as follows : — " Owen McOwen duffe^ McAlastrain, 
called the Laird of Loop, was slain." He was 
succeeded by his brother 

XL Hector, of whom little is known beyond the 
fact of his succession. He does not appear to have 
survived his brother John for more than a year or 
two, for we find his son and successor 

XII. Alexander obtaining a charter in 1573 of 
the lands of Loup and others, wherein he is desig- 
nated as Alexander M'Eachine, lawful son of the 
deceased Hector MacAllister of Loup. Alexander 
having died without issue, was succeeded by 

XIII. Godfrey, his brother. He obtained a 
charter for his lands in 1591. A daughter of his, 
Fynvola by name, is said to liave married Hector, 
4tli Maclean of Coll. Godfrey was succeeded by 
his son, 

XIV. Hector, who, in 1617, obtained a charter 
of the lands of Loup, and others, and is therein 
designated as[Hector M'Gorry Vic Eachin Vic Alister 
Vic Ean Duibh. He m. Margaret, a daughter of 
Colin Campbell of Kilberry, 1620, and was succeeded 
by his son, 

XV. Godfrey, who married a daughter of Sir 
Ilol)ert Montii'omery of Skelmorlie, and was succeeded 
by his son, 

1 McOwen duff here is the family patronymic. 


XVT. Alexander. He, in 1698, obtained a 
charter as heir to his grandfather. He is said to 
have been a staunch supporter of the Stewart cause 
at the time of the Revolution of 1689, and to have 
been present a*"; the battles of Killiecrankie and the 
Boyne. He m. Grace, daughter of Sir James Camp- 
bell of Auchinbreck, by whom he had issue — 

1. Hector, his heir. 

2. Charles, who succeeded his brother. 

3. Duncan, who settled in Holland ii:. 1717. 

This Duncan m. Johanna, daughter of Arnold Leucheu- 
maker Burgratf at Ments. His oldest son, Robei't, 
attained the rank of General in the Dutch service, and 
was commanda^lt of the Scots Brigade. He left a large 
family, and his descendants are still settled in Holland. 

XVII. Hector m. Isabell, daughter of Thomson 
of Ballygabbin, Co. Antrim, but, dying without 
issue, was succeeded by his brother, 

XVIII. Charles, who m. Christina, daughter of 
Lamont of Lamont, in Argyllshire. By her he had 
two sons — Angus, his heir, and Archibald, who for 
many years commanded the 35th Kegiment. His 
eldest son was lieut. -colonel of the Ceylon Rifle 

XIX. Angus m. his cousin, Jane, daughter of 
John Macdonald of Ardnacroish by Grace, his wife, 
daughter of Godfrey Mac Alii ster of Loup. This 
lady (Jane Macdonald) was niece of Macdonald of 
Kingsburgh, in Skye. At his decease, in 1796, 
Angus MacAllister of Loup left one son and three 
daughters — 

1. Charles, his heir. 

2. Jeanne or " Jackie " m. John Macallister of Ballinakill ; 

issue, four sons, two daughters. 

(a) Ann McNeill d. young. 

(b) Angus, Laird of Ballinakill, who ni. Frances Byng, 

with issue a daughter Charlotte Fanny. 


(c) Robert Stewart. 

(d) John. 
(b) Grace. 

(f) Matthew. 

(g) Margaret. 
(h) Jane. 

3. Grace, m. Major Alexander of Boydstown ; issue, 

1 son, 2 daughters. 

4. Flora., ni. a M'Donald ; died without issue. 

XX. Charles, a major in the Argyleshire 
Militia, b. 1765, m. Jessie, daughter and heiress of 
William Somerville of Kemiox, Ayr. He died in 
1847, leaving issue — 

1. Charles, his heir. 

2. James, of Chapelton ; unmarried. 

3. Williamina, who d. unmarried. 

4. Jane, who d. unmarried. 

XXI. Charles, a major in the Ayrshire Rifle 
Militia, b. in 1797, succeeded his father in 1847, m. 
in 1828 Mary Adeline, only daughter of Edward 
Lyon, lieut. R.N., with issue — 

1. Charles, his successor. 

2. Edward, d. 1834. 

3. James, d. 1857. 

4. Mary, who married Colonel Hay Boyd of Townsend, Ayr, 

with issue. 

5. Anna Catherine, d. 1855. 

6. Jessie, d. 1845. 

XXII. Charles, b. 1830. He entered the army 
in 1846, and became an Ensign in the 46th Regi- 
ment. In 1854 he became Captain. He served at 
the Siege of Sebastopol, for which he received medal 
and clasp, and 5th class of the Medjidie. He was 
on the Stafl' of the Forces in Balaklava as jimior 
Provost Marshal. He m. in 1867 Williamina 


Pollok, daughter of William P. Morris, Esq. of 
Craig, Ayr, and had by her, who died in IS 72 — 

1. Charles Godfrey. 

2. Henry. 

3. Janet. 

4. Mary. 

5. Violet, ni. Rev. Alex. Copland, Episcopal minister at 


Charles MacAlister died at Dunskaig, Ayr, Jan. 17, 


This family claimed to be connected with the 
Clan Donald and closely allied in blood with the 
MacAllisters of Loup. As we had reason to point 
out in the first volume of this work, they were 
descendants of Donald, older son of Alastair Mor, 
through his son Gilbert, who got a grant of lands in 
Stirlingshire in 1330. There is no further trace of 
this family until we find them settled in Clack- 
mannanshire in the beginning of the 16th century. 
The first of the Alexanders of Menstrie Avhom w^e 
find on record is — 

I. Thomas Alexander. He was succeeded by 
his son, 

II. Andrew' Alexander. He m. Catherine 
Graham, by whom he had two sons, Alexander 
and Andrew, the latter of whom is said to have 
entered the Church. He was succeeded by his 
older son, 

III. Alexander, who was bailie to Argyll on 
his Clackmannanshire estates. He m. Elizabeth, 
daughter of Sir Robert Douglas of Lochle\'en, 


ancestor of the Earl of Morton, by whom he had 
two sons, WilHam and James. He d. in 1565, and 
was succeeded by 

IV. William Alexander. He m. Marion, 
daughter of Allan Couttie, by whom he had, as 
only son, his successor, 

V. Alexander Alexander. He m. Marion 
Graham, sister of William Graham of Gartavestan, 
by whom he had a son, William, and two daughters, 
Janet and Christian. He died in 1581, and was 
succeeded by 

VI. William Alexander, the great statesman 
and poet, w^hose eventful history has, with more or 
less minuteness, been recorded in Vol. II. He m. 
Janet, daughter and heiress of Sir William Erskine 
Knight, cousin-german to the Earl of Mar, the regent 
by whom he had seven sons and two daughters — 

1. William Viscount Canada and Lord Alexander. 

2. Sir Anthony Alexander, who married a daughter of 

Sir Henry Wardlaw of Pitreavie, and died without 

3. Henry, who succeeded to the earldom of Stirling. 

4. John Alexander, who' got a charter under the Great 

Seal of the lands' of Over-Isgall, &c., anno 1642, and 
m. a daughter of John Graham of Gartmore, by 
whom he had one daughter, but died without male 

5. Charles Alexander, who got a charter under the Great 

Seal of the lands of Tullybody in 1642, and left one 
son, Charlesi, who died without issue. 

6. Ludovick. 

7. James. 

Both of these last died without issue. The 
daughters were — 

1 . Lady Jean, m. Hugh Lord Viscount Montgomery ojt 
the Kingdom of Ireland, whose son Hugh was 
created Earl of Mount Alexander in 1661 ; wliich 
title he assumed in honour of his mother's surname. 


2. Lady Maay, m. Sir William Murray of Clermont, 
creaited a barouot in 1626, and of wlunn the present 
Mun-ays of Clermont, in County Fife. He was 
created Earl of Stirling, 14th June, 1633. Tlie Earl 
of Stirling d. 12th Fehruary, 1639-40. Having been 
predeceased by his son. Viscount Canada and Lord 
Alexander, who d. 1638, he was succeeded by 

YII. William, his grandson, and son of the said 
Viscount, as 2nd Earl of Stirling. He only survived 
his grandfather by a few months, dying in May, 
1640, when he was succeeded by his uncle, 

VIII. Henry, as 3rd Earl of Stirling. He m. 
Mary, daughter of Sir Peter Vanlore, Bart, of Tyle- 
hurst, Berkshire, by whom he acquired a considerable 
fortune. His Scottish estates being greatly embar- 
rassed, he settled in England, where his posterity 
continued to reside. He d. in 1650, leaving issue — 
one son, who succeeded, and two daughters, Mar}'- 
and Jane., 

IX. Henry, 4th Earl of Stirling, m. Judith, 
daughter of Robert Lee, Esq. of Binfield, by whom 
he had issue — 

1. Henry, liis heir. 

2. William. 

3. Robert. 

4. Peter. 

By the same marriage he had three daughters — 

1. Lady Mary, who m. John Phillips, and had issue three 

sons, the youngest of whom, William Phillips, suc- 
ceeded to the estate of Binfield, when he added Lee 
to the family name. 

2. Lady Judith, m. Sir William Tarnbull of East 

stead Park, Bei"ks, with issue. 

3. Lady Jean, m. Ralph Stubbs, M.D., with issue. 

The Earl died in 1690, and was succeeded by his 
oldest son. 


X. Henry, as 5th Earl of Stirling. He d. with- 
out issue on -tth December. 1730, and was the last 
of the family of Menstrie who possessed the patent 
of nobility belonging to the Earls of Stirling. 
Various claimants for the earldom have at 
different times made their appearance, but none 
has apparently succeeded in establishing the 
validity of his claim. Thip!, of course, involves the 
distinction — at anyrate, so far as legal proof is 
concerned — of any representation of the House of 


This family claims to be allied with that of 
Menstrie, and consequently with the MacAllisters 
of Loup and Tarbert The arms of the earlier 
generations — showing a dexter arm holding a 
dagger as well as a mermaid for one of the sup- 
porters — suggests a connection both with Menstrie 
and Loup. The time and manner of this family 
settling in Ireland appears to be thus : — Scottish 
landowners from the West were establishing settle- 
ments in the North of L'eland early in the 17th 
century, and, in 1613, 39 individuals from Scotland 
were planted by Sir James Cunningham in County 
Donegal. Of these, 9 were settled on the lands of 
Eredy, in the ^^arish of Clonleigh, of whom one was 

I. John Alexander. He had two sons, John 

II. Andrew, the progenitor of the line at present 
under consideration. He was at the siege of London- 
derry in 16i9, and received a grant of land at 
Ballyclose, in the parish of Drumachose, in the 
neighbourhood of Newton Limevady. He engaged 
in commercial pursuits, and thereby amassed con- 


siderable means. He m. a Miss Hilles, the daughter 
of a landowner in County Londonderry, by whom he 
had two sons— 

1. John. 

2. Thomas. 

He was succeeded by 

in. John, who resided at Ballyclose ; purchased 
the estate of Gunsland, County Donegal, and built a 
town residence at the " Diamond" Londonderry. He 
m. Ann White, daughter of John White of the Cady 
Hill, Newton Limevady, of whom he had three sons. 
Of these, the next in order of this line is 

IV. Nathaniel. He m. Eliza, daughter of 
William M'Clintock of Dunmore, County Donegal, 
and had five sons and six daughters. The third son 

V. James, who, having filled several Important 
offices in India, was elevated to the peerage of 
Ireland, 6th June, 1790, by the title of Baron 
Caledon of Caledon, Co. Tyrone. In November, 
1797, his lordship was advanced to the dignity of 
Viscount Caledon, and 1st January, 1701, created 
Earl of Caledon. He m., 28th November, 1774, 
Anne, second daughter of James Crawford, Esq., of 
Crawfordsburn, Co. Down, and by her (who d. 21st 
December, 1777), had issue — 

1. Du Pre. 

2. MabeUa., m. Andrew-Thomap, lUh Lord Blayney, and 

died 4th March, 1854. 

3. Elizabeth. 

His lordship d. in 1802, and was succeeded by his 

VI. Du Pre, 3rd Earl, a representative peer, and 
Colonel of the Tyrone Militia, b. 27th July, 1812. 
He m., 4th September, 1845, Lady Jane Frederica, 



Griraston, fourth daughter of James Walter, 1st 
Earl of Verulam, and had issue — 

1. James. 

2. Walter- Pliilip, Royal Scots Greys, h. 8th Febi'iiary, 


3. Chaiies, b. 26th January, 1854. 

4. Jane Charlotte Elizabeth. 

The Earl d. 1855, and was succeeded by 

VIL James, as 4th Earl, b. 1846, m. 1884 Lad_y 
Elizabeth, daughter of Hector, 3rd Earl of Norbury, 
and has issue — 

1. Erik, Viscount Alexander. 

2. Hubrand-Charles. 

The 7th Earl of Caledon d. 1902, and was suc- 
ceeded by 

VIII. Erik Alexander, 8th Earl of Caledon. 


Of the earlier connection of this family with the 
McAlisters of Loup not much is known, and for 
several generations only the bare links can be sup- 
plied in the shape of the heads of families. They 
trace their descent to John McAlister, 6th of the 
line, known in his day as John Dubh or Black John, 
father of Charles McAlister Stewart of Kintyre, 
before 1500, and they appear to have branched out 
first in the person of 

I Ranald, son of John Dubh, who flourished 
early in the 16th century. He had two sons, Alex- 
ander and Donald, of whom 

II. Alexander succeeded. The next of the line 

III. Ranald, who was succeeded by 

IV. Ranald, who w^as succeeded by 


V. Hugh, who was succeeded by 
VI. Hector, who was succeeded by 
VIZ. John McAllster, who flourished c. 1700, 
and with whom we come into the region of com- 
parative genealogical definiteness and certainty. 
He, like his ancestor, was called John Dubh, and 
was styled of ArdnakiU and Torrisdale Glen. He 
m. Flora MacNeill of Tirfergus in Kintyre, 
both of them enjoying great longevity— the former 
dying at 96 and the latter at 98 years of age— so 
the family traditions relate. They had issue— 

1. Alexander, b. 1706; d. 30th October, 1779; m. Miss 

M'MiUan of Cour, Kintyre, with issue. John, laird 
of Cour, m. Anna, daughter of Rev. Archibald 
M'Neill of Clachan ; no issue; d. 1824. 

2. Hector, of Lepincorach or Torrisdale Glen, m. Miss 

Simpson, daughter of Rev. Neil Simpson of Gigha, 
with issue. — 

(a) John, lieutenant in the army ; d. in East Indies. 

(b) Neil, d. at home, aged 15. 
3. Ranald, who succeeded. 

There were three daughters — 

1. Margaret, who m. Charles Macquarrie, of the family of 
Ulva, with issue — 
Isabella, who m. Capt. Charles McAlister, who was 
lost at sea in 1797, with issue. 

Margaret m. 2ndly Duncan M'Alister, merchant, Campbelltown, 
with issue — 

(a) .John McAlister, Laird of Ballinakill, who m. liis 

cousin "Jackie," daughter of Angus McAlister, 
19th of Loup, with issue {vide Loup genealogy). 

(b) Ranald, Lieut. Indian army, died in E. Indies. 

(c) Charles, d. without issue. 

(d) Alexander, d. without issue. 

(e) Mary, m. James McMurchy, shipmaster, Campbell- 

town, with issue. 

2. Mary, m. Hector McNeill of Barliagh, Cantyre, with 


3. Catherine, d. unmarried. 


VIII. Ranald, who in consequence of the death 
of his two brothers without surviving issue carried 
on the representation of the family. He spent much 
ot* his hfe in Skye, where he possessed the Farm of 
Skirrinish, and was factor on the Macdonakl Estate 
of Troternish. He m. Anne, daughter of Alexander 
Macdonakl of Kingsburgh, and widow of Lauchlan 
Mackinnon of Corrychatachan, with issue — 

1. Donald, who d. at Kingsburgh withoiit issue. 

2. Allan, who d. at Kingsbiu'gh without issue. 

3. James, who d. at Com;, Kintyre, without issue. 

4. Janet, who d. in infancy. 

5. Captain John, who d. in India. 12th May, 1784, 

without issue. 

6. Alexander, of whom afterwards. 

7. General Keith, who is designed Col. Keith M'Alister 

of Loup in 1812 ; d. without issue. 

8. Colonel Matthew, of Bar and Rosehill, of whom here- 


9. Colonel Norman, G-ovemor of Prince of Wales Island, 

was lost at sea on his way home in the ship 
"Ocean," in 1812. He left two daughters, said to 
have been illegitimate, viz. : — 

(a) Frances Byng, m. her cousin, Angus M'Allister, 

laird of Ballinakill, with issue. 

(b) Flora, m. Keith M'Alister of Inistrynick. 

10. Charles, Lieut, in the E.I.C. sei-vice ; d. without issue. 

11. Catherine, m. Peter Nicolson of Ardmore, Waternish, 

Skye, with issue — - 

(a) John M'Alister. 

(b) Donald. 

Both died young. 

(c) Flora, Nicolson, m. Allan Macdonald, major of the 

55th Regiment of Foot, afterwards of Waternish, 
son of Allan ^Nlacdonald of Belfinlay {vide Bel- 
finlay genealogy under Clanranald). 

(d) Susannah MacAlister, m. Norman Macdonald of 

Scalpay with issue {vide Scali^a}^ genealogy under 


(e) Margaret, m. Dr Alexander Macdunald of Gillcii in 
Sleat, Skje, witii issue {vide MacEacheu g-euealogy 
under Clanranald). 

IX. Alexander MacAlister, his oldest sur- 
viving son, succeeded Ranald of Skirinish in tlie 
representation of the family. He is said to have 
bought the property of Strathaird, in Skye, in or 
about 1789. He m. Miss Campbell of Ederline, 
with issue — 

1. Janet, who m. Dr Duncan McAlister of Tarbert, with 
issue — 

(a) Alexander. 

(b) Matthew. 

(c) John. 

(d) Charles. 
(b) Lachlan. 
(p) Norman. 
(g) Archibald. 
(m) Catherine. 

Alexander McAlister of Strathaird m. 2ndly Miss 
Macleod of Greshornish, v^ith issue — 

2 John, who m. Miss McCormick, with issue — 

(a) Donald, who died young. 

(b) Norman, who died young. 

(c) Alexander, m. daughter of Admiral Fleming, Elphin- 

ston, with issue, several daughters but no son. 

3. Isabella, who m. John Nicolson, Claggan, Skye, with 


4. Charles, a W.S., who d. without issue. 

5. Donald, d. without issue. 

The offspring of Alexander McAlister having 
become extinct in the male line, the succession 
devolved U23on his brother 

X. Colonel Matthew MacAlister of Bar and 
Rosehill. He m. (1st) Miss Campbell of Saddell, 
with issue, a son and a daughter, who both died 
young. He m. (2ndly) Miss Brodie of Brodie, with 
issue — 


XI. Keith MacAltster of Glenbar and Cour 
(b. 1803), who succeeded him m the represeatabiou 
of the family. He m. (1st) Mary, only daughter of 
Robert Campbell of Skipness, whom he afterwards 
divorced. The issue of this marriage was — 

1. Agatha, who m. A. Stikemau, with issue. 

2. Cai'ohne, ni. H. Greer of Lvirgen, with issue. 

3. EUenor Georgia. 

4. Ehza Gordon, m. Charles Vendiu, of Jersey, with 


5. Anne Argyll, d. unmarried. 

6. Matthew Charles Brodie M'Alister of Glenbarr 

Abbey and Crubasdale ; b. 1838. 

Keith McAlister m. (2ndly) AJexandrina Georgia 
Cunningham, 2nd daughter and co-heiress of 
William Miller of Bonkcastle and Monkredding, 
Ayrshire, with issue — 

Norman Godfrey, Commander R.N. ; b. Feb. 3, 1861 ; ni. 
July 21, 1896, Florence Stewart, daughter of Captain 
Duncan Stewart, R.N., of Knockriocb, Cantyre. 

He died in 1886, and was succeeded by his older 

XII. Major Matthew Charles Brodie Mac- 
Alister of Glenbar Abbey and Crubasdale, the 
present genial laird. He m. 1869, Augusta Lees, 
2nd daughter of Major Heiny Lees, with issue^ 

Charles Augustus, b. 10th July, 1883. He m. (2ndly) 27th 
Nov., 1901, Edith Margaret, only daughter of George 
Dudgeon, Esq., Almond Hill, Linlithgowshire, and 
has issue a eon, Ranald Macdonald Brodie, b. 22nd 
Feb., 1903. 


The descendants of Donald, the oldest son of 
Alastair Mor, having thus been dealt with, it re- 
mains that the position of the descendants of his 


other sons should, if possible, be indicated. Unfor- 
tunately, there are few, if ariy materials, for detailed 
treatment. The descendants of Godfrey, the second 
son, appear to have settled in the Carrick district 
of Ayrshire, and several territorial families of Mac 
Alexander, -who sprang from the parent stock of 
Alastair Mor^ were prominent in that region. The 
first appearing on record was the MacAlexander 
family of Daltu^jene, from which originated the 
families of Dalreoch, Corsclays, and others. Some 
of these continued to flourish down to the close 
of the 17th century, when they dropped the High- 
land Mac ani became Alexanders. At the present 
day we do not know of any territorial family in 
that region distinctly traceable to the ancient Mac 

The descendants of Duncan, third son of Alastair 
Mor, possessed lands in the parish of Glenorchy, 
but nothing of genealogical value can be traced 
regarding them. Of the descendants — if any — of 
John, the fourth son, nothing is recorded. Accord- 
ing to the MS. of 1450, Hector, the youngest son 
of Alastair Mor, left two sons, Charles and Lachlan. 
According to the McVurich MS., and the Irish 
Ogygia of O'Flaherty, Hector's was the head of the 
MacSichies of Munster. According to McVurich, 
the Clan Domhnuill Renna and the MacWilliams of 
Connaught were descended from Alastair Mor, but 
he does not say through which of his sons. 


Having completed, so far as practicable, the 
genealogical scheme of the descendants of Alastair 
Mor we pass on to trace the descendants of the sons 


of Angus Mor, other than Angus Og through whom 
the line of the Lords of the Isles was carried on. 
The oldest son of Angus Mor was Alastair Og, who, 
on account of his friendship to the English cause, 
was deposed from the lordship of the Isles. From 
him were descended a number of Irish Macdonald 
famiUes that, ni their several localities, gave military 
service to the chiefs, the heads of the tribes acting 
as hereditary constables, or Captains of Galloglasses, 
as they vv^ere called. 

The Clan Donald of Ulster were originally de- 
scended from Black John, oldest son of Alastair Og, 
son of Angus Mor, though after two generations it 
came back to Charles, another son of Alastair Og. 
Black John was succeeded by 

I. SoMERLED, who was the first Captain of 
Gallowglasses found in the service of the O'Neills. 
He m. a daughter of O'Reilly, whom, after the 
fashion of the day, he is said to have re^^udiated. 
He m. secondl}' a daughter of Macmahon, another 
of the chiefs of Ulster. He was assassinated in 1365 
by his father-in-law, Brian Macmahon, and was 
succeeded by his son 

II. John, who, however, does not apjjear to have 
held the position for any length of time, as he was 
probably killed in battle in 1366. 

III. Charles, or Turlough Mor Macdonald, 
uncle of the last chief, and, apparently, the youngest 
son of Alastair Og, succeeded. This Charles, who 
was a brave and capable leader, was killed in battle 
in 1368, and was succeeded by his son 

IV. Alexander, designed in the chronicles as 
Alastair Og. This Alexander probably flourished 
up to 1400. He was succeeded by his son, 
McDonald Galloglach, so styled in the Annals, and 


no Christian name given. He appears on record 
as late as 1435. He had two sons, Sorley and 

YI. SoRLEY succeeded, and was engaged in the 
war between O'Neill and the English of Feadhna 
in 1452, in which yea.Y he was killed. Sorley had 
two sons, Ranald and Col la. 

VII. Kanald succeeded. In a battle fought 
between the O'Neills of the North and South, he 
and his three sons were killed. Not having a sur- 
viving son, the succession appears to have devolved 
ujjon his nephew, 

YIII. John, the son of Colla. He, in a san- 
guhiary fight between the O'Neills and the Red- 
mondites in 1501, was killed. 

After the death of John, the captaincy of 
O'Neill's Gallowglasses aj^pears to have devolved 

X. Ranald Mor, son of Gillespick, son of the 
fifth chief He must have been advanced in years 
at the time, and probably the next in succession was 
a minor. For a wonder, he died a natural death in 
1503, and his succession devolved upon the nephew 
of the last chief 

XL Colla, the son of Colla, second cousin to 
Ranald, the tenth chief He was slain at Armagh 
by Gillespick, son of Sorley Roe MacDonald, in 
1505. He was succeeded by another. 

XII. Colla, son of the eleventh chief, who seems 
to have enjoyed a longer life and a more peaceful 
death than most of his predecessors. He died — not 
in battle or by assassination — in 1530. He was 
succeeded by his son, 

XIII. Gillespick, about whose doings a good 
deal has already been told in the second volume of 


this work. He died between 1542 and 1548, and 
was succeeded in the captaincy by his brother, 

XiV. Arthuh MacDonald. As late as 1573, 
we find Arthur's name on record as O'Neill's Con- 
stable, but this may have been a son of the four- 
teenth chief. In fact, by this time the system of 
military employment upon which the hereditary 
Constables held their position, fell into desuetude, 
and it has been found impossible to trace the genea- 
logy of O'Neill's Constables beyond the latter half 
of the 16th century. 


This branch of Alastair Og's descendants owes its 
origin to Somerled, son of Alastair Og, through his 
fourth, and probably his youngest, son, Marcus. 
The older sons, Donald, Somairle Og, and Donald 
Og, were killed in battle without leaving traceable 
progeny. We find this family first making their 
appearance in the Province of Connaught as here- 
ditary Constables of the O'Connor Roe. 

I. Marcus's position in the line is clearly indi- 
cated in the following extract from the Books of 
Ballymote and Leccan : " Marcus Mac Somerly Mic 
Alexander Mic Angus Mor." 

Marcus was slain in battle in 1397, having fought 
as commander of O'Connor Roe's Constables in his 
war with O'Connor Don. Marcus had several sons. 
Dougal was slain in battle when his father fell in 
1397. Marcus's oldest surviving son, Somhairle 
Buidhe, yellow-haired Somerled, was slain in battle 
in 1398. As, however, the succession was not 
carried on through him, we need hardly reckon him 
as one of the lieads, though he occupied the position 
for about a year Tiie line of Marcus Avas carried on 
by another son, 

1. Alexander ]\Iac<l()iialil of r.-iisilalo. ,;. Hrrruk's Mrl )<>iiik'11. 

2. Ca]itain Rt'i^inald S. iNIacdonald. 4. Iaiiu> 'riioinas .Mardonald of 

R.A. ^Vallay). Ilalranald. 

5. Rohfil McDonnell ('ryiu'kill;. 


II. Charles, or Toirdhealbhach — the Irish 
form of Tearlach. He tn)})ejirs in the earher part of 
his careen- as a Captain of Gallow^lass under O'Kelly 
of the Maine, a region on the borders of Leitrim and 
Cavan. In 1419 Charles fouglit as Captain of 
O'Kelly's Gallowglasses against William Burke of 
Clanvickard, by whom they were defeated with 
great slaiigliter. Charles Macdonald and his son 
escaped from the battle, and shortly thereafter 
migrated to Queen's County l]i the Province of 
Leinster, where they became Constables of the Pale, 
and founded the family of Tynekill. Charles died in 
1435. He was succeeded by 

III. John Carragh, described as " the best 
Captain of the English." He was slain in 1466 in 
Oftaly, and was succeeded by 

IV. Charles, or Turlough Og Macdonald, 
so called to distinguish him from his grandfather, 
Charles, the son of Marcus. Turlough Og was slain 
in 1503 in a battle against the Burkes of Mayo, 
along with others of the Clan Donald of Leinster. 
He was succeeded by his son 

V. John, whose record seems to have been brief. 
He was killed in 1514, and was succeeded by his 

VI. Turlough. The date of his death is un- 
known. He was succeeded by his son, 

VII. Calvagh or Colla, also called MacTur- 
lough. He got a grant of Tynekill from Queen 
Elizabeth in 1562, and was slain at Shrule on the 
18th June, 1570. He w^as succeeded by his son, 

VIII. Hugh Buy MacDonald of Tynekill, 
whose eventful career has been narrated in Vol. II., 
and who was forfeited by the English authorities by 
reason of his freepient disloyalty. He died in 1618, 
and was succeeded by his son, 


IX. Fergus, who, unlike his father, was loyal to 
the English, and led a quiet life. He died before 
1637, and was succeded by his son, 

X. Col, James MacDonald of Tynekill. The 
story of his stirring and eventful life, and his con- 
nection with the Confederated Catholics in the 
Great Rebellion, has been told. The family estates 
were forfeited in his time, and never restored, but 
the succession continued unbroken. The date of 
his death is uncertain. He was succeeded by his 

XL Fergus Charles, who removed to Coolavin 
in 1690. He was succeeded by his son, 

XII. Charles, who in 1746 removed from Cool- 
avin to Bay ton. He married, first, Mary, elder 
daughter of Richard Hall of " Three trouts farm," 
and had issue by her — 

1. Francis, b. 26th February, 1727. 

2. Kichard, b. 14tli September, 1729. 

3. Anthony, b. 20th April, 1731. 

4. Charles, b. 1732. 

5. Catherine, b. 1731. 

6. Ann, b. 1736. 

7. John, b. 1737. 

8. Cornelius, b. 31st December, 1739. 

9. Sarah, b. 29th December, 1741. 
10. George, born 1748. 

Charles m. (2ndly), Margaret Bigg, but had no issue 
by her. 

Francis, the oldest son of Charles, was married, 
and had sevei-al sons and daughters, but the family 
name was not perpetuated by any of them. The 
representation of the family was carried on by 

XIV. Richard, second son of Charles. He 
removed to Peacockstown in 1 747, and to Baytown 
in 1767. In 1760 he m. Miss Sands, a daughter of 


Captain Sands, whose brave action at the siege of 
Athlone in 1091 is commemorated in Smollett's 
History. Their children were — 

1. Charles, b. 1762, d. 1806, without issue. 

2. Robert, b. 1764, of wliom afterwards. 

3. Francis, ]). 1766. He was an oftieer, and present at the 

engagement at New Ross in 1798. He ni. Miss Klocxl, 

witli issue — 
(a) John, in :33rd Regiment, killed at Vittoria, 18] .3. 
(n) Francis, drowned in river Dodder. 

(c) Richard, d. young. 

(d) Rev. Luke Gardnei-, Rector of Glankeen, County 

Tipperary. Ho m. the daughter of Dr Lestrange, 
one of the founders of the College of Surgeons, 
with issue. 

Kichard Macdonald died at Cork on 12th January, 
1805. His oldest son Charles having died without 
issue, he was succeeded by his second son 

XV. Robert Macdonald, of Higli Park, near 
Douglas, Cork. He m. Susanna Nugent on 27th 
August, 1786, v/ith issue — 

1. Rev. Richo,rd Macdonald, Provost of Trinity College, 


2. Anne, b. 1788, d. 1804. 

3. Lyndon, b. 1788, d. 1863. She m. Rev. William 

Alleyne EviUison, Vicar of Lechlade and Inglesham, 
Wiltshire, with issue. 

4. Rev. Charles Francis Macdonald, LL.D., b. December 

9th, 1790, d. October 21st, 1869, of Vicar Kineagli, 
County Carlow. He m. (1st) :Maria, daughter of 
George John F'urnisse. Their children were-- 

(a) Robert Harkness, b. 1821. In 1838 was Lieut, in 

56th Regiment; in 1847 m. Barbara Palmer; 
1885, Captain in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers ; 
1861, removed to ^relbourne ; and in 1884 
settled as a resident in South Brisbane. There 
were 5 sons and 4 daughters. 

(b) Elvira, m. James O'Dowd, with issue. 

(c) Maria, deceased. 


He ra. (2ad) Frances Boys. Their son Richard Charles 
d. aged '20. He m. (3rd) Ehza L' Estrange, with 
issue one son, Charles, who died young, and several 

5. Robert Macdonald, b. 1782, d. 1828, in London. He 

m. in 1817 Mai'garet Lea, who d. in 1825. They had 
issue — 

(a) Robert Lea, M.D., b. 1818. M. 1842, Margaret 

Coates. He settled in Canada 1 845 ; became 
Professor of Institutes of Medicine at M'Gill 
College, Montreal ; 1851, Professor of Clinical 
Medicine ; was Surgeon to St Patrick's Hospital, 
and Editor of two Medical Journals. He at- 
tained the highest position in his profession, but 
* w^as killed by a fall from his sleigh on January 
3rd, 1878, He had one son, Dr Richard Lea, 
highly distinguished ni the Medical Profession, 
who d. in 1891. 

(b) Richard, b. 1820, d. Feb. 6th, 1897. M. Sarah 

Nelson, with issue — William Colin Campbell, 
b. at Montreal 1857, who resides in N. W. 
Dominion ; Richard Graves, b. 1859, and two 
daughters. Robert Macdonald had also two 
daughters, Margaret and Julia, both of whom 
m., and had issue. 

6. Rev. George Macdonald, b. 1802, d. 1874. Vicar of 

Kilgeffin, County Roscommon. He m. (1st) Isabella 
Bolton, with issue — 

(a) Robert George, b. 1848, d. 1864. 

(b) Malcolm, b. 1853, d. 1891 in New York. He m. 

(2nd) Anne Hanna, who survives him. Robert 
Macdonald, of High Park, was succeeded in the 
representation of the family by 

XVI. Hev. Richard Macdoxald, Provost of 
Trinity College, Dublin. He was born near 
Douglas, Cork, June lOtb, 1787. His distinguisbed 
Academic career bas been noticed in tbe bistorical 
portion of this work. He m. January 26tb, Jane, 
daughter of tbe Very Kev, Kicbard Graves, Dean ot 
Armagh, with issue — 


1. Robert, b. 1812 at Raheny Glebe : obtained a First 

Place at entrance, a First Scholarship and high 
honours in T. C. D., and d. at Sorrento Cottage, 1833. 

2. Sir Richard Graves, of whoni afterwards. 

3. Hercules Henry Graves Macdonaid, of whom afterwards. 

4. Very Rev. John Cotter Macdonald, b. at Baggot Street, 

February 24th, 1821. Iii 1841 a Classical Scholar, 
Trinity College, and in 1842 a Gold Medallist in 
Ethics and Logic. In 1800 received from iiis VvA- 
versity the degree of D.D. He has enjoyed much 
ecclesiastical preferment during his long career. M. 
in 1853, Charlotte Henrietta, daughter of Rev. 
Charles W. Doyne, Rector of Fenagh, County Carlow. 
She d. 1895. Their children were— 

(a) Charles Eustace Henry, b. at Lavacor, 1855, d. 1865. 

(b) Richard Doyne, b. 1856, Captain in 17th Madras 

Light Infantry. Retired in 1889. Settled in 
Canada, 1891. M. in 1894, Gertrude Amelia 
Lockhai t. 

(c) Frederick Vicars, b. at Provost's House, Dnl)lin, 1858. 

M. 1886, Helen Porter Sieveright, daughter of 
Joseph Sieveright, of Edinburgh, with issue — 
Colla Ion, b. 1887. 

(d) Philip John Cotter, b. 1862. Settled in Canada, 

1881. M. at Toronto, 1898, Lily Smith. 

There is also a daughter, Charlotte Jane. She 
m. 1880, Shirley Harris, only son of Sir 
William Salt, Bart., of Maplewell, Loughborough, 
whom he succeeded as 3rd Bart., July 7th, 1892, 
with issue — 

(e) ('harles Eustace Macdonald, whose distinguished 

career has been referred to in Vol. II., p. 141. 
He m. 1853, Ellen, (laughter of Jolni Cotter 
of Ashton, near Cork. 

(f) Rev. Ronald Macdonald, D.D., b. 1825, and d. 1889, 

after a distinguished career in University and 
Church. M. 1857, Jane, daughter of Edward 
Rotheram of Crossdrum, Coiinty Meath, who d. 
in 1884, with issue 5 sons and 3 daughters. 

(g) William Sherlock Macdonald, b. 1829, d. 1835. 

(n) Frederick James (as to whom, vide Vol. 11., p. 142). 


(i) Arthur Robert Macdonald, Major-General, R.E., 
b. 1835. (Vide Vol. [I., p. li:l). 

The following are the Provost's daughters : — 

(a) Eliza, b. 1811, d. 1822. 

(b) Susanna, b. 1816, d. 1829. 

(c) Jane Catherine, m. 1857, James Carisbrook Lyon, 

late 52nd Light Infantry, who d 1880. 

(d) Anna Maria, m. 1st., Captain Heni-y Needham, late 

68th Regiment, who d. 1884. Daughter Anna 
Mary, b. 1866, m. (2ndly) Emile Luquiens, who 
d. 1888. 

(e) Rebecca Jane. 

Rev. Richard Macdonald, Provost of Trinity, 
died on 24th January, 1867. He was succeeded in 
the representation of the Tynekill family by his 
oldest surviving son, 

XVII. Sir Richard Graves Macdonald, 
K.C.M.G. and C.B. He w^as born in 1814, and 
as has been already noted, occupied various dis- 
tinguished posts under the British Government 
(vide Vol. II., pp. 138-9-40). He m. Blanche 
Anne, daughter of Francis Skurry of Stanhope 
Place, Hyde Park, and of Percy Cross Lodge, Ful- 
ham, and afterwards of 5 Brunswick Square, 
Brio'hton. After an eventful career, he retired 
from public life in 1872, and died on 5th February, 
1881. He was succeeded in the representation of 
the family by 

XVIII. Hercules Henry Graves Macdonald, 
J. P. for County Dubhn, the Provost's third son, and 
Sir Richard's younger brother. We refer our 
readers to our second Volume, pj^. 140-1, for parti- 
culars bearing upon this distinguished clansman, the 
undoubted representative and heir of line of Alastair 
Og, son of Angus Mor, the deposed Lord of the 
Isles. He was born in 1819, m. on 16th July, 


1842, Emily Anne Moylan, who died at Norwood, 
February 16th, 1883, in her 61st year, with issue—' 

1. Mary Frances, b. 1843. M. (1st) William Rupert Henn, 

B.L., with issue — 

(a) Maria. 

(b) Emily Heloise. She m. Cornelius Cruijs, of Amster- 

dam, with issue. She m. (2nd]y) Augustus M. 
Newton Dickenson, with issue. 

2. Emily Heloise. M. 1867, Charles Boissevain, of 

Amsterdam, with issue. 

3. Richard Graves Macdonald, b. September 10th, 1845. 

Killed at sea, February 24, 1862, on board the sail- 
ing ship, "Victor Emmanuel," by a fall from the 
topsail yard in the Atlantic. 

4. Jane Harriet Elizabeth, b. 1847, d. 1859. 

5. Charles Edward, b. 1849, d. 1859. 

6. Hercules Henry, M.D. and J.P., County Louth, b. 1851. 

In 1867 entered Trinity College, Dublin, and in 1875 
obtained the Degrees of M.D. and Chir. M. In 1877 
elected Surgeon to the Louth Infirmary, and Medical 
Officer of H.M. Prison, Dundalk. M. 1878, Fannie, 
Keogh Burd, b. 1854, daughter of John Burd, of the 
Glen Lodge, Sligo, with issue — 

(a) Hercules Neville Francis, b. at Dundalk, May 2yth, 

(n) Mer^;ya Sorley, b. at Sligo, July 24th, 1880. 

(c) lole Hyila, b. at Dundalk, Jan. 10, 1884. 

7. Alfred Creagh Macdonald, R.E., b. Jan. 28th, 1853. 

After service in India and Egypt, during which he 
obtained three medals — one with clasp — and the 
Khedive's star, he became Captain R.E. August 18th, 
1885, and in 1889 D.A.A. General for instruction at 
Kasawli ; May 18th, 1894, Major R.E. ; 1895, 
Dec. 16, Instructor in Survey, Military School of 
Engineering, Cliatham. M. 1881, Adele, fourth 
daughter of General Herbert Stacy Abbot, with 
issue — Herbert Creagh, b. at Bangalore, March 30th, 

8. Frederick Theodore Macdonald, M.A., b. June 27th, 

1860; educated at Rossall School, 1870 to 1879; 
in 1879 entered Clare Cottage, Cambridge, and 



graduated in 1882. Assistant Master at Elstree, 
1883 to 1891 ; called to the English Bar in 1887. 
In 1895 m. Sylvia Fi-ances, only daughter of Frank 
N. Wardell, H.M. Senior Chief Inspector of Mines. 
^ Hercules H. Graves Macdonald cL, and was 
succeeded by 

XIX. Hercules Henry Macdonald, M.D. and 
J. P., County Louth. 


This family was descended from John Sprangach 
third son of Angus Mor, Lord of the Isles. The 
genealogical details obtainable regarding this family 
are very meagre, owing to their disappearance as a 
territorial house upwards of 250 years ago. They 
were known as Macians, owing to their descent from 
John, son of Angus Mor. The succession was as 
follows :— 

I. John Sprangach, son of Angus Mor, son of 
Donald, progenitor of the clan. 

ir. Angus, son of John Sprangach. 

III. Alexander, son of Angus. 

IV. John, son of Alexander. This chief had at 
least two sons — (l) Alexander, his successor, and 
(2) another whose name is not given, but whose son 
succeeded as 6th head of the house on failure of the 
descendants of John, 4th chief 

V. Alexander, son of John, succeeded. He 
had no heirs male of his body. He had three 
daughters — 

1. Fynvola, m. Hugh, 1st Baron of Sleat, who hx her had 

John, his successor, who died without issue. 

2. Mariota, m. Malcolm Macduffie of Colon say. 

3. Florence, who m. as his second wife Allan ^lacrory of 


Alexander was succeeded by his nephew 

' On the eve of going to pre^s we have learnt of the death of this 
distinguished Clansman, but presure of time iJreveuts our waiting to ascertain 
details as to time, place, &c. 


VI. John, who inherited as '' grandson and heir 
of John, son of Alexander, the son of John of 
Ardnamurchan." There seems to be a hnk omitted 
here in the person of Angus, son of John Sprangach, 
but probably "Alexander Macian," the patronymic,' 
would have been taken by the scribe composing the 
charter as meaning "Alexander, son of John." Hugh 
Macdonald, the Sleat historian, bastardizes this chief, 
whom he calls " John Brayach," but this is Hugh's 
way, and there are no grounds for putting in the 
bar sinister. He married a lady of the Argyll 
family, by whom he is said to have had— 

1. Donald. 

2. Somerled. 

3. A son whose name has not come down. 

4. Alexander, who succeeded. 

He also had a daughter, who m. Alastair Mac- 
Ian Chathanaich, 5th Chief of Dunnyveg, and 
another Mariot, Avho married John Robertson of 
Struan. John Brayach and three of his sons were 
slam ]n battle, and the succession was carried on by 

VII, Alexander, who was a minor at the time 
of his father's death. He had three sons— 

1. John, who succeeded. 

2. Donald, of whom afterwards. 

3. Alexander. ' 

This Alexander had two sons — 

1. John. 

2. Donald. 

Alexander was succeeded by 

VIH. John. He had by his first wife his heir 
and successor John Og ; also a daughter Una, who 
m. Allan Maclean of Ardthornish, of whom the 
Macleans of Kinlochaline, Drimnin, Pennycross, and 
others. He m. (2ndly) Janet Campbell, Dowager 


Lady of Duart, without issue. He was succeeded 
by his son 

IX. John Og, who on the eve of his marriage 
with a daughter of Cameron of Lochiel was killed 
by his uncle Donald Maclan, oldest surviving son of 
the 7th chief, and heir presumptive of the estate. 
John Og having left no issue, the succession for a 
very short time devolved upon 

X. Donald, the son of Alexander just referred 
to. He, however, was slain in battle with the 
Camerons, and was succeeded by his nephew 

XI. John MacAllister VcIain, the latter 
being the patronymic and not a Christian name. 
John Macian was succeeded by a son, 

XII. Alexander, who was a minor at the time 
of his father's death, and for whom, his uncle Donald, 
the son of Alexander, acted in loco tutoris. He is 
the last head of the house of whom there is any 
authentic record and with him this ancient and 
powerful house passes out of historical and 
genealogical ken. 


This family is descended from John, son of Angus 
Og of Isla, who, according to the Seanachies, was a 
natural son. He was thus a half-brother of the 
"Good John" of Isla. He was known as Iain 
Fraoch and also as Iain Abrach. The daughter of 
Dugall Mac Henry, chief man of Glenco, was his 
mother. The special difficulties of the genealogy 
arise from the fact that so many of the same name 
followed each other in the chiefship, and that with 
nine or ten John Abrachs and John Mac lains and 
John Mac Iain Abrachs, it is difficult to make 

1. Eweu Macdonald 

2. Major-Geu. Alex. 


of Gleucoe. 3. Captain Macdonald, Invercoe. 

Macdonald, 4. ]\Iajor D. C. Macdonald of Glen- 


5. James Macdonald of Dalness. 


The succession of the lieads of the Macians of 
Gleiico was as follows : — 

I. John Fraoch or Abrach, d. 1358. 
II. John Abrachson. 

III. John Abrachson. 

IV. John Abrachson. 
V. John Abrachson. 

VI. John, who appears on record as "John of 
the Isles, alias Abrachson " at the fall of the Island 

VII. (Old) John, called Iain Abrach. There is 
no record of his marriage nor of the marriages of 
the foregoing. He had three sons — 

1. John Og, who succeeded. 

2. Douald Og. 

3. Alastair Og. 

Old John Abrach was succeeded by 

VIII. John Og (1), Avho appears first on record 
in 1563, and in whose time and that of his suc- 
cessor the Clan Iain Abraich became very numerous. 
As his successor was also called John Og, the two 
have to be carefully distinguished. John Og (l) 
had a family of seven sons — 

(a) John Og (2), who succeeded. 

(b) John Dubh, progenitor of the families of Dahiess and 

Achtriachtan, of whom afterwards 

(c) Alexander Mac Iain Oig, in Larach. 

(d) Archibald Mac Iain Oig. 

(e) Allan Roy Mac Iain Oig. 

(f) Ronald Mac Iain Oig. 

(g) Angus Mac Iain Oig. 

John Og (1) was succeeded c. 1590 by 

IX. John Og (2). He had three sons — 

(a) John Abrach, his successor. 

(b) Alexander. 

(c) Donald Bowie. 


John Og (2) was succeeded c. 1610 by 

X. John Abrach. We do not find any trace of 
sons of this Chief, except his successor. 

XI. Alexander, who, according to the ordinary 
rules of calculation, would have succeeded his father 
about 1630. He M^as known in his day as Alastmr 
Ruadli. He had two sons — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Angus, known as Aonghas Mac Alastair Kuaidh, the 

well-known Gaelic bard. 

Alexander, 11th Chief of Glenco, was succeeded by 
his son, 

XI T. Alexander, the principal victim of the 
inhuman massacre of 1692. He married a daughter 
of Archibald Macdonald of Keppoch, a sister of the 
famous Coll, and he had two sons, both of whom 
escaped from the massacre — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Alexander. 

Alexander Macian, the 12th Chief of Glenco, was 
succeeded in the chiefship by his older son 

XIII. John. There does not appear to be much 
known about this chief after his escape from the 
massacre beyond certain privileges accorded to him- 
self and his clan in view of the ruin brought about 
by the disasters of 1692. He died before 1714, and 
left three sons — 

1. Alexander. 

2. James, a captain in the Prince's army in 1715. 

3. Donald, out in 1745. 

He was succeeded by 

XIV. Alexander. He signed the famous 
address to George I. in 1714, and was out in the 
Rebellion of 1715, after which his estate was for- 
feited. It does not appear that the estate was 


formally restored at this time either to Alexander 
or to Robert Stewart of Appin, his feudal superior, 
who was also involved in the Earl of Mar's Rising. 
It is prolmble, however, that the Chief of Glenco 
was not disturbed in his occu2)ation of his lands by 
the Duke of Argyll, on whom the estates appear to 
have devolved. Alexander was also out in 1745 
with the fighting men of his tribe. He was in 
prison in Edinburgh as late as 1750 for his share in the 
Rebellion, but he must have died shortly after that 
date. He was married twice. We have no record of 
the name or family of his first wife. He m. (2ndly) 
Isobel, daughter of John Stewart of Ardsheal. He 
was succeeded by his only son 

XV. John, who in 1751 had the forfeited estate 
restored. By charter dated 29th July, 1751, Robert 
Stewart of Appin, heritable superior of Glenco — to 
whom the Duke of Argyll had given the superiority 
forfeited by his father, John Stewart — disponed to 
John the two merklands of Polvig, and the two 
merklands of Carnick with the Glen of Lecknamoy. 
John Macian of Glenco had an only son, Alexander, 
to whom he left a General Disposition of his Estates 
in 1785. He was succeeded by 

XVI. Alexander, who married Mary Cameron, 
and had three sons, Ewen and two others, whose 
names we have not been able to ascertain. Alex- 
ander made a Trust Disposition of his Estate in 
1814 in favour of Trustees, and Sasine was taken of 
the same in 1816. In 1817 a Deed of Corroboration 
of the previous procedure was executed by 

XVII. Ew^EN Macdonald of Glenco, who by 
this time would have succeeded his father. Ewen 
was a distinguished physician in the East India 
Company Service, and it would appear that the 


affairs of the family became more j^rosperous when, 
in 1828, the Trustees conveyed back to him the 
patrimony of his house. In 1837 Ewen entailed 
the estate on himself and male heirs of his body, 
whom failing, to the heirs female of his body, whom 
failing, to his daughter Ellen Caroline Macpherson 
Macdonald, afterwards the wife of Archibald Burns 
Macdonald, of Perth, The distinction drawn 
between heirs female of his body and the daughter 
referred to j)oints to the fact that this lady was a 
natural daughter, and it is saicl that it was only 
a little before his death, which took place in 
1 840, that he was legally married to her mother. 
Having no other heirs of his body, the estate 
devolved upon Mrs Burns Macdonald, by whom it 
was disentailed in 1876, and whose son sold it in 
1894 to the Honourable Sir Donald Smith, now 
Lord Strath cona and Mount Royal of (jlenco. We 
have referred to the fact that the last Chief of 
Glenco had two brothers. We have been unable to 
trace themselves or their progeny, if any. 



The family of Dalness was descended from John 
Dubh or Black John, a son of the first John Og, 8th 
Chief of Glenco. John Dubh had a large family of 
sons, who, with their descendants, frequently appear 
on record during the early part of the 17th century. 
His sons were — 

1. Angus, afterwards of Dalness. 

2. Allaster, afterwards of Achtriachtan. 

3. Allan Dubh in Larach. 

4. John Og in Inverigau. 

5. John ^lor in Achnacon. 

6. Ranald. 

7. Archibald. 


Each member of John Diibh's tribe was called Mac 
Iain Diiibh. 

I. Angus» the oldest of John Diibh's sons, was 
the first who stands on record as possessor of Dal- 
ness, of which, in 1608, he obtains a tack from 
Archibald Campbell of Inverawe. In IGIO, Angus, 
along with his relatives of Achtriachtan, is called to 
account for the slaughter of John Stewart of Acliarn 
and his brother. He was succeeded in the lands of 
Dalness and the headship of the tribe by his son 

II. Alexander, who flom^ished on to the end of 
the 17th century, and managed to escape by dint of 
stratagem from the butchery of 1692. He was 
amoncr those who in 1695 received a renewal of the 
protection from captions and executions for civil 
debts from the Commissioners appointed to enquire 
into the massacre. The same year Alexander 
obtained a Feu Charter, and became absolute owner 
of Dalness, which Deed he, for greater security, 
deposited with Alexander Macdonald, Chief of 
Glengarry. Alexander left two sons — 

1. Alexander, who succeeded to Dalness, and 

2. James, of whom afterwards. 

Alexander, second of Dalness, was succeeded 
shortly after 1700 by his older son 

III. Alexander. He m. Jean Maclachlan, 
daughter of Maclachlan of Coruanan in Lochaber, 
by whom he had four sons — 

1. Alexander, who died young. 

2. Coll, who became a captain in the 1\.N., of whom after- 


3. Dugald, who entered the army. 

4. John, who became a merchant in Jamaica. 

Alexander m. (2ndly) Janet Campbell, by whom he 

5. James, of whom afterwards. 

218 The clan donald. 

He is said to have gone to live at Marjbiirgh (now 
Fort-William) for the education of his family, and 
let Dalness to his brother James. He died in 1726, 
and for some time thereafter the ownership of the 
family inheritance was in a very complicated con- 
dition. Alexander, however, was succeeded as head 
of the house by 

IV. Alexander, his oldest son, who survived 
his father only for a short time. The second son 
Coll had gone to the navy, and in process of time 
was promoted to the rank of captain, while Dugald 
and John had gone to push their fortunes abroad. 
Their mother having died, their uncle James was 
left in possession of Dalness. The circumstances 
being favourable to villainy of this nature, he took 
steps to get Dalness into his own possession. In 
this he was aided by the circumstances of the '45, 
when Invergarry Castle was burnt, and the Glen- 
garry Charter Chest, including the Dalness titles, 
was carried away by Sir Everard Falconer, under 
instructions from the Duke of Cumberland. It was 
seen in his custody in the Abbey of Holyrood house, 
whence it was carried to London, where the j)apers 
were sold to a snuff-shop. Having thus explained 
the position of the estate, it falls to be mentioned 
that Alexander, the fourth head of the house, was 
succeeded in that position by his brother 

V. Coll, second son of Alexander 3rd of Dalness. 
Not till 1749 was Coll Macdonald — who by this 
time commanded the Hampton Court, a war ship of 
50 guns — able to return to Dalness to vindicate his 
rights. He had to return to the service, but before 
doing so he set in operation what proved to be a 
long and expensive law-suit for the recovery of his 
property. During this litigation Coll died, and 

The genealogy of clan donald. 219 

leaving no issue (an infant son iiaving predeceased 
him), the succession devolved upon his brother, 

VI. John Macdonald, then a merchant in 
Jamaica. He returned to Scotland, and effected a 
compromise of the various law pleas which estah- 
hshed his right to the estate in 17G4. He was also 
proprietor of the Estate of Gartencaber, commonly 
called Clemsfield in Buchanan, where he died in 
December, 1774. He was married to a daughter of 
Alexander Macdonald of Keppoch, who was out in 
the '45, but left no issue. 

By this time all the brothers german of Alexander 
Macdonald 5th of Dalness were dead without 
descendants, and the succession devolved upon the 
posterity of James, his half-brother. James had 
tv/o sons — 

1. Coll, who succeeded bis uncle John, and 

2. Duncan, a distinguished soldier, for -who^e story vide 

Clan Donald, Vol. II., p. 223. 

John Macdonald of Dalness had executed a Dis- 
position of Dalness in fiivour of his nephew, 

VII. Coll, who succeeded him as proprietor of 
Dalness, John also conveyed to Coll the Gartin- 
caber Estate, and appointed as Trustees of his 
moveable estate Ronald Macdonald of Keppoch, 
John Macdonald of Glenco, Angus Macdonald of 
Achtriachtan, William Macdonald, W.S., Donald 
Macdonald, merchant in Glasgow, and James Mac- 
intyre of Gleno, with directions to convey the 
residue to his nei)hew Coll. Coll Macdonald betook 
himself to the study of the law, and after serving an 
apprenticeship witli William Macdonald, of St 
Martins, W.S., he was admitted as a Writer to the 
Signet on I8th March, 178G. Through liis con- 
nection with the Highlands, he acted for many of 


the northern lairds, inchiding Glengarry, Glenalla- 
dale, and Lochgaiiy. One of the most important 
trials with which he was concerned was that in 
which he was ao-ent for Alexander Macdonald of 
Glengarry, charged with shooting Lieutenant 
Norman Macleod, of the 42nd Highlanders, in a 
duel, and which resulted in a verdict of acquittal. 
Coll purchased part of the Achtriachtan j^roperty 
from his relative, Adam Macdonald, in 1812. He 
married on 22nd October, 1796, Elizabeth Barbour, 
daughter of Captain Donald Macbean, of the 10th 
Regiment of Foot. Coll Macdonald of Dalness died 
on 1st January, 1837, survived by his wife, who 
died on 31st March, 1856. He had by his wife 

1. James Macdonald, advocate. 

2. Duncan Macdonald, AV.S. 

3. Donald Macdonald. 

He had two daughters — 

1. Susan. 

2. Margaret Campbell, who m. Captain George Downing, of 

the Madras Army, with issue, of whom afterwards. 

He was succeeded as head of the Dalness family by 
his eldest son, 

YHI. James. He passed as advocate on 26 th 
June, 1821, and was appointed Sheriff-Substitute of 
Linlithgow in 1832, and of Edinburghshire in 1838. 
He died unmarried on 16th September, 1845, and 
was succeeded by his only surviving brother, 

IX. Donald, both in the Estates of Dalness and 
Achtriachtan, subject to his life-rent of his sisters in 

Donald died unmarried on 25th January, 1855 
(the male line of Dalness thus becoming extinct), and 
by his settlement directed his trustees to dispone 
Dalness to his sister, Mrs Margaret Campbell Mac- 


(lonald or Downing, in life-rent, and her daughter, 
Elizabeth Margaret, in fee. 

Mrs Downing, sister of tlie last Macdonald of 
Dalness, died at London on 2nd January, 187(5, and 
the Estate of Dalness was conveyed by tlie trustees 
to the present proprietrix, Mrs Ehzabeth Margaret 
Downing Macdonald or Stuart, the daughter of Mrs 
Downing, and wife of Dugald Stuart, eldest son of 
the Kigiit Honourable Sir John Stuart of Loch- 
carron, Ross-shire, Vice-Chancellor of England. 
Dugald Stuart died on 5th February, 1885. 


This family is descended, as already stated, from 

I. Alexander, son of John Dubh, son of John 
Og Mac Iain Abrich of Glenco. It appears that the 
lands occupied by the brothers of Alexander Mac 
Iain Dubh, namely, Allan Dow, John Og, John Mor, 
and Ranald, were also situated in Achtriachtan. 
He was succeeded by his son, 

II. Alexander, who appears on record in IGll 
as Allaster Mac Iain Duibh Mhic Alastair of Ach- 
triachtan, the Mac Iain Duibh being in this case the 
patronymic or tribe name. He had two sons, John, 
his successor, and another son, wdiose name we have 
not succeeded in identifying. He also appears in 
1G2G under a similar desio-nation. He was sue- 
ceeded by his son, 

III. John, whom we find in 1G74 as John Mac- 
donald of Achtriachtan. He entered into a Bond 
of Friendship with Glengarry in 1690, and was 
among those who lost their lives in the massacre of 
1692. John had two sons, named Alexander and 
Angus Roy, to which latter reference will be made 
hereafter. He was succeeded bv his elder son, 


IV. Alexander, who escaped from the massacre. 
Durinof his father's hfe-time he entered into a con- 
tract with John Stuart Fiar of Ardsheal, whereby 
he received in feu from him lands which had been 
in the occupation of the family since the beginning 
of the 17th century: — "All and haill the three 
merk land of Kinlochbeg in Glenco, with houses, 
biggings, yards, milns, multures, and with the third 
part of the fir and oak woods of Kinlochbeg in 
Glenco, and with other woods, isles, rocks, fishing, 
pertaining and belonging to the said four merk lands, 
all lying within the parish of Kilmolowack, Lord- 
ship of Lorn, and Sheriffdom of Argyll. And also 
the salmon fishings upon said Alexander, his own 
side of the water of Leven, and salmon fishings of 
Achtriachtan." The contract is dated 4th February, 
1686. He was alive in 1695, when with others he 
got protection from captions and execution for civil 
debts. He left no sons, and was succeeded by 

V. Angu8, his brother, who in 1704 completed 
a title to Achtriachtan as heir to his brother 
Alexander by receiving a Precept of Clare Constat 
from Stuart of Appin on 8 th January of that year. 
Angus of Achtriachtan possessed the estate for 
many years, and there is a tradition that he lived 
up to the '45, joined Prince Charles, and was slain 
at Prestonpans. We are unable to vouch for the 
accuracy of this tradition, but the death of Angus 
of Achtriachtan did not probably take place earlier 
than the above date, as it was not till July 26th, 
1751, that his successor received a Precept of Clare 
Constat, being infeft the following day. Angus 
married Flora Cameron of Callart, and had three 
daughters — 


1. The older, of whose name we liave no record, married 

lier fatlier's successor in tlio proprietorship) of Ach- 

2. Margaret, married Angus Macintyre in (Joniasnaharric 

of Callart. 

3. Mary, married to ])onald Cameron of (jllenpean. 

Angus of Achtriachtan left no male issue, and the 
succession devolved upon his kinsman, 

VI. Ang[T8. This head of Achtriachtan was the 
grandson of Angus Hoy, second son of Alexander, 
1st head of the family, known in his day as Alastair 
Mac Iain Duibli Mliic Alastair. The name of his 
father has not been traced, but he was evidently 
proved to be in the direct line. Angus married as 
his first wife his cousin, the daughter of the last 
Achtriachtan, without issue. He married secondly, 
Anne, daughter of John Campbell of Ballieveolan. 
She had been previously married to Stewart of Appin. 
Her marriage with Angus of Achtriachtan took 
place not later than 1753, and there Avas a large 
family of sons and daughters — 

1. Alexander, a Captain in the East India Service. 

2. A.dam, who succeeded to the estates. 

3. Angus, predeceased his father. 

4. James, a clerk in the Sheritt-Clerk's Office, Inverness. 

5. Allan, of whom there is no record beyond the name. 

6. John, died in the service of the East India Company, 

without issue. 

7. Hugh, died in the service of the East India Company, 

without issue. 

8. Robert, Ensign in East India Comj^any, died without 


9. Colin, a doctor, but of whom, or descendants if an}-, we 

have no notice. 

Captain Alexander Macdonald, Achtriachtan's 
oldest son, was about to return to Scotland when 
he was seized with fever and died. He settled a 


sum of about £4000 upon his relatives. Angus 
had also four daughters — 

(a) Jessy, who married a Mr Stevenson. 

(b) Betsy, married Cameron of Clunes, with issue, 
(o) Mary, died unmarried. 

(d) Isabella, died unmarried. 

It is said that Angus, the third son, had been 
sj^ecially called, after the death of Captain Alex- 
ander Macdonald, to the succession owing to his 
superior fitness to guard the family interests ; but 
he also predeceased his father, and the old man was 
not able, through advancing infirmity, to make a 
new disposition, even should he have desired it. 
Angus of Achtriachtan died in 1800, and was 
succeeded by his second son, 

VII. Adam, who was in the West Indies at 
the time of his father's death. He was served 
heir to his father on 12th November, 1800. 
During his time the family inheritance, mainly 
through mismanagement and litigation, was com- 
pletely dilapidated. In 1812 he, with consent 
of his wife, sold the southern division of Achtri- 
achtan, known as Achnabeath and Benchrualaist, 
to Coll Macdonald of Dalness, and the remainder to 
Robert Downie of Appin. In his later years, Adam 
Macdonald of Achtriachtan lived at Achnacon, of 
which farm he had a lease. He was a man of facile 
and somewhat weak disposition, and was largely tlie 
victim of designing and unscrupulous neighbours. 
He married Helen Cameron, daughter of Ewen 
Cameron of Glennevis, with issue — 

1. Colin John. 

2. John. 

3. Hugh. 

4. A daughter, who married Mr Mackenzie, Munlochj'', 

l)rother of General Alexander Mackenzie and of Mrs 


Gibson, wife of tlie Lito Rev. T)r rili})8on, minister of 

5. A daughter, married to Mr Maclellan, excise ofHcer. 

6. Isabella, who died unmarried. 

4. Jane Frasei", who died unmarried. 

Adam Macdonakl of Achtriachtaii was l)urie(l In 
Island Miind, in Glenco, and was succeeded in tlie 
i-epresentation of the family by his eldest son, 

VIII. Colin John. He went to Australia, and 
occupied a high position in the Poat-Office at Bris- 
bane. He married, and had several children, among 
whom his third daughter, Isabel Jane, married, in 
1888, to Henry Edward Bennet. 


A branch of the Clan Iain of Glencoe that may 
be genealogically traced for a few generations con- 
sists of the descendants ot 

I. Allan Dubh, son of John Dubh, and brother 
of the founders of Dalness and Achtriachtan. He 
lived at Laroch in Glenco. He married Janet 
Stewart of the family of Apj^in, and had two 
sons, Ranald and Angus, both of w^hom were with 
the Glenco contingent in the campaigns of Mon- 
trose. The part which Angus played in guiding the 
Royalists to winter quarters in the rich fields and 
well-stocked homesteads of Argyll has been already 
described in Vol. 11. Of Angus and his descendants 
we know nothing further, and the descent from 
Allan Maclain Duibh is found in 

II. Ranald Mac All an. He was known as 
Raonall na Sgeithe, Ranald of the Shield, ownig 
to an incident in his life during the campaigns of 
Montrose. Ha had a son, 



III. Ranald Og, who, with his father, was 
massacred in 1692. Raonall Og had two sons, 
Donald and Alexander, who were away from the 
Glen during the massacre, and so escaped. 

IV. Donald was a soldier and poet, and was 
his chief's lieutenant in 1745. Of himself and his 
descendants in the male line, if any, we have no 
further information. 


I. Reginald, the founder of this family, was the 
eldest surviving son of John, Lord of the Isles, by 
Amie MacRuarie, the heiress of Garmoran, John, 
his elder brother, and his son, Angus, not having 
left issue. Reginald succeeded his mother in the 
largest share of the MacRuarie lands, which, with 
others, were confirmed to him by charter from his 
father in 1372. Reginald married a daughter of 
Walter Stewart, Earl of Atholl, and had five 
sons, whether all of them by this marriage is not 
certain — 

1. Allan, his successor. 

2. Donald, from whom the MacdpnaWs of Glengarry. 

3. John Dall, who left one son, John. 

5. Angus Riabhach. His father bestowed upon him the 
lands of Moi-ar, and others, which Tiis family occupied 
till the first half of the 16th century, when the family 
of Dougall, the deposed Chief of Clanranald, succeeded. 
His son, Angus, succeeded Angus Riabhach in these 
lands. He is witness to a charter by Angus, Master of 
the Isles, in 1485. In 1498, King James IV. granted 
to Angus, whom failing to his son, Angus, a charter of 
the 1 2 merk lands of Benbecula, 9 merk lands in Eigg, 
6 merk lands in Arisaig, and the 14 merk lands of 
• Morar, all of which. were resigned in his favour by 
John, son of Hugh Macdonald of Sleat. Ahgus'was 
succeeded by his son, Angus, and he in turn was 
succeeded by his son, John, who was dead in 1538. 



In that year a gift of the non-entry duties of his lands 
was granted to Allan and Lachlan ^^'^V)ull ^r'Ranald 
until the lawful heir came of ugc. Tn the fc^llowing 
year this gift was reeallel, and the Earl of Argyll 
received a similar gift of the same lands. No further 
gift of these lands seems to have been made to the 
family of Angus lliabhach, who now disappear as 
landowners among the Clanranald. Angus llialjhacli, 
who, according to MacVurich, became a friar at Tona, 
died in 1440, and was buried at llollaig Grain. 
5. Dougall, designated as Dougall of Sunart, from whom the 
.Siol Dhiighaill. He was succeeded by his son. Angus 
the Red. Dougall died at Resipoll in 1426, and was 
buried at Rollaig Grain. 

Reginald, the founder of the Clanranald family, died 
at Castletirrim in 1386, and was buried at Kollaig 
Grain. He was succeeded by his eldest sou, 

II. Allan. Allan, according- to MacVurich. 
married a daughter of Stewart of Appin, and, 
according to another family historian, he married 
a daughter of John, Lord of Lorn, who may have 
been his second wife. Allan's family were — 

1. Roderick, who succeeded him. 

2. Allan, from whom the Macdonalds of Knoydart, known 

as Sliochd Alein 'ic Alein. 

3. John, who left a family. 

Allan 11. of Clanranald, who was living in 1428. 
died at Castletirrim, and was buried at liollaig 
Grain. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

III. Roderick. Roderick married Margaret, 
daughter of Donald Balloch Macdonald of Dunny- 
veg and the Glens. He had by her — 

1. Allan, his successor. 

2. Hector, who obtained lands in Morven, and from whom 

the MacEachen?. 

Roderick married, secondly, Marion, daughter of 
William Mackintosh, Captain of Clanchattan. He 
had, by a daughter of Maclean of C/oll, Duncan 


Garbh. He had other children — Farquhar and 

Roderick III. of Clanranald died in 1481, and 
was buried at Kollaig Grain. He was succeeded 
by his eldest son, 

IV. Allan. Allan married Florence, daughter 
of Donald Macdonald of Ardnamurchan. He had 
by her — 

1. Ranald Bane, his successor. 

2. Alexander, who afterwards succeeded to the chiefship. 

3. Marion, married to Donald Herrach Macdonald, North 


Allan married, secondly, Isabella, daughter of Thomas Lord 
Fraser of Lovat. She afterwards married John Mor Grant I. of i 
Glenmoriston. Allan had by her Ranald, known as Ranald 
Gallda, whom his mother's kindred, backed by the Scottish 
Government, attempted to foist on the Clanranald as their chief. 
Ranald, who was killed at Blar Leino in 1544, left no legitimate 
issue. A Precept of Legitimation was obtained from the Crown, 
in 1555, in favour of his sons, Allan, John, and Alexander. 
Allan, designated of Easter Leys, the eldest of these sons, 
received from the Crown a gift of the non-entry duties of . 
Moydart and Arisaig in 1562. In the same year he married I 
Margaret, daughter of Hugh Lord Fraser of Lovat, and had 
three sons, John, Angus, and Alexander. In 1582, James IV. 
granted in heritage to Allan M 'Ranald of Easter Leys the non- 
entry and other dues of the 23 merk lands of Kendess and the 
14 merk lands of Benbecula. John is on record, in 1588, as son 
and apparent heir of Allan MacRanald of Easter Leys. In 1599, 
he and Alexander, his brother, were murdered by Mackintosh. 
John was succeeded by his brother, Angus, who appears on i-ecord 
as Angus MacRanald of Moidart, and at whose instance, with 
John, his son, and his daughter, Elizabeth, Donald of Clanranald 
was declared rebel, in 1G15, for not removing from the lands of 
Moidart and Arisaig. His family, of whom we now hear no 
more, had made strenuous efforts for many years to obtain 
possession of what they believed to be the inheritance of Ranald 



Allan IV. of Clanranald had another family — 
Allan Riabhach, John Bronnach, Donald who had 
a son, John Molach, and James. 

Allan died at Blair- AthoU in 1505, and was 
buried there. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

V. Ranald Bane. Ranald married Catherine, 
daughter of Lachlan Mackintosh of Gellovie, com- 
monly called Lachlan Badenoch. He is also said to 
have married a daughter of Roderick INIacleod of 
Lewis, probably his second marriage. He had three 
sons — 

1. Dougall, liis heir and successor. 

2. John. 

3. Allan. 

4:. Agnes, married to Robert Robertson of Struan. 

Ranald died at Perth in 1 509, and was succeeded by 
his eldest son, 

VI. Dougall. Dougall, according to one manu- 
script authority, married a daughter of Cameron of 
Lochiel ; according to another he married a daughter 
of Norman, the son of Patrick Obeolan, of the clerical 
family of Applecross ; according to a third he married 
a daughter of Sir Alexander Macdonald of Lochalsh. 
He left four sons — 

1. Allan, from whom the ^lacdoualds of Morar. 

2. Lachlan. 

3. Alexander. 

4. Ranald, from whom the Macdonalds of Bornish. 

Dougall was assassinated in 1520, and his sons were 
excluded from the succession. He was succeeded in 
the chiefship by his vuicle, 

VIL Alexander. Alexander had three families. 
By Dorothy he had — 

1. John Moidartach, his successor. 

2. Angus. 

3. Rory Roy of Borodale. 

4. Donald of Lochan. 


By the daughter of Noram MacGillipatrick he had — 

1. John Ard. 

2. Allan Odhar. 

3. Rory, rector of Kilchoan, in Ardnamurchun, which, after 

a time, he held with the rectories of Arisaig and 
Kuoydart. He was promoted to the Deanery of 
Morveu in 1540, and in 1545 was recommended by 
the Islesmeii for the Bishopric of the Isles in opposi- 
tion to Roderick Maclean, the nominee of the Scottish 
Regent. He ultimately became rector of Islandfinnan. 
He was buried in Ardchattan. The following is the 
inscription on his tomb (the date of his death 
benig omitted) : — " Hie jacet venerandus et egregius 
vir Rodericus Alexandri, Rector quondam Funnanni 
Insulae, qui obiit Anno Dom. ." 

By Marion, daughter of Farquhar Mackintosh, Alex- 
ander had 

Farquhar of Skirhough, in South Uist 
He had a daughter Catherine, who married Donald 
Gruamach, 4th Baron of Sleat. Alexander died at 
Castletirrim before 1530, and was succeeded by his 

VIII. John Moidaetach. He married Margaret, 
daughter of Macdonald of Ardnamurchan, and by her 

Allan, his heir and successor. 
By the daughter of Macdonald of Knoydart he had — 

1. John Og, from whom the Macdonalds of Glenaladale. 

2. Donald Gorm, tacksman of Gerinish in 1610. Angus, his 

son, was Bailie of South Uist in 1629. 

3. Rory Og, who left two sons, Donald and John. 

By the daughter of Neil, son of Charles, he had — 

1. Rory Dubh. 

2. Ranald. He had a son, John, rector of Islandfinnan. 

3. John Dubh. 

4. Angus. 

He had a daughter, who married Allan Maclean of 
Ardgoui. According to the Clanranald Book of 


1819, he bad by Penelope Erskine a daugbter, who 
married Jobn Stewart of Appiii. 

Jobii Moidartach died in 1584, and was buried 
at Howmore, in Soutb Uist. He was succeeded by 
his eldest son, 

IX. Allan. Allan had by the daughter of 
Alastair Crotach Macleod of Dunvegan 
Allan Og, killed by his brothers in Arisuig. 
Allan repudiated his wife, m4io had formerly been 
married to John Og, son of Donald Gruamach of 
Sleat. She afterwards married Ranald Macdonald 
of Keppoch. After her Allan married Janet, 
daughter of Hector Mor Maclean of Duart, and had 
by her 

1. John, accidentally killed at Strome, where he was fostered 

by Glengarry. 

2. Angus, who succeeded. 

3. Donald, afterwards of Clanranald. 

4. Ranald, of Benbecula. 

5. John, from whom the Macdonalds of Kinlochmoidart. 

6. Rory, of Boisdale. 

7. Margaret, who married Donald Macdonald of Glengarry. 

8. Marion, who mai'ried Roderick MacNeill of Barra, with 


9. Letitia, who married Alexander Macdonald of Glen. 


Allan died in 1593, and was buried at Islandfinnan. 
He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, 

-X. Angus. Angus's marriage is not recorded. 
He had a son, Donald Gorm, of Borrodale, who for 
some reason did not succeed him. He married 
Janet, daughter of his uncle, Donald of Clanranald, 
with issue — 

1. Donald, killed at Philiphaugh. 

2. Alexander. 

He left other sons, Angus and Ranald. 

Donald Gorm was dmwaed between Colt and Muck 
with his wife and household. Angus was killed 


shortly after his succession to the chiefship, and 
was succeeded by his brother, 

XL Donald. Donald married Mary, daughter 
of* Angus Macdonald of Dunnyveg and the Glens, 
and had by her — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Kanald Og, who died without issue, and was buried at 

Islandfinnan in 1636. 

3. Alexander Og, who died without issue, 

4. Donald (Jlas, who died without issue. 

5. Marion, married to Lachlan Maclean of Torloisk, with 


Sir Donald, who had been knighted at Holyrood by 
King James IV. in 1617, died at Castletirrim in 
December, 1618. He was succeeded by his son, 

XII. John. John married, in 1613, Marion, 
daughter of Sir Kory Mor Macleod of Dunvegan, 
and had by her — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Marion, who married Lachlan Maclean of Coll, with issue. 

She afterwards married Rory Maclean of Pennymuloch, 
eldest son of Lachlan Maclean, liesiboll. 

3. Catherine, wiio married, in 1653, Galleon MacNeil, 

younger of Barra. 

4. Anne, who married, in 1653, Ranald Macdonald of Ben- 


John died at Eriska in 1670, and was buried at 
Houmore. He was succeeded by his son, 

XIII. Donald. Donald married, in 1655, Janet, 
daughter of Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat. He 
married, secondly, Marion, daughter of John Mac- 
leod of Dunvegan, widow of Norman, son of Sir 
Norman Macleod of Bernera, by whom she had a 
son, Alexander. Donald had by his second wife — 

1. John Moidartach, who died unmarried, at the ago of '21. 

2. Allan, Avho succeeded his father. 

3. Kanald, who had a tack of Boisdale, and succeeded his 

brother, Allan. 


4. Marion, married to Allan Macdonald of Morar, with issue. 

5. Janet, married to Donald Macdonald of Benbccula, with 


6. Mary, married, in 1703, to Captain Allan Maclean, witli 


Donald, who lived for the most part at Castletirrim, 
on which he made extensive repairs, died at Canna 
in 1686, and was buried at Howmore. His widow 
married Ranald Macdonald of Milton, and died in 
1710. Donald was succeeded by his eldest surviving 

XIV. Allan. He was educated at Inverness, 
and under University tutors at home. Castletirrim, 
his principal residence, was garrisoned by William of 
Orange shortly after the battle of Killiecrankie, in 
1689. The garrison, under the command of a Lieut, 
Calder, was removed in 1698. Allan married Pene- 
lope, daughter of Colonel Alexander Mackenzie, of 
the Killichrist family, without issue. Allan fell, 
mortally wounded, at Sheriffmuir, and was carried 
to Drummond Castle, where he died next day. He 
was buried at Innerpeifray, in the burial-place of 
the Perth family His widow died in 1743. Allan 
was succeeded in the representation of the family 
by his brother, 

XV. Ranald. Ranald, who never married, died 
at Fauborg St Germains, June 13, 1725, and was 
buried in the Church of St Sul23ice, in Paris. 
Ranald was succeeded in the representation of the 
family by Donald Macdonald of Benbecula, to whom 
the forfeited estates of Clanranald were afterwards 

XVI. Donald. Donald married, first, Janet, 
daughter of Donald Macdonald of Clanranald, with 
issue — 

1. Ranald, his successor. 


He married, secondly, Margaret, daughter of George 
Mackenzie of Kildun, third son of George, second 
Earl of Seaforth, and had by her — 

2. James, who was educated in France. He died, in 1719, 

unmarried. His elegy is in the Book of Clanranald. 

3. Alexander of Boisdale. 

4. Aiuie, who married John Mackinnou of Mishinish, second 
.; son of Lachlan Mackinnon of Strath. 

Donald died in 1730, and was buried at Oladh 
Mhuire, Nunton. He was succeeded by his eldest 

XVn. Ranald. Ranald, w4io was born in 1692, 
married, in 1720, Margaret, daughtei' of William 
Macleod of Bernera, eldest son of Sir Norman 
Macleod of Bernera and Katherine, daughter of 
§ir James Macdonald of Sleat. By her he had— 

1. Ranald, his successor. 

2. Donald, to whom his father gave the lands of Benbecula, 

which he afterwards renounced in favour of his brother, 
Ranald. He engaged in the Rebellion of 1745-6, and 
was a captain in the Prince's Army. He was after- 
wards imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, but was 
liberated without trial, when he followed his brother, 
Ranald, to France. In 1756 he returned to Scotland, 
and was appointed to a company in Fraser's High- 
landers. He served with that regiment in the 
American War, and greatly distinguished himself in 
several actions. " Captain Macdonald," writes General 
Stewart of Garth, " was an accomplished, high-spirited 
officer. On the expedition against Louisburg and 
Quebec he was much in the confidence of Generals 
Amherst, Wolfe, and Murray, by whom he was 
employed on all duties when more tlian usual 
difficulty and danger had to be encountered, and 
where more than common talent, address, and spirited 
example were i-eqiiired. Of this several instances 
occurred at Louisburg and Quebec." Donald was 
killed at the Sitge of Quebec in 1760. He died 


3. Gordon Alexander. He was sent to Douay to Ije educated 

for the priesthood, but he did not continue his studies. 
He afterwards lived in South Uist, and died there, 
unmarried, in 1809. 

4. William. He served as a lieutenant in Geiicral Simun 

Fraser's Regiment, or 78th Highlanders. He retired 
from the army, and became tacksman of Ormiclate, in 
South Uist, where he died in 1779, leaving two sons, 
Donald and James, then under age. 

5. Alliin, who lived in South Uist all his life, and died there. 

6. Norman. He studied law in Glasgow. Nothing further 

is known of him. 

7. Hugh. He studied medicine. Nothing further is known 

of him. 

8. Louisa, who died unmarried. 

9. Margaret, who was educated in Ireland. She afterwards 

lived in South Uist, where she died unmarried, at 
Ormiclate, in 1826, in the 88th year of her age. 

Ranald died at Nuiiton, March 6th, 176G, and was 
burled there. His widow, Margaret Macleod, died 
at Oi-miclate, Sejitember 20. 1780, and was buried 
at Nunton. Ranald was succeeded by his eldest 

XYIII. Ranald. He was educated at St Ger- 
mains, in France, at the expense of Penelope, widow 
of Allan Macdonald of Clanranald. During his stay 
in France he became intimately acquainted with 
Prince Charles.. He was there in 1740, and had for 
his tutor Neil MacEachen. He married Mary, 
daughter of Basil Hamilton of Baldoon, sister of the 
Earl of Selkirk. By her he had — 

1. Charles James Somerled, who died in Edinburgh, May 
'2b, 1755, in the 5th year of his age, and was 
buried at Holyrood. His mother died May lltli, 
1750, aged 30. 

Ranald married, secondly, in June, 1759, Flora, 
daughter of John Mackiiuion, younger of Mac- 
kinnoii, and liad by her, who died in 1820 — 


1. .John Moidartach, his successor. 

2. .James, who entered the army, in 1783, as ensign. He 

was afterwards a Heutenant in the 19th Regiment, and 
captain in the 73rd in 1791. He served both in the 
East and West Indies, and was dangerously wounded. 
In 1803 he was major in the 93rd Regiment, and 
latterly its Lieutenant-Colonel. Colonel Macdonald 
married, and had four sons, Archibald, James, and 
two others. He had one daughter, Flora Mar}'^, who 
married, in 1836, the Hon. Arthur Annesley, eldest 
son of Viscount Valentia, with issue, among others, 
Arthur, who in 1868 succeeded his grandfather as 
11th Viscount Valentia. The Hon. Mrs Arthur 
Annesley mai-ried, secondly, in 1847, Colonel the 
Hon. George T. Devereux, without issue. She died 
November 5th, 1884. Colonel James Macdonahl died 
in 1838. 

3. Margaret, who died unmarried in 1838. 

4. Mary, who died unmarried. 

5. Penelope. She married, in March, 1789, William, 7th 

Lord Belhaven, with issue — Robert Montgomery, 8th 
Lord, and others. She died in 1816. 

Ranald died at Nunton, October 2, 1776, and was 
buried there. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

XIX. John Moidartach. He married, first, 
March 3, 1784, Katherine, daughter of Robert Mac- 
queen of Braxfield, Lord Justice Clerk of Scotland, 
with issue — 

1. A daughter, born March 29, 1785, died in infancy. 

2. Ranald, born April 3, 1786, died in infancy. 

3. Ranald George, born August 29, 1788, his successor. 

4. Robert Johnstone. He died, at Hartlepool, unmarried. 

5. Donald. He was educated at the University of Leyden, 

where he took his degree in 1817. He entered the 
Civil Service, and lived for some time at Demarara. 
He is in Berbice in 1829-34. He died unmarried. 

John Moidartach married, secondly, Jane, second 
daughter of Colin Macdonald of Boisdale and 
Isabella Campbell, without issue. She died June 2, 
1847. Clanranald died in Edinburgh, November 18, 


1794, and was buried at Holyrood. He was suc- 
ceeded by his eldest surviving son. 

XX. Ranald George. He manied, February 
13, 1812, Lady Caroline Anne Edgcumbe, second 
daughter of Richard, second Earl of Mount- 
Edgcumbe, Lady Caroline, who was boin October 
22, 171)2, died April 10, 1824, and was bui-ied nt 
Holyrood. By her Clanranald had — 

1. Ranald John James George, his successor. 

2. Caroline Sophia, who married 8th September, 1S42, tlio 

Honourable Ciiarles Henry Cust, second son of John, 
Earl Brownlow, with issue. She died Oct()l)er IG, 

3. Emma Hamilla, who married, April 21, 1810, the 

Honourable and Reverend Alfred Wodehouse, 
youngest son of -John, Lord Wodehouse, with issue. 
She died April 5, 1852. 

4. Louisa Emily, who married Charles William Marsham, 

eldest surviving son of Robei't Marsham of Stratton 
Strawless, county of Norfolk, with issue— Charles 
Robert Marsham, now of Stratton Strawless She 
married, secondly, December 4, 1856, Colonel Hugh 
Fitzroy, Grenadier Guards, second son of Lord 
Henry Fitzroj^ third son of Augustus Henry, Duke 
of Grafton, with issue. 

5. Flora, ^laid of Honour to Queen Victoria, died December 

2.5, 1899. 

6. Sarah Anne, who married, first, in 1818, Raron Porcelli, 

a Sicilian nobleman, with issue. She married, 
secondly. Major Wodehouse. 

(Jlanranald married, secondly, Anne, daughter of 
William Cunningham, and widow of Richard Barry 
Dunning, Lord Ashburton, without issue. She 
died July 8, 1835. Clanranald married, thirdly, 
November, 1855, Elizabeth Rebecca Newman, with- 
out issue. He died at Clarendon Road, London, 
March 11, 1873, and was buried at Brompton 
Cemetery. He was succeeded by his son. 


XXI. Admiral Sir Reginald. He married, 
June 12, 1855, the Honourable Adelaide Louisa, 
second daughter of George, Lord Vernon, with 
issue — 

1. Allan Douglas, born April 6, 18.56. 

2. Angus Pioderick, born April 29, 1858, a Civil Engineer 

in the Indian Public Works Department. He married, 
24th September, 1884, Leucolene Helen, daughter of 
llev. Henry Clarke, now of The Cote, Torqua}', and 
Kirkland Hall and Beaimiont Cote, Lancashire. 

.3. Adelaide Effrida. 

4. Maud. 

Clanranald died at his residence in London, Decem- 
ber 15, 1899, and was succeeded in the representation 
of the family by his son, 

XXII. Allan Douglas. He entered the army 
and became a Captain in the Royal Artillery, from 
which he retired, and is now living in Austraha. 
He married at Adelaide, December 25th, 1897, 
Marion Ceciha Sabelberg, widow of D. F. Connell, 


According to the best authorities, the Mac- 
donalds of Knoydart, long since extinct as a terri- 
torial family, were descended from Allan II. of 
Clanranald. Allan gave to his son, Allan, the 
first of this family, the 60 penny lands of Knoydart 
for his patrimony. Of old, Knoydart was a 3 davach 
land. Allan was succeeded by his son, 

II. John, who in turn was succeeded by his son, 

III. Ranald, and he was succeeded by his son, 
ly. Allan. This Allan, who is designed Allan 

Ranaldson M'Eanson, was decerned to remove from 
the lands of Knoydart by decree of the Lords of 
Council in 1501, in consequence of his being in nou- 

1. Alex. Ruadh Macdonell of Glen- 3. Oen. Sir James Macdonell rrjeii- 

garry. ,t;arryi. 

2. Captain Macdonell, R.N. (Glen 4. Allan I). :\Iacdonald of Clan- 

garry). ranald. 

5. Angus R. Macdouald (Clanranald). 


entry. He nevertheless retained possession, but in 
1536 King James V. granted to Donald, son of 
Ewen j^ Hanson of Lochiel, a gift of the non-entry 
duties of the 60 penny lands of Knoydart, due since 
the death of John MacRanald. Allan TV. of Knoy- 
dart was succeeded by liis son, 

V. Angus. In 1548, he received a respite from 
tlie Crown for his share with the rest of the Clan- 
ranald in Blar Leine, which was follo^ved by a 
remission in 1566. He had been in 1545 one of the 
Councillors of Donald Dubh. In 1576, he and his 
son, Allan, gave their bond of mam^ent to Lord 
Lovat. Angus V. of Knoydart was succeeded by 
his son, 

VI. Allan. He is on the Roll of Landlords in 
the Highlands in 1587. He was succeeded by his 

VII. Ranald. This Ranald was the last of the 
family in actual possession of the lands of Knoydart. 
About 1010, the Knoydart men raided the lands of 
Laggan Auchindoun in Glengarry, and brought 
upon themselves the vengeance of Glengarry and 
the Privy Council. Steps were .taken to punish 
them, and they were finally ousted from possession. 
Lochiel, who possessed a Crown charter of these 
lands, handed over his rights to Glengarry in 1611, 
which King James VI. confirmed in Glengarry's 
favour in 1613. Sometime after this, Ranald of 
Knoydart, it is said, was murdered by the men of 
Glengarry, at a point known to this day 2iB Rndha 


The ])rogenitor of this branch of the Clanranald 
was Hector, the second son of Roderick III. of 


Clanranalcl. This Hector is on record as of Kil- 
malew. John, Lord of the Isles, bestowed upon 
him tlie lands of Kihnalew, and many others, in 
the Lordship of Morv^en, in all 33 penny lands — 
a large estate. Hector had five sons — 

1. Ewen. 

2. Farquhar. 

3. Neil, who married Marion, daughter of Colin Mackintosh. 
4 Charles. 

5. Alexander, who married Margaret, daughter of Hugh, 

Lord Fraser of Lovat. 

6. Ranald. 

Hector of Kilmalew was succeeded by his son, 

n. Ewen. After the final forfeiture of John, Lord 
of the Tsles, Ewen and his brothers, Ranald and 
Farquhar, were summoned for wrongous occupation 
of their lands in Morven. Ewen, however, was 
afterwards confirmed in these lands. In 1509, 
King James IV. granted to him and his heirs, with 
remainder to his brothers and their heirs, a charter 
of the lands of Kilmalew, and others, already held 
by the family, for the service of a ship of 22 oars. 
Ewen was succeeded in these lands by his son, 

III. Donald. He, who is referred to in record, 
was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Ewen. He, also mentioned in record, was 
succeeded by his son, 

V. Hector. Hector was served heir to his 
father in the Morven lands in 1615. By this 
time several members of the MacEachen branch 
held lands of their chief, both on the Mainland 
and in Uist. They apparently lost their lands in 
Morven about the middle of the 17th century. 
At all events, they disappear as landowners in 
the district about that time, and were probably 


was held at court, but there is nothing more certain 
than that he never reaped any benefit from the 
lands of Sleat and Troternish, for which he received 
so good a title. These remained in the absolute 
possession of the Clan Uisdean, who continued 
bravely to hold them by the strong hand. As 
further proof of the good behaviour of Ranald Bane 
from the j^^ii'^t of view of the Government, a 
commission, dated April 29th, 1508, is given him 
with Andrew, Bishop of Caithness, and Alexander 
Macleod of Dun vegan, to let for five years to good 
and sufficient tenants the lands of Lewis and of 
Waternish, in Skye, forfeited by Torquil Macleod 
of Lewis. How he succeeded in this post is not 
recorded, but it is difficult to believe, in view of 
the friendly relations in which he and his father 
stood to the Government, that their reward for their 
loyalty and services was the common punishment of 
traitors. Gregory alone is responsible for the state- 
ment, based on a mere conjecture, that Allan 
MacRory was tried, convicted, and executed in 
presence of the King at Blair- Athole in 1509, and 
that his son Ranald met with a similar fate at Perth 
in 1513. These conclusions are not warranted by 
reference to MacYuirich, the authority quoted by 
the learned author of the History of the Highlands 
and Islands. MacVuirich records in the Book of 
Clanranald that " Allan, after having been before 
the King, and having received a settlement of his 
estate from King James the Fourth, a.d. 1509, died 
at Blair- Athole." The same authority further 
records that " Ranald Bane, son of Allan, having 
gone before the King to settle finally the affairs 
which his father was not able to effect, died in the 
town of Perth, a.d. 1514." It is quite clear that 



there is not in these words any foundation what- 
ever for beHeving that, if these men did die, the one 
in Blair- Athole and the other in the town of Perth, 
it was in the violent manner alleged by Gregory. 
In the long elegy on Allan and Kanald by 
MacVuirich, we should expect to find reference to 
events so tragic, if these chiefs had actually suffered 
death in the manner alleged, and there is not the 
faintest hint given. But though MacYuirich is 
generally accurate in other respects, he is seldom so 
in his dates. In a bond of manrent between 
Alexander, Earl of Huntly, and Dugal McRanald, 
dated at Inverness on the 15th day of March, 1510, 
Ranald Bane is referred to as then dead. The last 
reference we can find to Ranald in the public records 
is in the year 1509, and he was dead in the 
beginning of the year 1510, on the authority of 
the bond referred to. In the former year King 
James IV. granted a letter of protection to the 
Prioress Anna Maclean of lona ordering all his 
lieges within the Isles, especially Ranald Alansoune 
MacRory, and other chiefs not to annoy the Prioress 
and other religious women, or exact from them 
anything on pretence of " sornyng or alms deeds" 
under the highest penalty.^ In the previous year 
letters of safe conduct had been directed "Ronaldo 
filio A Hani Makrory " in favour of certain religious 
women then travelling in the Isles." The lands 
belonging to the Nunnery of lona lay to a large 
extent within the bounds of the Chief of Clanranald. 
Allan MacRory appears in record for the last time on 
the 10th of December, 1501 , when he was summoned 
before the Lords of Council to answer for his con- 
tinuing to hold the lands of Moidart, and others, 
without a title, and he appears to have been dead in 

^ Reg. Sec, Sig. - Ibidem, 


1503, 111 which year a letter is addressed by the 
Council to his son as Chief of (Jlanranald. 

The character of Allan MacRory has been put in 
a somewhat unfavourable light by some writers of 
Highland history, who have not scrupled to lay 
almost every conceivable crime at his door. He is 
represented as a bold and reckless plunderer, whose 
whole life was consecrated to rapine, carrying his 
forays into every corner of the Highlands, far and 
near. Judged from the ethical standpoint of the 
present, there was no doubt much in the life of the 
bold chief to lend colour to this view of his char- 
acter ; but Allan, who flourished four hundred years 
ago, must be judged by the standard of his own 
time. Holding his lands at the point of his sword, 
he must use it well, and surrounded as he was by 
powerful chiefs, each of whom was ready to pounce 
upon his neighbour at the shortest notice, he 
must accommodate himself to circumstances, and 
secure larger creachs than theirs, if it be his 
ambition to occupy a commanding position amongst 
them. Allan MacRory, rightly or wrongl}', looked 
upon every Highland chief outside his own clan as 
an enemy who might at any moment invade his 
territory, and he no doubt considered it a salutary 
discipline to occasionally pay his neighbours an 
unexpected and unwelcome visit. The burning, 
harrying, and spoliation, of which we hear so much, 
were but the outcome of a primitive state of society 
fostered by an age in which the march of civilisation 
had made but little progress. Judging Allan by the 
standard of his time, we find in him a bold and 
resolute chief, a capable and fearless leader of men, 
and one who was far above his contemporaries in 
those qualities that alone constitute true strength. 


Such a man, as tlie seanachie of his family puts it, 

Avas indeed capable of " striking terror into the 

hearts of his enemies in many parts of Scotland." 

If Allan feared not man, it must be admitted that, 

if the bard speaks truth, neither did he fear his God. 

He appears not to have had the reverence for the 

Church which the wildest spirits of that age seldom 

failed to show, and none more sincerely than the 

chiefs of the family of Macdonakl. The satire on 

Allan MacRory in the Book of the Dean of Lismore 

is a severe castigation of the redoubtable chief The 

author announces the death of the " one demon of 

the Gael" as a tale to be well remembered, and in 

the fierce effusion which follows he traces the descent 

of Allan somewhat differently from MacVuirich, the 

seanachie of the family. 

" First of all from Hell he came. 
The tale's an easy tale to tell." 

With "many devils in his train," the "fierce ravager 
of Church and Cross " laid sacrilegious hands on 
lona, and destroyed the priests' vestments and the 
holy vessels for the mass in the churches of St Mary 
and St Oran. The unconsecrated Vandal is further 
charged with burning the church of St Finnan, in 
Glengarry, and, in fine, if there be but a grain of truth 
in the long catalogue of crimes of which he is accused, 
Innsegall was indeed well rid of so great a curse. 
The character, however, ascribed to our Chief by 
Red Finlay is very different from that given him by 
a contemporary bard. To MacVuirich "Allan was a 
hero by whom the board of monks was maintained, 
and by whom the plain of the Fingalls was 
defended," a chief worthy of being lamented. If 
the red-haired bard was not a Churchman, as his 
piece would suggest, but, as some think, the Chief 


of tlie Clan MacNab, the outpouring- of his vials of 
wrath on the devoted head of Allan Macllory 
may, without any great stretch of imagination, be 
accounted for. It is highly probable that the Mac- 
Nab country had been more than once honoured by 
the presence of a foraging party from Castletirrim. 
The memory of such raids was sure to leave 
impressions of a lasting nature, and, as the broad- 
sword had failed him, the red-haired chief wielded to 
some purpose his poetic quill. 

There are many traditions handed down in the 
Olanranald country illustrative of the character of 
Allan Macliory. One of these would have it that 
he had at once as many as three Highland Chiefs 
incarcerated in his strongliold of Castletirrim. 
These were the Chiefs of Macleod, Mackay, and 
Mackintosh. Mackintosh, who had had many feuds 
with the Clanranald, to secure himself against any 
possible attack by them, built a stronghold on a 
little island in Loch Moy. On the completion of 
the building, he invited his friends and retainers to 
a housewarming. The hospitable shell was freely 
passed round at the feast, and, as a consequence, 
the host felt in a mood to give vent to his pent-up 
feelings, and uttered statements which bade defiance 
to Allan Macliory and the whole tribe of Clanranald. 
There ha})pened to be present on the occasion one of 
those wandering Irish minstrels without the strains 
of whose harp no such entertainment in those days 
was held to be complete. This disciple of Orpheus 
found his way in course of time to Castletirrim, and, 
by way of ingratiating himself with the Chief of 
Clanranald, he retailed how Mackintosh had stated 
boldly in his hearing that he no longer feared Allan 
MacRory, or any of his name. On hearing this, 


Allan was wroth, and vowed there and then that lie 
would make Mackintosh feel that even Castle Moy 
was not a protection to one who presumed to offer so 
great an insult to the Clanranald. He forthwith put 
himself at the head of a body of his retainers, and 
marched under cover of night to Loch Moy, seized 
Mackintosh in bed, and carried him prisoner to 
Castletirrim, Here he kept him in durance for a 
year and a day, at the end of which he dismissed 
him with the admonition never again to consider 
himself free from the fear of a Macdonald. 

On another occasion, while Allan was on his way 
to visit his Long Island property, he encountered in 
the Minch a fleet of galleys commanded by the Chief 
of Maclean. With that Chief he was at the time, 
as indeed he was with most of his neighbours, on 
the worst jDossible terms of friendship. Realising at 
once his danger, and knowing that whethei" he 
resisted or surrendered his fate would be the same 
— for he had only one galley against Maclean's ten 
— Allan fell on the plan of feigning death, and 
ordered his men to stretch him on a bier and make 
every show of mourning for him. On the Macleans 
coming near to the Macdonald galley they enquired 
of Allan's men whither they were bound. The 
Macdonalds, answering in very mournful tones, 
informed the Macleans that they were on their 
way to lona with the remains of their departed 
Chief This news so delighted the Macleans that 
they asked no further questions, and the Macdonalds 
were allowed to pursue their journey in peace. 
Instead, however, of steering for Skirhough, as he 
oi'iginally intended, the resun-ected Allan changed 
his course and landed in Mull, where the Macleans 
afterwards discovered that the Chief of Clanranald 
had not gone to lona. 


Allan MacRoiy was succeeded in the chiefship 
of the Clanranald by his son, Ranald Bane, who did 
not long survive his father. He appears to have 
followed closely in the footsteps of his predecessors, 
and to have sufficiently sustained the traditions of 
the family, "his fame," according to MacVurich, 
"excelling the deeds of the Gael." The disaj)pear- 
ance of Allan MacRory and Ranald Bane from the 
arena of clan warfare resulted in bringing much 
confusion into the internal ai-rangements of the 
family of Clanranald. Dugal, who succeeded his 
father, Ranald Bane, in the chiefship, appears to 
have been possessed of qualities that rendered him 
unpopular at the very beginning of his career, but 
we are left entirely in the dark as to the exact 
nature of these. The seanachies of the family 
throw very little light on the situation, and only 
make confusion worse confounded by the vagueness 
of their references. We find Dugal shortly after 
his succession to the chiefship giving a bond of 
maurent to Alexander, Earl of Huntly, dated at 
Inverness on the 10th of March, 1510.^ In this 
document he is described as the son and heir of 
'• Umquhile Ranaldson of Alanbigrim," and he 
binds himself to become the Earl's man and 
servitor to serve him all the days of his life, 
" na persone except, bot the Kingis hienes 
Allenarlie." This bond of service to the Earl, 
though it did not mean much in itself, must have 
given offence to many of Dugal's followers, who dis- 
approved of any alliance with the family of Huntly. 
It was but the beginning of the many troubles that 
were in store for the new chief. Shortly after this 
we find Dugal playing another part, ami the scene 

^ The Gordon Papers. 


is changed from Inverness to the coast of Uist, 
where early in the year 1512 a Spanish ship was 
wrecked.^ It is not recorded what burden this 
vessel carried, but whatever it was, it appears 
Dugal considered himself justified in appropriating 
it to his own use, on the ground, no doubt, that any 
wreckage cast ashore on his coast was his property. 
The Lords of Council thought differently, and Dugal 
accordingly was summoned to appear before them 
to answer for the " spulzie" of the Spanish vessel. 
The High Treasurer allowed the sum of forty-two 
shillings for expenses to an individual bearing the 
Celtic name of Gillebride, who was sent to the Isles 
to summon Dugal. Whatever the fate of the 
pursuviant may have been in his hazardous task, 
it appears that Dugal neglected to obey the 
summons, and that no fine was exacted from him 
as the jDrice of his disobedience. Those in authority 
were too busy elsewhere. The disastrous defeat at 
Flodden, which had the effect of throwing the Low- 
lands into a state of great confusion, affected also in 
a similar manner many parts of the Highlands and 
Islands. Sir Donald Gallda of Lochalsh was the 
great disturber of the peace in the north, but the 
Clanranald refused to join his standard, and little is 
recorded of them during the minority of James V. 
That there were, however, serious dissensions 
amongst the different branches of the family at 
this time subsequent events only too clearly prove, 
and these arose entirely from the conduct of the 
Chief himself. The state of matters was not by any 
means improved by the apjDearance on the scene of 
the Earl of Argyle, whom the Scottish Kegent 
appointed in 1517 as lieutenant of the lands of 

'■ Hidi Treasurer's Accounts. 


Moidai't, Ai'isaig, and South Morar. Dugal again 
finds refuge in a bond of manrent. On the 25th of 
May, 1520, he binds himself at Ellanyssa to his 
" derrest and best belovit Sir Johne Campbell of 
Cauder Knycht," and promises to serve him against 
all persons, saving the King's grace and the Earl of 
Huntly. The most remarkable thing in this 
document is the signature of the Chief of Clanranald, 
who positively subscribes with his own hand, 
" Dagal McRynald of Elian tyrim," It is somewhat 
refreshing to find so clear an evidence of the school- 
master being abroad in the country of the Clanranald, 
though Dugal would hardly have considered so 
monkish an accomplishment as adding any dignity 
to one whose code of culture did not include a 
knowledge of letters. The signing of Dugal by his 
own hand is w^orthy of notice, in view of the fact 
that, twenty-five years thereafter, of the seventeen 
chiefs who formed the Council of Donald Dubh none 
could sign his own name. 

Dugal MacRanald now disappears entirely from 
his position as Chief of the Clanranald. The same 
obscurity that envelops the cause of his unpopularity 
and deposition hangs over the manner of his deatli. 
MacVuirich, with studied vagueness, " leaves it to 
another certain man to relate ho\\' he spent and 
ended his life." This reference to Dugal in the Red 
Book of Clanranald is omitted entirely in the Black 
Book, where it is simply recorded that " Ranald left 
his son in the Lordship, i.e., Dugal McRanald."^ In 
a Clanranald MS. of last century, it is stated that 
Dugal was " a jealous and bad-tempered man who 
put to death his two brothers, John and Allan, and 
was afterwards himself killed."' Hugh Macdonald, 

' Black Book of Claunuiakl, y. U6. 


the Sleat seanachie, asserts that " Dugal was 
murdered by his cousins, John Moidartach and 
Allan, and that his two sons, Allan and Alexander, 
were apprehended by Alexander of Glengarry and 
killed by him, for which deeds he got some lands in 
Morar." According to the tradition of the Moidart 
country, Dugal was the victim of a plot laid by his 
own cousins in the hope of obtaining the Chiefship 
for Alexander MacAllan, Dugal's uncle. In carrying 
out their diabolical scheme, they had the ready 
co-operation of a notorious scoundrel, locally known 
as " Allan nan Core." In course of time, as Dugal 
was on his way from Arisaig to Castletirrim, he was 
waylaid at a place called Polnish by Allan nan 
Core and his party, and cut to pieces, the exact spot 
where the foul deed was committed beino- known to 
this day by tlie name of " Coirre-Dhughaill." In 
the absence of documentary proof, it is difficult to 
say what truth, if any, there is in this story, but 
there appears to be no doubt that Dugal was deposed 
from the chiefship at this time, and that he died in 
the year 1520, or shortly thereafter, whether in the 
violent manner already described we have no means 
of determining with certainty. That there may 
have been a plot such as tradition ascribes to his 
cousins we can readily believe, but if Dugal and his 
family had not made themselves obnoxious to the 
rest of the Clanranald, the tribe as a body would 
not have acquiesced in the selection of Alexander 
MacAllan as their leader, nor would they have 
deprived Dugal's son of that position, if he had 
been found to have been wortliy of it. Allan 
MacDugal's mother was, according to B'ather 
Charles Macdonald, in his book on Moidart, a 
daughter of the Chief of the Camerons. Brought 


up among his mother's kin, the Camerons, when 
Allan came of* age, made an attempt to })lace him 
in possession of his heritage, but in this they failed, 
and a compromise was arrived at whereby the lands 
of Morar were given to Dugal's son. Gregory, 
however, a more reliable authority, has it in a 
manuscript that " Dugal married the daughter and 
co-heiress of Sir Alexander of Lochalsh, but that he 
was forced by Glengarry, who had married the other 
co-heiress, and others of the Clanranald, to repudiate 
his wife, who was afterwards married to Dingwall of 
Kildun." Whether Allan was a grandson of Lochiel, 
or of the Knight of Lochalsli, he never regained by 
the help of the adherents of these chiefs the heritage 
of the Chief of Clanranald, nor did he, indeed, 
possess any of the lands of the tribe for nearly 
twenty years after his father's death, and even the 
lands he then came into possession of he held by a 
very uncertain tenure. In the year 1538 the lands 
of Morar, and others, which, as we have seen, were 
granted to Angus Reochson MacRanald in 1498, 
were, by an instrument under the Privy Seal, 
bestowed on Allan and Lachlan, the sons of Dugal, 
conjointly, and by reason of non-entry since the 
death of John MacAngus Reoch MacRanald. Allan 
thus succeeded the family of Angus Reoch Mac- 
Ranald of Morar, and became the progenitor of 
the family whose head has been known In more 
modern times as MacDItugliaill Mhorthir. 

" Alexander Mac Allan," we are Informed by 
MacVuirich, " assumed the Lordship after Dugal, 
the son of Ranald," By the tenor of the charters 
granted by James IV. to Ranald Bane in 1498, the 
lands were to be held of the King by Ranald and 
his heirs male, with reversion to Alexander Mac- 


Allan, his brother. In the Clanranald MS., already 
quoted, it is stated that Allan Macllory gave 
Alexander, his son, lands in Moidart, Arisaig, Eigg, 
and Skirhough, and Hugh Macdonald in his manu- 
script refers to him as " Tanisteir of Moidart." 
In an action pursued in behalf of the King 
a^-ainst several landholders in the Highlands in 
the year 1501, Alane Rorisone and Alexander 
Alansone are charged with the wrongous occu- 
pation of the lands of Moidart.^ After Dugal's 
deposition, and his family had been formally 
thrown out of the succession to the family 
estate and honours, Alexander Mac Allan un- 
doubtedly became head of the Clanranald family, 
both de facto and de jure. Dugal was set 
aside by a recognised Celtic law which put 
it in the power of a clan or tribe to depose 
or elect its own chief, and the Clanranald, in 
the exercise of their undoubted right, elevated 
Alexander to the chiefship, after which it is vain 
to appeal to a feudal law of primogeniture which 
acknowledofed neither chief nor clan as such. There 
are indications that Dugal and Alexander had been 
on anything but friendly terms prior to tlie accession 
of the latter to the chiefship. In a bond of manrent 
by Alexander, dated at Inverleuer on the 20th day 
of February, 1519, he binds himself, his sons, kins- 
men, and servants, " to be lyell and trewe men and 
servants to ane honorabyll knycht Johne Campbell 
of Cauder Knycht," promising to take his part 
against all, "the Kingis grace, my lorde of Ergille 
beand excepted." He furtlier binds himself to take 
Cawdor's counsel in all things, " and speciale anent 
his eyme, Doygall M'llannald," swearing upon the 

^ Acta Dom. Con. 



'' mes boM^yk" to keep liis promise under pain of 
200 merks to be })aid within forty days.^ In this 
indenture by Alexander lie describes himself as 
" Alexander M'Allan, Chaptane off the Clanranald, 
and apyerand air of Tlanterim," being the first 
occasion on which we find the distinction of 
" Captain of Clanranald " assumed in the family. 
The reason for the adoption of the title at this 
time ma}'' be found in the fact that for the first 
time in the history of the family the Clanranald 
liad themselves elected their own chief; and we are 
entirely of the opinion that the title of captain is, 
in this case at anyrate, synonymous w^th chief, and 
that it was so interpreted in this family down 
to our own day admits of no doubt whatever. If 
"captain" and "chief" were not the same here, 
then and in that case the Clanranald could be said 
to have been chiefless for the long period of close on 
four hundred years. To avoid arriving at a con- 
clusion so manifestly absurd and contradictory, we 
must accept the designation of " Captain of Clan- 
ranald " as signifying neither less nor more than 
chief, or head, of the family of Clanranald. 

We find no further reference to Alexander in his 
new position as chief of Clanranald, though no doubt 
the annals of the clan during his short period of 
chiefship provided ample material for the pen of the 
family chronicler. The subsequent history of the 
Clanranald itself is ample proof of the troubled state 
of the tribe at this time, but Alexander appears to 
have been a chief worthy of their choice, and as 
chief to have maintained his position with firmness 
and dignity to the last. Dying some time before 
the year 1530, Alexander was succeeded in the 

' Thanes of Cawdor. 


chiefship by his son John, known in the history of 
the clan as " John Moidartach." This not being 
the place for a genealogical discussion, we reserve 
reference to the descent of this chief for the third 
volume of this work, where we hope the accumu- 
lation of rubbish that has gathered round it will be 
finally disposed of and the question itself satis- 
factorily settled. 

At the very outset of his career as Chief of 
Clanranald, John Moidartach is found in open 
rebellion against the Government. The cause of 
this revolt is to be traced to an Act passed by the 
Privy Council in the year 1528, which declared 
null and void all the new titles to lands within the 
Lordship of the Tsles during the King's minority. 
Alexander of Dunnyveg, being the person most 
affected by this new enactment, forthwith raised 
the standard of revolt, and to his banner hastened 
John Moidartach, and many others of the insular 
chiefs. The insurrection thus gathering volume 
continued to rage for some time, until ultimately in 
the month of May, 1530, nine of the principal 
Islanders, including John Moidartach, sent offers of 
submission by Hector Maclean of Duart to the King.^ 
James, who now beofan to see the baneful effect of 
his hasty legislation regarding land tenure in the 
West Highlands and Islands, at once granted the 
prayer of the petition presented by Hector Maclean 
of Duart, but on condition that the chiefs should 
appear personally before him in Edinburgh, or wher- 
ever he might hold Court, before the 20th of June. 
The Islanders, however, appeared to be in no hurry 
to deliver themselves into the hands of the Govern- 
ment, notwithstanding the King's assurance of 

^ Acts of the Lords of Council, 


protection, and the additional offer by the Earl of 
Argyle of no less than four Campbell hostages for 
their safe return to their Island homes. ^ The King 
at length resolved to proceed in person against the 
rebels, and made preparations for an expedition on 
a large scale to the Isles, but Alexander of Dunny- 
veg, who was the head and front of the Island 
revolt, realising his danger in the face of the Royal 
Expedition, hastened to make his submission to the 
King. John Moidartach and the other chiefs, after 
being several times summoned for treason, followed 
the example of Alexander of Dunnyveg, in the 
course of the summer of 1531 gave in their sub- 
mission, and upon giving security for their future 
good behaviour, they received the King's pardon." 
John Moidartach, to whom the King appears to 
have shown special favour, received under His 
Majesty's great seal a charter of the 27 merklands 
of Moidart, the 30 merklands of Arisaig, 21 merk- 
lands in Eigg, and the 30 merklands of Skirhough, 
in Uist, all of which of old belonged in heritage to 
Allan MacRory, his grandfather, and his predecessors. 
These lands were granted for the good service done 
and to be done by the grantee, the charters granted 
to his predecessors having been destroyed through 
war and other local disturbances. The lands were 
to be held of the King in fee for service of ward, 
relief, and marriage, provided that John Moidartach 
and his heirs should not do homage to any person 
without the license of the King. This charter, 
which is still preserved in the Clanranald Charter 
Chest, is dated at Edinburgh on the 11th of 
February, 1531, but John Moidartach being then a 
rebel, the year in which the charter was granted 

^ Acts of the Lords of Council. - Ibid. Reg, of Privy Seal. 


must have been, instead of that given, 1532. 
On the same day he also received a precept of 
Clare Constat for infefting him in these lands. 
This charter to John Moidartach was the first of a 
long series of charters granted to different members 
of the Clanranald family during the remainder of 
the reign of James V. The multiplicity of charters, 
as might be expected, created much rivalry and 
dissension within the tribe, and, though a recital of 
them may be tedious, it is necessary, in order to 
point out the relations in which the branches stood 
to their Chief territorially. An analysis of the 
charters themselves will show them to be worthless 
as instruments of tenure. It is well known that 
Crown charters were obtained during this period 
sometimes by very unworthy means. Instances 
could be given of false representations made to 
those in power, and of bribes offered and greedily 
accepted by hungry courtiers, who, to benefit 
themselves, were ready to stoop to the lowest and 
most unscrupulous devices. What is remarkable 
about the Clanranald charters especially is the 
manifest unveracity displayed on the one hand and 
the continual encroachment on the lands of the 
Chief on the other. The lands encroached upon 
are stated in each charter to have been in the 
hands of the King since the death of the last 
lawful possessor, while the existence of the then 
Chief is entirely ignored. The motive of this policy 
is not far to seek, and it was neither less nor more 
than an attempt to diminish the power of the Chief 
and set the tribe by the ears. But John Moidartach 
was not the man to be diminished in this way, and 
it is quite certain that he retained his superiority 
over the xvhole lands of the tribe to the day of his 


defeat he entered the army, and served for some 
years in America. John married Mary, daughter of 
Ronald Macdonald of Kinlochmoidart, and had by 

1. Simon, his successor. 

2. Coll, who was an officer in one of the Highland regiments? 

and fought in Egypt under A.hercrombie. He was 
afterwards Colonel of the 2nd Battalion of the 
Royals. On retiring from the army, he was for some 
years tenant of the farm of Knock in Sleat. He m. 
Frances Cochrane, and had by her a son John, who 
died unmarried, and a daughter Maiy, who m. 
Angus Macdonald of Inch. She was served heiress 
of provision to James Macdonald of Morar in 1849, 

3. Isabella, who m. Lieut. Miles Macdonald, of the 

8th Regiment. 

4. Margaret, who m. Dr Donald Macdonald, Fort-A.ugustus. 
John, who in 1784 gave over his estate to his son 
Simon, reser^nng a life rent, died in 1809, and was 
succeeded by his eldest son (who, though he died 
before his father, succeeded him in his estate). 

IX. Simon Macdonald. He joined the 92nd 
Gordon Highlanders as Captain in 1794, and was 
Major in 1795. He retired in 1799. He married 
in 1784 Amelia, daughter of Captain James Mac- 
donald of Glenmeddle, younger son of Glengarry, 
and by her he had 

1. James, his successor. 

2. Simon, who succeeded his brothei'. 

3. John, who succeeded Simon. 

4. Elizabeth, who died unmarried in July, 1814. 

5. Mary, who died unmarried in Jul}-, 1803. 

Major Simon Macdonald died March 12th, 1800, 
and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

X. James Macdonald. In 1805 he entered 
the army, and became an Ensign in the 92nd 
Regiment. He served for several years abroad, and 



came home a Major in 1 809. He died at Edinbm^gh 
unmarried in October, 1811, and was succeeded by 

his brother, 

XI. Simon Macdonald. He was educated m 
Aberdeen under the tuition of Ewen Maclachlan, the 
famous scholar and poet, who afterwards wrote his 
elegy (see Maclachlan's " Metrical Effusions "). He 
went from Aberdeen to study law in Edinburgh, 
and was apprenticed to Coll Macdonald, W.S. 
Simon, who was a young man of great promise, was 
accidentally shot by the discharge of his own gun, 
April 22, 1812, in the 21st year of his age. He 
was succeeded by his brother, 

XH. John Macdonald. He shewed signs of 
fatuousness as early as 1804, when he was in his 
fourth year, the result of an accident. He had now 
sunk into idiocy. He died in 1832, when he was 
succeeded by his cousin, 

XIII. James Macdonald. He was the son of 
Donald of Guiclale, the son of John of Guidale, 
brother of Allan Roy VII. of Morar. He also was 
fatuous. He died in 1853, when, the estate being 
destined to heirs male, he was succeeded by Ranald 
Macdonald, who claimed through Alexander, third 
son of Allan Mor IV. of Morar. Having established 
his claim in 1854, he sold the estate to Aeneas R. 
Macdonald, and returned to America. 


This family is descended from Ranald, fourth son 
of Dougal VI. of Clanranald, and brother of Allan I. 
of Morar. This Ranald held lands in Canna and in 
South Uist, but we have no record of w4rat these 
were. He was succeeded by his son, John, from 


whom the Macdonalds of Bornish are called Sliorhd 
Iain 'ic Raonuill. John was succeeded by his son, 

III. DouGALL. He appears to have been the 
first of the family who possessed Bornish. John XII. 
of Clanranald appointed him bailie of his lands in 
Uist, the bailiary to be hereditary in his family. He 
was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Ranald. He, with his eldest son, John, 
received, in 1672, a feu charter from Clanranald of 
the seven and a half-penny lands of Bornisuachdrach. 
His daughter, Anne, married Ranald, son of Ranald 
I. of Benbecula. Ranald was succeeded by his son, 

V. John. He was succeeded by his son, 

VI. DouGALL. He was bailie of South Uist in 
1699. He married Catherine, daughter of Maclean 
of Boreray, and had by her — 

1. Ranald, his successor. 

2. John. 

3. Donald. 

Dougall was succeeded by his son, 

VII. Ranald. He married, and had — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Alexander. He studied in the Scots College, Rome, and 

came home priest in 1765. He was Priest of Barra 
till 1780. In that year he was nominated Bishop of 
the Highland District under the title of Bislioj) of 
Polemo. His briefs were dated 30th September, 1779, 
and he was consecrated by Bishop Hay at Scalan, 
March 13, 1780. He died at Samalaman, September 
9, 1791. 

Ranald was succeeded by his son, 

VIII. John. By his first wife he had — - 

1. Ranald, hi- successor. 

2. Dougall. 

3. Archibald. 

4. Christina. 

5. Mai'ion. 


John, by his second wife, Catherine Macdonald, had 
no family. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

X. Ranald. He was the last Bornish. He 
appears as a resident heritor in South Uist in 1837. 
In 1845 Bornish had become the property of Colonel 
Gordon of Cluny. 


These Macdonalds were tacksmen of Liniclate, 
Geridhoil, and Macheremeanach, under the family 
of Morar from which they vvere descended. 

The first of the family of Geridhoil was Alex- 
ander, third son of Allan Mor Macdonald of Morar. 
He married Isabella, daughter of Ranald Macdonald 
of Benbecula, and had by her 

1. John, who died young. 

2. John. 

He was succeeded by his son 

II. John. He married Janet, daughter of Som- 
erled Macdonald of Drimisdale, and he had liy her 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Allan, who d. unmarried. 

.3. Donald, Tacksman of Kilaulay, who left a family. 

John was succeeded by his son 

III. Alexander. He was implicated in the 
Prince's escape, was made prisoner, and taken to 
London as evidence against old Lady Clanranald. 
He married, first, Isabella, daughter of Allan 
Macdonald of Morar, and had by her 

1. Ranald of Gerinish. 

2. John. He had three daughters and one son, who died 


3. Alexander, who lived at Gerinish, and had a son, John, 

who had two sons and a daughter. 

4. Marion, who m. Ranald MacEachen, Howbeg. 

5. Mary, wfio m. John Macdonald of Gerifleucli, with issue. 


Alexander married, secondly, Margaret, danghter of 
Charles MacEachen of Peninuren, and had by lier 

6 Dougall, of Drimore. 

7. Hugh, a Priest. 

8. Angus, who died at sea unmarried. 

9. Ronald, in business in Ghisgow. He died unmarried in 


Alexander Macdonald of Geridhoil was succeeded in 
the representation of the family by his eldest son 

IV. Ranald of Gerinish. He emigrated with 
his wife and family to the American C'olonies in 
1784, and purchased lands there which he called 
Gerinish. He married, first, Flora, daughter of 
Donald Macdonald of Scotus, and had by her 

1. Donald Roy, drowned in America, unmarried. 

2. Catherine, who m. John Macdonald of (ilenaladale. 

3. Mary. 

4. Marion. 

5. Janet. 

Ranald married, secondly. Flora Roy, daughter of 
Allan Macdonald of Ardslishnish, brother of Scotus — 

6. Allan, who succeeded his father. 

7. Alexander, who succeeded his brother, and several 


Ranald of Gerinish Avas succeeded by his son 

V. Allan. He was served heir to his ancestor, 
Alexander, third son of Allan Mor of Morar, in 
1825. He sold Gerinish to his brother Alexander, 
and died in Prince Edward's Island without issue. 
He was succeeded by his brother 

VI. Alexander, who was a captain in the army. 
He was succeeded by his only son 

VII. Ranald. Having succeeded in establishing 
his claim to the estate of Morar in 1854, he became 
the 14th head of the family of Morar. 



DouGALL Macuonald of Di'imore was the 
eldest son by the second marriage of Alexander 
Macdonald III. of Geridhoil. He was an officer in 
the American War, and was present in several 
engagements. At the raising of the Macdonald 
Highlanders he obtained a commission in that 
regiment, and went with it to America. He was 
taken prisoner in America, and detained for more 
than a year. Upon his release, he was promoted to 
the 7 1st Kegiment. When it was disbanded, he 
returned to Uist on half-pay, and engaged in 
agricultural pursuits. He was for some time a 
Captain in the Long Island Militia. He married 
Margaret, daugliter of Donald Macdonald of Trumis- 
garry, and had by her 

1. Donald. 

2. Alexander, who had five children. 

3. Peter, who died unmarried. 

i. Margaret, living in Glasgow in 185i. 

5. Anne, who married a MackinnoH in Glasgow. 

Captain Dougall Macdonald died March 14, 1833, 
and was succeeded by his son, 

II. Donald, who was a merchant in Glasgow. 
He married Elizabeth Pringle, daughter of WilHam 
Pringle, merchant, Glasgow, and had 

1. William Pringle, who died unmarried in 1837. 

2. Dougall. 

3. Donald, living near Glasgow, unmarried. 

4. Margaret, who died young. 

5. Joanna. 

Donald died in January, 1842, and was succeeded 
by his son, 

III. Dougall, who died many years ago 

1. John^Macdoiiald of Gleualadale. 

2. Angus IMacdoiiald of Gleualadale. 

3. Colonel Johu A. Macdonald, C.B. 

of Gleualadale. 

lid of 

^47 Archbishop' Angus Macdoual 

vSt Andrews and Edinburgh 
5. Bishop Hugh Macdouald of Aber- 
deen (Gleualadale). 



The first of this family was John Og, son of John 
Moidartach VII. of Clanranald, by Mary, daughter 
of Allan Macdunald of Knoydart. He took part 
with his lather in all liis engagements, and his name 
is included in the Precept of Remission in favour of 
John Moidartach, and others, in 15GG. John Og 
married Juliet, daughter of Donald Macdonald of 
Loclian, and had by her 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. John. 

3. Donald. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son 

II. Alexander Macdonald. He married 
Letitia, daughter of Allan IX. of Clanranald, and 
had by her 

1. Roderick. 

2. John. 

3. Alexander. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son 

III. Roderick Macdonald. In 1674 he received 
a charter from Donald XIII. of Clanranald of the 
2 marklands of Glenaladale and the 30 shilling lands 
of Glenfinan. He is obliged to have in readiness 
for service a sufficient galley of 16 oars and 100 men 
when required. Roderick married Mary, daughter 
of Alexander Macdonald of Kinlochmoidart, and had 
by her 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. John. 

3. Alexander. 

4. Allan. 

5. Mary, ui. to Lachlan Macdonald of Laig. 

Roderick was succeeded by his eldest son 

lY. Angus Macdonald. He became a Priest, 
and was succeeded by his next brother 


Y. John Macdonalf). He married a daughter 
of Angus Macdonald of Balivaiiich, and had by her 

1. John, who succeeded him. 

2. Angus of Borrodiile, whose son, Alexander, afterwards 

succeeded by jiurchase to Glenaladale. 

3. llunald. 

i. Alexander. 

5. Allan. 

6. Roderick, a Lieutenant in the army of Prince Charles. 

7. James, who was Bailie of Canna in 1746. Being 

suspected of Jacol)ite sj-mpathies, he was, notwith- 
standing the protection he had received from the Earl 
of Loudon, taken to London and kept a prisoner 
there for a j'ear. 

8. Donald. 

9. Penelope, who m. Angus Macdunald, Tacksman of 

Stonibridgc, in Uist. 
10. Catherine, who m. Donald Macleod of Gualtergill, in 
Skye, associated with Prince Charles in his wanderings 
in the Isles. 

John Macdonald of Glenaladale, who was dead 
before 1710, was succeeded by his eldest son, 

VI. John Macdonald. He jnarried Mary, 
daughter of Allan Macdonald of Morar, and had 
by her 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. John, an othcer in the Anuy of Prince Charles. He 

had formerly served as an officer in the French Army. 

3. Allan. 

John was succeeded by his eldest son, 

Vir. Alexander Macdonald. Glenaladale was 
among the first to espouse the cause of Prince 
Charles, and it was ori his estate at Glenfinan that 
the royal standard of the House of Stuart was 
unfui'led. He played a cons]ncnous part in all the 
engagements ©f the Highland Army, and held the 
rank of Major in the Clanranald Regiment. After 
the disaster at Culluden, when the Prince found his 


way to the West Coast, Glenaladale acted as the 
faithful guide and companion of Charles. On 
tlie return of the Prince from Uist, he continued 
under the protection of Glenahidale and his friends 
until he embarked for France. The Prince was 
entertained at Glenaladale's house on several 
occasions. Glenaladale, who did not follow Charles 
to France, succeeded in eluding the pursuit of 
the emissaries of the Government until finally 
the Indemnity Act set him free. He married 
Margaret, daughter of Donald Macdonald of Scotus 
by his first wife, Helen Meldrum of Meldrum, and 
had by her 

L John, his successor. 

2. Hugh. He Avas sent to tlie Scots College, Rome, in 

1757, where he remained for twelve years. On his 
leaving Home he became Priest of Moidart, and 
laboured there with success for many years. He 
afterwards followed his brother Glenaladale to Prince 
Edward Island, where he exercised his calling among 
his own countrymen for some years. Father Hugh, 
who was very popular among his countrymen, was 
I'eckoned a pious and zealous clergyman, an eloquent 
preacher, and a highly cultured man. He died 
through blood poisoning, greatly lamented by his 
countrymen and all who knew him, and wiv« buried 
at the Scotch Fort. 

3. Donald, who accompanied his brother to Prince Edward 


4. Clementina, who m. Alexander M'Nab of lunishewen, 

with issue. 

Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale died January 
30, 1761, in the 49th year of his age, and was 
succeeded by his eldest son, 

Vni. John Macdonald. He was educated at 
Ratisbon, and was a man of many accomplishments 
and goodness of heart. He acted for several years 
as factor on the Clanranald estates, and, his 


business capacity, tact, and suavity of manner, 
earned the esteem of his chief, whose right hand 
man he was, and of his tenants, among whom he 
was highly pojjular. In the year 1770 differences 
arose between Colin Macdonald of Boisdale and his 
tenants in South Uist, which fesulted m a serious 
religious quarrel between the parties. It was alleged 
against Boisdale that, taking advantage of his posi- 
tion as proprietor, he attempted to force his tenants 
to abjure the Catholic religion and become Protes- 
tant, or leave his estate. Boisdale afterwards 
denied that he ever threatened to evict his tenants 
on account of their religion. However this may be, 
these people, who were loyally attached to their 
Church, felt the insecurity of their position, and, 
accordingly, a scheme of emigration to the American 
Colonies was suggested as the only remedy for the 
state of matters. The great obstacle to this plan 
was the difficulty of providing the necessary funds, 
but Glenaladale, the chief j)romoter of the sclieme, 
magnanimously oifered to raise the sum required on 
the security of his estate. Before the end of the 
year 1771 he had bought a large tract of land in St 
John's Island for the intending emigrants, and in 
May of the following year a hundred persons left 
South Uist, and proceeded to the new home provided 
for them. In a short time it was reported that "the 
Uist emigrants were doing extremely well in St 
John's Island, and living already much better than 
at home." In the summer of 1773, Glenaladale, 
who is deserving of the highest praise for his noble 
act of self-sacrifice, sold his estate to his cousin, 
Alexander Macdonald of Borodale, and joined his 
Uist friends in St John's Island. When, shortly 
afterwards, the Revolutionary War broke out in 




America, he volunteered for service, and was largely 
instrumental in raising the 84th, or Royal High- 
land Emigrant Regiment General Small, referring 
to his services in a dispatch to the British Govern- 
ment, said : — " The activity and unahating zeal of 
Captain John Macdonald of Glenaladale in bringing 
an excellent company into the field is his least 
recommendation, being acknowledged by all who 
know him to be one of the most accomplished 
men and best officers of his rank in His Majesty's 
service." The British Government showed their 
appreciation of his services and character in 
otferinix him the o-overnment ()f Prince Edward 
Island, which, on account of the oath required to 
be taken, he could not accept. Glenaladale married 
first, Isabella Gordon, daughter of Gordon of Ward- 
house, in Aberdeenshire, and by her had one child, 
who died young. He married, secondly, Catherine, 
daughter of Ranald Macdonald of Gerinish, and had 
by her — 

L Donald, wlio succeeded his father iu the representation 
of the family. 

2. William, who was drowned on the coast of Ireland on his 

way to be educated in England. 

3. John. He was educated in Paris for the Church, and 

was priest in Glasgow for many years. He afterwards 
returned to Prince Edward Island, and occupied in 
succession several charges. He finally returned to 
this country, and died at Brighton in 1874. 

■i. Roderick. He was an officer in the British Army, and 
served in New Brunswick, in Bermuda, in the Ionian 
Islands, and in Greece, where he died in 1854. He 
married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Alexander Mac- 
donald of Glengarry, and had a son, Alastair, and two 
daughters, Emma and Elizabeth. 

5. Margaret, who married John Macdonald, an officer in the 
Glengarry Fencibles, afterwards iu the 84th Regiment, 
and had two sons and two daughters. 


John Macdonald of Glenaladale died in Prince 
Edward Island in 1811, and was succeeded in his 
new possession by his eldest son 

(IX.) The Hon. Donald Macdonald. He was 
educated at Stonyhurst, in England. Returning 
to Prince Edward Island, he played a prominent 
part in the public affairs of the Colony. He 
married a granddaughter of a Colonel Robertson, 
a loyalist who fought in the A.merican War. By 
her he had 

1. John Archibald, in Glenaladale Township, Prince Edward 


2. Augustine Ralph, in New York. 

3 Sir William C. Macdonald, Montreal. 

The Hon. Donald Macdonald was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 

(X.) John Archibald Macdonald. He mar- 
ried and had issue — 

1. Frederick John. 

2. Anna Rebecca. 

3. William Augustine. 

4. Margaret Jane. 

5. Matilda Helen. 

6. Donald Archibald. 

7. Roderick Brecken, 
y. John Appolonarus. 
9. ^neas. 

John Archibald Macdonald, who was born July 
24th, 1825, died July 13th, 1903. 

It will now be necessary to trace the gene- 
alogy of the family, the head of which became 
IX. of Glenaladale by purchase in 1773. As 
has already been stated, John Macdonald of 
Glenaladale sold his estate in that year to his 
cousin, Alexander Macdonald of Borodale. ^ The 
old Borodale family were descended from Angus X. 


of Claiiranald. The first of this family to 
occupy the lands of Boiodale was Donald^ Gorm, 
whose lease was renewed by John XII. of Clan- 
ranald in 1620. After him, w^e find John Macdonald 
of Borodale in 1670, and again Alexander Macdonald 
of Borodale in 17C8. This family appears to have 
been succeeded by Angus Macdonald of Borodale, 
son of John V. of Glenaladale. He was the first 
person to whom Prince Charles gave a commission 
in Scotland. The Prince landed at Borodale from 
Eriska on July 25th, 1745, and stayed a night in 
the house of Angus Macdonald, who from that time 
steadfastly adhered to his cause. After his wander- 
ings in the WesteiMi Isles, the Prince returned to 
Borodale and found Angus Macdonald living in a 
bothy, his house having been burned. After a stay 
of about a week under the protection of his loyal 
adherent, the Prince was obliged to leave Borodale 
accompanied by Glenaladale, John, his brother, and 
John, Borodale's son. John and Ranald, Borodale's 
sons, afterwards guarded the Prince for several days. 
Angus of Borodale, who was a good Gaelic scholar, 
and well versed in the literature of the country, n'as 
the author of the " Journal and Memoirs of the 
Expedition of the Prince to Scotland," printed in 
the Lockhart Papers. Angus of Borodale had four 
sons — 

1. Alexander, afterwards of Glenaladale. 

2. Ranald of Borodale. He was an officer in the Prince's 

Army, and was afterwards closely associated witli him 
in his wanderings. Ranald had two sons, .John, wlio 
succeeded him at Borodale, afterwards of Glenaladale, 
and Alexander, and a daughter, Isabella, who married 
Andrew Macdonald, tacksman of Islaidshona, with 

3. .John, an officer in the Prince's Army, killed at Culloden. 

4. John. He had been destined for the priesthood, and 

with this view was sent to Ratisbon. He was after- 


wards known as " Iain Frangach." He was an officer 
in the Prince's Army, and left a manuscript account 
of his wanderings, which was published in " Black- 
wood's Magazine" in 1873. He became Tacksman of 
Ducharais and Torbay under Clanranald, and m. 
Mary, daughter of Archibald Macdonald of Barisdale, 
by whom he had a son, 

(a) Archibald, who succeeded him, and was well known as 
" Rhue," the name of the place in which he lived. 

(j5) Jamc, who was for some years Priest of Barra, and 
was drowned in the Sound of Sleat. 

Archibald inherited the estate of Lochshiel from 
his cousin, Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale. 
He married a Miss Macgregor, and had by her 

(a) Alexander, who succeeded him. 

(b) John, who was an officer in the 23rd Roj'al Welsh 

Fusiliers, and served through the Peninsula War. 
He married Miss Farquhar, and died at Malta 
' without surviving issue. 

(c) Gregor, tacksman of Rhu. 

(d) Coll, a doctor of medicine, who managed his brother's 

estate of Glenshiel for some time, and was tacks- 
man of Ranachan and Moy. 

(e) Anne, who married Colonel Donald Macdonald, Tray, 

with issue. 

(f) Mary, who married Angus Macdonald, Prince Edward 

Island, with issue. 

(g) Joanna, who married Colonel Wilson. 

(h) Catherine, who married, in 1826, Hugh Macdonald, 
Prince Edward Island, a member of the Provincial 
Legislature and High Sheriff of the Province. 

(i) Jane. 

" Old Rhue," who was a man of many accomplish- 
ments and great popularity, died in 1828. He was 
succeeded in the Estate of Lochshiel by his eldest 
son, Alexander. In 1853 he sold Island Shona to 
Captain Swinburne for £6500. In 1855 he sold 
the Estate of Lochshiel to Hope Scott for £24.000. 
Alexander Macdonald of Lochshiel died unmarried. 


5. Catherine, married to Dr Angus Maceachen, who was a 
surgeon in tlie Glengarry Regiment, in the Prince's 

We shall now go back to Alexander, son of* An^-ns 
of Borodale, to pick up the line oi' succession to the 
Estate of Glenaladale. Alexander, who went abroad 
as a young man, amassed a considerable foitune ii] 
the West Indies. He, as already stated, acquired 
by purchase the Estate of Glenaladale in 1773, and 
succeeded his cousin accordingly as 

IX. Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale. He 
married, first, a Mrs Handyside of Jamaica, without 
issue. He married, secondly,, a Miss Macgregor, and 
had by her — 

1. John, who died young. 

2. Alexander, his successor. 

3. Ranald, who died young. 

He was succeeded by his son, 

X. Alexander Macdonald. In 1813 he pur- 
chased from Clanranald, for £15,060, the lands of 
Dalelea, Langall, Annat, Drumloy, Mingairy, Blain, 
Island Shona, Breig, and Portvait. He had some 
years previously purchased the Estate of Drimnin.. 
in Morven, which was afterwards sold to John 
Maclean of Boreray. He erected a monument at 
Glenfinan to commemorate the raising of the Royal 
Standard of the House of Stuart there in 1745. It 
bears the following inscrijjtion : — "On this spot, 
whei-e Prince Charles Edward first raised his 
standard, on the 1 9th day of August, 1745, when 
he made the daring and romantic attempt to recover 
a throne lost by the imprudence of his ancestors, 
this column is erected by Alexander Macdonald, 
Es(|. of Glenaladale, to commemorate the generous 
zeal, the undaunted bravery, and the inviolable 


fidelity of his forefathers, and the rest of them who 
fought and bled in that arduous and unfortunate 

Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale, having died 
unmarried, in 1814, at the early age of 28, was, in 
terms of bis father's settlement, succeeded by his 
cousin, John Macdonald of Borodale, the son of his 
uncle, Ranald, as nearest heir-male. 

XL John Macdonald. He married, in 1792, 
Jane, second daughter of Alexander MacNab of 
Innishewen, and had by her — 

1. Angus, liis successor. 

2. Ranald, who died young. 

3. Alexander. He entered as a student in Marischall 

College, Abei'deen, in 1821, and afterwai-ds studied 
law in Glasgow, where he qualified as a legal practi- 
tioner, and became a member of the Glasgow Faculty 
of Procui'ators. He was for several years factor for 
Lord Lovat. Alexander, who died in 1893, married 
Margaret, daughter of Hugh Watson of Torsonce, 
W.S,, and had by her — 

(a) John, of H.M. Customs, now in New Zealand. 

(b) Hugh, a priest. He died in 1889. 

(c) James, a priest in Edinburgh, 
(n) Angus, who died in infancy. 

(e) Alexander, C.E., who died abroad in 1895. 

(p) Donald, who died in infancy, 

(g) Andrew, solicitor, and Sherifl:-Clerk of Inverness-shire. 
He married Minna, daughter of John Chisholm, 
Charleston, Inverness, and has by her — (a) Alex- 
ander Francis Joseph ; (b) Ellen Mary ; (c) 
Margaret Mary; (d) Andrew Edward, solicitor; 

(e) Clementina, a nun of Notre Dame Order ; 

(f) Jane Frances ; (g) Anne Constance ; (h) 
Mary Elizabeth, died in childhood ; (i) Angus, 
medical student ; (j) Minna Gertrude. 

(h) Mary, a nun of the Franciscan Order. 

(i) Joseph, a Divinity student, who died in 1869. 

4. John, a distinguished officer in the East Indian Army, 

where lie rose to the rank of Lieut.-Colonel. During 


many years of service, often in the most trying cir- 
cumstances, he proved himself a brave and capable 
officer. "By his daring, promptitude, and decision of 
character at Umritzir, he quelled the first movements 
of a Sepoy revolt, which might have ended in a 
general massacre of the Europeans." In promoting 
him to the command of the 5th Irregular Cavalry for 
his services on this occasion, Sir Charles Napier 
wrote : — " You have ivon it, if ever a man deserved 
well of his chief. But for your decision, we should 
have had the devil to pay at Umritzir." He acted in 
the same prompt manner in dealing with the mur- 
derers of Sir Norman Leslie at Rohnee, and [prevented 
his regiment from going over to the rebels. While 
Macdonald, Sir Norman, and Dr Grant were sitting 
one evening in front of their tent, they wei'e suddenly 
attacked by a small band of men from Macdonald's 
own regiment, as was afterwards discovered. Sir 
Norinan was killed, and Macdonald and Grant, who 
defended themselves with their camp stools, were 
severely wounded, but they put to flight the mur- 
derers. An inquiry was soon afterwards made, and 
the men were discovered. They were forthwith tried 
by Court-Martial, and sentenced to be hanged. When 
this sentence was about being carried out, one of the 
condemned men, a person of high caste, appealed to 
the regiment drawn up to witness the execution to 
shoot the English, but Macdonald pointed his pistol 
at his head, and threatened to blow out his brains if 
be uttered another word. Tiiis had the desired 
effect, and the men were all hanged. The stern re- 
solution with which he punished those leaders of 
revolt had a salutary effect upon the rest of the regi- 
ment Macdonald's conduct at this critical time is 
deserving of the highest praise. 

Colonel Macdonald lived latterly at Aberdeen, 
where he died in 1892. He msirried Helen Morgan, 
who died in India in ISS.'i, nnd left two daughters, 
Minna and Jane. 

5. Ranald George Charles, who died young. 

6. Donald, Priest of Moidart, died in 1895. 
7 Clementina, who died unmarried in 1874. 



8. Catherine, who died unmarried in 1880. 

9. Jane, who died unmarried in 1 874. 

10. Margaret, who married Colin Chishohii, solicitor, Inver- 

ness, and had 

(a) John Archibald. 

(b) Aeneas, D.D., LL.D. He received his early education 

at Inverness, from which he was sent to Blair's 
College, Aberdeen. He afterwards went to 
Rome, where he studied for seven years. He 
was ordained priest in 1859, and was settled 
successively at Elgin, Beaiily, Aberdeen, Glen- 
gairn, and Banff. He was appointed Rector of 
Blair's College in 1890, and was consecrated 
Bishop of Aberdeen in 1899. 

(c) Colin. 

(d) Jane, who died unmarried. 
(b) Sarah. 

(f) Clementina. 

11. Helen, who died young. 

John Macdonald of Glenaladale, who was well known 
in his time as a man of exceptional ability in busi- 
ness, sound judgment, and commanding influence, 
died in 1830, when he was succeeded by his eldest 

XL Angus Macdonald, who was born in 1793. 
He married, in 1836, Mary, youngest daughter of 
Hugh Watson of Torsonce, Midlothian, and had by 
her — 

1. John Andrew, his successor. 

2. Hugh, Bishop of Aberdeen. He was educated at St. 

Cuthbert's College, Ushaw. On the completion of 
his studies, he taught there for a year as Professor of 
the Humanities, and after ordination in 1867 he 
acted for two or three years as a secular priest in 
Greenock. Subsequently joining the Congregation of 
the Redeniptorists, he entered upon his new vocation 
with great enei-gy, conducting missions all over the 
world, but proving especially valuable in the High- 
lands from his thorough acquaintance with the Gaelic 


language. For several years he acted as rector of the 
Redemptorist Monastery at Kinnoull, and after hold- 
ing several other important offices, he was appointed 
Provincial of the Order. In 1890 he was consecrated 
Bishop of Aberdeen. The wisdom of his nomination 
was manifest from the very outset of his episcopal 
career — in the i-epair of old, or the erection of new 
churches, in the enlargement of schools, and in the 
promotion of the general pros])erity and working 
order of his diocese. He took a great interest in the 
welfare of tlie ecclesiastical seminary of Blair's College, 
and threw himself enthusiastically into the scheme for 
rebuilding and extending the institution. He erected 
the Cathedral Chapter at Aberdeen, made the canonical 
visitation with great regularity, and altogether infused 
a great amovnit of order into the administration of his 
diocese. Personally, he was of a most amiable and 
unassuming disposition, respected by all classes of the 
community in the North, and held in the highest 
estimation by his clergy and people. He died at 
Greenhill Gardens, Edinburgh, the residence of his 
brother. Archbishop Macdonald, May 29th, 1898. 
3. Angus, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinbui'gh. He 
was born at Borrodale, September 18th, 1844, and 
was educated at St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw. He 
afterwards became B.A. of the University of London. 
After his ordination in July, 1872, he was fiist 
stationed at St Patrick's, Anderston, Glasgow, then 
sent to Arisaig to help the aged Father William 
Mackintosh, at whose death he took charge of that 
parish. There he laboured among the people he had 
known from childhood, his knowledge of Gaelic 
enabling him to instruct and help those — and there 
were a great many of them — who neither understood 
nor spoke English. When the Scottish Hierarchy 
was restored, in 1878, he was selected, by the wish of 
bishops and priests alike, as well as by the desire of 
the Pope, as Bishop of Argyll and tlie Isles. He was 
consecrated on May 23rd of that year, by the late 
Archbishop Eyre of Glasgow, and took up his 
residence in Oban. There he devoted himself to 
forming his new and scattered diocese, all of which 


he visited in all seasons and in all kinds of weather. 
The Bishop soon became a familiar sight on the High- 
land steamers, often clad in oilskin and sou'-wester. 
He built churches and schools, and, with his priests, 
worked incessantly for the glory of God and the 
increase of the religion to which he and his fore- 
fathers had always adhered. When his priests fell 
ill, he visited and nursed them, often doing their 
work for them. Neither typhus fever nor any sick- 
ness daunted him, as he followed the example of 
the Good Shepherd, and risked his own life for the 
sake of others, many times when he was worn out and 
ill. Having been Bishop of Argyll and the Isles for 
14 years, he was chosen to till the Metropolitan see of 
St Andrews and Edinburgh, and, in 1892, began his 
new duties. The same spirit animated him in his 
new as in his old sphere — untiring zeal, humility, 
gentleness, tact, and firm attention to everything 
under his charge. Everyone loved and respected 
Archbishop Macdonald, and when, on the Feast of 
the Good Shepherd, April 29th, 1900, worn out by 
work and ill-health, he died, he left an example of 
piety, learning, and, above all, love and zeal for the 
glory of God. 

4. Mary Mai'garet, a nun. 

5. Jane Veronica. 

Angus Macdonald of Glenaladale died in 1870, 
and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

XIII. John Andrew Macdonald. He was for 
many years Colonel-Commanding the Inverness- 
shire Militia Regiment, and was highly popular 
with officers and men. On the occasion of the late 
Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, Her Majesty 
conferred the distinction of C.B. on Colonel Mac- 
donald. He takes a prominent part in county and 
parish business, and is much respected both for his 
personal qualities and as the representative of an 
ancient and popular Highland family. Colonel 
Macdonald married, first, 30th July, 1862, Helen 


Mary, elder daughter of Edward Chaloner of 
Hermistoii Hall, Nottinghamshire. She died 
March 14, 1864, without issue. He married, 
secondly, August 13, 1901, Margaret Mary Teresa, 
daughter of the late Sir Edward Blount, Baronet 
of Sodington and Mawley. 


The first of this famil}'- was Ranald, fourth son 
of Allan IX. of Clanranald, well known by his 
patronymic of Rao7iull Mac Ailein 'ic Iain. His 
father bestowed upon him the lands of Benbecula, 
consisting of the 13 penny lands of Borve, the penny 
land of Gerigriminish, the 4 penny lands of Belfinlay, 
the 5 penny lands of Balivanich, the 20 penny lands 
of Uachdar, called the tw^o Airds in Knocksorlai^ 
together with the 3 pen.ny lands of Machermeanach, 
in Skirhough, and the 3 mark 10 shilling lands of 
Ardnish, Lochelt, and Essan in Arisaig. In 1625, 
Ranald received a charter of these lands from his 
nephew, John, XII. of Clanranald. 

Ranald married, first, Mary, daughter of Ranald 
Macdonald of Smerbie, son of James Macdonald of 
Dunnyveg and the Glens. By her he had Angus 
Mor, from whom the Macdonalds of Ballypatrick, 
in the Barony of Carey, in the County of Antrim. 

He married, secondly, Fionnsgoth Burke, of the 
Burkes of Connaught, and had by her 

1. Alexander. 

2. Roderick. 

3. Farquhar. 

He married, thirdly, Margaret, daughter of 
Norman Macleod of Harris, widow of Norman Og 
Macleod of Lewis, without issue. 


He married, fourthly, Mary, sister of Sir Donald 
Macdonald, 1st Baronet of Sleat, and had by her 
Donald Gorm. 

He married, fifthly, Margaret, daughter of Angus 
Macdonald of Dunnyveg and the Glens, and had by 
by her — 

L Ranald, who succeeded him. 

2. Koderick. 

3. John Og. 

4. Angus Og, from whom the Macdonalds of Milton. 

5. Ranald, who married Anne, daughter of Ranald Mac- 

donald of Bornish. 

6. Donald, of Boisdale, from whom the Macdonalds of 


7. A.llan Og. 

8. Flora, who married John Macdonald of Griminish, in North 


Ranald died at Canna in 1636, and was buried at 
Howmore. He was succeeded by his eldest son of 
the last marriage. 

II. Ranald. He married, first, Marion, daughter 
of MacNeill of Barra, by whom he had Donald, his 

He married, secondly, Anna, daughter of 
John XII. of Clanranald, and had by her — 

L James of Belfinlay. 

2. Donald Og, who died without issue. 

3. Ranald. 

i. Alexander of Gerifleuch. He married Margaret, daughter 
of Somerled Macdonald of Torlum, and had by her — 

(a) Ranald. He was made prisoner in 1746 for assisting 

in the escape of Prince Charles froui Uist. 

(b) John. 

(c) Roderick. 

Ranald succeeded his father as II. of Gerifleuch, 
and married Mary Macdonald, by whom he had — 

(a) John. 

(b) Charles. 


John succeeded his father as III. of Gerifleuch, and 
married Mary, daughter of Alexander Macdonald III. 
of Geridhoil, and had by her — 

(a) Ranald. 

(b) Donald. 

(c) Roderick, who was priest in Badenoch for several 

years. In 1803 he was removed to South Uist, 
and had charge of lochdar and Benbecula till 
his death, September 29th, 1828. 

(d) James. 

And six daughters, one of whom was Catherine. 

Ranald succeeded his father as IV. of Gerifleuch, 
and is entered as tenant of that holding in the South 
Uist Rental of 1822. 

5. Marion. 

Ranald 11. of Benbecula died in 1679, and was 
buried at Nunton. He was succeeded by his eldest 

III. Donald. In 1680, he received from 
Donald XIII. of Clanranald a Charter of Novo- 
damus of all the lands granted to his grandfather 
in 1625. In 1720, he excambed with Angus Mac- 
donald of Belfinlay his lands of Ardnish, Lochelt, 
and Essan, in Arisaig, for the lands of Belfinlay and 
others in Benbecula. In 1725, Donald succeeded 
Ranald XV. of Clanranald as chief of that family. 


The first of this family was Angus Og, son of 
Ranald Macdonald I. of Benbecula and Margaret 
Macdonald of Dunnyveg. He received a wadset of 
the 5 penny lands of Balivanich, in Benbecula, from 
his father, and afterwards a tack of Milton from 
his cousin, John XII. of Clanranald. He married 
Mary, daughter of Maclean of Boreray, and had 
by her — 


1. Ranald, his successor. 

2. James, tacksman of Frobost. James had two sons, 

Kanald and Donald. Donald was a merchant in 
South Uist. Ranald succeeded his father as IL of 
Frobost. He had two sons, Ranald and Donald of 
Stilligarry, factor of South Uist. Donald had two 
sons, Lieutenant Angus Macdonald of Grogary, and 
James. Ranald of Frobost was succeeded by his son, 
Ranald, as IIL of Frobost. He had a son, Ranald. 

3. Roderick, tacksman of Kilpheder. He had two sons,__^^ 

Angus and Alexander, 

4. Alexander, minister of Ardnamurchan, afterwards of 

Islandfinan. See Macdonalds of Dalelea. 

5. Somerled, tacksman, of Torlum, IJenbecula. Somerled 


(a) Ranald II. of Torlum. 

(b) John. He and his brother, Ranald, were taken 

prisoners for aiding in the escape of Prince 
Charles from Uist. 

(c) Roderick. 

(d) Donald. 

(b) Margaret, married to Alexander Macdonald of Geri- 
Ranald, who succeeded his father at Torlum, was 
factor of Benbecula. He was succeeded by his son, 

6. Angus, tacksman of Kilaulay and Balgarvay. He married, 

in 1710, Mary, daughter of Lachlan Macdonald of 
Laig, in Eigg. Angus, who died in 1716, left three 
sons, Ranald, Roderick, and Angus. His widow 
married John Macdonald of Cleadell, in Eigg, son of 
Ranald Macdonald of Cross. 

7. A daughter, who married John Macdonald of Glenaladale. 

Angus Macdonald of Milton was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 

II. Ranald Macdonald. Kanald received, in 
1704, a tack for life of the 10 penny lands of North 
and South Gerivaltos from Clanranald. He had 
previously received a tack of the lands of Balivanich 
from Donald Macdonald of Benbecula. He married, 



first, Marion, daughter of John Macleod of Dun- 
vegan, and widow of Donald XIII. of Clanranald, 
without issue. He married, secondly, Marion, 
daughter of Angus Macdonald, minister of Soutli 
Uist, son of John Macdonald of Griminisli and Flora 
Macdonald of Benbecula. By her he had — 

1. Angus, his successor, 

2. Kanald, who died after attaining the age of nianliood, 


3. Flora, who married Allan Macdonald of Kingsburgh. 
Ranald, who died in 1725, was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 

III. Angus Macdonald. He married Penelope, 
daughter of Angus Macdonald of Belfinlay, and had 
by her — 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. Archibald. 

3. Alexander. 

L Gilbert. He was a Captain in the Sixth Uoyal Veteran 
Battalion, and amassed a considerable fortune. By 
his will, dated 1835, he left many legacies to relatives 
—£dO to the Deaf and Dumb Institution, Edinl)urgh, 
and £20 to the poor of his native parish of South 
Uist. He died, unmarried, in 1836. 

5. Donald, who died unmarried. 

6. Flora. 

7. Marion, who married George Munro, minister of South 

Uist, with issue. 

8. Mary, and two natural daughters— Catherine, residing at 

Locheynort, and Mary, residing at Daliburgh, to whom 
annuities were left by Captain Gilbert ALicdonald. 
Angus died in August, 1792 (his elegy is in Stewart's 
Collection), and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

IV. Angus Macdonald. He was a captain in 
the army, and served in the American War. He 
married, in 1783, Margaret, daughter of Colin Mac- 
donald of Boisdale, and had by her — 
1. Angus, his successor. 


2. Colin, who became tacksman of Milton in the absence of 

his brother abroad. His lease terminated in 1829, 
and he died soon after, xnimarried. 

3. Margaret, who married John MacMarquis, with issue. 

She married, secondly, her cousin, Angus, son of 
George Munro, minister of South Uist, without issue. 

4. Jane, who married Captain Hutchison, in the Merchant 

Service, and removed to England. 

5. Isabella, who married a MacCormick, and emigrated to 


6. Penelope, who married John MacLellan, tacksman of 

Drimore, with issue. 

CajDtain Angus Macdonald was di'owned in Loch- 
eynort, in the winter of 1808-9 (See his elegy in the 
Uist Collection), and was succeeded by his eldest 

V. Angus Macdonald. He sei-ved as a lieu- 
tenant in the 91st Regiment, and was living abroad 
in 1828. He married an Irish lady, and had a son, 


Alexander Macdonald, the first of this family, 
was a son of Angus Macdonald of Milton, South 
Uist, and brother of Ranald Macdonald, afterwards 
of Milton. He was at an early age sent to the 
University of Glasgow, where he graduated Master 
of Arts July 16th, 1674. He afterwards studied 
divinity, and was in due time instituted minister of 
Islandfinan. In the Clanranald Charter Chest there 
are several papers in Alexander's handwriting bear- 
ing dates before and after the Revolution of 1688, 
and in all these he designates himself " Minister of 
Islandfinan," never once "Minister of Ardna- 
murchan," His predecessors also, as well as his 
successors, in their receipts for stipends from 1644 


to 1709 are similarly designated. We can find no 
indication of Alexander Macdonald having ever 
lived at Ardnamurchan. According to Dr Scott in 
his Faati Eccl. Scoticance, he was deprived for non- 
jurancy in 1697. He continued to call himself 
Minister of Islandfinan, and to minister to the 
Protestants of that district to the end of his life. 
According to the tradition of the country he also 
ministered to the Ardnamurchan people at Kilchoan, 
nearly 30 miles from Dalelea. " Maighstir Alastair," 
as he was called, was reckoned a man of great 
physical strength, and he was undoubtedly a man 
of very considerable mental attainments. He 
married a Morven lady of the name of Maclachlan, 
and had by her — 

1. Angus, known as Aonghas Beag. 

2. Alexander, the Bard. Alexander married Jean Macdonald 

of Dalness, and had by her — 

(a) Ranald, commonly called Raonall Dnbh. 

(b) Jane. 

(c) Penelope. 

(d) Catherine. 

(e) Margaret. 

Ranald was tenant for some years of the inn at 
Strath Arisaig. He afterwards became tacksman of 
Laig, in Eigg, which he entered before 1770. In 
1776 he published a valuable collection of Gaelic 
poetry. Boswell, writing to Johnson from Edin- 
burgh, in February, 1775, says: — "There is now 
come to this city Ranald Macdonald, from the Isle 
of Eigg, who has several MSS. of Erse jjoetry, 
which he wishes to publish by subscription. 
This man says that some of his manuscripts arc 
ancient ; and, to be sure, one of them which was 
shown to me does appear to have the duskiness of 
antiquity." Ranald married Mary Macdonald, and 
had a son, Allan. 

In a letter from him to the Tutors of Clanr?.nald, 
in 1800, he says he is the oldest tacksman on the 


estate, and the only one who had paid reut to old 
Clanranald, who died in 1766. He died shortly after, 
and was succeeded by his son, Allan, in the farm of 

Allan, who was noted for hi.s feats of strength, 
married Isabella Macdonald, and died August 9th, 
1833, leaving a son, Angus, who had been joint 
tenant with him at Laig. Angus emigrated to 
America shortly after his father's death. When 
the war broke out between the Northern and 
Southern States, he received a commission in the 
11th Wisconsin Regiment, and distinguished himself 
by his gallantry during the operations of the Federal 
Army in Alabama and Mississippi, and was severely 
wounded. He afterwards received an appointment 
in the Civil Service, and died, unmarried, at Mil- 
waukee some 30 years ago. 

3. Lachlan. He became, first, tacksman of Gerrihellie, and 

afterwards of Dremisdale, in South Uist. He was 
Bailie of South Uist in 1740. He had three sons — 
Ewen, who succeeded him at Dremisdale, and John 
and Roderick, both of whom were "out" in the '45. 
Lachlan and his brother, James, visited the Prince at 
Corrodale. They were afterwards arrested on suspicion 
of being concerned in the Prince's escape ; but, for 
want of evidence against them, they were liberated, 
after being detained for a short time. 

4. James, who was tacksman of Gerrihellie. He married 

Marion Macdonald, and had by her James, a Captain 
in the Long Island Militia, who succeeded his father 
at Gerrihellie, and a daughter, Magdalene. 

Alexander Macdonald, Minister of Islandfinan, died 
at Dalelea May 25, 1724, and was buried at Island- 
finan. He was succeeded at Dalelea by his eldest 


II. Angus. Angus was " out " in the '45, and 
was a captain in the Clanranald Regiment. He 
was afterwards in hiding with his brother, Alex- 
ander, until the Indemnity Act was passed. Though 
small of stature, he was noted for his physical 


strength. He married Margaret, daughter of 
Cameron of Achadhuana, in Lochaber, and had l)y 
her — 

1. Allan, his successor. 

2. Marcella, who married Ranald, brother of Kinloch- 

moidart, " who tossed his bonnet in the air on 
board the ' Doutelle.' " 

3. Mary, married to Charles MacEachen of Drimindarach. 

Angus of Dalelea died shortly after 1760, and was 
succeeded by his son, 

III. Allan. He married Mary Macdonald, 
Arisaig, and had by her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Lieutenant Angus of Kennachregan. 

3. Margaret, who married Donald Macdonald, Lochans, 

with issue. 

Allan of Dalelea, who died before 1780, was suc- 
ceeded by his son, 

IV. Alexander. Alexander, who had been a 
banker at Callender, bought Lochans from Clan- 
ranald in 1814. He married Mary, daughter of 
Ranald Macdonald of Borrodale, and had by her — 

1. Flora, who married Major Macdonald of the 42nd Regi- 

ment, who lived at Arisaig. 

2. Jessie, who married a Mr Campbell. 

3. Joanna, who died unmarried. 

4. Marjory, who married, but left no issue. 


This family is descended from Donald, son of 
Ranald Macdonald I. of Benbecula. In 1658 he 
received from Clanranald a tack of Boisdale. He 
married a daughter of MacNeill of Barra, and had 
bv her 

Donald II. of Boisdale. He fought at Killie- 
crankie under his cousin, Donald Macdonald of 


Benbecula. His claymore and cuacb are still pre- 
served ill the family. He married Mary Maclean, 
daughter of Lachlan Maclean of Torloisk, and had 
by her — 

1. Donald, who succeeded him. 

2. Allan, who died unmarried. 

3. Archibald, who was drowned on the Clyde when a boy. 

Donald of Boisdale was succeeded by his son, 

in. Donald. He was an officer in the army of 
Prince Charles, and married Miss Payne, grand- 
daughter of Carlyle of Bridekirk, Dumfriesshire, 
and had by her — 

1. Allan, who was an officer ia the 76th Regiment, or Mac- 

donald Highlanders, and died unmarried. 

2. Donald, who succeeded his father. 

3. Archibald, an officer in the Army, who was taken 

prisoner and put to death in India by Tippoo Saib. 
He died unmarried. 

4. Janet, who mn-ried W. Cuthbertson, Glasgow, with 


Donald was succeeded by his elder surviving son, 

IV. Donald. He married Mary, sister of 
William Bell of Rammerscales, and had by her — 

1. William Bell, his successor. 

2. Margaret. 

Donald was succeeded by his son, 

V. William Bell Macdonald, a man of wide 
culture, and a well-known antiquarian. He was 
educated at the University of Glasgow, where he 
graduated B.A. in 1827. He was one of the 
greatest linguists of his time. In 1851 he pub- 
lished Lusus Philologici. Ex Museo Gul. B. Mac- 
donald ; in 1854, "Ten Scottish Songs rendered 
into German;" in 1856, "Sketch of a Coptic 
Grammer adapted for Self-Tuition." For several 
years he represented the Burgh of Lochmaben in the 


1. Ranald Macdonald of Belfiulay. 3- Captain Allan Macdonald of 

2. Major Allan Macdonald of Water- Waternish. 

„igh. 4- '^l^aii ^- Macdonald. yr. of \\ ater- 

5. Ranald Macdonald of Staffa, afterwards Sir Reginald Stenart Seton of 

Allanton, Bart. 


General Assein])ly of the Cliurcli of Scotland. He 
succeeded his maternal uncle m 1837 in the estate 
of Rammerscales, and married in 1839 Helen, 
daughter of Thomas Johnstone of Underwood, and 
had by her — 

1. William Bell, his succesHor. 

2. Donald. 

3. Thomas Johnstone. 

4. Harriett. 

.5. ^rary, who died in 1869. 

William Bell Macdonald, who died in Glasgow, 
Dec. 5, 1862, was succeeded by his son, 

VT. William Bell Macdonald, who was horn 
in 1845. He was a captain in the 1st Regiment, or 
lloyal Scots, and married in 1882 Violet Frances, 
daughter of James Buckley Rutherford, and had by 
her — 

William Malcolm. 


James, the first of this family, was the son of 
Ranald Macdonald II. of Benbecula by his wife, 
Anne, daughter of John XII. of (Jlanranald. 

In 1682, his brother, Donald III. of Benbecula, 
gave him a charter of the 12 penny lands of Belhnlay, 
Ardbeg, and Ardmore, the penny land of Rosinish 
and Knocknagour, the 2^ penny lands of Cuich- 
meane, all in Benbecula, with a penny land in 
Machermeanach, in Skirhouo-h. 

James married Mar}-, daughter of Alexander 
Macdonald of Kinlochmoidart, and had by her — 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. Allan, afterwards of Belfinlay. 

3. Ranald. He had two sons, Allan, and Donald, tutor to 

James VH. of Belfinlay. 


4. Alexander. 

5. Mary, who married Lachlan Maclean of Muck, with issue. 

James Macdonald of Belfiiilay died in 1709, and was 
succeeded by his eldest son, 

II. Angus Macdonald. In 1720 he excambed 
with Donald Macdonald of Benbecula his lands in 
Uist, enumerated above, for the lands of Pendui, 
Laggan, Essan, Allasary, Torary, Ranachan, Moy, 
and Peinmeanach, all in Arisaig. Angus married 
Penelope, daughter of Macneill of Barra. She 
afterwards married Dr John Macdonald, brother 
of Banald Macdonald of Kinlochmoidart. By her 
Angus had — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Ranald, who succeeded his brother. 

.3. Penelope, who married Angus Macdonald of Milton. 

Angus Macdonald of Belfinlay died in 1731, and was 
succeeded by liis eldest son, 

III. Donald Macdonald. He died unmarried, 
and was succeeded by his brother, 

IV. Banald Macdonald. He joined the army 
of Prince Charles at the beginning of the campaign, 
and was a captain in the Clanranald Begiment. At 
Culloden he was shot through both legs, which 
rendered all chance of escape hopeless. Having 
been stripped of his clothing, he lay al) night on the 
field of battle in extreme agony from the pain of his 
wounds and exposure to inclement weather. Next 
morning he was saved from being shot by Butcher 
Cumberland's soldiers through the clemency of 
Lieutenant James Hamilton of Cholmondely's 
Regiment. He was then taken to Inverness, 
where he lay in prison until the Act of Indemnity 
set him free. In prison he received the cruellest 
treatment, from the effects of which, added to his 


wounds and exposure on the field of l)attle5 he 
ultimately died. The gallant Belfinlay, described 
by Bishop Forbes as "a tall, strapi:)ing, beautiful 
young man," died on September 27, 1749. Having 
never married, he was succeeded by his uncle, 

V. Allan Macdonald. He married Isabel 
Cameroj), without issue, and was succeeded by his 
nephew, the son of his brother, 

VI. Allan Macdonald. In 17G3 he sold liis 
lands in Arisaig to Ranald Macdonald, younger of 
Clanranald, for 30,810 merks. The Judicial Rental 
of these lands in the following year gives the gross 
rental at 1108 merks. On selling his estate, Bel- 
finlay leased the lands of Keppoch and others 
from Clanranald. In 1761 he married Jean, eldest 
daughter of Lachlan Mackinnon of Corry, and had 
by her — 

1. James, who succeeded him in the representation of the 


2. Alhm, who succeeded his brother. 

3. Janet, who married Thomas Ord, Factor for Blair- 

drummond, with issue. 

Allan died February 10, 1784, and was succeeded by 
his eldest son, 

VII. James Macdonald. He died, unmarried, 
in America, and was succeeded by his brother, 

VIII. Allan Macdonald. He entered the army 
in 1799, and received his first commission in the 
55th Regiment. He shortly afterwards proceeded 
with his regiment to the West Indies, where he 
served with distinction, and in January, 1808, he 
was promoted to the rank of captain. In the same 
year he took part in the expedition, under Major- 
General Carmichael, against St Domingo, and, on 
termination of hostilities, he was promoted to the 



temporary command of the 2nd West India Regi- 
ment. He also served in the campaign in the 
Netherlands, in 1813 and 1814, and distinguished 
himself at the storming of Bergen-op-Zoom, where 
he was second in command of the 55th Regiment. 
In this assault he was woundeH. In January, 1818, 
he received his promotion to the majority of his 
corps. In 1821 he left the service, being then 
senior major of his regiment, with the sale of his 
commission. In 1827 he purchased from Clanranald 
the Estate of Moidart, and in 1833 he purchased 
from Lord Glenelg the Estate of Waternish, in Skye. 
In 1834 he sold the Estate of Moidart. He took up 
his residence at Waternish on his acquiring that 
property, and interested himself in country affairs. 
He interested himself much in farmino^, and took 
great pains in establishing the well-known Water- 
nish herd of Highland cattle. He was a J. P. and 
D.L. of the county of Inverness. Major Macdonald 
married, in 1819, Flora, daughter of Patrick Nicolson 
of Ardmore by his wife Catherine, daughter of 
Ronald MacAlister of Skirinish, and by her had — 

1. Patrick, who succeeded him in the repi'eseutation of the 


2. Allan, who died young. 

3. Allan. In 1848 he obtained a commission in the 99th 

Regiment as Ensign, and shortly afterwards joined 
his regiment in Tasmania, where he I'emained with it 
till 1855. In 1857 he got his company, and in the 
same year he retired from the army with the sale of 
his commission. On the death of his father, Captain 
Macdonald succeeded him in the Instate of Waternish. 
He has since made an addition to his patrimony by 
the purchase of the fine Island of Rona, in Uist. He 
is a keen sportsman, keeps a yacht, and the finest 
pack of terriers in the Highlands. He also takes 
much interest in both county and local affairs, and is 

1. Colonel Donald Macdonald, Bois- 3. D. J. K. Macdonald of Sanda, 

dale. 4. Hector Macdonald-Bnchanan 

2. Hon. William Macdonald of Vallay. (Boisdale). 

5. Admiral Robertson IMacdonald of Kinlochmoidart. 


a J. P. and D.L. of the County of Inverness. Captain 
Macdonald, who is a typical Highhuid gentleman, is, 
in all respects, true to the best traditions of his race, 
and is greatly respected in the Western Isles. He is 
still unmarried. 
4. Donald, who died in 1854, unmarried. 

Major Allan Macdonald died in May, 1855, when he 
was succeeded in the representation of the family of 
Belfinlay by his eldest son 

IX. Patrick Macdonald. He married Grace, 
daughter of James Bell of Scarden, in Ireland, and 
had by her — 

1. Allan Reginald, his successor. 

2. A son, who died young. 

Patrick died in 1874, when he was succeeded by 
his son, 

X. Allan Reginald Macdonald, now \\Yiu<r at 
Waternish, and heir of his uncle, Captain Mac- 
donald. He married, in 1895, Edith, eldest 
daughter of Mr Thomas Bayne, and has by her — 

1. Reginald. 

2. Flora. 

3. Donald Ronald. 


Alexander Macdonald, the first of this family, 
w^as the son by his second marriage of Donald 
Macdonald of Benbecula, afterwards XVI. of Clan- 
ranald. He was born in 1698, and his father, in 
1721, gave him as his portion a liferent tack of the 
lands of Cuichmeane, liosinish, and Knocknagour, 
in Benbecula. In 1741, he received from his brother, 
Clanranald, a tack of the lands of Boisdale, and 
others, for life, and to his successors for 499 years. 
He gave up this tack in 175G, and in 1758 received 


a feu charter of the lands of Boisclale, Smerclet, 
Kilbride, Eriska, and Lingay. Alexander, known 
as " Alastair Mor nam Mart," was a shrewd business 
man who succeeded in accumulating a considerable 
fortune. He was noted for his physical strength, 
and had the reputation of being " as able a bowlman 
as any in Scotland." 

Wlien Prince Charles landed at Eriska on the 
23rd of July, 1745, he sent a messenger to Boisdale 
in the hope of persuading him to engage the men 
of South Uist in his favour, the great body of whom 
were known to favour his cause. But Boisdale, 
notwithstanding the kindness shown by him to the 
Prince afterwards when a fugitive in Uist, does not 
appear, from the principles he then and afterwards 
professed, to have been favourable to a change of 
dynasty. His conduct during the rebellion may be 
inferred from the memorial sent up to London in his 
favour by the Presbytery of Uist, who, in their own 
words, " cannot be justly suspected of any design to 
impede justice, or screen His Majesty's enemies." 
After referring to his loyalty to the Constitution In 
Church and State, the memorialists declare that 
" during the continuance of the late troubles he 
gave all possible discouragement to the Pretender's 
adherents, and was neither allured by promises nor 
overawed by threatenings to rise in arms." The 
memorialists still further declare that " when some 
mad people in the country of South Uist gathered 
together some vagabonds to march with them to the 
Pretender's camp, he endeavoured to stop their 
career, and wrote his brother, who was then in 
Harris, that he should return and use his authority to 
disperse them, which was accordingly done." When 
the Prince's misfortunes, however, drove him back to 


Uist, Bolsdale acted a noble part iii protecting the 
royal wanderer from his enemies, often visiting liim 
in his hiding place at Corrodale, and supplying him 
with the necessaries of life. As might have been 
expected, he was arrested on suspicion of harbouring 
the Prince, and carried to London. This was about 
the middle of June. The Presbytery of Uist met 
on the 29th of September, and sent the memorial 
already referred to in his favour, which had the 
desired effect by his being liberated. 

Boisdale married, first, Mary, daughter of Donald 
Macdonald of Castleton, widow oP Sir Donald Mac- 
donald of Sleat, and had by her — 

1. Colin, his successor. 

2. John, a shipmaster, and merchant in South Uist. 

3. Janet, who died unmarried in Edinburgh in 1818. 

4. Mary, who married WilHam Macdonald of VaHay, with 

5. Anne, who married Dr Murdoch Maclcod of Eyre, with 

Boisdale married, secondly, Margaret, daughter of 
Hector Maclean, XIII. of Coll, and had by her — 

6. Donald, an otticer in the Army, killed in America in 

7. Hector, an otticer in the Army, killed in America in 

Boisdale married, thirdly, Anne, daughter of Mac- 
Neil of Barra, and had by her — 

L8. James of iVskernisli, a Major in the Army, who served in 
the Macdonald and other regiments. Ho married 
Christina, daughter of Donald Maclcod of Bernera, 
and had by her — 
(a) Dr Alexander Macdonald, who was in practice in 
Inverness, where he died unmarried, June 9th 

»(b) Donald, 
(c) Margaret Christian, who died at Inverness in 1836. 
(d) Jane. 



Major James Macdonald died at Rothesay, 18th 
June, 1857, and was buried there. His wife died at 
Rothesay, and was buried there, July 9, 1835. 
9. Margaret, who married Donald MacXeill of Kenach- 
reggan, afterwards of Canna, with issue. 

Alexander Macdonald of Boisdale had other 8 sons 
and 2 daughters, all of whom died young. He died 
at Kilbride, South Uist, in 1768, and was succeeded 
by his eldest son, 

II. Colin. He, like his father, was well known 
in the Highlands as a man of outstanding abilities 
and active business habits, which he put to good 
account by adding considerably to his patrimony. 
In the latter half of the 18th century he purchased 
the estate of Ulva and other lands in Mull. 

He married, first, Margaret, daughter of Donald 
Campbell of Airds, and had by her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Donald, a Major in the 92nd or Gordon Highhmders. 

He also served in the 22nd, 18th, and 100th Regiments. 
In 1795, letters of service were granted to him to 
raise a regiment in the Highlands, of which he was 
appointed Colonel, but he died that year, and before 
the regiment was completed. He married a daughter 
of Innes of Sandside, Caithness, without issue. 
3 Hector, a W.S., and one of the Principal Clerks of 
Session. He was well known in Edinburgh society 
and in the Highlands and Islands as agent for 
several proprietors. He was on intimate terms with 
Sir Walter Scott, who was a frequent guest at his 
seat of Ross Priory. He was for many years the 
representative of the Presbytery of Uist in the 
General Assembly, On his marriage to the daughter 
and heiress of Buchanan of Drumikill and Ross 
Priory, Dumbartonshire, he assumed her name in 
addition to his own. I>y her he had Colin, Robert, 
Hector, John, and James, all of whom died after attain- 
ing the age of manhood. He had four daughters — Jane, 
Margaret, Jemima, and Flora. Jemima married, in 


1830, Sir Alexiinder Leith, Bart., and had Sir George 
Hector Leith, Bart, of tlie Ross Priory ; James Alex- 
ander, Lieutenant in the 92iid Regiment, who died in 
1857 ; John Macdonald, C. B., Lieut. -Colonel 1st Batt. 
Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, who died in 1888. 
Hector Macdonald-Buchanan died in 1835. 
L Margaret, who, in 1783, married Captain Angus Mac- 
donald IV. of Milton, with issue. 

5. Harriet, who, in 1786, married Major Alexander Mac- 

donald of Valla}', with issue. 

Boisdale married, secondly, Isabella, daughter of 
Lieut. Robert Campbell, of the 99th Regiment, 
afterwards of Glenfalloch, and sister of John, 6th 
Earl of Breadalbane. By her he had 

6. Ranald. He passed Advocate in 1798, and afterwards 

became Sheriff of Stirlingshire. He succeeded liis 
father in Ulva, and other lauds, in Mull, in 1800. In 
1812 the rental of his estate from kelj) and other 
sources amounted to £3600. He was a model land- 
loi'd, and liighly popular among Highlanders. He 
was a member of several Highland societies. He took 
great interest in the poetry and lore of the Highlands, 
and collected Ossianiu jjoems and tales in 1801-3, which 
are preserved in the Advocate's Library. He repi'e- 
sented the Presbytery of Mull for many years in the 
Cieneral Assembly, and was Colonel of the Long Island 
Regiment of Militia, which assembled at Bcnbecula. 
Plis intimacy with Sir Walter Scott, who visited him 
at Ulva in 1810, is well known. Referring to that 
visit, Scott says : — " The proprietor of the isle, Mac- 
donald of Statfa, a fine, high-spirited young chieftain, 
was our pilot and gi:ide through tlie Hebrides. He is 
much loved by his people, whose prosperity he studies 
much. ... In the Isle of Ulva, where he has his 
house, we were treated with something like feudal 
splendour. His people received us under arms, and 
with a discharge of musketry and artillery. His piper 
was a constant attendant on our parties, and wakened 
us in the morning with his music." Scott pays a 
warm tribute to Staffa's character as a landlord in his 
article on Sir John Carr's Caledonian Sketches, and in 


the spirited verses written at liis house in Ulva during 
his visit to the "king of all kind fellows." Ranald 
married, in LSI 2, Isabella, only child and heiress of 
Henry Stewart of Allanton, afterwards created a 
baronet. He had by her — 

(a) Henry James, who succeeded him. 

(b) Archibald, who married Katherine, daughter of 

Robert Stein, and had Allan Henry, and Douglas 

(c) Colin Archibald, who was drowned. 

(d) Isabella, who married, in 1852, Rev. J. Lockhart 

Ross, rector of St Dunstan-in-the-East, London, 
and died in 186-1. 

(e) Lillias Urquhart, who died in 1866. 

In 1835, Ranald's wife succeeded in right of her 

mother to the Estate of Touch Seton, Stirlingshire, 

and added the name of Seton to her own. On the 

death of Sir Henry Steuart of Allanton in 1836, 

Ranald succeetled him as 2nd Baronet, and assumed 

the name of Steuart Seton in addition to his own. 

Sir Ranald died 15tli April, 1838, in the 61st year 

of his age, and Avas succeeded by his son. Sir Henry 

James, as 3rd Baronet. Sir Henry married, in 1852, 

Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Montgomery, son of 

Sir James Montgomery, Bart, of Stanhope, without 

surviving issue. He died in 1884, and was succeeded 

by his nephew, the son of his brother, Archibald, 

Alan Henry, as -Ith Baronet. Sir xllau, who is 

hereditary Armour- Bearer and Squire of the Royal 

Body in Scotland, married, in 1883, Susan Edith, 

daughter of Sir James Clerk, Baronet, withoiit issue. 

7. Robert of Inch Kenneth and Gribune, who was a Colonel 

in the Royal Artillery, and a C.B. He married in 

1801 Maiy, daughter of Thomas Douglas of Grantham, 

and had 

(a) Robert Douglas, a Captain in the 42nd Regiment, 

who married Mary Anne Carleton, ^lalta, and 

had (a) Robert, a Captain in the 97th Regiment, 

who died leaving one son, who died in 1872 ; (b) 

Charles Edward, Colonel in the Royal Marines, 

who married Rebecca, widow of George Eubank, 

and had (a^) Charles Clanranald, Captain, A.S.C., 


(a'^) Kenneth Alexander, Captain, A.S.C., (a^) 
Flora Mary. (c) Isabella Mary. ((/) Mary 
Anne, who married Captain Capel Miers, 79th 

(ji) Charles Kerr, a Major in the 42nd Regiment, who 
married Lady Asworth, witliout issue, and died 
at Alexandria in 1868. 

(c) James Archibald, a Captain in the Royal Navy, wlio 
married Louisa Greig, a niece of Lady Rollo, and 
had (a) Charles Douglas, an officer in the Royal 
Marines, who died at Guernsey in 1872 ; (0) 
Louisa ; (c) Mary. James died in 1875. 

(u) Ranald George Meyritt, a W.S., who married, first, 
Alicia, daughter of Rev. B. Bridges, without 
issue, and secondly, Mary xVnne, widow of W. 
Baines, Q.C., without issue. 

(e) Isabella Louisa, who married James N. MacNeille, 
with issue. 

8. Colin, an Admiral in the Royal Navy, and a C.B. He 

married, but left no issue. 

9. James, M.D., who died, unmarried, in 1806. 

10. William, who died young. 

11. Isabella, who died unmarried. 

12. Jean, who married John Macdonald, XIX. of Clanranald, 

without issue. 

13. Mary, who died young. 
IL Flora, who died young. 

Colin Macdonald of Boisdale died July 31, 1800, 
and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

III. Alexander. He served in the American 
War, was a Captain in the 71st Eegiment, and 
retired from the army with the rank of Colonel. 
He married, in 1783, Marion, only daughter of 
Hugh Maclean of Coll, and had by her — 

1. Hugh, his successor. 

2. Colin, who was a medical officer of health in India, where 

he died unmarried. 

3. Donald, a Major in the Army, killed in battle. 

4. Janet, who died unmarried. 

5. Isabella, who n\arried Colonel Cadell. 

6. Margaret, who married Major Lawrence, with issue; 


Colonel Alexander Macdonald of Boisdale died in 
1818, and was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Hugh. The Estate of Boisdale, in the 
hands of trustees for some years, was sold in 1839 
to Colonel Gordon of Clunj^ Hugh had previously 
left the country. He lived for some time in Liver- 
pool, where he married, but we know nothing 
further of him, or of his family, if he had any. 


The Macdonalds of Kinlochmoidart are descended 
from John, son of Allan IX. of Clanranald, known 
as Iain Mac Alien. He received from Clanranald 
a feu charter of Kinlochmoidart, and of Askernish, 
with other lands in Uist. The Uist lands were 
afterwards exchanged for Glenforslan, and other 
lands, in Moidart. John married a daughter of 
Macleod of Lewis, and had by her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. John, who, ill 1664, married Katheruie, daughter of 

Allan Macdonald of Knockeiltaig, in Eigg. 

3. Koderick, whose issue is extinct. 

John died about 1644, and was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 

II. Alexander. Alexander, who fought against 
the Cromwellians in Ireland, and was wounded 
there, married Marion, daughter of Allan Mor Mac- 
donald of Morar, and had by her — 

1. Ranald, his successor, 

2. James, who married Margaret, daughter of MacNeill of 


3. Angus, who married Anne, daughter of Charles Maclean 

of Drimnin. 

4. Una. 

Alexander Macdonald of Kinlochmoidart died in 
1689, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 


III. Ranald. Ranald fought at KlUieci ankle, 
and afterwards at Sheriiimuir as Major in the Clan- 
ranald Regiment. He married Margaret, only- 
daughter of John Cameron of Lochiel, and had by 

1. Donald, who succeeded him. 

2. John, a doctor of medicine, who fought with his father at 

Sheritthmir, and was afterwards implicated in the 
affairs of the '45. While in hiding in Eigg, after 
the Battle of Cnlloden, Captain Ferguson of the 
"Furnace" went in search of him, but Dr Macdonald 
gave himself up. He was then taken on board the 
"Furnace," stripped of his clothes, and " barrisdaled " 
(the instrument of torture so called was invented by 
Barrisdale) in a dark dungeon. He afterwards lived 
at Kinlochmoidart. He manied the widow of /Eneas 
Macdonald of P.elfinlay. 

3. Ranald. In 1730, Clanranald gave him a tack of the 

lands of Daliburgh, in South Uist. He was one of 
the first to join Prince Charles. It was he who, on 
board the Prince's ship at Lochnanuagh, when he 
saw iiis brother Kinlochmoidart and Young Clanranald 
liesitate, turned to the Prince and said---" Though no 
otiior man in the Highlands should draw a sword, I 
am ready to die for you.'' Ranald received a com- 
mission as Captain in the Clanranald Regiment, and 
accompanied tlie Prince's Army to England, taking 
part in all the engagements. He was fortunate in not 
being excepted from the General l*ardon. In 1749, 
Clanranald gave him a tack of the lands of Irine, 
where he spent the rest of his days. He was known 
in the West Highlands as " Captain Ranald Mac- 
donald of Irine." He married Mareella, daughter of 
Angus Macdonald of Dalelea, and had, it is said, 21 
children, one of whom, Ewen, was a priest. The rest 
of the family who grew up are believed to have emi- 
grated to America. 

4. Aeneas. He went to France at an early age, was 

educated thei-e, and afterwards became a banker 
in Paris. He was one of the " Seven Men of Moidart " 
who accompanied Prince Charles to Scotland in 17-16. 


Holding the commission (dated June 1, 1745) of the 
French King appointing him Commissary in England 
and Scotland of the French troops then intended to be 
embarked for Scotland, he followed the Pinnce's fortu- 
nates till the Battle of Culloden. He then procured 
Donald Macleod to act as guide to the Prince, but 
was obliged to surrender himself to General Campbell 
on May 13, 1746. He was committed to Dumbarton 
Castle, whence he was conducted to Edinburgh Castle 
in the latter end of August, and the week after to the 
Duke of Newcastle's Office at Whitehall, when he was 
immediately committed to the custody of a messenger. 
He was committed to Newgate on May 27, 1747, and 
was expressly excepted from the Act of Indemnity. 
He was found guilty of high treason on July 3rd, 
having the day before attempted to escape from New- 
gate. On July 10th he was again arraigned, and, 
finally, on December 10th, 1747, the jury found him 
guilty, but recommended him to mercy. On the 18th 
of December he was sentenced to death. The case 
was, however, considered a hard one, as Aeneas was 
virtually a French subject, and he therefore received 
the King's pardon under the Great Seal on condition of 
his retiring from His Majesty's dominions, and con- 
tinuing abroad during his life. It was only, how- 
ever, on December 11th, 1749, that he regained his 
liberty, a creditor having brought an action against 
him for debt whilst under sentence, which resulted in 
his being detained a prisoner for two years. He sub- 
sequently returned to France, and was killed during 
the French Revolution. He was never married. 
5. Allan. He also fought for Prince Charles, being a 
Captain in the Clanranald Regiment. He it was, 
with Young Clanranald, who was sent by the Prince, 
shortly after his landing, to Sir Alexander Macdonald 
and Macleod to solicit their aid, but in vain. After 
the defeat at Culloden he went to France, where he 
married, and had 

(a) Clementina Jacobina Sobieski (born 1768, died 1842), 

who married Francis Schnell, with issue. 

(b) Allan Og, who married, and had a son who was killed 

with his father during the Revolution, and a 
daughter, who married the Marquis Daringcour. 


6. James, who held a commission in the Prince's Army, He 

was captured after Culloden, but appears to have 
escaped and gone to America. He was expressly 
excepted from the General Pardon in 1747. 

7. Alastair, who emigrated to America. 

8. Archibald, who died immarried. 

9. Margaret, who married James Macdonald of Aird, with 


10. Anne, who married Angus Maclean of Kinlochaline, with- 

out issue. 

11. Mary, who married Alexander Macdonald of Morar. 

12. Flora, who died unmarried. 

Ranald Macdonald of Kinlochmoidart died in 1725, 
and was succeeded in the estate by his eldest son, 

IV. Donald. He was at the Battle of Sheriff- 
muir with his father, Ranald, and having joined 
Prince Charles when he landed at Borrodale on the 
25th July, 1745, he was despatched the same day 
to summon Cameron of Lochiel, the Duke of Perth, 
and John Murray of Broughton. The Prince pro- 
ceeded to Kinlochmoidart House on the 11th 
August, and remained there till the 181 h, when he 
set out for Glenfinan. Kinlochmoidart brouo-ht 100 
men to the Prince's standard, was made aide-de- 
camp to the Prince, and a Colonel in the army. 
He was employed more than anyone else in visiting 
the various chiefs whose adherence the Prince was 
anxious to secure. On his way to England, 
returning, it is said, from making a last appeal to 
Sir Alexander Macdonald and Macleod, and accom- 
panied by only one servant, he was beset at a place 
called Broken-Cross Muir, near the villao-e of 
Lesmahagow by a student of divinity named 
Linning, assisted by a carpenter, named Meikle, 
with some country people armed with old guns and 
pitchforks. His servant proposed to fire on the 
rabble, but Kinlochmoidart generously resolved to 


surrender at once rather than occasion a useless 
effusion of blood, and he was accordingly taken 
prisoner and conducted by his captor to Edinburgh, 
where he was committed to the Castle on November 
12, 1745. In the summer of 1746, he was removed 
to Carlisle Castle to await his trial. On the 24th 
of September he was found guilty of high treason 
and condemned to death, and on the 18th of 
October he was executed at Carlisle, and his head 
stuck over the Scottish gate there, where it remained 
for many years. Such was the end of the gallant 
Kinlochmoidart, a man, in the words of Bishop 
Forbes, "fit for either the Cabinet or the field." 
His estate was forfeited, and Kinlochmoidart House 
was burnt to the ground by Butcher Cumberland's 

Donald married Isabel, daughter of Kobert 
Stewart of Appin by his wife, Catherine, daughter 
of Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochnell, and by her 
had — 

1. Alexander, who succeeded him. 

2. Charles, who was educated at the Scots College in Paris. 

He afterwards entered the French Army, and served 
in the American War. He rose to the rank of General, 
and was made a Coinit. He was guillotined in the 
eeir\j part of the French Revolution, and died 

3. Allan, who died luimarried. 

4. A.ugus, a priest, Avho died in Jamaica. 

5. Donald, who died in Jamaica, without issue. 

Donald was succeeded in the representation of the 
family by his son, 

V. Alexander. He was educated at the Scots 
College in Paris, and, entering the army, he got 
his first commission in the 42nd Regiment. He 
obtained his company by raising men in the High- 


lands, and ultimately became Lieutenant-Colonel of 
the 2nd Battalion of the 71st Regiment. He served 
with that regiment in the American War, and was 
invalided liome in 1780. He married, in 17G5, 
Susannah, daughter of Donald Campbell of Alrds, 
who died in 1817, and liad ])y her — 

1. John, wlio succeeded him. 

2. Donald, who succeeded his brother. 

3. Margarita, who succeeded her bi'other. 

Alexander died in Edinburgh, October 3, 1781, from 
injuries received during the American War, and was 
succeeded by his son, 

VI. John, who was born in October, 17()9, and 
educated at the Jesuits' College at St Omer. 
He entered the army, and was senior major of the 
2l8t Highlanders (Royal Scots Fusiliers), when he 
was severely wounded during the stormino; of the 
Fort of La Fleur d' Epee in Guadaloupe, April 12, 
1794. He was carried on board H.M.S. Winchelsea, 
and died there shortly afterwards. John, who was 
never married, was succeeded in the estate, which 
had been restored to him in 1786, by his brother, 

VIL Donald, who was born in 1771, and educated 
at the Jesuits' College at St Omer. He entered the 
army, and eventually became Lieut. -Colonel of the 
2nd Batt. of the Royals. He served with distinction 
in Egypt and the West Lidies, and was appointed 
Governor of Tobago. He died in 1804, while holding 
that post, from the effects of wounds received in the 
taking of the Island of St Lucie. He died unmarried, 
and was succeeded by his sister, 

VIII. Margarita, who was born at Airds in 
1773. She married, at Edinburgh, October 2, 1799, 
Lieut.-Colonel David Robertson, youngest son of the 
celebrated historian and Very Reverend William 


Robertson, Principal of the University of Edin- 
burgh, and Historiographer Royal for Scotland, 
who became the representative of the family of 
Robertson of Muirton and Gladney, a cadet of 
Strowan. Colonel Robertson assmned the name 
of Macdonald in addition to his own when his 
wife succeeded to Kinlochmoidart. Margarita 
Robertson- Macdonald had issue — 

1. William Frederick, who succeeded her. 

2. Alexander, an officer in the 12th Regiment Madras 

Native Infantry, born December 13th, 1804, died 
unmarried, April 5th, 1824. 

3. James, born July 22nd, 1806, a Captain in the 9th 

Madras Native Infantry, and Assistaut-Commissary- 
General. He was present at the capture of Rangoon, 
in May, 1824, and served in the Ava Campaign from 
May, 1824, to Jime, 1826. He was also at all the 
operations of the Headquarters Column, Coorg Field 
Force, in 1834, as Commissariat Officer of the Column. 
He married September 28th, 1820, Anne Emilia, 4th 
daughter of Captain Charles Stewart of Blackhall, and 
died, without issue, at the Cape, February 15th, 1851. 

4. David, born May 6th, 1810, died January 6th, 1811. 

5. John, born October 23rd, 1811, an officer in the 30th, 

and subsequently in the 9th Regiment of Madras 
Native Infantry. He was killed during an attack on 
a stockade at Saumwarfit, or Busk, Coorg, April 3rd, 
1834. He was never married. 

6. David, who afterwards succeeded his nephew as repre- 

sentative of the family. 

7. Susannah Margarita, born July 10th, 1800, died unmar- 

ried, December 9th, 1889. 

8. Mary, born June 18th, 1801, died unmarried, August 

8th, 1884. 

9. Isabella Marie Stewart, born August 23rd, 1803, married 

Robert Steele, and emigrated to South Australia. She 
had four sons and one daughter, and died at Mel- 
bourne, June 18th, 1896. 
10. Margarita, born June 24th, 1808, married Henry Wight 
of Largneau, and died, without issue, December 7th, 


11. Eleanor, born June 24th, 1813, died unmarried, January 

29th, 1892. 

12. Elizabeth Brydone, born February 1st, 1818, married C. 

Bering, and died at Dresden, without issue, in 1870. 

13. Janet, born September 15th, 1819, married, January 2nd, 

1840, the Rev. John Gibson Mac Vicar, D.D., LL.D., 
minister of Moffat, with issue— 4 sons and 5 daughters. 

Margarita liobertson-Macdonald of Kiiilochmoidart 
died June 1, 1844, and her husband, Colonel 
Eobertson-Macdonald, died September 7, 1845. 
She was succeeded by her eldest son, 

IX. William Frederick Robertson -Mac- 
DONALD. Born in May, 1802, he was married 
April 19, 1828, to Sarah Adams, daughter of 
James Beck of Priors Hardwick, and had by her 

1. William, born June 10th, 1829, and died the same day. 

2. William James, born June 10th, 1829, a Captain in the 

Army. He joined the Black Watch as Ensign, June 
16th, 1848, exchanged as Lieutenant to the 30th 
Regiment, and retired with the rank of Captain, 
December 4th, 1857. He married Matilda Helen, 
daughter of Henry Crawley, and died, without issue, 
June 26th, 1869. 

3. William Francis, born October 14th, 1832, died 1837. 

4. William David Alexander, who succeeded his father. 

5. William Coker, born March 6th, 1837, died 1841. 

6. William Anstruther, born August 29th, 1839, died 

unmarried, June 17th, 1859. 

William liobertson-Macdonald, shortly before his 
death, contracted to sell the Estate of Kinloch- 
moidart. He died February 22, 1883, and was 
succeeded as representative of the family by his 
only surviving son, 

X. William David Alexander Robertsox- 
Macdonald, who was born August 4, 1834, and 
married August 3, 1870, Ida Julia, daughter of 
Thomas Littledale, without issue. He died A}n'il 



10, 1883, when he was succeeded as representative 
of the family by his uncle, 

XI. David Robertson-Macdonald, born August 
6, 1817, a retired Admiral in His Majesty's Fleet. 
He joined the Royal Navy as a volunteer of the 1st 
class, and was subsequently employed on the coast 
of Portugal and the north coast of Spain during the 
civil wars in those countries, and afterwards in the 
West Indies and Mediterranean. He was promoted 
to the rank of Lieutenant in August, 1841, and in 
that rank served in H.M.S. Hazard during the 
operations up the River Yang-tse-Kiang in the 
Chinese War of 1842. He was then sent to the 
station which included New Zealand and the Islands 
in the South Pacific. 

While in New Zealand, in March, 1845, a serious 
rising of the natives took place, and he, being in 
acting command consequent on the death of Com- 
mander Charles Bell, in August, 1844, was sent by 
the Governor, Captain Fitzroy, R.N., to protect the 
inhabitants of Korararika, in the Bay of Islands. 
Having landed, on March 11, 1845, with a party of 
seamen and marines, he was severely wounded while 
resisting the attack of an overwhelming body of 
well-armed natives. For his services on this occasion 
he was promoted Commander, and a sword, with an 
address, was presented to him by the inhabitants 
of Auckland and Korararika, and similar addresses 
were presented to him, his officers, and men from 
the inhabitants of Wellington, Port Nicholson, and 

In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister, Sir Robert 
Peel, on July 23, 1845, thus alluded to his services : — 
" Thei'e is another individual who has been alluded to, and 
to whom I wish to do justice : I mean that gallant officer, 
Mr Robertson, to whom tlie gallant Commodore (Sir Charles 



Napier) has referred. The scene on which that gallant 
officer performed his services is a very distant one, and the 
services themselves may not luxve cast around them that 
eminence and distinction which sometimes attend services 
not more important ; but I think it is for the public interest 
that Ave should show in the House of Commons that the dis- 
tance of the scene and the comparative unimportance of tlie 
conflict do not make us oblivious of rare merit. Sir. 1 must 
say that his conduct stands forward in honourable contrast 
with the conduct of others concerned on that occasion, and 
I rejoice to find a British officer not thinking whether his 
ship was to be surprised by a parcel of savages, but, leaving 
that ship, and setting on shore that gallant example which 
so many officers of the Navy have before set, and rallying 
round him till he was wounded the flagging spirits of the 
civilians. And here I wish to make it known to the House 
of Commons that that conduct shall not pass unrewarded. 
In justice to him, and as an encouragement to others, that 
conduct shall receive its reward by the earliest opportunity 
being taken to give him that promotion to which he is so 
eminently entitled." 

In 1849 he was appointed to the command of 
H.M.S. Cygnet, on the West Coast pf Africa, and 
for a year he was actively engaged in putting down 
the slave trade. 

In 1851 he was appointed InsjDCcting Commander 
in H.M. Coast Guard, and served in that capacity 
till he was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1858. 
From 1862 to 1879 he was an Assistant Inspector of 
Lifeboats to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. 
For his services in saving life he was awarded the 
silver medal of that institution in 1870. He also 
holds the China and New Zealand medals. 

He married, February 10, 1848, Caroline, 
youngest daughter of James Bf?ck of Prior's Hard- 
wick, and had by her — 

1. David Macdonald, born May 30, 1857, educated at St 
John's College, Oxford (M.A., 1882), and called to the 
Bar by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, 


Nov. 17, 1881. He married August 6, 1889, Ellen 
Sophia, daughter of the Veneratle John William 
Sheringham, Archdeacon and Canon of Gloucester, 
and has 

(a) Allan David James, born July 25, 1895. 

(b) Margaret Gertrude, born July 5, 1890, 

(c) Caroline Janet, born June 1, 1893. 

(d) Flora, born July 21, 1894. 

2. Flora Macdouald. 

3. Emma Macdonald, a Sister of Mercy. 

4. Caroline Macdonald, died May 14, 1856. 

5. Frances Ellen Macdonald. 

6. Margaretta Macdonald, a Sister of Mercy. 
7 Sarah Coker Macdonald. 


This family is descended from Donald, the 
second son of Reginald, the founder of the Clan- 
ranald family. The head of the family was of old 
styled Mac 'ic Alastair. 

Donald married, first, Laleve, daughter of Mac- 
Iver, the head of a sept of that name, and had by 
her — 

1. John, his successor. 

He married, secondly, a daughter of Fraser of 
Lovat, and had by her — 

2. Alexander, known as "Alastair na Coille." 

3. Angus Og. 

Donald died in Lochaber in 1420, was buried at 
E-ollaig Orain, and succeeded by his son, 

II. John. He appears to have left no issue, and 
was succeeded by his brother, 

III. Alexander. He married Mary, the only 
daughter of Hector Maclean of Duart, and had by 
her — 

1. John. 

2. Angus Mor, from whom the Macdonalds of Shian, 



3. John Odhar, from whom a sept of Macdoualds called Clanu 
Iain Uidhir. 

Alexander died on the Island of Abbas in 1460, and 
was buried at Rollaig Grain. He was succeeded by 
his son, 

IV. John. He married a daughter of Donald 
Cameron of Lochiel, and had by her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Donald. 

3. i\ngus. 

He died at Invergarry in 1501, and was buried at 
Kilionain. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

V. Alexander. He married Margaret, daughter 
of Sir Alexander Macdonald of Lochalsh, and had by 
her — 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. Allan, of Lundie. 

3. Godfrey, who was killed by the Mackenzies, at Loch- 

caiTon, in 1582. He left a sou, Archibald. 
-1. Kanald, also killed with his brother. 
5. Roderick. 

Alexander of Glengarry, who died in 1560, was 
succeeded by his eldest son, 

VI. Angus. He married, first, Janet, daughter 
of Hector Maclean of Duart, and had by her — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. John, who had a son, Donald Gorm. 

He married, secondly, Margaret, daughter of Mac- 
leod of Dunvegan, and had by her — 

3. Angus. 

4. Margaret. 

He married, thirdly, Mary, daughter of Kenneth 
Mackenzie of Kintail, and had by her — 

5. Elizabeth, who married John Roy Mackenzie of Gairloch. 
Angus died in 1574, and was succeeded by his eldest 


YII. Donald, who was born in 1543. He 
married, first, Helen, daughter of John Grant IV. 
of Freuchy, and had by her — 

1. Angus, wlio, in 1584, received a Precept of legitimation 

from the Crown. Doubt has been thrown on the 
legaUty of the union between Donald and Helen 
Grant. The Precept of legitimation in favour of 
Angus, presumably the son of Helen Grant, raised 
the question in recent yeai's of the legality of the 
union between the parties. The contract entered 
into, in 1571, b}" Angus Macdonald of Glengarry 
and John Grant of Freuchy was, to all intents and 
purposes, a marriage contract, and there is no 
evidence in the Grant Charter Chest, where one 
would expect to find it, if such a thing happened, 
to warrant the assumption that Donald MacAngus 
repudiated Helen Grant. On the contrary, the 
relations between the respective families continued 
most friendly. The inference to be drawn from the 
Precept of legitimation is conclusive as regards the 
legitimacy of Angus from the feudal standpoint. He 
could not succeed to lands held of the Crown as the 
issue of a handfast marriage, and there appears to 
have been no other form of marriage between the 
parties, but this was held to be sufficient, according to 
the Gaelic Code, without any additional ceremony at 
the altar. Tlie probability is that Helen Grant died 
soon after the birth of her child. 

Angus married Margaret, daughter of Lachlan 
XVI. of Mackintosh, without issue. In the marriage 
contract, which is dated April 24th, 1590, Angus is 
designated as eldest son and heir of his father, and 
the marriage was to take place on his attaining his 
15th year. He was killed by the Mackenzies, on the 
West Coast of Ross-shire, in 1603. 

Donald MacAngus married, secondly, Margaret, 

daughter of Allan Macdonald IX. of Clanranald, 
and had by her — 

2. Alastair Dearg. He succeeded his brother, Angus, as 

heir to his father. He married Jean, daughter of 
Allan Cameron of Lochiel, and had by her — 


(a) Angus, who succeeded to Glengarry. 

(b) Donald, who, in 1666, received from his brother a 

tack of the lands of Keppoch. 

3. Donald Gorm of Scotu^. 

4. John Mor, from whom the Macdonalds of Ardnabie. 

5. John Og, from whom the Macdonalds of Leek. 

6. Alastair Mor, from whom Aberchalder and Culachie. 

7. Isabella, who married Sir Koderick Mor Macleod of Dun- 

vegan, with issue, five sons, known as Ciugnear Mhac 
Vasal Iseabail. She had been one of the maids of 
honour to Anne of Denmark, Queen of James VI., 
and wa!^ known in Skje as IsmhaU Mhor Nighean 
Mhic He Alastair. 

8. Margaret, who married Torquil Macleod of Lewis, with 


9. Katherine, who married Duncan Grant of Aonach, son of 

John Grant of Glenmoriston. 
10. Janet, who married Malcolm, son of Lachlan XVI. of 
Mackintosh, with issue. 

Donald married, thirdly, Katherine, daughter of 
Lachlan XVI. of Mackintosh. Donald Mac Angus 
died February 2nd, 1645. His son, Alastair Dearg, 
having predeceased him, he was succeeded by his 

VIII. Angus, who was created a peer, in 1660, 
by Charles II., by the title of Lord Macdonell and 
Aros. He married, in 1646, Margaret, daughter of 
Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, with a tocher of 
10,000 merks. He had no issue, and the title 
became extinct. He died at Edinburgh, December 
6th, 1680, and was buried at Holyrood. He was 
succeeded by his cousin, the son of his uncle, Donald 
Gorm of Scotus, 

IX. Ranald. He married Flora, daughter of 
John Macleod of Drynoch, and had by her — 

1. Angus, who succeeded to Scotus. 

2. Alastair Dubh, who succeeded to (ilengarrv. 

3. John, of Sandaig, from whom Lochgarry. 

4. Donald, killed at Killiecrankie. 


5. Archibald of Baiisdale. 

6. Mary, who married John Macdonald of Ardnabie. 

Ranald died in 1705, and was succeeded by his 
second son, 

X. Alastair Dubh, who was created a Lord 
and Peer of Parliament by James III. and VIIL, 
Dec. 9, 1716, as Lord Macdonell. He married, first, 
Anne, daughter of Hugh Lord Lovat, and had by 
her — 

1. Anne, who, in 1704, married Roderick Mackenzie, yr. of 


He married, secondly, Mary, daughter of Kenneth, 
Earl of Seaforth, and had by her, who died in 
January, 1726, and was buried at Holyrood — 

2. John, his successor. 

3. Dr Ranald, of Kylles, on Lochnevis, who was " out " in 

the '45, and was then described as " an eminent 

4. Alexander. 

5. William, who was " out " in the '45, and was killed. 

6. Isabella, who, in 1713, married Roderick Chisholm of 


Alastair Dubh died at Invergarry, Oct. 28, 1721, 
and was succeeded by his son, 

XL John. He married, first, Margaret, daughter 
of Colin Mackenzie of Hilton, and had by her — 

1. Alastair Ruadh, his successor. 

2. Angus, who was " out " in the '45 in command of the 

Glengany Regiment, described by Lord George 
Murray as " a modest, brave, and advisable lad." He 
was accidentally shot two days after the Battle of 
Falkirk, and died January 22, 1746. He married 
Mary, daughter of Colonel Duncan Robertson, after- 
wards of Struan, and had by her — 

(a) Duncan, who succeeded to Glengarry. 

(b) Angusia, who married Alexander Mackay of Ach- 


John married, secondly, in 1728, Helen, daughter of 
John Gordon of Glenbucket, and had by her — 

3. James of Glennieddle, a Cxvptain in the Army. He had 

a «on, Archil)ald, who succeeded him at Glcnmeddle, 
and a daughter, Amelia, who married Major Simon 
Macdonald of Morar, with issue. 

4. Charles, a Captain in the 78th Highlanders, killed at 

Quebec in 1759, without issue. 

5. Anne, who married Ranald Macdonald of Scotus. 

6. Isabella, appointed his sole executrix by her brother, 

Alastair Ruadh. 

John died at Edinburgh, Sept. 1, 1754, and was 
buried at Holy rood. He was succeeded by his son, 

XII. Alastair Ruadh. He died unmarried, 
Dec. 23, 1761, and was succeeded by his nephew, 
the son of his brother, Angus, 

XIII. Duncan. He married, Dec. 5, 1772, 
Marjory, daughter of Sir Ludovick Grant of Dalvey, 
and had by her — 

1. Alexander-, his successor. 

2. Lewis, a Captain in the Army, who died unmarried. 

3. James. He was educated at Cambridge, and entered 

the Army as Ensign in an independent company in 
1793. He joined the 78th Regiment in 1794 as 
Lieutenant, and exchanged into the 101st as Captain- 
lieutenant the same year. In the following year he 
became Captain in the 17th Light Dragoons, in which 
he remained for nine years. In 1804, he was 
appointed Major in the 2nd Battalion of the 78th, 
and served in it under Sir John Moore in Naples and 
Sicily, including the descent on Calabria in 1806, 
and the Battle of Maida (gold medal), and in the 
expedition to Egypt in 1807, where he distinguished 
himself by surprising a Turkish battery near 
Alexandria. He became Lieut. -Colonel in 1809. 
In 1811, he exchanged as Lieut. -Colonel into the 
Coldstream Guards. He served with that regiment 
in the Peninsula from 1812 to 1814, including the 
Battles of Salamanca, Vittoria, Nivelle, and Nive 


(medal), and commanded the 2nd Battalion in 
Holland in the summer of 1814. 

The night before the Battle of Waterloo he was 
sent with some companies of his regiment and the 
Scots Guards to occupy the Chateau of Hougoumont, 
the garden and orchard of which were defended by 
other companies under Lord Saltoun. Hougoumont, 
which was regarded as a point of vital importance, 
was stubbornly defended against overwhelming^ 
attacks of the French in the early part of the battle. 
Dense masses of assailants rushed against the gates, 
and shouted as they flew open. Not a foot would 
the defenders yield, and at last the bayonets of the 
Guards carried all before them. The French were 
finally driven out, and Macdonald, assisted by a few 
of his men, by sheer dint of personal strength and 
extraordinary bravery, closed the gates upon them. 
He was warmly complimented by the Duke of Wel- 
-lington, and has ever since been known as the "Hero 
of Hougoumont" and "The Bravest Man in Britain." 

Macdonald was Colonel of the Coldstream Guards 
froui 1825 to 1830, when he was promoted to the 
rank of Major-Geaeral. From 1831 to 1838 he com- 
manded the Armagh District. He commanded the 
Brigade of Guards sent out to Canada during the 
troubles of 1838, and succeeded to the command of 
the troops there, which he held till promoted Lieut.- 
General in 1841. He became a full General in 1854. 
He was made K.C.H. in 1837, K.C.B. in 1838, and 
G.CB. in 1855. He had the decorations of Maria 
Thei'esa of Austria and St Vladimir in Russia, and 
was Colonel in succession of the 79th and 71st Regi- 
ments. Sir James died, unmarried, in London, May 
15th, 1857. 

4. Angus, who died young. 

5. Somerled, a Midshipman in the Navy, who died in the 

West Indies, unmarried. 

6. Elizabeth, who married, in 1795, William Chisholm of 

Chisholm, with issue, Alexander and Duncan, both of 
whom became Chiefs of Chi'iholm. She married, 
secondly. Sir Alexander Ramsay of Balmain. 

7. Sibella, who died young. 



8. Margaret Isabel, who married Major James Downing, 
with issue, Mrs Macdonald Stuart of Dahiess, 

Duncan Macdonald of Glengarry died at Elgin, July 
11th, 1788, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

XIV. Alexander, who was educated at Oxford, 
and married, in 1802, Rebecca, daughter of Sir Wil- 
liam Forbes of Pitsligo, who died in 1840. By her 
he had — 

1 . Aeneas^ who died young. 

2. Aeneas, who succeeded him. 

3. Alastair, who died young. 

4. Duncan Alastair, who died young. 

5. Elizabeth, who married Roderick C. Macdonald of Castle- 

tirrim, P.E. Island, with issue. 

6. Marsally, who, in 1833, married Andrew, son of Andrew 

Bonar of Kimmerghame, Berwick, with issue. 

7. Jemima, who, in 1833, married Charles, second son of Sir 

William Forbes of Pitsligo, with issue. 

8. Louisa Christian, who lived at Rothesay, a lady of many 

accomplishments, who laboured for many years in the 
cause of education and religion. She died at Rothesay 
in 1900. 

9. Caroline Hester, who died, unmarried, at Rothesay. 

Glengarry died January 14th, 1828, and was 
succeeded by his only surviving son, 

XV. Aeneas. He married, in 1833, Josephine, 
eldest daughter of William Bennet, and had by 
her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Aeneas Robert, who was drowned in the Medway in 1855, 

in his 20th year, unmarried. 

3. Charles, who succeeded his brother. 

4. Marsali, who, in 1869, married Hector F. Maclean, W.S., 

without issue. 

5. Eliza, who died, unmarried, in 1857. 

6. Helen Rebecca, who, in 1866, married Captain John 
(j Cunuinghame of Balgownie, and had — 

John Alastiir Erskine, now of Balgownie, who suc- 
ceeded to the Glengarry family heirloonjs. 


Glengarry died in 1851, and was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 

XVI. Alexander, who was born October 5th, 
1834, and died, unmarried, at Dunedin, New 
Zealand, June 2nd, 1862, when he was succeeded 
by his brother, 

XVI. Charles, who was born in 1838, and 
married, in 1865, Agnes Campbell, daughter of 
Alexander Cassels, without issue. He died on his 
way home from New Zealand, on 28th June, 1868, 
when the male line of Alastair Dubh of Glengarry 
became extinct, and he was succeeded in the repre- 
sentation of the family by Aeneas lianald Macdonald 
of Scotus as nearest heir male. 


The Macdonalds of Shian are the oldest cadet 
family of Glengarry. Angus Mor, the first of the 
family, was a son of Alexander III. of Glengarry, 
and his name appears on record in 1496, but he was 
then dead. The lands occupied by him were the 
10 merk lands of Slisgarry, including the lands of 
Shian and Glenlee. Angus Mor had three sons — 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. Alexander. 

3. John. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

II. Angus. He is on record, in 1548, as Angus 
MacAngus Mor of Shian when he died. He was 
succeeded by his son, known as 

III. Angus Dubh Mor. He had three sons — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. .John. 

3. Angus. 

He was succeeded by his son. 


IV. Donald, known as Donald MacAngus Mor. 
He had three sons — 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. John. 

3. Ranald, who married Mary, daughter of Ranald Mac- 

donald of Lundie. 

Donald, who died in 1597, was succeeded by his son, 

V. Angus. He had two sons — 

L Angus, his successor. 

2. John, who had two sons, Angus and Donald, who had 
He was succeeded by his son, 

VI. Angus. He died in 1684, and was succeeded 
by his nephew, the son of his brother, John, 

VII. Angus. He has a sasine of the lands of 
Shian in 1684. He left one daughter, Mary, who 
married her cousin,. John, who succeeded his uncle, 

VIII. John. He is in possession of Shian in 
1704, and signs the Address of the Highland Chiefs 
to George I. in 1714. In 1719 he and his wife, 
Mary, dispose of their lands to Alexander Macdonald 
of Glengarry, and receives a wadset of the same 
lands in return. He commanded, with Donald 
Gorm, 150 Glengarry men at Glenshiel, 10th June, 
1719. John died in 1731, and was succeeded by 
his son, 

IX. Kanald. He and his mother received, in 
1731, a wadset of Shian from Glengarry. Ranald 
was out in the '45, and a Captain in the Glengarry 
Regiment. He sold whatever right he had to the 
lands of Shian to James Macpherson of Killyhuntly ; 
but, in 1756, a decree of reduction was obtained by 
his son, Donald. In 1771 Duncan Macdonald of 
Glengarry sold Shian to General Simon Fraser. 
Ranald married Anne Macdonald, and had by her — 

1. Donald. 

2. Angus, who died without issue. 


He was succeeded by his son, 

X. Donald, who was a Captain in the 42nd 
Regiment. He was succeeded by his son, 

XI. James, a Captain, E.I.C.S. He married a 
daughter of Alexander Macdonald of Mihifield, 
Inverness, and was the last of his race. 


The family of Lundie is descended from Alex- 
ander V. of Glengarry. Allan, the first of the 
family, received, in 1571, a charter of the lands of 
Lundie, in the district of Ardochy, from his brother, 
Angus of Glengarry. 

Allan married Mary, daughter of Donald Cameron 
of Lochiel, and had by her — 

1. Rauald, his successor. 

2. Jolin. 

3. Angus. 

4. Donald Beag of Drynachan, who had a son, Allan II. of 

Drynachan, who was succeeded by Alexander III. of 
Drynachan, who was succeeded by Angus IV. of Dry- 
nachan, who married Heudriet Chisholm, and had a 
son, John V. of Dr^'nachan, in 1735. 

Allan died in 1575, and was succeeded by hi's son, 

II. Ranald. In 1575 Ranald received a Precept 
of Clare Constat from Glengarry of the lands of 
Lundie and others. In the time of this Ranald the 
family played an important part in the history of 
Glengarry in their struggles with the Mackenzies, 
already referred to in another part of this work. He 
added considoably to the family patrimony. Ranald 
married Isabel Macdonald, and had by her— 

1. Allan, his successor. 

2. Donald. 



3. Mary, who married, first, Ranald, son of Donald Mac- 
Angus Morof Shian, and afterwards, in 1012, Donald 
Macdonald, alias MacAlastair Mhoir, in Ahcrclialder. 

Ranald died in I G24, and was succeeded by his son, 
III. Allan, the hero of the Raid of Kiichrlst, in' 
1603. and afterwards of many other exploits. After 
the Raid of Kilchrist he was declared rebel, and his 
goods were confiscated ; but, through the friendship 
of the Laird of Freuchie, he overcame these difficul- 
ties, and attained to great prosperity. In IG2 4 he 
was "seised" in his father's lands, aiid, in 1(531, he 
added considerably to the family inheritance by the 
acquisition of Achteraw in Abertartf, Ardnabie in 
Glengarry, and Frichorie in Olenciuoich. In the 
Valuation Roll of 1G44 he is returned as hokling 
lands in Kilmorack, Glenelg, Knoydart, and Kil- 
marie, the total rental of which amounted to £1535. 
Allan married Catherine, daughter of Angus Mac- 
donald of Shian, and had by her — 

1. Ranald, his successor. 

2. Donald. 

3. Alexander. 

4. Mary, who married Ranald, son of Donald Macdonald of 


He married, secondly, Marjory, daughter of William 
Mackintosh of Borlum. Allan died shortly after 
1644, and was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Ranald. He married Mary Cameron, and 
had by her — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Alexander. 

3. Angus. 

Ranald died in 1661, and was succeeded by his son, 
\ . Donald. He married twice. By his first 
wife he liad — 

1. Donald, his successor. 


By his second wife, Margaret Macdonald, he had — 

2. Allan. 

3. Ranald. 

4. Angus of Kenlochurn, who married Katherine, daughter 

of Lieut. Macdonald, in Aehlicknaich. 

5. Mary. 

6. Margaret. 

7. Janet. 

8. Isabel. 

Donald signed the Address of the Highland Chiefs 
to George I. in 1714, and died in 1727. He was 
succeeded by his son — 

VI. Donald. He was " out " in the '45. and was 
a Captain in the Glengarry Regiment. He had 
two sons — 

1. Donald. 

2. Allan. 

Donald died in 1761, and was succeeded by his son, 
YII. Donald. He was also " out " in the '45. 
The family became greatly reduced in circumstances 
in his time, and having been deprived by Glengarry 
of what remained to him of his patrimony, he is 
described as "late of Lundie " in 1784. He was 
latterly in great poverty, and had to be assisted by 
his friends to emigrate to Canada, where he died, 
at Chambly, in 1805. His brother, Allan, was 
living there in 1814, and was then 90 years of age. 


The lands of Scotus consisted originally of 12|- 
penny lands, being part of the 60 penny lands of 
Knoydart. Donald M' Angus of Glengarry bestowed 
these lands of Scotus by feu charter upon his son, 
Donald Gorm. Donald, who was " out " in the 
Montrose Campaign with his nephew, Angus of 


Glengarry, married Mary, daughter of Sir Donald 
Macdonald of Sleat, and bad by her — 

II. Ranald. He succeeded, in 1G80, bi.s cousin, 
Angus, Lord Macdonald, in tbe Estate and Chief- 
ship of Glengarry. 

He married Flora, daughter of John Macleod of 
Drynoch, and had by her — 

1. Angus, who succeeded him at Scotus. 

2. Alexander, who succeeded him as Cliief of Glengarry. 

3. John of Sandaig, from whom Lochgarry. 

4. John, who w^as killed at Killiecrankie. 

5. Archibald of Barisdale. 

Ranald, on his succeeding to Glengarry, was suc- 
ceeded in his Estate of Scotus by his eldest son, 

III, Angus. He is represented as being a 
retired, quiet man, unfit to lead the Clan, and there 
is a tradition in the family that Lord Macdonald 
made choice of Alastair Dubh to succeed him with 
the consent of all parties. Alexander undoubtedly 
led the Clan in the lifetime of his father, thouofh 
Angus, and not Alexander, was the eldest son. 

Angus married Katherine, daughter of Sir 
Norman Macleod of Bernera, and had by her — 

1. Donald. 

2. John of Crowlin. Being intended for the C*hurch, which 

he afterwards abandoned, he was educated at the Scots 
College, Rome. He was " out " with the Prince, and 
held the rank of Captain. He married in 1723 
Janet, daughter of Donald Macleod of Arnisdalc, nnd 
had by her a numerous family of sons and daughters, 
among whom, John, known as " Spanish John." At 
the early age of 12 he was sent, in 1740, to the Scots 
College, Rome, to be educated for the priesthood. 
After being three years at this college, he gave up the 
idea of becoming a priest, and resolved to become a 
soldier inste;id. A Spanish army was at that time in 
Italy, and he decided to join the Irish Brigade, under 



General Macdonald (of the Macdonalds of Antrim), 
who was second in command of the army. He after- 
wards saw a good deal of service, and suffered many 
hardships, being dangerously wounded in one of the 
battles. Hearing of the success of Prince Chai'les in 
Scotland, he and others of the Irish Brigade left Dun- 
kirk in April, 1746, to join liis standard. They landed 
at Lochbroora, and were informed of the defeat of the 
Prince at Culloden. Spanish John had been entrusted 
by the Duke of York with letters and a sum of ,£.3000 
for Prince Charles. In the attempt to carry out the 
Duke's instructions he had many adventures, and was 
finally made prisoner by Captain Ferguson, who took 
him for Archibald of Barisdale, who was wanted. He 
was detained at Fort-William for nine months, and 
was released for want of evidence against him. He 
aftei'wards settled down at Kno^'dart, and had a tack 
of Inverguseran from Glengarry. He emigrated to 
Canada in 1775. He married in 1747, and had 

(a) Miles, who succeeded his father. 

(b) John, who lived in the North-West, and had, among 

others, Godfrey, whose daughter, Hortense, 
married Andrew Cullen of Templetown. 

(c) William Johnson, who mai'ried Lucy Waters, of Boston, 

and had (1) William John, French Consul in 
Toronto. He died without issue in 1893. (2) 
Lucy Katherine, who in 1827 married Henry 
Jones. (3) Mary, who married, first, William 
Macqueen, and after him Charles Palgrave, of 

(d) Penelope, who married John Beikie, without issue. 

(e) Mary, who died luimarried. 

Spanish John died at Cornwall, Upper Canada. April 
15, 1810, and was succeeded b}- his eldest son. Miles 
III. of Crowlin. He was at one time Governor of the 
Hudson Bay Company. He married Isabella, daughter 
of John Macdonald of Morar, and after her Catherine, 
daughter of Captain Allan Macdonald of Culachie, 
and had 

(a) Alexander, Avho was Colonel of the 104th Regiment ; 

drowned in 1814. 

(b) Donald Aeneas, who succeeded his father, 


(c) Amelia, who married William Jones, Collector of 

Customs at Brookville, and after him Captain 
James Macdonald of Matilda. 

(d) Katherine. 

Miles Macdonald, wlio married as his third wife .\nne 
Macdonald, without issue, was succeeded by his son, 
Donald Aeneas, as IV. of ('rowlin, of CrowHu House, 
Brookville, Canada. He was for some time M.P. and 
Sheriff of the Eastern Division. He married in 1819 
Mary, daughter of Captain Archibald Macdonald, 
brother of Leek. He died in LSTO, and had by her 

(a) John Alexander V. of Crowlin. 

(b) Alexander Coll, wlio died unmarried in 1884. 

(c) Amelia. 

(d) Mary Louisa, who married Captain William R. 


(e) Julia, who married, first, Dr Allan Fraser, and after 

him James Duncan Macdonald of Brookville, 

(f) Ada, who married Alexander Macdonald. 

(g) Ann Amelia, who died unmarried. 
(h) Katherine Frobisher. 

3. Allan of Ardnaslishnish. He was " out " in the '45, and 

was a Captain in the Prince's Army. He had a 
daughter. Flora, who married, as his second wife, 
Ranald Macdonald of (Jerinish, and a son, Captain 
John, who fonght in the American War, and left a 
son, Angus, wiiose daughter, Annie Cecilia, married, 
in 1861, James Sutherland Chisholm of Cliisholm, 
and had a son, Roderick, who sncceeded his father, 
and two daughters, 

4. Ranald. 

Antriis of Scot us married secondly, and liad — 

5. Alexander, a priest, known as .Muighstir Alastair Mor. 

Angus III. of Scotus, who died in 1746, was suc- 
ceeded in his estate before bis death by his eldest 

IV. Donald, knowMi as Domhnull nan Gleann. 
Donald, who was a remarkably handsome and brave 
man, engaged in the rising of the 45 from the out- 


set, and followed the standard of Prince Charles 
throughout the campaign. He fell, it is said, 
mortally wounded at Culloden. The men who were 
carrying him from the field reported that when 
closely pressed by the enemy he begged them as he 
was dying to leave him and save themselves. They 
did so, and on looking back saw their pursuers des- 
patching him. Notwithstanding this testimony, 
evidence has been found in the Windsor Collection 
of Jacobite papers which seems to prove that 
marauders from a ship landed at night, and bore 
away a number of the wounded to sell for the 
plantations, and among them Donald of Scotus, who, 
after various adventures, was captured by Turkish 
pirates, and held in bondage ever afterwards. 

Donald married, first, Helen Meldrum of Mel- 
drum, and had by her — 

1, Margaret, who married Alexander Macdonald of Glen- 


He married, secondly, Elizabeth Cumming, and had 
by her — 

2. Ranald, his successor. 

3, Angus, who died young. 

4. Flora, who married Ranald Macdonald of Gerinish. 

He married, thirdly, Mary Cameron of Glennevis, 
without issue. Donald was succeeded by his son, 

V. Ranald. Contrary to the " general ideas of 
the Clan," Ranald joined Lord Loudon's Regiment 
as a volunteer, and was on the Hanoverian side 
throughout the whole campaign of the '45, Li 
1747, he obtained a commission in Lord Drum- 
lanrig's Regiment in the service of the States 
General, from which he retired on half-pay when 
the regiment was reduced. When the French War 
broke out in 1757, he again served the States 


General in Halkett's Kegiment, and remained with 
it till peace was established, when he retired with 
the rank of Captain. In 1796, though an old man, 
he petitioned to be allowed again to serve in the 
army, and his petition being granted, he joined the 
Glengarry Regiment, and served with it in Ireland 
and elsewhere. 

Ranald married, first, Helen Grant of Glen- 
moriston, and had by her — 

1. Aeneas, his successor. 

He married, secondly, Amie, daughter of John 
Macdonald of Glengarry, and had by her — 

2. Charles, who was educated in France, and became a 

Major in the 72nd Regiment. He had a daughter, 
who died in 1806. 

3. Donald, who was also educated in France, and entered 

the H.E.I.C.S. Madras Presidency as Ensign in 1791. 
He retired in 1815 with the rank of Lieut. -Colonel. 
He married in 1818, Anne, eldest daughter of Archi- 
bald Macdonald of Rhu and Lochshiel, and had by 
her — 

(a) Eneas Ronald, born Oct. 26, 1821, and educated at 

Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, and Edinburgh 
University. He became an advocate at the 
Scottish Bar, and practised for some years. He 
purchased the Estate of South Morar in 1855. 

He married Catherine, only surviving child 
of James Sidgrcaves of Inglewbite Hall, Lan- 
cashire, and had (1) Ronald, who died unmarried ; 
(2) James Sidgreaves ; (3) Alastair Young 
Crinan ; (4) Catherine, who married Major 
H. F. Lyons Montgomery. 

Eneas, who was a J. P. and D.L. of Jnverness- 
shire, died at Camusdarroch, January 13, 1898. 

(b) Donald, who entered the H.E.I.C.S., and became a 

Captain in the 2nd Grenadier Regiment. He 
married Francis Eyre of Eyrecourt, Ireland, and 
had an only child, a (laughter, who died young, 
Donald died in India holding a civil appoint- 
ment as Conservator of Foi-ests. 


(c) Anna Maria, who married Captain Gibson Stott of the 

92nd Regiment, and had (1) Joseph Gibson 
Stott, banker in New Zealand ; (2) Anna ; (3) 
Ahcia ; (4) Elizabeth ; (5) Frances. Mrs Gibson 
Stott died May 3, 1903. 

(d) Catherine. 

4. John, who died unmarried. 

5. James, who died unmarried. 

6. Cathernie, who died when engaged to be married to a 

French gentleman. 

7. Marjory, who married James Galbraith. 

8. Elizabeth. 

9. Helen. 

10. Flora. 

11. Clementina. 

12. Margaret. 

13. Anne. 

Ranald V. of Scotus died in June, 181 J, his wife 
having died in i79S. Having disposed of his estate 
in 1788 in favour of his eldest son, he was succeeded 
by him in that year. 

VI. Aeneas. In 1777 he obtained a commission 
in the 76th or Macdonald Regiment, with which he 
served in America, and was reckoned an officer of 
great courage and abiUty. He married Anna, 
daughter of Wilham Fraser of Culbokie, and had by 
her — 

1. Aeneas Ranald, his successor. 

2. William, who was educated at Marischal College, Aber- 

deen, and became a Surgeon in the 19th Regiment. 

3. Helen, who married Colonel Kyle of Binghill, Aberdeen- 

shire, and had a son, James. 

Aeneas clied at Dunballoch, near Beauly, Dec. 9, 
1792, and was succeeded by liis eldest son, 

VII. Aeneas Ranald. He was educated at 
Marischal Cyollege, Aberdeen, and entering the Civil 
Service he became First Member of the Board of 
Revenue, Madras, The estate of Scotus being 


heavily burdened, was sold by Aeneas 's trustees in 
1803, the purchase price being over £16,000. The 
purchaser was Grant of Glenmoriston, who a few 
years later sold the estate to Glengarry. On retir- 
ing from active service in India, Scotus lived at 

He married Juliana Charlotte, daughter of Arch- 
deacon Wade of Bombay, and had by her — 

1. Aeneas Ranald, who married first Emma, daughter of 

General Briggs, H.E.I.C.S., and had by her — 

(a) Aeneas Ranald, who succeeded his grandfather. 

(b) John Bird, an officer in the 12th Regiment. 

(c) Jeanie, wlio married P. H. Chalmers, Advocate, Aber- 

(u) Charlotte Lindsay. 

He married, secondly, Mary, daughter of Dr Johnson, 

and had 
(e) Angus. 

2. William Fraser, V.C, Judge of the High Court of Cal- 

cutta. He married Annie Louisa, daughter of Captain 
DutF of the H.E.I. C.S., and had (a) William, (6) (c) 
Julia Charlotte, (d) Annie Lindsay, (e) Helen, (/) 

3. Thomas, who left no issue. 

4. Kyle. 

5. Anna, who married Hugh Hamilton Lindsay, grandson 

of the Earl of Balcarres. 
G. Julia, who married John Bird, of the Madras Civil 

Aeneas died October 24, 1868, having on the •28th 
of the previous June succeeded Charles Macdonald 
of Glengarry in the representation of that family. 
His son, Aeneas Ranald, having predeceased him, 
he was succeeded in the representation of Scotus by 
his grandson, 

VIII. Aeneas Ranald. He was educated at 
Eton, and entering u]ion a commercial career he was 
latterlv connected with a well-known firm of oil 
producers in London and Moscow. 

328 tflE CLAN DONALD. 

He married in 1874 Catherine Frances, daughter 
of Henry Herries Creed, and liad by her — 

1. Aeneas Ranald, his snccessor. 

2. Alastair Somerlcd. 

3. Marion Lindsay. 

Aeneas died at Ehn Park Road, Chelsea, January 2, 
1901, in the 53rd year of iiis aoe, and was succeeded 
by his son, 

IX. Aeneas Ranald, who was born in 1875, 
was educated at St Paul's Scliool, London, and was 
for a short time connected witli the banking firm of 
Herries Farquhar & Co. He was for some time a 
tea planter in Ceylon, and is now in the service of 
the firm of Schebaufi'e & Co. in Baku. 


This family is descended from Ranald IX. of 
Glengarry and II. of Scotas. John, the first of the 
family, was the third son of Ranald. He was 
known as of Sandaig. which he held with other 
lands of his father and brother. In 1696, there is 
a sasine to him of the lands of Sandaig, and others. 

He married, in 1689, Janet, daughter of Hugh 
Macdonald of Glenmore {son of Sir James Mac- 
donald of Sleat) and Anna, daughter of Alexander 
Robertson of Struaii, by whom he had a daughter, 
Mary. He married, secondly, Helen, daughter of 
Donald Cameron of Glendissary, second son of Allan 
Cameron of Lochiel, and had by her — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Aligns of Greenfield. 

John died in 1725, and was succeeded by his son, 

II. Donald. He held several wadsets under 
Glengarry, and being a good business man, he Avas 

1. Colnin;! A. A. Maoldiull <i("I,(kIi- 

.i;arr\ . 

2. Captain A A. Maiiloiull <>| I,.uli 


;. I'nifisMH- A. A. MMcrloiuH nf I,«h1i- 

.!L;arr\ . 
|. Aniiiliald .Macilmialil «)f I'.aris. 


5. Williaiii .Maciluii il.l of San. la. 


appointed Chamberlain on the Glencrarry Estates in 
1733. In 173G, he pnichased the lands of Inner- 
hadden, in Rannoch, fiom James, Duke of Atholl. 
In 1738, lie purchased from him the Estate of 
Lochgarry, comprising the lands of Dalnaspidal, 
Dalnacardoch, Dalanfhraoich, Tom'ic'ille Donach, 
Dalantaruaine, Dalnamein, Drumachine, Drum- 
chastail, and Pitcastle. He now assumed the 
designation of Lochgarry. 

Through the influence of the Duke of Atholl, he 
obtained a commission as Lieutenant in June, 1745, 
in the Highland Regiment raised under tlie com- 
mand of Lord Loudon, but on the standard of the 
House of Stuart being raised at Glenfinan, he 
hastened to join Prince Charles, who appointed him 
second in command of the Glengarry Regiment. 
He played a distinguished part throughout the 
campaign, and was wounded at Clifton. After the 
death of Colonel Angus of Glengarry, he assumed 
full command of the regiment, and left an interesting 
account of the movements of the Highland Army, 
preserved in the Glengarry Charter Chest. After 
the Battle of Culloden, he remained in hiding for 
some time, and finally escaped with the Prince to 
France, whither his wife and family followed him. 
He entered the French Army, and attained the 
rank of Colonel. He was exempted by name from 
the Act of Indemnity of 1747, and his estate was 
forfeited. He was one of the most devoted and 
trusted of the adherents of the Stuarts, and with 
Lord Elibank, his brother, and Cameron of Fassifern, 
was at the head of the last desj^erate and futile 
effort made for their restoration. 

Donald of Lochgarry married Isabel, daughter of 
John Gordon of Glenbucket (familiae illustrissimae 
ducum de Gordon), and had by her — 


1. John, to whom the estate of Lochgarry was restored. 

2. Alexander, who succeeded his brother. 

3. A son 

4. Sophia, 

5. Anne. 

Donald died at Paris, and was succeeded by his son, 
III. John. He obtained a commission in 1747 
in Ug'ilvy's Regiment of Grenadier Guards, and was 
piomoted Captain in 1756. He afterwards entered 
the British Army. When the 76th Regiment, or 
Macdonald Highlanders, was raised in 1777, he was 
appointed its Lieut. -Colonel Commandant, but 
before he had taken up the command, he was taken 
prisoner on his passage from America, where he had 
been serving as Major with Fraser's Highlanders. 

He died in London unmarried in October. 1790, 
when he was succeeded by his brother, 

YV. Alexander. He served in Ogilvy's Regi- 
ment, and entering the service of Portugal in 1764, 
he became Captain in 1780, Colonel in 1794, and 
General in 1796, from which time he held office 
in the Royal Palace. He was naturalised as a 
Portuguese subject in 1808. He married, first, 
Elizabeth Arch bold, who belonged to an Irish 
family, and had by her — 

1. Archibald John, who entered the Arm}^ in 1790 as an 
Ensign, and was Lieut.-Colonel in the 113th Regi- 
ment in 1798. He married Sarah, daughter of James 
Reynolds, Birmingham, and had by her — 

(a) Jean. 

(b) Mary. 

(c) Sarah, who married H. Rawlins, and had, among 
Dthers, Rev. J. A. Rawlins, St Andrew's Vicarage, 
Willesden, London. He died in 1798, before his 
father, without male issue. 

General Alexander Macdonald married, secondly, 
Dona Maria Jose Jorge da Costa, daughter of the 


Count of Soure, and liad by lier one son. Dyln^ in 
1812, his widow came to Scotland with her son, who 
succeeded to Lochuarry. 

V. Antuony Maria. In 1 802, a royal (Portu- 
guese) pension was conferred on his mother, which 
was continued to himself after her death. He was 
nominated a pa^'e of honour in the Koyal Palace, 
owini;- to the noble rank of liis ancestors. On his 
takuig possession of Lochgarry, he ejitered as an 
Ensign in the 35tli Kegiment, and was present at 
the battle of Waterloo, for which he received a 
medal. He afterwards exchanged into the 10th 
Koyal Hussars, in which he became a Captain. In 
1828, he sold what remained of the estate of Loch- 
garry, a portion having in 1788 been sold to the 
Duke of Atholi for £4870, by Colonel John xMac- 

He married, in 1820, Cassandra Eliza Macdonald, 
daughter of Major Ross Darby, and had by her— 

1. Alexander Anthony, liis successor. 

2. Mary Anne, who died unmarried. 

3. A daughter, who died unmarried. 

He died at Kew in April, 1831, at the age of 33, 
and was succeeded by his son, 

VI. Alexander Anthony, who was born at 
Perth, January 11, 1822. He entered the Indian 
Army ui 1840, and was an Ensign in the 40th 
Bengal Native Infantry in 1841. In 1842, he 
received the Candahar medal. He was promoted 
Captain in 1852, Major in 1859, Lieut. -Colonel in 
1862, and Colonel in 18G7. 

He married, in 1852, iVIargaret Jane, eldest 
daughter of Lachlan Maclean of Kum, and Isabella, 
daughter of Captain Mackenzie of Hartfield, and 
had by her, who died in 1893— 


1. Arthur Anthony. 

2. Henry Edward, who was born in London in 1864, and 

educated at the Mihtary Acadenw, Dresden, and the 
Oxford Military College. He is now living at Nelson, 
British Columbia. He married, in 1886, Ethel, 
daughter of Colonel Taylor, Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

3. So[)hi;i, Adelaide Hastings. 

4. Elera Lindsay, who married, in 1882, David George 

Ritchie, Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, now Pro- 
fessor of Logic in the University of St Andrews. She 
died at Oxford in 1888, leaving one daughter, Flora 

Colonel Macdonalcl died at Mussourie, India, June 
4, 1870, and was succeeded in the representation of 
the family by his eldest son, 

VII. Arthur Anthony, who was born in India 
in 1854. He was educated at the Public School at 
Gottingen, Germany, from 1870 to 1875. He then 
became a student in the University of Gottingen, 
where he remained for a year and a half He matri- 
culated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1876, 
gaining a classical exhibition at that College, and 
three scholarships in the University, for German, 
Sanskrit, and Chinese. He graduated with classical 
honours in 1880, and was appointed Taylorian 
Teacher of German in the University. He was 
appointed Deputy Professor of Sanskrit in 1888, 
and in 181)9 Boden Professor of Sanskrit in suc- 
cession to Sir M. Monier Williams. In 1883 he 
became Ph. D. in the University of Leipsic. He 
has edited various Sanskrit texts, has written a 
Sanskrit grammar and dictionary, has published a 
work on Vedic Mythology, and is about to issue a 
history of Sanskrit literature. He has also contri- 
buted nrany papers to Oriental philological journals. 
He married, in 1890, Mary Louise, youngest daughter 


of William Lowson of Balthayoch, Perthshire, and 
has by her — 

1. Alastair Sumeiled, who was boni in 1893. 

2. Flora Lindsay, who was born in 1891. 

3. Mona Isobel, who was born in 1895. 


This family is descended from Angus, brother of 
Donald II. of Lochgarry, and grandson of Ranald 
IX. of Glengarry. Angus of Greenfield, who was 
"out" in the '45, was a Major in the Glengarry 
Regiment, and was wounded at Culloden. 

He married, first, Margaret, daughter of Alex- 
ander Grant of Sheuglie, and had a son, Alexander. 
He married, secondly, Mary, daughter of Roderick 
Mackenzie of Fairburn, M'ithout issue. 

Angus of Greenfield was succeeded by his son, 
II. Alexander, who went to Canada in 1792, 
and commanded the 2 [id Battalion of Glengarry 
Militia in the war of 1812-14. 

He married Janet, daughter of Alexander Mac- 
donald of Aberchalder, Captain 1st Battalion King's 
Royal Regiment of New York, and had by her—'' 

1. Hugh, who died unmarried at the Scots College, Yalla- 

dolid, Spain, 

2. Angus, who was murdered in the conflicts between Lord 

Selkirk's Company and the North West Company, of 
which latter he was a partner. He died unmarried. 

3. Duncan, who succeeded his fathei-. 

4. John, who was born in 1785, and became M.P. for 

Glengarry, and Attorney-General for Upper Canada. 
He served as Colonel of Militia and Military Secre- 
tary and A.D.C. to Major General Sir Isaac Brock 
in the war of 1812, and was present at the capture of 
Detroit, of which he negotiated the capitulation (gold 
medal), and at the Battle of Queenstown, where he 


was killed and buried with his general under the 
monument on Queen stown Heights. The Prince 
Regent, in expressing his regret at the loss which the 
country must experience by the death of the Attorney- 
General, declared that " his zealous co-operation with 
Sir Isaac Brock would reflect lasting honour on his 
memory." He died unmarried. 

5. Donald (Greenfield. He commanded a company at the 

capture of Ogdensburg in 1813, and was D.A.Q.M.G. 
in that war. He was M.P. for Glengarry in several 
Parliaments, Sheriflt' of Stovmont, Dundas, and Glen- 
garry, Colonel of Militia, and Deputy Adjutant- 
General from 1853 to 1862. 

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Ranald Mac- 
donald, Lieutenant, King's Royal Regiment, New 
York, and had by her — 

(a) Alexander, barrister-at-law, of Morisburgh, who 

married a daughter of J. Doran, and died in 
1890, leaving four sons and a daughter. 

(b) Aeneas, M.D., of Almonte and Cornwall, and after- 

wards of Ottawa, who died unmarried in 1891. 

(c) Reginald, Captain in the Royal Canadian Rifles, who 

died unmarried in 1851, 

(d) John, barrister-at-law, of Cornwall, who married Isa- 

bella, daughter of Colonel Alexar^der Maclean, of 
Cornwall, and died in 1868, leaving two sons 
and three daughters. 
(b) Robinson, barrister-at-law, deputy-clerk of the Crown 
at Cornwall, who died unmarried in 1862. 

(f) Janet, who died unmarried. 

(g) Catherine Anne. 

6. Alexander Greenfield, M.P. for Glengarry, and afterwards 

for Prescott and Russell, Sheriff of the Ottawa Dis- 
trict, and formerly a partner in the North-West Com- 
pany under Lord Selkirk. He died without issue in 

7. Mary, who married John Gumming, M.P. for Kingston, 

without issue. 

8. Anne, who married Miles Macdonald, Lieutenant, King's 

R.R., of New York ; Captain, R.C.V. Regiment, and 
Governor of Assiniboia. He died before 1812, leaving 


a daughter, who married Alexander Macdonald of 
9. Marjory, who married Colonel Alexander M'Millan, of De 
Lancier's Brigade, in the Revolutionary War, and aftei'- 
wards Captain, R.C.V. Regiment. 
10. Margaret. 

Alexander Macdonald II. of Greenfield died in 1819, 
and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, 

III. Duncan. He commanded a company at 
the taking of Ogdensburg by Colonel George Mac- 
donald in 1813, and was afterwards, in succession to 
his father, Lieut. -Colonel Commanding 2nd Battalion 
Glengarry Militia, from which he retired in 1887, 
receiving the thanks of the Governor-General " for 

his long and valuable services dating from the last 


He married "Harriet, daughter of Colonel Archi- 
bald Macdonald, Leek, and had by her an onl}' son, 
Archibald John. Duncan was succeeded by his 

IV. Archibald John, who was born in 1822. 
He succeeded his father and grandfather as Lieut. - 
Colonel Commanding the 2nd Battalion Glengarry 
Militia in 1857, and continued in command till 1864. 
He was a barrister-at-law. Recorder at Kingston, 
and a Bencher of the Law Society. He was for 
many years a partner in his profession with Sir John 
A. Macdonald, Premier of Canada. 

He married Mary, daughter of Robert Long 
Lines, Lieutenant H.M. 37th Regiment, and had by 
her — 

1. John Alexander, his successor. 

2. Georgina Hamilton. 

3. Mary Elizabeth. 

He died 27th March, 1864, and was succeeded by 
his son, 


V. John Alexander, who was born 26th June, 
1851. He became barrister-at-law in 1875, and 
was made Queen's Counsel in 1890. He is a 
Captain in the 59th Battalion Stormont and Glen- 
garry Militia. 

He married Isabel, daughter of the Hon, John 
Willoughby Crawford, Lieutenant Governor of 


The Macdonalds of Barisdale are descended from 
Ranald IX. of Glengarry, whose youngest son, 
Archibald, was the first of the family to occupy 
Barisdale. Archibald was born in 1670, and educated 
at the Scots College, Rome. He was reckoned an 
excellent scholar, able " to argue in Greek with 
learned divijies.' He was ''out" with Dundee at 
Killiecrankie,and fought afterwards under the banner 
of Glengarry at Sherifimuir. At the time of the '45 
he was too old to take the held, but liis sympathies 
were entirely with the Prince, to whom he paid 
court at Glenfinnan, in August, 1745. On the 12th 
of May, 1746, his house at Barisdale was burnt by 
Butcher Cumberland's orders, and he himself was 
carried prisoner on board a ship of war, but as there 
was no evidence against him he was released. It 
was reported by one of the Hanoverian officers that 
" 700 stand aims, 30 cask powder, and 2000 lbs. 
shot were taken " at Barisdale. 

There is a sasine in favour of Archibald of the 
lands of Rhidoroch, in Knoydart, in 1696. Shortly 
thereafter he received a charter of Barisdale, and 
others, from his father. Glengarry. In 1740 he 
acquired the lands of Mallaig. 



He married Katherine, daughter of Lieut. -Colonel 
Allan Macdonald of Kytrie, and widow of Ilu^^di 
Macdonald of Glenmore, by whom he had — 

1. Coll. 

2. Mary, who married Juliu Macdonald of Duuhaiuis, with 


3. Marj:;aret. 

He had also a natural son, Ifauald, known ab Jidounll 
Mor a Chriiluinn, described as a powerfully l>uilt man of 
fierce aspect, wiio in his youth led a wild, adventurous life. 
It has been repeatedly said that he was "out" in the '45. 
but he himself in his judicial declaration at Edinburgh 
Castle admits that he was not concerned in the rebellion. 
In 1747 he went with Captain Forbes to the Kast Indiea, 
and served with him in the Expedition under Admiral 
Boscawen. He afterwards went to France, and served iu 
Drummond's Regiment. 

He lived for some time at Barisdale, and latterly had a 
lease of Scammadale and Crowlin. He had a large family 
of sons and daughters. Two of his sons served in the 
Glengarry Fencibles. His son, Captain James, was latterly 
joint-tenant with his father at Scammadale. In his obituary 
notice, Ranald is described as Ensign on the retired list of 
Captain Rose's Indejjendent Company of Veterans. He 
died November 29, 1813, in the 91st year of his age. 

Archibald Macdonald died at Barrisdale in 
March, 1752, and was buried at Kilchoan, in Knoy- 
dart. Thouo;h his son. Coil, predeceased him, he 
had succeeded him in some of his lands and as head 
of the family sev^eral years before his death. 

II. Coll. He was born in 1G98, and educated 
in Rome. Being in high favour with his cousin, 
John of Glengarry, he acquired from him wadsets of 
a considerable part of Knoydart, facing Lochnevis. 
In 1725, he obtained a wadset of Lee, Munial, and 
others, in the Lochourn district, a wadset of Piaster 
and Wester Kytrie in 1727, and in 1731 a wadset 
of Easter and Wester Culachie. He paid 19,000 



merks for these wadsets, a large sum at that time. 
In 1732, he obtained a wadset of Gleuguseran, and 
others, which Glengarry redeemed in 1734. He 
had besides a wadset over Clash more, and others, 
hi Assynt, Sutherlandshire. About this time he 
was made Captain of the Watch and Guardian of 
the Marches on the west side of Inverness-shire, a 
position to which he was appointed by the neigh- 
bouring proprietors Avho had combined to protect 
themselves from the cattle-raiding which was so 
common at the time. Barisclale, who was a man of 
commanding personality and talent, was able to 
render effective service for several years, and did 
more than any other to put an end to the demoral- 
ising custom of cattle-lifting. 

Barisdale joined the Prince at the outset of 
the rising of the '45, at the head of the 
Knoydart men, " who made a very handsome 
appearance." He was present at the battle of 
Prestonpans, and at the capture of Edinburgh. 
In the pursuit after Prestonpans he took three 
troops prisoners, for which he was made a 
Knight Banneret. From Edinburgh he was sent on 
a special mission to the Highlands to stir up, among 
others. Lord Lovat, w^ho could not make up his 
mind to declare openly for the Prince. From Beau- 
fort he went to Glen-Urquhart, to prevent the Grants 
joining the Hanoverians. He afterwards proceeded 
westwards to recruit in Assynt and Lochbroom. 
Barisdale, thus actively engaged in the North, did 
not take part in the Expedition to England. On 
the Prince's return he joined him tlie day before the 
battle of Falkirk with " 300 clever fellows from the 
North," with whom he took an active part in the 
battle. When the Prince's army retired to the 


North, Barisdale's services were a^ain called into re- 
quisition, and he was sent to Ross and Sutherland 
to oppose the Hanoverian forces in these counties. 
The Battle of Culloden was, as is well known, 
hurriedly resolved upon, aiid Barisdale had only got 
as far as Ding-wall at the time of the action. On 
arriving at Inverness on his way to join the Prince, 
the news of the defeat reached him. He at once 
proceeded westwards, and found his way to Knoy- 
dart. On the 8th of May he attended the meeting 
held at Muirlagan hy a few leading Jacobites to con- 
sider whether they were to continue in arms. The 
meeting was adjourned for a week, and tlien Baris- 
dale appeared, accompanied by 120 men, well armed, 
it was finally decided that the contest must be held 
as concluded, and Barisdale made oflFto escape arrest. 
From May 26th to June 10th nothing is known of 
his whereabouts. On the latter day he and his 
son were both captured by Ensign Small, and 
brought prisoners to Fort- Augustus. On condition 
of his giving information leading to the apprehension 
of the Prince, Barisdale received a protection for ten 
days, which was not renewed. His movements after- 
wards are not known till, at the instigation of Sir 
Alexander Macdonald, he went on board the French 
ship which was to carry the Prince to France, and 
was made prisoner. He was imprisoned first at St 
Malo, and afterwards at Samneur for two years and 
four months. On his being liberated in February, 
1749, he returned to Scotland, but he was again 
arrested in March of the same year by his foimer 
captdr. Lieutenant Small, and carried prisoner to 
Edinburgh Castle, where he was kept in close con- 
finement without trial fom April 12th, 1749, to 
June 1st, 1750, when he ditd. 


It will now be necessary to refer for a brief space 
to the charge of treachery to the Prince and his 
cause brought against Barisdale by recent writers of 
Scottish history of the period of the '45. One indi- 
vidual, particularly, a Mr Andrew Lang, has contri- 
buted more than any other to the literature of that 
period. It w^ould be unkind to take him seriously. 
His manner of attacking the " rebels " and High- 
landers generally is characteristic. He quotes an 
isolated case on the evidence of lying Hanoverian 
officials, and exclaims triumphantly : " Such was life 
in the Highlands in the golden days of the clans." 
We prefer the golden days thus sneered at, wnth all 
their drawbacks, to the days of the modern literary 
scribbler who tries to extract coppers out of the dust 
heap of the past by blackening the memory of the 

Up to the time of his arrest, Barisdale had shown 
himself a strenuous and loyal supporter of the Prince, 
even after others, whose loyalty is above suspicion, 
had given up the cause as hopeless. It is not in the 
least surprising that, after his capture, he should 
aifect to make disclosures when he found himself in 
the hands of an unscrupulous enemy, and death 
staring him in the face. To save his life and gain 
his liberty he made fair promises, and the Hano- 
verian authorities were foolish enough to believe 
him, but it is certain that he never made any effort 
to betray the Prince. Both Butcher Cumberland 
and Albemarle confessed that the information 
given by Barisdale was false, and that they had 
been fooled by him. Albemarle threatened to 
punish him by driving away his cattle and devasta- 
ting his lands, and the threat was actually carried 
out by a Captain Grant in August. 


The conclusion that any fair-minded person will 
draw from the evidence we possess of Barisdale's 
doings is that he was not a traitor to the Jacobite 
cause. He had the misfortune to be captured, and 
finding himself " in a tight place," he gave informa- 
tion regarding the Prince which was afterwards 
regarded as worthless and deceptive. It was re- 
ported to the Prince and his friends that he had 
turned informer. The nature of the information 
which he had given -was misrepresented by personal 
enemies, and thus false suspicions led to his being 
kept a prisoner by his own side. Barisdale was the 
victim of circumstances. He suffered at the hands 
of the Hanoverian Government for his devotion to 
the Jacobite cause. He also had tlie misfortune to 
be suspected of and punished for treachery to his 
own side, when the sole object of his action was to 
save himself and not in any way to injure the 
Prince. He on the contrary rendered the Prince 
the best service in his power by putting his pursuers 
on the wrong scent. The minor charges against 
Barisdale are not worthy of consideration, and are 
as false as that of attem-pting to betray the Prmce. 

Coll married, in 1724, Catherine, daughter of 
George Mackenzie of Balmuchie, and had by her — 

1. Archibald, his successor. 

2. Alexander, who was " out " in the '45, and was prisoner 

with "Spanish John " at Fort -William in 1746. He 
is mentioned in a letter by Allan Macdonald of Knock 
as one of the Barisdale party who gave him a beating 
in 1753. He was afterwards a Captain in Friiser's 
Highlanders, was with General Wolfe at the taking of 
Quebec, and killed there, in the spring of 1760, in the 
battle fought by General Murray. 

Coll married, secondly, in 1736, Mary, daughter of 
Roderick Mackenzie of Fairburn, and had bv her — 


3. Coll, who was served heir of provision to his father, 17th 
January, 1757, and died at Barisdale in 1770. 

Coll died at Edinburgh Castle, June 1st, 1750, and 
was buried at Grey friars. He was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 

III. Archibald. Though not quite twenty years 
of age when the Prince landed, he joined his standard 
with his father, and held the rank of Major in the 
Glengarry Kegiment. He took part in all the actions 
of the campaign. After Culloden he found his way 
to Knoydart, where he met his father, with whom 
he was arrested by Ensign Small, as already referred 
to. Why his name was included in the list of 
attainted persons, and his father's name omitted, 
was, no doubt, owing to a confusion between their 
names, Coll being in reality younger of Barisdale, 
his father being then alive. And it must be borne 
in mind, in connection with the charge of treachery 
made against Coll, that his name was omitted from 
the bill of attainder before, not after, his capture. 
Archibald was carried prisoner, with his father, on 
board the same vessel to France, and shared the 
same prison with him. He, however, made his 
escape, after a year's imprisonment, and returned to 
the Highlands. He was apprehended at the same 
time as his father, in 1749, and carried ^Ji'isoner to 
Edinburgh Castle, but was immediately dismissed ; 
no doubt on account of his youth when he engaged 
in the Kising of the '45. He then returned home, 
and lived peaceably at Inverie till 1753, when he 
was again apprehended, on the 18th July, on the 
old charge of treason, and carried prisoner to Edin- 
burgh. No new charge was preferred against him, 
and no good reason can be adduced for the vindictive- 
ness of the authorities in so severely j^unishing this 


unfortunate man. He was sentenced to death on 
the 22nd of March, 1754, without a semblance of 
justice. He was reprieved on the 10th of May, but 
still detained in prison for years, until he was finally 
discharged in 1762. From this time he lived at 
Barisdale, and was, according to the verdict of his 
contemporaries, a man " eminently distinguished for 
his strict hononr and steady friendship, one of the 
handsomest men of the age." 

By way of compensation for his unjust sufferings, 
Archibald was offered a commission in the 105th 
Regiment, in which he served for a short period. 
Barisdale married, in 1746, Flora, daughter of Nor- 
man Macleod of Drynoch, and had by her — 

1. Coll, his successor. 

2. Forbes Alexandra Arcliibalda, who was born in 1754. 

3. Bruce Cotton Lyon, who was born in 1757. 

4. Catherine, who was born in 1760, and married John 

Robertson, merchant, Glasgow, and had issue — 
General Robertson and a daughter. 

5. Flora, who married Donald Macleod of Ratigan. 

Archibald died at Barisdale, September 19th, 1787, 
and was buried at Kilchoan. His widow, Flora 
Macleod, died in 1815. He was succeeded by his 

IV. Coll. He lived at Barisdale all his life, and 
for many years held a commission for regulating the 
fisheries from the Point of Ardnamurchan to Gair- 
loch. He served for some time as an officer of the 
reserved forces. He is described by Knox, the 
traveller, as "a gentleman of great bodily strength, 
who is both loved and feared." 

He married Helen, fourth daughter of William 
Dawson of Graden, Roxburghshire, and had by her, 
who died in 1805 — 


1. Archibald, his successor. 

2. William, Lieutenant and Adjutant of the 1st Battalion 

10th Native Infantry. He died while serving with his 
Battalion at Dhapoola, near Severndroog, in the East 
Indies, December 9th, 1819. " His bx'other-officers of 
the Regiment, in token of their very gi-eat esteem and 
sincere regard for him, built a splendid monument to 
his memory, on the spot where he lies interred." 

3. Christian, who married, 29th Januaiy, 1818, Major- 

General Sir Alexander Oameron, K.C.B., of Inver- 
ailort, and had by her — 

(a) Duncan, who succeeded his uncle in the representation 

of the family of Barisdale. 

(b) Colin William, who died in 1840. 

(c) Arthur Wellington, C >lonel, 92nd Highlanders. 

(d) Helen, who died in 1839. 

(e) Jane. 

Coll died in 1826, and was buried at Kilchoan. He 
was succeeded by his son, 

V. Archibald. He was tenant of Glenmeddle, 
in Knoydart, in his father's lifetime. He afterwards 
lived at Barisdale, and died there, unmarried, in 
1862. He was succeeded in the reijresentation of 
the family by his nephew, 

VI. Duncan Cameron of Inverailort. He mar- 
ried, first, in 1847, Louisa Campbell, daughter of 
Georoe Mackay of Bighouse, and had by her — 

1. Louisa Campbell Christian, who died young. 

He married, secondly,. Alexa Marion Macleod, second 
daughter of Thomas Gillespie, Ardochy, and had by 
her — 

2. Christian Helen Jane, who succeeded him. 

3. Frances Alexandra. 

He died 26th June, 1874, and was succeeded by his 

VII. Christian Helen Jane, who married, 8th 
September, 1888, James Head, son of Sir James 
Head, Bart., and has issue — 


1. Frances Somerville Cameron. 

2. Christian Mary Cameron. 


The progenitor of this family was John Mor, son 
of Donald VII. of Glengarry. The first notice we 
have of him is in 1592, when his flxther granted him 
a charter of the lands of Kylisstrugsay, and others, 
in Morar. He afterwards had a wadset of the lands 
of Invergarry and Letterfearn. In 1653 he received 
a wadset of the lands of Ardnabie, Stroncroick. 
and Ardochy. He fought under the banner of his 
nephew, Angus of Glengarry, in the Montrose cam- 
paign, where he receives special mention. 

John Mor married a daughter of Grant of Glen- 
moriston, and had by her 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. Alexander. 

3. Donald. 

4. Ranald of Achtcra, who had a son, Aeneas H. of Achtera, 

who had a son, Alexander III. of Achtera, " out " in 
the '45. 

John died in 1654, and was succeeded by his son, 

11. Angcts. He married Janet Grant, and had 
by her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Donald. 

He was succeeded by his son, 

HI. Alexander. He was well known as a com- 
poser of Gaelic verse of considerable merit, some of 
which has been published. He was "out" with 
Dundee in 1689. In 1694 he had a renewal of his 
wadset of Ardnabie, and others, from Glengarry. 
He married Mary Macdonald, and had by her— 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Archibald, who had a sou, Donald. 


Alexander died in 1695, and was succeeded by his 

IV. John. He signed the Address to George I. 
in 1714, and was "out" in 1715. He married Mary, 
daughter of Ranald Macdonald of Glengarry, and 
had by her — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. John, who succeeded his brother. 

3. Ranald, who was " out " in the '45. 

4. Alexander. 

5. Mary, who married William Fraser of Guisachan, with issue. 

She inherited the poetical gift from her grandfather, and 
made a large collection of ancient Gaelic poetry, on 
account of which her name was prominently brought 
forward in connection with the Ossianic controversy. 
Her MS. collections of Gaelic poetry and music were 
taken by her son, Captain Simon Fraser, to America 
in 1773, where they were afterwards destroyed. She 
was reckoned a lady of great beauty and many 

John Macdonald of Ardnabie, who was living in 

1730, was succeeded by his son, 

V. Donald. In 1730, while his father was still 
living, he received a wadset of Ardnabie and Stron- 
chroick from Glengarry. He married Christian 
Macdonald, without issue. He died before 1745, 
and was succeeded by his brother, 

VI. John. He was "out" in the '45, and was a 
Captain in the Glengarry Regiment. Like his gifted 
sister, he composed several Gaelic poems, one of 
which, in praise of his contemporary, Alexander 
Macdonald, the Bard, is published in Ranald Mac- 
donald's Collection. John married, and had, among 
others, a son, 

VII. Alexander of Ardnabie, who married Anne, 
daughter of Captain Miles Macdonald. He was 
living in Canada in 1814, and is described as having 


" a fine numerous family, and in easy circum- 


The first of this family was John Og, son of 
Donald VII. of Glengarry. In 1661, he received 
from Lord Macdonald a tack of the lands of Leek. 
In 1679, he is referred to as one of several Catholics 
in Abertarff hunted down by the Episcopal Church, 
which was then established in Scotland. He was 
succeeded by his son, 

II. Ranald, who received a tack of the lands of 
Leek from Glengarry in 1690. He married a 
daughter of Grant of Glenmoriston, and had by 
her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. John. 

Ranald was succeeded by his son, 

III. Alexander. He signed the Address to 
George I. in 1714. He had four sons — 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. Ranald. 

3. John, 

4. Donald, described as a student in 1712. 

Alexander was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Angus. He married Mary Macdonald, and 
had by her— 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Allan. He was " out " in the '45. He afterwards 

emigrated to the American Colonies, and was a 
Captain in the King's Koyal Regiment of New York. 

3. Ranald. He was "out" in the '45. He afterwards 

emigrated with his bi'others, and was a Lieutenant in 
the same regiment. 

4. Archibald. He emigrated with his brothers, and was a 

Captain in the same regiment. His daughter, Mary, 
married Donald Macdonald of Crowlin. 


5. Alexander. He was " out " in the '45. He married 

Anne Macdonald, with issiie. 

6. Donald, afterwards of Leek. 

7. Roderick. He was educated at the Scots College, 

Valadolid, for the Church, and was for some time 
Priest of Glengarry. He afterwards followed the 
Glengarry emigrants to Canada, and was stationed at 
St Regis, where he died. 

Angus Macdonald of Leek died before 1750, and 
was succeeded by his son, 

V. John. He was " out " in the '45. and was 
wounded at Culloden. He afterwards found his 
way to France, and, according to a family manu- 
script, served for some time in the Scotch Guard. 
He returned home shortly after the Act of 
Indemnity was passed, and entered the British 
Army as an officer in Fraser's Highlanders. He 
went with the regiment to Canada, and fought 
under General Wolfe at the taking of Quebec in 
1759, where he had the good fortune to take an 
aide-de-camp of Montcalm's prisoner, with important 
despatches. He afterwards served during the 
American War and commanded a Veteran Corps in 

He married Helen Leslie of Fetternear, Aberdeen- 
shire, and had by her — • 

1. Wolfe Alexander, who entered the Army and became 

Colonel of the 25th Regiment. He died unmarried. 

2. George, who succeeded his father. 

3. James, a Captain in the 13th Light Infantry, who died 


4. Charles, an officer in tlie Army, who died unmarried in 


5. Edward, an officer in the Army, who died unmarried in 


6. Ernest, an officer in the 25th Regiment, who died 



7. Isabella, who married in 1784, the Hon. Neil Maclean, 

of the Macleans of Heisker, North Uist, Lt. -Colonel 
of the Stormont Militia, Canada, with issue. 

8. Elizabeth, who married Arthur, son of Lord Clifford. 

9. A daughter, wLo married Robert Gillies. 

10. Jacobina, who in 1819 married Sir Joseph Kadclifte, 

Eudding Park, Yorkshire, with issue. She died in 

11. Helen, who married Thomas Nassau. 

12. Alfrina, who died unmarried. 

John Macdonald of Leek died, a Captain of Invalids, 
at Berwick in 1813, when he was succeeded by his 
third son, 

VI. George. He was born at St John's, New- 
foundland, August 12, 1780. He entered the Army 
in 1796, and obtained his first commission in the 
regiment raised by Lord Darlington. He after- 
wards served with the Duke of York in Holland. 
He served for some time with the 8th Lifantry, and 
went out to India witn the 50th Eegiment. It was 
in Canada that his principal services were rendered. 
When the Americans invaded Canada in 1812, he 
was commissioned to raise the Glengarry Light 
Infantry Regiment. He commanded the expedition 
by which Ogdensburg was captured on February 
23rd, 1513, for which he received the thanks of the 
House of Assembly. He was at Chateauguay, 
which he reached with his regiment by a skilful and 
rapid march through forests, just in time to render 
aid which was of the utmost importance in securing 
that brilliant victory. For this action he received a 
gold medal. He received the Companionship of the 
Bath in 1817, and was afterwards Lt.-Colonel 79th 

Colonel Macdonald married in 1820 the Hon. 
Laura Arundell, daughter of Lord Arundell of 
Wardour, and had by her, John Ignatius. 


Colonel Macdonald died at Wardour Castle, 16th 
May, 1870, and was succeeded by his son, 

VIL John Ignatius, Colonel Commanding 71st 
Highlanders, at the time of his father's death. He 
is now a Major-General in the Army. 


The families of Aberch alder and Culachie are 
both descended from AlastaIr Mor, son of Donald 
VIII. of Glengarry. His descendants for at least a 
hundred years held the lands of Easter and Wester 
Aberchalder, Easter and Wester Culachie, as well 
as Pitmean, in common, and formed one family, the 
heads of which, as well as the younger members, are 
designated now of one and now of another of these 
holdings. The younger sons are sometimes described 
as portioners in the lifetime of their fathers. It was 
not until some time after the '45 that representatives 
of the family began to be designated separately and 
definitely as of Aberchalder and Culachie. Hitherto 
they had been known as Claim Alastair Mlioir. 

The senior line being descended from Donald, 
the eldest son of Alastair Mor, and known as of 
Aberchalder, we shall take first. Alastair Mor had 
a wadset of Culachie. and others, from Glengarry in 
1641. In 1669, there is a discharge to Alexander 
by his nephew, Sir Norman Macleod of Bernera. 
He died shortly thereafter, and left five sons — 

1 . Donald. 

2. Ranald, from \\hom the family latterly known as of 


3. Alexander of Muckerach, who, besides a daughter Mary, 

had a son Angus II. df Muckerach, and he had a son 
Alexander, who lived at Croichul, III. of Muckerach. 

4. Angus, who married Isabel Macintosh, with issue, 


5. Allan of Kytrle, who married Mary Chisholni, and liad a 
son, Alexander II of Kytrie, who had a son, Allan 
III. of Kytrie, who had a son, Alexander IV. of 
Kytrie, removed in 1751 at the instance of Alastair 
Kuadh of Glengarry. 

Alastair Mor was succeeded by his son, 

II. Donald. In 1662, he received a charter of 
the lands of Wester Aberchalder from Hugh Fraser 
of Foyers, whose daughter Mary he had previously 
married. By her he had — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Angus. 

3. Alexander. 

Donald died in 1711, and was succeeded by his son, 

III. John. He was one of those who signed the 
Address to George I. in 1714. He married Mary, 
daughter of Ranald Macdonald of Culachie, and had 
by her, among others — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Angus. 

John died in 1733, and was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Alexander. He left the Glengarry Estate, 
it is said, on account of a quarrel with the Chief 
over the kilHng of deer, and emigrated to tlie 
American Colonies sometime before the breaking 
out of the War of Independence, settling in Char- 
lottenburg, on the Rivei- St Lawrence. Though an 
old man, he accepted service as a loyalist at the 
outset of the American War, and became a Captain 
in the King's Royal Regiment of New York. He 
is described as "a worthy, respectable, and much- 
esteemed man, not only as true a Highlander as 
ever wore a kilt, but as shrewd a man of business, 
and one who was supposed to understand the 
interests of Highlanders after the '45 better than 
most men," 


He married Mary, daughter of Alexander Mac- 
donald of Killichonat, widow of Donald Macdonald 
of Tirnadrish, executed at Carlisle in 1746. By her 
he had — 

1. John, who succeeded him. 

2. Hugh. He began his career as Ensign in the King's 

Eoyal Regiment of New York, and was afterwards 
Captain in the Royal Canadian Vohinteer Regiment. 
In 1803 he was Lieut.-Colouel of the Glengarry 
Militia Reghnent, and was appointed Adjutant- 
General of Militia in Upper Canada. He had sat 
as one of the members for Glengarry in the first 
Legislature of the P)-ovince. In 1805 he was 
appointed Assistant Commissary-General at Gib- 
raltar, and in 1811 he was sent as Consul-General 
to Algiers, on the recommendation of the Duke of 
Kent, whose great friend he was, where he remained 
till 1820, He shortly after retired on a pension. He 
married, first, Anne Hughes, by whom he had three 
daughters. He married, secondly, a daughter of 
Admiral Ulrich, Danish Consul-General at Algiers, 
and had — • 

(a) Alexander, who afterwards succeeded his cousin 

Alexander VI. of Aberchalder in the represen- 
tation of the family. 

(b) Hugh Guion, who succeeded his brother. 

(c) A daughter, who married M. Holstein, Danish Consul- 

General at Algiers. 

(d) a daughter, who married General Sir Robert Wyn. 

yard, some time Military Governor of the Cape 
of Good Hope. 

(e) a danyhter, who married General Sir George Browui, 

who commanded the Light Division in the 

(p) A daughter, who married Captain Buck, R.N. 
(g) a daughter, who married Viscount Aquado. 
(h) a daughter, who married Captain Cumberland, of 

the 42nd Regiment, 
(i) A daughter, who married Don Augusto Conte, 

Spanish Ambassador at Vienna, 
(j) A daughter, who became a nun, 


3. Chichester, a Lieutenant in Butler's Rangers, and after- 

wards a Colonel in the British Army. He served in 
the 82nd and 34th Regiments, and fought at Corunna 
under Sir John Moore. After his death, a medal 
having been struck for Corunna, a gold medal was 
sent to his family by order of the Prince Regent, to 
be deposited with them as a token of the respect His 
Royal Highness entertained for his memory. He after- 
wards received an appointment in India, and died 
there unmarried in 1813. 

4. A daughter, who married Major Ross, with issue. 

5. A daughter, who married General Wilkinson. 

6. Janet, who married Colonel Alexander Macdonald of 


Alexander Macdonald IV. of Aberchalder died in 
1787, and was succeeded by his son, 

V. John, a Captain in Butler's Rangers, He and 
his brothers rendered conspicuous services on the 
loyalist side. He was elected a member of the 
Legislative Assembly for Glengarry in 1792, and 
was afterwards Speaker of the first House of 
Assembly of Upper Canada. He was Lieut. - 
Colonel-Commanding 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian 
Volunteer Regiment raised in 1796, and disbanded 
ill 1802 at the Peace of Amiens. He married 
Helen, daughter of Henry Yates, Governor of New 
York, and had by her an only son. who succeeded 

VL Alexander. He was a Major in the Lan- 
caster Regiment of Glengarry, and served in the 
1837 rebellion. He married Helen, daughter of 
Captain Richard Wilkinson, of the Glengarry 
Fencibles, and had by hei — 

1. John, who died ^ouug. 

2. Eleanor, who died young. 

3. Helen, who died young. 

4. Anna Maria, who died unmarried, Aug. 7, 1877. 
0. Anne. 



Alexander died in 1850, and was succeeded in the 
representation of the family by his cousin, the eldest 
son of his uncle, Hugh, 

VII. Sir Alexander Macdonald, K.C.B. He 
entered the Army in 1837 as Second Lieutenant. 
He was promoted Lieutenant, May 11, 1841 ; 
Captain, 24th October, 1845 ; Brevet-Major, 12th 
December, 1854 ; Major, 22nd December, 1854 ; 
Brevet-Lt. -Colonel, 17th July, 1855 ; Lt. -Colonel, 
June 1, 1857 ; Colonel, 20th July, 1858 ; Major- 
General, 6th March, 1868 ; Lieut. -General, October 
1, 1877 ; General, April 1, 1882 ; Colonel-Com- 
mandant Bifle Brigade, 24th January, 1886. 

He served with the Bifle Bria;ade in the Kaffir 
War of 1846-7, for which he received a medal. He 
also served throughout the Eastern Campaign of 
1854 as Aide-de-Camp to Sir George Brown, and 
was present at the capture of Balaclava and at the 
Battles of Alma and Inkerman. He commanded 
the 2nd Battalion from May, 1855, to the Fall of 
Sebastopol, including the defence of the Quarries 
and assaults on the Redan. He received medals 
with three clasps, brevets of Major and Lt. -Colonel, 
C.B., Knight of the Legion of Honour, Sardinian 
and Turkish medals, and 5th Class of the Medjidie. 
He commanded the 3rd Battalion during the Lidian 
Mutiny, including the Skirmish of Secundra, Siege 
and Capture of Lucknow and subsequent operations, 
for which he received medal with clasp. He also 
served in the campaign of the North- West Frontier 
of India in 1864, for which he received medal. 

He commanded the expedition against the Moli- 
niund tribes in 1863-4, for which he received medal. 
He was made K.C.B. in 1881. He married, in 
1867, Emily Rutson, daughter of Henry Rose 



Alport, without issue. Sir Alexander died April 
30th, 1891, and was succeeded in the representation 
of the family by his brother, 

VIII. The Eight Hon. Sir Hugh Guion Mac- 
DONALD, G.C.M.G. Sir Hugh, who was born 
in 1832, was educated at the Royal Mihtary 
College, Sandhurst, and joined the Army as 
Second Lieutenant, Rifle Brigade, 22nd December, 
1848. Tn 1853 he retired from ill-health, entered 
the Diplomatic Service, and was an Attache 
at Washington and Constantinople. In 1865 he 
was appointed to Rio Janeiro as Second Secretary. 
He did not, however, proceed thither, but took up a 
snnilar position at Copenhagen in the following year. 
He served successively at Buenos Ayres, Madrid, 
and Berlin, where, on many occasions, he acted as 
Charge d' Affaires. He was transferred to Rome in 
1878, and was promoted to be Charge d' Aflaires at 
Munich in 1882. In 1885 he went as Envoy Extra- 
ordinary and Minister Plenipoteniary to Brazil. In 
1888 he proceeded in a similar rank to the Court of 
Denmark. In 1892 he was made K.C.M.G., and in 
the following year he was transferred to Lisbon. In 
1899 he was made a G.C.M.G. He retired on a 
pension in 1902, when he was sworn of the Privy 

■ Sir Hugh married, in July, 1870, Anne, daughter 
of Edward Lamb of Wallington Lodge, Surrey. He 
died in London, January 25th, 1904. 



The progenitor of this family was Alastair Mor, 
son of Donald VII. of Glengarry, already referred to 
as the ancestoi- of the Macdonalds of Aberchalder. 


Alastair's second son was Ranald of Culacbie, also 
often referred to as of Pitmean. He married twice. 
By his first wife, Marion MacPhee, he had — 

1. Alexander of Kytrie, described also as portioiier of 

Culachie in his father's lifetime. 

2. James, who was served heir to Pitmean, and described as 

portioner of Culachie. He married, in 1718, Marv, 
daughter of John Macdonald of Sandaig, and had by 
her — 

(a) Allan. 

(b) Ranald. 

(c) Alexander. 

(d) John. 

3. Angus of Easter Aberchalder. 

4. Ranald, who married Mary, daughter of Donald Mac- 

donald of Wester Aberchalder. 

Ranald Macdonald of Culachie died in 1724, and 
was succeeded by his son, 

III. Alexander. He had three sons — 

1. Allan. 

2. Ranald. 

3. Angus. 

Alexander was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Allan. He was " out " in the '45, escaped 
to France, and obtained a commission in the French 
Army, in which he served for ten years, having 
attained the rank of Captain. He afterwards 
returned to Scotland, and, in 1773, emigrated, on 
the advice of Sir William Johnson, to the American 
Colonies. He settled in Tryon County, since called 
Sohoharie, in the Mohawk Valley, in the British 
Province of New York. He distinguished himself 
on many occasions as a loyalist during the war in 
America, and suffered many hardships. He was 
taken prisoner at Johnstown, in January, 1776, and 
detained at Lancaster for a considerable time, He 

. c 



,was a Captain in the 84th Royal Highland Emigrant 

Captain Allan Macdonald married Helen, daughter 
of Macnab, and had by her — 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. Alexander, who succeeded his brother. 

3. James, who was a Captain in the 4:ird Reyiiment. He 

died in the West Indies irom hardships suffered 
during a campaign with the French. He was 

4. Henrietta, who married in 1783 Dr Donald Maclean, 

Surgeon in the Army, with issue. 

5. Catherine, who, in 1798, married Captain Miles Mac- 

donald of the Scutus family, and died shortly thereafter. 

Captain Allan Macdonald of Culachie died at 
Quebec in 1792, and was buried at the Church 
of St Foy. He was succeeded by his son, 

V. Angus, a Barrisher-at-law. He was First 
Clerk of Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada in 
1792, and M.L.A. for Durham, Simcoe, and the 
East Riding of York. He was Treasurer of the 

aw Society from 1801 to 1804. He was drowned 
on the schooner " Speedy " on Lake Ontario, 7th 
October, 1804, unmarried. 

Angus was succeeded by his brother, 

VI. The Hon. Alexander. He was born at 
Culachie in 1762. He served as an officer in 
Butler's Rangers in the American War, was M.L.A. 
for Glengarry in several Parliaments and Speaker in 

1804, and Sheriff of the Home District from 1792 to 

1805. He was Ao-ent for the Earl of Selkirk in the 
Western District from 1805 to 1812, and Colonel of 
Militia and Deputy Paymaster General. He was 
Assistant Secretary Indian Department in 1816, and 
subsequently Member of the Legislative Council. 

The Hon. Alexander Macdonald occupied a dis- 
tinguished position in the public life of Canada, and 


was highly esteemed both in his public and private 
character. He was an enthusiastic Hig-hlander. 
who loved his country, his people, and their 
language. He married Anne, daughter of James 
Smith of Henricks, Long Island, and had by her — 

L Allan, who succeeded him. 

2. James, Collector of Inlaud Revenue, who married, in 

1835, Margaret Leah, daughter of Hon. Samuel 
Smith, Colonel of the Qneen's Rangers, and Member 
of the Executive Council of Upper Canada, and had 
by her — 

(a) Alexander, who died unmarried. 

(b) Samuel Smith, who succeeded his uncle in the repre- 

sentation of the family. 

(c) John Greenfield, who died unmarried, 

(d) James George, who married Anne Jane, daughter of 

Ralph AValsh, Lancaster, England (1) James 
Alexander Greenfield ; (2) Allan, who died April, 
1895 ; (3) John George ; (4) son, wdio died in 
infancy; (5) Margaret Jane ; (6) Jessie Heinretta; 
(7) Olive Beatrice. 

(e) Ronald Duncan, who died young. 

(f) Helen, who died young. 

(g) Emily Isabella, who married, in 1872, William George 

M'William^s, Barrister-at-law, with issue. 

(h) Margaret, who married, in 1873, John Beverley 
Robinson, grandson of Sir John Beverley Robin- 
son, Bart., with issue. 

(i) Jessie Louisa, who married Arthur Bagshaw Harrison, 
Major, late 10th Royal Grenadiei's. 

3. Angus Duncan, who mari'ied Pauline-Rosalie, daughter 

of John P. De La Haye. He died August 8, 1894, 
and had — 

(a) John De La Haye. 

(b) Angus Claude, Barrister-at-law. 

(c) Archibald Hayes, Lieut. Royal Canadian Regiment of 


(d) Allan Stuart, of Lindsay, Barrister-at-law. 

(e) Henrietta, who married W. M. German of Welland, 



(f) Helen, a nun in Loretto Convent, Toronto. 

(g) Margaret, who married Louis M. Hayes, of Peterboro, 

(h) Marie-Pauline. 

4. Alexander, Earrister-at-law, born 19th Sept., 1820— 


5. Samuel Smith, bora 23rd Feb., 1823, of Windsor, Essex, 

Barrister-at-Iaw, Q.C., D.C.L. He married Helen 
Gillis, daughter of Col. Daniel Brodhead of Brookline, 
Boston, U.S.A., and had by her — 

(a) Daniel, who died in infancy. 

(b) Archibald, Inspector N.W.M. Police, who married 

Mary Maud, daughter of Colonel Campbell of 
Kingston, with issue. 

(c) Henrietta- Aylmer, who married John Morley. 

(d) Cornelia-Brodhead, who married Adam W. Anderson. 
(b) Ellen-Gertrude, who married John Wallace. 

6. Helen-Anne, who died in infancy. 

7. Henrietta, who married George Edward Aylmer, Major 

93rd Highlanders, with issue. He died March 3, 

The Hon. Alexander Macdonald died 18th March, 
1842, and was succeeded by his son, 

VII. Allan, Barrister-at-law, and Sheriff of the 
Gore district. He died unmarried, 9th September, 
1888, and was succeeded in the representation of the 
family by his nephew, 

VIII. Samuel Smith Macdonald, who was 
born 15th March, 1838, and married, 19th November, 
1872, Mary Jane, daughter of Alexander Fisher, 
and has by her — 

1. James Arthur Edward, born 13th May, 1886. 

2. Florence Mary. 

3. Leila Isabella. 


This tribe, known in their native Uist as " Siol 
Ghorraidh" or " Siolachadh Ghorraidh," derives its 
origin from 


I. Godfrey, youngest son of John, Lord of the 
Isles, by -his first wife, Amie Macruari. Godfrey 
obtained from his father a grant of the island of 
North Uist, but whether the Charter was a verbal 
one or was embodied in the form of parchment there 
seems to have been no attempt to secure the royal 
confirmation. Godfrey, Lord of Uist, \^ho is 
described in an historical document of his time as 
" Strenuus vir," probably believed more in the strong 
hand than in the efiicacy of writs, a fact from which 
his posterity no doubt suffered in times when more 
value was attached to these evidences of ownership. 
According to the historian of Sleat, Godfrey also 
held the lands of Skeirhough, Benbecula, and Bois- 
dale, in South Uist, after the death of his brother 
Reginald ; but of these further possessions having 
been his, we have no decisive evidence. After 1386, 
which year Ranald died, Godfrey seized the lordship 
of Garmoran, and until his death in 1401 exercised 
the powers of a feudal baron over the mainland and 
island territories of Clanranald. At what he styles 
his Castle of Ellantirrim, he dates a charter in which 
he calls himself Lord of Uist. In this Deed he 
granted to the Monastery of St John the Evangelist 
in Inchaffray and the Convent of the same, the 
Church of the Holy Trinity in Carinish, and 
the 4 merklands of Illera between Husabost 
and Kenearach, with all the advantages with 
which Christina, the daughter of Allan, the 
true heiress thereof, and Reginald, called Macruari, 
the real lord and patron, had granted the same 
chapel. Godfrey acted a prominent part in matters 
connected with the lordship of the Isles after his 
brother Ranald's death, and although he accepted 
the superiority of Donald as head of the race, he evi- 

The genealogy of clan donald. 361 

dently took the lead in various negotiations. On 
14th June, 1388, the King of England gave a Com- 
mission, fully recorded and signed at Westminster, 
addressed to the venerable prior John, Bishop of the 
South Isles (Sodorensis), to form an alliance with 
Godfrey (strenuo viro), while letters patent are also 
directed to the same bishop to adopt a similar course 
with the strenuous men, Donald and John, his 
brothers. He was alive in 1400, for in that year 
his son Angus is styled the son of Godfrey of the 
Isles, but, as already stated, he died the following 
year. According to the MS. of 1450, an unimpeach- 
able document touching contemporary genealogical 
facts, Godfrey had four sons — 

1. Angus. 

2. John. 

3. Somerled. 

4. Ranald. 

Whoever Alexander MacGorrie or Macruari of Gar- 
moran was who was executed by James I. in 1427, 
he could hardly have been a son of Godfrey, in view 
of his exclusion from the above list. The use by the 
chronicler of the patronymic Macruari rather than 
MacGorrie seems conclusive against the hypothesis 
of Skene and Gregory that he was a son of Godfrey, 
Lord of Uist. The conjecture has been advanced, 
not without plausibility, that the individual in ques- 
tion — Alexander Macruari — was really a Macmahon, 
and an early representative of the Matheson tribe. 
Be this as it may, Godfrey, Lord of Uist, was 
succeeded by his oldest son, 

II. Angus. We have it on record that on 8th 
June, 1400, Angus entered into a marriage contract 
with Margaret junior, daughter of Margaret, Lady 
of the Aird, who represented a family of great 


importance in that region of Inverness-shire. The 
contract, which was drawn out at Dumballoch, in 
the Parish of Kirkhill, contains stipulations as to 
the future enjoyment of the lands bestowed upon 
the young couple by the mother of the bride. 
These lands consisted of the davoch of Croicheil and 
the half davoch of Comar Kinbady, with pertinents 
amounting to 1 5 merklands, and they were entailed 
upon Angus and his wife and heirs begotten of 
them ; but failing issue,, they were to revert to the 
wife's family. That Angus was a man of con- 
sequence in the north appears further from a 
document of 6th August, 1420, contained among 
the Moray writs, in which William the Graham 
resigned into the hands of Thomas, Earl of Moray, 
the barony of Kerdale. At the drawing out of the 
Deed of Resignation, a number of notables were 
present, including John, Bishop of Ross ; Eugene 
Eraser, baron of Lovat ; John Macloyd, lord of 
Glenelg ; and Angus Gothrason of the Isles. Angus 
dying without issue, about 1430, and John and 
Somerled, the other sons of Godfrey, having left 
no trace either in history or tradition, he was suc- 
ceeded by his youngest brother, 

III. Ranald, son of Godfrey. He settled in the 
Paible district of North Uist, in a place since his 
day known as Balranald, so called after Ranald, the 
son of Godfrey. Tradition says he was the first to 
introduce into North Uist the feudal custom of 
" herezeld," or giving to the laird the best horse in 
the stable of a tenant or vassal who had died. Like 
his brother and father, Ranald was undoubtedly 
undisputed lord of North Uist. He died in 1440. 
He had two sons, whose names appear on record — 

1. Alexander. 

2. John. 


ly. Alexander, the older son of Raoald, suc- 
ceeded in the lordship of North Uist, but very little 
is known of him beyond the fact. He is clearly 
identified in the MacVurich MS., though the links 
of the genealogy are singularly inaccurate. The 
Clanranald Seanachie does sometimes trip when he 
goes beyond the family of his own patrons. He 
chronicles events which transpired in the year 1460, 
and, among others, he tells that " In that year died 
Alexander, the son of Godfrey's son . . . laird 
of the northern end of Uist." Alexander left no 
male issue, and the succession devolved upon his 

y. John, the son of Ranald. John appears in a 
list of the Council of John, Earl of Ross, who acted 
as witnesses to a charter granted by that potentate 
to Thomas, younger of Dingwall, on 12th April, 
1463. He appears as " Joannes Ranaldi Goffridi," 
along with Donald Balloch of Dunnyveg and the 
Glens, Celestine of Lochalsh, Ranald Bane of Largie, 
and others. Although John thus appeared to possess 
considerable influence and prestige, he was the last 
of the family to occupy the position of a territorial 
magnate. He probably died before 28th June, 1469, 
for it was at that date that John, Earl of Ross, 
bestowed a charter for extensive territories upon his 
own brother Hugh, including the lordship of North 
Uist, hitherto the patrimony of the Clan Godfrey. 
Presumably the family of John, son of Ranald Mac- 
Godfrey, found it difficult to compete with the in- 
fluential pretensions of the brother of the Lord of the 
Isles, as immediate vassals of that potentate. 

Though Godfrey's family thus terminated terri- 
torially, they did not disappear. They continued — 
at least many of them did — in their " kyndlie 


rowmes " as tenants of the family of Sleat. John, 
the last lord of the Clan Gorraidh, who possessed 
North Uist, had two sons — 

1. Donald, who succeeded him at Balranald. 

2. Godfrey, who received an invitation from the men of Loch- 

aber to become the successor of Iain Aluinn, the deposed 
chief of Keppoch. He was third cousin to the last 
chief, and being the son of the head of the Clan Gorrie 
was regarded as hereditarily fit to assume the chief- 
ship of another branch of the family of the Isles. 
Godfrey accepted of the invitation, largely' no doubt 
on the ground that his hereditary position at home 
had lost the ancient prestige. Eventually, however, 
the claims of nearer kmship prevailed with the 
descendants of Alastair Carrach, and Alexander the 
sou of Angus, uncle to the deposed chief, was elected 
to the chiefship. it is clear, however, that Godfrey 
remained in Lochaber and settled on the lands of 
Tirnadrish, where, during the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries his descendants were numerous. 
Godfrey had two sons who appear on record — 

(a) Alexander. 

(b) Donald, who lived at Blarourbeg, and left several 

Godfrey of Tirnadrish died c. 1548, and was succeeded 
there by his son — 

2. Alexander. He married, and had four sons — 

(a) Alexander. 

(b) Godfrey. 

(c) Donald. 

(d) Angus. 

Alexander died c. 1580, and was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 

3. Alexander. He died c. 1615, and was succeeded by the 

only son that appears on record — 

4. Godfrey, If his memory is not greatly maligned in the 

traditions of Lochaber, he was one of the party that 
discovered the hiding place of the persecuted Mac- 
gregors near his own dwelling at Tirnadrish, in con- 
sequence of which the Macgregors were taken by 
c their pursuers and put to death. Afterwards the 


headless spectre of a slain Macgregor was said to 
haunt him, and at last when one of the survivors took 
refuge in Godfrey's house on some pretence, the latter 
was panic-stricken at the sight of the supposed spectre, 
and the Macgregor stabbed hira to the heart. Such 
is the tradition, whatever its historical value may 
amount to. He died about 1640, and was succeeded 
by hi.s son, 

5. Alexander, who appears on record in that year. Alex- 
ander's name is mentioned in the submission to 
Governnier.t by Coll Macdonald of Keppooh in 1691. 
He was succeeded at Tirnadrish by his son, 

6. Archibald, known as Gilleasbuig Mor Thirnadrish, and 

his tombstone is still to be seen in the burying- 
ground at Cille Chaoraill, a curiously carved stone 
with his name inscribed and the date of his death, 
1720. After him the lands of Tirnadrish fell into 
the hands of Kanald Macdonald, bother to Coll of 
Keppoch, after which such of the Sliochd Ghorraidh 
as were still to the fore have been lost trace of. 
VI. Donald, the son of John, succeeded his 
father at Balranald as tenant of the family of Sleat. 
We find him here flourishing in the time of the 
sons of Hugh of Sleat, of whom he was a con- 
temporary. Hugh Macdonald, the Seanachie of the 
Clann Uisdein, describes an episode in Donald's 
family life of which Angus Collach, son of Hugh, 
was the hero, and which led to fierce and sanguinary 
feuds, to which reference has been made in Vol. II. 
Donald married a lady of the Clanranald family, a 
daughter of Ranald Ban Allanson, r2th Chief He 
had at least two sons — 

1. His successor at Balranald, name unknown. 

2. Godfrey, who settled at Vallay. 

Foi at least two hundred years his descendants 
occupied Balranald, and with other branches of the 
Clann Goriaidh engaged in many feuds, particularly 
with a tribe of Macdonalds — the Siolachadh 


Mhurchaidh. This sept is said to have been des- 
cended from an individual of the name of Murdoch, a 
natural son, according- to the Sleat historian, of Anffus 
Mor of Isla, and was numerous in North Uist, the 
only region where, so far as we are aware, they had 
a local habitation and a name. A tradition has 
been handed down in Uist regarding a strange 
weird act of vengeance perpetrated upon the 
Siolachadh Mhurchaidh by the Clan Gorraidh. 
Loch Hosta in North Uist at present adjoins the 
fai'ms of Hosta and Baleloch, and it is said that in 
olden times the hollow now occupied by this sheet 
of water was dry, a ad inhabited by a settlement of 
Siolachadh Mhurchaidh. To the east, and on a 
higher elevation on the moor, was a lake, and 
the scheme of retribution concocted by the Siol 
Ghorraidh took the form of opening a way for its 
waters, so that their course might be directed down- 
wards upon the unfortunate hamlet. The operation 
was with little difficulty carried through owing to 
the character of the moorland, and the lake let loose 
rushed down into the hollow at Hosta, through the 
channel of a burn now known as Amhainn Ealaidh, 
thereby submerging the habitations, and drowning 
many of the Siol Mhurchaidh. The night on which 
this terrible scheme was executed, a Clan Gorraidh 
piper composed and played a piobroch of savage 
vindictiveness, to which the words were wont to be 
sung — 

" thr^igh gu tr^igh Siolachadh Mhurchaidh." 

The links of the genealogical succession of Godfrey's 
descendants at Balranald have not been preserved 
either in record or tradition up to the time of 
Donald Macdonald in Paiblisgeary, whom we find in 
1723 witnessing the Bond of Uist men in favour of 


securing the forfeited Estates of Sleat to the family 
in occupation. He had three sons — 

1, Hugh Macdonald, known in his day as Uudean Ban. 
He lived at Paible, in North Uist, but was also tenant 
of Balranald after his father's death, holding it from 
Macdonald of Griminish, wadsetter. In 1777 he left 
North Uist, ajid got a tack of the lands of Torluui in 
Benbecula from the Clanranald of the day. On 6th 
September, 1786, having left Torlum, he received 
from John Macdonald of Clanranald a tack of the 
farm of Kilpheder, in the Boisdale district of South 
Uist, and the same year succeeded to a tack of Dali- 
burgh on the same property, which had been held 
by his brother Alexander, who died without issue. 
Uislean Ban was well known and respected in his day 
as a man of remarkable natural gifts and a very 
accomplished genealogist and folk-lorist. He sup- 
plied Donald Grregory, author of the " Highlands and 
Isles of Scotland," with a genealog}' of the Mac- 
donalds of Sleat and Clanranald, which, for a purely 
traditional utterance, is conspicuous for its accuracy. 
It was written down at Balranald, in North Uist, on 
the 10th August, 1800, and is preserved among the 
Gregory Collections. One of the most interesting 
pieces of evidence regarding the authenticity of Mac- 
pherson's Ossian was also written down from the 
dictation of Hugh Macdonald at Tighary, in North 
Uist, on 12th August, 1800. Hugh married, and 
(a) James, a most accomplished man and a minister of 
the Church of Scotland. He was born at Paible, 
in North Uist, in 1771, and had his University 
education in Aberdeen, where he took his degree 
of A.M. in 1789. In 1795 he was licensed by 
the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and was presented 
to the parish of Easter Anstruther in 1798, his 
ordination following on 18th April, 1799. Having 
been called to discharge an important duty at a 
distance from Anstruther, he demitted his charge 
on 3rd October, 1804. He made a tour of the 
Continent in company with Mac<lonald of Clan- 


ranald, and afterwards travelled with Sir Evan 
Macgregor, but in the course of a voyage in 1808 
was shipwrecked on the coast of Ireland, and 
received injuries from which he never fully 
recovered. He died at Edinburgh on 18th April 
in the 39th year of his age. Mr Macdonald was 
a scholar and a man of letters, aud his " General 
View of the Agriculture of the Hebrides" (Edin. 
1811, 8vo.) is a most able and masterly state- 
ment. He also published " Travels through 
Denmark and part of Sweden," " Translation of 
part of Carsewell's Prayer Book," as well as 
articles in Brewster's Encyclopaedia. He married 
Janet, daughter of the Rev. Principal Playfair of 
St Andrews, without issue. His widow died 
20th October, 1864, aged 86. 
(b) Donald, who succeeded his father as Tacksman of 
Kilpheder and Daliburgh. He married Penelope, 
daughter of Angus Macdonald, 4th of Milton, by 
his wife Margaret, daughter of Colin Macdonald 
of Boisdale. By her he had a daughter, 
Penelope, who married John Maclellan, Tacksman 
of Drimore, with issue. He had also a son, John, 
who was successively Tacksman of Keill in Eigg, 
and Coillechronain in Mull. John married Ann, 
daughter of Rev. Roderick Maclean, South Uist, 
by whom he had four sons — (a) Hugh ; (o) 
Roderick, died unmarried ; (c) Donald ; (r/) 
James, died unmarried— and two daughters — (a) 
Mary, who married Alexander Maclean, of the 
Killiunduin family, with issue, one daughter, 
Elizabeth, married to Mr David Niven, Glasgow ; 
and (b) Normana. 
Donald had also a daughter, Flora, who married, as 
his first wife, Roderick Macdonald, Cunambuintag, 
Benbecula, with issue, one son, James, who died 
while prosecuting his studies for the ministry. 

Hugh of Kilpheder had a daughter, Ann, who died 
unmarried at Keill, Eigg. Hugh of Kilpheder died 
at an advanced age towards the end of the second 
decade of the 19th century. 
2. Alexander, son of Donald, and brother of Hugh of 
Kilpheder. He received a Tack of the farm of 


Daliburgh in 1777, where he died in 1786, without 
3. Donald Ban, who lived at Paible. He married Marion, 
daughter of Arcliibald Ban Grianan Baleshare, and 
had a son, John, who was father of the Rev. Hugh 
Macdonald, successively minister of Bernera and 
Trumisgarry, and of Rev. Alexander Macdonald, who 
was minister of Stenscholl, Skye. 

Having thus, so far as materials avail, disposed of 
the genealogy of the Clangorry of Balranald, we 
turn to that of the descendants of the younger son 
of Donald, son of John, lord of Uist. This was — 

1. Godfrev, the son of Donald, from whom this branch of 

the tribe were called Mac Gorry as late as the 
17th centurv. He is mentioned by Hugh Macdonald, 
the Sleat Seanachie, as "Macdonald of Vallay " at 
the time of the death of Gilleasbuig Dubh, son of 
Hugh, at the hands of his nephews, Donald Gruamach 
and Ranald, son of Donald Hen-ach. He thus 
flourished during the first half of the 16th century. 
He had two sons — 

(a) Alexander, his successor. 

(b) John. He had a son, Ranald, who is referred to in a 

caption at the instance of Sir Donald Macdonald, 
1st Baronet of Sleat, against Clauranald and 
various tenants in Benbecula and Skeirhough 
Godfrey was succeeded at Vallay by his son, 

2. Alexander, known as Alastair MacGorraidh. He had 

two sons — 

(a) Donald. 

(b) Alexander. He had a son, Angus, who, according to 

MacVurich, followed the banner of Donald of 
Clanranald during the Civil Wai*s of Charles I., 
and was among the gentlemen who landed with 
him at Caolas Staolaidh after his Irish campaign 
in 1648. He appears on record as " Alastair Mac- 

(c) John Dow MacGorraidh, who appears on record in 

1636, with his brother Alexander and many 
others, to whom the serious attention of the 



Privy Council was directed to the extent of 
Decreet of Horning, for having, under the leader- 
ship of John Macdonald of Clanranald, boarded 
and robbed the ship " Susannah." 

Alexander second of Vallay was succeeded 
there by his older son, 
3. Donald. He appears on record in 1614 as witness to a 
sasine in favour of Donald Gorm Mor of lands in 
Uist and elsewhere as " Donald Mac Gorry in Valay." 
In the traditional genealogy of the tribe, he comes in 
as " Donihnull Odhar Mac Alastair 'ic Gorraidh.'' 
In his time this branch of the Siol Ghorraidh 
lost their tenure of Vallay through the earth hunger 
of other individuals who had the ear of the powers 
that were. The tradition is that the proprietor of 
North Uist — presumably Domhnull Gorm Og, the 
first Baronet of Sleat — was on a visit to that island 
collecting rents. The stone on which he or his baillie 
was wont to sit at the receipt of custom — at or near 
Ceann traigh Bhalaidh, the head of the Sands of 
Vallay — is still pointed out. The chief was travelling 
on foot, and in his progress to the west side had to 
cross a large tract of sand, near which was a deep 
pool. Here there was observed a seal swimming 
about and disporting itself in the waters of Faodhail 
Mhor — the big ford. The chiefs curiosity was roused 
to get near the phoca, and if possible capture it, a 
feat not easily performed. One of his company, 
however, remarked that if they had one of the young 
Macdonalds of Vallay — sons of Donald — he might be 
able to shoot the seal and secure it for the chief. A 
messenger having been sent, the youngest of the three 
sons came upon the scene, and having caused the 
whole company to retire to a distance, he fixed his 
bow and arrow, and the seal putting up his head to 
breathe, young Macdonald discharged his arrow so 
effectually that it went in at one eye and out at the 
other. Sir Donald was so well pleased with the expert- 
ness of the young archer that he asked what he could 
do for him. It then came out that the family were 
under warning to remove, and as the place had been 
promised to another tenant, it appeared that they 


could not be left at Vallay, They, however, got the 
farm of Malaglate, on the opposite side of the Vallay 
ford, and it is not long since the ruins of the home- 
stead were pointed out as Totaichean Mhic Gorraidh, 
Mac Gorry's ruins. To illustrate the dexterity of 
Mac Gorry's sons as archers, there was a stone cross 
at a place in Vallay called Leathad na croise — the 
declivity of the cross — which contained three holes, 
and tradition has it that in the course of their 
practice the three brothers used to select a hole each 
for himself, and firing simultaneously, it was found, 
as a rule, that each man's arrow was, in the proper 

As already stated, Donald Mac Gorry and as many 
more of his tribe as lived in Vallay had to remove, 
Donald himself and his family settling at Malaglate. 
It was probably at this time that some of the Clan 
Gorry moved to the Clanranald country of Benbecula 
and South Uist, so that in 1622 we find Ranald MacEan 
Mac Gorry a tenant of John Moideartach's, and Alastair 
Mac Gorry following him in ways that were not law- 
abiding in 1636, as already stated, and in 1625 we 
find "Johannes MacGorrie," doubtless of the same 
family, acting as " Scriptus A.ctornatus" in a sasine in 
favour of Ranald Macdonald of Benbecula. So also 
have we found Angus, the son of Alastair, son of 
Alastair MacGorraidh, following the Clanranald 
standard in 1648. Donald probably lived to 1650. 
Of the three sons of Donald Odhar who settled at 
Malaglate, we can only mention one, and this because 
his name appears in the traditional genealogy, and it 
is through him that the generations can be brought 
down to the present time. This was 
John, known as Iain Og or young John, possibly to dis- 
tinguish him from his uncle, John Dow MacGorraidh, 
who may have been the Scriptus Actornatus of 1625. 
He flourished 1610-1680. How long the family re- 
mained at Malaglate cannot be determined — probably 
not later than the time of Donald Odhar, after whom 
the ruins were named "Totaichean Mhic Ghorraidh." 
John had at least one son, 


5. Malcolm, known as Gille Calluin Mac Iain Oig. He 
~ lived in the Island of Rona, off North Uist, which he 

farmed in whole or part, and flourished c. 1650-1720. 
There is a large number of his progeny in North 
Uist and other parts of the world, and the following 
may be regarded as an accurate genealogy of some at 
least of his descendants down to the present day. He 
had two sons — 
(a) Archibald, Gillea&hidg Mac ille Challuim. He lived 
for a number of years at Vallay, of which lie had 
a Steelbow tack from Ewen Macdonald, son of 
William, Tutor of Sleat. He married Ann, 
daughter of Rev. John Laing, Parochial School- 
master of N. Uist, by his wife, Miss Macgregor, 
who belonged to a family of that Ilk in the 
Breadalbane district of Perthshire. It is said 
that the young divine was tutor in this lady's 
family, and added some romance to the short and 
simple annals of a teacher's life by inducing her 
to elope with him. By Ann, daughter of Mr 
John Laing, he had three sons — 
(a^) Malcolm. He had a son Donald, who was 
ground officer or local factor on Lord Mac- 
donald's estate of North Uist. Donald had a 
son, Alexander, whose son is the Rev. Donald 
Macdonald, now parish minister of North Uist. 
He also had a son. Rev. Donald Macdonald, who 
was successively minister of Trumisgarry and 
Sleat. He went to America, and died there. He 
married and had a family, all of whom died young. 
Malcolm, the son of Archibald, had a daughter 
Christina, who married James Macdonald, Tor- 
lum, Benbecula, with issue ; and another 
daughter Marion, who married Cajit. Ferguson 
in South Uist, whose daughter Catherine married 
as his second wife Roderick Macdonald, Cunam- 
buintag, Benbecula, with issue. 
(b^) Roderick, son of Gilleasbuig Mac ille Challuim. 
He married Christina Mackintosh, with issue— 
•■• :. (a) Archibald — (?i7/eas6m5' 5an— who was 

successively tacksman of Penmore and Kirki- 
bost, both in North Uist. He married Susan 
Mackinnon, with issue, among others— Rev. 



Koderick Macdonald, a distingushed Gaelic 
preacher, and a man of varied culture and 
attainments. He was born at Vallay, North 
Hist, in 1823, entered the University of Glasgow 
in 1838, where he took his Arts and Divinity 
curriculum. He was oixlained to the Parish of 
Harris in 1847, and translated to South Uist in 
1854, where he died in March, 1900, in the 78th 
year of his age, and the 53rd of his mnii&try. He 
married Marion, daughter of the Rev. Roderick 
Maclean, his predecessor in South Uist, by hia 
wife Elizabeth Macleod, daughter of Captain 
Norman Macleod, "Cyprus." His son is Rev. 
Archibald Macdonald, Minister of Kdtarlity, 
editor of the "Uist Bards," and joint author 
with Rev. Angus Macdonald, Killearnan, of the 
"History of the Clan Donald." He married 
Margaret Hope, daughter of the late Rev. John 
W. Tolmie, Minister of Contin, by his wile 
Christina Mary, daughter of Alexander Mac- 
donald of Vallay, with issue. 

{h) Ewen, the son of Roderick, who married 
Marion Macdonald, with issue, several sous and 

(c) Alexander, the sou of Roderick. He 
married, and had a son, Norman, who was 
for many years well known throughout the 
Western Isles as Glasgow agent for David 
Hutchesou & Co.'s fleet of steamers. He married 
Flora Macintyre, with issue. 
(b) Angn^—Aonghas MacHUe Challuim. He married, 
and had two sons — 
(a) Roderick, who was successively tacksman of the 
farms of Kirkibost and Kyies, Paible. He 
married Flora, daughter of Maclean of Borreray, 
by whom he had three sons — 

(a^) Angus, who emigrated to America; {/^) 
Dr .John Macdonald, who lived at Balelone, in 
North Uist, and was for many years medical 
officer for that parish. He had a fine presence, 
polished manners, and intellectual tastes, and 
was a man of distinguished professional attain- 
ments. He died unmarried, (c^) Donald, who 
died unmarried ; also several daughters. 


(6) John, the son of Angus. He married Janet, 
daughter of William Macdonald of Vallay, with- 
out issue. He had a son, Archibald, who for 
many years was tacksman of Allasdale, in 
Barra. He married Catherine, daughter of 
James Macdonald, Torlum, Benbecula, with issue. 


This family, than which there was none more 
powerful or distina^uished among the cadets of the 
Isles, derives its descent from John Mor Tanlster, 
second son of John, Lord of the Isles, by his second 
wife, Princess Margaret Stewart, daughter of King 
Robert II. John Mor married Margery Bisset, 
daughter of Sir Hugh Bisset, and heiress in her 
own right of the Seven Glens of Antrim. Besides 
their possessions in Isla and Kintyre, the family of 
Dunnyveg had thus extensive Irish territories, and 
played an important part in the stirring drama of 
Irish warfare. 

By his wife, Margery Bisset, John Mor had — 

1. Donald Balloch, his successor. 

2. Ranald Bane, from whom the family of Largie. 

John Mor was assassinated in 1427, and was 
succeeded by his son, 

II. Donald Balloch. He married, first, 
Johanna, daughter of Conn O'Neill, by whom he 
had — 

1. John, his successor. 

He married, secondly, Joan, daughter of O'Donnell, 
Lord of Tyrconnel, and sister of Hugh Boe O'Don- 
nell, by whom he had — 

2. Agnes, who married Thomas Bannatyne of Knraes. 
Donald Balloch died on an islet on Lochgruinart, in 
Islay, in 1476, and was succeeded by his son, 


III. Sir John Moe. He married Sarah, daughter 
of Felim O'Neill of Claiieboy, by whom he had — 

1. John Cathanach. 

2. Alastair Carrach, who settled in Ireland, and had a son, 

Ranald Buy, who had a son, Alexander. This Alex- 
ander was knighted for his services against the Irish 
and Scots by the Earl of Sussex, in 1556, who, at the 
ceremony, presented him with a gold sword and a 
pair of silver spurs. He, at the same time, received 
from the Lord-Deputy a grant of the greater part of 
the Barony of Dunluce, with the Monastery of Glenarm 
and the lands belonging thereto. 

Through the treachery of Maclain of Ardnamurchaii, 
Sir John Mor and his son, John Cathanach, with 
three sons of the latter, were ajDprehended, taken to 
Edinburgh, and hanged on the Borough Muir, an 
event which, according to the Annals of Loch Ce, 
took place in 1499. Though Sir John Mor and his 
son died on the same day, as the latter had assumed 
the leadership of the Clann Iain Mhoir in his 
father's lifetime he may be reckoned as the next 
in succession. 

IV. John Cathanach. He married Cecilia 
Savage, daughter of the Lord of the Ardes, in 
Antrim, and by her had — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. John Mor. \ ^ i , . , , . 

o T , /w ^"t to death, with then- father and 

3. John Og. y ' , . -, ,^„ 
^ T^ 1 1 11 11 1 grandfather, m 1499. 

4. Donald Balloch. J ^ 

5. Angus, known as Aonghas Ileach, from whom the family 

of Sanda. 

John Cathanach was succeeded by his son, 

V. Alexander, a man of note in his day, and 
known in Scotland and Ireland as Alastair Mac- 
Iai7i Chathanaich. He often appears in the Irish 
State Papers as " Alastair Carrach," but he was 
never so named among the Celtic population, and 
the surname is probably a mistake for "Cathanach."' 


Alexander married Catherine, daughter of John 
Maclain of Ardnamurchan, and by her had— 

L Donald, who, according to an Irish genealogical MS., had 
', . ' the surname malak or vialaicht, that is, cursed. The 

reason for this sinister epithet was that he was cursed 
by his mother before birth, because her husband had 
killed her five brothers, in vengeance for the treachery 
wrought upon his family by her father, Maclain of 
Ardnamiu'chan. She prayed that her unborn offspring 
should never see the light of day, and the alleged 
result was that the first born came blind into the 
world. Another authority says that he was deficient 
in courage, which was the reason for his not suc- 
ceeding to the lordship. Donald, Avho was also called 
Balloch, had two sons- - 

(a) Alastair, who is spoken of in the Irish State papers 

as Constable of the Scots in Ireland. He was 
killed in battle with O'Connor in 1581. 

(b) Donald Gorm, who was killed in Ireland in 1581. 

2. James, who succeeded. 

3. Angus, known as Aonghas Uaimhreach, or "Angus the 

haughty." He was slain in the conflict with Shane 
O'Neill in 1565. He left two sons, 

(a) Ranald, who died at the Rout, and was buried at 

Bunamargie in 1595. 

(b) Alexander, who had a son, Ranald Og, who fought 

with Alastair MacCholla in the campaign of 

4. Coll, vai'iously known as Colia Maol Dubh and Colla nan 

Capull, from whom the Macdonalds formerly of 
Colonsay are descended. He was buried at Buna- 

5. Somerled, better known as Somhairle Buidhe, from whom 

the Antrim family is descended. 

6. Alexander, known as Alastair Og, killed in battle with 

Turlough Luinneach O'Neill in 1566. 

7. Donald Gorm, who left a son, Donald, who had a son, 

Donald Gorm. 

8. Brian Carrach, who was killed in battle in Ireland in 



9. Ranald Og, of whom nothing is known beyond the name. 

10. Meve, who married Hector Maclean of Coll. 

11. Mary, who married Hector Mor Maclean of Duart. 

Alexander of Dunnyveg died at Stirling while on 
a visit to the King in 1538, and was buried in the 
High Church of the town (Teampull Mor a hliaile), 
and was succeeded by his son, 

VI. James. He married Agnes, daughter of 
Colin, Earl of Argyll, by whom he had— 

1. Archibald, his successor. 

2. Angus, who succeeded his brother. 

-3. Ranald of Smerby. He acted a prominent part in the 
troubles between the family of Dunnyveg and Maclean 
of Duart, with whom he was for some time a hostage. 
In 1614 he held the fort of Lochgorm, and entered 
into a bond with Sir John Campbell of Cawdor, under- 
taking to surrender the fort, which he did on the 28th 
of January, 1615. He also acted an important part 
during the rebellion of Sir James Macdonald, his 
nephew, in 1615. He married a daughter of Banna- 
tyne of Kames, and had — 

(a) Coll, who succeeded him at Smerby. 

(b) Archibald, who left two sous, Coll and Archibald. 

(c) Donald Gorm, who was iu 1615 a party to the bond 

by which his father agreed to surrender the 
fortalice of Lochgorm. 

(d) Mary, who married Ranald Macdonald of Benbecula, 

with issue. 
Ranald of Smerbie died 1616, and was buried in 

4. Coll. It was he who carried out the fearful vengeance 

upon the Macleans at Mullintrae under the mistaken 
idea that his brother, Ranald, had been put to death 
while a hostage at Duart. Under Coil's instructions 
two Macleans were executed every day until at last 
out of several score Sir Lachlan alone was left. Coll 
left two sons, Donald Gorm and Alastair Carrach, and 
died at Eilein Mhic Carmaic, in Knapdale. 

5. Donald Gorm, who possessed the barony of Carey, in 

Antrim, granted to him by patent dated at Dunluce, 


September 18, 1584. He was killed at Ardnary, in 
Ireland, in battle against the English in 1586. He 
left a son, Donald Gorni Og, who left a daughter. 

6. Alexander, known as Alasiair Carrach, and sometimes 

A lastair Gcdlte, hi Irish State Papers. He possessed 
for some time the barony of Glenarm. He was killed 
along with his brother, Donald Gorm, in 1586. He 
left a son, Ranald, who succeeded him in Glenarm. 
Ranald left a son, Archibald, who was killed at 
Broughbuy, in Glenarm, with whom the male line of 
Alastair Carrach terminated. 

7. A daughter, known as " Ineen Dubh," or black-haired 

girl, who married Hugh O'Donnell of Donegal. 

James Macdonald of Dnniiyveg, who was taken 
prisoner in 1565 in a battle with a coalition of the 
English and Shane O'Neill's followers, died shortly 
thereafter from the effects of his wounds, or, as was 
darkly whispered, by poison administered by O'Neill. 
According to MacViirich, he died at Dungannon, and 
was buried at Armagh. He was succeeded by his 

VII. Archibald. He died without issue in 
1568, and was succeeded by his brother, 

VIII. Angus. He married Mary, daughter of 
Hector Og Maclean of Duart, and had by her — 

1. James, who succeeded him. 

2. Angus Og. He married Katherine, daughter of Duncan 

Campbell of Danna, and had two sons, of whom 
nothing is known. He was in a most treacherous 
manner, with several of his followers, executed in the 
Grassmarket of Edinburgh, 8th July, 1615. 

3. Alexander Og, who was drowned on Caol He, Oct. 3, 

1613. He left a natural daughter, Margaret, who 
married Hector M'Alister of Ardincross in 1626. 

4. Mary, who married Sir Donald Macdonald of Clanranald. 

5. Margaret, who married Ranald Macdonald of Benbecula. 

6. Annabella, who married Archibald Macdonald of Largie. 

Angus Macdonald of Dunivaig had three natural 
sons — Archibald, Alexander, and Kanald Og. 


To Archibald, known as Oilleashuig Dtihh, his father granted 
a charter in 1576 of the lands of Gigha for life. In 
1582 he granted him a new charter of these lands and 
others, which in 1598 was confirmed by a charter 
from the Crown. These lands, besides the i>20 lands 
of Gigha, comprised 16 merklands in Kintyre, 5 
merklauds in Islay, and 8 merklands in Knapdale, 
with the office of Toshachdorach of all the lands of 
Kintyre. Archibald was confined as a hostage for his 
father and brother in the Castle of Dumbarton, from 
which he contrived to make his escape in 1607. 
Archibald Macdonald of Gigha died in 1618. Accord- 
ing to MacVurich, lahilleadh e an Eilein Mhic Carmaic 
agus cliulreadh a chorp arm an Cille Mhuire 'sa Chnap. 
He left three sons — 

(a) John, who succeeded him. 

(b) Hugh, who had two sons — Angus and James. 

(c) Archibald. 

John Macdonald II. of Gigha was served heir to his 
father in March, 1619, in all his lands, as well as in 
the office of Toshachdorach. In 1629 he sold his 
lands of Knockrinsale in Isla to John Campbell, Fiar 
of Calder, and in 1631 he disposed of almost all his 
property to Archibald, Lord Lorn. He married 
Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Stewart, Constable 
of Dumbarton Castle, and had by her — 

(a) Alexander, who held lands in Kintyre. 

(b) Archibald, who also held lands in Kintyre. 

(c) Margaret, who married Colonel James Montgomery of 

Coifefield, son of the 6th Earl of Eglinton. 

Angus Macdonald of Dunnyveg died at Rothesay, 
Oct. 21st, 1614, and was buried at Saddel. He was 
succeeded by his son, 

IX. Sir James Macdonald. He married Mar- 
garet, daughter of Sir John Campbell of Cawdor, 
without issue. He had a natural son, Donald Gorm, 
who played a conspicuous part in the last struggle 
of the Clann Iain Mhoir in Isla. 

Sir James died in London a week before Easter, 
in 1626, and was buried in St Marthi's Church. 



The family of Largie derived its origin from 

I. Ranald Bane, younger son of John Mor 
Tanister, progenitor of the Clann Iain Mhoir, and of 
Marjory Bisset, his wife. Hugh Macdonald, the 
Sleat historian, bastardizes Banald, but in this he is 
alone among the genealogists, and there is not a 
shred of evidence for the statement. From him the 
Macdonalds of Largie are called the Clanranaldbane. 
It is said that he obtained the estate of Largie from 
the Earl of Ross on account of services rendered at 
the battle of Inverlochy in 1431, under the leader- 
ship of his older brother, Donald Balloch. Ranald 
was one of the Commissioners of the Earl of Ross in 
1461 appointed to confer with the deputies of the 
King of England, when he appears in the Treaty as 
Reynold of the Isles, the other Commissioner being 
" Duncan Archediaken of the Isles." He witnesses 
a charter in 1463 by the Earl of Ross, in which he 
appears as " Ranaldo Albo de Insulis." We have 
no definite evidence as to the date of his death, but 
it is not likely that he would have long survived his 
brother, Donald Balloch, who died at an advanced 
age in 1476. His wife's name does not appear on 
record, but he left — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Alexander, who succeeded Donald. 

3. John. He had two sons, Alister and Donald, who appear 

on record. 

4. Marion, who in 1510 received in liferent the 4 merklands 

of Cortynvale. 

Ranald Bane was succeeded by his oldest son — 

II. Donald, who was the representative of the 
family in 1493. He appears in 1503 in connection 




mm m 



with the attempt to make Donald Dubh Lord of the 
Isles, and was for this oifence summoned before 
Parliament in 1505, He does not appear, however, 
to have endured any definite punishment. In 1515 
he was concerned in the insurrection of Sir Donald 
Gallda of Lochalsh, but having made his submission 
to the Government, he, with others, received a 
special protection under the Great Seal as being ser- 
vants and "familiars" of Argyll. The Clanranald- 
bane again supported Sir Donald when he rose in 
1517. Donald of Largie died shortly after this, and 
having left no legitimate male issue, he was suc- 
ceeded by his brother, 

III. Alexander. He had been associated with 
his older brother in various events, already referred to, 
and there is little of a distinctive nature to chronicle 
regarding him. It is probable that he did not sur- 
vive Donald by very many years. His death would 
have taken place circa 1525. Alexander was 
succeeded by his son, 

IV. Donald. In 1531 Donald was, with the 
chief of the Clann Iain Mhoir, summoned before 
Parliament for treason, but Alexander of Dunny veg 
having risen into favour, the proceedings against 
Donald of Largie were abandoned. In 1542 he and 
his son and heir and others of the Clanranaldbane 
received a remission from the Council for treasonably 
abiding from the Raid of Solway. In 1549 the 
Clanranaldbane, with the rest of the Clann Iain 
Mhoir, were at feud with the MacNeills of Kintyre, 
and slaughters Avere committed on both sides. 
Donald of Largie died about 1550. He married, 
and had two sons — 

1. John, his successor. 

'J,, Alexander, He had two sons — 


(a) Hector, who afterwards succeeded. 

(b) John, who had a son, Archibald, through whom the 

succession, afterwards went on. 

Donald was succeeded by his older son, 

V. John. He appears on record during his 
father's time. He is in evidence in 1539, and in 
1566 we find him witnessing a Deed b}^ MacNeiil of 
Gigha to Jamets Macdonald of Dunnyveg and the 
Glens. He died about 1570, without leaving heirs 
of his body, when the succession devolved upon his 

VI. Hector MacAllster of Largie, who in 1587 
appears under that designation. He succeeded in 
right of his father, Alexander, son of Donald 4th 
of Largie, now deceased. He died about 1590. 
Leaving no legal heirs, he was succeeded as head of 
the house of Largie by 

YIL Archibald, son of John, nephew of Hector. 
He received the heritage in right of his father, 
now deceased. He appears on record in 1592 as 
Archibald Macdonald of Largie, and in 1597 as 
Gilleasbuig Mac Vic Alastair of the Largie. He 
was one of the Clann Iain Mhoir consulted 
by Angus of Dunnyveg when he made over his 
estates to Sir James, his son, in 1596, when his 
name is recorded as Gilleasbuig McEwin VcAllister 
of Largie. He received in 1600 a charter of certain 
lands in Kintyre, long previously possessed by him- 
self and his family, and then in the hands of the 
Crown through forfeiture of Angus of Dunnyveg. 
These lands were at the same time erected into the 
tenandry of Largie. He was one of those ordered 
to exhibit their title deeds to Lord Scone, Comp- 
troller in 1605, and he is mentioned first in the Roll 
of Tenants of Kintyre, made up at Kinloch, Kil- 


kerran, that year. He married Annabella, daughter 
of Angus of Dunnyveg, and had three sons — 

1. Alexander, who succeeded. 

2. Allan. 

3. John. 

He died shortly after 1605, and was succeeded by 
his oldest son — 

VIII. Alexander. In 1609 he was ordered to 
find caution in £2000 that he would not harbour 
any of the rebellious Islesmen. In 1611 he was one 
of the Commissioners appointed for trying the 
resetters of the Clan Macgregor. He did not join 
in Sir James's Rising of 1615, which year the Earl 
of Argyll became bound for his appearance before 
the Council whenever charged upon fifteen days' 
warning. In 1619 he is bound in £2000 for the 
behaviour of himself and tenants. He and his 
brother Allan were securities for the good behaviour 
of Coll MacGillespick in 1620. Alexander got him- 
self served heir to his father Archibald in 1627. 
He had two sons — 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. Donald, afterwards Tutor of Largie. He had a daughter, 

Margaret, who appears on record in 1700. 

He died in 1639, and was succeeded by his older 

IX. Angus. He joined Montrose in the Civil 
War, and was at the burning of Inverary in 1647. 
That year he was with Alastair Mac Colla when he 
made his last stand at Tarbet, Kin tyre, and had to 
retire before Sir David Leslie and the forces of the 
Government. He was first Captain of the Regiment 
that went to Ireland in 1648 under Alastair Mac 
Colla, and of which Donald, younger of Clanranald, 
was Lieutenant-Colonel. He was forfeited by the 


Committee of Estates in 1649, and his property 
^iven to the Marquis of* Argyll. In 1661, after the 
Restoration, he was one of the Commissioners in 
Argyll for regulating the uplifting and ordering of 
the monies levied for the service of the Crown. 
That same year an Act was passed rescinding his 
pretended forfeiture. He was a Commissioner of 
Supply in 1667, and was served heir to his father in 
1669. This latter year he got sasine from Argyll of 
the island of Cara, as possessed by his deceased 
father, Alexander Macdonald of Largie. He married, 
and had two sons — 

1. A.rchibald, who succeeded. 

2. John, who succeeded Archibald. 

3. A daughter, who married Rev. Angus Macdonald, minister 

of South Uist, known as the Ministear Laidear. 

We have no precise data for fixing the date of the 
death of Angus Macdonald of Largie, but it must 
have been before 1687, for in that year there appears 
on record his older son and successor, 

X. Archibald Macdonald of Largie. He was 
a minor at the time of his father's death, when the 
aflPairs of the family were administered by Donald, 
his uncle, and younger son of Alexander 8th of 
Larofie. Under the direction of his tutor, he took 
part in Dundee's Eising in 1689, followed by 200 
men from Kin tyre. The Tutor of Largie fell at the 
battle of Killiecrankie, and, according to some 
authorities, the young chief of Largie himself was 
slain. This latter statement may very well be true, 
and it is certain in any case that he died young, nor 
does his name afterwards appear on record. He was 
succeeded as head of Largie by his brother, 

Xr. John. We find him in August, 1689, along 
with 50 other Highland gentlemen, signing a Bond 


of Association at Blair- Athole pledging themselves 
to the service of King James. He was served heir 
to his father in 1698, and was a Commissioner of 
Supply in 1704. He died in 1710. John, 11th of 
Largie, married, and was succeeded by his son, 

XEI. John. In 1712 a summons was issued 
against him by his uncle by marriage, Rev. Angus 
Macdonald, minister of South Uist, to have himself 
served heir to his father and his uncle Archibald. 
We are not informed as to the issue, or whether the 
service was duly executed. John, 12th of Largie, 
died in 1 729. He was succeeded by his son, 

XIII. John, who was served heir to his father 
on 17th January, 1730. He married Elizabeth, 
only daughter of John Macleod of Muiravonside, by 
whom he had one daughter, also named Elizabeth. 
On 3rd April, 1763. he executed a Deed of Entail, 
by which his estates devolved upon heirs general. 
John Macdonald of Largie died in 1768, and was 
succeeded in terms of her father's disposition by his 

XIV. Elizabeth. In 1784 she succeeded her 
uncle, Alexander Macleod of Muiravonside, as 
heiress of his estates. On 17th August, 1762, she 
married Cliarles Lockhart, third son of Lockhart of 
Carnwath, with issue — 

1. John, who died at the siege of Mangalore, without issue, 

and seems to have predeceased his mother. 

2. James, who succeeded. 

3. Alexander, who succeeded James. 

4. Norman, a W.S. He married and had issue — (a) A.lex- 

ander, (b) John Inues Crawford, [c) Charles George 
Norman, (d) Norman Philip, (e) Archibald Macmurdo, 
(/) Jane MacNeill : she married H. D. Macmurdo, 
and Imd a daughter Elizabeth ; (g) Elizabeth, (A) 
Philadelphia Mary Barbara. 



5. Elizabeth, who married (1st) Macneil of Dunmore, with 

out issue ; (2nd) W. B. McCabe, with issue. 

6. Clementina. 

7. Matilda, mai-ried J. Campbell of Saddell, with issue John 

of Glensaddell. 

8. Charlotte Sarah. 

9. Mary. 

10. Euphemia. 

11. Annabella. 

Charles Lockhart, husband of Elizabeth 14th of 
Largie, assumed the name of Maedonald. Elizabeth 
died on 1st August, 1787, and was succeeded by her 
oldest surviving son, 

XV. James. He was killed at Dunkirk in 1793, 
and left no issue. He was succeeded by his 
younger brother, 

XVI. Alexander. He was served heir to his 
mother and grandfather in 1793, He succeeded to 
the Lee and Carnwath Estates in 1802, when he 
resumed his paternal name of Lockhart, and was 
created a Baronet in 1806. He died on 22nd June, 
1816. He married, and had — 

1. Sir Charles. 

2. Sir Norman. 

3. Alexander. 

4. Esther Charlotte Sarah. 

He was succeeded by his oldest son, 

XVII. Sir Charles Macdonald Lockhart. 
He married, and had two daughters — 

1. Mary Jane. 

2. Emilia Olivia. 

He died 8th December, 1832, and was succeeded by 
his older daughter, 

XVIII. Mary Jane. She married, 15th Sep- 
tember, 1837, the Hon. Augustine Henry Moreton, 
second son of Thomas, 1st Earl of Ducie, who 
assumed the name of Macdonald. She died on 10th 



December, 1851, and her husband on 14th February, 
1862. They had— 

1. Charles Moreton, born 12th July, 1840. 

2. Augustine Henry, Captain in the Coldstream Guards. 

He married, 25th July, 1874, Anna Harriet Mary, 
oldest daughter of Sir Richard Sutton, Bart., with 

Mary Jane Macdonald of Largie was succeeded by 
her son, 

XIX. Charles Moreton. He married Elizabeth 
Hume, daughter of Archibald Campbell, Esq. of 
Glendaruel, Argyll. Issue — 

1. John Ranald Moreton. 

2. Esther. 

Charles died 16th July, 1879, and was succeeded by 

XX. John Ranald Moreton Macdonald, the 
present Laird of Largie. 


This branch of the Clan Iain Mhoir is descended 
from Angus, the youngest son of John Cathanach of 
Dunnyveg, known as Aonghas Ileach} He and his 
brother, Alexander, found a refuge in the Antrim 
glens when their grandfather, father, and three 
brothers, were executed in Edinburgh in 1499. 
When his brother was restored to his inheritance in 
Kintyre he bestowed upon Angus the lands of 
Sanda, Machaireoch, and others, in Southend, in all 
extending to £16 lands of old extent. Angus was 
associated with the rest of the Clann Iain Mhoir in 
their campaigns in Ireland and elsewhere in that 
stirring time in the history of their house. In 1535 
he was outlawed for not appearing to stand his trial 

^ If he was born and brought up in Isla, that explains why he was called 
" Ileach" in Kintyi'e, where the home of his later days wa« situated. 


before the High Court of Justiciary for alleged 
piracy and slaughter committed against some citizens 
in Glasgow trading with the North of Ireland. 
Angus Ileach was killed fighting with his nephew, 
James Macdonald of Dunnyveg, against Shane 
O'Neil in 1565. He left three sons— 

1. Archibald, who succeeded him. 

2. John, who, in 1556, received from .James Macdonald of 

Dunnyveg a grant of lands in A.rran, known as Ten- 
penny lands, with the bailiar3^ 

3. Kanald, Ranald is frequently mentioned in the Irish 

State Papers of the period as having taken part in the 
struggles of the Clan Iain Mhoir, He had three sons, 
Angus, John, and Alexander. When the Macdonalds 
lost their hold in Kintyre and Isla early in the 17th 
century, many of them were scattered over the terri- 
tories of the clan both in Ireland and in the High- 
lands. A.ngus, the son of Ranald, found his way to 
North Uist, while another of the brothers settled in 
Skye. Angus in time received a tack of the lauds of 
Dunskellor, and others, in Sand, from Sir Donald 
Macdonald of Sleat, the proprietor. Angus married 
a daughter of Maclean of Boreray, Chamberlain of 
North Uist, and had, among others — 

(1) Neil, who succeeded his father at Dunskellor, and 

married Mary, daughter of John Macleod of 
Gesto, and had by her — 

(2) Norman. He received a tack of the lands of Grene- 

tote from Sir James Macdonald, and married 
Mary, daughter of Neil Ban Maclean of Boreray, 
and Anne, daughter of Alexander Mackenzie of 
Kilcoy, and had by her — 

(3) Neil, who succeeded his father at Grenetote, and 

married Catherine, daughter of Alexander Mac- 
donald of Heisker arid Balranald (Catriona 
Nighean Alastair Bhain 'ic Iain 'ic Uisdein), son 
of John Macdonald of Griminish, and Flora, 
daughter of Ranald Macdonald of Benbecula, 
son of Allan Macdonald of Clanranald. By her 
he had — 

T. Archibald Macdonald of Sanda. 3. John Macdonald of Sanda. 
2. John Macdonald of Sauda. 4. Sir Johu Macdonald of Sanda. 

5. Arch. Macdouell of Barisdale. 


(4) Neil, who succeeded his father at Grenetote, and 

married Catherine, daughter of Donald Mac- 
donald of Trunaisgarry, and by her had, among 
others, Angus and Rachael. Rachael, who was 
a poetess of considerable reputation, composed 
many pieces of great merit, only a few of which 
remain, the best known being " Oran Fir 
Heisgir," " Oran nam Fiadh," and a hymn, 
" Asluing air Staid an anma," an imperfect 
version of which was published in Donald Mac- 
leod's Collection in 1811. 

(5) Angus, who leaving Grenetote, removed to Liniclate, 

Benbecula, and married Flora, daughter of 
Donald MacRury, and Marion (Mor Nighean 
Neill 'ic Iain Mhoir Ghesto), daughter of Neil, 
son of John Macleod, 8th of Gesto, and had — 

(6) Roderick, Cunambuintag, Benbecula, who died in 

1885 at the age of 102. He married, first, 
Catherine, daughter of Donald Macdonald of 
Dalibui'gh, and had a son, James, who was 
educated in Edinburgh for the ministry of the 
Church of Scotland, and died in 1836. He 
married, secondly, Catherine, daughter of 
Captain John Ferguson, and had (a) Donald ; 
(b) John Norman, who, after a distinguished 
career at Glasgow University, became Minister of 
the Parish of Harris. A scholarly man of wide 
and varied culture, he left a large number of 
valuable MSS., dealing princiimlly with the 
history, lore, and poetry of the Outer Islands. 
He died in March, 1868, in the 39th year of his 
age. (c) xA.ngus ; (d) Alexander ; (e) James ; 
(/) Norman ; (g) John ; (h) Flora, who married 
Duncan Robertson, with issue, Sheriff John 
Robertson, and others ; (i) Marion ; (j) Mary, 
who married the Rev. Donald Mackay, Minister 
of the Parish of Knock, and had (a^) Dr 
Rodei'ick Mackay, in practice in Yorkshire, who 
married Ethel, daughter of Dr Hoyle, and has 
Donald George Somerled ; (t?) Rev. Norman 
Donald Mackay, Minister of the Parish of Nigg ; 
(c^) Catherine Hughina ; (d^) Jessie ; (e^) 
Jemima ; (/^) Isabella. 


(7) James Macdonald, Griminish, who married Mary 
MacRury, and has Angus, Mmister of the Parish 
of Killearnan, who married, first, Marion, 
daughter of Charles Macleod, Scotus. and has — 

(a) James Wilham, born March 29th, 1891. 

(b) Charles Somerled, born January 3rd, 1893. 

He married, secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Alex- 
ander Hector of Burnside, St Cyrus, and widow of 
John Munro of Lemlair, and has — 

(c) Ranald ^neas Hector, born September 22nd, 

4. Agnes, who married Magnus O'Connell. 
Angus Macdonald of Sanda was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 

II. Archibald, He was with his cousin, Alastair 
Og Macdonald, in Olandeboy at the time Shane 
O'Neill took refuge with the Scots, and was the 
principal author of Shane's death in revenge for 
that of his father, Angus Ileach. He was one of 
the principal men of the Clann Iain Mhoir, who, 
along with Angus Macdonald of Dunnyveg, was 
ordered to deliver to the Earl of Argyll the eight 
hostages of Lachlan Maclean of Duart. He appears 
frequently on record as Archibald Macdonald of 
Machaireoch in the latter half of the J 6th century. 
On 13th January, 1591, he appears at Rothesay 
witnessing a bond between Angus Macdonald of 
Dunnyveg and Campbell of Cawdor. He had two 
sons — 

1. Alastair Og, who succeeded him. 

2. Angus, known as Aomjhas Ileach, styled in a rental of 

Kintyre Angus Macdonald of Knockreoch. 

Archibald died in 1594, and was succeeded by his 

III. Alexander. He also j^layed a conspicuous 
part in the stirring clan drama of the time. He was 
left in command of Sorley Buy's forces in the Glens, 


when that leader went to solicit aid from his brother, 
James, against the O'Neills and others. He was 
given as a hostage by Angus Macdonald of Dunny- 
veg for the observance of certain conditions agreed 
on between hhn and the Government on his libera- 
tion from Edinburgh Castle. In the roll taken of 
the occupiers of Kintyre in 1605, he is called 
Alastair Og Macdonald of Tirargus. Being in charge 
of the Castle of Dunnyveg in August, 1607, he 
refused to deliver it to the Earl of Argyll, for which 
treasonable disobedience he received in May, 1608, 
through the interest of Lord Ochiltree, a remission 
under the Privy Seal. 

Alexander, who died in 1618, was succeeded by 
his son, 

IV. Archibald, known as Gilleashiiig Mor. In 
1619 he was served heir to his sfrandfather in the 
lands of Sanda, Machaireoch, and others. He took 
part in the civil war, under Montrose, in 1645. He 
married C'hristina Stewart, of the family of Bute, 
and had a son, Archibald, known as Gilleashuig Og, 
who, in the ordinary course of events, would have 
succeeded, but both father and son fell in the 
Massacre of Dunaverty in 1647. 

Archibald was succeeded by his grandson, the 
son of Archibald Og, 

V. Banald, who was an infant at the time of 
the massacre, and is said to have been saved by 
the devotion of a nurse, who carried him away by 
stealth from the scene of the atrocity, and placed 
him in the custody of his kinsfolk, the Stewarts of 
Bute, in which family he M^as reared. In 1661, 
when Banald was about 14 years of age, there was 
a general reversion of forfeitures, and in the special 
Act of Parliament restoring his estate to him 
reference is made to the services rendered bv his 


grandfather, Archibald Macdonald of San da, to the 
royal cause, by joining in arms with the Marquis 
of Montrose, while his lands were " brooked and 
enjoyed " by the Marquis of Argyll and Alexander 
MacNaughton of Dundarave. 

In 1669 Ranald resigned his lands in favour of 
Archibald, Earl of Argyll. These were a part of 
the lands of St Ninian's, namely, Machereoch and 
Gartnacopag, Knookmurrill, Kilnosuchan, Blastil 
and Edwin, Penlachna and Isle of Sanda, Drimore, 
Penniseirack, Achroy, Balligriggan — all in Kintyre. 
The Earl, " that he may put an obligation on the 
said Ranald Macdonald and his heirs in all time,"' 
dispones to him in feu the same lands. Ranald 
married Anne, daughter of Sir Dougald Stewart, 
and sister of James, 1st Earl of Bute, and had by 
her — 

1. ij'chibald, his successor. 

2. Alexander, who had a sasiue of the lands of Kilcolumkill 

m 1694. He had a son, James, who was served heir 
to his father in 1752. 

Ranald died September 6th, 1681, and was buried 
in the Sanda burying place in Kilcolumkill. in 
the parish of Southend. His wife died January 
12th, 1732, aged 74, and was buried with her 
husband. Ranald was succeeded by his son, 

VI. Archibald. He married Helen, daughter 
of David Cunningham, Thornton, in Ayrshire, being 
the present residence of the family. He had by her 
one son. Archibald died in 1750, and was succeeded 
by his only son, 

VII. John. He married Penelope, daughter of 
John Mackinnon, Younger of Mackinnon, and had 
by her — 

1. Archibald, his successor. 

2. John, who succeeded his brother. 

3. Eobert. , 


John died in 1786, and was succeeded by his son, 

VIII. Archibald, who was an advocate at the 
Scottish Bar. In the absence of his cousin, John 
Macdonald of Clanranald, abroad in 1794, he was 
appointed one of his commissioners. 

Archibald died unmarried in 1796, and was 
succeeded by his brother, 

^ IX. John. He was for many years Comptroller 
of Customs at Borrowstouness, and lived latterly at 
Carriden, Linlithgow. He married Cecilia Maria 
Khnieir, daughter of General Douglas, by Cecilia 
Kinneir of Kinneir. By her he had— 

1. John, his successor. 

2. VVilliam, who succeeded his brother. 

3. Archibald, who was born Nov. 13, 1786, a Captain, R.N. 

He married Harriet Cox, and had by her— 

(a) John, General, H.E.I.C.S., who died in Canada. 

(b) Archibald, Captain, H.E.l.C.S. 

(c) William. 

(d) Donald, Captain, H.E.l.C.S. Killed at Meerut in 


(e) Alexander Somerled, an officer in the Royal Marines. 

(f) Clementina Malcolm. 

(g) Harriet. 

(h) Amelia, who married George Trevor-Roper, of Rock 
Ferry, Cheshire. 

4. David, Captain in the Indian Navy. 

5. Alexander, Captain in the Indian Army, and was for 

some time Political Agent at Mhow, Bengal. 

6. Douglas, who married Patrick Hadow, of St Andrews, 

with issue. 

7. Cecilia. 

8. Flora. 

9. Penelope. 

John Macdonald of Sanda died in 1797, and was 
succeeded by his son, 

X. Sir John Macdonald. He afterwards 
assumed the name of Kinneir in addition to his 
own. He was born at Carriden, Linlithgow, Feb- 


ruaiy 3rd, 1782, and, in 1802, was nominated 
to a Cadetship by Sir William Bensley. In 
1804 he was appointed Ensign in the Madras 
Infantry, and became Captain in 1818. He after- 
Avards attained the rank of Lieut. -Colonel. He 
was attached to Sir John Malcolm's mission in 
Persia in 1808-9. He published "Travels in Asia 
Minor" in 1813-14. He was appointed British 
Envoy at the Court of Persia in 1824. In 1829 
he received the Persian Order of the Sun and 
Lion of the 1st Class, and was knighted in November 
of the same year. 

He married Amelia Harriet, daughter of Lieut. - 
General Sir Archibald Campbell, Commander-in- 
Chief at Madras, and by her, who died in 1860, 
he had no issue. 

Sir John died at Tabreez, June 11th, 1830, and 
was succeeded by his brother, 

XL William, Archdeacon of Wilts, and Canon 
of Salisbury Cathedral. He married, in June, 1810, 
Frances, daughter of Maurice Goodman of Oare 
House, Wilts, and had by her — 

1. Douglas, who succeeded him. 

2. William Maurice, Rector of Calstone- Wellington, Wilts. 

He married, in June, 1839, Elizabeth, daughter of 
Patrick Hadow of St Andrews, without issue. He 
died April 17th, 1880. 

3. Archibald, Captain in the Indian Navy, who died, 

unmarried, March 3rd, 1815. 
1. Fitzherbert, Registrar of the Diocese of Salisbury. He 
married, in April, 1815, Eliza, daughter of Peregrine 
Bingham, without issue. 

5. Reginald John, who died, unmarried, July 22nd, 1835. 

6. Alexander Cleiland, who married Elizabeth, daughter of 

John Campian, without issue. 

7. Frances Elizabeth, married Rev. George Marsh, Rector of 

Sutton-Veny, Wilts, without issue. 

8. Sophia, married Frank Prothero, Llangibby Castle, Wales. 


9, Penelope, married Rev. Frank Dyson, Vicar of Cricklade, 

William Macdonald of Sancla died June 24, 1862, 
and was succeeded by his son, 

XII. Douglas, Vicar of West Alvington, Devon- 
shire. He married in Nov., 1837, Flora Georo-ina, 
dauj^hter of Patrick Hadow, of St Andrews, and had 
by her — 

1. Douglas John Kinneir, his successor. 

2. Godfrey William, born in 1848, and died the same year. 

3. Maurice Patrick, who died in 1876. 

4. Angus, Vicar of South Marston, Wilts. He married, in 

1878, Alice, daughter of Eobert Jenner, of Highworth, 
without issue. 

5. Flora. 

6. Frances Amelia. 

7. Cecilia Susan. 

8. Eva. 

9. Helen Sophia. 
10. Georgina. 

Douglas Macdonald of Sanda died Feb. 11, 1865, 
and was succeeded by his son, 

XIII. Douglas John Kinneir, who was born 
Oct. 24, 1838, and educated at Marlborough College, 
and Jesus College, Cambridge, where he graduated 
in 1861. He was for some time Chapter Clerk of 
Salisbury, and from 1877 to 1882 commanded the 
Argyll and Bute Artillery at Campbeltown. 

He married, in 1867, Jane Martha MacNeill, 
daughter of John Alexander Mackay, of Black- 
castle, Midlothian, and Carskey, Argyleshire, and 
had by her — 

1. Douglas Kinneir, who was born in 1867. Educated at 
Sherborne School and Jesus College, Cambridge, where 
he took his degree in 1888. He went to Queensland 
in 1897, and was enrolled in the 3rd Queensland 
Contingent, which left Brisbane for the seat of war 
ill February, 1900. He was sent to Eeira to join 
Khodes a.nd Carrington's Field Force, and made the 


great march across Rhodesia on foot as escort of the 
Canadian gnns, covering a distance of 105 miles in 
four and a half days. Joining Colonel Plumer's force, 
he entered Mafeking, after five or six hours' shar23 fight- 
ing, as one of the advance guard of the relief column 
on May 18th. He afterwards formed one of Colonel 
Hore's band of 300 Colonial troops who successfully 
defended an immense convoy of stores when surrounded 
by 3000 Boers, with 8 guns, under Delarey. He died 
at Pretoria on 12th Feb., 1901. 

2. John Ranald. 

3. Elsie Hay. 

4. Lilian Cecilia, who died 24th AjotI, 1886. 

5. Penelope Flora, who died in infancy. 

D. J. K. Macdonald of Sanda died 27th July, 1901, 
and was succeeded by his second son, 

XIV. John Ranald, who was born in 1870. 


The Macdonalds of Colonsay are descended from 
I. Coll, third son of Alexander of Dunnyveg 
and the Glens, son of John Cathanach. He spent 
a good deal of his life in Ireland, though he was by 
no means an unconcerned spectator of the com- 
motions that took place in the Scottish territories 
of his family. He was of dark complexion, and 
went under the name of Colla duhk nan Capull, 
according to some authorities, because on an occasion 
of stress he and his followers were forced to eat 
horse flesh, according to others, because he was a 
cavalry leader. It is said that the horse flesh 
eating incident occurred when he went to the 
assistance of the Earl of Tyrconnel against O'Neill 
of Tyrone. He was also called Colla maol duhh, 
which suggests baldness, as well as a dark com- 
plexion. Coll lived in the Castle of Kinbane, a 
stronghold by the sea, situated about a mile and 
a-half west of the town of Bally castle. Kinbane, 

1. Dr James McDonnell 

2. Dr John McDonnell. 

3. The Hon. .Sir vSclioinberL; K. 

4. vSir Alexander JMcDonnell. Ikut. 
5. Colonel John McDonnell of Kihnore. 


or the white head, is so called from being a chalk 
cliff 100 feet high, and the Castle stood behind, 
connected with the rock by strong walls carried 
along the edges of the precipice, thus making it 
impregnable from the sea. Coll was involved in all 
the Irish struggles in which his brothers were 
engaged during his lifetime for the lordship of the 
Route, and the references to him in the Irish State 
Papers show him to have been one of the ablest, 
most distinguished, and, in the eyes of the English, 
most formidable of the sons of Alexander Mac Iain 
Chathanach. The Macdonalds of Dunnyveg adopted 
in the Glens, the Route, Claneboy, and O'Cahan's 
country the system of quartering their warriors upon 
the native gentry and population, a fact which sug- 
gests the almost regal power and influence they 
exercised in the North of Ireland. This custom was 
the occasion of an incident in Coil's life which has been 
detailed in the Ballypatrick MS., and may be taken 
as substantially correct. On this occasion Colla 
and his men were quartered with MacQuillan of 
Dunluce, and had gained favour with their host by 
helping him and his people to take a great Creach 
from the O'Cathans of County Derry in revenge for 
a similar act of spoliation committed on the Mac- 
Quillan's the previous year. In the course of the 
visit to Dunluce Coll married MacQuillan's daughter. 
They were soon, however, reminded that they were 
in the midst of foes. A quarrel arose between one 
of Coil's soldiers and one of MacQuillan's Gallow- 
glasses, in the course of which the latter was killed. 
A plot was concocted by MacQuillan's party to 
murder Coll and his men ; but this having come to 
the ears of Coil's wife, she told him of the threatened 
catastrophe, and the night for whif;h it was planned 


he and his followers encamped in safety on the side 
of Dunseverick hill, having shaken the dust of 
Dunluce oflP their feet. Coll died in 1551 at a com- 
paratively early age, and was buried at Bunmargy, 
arad the position he occupied as deputy to his 
brother James of Dunnyveg in the Glens, passed to 
his brother Somhairle Buidhe. As already stated, 
Coll married Eveleen, daughter of MacQuillan of 
Dunluce, and by her had — 

1. Archibald, his successor. 

2. Randal. He was engaged in the feud between his cousin 

Angus of Dunnyveg and Maclean of Duart, and when 
Angus and his followers were seized by Maclean and 
imprisoned while on a friendly visit, Randal was the 
only one allowed his liberty'. He died without issue. 

Coll was succeeded by his older son, 

II. Archibald, who w^as an infant at the time 
of his father's death, and was under the tutory of 
his uncle Somhairle Buidhe. He w^as called Gilleas- 
Imig fiacail — Archibald the toothed — it being 
traditionally believed that he was born with a tooth 
or teeth ! He was fostered with the O'Quins or 
O'Cathans of Carrinrig, w^ith whom he is said to 
have spent most of his time, and a daughter of which 
family he married, contrary, it is said, to the wishes 
of his uncle Sorley. On Archibald arriving at his 
majority, the event was celebrated witli great 
rejoicing at Ballycastle, under the auspices of Sorley 
Buy, the guardian, who desired that the festiv- 
ities should be conducted in a manner befitting his 
nephew's rank. Among other amusements the 
gentle pastime of bull-baiting was practised on the 
occasion. Unfortunately, the bull by accident got 
loose, and the result — the details of which have 
been differently stated by different authorities — was 
fatal to Archibald. By one account the infuriated 


animal made a rush at him and wounded him 
mortally ; by another, an attendant seeino- the wild 
beast on the way to attack his master hastily drew 
out a sword in his defence, hut in the act of 
doing so wounded him accidentally in the thigh. 
He was removed to Rathlin for better attend- 
ance ; but the wound proved fatal, and dark 
hints of poison administered by a surgeon bribed by 
Sorley's family were whispered, with, doubtless, 
very little justification. Archibald's death took 
place in 1570. 

III. Coll, the successor of Archibald in the 
representation of the family, and known in his day 
as Colla Mac Ghilleasbuig, was a posthumous child, 
having been born in 1570, after his father's death.' 
His birthplace was the Island of Glassineerin, in 
Lough Lynch; but very soon after his birth his 
mother took him to Colonsay, an island to which 
the Claim Iain Mhoir seem to have had a claim, 
especially since the indenture of 1520, when it came 
into possession of Alexander of Dunnyveg. Alex- 
ander's indenture expired in 1525, but in 1558 Queen 
Mary granted to James of Dunnyveg, and in 1564 
to Archibald his heir, the Barony of Bar, containing 
lands in Colonsay, afterwards bestowed upon Coll. 
The MacDuffies, the ancient occupiers of the island, 
were still in actual possession. Here Coll v/as 
brought up, and became one of the most famous 
swordsmen and warriors of the age. He was known 
as Colla Ciotach Mac Ghilleashuig, the meaning of 
Ciotach being that he was left-handed, or ambi- 
dexter, that is capable of wielding his sword with 
either hand, a peculiarity which, no doubt, rendered 
him a dangerous foe hi battle. That part of his 
history which is associated with the misfortunes of 


Sir James Macdonald of Dunnyveg in the rising of 
1615, has been detailed in the second volume of this 
work. After these years of stress, Coll retired to 
Colonsay, for the possession of which he had no 
competitors, the principal MacDuffies of the island 
having been executed at the close of Sir James Mac- 
donald's insuriection against the Campbell powder. 
There he seems to have lived quietly until the 
troubles of Charles I. lit the torch of civil war in 
Scotland. In 1632 the Bishop of the Isles gTanted 
him a lease of all the Church lands in the Island of 
Colonsay, and the teinds, parsonage, and vicarage 
of the Parish of Kilchattan, in the same island. 

In 1639 the Covenanting movement commenced 
in Scotland, and Colla Ciotach having refused to 
join in it, was driven out of Colonsay, and he and 
his two sons, Archibald and Angus, were taken 
prisoners, and kept in captivity apparently until 
1644. In the latter year the prisoners taken at 
Inverlochy and immured in Blair Castle were 
exchanged for certain loyalists, among whom were 
Colla Ciotach and his two sons, who thus received 
their freedom. In 1647 we find him in command of 
the fortress of Dunnyveg, which his son Sir Alex- 
ander had left with a garrison of 200 men on the 
failure of his campaign in Kintyre and before his 
crossing over to Ireland. David Leslie, the 
Covenanting General, laid siege to Dunnyveg, but 
the defenders made a brave resistance. At last they 
were, through failure of the water supply, forced to 
capitulate, but on the assurance that Coll and his 
officers might go where they pleased, and that the 
common soldiery should be sent to France. The 
accounts that have survived of subsequent events are 
somewhat conflicting, and, in any case, it is not good 


to linger over such a tale of treachery. It appears 
that when the negotiations were about complete, 
Colla Ciotach, under promise of safety, ventured 
outside to speak to an old neighbour of his, Campbell 
of Dunstaffnage, who was evidently the' means of 
during the unsuspecting veteran to his doom. 
Regardless of every consideration of honour, the 
besiegers at once took him prisoner, not, as Sir 
James Turner admits, "without some staiue to the 
Lieutenant General's honor." Such an admission by 
a Covenanter determines the unspeakable perfidy of 
the act. The execution of Coll from the mast of his 
own galley under the direction of the " Master fiend 
Argyll," and after so horrible a travesty of the forms 
of law as a trial by a Campbell jur/, is a worthy 
sequel to conduct so lacking in the most elementary 
principles of good faith. It is doubtful whether 
there is a darker deed in the black catalogue of 
Gilleasbuig Gruamach's misdemeanours. The two 
sons of Coll who were with him at Dunnyveg were 
also executed, Archibald at Skipness and Angus at 
Dunnyveg. Colla Ciotach's age at the time 'of his 
death was 11, and his remains were buried in the 
old cemetery at Oban. 

There is much variety in the traditional accounts 
—and these are the only ones available— as to the 
wife or wives of Colla Ciotach. One MS. authority 
states that he was married to a lady of the 
O'Cathans of Dunseverick, while the same authority 
avers that, according to tradition, his wife's name 
was MacNeill. The Ballypatrick MS. again says 
that he was married to a daughter of Macdonald of 
Sanda. The two accounts that seem best authenti- 
cated are that he was married twice, though this 
number of wives may have been exceeded— 1st, to a 



daughter of MacNeill of Barra, and, 2nd, to a 
daughter of Ronald Macdonald of Smerby. For 
both these we have the authority of a Barra version 
of a song lamenting the death of Alastair MacColla, 
which it was said would cause grief to " Nial a' 
Chaisteil," and also stated that Macdonald's daughter 
had been robbed by death, that is, Sir Alexander's 
mother, who must have been living at the time. 
For the Macdonald marriagfe we have the further 
authority of the Clanranald historian. Coll had, by 
the daughter of Banald of Smerby, the following 
children — 

1. Archibald. He would have succeeded his father in the 

representation of the family were it not that his 
execution took place at Skipness about the same thgae 
as his father's. He married, and had a daughter, 
Sara, who married Aeneas Macdonald. In 1661, 
immediately after the Restoration, an Act was passed 
through Parliament rescinding the pretended for- 
leiture of Coll Mac Gilleasbuig and Archibald Mac- 
donald of Colonsay, his son. In 1686 there is a 
charter by James II. to Sarah, only child of Ai'chibald. 
In consideration of " the singular bravery and con- 
stant fiddity of Coll Mac Gillespick, her grandfather, 
and Archibald, his son, in the cause of the King's 
father, and that the said Archibald was killed in that 
service and Coll violently murdered because of their 

faithful eervice in joining Montrose 

therefore the King grants to the said Sara and to the 
heir male of her body by Aeneas Macdonald her 
spouse the lands of Oiinsay extending to 5 merklaxids 
of old extent, the 16s 8d lands of Garvart in Colonsay 
with the pertinents to be held in feu farm, Orinsay 
for £S yearly, and Garvart for 13s 4d yearly." 
Sasine upon this charter followed on 3rd Sej)tember 
of the following year. 

2. Angus, who was put to death at Dunnyveg, and left no 


3. Alexander. 

4. Jean, w^ho married Mackay, Laird of Ardnacroish, 


Coil's two older sons having been murdered by the 
Covenanters at the time of his own death, he was 
succeeded by his youngest son, 

III. Alexander. He survived his father by 
only a few months, but as the succession was carried 
on through his descendants, we may regard him as 
the third of this line. His exploits will be elsewhere 

aT ..-^^ ""^^^ ^ daughter of Hector Mac 

Aliister of Loup, by whom he had - 

1. Coll. 

2. Arcl^ibald. After their father's death, he and his older 

brother Coll, who had been taken by him to the 
Antrim Glens, were brought up in the house of a 
tenant of the Marquis of Antrim, and as this noble- 
man then- k.nsman, was not able, owing to the 
troublous times, to live on his estates, the two boys 
almost infants, were somewhat neglected, and had to 
rough It during their earlier years. Archibald 
entered the army in his youth, attained the rank of 
Captain, and became a brave soldier. He settled in 
Wasmullin, and held from the Antrim family the 
lands of Glassmullin, Dooney, Ligdrenagh, Mullagh- 
buy and the two Knockanes. He died Septen^ber 
-bth, 1720, aged 73, and was buried in Layde. He 
married Ann Stewart, daughter of Captain Stewart of 
Redbay Castle and Ballydrain. She died April 16th, 
1714. By her he had one son. 
Coll of Glasmullin, who died June .6th, 1737 
having married Ann Macdonald of Nappln, with 
jssue — Alexander Macdonald of Cushendall. 
He married Ann Black, with issue-(a) Alex- 
ander, who died in 1791, aged 16; (b) 
Rachel, who died young ; (c) Ann, ' who 
married Archibald Mac Elheran of Cushendall. 

Alexander Macdonald of Cushendall died 
July 26th, 1782, aged 48, and his wife, Ann 
Black, died 1835, aged 98. 

Sir Alastalr Macdonald was killed at Cnocnanos 
X3th November, 1647, and was burled at Clonmeen,' 


Cork. He was succeeded in the representation of 
the family by his older son, 

IV. Coll, who was then a child of two or three 
years of age. His early history has already been 
indicated. Coll, who resided at Kilmore, held the 
lands of Torr Point and Carrickfaddon, in the Parish 
of Culfeig'htrin, Barony of Carey ; Cushendall and 
Nappan, in the Parish of Ardclinis, Barony of Lower 
Glenarm, and Glassinieran and Loughlinch, in the 
Parish of Billy. Barony of Lower Dunluce. He 
was known in his day as Colla Mhuilinn or " Coll of 
the Mill," probably for his enterprise in having a 
meal mill constructed of more advanced design and 
efficiency than was usual in his day and country. 
The quarterland of Cushendall went with the mill. 
Coll died on 25th March, 1719, aged 74, and was 
buried at Layde. He married Ann, daughter of 
Magee of Ballyuchan, by whom he had only one son 
of whom any record remains, viz., his successor, 

V. Alexander Macdonald of Kilmore. In 
1738 the lease by which he held his lands from the 
Earl of Antrim was on the eve of expiring, and he 
presents a memorial to that nobleman, requesting a 
renewal of the holdings, a request which no doubt 
was satisfactorily granted. Alexander married, 
first. Miss Macdonald of Nappan, by whom he is 
said to have had several children, only one of whom 
has survived on record, the senior representative of 
the family, viz.: — 

1. Michael, surnamed Roe or Red, 

Alexander married, secondly, Ann, daughter of John 
Mc'V eagh of Drimadoone, by whom he had a son — 

2. (i.) John of Balenlig. He succeeded his father at Kil- 

more. He married Rose, daughter of George 
Savage, Esq., by whom he had — 


(a) Coll, who died lost at sea, 24th June, 1820, aged 

63, without issue. 

(b) John Alexander of Rathlin, who died IStli 

January, 1820; without issue, 
(o) Charles, who married Sarah Black, and had James, 

Randal, and John. 
(d) Archibald, an officer in the Royal Navy, who died 

Feb. 21, 1840. 
(b) Randal, who succeeded. 
(f) John, died February, 1841, aged 69. 

John Macdonald of Kilmore died 25th December, 
1803, aged 75 years, and was succeeded by his oldest 
surviving son, 
(ii.) Randal Macdonald of Kilmore, Glenariff. He died 

11th August, 1854, aged 82. He married 

Mary, daughter of Archibald MacElheran, Esq. 

of Glasmullin, by whom he had— 

(a) Alexander, his successor. 

(b) John. 

(c) A daughter, name unknown. 

(d) Rose Ann, died 18th May, 1850, aged 31. 
(b) Rachel, died Dec. 30th, 1854, aged 33. 

Ranald was succeeded in the representation of this 
branch of the family by his older son, 
(ill.) Alexander. He married, in 1851, Margaret, daughter 
of Alexander McMulIin, Esq. of Cabra House, 
Co. Down, with issue, Rachel Mary Josephine, 
who married Henry Thomas Silvertop, with issue! 
Alexander died in 1862 without male issue, and 
was succeeded by his younger brother, 
(iv.) Colonel John Macdonald of Kilmore, J.P. and D.L., 
Co. Antrim. He joined the 7th Dragoon Guards 
at an early age, and soon afterwards proceeded 
to the Cape of Good Hope, where, during the 
Kaffir War, he distinguished himself, and was 
specially mentioned in despatches. He next 
served in the Orange River Territory, and was 
present at the battle of Boem Plaats in August, 
1848. On this occasion he received the personal 
thanks of the Commander-in-Chief He served 
for eight years in the New Colonj^ of Natal. In 
1863 he was appointed to the command of the 


Depot of his regiment at Canterbury, where he 
remained for two years. Colonei Macdonald 
had a splendid record during his twenty-three 
years' service, and is in every way a worthy 
representative of a long line of distinguished 
ancestors. He married in 1870 the Hon. 
Madeline O'Hagan, daughter of Thomas, Lord 
O'Hagan, Lord Chancellor of Ireland. She died 
14th October, 1877. 

Alexander Macdonald, 5th of Kilmore, was suc- 
ceeded in the representation of the Macdonalds of 
Colonsay by his oldest surviving son, 

VI. Michael Roe, who married Elizabeth, 
daughter of A. Stewart of Balintoy, and had by 
her — 

1. Ranald, who died unmarried. 

2. James. 

3. Alexander, who died unmarried. 

Michael Koe was succeeded by his eldest surviving 

VII. James, M.D., of Belfast and Murlough. 
He studied for the medical profession, and became 
a physician of great repute in his native Antrim 
and in the city of Belfast, with which his public 
life was most associated, and where he was vener- 
ated, not only for his professional attainments but 
for his great benevolence. 

He married, first, Eliza, daughter of John Clarke, 
of Belfast, and had by her, who died in 1798 — 

1. Alexander. 

2. John. 

3. Catherine. 

He married, secondly, Penelope, daughter of James 
Montgomery of Larne, without issue. She died in 
1851. Dr James died in 1845, in his 82nd year, 
and was succeeded by his son, 


VIII. The Right Honourable Sir Alexander 
Macdonald, Baronet. He was educated at West- 
minster School, which he entered in 1809 and at 
Christ Church, Oxford, which he entered in 1813 
and where he greatly distinguished himself, winning 
lour University prizes, those for Latin and English 
verse, and for the Latin and English essays-an 
accumulation of honours only once before achieved 
He graduated B.A. in 1816 and M.A, in 1820. He 
was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1824 He 
accepted the position of Chief Clerk in the Chief 
Secretary's Office in Ireland, and in 1839 he was 
appointed Commissioner of National Education. In 
1846, he was made a Privy Councillor, and was 
created a Baronet in 1872, He married, in 1826, 
Barbara, daughter of Hugh Montgomery of Ben- 
varden, Antrim, without issue. He died in Dublin 
January 21, 1875, and was buried at Kilsharven.' 
He was succeeded in the representation of the family 
by his brother, 

IX. John Macdonald, M.D., of Dublin, a dis- 
tinguished physician. He was advanced to the 
prominent position of Medical Commissioner for 
Ireland, and also held the position of Commissioner 
of the Local Government Board. He was the 
author, among other publications, of " The Ulster 
Civil War of 1641 and its consequences ; with the 
History of the Irish Brigade under Montrose in 

He married Charity, daughter of the Rev. 
Eobert Dobbs, and had by her— 

1. James, barri»ter-at-law, of Kilsharvan, Drogheda, who 

married Eosanna, daughter of William Cairns, of Bel- 
fast, and had two daughters. 

2. Robert, B.A., M.D, F.R.S. He entered Trinity College, 

Dublin, and graduated B.A. and M.B. in 1850. 


During the Crimean War Tie was attached to the 

British Hospital at Smyrna, and volunteered as civil 
surgeon to serve in the general hospital in the camp 
- - before Sebastopol, where he remained until the end of 

the siege. For his services he received the British 
and Turkish medals. In 1857, he received M.D. 
from Dublin University, and in 1864 from Queen's 
College. In 1866, he was appointed Professor of 
Anatomy in connection with Steven's Hospital, and 
afterwards President of the Royal College of Surgeons, 
Ireland. In 1885, he was elected President of the 
Academy of Medicine. He declined twice an offer of 

He mari-ied, first, Mary, daughter of Daniel 
Molloy of Clonbeala, without issue. He married, 
secondly, Susan, daughter of Sir Richard M'Causland, 
and had a son, John. Dr Robert died at Dublin, 
May 6, 1889. 

3. Alexander, C.E., Rydens, London, Avho married Isabella, 

daughter of Colonel Grenfell, and has John Alastair, 
James Riversdale, and Marie Louise. 

4. Ranald William, Q.C., who married Sara, daughter of 

John Carlisle, and had Alastair Coll, John Carlisle, 
Ranald, and Robert. 

5. William, who married a daughter of R. Reeves, without 


6. Williamina Charity, who married Henry Pilkington, 

Q.C., of Tore, West Meath. 

7. Elizabeth Penelope. 

8. Catherine Anne, who married Andrew Armstrong of Kil- 

sharven, Meath. 

9. Barbara Montgomery. 
10. Rose Emily. 

Dr John Macdonald died January 20thj 1892. 


I. SoELEY Buy, fourth son of Alexander of 
Dunny veg, son of John Cathanach, was the founder 
of the family of Antrim. He married (1st) Mary, 



daughter of Con O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and sister 

of Shane O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, with issue — 

L Donald, slain while skirmishing on the Bann about 1580, 
without issue. 

2. Alexander — a brave warrior, slain in battle with the 

English in 1585. 

3. James, who succeeded. 

4. Ranald, who succeeded James. 

5. Angus, known as Aonghus Ultach or Angus from Ulster, 

probably to distinguish him from others of the same 
name in Scotland. He appears in the Irish State 
Papers as " Neece," a phonetic corruption of the 
Gaelic form of Angus. His opposition to the suc- 
cession of his brother, llanald Arranach, to Sir James 
of Dunluce has been narrated in Vol. II. Ho 
never seemed to have become thoroughly reconciled. 
He was a brave soldier, and was one of the few Mac- 
donalds who escaped from the battle of Kinsale, 
fought in 1601. He was living in 1610, and possessed 
at that time the barony of Glenarm. 

Sorley's first wife having died in 1582, he married, 
second, a daughter of O'Hara, by whom he had — 

6. Ludar, or Lother, who is said to have been a party to 

che conspiracy of 16U for the overthrow of the 
English power in Ulster. The sequel to a successful 
combination for this end was to be the restoration of 
the family estates to the son of Sir James of Dunluce. 
Sorley Buy had a daughter, who married John Mac- 
Naghten of Ballymagarry, with issue. There were 
other daughters whose names have not been preserved. 

Sorley Buy died at Dunaonigh Castle in 1589, and 
was buried in the family burying-ground at Bun- 
margy. He was succeeded by his oldest surviving 

II. James. On a visit to Edinburgh in 1597 he 
was created a Knight by James VI., and is there- 
fore known in history as Sir James Macdonald of 
Dunluce. He married Mary, daughter of Phelim 
O'Neill of Claneboy, by whom he had — 


1. Alexander, who was known in his day and in the 
traditions of the family as Alastair Carrach. Though 
Sir James Macdonald's oldest sou, he did not succeed 
to the honours of the house of Antrim for reasons 
that have been variously adduced. Traditional 
accounts of the succession aver that Alexander was 
not capable of succeeding to a position requiruig the 
possessioii at the time of warlike prowess and address. 
The inference has been that he was lacking in these 
qualities. It is highly probable, however, that at the 
time of his father's death Alexander was a mere boy, 
unable to cope with a situation endangered by 
English aggressiveness and Irish jealousy. He was 
living in 1661, and the supposition is feasible that in 
1601, when his father died, his extreme youth barred 
him from the succession. He, however, obtained the 
barony of Kilconway in Antrim, and he is referred to 
in records as Sir Alexander Macdoiiald of Kilconway. 
He was marked out for heading the projected in- 
surrectionary movement of 1614, which was to 
eventuate, if successful, in deposing his uncle, Sir 
Kandal, from the headship of Sorley Buy's family, 
and substituting himself. He was, in fact, im- 
prisoned and tried for treason in 1615, but afterwards 
acquitted. In 1629, Sir Alexander, who is described 
as " knight and baronet," was appointed bj' the Earl 
of A.ntrim one of the overseers and supervisors of his 
will. In 1661, when the Marquis of Antrim laid his 
claim before Charles II., he sought to be found 
entitled to the reversion of the estate of Sir Alexander 
Macdonald, knight and baronet, in the event of the 
latter dying without heirs male. He married, and 
had a son. Sir James, who resided at the Cross, near 
Ballymony, and, like his father, is also styled of 
Kilconway. He took an active part on the side of the 
Confederated Catholics in 1641, for which he suffered 
forfeiture of his estate. He afterwards obtained a 
grant of land under the Act of Settlement, but much 
less than he had lost. He got credit on both sides of 
politics for being a man of humane and moderate 
views. He married Mary, daughter of Donough 
O'Brien, Lord of Clare, with issue — 


A. Alexander, or Alastair Carragh, a Colonel in the 
Royalist Army, who is said to have been killed 
in a duel with an Englishman at Lisburn. Alex- 
ander married Elizabeth Howard, daughter of 
Henry, Earl of Surrey, Arundel, and Norfolk, 
and had a son, Randal. He married Hannah, 
daughter of David Roche, Esq., by whom he had 
(tt) James, who died 1728 without issue, and 
was interred in St James's Churchyard, Dublin, 
where his sister erected a monument to his and 
his mother's memory ; (6) Randal, who succeeded 
to his brother's property, and died without issue . 
(c) John ; (d) Mary, who married Christopher 
O'Brien of Ennystemon ; (e) Henrietta. 

(b) Randal, who died in St Germains. 

(c) Sorley, who was killed at Aghrim in the Jacobite 


(d) Donald, who also fought in the Jacobite cause. 

(b) Aeneas, who was killed at sea in the service of King- 
James VTI. 

2. Sorley. He was a strong supporter of Sir James 

Macdonald of Dunnyveg in his insurrection of 1615, 
and it was to him Chichester, the English Deputy, 
referred in a letter to the Council that year, in which 
he describes him as being " a notable viJlaine with 
Sir James McConnell of Kintyre." It was he that 
brought Sir James to Rathlin on the failure of his 
attempt in 1(515, and that later on found for him a 
more secure retreat in the island of Inchadoll off the 
coast of Donegal. Sorley had a son, Colonel James 
Macdonald, who acted a distinguished part in the 
campaigns of Montrose under Alastair MacColla. 

3. Donald Gorm. He had a son Angus, whose son Donald 

Gorm was in Scotland with Alastair MacColla. He 
possessed the lands of Killoquin, in the Parish of 
Magherasharkin, and was engaged in the Confederated 
Catholic movement in 1641. His evidence regarding 
that rising is printed in the Antrim volume of depos- 
i. Coll. He had a son James, who was engaged in the 
Irish war in 1641. James was executed at Carrick- 
fergus in 1642. 


Sir James Macdonald of Dunluce died in 1601, and 
there were strong suspicions at the time that his 
death was the result of poison administered hy a 
secret agent of the Government. His children 
having been cut off from the succession, as already 
seen, he was succeeded in the family honours and 
possessions by his younger brother, 

HI. Ranald Arranach, 1st Earl of Antrim. 
He received the sobriquet Arranach from having 
been fostered in the Island of Arran, and perhaps 
having a residence there. He married Ellis, 
daughter of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, by whom 
he had — 

1. Ranald, his successor, and 1st Marquis. 

2. Alexander, who succeeded Randal. 

3. Sarah. She married (a) Sir Neill Og O'Neill of Kille- 

lagh ; (b) Sir Charles O'Connor, Sligo ; (c) Mao- 
Carthenie Mor, Provincial Prince of Munstei*. 

4. Ann, married Christopher, Lord Delvin, and 2nd Earl of 

Westmeath, of whom the present family of Westmeath. 

5. Rose, married George Gordon, third son of John, 

16th Earl of Sutherland, who came to Ulster in 1642 
as an officer in Major-General Munro's army, and 
assisted Antrim to escape from Carrickfergus in 1643, 
with issue. 

6. Mary. She married (a) Lucas, 2nd Viscount Dillon ; (6) 

Oliver Plunket, 6th Lord Louth, with issue, Matthew, 
7th Lord Louth, of whom the present Louth family 
are descended. 

7. Catherine. She married the Hon. Edward Plunket, son 

of Patrick, 9th Lord Dunsariy, and their son, Chris- 
topher, succeeded as 10th baron. 

8. Ellis or Alice, died unmarried. 

The Earl of Antrim had three other sons, whose 

names appear on record — 

1. Captain Maurice Maodonald, for whom his father made 
provision in his will in 1621. He was executed in 
1643 for his prominence in the outbreak of 1641. 



Maurice had a son, James, who also appears to have 
been a Captain in the Confederated Catholics' army. 
During these troublous times, he left tlie North of 
Ireland and settled in Skye. He married Flora 
Mackinnon of Strath, by whom he had Brian. He 
married Miss MacCaskill of Rhundunain, and had 
Ewen. He married Miss Macleod, and had John. 
He married Miss MacCaskill of Rhundunain, and had 
Murdoch. He married Flora Macleod, and had — 

(a) Donald. He married Margaret Macrae, and had 

Norman, who married Mary Macleod, with issue 
— Murdoch. He married Mary Mackenzie, with 
issue. Murdoch and his family emigrated to 
Australia (N.S.W.) 

(b) John. He married Marion Campbell, with issue, 

among others — 

(a) Alexandei', who possessed the Estate of Lyndale, 

in Skye. He married Mary D. Andrews, 
with issue — (a^) John, M.D., who married Sophia 
de Cowes, with issue — (a^) Reginald Norman ; 
(b^) Alastair Kenneth ; (c^) Mary Alexandrina 
Beatrice, (b^) David Andrews, deceased, (c^) 
Kenneth. He married Mary Jane Watson, 
with issue — (a-) Alexander ; (b^) Mary 
Andrews ; (c^) Elsie, died ; (d^) Flora Shields. 
(d^) Robert Andrews, died. (e^) Lauchlan 
Alexander. He married Annie Shields Watson, 
with issue — Alastair Brian. (/^) James Wil- 
liam, (^ri) Donald. (A^) Elizabeth Andrews, 
(ii) Maria Campbell, (j^) Mary. (k^) Mar- 
garet Flora, (l^) Alexandrina. 

(b) Kenneth MacCaskill, died unmarried. 

(c) Duncan. He married Anne Macdonald with issue 

— (a^) John Bunyan ; (b^) Donald John ; (c^) 
Alexander; (cZ^) Dr Duncan, in practice in 
Oban, and well known for his high pro- 
fessional attainments ; (e^) Roderick Macleod, 
died in childhood ; (/^) Margaret Anne, died 
young ; ((/^) Marion Campbell ; (h^) Mary 
Flora ; (i^) Josephine Catherine, died young. 

(d) Catherine, married Angus Macrae, late of Lan- 

gash. North Uist, with issue — (a*) Norman ; 


(b^) John ; (c^) Donald, died ; (d^) Marion ; 
(e^) Gormshuil xlnne, died ; (/i) Flora Mar- 

2. James. 

3. Francis, a distiugnished ecclesiastic. 

Randal 1st, Earl of Antrim, died at Dunluce on 
10th December, 1636, and was buried at Bunmargy. 
He was succeeded by his oldest son, 

IV. Kaxdal, 2nd Earl and 1st Marquis of 
Antrim. He married (1st) Catherme Manners, 
Duchess of Buckingham, without issue ; (2nd) Rose 
O'Neill, daughter of Sir Henry O'Neill, without 
issue. He died 3rd February, 1682, aged 72. 
Dying without issue, he was succeeded by his 
younger brother, 

V. Alexander, 3rd Earl of Antrim. He married 
(1st) the Lady Elizabeth Annesley, second daughter 
of Arthur, 1st Earl of Anglesey, without issue. She 
died in 1669. He married (2nd) Helena, third 
daughter of Sir John Bourke, Kt. of Derry- 
maclachtney, Co. Galway. By her he had — 

1. Randal, his successor. 

2. A daughter, who married Henry "Wells of Bambridge, 

He had also a natural son, Donald. 

Alexander, 3rd Earl of Antrim, died in 1696, and 
was succeeded by his only legitimate son, 

VI. Randal, 4th Earl of Antrim. He married 
Rachel Skeffington, third daughter of Clotworthy, 
2nd Viscount Massareene, of the second creation, by 
his wife Rachel, daughter of Sir Edward Hunger- 
ford. By her he had — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Helena, who died unmarried, June, 1783, aged 78. 

The 4th Earl of Antrim died in 1721, aged 41, 
and was succeeded by his only son, 


VII. Alexander, 5th Earl, when he was at the 
tender a^e of eight years. He married (1st) Ehza- 
beth, daughter of* Matthew Pennefather, Comptroller 
and Accountant-General of Ireland, without sur- 
viving issue. He married (2nd) Anne, eldest 
daughter and heir of Charles Patrick Plunket of 
Dillonstown, Co. Louth, M.P. during many years 
for the town of Bannagher. By her he had — 

1. Randal William, his successor. 

2. Rachel, who married Joseph Sandford, Esq., of Somerset. 

3. Elizabeth Helena, who married Lieut -Colonel James 


He married (3rd) Catherine, daughter of Thomas 
Meredyth of Newtown, in the County of Meath, 
without issue. He died in October, 1775, and was 
succeeded by his son 

Vin. Randal William, 6th Earl and 2nd 
Marquis. He married Letitia Trevor, widow of the 
Hon. Arthur Trevor, and eldest daughter of Henry 
Morris, 1st Viscount Mountraorres, and by her, who 
died 1801, he had— 

1. Anne Catherine. 

2. Letitia Mary, who died unmarried. 

3. Charlotte. 

In 1785, Lord Antrim, having no male heirs, was 
re-created Viscount Dunluce and Earl of Antrim, 
with remainder to his daughter primogeniturely ; 
and in August, 1789, he was advanced to the 
Marquisate of Antrim, wdiich was revived in his 
favour, but without any reversionary grant. He 
died 28th July, 1791, when the ancient honours 
terminated, but the new patent of 1785 remained 
in force, and the titles devolved, according to the 
special limitation, upon his elder daughter, 

X. Anne Catherine, as Viscountess Dunluce 
and Countess of Antrim. In 1799 she married Sir 


Henry Fane Tempest, Bart., and by him, who died 
in 1813, she had one daughter. Lady Frances Ann 
Emily Vane. She married Charles William, Marquis 
of Londonderry, and died, his widow, in 1865. The 
Countess of Antrim married (2nd) Edmund Phelps, 
who assumed the name of Macdonald. She died 
in 1834, and her sister, Letitia, having died, she 
was succeeded in terms of the settlement of 1785 
by her youngest sister, 

X. Charlotte. She married 18th July, 1709, 
Vice- Admiral Lord Mark Kerr, third son of William 
John, 5th Marquis of Lothian, and by him, who 
died 1840, had issue — 

1. Charles Fortescue, Viscount Dunluce, died 28th July, 


2. Hugh Seymour, 7th Earl. 

3. Mark, 8th Earl. 

4. Arthur Schomberg, born 16th May, 1820; married, 16th 

March, 1846, Agnes Stewart, daughter of J. H. 
Frankland, Esq., of Easting House, Surrey ; and died, 
14th August, 1856, leaving a daughter, Agnes. 

5. Letitia Louisa, married 2nd Sept., 1870, to Coortlandt 

George Macgregor of Carisbrook House, Isle of 
Wight, Captain 1st Dragoon Guards. 

6. Georgina Emily Jane, married, 1825, the Hon. and Rev. 

Frederick Bertie, fourth son of the fourth Earl of 

7. Caroline Mary, married, in 1826, Rev. Horace Robert 

Pechell, Chancellor of Brecon and Rector of Brix, 
Oxon., and died 28th March, 1869. 

8. Charlotte Elizabeth, married, in 1835, Sir George Osborn, 

Bart., and died 17th January, 1866. 

9. Frederica Augusta, married, 1841, Montagu, 5th Earl of 

Abingdon, and died his widow 26th November, 1864. 
10. Emily Frances, married, 1839, Henry Richardson, of 
Somerset, Co. Derry, Avho died 1849, and secondly, 
in 1864, Steuart, younger son of the late Sir F. W. 
MacNaghten, Bart, She died 5th June, 1874. 



Countess Charlotte Ker died 26th October, 1835, 
and was succeeded by her oldest surviving son, 

XL Hugh Seymour, 7th Earl. In 1836 he 
married Laura Cecilia, 5th daughter of Thomas, 
3rd Earl of Macclesfield, and died 19th July, 1855, 
leaving an only daughter, Helen Laura, who was 
married, on 26th October, 1864, to Sir Malcolm Mac- 
Gregor, Bart., with issue. 

The Earl was succeeded by his next brother, 
Xn. Mark, 8th Earl of Antrim, Captain in the 
Royal Navy, Deputy Lieutenant for Co. Antrim. 
He married, on 27th September, 1849, Jane Emma 
Harriet, daughter of the late Major Macan of Cariif, 
Co. Armagh, and had — 

1. Willi.'im Randal. 

2. Mark Henry Horace, Lieut. 18th Regiment. 

3. Hugh Seymour. 

4. Alexander. 

5. Sir Schomberg Kerr, First Commissioner of Works. 

6. Caroline Elizabeth, who married the Hon. and Rev. 

Alberic Edward Bertie. 

7. Mabel Harriet, who married Henry Charles Howard of 

Greystoke, Cumberland. 

8. Evelyn. 

9. Jane-Grey, who married the Hon. Charles John Trefusis. 
10. Helena, who married Charles B. Balfour. 

He died 19th December, 1869, and was succeeded 
by his oldest son — 

XHL William Randal, the present Earl of 
Antrim and Viscount Dunluce. He married, 1st 
June, 1875, Louisa Jane, third daughter of the late 
Hon. General Charles Grey, son of Charles, 2nd 
Earl Grey of Howick, K.G., and has — 

1. Randal-Mark-Kerr, Viscount Dunluce, born 10th Dec, 


2. Angus, born 7th June, 1881. 

3. Sybil-Mary, born 26th March, 1876. 




Alexander, known as Alastair Carrach, the 
progenitor of the family of KejDpoch, was the fourth 
son of John, Lord of the Isles, and the Princess 
Margaret of Scotland. He married Mary, daughter 
of Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, by whom he had 
Angus, his successor. MacVurich is in error in 
saying that Angus was a natural son of Alexander 
by a daughter of MacPhee of Lochaber. In two 
charters by John, Earl of E-oss and Lord of the 
Isles, of the years 1463 and 1464 respectively, 
Angus, who was a witness on both occasions, is 
designated a lawful son of Alexander. 

Alexander, who was styled Lord of Lochaber, 
died about 1440, and was succeeded by his son, 

II. Angus. Angus, who was known as Aonghas 
na Fearste, married a daughter of MacPhee of Glen- 
pean, in Lochaber, the head of a powerful sept ah 
that time, and had by her^ — 

1. Donald, who succeeded him. 

2. Alexander, afterwards chief. 

3. Mariot, who married Allan Cameron of Lochiel, with 


Angus died at Fersit about 1484, and was succeeded 
by his son, 

III. Donald. He married a daughter of Cameron 
of Lochiel, and had one son. Donald fell fighting 
against Stewart of Appin at Glenorchy, in 1497, and 
was succeeded by his only son, 

IV. John, known as /am Aluimi. John married, 
and had several children, among whom Donald, who 
had a son, John, who had a son, Donald, the father 
of John Lom, the famous Keppoch bard. Iain 
Aluinn had been chief only for one year when he 

1. Ranald Macdonell of Keppoch. 3. Major Alexander Macdonell, 

2. Major Alexander INIacdonell of brother of Keppoch. 

Keppoch. 4. Richard Macdonell of Keppoch. 

5. Sir Claude Macdonald. 


was deposed, and his uncle, Alexander, elected in 
his stead. 

V. Alexander, known as Alastair nan Gleann. 
From him came the earlier designation of the 
Keppoch Chiefs as Sliochd Alastair 'ic Aonghuis. 
He married a daughter of Donald Gallach Mac- 
donald of Sleat, who was known in Lochaber as 
A Bhaintighearna Bheag. By her he had — 

1. Donald Glass, who succeeded him. 

2. Ranald Og, who died before his father. 

Alexander was killed at a place called Cam 
Alastair by a Cameron in 1499, and was succeeded 
by his son, 

VI. Donald Glass. He married a daughter of 
Cameron of Lochiel, and had by her one son. He 
died about 1513, and was succeeded by his only son, 

VTI. Eanald Mor. From him was taken the 
later patronymic of the family — Mac 'ic Raonuill. 
He married a daughter of Mackintosh, and had by 
her — 

1. Alexander, who succeeded him, 

2. Ranald, who grants a bond to Mackintosh in 1572. 

3. John Dubh of Bohuntin. 

Ranald was beheaded at Elgin in 1547, and was 
succeeded by his son, 

Vin. Alexander, known as Alastaii^ Boloine. 
He died unmarried at Kingussie in 1554, and was 
succeeded by his brother, 

IX. Kanald Og. He married a daughter of 
Duncan Stewart of Appin, and had by her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Ranald of Inch. He married, in 1600, Janet, sister of 

John Grant of Glenmoriston. Fn 1612 he is prose- 
cuted for refusing to help liis brother, Alexander of 
Keppoch, against the Clan Gregor. He was succeeded 
by his son, Ranald II. of Inch, who was succeeded by 


' his son, Alexander III. of Inch. He is mentioned in 

record in 1661, and was succeeded by his son, Ranald 
IV. of Inch, mentioned among the followers of Coll of 
Keppoch in 1691. He had a son, Donaid V. of Inch, 
and another son, Alexander, who, in 1709, married 
Catherine, daughter of Ranald Macdonald of Fersit. 

3. Donald of Fersit. 

4. Angus. 

Ranald died in 1587, and was succeeded by his son 

X. Alexander, known as Ala stair nan Cleas. 
He married Janet, daughter of Macdougall of 
Dunolhe, and had by her— 

1. Ranald Og, his successor. 

2. Donald Glass, who succeeded his brother. 

3. Alexander, afterwards chief. 

4. Donald Gorm of Inveroy. 

■ 5. John Dubh, killed at the siege of Inverness in 1593. 

6. Angus, from whom the Macdonalds of Achnancoicheau. 

7. Agnes, who married Robertson of Struan. 

8. A daughter, who married John Stewart of Ardshiel. 

9. A daughter, who married Macdonald of Dalness. 

10. A daughter, who married Robertson of Colebuie. 

11. A daughter, who married Donald McAngus of Glengarry. 

12. A daughter, who married Macfarlane of Luss. 

Alexander Macdonald of Keppoch died in 1635, and 
was succeeded by his eldest son, 

XI. Ranald Og. He married Jean, daughter of 
William Mackintosh of Borlum, without issue. He 
died shortly after 1640, and was succeeded by his 

XII. Donald Glass. He married, first, Jean 
Robertson, of the family of Struan, without sur- 
viving male issue. He married, secondly, a daughter 
of Forrester of Kilbeggie, and had by her — 

1. Alexander, who succeeded him. 

2. Ranald, who was murdei'ed with his brother. 

3. A daughter, who died unmarried. 

Donald Glass, who died before 1650, was succeeded 
by his son. 


XIII. Alexander. Alexander, who was edu- 
cated in Rome, was murdered by members of his 
own family in September, 1663. He was succeeded 
by his uncle, 

XIV. Alexander, known as Alastair Buidhe. 
He married a daughter of Ancrus Mor Macdonald of 
Bohuntin, and had b}^ her, who was drowned in the 
River Roy — 

1. Allan, known as Ailein Dearg, said to have left the 

country on account of the part he took in the Keppoch 

2. Archibald, who succeeded his father. 

3. Alexander, who died without issue. 

Alexander married, secondly, and had — 

4. Donald Gorm of Clianaig. 

5. Ranald, known as RaoniUl na Dalach, who died without 


Alexander, who, it is said, was drowned in the 
Spean in 1669, was succeeded by his second son, 

XV. Archibald. He married a daughter of 
Macmartin of Letterfinlay, and had by her — 

1. Coll, who succeeded him. 

2. Ranald Mor of Tirnadris. 

3. Alexander, who in 1718 received from Lachlan Mackintosh 

of Strone a tack of Gaskmore. 

4. Angus Odhar, who is said to have composed many 

Gaelic songs, died unmarried. 

5. Juliet, known as Silis Nt Mhic RaomdlL, a celebrated 

poetess. She married Alexander Gordon of Candell, 
who succeeded his cousin, Gordon of Wardhouse, in 
the Estates of Wardhouse and Kildrumray. By him 
she had issue, and the present Gordon of Beldornie, 
Wardhouse, and Kildrummy is her direct descendant. 

6. Catherine, who married Macpherson of Strathmashic, 

whose grandson was Lachlan Macpherson, the poet 
and Gaelic scholar, of Ossianic fame. 

7. Marion, who married MacLachlan of MacLachlan. 

8. Janet, who married Maclntyre of Glenoe. 

9. A daug-h4;er, who married Macleaii of Kingairluch. 


10. A daughter, who married Campbell of Barcaldine. 

11. A daughter, who married a MacLachlan. 

12. A daughter, who married the Laird of Fassifern. 

13. A daughter, who married a Campbell. 

Archibald died in 1688, and was succeeded by his 

XVI. Coll. He married Barbara, daughter of 
Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, and had by her — 

1. Alexander, who succeeded him. 

2. Donald, killed at Culloden. 

3. Archibald, who was a Captain in Keppoch's Regiment, 

killed at Gladsmuir. 

4. Margaret, who married Cameron of Erracht, whose son, 

Allan, raised the 79th Cameron Highlanders. 

5. A daughter, who married Mackenzie of Toridon. 

Coll Macdonald of Keppoch died about 1729, and 
was succeeded by his eldest son, 

XVII. Alexander. He married Jessie, daughter 
of Stewart of Appin, and had by her — 

1. Ranald, who succeeded him. 

2. Alexander, a Major in the Glengarry Fencibles, known as 

A Maidseir Mor. He went to Canada, and settled in 
Prince Edward Island, where he purchased a property, 
and named it Keppoch. He married Sarah, daughter 
of Donald Macdonald of Tirnadrish, and had by her— - 

(a) Chichester, who afterwards succeeded as representa- 

tive of tlie Keppoch family. 

(b) John, who died unmarried in Montreal in 1832. 

(c) Mary. 

(d) Isabella. 

(e) Janet, a nun in a convent in Montreal, where she died 

in September, 1832. 
Major Alexander died in December, 1809. 

3. Anne, who married Dr Gordon, with issue. 

4. Clementina, who married, first, a Buchanan, and, secondly, 

John Macdonald of Dalness, without issue. 

5. Barbaia, who married Patrick Macdonald, minister of 

Kilmore. He was presented to the parish by Archi- 
bald, Duke of Argyll, in 1757. He was an eminent 
musicicin, an original composer, and played several 


iustiniiuents with great skill, particularly the "violin. 
He published a collection of Highland vocal airs in 
1784. He married Barbara, of Keppoch, 28th Dec, 
1757, and by her, who died June 13, 1804, he had — 
(a) Alexander ; (b) Murdoch ; (c) Ranald ; (d) 
Dougall ; (e) Joseph ; (f) James ; (g) John ; (h) 
Donald, minister of Killean, Kintyre, who died in 
1851, and left issue; (i) Archibald; (j) Janet; (k) 
Anne ; (l) Flora, who married, in 1800, Dr Kenneth 
' MacLeay, Oban, and had Kenneth, R.S.A.; (m) 


6. Katherine, who married John Macdonald of Aberarder, 

with issue. -; ' 

7. Jessie, who married Alexander Macdonald of Tulloch- 


8. Charlotte, who married Alexander Macdonald of Garva- 

beg, with issue. ... 

Alexander had by a young woman, a native of the 
Isle of Skye, with whom he formed a secret or 
irregular union before his marriage with Jessie 
Stewart of Appin, a son, Angus Ban of Inch. 
Keppoch was killed at Culloden, April 16, 174&, and 
was succeeded by his son, 

XVIII. Ranald, Major in the 74th Regiment. 
He married Sarah Cargill, Jamaica, and had b}^ her — 

1. Alexander, who was born in Jamaica, 29th October, 1772. 

2. Richard, .born at Keppoch, 26th November, 1780. ; 

3. Elizabeth, born in Jamaica, 15th November, 1774, died 

at Keppoch in 1793. 

4. Clementina, born at Keppoch, 8th February, 1777, died 

unmarried. - 

5. Janet, born at Keppoch, 26th Novembei", 1782, married 

Duncan Stewart, W.S., Edinburgh, and had (a) 
James ; (b) Ranald ; (c) Alexander ; (d) Mary ; (b) 
Clementina ; (f) Eliza, who married a Mr MacJN icoll, 
with issue. 

Ranald died at Keppoch in 1788, and was succeeded 

by his son, 


XIX. Alexander. He was a Major In the 1st 
or Royal Regiment of Foot. He died at Jamaica, 
unmarried, in 1808, and was succeeded by his 

XX. Richard, a Lieutenant in the 92nd Regi- 
ment. He died unmarried in Jamaica in August, 
1819, and was succeeded in the representation of 
the family by his cousin, the son of his uncle, Alex- 

XXI. Chichester. He married, and had two 
sons, who died in Canada before their father. 
Chichester, who lived at Greenock, died there in 
1848, and with him the male line of Keppoch from 
Coll, the 16th chief, became extinct. 


The family of Bohuntin is descended from John 

DuBH, third son of Ranald VII. of Keppoch. He 

is frequently mentioned in record as playing a 

prominent part in the affairs of the House of 

Keppoch in the stirring time in which he lived. 

He was, undoubtedly, a great warrior, and his 

romantic life and hairbreadth escapes were the 

theme of song and story for many generations in 

Lochaber. The remarkable poetic talent which 

distinguished many of his descendants has preserved 

many pictures in verse of the early days of feud and 

foray. John Dubh is said to have been a man of 

noble appearance, ready wit, and great capacity as a 

leader of men. His prowess at Bothloine has been 

already referred to in the first volume of this work. 

In 1587 he is, with others, prohibited, at the instance 

of the Privy Council, from gathering in arms. In 

1594 he, with his nephew, Alexander Macdonald of 


Keppoch, joined the Earl of Huntly, and took part in 
the Battle of Glenlivet, where Argyle, the^ King's 
Lieutenant, was defeated. He is afterwards 
accused of taking part in a herschip and fire- 
raising at Moy. In December, 1602, he and 
Allan and Angus, his sons, are denounced rebels 
for not appearing personally before the Privy 
Council to answer for the herschip of Moy and 
other crimes. 

It has been said, on the authority of tradition, 
that John Dubh was not a lawful son of Ranald of 
Keppoch, but tradition has been found to have been 
invariably very wide of the mark when looked at in 
the light of authentic documentary evidence. There 
are many references on record to John Dubh which 
might be taken as implying legitimate descent in 
the strictest sense, but in an original document in 
the Charter Chest of Lord Macdonald, to which 
several members of the Keppoch family were 
parties, it is expressly stated that he was the third 
lawful son of Ranald Macdonald Glass of Keppoch. 

John Dubh married a daughter of Donald Glass 
Mackintosh, referred to in several manuscript gene- 
alogies as of Dunachtan. By her he had — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Angus of Tulloch. 

3. Allan of Gellovie. 

4. Donald. 

5. John. 

6. Kanald. 

The last three are said to have been put to death by 
Alastair nan cleas. 

John Dubh died about 1604, and was succeeded by 
his son, 

11. Alexander. He appears in record in 1633, 
and was then at Bohuntin. He married a daughter 


of Macdonald of Glencoe, and had by her, among 

III. Angus Mor, who received a feu charter of 
Bohuntin from Mackintosh. He married a daughter 
of Cameron of Strone. 

At this stage it should be stated that it is quite 
impossible to reconcile the conflicting accounts given 
in several manuscript genealogies of this family. In 
the absence of authentic documents and dates, it is 
difficult to determine how far any of these various 
accounts is accurate. According to one authority, 
which has the appearance of accuracy, at least as far 
as the heads of the fajnily are concerned, Angus 
Mor had one son, Alexander, and two daugriters, 
one married to Alastair Buidhe of Keppoch, and 
another to Donald, son of Angus of Tulloch. Angus 
Mor was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Alexander, who married a daughter of 
Macdonald of Murlaggan, and had one son, by 
whom he was succeeded. 

V. Alexander, who married a daughter of 
Alexander Macdonald of Tulloch, and had by her — 

1. Angus, who succeeded. 

2. Alexander, who married a daughter of Macdonald of 

Cranachan, without issue. 

3. Donald, who married a daughter of Macdonald of Tirna- 

drish, and had Angus. 

Alexander was succeeded by his son, 

VI. Angus. He married a dauofhter of Mac- 
donald of Scotus, and had one daughter. After him 
the succession fell to Angus, son of his brother, 
Donald, who, being deaf and dumb, the legitimate 
line of Bohuntin became extinct. 

According to other authorities, Angus Mor HI. 
of Bohuntin had — 


1. John, his successor. 

2. Aonghas a Bhochdain. He married a daughter of Mac- 

gregor of Glencearnaig, and had Alastair Mor, who 
for his share in the battle of Muh'oy was transported 
to Holland, where he died in 1688. He married a 
daughter of Macdonald of Murlaggan, and had — 

(a) Angus, who married Nighean Mhic Aonghuis Oig, 

the poetess. 

(b) Alastair Ban, who married a daughter of Archibald of 

Clianaig, with issue. 

3. Alastair na Rianaich. 

4. A daughter, who married Alastair Buidhe of Keppoch. 

Angus was succeeded by his son, 

IV. John. He married a daughter of Cameron 
of Glenmailhe, and had — 

1. Alastair Mor, his successor. 

2. Donald, well known as " Domhnull Doun Mac Fir 

Bhohuritainn." He was a celebrated poet, and led a 
most eventful and romantic life. He fell in love 
with Mary, daughter of the Laird of Grant, who lived 
at Urquhart Castle, but the family made the most 
strenuous opposition to their marriage, as Doaald was 
a noted cateran. He was at feud with his own chief 
for his lawless deeds, and roused the ire of Iain Lom, 
whose son he had killed in a duel. He was then 
driven to lead a w'ld and lawless life among the hills, 
going for creachs as far north as Sutherland and 
Caithness. He was at last taken by treaehei-y by the 
sons of the Laird of Grant, who enticed him to their 
home with a pretended message from their sister, and 
then with feigned friendship received him. While 
he was trustfully sleeping under their roof they 
deprived him of his arms, but it took " tri fichead 's 
triuir," by bis own telling, to pursue and overcome 
him. He was tried and executed at Inverness in 
1692. Some of his finest songs w^ere composed while 
in prison. He died with the reputation of having 
never injured a poor man. 

3. Donald Gruamach. 

John was succeeded by his son, 


V. Alexander, known as Alastair Mor, who is 
said to have fought at Muh^oy. He had — 

1. Angus, who succeeded him. 

2. Alexander, who had a son, Angus. 

3. Ranald. 

4. John Og. 

5. Donald Glass. He and his brother, John Og, were 

transported to North Carolina for taking part in the 
Rising of 1745. 

Angus, Alexander, and Ranald, the other sons, died, 
according to one authority, of pleurisy about 1720, 
without issue. 

Alexander was succeeded by his son, 

VI. Angus. He had one son, Angus, who, 
having been born deaf and dumb, the succession 
devolved on the son of Alexander, second son of 
Alastair Mor, 

VII. Alastair Ban. He had — 

1. Angus. 

2. Alastair Ruadh, who had two sons, Angus, fox-hunter in 

Bohuntin, and Allan Casanloisgte, bard to Cluny. 

Alastair Ban was succeeded by his son, 

VIII. Angus. He had four sons — 

1. Angus Ban. 

2. Alexander, who emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1816, and 

married Mary Campbell, by whom he had a son, 
Allan, the father of Alexander Macdonald, Anti- 
gonish, Canada. 

3. Allan, who lived at Achnancoichean. 

4. Archibald, who had several sons, one of whom was a 


Angus was succeeded by his son, 

IX. Angus Ban. He married Christina Mac- 
kintosh, and lived latterly at Torgulbin. He had— 

1. Angus, who has the farm of Inch, and is unmarried. 

2. James, of the " Macdonald Arms," Fort-William, who 

died recently. 

3. Donald. 

4. John, and several daughters. 



This family is descended from Angus, second son 
of John Dubh Macdonald of Bohuntin. His first 
appearance in record is in 1592, when, with a number 
of others of the Kej)poch following, he is accused of 
"manifest oppression and slaughter." In 1602 he 
is denounced rebel for not appearing personally 
before the Privy Council to answer for his share 
in the herschip of Moy. In 1611, Alexander Mac- 
donald of Keppoch became surety for him " under 
the pain of 500 merks." In 1615, he is declared 
rebel for not appearing to answer to the charge of 
assisting Sir James Macdonald of Dunnyveg, and 
again in 1617 he is declared rebel and put to the 
horn. He married a daughter of Macdonald of 
Shian, and had by her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Donald, from whom the Macdonalds of Aberarder. 
He was succeeded by his son, 

II. Alexander. He is mentioned in a Mackin- 
tosh document in 1655 as Tacksman of Tulloch. 
He is also mentioned in Coll of Keppoch's bond in 
1678. He married a daughter of Macdonald of 
Achnancoichean, and had by her — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Allan of Inveray and Dalchosnie. 

3. Johu. 

4. A daughter. 

Alexander was succeeded by his son — 

III. Donald. He married a niece of Macdonald 
of Glencoe, and had 

IV. Angus. He is mentioned in Coll of 
Keppoch's submission in 1691, and as his accomplice 
in 1698. He signed the address to George I. in 


1714. He married a daughter of Macdonald of 
Killiechonate, and had by her — 

1. Alexa'.ider, his successor. 

2. Donald, who married a daughter of Donald Gorm Mac- 

donald, brother of Glengarry, and had a son, Alex- 
ander, who succeeded his uncle, Alexander. 

3. Allan, who mai'ried Janet, daughter of Angus Macdonald 

of Gallovie, without issuf^, 

4. Angus, who died unmarried. 

5. ArchibMld, who died unmarried. 
And three daughters. 

Angus was succeeded by his son, 

V. Alexander. He and others are appointed 
deputies by Alexander Macdonald of Keppoch in 
1744 to restore peace, law, and order in the Braes 
of Lochaber. 

Alexander, who left no issue, was succeeded by 
his nephew, 

VL Alexander. He married, first, a daughter 
of Stewart of Achnacone, without issue. He married, 
secondly, a daughter of Macdonald of Greenfield, 
without issue ; and thirdly, a daughter of Macdonald 
of Cranachan, and had by her — 

1. Ang s, his succ''>ssor. 

2. Donald, who died without issue. 

3. Margaret, who died unmarried. 

4. Mary, who married Alexander Macdonald of Bohuntin. 

Alexander was succeeded by his son, 

VH. Angus. He married a daughter of Mac- 
donald of Aberarder, and had — 

1. Ranald. 

2. Grace, who married a Mr Macintyre, with issue, and 

went to Australia. 

Angus was succeeded by his only son, 

Yin. E-ANALD, who emigrated to America, of 
whose male heirs, if there are any, there is no trace, 

1. Lieut. Alex. Macdouald (Dal- 


2. Captaiu James Macdouald (Dal- 


3. Captain Johu Allan Macdouald 

I Dalcho.snie). 

4. Captain Donald Macdouald (Dal- 


5. Hon. Alex. Macdonell of Culachie. 



This family is descended from John Dubh of 
Bohuntin, through Alexander Macdonald of 
Tulloch, who was the eldest son of Angus, the 
second son of John Dubh. The second son of 
Alexander of Tulloch from whom this family is 
descended may be reckoned from John Dubh as 

IV. Allan. He acquired the lands of Inveray, 
in Glenlyon, and Dalchosnie and Tullochcroisk, in 
Rannoch. He was "out" in 1689 under Dundee, 
and was present at the battle of Killiecrankie with 
the Athole men. He was one of those who signed 
the Bond of Association by the Highland Chiefs at 
Blair on the 24th of August, and undertook to raise 
IGO men for the support of the royal cause. 

He married a daughter of William Boy of Mul- 
rogie, and had by her — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Donald of Tullochcroisk, who was an officer in the Athole 

Regiment, in which he served in the rising of 1715. 
Joining in the march to England, he was taken 
prisoner at Preston, and executed there in November 
of the same year. He married a daughter of John 
Robertson of Drumachine, by whom he had a son, 
Archibald, who was an officer in the army, and died 
abroad unmarried. 

3. Archibald. 

4. Janet. 

Allan Macdonald of Dalchosnie died in Edinburgh, 
and was buried in Glenlyon. He was succeeded by 
his son, 

V. John. He also took part in the rising of 
1715, and was an officer in the Athole Regiment. 
He had previously, in 1714, signed the Address to 
George I. 


He married Helen, daughter of John Stewart of 
Cammach, and had by her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Allan. He joined in the rising of 1715, was taken 

prisoner, and died in prison at Manchester shortly 

3. John, who was " out " in the '45, and was killed at 

Culloden. He married Cecilia, daughter of Campbell 
of Glenlyon, with issue. 

4. Angus, who mni-ried Margaret Stewart, and died without 


5. Donald, who was an officer in the Old Buffs, and served 

under Spencer, Duke of Marlborough, in Germany, 
where he fell in 1745, unmarried. 

6. Barbara, who married Neil Stewart of Temper. 

7. Catherine, who married Macdonald, Laggan, with issue. 

8. Isabel, who married Alexander Stewart, with issue. 

John Macdonald of Dalchosnie died in 1726, and 
was buried at Lassentullich. He was succeeded by 
his son, 

YI. Alexander. He was " out " in the '45 
with the Athole Highlanders, and took part in all 
the engagements. At the final charge at Culloden, 
where he showed conspicuous bravery, he fell with 
thirty other officers of the same regiment. In the 
" Chroniclesof the Atholl and Tullibardine Families," 
edited by the Duke of Atholl, there is a document 
printed purporting to be " Information of John Mac- 
donald, Younger of Dalchosnie, &c.," and as it 
might be held to reflect on the loyalty of both 
Alexander Macdonald of Dalchosnie and his son to 
the cause of Prince Charles, it may be briefly 
referred to here. The loyalty of father and son had 
never hitherto been suspected, for the former, who 
at the outset joined the Prince's standard, and 
followed it throughout the campaign, sealed his 
loyalty with his life at Culloden, while his son, as is 


well known, remained a steady and consistent 
Jacobite to the end of his life. It should be stated 
at the outset that there is no evidence from the 
document itself that the information it contains was 
given to the Duke of AthoU, or signed, by John 
Macdonald. John, however, who was an officer in 
Lord Loudon's Regiment when the Prince landed, 
and while still an officer in that regiment, gave the 
Duke information such as he was bound in honour 
to give regarding recruits which had been enlisted 
for the regiment, but the portion of the " Lifor- 
mation " which seems to throw suspicion on the 
loyalty of the Macdonalds, both to the Prince and to 
their Chief, Alexander of Keppoch, is the reference 
in it to a letter addressed by Keppoch to Alexander 
Macdonald of Dalchosnie and Alexander Macdonald 
of Drumchastle, and delivered by Young Dalchosnie 
to the Duke of Atholl. In this reference Kep- 
poch is represented as threatening his clansmen 
" with burning and houghing " if they did not 
immediately join him ; but the letter itself, which 
is dated August 12th, contained no such threat, nor 
any threat whatever, and on the 19th, when it was 
delivered to the Duke, the information which it con- 
tained could do no manner of injury to Keppoch at 
that stage, his relations with the Government being 
well de&ied on the 16th. The " Information " was 
probably a ruse on the part of Young Dalchosnie to 
mislead the authorities. In any case, his narration 
divulges no secret, for it contained nothing that 
was not already well known over a large district of 
the Highlands, and the narrator himself forthwith 
joined the Prince's standard, followed by many other 
well-known officers in Loudon's Pegiment. 



Alexander Macdonald of Dalchosnie married 
Janet, daughter of James Stewart of Lassentullich, 
and had by her — 

1. Allan, who was "out" in the 'io, and was wounded in 

one of the engagements. He died of his wounds 
shortly aftei' at Dalchosnie. 

2. John, who succeeded his father. 

3. Alexander, who died young. 

4. Alastair, who died young. 

5. Donald, W.S., who died unmarried in Edinburgh in 1775. 

6. Margaret, who died unmarried. 

7. Helen, who died unmarried. 

8. Barbara, who, after the disaster at Culloden, showed 

great courage and devotion in ministering to the 
^ necessities of many officers of the Highland army, 

including her brother, John, who found hiding places 
in the Rannoch district. She died unmarried in 1819, 
in the 92nd year of her age. 

9. Jean, who married John Macdonald, with issue. 

Alexander was succeeded by his son, 

VII. John. He, as already stated, joined the 
standard of Prince Charles, and was a Captain in 
Keppoch's regiment. Escaping from the battlefield 
of Culloden, he continued in hiding near his home in 
Rannoch until the Indemnity Act set him free. 

He married Mary, daughter of Robert Menzies 
of Glassie, who fought at Culloden, and by her 
had — 

1. Alexander. 

2. Allan, who died young. 

3. John, who married a daughter of Gordon of Wardhouse, 

without issue. 

4. WilJicim, who was a Major iu the 37th Regiment, and 

served with that regiment iu the Low Countries in 
1793, when he Avas severely wounded in one of the 
engagements. He afterwards served in the West 
Indies, and died at Trinidad from the effects of wounds 
received in action. He left his estate in Jamaica, 
which he called Dalchosnie, to his brother. 


5, Donald. He entered the Army at an early age, and 
after a period of service in various corps he joined the 
92nd Regiment in Ireland in 1798. In 1799, the 
92nd Regiment formed part of the expedition to 
Holland, and in the battle of Egmont-Op-Zee, Lieut. 
Macdonald, who fought with great bravery, received 
two bayonet wounds in the breast, w^hile defending 
himself against the united attacks of three French 
soldiers. In Egypt, in 1801, he was again severely 
Avounded by a grape-shot. His services in Holland 
and Egypt were in 1803 rewarded with a company. 
In 1807, he accompanied the 92nd to Copenhagen, 
where he distinguished himself during the siege of 
that city. He also served in Sweden, Portugal, and 
Spain, under Sir John Moore, in 1808. In 1809, his 
regiment formed part of the expedition to Walcheren, 
and in 1810 it embarked for the Peninsula, where it 
joined the army under AVellington in the lines of 
Torres Vedras. In the memorable battle of Fuentes 
de Honore, which was fought in May, 1811, the 92nd 
conducted themselves in their itsual gallant manner. 
In all these operations Captain Macdonald accom- 
panied his regiment, and by his distinguished courage 
and example on all occasions contributed to raise the 
discipline of the corps to a high point of excellence. 
In the action at Arroyo de Molinos on 28th October, 
Captain Macdonald was shot through both legs. 
Being soon after promoted to a majority, he returned 
home, ard joined the 2nd battalion of the regiment. 
On the reduction of the 2nd battalion, he joined the 
first in Ireland in 1814, and in May, 1815, he 
embarked with it to the Netherlands. On the death 
of Colonel Cameron at Quatre Bras on the 16th of 
June, and Lt.-Colonel Mitchell having been wounded. 
Major Macdonald took command of the battalion on 
the evening of that day. At Waterloo, on the 18th, 
at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the 92nd made its 
famous charge against the French columns, so 
■ graphically described by an eye witness. Sir Denis 
Park galloped up to the regiment, and said — 
" Ninety -second, you must charge; all tlie troops in 
your front have given way," At this interesting and 


truly critical period of the great drama Major Mac- 
donald rose even abovD himself. His ejes sparkling 
■with fire, he turned round to the battalion, and gave 
the order to charge, when all instantly rushed 
forward. He encouraged his battalion with the most 
inspiriting language. For a few seconds the French 
seemed to dispute the progress of the assailants, but 
just as the dreadful collision was about to take place, 
the front ranks of the enemy began to exhibit 
uneasiness, which, in a second or two more, showed 
itself in the flight of the whole 3000. In this battle 
Major Macdonald escaped without a scratch, although 
he had two horses killed under him. For his 
gallantry and heroic conduct he was promoted Lieut.- 
Colonel and made a Companion of the Bath. He 
received the Waterloo Medal and the Order of 
Vladimir from the Russian Emperor. In addition to 
these, he received in 1801 a gold medal from the 
Turkish Emperor for his services in Egypt. He 
remained in the service till 1819, when he retired on 
account of his wounds, from which he suffered much 
for many years. He died on the 19th of June, 1829. 
Colonel Macdonald was exceedingly popular with both 
officers and men, and able to converse with them in 
their native Gaelic tongue. 

Colonel Macdonald married Elizabeth Miller, and 
left a family of three sons and two daughters — (a) 
William, who was an officer in the 91st Regiment, 
and died unmarried. (b) Allan, an officer in the 
92nd Regiment, and afterwards Captain and Pay- 
master in the 6th Regiment. He died unmarried. 

(c) Alexander, who has been Ageut for the Antrim 
Estates for over 40 years, and is a Magistrate for 
County Antrim. He maiTied Elizabeth Fawkner, 
and had — (a) Allan, M.A., LL.D. of the University 
of Dublin ; Barrister-at-law. He is Agent for several 
estates in Antrim. (6) Donald Wellesly, solicitor, 
who mai-ried, in 1891, Mary Rosenthal. (c) John 
Alexander, solicitor, died unmarried Oct. 25, 1891. 

(d) Mark William, M.D. (T.C.D.), who married Mary 
Ethel M'Grane, and has— (a^) John Alexander; (b^) 
Mark William ; (c^) Elizabeth Mary. (o?i) Marguerita 



Seymour, who married in 1886 Harry Percy Sheil 
an officer in the Royal Irish Constabulary, (e^ Jane 
Alice. (/I) Edith Mary, (g^) Beatrice Kathleen, who 
married Henry Cairns Lawlor, and has— (a^) John 
William Cairns ; {(/-) Alexander M'Donald ; (c-) Alice 
Elizabeth ; (d-) Beatrice Kathleen. 

6. Allan, who settled on the estate left him by his brother 

in Jamaica, and died there in 1825. 

7. Angus, who died young. 

8. Angus, Avho died young. 

9. Archibald, who died young. 

10. James, who died young. 

11. Robert, minister of Fortingall. He was presented to the 

parish in 1806 by John, Duke of Atholl, and in 1809 
married Agnes Maclaren, by whom he had— 

(a) Allan, a licentiate of the Church of Scotland. He 

was assistant to his father for some time, and 
died young of consumption. 

(b) Alexander, M.D., in practice at Blairgowrie, where he 

died unmarried. 

(o) John, who died unmarried. 

(d) Mary, who died unmarried. 

The Rev. Robert Macdonald, who was a noted anti- 
quarian and genealogist, died Feb. 13, 1842. 

12. Julia, who married Captain Alexander Macdouald of 

Moy, and had, among others. Captain Ranald Mac- 
donald, of the 92nd Regiment. 

13. Janet, who married Alexander Cameron of Cullevin. 
John Macdonald died at Dalcbosnie in 1809, in the 
88th year of his age. Although his eldest son died 
shortly before his father, he may be reckoned as 
next in succession. 

VIII. Alexander. He joined the 2nd Battalion 
of the 42nd Kegiment, and served with it in India 
in 1782-4, particularly distinguishing himself at the 
storming of Mangalore. By 1799 he had attained 
the rank of Major, and took part in the siege and 
capture of Seringapatam in that year. 

He married Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander 
Menzies of Bolfracks, Perthshire, and had by her— 

438 tut: chA^ doMalI). 

1. John, who succeeded. 

2. Alexander, Lieutenant, 92nd Regiment, with which he 

served in the Peninsula and Pyrenees, and was present 
at the Pass of Maya, in July, 1813, where he was 
wounded. He died, immarried, of his wounds, 
October 5th, 1813. He is the original of " Alasttiir 
Macdonald " in Grant's " Romance of War." 

3. William of Sunayside, Lieutenant, first in the 34th and 

afterwards in the 81st Regiment. He succeeded his 
brother Donald in Sunnyside, and died there 
unmarried in 1839. 
■4. Donald of Sunnyside, Captain in the 68th Regiment. 
He died unmarried in 1835. 

5. James, Captain, 92nd Regiment. He died unmarried in 


6. Isabel, who married Charles Monro, with issue. 

7. Mary Anne, who died at the age of 10, in 1807. 

Major Alexander Macdonald died in 1808, and was 
succeeded by his son, 

IX. John, afterwards Sir John Macdonald. He 
joined the 88th Regiment as Ensign in 1803. He 
was with his regiment in the expedition to Buenos 
Ayres in 1806, and was twice wounded at the 
storming of Monte Video. From 1808 to 1814, he 
served in the Peninsula, Pyreiiees, and South of 
France, first as Captain in the 88th, and afterwards 
as Lieut. -Colonel of the 4th Portuguese Regiment. 
He was at Busaco with the 88th Regiment, took 
part in the retreat to Lisbon, and in the defence of 
the lines of Torres Vedras. With the Portuguese 
division he v/as in command of his reghnent at the 
relief of Badajoz, and took part in the battle of 
Albuera. He also took part in the battle of Vittoria, 
and in the battle of the Pyrenees, in Jnly, 1813, he 
was severely wounded. On recovering from his 
wounds he took command of his reghnent, and with 
it took the fortified Rock of Arolla, after despen\te 
fighting. Li reci)gnition of his services on tiiis 


occasion, he was permitted to wear on his crest a 
flag with the word Arolla inscribed on it. In the 
assault he was severely wounded. In April, 1814, 
he was so far recovered as to take part in the battle 
of Toulouse. In 1817, he, on account of ill health, 
retired with the rank of Lieut. -Colonel on half pay. 
He was again placed on full pay in 1819 in the 91st 
Regiment, of which he became Lieut. -Colonel in 
1824. In 1828 he was appointed to the command 
of the 92nd Regiment, with which he served in the 
Mediterranean, West Indies, and at home, until he 
was promoted Major-General in 1846. In 1848 he 
was appointed Commander of the Forces and 
Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica, but on the break- 
ing out of the rebellion in Ireland he was selected 
by the Uuke of Wellington to take command of the 
force sent to suppress the disturbance. He remained 
. in Ireland, with his headquarters at Kilkenny, till 
1854. While preserving a high miUtary discipline. 
General Macdonald was exceedingly popular with 
all classes. 

Major-General Macdonald was promoted to the 
rank of Lieut. -General in 1854, appointed Colonel of 
the 92nd Regiment in 1855, made K.C.B. in 1856, 
and promoted to the rank of General in 1862. 

In consideration of his own military services and 
those of his family. Sir John was granted a royal 
warrant giving him the right to bear the Macdonald 
red hand in his crest, with flames issuing from it. 

He married, September 12, 1826, Adriana, 
daughter of James M'Inroy of Lude, Perthshire, 
and by her he had — 

1. Alastair M'lan, his successor. 

2. John Allan, Captain in the 92nd, and afterwards in the 

8th Regiment. He died without issue, November 
29th, 1886. 


3. Charles William. He joined the 93rd Highlanders in 

1852 as Ensign, and served with his regiment in the 
Crimea in 1854. He took part in the battle of the 
Alma on September 20th, and was in the " Thin Red 
Line " at Balaklava on October 2oth. Early in 1 855 
he was ordered home invalided. He was soon after- 
wards promoted Captain, and in June, 1857, embarked 
with the 93rd for China, but on the breaking out of 
the Mutiny, the regiment proceeded to India. In the 
relief of Luckuow Captain Macdonald was conspicuous 
for great feats of bravery and endurance, and thougli 
wounded, he refused to retire. He was engaged con- 
tinuously from the 28th November, 1857, till the 
following March, when on the lltli he received his 
death v\^ound while gallantly leading on his men to 
the attack on the Begum's Palace. " He died," said 
Lord Clyde, " as he had lived, in the performance of 
his duty, and while displaying the conspicuous 
courage belonging to his race." The Crimean and 
Indian Medals were bestowed on him. He died 

4. Donald. He joined the 79th Regiment as Ensign in 

June, 1854, and was promoted Lieutenant in the fol- 
lowing December. He served with his regiment in 
the Crimea from July, 1855, till the fall of Sebastopol. 
On his return home in 1857, he was promoted 
Captain. On the breaking out of the Mutiny, he 
accompanied his regiment to India, and joined Sir 
Colin Campbell's attacking force at Lucknow, taking- 
part in the second siege and storming of the city. 
He was afterwards engaged with his regiment at 
Boodaon, A.llahgunge, and Bareilly, where the 79th 
w^as specially thanked by Sir Colin Campbell for their 
share in the victory. He was with the Camerons in 
their forced march to Shahjeanpoor, and in the attack 
on that place. He was also present at the attack on 
Mohoomdee and at the capture of Rampoor Kosilab, 
where' his regiment was specially complimented by 
the Commander-in-Chief. He was present at the 
passage of the Ghoyra and at Bundwa Kotee in 
January, 1859. He received the Crimean and 

1. Geu. Sir John Macdonald of Dal- 3. William Macdonald (Dalchosnie). 

chosnie. 4. Captain Charles Macdonald (Dal- 

2. General Alastair Macdonald of chosnie). 


5. Captain Donald Macdonald (Dalchosnie). 


Indian Medals, and died unmarried, August 28th, 

5. Elizabeth More Menzies, of Barnfield, Southampton. 

6. Adriana, also of Barnfield. 

7. Jemima, a most accomplished and highly cultured lady, 

who died unmai-ried, August 4th, 1894. She was an 
active and energetic member of the Primrose League, 
Kuling Councillor since July, 1888, of the Millbrook 
Habitation in Hampshire, and authoress of several 
historical pamphlets — " The French Revolution," 
" The Wrongs of England, Scotland, and Wales,', 
&c. In 1859 she compiled a most beautiful and 
valuable Macdonald genealogical tree. 

Sir John Macdonald of Dalchosnie died June 24th, 
1866, and was succeeded by his son, 

X. Alastair M'Ian Macdonald. He joined 
the 92nd Regiment as Ensign in 1846, and became 
Lieutenant the following year. In 1848 he was 
appointed Aide-de-Camp to his father, and con- 
tinued in that position till 1854. He was appointed 
Aide-de-Camp to Sh' John Pennefather in 1854, and 
served with him in the Crimea. He was present at 
the battles of Alma and Inkermann, and was 
wounded in botli battles, in the latter so severely 
as to necessitate his beino^ invalided home. He was 
appointed Major of the Rifle Depot Battalion at 
Winchester, of which he afterwards became Lieut. - 
Colonel. H(i was Assistant- Adjutant-General at 
Dover, and afterwards Aide-de-Camp to the Duke 
of Cambridge. He was promoted Major-General in 
1877. In 1881 he was Commander of the Forces 
in Scotland when the great Scottish Volunteer 
Review took place in Edinburgh. He has since 
been promoted to the full rank of General. He 
sold his magnificent estates of Dalchosnie, Kinloch 
Ramioch, Dunalastair, and Crossmount eighteen 
years ago, and is now living in London, unmarried. 



This family is descended from Donald, second 
son of Angus Macdonald of Tullocb, second son of 
John Dubh of Bohuntin. Donald first appears on 
record as of Invervudden. He fought at Inverlochy 
in 1G45, and was a poet of some reputation in his 
day. Fragments of his hunting songs are still 
extant. He married first a daughter of Alexander 
Macdonald of Inverlair ; secondly, a daughter of 
Alexander Macdonald of Tirnadrish ; and thirdly, a 
daughter of Alexander Macdonald of Bohuntin. He 
had — 

1. Archibald, bis successor. 

2. Allan, known i\.s Ailein Liatk na Mbintich. He bad three 

sons, Alexander, Donald, and John, Alexander, the 
eldest son, married a daughter of Allan Macdonald of 
Gellovie, and had a sun, Archibald. Archibald 
married a daughter of Allan Mor Cameron, and had 
Alexander, John, and Donald. Alexander, the eldest 
son, married a daughter of Macdonald of Cranachan, 
without issue. John, the second son, married and had 
issue. Donald, the third son, had no issue. 

3. Angus of Cranachan. 

Donald died at Invervudden, and was buried at 
St Keimeth's Church, at the end of Loch Laggan, 
where many generations of his family were after- 
wards buried. He was succeeded by his son, 

II. Archibald, known as Gilleashuig Dubh 
ChoiUerois, and famous as a huntsman. He fought 
at Killiecrankie. In 1703, he received a tack from 
Lachlan Mackintosh of Strone of the lands of Moy 
and Coillerois. He married in 1679 Agnes, daughter 
of Allan Macdonald of Gellovie, and is described in 
the marriage contract as the son of Donald Mac- 
donald, alicid Maclnnes Vic Ean Duibh of Inver- 
vudden. He had by her — 


1. John, his successor. 

2. Alexander, who married a daughter of Robertson of 

Blairfettie, and had a daughter, Anne, who married 
Mackintosh of Strone. 

3. Angus, who married a daughter of Macdonald of Cran- 

achan, with issue. 

4. Donald of Laggan, who married Catherine, daughter of 

.John Macdonald of Ualchosuie, with issue. 

5. Archibald, who married a daughter of Macdonald of 


6. Ranald, who died without issue. 

7. Allan, Avho died young. 

8. Margaret. 

9. Mary. 
10. Isabel. 

Archibald was succeeded by his son, 

in. John. He married, first, a daughter of 
Mackintosh of Strone, and, secondly, Anne, daughter 
of Donald Gorm (who was killed at Killiecrankie), 
brother of Alastair Dubh of Glengarry. By his 
second wife he had — 

1. Ranald, his successor. 

2. Alastair Ban of Tullochcrom. 

3. Angus, mentioned in record in 1723. 

4. Isabel, who married Alexander Macpherson of Ballachruan, 

and had Captain John Macplierson, known as the 
Black Officer, who was lost in a snow storm at Gaick, 
Dec. 31, 1799. 
John died in 1716, and was buried at Cillechoirill. 
He was succeeded by his son, 

TV. Ranald, known as Raomdl Mor, and some- 
times as Raomdl Duhh. He joined Prince Charles's 
standard at Glenfinan, and was present at the 
battles of Prestonpans and Falkirk, and joined in 
the march to England. He sheltered the Prince for 
a night on his way to the " cage" on Benalder, and 
from him the latter accepted a change of garments 
to ensure disguise. His Jacobite zeal Avas the cause 


of his finally losing his lands. After the commotions 
of the '45 had subsided, interested persons succeeded 
in putting Aberarder under the Forfeited Estates 
Act. Ranald contested the case in the Court of 
Session, and afterwards appealed to the House of 
Lords, but lost it He was celebrated for his 
hospitality. It was a popular saying at the time of 
his death — " Chaidh Raonull Aberardair a Fhlaith- 
eanas mar gun rachadh peillear a gunna leis an 

Ranald married Grace, daughter of Duncan 
Stewart of Achnacone, and had by her — 

L John, his successor. 

2. Alexander of Mo}^ who was a Captain in 82ud Regiment, 
and served in the American War of Independence. 
He married Juliet, daughter of John Macdonald of 
Dalchosnie, and had, with three daughters— (a) 
Archibald ; (b) Alexander ; (c) Ranald ; (d) Huntly ; 
(e) AVilliam ; (/) John ; (.y) Donald. 

Archibald, the eldest son, married Alexa, daughter 
of Donald Macdonald of Lochans, and had Alexa and 
Juliet. Alexander, the second son, married Amie, 
daughter of Donald Macdonald of Lochans, and had — 
(1) Alexander of Hockitiki, New Zealand ; (2) Ranald, 
Captain in the 92nd Regiment, who married Hannah, 
daughter of Donald Stewart of Luskintyre, Harris, 
and had a daughter, Juliet. 

.3. Archibald, who was a Lieutenant in the 92nd Regiment, 
and distinguished himself at the Pass of Maya. He 
married Grace, heiress of David Stewart of Lassin- 
tuUicb, and had David IL of Lassintiillich, who 
married Mary, daughter of A. Menzies of Farlyer, 
and had Archibald, James, Mary, and Jessie. 

4. William. 

5. A daughter, who married a MaoHardy. 

6. Grace, who married Macdonald, Monesie. 

7. Mary. 

8. Jane, who married Alexander Macdonald, Garva, 

9. Grace, who married a Mr Gordon, with issue. 


Ranald Macdoiiald of Aberarder, who was living at 
Garvamore in 1771, died shortly thereafter, and was 
succeeded by his son, 

V. John, known as Iain Duhh. He lived at 
KilHechonate. He married Katherine, youngest 
dauo-hter of Alexander Macdonald of Keppoch, and 


had by her — 

1. John. 

2. Archibald, 

3. A daughter, who married a M'Veaii, with issue. 

4. Isabel, who married a Rankin, in Glencoe. 

5. Janet, who married Donald Ruadh Macdonald of the 

Cranachan family. 
6 Grace, who married a Macfarlane, from Strathspey, with 
issue, from whom Bishop Angus Macfarlane, Dunkeld. 

John died March 10th, 1818, and was buried at 
Cillechoirill. His wife died 25th July, 1829, aged 
90. He was succeeded by his son, 

VI. John, a Captain in the 1st Royal Scots, and 
A.D.C. to the Duke of Gordon. He married 
Catherine, daughter of Gordon of Wardhouse, and 
had by her — 

1. George Gordon, 

2. Ranald, who was in the army, and went to Australia. 

He married a sister of Captain Maclean of Lakefield, 
with issue. 

3. Eliza, unmarried. 

Captain John Macdonald was succeeded by his son, 

VII. George Gordon, who was a Brigadier- 
General in the Indian Army, and commanded the 
27th Madras Native Infantry. He married a Miss 
Batten, and had a daughter, who married a Captam 
Thorpe, without issue. 



The first of this family was Angu??, third son of 
Donald I. of Aberarder. He is frequently men- 
tioned in record. He married a daughter of Mac- 
donald of Achnancoichean, and had — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Alexander, wlio married, and had issue. 

3. Arcliibald, who married, and had issue. 

4. Anne. 

5. Mary. 

6. Catherine, who married Alexander Macdonald of Tulloch. 

Angus Macdonald of Cranachan, who was living in 
1723, was succeeded by his son, 

n. Donald. He married a daughter of Mac- 
donald of Shian, and had — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Ang'us. After the death of his brother, John III. of 

Cranachan, Angus took the farm. He liad four sons — 

(1) John, who left Angus, Donald, Marj^ and Sarah. 

(2) Donald Ruadh of Torgulbin. He married a daughter 

of John Dubh Macdonald of Aberarder, and had 
— (a) Angus, who had two sons, John and 
Duncan, who lived in London, and had Jane? 
who married Andi-ew Carmichael, Edinburgh, 
with issue ; (h) John, known as " Long John ;" 
(e) Archibald, who married a Miss MacHardy, 
and had Aloysius, married in Australia, and four 
daughters ; (d) Peter, who had a son, Peter ; 
(e) Alexander ; (/) Donald ; (g) Colin. 

Long John, who was the maker of the famous 
Ben-Nevis Distillery, was succeeded by his son, 
Donald Petei'. He married his cousin, Jessie 
Margaret, daughter of Andrew Carmichael, Edin- 
burgh, and had — (1) John, who married Mar- 
garet Chatto, London, and had — (a) Donald 
Peter ; (b) William ; (c) Marjorie. (2) Archi- 
bald, lately with the Lovat Scouts in South 
Africa, formerly an officer in the Cameron High- 


landers. (3) Andrew, a monk in the Benedictine 
Monastery at Fort-Augustus. (4) Mary. (5) 
Elizabeth, who married James Ryan, Glenomera. 
Ceylon. (6) Jessie. (7) Frances, who married 
Harold P. Sykcs, 2nd Dragoon Guards. 

(3) Alexander, next brother after Donald Ruadh, mairied 

and liad issue. 

(4) Angus Mor, Blarnahininn, and later at Cranachan, 

He had (a) Angus, (b) John, (c) Archibald, (d) 
Alexaiider, (e) Donald, (/) Colin, and several 
daughters. These brothers, who were noted all 
over the country for their generous hospitality 
and great physical strength, always lived together 
at Cranachan, and never married. Alexander 
and Donald are the sole survivors. 

3. Donald, who died without issue. 

4. Alexander. 

5. Margaret, who married Ranald Macdonald of Fersit. 

Donald II. of Cranachan was succeeded by his son, 

III. John. He married Janet Macdonald, and 
had — 

1. Donald. 

2. Angus. 

3. Arcliibald, who lived at Fort-Augustus, and had (1) John, 

who had (a) Archibald, unmarried ; (/>) Donald, 
married in Stratlilochy, in Lochaber, and several 
daughters, one of whom is married to Captain Mac- 
donald of " The Lochness," with issue ; (2) Angus ; 
(3) Alexander, who left a son, John ; (4) Coll ; 
(5) Duncan, whose three sons, Archibald, Alexander, 
and Coll are living near Ardrishaig ; (6) Donald. 

John was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Donald, Surgeon in the Glengarry Fencibles. 
He lived latterly at Fort -Augustus. It was he that 
had the famous lawsuit with Glengarry, which was 
decided in favour of Dr Macdonald in 1807. 

He married an English lady, and had two sons, 
Charles and another, both of whom, died unmarried. 
Dr Macdonald was succeeded in the representation 
of the family by his brother, 


V. Angus, He married a daughter of Alex- 
ander Macdoiiald of Tullochcrom, and had — 

1. Alexander. 

2. Ranald, a Captain in the Merchant service. 

Angus married, secondly, and left a son, whose sons 
live at Campbeltown, and was succeeded by his son, 

VI. Alexander. He enlisted in the Foot 
Guards, and rose to the rank of Captain. He 
emigrated to New Zealand, where he became 
Governor of Auckland. He married Mary, daughter 
of Alexander Macdonald, Garvabeg, and had, among 

VII. Alexander, who is married in Australia, 
and has issue. 


Alastair Ban, the second son of John III. of 
Aberarder, was the first of this family. He married, 
first, a daughter of Mackintosh of Balnespick, and 
had by her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. John, who died xnimarried. 

3. Christian, who married John Stewart of the Garth family, 

with issue. 

4. Anne, who married James Mackintosh of Strone. 

He married, secondly, Jessie, fifth daughter of 
Alexander Macdonald of Keppoch, who died Jan. 9tli, 
1812 and had by her — 

5. A daughter, who married Alexander Macdonald of the 

Cranachan family, with issue. 

6. Jessie, who married Archibald Macdonald of Gaskmore, 

Laggan, and had — 

(a) Reginald Ranald, who entered the Gordon High- 
landers, in which he served with distinction. 
He attained the rank of Colonel, was made C.B. 


and Knight of the White Horse of Hanover. 
He was for some time Adjutant-General of the 
forces in Bombay. He died unmarried. 
(r) Alexander, who married Miss Maclean of the Drimnin 
family, and had Ranald and several daughters, 
who went to Australia. 

(c) Mary, who died unmarried. 

(d) Helen, who married 

7. Mary, who married John Ban Macdonald, Garvamore, 

and had — 

(a) Alexander, who married Jane, daughter of Captain 

Macdonald, Moy, and had four sons and two 
daughters — Mary, who married her cousin, 
George Gordon, and Juliet, a nun. 

(b) Mary, who married Andrew Carmichael, teacher, 

Edinburgh, with issue. 

8. Mary, who married Mr Forrest, with issue. 

9. Elizabeth, who married Mr Hussey, with issue. 

Alastair Ban of Tullochcrom was succeeded by his 

IL Alexandeb. He was known as Alexander 
of Garvabeg. He married, first, Charlotte, sixth 
daughter of Alexander Macdonald of Keppoch, and 
had by her — 

1. John, who died unmarried. 

2. Jessie, who married John Macnab of the Inneshewen 

family, who held the property of Shenaghart, in 
Kintyre, and had (a) Duncan, W.S., Edinburgh, who 
died unmarried ; (b) John, who married, with issue ; 
(c) Alexander ; (d) Archibald ; (e) Ranald ; (/) 
Francis, who married and had issue ; (g) Charlotte, 
who died young ; (h) Christina, who married her 
cousin Angus Macdonald, Keppoch, with issue. 

3. Grace, who married Mr Stewart, Perthshire, with issue. 

He married, secondly, Miss Reid, and had by her— 

4. Cosmo. 

5. Ranald, unmarried. 

6. A daughter, who married Mr Kerr, with issue, in 




He married, thirdly, a daughter of Mackintosh of 
Strone, and had by her — 

7. Ranald, a Captain in the Gordon Highlanders. He was 

at Waterloo, and saw besides a good deal of service 
in India and Ce3^1on, where he greatly distinguished 
himself. The fort which he saved from the rebels 
was named after him, " Fort Macdonald." He 
married Flora, daughter of Alexander Macdonald of 
Dalelea, and had (a) Reginalda, who married Neil 
Rankin, with issue, in Australia ; (h) Flora, who 
married Mr Lawson, with issue. 

8. Allan, who was a Captain in the Gordon Highlanders, 


9. Archibald, an officer in tlie Army, who left issue in 


10. Donald, a Captain in the Army, who married Miss 

Carpenter, and had (a) Alexander, who died unmarried 
as he was about to be gazetted to the Gordon High- 
landers ; (6) Elizabeth ; (c) Isabella. 

11. Angus, who went to Canada, and married there a French 

lady, by whom he had a daughter, Eleanore. 

12. Christina. 

13. Bell. 

14. Mary, w^ho mai-ried Captain Alexander Macdonald of the 

Foot Guards, with issue. 


The first of this family was Allan, son of John 
Dubh Macdonald of Bohuntin. He is mentioned in 
record in 1602. He was then tenant of Gellovie, 
which lies along the banks of Loch Laggan. The 
family afterwards obtained a feu charter of the 
lands of Gellovie. 

Allan married a daughter of Macqueen of Cory- 
brugh, by whom he had his successor, 

II. Ranald. He married his cousin, a daughter 
of Macdonald of Moy, by whom he had several sons. 
He was succeeded by his eldest son, 


III. Allan. He married a daughter of Mac- 
donald of Acbnancoichean, by whom he had — 

1. Ranald, his successor. 

2. Angus, who married Mary, daughter of Paul Macpherson, 

and had — 

(a) Alastair Ban, who married a daughter of Stewart of 

Daltullich, and had— (1) Angus, who died 
iinraarried ; (2) Allan, who married a daughter 
of D. Menzies, and had issue ; (3) Donald, who 
died unmarried ; (4) Isabel, who died unmarried. 

(b) Donald, who married Emily, daughter of Grant of 

Craggan, and had Allan, who married a daughter 
of Macpherson of Dalraddy, and had, with three 
daughters, Donald, who died at Airelodian, Duthil, 
and had issue — (a) Ranald, who was known as of 
Clury, in the Parish of Duthil, married Catherine 
Grant, and died June 11, 1825. (b) Captain 
James Macdonald of Coulnakyle, Abernethy, 
who married Margaret Brodie Hay, who died Dec- 
ember 10th, 1857, and had by her— (1) 
James Dawson ; (2) Donald, who died in 
India as Surgeon-Major : he married, first, a 
Miss Griffiths, and, secondly, a Miss Jamieson ; 
(3) Helen Elizabeth Cleland, who married 
James Houston, Tulloch Griban, Duthil, ; (4) 
Margaret Fyfe ; (5) Catherine, who married, 
first, Dr Robertson, and afterwards a Mr 
Jamieson ; (6) Jane Anne, who married Mr 
Ferguson, advocate, Aberdeen, Captain James 
Macdonald of Coulnakyle died at Clury, 
December 15th, 1833. His son, James Dawson, 
was educated at Abernethy, Grantown, and 
Aberdeen, and obtained a cadetship in 1836. 
He served in the Gwalior and Rajpootana Cam- 
paigns, and was quartered at Neemueh when the 
Mutiny broke out. He owed his escape to the 
loyalty of two Sepoys, who alone of 1000 men 
remained faithful to their colours. 

He retired from the Indian service as Major- 
General, and died in London, December 25, 1879. 
He married Mary Ellen Dugan, and had (1) 
Dugan, a Major in the Army, who was acci- 
dentally killed by a fall from his horse in Hyde 


Park in 1893 : a monument is erected to his 
memory in Abernethy Parish Church ; (2) Sir 
Claude Maxwell Macdonakl, K.C.B., G.C.M.G. 
He was educated at Uppingham, and at the 
Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He joined 
the 74th Highlanders in 1872, and was promoted 
to the rank of Major in 1882, He served 
throughout the Egyptian Campaign of 1882, and 
through the Suakim Expedition of 1884-5. He 
was Military Attache to the British Agency in 
Cairo in 1882-7, and was Acting Agent and 
Consul-General at Zanzibar in 1887-8. He was 
sen<; by the Foreign Office on a Special Mission 
to the Niger Territories in 1889. He was 
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipo- 
tentiary at Pekin, 1896-1900. Since 1900 he 
has been Minister at Tokio. He marriea Ethel, 
daughter of Major W. Cairns Armstrong, of the 
15th Regiment. 

3. Allan, whose son, Donald, afterwards succeeded by 

purchase to Gellovie. 

4. Alexander of Gaskmore. 

5. Agnes, who married Archibald Macdonald of Coillerois. 

6. Janet, who married Allan Macdonald of Dalchosnie. 

7. A daughter, who married Macpherson of Strathmashie. 

Allan was succeeded by his eldest son, 

IV. Ranald. He fought at Mulroy, and after- 
wards at Sheriifmuir. He had, hi 1716, his house 
and corn burned, and all his sheep and cows were 
carried off by Government troops for his sending 
them a defiant message. He married, first, a 
daughter of Mackintosh of Balnespick, without 
issue. He married, secondly, Isabel, daughter of 
Mackintosh of Holm, by whom he had — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Angus, who succeeded his brother. 

3. A daughter. 

4. A daughter. 

Ranald died January 25th, 1721, was buried at 
Laggan Church, and succeeded by his son. 


V. Donald, who held a commission in the 30th 
Regiment. He married a daughter of Macdonald of 
Aberarder, and died without issue at Gellovie in 
July, 1744, when he was succeeded by his brother, 

VI. Angus. He married a daughter of Thomas 
Johnston of Merkland, Dumfries-shire, and had by 
her — 

1. Thomas, M.D., a distinguished physician. He married 

Catherine, daughter of Donald Macdonald of Tirna- 
drish, and left a daughter, Mary, who married Charles 
Stanley Constable of Acton, Yorkshire, son of William 
Constable of Everingham, with issue. Dr Macdonald 
died in Edinburgh, where he practised his profession, 
before his father, in 1769, and was buried in the 
Canon gate. 

2. Ranald, merchant in Jamaica, where he died uinnarried. 

3. Angus, M.D., F.R.C.P.E. 

4. John, who was a Lieutenant in the Macdonald Regiment, 

and died in Jamaica, unmarried. 

5. Angus, who died young. 

6. Grizel, who married Thomas Lunham, of the Customs, 

with issue. 

7. Isabel, who died unmarried. 

8. Joan, who died unmarried. 

9. Catherine, who died unmarried. 
10. Jean, who died unmarried. 

Angus Macdonald of Gellovie, who sold the estate 
to his cousin, Donald, died in 1780, and was suc- 
ceeded in the representation of the family by his 
third son, 

YII. Dr Angus Macdonald. He settled in 
Taunton in 1786, and practised his profession there 
for many years with distinguished success. He left 
" A Family Memoir of the Macdonalds of Keppoch " 
in MS., which was published in 1885. He married 
Nancy, daughter of Robert Ord, Lord (Jhief Baron 
of the Exchequer in Scotland, without issue. She 
died, October 16, 1801. Dr Macdonald died 
June 9, 1825, in the 74th year of his age. 


Donald, to whom Gellovie was sold, as already 
stated, married Margaret Grant, and had by her 
Allan, who succeeded him. Donald died in August, 
1758. Allan, his successor, who was the last 
possessor, was out of Gellovie in 1790. He was 
living in 1792. His son, Ranald, was tenant of 
Strathmashie, where he died. His widow and 
family afterwards emigrated to Australia. 


The first of this family was Donald, third son of 
Ranald Og IX. of Keppoch. He is mentioned in 
record in 16 12. He is in possession of the lands of 
Fersit in 1620. He had three sons — 

1. John, who succeeded him. 

2. Ranald. 

3. Angus. 

Donald was succeeded by his son, 

II. John Dubh. He is mentioned in record in 
1640. He had three sons — 

1. Donald. 

2. Alexander. 

3. Archibald. 

John was succeeded by his son, 

ni. Donald. He is mentioned in record in 
1661 and again in 1669. 

Donald was succeeded by his son, 
IV. Ranald. In 1691 he was one of the fol- 
lowers of Coll Macdonald of Keppoch. He is 
frequently mentioned in record. He had — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Donald. 

3. Ranald. 

4. Catherine, who married, tirst, Angus Cameron, son of 

John Cameron of 4x,atullieh. She married, secondly, 
Alexander, sou of Ronald IV. of Inch. 


Kanald, who was living in 1712, was succeeded by 
his son, 

V. John. He signed the Address to George I. 
in 1714. 

John was succeeded by his son, 

VI. Ranald. He married a Margaret, daughter 
of Donald Macdonald of Cranachan, and had — 

1. Ranald. He was educated at the Scotch College, Douay, 
for the priesthood, and returned to his native country 
in 1782. He was first stationed at Glengairn, Aber- 
deenshire, from which he was translated to Glengarry, 
and thence to Uist. He was, in 1820, conseci'ated at 
Edinburgh Bishop of Aeryndela and Vicar Apostolic 
of the Northern District, and had his residence at 
Lismore. Bishop Macdonald's scholarly attainments 
were of a high order. He was a man of polished 
manners and liberality of sentiment, and was beloved 
by persons of all persuasions. He did much by his 
work and conversation to soften down prejudices, and 
was ever ready to lend his aid in forwarding any 
scheme which had for its object the advancement cf 
his fellow Highlanders. He died at Fort-William, 
20th September, 1832, and was buried there. 

2. John, who succeeded his father. 

3. Mary. 

Ranald was succeeded by his son, 

VII. John. . He married, and had — 

1. Andrew. 

2. Charles. 

3. Ranald, who had two sons, John and Ranald. 

4. Margaret, who married Henry Derepas, with issue. 

5. Eliza. 

6. Mary, who married J . Mackichen, with issue. 

John was succeeded in the representation of the 
family by his son, 

VIII. Andrew, who was for many years Sheriff 
of Stornoway. He married Susan Stewart, Achna- 
cone, and had — 


1. John, who married a Miss Morrison, without issue. 

2. Duncan Stewart. 

3. Andrew, who is married in New Zealand, and has issue. 

4. Stewart. 

5. Christina, who married John Chisholm, Inverness, with 



This family is descended from Alastair nan Cleas 
X. of Keppoch, whose fourth son, Donald Gorm of 
Inveroy, was the j)i'Ogenitor of the family of Mur- 
lagan. There was another family afterwards at 
Murlagan which was of earlier descent. In 1727 
one of this family had been put in possession of the 
lands of Murlagan by Mackintosh. In that year 
there is an Obligation by Angus Macdonald of 
Murlagan to Mackintosh, in which he declares that 
his predecessors had been standard-bearers to Mac- 
kintosh " these three hundred years and upwards." 
This Angus further declares that he is of Sliochd 
Dhomhnuill 'ic Aongliids, the descendants of the 
deposed Chief of Keppoch. 

I. Donald Gorm had several sons, among 
whom — 

1. Alexander. 

2. Angus. 

3. John. 

Donald was succeeded by his son, 

II. Alexander. He is mentioned among the 
accomplices of Coll of Keppoch in 1698, He died 
shortly thereafter, and had — 

1. Ranald. 

2. Angus of Inveroy. 

3. John of Inveroybeg. 

•I. \. daughter, who married Alexander Macdonald of 


Alexander was succeeded by his son, 

III. Ranald. He is mentioned in record in 
1712. He was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Archibald, who had — 

L Alexander. 

2. Donald. 

3. Flora, who married Angus Macdonald, Tacksman of 


4. Katherine, who married Allan Macdonald, late of Mur- 


Archibald was succeeded by his son, 

V. Alexander of Glenturret, who was suc- 
ceeded by his son, 

VI. Ranald. He married Marcella, daughter 
of Allan Maclean of Drimnin, and had — 

1. Allan, a Captain in the Glengarry Fencibles, who died 


2. George, who went to Canada, and married there, with 


3. Alexander. 

4. Katherine, who married Dr Ferrier, witli issue. 

5. A daughter, who married Lieut. Cameron. 


This family is descended from Angus, fifth son 
of Alastair nan Cleas X. of Keppoch, who gave him 
as a hostage to the Earl of Argyll in 1595. There 
was another family at Aclmancoichean, descended, 
according to MacVurich, from John Cam, a natural 
son of Sir Alexander Macdonald of Lochalsh, known 
as " Sliochd an larla," no doubt on account of their 
descent from Alexander, Earl of Ross. 

Angus is said to have married a daughter of Sir 
James Macdonald of Dunnyveg, by whom he had — 

1. Angus, who succeeded his father. 

2. Alexander of Bohenie. 

3. John, mentioned in record in 1662. 


Angus, who was killed in the fight at Stron-a- 
chlachain in 1640, was succeeded by his eldest son, 

II. Angus. He is mentioned in record in 1660 
He had— 

1. Alexauder, his successor. 

2. Archibald. 

3. Angus, who in 1692 purchased the lands of Kenknock, 

in Glenlyon, where he was succeeded by his son, 
Angus, who sold the estatj in 1750. The second 
Angus had a son, Captain John Macdonald of Garth, 
who served in the 81th Regiment. He had two sons, 
John and Archibald. Archibald entered the Anny in 
1805, and went to Canada in 1819. He had a large 
family, among whom Arcliibald, whose son is Colonel 
Archibald H. Macdonald of Guelph, Canada. Captain 
Macdonald of Garth's daughter Helen married Lieut.- 
General Sir Archibald Campbell, Bart^. of Garth, and 
had, among others, Major-General Sir John Campbell. 
John Macdonald of Monachyle was of the same family. 

4. A daughter, a well-known poetess as iV«' Mhic Aotighuis 


Angus was succeeded by his son, 

III. Alexander. He signed the address to 
George I. in 1714. He was succeeded by his son — 

IV. Archibald. He had several sons who 
emigrated to America, one of whom Angus, and a 
daughter, Christina, who married Angus Ban of 
Inch. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

V. Angus. He married and had a family, but 
we cannot trace them further. 


This family is descended from Donald Gorm, 
son of Alastair Buidhe XIV. of Keppoch. He is 
among the followers of Coll of Keppoch in 1691. 
He married a daughter of Allan Macdonald of 
Gellovie, and liad — 


1. Alexander. 

2. Angus. 

3. A daughter, who married Kennedy of Lianachan. 

Donald was succeeded by his son, 

II. Alexander. He signed the Address to 
George I. in 1714. He had — 


1. Ranald. 

2. Archibald. 

3. Donald Ban a Bhochdain. He married a Macgregor 

from Rannoch, and had Donald Ban Og and Angus 
Roy. Donald Ban had a natural son, Alexander, who 
married Grace Mackintosh, and had Ranald, Flora, 
Janet, Anne, Grace, Catherine, and Sarah. Ranald 
married the daughter of a Donald Mackenzie, and had 
Donald, Angus, Alexander, Duncan, Janet, Christina, 
and Sarah. He and all his family emigrated to 
America. Angus Roy, second son of Donald Ban a 
Bhochdain, married a sister of Captain Alexander 
Macdonald of Moy without issue. He had a natural 
son, Donald, Tacksman of Coruanan, who married a 
daughter of Donald Dubh MacGhilleasbuig of Tulloch, 
one of Sliochd na Mointich, and had, besides several 
daughters, a son, Angus, who was for a number of 
years in the Lovat Estate OflSce, Beauly. He went to 
America, studied medicine, and died in 1898. 

Alexander Macdonald of Clianaig was succeeded by 

his son, 

III. Ranald, who died unmarried, and was suc- 
ceeded by his brother, 

IV. Archibald. His name is on the list of 
persons concerned in the Rising of 1745. He was 
succeeded by his son, 

V. Donald. We cannot trace this family 


The first of this family was Ranald, known as 
Raonull Mor, second son of Archibald XV. of 
Keppoch. The former Macdonalds of Tirnadrish 


were of the Slfochd Gboirridh from Uist, the last 
of whom was Archibald, known as Gilleasbuig Mor. 
Ranald married Mary Macdonald of Glengarry, and 
had by her — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Johu, who is described as Captain John Macdonald of 

Leek. He had taken a lease of Leek after the old 
family left. He had at least two sons, Aeneas, a 
Captain in the 6th Royal Veterans, Fort-Augustus, 
and George, an officer in the 55th Regiment. 

3. Angus, whose son, Donald of Tally four, au officer in the 

Macdonald Regiment, was killed iu the American 
AVar, unmarried. 

Ranald of Tiruadrish was succeeded by his son, 

11. Donald. He joined in the Rising of the '45, 
and was a Major in the Prince's Army. The pro- 
minent part he acted is well known. After the 
battle of Falkirk he fell accidentally into the hands 
of a party of Hawley's force, whom in the twilight 
he mistook for Lord John Drummond's French 
picket. He was executed at Carlisle, 18th October, 
1746. Tirnadrish was a brave and chivalrous 
officer, and one of the most popular men in the 
Prince's Army. His fate was greatly lamented. 

He married, hrst, a daughter of Mackenzie of 
Torridon, and had by her — 

1. Ranald. 

2. Isabella, who died unmarried. 

3. Mary, who married Johu Chichester of Arlington, with 


4. Catherine, who married Dr Thomas Macdonald, CJellovie, 

Avith issue. 

He married, secondly, a daughter of Alexander 
Macdonald of Killiechonate, and had by her — 

5. Sarah, who married Major Alexander Macdonald, brother 

of Keppoch. 

6. Juliet, who died unmarried. 

Donald was succeeded by his only son. 



HI. Ranald, who, after his father's execution, 
was adopted and educated by Francis Warwick of 
Warwick Hall, Cumberland, He was sent to 
, Donay to study for the priesthood, but he died 
before he was old enough to be ordained. 


This family is descended from Angus Ban, eldest 
son of Alexander Macdonald XVII. of Keppoch, the 
issue, as already stated, of an irregular union formed 
by Alexander before his marriage to Jessie Stewart 
of Appin. He was twenty-one years of age when 
his father fell at Culloden, after which he took his 
place at the head of the family, a position which he 
retained for some time after his brother, Ranald, 
came of age. Angus fought by his father's side at 
Culloden, and with difficulty escaped with his Ufe, 
being hotly pursued by the Hanoverian troops. 
He attended the meeting of the chiefs held at Ach- 
nacarry on the 8th of May. He remained after- 
wards for a long time in hiding, and with MacNab 
of Innisewen assisted the Prince in his wanderings. 

Angus married, in 1752, Christina, daughter of 
Archibald Macdonald of Achnancoichean, and had 
by her— 

1. Alexander, who died young, unmarried. 

2. Archibald, who succeeded his father. 

3. Donald, who in 1797 married Anne, eldest daughter of 

Patrick Macdonald, Minister of Kilmore, and had- - 
(a) Angus of Keppoch. He man-ied, in 1835, Christina 
Macnab, well known as a highly cultured High- 
land lady, daughter of John Macnab of Sheug- 
hiart, Kintyre, and of Sherrabeg, Badenoch, and 
had by her — 
(1) Donald, who lived for some years in Australia. 
On his return home he received the welcome of 


a chief from his clansmen of Lochaber. He 
finally returned to Australia in 1888, and died 
at Melbourne on the 28th Feb., 1889, un- 

(2) Charlotte, who died unmarried. 

(3) Anne, who married William Kennedy, Melbourne, 

with issue. 

(4) Jessie, who married Keith Maclellan, of Melfort, 

with issue. 

(5) Maria, who married Alexander R. Macdonald, 

Ord, with issue. 

(6) Teresa, who married George Keith Maitland, of 

the Lauderdale family, with issue. 

(7) Frances, a Nun, now^ in Paris, and has several 

convents under her charge. 

(8) John, who died in childhood. 

(9) Joseph, who died in childhood. 

(10) Josephine, amongst whose many accomplishments 

is to be reckoned a thorough knowledge of the 
language and literature of the Highland people. 

(11) Alice Claire, Bardess of the Clan Donald, and 

authoress of " Lays of the Heather," published 
in 1896, a volume of poetiy of a very high 

4. Ranald, who was first an officer in the 79th, and after- 

wards Captain in the 92nd Regiment. He died 

5. John, who was educated in Rome, where he visited 

Prince Charles, and was a man of great intelligence. 
On account of his accurate knowledge of the history 
of the Highlands, he was of great assistance to Donald 
Gregory when preparing his history. He died un- 

6. Coll, who died unmarried. 

7. Alexandrina, who married Macdonald of Lochans, in 

Moidart, and had — 

(a) Christina, who married Lieutenant Theodore M'Ra, 

and had, among others, Allan, Priest of Strath- 

(b) Anne, who married Alexander Macdonald, Moy, with 

issue, in Australia. 
(c) Allana, who married Archibald Macdonald, Moy, with 

issue, in Australia, 


Angus Ban died in 1815, and was succeeded by his 

11. Archibald. He joined the 79th, and was 
afterwards in the 92nd Gordon Highlanders. He 
died Lieut. -Colonel of Veterans. 

He married Margaret, daughter of M'Lachlan of 
Kilichoan, and had — 

1. George, who died unmarried, 

2. Alexander, who married Mary, daughter of Stewart of 

Achnancone, and had two daughters. 

3. Angus of Inch, who married Max'v, daughter of Colonel 

Coll MacdoD.ald, son of John Macdonald of Morar, and 
had Col], Archibald, Francis, Fanny, and Georgina, 
who married Captain Carey, without issue. Angus 
and his family emigrated to Australia. 

4. Dr Fwen, who lived in India for many years, and after- 

wards in London, where he died, May 18, 1891. He 
married Anne Hill, and had— 

(a) Archibald, now Priest of Knoydart. 

(b) Alastair, who died unmarried in 1892. 

(c) Cuthbert, who married, and died without issue. 

(d) Henrietta, who married Sir Anthony Patrick Mac- 

donald, G. C.S.I, with issue, h'ir Anthony, who 
has had a distinguished and brilliant career, was 
educated at Queen's College, Gal way, and entered 
the Bengal Civil Service in 1864. He has been 
Secretar}' to the Government of Bengal, to the 
Legislative Council, and for the Home Depart, 
ment of the Government of India. He was 
officiating Chief Commissioner in Burmah in 
1890, Chief Commissioner of the Central Pro- 
vinces from 1891 to 1895, and Lieutenant- 
Governcr of North-West Provinces and Oiidh 
from 1895 to 1901. He is at present Under 
Secretary for Ireland. 


This family, which branched out early from the 
main line of Keppoch, is probably descended fiom 


Donald Glass, the sixth chief. The first of whom 
there is any record was — 

I. Angus, who lived at Killiechonate. He was 
succeeded by his son, 

II, John. He was succeeded by his son, 

in. Alexander, who is mentioned in record in 
1592 as Alastair Maclaiii Vic Innes of Killiechonate. 
He was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Angus. He was succeeded by his son, 

V. Alexander. He had — 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. Alexander. 

3. Donald. 

4. John. 

He was succeeded by his son, 

VI. Angus, who is mentioned in 1691 as one of 
Coll of Keppoch's followers. He was succeeded by 
his son, 

VII. Alexander. He had — 

1. James, who succeeded him. 

2. A danghter, who married Angus Macdonald of Tulloch. 

3. A daughter, who married Donald Macdonald of Tirna- 


Alexander was succeeded by his son, 

VIII. James. Of him and his family, if he had 
anv, we have no trace. 


This family, whose history has already been 
treated of incidentally in the other volumes of this 
work, was descended from Alexander, Earl of Ross 
and Lord of the Isles. Celestine, the first of the 
family, was a son of Alexander by a daughter of 
MacPhee, the head of a tribe of that name in 
Lochaber. His father bestowed upon him a large 


estate, including Lochalsh, Lochcarron, and Loch- 
broom. In 1463, his brother, John, Earl of Ross, 
granted him a charter of these lands for the yearly 
payment of 6 pennies blench ferme, with remainder 
to his heirs, and also the lands of Achness, Spinning- 
dale, Davochcarry, Plodd, and Pulrossie, in the 
Parish of Creich and Earldom of Sutherland. This 
grant was afterwards confirmed by King James III. 
The lands in Sutherlandshire were granted with 
remainder to Celestine's heirs by Finvola, daughter 
of Lachlan Maclean of Duart. In 1467, Celestine 
received a charter of the lands of Strathalmadale, in 
Sutherland, from his brother, the Earl of Ross. 
His first appearance in record is in 1447, when he 
witnessed a charter of the Bailiary of Lochaber to 
Malcolm Mackhitosh by Alexander, Earl of Ross. 
In 1456 he was appointed Keeper of Redcastle, then 
an important stronghold, with which he held the 
lands and whole revenues of Eddridule, including 
the farms of Ardmanach. He was so high in favour 
this year at Court that the King presented him 
with a silver collar and chain worth £20. He con- 
tinued Keeper of Redcastle to the end of his life. 
In 1464 he appears as SheriflP of Inverness. He 
appears frequently in record after this date, and was 
evidently the person next in importance to his 
brother in the Earldom of Ross. 

Celestine married Finvola, daughter of Lachlan 
Maclean of Duart, and had by her — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Finvola, who, in 1467, married the Earl of Sutherland. 

3. Margaret, who married Ewin Allanson of Lochiel, who, 

in 1472, was appointed by Celestine heritable keeper 
of his Castle of Strome. He at the same time 
bestowed upon him the 1 2 merk lands of Kishorn. 



Celestiiie of Lochalsh died in 1476, and was buried 
at Rosemarkie. According to Hugh Macdonald's 
MS., " he was one day hunting in the Braes of Ross, 
having a leash of hounds in his hands. Upon scent- 
ing the deer they rushed forward and threw him 
against the stock of an old tree, some of the 
branches of which, piercing his side, occasioned his 
death." He was succeeded by his son, 

n. Sir Alexander Macdonald. Sir Alex- 
ander's career in the history of the clan has been 
already noticed in the other volumes of this work. 
After the death of Angus Og, his son, Donald Dubh, 
being a child, and kept in close confinement by the 
Earl of Argyll, the leadership of the clan devolved 
upon Sir Alexander. The Lord of the Isles himself 
had ceased to take an active part in the affairs of 
his extensive territories, and Sir Alexander looked 
upon himself as heir-presumptive to the lordship. 
It was presumably in this character that he, with 
the Lord of the Isles, granted in 1492 a charter of 
the Bailiary of the south part of Tiree to John 
Maclean of Lochbuie. In this same year he, as Lord 
of Lochiel, bestowed upon Ewin Allanson, his 
brother-in-law, the lands of Banavie, Oorpach, and 
others in Kilmallie, and certain lands in Lochalsh. 

Sir Alexander Macdonald married a daughter of 
the Earl of Moray, and had by her — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Ranald, who, brought up at the Scottish Court, was one 

of the King's henchmen. 

3. John, who also was brought up at the Scottish Court. 

4 AnguSj to whom his father gave lands on the West 

Coast of Ross-shire. 
5. John Cam, according to MacVuricb, a natural son, whose 

descendents settled at Achnacoichean, in Lochaber. 

Their representative in MacVnrich's time was Donald 

Gorm MacRanald MacAlastair Duibh'ic Iain Chaim. 



6. Margaret, who also was brought up at Court. She 

married Alexander Macdonald of Gleugany, with 

7. Janet, who married Dingwall of Kildun, with issue — 

Thomas Dingwall of Kildun. She and her sister, 
Margaret, inherited after the death of their brother 
the lands of the family of Lochalsh. 

Sir Alexander Macdonald of Lochalsh was assassin- 
ated by John Maclain of Ardnamurchan at Orinsay, 
in Argyllshire, in 1495, when he was succeeded by 
his son, 

III. Sir Donald, known as Donald Gallda from 
his residence in the Lowlands. He was a minor at 
the time of his father's death. King James IV. on 
one of his visits to the Highlands took with him 
Donald and the other children of Sir Alexander 
of Lochalsh to Edinburgh, where they lived for 
many years, and were educated at the Scottish 
Court. Donald, who was a great favourite with the 
King, was restored to his father's heritage, and was 
afterwards knighted by the King on the field of 
Flodden. A sketch of Sir Donald's career has already 
been given in another part of this work. 

He died, unmarried, at Cairnburgh, in Mull, in 
1519, when the family of Lochalsh in the male line 
became extinct. 


The Macdonalds of Sleat are descended from 
I. Hugh, son of Alexander, Earl of Ross, and 
Lord of the Isles, by the daughter of O'Beolan, lay 
Abbot of Applecross, and are known patronymically 
as Claim Uisdein. 

Hugh married, first, Fynvola, daughter of Alex- 
ander Maclain of Ardnamurchan, and had by her — - 
X. John, his successor, 


He married, secondly, Elizabeth Gunn, daughter of 
the Crowner of Caithness, and had by her — 

2. Donald Gallach. 

He married, thirdly, a daughter of Macleod of 
Harris, by whom he had — 

3. Donald Herrach, from whom Clann Domhnuill Herraich. 
Hugh had also several sons, whose claims to legiti- 
macy do not seem to have been admitted even by 
the social canons of the time, viz. : — 

4. Archibald Dubh, by a daughter of Torquil Macleod of 


5. Angus Collach, by a daughter of the Laird of Coll. 

6. Angus Dubh, by a daughter of Maurice Vicar of S. 


Hugh Macdonald of Sleat died in 1498, and was 
succeeded by his oldest son, 

II. John. It has been seen how he surrendered 
his whole patrimony to the King, by whom it was 
afterwards bestowed upon Ranald MacAllan of Clan- 
ranald and Angus Heochson MacRanald of Morar. 
This grant, however, never took effect. John died 
in 1502, and was succeeded by his brother, 

III. Donald Gallach. He did not long occupy 
the position of Chief of Sleat, as he was murdered 
by his brother, Archibald Dubh, in 1506. He 
married Agnes, daughter of Sir John Cathanach 
Macdonald of Dunnyveg and the Glens, by w^hom 
he had — 

1. Donald Gruamach, his successor. 

2. Alexander, whose sons fought in Ireland on the side of 

their kinsman, Sorley Buy. 

3. Angus, who had a son, John. 

4. Ranald Collach, who had a son, Alexander. 

Donald Gallach of Sleat was succeeded by his oldest 


IV. Donald Geuamach. He married, first, 
Catherine, daughter of Alexander Macdonald of 
Clanranald, and had — 

1. Donald Gorm, his successor. 

He married, secondly, a daughter of Macleod of 
Lewis, and had — 

2. John Og, who married a daughter of Alastair Crotach 

Macleod of Dunvegan, without issue. 

3. Archibald, the Clerk. He had two sons — 

(a) Hugh, whose career and fate have already been 

described. He had a son, Alexander, who appears 
on record. 

(b) Donald. 

4. James of Castle Camus, known as Seumas a' Chaisteil, 

progenitor of Kingsburgh and other families. 

He had other sons said to have been natural, viz. : — 

6. Alexander. 

6. John Dubh. 

7. Angus. 

8. Alexander. None of these appear to have left traceable 


Donald Gruamach died in 1534, and was succeeded 
by his oldest son, 

V. Donald Gorm. He married Margaret, 
daughter of Torquil Macleod of Lewis, and had 
two sons — 

L Donald Gormeson, his successor. 

2. Alexander Og, who died without issue. 

Donald Gorm was killed at EUandonan in 1539, 
and was succeeded by his elder son, 

VI. Donald Gormeson, who was a child at 
the time of his father's death. He was known 
as Domhnull Gorm Sasunnach on account of his 
having spent part of his minority in England. He 
married Mary, daughter of Hector Mor Maclean of 
Duart, with issue — 

470 TSE clan DONALD. 

1. Donald Gonn Mor, his successor. 

2. Archibald, the Clerk. He had— 

(a) Donald Gorni Og Mac'illesbuig Chleireich, who suc- 

ceeded his uncle. 

(b) Alexander, who did not leave issue. 

(c) Mary, who married, as her 1st husband, Ranald Mac- 

donald of Benbecula, and 2nd, James Macdonald, 
grandson of James of Castle Camus. 

3. Alexander, who died without issue. 

Donald Gormeson of* Sleat died in 1585, and was 
succeeded by his oldest son, 

VII. Donald Gorm Mor. He married, first, 
Mary, daughter of Norman Macleod of Dunvegan, 
whom he repudiated. He married, secondly, Mary, 
daughter of Colin Mackenzie, 11th Baron of Kintail. 
He married, thirdly, Marjory, a daughter of Mac- 
kintosh of that ilk. In 1614 he makes provision for 
her by granting a charter in her favour of the lands 
of Terung Chaisteil and Terung Uachter, in Sleat. 
Donald Gorm Mor died, without issue, in 1617, and 
was succeeded by his nephew, 

VIII. Sir Donald Macdonald, 1st Baronet of 
Sleat. He married Janet, daughter of Kenneth, 
Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, with issue — 

1. James, his successor. 

2. Donald, founder of the Castleton family. 

3. Archibald, a faitious warrior and poet, known in his 

day as An Ciarcm inahach. His expedition for 
the punishment of the Keppoch murderers has been 
already described. In 1654 he received a wadset 
of the lands of Borniskittaig, in Trotternish. The 
following year he married Janet, daughter of Colin 
Mackenzie. He died in 1688. By his wife he had a 
son, John, who succeeded him as wadsetter of Borni- 
skittaig. John held King James' commission as 
Captain in the regiment commanded by Donald of 
Castleton at the Bevolution. In 1684 Captain 
John Macdonald of Borniskittaig married Catherine 
daughter of MacNeill of Barra. By her he had a 


daughter, Janet, who married Donald Macdonald of 
Sarthill in 1709, which year he died, leaving no male 

4. Angus, who had the lands of Sarthill, and died without 


5. Alexander of Paiblisgearry, in North Uist. In 1653 he 

married Anne Mackay, sister of John, Lord Reay, and 
by her had issue — 

(a) Captain Hugh Macdonald, who succeeded. 

(b) Barbara, who married Lachlau Maclean of Torloisk. 

Alexander died in or before 1657, as his wife 
appears on record as a widow in the course of 
that year. Hence in Sir James Macdonald's 
Deed of Entail, in 1658, his name dues not 
appear along with the Baronet's other brothers. 
Captain Hugh Macdonald of Paiblisgearry suc- 
ceeded his father. He also appears on record 
as of Duistill, in Sleat. He was brought up 
evidently under the Reay influence, which was 
anti-Jacobite, and favourable to the Orange 
movement. He held the rank of Captain in the 
regiment of General Mackay, his relative, and had 
the freedom of Montrose conferred on him in 1692. 
Much of his military life was passed in Flanders, 
where he fought in the army of the States 
General in the war with France. He died before 
1721, w^hen he was succeeded by his son, John 
Macdonald of Paiblisgearry, who appears that 
year in an enumeration of the gentlemen of 
North Uist. We have no information as to the 
date of his death, but with him the descendants 
of Alexander of Paiblisgearry terminated in the 
male line. 

6. Margaret, who married Angus, Lord Macdonald and 

Aros, Chief of Glengarry, without issue. 

7. Katherine, who married Kenneth Mackenzie, 6th of 

Gairloch, without issue. 

8. Mary, who married Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, with 


9. Janet, who, in 1655, married Donald Macdonald of Clan- 



Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat died in 1643, and 
was succeeded by his oldest son, 

IX. Sir James Mor, 2nd baronet of Sleat. He 
married, first, in 1633, Margaret, only daughter of 
Sir John Mackenzie of Tarbat, by whom he had — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Hugh of Glenmore, progenitor of Glenmore and Mugstot 


3. John, from whom the Macdonalds of Bernisdale and 

Scalpay are descended. 
i. Somerled, of whom the Sartle family. 

5. Roderick, who became a writer in Edinburgh. He 

married Janet Ritchie, with issue — (a) John, of whom 
* ' the Macdonalds of Totamurrich and Knock; (b) James; 

(e) Donald. 

6. James. He got sasine of the lands of Aird, Sleat, in 

1682. He fought under Dundee at Killiecrankie, and 
fell in the charge so fatal to the gentlemen of Sleat. 
John Lom Macdonald, the Lochaber bard, composed 
an elegy to his memory, and in a similar effusion to 
Sir Donald, 3rd baronet of Sleat, he again refers to 
the death of James at " Raon Ruairidh," as that 
celebrated field is styled by the bards. From these 
poems we gather that James of Aird, whom John 
Lom calls " Seumas Og," was a man of high courage 
and chivalrous bearing, the kind of man that the 
bards loved to celebrate in song. In 1661 he noarried 
Marion, daughter of John Macleod of Dunvegan, by 
whom he had an only son, Donald, who succeeded him 
at Aird. Donald has, in 1717, a claim against the 
Estate of Sleat after the forfeiture which followed 
Sheriffmuir, and in 1723 is served heir to his father 
as his only son. He died without issue. 

7. Alexander. 

8. Archibald. 

9. Angus. 

10. Catherine, who, in 1666, married Sir Norman Macleod of 

Bernera, with issue. 

11. Florence, who married, first, John Macleod of Dunvegan; 

secondly, John MacNaughton of that Ilk. 



Sir James married, as his second wife, in 1661, 
Mary, daughter of John Macleod of Dun vegan, 
with issue — 

12. John, for whom his father acquired the estate of Bal- 
conie, an ancient residence of the Earls of Ross — its 
name of old being Baile Comhnuidh Mhic Dhovihmdll, 
or Macdonald's town of residence. 

John of Balconie married Alice, daughter of Alex- 
ander Mackenzie of Lentran, with issue — 
(a.) Donald, his successor. 

(b) Jarnes. 

(c) Mary, who married Archibald Macdonald of Sasaig in 


(d) Margaret, who married Alexander Mackenzie of 


(e) Elizabeth, who married Rev. Hugh Macdonald, 

minister of Portree, with issue. 

(f) Isabel, who married Archibald Maclean of Borera3\ 

John of Balconie died in 1707. He was succeeded 
by his sou Donald, who died without issue. 

Sir James Macdonald had a natural son — 

13. Ranald, of whom the Macdonalds of Balishare. 
His widow, Mary Macleod, married, as her second 
husband, John Moor, brother to Sir William Moor 
of Rowallan. Sir James died on 8th December, 
1678, and was succeeded by his oldest son, 

X. Sir Donald Macdonald, 3rd baronet of 
Sleat. He married on 24th July, 1662, Margaret 
Douglas, second daughter of Robert, 3rd Earl of 
Morton, and had issue — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. James of Orinsay, who carried on the succession. 

3. William, of whom the Vallay family. 

4. Isabel, who married Sir Alexander Bannerman, Bart, of 


5. Margaret, who married Allan Macdonald of Morar. 

6. Barbara, who married Coll Macdonald of Keppoch. 
He had also a natural son, Angus. 


Sir Donald died in 1695, and was succeeded by his 
oldest son, 

XI. Sir Donald, 4th Bart, of Sleat. He was 
known in the Isles as Domhnull a Chogaidh — 
Donald of the War — he having taken part in 
the campaign of 1689, under Dundee, and that of 
1715, under the Earl of Mar. He married Mary, 
daughter of Donald Macdonald of Castleton, by 
whom he had — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Margaret, who married Captain John Macqueen, Royal 

Regiment of Foot. 

3. Mary, who married John Martin of Flodigarry, with issue 

a daughter, Kate, who married Rev. D. Nicolson. 

4. Isabella, who married Dr Alex. Munro, Professor of 

Anatomy in Edinburgh. She died 10th Dec, 1774. 

Sir Donald died in 1718, and was succeeded in the 
representation of the family by his only son, 

XII. Sir Donald, 5th Bart. He died young, in 
1720, and leaving no issue, was for a very short 
time succeeded in the representation of the family 
by his uncle, 

XIII. Sir James, the 6th Bart. He married, 
first, Janet, daughter of Alexander Macleod of 
Greshornish, with issue — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Margaret, who married Robert Douglas of Scotscraig. 

3. Isabel, who died young. 

4. Janet, who married Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Bart, of 


Sir James married, secondly, Margaret, daughter of 
John Macdonald of Castleton, with issue — 

5. John. On 19th September, 1723, he was served heir 

male and provision general to his father, but as there 
is no further record of him, we conclude that he died 
. young. 


Sir James Macdonald of Orlnsay died in December, 
1720, a few months after his succession. He was 
succeeded by his older son, 

XIV. Sir Alexander, the 7th Bart. He married, 
first, on 5th April, 1733, Anne, daughter of David 
Erskine of Dun, one of the Senators of the College 
of Justice, and widow of James, Lord Ogilvie. By 
her he had — 

1. Donald, who died young. 

Lady Macdonald did not long survive, and Sir Alex- 
ander married, secondly, on 24th April, 1739, Lady 
Margaret Montgomery, daughter of Alexander, 9th 
Earl of Eglintoun, and by her had issue — - 

2. James, who succeeded. 

3. Alexander, who succeeded James. 

4. Archibald, who became Lord Chief Ikron of the 

Exchequer, of whoni the family of East Sheen. 

5. Susan, who died unmarried in 1755. 

Sir Alexander died in December, 1746, and was 
succeeded by his oldest son, 

XV. Sir James, 8th Bart., a most accomplished 
scholar, known in his day as the " Scottish Mar- 
cellus." He died in 1766 in Home, where he was 
buried. Leaving no issue, he was succeeded by his 

XVI. Sir Alexander, 9th Bart., who was raised 
to the dignity of Lord Macdonald in the Peerage of 
Ireland in 1776. On 3rd May, 1768, he married 
Elizabeth Diana, eldest daughter of Godfrey Bosville 
of Gunthwaite, County of York, with issue — 

1. Alexander Wentworth, his successor. 

2. Godfrey, who succeeded his brother. 

3. Archibald. He was Captain in the Prince of Wales' 

Own Eegiment of Light Dragoons. He married, in 

1802, Jane, eldest daughter and co-heir of Duncan 

., Campbell of Ardueave, Argyllshire, with issue — 


(a) Archibald ; (b) Campbell ; (c) James ; (d) Nixon 
Alexander ; (e) Arthur ; (/) Mary ; (g) Elizabeth 

4. James, who was a Lieut.-Colonel in the first regiment of 

Foot Guards. He was killed at Bergen-op-Zoom, 9th 
March, 1814, leaving no issue — 

5. Dudley Stewart Erskine, a Fellow of Trinity College, 

Cambridge. He died, without issue, on 26th August, 

6. John Sinclair. 

7. William. 

8. Diana, who married as his second wife, in 1788, the 

Right Hon. Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster, Bart., with 
issue. Her son was the Eev. William Sinclair, 
Rector of Pulborough, Sussex, whose son is the 
Venerable William Macdonald Sinclair, Archdeacon 
of London. 

9. Elizabeth. 
10. Annabella. 

Lord Macdonald died 12th September, 1795, and 

was succeeded by his eldest son, 

XVII. Sir Alexander Wentworth, 10th Bart, 
and 2nd Lord Macdonald. He died, unmarried, 9th 
June, 1824, and was succeeded by his next brother, 

XVIII. Sir Godfrey Macdonald Bosville, as 
11th Baronet and 3rd Lord Macdonald. He had 
assumed his mother's name of Bosville after that of 
Macdonald, but dropped it on succeeding to his 
brother. He married Louisa Maria, daughter of 
Farley Edsir, and by her (who died 10th February, 
1835) left issue — 

1. Alexander William Robert Bosville, Avho succeeded, in 

terms of a special Act of Parliament, to the English 
estates of Thorpe. 

2. Godfrey William Wentworth, who succeeded to his 


3. James William. He was a Lieut.-General, C.B., Knight 

of the Legion of Honour, A.D.C., Equerry and Private 
Secretary to H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge. He 


had a distinguished mihtary career, having served 
in the Crimea, on the staff of the Duke of Cambridge, 
and at the battles of Ahna and Inkez'man respectively 
had a horse shot under him. He married, on 26th 
September, 1859, Elizabeth Nina, 2nd daughter of 
Joseph Henry, 3rd Loi'd Wallscourt, with issue, a son, 
George Godfrey, who was Page of Honour to Her late 
Majesty Queen Victoria, and two daughters. 

4. William, an officer in the army, died, unmarried, 11th 

May, 1847. 

5. Louisa, who, on 4th June, 1826, married John Hope, 5th 

Earl of Hopetoun, with issue, an only son, John Alex- 
ander, 6th Earl, the father of John Adrian Louis, the 
present Marquis of Linlithgow. 

6. Elizabeth Diana Bosville, who married Duncan Davidson 

of Tulloch, with issue — 

(a) Duncan H. C, R. Davidson, who married Georgina 

Elizabeth, daughter of John Mackenzie, M.D., of 
Eileanach, with issue, 

(b) Godfrey Wentworth, died unmarried. 

(c) Caroline Louisa, who married Captain George Wade, 

Commissioner of the Sceychelles, with issue. 

(d) Julia Bosville, who married the Hon. Henry Chet- 

wynd, R.N., with issue, 

(e) Adelaide Lucy, who married Colonel George William 

Holmes Ross of Cromarty, with issue, A daughter 
of this house is Louisa Jane Hamilton, the present 
Lady Macdonald of the Isles. 

(f) Ida Eleanora Constance, who married Captain the 

Hon. Godfrey Ernest Percival Willoughby. 

(g) Matilda Justina, who married Lieut.-Colonel Craigie- 

Halkett of Cramond, with issue. 
(h) Diana Bosville, died unmarried, 
(i) Louisa Maria, died unmarried, 
(j) Elizabeth Diana, w^ho married Patrick A. Watson 

Carnegy of Lour, 
The Hon. Elizabeth Diana Bosville Davidson died in 1839. 

7. Julia, who married Rev, Charles Walter Hudson, rector 

of Trowell, Notts. 

8. Susan Hussey, who married Richard Beaumont, Captain, 

R.N., with issue — (a) Godfrey, Captain in the Guards; 
(6) Richard; (c) Dudley; (c/) Cecil W,, R.N.; (e) Diana, 


who married Count Gourowski Wichde ; (/) Averil, who 
married Hussey Vivian, M.P., with issue ; (g) Gwin- 
daline. The Hon. Susan Hussey Beaumont died 5th 
November, 1879. 
9. Diana, married Colonel John George Smyth of Heath 
Hall, Yorkshire, late M.P., with issue — (a) George 
John Fitzroy ; (h) Henry Edward ; (c) Diana Eliza- 
beth, who married the Earl of Harewood ; (d) Louisa; 
(e) Mary ; (/) Eva. 

10. Jane Bosville. 

11. Marianne, who married Henry Martin Turnor, Captain 

1st King's Dragoon Guards, with issue — (a) Archibald 
Henry, late Lieut. R.N., who died unmarried ; (b) 
Charles, Captain Life Guards ; (c) Henrietta Minna, 
who married John Scott, 3rd Earl of Eldon, with 
issue ; (d) Florence ; {e) Mabel. 

12. Octavia-Sophia, married William James Hope-Johnstone 

of Annandale, with issue — (a) John James, late 
M.P. for Dumfries-shire ; (b) Percy Alexander ; (e) 
Wentworth William ; (d) Alice Minna. 

Lord Macdonald died 18th October, 1832, and was 
succeeded by his son and heir, 

XIX. Sir Godfrey William Wentworth, 12th 
Bart, and 4th Lord Macdonald. He married, on 
21st August, 1845, Maria Anne, daughter of Thomas 
Wyndham of Cromer Hall, Norfolk, with issue — 

1. Somerled James Brudenell, who succeeded. 

2. Ronald Archibald Bosville. 

3. Godfrey Alan, who died in infancy. 

4. Eva Maria Louisa, who married Captain Algernon Lang- 

ham, Grenadier Guards. 

5. Flora Matilda, who died unmarried. 

6. Lillian Janet, who married (1st) Francis Viscount Tar- 

bat, second son of the Duke of Sutherland, who 

afterwa-rds succeeded his mother, the Countess of 

Cromartie, in the title and estates, with issue — 

(a) Lady Sybil Mackenzie, who succeeded on her father's 

death to the title and estates as Countess of 

Cromartie. She married Major E. W. Blunt, 




(b) Lady Coijstauce Mackenzie, who married Sir Edward 
Stewart-Richardson, Bart, of Pitfour, Perthshire. 
Countess Lillian married, secondly, Mr Cazenove. 
7. Alexandrina Victoria. She married Anthony Charles 
Sykes Abdy, Captain, 2nd Life Guards, second son of 
the late Sir Thomas Neville Abdy, Bart. 
Two other children died in infancy. 

Lord Macdonald died on 25th July, 1863, and was 
succeeded by his eldest son, 

XX. Sir SoMERLED James Brudenell, 13th 
Baronet and 5th Lord Macdonald. He died, 
unmarried, on 25th December, 1874, aged 25, and 
was succeeded by his next, and only, surviving 

XXI. Sir Ronald Archibald Bosville, 14th 
Baronet and 6th Lord Macdonald. He married, 
on 1st October, 1875, Louisa Jane Hamilton, 
second daughter of Colonel George William Boss 
of Cromarty, with issue — 

1. Somerled Godfrey James. 

2. Godfrey Evan Hugh, Lieutenant, Scots Guards. 

3. Archibald Ronald Armadale, Lieutenant, Scots Guards. 

In December, 1900, he joined his regiment in South 
Africa, and gallantly met his death at the head of his 
troop while storming a kopje near Eelenburg, Orange 
River Colony, on April 17th, 1901. 

4. Ronald Ian. 

5. lona-Marie-Adel aide-Hope. 


L This tribe was descended from Donald, a 
younger son of Hugh of Sleat, by a daughter of 
Macleod of Harris, whence he was known as Donald 
Herrach or of Harris, where he was brought up. 
He had the lands of Griminish and Scolpig in North 
Uist, and with these the senior branch of the family, 


that of Griminish, was associated for nearly 300 
years. In the account of the family of Sleat in this 
volume it has been shown that Donald Herrach met 
with a violent death mainly through the wicked 
contrivance of his half brother, Archibald Dubh, 
who murdered Donald Gallach, chief of the Clan 
Uisdein, and the older brother of Donald Herrach, 
The traditions of the Western Isles have been very 
circumstantial as to the accounts that have been 
handed down of these atrocities. Archibald Dubh 
and Angus Collach, the sons of Hugh, and a man 
named Paul, were in the plot to do away with 
Donald Herrach. It was arranged that the asso- 
ciates should perform gymnastic feats on the Dun of 
Loch Scolpig, in the course of which the conspiracy 
would take effect. The sports were apparently 
under cover, and it was arranged that when Donald 
Herrach, who was remarkably strong and active, 
tried the high jump, Paul, who was to be concealed 
for the purpose, should place a noosed thong about 
his neck, draw it tight, and strangle or hold him 
until the rest could with greater impunity dispatch 

These barbarous measures were carried out to the 
letter, and the individual who manipulated the 
thong has come down in tradition as Pal na h-eille, 
or Paul of the thong. Nemesis overtook him in the 
after time. He received lands from his employer, 
Gilleasbuig Duhh, at Balmore, in North Uist, but 
after Archibald's death about 15 LO the fear of 
vengeance at the hands of Donald Herrach's sons 
led him for greater security to pass much of his 
time at Dun Steinigarry, on Loch Paible. The day 
of retribution came. It was the time of harvest, and 
as Paul of the thong was building a stack one day 
in his corn-yard, he perceived from his elevated 


position a man of large stature approaching — still 
at a considerable distance. He asked those around 
from what direction did the wind blow yesterday. 
He was told it was from the East, whereupon, 
divining correctly that it was Angus Fionn Mac 
Dhomhnuill Herrach, who had crossed the Minch to 
avenge his father's death, he made at the top of his 
speed for the sanctuary of Kilrauir Churchlands, a 
distance of about three miles. Meanwhile Angus 
Fionn, with one companion, was rapidly approaching 
Balmore and taking stock of what went on at Paul's 
homestead. First they saw two men on the top of 
the corn stack, one wearing a white and another a 
red waistcoat. By and bye one only wa.s seen on 
the stack, whereupon Angus asked his companion, 
whose eyesight may have been better than his own, 
which of the two had disappeared, and was answered 
that it was the one with the scarlet vest. Angus, 
realising that his quarry had taken the alarm, and 
guessing that he must have made for the termon 
lands, went swiftly in pursuit. Soon he caught 
sight, and rapidly gained upon the wretched fugitive, 
when, just as the latter was crossing a rivulet 
bounding the sanctuary on the south side, Angus 
bent his bow, and the arrow, speeding with unerring 
aim, hit him in the heel. Thus crippled, he was 
soon overtaken by the avenger of blood, who very 
quickly put him out of pain. Thus was the murder 
of Donald Herrach avenged. His death took place 
probably about 1505. Donald, who lived at Grim- 
inish, which, along with Scolpig, was for ages in 
possession of his descendants, married, and had — 

1. Ranald his successor. 

2. Angus, who appears on record as Angus Glass, but who 

lives in local tradition as Angus Fionn or Fair. His 



son, John M 'Angus Glass, appears on record in 
1562. From him are descended the Macdonalds of 

He had also a son before his marriage, 

3. Donald Badenoch, whose descendants were known under 
this sobriquet for many generations in North Uist, his 
mother having been a native of the district from which 
it was derived. 

Donald Herrach was succeeded by his oldest son, 

II. Ranald, After his father's death he was 

brought up along with his cousin, Donald Gruamach 

of Sleat, by his uncle, Archibald the Black. His 

connection with Archibald's assassination has been 

told in the history of the family of Sleat. Ranald 

went to Ireland and fought in the Ulster wars on 

the side of the Macdonalds of Antrim. He was 

severely wounded, and returned to his native country 

accompanied by a medical attendant of the Brolas 

family in Mull. The latter settled at Cuidreach in 

Skye, and his descendants, for ages, were hereditary 

physicians to the family of Sleat. Ranald, like his 

father, lived at Griminish, and, like him also, is said 

to have met with a violent death. He was once on 

a visit to Dunskaich in Sleat, the seat of his cousin, 

Donald Gruamach, the chief, who was married to a 

daughter of the Clanranald of the day. Ranald 

perceiving a large number of the lady's kinsmen 

imposing on the hospitality of the chief of Clann 

Uisdein, and revelling unrestrainedly, hanged a 

round dozen of them on a certain morning ere 

Donald Gruamach or his lady had awakened from 

their slumbers. Such is the voice of tradition and 

it is consistent with what is said to have occurred 

afterwards. The lady of Sleat bribed the Black 

Finn on Mackinnon to murder Ranald, who, when 

on his way to pass the New Year with Donald 


Gruamach at Kirkibost In North Uist, was set 
upon by Mackinnon and his accomplices and slain. 
Ranald married and had 

III. Angus, his successor. He appears on the 
records of the Privy Council in 1562 as Angus 
MacRanald MacDonald Herraich. He, alonp; with 
Hugh, the son of Archibald, the Clerk, was the 
means of creating a sanguinary feud between his 
own Chief, Donald Gorme Mor, and the Macleans 
of Duart. He was at Mullintrae in 1586, along 
with the Macleans, to whose cause he had apparently 
attached himself, owing to his disgrace with the 
Chief of Sleat. When the Macdonalds of Dunny veg 
surrounded the house in which the Macleans were 
quartered, and took them prisoners, Angus, the 
son of Ranald — whom the Clanranald historian 
confounds with another Angus, who was Chief of 
Clanranald — and one of the Maclean warriors 
fought so desperately that they could not be 
captured. Tljcreupon the house was set on fire, 
and Angus of Grimlnish perished in the flames. 
He married, and had a son, who succeeded him, 

IV. Hugh Macdonald of Griminish. There is 
almost nothing known of his history, but he appears 
in the traditional tree as the father of his successor. 
He married, and had two sons — 

1. John, who succeeded him. 

2. Angus, who was at Kirkibost. 

3. Donald, from whom was descended Archibald Macdonald, 

or, as he was better known, " Gille na Ciotaig," the 
North Uist bard, and one of the cleverest and wittiest 
of Gaelic poets. 

Hugh was succeeded at Griminish by his son, 

y . John, known in his day as Iain Mac Uisdein. 
He married Flora, daughter of Ranald Macdonald, 
1st of Benbecula, with issue — 


1 . Archibald, who succeeded him at Griminish. 

2. Donald of Knocknantorrau, of whom the Balranald 


3. Rev. Angus Macdonald, who, on account of his great 

bodily strength, was called the Ministear Laidear, 
that is, the " Strong Minister." He completed his 
curriculum in Arts and Divinity in the University of 
Glasgow, and was appointed to the Parish of Gigha, 
in the Presbytery of Kintyre, about the year 1688. He 
also served, in combination with Gigha, the cure of the 
parishes of Killean and Kilkenzie, and lived in the 
manse of the former parish for some years. He left the 
Kintyre district at the time of the Revolution without 
being formally translated. Beiug an Episcopal minister, 
no doubt he found the ecclesiastical atmosphere of Argyll 
uncongenial, and, on receiving an appointment to the 
parish of South Uist, which then included the islands 
of Barra and Benbecula, he found himself in a region 
where his tenets as to Church polity were regarded 
with greater toleration. Though placed in the midst 
of a Roman Catholic population, where, if the voice of 
tradition can be relied on, he had more than once to 
exercise his muscular Christianity, he was universally 
respected by his parishioners, and left behind him a 
fragrant memory. He died at Campbelltown, in 
Kintyre, in 1721, when on his way to Uist after 
visiting his friends at Largie. He married a daughter 
of Angus Macdonald of Largie, by whom he had — 

(a) Archibald. He lived at Dunskellar, in North Uist, 

and was, for a number of years, factor on the 
Macdonald Estate there. He died, without issue, 
about 1767. 

(b) Marion, who married, as his 2nd wife, Ranald Mac- 

donald of Milton, father of the celebrated Flora 
Macdonald. She married, secondly, Captain Hugh 
Macdonald of Camuscross, afterwards of Armadale. 

(c) Mary, who was unmarried, and is on record as in 

receipt of an annuity, and died in 1765. 

4. Alexander, of whom the Macdonalds of Heisker and 


5. John, who lived at Baleshare, and died withoiit issue. 

6. Angus Beag, or little, to distinguish him from the 

stalwart minister of South Uist. 


John Mac Uisdein had also daughters, but their 
names have not survived. John Macdonald of 
Griminlsh was a man of considerable note and 
position in his day, notwithstanding the fact that 
his signature had to be appended to " The Oath 
of the Friends" in 1678 by the hand of a notary. 
He died about 1700, and was succeeded at Griminish 
by his oldest son, 

VI. Archibald. We find him in 1715 receiving 
a tack of Griminish and Scolpig from Sir Donald 
Macdonald of Sleat, for which Archibald is to pay 
100 merks besides victual rent. He married and 
had two sons, 

1. John, who succeeded. 

2. Roderick, who died without issue. 

Archibald died in 1740, and was succeeded by his 
older son, 

VII. John. He married Ann, daughter of 
Donald Macdonald of Balvicquean in Trotternish, 
and during his father's life-time — in 1723 — he 
appears as John Macdonald in Scolpig, and as con- 
senting to his wife signing the bond of friendship on 
behalf of the family of Sleat, entered into that year. 
By his wife he had — 

1. Douald, who predeceased him, and died without legiti- 

mate issue. 

2. Angus, who succeeded. 

3. Archibald, who died without issue, 

John Macdonald of Griminish died in 1765, for the 
following year we find on record — 

VIIL Angus Macdonald of Griminish. 
Strangely enough, Archibald also appears the same 
year as of Griminish and Scolpig. Thereby, how- 
ever, hangs a tale. Tradition tells that Angus of 
Griminish — evidently on his succeeding his father — 


was inveigled into a scheme of emigration by several 
of the North Uist gentlemen, who pretended that 
they also were to cross the seas. Angus is said to 
have been masterful and domineering, and his neigh- 
bours devised this somewhat doubtful expedient to 
get him out of the country. Be this as it may, 
Angus alone made genuine preparations for the 
voyage, the rest keeping up the deception to the 
last by sending packing cases laden with peats and 
other similar contents to the port of embarkation. 
Angus, taken in by the ruse at first, but afterwards, 
when it was too late, taking in the situation, sailed 
for the new world, and took up his abode for a few 
years at Crane's Creek, Cumberland Co., North 
Carolina. A poem by John MacCodrum, the 
North Uist bard, bemoans the expected emigra- 
tion, which, however, did not come off, in some 
very fine verses, j^rinted in the " Uist Bards." 
Angus, having given up the tenure of Griminish, his 
brother, Archibald, appears to have entered into 
possession thereof as tacksman. Angus of Grimi- 
nish did not find a congenial home in the new world, 
for we find him in 1771 once more in his native 
Uist. He did not, however, find his way back to 
the home of his ancestors in Griminish. His place 
of residence after his return was Balranald, then 
occupied by his kinsman, Donald Macdonald. Angus 
was living in 1785, which is the last record w^e have 
of him, but he may have lived a number of years 
thereafter. He married, and had — 

1. Donald, who is on record in 1795. 

2. Angus, who died in 1777. 

3. Alexander. 

There were also daughters, whose names have not 
come down. None of the sons appear to have left 

1. Eweu Macdouald of Griininish 3. Alexander Macdonald of Balranald. 

(Vallay). 4. J. A. R. .Macdonald of Balranald. 

2. Douglas Macdonald of vSanda. 

5. Richard McDonnell, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin. 


issue, and the Grimlnish line, as descended from 
Archibald, son of Iain Mac Uisdein, became extinct. 
The senior family of the Clann Domhniiill 
Herraich of Griminish having come to an end, 
the representation of the tribe devolved upon the 


These are descended from — 

I. Donald Macdonald of Knocknantorran, son 

of Iain Mac Uisdein of Griminish, v^ho appears 

several times on record early in the 18th century 

among the gentlemen of North Uist. He married, 

and had — 

L Alexander, who succeeded. 

2, Maty, who married Hector Maclean of Hosta. 

Donald of Knocknantorran died before 1720, and 

was succeeded in the representation of this branch of 

Clann Domhnuill Herraich by his son, 

II. Alexander, a man of great influence and 
standing in North Uist, where, judging by the 
verdict of tradition, he was much respected and 
esteemed. He was for many years factor for the 
Long Island Macdonald Estates. As early as 1717 
we find him witnessing a legal document, in which 
he is designated as "of Hougharie," in North Uist. 
As bailie of North Uist, on 4th July, 1754, having 
succeeded in that office Captain John Macdonald 
of Kirkibost and Balranald, he signs the sub- 
mission between the Laird of Macleod and the 
tutors of Sir James Macdonald of Sleat con- 
taining the names of arbiters appointed to deal 
with a controversy between the families of Sleat 
and Dunvegan as to the proprietorship of certain 
rocks in the Sound of Harris, whose value was 


greatly enhanced by the prolific crop of sea-weed 
they produced fur the manufacture of kelp. After 
one of these rocks, called " Kangas," the legal con- 
troversy which went to the Court of Session, and 
had much notoriety, derived its name. Alexander 
signs as "of Hougharie," where also the submission 
was signed by Alexander ]\[acdonald of Kingsburgh 
and Lady Margaret Macdonald of Sleat. After the 
death of Captain John, son of William, tutor of 
Sleat, Alexander of Houghary obtained a lease of 
Balranalcl and Kirkibost. He was drowned on the 
Kirkibost ford in the year 1760, and a most touching 
and beautiful elegy was composed to his memory 
by John MacCodrum, the North Uist bard. It was 
published in the '" Uist Bards" in 1894. 

He married, first, a daughter of Rev. Donald 
Nicolson of Scorribreck, minister of Kilmuir, in 
Skye, with issue — 

1. Donald, who succeeded him at Balranald. 
He married, secondly, Catherine, daughter of Mac- 
lean of Boreray, and by her, who died in 1797, he 
had — 

2 (A) Alexander. He was tutored by Donald Roy Mac- 
donald, son of Ranald Macdonald of Balishare, and 
Avas afterwards educated in the University of Aber- 
deen. About 1780 he was appointed factor by the 
trustees on the Clanranald estates of South Uist, and 
lived for some years at Stelligarry, in that island. In 
1786 he received a commission as baron bailie from 
young Clanranald, then of age, and in 1789 
obtained a 30 years' lease of the farm of Peneniurin, 
in South Uist. Having suffered from the ravages of 
small-pox, he w^as known as the Bailidh Breac, It 
is an interesting fact that Archibald Macdonald, 
Gille na Ciotaig, the North Uist bard, who was a 
distant kinsman, was for many years in his employ- 
_. ... ment as factor's clerk. Alexander of Peneniurin died 

in 1797. He married Margaret Mackinnon of Strath, 
by whom he had — 


(a) Alexander. 

(b) Niel, who died in Jamaica. 

(c) Charles, who died in the E. Indies. 

(d) Donald, who died at Cape Breton. 

(e) Margaret, who married a Maclean, an artist in London. 
He was succeeded at Peneniurin by his oldest son, 

(B) Alexander. He married Alexandrina, second daughter 
of the Rev. Roderick Maclean, minister of South 
Uist, with issue — 
(a) Rev. Alexander Macdonald, B.A. After having gone 
through part of his Arts course in Edinburgh 
University, he went to Canada, where he com- 
pleted an Arts and Divinity course in the Univer- 
sity of Kingstown. In due time he became an 
ordained minister of the Church of Scotland in 
the important and extensive district of Nottowa- 
saga, in the southern part of Ontario. After a 
faithful and laborious ministry he retired a few 
years ago from the more active duties of his 
office, and now lives in the town of Napanee 
enjoying his well-earned retirement. He married 
Louise, daughter of Rev. Mr Campbell of Dun- 
troon, Canada, and has a daughter, Alexandra. 
She married Edward Webb, Toronto, with issue — 
(a) Albert Edward ; (b) Norman. 

(b) Charles Neil. Unmarried. He and his brother, 

(c) Roderick, also unmarried, carry on business in Glasgow 

as C. & R. Macdonald, a firm well and favourably 
known in the Western Isles. The latter is the 
energetic president of the Glasgow Uist and Barra 

(d) Norman, who died in childhood. 

(e) Margaret, who died unmarried. 

(f) Eliza, married in Chicago to Alexander Arbuckle. 

(g) Jessie, who married William Macqueen, with issue, a 

daughter, Alexandrina. 
(h) Christina. 

Alexander Macdonald of Peneniurin died in Glasgow in 

3. John. 

4. Angus. 

5. Allan. 


6. Mary. She married Rev. John Macaulay, minister of 

South Uist, who demitted his charge, and went to 
America. They had a daughter, Margaret. Mrs 
Macaulay died in 1830. 

7. Margaret. 

There were several other sous, who emigrated to 
America, but whose names have not been preserved. 

Alexander Macdonald of Balranald — Alastair Mac 
Dhomhnuill — was succeeded at Balranald by his 
oldest son, 

TIL Donald. He also succeeded his father as 
factor to Sir James Macdonald on his Uist estates. 
He was a man of business talent and sagacity, and 
displayed much legal acumen during the latter 
stages of the Rangas controversy, though the 
settlement was not entirely favourable to the 
House of Sleat. He married Catherine, daughter 
of Captain James Macdonald of Aird, by his wife, 
Margaret, daughter of Ranald Macdonald of Kin- 
lochmoidart, with issue — 

1. Alexander, who succeeded. 

2. James, a Major in the Army, who lived at Chatham. 

He married Elizabeth, daughter of George Owen of 
Tiverton, and had — («) George, who held a civil 
appointment in Australia ; (6) Owen, who served for 
some time in E.LC. Navy, and afterwards lived in 
Australia ; (c) Donald, an officer in the Indian Army, 
died at the Cape ; (d) John, a Major in the 89th 
Regiment, died in the Crimea ; (e) James, an officer 
in the 89th Regiment, died in the West Indies ; (/) 
Alexander ; {g) William ; (h) Godfrey ; (^) Alexander 
— the last four died young ; [j) a daughter. Major 
James Macdonald had also a natural sou, John, who 
was a Lieutenant in the Army, and, on his retiral, 
lived first at Trumisgary and afterwards at Kalliu. 
He married Catherine Macrae, Brae, Eynort, Skye, 
and had — (a) Donald ; {b) John ; (c) James ; (d) 
Ewen ; (e) Lexy ; (/) Lizzie ; {g) Jessie, Avho married 
Finlay Macdonald, Druideag, with issue. 


3. Jessie, died unmarried. 

4. Catherine, died unmarried. 

5. Lexy, died unmarried. 

Donald Macdonald of Balranald died at an advanced 
age, in 1819, and was succeeded by his older son, 

lY. Alexander Macdonald of Lynedale. This 
estate of Lyndale was bought by his father, and 
Alexander Macdonald resided there the greater part 
of his Hfe, but his affairs in the course of time having 
become embarrassed, it was sold. He was for some 
time Captain in the Bengal Artillery, from which 
he retired on account of his health. He raised 
and became Lieut. -Colonel of the 2nd Isle of Skye 
Regiment of Volunteers, numbering 570 men, most 
of whom, when the Militia were disbanded, joined 
the Glengarry Fencibles or Caledonian Rangers. 
He married Jane Craigdallie, a lady of an ancient 
Perthshire family of the Clan MacGregor, with 
issue — 

1. Donald, wlio held a civil appointment at the Cape of 

Good Hope, and died there, unmarried. 

2. James Thomas, who succeeded. 

3. Alexander, a Captain in the 16th Bengal Native Infantry, 

who died in India unmarried. 

4. John Robertson, who served as Lieutenant in the 38th, 

39th, and 16th Regiments successively. He after- 
wards lived at Rodil in Harris, and was for 35 years 
factor for the Earl of Dunmore, who owned in his 
time the whole of that parish. He married Mary, 
daughter of Captain Duncan Macrae of Inverinate, 
with issue, a daughter, Jane Caroline, who died 

5. Elizabeth Anne, who died unmarried. 

6. Caroline, who died young. 

7. Alexandrina Catherine, who married Andrew Cornfute, a 

manufacturer in Perth, with issue, all of whom died 
without descendants. 

8. Isabella Maria, who married Rev. Finlay Macrae, Min- 

ister of North Uist, with issue — 


(a) Donald, who married Annabella, daughter of Captain 

Miller of Pow, Perthshire, with issue. 

(b) Alexander, who was a doctor in the army. 

(c) Duncan, who married in Australia, with issue. 

(d) Rev. John Alexander, who was Minister of North 


(e) James Andrew, Major in luveruess-shire Militia. 

(f) Godfrey Alexander, a medical practitioner in North 

Uist. The foregoing are all deceased. 

(g) Jane Anne Elizabeth, who married Edward AVilliam 

Hawes, R.N. ; issue, three daughters. 

Alexander Macdouald of Lyndale was succeeded by 
his second son — 

y. James Thomas, who was for many years 
factor on Lord Macdonald's North Uist property. 
He married, in 1820, Jane, daughter of Captain 
Donald Mackenzie of Hartfield, fourth son of 
Thomas Mackenzie, 6th of A^Dplecross and 4th of 
Highfield, by his wife Elizabeth, only daughter of 
Donald Mackenzie, 5th of Kilcoy, with issue — 

1. Alexander, who succeeded. 

2. Jane Caroline. 

3. Anne Margaret, who married Charles Shaw, W.S., at one 

time Sheriff-Substitute at Lochmaddy, with issue — 

(a) Duncan, W.S., of the firm of Anderson & Shaw, 
Inverness, who married Elizabeth Gordon, with issue ; 

(b) James Thomas, late Major in the Inverness-shire 
Militia, who married Emma Payne Cross, with issue ; 

(c) Charles, who mari-ied Mary Hastie, New Zealand, 
with issue ; (d) Alexander ; (e) Anne, married Captain 

- Donald Cameron, Glenbrittle, Skye, with issue ; 
(/) Jane ; (g) Margaret Susan Christina ; (h) Eliza- 
beth Anne Macdonald ; (^) Alexandra ; (j) Margaret 
3. Elizabeth Flora Ann, who married Rev. Neil MackinnoUj 
once minister of Creich, Sutherlandshire, wuth issue — 
(a) Farquhar ; (b) James Thomas ; (c) Catherine, Avho 
married James Ross, Balblair, now of Polio, Ross- 
shire, with issue ; (d) Jane ; (e) Jemima, who married 
James Ross, distiller, Easter Ross, with issue ; (/) 


4. Jessie Catherine, who married Donald Maedonald, Mug- 

stot, afterwards in Australia, with issue, 

5. Jane, who married Captain Donald C. Cameron, Talisker, 

with issue — (a) Ewen, Captain, R. A. ; (b) James 
Thomas ; (c) Donald ; (d) Mary, who married Mr 
Thorn of Canna ; (e) Jeanie, who married Mr Fergu- 
son, Tullich, now of Tallisker. 

6. Jemima Isabella, vvho married Dr Kenneth Macleod, 

Calcutta, with issue — (a) Julia ; (b) Jeanie ; (c) Alice 

James Thomas of Balranald died in 1855, and was 
succeeded by his only son, 

VI. Alexander. He bought the estates of 
Edenwood and Overkelly, in the county of Fife, 
and afterwards acquired possession by purchase 
of the extensive and valuable farm of Balranald, 
for 150 years in the occupancy of his family. He 
married first, Margaret Anne Christina, daughter of 
Norman Macleod, Scalpa, and his wife, Jessie, 
daughter of Kenneth Macleod, Ebost, Skye, without 
issue. He married, secondly, Margaret Campbell, 
daughter of Major Colin Lyon Mackenzie of St 
Martins and Braelangwell, with issue — 

1. James Alexander Ranald, his heir. 

2. Annie. 

3. Jane Alexander, who, in September, 1899, married George 

Stevenson Pitcairn, son of Colonel Pitcairn of Pitcullis. 

4. Margaret Jemima. 

5. Florence Hellen Marion. 

6. Violet Anne Elizabeth. 

7. Eva Flora Caroline. 

Alexander Maedonald of Balranald died in 1901, 
much regretted by a large circle of friends and 
acquaintances. He was a good Highlander and 
clansman, and his amiable disposition and kindly 
manners rendered him a great favourite among all 
classes in his native parish. He w^as succeeded by 
his only son, 


VII. James Alexander Ranald Macdonald, 

the present representative of Clanii Domhnuill 


This branch of the Clann Domhnuill Herraich is 
descended from — 

I. Alexander, fourth son of John Macdonald 
of Griminish, known in his day as Alastair Ban Mac 
Iain He Uisdein. After the massacre of Glencoe he 
nobly went to the relief of the persecuted and poverty- 
stricken Clan Iain with a cargo of meal. In 1694 
he advanced to Sir Donald Macdonald a sum of 3000 
merks, for which the latter wadsetted to him the 
10 penny lands of Heisker, the penny lands of Pein- 
more and Peinnie Trynoid, and the 10 penny lands 
of Balranald. In 1696 there is a contract of marriage 
in which James Macdonald of Eriskay marries Anne, 
daughter of Alexander. Alexander of Heisker was 
married twice. The name of his first wife eludes 
research. He married, secondly, in 1707, Isobel 
Maclennan, who died in 1760. His family, so far as 
known, were — 

1. Johu, who succeeded hira. 

2. Ann, who married James Macdonald of Eriskay. Their 

sou, Donald, was the father of Angus (Aonghas Mac- 
Dhomhnuill 'ic Sheumais), in whose house Prince 
Charles slept for the first time on British soil. 

3. Catherine, who married Niel Macdonald of Grenitote, 

North Uist, with issue. 
There were other sons, whose names have not come down, 
but they probably died yovmg, leaving no descendants. 

Alexander Macdonald died in 1723, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son, 

II. John Macdonald of Heisker, who was served 
heir to him on 29th September. In 1727 he appears 


among the creditors on the Macdonald estates, and 
discharges Kenneth Mackenzie as representing these 
in the sum of 2000 merks. It is possible, though 
we cannot be certain, that this transaction termi- 
nated the wadset of 1694, at anyrate so far as 
Balranald was concerned, as we always find him 
designated of Heisker alone. He appears in these 
transactions as John Macdonald, eldest son of the 
deceased Alexander Macdonald of Heisker. John 
appears to have died in 1748, and the family con- 
nection with Heisker to have terminated, for there 
is a discharge that year of a sum of money paid to 
Heisker, probably the balance of the old wadset. 
Archibald Maclean is designated of Heisker in 1735 ; 
but, whatever may have been the nature of his 
tenure — probably it was a species of sub-let — the 
Macdonald connection did not terminate earlier than 
1748. John married, and had — 

1. James, who succeeded. 

2. Archibald, who is on record as having been apprenticed 

to Ranald Macdonald, brazier, Edinburgh, and who 
died without issue. 

in. James succeeded his father in the repre- 
sentation of the family, but it is certain that he 
was never tacksman of Heisker. He appears to 
have been an enterprising youth, for, at the early 
age of 20, he earned the distinction of being the 
only gentleman of Sii Alexander Macdonald's fol- 
lowing — with the single exception of Donald Koy 
Macdonald of Bahshare — who joined the party of 
Prince Charles in 1745-6. After the troubles of the 
'45 had subsided, James of Heiskir exhibited the same 
enterprise in the arts of peace which he had shown 
on the theatre of war. He settled down as a mer- 
chant, first at Dunvegan and afterwards at Portree, 


and devoted himself so assiduously to his commercial 
pursuits that he amassed a substantial fortune. He 
became proprietor of Skeabost, in the parish of 
Snizort, Isle of Skye, and also of Tanera.. one of 
the Summer Isles at the mouth of Lochbroom, on 
the West Coast of Ross-shire. He was married 
twice — first, about 1760, to a lady whose name has 
not come down to us, and by whom he had issue ; 
secondly, in 1789, to Isabella Macqueen, daughter 
of Rev. Donald Macqueen of Kihiiuir, without issue. 
His children by his first wife were — 

1. Donald, who succeeded. 

2. Alexander. 

3. Emily, who married Captain James Macdonald of Flodi- 

garry, with issue. 

James Macdonald of Skeabost was alive in 1790, 
and was not then of very advanced age. He joro- 
bably survived to see the early years of the 19th 
century, as an elegy to his memory appeared in 
Macleod's Gaelic Collection in 1811. He was suc- 
ceeded by his son, 

IV. Donald Macdonald of Skeabost and 
Tanera, who was born at Dunvegan on 29th 
August, 1765. He became tacksman or proprietor 
of Tanera during his father's life-time, and is 
spoken of in 1793 as " Donald Macdonald of 
Tanera, son of Skeabost." In 1817 his name 
appears on the list of those who instituted the 
Inverness Sheep Fair that year. On 22nd 
August he married Margaret, daughter of Donald 
Macdonald, factor on Lord Macdonald's Estate of 
Trotternish, with issue — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. James, who lived for some time at Scalpay, Skye. He 

was a sea- faring man, and was well known throughout 
the Western Isles as Captain Macdonald of the 


" Rover's Bride," or, as he was more familiarly known, 
the "Rover.-' He lived at Stornoway during the 
latter part of his life, and died there a number of 
years ago at an advanced age. He was unmarried. 

3. John. He served in the Indian army, and was a Captain 

of his regiment during the Mutiny. He became 
Major of the 61st Native Regiment of Infantry, and 
afterwards rose to the rank of General commanding a 
Brigade. He retired from active service about 1874. 
He married Catherine, daughter of Matheson of Atta- 
dale, and sister of Sir Alexander Matheson of Lochalsh, 
with issue — 

(a) Donald, a retired Colonel in the Indian Army, married 

without issue. 

(b) John, a partner in the house of Jardine, Matheson, & 

Co. He married, and has issue — (a) Norman; 
(b) Ian ; (c) Eric ; (d) Nora ; (e) Catherine ; (/) 
Bertha ; (g) Mabel. 

(c) Mary. 

4. Kenneth. He emigrated to Victoria, Australia, and 

married Miss Lockhart, by whom he had a family. 
There are sons of the marriage living in Australia. 

5. Margaret, married George Gunn, for many years factor 

at Lochinvar and Dunrobin for the late Duke of 
Sutherland, with issue — (a) Donald ; (b) Hector ; (c) 
Jessie ; (d) Christian ; (e) Margaret ; (/) Elizabeth. 

6. Janet, married Hugh Peter Macdonald, Tacksman of 

Monkstadt, in Kilmuir, Skye, with issue. 

7. Ann Robertson, married Rev. Roderick Macleod, Free 

Church Minister of Snizort, Si<ye. They had a large 
family, many of whom died young. Those who 
survived are — 

(a) Dr Roderick Macleod, who married Mrs Macdonald 

of Dunach, near Oban. 

(b) James Macleod, an indigo planter in Tiroot. He is a 

distinguished historian on India, and has received 
the distinction of CLE. 

(c) Jessie. 

(d) Bella. 

8. Amelia, died unmarried. 

9. Frances, died unmarried. . _. 



10. Catherine, died unmarried. 

11 Susannah, died unmarried. 

12. Mary, married Evander Maciver, late of Scour'e, factor 
for the Duke of Sutherland, who died 1902, with 
issue — (a) James ; (h) Donald ; (c) Duncan ; (d) 
Lewis ; (e) Evander ; (/) Murdo ; (g) John ; (h) 
Elizabeth ; (i) Catherine. Mrs Maciver died 1895. 
14. Margaret Anne, married her cousin Donald Macdonald» 
captain of a large China trader. She died at Hong 
Kong, and left a family of daughters. 

Donald Macdonald of Skeabost was succeeded in 
the representation of the family by 

V. Donald, his eldest son, who resided at Loch- 
inver, in the north of Sutherlandshire. He married 
Jessie, daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, of Letter- 
ewe, Ross-shire, with issue — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. James Alexander. He was in business for some time in 

Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony, and latterly in London. 
He married Caroline, daughter of John Heugh of Port 
Elizabeth, with issue (two daughters) — 

(a) Loue. 

(b) Thyra. 

3. Murdo, who was in business at Port Elizabeth, and 

afterwards in London. He married Laura Foley, 
with issue — (a) Alexander, who died in South Africa ; 
(b) Ronald, who married, and has issue ; (c) Somerled ; 
(d) Charles Kingsburgh ; (e) Flora. Murdo Macdonald 
died some years ago. 

4. Catherine, married William Kirkwood, with issue — 

(a) Donald ; (b) Alexander — both of whom died in 
South Africa ; (c) Charles ; (d) Annie, who married 
Archibald Merrielees of Moscow ; {e) Jessie, who 
married Walter Somerville Lockhart, with issue. 

Donald Macdonald of Lochinver emigrated with his 
family to South Africa, and lived at Port Elizabeth. 
He was killed in a carriage accident in that country, 
and was succeeded in the representation of the 
family by his son, 


VI. Donald. He was bred a civil engineer, and 
resides in London. He married, first, in 1866, Helen, 
daughter of Thomas Read of Grouse, Norwich, with 
issue — 

1. Donald. He died in India in 1894. 

He married, secondly, in 1892, Cornelia, daughter of 
R. Restall of Uitenhage, Cape of Good Hope, with 
issue — 

2. Hector. 

3. Helen. 


This branch of the family of Sleat is descended 
from James Macdonald of Castle Camus, son of 
Donald Gruamach Macdonald, 4th Baron of Sleat. 
Owing to the long minority of Donald Gormeson, 
his nephew, James, after the death of Archibald the 
Clerk, was, for many years, the leader of the Clan 
Uisdein, and acted a prominent part in the affairs of 
the family of Sleat. As these have been referred to 
at length in a former part of this volume, it is 
unnecessary to repeat the details of the narrative. 
James of Castle Camus, known in his time as 
Seumas a Chaisteil, or " James of the Castle," 
married a daughter of Macleod of Harris, by whom 
he had two sons. The last time he appears on 
the Records of the Privy Council is in 1589, and it 
is probable that his death would have taken place 
early in the last decade of the 16th century. 
During his life he was a strong pillar of the House 
of Sleat, and served its interests with fidelity and 
devotion. The tribe of the Clann Uisdein, of which 
he was the progenitor, were distinctively known 
as the Clann Domhnuill Ghruamaich. His sons 
were — 


1. John, who is described on record as the son and heir of 

James Mac Donald Gruamacii of Castle Camus. 

2. Donald Gruaujach Mac James, Ostaig, of whom the 

Macdonalds of Capstill, Balvicquean, &c. 

II. John of Castle Camus. He seems to have 
predeceased his father, but it is convenient to 
reckon him in the genealogy as the second of his 
branch. He seems to have incurred the enmity, and 
suffered unjust treatment at the hands of the Earl of 
Argyll, who, in 1578, imprisoned him in the Castle 
of Inchconnell, Lochawe, but was afterwards com- 
pelled to liberate him. He was killed in Mull in 
1585 in the course of the feud between the families 
of Sleat and Duart. He married a lady of the 
Clanranald family, by whom he had an only son, his 

III. Donald, who was one of the most remark- 
able men in the history of the Clan. Domhnull 
Mac Iain 'ic Sheumais, as he was known in the 
Western Isles, was born at Moidart, his mother's 
native district ; but he was brought up mainly at 
Castle Camus, a fact of which there are echoes in his 
bardic effusions ; for Donald was not only a warrior 
but a poet of no mean order, and snatches of his 
songs long lingered among the people of Skye and 
Uist. Like his contemporaries, he did not receive 
the education which may be described as literary, 
but he was from his boyhood a great expert in the 
use of sword and bow, a species of culture highly 
useful at a time when the pen was not yet mightier 
than the sword. Tradition describes him as large- 
boned, of a heavy if not lubberly gait, and of a 
moody cast of countenance, predisposed to habits of 
thoughtful ness and retirement, yet, under provoca- 
tion, quick in his movements ; terrible when roused, 
and prompt in the hour of action. His sword, which 


he named " Culg Mharg," because five merks was the 
price he paid for it, was a terror wherever his name 
was known, always ready to be drawn in the cause of 
right, and to be the avenger of the blood of injured 
innocence. It never suffei'ed defeat. From an early 
age he was the undisguised enemy of the Macleods, 
never as the aggressor, but as the defender of the 
interests of his chief and people. He distinguished 
himself as a warrior on many occasions, but the 
circumstances are forgotten, save in the conspicuous 
instances of Coolin and Carinish, which have been 
duly chronicled in the history of the family of Sleat. 
At the battle of Carinish he was wounded in the 
foot, and judging by the song of Nic Coiseim, his 
foster-mother, also in the body. He was conveyed 
to a house in Carinish with the arrow sticking in the 
flesh, and tradition has it that Nic Coiseim procured 
a band of women, whom she arranged around a 
waulking board, and who joined in a loud Luinneag 
to drown his complaints while the arrow was being 
extracted and the wound bound. This is a highly 
improbable story about the heroic Mac Iain, which 
probably had its origin in the fancy of his foes. 

•Donald Mac Iain's occupation in times of peace 
was that of a drover or cattle dealer, and he is said 
to have been the first man who ever ferried cattle 
from Skye to Uist. When he travelled from home 
he took with him a staff of " Gilliemores," or big 
stalwart fellows who " breathed to do his bidding," 
and we doubt not but in the unsettled state of the 
Highlands he needed their warlike prowess and his 
own trusty Cuiy Mha^y to protect his herds on the 
way to Southern trysts. In his early days he lived 
at Eriskay, which he held from Clanranald, and 
which was occupied by several generations of his 


descendants. He afterwards lived at Carinish, the 
scene of one of his greatest exploits, and of this we 
have evidence in a contract of marriage in which he 
appears as cautioner in 1626. 

It must be admitted that Donald Maciain, who 
had been such a pillar of the house of Sleat, received 
tardy recognition of his valuable services. Many 
years passed without his receiving an inch of ground 
on the territories of the family for which he had 
fought and bled. At last a clansman and fellow 
bard, the keen-witted John Lom of Lochaber, took 
up the cudgels for his friend. Donald had set his 
heart upon the lands of Airdviceolan in Trotternish, 
but another was preferred. John Lom, on hearing 
how the grand old warrior had been treated, went 
all the way from Lochaber to Duntulm and recited 
half a dozen verses laden with the fiercest invective 
in the hearing of Sir Donald, first baronet of Sleat. 
" In the name of the Almighty desist," said Sir 
Donald in Gaelic. " I have more," said the per- 
sistent wrong-righter. " You have more than 
enough," replied the baronet. " Have you a place 
for Domhnull Mac Iain 'ic Sheumais ?" returned the 
bard. " We will get a place for him," was the 
reply. "If not," said the bard, "you will hear of it 
on the deafer ear." The scathing tongue of John 
Lom won for the Macdonald hero what his own 
merits had been unable to secure, and the voice of 
tradition has it that Donald got the farm of Cuid- 
reach in liferent. Tradition is in this detail amply 
supported by documentary evidence. It was, how- 
^ever, a tack for a certain number of years, which 
certainly extended very considerably beyond the 
lifetime of Maciain, for in 1660, long after his death, 
we find his" widow P^d son in possession of the lands 


in question. These included not only Cuidreach 
proper, but also Arnishbeg, Arnishmore, and Glen- 
tinistle. Donald appears on record in 1648, but he 
must have been pretty well advanced in years, and 
we find no further notice of him. He spent a good 
deal of his old age in the house of his daughter, wife 
of Macleod of Gesto, a bold, irascible, and proud 
churl, who used to taunt her with being " Nighean 
aireach liath nam bo," or " the daughter of the 
grey-headed herdsman." Donald is said to have 
died at Gesto, and the date may probably be fixed 
as 1650. He married a daughter of Macdonald 
of Keppoch, and had issue — 

1. Alexander, who appears in 1648 as Alexander Macdonald 

of Skirinish, and who carried on the senior repre- 
sentation of the line of Donald Mac Iain 'ic Sheumais. 

2. John, of whom the Macdonalds of Eriskay. He was a 

brave warrior, and fought under Montrose in the Civil 
Wars, in the course of which he lost both his legs by 
a musket shot. He survived his wounds, and returned 
to his native Island of Eriskay. He had a son, James, 
who succeeded him there. James married, in 1696, 
Ann, daughter of Alexander Macdonald of Heiskir and 
Balranald, and had a son, Donald of Eriskay. Donald 
married and had a son, Angus, known in his day as 
Aonghas Mac Dhomhnuill 'ic Sheumais, who also was 
tacksman of Eriskay. He flourished at the time of 
the '45, and it was in his house at Eriskay that 
Prince Charles Edward spent his first night on Scot- 
tish soil after disembarking from the Doutelle. He 
died without issue. 

3. John, known as Iain Bodach, because he was fostered in 

Bute. He had a son who lived in North Uist, and 
was drowned while swimming from an islet on Loch 
Una in that parish, since which occurrence it has 
been known as " Eilean Mhic a' Bh6daich," or " the 
islet of the Buteman's son." 

4. Hugh, who succeeded his father as tacksman of Cuid- 

reach, and of whom the family so designed. 
5. Mary, who married Macleod of Gesio. 


Donald Maclain 'ic Sheumas was succeeded in the 
representation of the family by his oldest son, 

IV. Alexander of Skirinish. Along with his 
brother John he also took part in the campaign of 
Montrose. He died c. 1680. He married a daughter 
of James Macdonald of Ostaig, and a niece of Sir 
Donald Macdonald, 1st Baronet of Sleat, a second 
cousin of his own. By her he had — 

L Donald of Scuddiboro, his successor. 

, 2. Alexander of Flodigarry, who was Chamberlain of Trotter- 

ni&h. He married Mary Macdonald, with issue — 
(a) Alexander ; (b) James ; (c) John ; (d) Mary, 
who married Archibald Nicolson in Balvicquean ; 

(e) Ann, who married John Nicolson in Scuddiboro ; 

(f) Margaret, who married Lachlan Mackinnon in 
Penefiler. He died before 1697. 

V. Donald Macdonald of Scuddiboro. He 
also inherited the warlike qualities of his sires, and 
was present at the battles of Killiecrankie and 
SheriflPmuir. He died about 1720. He married 
Margaret, daughter of Rev. Donald Nicolson of 
Scorriebreck, Minister of Kilmuir in Skye, and had — 

1. Alexander, who carried on the succession. 

2. John, who had the farm of Ardnacross, in Kintyre. He 

married Grace, daughter of Godfrey Macalister of 
Loup, and had a daughter Jane, who married Angus 
Macalister of Loup, with issue. 

Donald of Scuddiboro was succeeded by 

VI. Alexander Macdonald, who occupied a 
very prominent position in the x4.nnals of the family 
of Sleat during about half a century. He was as 
.eminent in the walks of peace as his ancestors were 
in warlike prowess. He was born in 1689, the year 
of the battle of Killiecrankie, and in 1718, when he 
was in his 30th year, was appointed to the important 
post of Chamberlain on Sir Donald Macdonald's 
Trotter nish estates. In 1722 he obtained a tack of 


the lands of Knockcowe and Kilvaxter, which he 
seems to have held for a numlier of years. In 1723 
he appears as one of the signatories to the " Bond of 
Uist men and others " for the preservation of the 
forfeited estates — then exposed for sale — in the 
possession of the Sleat family. He signs as " son of 
the deceased Donald Macdonald of Scuddiboro," 
and no doubt, as Chamberlain for Trotternish, took 
a leading part in these negotiations. As represent- 
ing his late fither, he was also apparently a 
creditor on the estate. Though his race came in 
after years to be designated of Kingsburgh, they 
never had any connection with it until Alexander's 
own time, and it was only in 1734 that, having 
apparently given up Knockcowe and Kilvaxter, he 
became tacksman of that historic holding. Alex- 
ander's connection with the memorable events of 
1745-6 have been the well-worn theme of many a 
pen, and it is not our purpose now to detail them. 
An unwilling actor in that drama, he suffered 
imprisonment in Edinburgh for about a year. After 
the death of Sir Alexander Macdonald in 1746, most 
urgent appeals were made by Lady Margaret Mac- 
donald and Macdonald of Castleton to President 
Forbes to use his influence with the Government for 
the release of one whose management of the Mac- 
donald estates during the minority of young Sir 
James was regarded as essential to their prosperity. 
These appeals were successful, and Kingsburgh was 
released from durance on 4th July, 1747, under the 
general Act of Indemnity. This decision was taken 
not so much out of regard for Kingsburgh or the 
family of Sleat as for reasons of State policy. In a 
letter of 27th December, 1746, addressed by Presi- 
dent Forbes to the Secretary of State, and printed 
among the CuUoden papers, there is an exceedingly 


good and convincing case made out from this point 
of view for the release of Kingsburgh, the President 
pointing out " what mav be the consequence if a 
kindred lately recovered from disaffection shall see a 
person so necessary for the management of Sir Alex- 
ander's private fortune after a long imprisonment 
tried and if convicted put to death." 

Kingsburgh continued as Chamberlain to the 
Sleat family till about 1765, when he retired from 
active duty owing to the infirmities of advancing 
years, and in acknowledgment of his long and 
honourable services was awarded a pension of £50 
per annum for life. He died on 13th February, 
1772. He married Florence, daughter of John Mac- 
donald of Castleton, with issue — 

1. Allan, his successor. 

2. James, tacksman of Knockcowe. He married Margaret, 

daughter of Major Macleod of Balmeanach, and bad — 

(a) Captain Alexander Macdonald, who died in the island 

of St Kitts, in the West Indies, in the British 
Service, without issue. 

(b) James. 

(c) Roderick. These two brothers were engaged as clerks 

in shipping offices in Greenock, and having been 
pressed into the Service, were never heard of 

(d) Jessie, married Captain Norman Macleod, " Cyprus," 

with issue — (a) Elizabeth Pringle, who married 
Rev. Roderick Maclean, minister of South Uist, 
and had a large family of sons and daughters ; 
their 5th daughter, Marion, married Rev. Roderick 
Macdonald of Harris, afterwards of South Uist, 
with issue — (a^) Rev. Archibald Macdonald, 
Kiltarlity ; (b^) Roderick, died young ; (c^) 
Charles, died in infancy ; (d^) Alastair ; (e^) 
Elizabeth Pringle ; (/^) Susan, married Archibald 
Maclauchan, M.B., CM. : he died in the Transvaal; 
(g^) Flora Alexandra, married Roderick Maclean, 
Esq. of Gometra, Mull ; (h^) Harriet Christina ^ ; 

'•^The above family was inadvertently omitted from the Clan Godfrey genealogy- 

1. Major Alexander Macdoiiald of 3. Captain Allan IMacdonald of 


2. George INIacdonald, Novelist. 4. J. R. M. IVIacdonald of Laigie. 

5. John Ranald Alacdonald of vSauda. 


(h) Margaret, who married Mr Calder, school- 
master, Kilmuir, Skye, without issue; (c) Matilda, 
who married a Mr Campbell, Durinish, Skye, 
with issue. 

(e) Anne, married John Mackenzie, architect, with issue, 

among others, Margaret, who married a Mr Mac- 
donald, schoolmaster and catechist, with issue. 

(f) Margaret, died unmarried. 

(g) Flora, died unmarried. 

3. Anne. She married Ranald Macalister of Skirinish, who 
was for some time factor for Troternisb, with issue a 
large family, who have already been detailed under 
the Macalister genealogy. 
Alexander Macdonald of Kingsburgh was succeeded 
in the representation of the family by his older son, 
VII. Allan. Having received an elementary 
education in his native parish, he was afterwards 
sent to Edinburgh to complete his studies, at the 
expense of Sir Alexander Macdonald. He lived for 
a number of years at Flodigarry, of which his father 
had a tack, and continued there until 1772, when, 
on his father's death, he succeeded him at Kings- 
burgh. On old Kingsburgh's retiral from office in 
1765, Allan was installed in his place as Chamber- 
lain for Troternish, a post which he held until 1774. 
It was while at Kingsburgh that Allan and his 
distinguished wife entertained Dr Samuel Johnson 
and his biographer, in 1773. 

In 1774 a change came over the fortunes of the 
family of Kingsburgh. It was a transition time in 
the Isles when great economic changes rendered it 
difficult for the good old class of gentry to maintain 
their ancient state. Animated by the desire to 
repair the somewhat shattered family fortunes, Allan 
broke up his estabUshment at Kingsburgh and sailed 
for the new world. Soon after his settlement in 
North Carolina, the American War of Independence 
broke out, and Allan was appointed Captain of a 


Company in the Royal Highland Emigrant Regi- 
ment. With his five sons he pla3^ed a brilliant part 
in the campaign of 1777, but on the defeat of the 
loyalist army he was captured at Moore's Creek and 
taken prisoner to Halifax, where he was confined 
till 1783, when, the American War having been 
concluded by a Treaty of Peace, he was liberated, 
and returned to Scotland after an absence of nnie 
years, his wife and other members of the family 
havinof returned in 1779. For a short time after 
his return to Scotland, Allan lived at Daliburgh in 
South Uist, in the neighbourhood of Milton, his 
wife's native place. About 1785 he and his wife 
and family left South Uist for Skye, and once more 
took up their occupancy of the house and farm of 
Kingsburgh, Allan in the enjoyment of a captain's 
pension. Here he died on the 20th September, 
1795, and was buried in the family burying-ground 
at Kilmuir. Allan married on the 6th November, 
1750, Flora, daughter of Ranald Macdonald of 
Milton by his wife, Marion, daughter of Rev. Angus 
Macdonald, minister of South Uist, with issue — 

1. Charles, a Captain in the Queen's Rangers. He married 

in 1787 Isabella, daughter of Captain James Mac- 
donald of Aird, son of W'illiam, Tutor of Macdonald, 
without issue. He died in 1795. 

2. Alexander, Lieutenant 81th Royal Highland Emigrant 

Regiment, lost at sea, unmarried. He went down 
in the ship " Ville de Paris," captured from the 
enemy, at the battle of Eustati in 1782, and in which 
he and his brother Ranald were placed to take charge 
of the prize and crew. 

3. Ranald, Captain Royal Marines. Lost at sea with his 

brother Alexander. 

4. James, known as Captain James Macdouald of Flodigarry. 

He married Emily, daughter of James Macdonald, of 
Skeabost, and died in 1807, leaving issue — 
(a) James Somerled Macdonald, Lieut. -Colonel of the 45th 
Madras Native Regiment of Infantry. He died 


unmarried in London in Jan., 1842, and was 
buiied in Kensal Cemetery. 

(b) Allan Ranald, a Captain in the 4th Bengal Native 

Infantry. He married Miss Smith, daughter of 
General Smith, of the Bengal Army, with issue — 
(a) Reginald Somerled Macdonald, of the Colonial 
Office, who married Zeloe, a daughter of Sir 
William Grove, an English Judge, and died 1877, 
leaving issue — (1) Zeila Flora, who married 
Colonel Baker, R.A. ; (2) Leila, Mrs Cracken- 
thorpe ; (b) Leila, who died young in Florence ; 
(c) Leila Flora, who married Marshal Canrobert, 
and died in 1895, leaving issue— (1) Marce 
Certin, an officer in the French Army ; (2) Claire, 
who married Paul de Navacelle, a naval officer. 

(c) John, who died young. 

(d) Flora, died unmarried. 

(e) Charlotte, died unmarried. 

(f) Jessie, married Ninian Jeffrey of New Kelso, Loch- 

carron, with issue — (a) Captain James Jeffrey, 
who married Mary Irwin, with issue. He died 
1875. (b) Captain George Jeffrey of H.M. 32nd 
Light Infantry, a very brave soldier, who greatly 
distinguished himself in various campaigns in 
which the British Arm) were engaged. He 
married Annie, daughter of Colonel William 
Geddes, H.E.I.C.S., with issne. He died in 
China in 1868. (c) William John, stipendiary 
magistrate at Demerara, married Sophia, widow 
of the Rev. William Hamilton, of the Episcopal 
Church at Leguan, Demerara, with issue, (d) 
Allan Ranald, who married, and had Allan Ninian 
Charles, (e) Thomas Mackenzie, lost at sea ; 
unmarried. (/) Alexander Lachlan. (g) Ninian. 
(h) John— both the last died in infancy. (/) Amelia 
Macdonald, died unmarried, 1864. (j) Agnes 
Johanna, married Ranald Livingstone of Drim- 
synie, Argyllshire, with issue — (1) Captain 
Ranald Livingston Macdonald, 3rd Battalion 
Seaforth Highlanders ; (2) Alexander ; (3) 
Emily ; (4) Mary ; (5) Flora. 
5. John, who became Lieutenant-Colonel of the Clan Alpine 
Reo-iment and Commandant of the Royal Edinburgh 


Artillery. He contributed largely to the literature of 
of his profession, and became a F.R.S. He married — 
1st, Mrs Bogle, a widow, with issue, two children, 
who died young. He married — 2nd, Frances Maria, 
eldest daughter of Sir Robert Chambers, Chief Justice 
• of the Supreme Court of Judicature, Bengal, with 

issue — 

(a) Robert, a Major in the Indian Army. He maiTied, 

wiih issue — a son, Somerled, who died young. 

(b) John, a Captain in the Indian Army, married, with 

surviving issue — (1) Herbert Chambers, Lt.-Col. 
108th Regiment. He married first, and had 
Clarence Herbert, Major 86th Berar Infantry, who 
married, and has several children ; (2) Flora, who 
married Colonel Cooke, Q.M.C Madras Army, 
with issue. He married, secondly, and had 
(a) Percy Edward, (b) Hugh, (c) Annie Flora, 
(d) Adrea Louisa, (e) Annabel Gladys. 

(c) Allan, died young. 

(d) William Pitt, a Major - General in the Indian 

Army, who married twice, and had issue — 

(1) Reginald Mackenzie, General Madras S.C. 
He married, and has issue — (a) Neville Doug- 
las, (b) Arthur Gabell, (c) Clarence Regi- 
nald, (d) Emily Florence, (e) Flora Mary, 
(/) Ethel Clanranald, (g) Grace Elizabeth. 

(2) John Collins, General Madras S.C. He 
married, and has issue — (a) Reginald Percy, a 
Captain in the Army ; (b) Walter Douglas ; 

(c) Fanny Julia, who married Robert Watson ; 

(d) Florence, who married John Barras, with 
issue ; (e) Alice Maud, (3) Charles Frederick. 
(4) James Ochterlony. (5) Rev. Reginald 
Chambers, Vicar of Frampton, Dorchester. 
(6) George E'lward Russell. (7) Rev. Grant 
William. (8) Henrietta Frances. (9) Caroline 
Eliza. (10) Catherine Austen, who married 
Rev. W. Johnson, with issue. (11) Ellen Maria, 
who married Colonel Chalon. (12) Alice Susan, 
v^ho married Rev. J. Smith, Madras, with issue. 

(e) Charles Edward, in the Indian Civil Service, married, 

with issue — (1) John, Major-General B.S.C., who 


married, and has (a) Charles, Captain 6th B.C. ; 
(b) Reginald, (c) Flora, (d) Annie, (e) Agnes. 

(f) James, a Captain in the Indian Army, married, with 

issue — Augustus and a daughter, both married. 

(g) Reginald, Lieutenant 17th Lancers, married Miss 

Morris, with issue — Amy, unmarried. 

(e) Flora Frances, who married Edward Wylde, of the 
Royal Navy, without issue. 

(i) Henrietta Louisa Lavinia, married Benjamin Cuff 
Greenhill, of Knowle Hall, Somersetshire. Issue— 
(«!) Lavinia, married Edward Amphlett, with 
issue, a son and daughter ; (6^) Flora, married 
Thomas Hussy, with issue ; (c^) Clare, married, 
with issue. 
Colonel John Macdonald died at Exeter on 16th 
August, 1831, aged 72 years. 

6. Annie, married Major Alexander Macleod of Lochbay, 

Skye, and of Glendale, Moore County, U.S.A., who 
fought in the American War of Independence, as also 
in European Wars, in all of which he greatly dis- 
tinguished himself, and rose to the rank of Major- 
General. Issue — 
(a) Norman, a Lieutenant, who died from effects of a 
wound inflicted by Alexander Macdonald of Glen- 
garry in a duel. 
(b and c) Sons, one of whom married in India. 

(d) Flora, who married Mr Mackay, Forres, with issue. 

(e) Mary, who died unmarried in Stein, Skye. 
Mrs Major Macleod died in 1834. 

7. Frances, who married Lieutenant Donald Macdonald of 

Cuidreach, Skye, with issue. 


This family is descended from 

I. Hugh, youngest son of Donald Mac Iain 'ic 
Sheumais, 3rd of the family of Castle Camus. 
We do not find much recorded regarding Hugh 
of Cuidreach. In 1660 we find himself and 
his mother evidently joint tenants of these lands, 


Her name is mentioned that year along with his in 
a reference made to the approaching close of the 
tack, and to a wadset of Sir James Macdonald to his 
youngest son, Alexander, to take effect after the 
tack expired. For some reason or another, these 
proposals were not carried out, and Hugh, the son 
of Donald Macian, and his descendants after him, 
for generations continued in occupation. Hugh 
married and had a son, 

II. Donald, who succeeded him. Either in 
Donald's or in his father's time, a new wadset of 
these lands must have heen obtained, for in 1691 we 
find Donald Macdonald of Arnishmore appearing 
among the landowners of the Parish of Kilmuir. 
He died about 1700. He married and had a son, 

III, James, who succeeded him at Cuidreach, 
Arnishmore, &c. In 1705, his name appears among 
the gentlemen who were delegated by the baron 
bailie court of Duntulm to hold courts in their 
respective districts in Trotternish. In the will of 
Sir James Macdonald of Orinsay in 1713, he is 
nominated as one of the tutors to his son and heir, 
afterwards Sir Alexander. It was not till 1723 that 
he was served heir to his father. Many of the 
wadsetters and tacksmen got themselves served 
heirs about this time with the view of establishing 
their claims as creditors on the Macdonald forfeited 
estates. James of Cuidreach married and had three 
sons — 

1. Donald, who succeeded. 

2 Hugh, who was schoolmaster at Blaskhills, and died 

without issue. 
3. Murdoch, died without issue. 

James of Cuidreach died about 1730, and was 
succeeded by his eldest son, 


IV. Donald, who appears on record frequently 
during his father's lifetime. In 1737 he made a 
renunciation of Cuidreach and Arnishmore, but he 
received a new tack of Cuidreach, as his descendants 
continued long afterwards in possession of it. He 
died about 1757. He married, and had his successor, 

V. Alexander. He went to the army, and 
fought in the American War as Captain in the 
Regiment of North Carolina Highlanders. He 
married, and had his son and successor, 

VI. Donald. He was a Lieutenant in the 
British Army during the American Revolutionary 
War. He married Frances, daughter of Allan Mac- 
donald of Kingsburgh, by his wife. Flora Macdonald, 
with issue. 


This family derives its descent from 

I. Donald, second son of James Macdonald of 
Castle Camus. He had the same soubriquet as 
his grandfather, Donald, 4th Baron of Sleat, and 
was known as Donald Gruamach Mac James. 
From the frequency of his appearances on record, 
he must have been regarded as a man of con- 
sequence in the internal economy of the Clan 
Uisdein. On 16th May, 1578, John Cunningham 
of Drumqiihassal becomes his surety for appearing 
before the Council as one of the Chieftains of 
Donald Gorm Mor, a position that he occupied 
until his death nearly fifty years later. In 1617, 
Donald Gruamach Mac James is procurator for 
Donald Gorm Mor in a precept of Seasing of that 
year, and is referred to as " Donaldus Mac Conal 
alias Gruamach Mac James de Ostaig Actornatus." 



In 1619, Donald Gorm seeks to disown liability for 
Donald Gruamach's compearance before the Privy 
Council on the alleged ground that he was a tenant 
of Macleod's — but the plea was disallowed, nor have 
we any information as to the lands, if any, that he 
held from the Chief of Dunvegan. He married, and 
had — 

1. James, who succeeded him. 

2. Colla, who left no descendants. 

3. John Og, of whom the Macdonalds of Balvicquean, and 

others. He was succeeded by his son, 

II. James. The ascertained facts about him and 
his descendants are comparatively meagre. On his 
father's death in 1 626, he succeeded him as one of 
Donald Gorm's principal chieftains available for 
yearly presentation at the Privy Council. He 
married Mary, daughter of Archibald, the clerk, and 
sister of Sir Donald Macdonald, by whom he had — 

1. James, who succeeded him. 

2. A daughter, who married her second cousin, Alexander, 

son of Donald Macdonald of Cuidreach. 

He died about 1660, and was succeeded by 

III. James of Capstill. He held a command in 
the Sleat contingent under Macdonald of Castleton 
at Dundee's Rising for King James in 1689, and 
was among the gentlemen of Clan Uisdein, cousins 
of Sir Donald, who perished on that field. Accord- 
ing to Martin, on the night of the battle of Killie- 
crankie, his cows in Skye gave blood instead of milk, 
which was regarded as a serious omen at a time of 
peril. James of Capstill married, and had a son 
John, who succeeded. 

IV. John of Capstill appears on record in 1686 
and 1697, but little further is known of his history. 
He married, and was succeeded by his son, 

V. James, with whom this branch of the Clann 
Domhnuill Ghruamaich terminated. 



This family is descended from 

I. John Og, second son of Donald Gruamach 
Mac James. While James, the older son of Donald 
of Ostaig, remained in the native region of SI eat, 
John Og appears to have migrated to Troternish, 
where he and his descendants are to be found in the 
lands of Rigg and Balvicquean. John Og married, 
and had — 

1. James, who succeeded him. 

2. Kauald, who also lived at Trotevnish, and is buried 

there. He married, and had a son James, who lived 
at Troternish, and is buried there. James married, 
and had a son Archibald Ban, who settled in North 
Uist, having gone there along with Ranald, son of Sir 
James, 2nd Baronet of Sleat, when he became tacks- 
man of Baleshare. From Ranald of Baleshare he held 
the lands of Grianan. He died at Grianan, and was 
buried in Roilig Chlann Domhnuill in Kilnmir Church- 
Yard, North Uist. Archibald Ban married, and had — 

(a) James. 

(b) Rev. Coll Macdonald, for many years minister of 

Portree, and highly respected by all classes of his 
parishioners. He was twice married, with issue, 
a daughter. 

(c) Marion, who married Donald Macdonald, grandfather 

of the late Rev. Hugh Macdonald of Trumisgarry. 
James the older son of Archibald Ban Grianan, settled at 
Torlum, Benbecula, in the parish of South Uist. He 
married Christina, daughter of Malcolm Macdonald of 
the Siol Ghorraidh tribe in ISorth Uist, and had 
issue — 
(a) Rev. Donald Macdonald, minister of Stencholl, in 

Skye, who died unmarried. 
(b; Norman, tacksman of Nunton and Vallay. 

(c) Archibald, tacksman of North Bay, Barra, who died 


(d) John, who died young. 


(e) Catherine, who marriiid Archibald Macdonald of 

AUasdale, Barra, with issue. 
Norman, second son of James Macdonald, Torlum, was for 
many years tacksman of the farms of Nunton in 
Benbecula, and of Vallay in North Uist. He was 
one of the most capable and energetic farmers in the 
Western Isles, and was held in much esteem by a 
large circle of friends as one of the most genial and 
hospitable of men. He married Jessie, 3rd daughter 
of Rev. Roderick Maclean, minister of South Uist, 
with issue — (a) Rev. Donald John Macdonald, Minister 
of Killean and Kilkenzie, a clergyman of the highest 
character, who commands great respect throughout 
the district of Kintyre. He married Margaret, 
daughter of the late Robert Colvill of Bellgrove, 
Campbeltown ; (b) James, who succeeded his father 
as Tacksman of Nunton and Vallay, now abroad ; 
(c) Roderick, M.D., now in Australia ; (d) Norman, 
in Australia ; (e) Lizzie ; (/") Christina, who married 
James Macrae, LL.B., solicitor, Glasgow, with issue ; 
(g) Flora, who married Mr Whitaker in Australia. 
John Og, son of Donald Gruamach Mac James, was 
succeeded in the representation of this branch by his 
oldest son, 

II. James. He married, and had issue — 

1. Donald, who succeeded. 

2. John, who died without issue. 

III. Donald of Balvicquean and Rigg. He 
married, and had issue — 

1. James, who succeeded. 

2. John, who had Balvicquean and Rigg. 

3. Anna, who married John Macdonald of Griminish and 

Scolpig, with issue. 

4. Mary, who died unmarried. 

He died c. 1720, and was succeeded by 

IV. James, who, though the oldest son, did not 
hold Balvicquean and Rigg, but is designed of 
Kendrom, which is adjoining the former lands. He 
married a daughter of John Martin of Kingsburgh- 
more, and had^issue. He was succeeded by his son, 


V. Donald Gruamach. He married, and had 
issue — 

1. John, 

2. Margaret, who married Donald Macdonald of Skeabost, 

with issue. 

VI. John Macdonald, an officer in the Custom 
House in Stornoway. He married, and had — 

1. John, who went to Jamaica, and died without issue. 

2. Donald, captain of a vessel trading with China, who 

married Margaret, daughter of Donald Macdonald, 
of Skeabost, and had three daughters — Johanna, 
Margaret, and Jemima. 

3. Maigaret, died unmarried. 

4. Betsy, died unmarried. 

5. James, died unmarried in Jamaica. 

6. Barbara, died unmarried. 

7. David, went abroad. 


This family — one of the most important of the 
Cadets of Sleat — derives its descent from 

I. Donald, youngest son of Sir Donald Mac- 
donald, first baronet of Sleat, by his wife Janet, 
daughter of Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie of 
Kintail. Donald, who was designed of Castleton, 
in Sleat, was a distinguished soldier, and as Colonel 
commanded the Clan Uisdein contingent at the 
battle of Killiecrankie. He possessed either by 
tack or wadset the lands of Castleton, Knock, 
Totamurich, and Camuscross, and of these he 
obtained a new wadset from his brother, Sir James 
Macdonald, in 1665. He likewise held the lands of 
Ord, Croswaig, Tockvaig, and Tarsgavaig, also in 
the barony of Sleat. In 1691, he appears on the 
Valuation Roll of Inverness as a landowner in the 
county. He died before 1700, but the particular 


year is not on record. He married Margaret, 
daughter of John Cameron of Lochiel, and had — 

1. Ranald, who succeeded. 

: 2. John of Castleton. Former genealogies have been con- 

structed on the principle that the descendants of 
John of Castleton were the senior family, and on 
becoming extinct in the male line, writers have gone 
back to Camuscross to carry on the representation. 
This course is entirely unsupported by the evidence 
on record. The seuior line of Donald of Castleton 
consisted of the descendants of Ranald of Camuscross, 
to whom we shall return after disposing of the 
descendants of John, the younger son. He married 
Anne, daughter of John Maclean of Boreray, with 
issue — 

(a) Donald, who succeeded. 

(b) Archibald. 

(c) Margaret, who married, as his second wife, Sir James 

Macdonald of Oransay. 

(d) Florence, who married Alexander Macdonald of 

Kingsburgh, with issue. 

(e) Isabella, who married John Mackinnon of Kinloch, 

with issue. 

(f) Mary, married Alexander 2nd of Glenmore, with issue. 

John Macdonald, 2nd of Castleton, died about 
1720, and was succeeded by his older son, 

2. Donald. He was a prominent and distinguished per- 

sonage in the 18th century Annals of the House of 
Sleat. He, along with his chief, espoused the Govern- 
ment side at the '45, and commanded one of the Skye 
Companies during the Jacobite Rising. He afterwards 
became a Colonel in the British Army. He wrote a 
letter to President Forbes after the '45, which has 
been printed among the Culloden papers, and in 
which he appealed for the release of Alexander of 
Kingsburgh, who had become implicated in the rescue 
of Prince Charles. The letter was written on behalf 
of Lady Margaret Macdonald, and through the inter- 
vention of the President the appeal was successful. 
He died about 1760. He married Isabella, daughter 
of William Macleod of Hamer, with issue, his suc- 


3. John Macdonald of Castleton, Sheriff-Substitute of Inver- 
ness. He married Margaret, daughter of Macleod 
of Arnisdale, Glenelg, with issue — 

(a) Donald, who died in Skye, without issue. 

(b) Norman, who died in the West Indies, without issue. 

(c) Alexander, a major in the Army, died in the East 

Indies, without issue. 

(d) John, a captain in the Army, died at Skii-inish, in 

1833, without issue. 

(e) Magnus, died in the East Indies, without issue. 

(f) William, a captain in the Army, died in the East 

Indies, without issue. 

(g) Flora, died unmarried. 
(h) Catherine. 

(i) Margaret. 

Sheriff Macdonald died at Skirinish on 25th 
December, 1826, at the advanced age of 87, and his 
wife died there in February, 1835, aged 89. 

3. Archibald, died without issue. 

4. Mary, married her cousin. Sir Donald Macdonald, 4th 

Bart, of Sleat, with issue ; and (2nd) Alexander 
Macdonald, 1st of Boisdale, also with issue. 

Donald Macdonald, 1st of Castleton, was succeeded 
in the senior representation of the family by his 
elder son. 

II. Kanald. For some reason unexplained, his 
father did not, according to use and wont, provide 
that the succession to Castleton, the original hold- 
ing, should be vested in his older, but rather in his 
younger son, John, whose descendants we have just 
traced. Instead of this, Ranald, in 1670, got 
seasing of the five penny lands of Tarsgvaigbeg, 
and of the five penny lands of Tarsgvaigmore, and 
in 1673 he obtained a wadset for the same lands, 
with Ord, Crossvaig, and Tockvaig additional. 
Both he and his brother John appear on record 
respectively as younger of Castleton, and Ranald 
also appears as younger of Ord. We do not find a 


trace of Ranald after 1689, and we are inclined to 
think that he was one of the five cousins of Sir 
Donald Macdonald who fell at Killiecrankie. This 
seems confirmed by a line from a poem by John 
Lorn Macdonald, the Lochaber bard, in which he 
laments the losses sustained by Sir Donald upon 
that field. In the course of the poem he says : 

^'B'ann diubh Kaonull is Eoin is Seumas." 

Ranald of Camuscross married, and had — 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. John, who succeeded Angus. 

3. Christina, who, in 1707, married Somerled Nicolson of 


He was succeeded by his son, 

III. Anc4US. He appears repeatedly on record 
as Angus Macdonald of Tarskvaig, one of the 
properties contained in the wadset of 1673. He 
married, and had a daughter, Mary, but left no 
male issue. He died in 1728, and was succeeded 
in the representation of the family by his younger 

IV. John. He is at Barivaig in 1713, and on 
his succession to his brother Angus, is designated 
both as of Culnacnock and Camuscross. He married, 
in 1716, Rachel, daughter of Rev. Donald Nicolson, 
of Scorribreck, minister of Kilmuir, in Skye, and 
had issue — 

1. Roderick, of Camuscross. 

2. Archibald, of Culnacnock, who died without issue. 

3. A daughter, who married Martin Martin, Marishadder. 

John died in 1734, and was succeeded in the senior 
representation of the family by his older son, 

Y. Roderick, who was known in his day as 
Ruairidh Mac Iain. He married (1st) Anne, 
daughter of John Macleod of Drynoch, with issue — 


1. Alexander, who succeeded. 

2. James, of Tormore and Knock. He married Grace, 

daughter of Major Macdonald of Breakish, with issue, 
a son, who married Miss Mackay, Inverness, without 
issue. He appears m 1776 as a freehold voter of 

3. Donald, who with his older brother James was joint 

tacksman of Tormore. 

He was a captain of marines, from which he retired 
before 1774, in which year he was enrolled a freeholder 
in Inverness-shire, a liferent and disposition having 
been assigned in his favour by Lord Macdonald of the 
lands of Tormore and others. He married Elizabeth 
Macfarlane of Gavistock, with issue — 

(a) Alexander, who succeeded at Tormore. He married 

Isabella, daughter of Alexander Chisholm of Samala- 
man and Lochans, Moydart, and had — 

(a^) Alexander, died young. 

(b^) Donald, the present representative, unmarried. 

(c^) Malcolm Neil, an indigo planter, residing at Willow- 
vale, Nairn. He married Ethel, daughter of 
Rev. Mr Wright, with issue — (a) Donald, (b) 
Somerled, (c) Malcolm. 

(d^) John Macleod. 

(e^) Eliza, who married Mr Hutchins, Edinburgh, with 
issue — (a) Macdonald, (b) Ada, (c) Ella, who 
married D. A. Martin, son of the late Rev. 
Angus Martin of Snizort. 

(f^) Penelope, who married Roderick Maclean, M.D., 
South Uist, son of Rev. Roderick Maclean, parish 
doctor there, with issue — a daughter, Isabella, 

(g^) Barbara Diana, who married Mr Oxley, with issue. 
They emigrated to America. 

(h^) Annabella, who married Mr Oxley, brother of her 
sister's husband, with issue. They also emi- 
gi'ated to America. 

(i^) Johanna, who married Dr Edward Campbell, Medical 
Officer for Sleat, with issue — a son, Donald. 
Captain Donald of Tormore died in 1799, and 
his son Alexander died in 1857. 

(b) Roderick of Caps till, a Captain in the Army. 

522 THE CLAN DOi^ALt). 

(c) Anne. 

(d) Jennie. 

(e) Diana. 

(f) Magdalene. In 1788, Roderick Mac Iain, their grand- 

father, bound himself to make provision for them, 
they being all under age at the time. 

Roderick Macdonald of Camuscross died about 1790, 
and was succeeded in the representation of the 
family by his oldest son, 

VI. Alexander. He married Jane, eldest 
daughter of the Hon. Captain John Johnstone of 
Staple ton, second son of James, second Earl of 
Hartfell, who was created Earl of Annandale in 
1661, and had — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Alexander, Avho married A.nne Salterford, and had an only 

son, Alexander, who died in infancy. 

3. Mary, who died young. 

He was lost at sea on the Irish Coast in 1758, in 
which year his wife also died, and was succeeded by 
his older son, 

YIL Donald. He married Johanna Manning, 
and had — 

1. James, his successor. 

2. Donald, a Lieutenant in the 62nd Regiment. He 

married Susan, daughter of Denis MacCarthy of Kil- 
coleman, with issue— (a) James, (b) Donald, (c) Jane. 

3. Johanna, who married George Gwynne. 

He died in 1804, and was succeeded by his eldest 

VII I. James. He was one of the claimants for 
the Annandale Peerage, through his grandmother, 
Jane, daughter of the Hon. Captain John Johnstone 
of Stapleton. He married Catherine, daughter of 
Denis MacCarthy of Kilcoleman, and a sister of his 
younger brother's wife. He had — 

The genealogy of clan donald. 523 

1. Donald, who died unmarried in 1853. 

2. James Alexander, a Wesleyan minister in England. 

3. Sir John Denis, K.C.B., M.D., F.R.S., Inspector-General 

of Hospitals and Fleets, R.N. He was born in 1826. 
He married (1st) Saiah Phebe, daughter of Ely Walker 
of Stainland, with issue — (a) James Alexander Walker, 
who died in infancy ; (b) John Denis, (c) William 
Richard, (d) Elyna Mai-y, (b) Catherine Janet. 

He married (2ndly) Erina Christiana Cunningham, 
daughter of Rev. William Archer, M.A., of Wicklow. 

4. Jane Masters, who married William Richard Rogers, 

M.D., with issue. 

James Macdonald died in 1865, and was succeeded 
in the representation of the family by his son, 

IX. The Eev. James Alexander Macdonald. 
He married Harriet, daughter of Edward William 
Mackie, with issue — ■ 

1. Rev. James Alexander Donald John, Wesleyan Minister. 

2. Edward William Johnstone. 

3. Rev. Roderick John Johnstone, M.D. 

4. Somerled Hector Norman. 

5. Harriet Flora. 

6. Catherine Amelia. 


This family is descended from Hugh, second son 
of Sir James Macdonald, 2nd Baronet of Sleat. In 
a deed of entail by Sir James, executed in 1657, 
Hugh is mentioned as next heir after Donald, after- 
wards Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat. His father 
gave him a feu charter of the lands of Glenmore, 
Glenteltine, Skirinish, and others, in the year 1661. 
In 1691, he is entered in the Valuation Roll of the 
County of Inverness as a freeholder of considerable 
standing. He married, first, in 1671, Anne, 
daughter of Alexander Robertson of Struan, Chief 
of the Clan Roberison, and had by her — 


1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Angus of Penbeg. 

3. Janet, who married John Macdonald of Lochgarry, 

brother of Glengarry. 

4. Margaret, who married Donald Macqueen, Minister of 


Hugh married, secondly, in 1682, Katherine, 
daughter of Colonel Allan Macdonald of Kytrie 
(Cadet of Glengarry), and by her, who afterwards 
married Archibald Macdonald of Barisdale, had — 

5. Hugh, Minister of Portree. He graduated at King's 

College, Aberdeen, in 1719, and in 1726 was presented 
by the Crown to the Parish of Portree. He married, 
in 1729, Elizabeth, daughter of John Macdonald of 
Balconie, son of Sir James Macdonald of Sleat, by his 
second marriage, and had 

(1) Alexander, a Major in the Army, proprietor of Court- 
hill, Lochcarron, and latterly Tacksman of Monkstadt, 
in Skye. He married a daughter of Alexander Mac- 
donald of Cuidrach by Annabella, daughter of Hugh 
Macdonald of Armadale, and half-sister of Flora 
Macdonald. By her Major Macdonald had — 

(a) Alexander, who died unmarried. 

(6) Hugh Peter, tacksman of Monkstadt, who married 
Jessie, daughter of Donald Macdonald of Skae- 
bost, and by her had — (a^) Alexander. He 
emigrated to Australia, and was twice married. 
One of his sons is Hugh Macdonald, M.P. for 
Coonamble, and a newspaper editor in New 
South Wales, (b^) Donald, sometime factor for 
Lord Macdonald in North Uist, who married 
Jessie, daughter of James Thomas Macdonald of 
Balranald, with issue, all in Australia, (c^) John. 
(d^) Hugh, (el) Bosville. (/i) James, (g^) Mar- 
garet, (h^) Jessie, (i^) Julia, (j^) Johanna. 
(k^) Eliaa. 

(c) Elizabeth, who married Alexander Macleod of Lus- 

kintyre, without issue. 

(d) Alice, who married Dr Miller, Stornoway, and had 

Johanna Eliza, and Janetta Macdonald. 

(2) James, (3) John, (4) Janet, (5) Alice, (6) Margaret, 
and other nine children. 


The Rev. Hugh Macdonald of Portree died in 1756. 
Hugh Macdonald of Glenmore died May 6th, 1696, 
and was succeeded by his son, 

II. Alexander. He was one of the curators 
of Sir Alexander Macdonald of Sleat during his 
minority. He married, first, Mary, daughter of 
John Macdonald of Castleton, and had by her — 

1. Hugh, his successor. 

2. Somerled, who, in 1734, received a tack of the lands of 

Brogaig and others from Sir Alexander Macdonald. 
He afterwards received a lease of the lands of Bresk- 
lan. He married Isabella Maclean, and had — (a) 
Alexander, (b) Donald, (c) Hugh. 

3. John. 

Alexander married, secondly, Mary Macleod, and 
had by her — 

4. Anne, who married Donald Macqueen, minister of Kil- 

muir, with issue. 
Alexander died in 1735, and was succeeded by his 


III. Hugh. He married Janet, daughter of 
Donald Macdonald of Garth, and had — 

1. Alexander, whose issue, if any, is extinct. 

2. Hugh, born in 1737, an officer of the 59th Regiment. 

He was at Bantry, in Ireland, with his regiment in 
1762. He married, in 1762, Abigail Susanna, 
daughter of Colonel Evans, and had — 

(a) John, born 1765. He served with the 4th Cavalry, 

The Black Horse (afterwards the 7th Dragoon 
Guards). He married Anne Belton, and had 
John Dixon, and others, of whom the male issue 
is extinct. 

(b) Alexander, born 1770. 

(c) Hugh, born 1777. He served in the 25th Regiment. 

married Mary French, and had issue, now extinct. 

(d) Henry Francis, born 1779. He married, in 1811, 

Mary Frances, daughter of Rev. Peter Mosse, 
M.A., of Clonrusk, and had (a) John Mosse, bom 


1814, died, without issue, in 1850; (b) Henry 
Francis, born 1816, M.A., T.C.D., Canon of 
Christ Church, Dublin, Rector of Athy. He 
married, in 1845, Margaret, daughter of Gilbert 
Cockburu, and died in 1891, leaving issue — 

{a}) Henry Francis, born March 8th, 1846, M.A., 
T.C.D., Canon of Derry, Rector of Ramelton, 
married June 11th, 1874, Marion, daughter of 
— Tyler (which name he has since assumed, 
and has (1) Henry Hervey Francis, born February 
13th, 1887, B.A., Selwyn College, Cambridge. 
He is in the Indian Civil Service ; (2) George 
Mosse, born December 28th, 1881, Lieut. Royal 
Artillery ; (3) John Ronald Coltier, born March 
6th, 1889 ; (4) Margaret ; (5) Aileen Maura ; 
(6) Marion Eirene ; (7) Theodora Frances ; 
(8) Flora. 

(61) John Mosse, born April 24th, 1851, Vicar of 
Sherfield, married Miss King, and has John 
Henry Lloyd, born March llth, 1892; Douglas 
King, born October 8th, 1894 ; and Margaret 

(c^) Thomas Mosse, born in 1853, B.A., T.C.D., in 
Holy Orders. 

(c?i) Gilbert Stewart, born Ajjril 12th, 1855. 

(e^) Augustus Le Clere, born June 6th, 1856, Royal 
Irish Constabulary, married in 1883 Kathleen, 
daughter of Rev. William Dockeray, and has 
Ronald Francis Keith and Margaret Esme. 

(/I) Charles Montague, born March 6th, 1860, Royal 
Irish Constabulary, married Katherine, daughter 
of Dr Riugland. 

(g^) Margaret Celestina, who married Surgeon-General 
Charles B. Mosse, C.B., C.M.G., and died June 
2nd, 1892, leaving issue — (1) Arthur Henry 
Eyre, born September 28th, 1877, Lieutenant 
Indian Army ; (2) Herbert Augustus; (3) Cecil; 
(4) Mary. 

(A^) Frances Emma. 

Thomas Mosse Macdonald (third son of Henry 
Francis Macdonald and Mary Frances, daughter 
of the Rev. Peter Mosse), born May 14th, 1820, 


M.A., Canon of Lincoln, Rector of Kersal. He 
married, March 14th, 1848, Loveday Lavinia, 
daughter of William Carson, and has — 

1. Henry Francis, born January 28th, 1851, M.A., 

Hertford College, Oxford, Vicar of St Paul's, 
Leamington. He married, in 1877, Helen, 
daughter of Jonathan AylifF of Grahamstown, 
and died June 11th, 1878, without issue. 

2. William Mosse, born August 9th, 1856 (hon. 

captain in the Army), late Captain 3rd Battalion 
Cameron Highlanders. He married, November 
15th, 1888, Helena, daughter of Samuel Harvey 
Twining, and has — (a) Ronald Mosse, born 
December 9th, 1890; (l>) Stuart Hugh, born 
May 16th, 1893. 

3. Thomas Mosse (twin with William), born August 

9th, 1855, M.A. Brasenose College, Oxford (New- 
digate Prize, 1879), Vicar of West Malvern, 
married, September 2nd, 1903, Annie Louise, 
daughter of John Spooner. 

4. Frederick Charles, born March 22nd, 1860, M.A. 

Oriel College, Oxford, Vicar of Cnrist Church, 
Gateshead, married, April 25th, 1901, Maude, 
daughter of Jonathan Ayliff of Grahamstown, 
and has Harry Frederick, born June 25th, 1902. 

5. Loveday Elizabeth, died young. 

6. Maiy Frances, died 1864. 

7. Constance Gertrude, who married, July 10th, 1879, 

Theodore Drayton Grimk^ Drayton, of Clifford 
Manor, Gloucestershire, and has (a) Christopher 
de Vere Drayton, born July 16th, 1882, B.A. 
Trinity College, Cambridge ; (6) Alan Drayton, 
born July 16th, 1885, Roy. Mil. Acad., Woolwich ; 
(c) Hugh Drayton, born 16th August, 1886; 
(cl) Norman Drayton, born March 6th, 1887 • 
(e) Gertrvide Drayton ; (/") Winifred Judith 

8. Amy Lavinia, who married, June 7th, 1893, Vernon 

Roberts, and has (a) Hugh Macdonald Vernon, 
born October 16th, 1899 ; (b) Sheila Macdonald 

9. Florence Mary, who married, November 14th, 

1894, the Rev. Robert Noble Ferguson Phillips, 


M.A , Vicar of Emmanuel Church, South 

Abraham Augustus, the fourth son of Henry 
Francis Macdonald and Mary Mosse, died young. 
His sister.i were (1) Eliza, (2) Abigail Susanna, 
who died in 1899, nged 86 ; (3) Eliza Frances. 


This family is descended from 

I. John, second son of Sir James Mor Mac- 
donald, Second Baronet of Sleat. He received some 
time before his fathei-'s death in 1678 a wadset of 
Totscor and other lands in the district of Troternish. 
He married, and had two sons, who appear on 
record — 

1. Donald. 

2. Norman. 

John died about 1710, and was succeeded by his 
older son, 

II. Donald, as wadsetter for the lands of 
Totscor, Pennymore, and others. He died without 
issue before 1721, and was succeeded in the repre- 
sentation of this family by his brother, 

III. Norman, who appears among the gentle- 
men of Troternish in 1721. He died about 1740. 
He had a son, John of Kinlochdale, of whom the 
family of Bernisdale and Scalpay. He was drowned 
in 1748. He married Margaret, daughter of Rev, 
Donald Nicolson of Scorribreck, minister of Kilmuir 
in Skye, and had issue — 

1. Donald, who succeeded his father at Kinlochdale. 
He was a freeholder, in 1777, in the lands of* Glen- 
more and others. He had a son, Hugh, who appears 
on record in 1810, 


2, Archibald, whose son, Donald, served in the Penin- 

sular War, and was a Captain in the 42nd lleginient. 

3, Norman. He is a frechohler of (Jamboll in 177C. 

He was a favourite with Sir James Macdonald, the 
"Scottish Marcellus," who, in his will dated 16th 
July, 1766, at Rome, left him a legacy of £100. 
This sum he discharges as late as 1801. He 
acquired the estate of Bernisdale in Snizort, and was 
tacksman of Scalpay island in tlie Parish of Strath, 
Skye. Sir Alexander, the first Lord Macdonald, 
refers to him in 1795 as "a man who had seen 
much of the world, having been in France, Italy, 
and America." He died 28th December, 1823. He 
married Susannah, daughter of Pvanald INI'Alister of 
Skirinish, and had — 

(a) James, who died in China in Lord MacArtney's 


(b) Lieut.-General Sir John Macdonald, G.C.B. He 

entered the Army in 1795 as Ensign in the 
89th Regiment, and had a distinguished career, 
attaining the rank of Lieut.-General. He became 
Adjutant-General of the British Army in 1830, 
and Colonel of the 42nd Regiment in 1844. He 
died in London on the 28th of March, 1850. He 
married Dora Graham, an Indian heiress, and 
had — (1) Norman, who was for many years Vice- 
Chamberlain at the Court of St James', and died 
unmarried. (2) Henrietta, who married General 
Sir George Buller, C. P., who cummamled the 
Rifle Brigade in the Crimean War, without issue. 
(3) Julia, who married Sir Rowland Stanley 
Errington, Bart, of Hooton, and had — (a) 
Claudine, who died yoxuig ; {/>) Ethel, who 
married Evelyn Baring, now Earl Cromer : (r) 
Venetia, who married Lord Pollington, after- 
wards Earl of Mexborough. 

(c) Colonel Archibald Macdonald, K.H. He entered 

the Army as Ensign in S9th Regiment, served 
throughout the Peninsular War, and was Adju- 
tant-General in the East Indies at the time of 
his death, which took place at Bengal in 1827. 
He married Maria, daughter of Rev. Mr King, of 



Cork, and had — (1) Norman, Governor of Sierra 
Leone ; (2) General John A. M. Macdonald, C.B., 
Indian Staff Corps ; (3) Maria, who married a 
Mr Beamish, Cork ; (4) Louisa, who married a 
brother of her sister's husband. 

(d) Lieut. - General Alexander Macdonald, C.B. He 
entered the Royal Artillery in 1803, and served 
with great distinction throughout the Peninsular 
War. He married Susanna Strangways, niece of 
the Earl of Ilchester, and died without issue in 

(b) Captain Ranald Macdonald, who died in India. 

(f) Captain Donald Macdonald, who died in India. 

(g) Matthew Norman Macdonald, W.S., of Ninewells. 

He married, first, Catherine Finnic, a West 
Indian heiress, and had — (1) Major-General 
Norman Macdonald, who married, and died 
without issue in 1892. (2) Susanna, who 
married Dr John Burt, Edinburgh, and had 
Dora, who married Lieut. -General Sir John C. 
Macleod, G.C.B., with issue j and Annie, who 
married a Mr Wells. (3) Dora, who died un- 
married. Matthew Macdonald married, secondly, 
Grace, daughter of Sir John Hay, Baronet of 
Smithfield and Haystoune, and had — (a) The 
Right Hon. Sir John Hay Atholl Macdonald, 
a prominent Advocate and Judge. He has been 
Solicitor-General and Lord Advocate in successive 
Conservative Administrations, Sheriff first of 
Ross and afterwards of Perth, a Judge of the 
Court of Session, and now Lord Justice-Clerk, 
with the title of Lord Kingsburgh. He has 
shewn great aptitude for military affairs, and 
was for years Colonel-Commandant of the Edin- 
burgh Rifle Volunteers, a position from which he 
retired some years ago. He is also the author of 
an important publication on military tactics. He 
married Adelaide Jeannette, daughter of Major 
Doran of Ely House, Wexford, and had— (1) 
Norman D., advocate ; (2) John ; (3) Lieutenant 
Ranald Hume Macdonald, of the Royal Engin- 
eers, (b) Mariella, who married a Mr Borthwick. 


Matthew Macdonald married as his third wife 

Miss Hume of Ninewells, Avhose name he assumed. 
(h) Anne, who married the Rev. Donald Martin, Minister 

of Kilmuir, afterwards of Abernethy, with issue, 
(i) Louisa, who married Dr Burt, Edinburgh, with issue, 
(j) Flora, who married Mr Bridges, Edinburgh, with 

(k) Diana, who married a Macdonald in London, without 

(l) Frances, who married Major Macrimmon, with issue, 

Ca^Dtain Norman Macrimmon. 
(m) Catherine, who died at Scalpay. 
(n) a daughter, who died young, 
(o) Margaret, who married Donald Nicolson of Scorry- 

breck, with issue. 


The Macdonalds of Sartle are descended from 
L — SoMERLED, 4th son of Sir James Mor Mac- 
donald, 2nd Baronet of Sleat. He married Mary, 
daughter of Murdo Macleod, Tutor of Raasay, and 

had — 

1. Donald, who succeeded. 

2. Ranald, who in 1717 claimed as heir general to his 

father. He is designed in 1728 as in Messin, and 
afterwards, in 1734, as of Daleville. He married 
Margaret, widow of John Macdonald of Totamurich. 
with issue — (a) James of Daleville, and (b) Angus of 

3. Hugh, who was in the Government Service in the '45, 

and played a prominent part in the doings of that 
time. He was captain of one of the Independent 
Companies, and was in Uist at the time of the 
Prince's escape. The fact that he was Flora Mac- 
donald's stepfather greatly facilitated the arrange- 
ments by which Charles was got safely to Skye. 
Had he been a determined enemy, the plot would 
never have succeeded. He had the lands of Camus- 
ci'oss in 1753, but was better known as Hugh Mac- 


donald of Armadale, where lie lived and acted for 
some 3^ears as factor for the Barony of Sleat. He 
married Marion, daughter of Rev. Angus Maedonald, 
of South Uist — the Ministear laidear — and widow of 
Ranald Maedonald of Milton, father of Flora Mae- 
donald, the heroine of the Prince's escape. They 
had— (a) James, who was an officer in the Scots 
Hollanders ; [h) Annabella, who married Alexander 
Micdonald of Cuidrach, with issue. 
4. Margaret, who married Alexander Maedonald of the 
Ardnamurchan family of Maclan. It is interesting 
to trace the genealogy of this Alexander, who stands 
clearly on record — as well as his father — as occupying 
the lands of Borniskittaig. He was patronymically 
called Alastair Og, the son of Alexander, son of 
Angus, son of John, son of Donald, and thus quite 
clearly connected with the main Ardnamurchan line. 
This branch probably migrated to the friendly terri- 
tory of the kindred clan Uisdein, when adverse 
fortune, coupled with Campbell machinations, ren- 
dered their native country unsafe. Alastair Og, the 
husband of Margaret, lived first at Borniskittaig and 
afterwards at Sartle. Their son was Captain Somer- 
led Maedonald of Sartle, who was a captain in the 
British Legion, and greatly distinguished himself in 
the first American War. In 1811 he was living, and 
aged 78, his only child in life being then out of the 
kingdom. He married a second wife, whose name is 
not recorded, at the age of 94, and left three children 
under 10 when he died, in 1839, at the patriarchal 
age of 106. 

Somerled 1st of Sartle died about 1700, and was 
succeeded by his oldest son, 

IT. Donald. He was served heir to his father 
in 1723. He married Janet, daughter of John 
Maedonald of Borniskittaig, and had — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Alexander, who succeeded Donald. 

3. James. He was a joiner in Leith, and one of the few 

Macdonalds from Skye that took an active pai't in 
the '45 rising. 


Donald died about 1728, and was succeeded by his 
oldest son, 

III. Donald. In addition to the lands of 
Sartle, lie also, presumably through his mother, 
obtained the wadset of Borniskittaig in 1732, which 
had belonged to his grandfather John, son of Archi- 
bald, the Ciaran Mabach. The wadset was renounced 
in 1734. Donald died in 1740 without issue, and 
was succeeded by his brother, 

IV. Alexander. He married Margaret Mac- 
donald, daughter of John of Totamurich, and had — 

1. Angus, his successor. 

2. Somciied. 

3. Isabella, who married Donald Martin of Bealach. 

Alexander died about 1744, and was succeeded by 
his son, 

V. Angus. He left no issue, and on his death, 
before 1750, the tenure of Sartle passed into the 
hands of his brother, 

YI. SoMERLED, who appears ill 1750 as brother 
and heir of the deceased Angus Macdonald of Sart- 
hill. Somerled died without issue about 1790, and 
with him the male line of Somerled of Sartle, 4th 
son of Sir James Macdonald of Sleat, terminated. 
Upon this, possession of the tenancy was taken by 
Captain Somerled Macdonald of the British Legion, 
who was the husband of Margaret, grand-aunt of 
the last occupier. 


This family is descended from 
I. Roderick, 5th son of Sir James Macdonald of 
Sleat. He qualified as a lawyer, and carried on a 


writer's business in Edinburgh. He married, in 
1669, Janet Ritchie, and had by her — 

1. John. 

2. James, died without issue. 

Roderick died before 1693, and was succeeded in 
the representation of this branch by his son, 

II. John. He did not adhere to the law busi- 
ness in Edinburgh, but became Chamberlain of 
Sieat, for which he no doubt had acquired a good 
business training, and in this capacity we find him 
on record in 1693. He also obtained a tack of the 
lands of Totamurich and Knock, with which his 
descendants were for generations afterwards con- 
nected. He married, as her first husband, Margaret 
Macdonald; and had — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Koderick. He qualified as a notary in 1733, and both 

in that and the following years he is on record us 
Eory Macdonald of Totamuricli. Here he lived till 
1753, during which period his name frequently 
appears. In 1753 he changed his residence to 
Sandaig, and here we find him as late as 1765. 
He married and had a son, Alexander, of whose 
posterity, if any, we have no information. 

3. Archibald. In 1748 he is factor for Sleat, and is atyled 

Captain Macdonald of Tarsgivaig. In 1753 he is 
found at Knock, having evidently entered into pos- 
session of the tack after his older brother's death. 
He died before 1775. He married Annabella Mac- 
kinnon, and had issue a daughter, Margaret. 

4. Margaret. 

John of Totamurich died in 1733, and was succeeded 
by his son, 

III. Donald. In 1728 a wadset of Barivaig 
and Castleton is given in favour of Donald Mac- 
donald in Knock. His name is frequently in 
evidence as son of John Macdonald of Totamurich 


and also as tacksman of Knosk. He married Mary 
Mackinnon, widow of Rev. Martin Macpherson, 
minister of Sleat, and had — 

1. Allan, who succeeded. 

2. John, who died without issue. 

3. Penelope. 

Donald of Knock died before 1748, and was suc- 
ceeded in the representation of the family by his 

IV. Allan. He was a noted supporter of the 
Government during the troubles of 1745-6, at which 
time he was major in one of the Independent Com- 
panies. It is recorded that he was particularly 
inveterate in his severity towards the Jacobites of 
Skye, and for this reason the name of Ailein a' 
Chnuic won an unenviable notoriety in the tradi- 
tions of the island. After his father's death, he 
does not appear to have lived at Knock, his military 
duties imposing residence in other parts of the 
kingdom. Besides this, his uncle, Archibald of 
Tarskivaig, undoubtedly succeeded Allan's father at 
Knock ; and John, Allan's brother, resided with his 
ether uncle, Roderick, at Sandaig. In 1762 Allan 
was situated at Bantry with his regiment, the 59th 
Foot, in which he held a captain's commission. He 
ultimately attained to the rank of major. He lived 
during his latter years in the town of Ayr, where 
he died towards the end of the 18th century. He 
married, and had at least one son, 

V. General Donald Macdonald. He fought 
in the American Revolutionary War, and com- 
manded the troops in which Allan Macdonald of 
Kingsburgh, husband of Flora Macdonald, com- 
manded a brigade. 



This family is descended from 

I. Ranald, a natural son of Sir James Mor, 2nd 
Bart, of Sleat. He was born in Skye about 1660, 
and was brought up in his native island. Early in 
the 18th century he became tacksman of Balishare 
in North Uist, and lived there during the remainder 
of his life. He seems to have become factor for Sir 
Donald Macdonald's estate of North Uist about the 
same time that he went to Balishare, and continued 
to discharge the duties of that position until 1733, 
when he was succeeded by Ewen Macdonald of 
Vallay. His name is associated with the abolition 
of the ancient custom of herezeld, which had been 
illegal for 100 years, but continued to exist in 
the Outer Isles. He married Marion, daughter 
of Donald Macdonald, 18th of Clanranald, and relict 
of Allan Macdonald, 5th of Morar, with issue — 

1. Hugh, who succeeded. 

2. Ranald, who was a brazier in Edinburgh, and who died 

without issue. 

3. Donald Roy. 

4. A daughter, who married Donald Campbell of Seal pay. 

(/I) Donald Roy Macdonald, 3rd son of Ranald Mac- 
donald, 1st of Balishare, was one of the few ')f Sir 
Alexander Macdonald's following who espoused the 
fortunes of Prince Charles in 1745. He fought at 
CuUoden, where he held a Captain's Commission, and 
was wounded in the foot. He, however, found his way 
in safety to Skye, and was there at the time of the 
Prince's arrival from Uist linder the escort of Flora 
jNIacdonald. Donald Roy was in the secret of the 
Prince's movements, and was much consulted by his 
Skye friends as to plans for his further safety. He was 
despatched from Monkstadt to Portree and thence to 
Raasay, and carried out the arrangements with young 


Macleod of that Island for securing a suitable boat to 
convey him thither. After the troubles of the '45 were 
past, Donald settled down in his native parish of North 
Uist, where he conducted a school for many years, in 
which a good education was imparted to the children of 
the gentry in that region. For this work he was 
admirably fitted by his classical attainments, as is shown 
by the ode composed in Latin to his foot injured at the 
battle of Culloden. Shortly before 1764 Donald Roy 
became tacksman of the lands of Kyles-Bernera, at the 
North end of North Uist, apparently combining the 
busuiess of a farmer with that of an instructor of youth. 
His name apijears prominently on record in connection 
with the lawsuit of Macdonald of Sleat versus Macleod 
of Dun vegan re the seaweed rights in the Sound of 
Bernera. The last reference we have to Donald Roy is 
in a letter written on the subject of the lawsuit by 
Donald Macdonald of Balranald on 2nd June, 1770. It 
is probable that his death took place a few years later. 
We do not find any record of his marriage, nor of any 
immediate descendants save a son, 

{B) Hugh, through whom Donald Roy's race was 
perpetuated. He lived at Port Clair, in the Parish of 
Boleskine, and married Janet Fraser. By her he had — 
(a) Alexander, who lived at Balcharuach, in Dores 
Parish. He entered the army, and having 
served for some time he retired, and went to live 
at Inverness, where he died. He married, in 1804, 
Marjory Fraser, and had a son, (a^) Charles. He 
enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders in 1820, and 
served in that regiment for 27 years. After retiring 
and receiving his pension, he obtained a com- 
mission as Quartermaster in the Edinburgh 
County or Queen's Regiment of Light Infantry 
Militia, now 3rd Battalion Royal Scots. With 
these he served for 23 years, retiring with the 
rank of Captain in 1879. He died in 1883. He 
married with issue [a^) Alexander, who held a 
Government appointment in Australia, where he 
died. He married Mary MacGilchrist, with issue 
(a^) Annie, who married Alexander Mack, Head- 
master, Bonnington School, Leith, with issue, a 


son, Rev. Charles Mack, Minister of Hutton and 
Corrie. Captain Charles married (2nd) Jane, 
daughter of John Smith, ironfounder, Inverness, 
and had (6^) John James, Agent, Commercial Bank 
of Scotland, Comrie, who married (1st) Elizabeth 
Barclay, daughter of David Haig, Librarian, 
Advocates' Library, and has a daughter Marjorie. 
He married (2nd) Bessie, daughter of James 
Scott, Edinburgh ; (c^) Walter Scott, H.M. Cus- 
toms, Kimberley, South Africa, who married 
Therese Delarey, Capetown, and had (a^) Violet, 
(h^) Ranald, (c^) May, (#) Ian ; (e^) Archibald, 
who died young. 

Ranald Macdonald of Balishare died In 1742, and 
was buried in Kilmuir Churchyard, North Uist. 
He was succeeded by his oldest son, 

II. Hugh, 2nd of Balishare. Though he did 
not join the Prince openly, like his younger brother 
Donald, Hugh was a secret sympathiser, being fully 
cognizant of his movements in the Long Island, as 
well as of the scheme for his rescue. He visited 
Charles Edward in the hut at Corrodale, and with 
Macdonald of Boisdale took part in at least one 
symposium in that lone retreat. Hugh was a 
prosperous man, and acquired by purchase an 
important estate in the Southend district of Kin- 
tyre. This consisted of part of the lands of 
St Ninians, namely, Machreoch, Knockmorrell, Kil- 
moshenechan, Blaisdall and Eden, Penlochan, Penny- 
sirach, Auchroig, and Cubrachan. Hugh died in 
1769, aged 63, and the fact has been embalmed in 
one of the verses of an elegy composed by John 
MacCodrum, the North Uist bard : — 

An aon mhile 's a seachd ceud- 
Tri fichead bliadhna 's a naoidh, 
Ghabh Uisdean cridhe chead duinn, 
Tri fichead 's a tri b' e aois. 


He was buried in Kilmuir Churchyard, North Uist, 
and a stone was erected over his tomb bearing an 
inscription, which is now illegible. Hugh was never 
married, but he left two children by Etfrick Mac- 
aulay, Uleray — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. Isabella, who married a Mr Burnett. 

He was succeeded in his estates both in Uist and 
Kintyre by his son, 

III. Donald. Although not a strictly lawful 
son, his father apparently bequeathed to him all the 
privileges of a more regular relationship. It was 
for his behoof that the Kintyre property was 
purchased, whence he was known in his day as 
" Tighearn nam peighinnean," the lord of the Penny- 
lands, such being a designation of his Kintyre 
property. Donald was factor of North Uist, suc- 
ceeding Neil Maclean of Kerseva, and lived a 
good deal in the island of Kirkibost, of which he 
had a tack along with Balishare. He was a man 
of somew^hat eccentric character, and in his latter 
days became mentally deranged. In the year 1800 
he was living at Kirkibost, and having mysteriously 
disappeared, his body was found a few weeks after- 
wards above high-water mark at the back of the 
Island. The previous year he executed a Trust 
Disposition and Settlement, in which his Kintyre 
estate was vested in his sons. Annuities were also 
left to his sister, Mrs Burnett, and to Effrick 
Macaulay, spouse to John Macllury, Knockline, 
North Uist. Donald, like his father, abjured legal 
matrimony, but left two children — 

1. William, his successor. 

2. James, who died without issue. 

Donald was succeeded by his older son, 


IV. William, in whose time the Kintyre property 
was sold. He was Professor of Natural History in 
the University of St Andrews, and died upwards of 
twenty years ago. He married and had a family, 
all of whom died young. 


This family is descended from 

I. William, third son of Sir Donald Macdonald, 
3rd Baronet of Sleat, by his wife the Lady Margaret 
Douglas. William possessed the lands of Borniskit- 
taig, in the Aird of Trotternish, and was referred to 
sometimes under the former, but more frequently 
under the latter territorial designation. He was a 
man of fine physique and proved courage in the field 
of battle, having fought along with his two brothers. 
Sir Donald and James of Orinsay, at both the battles 
of Killiecrankie and Sheriifmuir, at the latter engage- 
ment holding the rank of Major. Owing to the 
closeness of his relationship to the head of the 
house of Sleat, he was, after the death of his brother. 
Sir James of Orinsay, and in terms of the latter's 
will, appointed Tutor or principal guardian to Sir 
Alexander, his nephew, who was onl}'' a child of ten 
at the time. His personal influence in securing the 
forfeited estates in Skye and Uist to his brother's 
family is said to have been a large factor in the 
successful accomplishment of that design. Besides 
being the prop of the principal family during their 
time of adversity, he was held in the highest 
esteem by the people of his native island. He lived 
and died at Aird House, about two miles north of 
Duntulm Castle, and the house he occupied is still 
called " An Taoigh tear," or the " Tutor." He was 

1. Dr K. N. Macdonald. 

2. Alex. Macdonald of Vallay. 

3. vSir Richard G. McDonnell. 

4. Colonel Alex. Macdonald of Lyne- 

dnle and Balrauald. 
5. Captain Alex. Macdonald, Knockow. 


married twice — (1st) to Catherine, daughter of Sir 
Ewen Cameron of Lochiel ; and (2nd) to Janet, 
daughter of Lauchlan Maclean of Vallay. His 
family consisted of — 

1. James, his successor at Aird. 

2. Donald. He appears in 1723 as giving in a claim as 

creditor upon the forfeited Estate of Sleat, where he 
is described as the son of William Macdonald of 
Borniskittaig. In 1728 he had a tack of Kin«isburgh, 
but in 1738 is still living at Borniskittaig. He died 
before 1749. He married Margaret Maclean, and had 
issue, a son, Donald, who was also at Kingsburgh, 
but who died without issue. 

3. Ewen, of whom afterwards. 

4. Archibald, He was tacksman of Sasaig, and married 

Mary, daughter of John Macdonald of Balconie. He 
left no issue that survived him. 

5. John. In 1735 he was tacksman of Kendrom in 

Troternish, as well as bailie for that barony. In 
1740 he received from Sir Alexander Macdonald of 
Sleat a tack of the lands of Kirkibost, Kyles, and 
Balranald in North Uist, and about that time, or 
shortly thereafter, he wa? appointed factor on Sir 
Alexander's estate of North Uist. He had command 
of one of the Independent Companies during the 
Rising of 1745. He died before 1750. He married, 
and had issue, a daughter, Margaret, who, after her 
father's death, received a tack of the farm of Paiblis- 
garr}' in North Uist, and died unmarried. 

6. Allan, who in 1734 received a tack of Grealine, and died 

without issue. 

7. Christian, died unmarried. 

8. Marion, died unmarried. 

9. Janet, died unmarried. 

10. Barbara, died unmarried. 

11. Florence, who, in 1719, married Rev. Aeneas Macqueen, 

minister of Snizort, Skye, with issue. 

William, Tutor of Macdonald, died in 1730, and was 
succeeded by hivS oldest son, 


II, James Macdonald of Aird, who commanded 
one of the Independent Companies In the '45. He 
married Catherine, daus^hter of Ranald Macdonald 
of Kinlochmoydart, with issue — 

1. A son, who is said to have gone to Australia, where he 

died without issue. 

2. Catherine, who married Donald Macdonald of Balranald, 

with issue. 

3. Isabella, who married Captain Charles, eldest son of 

Allan Macdonald of Kingsburgh by his wife. Flora 
Macdonald of Milton, without issue. 

4. Mary, who died unmarried. 

James died about 1772. The descendants of James 
and Donald, the Tutor's two oldest sons, having died 
without male issue, the succession of this branch 
was carried on by 

EwEN, brother of James of Aird, and the Tutor's 
third son. Ewen went to Vallay — which before his 
time had been in the occupancy of Lauchlan 
Maclean, father of the Tutor's second wife — in 
1727. In 1733 he received a commission of factory 
for North Uist, succeeding in that office Ranald 
Macdonald of Balishare. This post he filled for 
ahout seven years, when he was succeeded by his 
younger brother, John Macdonald of Kirkibost, in 
1740. In 1742 Ewen married Mary, daughter of 
Rev. Lauchlan Maclean, minister of Coll, and had 
issue, one son, William, who succeeded. Ewen 
Macdonald was a fine specimen of the typical 
Highland gentleman, and an excellent performer on 
the bagpipe. He was also a skilful composer of 
piobrochs, and his " Cumha na Coise," composed on 
the occasion of Sir James Macdonald being 
accidentally shot in the foot while on a shooting 
expedition in North Uist, is one of the best of that 


class of Highland music. The music was wedded to 
words, of which one verse at least survives — 

Mo ghaol mo ghaol, do chas threubhach 
Dha 'ii tig an t-osan 's am feileadh ; 
Bu leat toiseach nan ceudan 
'N am feidh bhi 'g an ruith. 

Ewen died in 1769, as is demonstrated by a 
reference in Mac Codrum's elegy to Hugh of Bali- 
share, and was succeeded by his only son, 

HI. William. He married Mary, daughter of 
Alexander Macdonald of Boisdale, with issue — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Ewen of Griminish, who was a lieutenant in the army. 

He married Jane Bruce, and had issue — 

(a) William, died without issue. 

(b) Ewen, died without issue. 

(c) Harriet, who married Major Oakes, H.E.I.C., with 


(d) Mary, who married General Tod, H.E.I.C.S., with 

issue— Ewen Macdonald Tod. Mr Tod, who lives 

in Edinburgh, is a notable authority on angling, 

has contributed valuable articles on the subject 

to sporting journals, and has in recent years 

published an important and well-informed work 

on the subject of dry fly fishing. 

Ewen of Griminish was celebrated in song by one of 

the Uist bards, Alexander Macdonald, the " Dall Mor," 

an enthusiastic admirer of the Vail ay family. 

3. Mary, who married Rev. Allan Macqueen, minister of 

North Uist, with issue — 

(a) Donald, who was an officer in the army. 

(b) Mary, who died unmarried. 

4. Susan, who married Rev. James Macqueen, minister of 

North Uist, with issue — 

(a) Rev. William Macqueen of Trumisgarry. 

(b) Alexander, an officer in the Macqueen East ludiaman. 

He died unmarried. 

(c) Alice, married Captain Alexander Maclean, Hosta, of 

the 79th Cameron Highlanders, with issue. 


5. Margaret, who married as her first husband Captain 

Mackinnon, without issue. She married, secondly. 
Captain Mertoun of the merchant service, with issue, 
an only daughter, Mary. She died unmarried. 

6. Janet, who married John Macdonald, Malaglet, without 

, issue. 

7. Catherine, who died unmarried. 

On the authority of John Mac Codrum, the North 
Uist bard, William Macdonald of Vallay died within 
six months of his father's death — 

Mu 'n d' thainig leth bhliadhna slan 
Chaile sinn fear Bhalaidh 's a mhac. 

He died in 1770, and was succeeded in the repre- 
sentation of the famil}' by his older son, 

IV. Alexander. In 1777 he obtained a tack 
of Vallay and Malaglet, and in 1796 received a com- 
mission of factory for North Uist from Sir 
Alexander, first Lord Macdonald. At the latter 
date he held the rank of captain in the Fencibles 
raised in that time of national emergency, and was 
afterwards promoted to the rank of major. Alex- 
ander Macdonald, the blind bard of North Uist, 
composed some felicitous verses in eulogy of Major 
Macdonald, which, along with the song to his 
brother Ewen, have been printed in the Uist Col- 
lection. He married, in 1786, Harriet, daughter of 
Coiin Macdonald of Boisdale, with issue — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Margaret, who married Neil Maclean, C.E., Inverness, 

with issue, several children, all of v/hom died young. 

She died in 1854, aged 69. 
• 3. Mary, who died in 1868, aged 82. 
4. Isabella, who married Rev. Nfil Maclean, minister of 

Tiree, with issue — 

(a) Donald Maclean, M.D., \\ho married Jane Cameron 

of Glen Nevis, without issue. 

(b) Alexander, who went to Australia. 


(c) Lilias Margaret, who married Mr Mitchell of Wood- 

lands, Stirling, and died without issue in 1877. 

(d) Mar\' Flora, who died young 

(e) Isabella, who married Mr Camerou of Glen Nevis, 

with issue. 

(f) Harriet, who died unmarried. 

Alexander died about 1820, his wife surviving him 
till 1839, which year she died at Inverness, and was 
succeeded by his only son, 

V. Alexander. He was born 14th July, 1788. 
He was a midshipman in the Eoyal Navy, and 
afterwards served a short time in the Army. The 
traditions of North Uist describe him as of 
splendid physique, one of the most athletic men 
of his day, and, withal, a true Highland gentle- 
man. About 1825 the family left Vallay, and went 
to live in the ancestral region of Troternish, where 
Alexander was for a number of years tacksman of 
Airdviceolan. He married, on 2nd February, 1826, 
Flora, daughter of Duncan Macrae of the Inverinate 
family, captain in the Royal York Eangers, with 
issue — 

1. Duncan, who died young. 

2. Alexander Ewen. 

3. William John, of whom afterwards. 

4. Macrae, who went to Australia unmarried. 

5. Colin Hector went to Australia, nnd married there, with 


6. Duncan, went to Australia, and married there, with 

issue several sons and daughters. 

7. Christina Mary. She married Rev. John W. Tolmie, 

minister of Bracadale, and afterwards of Contin, with 
issue — 

(a) John, Register House, Edinburgh, married Alex- 

andrina, daughter of Donald Macrae, Luskintyre, 
with issue. 

(b) Rev. Alexander Macdonald Cornfute, M.A., minister 

of Southend, Kintyre, unmarried. 



(c) Hugh Macaskil], who went to Australia, unmarried. 

(d) Gregory, who went to New Zealand. He married 

Ethel Briton, with issue. 
(b) Margaret Hope, who married Rev. Archibald Mac- 
donald, minister of Kiltarlity, with issue (inad- 
vertently omitted from Clangorrie genealogy) — 
(a) Marion Margaret Hope, (b) Christina Mary, 
died in infancy, (c) Flora Amy Macruari. 

(f) Mary Macrae, married Robert Smith, Glasgow, with 


(g) Flora Macdonald, who married Charles Hoffman Weth- 

rall, V.S., Allahabad, N.W.P., India, with issue. 
(h) Williamina Alexandrina. 
8. Harriet Margaret. She married Alexander A. Gregory, 
Inverness, with issue — 

(a) Alexander, married Miss Stewart of Murdiestoun, 

with issue. 

(b) William. 

(c) Neil. 

(d) John, in the R.N. 

(e) Reginald. 

(f) Margaret Maclean, married Francis Foster, H.M. 

Customs, with issue. 

(g) Harriet, married William Lindsay Stewart of Murdies- 

toun, with issue. 
(h) Catherine Christina, married Charles William Dyson 
Perrins, of Davenham, Worcestershire, and of 
Ardross, Ross-shire, with issue. 
9. Mary Isabella, married Rev. Kenneth A. Mackenzie, 
LL.D., Kingussie, with issue — 

(a) John, who died young. 

(b) Mary Flora, who married Dr De Watte ville, King- 

ussie, with issue. 

(c) Elizabeth Hannah Frances, unmarried. 

Alexander Macdonald, 5th of Vallay, died of fever 
in 1845, and was bm^ied in the Churchyard of 
Kilmuir. He was succeeded in the representation 
of the family by 

VI. Alexander Ewex. He went to Australia 
and married there, but his male descendants havino- 



become extinct, the representation of the family of 
the Tutor of Macdonald has devolved upon the 
third son of Alexander 5th of Vallay, Senator for 
British Columbia, 

VII. The Hon. William John. He was born 
in Aird, Skye, in 1832. Having been educated 
partly by private tutors and partly in the Parish 
School of Kilmuir, he acted as secretary to Admiral 
Fishbourne, who administered the Destitution Fund 
in Skye in 1847 and 1848. In 1851 he received an 
appointment in the service of the Hudson Bay 
Company as one of its secretaries, arriving in 
Victoria, now the capital of British Columbia, after 
a voyage of 190 days. On the discovery of gold in 
that province in 1858, Mr Macdonald acted in 
various capacities, such as collector of customs, 
postmaster, coroner, captain of a mounted company 
to guard the coast from Indian depredations, and 
commissioner to organise the free school system, and 
road commissioner. He was elected to the Legis- 
lative Assembly of British Columbia in 1859, elected 
Mayor of Victoria in 1866, and for the second time 
in 1871, called to the Legislative Council on the 
Union of the Colonies of Vancouver Island and 
British Columbia in 1867, and called to a seat in 
the Senate of the Dominion of Canada on the 
Colony joining the Federation of the North 
American Colonies. He married Catherine Balfour, 
daughter of Captain James Murray Reid, of tlie 
Hudson's Bay Company, v/ith issue — 

1. Keginald James, Captain in the Royal Artillery. He 

married Madge, daughter of Dr Scliofield, Loudon, 
with issue, Reginald Alastair. 

2. William Balfour, Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. He 

married Isabella, daughter of Colonel Capel Mier, of 
the Cameron Highlanders. 


3. Alastair Douglas, B.A. of Cambridge, and Barrister of 

the Inner Temple, Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers; 
served some years in India. 

4. Flora Alexandrina, married Gavin Hamilton Burns, of 

the Bank of British North America, with issue. 

5. Edythe Mary, married Ernest Fleet, Captain R.N. 

6. Lillias Christina, unmarried. 


This family is descended from 

I. Archibald, third son of Sir Alexander Mac- 
donald of Sleat by his wife, Lady Margaret 
Montgomery. He was born in 1747 after his 
father's death. He studied for the legal profession, 
and was in due time called to the English Bar. He 
had a most distinguished professional career, and 
attained to the position of King's Counsel at a 
comparatively early age. In 1777 he was elected 
M.P. for Hindon, and at the General Election of 
1780 was returned for Newcastle-under-Lyne, being 
afterwards re-elected in 1784 and 1790. In 1780 
he was appointed to a Welsh Judgeship, in 1784 he 
became Solicitor-General for England, and Attorney- 
General in 1788. In 1793 he became a Privy 
Councillor, and the same year was advanced to the 
position of Chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer. 
In 1813 he was created a Baronet. He married in 
1777 Lady Louisa, eldest daughter of Granville 
Leveson Gower, first Marquis of Stafford, and had 
issue — 

1. James, his successor. 

2. Francis, a Captain in the R.N.; died 1826, without 


3. Caroline Margaret, who died young. 

4. Louisa, died unmarried 

5. Susan, who died young. 




6. Caroline Diana, who married Rev. Thomas Randolph, 
M.A., Prebendary of St Paul's, Chaplain to Queen 
Victoria, and Rector of Hadham, Herts. She died 
13th December, 1867. 

Sir Archibald died on 18th May, 1 826, and was suc- 
ceeded by his older son, 

II. (Sir James, who was born 14th February, 
1784. He was in 1805 elected M.P. for Newcastle- 
under-Lyne, and re-elected in 1806 and 1807. He 
afterwards represented Calne. In 1829 he was 
elected M.P. for Hampshire, and was appointed one 
of the Clerks of the Privy Seal. He died of cholera 
in 1832, having just been appointed in May of that 
year High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. He 
married, 1st, on 5th September, 1805, Elizabeth, 
daughter of John Sparrow of Bishton, Stafford- 
shire, without issue. He married, 2nd, on 10th 
August, 1810, Sophia, eldest daughter of William 
Charles, 4th Earl of Albemarle, with issue — 

1. Archibald Keppel, his successor. 

2. Granville-Southwell, died young. 

He married, 3rd, on 20th April, 1826, Anne 
Charlotte, daughter of Rev. Saville Ogle of Kirkley 
Hall, County Northumberland. Sir James was 
succeeded by his older son, 

III. Sir Archibald Keppel Macdonald, 
Baronet of East Sheen, County Surrey. He was 
born on 15th October, 1820, and was educated at 
Harrow. He was a Captain in the Scots Fusilier 
Guards, from which he retired in 1849, and equerry 
to the late Duke of Sussex. He was a Deputy- 
Lieutenant and Magistrate of Hampshire, and was 
High Sheriff of the County in 1865. He died in 
1901. He married, 1st, on 1st May, 1849, Lady 
Margaret Sophia Coke, daughter of Thomas William, 


1st Earl of Leicester, which lady died without issue 
on 4th November, 1868. He married, 2iid, on 25th 
November, 1869, Catherine Mary, widow of the 
Hon. Thomas Ed\vard Stonor, and daughter of 
J. Conkhurst, of Gargrave Hall, Yorkshire, with 
issue — 

1. Archibald John, born 2nd February, 1871. 

2. Mary Catherine. 

Sir Archibald was succeeded by his son, 

IV. Sir Archibald John Macdonald, Bart, of 
East Sheen, the present representative. He married 
in 1900 Constance Mary, daughter of Rev. H. M. 
Burgess, of Bramshott, Hampshire. 


The MacLavertys, whose name is spelt in various 
forms, as McLeverty, MacLarty, and McLardy, are 
descended from the Family of the Isles, and had 
their original habitat in Kintyre. They broke out 
early from the main stem, and claim descent from 
the founder of the Monastery of Saddell. The pro- 
genitor of the family from whom they take their 
name was known as Fear Lahhairt an Righ, or the 
King's Speaker, who received this distinction from 
the circumstance of his being employed by the King 
of the Isles as special ambassador to hostile tribes at 
feud with that potentate. The office appears to 
have become hereditary in the family. The name 
arose, as we have it in its present form, from Mac- 
Labhairt, or son of the Speaker. It is on record in 
1524 in the form of Maklafferdich, one of the Clan 
Donald following in Kintyre. On the disjoersion of 
the Kintvre branch of the Clan Donald in the first 


half of the 1 7th century, the MacLavertys followed 
many of them to the Antrim Glens in Ireland. 

Tver MacLaverty, who was born in the North 
of Ireland in 1667, and whose father possessed an 
estate of five farn)s near Cushendall, came over to 
Kintyre, no doubt, to claim the lands of which his 
family had been deprived. One of the places 
originally occupied by the family was Chisken, and 
another is believed to have been Keill. Iver settled 
in Machairemore, and leased several farms from the 
Argyll family. He died at Machairemore, October 
12, 1724, and was buried at Kilcolmkill, where his 
tombstone is still to be seen bearing his coat of arms, 
the quarterings clearly showing his descent from the 
Family of the Isles. In the first quarter is a dexter 
hand couped and erect (Lamh Dhearg) ; in the 
second the fi-ont of an ancient monastery ; in the 
third two stars of six points ; and in the fourth a 
galley surmounted with an eagle displayed. 

Iver MacLaverty left issue — 

John, who married Agnes Robertson, and had — 

1. James, born 19th June, 1726. He married, and had a 

family, but no male descendants have sm'vived. 

2. Archibald, born 18th October, 1728, and has no repre- 


3. Alexander, born 12th June, 1731. 

4. Angus, born 25th May, 1735. 

Alexander, the third son of John, who owned 
some merchant vessels trading to the West Indies 
and 'America, married Jane Johnston (heiress, and 
Ward*of Campbell of Skipness), descended from 
Alexander Macdonald, son of Glencoe, who escaped 
from the Massacre in 1692. By her he had — 

1. Colin, born November 16, 1756. 

2. John, who died young. 

3. Archibald, who died young. 


4. Alexander, who was born in 1772, and married Isabella 

Rattray, and had (1) Colin, who married Miss East, 
and three sons and three daughters ; (2) Alexander, 
M.D., who married Miss Iver, and had (a) Iver, 
Colonel R.A., who married, and has a family ; (b) 
Alexander, Rector of Llangattock, Monmouth, who 
married, and has a family ; (3) Isabella ; (4) Jane. 

5. Annie, born November 3, 1757. 

6. Margaret, born June 1st, 1761. 

7. Jeanie, born 23rd January, 1767. 

Colin, the eldest son of Alexander, held in 
early life a Lieutenant's commission in the 24th 
Regiment, in which he served during the American 
War of Independence. He was also M.D. of Edin- 
burgh. He married in 1795 Elizabeth Susanna 
Breon, of Chestervale, Jamaica, and had — 

1. Edmund, who died in Jamaica. 

2. Colin, who died in Greenock. 

3. Alexander, who died at Campbeltown. 

4. Edmund, who died at Campbeltown. 

5. John Freeman. 

6. Mary Anne, who died at Jamaica. 

7. Jane Johnston, who married Colonel Fullartcn, of the 

Rifle Brigade and 86th Regiment, without issue. 

8. Suf5an, who died in Edinburgh. 

9. Mary Anne, who married Rev. Mr Campbell, with issue. 

John Freeman MacLaverty, who was born at 
Sanda House in 1806, succeeded to Keill and 
Chestervale, Jamaica, on the death of his father in 
1834. He married in 1842 Annie Barbara Brodie, 
daughter of Alexander Brodie and Louisa Mercer. 
He died at Mount Devon, Dollar, in January, 1882, 
havirjg had issue — 

1. Colin Edmund Breon, brrn 1845; died 1877. 

2. Graeme Alexander. 

3. William, born 1848; died 1866. 

4 John Freeman, born 1851 ; died in Jamaica, 1882. 
5. George Francis, born in 1852 ; died the same year. 


6. James Eyton Camitbell, born in 1855. 

7. Charles Louis, born in 1856. 

8. Louisa, born in 1843 ; died in 1897. 

9. Elizabeth Susanna, born in 1847 ; died 1899. 

10. Margaret Elizabeth, born in 1853. 

11. Jessie Brodie, born in 1858. 

12. Annie Barbara Forbes, born in 1859. 

Graeme Alexander MacLaverty, now of 
Chanting Hall, Hamilton, born at Keill, 22nd 
March, 1840. He is an enthusiastic clansman, and 
has for years taken an active interest in the affairs 
of the Clan Society in Glasgow. He married at 
Singapore, in 1879, Eliza Anne Lockhart, only 
daughter of Thomas M'Call, of Craighead, Lanark, 
and grand-daughter of Eobert Lockhart of Castle- 
hill, and has — 

1. Ronald Graeme, born at Singapore, 7th November, 1879. 

2. Iver Edward Breon, born at Hamilton, 12th December, 


3. Constance Maud Lockhart, born at Hamilton, 3rd 

October, 1884. 


When the Macdonalds of Ardnamurchan, 
patronymically known as Maclains, were driven out 
of their native territory, in the first half of the 17th 
century, many of them found shelter in the other 
territories of the clan, principally on the Clan ran aid 
Estates. One family at least settled in Morayshire, 
to the members of which occasional references are to 
be found on record. Several members of this family 
were afterwards merchant burgesses of Elgin. One 
line of this branch, descended from John Maclain, 
has survived and preserved its identity. The name 
is variously spelt even by members of the same 


family. It Is to be met with at home and abroad as 
MacKain, MacKean, and MacKeand. 

Archibald MacKain, merchant, Elgin, son of 
James, son of John, of the Ardnamnrchan family, 
married Elspet, daughter of Andrew Leslie, mer- 
chant, Elgin, son of Andrew Leslie, of the Glen of 
Rothes, cadet of the Earl of Rothes. By her he 
had a son, James, of Bungay, Suffolk, who left Scot- 
land in 1776, and married Annie Honywood, who 
died in 1827. He died in 1828, and left issue— 

1. James, born in 1782 ; Naval Officer, in charge of Lisbon 

Dockyard, 1808-15, and subsequently of H.M. Dock- 
yards, Pembroke, Sheerness, and Woolwich. 

2. Elizabeth, born 1787, married John Graham Dow, with 

issue, two daughters. 

3. Archibald William, born 1789, and had issue, Archibald 

and James. 

James married Catherine Lewis Dobbin, daughter 
of Captain William Dobbin, R.N., who died in 
1844. He died at Bordeaux in 1845, and had 
issue — 

1. James Dobbin, born 1822 ; died 1847. 

2. William Fergus, born 1825. 

3. John Honywood, born 1826 ; died 1875. 

4. Archibald Elgin, born 1830 ; died 1864. 

5. George Innes, born 1833. 

6. Frederick, born 1835 ; died 1853. 

7. Kate Evelyn, born 1824 ; married Sir Humphrey- C. 

Jervis-White-Jervis, Bart., and died in 1895. 

8. Harriet Johanna, born 1828 ; married Adolphe Renaud, 

and died in 1890, leaving two sons and two daughters. 

9. Anne Elizabeth, bom 1838 ; died 1847. 

Wiilliam Fergus, late of the Admiralty, 
married Catherine Anne Dobbin, and had — 

1. William James, born 1854. 

2. Fergus Henry, born 1856, civil engineer, married Georgia 

Anna Smith, with issue, two sons and four daughters. 
He died in 1896. 


3. Charles Sydney, born 1858. 

4. John Elgin, born 1860, married, 1890, Margarite Lejeune 

Vincent, and has two sons and one daughter. 

5. Katie Mary Isobel, born 1861 ; died 1879. 

6. Edith, who married Dr F. T. G. Pritchard, Dewsbury, 


7. Alice, who married Rev. G. F. Seaton, British Chaplain 

at Homburg, with issue, two daughters and one son. 

William James MacKain, Clerk In Holy 
Orders, Rector of Parham, Sussex, 1890-94. He 
married Helen Clifford Morecroft, and has — 

1. James Fergus, Lieutenant in the Indian Army, born 1885. 

2. Clifford Arthur, born 1887. 

3. Irene Helen, born 1891. 

The MacKain arms are : Argent, three Bendlets 
Vert, on a chief gules a demi-eagle, or with the 
motto—" Le Tout Ne Vaut Pas La Moitie." 


The Darroch tribe is very probably — as is claimed 
by its members — a real branch of the Macdonald 
Clan, though the received origin of the name and its 
traditional connection with an oak stick may well be 
regarded as a legend very naturally growing out of 
the particular form which the name has assumed. 
The sept is styled in Gaelic Clann 'ille Riahhaick, 
sometimes Clann Domfmuill Riahhaicli, and in 1623 
we find a family of this name in Skye entering into 
a Bond with Sir Donald Macdonald, 1st Baronet of 
Sleat, in which they acknowledge him as their chief, 
and he promises them due protection. Whether 
this is the origin of the claim to belong to the Clan 
Donald cannot be determined. In more modern 
times the island of Jura is the nursery of the race, 
and there the name is most frequently met with in 


its special form of Darroch. In this form it is 
supposed to be a corruption of the words Dath 
riabhach, or brindled colour, to distinguish the sept 
from those of the Dath buidhe, or yellow colour, 
there being many of the Clan Bowie also among the 
inhabitants of Jura. From the Darrochs of Jura 
have sprung the family of Gourock and Torridon, 
whom we now proceed to trace genealogically from 
their founder. 

I. Duncan Darroch. He was born in Jura 
before the middle of the 18th century, and having 
goDe to push his fortune in Jamaica, he succeeded so 
well that on returning to Scotland in 1784 he pur- 
chased the estate of Gou,rock, on the Clyde, from 
the existing owners, the Stewarts of Castlemilk. 
About that time he matriculated arms, and the 
story of the oak cudgel found an honourable if also 
a somewhat mythical position on the shield. Duncan 
Darroch of Gourock died in the early years of the 
19th century. He married, and had a son, 

II. Duncan Darroch, who succeeded him at 
Gourock. He had a command in the Glengarry 
Fencibles, and eventually attained to the rank of 
Lieutenant-General. In 1799 he commanded the 
Glengarry Fencibles, with the local rank of 
Lieutenant-Colonel, and received the public thanks 
of the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland — Marquis Corn- 
wallis — for bringing the regiment into a proper 
state of discipline. There had been, prior to his 
holding the command, great feuds between the Pro- 
testants and Roman Catholics, which he succeeded in 
appeasing. He died 16th February, 1847. General 
Darroch married in February, 1799, Elizabeth, 
daughter of the Rev. George Sackville Cotter, M.A., 
Rector of Ighter Morrough, and granddaughter of 


Sir James L. Cotter, baronet, of Rockforest, Ireland, 
by whom he had — 

1. Duncan, his heir, born 19th February, 1800. 

2. George Sackville, born 15th June, 1801 ; died 14th 

August, 1802. 

3. Donald Malcolm, born 21st August, 1805; died May, 


4. Donald George Angus, born September, 1814. He went 

to the Army, and rose to the rank of Major, He 
married Eliza, daughter of Major Scott, with issue, a 
son, Donald, and two daughters. 

5. Elizabeth Arabella. She married William Wright Swain, 

a Major in the Army, with issue, two sons, William 
and Duncan, and three daughters. 

6. Margaret Janetta Louisa, who married George Rainy of 

Raasay, with issue. 

General Darroch was succeeded by his eldest son, 

III. Duncan Darroch. He went to the Army 
and became a Major. He married Susan, daughter 
of Charles Stuart Parker, of Fairlie, a West Indian 
merchant, and niece of George Rainy of Raasay, 
with issue — 

1. Duncan, his heir. 

2. Charles Stuart Parker, Rector of Medstead, Hampshire, 

who married Alice Maude, eldest daughter of Sir 
Edwin and the Hon. Lady Pearson, with issue — (a) 
Donald Stuart, who died young ; (b) Malcolm Stuart, 
born 4th July, 1876 ; (c) Angus Stuart, born 3rd 
August, 1877. 

3. George Edward, born 22nd April, 1846, who married 

Adelaide Frances, daughter of Richard Valpy, of 
Champneys, Tring, with issue, Richard George 
Hutton, and three daughters. 

4. Eliza Cotter. 

5. Margaret Parker, who married James Stewart of Gar- 

vocks, M.P., with issue — (a) Susan Caroline ; (b) 
Margaret Parker Darroch. She died 3rd October, 

6. Cai'oline Anne, who married R. B. Baxendale, and died 

in 1857. 


7. Susan Louisa, who married John Morgan, Eccles, near 


8. Mary Babrington, who married Duncan MacNeill, of the 

Bank of Scotland, London, with issue, two daughters. 

Duncan Darroch, 3rd of Gourock, died on 13th 
October, 1864, and was succeeded by his oldest son, 
IV. Duncan Darroch of Gourock and Torridon. 
In 1873 he purchased the Estate of Torridon, in 
Ross-shiie, from Lieutenant-Colonel MacBarnet. In 
1864 he married Annie, daughter of S. P. Hickman, 
with issue — 

1. Duncan, his heii', born February 9th, 1868, Captain in 

the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He married, 
on 1st October, 1898, Elizabeth Mabws, daughter of 
Colonel George Fletcher Ottley Boiighley, C.S.I., late 
R.E., and has issue — Duncan, born 6th November, 

2. Alister Ronald, born •22nd April, 1880. 

3. Annie, married, 24th October, 1888, Hon. Gilbert James 

Duke Coleridge, 3rd son of Lord Coleridge. 

4. Caroline Effie. 

5. Helen Margaret. 


The Martins of Skye, whose principal residence 
was at Beallach, though not evidently of the blood 
of the Clan Donald, have always been identified and 
affiliated with the clan. The Martins of Beallach 
for many generations were men of considerable 
importance and high standing in the social life of 
the Isle of Skye. Many of them were men of 
education and culture at a time when thsre were few 
such in the Western Isles. They were closely asso- 
ciated by marriage and otherwise with the family of 
Sleat, under whom they held several wadsets in 


Troternish. Several members of the family acted at 
intervals as chamberlains over the extensive estates 
of the family, and the family papers of Lord Mac- 
donald show that they from time to time took a 
principal part in the management of the Macdonald 

*' AoNGHAS NA Gaoithe," the first of the family of 
whom there is any trace, is said by tradition to have 
been a seafaring man, with no fixed place of resi- 
dence. He received the name by which he became 
known from his wandering life among the Western 
Isles in his galley in all seasons and in all kinds of 
weather. Before he came to the Isles, he, it is said, 
was celebrated for his exploits in Ireland, where he 
fought in the wars of Sorley Buy Macdonald. He 
is said to have married a Danish Princess called 
Biurnag, or Bernice, and had seven sons. Over his 
grave at Kilmuir is a stone representing a recumbent 
warrior, brought by himself from lona. 

Angus's son, Martin, commonly called Gille- 
Martin, from whom evidently the family took their 
name, settled in Troternish, and received a wadset 
of the lands of Beallach from Donald Gorm Mac- 
donald of Sleat. He married Janet Macdonald, a 
near relative of the family of Sleat, and had by 
her — 

1. Donald. 

2. Lachlan. 

3. John. 

4. Angus. 

5. Martin. 

Martin was succeeded at Beallach by his son, 

III. Donald. He fought under the Macdonald 
banner in tliC campaign of Montrose, and acted 
shortly thereafter as chamberlain of Troternish, He 


married Mary, daughter of Alexander, brother of 
Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, and by her had — 

1. Donald. 

2. John. He received a tack of Flodigarry from Sir Donald 

Macdonald, for whom he was factor in Troternish. He 
was " out " at Killiecrankie under Sir Donald. In 
1705 he received a tack of Kingsburgh. He married 
Janet, daughter of Donald Macdonald of Castleton, 
brother of Sir James Macdonald of Sleat, and had by 
her — 

(a) Martin, who succeeded his father at Flodigarry, and 

was chamberlain of Troternish. In 1728, he 
received a tack of the lands of Balvicquean. He 
married a daughter of Lachlan Maclean of Vallay, 
North Uist, and had William Martin, who died 
unmarried in America, and John, a Lieutenant in 
the Army, who succeeded his father at Flodigarry, 
and left three natural sons — William, innkeeper 
at Stenscholl ; Donald, a paymaster in the Array; 
and Angus, planter in the West Indies, Avhere he 
died unmarried. 

(b) Hugh of Grenigle, who left .Janet and Margaret. 

(c) William, who died unmarried. 

(d) Alexander of Svverby. 

(e) Betsy, who married, first, James Macdonald of Cuid- 

rach, without issue. She married, secondly, Rev. 
Donald Macqueen, minister of Kilmiiir, and had 
Isabel, Janet, and Betsy. 

(f) Margaret, who married James Macdonald, commonly 

called " Seumus MacDhomhnuill Ghruamach," of 
Kendrom, and had Donald John, and Janet. 

(g) Christian, who married Donald, son of Rev. Donald 

Nicolson, Aird, with issue. 

3. Martin, who in 1686 was "governor to Donald, younger 

of Sleat." He was the author of " A Voyage to St 
Kilda," which was published in 1697, and of "An 
Historical Description of the Western Isles of Scot- 
land," published in 1703. Martin, who was a man of 
ability and culture, qualified for the medical pro- 
fession, but he never practised. He lived latterly in 
London, where he died unmarried. 


Donald Martin of Beallach was succeeded by his son, 
IV. Donald. Pie also was out witli his brother 
at Kilh'ecrankie. He married Isabella, daughter of 
Macdonald of Cuidrach, and had — 

1. Martin. 

2. Donald. 

3. John. 

4. Mary. 

Donald was succeeded by his son, 

V. Martin. In 1699 he received a tack of Dun- 
tulra. He married Madeline, daui^^hter of Lachlan 
Maclean of Vallay, North Uist, and had by her — 

1. Donald.