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Full text of "An historical account of the Macdonnells of Antrim : including notices of some other septs, Irish and Scottish"

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1243877 



GENEALOGY 



COLLECTION 



.EN COUNTY j'!l!3WjjWJHftj(?j|j II 

3 1833 01342 1869 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



AN HISTORICAL ACCOUNT 



MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM 



Dittos 0f amc 0thr #ejrts, griajr mta %Mn1g. 



REV. GEORGE HILL . 

EDITOR OF THE MONTGOMERY MANUSCRIPTS. 



" |f ang t|jere be fobict! are besirons to- be strangers in tjjeir obm sotte, 
anb forrainers in t&eir oton ritie, tfrcn, mag so continue, anb therein 
flatter tfrcmselbes. for sucb. tike 1 frabe not foritten t^cae tines, nor 
taken tjjese pines."— Camden. 



BELFAST: 
ARCHER & SONS, 10, WELLINGTON PLACE. 

i873- 



1213877 
PREFACE. 




]HE Macdonnells of Antrim are a leading branch of the Scottish Clan- 
donnell, and, as such, they rank among the most distinguished repre- 
sentatives at the present day of the ancient Irish Clann-Colla. Their 
history, therefore, is important, as being bound up with that of a once powerful and 
widely extended race. It is, perhaps, not less so, as preserving an authentic 
account, during many centuries, of the territories in which their leading houses 
were gradually built up — and often suddenly cast down. The records of the 
Antrim Macdonnells are thus found to touch the shores of our North Channel 
with a truly historic light, restoring, so to speak, the ruined castles now crumbling 
on so many bold positions, along the coasts of Antrim and Argyle. Several records, 
' illustrative of this branch, are here printed for the first time, relating to periods 
of great historical interest, and to persons whose names must have been once 
familiar as household words throughout this northern province. 

Of these original records, a few are introduced in the text ; the greater 
number, however, may be found in the Appendix — not arranged in chronolo- 
gical order, but simply to suit the references to their contents arising in the 
course of the narrative. This narrative, the writer has much pleasure in stating, is 
largely indebted for its facts to the admirable calendars of Irish State Papers 
recently printed by the government, and especially to the volumes edited by Hans 
C. Hamilton, Esq., the Rev. Dr. Russell, and John P. Prendergast, Esq., the 
distinguished historian of the Cromwellian settlement of Ireland. 

The foot-notes are occupied with explanations and discussions, which, from their 
variety and extent, could not, obviously, have formed part of the text, but which, in 
a book of this class, it would have been difficult, and perhaps unsuitable, to omit. 



The writer has only, farther, to express his grateful acknowledgments for much 
friendly aid received during his preparation of this volume. To some friends, he is 
indebted for the loan of valuable family papers ; to others, for supplying copies of 
documents that could not have been borrowed ; and to not a few, for kindly com- 
municating local information. To each and all, he now returns his very sincere 
thanks. 

Belfast, November, 1873. 



CONTENTS. 



Pages. 
[ — 20 



I. Princes of the Isles, 

II. The Lords of Isla and the Antrim Glynns, 21—45 

III. COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS, ... ... 



46—II9 



IV. Sorley Boy Macdonnell, 120—193 

V. The First Earl of Antrim, *94— Z 5 X 

VI. Second Earl and First Marquis of Antrim, 252— 3S 1 

VII. Third Earl, and his Successors to the present time, ... 352— 37* 

VIII. Appendix, 373—482 

IX. Index 483 ^ 5I ° 



The Macdonnells of Antrim. 



CHAPTER I. 
PRINCES OF THE ISLES. 




|UR best genealogists, Mac Firbis and O'Flaherty, represent the Macdonnells (i) as 
descended from an Irish prince, named Colla, and surnamed Uaish, or the 
' Noble,' the eldest of three distinguished brothers, who lived in the earlier part of the 
fourth century. These brothers were the sons of Eochaidh Doimhlein, brother of 
the king, and Aileach, daughter of Ubdaire, king of Alba. The coming of this Scottish princess 
to Ireland, and her subsequent residence in the palace of Aileach, so called after her name, 
are celebrated in a very ancient Irish poem. The poet describes the princess as " a mild, 
true woman, modest, blooming, till the love of the Gael disturbed her, and she passed with him 
from the midst of Chind-Tiri (Cantire) to the land of Uladh." Her palace of Aileach, in 
the present county of Donegal, became the residence of the Northern Ui Neill princes, and 
continued to be occupied as such almost to the time of the English invasion. (2) The names of 
her warlike and ambitious sons were Cairell, Muredhach, and Aedh, although they are more 
familiarly known in history as the three Collas. (3) Assisted by their kinsmen and allies on the 
opposite shores of the North Channel, (4) they were able to form a powerful political combination, 
which, in the year 327, placed the eldest brother, Colla Uaish, on the throne of Ireland. He only 
held this position, however, for the space of four years, when he was compelled to give way before 
the claims of a more powerful cousin. Being soon afterwards reconciled to the reigning monarch, 



(I) Macdonnells. — Throughout the following pages, this 
surname will be written as above, except in extracts from 
books, or manuscripts, where the orthography of the 
writers themselves will be strictly preserved. The ori- 
ginal form of the name is Domhnaill, pronounced exactly 
Donndl, and so written by our best Gaelic scholars. Sir 
James Macdonnell, the last in the male line of the lords 
of Isla and Cantire, spelled his surname Makdonall. 
The old families of Keppoch and Glengarry have aban- 
doned the use of the final d, and now adopt the more 
correct orthography. Scottish writers, however, continue 
the use of it, without attempting to account for its 
introduction. See Gregory's History of the Western 
Highlands and Isles of Scotland, pp. 85, 417. 

(2) Invasion. — See the Ordnance Memoir of the 
Parish of Templeiiwn; pp. 224 — 228; Book of Rights, 



translated and edited by O'Donovan, p. 120 ; Cam- 
brensis Eversus, translated and edited by Kelly, vol. i., 
p. 489. 

(3) Three Collas.- Colla, surnamed Uaish,oi the 'Noble,' 
because he had worn the crown ; Colla, surnamed Meann, 
or the ' Stammerer;' and Colla. surnamed da Chrioch, a 
phrase sometimes written FSchri, and translated 
'earthy,' or 'clay-like.' See Manuscript Materials of 
Ancient Irish History, p. 72. 

(4) Channel. — The North Channel was anciently known 
as Sruth-na-Maoile, ' the Current of the Moyle, or Mull;' 
more correctly, Srulhar-na-MaiU Chinntiri, ' the Cur- 
rent of the Mull of Cantire.' This is probably the 
earliest recorded name of the strait referred to. See 
Book of Leinster, as quoted by O'Curry in the Atlantis, 
vol. iv., p. 122. 



2 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

Colla Uaish and his brothers were commissioned to lead an expedition against the Ultomans, or men 
of Ulster, and were granted as much territory as they might be able to wrest from the enemy. In 
this expedition they were successful, having completely defeated the Ultonians at the great battle 
of Achaidh-Leith-Derg, in Fearnmhaigh, now Farney, a district in the present county of Monaghan. 
Fergus, the king of Ulster, was slain, and his shattered forces, pursued by " their victorious enemies, 
were driven over Glenrighe (the valley of the Newry Water) into the district which now forms the 
counties of Down and Antrim, from which they never after returned. The Collas destroyed 
Emania, and then took the whole of that part of Ulster now forming the modern counties of 
Armagh, Louth, Monaghan, and Fermanagh, into their own hands, as swordland ; and it was 
held by their descendants, the Maguires, Mac Mahons, O'Hanlons, and others, down to the con- 
fiscation of Ulster under the English King, James I." (5) 

Of the descendants of Colla Uaish, perhaps the most distinguished were his great-grandsons, 
Loam, Angus, and Fergus, who, about the year 506, permanently laid the foundation of the 
Dalriadic kingdom in Scotland. (6) These leaders were the sons of Eire, " and partly possessors of 
Dalriada," an ancient principality on the Antrim coast, which extended from the Bush-foot to 
the village of Glynn, near Lame, and from which the Irish colonists went forth. (7) It is not to be 
supposed that all these emigrants, or indeed many of them, originally belonged to this territory, 
but they assembled here, and sailed from the most convenient ports along its shore, — one of which 



rl. — See Manuscript Materials of Ancient Irish 
' ely changed the 



(5) > 

History, pp. 72, 73. This invasion 

aspect of affairs in the North. "Until the year 332," says 
Dr. Reeves, " Uladh or Ulster denoted a province nearly 
as large as the name now imports, and the palace of its 
rulers was at n-Eamhain, or Emania, now the Navan, 
near Armagh." Tighernach states that "the three 
Collas afterwards destroyed Eanihain Macha, and the 
Ultonians did not dwell in it from that out; and they 
took from them their kingdom (rom Lough Neagh out 
[westward]." (Reeves, Ecdes. Antiquities, p. 253.)— 
Speaking of the ruins of Emania, M. C. Ferguson states 
that the Fort, although greatly diminished, still covers 
about eleven acres. " From its elevated position an ex- 
tensive prospect of the line country around Armagh 
stretching away to the Fews mountain, may be obtained. 
Here we stand on a fortress of the Celt, which has had 
a history of upwards of two thousand years. The adioin- 
ing townland of Creeve Roe yet preserves the name, and 
designates the site of the House ot the Red Branch, a 
species of military college in which the Ulster warriors 
were wont to assemble." See Story of the Irish before 
the Conquest, pp. 25, 26. 

(6) In Scotland. — " Some consider the colony of 506 as 
the first, and that which was intended by Bede ; as 
Ussher, Works, vol. vi., p. 147; O' Flaherty, Ogygia, p. 
464; Vardeus, RumbolJ. p. 366; Chalmers, Caledonia, 
vol. i., p. 269. Others, again, assert that Cairbre Riada 
led over a colony about the middle of the third century; 
as O'Conor, Dissertations, pp. 297, 307 (Dublin, 18 12) ; 
Ogvgia Vindicated, p. 162 ; Pinkerton, Enquiry, vol. ii., 
pp. 61, 87. See Giraldus Cambrensis, Topographia 
Hibern., iii. 16 (p. 742, ed. Camden); Stillingfleet, 
Orig. Britann., p. 287 (London, 1840) ; Reeves, Eccles. 



Antiquities, p. 319." Adamnan's Life of St. Columba, 
edited, with Notes and Dissertations, by the Rev. Dr. 
Reeves, p. 433, note. 

(7) Went forth.— "That tract of the county Antrim," 
says Ussher, "which we call Route was known to the 
Irish by its true name of Dalrieda. It extends (as the 
late most noble Randolph Earl of Antrim informed me 
by letter) from the river Bush to the cross of Glenfin- 
neaght, of which I find mention made in those ancient 
Irish verses bearing the title of ' Patrick's Testament,' a 
distance of thirty miles : the following old Irish verse 
being brought forward in support." [Of this verse the 
late Dr. O'Donovan has furnished the following transla- 
tion, in Dublin Penny Journal, vol. i., 362 : — 

" From the Buaish which flocks fly over, 
Unto the cross of Glenfinneaght, 
Extends Dalriada of subdivisions. 
As all who know the land can tell."] 

"Now the whole of Dalrefh or Dalrede," continues 
Ussher, "with the island of Rachlyn or Rachrin lying 
opposite to it, was in old times granted to Alan de Gal- 
way, by John King of the English and Lord of Ireland, as 
we know from the royal archives preserved in the 
Tower of London : both being possessed at present in 
hereditary right by Randolph Earl of Antrim, son of the 
Randolph mentioned above ; to whom, by the way, on 
his return from England, with his illustrious lady, the 
widow of the celebrated George Duke of Buckingham, I 
have, on the very day on which I wrote this, paid my 
respects at the house of Viscount Moore of Mellifont." 
See Ussher's Works, edited by Dr. Ellington, vol. vi., pp. 
146, 147 ; see also Reeves's Eccles. Antiquities, p. 329, 
note. 



PRINCES OF THE ISLES. 3 

was undoubtedly Port Brittas, (8) at the head of Ballycastle Bay. The colonists, on reaching Alba 
appear to have formed three distinct settlements, which co-operated with, but remained for a time 
independent of each other. Those led by Angus occupied a few islands, the principal of which 
were Isla, Jura, and Iona. Loam's followers took possession of that territory which, to this day, 
bears his name. Fergus, surnamed Mor, (9) probably mustered a larger number of colonists than 
either of his brothers, as he was able at first to plant the three districts now known as Cantire, 
Cowal, and Argyle Proper. Loarn, the eldest, enjoyed the chief position in the growing kingdom 
during his life. Fergus, the youngest, survived the others, and being able to unite and consolidate 
the three principal settlements, in due time was proclaimed king. The new kingdom soon 
absorbed the adjoining districts lying between Lome and Ardnamurchan Point, and now known 
as Mull, Morven, Ardgowan, and Lochaber. Thus, the original Dalriadic kingdom in Scotland 
was bounded on the south by the Frith of Clyde, and was separated from the Pictish kingdom on 
the east by the mountain range anciently known as Drumalban, which extends from the shore of 
Lochlomond in Dumbartonshire to Loch Broom in Sutherland. (10) 

Previously to the departure of Fergus from the Irish coast, he appears to have owned the 
territory or district surrounding the present village of Armoy, where he granted lands to St. 
Patrick, in the year 474, to build and endow the first christian church there. The saint is said to 
have specially blessed Fergus for this act of liberality, and at the same time predicted the 
future superiority of his family over those of his brothers, (ti) As Fergus is believed to have first 
landed in Alba, on the cost of Cantire, he most probably sailed from Port-Brittas, which, if not in 
his own territory, must have immediately adjoined it. Machrihanish Bay, in Cantire, lies exactly 
opposite, and although a formidable place for large vessels, the Irish galleys could glide 
safely into it with a favouring tide in two or three hours. A stream, flowing from the rugged hills 
of Cantire, (12) approaches the sea at this point through a beautiful valley, which still retains its 

(8) Port Brittas. — In old Rentals of the Antrim estate, Bretain, latinised Britannia; Dorsum. " The vernacular 
Port Brittas, ' British-Port,' or ' Port of the Britons,' name Drum-Bretain at an early date passed into the 
was a denominational name applied to fifteen acres form Drum-Albin, which was in use until the thirteenth 
around or adjoining this little inlet. The name is now century, and was applied to the great mountain-chain 
obsolete. dividing Perthshire and Aigyle, and terminating in the 

(9) Surnamed Mor. — This sobriquet, denoting 'large- Grampian Hills. This range forms the back-bone of 
bodied,' is often used to characterise members of the Scotland, and from its sides the eastern and western 
Clan-Colla. The following is an old chronicler's ac- waters respectively flow." Adamnan's Life of St. 
count of the impression made by the personal appearance Columia, edited by Reeves, p. 64, note. 

of Fergus Mor, on his landing in Alba, preliminary to (n) His brothers. — See Reeve's Eccles. Antiquities, pp. 

his inauguration as king :— 80, 244. 

„ _, . . _ . _, . (12 Hills of Cantire. — Ceann-tirc, ' the Land's Head,' a 

&SZ*£to£%£fiK£?£ MW : Pl-se frequently used as a proper name to designate the 

Blyth and benyng. and manlie als thairwith, whole territory of Cantire, although it may have been 

originally applied only to the Mull. "The vernacular 

name Cenn-tire, or Cend-lire," says Dr. Reeves, "appears 

occasionally in the Iri^h Annals, as Tighernach, 574, 681 ; 

Stewart's Metrical Version of Hector Boece's Buik of Ulster, 575,680, 720; dnisfallen, 495 ; Four Masters, 620, 

the Chronicles of Scotland, edited by W. B. Turnbull, 679, 1154. The Northmen called it Satiri (Johnstone's 

vol. i., p. 40. Olave, pp. 14, 18, 20, 22, 27; Haco's Expedition, p. 

(10) Sutherland. See Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, 48). The earliest Scotch charters have it Keniir (C. 
" ed by W. F. Skene, Preface, p. 113. The mountain Innes, Orig. Paroch., vol. ii., p. 1)." See Adamnan's 



range known as Drumalban was previously named Drum- Life of St. Columia, p. 57. 



4 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

ancient name of Tir-Fergus, 'the territory of Fergus.' One of this prince's places of abode, after his 
election to the Dalriadic throne, is believed to have been the strong and extensive fortress now 
known as Dunstaffnage castle, which was certainly occupied by the early Scottish kings down to 
the time of Kenneth II , and was only abandoned as a royal residence about the middle of the ninth 
century. It is remarkable that, during several centuries afterwards, this castle disappears 
altogether from Scottish annals, and the impression now is that if any notices of it really exist between 
the years 850 and 1300, they must be looked for in Norse chronicles, as, during that interval, 
it was undoubtedly held by the Norwegians. (O/ig. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. 117.) The ruins 
of Dunstaffnage stand on a low peninsular point, running out from the northern shore of the 
parish of Kilbride, and at the entrance to the beautiful Loch Etive. These ruins indicate various 
dates in masonry, some portions pointing to the castle-building style of the thirteenth century, 
whilst others, — such as fragments of the walls ten feet in thickness, — carry us back to a much 
more remote period. (13) 

Scottish chroniclers are proud to tell that Fergus brought with him, when about to be 
inaugurated, the celebrated Lia Fail, or Stone of Fate, on which Irish monarchs were crowned at 
Tara, and, that after his coronation thereon, the precious article was deposited at Dunstaffnage. 
There it lay until removed thence to Scone by Kenneth Mac Alpine. Even George Buchanan, 
who was intolerant of all Irish and Highland glories, does not neglect to tell us that " the marble 
block which Simon Brek is said to have imported from Spain into Ireland, and Fergus, the son 
of Ferchard (Erck), carried thence to Argyle, he (Kenneth) caused to be removed from Argyle to 
Scone, on the river Tay, and set it there, enclosed in a chair of wood." {Historia, Lib. vi., 
chap. 3.) In the year 1296, Edward I. carried off the stone with its enclosing wooden chair, and 
had it placed under the throne in "Westminster Abbey, where it has since quietly reposed. The 
Scotch, strange to say, cherish something like a national sentiment on this matter, and have 
not yet forgiven the removal of the Lia Fail from Scone ! It was formerly spoken of as 
the "Scottish Palladium," and all traditions relating to it are preserved with much care 
and respect. Scotchmen, generally, know much more on the subject than their Irish kinsmen, 
and can rehearse with greater fluency, not only the extraordinary story as to when and how the 
stone was brought to Ireland, and thence to Scotland, but also various details relating to its shape, 
substance, and size. The Lia Fail, it appears, bears an ancient Gaelic inscription, which is 
translated thus : — 

" Should Fate not fail, wher'er this Stone is found, 
The Scots shall monarchs of that realm be found." 

(13) Remote period. — The following notice of Dunstaff- being also rounded; but on the inner area of one of the 

nage castle describes the ruins as they exist at the present towers, a square structure of three storeys has been 

time: — " Our first sight of these venerable ruins reminded erected, seemingly at no very distant period. Of this 

us very much of our own Dunluce. They occupy the last the roof remains entire, and the flooring is not much 

summit ot a perpendicular conglomerate mass, varying decayed. The smallest of the round towers is only 

from ten to thirty feet in height, near the extremity of nine paces in diameter. The circumference of the 

low peninsular flat projecting Irom the southern shore. whole building is about 400 feet. ... A ladder 



The entrance is leached by a narrow outer staircase. leads from the court to the battlements over which 
The castle is an irregular four-sided structure, with a sweeps the strong sea-breeze from the Sound of Mull, 
round tower at each of three angles, the remaining angle and from which a wondrous panorama of sea and island 



PRINCES OF THE ISLES. 5 

This prophecy, it is also gravely affirmed, has been literally fulfilled — James VI. of Scotland, the 
veritable representative of king Fergus, having succeeded to the English throne, and being grand- 
father to the princess Sophia, who was grandmother to George II., who was great-great-grandfather 
to Queen Victoria. (See Scottish Journal of Antiquities, vol. ii., p. 205.) Our Irish antiquaries, 
however, although they have lost all special veneration for the Lia Fail, are taking some trouble to 
undeceive their Scottish brethren on the subject. They maintain that the Stone was not brought 
here by Simon Brek at all, but by Tuatha De Danann colonists, that Erin still retains it, and that a 
certain Pillar yet standing at 'Tara of the Kings' is the veritable relic itself. (14) 

When king Fergus had governed bravely and wisely on his Dalriadic throne for the space of 
twenty-five years, he determined, unfortunately, to revisit his native shore. Some chroniclers affirm 
that his object in coming was to arbitrate certain disputes that had arisen among several princes in 
Ulster ; whilst others represent that he was afflicted with a skin-disease, and came to use the waters 
of a medicinal well that existed then (and for many centuries afterwards) in the rock on which 
now stands the castle of Carrickfergus. The galley which bore him across the channel was wrecked 
at or near this rock, where the king was drowned, and where the name Car rig- Fergus, the 
' Rock of Fergus,' perpetuates the memory of that tragical event. Fergus had sailed from some 



and mountain meets the gaze. Landward rise the 
mighty shoulders and soaring peak of Ben Cruachan, 
with vast outworks of lesser peaks, while seaward are 
the Sound of Mull, Loch Linnhe, Loch Etive, the hills 
of Morven and Ardgour, and the sea-beaten reef of 
Connell."— Coleraine Chronicle, Dec. 21, 1872. 

(14) Relic itself. — We have given above the substance of 
a very early Scottish tradition on this subject, which tra- 
dition was first embodied, it is supposed in the Chronicon 
Rhythmicam, a compilation of the thirteenth century, and 
afterwards adopted from it by the Scottish historians, 
Fordun, Winton, Boece or Boetius, Buchanan, and 
others. "It is a remarkable fact," says Petrie, "that 
this Scottish account has been adopted by the Irish 
themselves, since the succession of the house of Stuart 
to the British throne seemed to verify the ancient pre- 
diction connected with it, yet no Irish account has been 
found to support it earlier than that of Keating, who 
evidently adopted the statement of Boetius' well-known 
verse (see this verse translated above), which he quotes 
with the palpable view of sustaining the right of the 
first Charles to his throne. It may also be observed 
that between the Irish and Scottish accounts of the 
history of this stone, there is a total want of agreement, 
which shows that the Scottish writers, when they re- 
corded this tradition, were not acquainted with, or dis- 
regarded the accounts of it preserved by the Irish. The 
Irish uniformly state that the Lia Fail was brought into 
Ireland from the north of Germany by the Tuatha De 
Danann colony ; the Scottish that it was brought from 
Spain, by the Milesian chief, Simon Breac, who, ac- 
cording to Irish histories, was not a Milesian, but a Fir- 
Bolg, or Belgian. . . . It is in the highest degree 
improbable that to gratify the desire of a colony, the 
Irish would have voluntarily parted with a monument 
so venerable from its antiquity, and considered essential 
to the legitimate succession of their own kings. How- 



ever this may be, it is an interesting fact that a large 
obeliscal pillar-stone, in a prostrate position, occupied, 
till a recent period, the very situation on the hill of 
Tara pointed out as the Lia Fail by the Irish writers of 
the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries; and that this 
was a monument of pagan antiquity, an idol-stone, as 
the Irish writers call it, seems evident from its form 
and character." Sir George Petrie's Antiquities of Tara 
Hill, in Transactions of Royal Irish Academy, vol. xviii., 
pp. 160, 161. 

Eugene A. Conwell, Esq., has the following account 
of a visit to this curious and rude monument with which 
so many national associations are connected : — " On the 
18th of May, 1S66, I paid a visit to Tara, and made an 
examination of this stone. It stands five feet over 
ground ; and from subsequent examination, I found 
that it was sunk a foot and a half in the earth, the 
entire height or length of the stone being 6 l / 2 feet, and 
its girth four feet ten inches. I was struck by finding 
two lines cut into the south-east face of the stone, which 
overlooks the Croppies' Grave (as it is familiarly called) 
each line being \)i inch long, about an inch asunder, and 
cut or furrowed out in V-shaped fashion, to the depth of 
about three eights of an inch. On the top of the pillar, 
which is rounded off, can still be traced the remains of 
four cup-like hollows, in their present appearance rudely 
dug into the stone. Other portions of the pillar also 
afford evidences of similar cup-like hollows. The stone 
itself, which is a pillar of very fine-grained granite — a 
rock not belonging to the locality, and which, conse- 
quently, must have been imported here— appears to me 
not to have been originally a round pillar, as its present 
aspect might suggest, but a quadrilateral stone, whose 
edges have been worn off by attrition and the action of 
the weather."— Proceedings of the Royal Lrish Academy, 
vol. ix.,pp. 539, 540. 



6 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

port further north than Cantire, and had no doubt encountered one of the frequently recur- 
ring storms that sweep the North Channel. The following is Boece's account of the shipwreck : — 

" To schip tha went, and syne set fra the schoir, 
The wind blew up, the langer aye the moir; 
Bayth tow and takill festnit wer all fast, 
Within schort quhi'.e yet wer tha all aghast. 
For Eolus so loud he blew his home 
On thame all nycht long or tother morne, — 
In Yrland cost rycht drafflie dyd thame dryve, 
In at a craig he made thame till arryve. 
In all that schip eschapt nor aid nor young 
But perreist all with guid Fergus their King; 
Efter his name, my storie tellis thus, 
That place sensyne is, callit Craigfergus." 

— See Stewart's Metrical Version of Boece's Chronicle, vol. i., p. 41. 

The body of King Fergus was found, and buried at Ballymanach, now Monkstown, near Carrick- 
fergus, where his bones were exhibited in after times, by the monks of that religious house, to the 
many Irish and Scottish votaries who made pilgrimages to his grave. This fact is referred to by 
the author of the Montgomery Manuscripts, who, when the duke of Ormonde visited Carrickfergus 
in 1666, mentioned the matter, as follows, in reply to an enquiry from that nobleman : — " His 
Grace stood a good while talking publickly of severall matters, and enquired if Fergus his body 
was found, and where buried : And there being none that answered, I told his Grace that Scotts 
history spoke of its being found, and that a place called Monks town (about three miles from 
thence) claimed the honour of preserving his Remains, but I believe that those Fryars, who 
built the very smal chapel in that town land (and were not in being till long after St. Patricks, 
days), could not show any of Fergus his bones, but some bodys els instead of them ; and so 
cheated their credulous Irish converts, and the Highland Scottish votarys, who came over to see 
Ireland, and those suppositious relicts of so greate and revered a man : for Real they could not be, 
because the Graves hungry stomack would not have taken time from 330 years before ye birth of 
Christ till the later centurys after it, to digest that morcell : and I was of opinion that Fergus 
his body was not embalmed after the Egyptian manner, used when the Pyramides were made, or 
practised in Alexander the Greates time, contemporary to Fergus." (15) Montgomery Manuscripts, 
new edition, pp. 427, 428. 

The family of Fergus Mor continued to maintain a leading position in Scotland, supplying, 
with few exceptions, the line of Dalriadic kings, and many of the more powerful of its thanes, or 
territorial lords. Of the latter, the most historical, and, it may truly be added, the most patriotic, 
was a great thane of Argyle, who appeared in the twelth century, called Somhairle among his 

(15) Fergus. — William Montgomery, although an ac- land at the head of his colonists in A.D. 502, or 800 

curate chronicler of events passing in his own day, was years later than William Montgomery supposed. See 

misled by the Scottish annalists, who supposed that the Reeves's. Eccles. Antiquities, p. 319; Adamnan's Life of 

reign of Fergus was so early as 330 years before Christ. St. Columba, edited by Reeves, p. 433, Ossianic Soc, 

By far the best authority on this point is the Irish an- vol.. v., p. 177. 
nalist Tighernach, who states that Fergus went to Scot- 



PRINCES OF THE ISLES. 7 

Celtic kinsmen, but better known as Somerled, which was the Norwegian form of his name. (16) 

During the tenth and eleventh centuries, frequent settlements were made by Norwegian colonists 

among the Celtic population of the Highlands and Isles of Scotland. Although, however, the evils 

of northern rapacity and oppression were keenly felt, the Celtic element continued to predominate, 

even during the most disastrous periods. At length a deliverer arose in Somerled, who was the 

son of a Celtic father, and a fair-haired, blue-eyed Norwegian mother. Few, if any military leaders, 

have left their marks more broadly or distinctly in Scottish history than he. This fact stands 

clearly out, not only from the records of his career preserved in authentic chronicles, but, perhaps 

even more strikingly in the circumstantial traditions respecting him, which still exist in Argyleshire 

and the Isles. These traditions, when compared with the well-authenticated records of his life, 

appear like the fragments of some history that had been written of him but is now lost, and hence 

they serve to supplement attractively the curt and dry details of the old chronicles. Many of these 

traditions refer to the youthful days of Somerled, who appears to have grown up an indolent and 

handsome giant. His father, Gillabride, regarded with contempt the seemingly unwarlike nature 

of his youngest son, who occupied himself in hunting and fishing, whilst his brothers trained 

themselves to engage, as opportunities offered, in deadly conflict with their Norwegian oppressors. 

Somerled's indolent and pleasant time, however, was soon destined to end. His father, being driven 

from the hills and glens of Argyle, was compelled to conceal himself in a cave of Morven, and from 

that moment Somerled began to take serious counsel respecting the position of affairs, with his youthful 

companions of the chase. He found them ready, and equally prepared to hunt the wild-boar or 

assault the dreaded Norsemen. Somerled's very nature thenceforward was entirely changed j he 

became a new man ; the indolent dreamer was suddenly absorbed in the delights of stratagem and 

battle. He spoiled like the eagle, and had no joy so great as when in the act of rending the prey. 

His little band gathered strength as he went, and under his eye dealt blow after blow on the 

bewildered enemy, until the Norsemen, whether soldiers or settlers, quickly abandoned their 

garrisons and settlements in Argyle. They crowded into the Hebridean islands, whither Somerled 

(16) Of his name. — This name is composed of two Norse remarks about two popular Scottish historians: — "This 
words, sumar and lidi, denoting ' summer-soldier.' The is the report of twenty writers in Icollumkill before Hector 
designation was often, at an early period, applied to sea- Boetius and Buchanan were born. These partial pickers 
rovers or ' vikings,' who lay in port -during the winter of Scottish chronology and history never spoke a favour- 
months, and followed their marauding operations in the able word of the Highlanders, much less of the Islanders 
seasons of Summer and Autumn. " It seems very likely and Macdonalds, whose great power and fortune the rest 
also, that sumarlidi originally has been used in the same of the nobility envied, because they judged best to comply 
manner to designate the bear, roving about in the sum- with the humours of those who ruled the helm of the 
mer, and that the scalds or poets have since applied it as state, and men who knew nothing of their own descent, 
a proper designation for the vikings, either wandering and careless to know that of other! 



about for prey in the summer, or taking to their snug Boetius knew very well, and so did Buchanan, that 

hearths in the winter ; but that, as it happened so often Somerled was thane of Argyle, which was one of 

in Norway and Iceland, the general denomination became the highest titles in those times, being equal to prince, 

a surname for certain persons, and this surname again, in and yet they tell that he was ignobly born, and of 

succeeding generations, a real and only name of the de- obscure parents, at the same time that they knew 

scendants called after them." (The Chronicle of Man, full well that he was not created thane by the king, 

edited by Munch, p. 42 of Notes.) In the Northern Saga, but pursued for his rights, for there were eight or 

the name of Somerled meets us in various uncouth forms nine of Somerled's predecessois, who were thanes of 

such as Sorlet, Surle, and Sowdry. (Orig. Paroch. Argyle, so that the falsity of these writers may be easily 

Scot., vol. ii., p. 2.) Hugh Macdonald — whose account discovered. This may be proved by several passages 

of the Macdonnells was written about 1680 — when out of their own writings." Collectanea de Rebus 

sketching the career of Somerled, has the following Albanicis, pp. 286, 287. 



8 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

pursued them, capturing the islands in detail, killing or expelling the hated invaders, and firmly 
establishing once more the old Celtic authority. (17) 

Thus, on the ruin of the Norwegian power, Somerled built up his island throne, and became 
not only the greatest thane of his family, but the founder of that second line of island rulers, who, 
for nearly a period of four centuries, were occasional and formidable rivals of the Scottish 
kings. In addition to the vivid and circumstantial traditions above mentioned, his history is 
recorded in such reliable and valuable chronicles as the Orkneyinga Saga, the Saga of king Hacon 
Haconson, the Chronicle of Man, and the Anecdotes of Olave the Black. Two curious Gaelic 
manuscripts, quoted by Skene, in his History of the Highlanders, vol. ii., pp. 40, 41, mention the 
fact that Gilladomnan, Somerled's grandfather, was diiven out of his estates in Argyle, and that he 
took refuge from his Norse oppressors on the opposite coast of Ireland. Somerled's father, 
Gillabride, made a vigorous attempt to recover the family inheritance, but failed ; so, the arduous 
work was thus reserved for the genius and daring of Somerled, who, not only restored the family 
possessions, but annexed other adjoining districts, laying thus the foundation of that second island- 
kingdom whose seat of government permanently became fixed in Isla.(i8) This chieftain's long and 
brilliant career came suddenly to a close, in the year n 64, whilst leading an expedition against 
Malcolm IV., king of Scotland, to whom he had given his sister in marriage. Somerled's army on 
that occasion was made up of men from Ulster, Argyle, and the Isles, and was transported in one 



(17) Authority. — In the district of Lome there has been 
recently discovered an ancient Crannog, or Lake-dwell- 
ing, called Loch-an-t-Shomhairle, pronounced Loch-an- 
tawail, which may have been probably one of Somerled's 
residences on the main-land. The Loch (now a moss) in 
which it was situated, is still known as Loch-an-beich, or 
the 'Lake of Birches,' although no birch trees have grown 
there for many generations. The moss is situated in the 
neighbourhood of Benderloch, between Loch Etive and 
and Loch Creran, and in this locality dwelt, time imme- 
morial, a family of the Macdougalls, descended from 
Somerled's eldest son, Dougall. This family endowed 
the priory of Ardchattan, which was their place of burial. 
(See Dr. R. Angus Smith's List of Antiquities near Loch 
Etive, p. 20.) The district of Benderloch was, no doubt, 
an attractive locality, even so late as the time of Somerled. 
It contains the remarkable place known as Dun-mac- 
Uisneachan, the residence of the sons of Uisneach, during 
their exile from Ulster, in the first century. Their story 
is told in an ancient Irish Tract, and was known in old- 
world times as one of the Three Most Tragical of the 
Tales ofEirinn. It is somewhat curious that the birch- 
trees, now so long defunct throughout the district, wave 
their green branches abundantly in the ancient Irish Tale! 
The following passage, translated from the original by Dr. 
Samuel Ferguson, occurs in the Lament of DeirdrS, the 
Ulster princess, on her leaving the shores of Loch Etive : — 

" Glendaro ! Glendaro ! where birchen boughs weep 
Honey dews at high noon o'er the nightingale's sleep, 
Where my love used to lead me to hear the cuckoo 
'Mong the high hazel bushes, Glendaro, adieu !" 

(t8) In Isla. — This island was worthy of the distinction 
thus conferred. The people of the Hebrides were accus- 



tomed to speak of Isla as the Queen of the Isles, an epithet 
designed to express their sense of its beauty and ferlility. 
Dean Monro, in 1542, writes of Isla as " ane ile of 
twentie myle lengthe from north to south, and sixteene 
myle in breadthe from eist to the west, fertil, fruitfull, 
and full of natural] grassing, with maney greate deire, 
maney woodes, faire games of huntinge beside every 
toune, with ane watter callit Laxay, whereupone maney 
salmon are slaine, with ane salt watter loch callit Loch- 
gunord quherein runs the Watter of Giynord, with high 
sandey bankes, upon ihe whilk bankes upon the sea lyes 
infinite selccheis (seals) whilk is slaine with dogges learnt 
to the same effect." Hugh Macdonald of Sleat, speak- 
ing of the constitution or government of the island-king- 
dom, says : — " Macdonald had his council at Island-Fin- 
laggan in Isla, to the number of sixteen, viz., four 
Thanes, four Armins, that is to say, lords, or subthanes, 
four Squires, or men of competent estates, who could not 
come up with Armins, or Thanes, that is free- 
holders, or men that had their lands in factory, as Magee 
of the Rinns of Isla, Mac Nicholl in Portree in Skye, and 
Mac Eachern, Mackay, and Mac Gillivray in Mull, 
Macillemhaoell, or Mac Millin, &c. There was a Table 
of Stone where the Council sat in the Isle of Finlaggan ; 
the which Table, with the stone on which Macdonald sat, 
were carried away by Argyle, with the belles that were 
at Icolumkill. Moreover there was a judge in every Isle 
for the discussion of all controversies, who had lands 
from Macdonald for their trouble and likewise the eleventh 
part of every action decided. But there might still be an 
appeal to the Council of the Isles. Mac Finnon was 
obliged to see weights and measures adjusted, and Mac 
Duffe or Mac Phie of Colonsay kept the records of the 
Isles." — Collectanea de Rebus Albania's, p. 297. 



PRINCES OF THE ISLES. 



hundred and sixty galleys up the Clyde, as far as Renfrew, the place appointed for disembarkation. 
Here, " the mighty Somerled " was destined to fall by the hand of an assassin named Maurice 
Macneill, whom the Scottish king had bribed to commit the foul deed. His remains were conveyed 
to Iona, and there sorrowfully deposited in the tomb of his fathers. (19) He is described as having 
been " a well-tempered man ; in body shapely, and of a fair piercing eye, of middle stature, and 
quick discernment." The same chronicler, Hugh Macdonald of Sleat, enumerating Somerled's 
children, says : — " He had Dugall, a natural son, of whom are descended the Dugalls of Lorn." 
But the chronicler is most probably mistaken in this statement of Uugall's illegitimacy, for several 
trust-worthy authorities mention him as Somerled's eldest legitimate son, by the daughter of Olave 
the Red, king of Man. Somerled had probably a residence in Lome, (see p. 8, supra), and when 
dividing his possessions among his sons, this noble territory was given to Dougall — an almost 
conclusive proof of the latter's legitimacy. The district of Lome was so called originally from 
Loam, the eldest brother of Fergus Mor, and in the sixth and following centuries, had been, no 
doubt, considered the most desirable portion of the new Scottish Dalriada. Here the early Irish 
immigrants have left their traces perhaps more distinctly than in any locality throughout the 
Western Highlands. Besides Dunstaffnage Castle, already referred to, there was also in Lome the 
celebrated fortress of Dunolla or Dunolly, near Oban, originally built, it is believed, by an early 
Dalriadic king. Here, too, are the remains of many churches, dedicated to early Irish missionaries, 



(19) His fathers. — The most interesting notices of this 
island probably ever printed may be found in Reeves's 
edition of Adamnan's Life of St. Columba, pp. 413 — 433. 
Iona, properly Hy, "lies off the Ross of Mull on the 
southwest, being separated from it by a channel, about 
an English mile broad, called by Adamnan fretiitm Ionioz 
insults, in after times named the Bay of Finfort, and now 
commonly known as the Sound of Iona." Hy was so 
early and intimately associated with the spread of Chris- 
tianity in the British islands, and throughout the northern 
countries of Europe, that it soon came to be regarded as 
a thrice hallowed spot, and, therefore, eagerly to be de- 
sired as a place of burial. Not only was it sought for this 
purpose by the leading families of the Isles, but even by 
many kings of Scotland, Ireland and Norway. The 
family to which Somerled belonged supplied many of the 
earliest and most distinguished abbots to the religious 
establishment founded there by St. Columba; and within 
its holy precints the lords of the Isles, with few excep- 
tions, found their last resting-place. St. Oran, or Odhran, 
was the first of the christian community buried in the 
Island, " and it is a remarkable fact," says Dr. Reeves, 
"that the principal and now only cemetery in Hy is 
called Reilig Orain, after him, instead of the patron saint, 
and has been so for many centuries." The following is 
dean Munro's account of this cemetery and its occupants : — 
" Within this isle of Columkill there is ane sanctuarie 
also, or kirkzaird, callit in Erische Religoran, whilk is a 
verie fair kirkzaird, and Weill biggit about with stane and 
lyme. In this sanctuarie ther is three tombes of stane 
formed like little chapels, with ane braid grey marble or 
whinstane in the gavill of ilk ane of the tombes. " These 
three flags, or slabs, bore respectively the inscriptions 
Tumulus Regum Scotie, Tumulus Regum Hibernie, 
Tumulus Regum Norwegie. In the first tomb are buried 



forty eight Scottish kings ; in the second, four Irish 
kings ; and in the third, eight Norwegian kings. Of 
these tombs only vestiges now remain, and the " moulder- 
ing heap " representing them is locally known as 
Tomaire-nan-Righ, ' the Ridge of the Kings.' " Within 
this sanctuarie," adds Monro, " alsoe lyes the maist pairt 
of the Lords of the Isles with their lyneage, twa clan Lynes 
with their lyneage, McKinnon and McGaure with their 
lyneage, with sundrie others, inhabitants of the haill 
Isles." The oldest tombstones found by Dr. Reeves were 
two bearing Irish inscriptions. " Here it is said," he 
adds, " were buried the Scotch kings, down to Malcolm 
Ceann-more ; here Egfrid, the Northumbrian king was 
buried in 6S4 ; hither were removed the remains of king 
Godred in 118S (Chron. Mann), and of Haco Ospac in 
1228 (Ibid). Of these kings no monuments remain, and 
the chief part of the interesting tombstones that are found 
there, belongs to Clanns Finnguine, Gilla-Eoin, and 
Guaire, since known as the McKinnons, McLeans, and 
McQuarries, whose pedignees still preserved, attest then- 
noble extraction." (Adamnan's Life of it. Columba, 
edited by Reeves, p. 418.) Referring to the wanton 
neglect of the human remains in this sacred place, a 
Scottish writer expresses himself as follows : — " It is 
indeed, astonishing that the noble and ancient families 
above-mentioned, as connected with these remains, do 
not insist with the Duke of Argyle (the owner of the 
Island), either upon effectually preserving the bones and 
monuments of their ancestors from violation, or allowing 
them to carry them off to their present family vaults. 
This is peculiarly incumbent upon the Macdonnells, 
Macleans, Mackinnons, Macleods, and Macquarries." 
(James Macdonald's Hebrides, p. 706). This was writ- 
ten in the year 181 1, but, so far as we know, the families 
referred to paid no attention to the writer's remonstrance. 



IO THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

among whom may be mentioned St. Ronan, St. Moluag, St. Munn, and St. Brendan. The last- 
named is not better known by his saintship, than by his celebrated navigation or voyage in search 
of the mysterious island of Hy-Brasail. 

" For, as beyond the outstretched wave of Time 
The eye of Faith a brighter land may meet, — 
So did he dream of some more sunny clime 
Beyond the waste of waters at his feet. " 

Among Somerled's legitimate children, Hugh Macdonald mentions Reginald or Randal, and 
one daughter, who became prioress of Icolumkill. This lady's name was Beatrix (20), which, perhaps, 
was not her baptismal name, but the new name given to her in religion, on her joining the order of 
St. Augustine. Randal Mac Somerled, although a younger son, became in reality the representative 
of the family, being not only popular in Scotland, but respected on the coasts of Ulster, where he 
appeared at times as a peace-maker among the northern Irish chieftans. If, however, he bore this 
character on the Irish coast, his sons occasionally came on a very different mission. At the year 
131 1, the Annals of the Four Masters and the Annals of Loch Ce inform us that "Thomas Mac 
Uchtry (of Galloway) and the sons of Raghnall, son of Somhairle, came to Doire-Cholium-Chille 
(Derry) with seventy ships, and the town was greatly injured by them. O'Domhnaill and they went 
together to Inis Eoghain, and they completely destroyed the country." From Randal's two sons, 
Donnell and Rorie, arose two great leading families of the race of Somerled, namely that of Isla 
descended from Donnell, and, therefore, patronymically styled Macdonnells ; and that of Bute, 
descended from Rorie, and, therefore, patronymically styled Macruari or Macrories. Both the 
Macdonnells and Macrories used the territorial title De Insults, ' of the Isles,' the latter inheriting 
from Randal, through his son Ruari, Rorie, or Roderick, not only the island of Bute, and part of 
Cantire, but several of the smaller islands north of Ardnamurchan Point. See Gregory's History 
of the Western Highlands and Isles, p. 18. 

Donnell, from whom all the Macdonnells derive their surname, was succeeded by his eldest 
son, Angus Mor. This prince occupied the island-throne for the long period of half a century. 
The leading event of his time was the celebrated expedition of Haco, a great and really peace- 
loving king of Norway, who, at the urgent entreaties of many leading families of the Isles, came 
southward, with a large force, in 1263, for the purpose of putting an end to certain aggressive 
movements, which had been commenced by Alexander II., king of Scotland, and were then being 
actively carried forward by his son, Alexander III. Many of the descendants of Somerled were 
at that period living under a divided allegiance, holding lands in the Isles from the king of Norway, 
and on the mainland, from the king of Scotland. The latter, whose power was gradually increasing, 
could not rest satisfied whilst Norway had any footing whatever in the Isles, this policy being 
initiated soon after the death of Somerled, when the steward of Scotland, by order of the king, 
seized the island of Bute. That beautiful and fertile island then changed masters more than once 

(20) Beatrix. — James Macdonald, Hebrides, p. 705, states that in the year 181 1, the following inscription was legible 
on a monumental slab in Iona : — Behag Nyn Shorle vie Ilvrid Priorissa, i.e. ' Beatrice, daughter of Somerled, 
son of Gillabride, Prioress.' 



PRINCES OF THE ISLES. I I 

within a few years, and with the large territory of Cantire, became a source of fierce contention 
between the Scots and Norwegians. In the progress of this dispute, Rorie, the son of Randal, to 
whom his father had bequeathed Bute with other lands (see p. 10, supra) was expelled, the Scots 
seizing both that island and Arran. Encouraged by his success in this project, Alexander III. 
commenced an aggressive course against Angus Mor also, who was accused of Norwegian 
sympathies, and whom, therefore, the Scottish king was determined to expel, as he had expelled his 
uncle, Rorie. The latter had sought the protection of Haco, carrying with him a missive signed by 
other leading island-chiefs and lords, promising their adhesion in the event of a Norwegian 
expedition against Scotland. Haco consented to come, and early in the year 1263, he issued 
orders for the assembling of his forces at Bergen, towards the commencement of the summer. 

The most interesting, as well as the most reliable account of this northern movement, is that 
which was written two years after its occurrence, by Sturla Thordson, from the narratives of eye- 
witnesses. This account, contained in the Hakon Hakonson Saga, narrates the events of the ex- 
pedition with candour, and it thus contrasts very favourably for Norse truthfulness with the inflated 
announcements of Scottish writers, who represent that Haco's whole fleet and army were 
annihilated, — the one by storms, and the other by the irresistible onsets of the Scots at the battle of 
Largs. The latter further represent that Haco and his men were pagans, and that all of them 
who were slain, were buried where they fell, according to the pagan manner of sepulture ! In these 
absurdities the old Scottish chroniclers were even surpassed by modern Scottish archaeologists, who 
fancied that the traces of early paganism they happened to discover in the vicinity of Largs, had 
been left there by the men composing Haco's forces. Dr. Munch, after giving an outline of the 
account contained in the Saga above named, observes : — " We have not deemed it superfluous to 
give here at some length these particulars of the celebrated battle of Largs, extracted from the plain 
narrative of the Saga, with a view of removing at least some of the erroneous and almost ridiculous 
ideas which have prevailed, and still no doubt prevail about it, in Scotland and England. We do 
not intend, however, to waste many words upon the insane belief of so many amateur antiquarians, 
that the expedition of king Hacon was not more or less than a piratical excursion in the old pagan- 
viking style; that the " warlike' king Hacon was the last of the vikings ; and that the men who fell 
in the battle were buried as pagans, inasmuch as the cairns, cromleacbs, and other sepulchral 
monuments from the pagan times, discovered at Largs, have been invariably believed to belong to 
those christian Norwegian warriors, who fought on the 1st and 2nd of October, 1263 ; an error, the 
glaring enormity of which, indeed, even the most superficial knowledge of general history 
(not to speak of ecclesiastical history) might seem sufficient to expose, not to speak of the 
facts specially recorded, that the king brought bishops and clergymen with him, and that all 
slain Norsemen were removed from the spot." The Chronicle of Man, edited by the P. A. Munch, 
pp. 122, 123. 

The truth is that Haco's force, instead of being annihilated at Largs, was simply repulsed, the Scots 
permitting the Norwegians, after the battle, to land again, and burn three ships that had been stranded. 
Not over fifteen hundred Norwegians were at any time engaged ; and, of these, not more than 
two or three hundred were slain. All the slain were collected before the ship-burning commenced, 



12 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

and carried to the island of Bute for interment. The slaughters that had been, perhaps un- 
necessarily, perpetrated at other places, were done by those island-princes and chiefs who had 
joined Haco. Thus, the Saga relates that Haco entrusted a number of his ships to Angus Mor of 
Isla and his kinsmen, Allan and Dougall, the sons of Rorie, who first sailed into Loch Long, 
ravaging the adjoining country, and afterwards laying waste the banks of Loch Lomond, with the 
whole country of Lennox. It is said, also, that Angus Mor even crossed the district from thence 
to the neighbourhood of Stirling, killing the inhabitants and carrying off vast numbers of cattle. 
If the Norwegians had been so thoroughly defeated at Largs, it was remarkable that the Scottish 
king did not retake a single island, or dislodge Haco's adherents from any of their positions on 
the coasts. On the contrary, Haco restored Arran and Bute to the Macrories, and confirmed 
Angus Mor of Isla in the possession of several lands anxiously coveted by the Scottish monarch" 
Haco died on his voyage home at the Orkneys, and his son and successor, Magnus, entered into an 
amicable arrangement with Alexander III. on the vexed question of the Isles. In consideration 
of an annual sum, or tribute, to be paid by Scotland to Norway, the latter consented to abandon 
all future claims, — such subjects of the Norwegian crown as wished to depart from the Hebrides 
having full liberty to do so, with all their effects ; and such as wished to remain, becoming subjects 
of the Scottish crown from the day on, which the treaty was signed. To the latter class king 
Magnus addressed a formal mandate, requiring them thenceforth to serve and obey Alexander 
III. It was further and finally arranged that no Islanders who had joined Haco should suffer 
punishment or be disturbed in their possessions. See Gregory's History of the Highlands and 
Isles, p. 21. 

Hugh Macdonald of Sleat describes Angus Mor as of " a very amiable and cheerful dispo- 
sition, and more witty than any could take him to be by his countenance." He married a daughter 
of sir Colin Campbell, of Glenurchy, (21) and by her left one son, also named Angus, more 
familiarly known as Angus Oge, or young Angus, during the lifetime of his father. This Macdon- 
nell was an active and unwearied supporter of Robert Bruce, during the great struggle for Scottish 
independence. After the disastrous battle of Methven, Bruce sought a hiding place for a time 
with Angus Oge, who concealed him first at his castle of Saudell, (22) in Cantire; then in his more 

(21) Of Glenurchy. — This laird of Glenurchy was the instrumental in exterminating. 'William Bowie, an 

celebrated Colin Mor, from whom his representatives, the old chronicler of the Campbell family, refers with 

earls and dukes of Argyle, were known in the Highlands pride to the fact, in his Black Book of Taymoitt/i, that 

and Isles by the Celtic title of Mac Chaillcan Mor, cor- eighteen of the Macgregors were hanged in one day, re- 

ruplly written Mac Callum More. His tombstone, a marking that Alaster Roy M'Gregor, the chief, " wes 

narrow and much dilapidated old slab, may still be seen hung on ane pyn about ane eln highar nor the rest," and 

in the churchyard of Kilchrenan, a parish lying on the that the gallows " wes made eftir the iorme of ane croce, 

shores of Lochawe. The Breadalbanes, another great and callit thaireftir M'Gregouris gallous, bothe becaus it 

family of the Campbells, are the representatives of a later was maid of sett purpose for thame, and for that thair 

line of the lairds of Glenurchy, sir John Campbell, the wes so monie at ones hangit thairon." See Orig. 

tenth laird, being created an earl in 1681. His grand- Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. 139. 

son, the fourth earl of Breadalbane, was advanced to the (22) Saudell. — This castle, portions of which are still 

dignity of a marquis in 1816. The district known as kept in tolerable preservation, was originally one of the 

Glenurchy lies between Perthshire on the east and a line residences of the island-kings, and aflerwards occupied 

uniting the northern extremities of Lochawe and Loch by the bishop of the Isles for the time being. It stands 

Elive on the west. This rugged and picturesque region at the head of the beautiful Glen-Saudell, on the eastern 

was the principal rendezvous for the wild but cruelly- coast of Cantire, and commands a magnificent prospect, 

treated Clan-Gregor, whom the Campbells were mainly including the picturesque island of Arran. 



PRINCES OF THE ISLES. 1 3 

secure fortress of Duhavertie, (23) on the Mull ; and when, at last, even this latter retreat became 
unsafe, Macdonnell hurried away the distinguished fugitive across the channel to the little island 
of Rathlin. In dean Monro's Description of the Western Isles, we have the following notice of 
this retreat where Bruce, after a series of perils and hair-breadth escapes, at length was able to 
rest securely from his enemies : — " On the south-west frae the promontory of Kintyre, upon the 
coast of Ireland, be four myle to land, layes ane iyle callit Rachlaine, pertaining to Ireland, and 
possessit thir mony yeirs by Clan Donald of Kintyre, four myle lang, and twa myle braide, guid 
land, inhabit and manurit." At the time of Bruce's visit, Rathlin belonged to the lordship or 
kingdom of the Isles, and so continued until the surrender of that kingdom to the Scottish crown 
in the year 1476, when it became a part of the possessions held by the Macdonnells of Isla and 
Cantire. Although naturally belonging to Ireland, from its proximity to the Irish coast, it was 
early claimed as a Scottish island — one of the Ebudae or Hebrides — until a branch of the Mac. 
donnells settled here permanently in the sixteenth century. At the latter period it was held by 
Alexander, and afterwards by his eldest son, James, whose grant of extensive lands in Cantire and 
elsewhere, by Mary Queen of Scots, included the non-entry and other dues of the ^20 lands 
of. Rawcherne on the coast of Ireland. (Orig. Paroch. Scot, vol. ii., p. 25.) On James 
Macdonnell's death, Rathlin was claimed and held by his brother, Sorley Boy, and was subse- 
quently included in grants from the crown to his son, Randal, first earl of Antrim. About the 
year 16 16, Angus Macdonnell of Cantire claimed it back again as belonging to Scotland, and the 
question was formally discussed between the two governments, when sir Arthur Chichester was 
lord deputy of Ireland. His doctrine on the question was, that it would be exceedingly impolitic 
to admit that Rathlin was a Scottish island, for the following, among other reasons : — " If it be of 
Scotland, we, who have served the crown, have runne into greate errore, for in tyme of the rebellion, 
we often wasted it, and destroyed the inhabitants by the sworde, and by the halter, as we did the 
rebels of Ireland ; soe did sir John Perrott in the tyme of his government, of which noe complainte 
was made by anie subject of Scotland." See Dublin University Magazine, vol. xxxi., p. 223. 

In reference to the good services that had been rendered to Bruce, by Angus Oge, at his 
castles of Dunavertie and Rathlin, there is the following passage in Barbour's poem of The Brus, 
Jamieson's edition, p. 63 : — 

" And Angus off He that tyme was syr, 
And lord and ledar off Kyntyr. 
The king rycht weill resawyt he; 
And undertuk his man to be: 
And him and his, on mony wyss, 
He abandowynt till his serwice. 

(23) Dunavertie.— Traces of this very old and exceed- Scotland, was compelled to surrender, and Haco there- 

ingly strong fortress may still be seen ot\ a precipitous upon placed Guthorn Bikkakoff in the castle as governor, 

rock at the mouth of the Coniglen, overhanging, and The Norwegian king afterwards restored it to Mur- 

nearly surrounded by the sea, opposite the little island of doch, a kinsman of Angus Mor, who had held it 

Sanda. on the south-eastern coast of Cantire. When previously to its seizure by the Scottish king. See 

king Haco's ships appeared off Dunavertie in 1263, The Chronicle of Man, edited by A. P. Munch, 

the Scottish knight, who held it for Alexander III. of p. 116. 



14 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

And for mair sekyrness, gaiff him syne 
His castell off Donavardyne. 



And in Donavardyne dayis thre 

For owtyne mair, then duellyt he. 

Syne gert he his mengye mak them yar, 

Towart Rauchryne, be se to far. 

That is ane ile in the se, 

And may weill in myd watter be 

Betwix Kyntyr and Irland, 

Quhar als gret stremys ar rynnand, 

And als peralous, and mair, 

Till our saile thaim into schipfair, 

As in the race off Bretangye, 

Or strait of Marrock in to Spayne." (24) 



Barbour states that Bruce was accompanied to Rathlin by a force of three hundred men, that 
the inhabitants of the island on seeing so many soldiers were panic-struck, the women rushing about 
with loud cries, whilst they assisted the men to collect their cattle and drive them for safety to a 
" rycht stalwart castell."(25) Bruce instantly took means to assure the people that he came not as 
an enemy but as a friend, and when they discovered who he was who thus sought protection 
amongst them, they acknowledged him cordially as their rightful king, and — what was no doubt 
equally agreeable — they provided food for his formidable party of associates. On the memorable 
day of Bannockburn, Angus Oge brought ten thousand men into the field, and fought most valiantly 
by the side of Bruce. Angus and his Islesmen were placed on the right flank of the army, and as 
a permanent mark of distinction for the gallantry and effect with which they wielded their battle- 
axes, Bruce assigned to him and his descendants the same honourable position in the royal army 
on all future occasions. From the time in which Angus Oge joined the party of Bruce, so early as 
the year 1286, his loyalty never faltered, even when the fortunes of the king became at times 
apparently hopeless. During the struggle, the Macdougalls, lords of Lome, (26) who were closely 

(24) To Spayne. — For a very interesting account of a gigantic warrior, would have captured the future hero 

Rathlin, and the perilous currents of the channel around of Bannockburn, had not the plaid of the latter given way 

it, see Reeves's Eccks. Antiquities, pp. 28S— 292; see in the clutch of his very formidable antagonist. This 

also Dr. Hamilton's Letters on the Antrim coast, No. II. plaid, and the brooch which fastened it, were long pre- 

For various forms of the name of the island, see Dr. served by the Macdougalls, in their generations, as a 

O'Donovan's note in the Dublin Penny Journal, vol. i. proud trophy of their ancestor's prowess. In the year 

p. 315. In an old historical Tract relating to events of 1647 their castle, so romantically siluated on the island of 

the first century, and known as the Battles oj Conghal Kerrara, opposite Oban, was seized by a detachment of 

Claringneach, the island of Rathlin is named Inis na m- the Covenanting army, commanded by an officer named 

bare, or, 'the Island of ships.' In the well-known Irish his- Campbell, of Inverawe, who plundered the place, and 

torical Tract entitled the Tain Bo C/mailgne, or ' Cattle- among other valuables, carried off the famous Brooch of 

spoil of Cooley,' Rathlin is called Rigdonn. These are Lome. This precious relic remained in the family of 



probably the earliest recorded names of the island. See Inverawe until the year 1S26, when it was purchased by 

O'Curry's Manuscript Materials, pp. 38, 261. general Duncan Campbell of Lochnell, and generously 

(25) Stalwart castell. — For a short notice, by M'Skimin, restored to John Macdougall of Dunolly castle, the 

of the remains of this fortress, known as Brace's Castle, in representative of that Master Macdougall by whom it 

the island of Rathlin, see Dublin Penny Journal, vol. i., was originally captured from Bruce. (See Oris;. 

pp. 25, 26. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. 118.) The whole territory 

(26J Lords of Lome. — The Macdougalls defeated Bruce of Lome passed from the Macdougalls by the marriage 

on the field of Dalree. Alaster Macdougall, son of John of an heiress of their house with one of the Stewarts. 

of Lome, grappled with Bruce during the battle, and being The following account of the marriage, by which the 



PRINCES OF THE ISLES. 



15 



connected by inter-marriages with the Comyn and Balliol party, fiercely arrayed themselves in 
opposition to the claims of Bruce. On the forfeiture of the lands belonging to the Macdougalls of 
Lome, Bruce amply rewarded the loyalty of Angus Oge, by granting him the isles of Mull, Jura, Coll, 
and Tiree, the possession of which had been previously disputed between Angus and Alaster, lord 
of Lome, In addition to these islands, Angus obtained the one-half of the lordship of Lochaber, 
forfeited by the great family of Comyn, together with lands in Morven and Ardnamurchan that had 
been in possession of the crown for some time prior to the commencement of the struggle. 

Angus Oge married a lady of the then great family of O'Cahan (27) in Ulster, and being 
anxious to plant with settlers some portions of his lands, he accepted, as a tocher or dowry with his 
wife, seven score men out of every surname found in O'Cahan's territories. The following is Hugh 
Macdonald's reference to this transaction, which is curious, as preserving the names at least of a 
few of those who were then transferred from the fields of Antrim and Derry to their new homes 
throughout the Highlands and Isles of Scotland : — " The portion or tocher he had by her was seven 
score men out of every surname under O'Kane, viz., The Munroes, so called, because they came 



Campbells afterwards became possessors of Lome, is 
contained in William Bowie's Black Book of Taymouth: — 
" Imprimis Duncan Campbell commonly callit Duncane 
in Aa, knicht of Lochow, floorisched in king David 
Bruce his dayis, and was linealliedescendit of ane valeant 
man, surnamit Campbell, quha cam to Scotland in king 
Malcom Kandmoir his tyme, about the yeir of God 1067, 
off whome cam the house of Lochow. This foirsaid 
Duncane in Aa, Knicht of Lochow, had to wyffe Margaret 
Stewart, dochter to Duke Murdoch, on whom he begat 
tua sons — the elder callit Archibald Campbell, the other 
namit Colene Campbell, quha wes the first Laird of 
Glenurquhay, descendit of the bouss of Lochow off the 
name of Campbell. The foirsaid Colene (quha eftirwart 
wes stylit Sir Colene) receaving from his father, the 20 
October, 1432, foirscore marklands lyand on Lochow, 
mareit to Ins first wyffe, Mariot Stewart, dochtir to 
Walter Stewart of Albanie (sone to Isabel duchesse of 
Albanie and countess of Lennox), quhilk Mariot departit 
schortlie thereafter without successioune. The said 
Colene, eftir the decease of his first wyffe, mareit Janet, 
Stewart, eldest dochtir of Walter Stewart, lord of Lome, 
with whom he got in name of tochir guid the auchtene 
markland of the Brae of Lome, her father being then 
alyve. But eftir her said father his decease, the haill 
lordship of Lome falling to his thre dochtirs, heretrices 
thereof, the said Sir Colene, be vertue of.his wyffe, eldest 
of the thre, fell to the haill superioritie of the lordship of 
Lome, and first third thereof, extending to tua hundreth 
and fifty marklandis. The said Colene being tutor to his 
brother's sone, Colene Campbell (quha wes made first 
erle of Ergile), he mareit him on the seconde heretrice of 
Lome, and thai-eftir for the favour he bore to him, and 
the standing of his house, freelie demitit unto him the 
superioritie of the haill lordship of Lome." Cosmo 
Innes's Sketches of Early Scottish History, pp. 342, 343. 

(27) O'Cahan. — The O'Cahans were originally a 
branch of the Cinel-Eoghain, and thus descended from 
Niall the great, surnamed of the 'Nine Hostages,' who 
was monarch of Ireland at the commencement of the 
fifth century. Niall had seven sons, among whom he 



divided the territories of Ulster, and to these sons all the 
old families who sunk into obscurity at the time of the 
Plantation, and also many who survived that crisis, trace 
their descent. The O'Cahans, prior to the English in- 
vasion, had supplanted the Cianachta, a race who gave 
its name to the present barony of Keenaght, in the county 
of Derry. "The O'Cahans or O'Kanes were called 
Oireacht-Aibhne, from Aibhne (son of Diarmid, son of 
Cumhaige na-Coille), who flourished A.D. 1432, and was 
the progenitor of nearly all the subsequent chiefs of this 
family. The chief at this period was Donnell Ballagh, 
son of Rory, son of Magnus, son of Donongh the Hospi- 
table, son of John, son of Aibhne or Evenue. a quo Oire- 
acht-Aibhne, a tribe name by which the chief families of 
the O'Kanes were at the period designated. He was 
inaugurated in the year 1598. Fynes Moryson tells a 
story of the chief of this family. A Bohemian baron 
called at the court of Dublin Castle, and said, among other 
things, that he had visited the castle of O'Cane, in the 
North of Ireland, where he was admitted to see that 
chieftain's daughters, two of whom, very nyn.phs in 
beauty, were sitting round a fire stark naked. They bid 
him sit down on the ground and form one of the com- 
pany, which he refused to do. Soon after O'Cane, their 
father, returned from hunting, and addressing thestranger 
in the Latin language, desired him to take off his clothes 
and rest. The only covering the chief had on was a large 
cloak, which he took off on entering the castle, and then 
he too being stark naked, sat down at the fire along with 
his daughters. It is curious to remark with what intense 
determination the English Government at this period 
turned all their force of cannon, musketry, treachery, and 
satire to overthrow the wilde Irishrie."— (See O'Daly, 
Tribes of Ireland, translated, with Notes by Dr. O'Dono- 
van, p 56, note.) The above lying story was never 
put into circulation by a " Bohemian baron ;" but F\nes 
Moryson, and those who then haunted the " court at Dub- 
lin Castle," were capable of originating it. The O'Cahans 
were not more barbarous than other families of the same 
noble rank, and of none others in Ulster, or in Ireland, 
has any such defamatory story been told. 



10 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

from the innermost Roe Water, (28) in the county of Deny, their names being formerly O'Millans ; 
the Roses of Kilraack ; (29) the Fairns, Dingwalls, Glasses, Beatons, so now called, but improperly, 
that being a French name, whereas they are Irish, of the tribe of the O'Neals, and took the name 
first from following the name of Beda. Our Highland senakies say that Balfour, Blebo, and these 
Beatons that came from France, went formerly from Ireland, but for this they have no grounds to 
go upon ; the Macphersons, who are not the same with the Macphersons of Badenoch, but are of 
the O'Docharties (30) in Ireland ; the Bulikes in Caithness, of whom is the Laird of Tollingail, and 
many other surnames, which, for brevity, we pass over, many of whom had no succession," 
( Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 294). Hugh Macdonald further tells us of Angus Oge, that 
among the many settlers on his lands, were two brothers named Hector and Lachlin MacGillean, 
from whom descended the numerous and powerful clan of the Macleans : — " For he gave four score 
merklands to Hector the older brother, and to Lachlin the younger he gave the chamberlainship of 
his house. Now these made up the surname of Maclean, for they never had a rig of land but what 
they received from Macdonald ; to the contrary of which I defy them, or any other, to produce any 
argument ; yet they were very unthankful for the good done them afterwards. When the Macdonalds 
were in adversity, which happened by their own folly, they (the Macleans) became their mortal 
enemies." Ibid., p. 296. 

Angus Oge is described as a " personable, modest man, affable, and not disaffected to king or 
state. He created Macquarry a thane. He had a natural son, John, by Dugal AI'Henry's daughter, 
she being her father's only child. This John by his mother enjoyed the lands of Glencoe, of whom 
descended the race of the Macdonalds (of Glencoe). He had his legitimate son, John, who succeeded 
him, by O'Kain's daughter. He had not many children that came to age. He had a daughter 
married to Maclean, and that by her inclination of yielding. Angus died at Isla, and was interred 
in Icolumbkill." {Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 296.) This island king expired at his palace of 
Finlagan, (31) in Isla, in the year 1325 ; and on his tomb, inside the chapel of St. Oran in lona, 

(28) Roe Water. — The river Roe flows through one of in the Aird of Altyre in Moray, and of Redcastle and 
the most fertile districls of the county Deny, and falls into Ardmanoch in the Black Isle. This Hugh de Rose is said 
Lochfoyle, near Nevvtownlimavady. This etymology of to have been the seventh baron in the family, which would 
the surname Monro is very questionable, but was no doubt imply their high social position from the time of their first 
the popular account in the Highlands in Hugh Macdon- settlement in Scotland. In a grant from John of the Isles, 
aid's time. In the seventeenth century, the representive in 1460, he is called Huchone de Roos. For much 
of the Munros was sir Robert, a covenanting major- curious information relative to this interesting family of 
general of the army, sent to Ulster against the Irish of Rose of Kilravock, see Cosmo Innes's Sketches of Early 
1641. He was well known as a ruthless soldier, but Scottish History, pp. 437 — 490. 

unsuccessful in his mission to Ulster. For an account of (30) O'Docharties. — The O'Dogherties of Inishowen 

his career, see the Montgomery MSS., new edition p 168. were of the race of Conall Gulban, a son of Niall of the 

(29) Kilraack — There is a history of the Roses of Nine Hostages. Conall Gulban was converted to 
Kilravock written by a clergyman, the Rev. Hew Rose, Christianity by the preaching of St. Patrick. It is 
parson of Nairn, in 1683. He knew nothing, however, reported that, on his conversion, the saint, as a signal 
or perhaps did not care to know, of their Irish descent. evidence of his favour, inscribed a cross on Conall's shield 
He speaks of them as 'of Norman descent, the chiefs with the spike of his pastoral staff, the Bachall Josa, or 
adopting the fashions of the Norman chivalry in theirdress ' Staff of Jesus,' recommending Conall to adopt the well- 
so early as the close of the thirteenth century. The first known motto— In hoc signo vinces. See O'Curry's 
of the family who owned the estate of Kilravock, on the Manuscript Materials of Ancient Irish History, p 330. 
river Nairn, was Hugh de Rose, who received it as a dowry (31) Finlagan. — See p. 8, supra. This residence was 
with his wife, Mary de Bosco, a grand-daughter by her situated on an island of Uoch Finlagan, in the parish 
mother of sir John de Byset, lord of Lovat and Beaufort, of Kilarrow, which formed the largest portion of Isla ; 



PRINCES OF THE ISLES. 



17 



the following inscription is still legible — " Hie jacet corpus Angusii filii Angnui Macdomnill 
Domini de Ila.i^i). 

The lady of Angus Oge Macdonnell survived him several years, and returned to the Irish 
shore, where she probably dwelt during the remainder of her life. Her christian name has puzzled 
chroniclers, appearing variously as Aind or Agnes, Margaret, and Hannah. The first 
mentioned was, most probably, her correct name. On a Chancery Roll, a.d. 3 338, is copy of 
a safe-conduct, granted to Agnes, mother of John of the Isles, protecting her when crossing the 
Channel to and from Ireland, as often as she wished to do so. (See Annals of the Four Masters, 
translated and edited by O'Donovan, p. 1893, note). This lady was married first to an O'Neill, 
and was the mother of the well-known Brian Balloch O'Neill, half-brother to John of Isla. The 
latter visited Ulster on two occasions, to assist in getting Brian Balloch accepted as The O'Neill, 
but without success. (See Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, pp. 294, 299). John of Isla, the eldest 
son and successor of Angus Oge, was more familiarly known by his Gaelic name of Eoin na-hlle, 
and the clergy usually styled him the " good John of the Isles," because of his liberality to the 
church. He married as his second wife Margaret Stewart, a daughter of Robert II, the first 
Stewart king of Scotland. Hugh Macdonald, speaking of this marriage, and of his several children 
thereby, says: — "He married Lady Margaret Stewart, daughter to king Robert II., Sir Adam 
More's daughter being her mother.(33) John had by the king's daughter, 

(33) Her mother. — Elizabeth More or Muir was a lady 
of the well-known Rowallan family, in the parish of Kil- 
marnock, her father, sir Adam Muir, being the fifth in 
descent from David de Moore, the founder of that house 
early in the thirteenth century. There had formerly 
existed considerable doubt as to the reality of the marriage 
between Robert II. and Elizabeth Muir, and all the earlier 
Scottish historians down even to Buchanan, supposed 
that their union had not been legalised by marriage. The 
author of the Historic of James the Sexth, however, 
after quoting from a pedigree of the Muirs of Rowallan, 
says that " Robert, great Steward of Scotland, having 
taken away the said Elizabeth, drew to Sir Adame, her 
father, ane instrument that he should take her to his law- 
ful wyfe, which myself hath seene, said the collector (of 
the Pedigree, Mr. John Lermonth), as also anetestimonie 
written in Latine by Roger M 'Adame, priest of our 
Ladie Marie's chapell." A charter granted by Robert II. 
in 1364, proves that Elizabeth Muir was the first wife of 
that king, and refers to a dispensation granted by the 
Pope for the marriage. This charter was published in 
1694, by one Mr. Lewis Innes, Principal of the Scots' 
College at Paris. The dispensation from Rome referred 
to in the charter of 1364, was long sought for after the 
lady's death, and was not found until the year 1789, when 
it, and a dispensation for the king's marriage with 
Euphemia Ross, his last wife, were discovered together. 
There exists also another charter, by David II. " to 
Robert, great Stewart of Scotland, of the lands of 
Kintyre ; and to John Stewart his son, gotten betwixt him 
and Elizabeth Moore, daughter of Adam More, knight, 
and failzeing of him, to Walter, his second brother." 
Elizabeth Muir is said to have been a very beautiful 
woman, and to have captivated the high steward during 
the unquiet times of Edward Baliol, when the foimei was 



The Lords of the Isles had other mansions in Isla, but 
Finlagan appears to have been the principal one at the period 
referred to. The remains of this building are still to be 
seen on the little island in Loch Finlagan ; there are 
traces of a pier also on its shore, and of the houses in 
which the guards of the island princes dwelt. It is a 
curious fact that whilst the remains of these princes were 
carried for burial to Iona, their ladies and children 
were generally interred in this little island. Here, 
too, the princes were inaugurated, and held all their 
important meetings of council. The stone on which 
they were crowned was a large coarse slab, eight feet 
square, having an indenture resembling the track of a 
man's foot in the centre. This stone, and another which 
answered the purposes of a council-table, were carried off 
by an earl of Argyle. (See Orig. Paroch. Scot., 
vol. ii., p. 26.) An old Scottish writer, referring to this 
place, says : — "There the governor of the Isles, usurping 
the name of a king, was wont to dwell. Neere unto 
this iland, and somewhat lesse than it, is the Round 
Island, taking the name from counsell, for therein was the 
Justice Seate, and fourteen of the most worthy of the 
countrey did minister Justice unto all the rest, continually, 
and intreated of the maightie affaires of the Realme, in 
counsell, whose great equity and discretion kept peace 
both at home and abroade, and with peace was the com- 
panion of peace — aboundance of all things." Certayne 
Matters conceaminge the Realm of Scotland, composed 
together, a> the were Anno Vomini 1597, published 1603. 
(32) De Ila.— This is translated— '-Here lies the Wy of 
A ngus, the son of A ngus McDonnell, Lord of Isla. " The 
monument on which the above is inscribed was unbroken 
in the year 181 1, and on it was also carved the picture of 
a ship with hoisted sails, a standard, and four lions. 
See James Macdonald's Hebrides, p. 703. 



i8 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



Donald, (34) who succeeded him ; John More, of whom descended the Macdonalds of Kintyre 
Antrim, Sanay, Leargy, and Isla. (35) He had Allister Carrick, of whom descended Keppoch, 
and the Macdonalds in the Braes of Lochaber,(36) which I hold to be the third noblest branch of 
the Macdonalds, in order of their descent, as being legitimately begotten before the rest.(37) John 
had a daughter by Lady Margaret Stewart, married to Montgomery of Eglinton, who had Mac- 
donald's arms in their house for a long time, till of late years a countess in the family removed the 
bloody hand out of the arms, because it held a cross, she being a rigid Presbyterian. "(38) 
Collectanea de Rebus, Albanicis, pp. 297, 298. 

John of Isla allied himself with the English against his nearer neighbours, the Scotch ; and, for- 
getful of the generous treatment he had always experienced at the hands of David II., this island-king 
appeared at the head of his Highlanders and Islesmen, to make certain warlike demonstrations against 
the peace of Scotland, with the object of embroiling its political affairs at the instigation of England. 
Although, however, an outward reconciliation took place, Scottish statesmen were thus made 



often obliged to seek safety in concealment. It is supposed 
that Dundonald castle was the " scene of king Robert's 
early attachment and nuptials with the fair Elizabeth." 
From this union are descended, through their daughter, 
Margaret Stewart, the Macdonnells of Antrim ; and 
through their sons, not only the race of our British 
sovereigns, but also of several crowned heads in Europe. 
For an account of the Muirs of Rowallan, see Paterson's 
Parishes and Families of Ayrshire, vol. ii., pp 1S2, 194. 

(34) Donald. — This island-prince is famdiarly known 
in Scottish history as Dounell of Harlaw, from the fact of 
his having defeated at Harlaw, in 141 1, an army sent 
against him by the duke of Albany, then regent of 
Scotland. Of this royal army, the earls of Marr and 
Buchan were the commanders, and under them the lords 
Marischail and Erroll. Donnell of the Isles had married 
Mary Leslie, a daughter of William Leslie, earl of Ross, 
and soon after his marriage his wife became rightful heir 
to the great earldom of Rots, by the death ot her niece, 
Euphemia Leslie, whose mother was a daughter of the 
duke of Albany. The latter claimed the earldom for his 
second son, John, earl of Buchan, but Donnell of the Lies 
determined that it should descend through his wife in his 
own lamily — hence the celebrated battle ol Harlaw, an 
obscure place in Garioch, among the Braes of Buchan. 
Donnell only lost 180 men, whilst of the opposing host 
there fell 2550, among whom were many Scottish 
knights. 

(35) And Isla. — From John Mor, of whom we shall 
have more to say in a subsequent chapter, there descended 
many distinguished families of Macdonnells, of whom 
those mentioned above are only a few of the leading 
branches. His descendants, when associated, formed 
the Clan-Ian- Vor, or 'family of John Mor', the principal 
element in the great Clandonnell South, whose movements 
were so important on both the Scottish and Irish shores. 

(36) Lochaber — This Alexander, surnamed Carrach, or 
' Scarred,' was the founder of the great family of the 
Macdonnells of Lochaber, of which Keppoch was the 
chief or representative. "In the Chartulary of Moray, an 
authentic deed of the year 139S, he is described as 
Afagnifiais vir et potent, Alexander dt Insults dominus de 



Lochaber. He was forfeited for joining an 
1431, but his descendants continued to hold the Braes of 
Lochaber, although never formally restored to their 
possessions. Alexander or Alaster Carrach's grandson 
was called Alaster Mac Angus, and from him the clan 
was styled Sliochd Allatter Vic Angut ; and from Ranald, 
a grandson of the second Alaster, it was often called also 
the Clanranald of Lochaber. The later chiefs were st) led 
Macranahls of Garragach and Keppoch, their Gaelic title 
being Mac Mine Raomtill, i.e., Mac Vic Ranald, or the 
son of Ranald's son." See Gregory's History of the 
Western Highlands and Isles of Scotland, pp. 63, 64. 

(37) Before the rest. — T\\t first noblest branch, of course, 
were the descendants of Donnell, eldest son of John of 
Isla and Margaret Stewart ; the second noblest were the 
representatives of the second son, John Mor; whilst the 
third noblest was the house of Keppoch in Lochaber, as 
founded by Alexander or Alaster Carrach, the third son 
of the same parents. This was rather an invidious state- 
ment on the part of Hugh Macdonald, however, as it 
implied that several other clans in his time — still powerful 
and very proud — had descended from illegitimate pro- 
genitors, such as the Siol Gorrie, or descendants of 
Godfrey, the eldest son of Amie Macrory, and the Clan- 
ranald of Gamoran, the descendants of her youngest son 
Ranald, then (16S0) the most powerful clan of the 
Macdonnells in the Highlands, including, as it did, the 
great families of Moydert, Morar, Knoydert, and Glen- 
garry. 

(38) Rigid Presbyterian. This marriage of a daughter 
of John of Isla to one of the Mongomerys of Eglinton is 
not known to any modern Scottish genealogists, so far as 
we are aware, or if known, it has not been mentioned. Of 
the fact there is not much doubt, as this senachie's story 
is circumstantial enough. The "rigid Presbyterian," who 
had such a horror of the popish symbol of the cross, was 
the lady Anne Livingstone, first wife of the sixth earl of 
Eglinton. She was a good covenanter, and a warm 
patron of covenanting preachers. To her the well-known 
John Welsh addressed the following letter whilst minister 
of Templepatrick, and during the interval between his 
trial before bishop Echlin at Belfast, and the formal 



THE PRINCES OF THE ISLES. IQ 

to feel their danger from England through the island-kingdom on the north, and thenceforth it 
became their great object to watch every occasion of weakening, and finally destroying it. 

The fatal policy of taking part with England instead of Scotland in the quarrels of those 
kingdoms, was continued by John's successors, so long as the kingdom of the Isles existed. His 
great-grandson, also named John, brought on by this means the downfall of his principality sooner 
than it would otherwise have come to pass. In the year 1462, he concluded a secret treaty with 
Edward IV. of England, at the castle of Ardtornish, by which he, his son Donnell, and his 
grandson John, bound themselves to assist king Edward, and James earl of Douglas, in the 
subjugation of Scotland. For this service they were to receive, respectively, in time of war, ^200, 
^40, and ^20 sterling, yearly; and in time of peace, 100 marks, ,£20, and ^10 sterling. (See 
Orig. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. 193.) This treaty was kept secret until the year 1475, but 
from the moment of its discovery, the days of the island-kingdom were literally numbered. 
John was formally cited at his castle of Dingwall to appear before the Scottish Parliament, 
summoned to meet in Edinburgh in the December of the year last named. In the meantime, a 
commission was given to the earl of Argyle to prosecute a decree of fire and sword against him, 
. which induced him to make his submission, and to surrender to the Scottish crown the whole great 
earldom of Ross, together with the two extensive territories of Knapdale and Cantire. This was 
a virtual surrender of his island-kingdom, and appeased his powerful neighbours, but only for a 
time. James IV. of Scotland determined to breakup everything in the shape of a confederacy among 
the Islesmen, and this policy could not be effectually carried out so long as a prince of the Isles, 
although comparatively powerless, was permitted to retain the title. Accordingly, in the Parliament 
which met in May, 1493, John of the Isles was attainted, and deprived of his title and all the re- 
maining territories he had held since the surrender of 1476. In the month of January following, 
this fallen prince appeared before the Scottish king going through the form of a voluntary submis- 
sion for. the sake of a pension, and actually remaining some time afterwards in the king's house- 
pronouncing of his deposition : — " Madam, — I have made mornyng to nyght, without faintyng or weariness fprayse 
bold to write these few lynes to your Ladyship, haveing to His name). Such motion I never saw — new ones 
the conveniencye of this bearer. I confesse myneglectein coming in that never knew Him before. Your Ladyship 
this duetye ; but trulie my indisposition and want of ane shal be pleased to marque God's wisdome that since the 
heart fitt for ane goode duetye hath been my hindrance ; bischop began to question us, there is, I dare saye, above 
but now dead as I am, I adventure, and speciallie being three hundreth that God hath taken by the heart that 
encouraged with good tydings that I have to wriue to never knew Him before, and this within the 7 moneths, — 
your Ladyship, which I know will be as refreshing as upon this condition long may wee be in question, and 
cold watters to ane wearye and faint person, to wit the never may the bischop rest. . . . Wee have gotten 
Lord's work prospered! gratiouslye in this countreye ; it tyme yet till May day, and that unexpectedlye contrarye 
spreadeih abroad (blessed be His name), and notwith- to their purpose, and I hope more good will be done in 
standing the greate opposition, it hath floorisched indeed this tyme, then all the malice of both divels and men 
like the palme tree, and even the last Sabbath in Antrim will be able to undoe." The writer concludes with a 
ane Englishe congregation, the superstitious forme of flattering account of lady Eglinton's spiriiual condition, 
kneelying at the sacrement putt awaye, and the true For the time till "May day" (granted to Welsh and his 
paterne of the institution directlye followed, which was brethren, before final deposition was pronounced), they 
ane thinge that we could never looke for in that place. were indebted to the interposition of the learned and not 
. Now the Lord worketh more in ane daye than in intolerant archbishop Ussher. The letter of which the 
ten before ; and where they flocked before, they flocke above are extracts, was dated " Templepatrick, igih 
ten tymes more, sua that in this litle churche, Sunday October, 1632," and signed "Mr. Josias Welsh." See 
was senyght, wee had above 14 or 15 hundreth at the Fraser's Memorials of the Motttgomeries, Earls of Eglin- 
and never such ane daye had wee from ton, vol. i., pp. 224, 225. 



20 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



hold. The English had deserted him in his time of need. He retired to the monastery of 
Paisley, a religious house that had been often liberally endowed by his ancestors, and there died in 
1498, being buried, at his own request, in the tomb of his ancestor, Robert II. (39) 



(39) Robert II. — The hostile attitude of the Islesmen 
towards their Scottish neighbours, and the bloody feuds 
resulting therefrom, originated principally in the crafty 
and aggressive policy of the house of Argyle. John of 
the Isles, whose surrender and death are above referred 
to, left a son, Angus, who soon proved himself a warrior 
worthy of his name, and who would have probably re- 
stored the island-kingdom for a time, had he not been 
prematurely cut off by assassination. Angus married a 
daughter of Argyle, and his wife, after her husband's 
murder, bore a son, whom Argyle, as the instrument of 
the Scottish king, privately stole from his own daughter, 
when the child was only three years of age, and kept him 
a prisoner during almost his entire lifetime, — first at Inch- 
connell, and afterwards at Edinburgh. (See Macvurich's 
Manuscript, as quoted by Scott, Poetical Works, vol. x., 
p. 286; Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 317.) When 
this child became a man, another, and a final effort, was 
made by the Islesmen to restore their island-kingdom. 
To negotiate assistance from England they appointed two 
commissioners, viz., Rorie Macalaster, dean of Morven, 
and Patrick Maclean, justice clerk of the South Isles. 
These commissioners forthwith addressed a long letter to 
the Privy Council of Henry VIII., containing the fol- 
lowing passage explanatory of their hostile policy towards 
the Scottish kingdom : — " Quharfor zour Lordscheps sail 
considder we have beene auld enemys to the realme of 
Scotlande, and quhen they had peasche wyth the kingis 
Hienes (Henry VIII.), they hangit, hedit, presoned, and 
destroied manie of our kyn, friendis, and forbears, as 
testifyis be our maister, the Erll of Rose, the quhilk hes 



lyin in preson afore he was borne of hismodir, and nocht 
releiffit wyth thair will, but nowe laitlie be the grace of 
God. In likewyse, the Lord Maclane his fader was 
cruellie murdessit under traist in his bed in the toun of 
Edinbruch, be Schir Jhon Campbell of Calder, brodir to 
the Erlle of Argyll. The captaine of Clanrannald, this 
last zier ago, in his defence, slew the Lord Lowett his 
sone and air, his thre breither, with 13 scoir of men. 
And manie uther cruell slachter, burnyng, and herschep, 
the quhilk war lang to wrytte." ( Slate Papers, vol. v., pp. 
503, 504.) The above-named commissioners were ap- 
pointed by the leading island lords who signed, or rather 
had their names signed for them as follows: — 

Allan M'Lan of Torlosk. 

Cillegana MNell of Barray. 

Ewin APKlna of Straquhordill. 

JhonWQuore of Wlway. 

Alex. Rdnaldson of Glegare. 

Angus Rdnaldson ot Knwdeort. 

Jhon MLanol Arclgor. 

Donald MLan of Kengerloch. 

Hector Macklayn Lord of Doward. 

Jhone owdwatt M'Allestyr Capta of Klaneronill. 

Rore MKlovJ of Lowis. 

Allexa.tr M'Clovd of Downevegane, 

Mowrdowcht M Clone of Lowchbowe. 

Angas M' Condi Brudr. Jaime to James M'Conill. 

Archebald M'Conill Capta of Klane-Howstowne. 

Allexailr MCane of Armourche. 

Jhone AI' Clone of Cole. State Papers, vol. v., pp. 
477, 478. 



[21] 




CHAPTER II. 

THE LORDS OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. 

|OHN MOR MACDONNELL, the second son of Eoin na-h He, or John of Isla, 
and grandson by his mother of Robert II., came to the Antrim Glynns for a wife. 
The lady by whom he was attracted hither was young, high-born, handsome, and an 
heiress. Margery Byset — for such was her name — represented an old and noble 
family, descended from Greek progenitors. They had come to England with William of Nor- 
mandy, and removed thence to Scotland at some later period. The Bysets became rivals of the 
De Galloways, earls of Athol; and in the year 1242, Patrick, the youthful and popular earl of 
Athol, son of Thomas, son of Rowland, son of Fergus de Galloway, was found dead in his bed- 
chamber at Haddington, and the house set on fire, so that his death might appear to have been 
the result of accident. The Bysets, being known to cherish hostile sentiments towards the 
murdered earl, were suspected, and although they were able to produce many witnesses, including 
the queen, who gave exculpatory evidence, they were nevertheless condemned to banishment 
from Scotland. (1) Indeed, John and Walter Byset narrowly escaped with their lives, and only 
succeeded in saving themselves by a solemn oath that they would go on a crusade to the Holy 
Land, and continue to dwell there during the remainder of their lives, praying often and 
fervently, at certain specified shrines, for the soul of the deceased earl. That they might be able 
to raise and equip a respectable force or following on their journey, they were permitted to sell 
their extensive lands, and their vast accumulations of stock and chattel property. They felt out- 

(1) From Scotland. — There were two great families of feud between the houses; and suspicion fell especially on 

the Bysets situated respectively in the north and south Walter de Byset, an officer in the Queen's household, and 

of Scotland, during the reign of William the Lion, but who had prevailed with the Queen to spend lour days at 

the male line of the northern branch failed with sir John his castle of Aboyne on her journey south from Moray, 

de Byset of Aird, and the southern house was soon alter- at the very time when the Haddington tragedy happened, 

wards dispersed by the event referred to in the text. Sir Byset had the support of both sovereigns, the Queen 

John of Aird left three daughters. From Mary, the especially offering herself ready to make oath to his inno- 

eldest, who inherited Lovat in the Aird, are descended cence ; but the friends of the murdered earl were too 

the Frasers of Lovat; Cicilia inherited Altyre in Moray, powerful, and (perhaps) the proofs of guilt too strong, 

and became the wife of a Fenton ; and Elizabeth married The southern Bysets were banished, and obliged to take 

sir Andrew de Bosco, and had, among other lands, as a vow to join the crusade, and never to return from the 

her marriage portion, the estates of Redcastle in the Holy Land. On this condition, apparently, they saved 

Black Isle, and Kilravock on the banks of the river Nairn. their lands and goods, or were allowed to dispose of 

(See p. 16, supra, note.) Of the catastrophe which them. They seem to have migrated to Ireland. Quorum 

befel the southern Bysets, the following is a summarised postcritas Hibernian! inhabitat usque nunc. Fordun, ix., 

account: — " In 1242, Patrick, Earl of Athol, of the 59-61." (See Cosmo Innes's Sketches of Early Scottish 

highest blood and kindred of Scotland, and himself a gal- ///story, p. 438, note.) The murdered earl of Athol 

lant youth, after a great tournament at Haddington, was was son of Thomas, styled Mac Uchtraigh, or Gothred, 

treacherously murdered, and the palace where he slept, in after his maternal grandfather of that name. See p. IO, 

the west end of the High Street, was burned to conceal supra ; see also Camden's Britannia, translated by 

the manner of his death. The Bysets were generally be- Gough, vol. iv., p. 134. 
lieved to be the instigators of the murder, from an ancient 



22 THE MACDONNELLS OK ANTRIM. 

raged at being punished at all, and doubly so, by the terms thus imposed upon them. Instead, 
therefore, of going meekly eastward, they turned their faces westward, cursing Scotland, and 
seeking a home on the Irish shore. They carried with them means sufficient to establish them- 
selves in their former position as territorial lords, by the purchase of extensive lands on the 
Antrim coast from Richird de Burgo, earl of Ulster. Before the close of the thirteenth century, 
the leading family of the Bysets held the seven lordships of the Glynns ; and a century later, the 
sole heir to this great property was Margery Byset abovenamed (2) She was the fifth in descent 
from John, the first settler, and daughter of Eoin Byset, surnamed Finn or ' Fair,' who was slain 
near Carrickfergus by the followers of sir Robert Savage, whom he had treacherously put to 
death. (3) 

Of Margery Byset's mother, who died in the year 1387, there is the following very honourable 
mention in the Annals of the Four Masters: — " Sabia, daughter of Hugh O'Neill, the choice 
woman of the descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages (4) in her time, and wife of Tohn Bisset 
died after penance." The Annals of Clonmacnoise speak even more warmly of this lady's character, 
as follows : — " Sawe, (5) daughter of Hugh O'Neill, and wife to Owen Mac Bisset, a lady that far 
surpassed all the ladies of the Clanna Neill, in all good parts requisite for the character of a noble 
matron, died." This woman, so nobly distinguished in her generation, appears to have left but one 
child, Margery, who was married about the year 1399, and with whom the seven lordships of the 
Glynns passed into the family of the Macdonnells of Isla. Her marriage with John Mor is mentioned 
by Duald Mac Firbis as follows : — " Eoin, who is also called Eoin a-Hile, and Eoin More, the second 

(2) Abovenamed. — Hugh Macdouald gives the following other and later Eoin Bisset were known as Mac Eoins, 
account of John Mor Macdonnell's marriage:— '• Now, now M'Keowns. 

John More married the heiress of the Glens in Ireland, (4) Nine Hostages. — Niall O'Neill was surnamed 

bein? John Bisset's daughter, the fifth in descent from Niagiallach, from the nine hostages he was said to 

the Bisset who was banished from Scotland for the have taken, — live from the five provinces into which 

slaughter and murder of Walter Cumin, earl of Athol, Ireland was then divided, and four from Alba, or Scot- 

and although the queen and some of her train attested land. O'Flaherty observes on this title, that although 

that he was among the residue of her attendants the night it is unanimously accorded to Niall, accounts disagree on 

on which the murder was committed, yet the Cumin was the nine regions from which the hostages were taken; 

such a potent name, that he was forced to leave the king- the maritime parts of Gaul and Great Britain are men- 

dom for Ireland, where he procured a good estate for tioned as being the foreign dependencies, which 

himself." (Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 303.) Se- probably is true as far as Alba is concerned; but in 

veral Scottish chroniclers besides Macdonald erroneously other countries the hostages taken were all the plunder 

supposed that the earl of Athol was a Coinyn. and captives that the hordes of Niall could stow into 

(3) Put to death. — The following is the record of this their boats or currachs. " Perhaps the nine hostages could 
affair in the Annals of the Four Masters, at the year be found within the coasts of Erin, which, at that period, 
1383 :— " A great army was led by Niall O'Neill, with contained more than that number of half independent 
his sons, and the chieftains of the Kinel-Owen, into principalities, — two Munsters, three Connaughts, Eire- 
Trian-Chongail, against the English ; and they burned monian and Irian Ulster, and two, if not more Leinsters. 
and totally plundered many of the towns. The English Political Ireland remained to the twelfth century nearly 
of the territory assembled to oppose them. Hugh O'Neill as Niall left it. Ogygia Vindicated, p. 177. ." Cambrensis 
and Raibilin Savadge met each other in a charge of Eversus, translated with Notes, by Kelly, pp. 495, 496, 
cavalry, and they made two powerful thrusts of their note. 

spears into each other's bodies. Raibilin returned severely (5) Sazoe. — This is another form of Sabia used in the 

wounded to his house, where Mac Eoin Bisset killed him ; Annals of the Four Masters. Sabia is the latinised 

and Hugh O'Neill died the third day afterwards of the Sadbk, pronounced Sawe or Soyv, still a pretty general 

effect of his wound: and Mac Eoin Bisset, he was killed name (or women of native Irish race. Dr. O'Donovan 

by Riabilin's people the third day after the killing of states that it is now almost invariably anglicised Sally, to 

Raibilin himself." The christian name Raibilin was which it bears no analogy." See Irish Topographical 

anglicised Robert, a name in very common use among Poems, translated with Notes, by O'Donovan, Intro- 

the several families of Savage. The descendants of an- duction, p. 6 >, 



THE LORDS OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. 23 

son of Angus Oge, had to wife Maria Bised, daughter of Mac Eoin Bised, a Greek family, which 
came in with William the Conqueror, and it was by her that the seven lordships of the Glens 
came to the Macdonnells." (See Pedigree, Appendix I.) In 1586, sir Henry Bagenall wrote a 
Description of Ulster, referring, in the following terms to this marriage alliance, and to the 
right thus derived by the Macdonnells as lords of the Antrim Glynns : — " These (the Glynns) 
were sometyme the inheritance of the Baron Misset (Byset), from whome it descended to a 
daughter, who was married to one of the Clandonnells in Scotland, by whome the Scots now make 
their claim to the whole, and did quietly possess the same many yeares." 

At the period of this marriage, the Antrim Glynns had the character of being densely wooded, 
which indeed is implied in the general name of the district. (6) They were thus hardly so 
attractive perhaps as they now appear, although much more desirable as hiding-places for Scottish 
refugees. (7) It is admitted, even by those who have had opportunities of visiting other lands, 
that the picturesque beauty of this district is, in some respects, unrivalled. Each glen is found to 
possess its own peculiar charms, whilst throughout all, the same leading characteristics are appa- 
rent. The principal glens open on the sea at irregular intervals, along the line of coast between 
. the little towns of Glenarm and Ballycastle, and extend inland among the hills in winding courses 
of several miles. A little stream finds its way down the centre of each valley to the sea, now 
murmuring between piles of grey rock overhung with hoary trees, and again stealing quietly 
onward through stretches of corn and meadow-land. The overhanging slopes are generally 
occupied by small but well-cultivated fields, in almost every variety of shape and size, and 
fashioned, apparently, more by the influence of time and chance, than by any direct agency of 
human hands. The humble homesteads to which these fields belong are old-fashioned, badly- 
planned, and clumsily built, if you will, yet having an air of decent comfort, and even dignity, 
which modern and more pretentious farmhouses do not often exhibit. From the porches of these 
quiet habitations, there are magnificent views of the channel, with its rugged, romantic shores ; 
and many a tale of love and war, of peril and shipwreck, and enchantment, are familiarly rehearsed 
from generation to generation by the simple inmates. (8) 

|6| The district, — The general name Glynns applied to not to lie commended either in summer or winter. From 

this region on the coast, originally and simply denotes the Red Bay is a very good way to Coshandun, but from 

' Woods.' In a very ancient poem, we have the phrase thence, over the mountains to Gary, you must have a 

Geilt G/inties, meaning a wild man or woman living in guide to Ballycastle, and well if you escape: the moun- 

the woods. See Proceedings of Royal Irish Academy, tains seem a continual bog, where a man is in danger of 

vol. vii., pp. 1S4, 190. sinking with his horse, and the lower way so steepe that 

(7) Scottish refugees. — The Glynns were the more secure your horse climbs very oft — slippery in winter and steep 

as hiding-places from the fact of the then total absence of in summer. Once past the moor, there is a very good 

roads. The intervals between the Glens were, and, in way to Ballycastle. And so I finish, being extreamety 

many places, still are, high muirland flats, covered with wearie travelling the Last Way." A Briefc Description 

heather, and full of swamps. Over these were afterwards of the County of Antrim, 1683, by Richard Dobbs. 

tarried the highways, which, even at the close of the See Appendix II. 

seventeenth century, were very troublesome to |>n:-s. The (8) Inmates, — Among the tales thus familiarly told in the 

following account of the road from Glenarm tu Bally- Glens is the story of the Sens of Uisnech On the eastern 

cattle is left us by a wayfarer who passed down it previ- side of Ballycastle Bay, a vast, natural causeway of free- 

ously to the year 1683:— "From Glenarm he that would stone extends several' hundred feet into the water, its 

coast it to Coleraine goes over the mountains to Red southern side sloping down so as to form a sheltered 

Bay, and must have a guide; or if he keepe the sea neere landing-place for small boats. Time immemorial this 

his right hand, it is very deepe in winter, with some steepe rock has been locally known as Can ig- Uisnech, and with 

passages very ill to ride up and down. Both ways are it is associated a tradition identical in all its leading 



24 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



About the time of John Mor's marriage, he resided in Cantire, where the family had at least two 
residences, one at the head of Loch Kilkerran,(o) and another near the Mull, known in early times 
as Dundonnell. (10) The fortress of Dunaverty was not used as a family residence ; and, at the period 
to which we refer (1399), Glen Sauddell castle had passed into the possession of the bishops of 
Argyle. Immediately after the marriage, the wedded people appear to have visited Isla, where the 
bridegroom's brother, " Donnell of Harlaw," then resided. During their visit a remarkable 
incident occurred at the castle of this island-prince. The deposed king of England, Richard II. 

designated Ceann-loch-Chille-Chiaran (Kinloch-Kilker- 
ran), a name by which this arm of the sea has been known 
since the days of St. Chiaran, an Irish missionary, who 
settled in Cantire about the year 536. The Macdunnells' 
castle stood at the head of what is the present main street 
in Campbelton. The site is known as Castle-hill, on 
which the Presbyterians have built a very common-place 
church. James IV., when engaged in his grand mission 
of extinguishing the kingdom of the Isles, rebuilt the 
Macdonnells' castle, and called it his "New Castle of 
Kilkerane in Kyntire." In 1536, it was fortified by 
James V., but soon afterwards retaken by the Macdon- 
nells. The castle was standing early in the last century. 
(See Oris;. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. I7-) 

( ro) Dundonnell— This residence stood in the old parish 
of Killean, or about the centre of the present united parishes 
of Saddell and Skipness. It was probably built by Don- 
nell, son of Randal, and grandson of Somerled. Here 
the charters granted to vassals, by princes of the Isles, 
are said to have run thus: — " I, Macdonnell, sitting upon 
Dundonnell, give you a right to your farm from this day 
till to-morrow, and every day thereafter, so long as you 
have food for the great Macdonnell of the Isles." (Orig. 
Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. 26.) Another of these grants 
conveying lands to a chief of the Mackays, is expressed 
in the following terms: — " I, Donnell, chief of the Mac- 
donnells, give here, in my castle, to Mackay a right to 
Kilmahumag. from this day till to-morrow, and so on 
forever." (Bede's Glencreggan, vol. ii., p. 241.) These 
verbal grants were of frequent occurrence among all Celtic 
peoples, and particularly among the inhabitants of Ire- 
land. (See the Miscellany of the Irish Archseological 
Society, vol. i., pp. 139 — 143.) Land originally belonged, 
not to'individuals, but communities; and, under such cir- 
cumstances, there were no grants, either symbolical or 
written. When individual rights in land came afterwards 
to be recognised, grants were not at first made in writing, 
but by a verbal gift in each case, with the use of some 
appropriate symbol of investiture — such as a sword, a 
cup, a horn, a dart, and many others that might be named. 
A knife was a common symbol, the act of delivery of the 
grant being made by opening and shutting the knife, 
which was then laid on the altar. A gift of land to St. 
Grellan by a king of Connaught was conveyed by the 
grantor presenting the branch of a tree. The lands of 
Lany in Menteith were held by the grant of a sword. 
When a Pictish king bestowed lands on the church of 
St. Andrew, the gift was conveyed by an "altar sod." 
In all these, and similar cases, the grants were made 
with imposing solemnity, and the written entries were 
memoranda of the facts only, and not actual deeds or in- 
struments. See The Book of Deer, edited by John Stuart, 
Preface, pp. lxv. — Ixviii. 



features with the historical tale of Deirdre, or the Lament- 
able Fate oj the Sons of Uisnech, known among the ancient 
Irish as one of the Three most Sorrowful of the Tales of 
Erinn. (See p. 8, note, supra.) Of this tale, three written 
versions are known to exist — one in the Book of Leinster, 
another in the Book of Lecain, and a third in a separate 
paper manuscript. O'Curry suggests, with respects to all 
ancient Irish compositions of this class, that the more 
copious versions are, probably, the older ones, and that 
in cases where the language has been modernised, it is 
owing to the fact that such versions were the more popu- 
lar, because the more copious, and consequently the more 
frequently transcribed. (See Manuscript Materials for 
Ancient Irish History, pp. 14, 96, 294, 589, note.) 
The Glens-people have also their traditionary version of 
The Children of Lir, another of the Three Most Sorrow- 
ful of the Tales of Erinn. Lir, according to this story 
was a great chieftain who dwelt in the Isle of Man, and 
who was deeply disappointed because he had not been 
chosen king of the whole Tuatha De Danann race of 
Erinn. He married a daughter of the chief or king of 
the Scottish island of Arran, and by her had four child- 
ren, viz., a girl named Fionnghuala, and three boys 
named respectively Aedh, Fiachra, and Conn. On the 
death of their mother, Lir married her sister, who, being 
jealous of their father's attachment to these children, 
struck them, whilst bathing, "with a metamorphosing 
druidical wand, and so put them into the forms of four 
beautiful white swans," permitting them to retain, how- 
ever, their human faculties of reason and speech. In 
this condition they were doomed to live nine hundred 
years, until eventually set free by the dawning of Chris- 
tianity in Ireland, which was to be announced by the 
sound of St. Patrick's Bell. Of the nine hundred years, 
the swans were doomed to live three hundred on the 
Sruth-na-Maoile, the current of the Mull of Cantire, 
which proved to them, as might be expected, a most un- 
comfortable place of residence. According to the local 
tradition, the storms of the channel frequently drove 
the swans into the little river known as the Mairge, 
which falls into Ballycastle Bay, they being eventually 
liberated by Columbkille! Of course the children looked 
eagerly for the coming of the time that was to set them 
free, and Fionnghuala uttered many pathetic lamentations 
on their imprisonment. Our poet, Moore, has sweetly 
caught up the spirit of one of these dirges, in the verses 
from which the following is an extract: — 

" Sadly, O Moyle, to thy winter-wave weeping, 
Fate bids us languish long ages away; 
For still in her darkness doth Erin lie sleeping, 
And still doth the pure light its dawning delay." 
See the Atlantis, vol. iv., p. 132. 

(9) Kilkerran. — Campbelton is now the name of the 
little town at Lochhead, but the place is still locally 



THE LORDS OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. 



25 



who was then generally believed to have died of starvation in his prison at Pontefract, suddenly 
made his appearance in the Isles, disguised as a poor traveller. He was at once recognised by 
Margery Byset, who had met the king on his second visit to Ireland, only a short time prior to her 
marriage. This recognition was recorded by contemporary Scottish chroniclers, but principally, and 
earlier than all others, by Andrew Winton, the prior of Loch Leven. The following is his account : — 

" Bot in the Out-Ilys (11) of Scotland than 
There was travelland a pure man ; 
A lordis dochter of Ireland, 
Of the Bissatis there dwelland, 
Wes weddyt wyth a gentleman — 
The Lord of the Ilys bruither than. 
In Ireland before quhen schee had bene, 
And the King Richard thar had sene; (12) 
Quhen in the Ilys schee saw this man, 
Schee let that she weel kend hym than, 
Till her maistere soon schee past 
And tauld thar till hym all sa fast 
That hee wes that King of Yngland 
That she before saw in Irland, 
When hee wes tharin before, 
As schee drew than to memore." 



(II) The Out-Ilys— The Out-Isles were so called to 
distinguish them from Bute, Arran, and the Cumbraes, 
that lay within the line of the Scottish coasts. All others 
lying out in the channel, or in the Atlantic, west and 
north-west of the Cantire and the northern coasts, were 
called the Out-Isles. Thomas Knox, a bishop of the 
Isles, who succeeded his father, Andrew Knox, when the 
latter was translated to Raphoe, has left an interesting 
account of his diocese, drawn up in the year 1626. "The 
Diocie of the Hebiid Ilandis," he says, " is devydit into 
the West and North Ilanclis The West Ilandis lyand 
betwix Cumray in mouth of Clyd till the Row of Ardma- 
rochie (Rue or Point of Ardnamurchan), as thay pass the 
Muill of Kintyre, extend tham selfis neir thrie hundereth 
myles in the ocean, and ar devydit in these of the South 
and of the Northe syde of Kintyre." Those on the south 
side of Cantire are the Cumbraes, Bute, and Arran. The 
islands on the north side of Cantire the bishop states to 
be Gigha, Jura, Isla, Colonsay, Mull, Icolmkill, Coll, 
and Tiree The North Islands lying between Ardna- 
murchan Point and Rona are Muck, Rum, Cana, Egg, 
Sky, Uist, Harris, Lewis, and Barra. (Collectanea de 
Rebus Albanicis, p. 122.) These islands are divided 
also into north and south, the dividing line being Ard- 
namurchan Point. "The headland of Ardnamurchan is 
not only the most noted in the parish, but on the whole 
line of coast betwixt Cape Wrath and the Mull of Cantire, 
being the westernmost part of the mainland of Britain. 
From the era of Somerled to the reign of James VI., it 
constituted a geographical boundary between the Western 
Isles, which were denominated Northern and Southern, 
according to their position in respect to this promontory." 
(New Statistical Account oj Argyllshire, p. 130 ) These 
islands lie scattered opposite the western coast of Scot- 
land, which they shelter from the fury of the Atlantic, 
and are supposed to have been, at some remote period, 



parts and parcels of the main land. They are nearly 200 
in number, but the very small islands are passed over 
without note, and, if referred to, are casually mentioned 
only in connexion with some of larger size adjoining them. 
The latter amount to 160, of which abcut one-fourth are 
inhabited in the summer season. In the last century 
there were houses on 96 of the islands, but at the present 
time human habitations could not be found on perhaps 
more than 60 of them. These islands constitute 31 
modern parishes, and are politically connected with the 
counties of Renfrew, Argyle, Ross, and Inverness. See 
James Macdonald's Hebrides, pp. 8 — II. 

(12) Had sene. — Richard II. visited Ireland twice dur- 
ing his unhappy reign; first in 1394, and secondly in 1399. 
On the first occasion he mentioned in a letter from Dub- 
lin that the people of this country might then be divided 
into three classes — "The wilde Irishe, or enemies, the 
Irish rebels, and the English subjects " He received a 
show of submission from a great number of Irish chiefs, 
upon whom he forced the honour of knighthood after the 
English fashion, and who submitted to the infliction with 
a very bad grace, protesting that they had already 
been so honoured according to the custom of their own 
country. The king's act on this occasion, which was 
intended to have an anglicising effect upon the re- 
cipients, utterly failed in its object, and no sooner 
had Richard sailed from the Irish shore than his knights 
were all in arms against the English yoke. On the 
occasion of his second visit, in 1399, Art MacMor- 
rough, the representative of the ancient line of Leinster 
kings, was actively engaged in rebellious courses, and 
Richard swore by St. Edward that he must have 
MacMorrough dead or alive ! But he did not then 
know that his own fate had been sealed in England, 
or that the wars of York and Lancaster had actually 
begun ! 



26 



THE MACDONNELLS OE ANTRIM. 



It is further stated that the hapless fugitive was ' wild,' or deranged, when he appeared in the 
Isles, and that he was forwarded without much delay to the care of the Scottish court, where he 
found an asylum until the time of his death, in 1419. The prince of the Isles had evidently feared 
to compromise himself with England, by showing any marked attention to the outcast king, whom 
he forwarded to Robert III., under the protection of sir John Montgomery. (13) When Richard 
had previously visited Ireland, Margery Byset was no doubt presented to him, as the daughter of a 
great northern lord, and she appears to have retained a distinct recollection of the royal face. Her 
recognition of him through his disguise was a fortunate circumstance for the king, as it proved the 
means of obtaining for him shelter and protection during the remainder of his life. (14) 

John Mor Macdonnell was styled lord of Dunyveg and Glennis, the former part 
of this title being the name of the family mansion in Isla, and the latter the name 
of the Antrim estates acquired through his wife. He was so styled in the year 1400, which was 
soon after his marriage. He had received from his father 120 marklands of old extent, or about 
3,600 acres, in Cantire, and also 60 marklands, (15) or about 1,800 acres in Isla. Hence he and 



(13) Sir John Montgomery. — This sir John Mont- 
gomery was son of sir John of Eaglisham, who, on the 
death of his father, in 1388, succeeded to the lordships 
of Eglinton and Ardrossan ; Hugh, the elder brother of 
sir John, having been slain at Otterburn. He, therefore, 
succeeded his father as the second lord of Eglintoun about 
the year 1398, and was, no doubt, the chief who married 
John of Isla's daughter (see p. 10. supra), and was thus 
brother-in-law to Donnell Macdonnell and John Mor, 
whom he relieved on this occasion from the presence of 
the unfortunate king Richard. This same sir John 
Montgomery was one of the leaders of the Scottish army 
which invaded England in 1402, and he was taken 
prisoner at Halidon Hall. He was afterwards employed 
by the Scottish king in various important services, among 
which may be mentioned his capture of the fortress on 
Loch Lomond, which was held against James I. of Scot- 
land by sir James Stewart, youngest son of Murdoch, 
duke of Albany. See Patterson's Families 0/ Ayrshire, 
vol. ii., pp. 232, 233. 

(14) His lije — The truth ot this remarkable story 
seems to be placed beyond a doubt. Robert III. was the 
king of Scotland to who«e care Richard II. was com- 
mitted; and he was, no doubt, touched with more than 
common sympathy by the sad condition of his royal 
brother. In a manuscript preserved in the Advocate's 
Library, entitled Extracts- ex Chronicis Scotia, there is 
the following passage: — " Henry Percy, Earl of North- 
umberland, with his nephew, Henry the younger, and 
many others of the prelates and nobles of England, who 
fled from the face of Henry the Fourth, came into Scot- 
land to King Richard, at this time an exile, but well 
treated by ihegovernour." Robert III had died in 1406, 
and the " governour" of Scotland here referred to was 
Robert Stewart, earl of Fife and Menteith, appointed 
regent during the captivity of James I , who eventually 
succeeded to the throne in 1424. This governor's 
chamberlain, when giving an account of his yearly- 
expenditure, in 1408, tays: — "Be it remembered, also, 
that the said lord governour, down to the present time, 
has neither demanded nor received any allowance (or the 



sums expended in the support of Richard, King of Eng- 
land, and the messengers of France and of Wales, at dif- 
ferent times coming into the country, upon whom he has 
defrayed much, as is well known." At the end of the 
accounts for the year 1414, is the following observation : 
— " Be it remembered, also, that our lord the duke, 
governor of the kingdom (created Duke ol Albany) has 
not received any allowance or credit for the expenses of 
King Richard, incurred from the period of the death of 
his brother our lord the king of good memory." The 
same memorandum occurs at the close of the accounts 
for 141 5; and at the year 141 7 is the following more 
special announcement: — "Be it remembered that the 
lord governor has not received any allowance for the ex- 
penses and burdens which he sustained for the custody of 
King Richard of England, from the time of the death of 
the late king his brother of good memory, being a period 
of eleven years, which expenses the lords auditors of 
accounts estimate at the least to have amounted annually 
to the sum of an hundred marks, which, for the past 
years, makes in all £lH 6s Sd." These curiously cor- 
roborative extracts were first brought to light by Tytler, 
the learned author of the History of Scotland, of which 
history see vol. iii., pp. 279—330. 

(15) Marklands. — " Nothing is more perplexing in 
Highland charters and rentals than the various denomina- 
tions of land which we meet with. We meet penny 
lands and their fractional parts, qnarterlands. cowlands, 
and marklands. The penny lands in the Isles are be- 
lieved to have received that denomination dining the oc- 
cupation of the Isles by the Scandinavians, and they do 
not appear to have any reference whatever to the proper 
Scottish denominations. Thus the lands in Ross of Mull, 
conveyed by this charter (of lands granted to the abbacy 
of Iona), and denominated penuylands, amount in the 
■whole to only fifty-six penny and three ferthing lands ; 
whilst by the usual Scottish denominations lliey were 
rated to the crown as the twenty pound, or thirty mark- 
lands of Ross." (See Collectanea de Rebus Alianicis, p. 
179.) According to an ancient valuation Isla was divided 
into 337 half merklands, which, in 1751, were valued at 



.ORDS OV ISLA AXD THE ANTRIM GLEXS. 



27 



his successors, were also styled lords of Isla and Cantire, a title by which they were more familiarly 
known in Scotland than the one already mentioned. (16) It would appear that John Mor was 
dissatisfied with the small portion of his father's possessions which had been assigned to him, and 
that evil counsellors created jealousies on this point between him and his brother. These jealousies 
resulted in a civil broil, in which John Mor was defeated, he and his adherents being compelled to 
make a hasty retreat to the Antrim Glynns. His object in this feud was to obtain from his brother 
as much of southern Argyle as is comprehended in the district now known as Knapdale ; but at the 
end of the struggle, he seems to have been quite content to accept his brother's pardon, without 
any additional lands. The following account of this dispute is recorded by Hugh Macdonald, the 
chronicler of Sleat : — " About this time lived the subtle and wicked councillor, the Green Abbot 
Finnon, by whose daughter John More had a natural son called Ranald Bane, of whom descended 
the house of Lairgy. (17) MacLean fostered Donald Balloch, John More's eldest legitimate 
son, (18) by the Abbot's advice, who told John More that he had but a small portion of his father's 



,£739 18s 2d. The lands in that island were let so re- 
cently as the commencement of the present century ac- 
cording to the old Celtic subdivisions and denominations. 
The Gaelic aarbdh was a quarterland, which was identi- 
cal with eight gloat lands, or thirty-two penny lands, and 
was commonly rented at from £70 to £So. The Ochtobh, 
or achten part, is half a quarterland, and was rented ac- 
cordingly. The leor-theas was half an Ochtobh, or equal 
to a plough-land. The cola-ban, or groat land, was half 
a leor-theas. The d ,-skillin, a two-penny land, was half 
a cola-ban. On a groat land, or cola-ban, the tenant 
generally kept four horses, and from seven to ten cows. 
See James Macdonald's Hebrides, pp. 624, 625. 

(16) Already mentioned. — In a writ of the year 1400, 
John Mor appears with the title of lord of Dunveg and 
Glennis. He is repeatedly mentioned as an ally of the 
English, from 13S9 to 1396, and designated as above. 
(Gregory, History of the Western Highlands and Isles of 
Scotland, p. 63.) In the year 1405, Henry IV. of Eng- 
land appointed John Dougan (who had been a Benedictine 
monk and bishop of Deny, afterwards of Down and Con- 
nor), seneschal of Ulster, and commissioned him, in con- 
junction with others, to negotiate a peace between Donnell 
Macdonnell, lord of the Isles, and his brother, John 
Mor, of the one part, and certain merchants of Dublin 
and Diogheda of the other part, the latter having twice 
led harassing forays into Scotland. See D'Alton's Army 
List of James II., p. 257.) 

(17) House of Lairgy. — This Randal, or Randal Bane, 
was the founder of a family which has survived the vicis- 
situdes that swept away almost every other branch of the 
Macdonneils Irom the Highlands and Isles. The chief- 
tain of this family, at the disastrous crisis of 1493, was 
Donnell Macrandal Bane. The family representalive, in 
1591, was sir James Macdonnell, who escaped the clutches 
of Argyle in that year as if by a miracle, and made his 
way to Ireland, where he was kindly received by his kins- 
men, the Macdonneils of Antrim, and permitted by them 
to occupy Clough castle, in the barony of Kilconway, dur- 
ing the remainder of his life. He died there, and was 
buried in the Antrim vault at Bunnamairge. (MS. Pedi- 
gree of the Macdonneils 0/ Pallvpatrick in Cnlfeightrim. ) 



His son was restored as laird of Largie after the execu- 
tion of the marquis of Argyle in 1661. The present 
family representative is the Hon. Augustus H. Macdonald 
Moreton, second son of the first lord Ducie, and was 
M.P. for the county of Gloucester in 1835— 1840. He 
married Jane, daughter of the late sir C. Macdonald 
Lockhait, whose name he had assumed. (See Bede's 
Glencreggan, vol. ii., p. 229, and note) Randal, surnamed 
Ban, or "white haired," the founder of this family, was 
not illegitimate, as slated in the text, but a younger son 
of John Mor and Margery Byset. This branch of the 
Macdonneils, descended from him, and known by their 
sept name of Macrandalbanes, fought gallantly to uphold 
the kingdom of the Isles against the Stewart kings, so 
long as fighting was of any avail. At a subsequent period 
it fought as gallantly for the Stewart dynasty, even after 
that cause had become hopeless. 

(18) Legitimate son. — The custom of fosterage was uni- 
versal among all Celtic tribes. In that portion of the 
Brehon laws relating to this ancient custom, the most 
minute regulations are prescribed respecting the food, 
education, and unwearying care which foster-children are 
to receive at the hands of those to whom they were en- 
trusted; and severe penalties were incurred by any neglect 
of duty in these particulars on the part of fosterers. To 
receive the childien of the chief in fosterage was considered 
a high honour and privilege by families of an humMer 
station, for which they were even willing to pay liberally 
by endowing the foster-child or children thus committed 
to their charge. Almost all our early Irish chieftains had 
names added, either from the persons with whom they 
fostered, or the places to which they had been sent in 
youth for this purpose. Thus, one of the O'Neills was 
called Brian Fa^ar/ach, from being fostered in Kinel- 
Fagartaigh, now Kinelarty, in the county of Down ; 
another was Turlough Brissilagh, from being fostered in 
Clanbrassil; a third Niall Conallach, being fostered in 
Tirconnell. One of the Macdonneils was named ( ahan- 
ach, from being fostered among the O'Cahans of Ulster, 
and another Donnell Galda, from being fostered with 
strangers or foreigners. These are only a few illu 
cases of very many that might be quoted. See Cavil' 



28 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



Eversus, edited by Kelly, vol. ii. , p. 140, note; see, also, 
Irish Topographical Poems, edited by O'Donovan, Intro- 
duction, p. 18. 

(19) The MacLeans — For the grant from a prince of 
the Isles to Hector and Lauchlan Maclean, the founders 
of this clan, seep. 15, supra. Hector was a principal officer 
un ler Donnell of the Isles at the battle of Harlaw, where 
he was slain. His great grandson, also named Hector, 
was chief of the Clan-Gillean, or Macleans of Dowart, at 
the time of the forfeiture in 1493. and had lands in Morven, 
Lochaber, and KnapJale, besides smaller holdings in 
the islands of Isla, Jura, Mull, and Scarba The second 
branch were the Macleans of Loch/wy, the irrepresentative 
in 1493 being Eoin or John Maclean. The Macleans of 
Coll were the third family in importance, and were de- 
scended from Lauchlan above named. The fourth great 
house was that of Ardgour, descended also from the same 



pmgi-ui 



Lauchla 



The chiefs of Coll and Ardgour 



estate, and that he should seize upon all that was beyond the point of Ardnamurchan southward. 
The abbot being a subtle eloquent man, brought over to his side the chief of the MacLeans (19) 
and Mac Leod of Harris, (20) to get the Islands for themselves from the lord of the Isles, who 
hearing of the insolence of the new faction, raised some powerful forces, viz. the men of Ross, 
Mac Leod of Lewis, (21) his own brother Allister Carrick, C22) Macintosh, (23) Mackenzie, (24) 
the chief of the Camerons, (25) the Islanders, the men of Urquhart and Glenmoriston, (26) the 

received the lands beyond the river Lochy, — Mamore, and 
Glen Spean." See Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 303. 

(23) Macintosh. — The Macintoshes are descended from 
a MacDuff, thane of Fife, by an illegitimate daughter of 
Angus MorMacdonnell, prince of the Isles. (Collectanea 
de Rebus Albanicis, p. 291.) This family grew into the 
great and powerful Clan-chattan, which held extensive 
lands in Badenoch and Lochaber. Out of the Clan- 
chattan grew the Clanvurich, or Macphersons. The chief 
of the latter now claims also to be styled chief of the 
Clan-chattan, but the family of Mackintosh has the prior 
claim to that distinction. See Gregory's History of the 
Western Highlands, p. 422. 

(24) Mackenzie. — At the period referred to (about 1415), 
the Clan-Kenzie was rising rapidly in power and in- 
fluence among the neighbouring septs. Being originally 
vassals of the earldom of Ross, the Mackenzies were 
required to render fealty to the princes of the Isles from 
the time of the battle of Harlaw, when Donnell of the 
Isles established his wife's claim to that earldom. By 
the forfeiture of that great territory in 1476, the Mac- 
kenzies became independent of any superior but the 
Scottish crown, and soon rose into a leading Highland 
clan, owing their distinction mainly to their position on 
the western coast of Ross, and adjacent to the isle of 
Skye. To their ancient possession of Kintaill they soon 
added other lands rising, like so many others on the ruins 
of their former masters, the Macdonnells, and opposing 
the latter at every opportunity. Kenneth Oge Mackenzie 
was chief in 1493. His descendant, also named Kenneth, 
was created viscount Kintaill in 1609 by James VI., and 
Kenneth's son, Colin, was advanced by the same king to 
the dignity of earl of Seaforth, in 1623. Another branch 
was ennobled as earls of Cromarty ; and until the end of 
queen Anne's reign, the Mackenzies, next to the Camp- 
bells, were the greatest clan in the West Highlands. 
The earl of Seaforth was forfeited for joining the first 
Pretender in 1 715, and the earl of Cromarty for joining 
the second Pretender in 1745. The estates were 
restored to their families, but the titles were not. See 
Camden's Britannia, edited by Gough, vol. iv. , pp. 185, 
186; see also Gregory's History of the Western High- 
lands, pp. 83. 425. 

(25) The Camerons. — This celebrated clan had its seat 
in Lochaber, and was generally associated in its policy 
with the Macdonnells of the Isles, but occasionally 
opposed to them. The estates in Lochaber included the 
lands of Lochiel, Glenluy, Glennevis, Locharkaig, and 
Mammore. Donnell Uttv, one of their most distinguished 
chiefs, was driven for a time into the Antrim glens — an 
asylum from his enemies, in 1429. From him the chief 
of the clan was afterwards kn own in the Highlands by 
the title of MacDhonuill Duibh. or son of Black Donnell. 
Gregory's History oj the Highlands, pp. 76, 77. 

(26) Glenmoriston. — Urquhart and Glenmoristan, in 



in 1493 were John Abrach Maclean, and Lauchlin Mac 
Ewin Maclean. See Gregory's History of Highlands and 
Isles, pp. 69, 72. 

(20) Harris. — The whole Clan-Leod or Macleods are 
so called from Leod, a common ancestor. They were 
divided into two great brandies, the descendants of Tor- 
quil, or Macleods of Lewis, and the descendants of Tor- 
mod, or Macleods of Harris. Thi.se two divisions 
became at last two perfectly distinct clans independent of 
each other. The Macleods of Harris held, under the 
lords of the Isles, not only their own island, or rather 
peninsula, but also two-thirds of the island of Skye, com- 
prising the lands of Dunvegan, Duirinish, Bracadale, 
Lyndale, Trouterness, and Minganish. They continued to 
hold their estates until the end of last century; but with 
one or two exceptions, these estates have passed into other 
hands. See Gregory's History, 74, 421. 

(21) Lewis. — From the year 1344, the Macleods of 
Lewis held as vassals under the house of Isla. The 
possessions of this branch were very extensive, compre- 
hending the Isles of Lewis and Rasay, the district of 
Waterness in Skye, and those of Assint, Cogeache, and 
Gerloch on the mainland. The principal surviving 
branches in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were 
the families of Rasay and Assint. The Mackenzies, 
Macleods, and the earl of Seaforth held the island in 
1626, the year in which bishop Thomas Knox wrote an 
account of his diocese. Of Lewis he says that it is "the 
best and gritest of the Hebrid Ylandis, and is possessit 
be the earl of Seafort. He refuses my duetie, and denyes 
any tak." Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 125. 

(22) Allister Carrich. — {See p. , supra.) It would 
thus appear that the youngest brother took part with the 
prince of the Isles during the insurrection of John Mor. 
This Alexander Carrach, Hugh Macdonald states, 
'refused the country of Trotternish, in the isle of Skye, 
preferring to it the forest lands of Lochaber, and so 



LORDS OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. 29 

Glenco people, (27) and Macneil of Barra. (28) Now John and his party could not withstand 
the forces of his brother, so leaving Kintyre he went to Galloway. Macdonald followed them. 
John went from Galloway to Ireland, and remained in the Glens. Donald returned to Isla. John 
More and his faction, seeing that both they themselves and their interest were like to be lost, unless 
Macdonald pardoned himself, and spared the rest for his sake, thought it their best course to go to 
Isla, where Macdonnell resided in Kilcummin. (29J Upon John More's coming into his brother's 
presence, and prostrating himself on the ground, his brother rose and took him up, and embraced 
him kindly. This sedition was owing to MacFinnon (30) and his kinsman, the Green Abbot. 
MacFinnon being found guilty and convicted, was hanged, and the abbot was all his lifetime 
confined to Icolumkill, his life being spared because he was a churchman, where he built a stately 
tomb for himself, which is still to be seen." (31) Collectanea de Rebus Albatiicis, pp. 303, 304. 

John Mor's brother, Donnell of the Isles, died about the year 1425, at his castle of Ardtornish, 
in the 45th year of his age, and was succeeded by his son Alexander, who had not attained his 
majority at the time of his father's death. His kinsman, James I. of Scotland, had then returned 
from his long captivity of eighteen years in England, and he appears to have been jealous of the 
power to which the island-princes had attained by the annexation of the great earldom of Ross. 
He was surrounded on his return to Scotland by certain members of the royal family, who had been 
defeated and disappointed in their hopes on the field of Harlaw, and who, therefore, became the 
deadly enemies not only of Donnell, the victor on that field, but also of his son Alexander, the now 
youthful prince of the Isles. James and his council soon determined that there should be but one 
king in Scotland, and as a means of reducing the prince of the Isles, they offered to take his uncle 
John Mor into their counsels, and even to confer on him the territories which they contemplated 
taking by violence from his nephew. " In the mean time, the king sent James Campbell to know 
if John More of Kintyre, Macdonnell's uncle, would consent to take his nephew's lands ; but it was 

the ancient division of Scotland known as Murray, pertaining to Mr. Mackneill of Barray." See James Mac- 
belonged to the Grants, whose chief residence was Urqu- donald's Hebrides, p. 780. 

hart castle on Lochness. The old region known as (29) Killcummin. — The name of this residence of the 

Murray, is now divided into the shires of Elgin, Forres, Macdonnells in Isla is more generally written Kilchoman, 

and Nairn. which is also the name of a parish comprising the south- 

(27) Glenco People. — These were Macdonnells, their west portion of that island known as the Rinns of Isla, 
founder being an illegitimate son of Angus Oge. One of and consisting of a peninsula formed by Loch Gruinart 
their chieftains, from being fostered in Lochaber, was on the west, and Lochindaal on the east, and having the 
surnamed Abrach, and from him the Glenco people were appearance of being an island at some remote period, 
known as the Clan Ian Abrach. See Gregory's History Near the present village of Kilchoman was the seat or 
of the Western Highlands, p. 67.) mansion referred to above, and a deep glen adjoining, 

(28) Macncill of Barra.— Bishop Knox says "from the the island kings are said to have used as an extensive farm 
south end of Uist lyethe the yle Bara ; this yle is fyve yard. See Orig. Paroch. Scot. vol. ii., p. 275. 

mylles in lenth, tua in breid." The Macneills have (30) Mac Finnon.— The Clanfinnon, or Mackinnons, 
owned Barra for at least five hundred years, but their owned the lands of Mishnish, north and west of Tober- 
branch has produced no remarkable men, and their mory in the island of Mull ; and also the lands of Strath- 
history, so far as known, offers little of interest in con- ordell, in the island of Skye. Neil Mackinnon was head 
nexion with that of the islands. (See Gregory's History of the clan in 15 15. After the surrender of the island- 
oj Western Highlands, p. 423.) Of Barra, dean Monro kingdom in 1476, the Clanfinnon, generally followed the 
says that it is "ane fertill and fruitful ile in comes. banner of the Macleans of Douart, but occasionally that 
Within the south-west end of this ile ther enters a salt of the Macdonnells ofSleat. 

water loche, verey narrow in the entrey, and round and (31) To be seen. — The remains of this tomb, built by 

braid within. In the middle of the said loche ther is ane the Green Abbot to distinguish his own grave in Iona, 

castel in an ile, upon a strengthey craige callit Kilekrin, are even yet easily recognised by tourists. 



30 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

a trap laid to weaken them that they might be the more easily conquered. James Campbell sent 
a man with a message to John of Kintyre, desiring him to meet him at a point called Ard-dhu, with 
some prudent gentlemen, and that he had matters of consequence from the king to be imparted to 
him. John came to the place appointed with a small retinue, but James Campbell with a very 
great train, and told him of the king's intentions of granting him all the lands possessed by Mac- 
donnell. John said he did not see wherein his nephew wronged the king ; and that his nephew 
was as deserving of his rights as he could be ; and that he would not accept of those lands, nor 
serve for them, till his nephew would be set at liberty; and that his nephew himself was as nearly 
related to the king as he (John Mor) could be. (32) James Campbell hearing the answer, said that 
he was the king's prisoner. John made all the resistance he could, till, overpowered by numbers, 
he was killed." Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 308. 

James I soon discovered that he had made a serious mistake in thus treacherously planning 
the capture, or destruction of John Mor. The murder created a deep feeling of indignation 
throughout the country, especially among such powerful opponents of the king's policy as the 
Hamiltons, the Douglasses, and the Lindsays. James became ashamed, and at last afraid of the 
consequences of his own treachery ; and by way, if possible, of appeasing public opinion, he pro- 
tested that he had only instructed Campbell to capture John Mor, at the same time actually giving 
orders to have the assassin tried for the murder. Campbell on being convicted, strenuously 
maintained that he had the king's authority for his proceedings, but as he could produce no written 
order from James, he was executed, his death being intended as evidence of his royal but dastardly 
master's innocence in the transaction ! It was too late, however; the fire had been kindled, and 
only blood coald allay its spreading flames. One feeling of fierce revenge for the cold-blooded 
murder of John Mor, pervaded the Highlands and Isles, and was rendered more intense by the 
treacherous capture of Alexander Macdonnell, their youthful and popular ruler. To meet the 
crisis James bestowed the lands of Lochaber, which had been taken from the Macdonnells, on 
his own kinsman, Alexander Stewart, earl of Mar, (33) who proceeded forthwith to levy an 
army, which was marshalled in hot haste under the earl of Huntly, (34) Allan, lord Caith- 

,32) As he could be. — James I. and John Mor Mac- Britayne; Jeane, countesse of Huntly ; Eleanor, dutches of 

donnell were grandsons of Robert II., and thus nearly Austria; Marie, wife to the L. of Campveere ; and 

related. The pretence that John Mor's relationship was Anabella. He was slayne at Perth irayterously by Walter, 

closer to the king than that of his nephew. Alexander of earle of Athole." — Real me of Scotland in 1597. 
the Isles, which must have been made the ostensible (33) Earl of Mar. — This Alexander Stewart was son 

grounds for this preference, was tco transparent to deceive. of Alexander Stewart, earl of Marr, who fell at the battle 

This king, James I., was younger son of Robert III.; of Harlaw in 1411. The latter was an illegitimate son of 

and younger brother of David the prince, known as duke Alexander Stewart, earl of Buchan, son of Robert II., 

of Rothesay, who perished of hunger in a dungeon of king of Scotland, whose estate, on account of his bastardy, 

Falkland castle. James was taken prisoner by the fell to the king. To compensate his son, — the earl 

English during a voyage to France, and remained in mentioned in text, — James I. endowed him with lands in 

captivity in England nearly eighteen years. When Lochaber that had belonged to the Macdonnells. The 

Robert III. heard of the tragical death of one son, and district of Mar, from which these Stewarts had the title 

the captivity of another, he died of grief at Rothesay. of their earldom, now constitutes an important portion of 

James I., on returning bom his prison-house in England, Aberdeenshire. Their well-known, and beautiful residence 

ascended the Scottish throne in the year 1424. He of Kildrummie adorned with its extensive woodlands the 



ied Jean, daughter of John, duke of Somerset, banks of the river Don. Camden's Britannia, edited by 

" sonne to John of Gaunt, who bare unto him James 2, Gough, vol. iv., p. 165. 

and sixe daughters, Margaret wife of Lewis XL, the (34) Huntly. — Alexander Seton, created earl of 

Dauphine, after king of Fraunce ; Elizabeth, dutches of Huntly by James II. This title king James VT. con- 



THE LORDS OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. 



31 



ness, '35) Fraser of Lovat, (36) Mackay of Strathnavern, (37) and the chieftain of the Camerons, 
who enticed several branches of Macdonnells to join them, by promising that the properties they 
held under the king of the Isles, would be bestowed on them by James I. 

This formidable host encamped in Lochaber, the district more immediately in dispute between 
the king and the Macdonnells. John Mor's eldest son, Donnell Balloch, a young man only twenty 
years of age, put himself at the head of the Islesmen and a small force collected in the Antrim glens. 
Without waiting the nearer approach of the royal army, he hastily put his men on board a fleet of 
galleys whilst their blood was up, and landed them on the shore of Lochaber, within little more than 
a mile from the enemy. The Highlanders and Islesmen were animated with the sole idea of 
avenging the murder of one of their chieftains, and the captivity of the other. (38) Young Mac- 
donnell, on reconnoitering the position of the enemy at Inverlochy, (39) ordered an immediate attack, 
his men rushing forward with ungovernable fury at the word of command. The Lowland knights, 
who were very numerous in the royal army, had plumed themselves on the superior armour and 
discipline of their men, but even this was of no avail against the furious onset of their Highland 
foes, who wielded their broadswords and Lochaber axes with all the ferocity of northern warfare. 
At least one thousand men of the royal army were slain, principally in the retreat from the field of 
Inverlochy, among whom were the earl of Caithness, with sixteen of his personal retinue, together 
with many knights and barons from the southern counties of Scotland. After this great victory, the 
Highland host dispersed itself in marauding parties, and when the men got pretty well loaded with 



ferred on George Gordon, lord Gordon and Badzenoth, 
illustrious for his ancient rank and numerous vassals; 
whose ancestors, descended from the Setons, assumed by 
act of Parliament the name of Gordon, Alexander Seton 
mentioned in the text, having married a daughter of sir 
John Gordon, with whom he received a large estate. 
The castle of Huntly is in Str.ithbogie, Aberdeenshire, 
although the Gordons' title of eacls of Huntly is derived 
from a place of that name in Berwickshire, part of 
the barony of Gordon, their ancient inheritance. 
Charles II., in 1684, created George Gordon fourth 
marquis of Huntly, duke of Gordon. See Camden's 
Britannia, edited by Gough, vol. iv., pp. 141, 142, 
170, 172. 

(35) Caithness. — Allan Stewart, lord Caithness, was 
another kinsman of the king. He was never earl of 
Caithness, as he is generally styled by Scottish writers. 
The first earl of Caithness was George Crichton, high 
admiral of Scotland, who died in 1455. The Sinclairs 
were afterwards the earls of Caithness. 

(36) lovat. — This was Hugh Frazer, created lord 
Lovat by James I. in 143 1, the year of the events referred 
to in the text. Hugh's second son, Alexander, succeeded 
to the title and estate, both of which continued in the 
family until forfeited by the eleventh viscount Simon in 
"745 > trie estate was restored to his son on certain con- 
ditions in 1774. The family residence is Castle Dunie on 
the Firth of Murray. (See Camden's Britannia, edited 
by Gough, vol. iv, pp. 178 184.) The Frazers, through 
a daughter of Sir John Byset, of Aird, obtained their 
property of Lovat. See p. 21, supra. 

(37) Strathnavern. — Strathnavern takes its name from 
the river Naver, and is the northern extremitv of North 



Britain. The chief of the Mackays was afterwards 
ennobled by the title of lord Reay. The district of Reay 
from which this title was derived, is situated partly in 
Caithness and partly in Sutherland. 

(38) Of the other. — The young prince of the Isles, 
Alexander Macdonnell, was at this time a captive in 
Tantallon Castle, an immensely strong fortress, which 
stood above the mouth of the Tine, in Lothian. When 
he heard of the muster in the Highlands under his cousin 
Donnell Balloch, he sent a message from his prison en- 
couraging his kinsmen and subjects to face the enemy 
bravely though they should never see him again. Soon 
after his release he, also, was compelled to seek an 
asylum in the Antrim glens, with his cousin Donnell 
Balloch, where he died about the year 1440, being buried 
with great pomp, and probably in Bunnamairge, near 
Ballycastle. (See Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, pp. 309, 
3H. 3'5-) 

(39) Inverlochy. — "At the mouth of the River Lochy, 
on its left bank, stand the ruins of Inverlochy Castle, con- 
sisting of four round towers 30 feet high, connected by 
walls about 20 feet high, forming a large quadrangle, and 
surrounded at the distance of ten paces by a mont eight 
paces wide." (Orig. Paroch. Scat. , vol. ii., p. 178.) In 
the original castle here, which has been rebuilt several 
times, it is said that a Treaty was signed between 
Achaius, king of Scotland, and Charlemagne. Achaius 
succeeded to the Dalriadic throne in the vear 7S7. In 
the Chronology of the Kings of Scotland, he is des- 
cribed as a " good, godly, and peaceable prince ;" and 
it is further staled that he " made a League with 
Charles, the great Emperour, and King of Fraunce, 
which remayneth enviolably kept to this day" (1603). 



32 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

spoils, they returned to their native hills and glens, leaving not more than fifty of their comrades in their 
last resting-places at Inverlochy. Donnell Balloch, and several other leaders, having thus had their 
revenge, steered their galleys across the channel, and sought rest and security, which they very much 
needed, in the wooded glens of Antrim, They were soon followed by a despatch from the Scottish 
king to O'Neill, requesting the latter to seize and send back Donnell Balloch alive or dead. 
O'Neil, who had previously entered into a treaty with James I. of mutual assistance against England, 
sent the latter a human head, which was joyously accepted as that of Donnell Balloch by the 
Scottish court then at Perth. But Donnell still retained possession of his own head, and at the 
time of this other head's transmission to Scotland, he was actually paying his addresses to O'Neill's 
daughter, whom he soon afterwards married, and through whose powerful connexions he was restored, 
without much delay, to his estates in Isla and Cantire. 

Although the earlier portion of Donnell Balloch's life was passed in turbulence and political 
storm, he enjoyed more than an average share of peace from his marriage until the time of his 
death, about the year 1480. Several Scottish writers represented him as having been actually 
decapitated by O'Neill ; and these same authorities also state that James I. came to Dunstaffnage 
castle, and there superintended the execution of three hundred of the victors at Inverlochy, whom 
he afterwards contrived to capture ! Referring to these statements, Hugh Macdonald mentions 
the marriage of Donnell Balloch to " Conn O'Neill's daughter, (40) who was of the Clan-Buys in 
Ireland, by whom he had all his children." " It is of him," he continues, " that most of the Mac- 
donalds in the south are descended, as those of Antrim and Sanay. (41) Besides that, he had as 
strong a country as any in Ireland, to protect him from the pursuit of his enemies, the seven pro- 
portions of the glens being his property ; at the same time he was much more beloved in Ireland 
than the king of Scots, for generally those Irish who were not very obedient to the crown of England 
cared very little for that of Scotland ; and his own tribe and kindred were so strong, that none durst 
undertake the beheading of him. Those likewise that say that the king came to Dunstaffnage after 
the battle of Inverlochy, and that 300 of Donald Balloch's followers were executed, are very much 
mistaken, for no such thing ever happened, and none of them were ever missed, or as much as 

(40) Conn CfNeilVs daughter. — This lady's father was Dr. Reeves states that the Highlanders' name, Aven. is only 
the Conn O'Neill, whose residence was Edenduffcarrick another form of the original Irish word Abhuinn, and 
(now Shane's Castle), and who died there in the year 1482. adds — " This being the route by which the early Scotic 
Conn was son of Hugh Boy, slain in the year 1444. immigration from Ireland passed over to Alba, the whole 
Conn's son was Niall, surnamed Mor, who married district is strongly impressed with social and tcclesiastical 
Inneen Dhu Ny Donnell, probably a sister or near kins- features of an Irish character. The language always bore 
woman of Donnell Balloch. This Niall Mor O'Neill, the name of the colonists, and the term Erse of the pre- 
who died in 1512, was styled Lord of Trian-Congail, a sent day is only a modification of it. The traditional 
territory including portions of the present counties of associations of the people all look westward, and the 
Antrim and Down. See new edition of the Montgomery titles of nearly all the adjacent parishes are commemora- 
Mamiscripts, p 14. tive of illustrious worthies of the Irish church." (See 

(41) And Sanay. — The name of this island, which lies Proceedings of Royal Irish Academy, vol. viii., p. 132 ; 
off the south-east coast of the Mull of Cantire, is more gene- see also Otig. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. 9.) Donnell 
rally written Sanda. The Northern Sea rovers, who made Balloch's great-grandson, Angus, son of John Cahanagh, 
it a place of frequent rendezvous, named the island Avona was founder of the Macdonnells of Sanda. This 
or Havin, which Buchanan translated Portuosa, or 'having Angus made his escape to Sanda in 1499, when his 
many ports.' The Highlanders still retain its old Nor- father and two brothers were treacherously captured 
wegian name of Aven or Avona. Pont, the topographer, and executed by order of James IV. of Scotland. See 
was among the first to use the modem name of Sanda. infra. 



THE LORDS OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. 33 

lamented in the isles, or in any other place. (42) Besides, they had their choice, in case of being 
pursued, either to betake themselves to the hills, or to go to Ireland. That Donald Ballich died 
after another manner can be proved by four contemporary writers, who say that he died on an inch 
in a loch in his own country, called Lochdunord." (43) (See Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 312). 
To Donnell Balloch, succeeded his son Eoin, also surnamed^r, who married Sabina, the daughter 
of another Ulster chieftain named Felim O'Neill. (44) This John Mor does not appear to have 
lived long after his marriage. He was succeeded, however, by a son, also named Eoin or John, 
called Cahanagh, from being fostered in Northern Ulster with the O'Cahans, (45) and who was a 
warrior worthy of his race. 

Immediately after the forfeiture of the aged prince of the Isles in 1493, (see p. 19, supra), 
James IV. hastened to the Western Highlands to receive personally the submission of the several 
powerful vassals who had rendered allegiance to the throne of the island-kingdom, but were then 



(42) Other place. — Among the writers who thus misre- 
presented Highland affairs, Hector Boece and Buchanan 
occupy, perhaps, the chief place. Hugli Macdonald, 
whilst rendering due homage to their learning and abili- 
ties, is not slow to observe that they fell into the fashion 
of their times, which was to think harshly and speak 
insultingly of the people in the Highlands and Isles. 
(See p. supra.) Indeed, his estimate of their qualities as 
historians agrees very conspicuously with that which has 
been formed and expressed by other better known 
authorities. Bishop Nicholson, in his Scottish Historical 
Library, says of Boece's history, that " in the first books 
there are a great many particulars not to be found in 
Foidun, or in any other writer now extant ; and unless 
the authors, which he pretends to have seen, be hereafter 
discovered, he will continue to be shrewdly suspected for 
the contrivance of almost as many tales as Geoffrey of 
Monmouth." Of Buchanan, Dr. Robertson, a high 
authority, says: — "Instead of rejecting the improbable 
tales of chronicle writers, he was at the utmost pains to 
adorn them; and hath clothed with all the beauties and 
graces of fiction those legends which formerly had only 
its wildness and extravagance." Le Clerc speaks of 
Buchanan " as not sufficiently exact in his dates, nor does 
he site his authorities ; in some parts of his history he is 
rather too fond of the marvellous, and of putting fine 
speeches into the mouths of his great men, in imitation of 
the ancient historians, whose defects he had copied as 
well as their excellencies." See Allibone's Dictionary of 
British and American anthers, vol. i., p. 257. 

(43) Lochdunord. — Among many lochs in Isla, one was 
formerly called Lochdruinard. (See Camden, by Gough, 
vol. iv., p. 519) This place, however, is better known 
by its more common name of Lochgruiuart. On an inch 
or island in this loch was a residence of the Macdonnells, 
the phce, no doubt, where Donnell Balloch died. The 
" four contemporary writers" referred to in the text were 
among many chroniclers and biographical writers of Scot- 
land in the fifteenth century who recorded leading events 
in the history of the Highlands and Isles. The reader 
may find notices of many such in Nicholson's Scottish 
Historical Library, pp. 22—60. 

(44) I dim O'Neill. — This chieftain was probably 



Felim, sumamed Baccach, or ' Lame,' who died in the 
year 1533. He was son of Niall Mor referred to in a 
preceding and father of Brian, ruler in upper and lower 
Clannaboy until 1574, when he was assassinated by the 
earl of Essex at Belfast. 

(45) The O'Cahans. — Seep. 15, supra. For areference 
to the custom of fosterage, see p. supra and note. This 
curious social arrangement was in force more generally, 
and to a later period in Scotland than here. The well- 
known marquis of Argyle, executed in 1661, had two 
sons, the elder of whom, Archibald, fostered with the 
laird of Glenurchy, and the younger, Neill, with the 
laird of Ardnamurchan, both foster-fathers, being the 
heads of the minor branches of the Clan-Campbell. The 
latter, sir Donald Campbell of Ardnamurchan, in 1641, 
entered into the following bond to his foster-child, Neil, 
younger son of Argyle, afterwards known as Lord Neill 
Campbell, of Armaddie :— " Be it kend. till all men be 
thir present lettres, me Sir Donald Campbell of Ardna- 
murchane, knight-baronet, Forasmeikle as I have been 
earnestlie desiring to have the fostering of Neill Campbell, 
second lawful son to ane noble lord, Archibald, Karl "I' 
Argyle, Lord Campbell and Lorn, wherewith his lord- 
ship wes content ; hot in regaird of the troubles of the 
tyme, the said Neill could not convenientlie be in my cum- 
pany, likeas now he is to be putt to the schoolles ; alwayes 
the said noble Lord, his father, is content that he be repute 
as my fostar, whereof I do verie gladlie accept. Thairfore, 
and for the love, favour, and affection which I have and 
beare towards the said noble Lord, his house, and chil- 
dren, and particularlie for advancing the said Neill 
Campbell, his Lordship's second lawful son to ane 
fortoun," &c. [Sir Donald Campbell goes on to grant, by 
a bond in common form, to the said youthful Neill the 
sum of 6,000 merks, payable in 1649, when the grantee 
should be fourteen years of age. This bond bears date 
1st May, 1641, and the money was paid by George 
Campbell of Airds, executor to Sir Donald, as appears 
from a discharge or receipt, dated in 1653, and written 
on the back of the bond.] (See Collectanea de Rebus 
Albanicis, pp, 19, 20.) This large sum — the merk being 
13s 4d— was paid simply that sir Donald might have the 
gratification of being known as foster-father to the boy ! 



34 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

prepared to transfer their fealty to the Scottish crown. Among these was John Cahanagh, whom 
James IV. was peculiarly anxious to conciliate, and on whom he conferred the honour of knight- 
hood. It is believed that James granted to this chieftain a charter of all his lands excepting the 
the district of Cantire, or probably only reserving the fortress of Dunaverty, to be occupied when 
necessary in the royal service. This reservation, however, appears to have completely extinguished 
the faint beginnings of loyalty in the breast of the island-chief, for Dunaverty was a position specially 
associated with the history of his family, and— -what he felt perhaps of greater moment — it was the 
place of all others through which the intercourse with his Antrim possessions was most easily 
preserved. The king was so anxious to get his northern troubles finally arranged that he returned 
to the islands in the July of the following year (1494), bringing with him an impossing force, and 
bearing himself in all respects towards his new island-subjects as a sovereign who was determined to 
enforce obedience. Without further explanation or ceremony, he seized the castle of Dunaverty, 
placing in it, as well as in that of Tarbert, a large garrison, amply provided with artillery and skillful 
gunners. Sir John Cahanagh was thus unpleasantly enlightened as to the king's intentions, and 
also decided on his own course. He secretly assembled his trusty followers, watching for an 
opportunity to expel the royal garrison from Dunaverty, and take possession of the district of 
Cantire. The king, not anticipating any opposition to his arrangements, was in the act of sailing 
away with his personal attendants from the Mull, when sir John stormed Dunaverty, and actually 
hung the governor from the wall, in sight of the king and his departing ships ! 

James was unable to avenge this insult at the time, but he arranged in his own mind, as he 
sailed southward, a fearful amount of retribution. To carry out his revenge, he summoned 
Argyle to his aid — for an Argyle was always found as an executioner when any chieftain of the 
Macdonnells was to be done to death. (46) Through Argyle's agency, a kinsman of sir John Cahanagh 
was found to undertake the treacherous seizure of the latter, with as many members of the doomed 
family as possible. This kinsman was John Mac Ian Macdonnell, of Ardnamurchan, who had a 

(46) Done to death. — This Campbell was Gillaspick that he would be overpowered, sent forward the little girl 
Ruadh, or Archibald Roe, the second earl of Argyle, with an escort of six men, and hastily dressing a sheaf of 
who succeeded to the family honours and estates in the oats in some of her clothes, placed the figure in the rere 
year 1492. Archibald Roe is known as the supplnnter of his detachment, and was thus able to deceive the 
of the once great family of Calder in Nairnshire. Calders until he believed his charge to be beyond their 
In 1495, he obtained from the king the wardship of reach. After a bloody struggle, in which three of his 
Mirella Calder, the youthful heiress to her grandfather sons and many others of his p^rty were slain, Campbell re- 
William, the old inane of Cawdor. Although the latter treated, leaving the fictitious child behind. Duringthecon- 



had four living sens, his immense estates were to go with flict, and by way of urging his men to the most desper; 

the little orphan daughter of his eldest son, who had died efforts, he exclaimed— S'fada glaod/i Lochtnv, — s'fada 

in the year above named. In 1499, Argyle determined cobhair Chlann Dhaoine! 'It's a far cry to Lochaw, 

to remove his ward from the guardianship of her grand- and help for the Clar.n O'Duin is very distant.' This 

mother, the old lady Kilravock, — her mother, Isabel the exclamation became afterwards a proverb in Scotland. 

Ross, having also died soon after 1495. Argyle sent his The worst fears of the Calders were soon realized, Arg)le 

trusty kinsman, Duncan Campbell of Innerliver, with a having given his ward in marriage to his own son when 

force of sixty men to bring the girl from Kilravock to she was only twelve years of age. This earl's career came 

Inverary castle. Her uncles, however, with a larger force suddenly to a close on Flodden Field, in 151,;, where he 

pursued, fearing that Argyle would take advantage of his fell fighting by the side of James IV. Argyle, and his 

wardship to marry the young heiress to some one of his cousin, Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, who was also 

own immediate connexions, and thus carry the property slain, were buried in one grave at Kilmun, " because," as 

from its ancient possessors for ever. A furious battle the Black Book of Taymouth expressed it, "in the foirsaid 

ensued between the Calders and the returning Campbells, field they deit valeantlie togidder." See Comiio Innes's 

at a place in Strathnairne. Duncan Campbell, fearing Sketches of Early Scottish History, pp. 360,361, 409. 410. 



1243877 

THE LORDS OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. $$ 

feud with John Cahanagh, respecting the lands of Sunart adjoining Ardnamurchan ; 

and who, being a kinsman, had better opportunities of treacherously seizing the Clandonnell 

chieftain than other more openly avowed enemies. Maclan did his work effectually, seizing 

not only sir John, but two of his sons, at Finlagan castle in Isla, and carrying them to 

Edinburgh, where they were soon afterwards found guilty of high treason, and executed on the 

Burrowmuir, their bodies being buried in the church of St. Anthony. These facts are recorded by 

Hugh Macdonald of Sleat, and also in the Macvurich manuscript. They are also recited in a charter 

from the king to John Maclan, dated the 24th of March, 1499, and preserved among the Argyle 

papers, rewarding the chief of Ardnamurchan, for his services in seizing sir John, together with 

his sons, and several of his accomplices. This grant conveyed to the grantee, lands in various 

districts, to the extent of 200 marks of old extent, or about 6,000 acres, including, no doubt, the 

portions disputed between the two kinsmen in Sunart. (47) See Gregory's History of the Western 

Highlands, pp. 89, 90 ; Orig. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. 195. 

From the date of the marriage alliance between the families of Byset and Macdonnell, several 

members of the latter began to settle permanently on this coast. The tide of immigration from 

Cantire and the Isles, however, always flowed more fully at times which may be described as 

disastrous to the family and clan. In the course of the fifteenth century, as we have seen, at least 

four such periods occurred. The first was, on the defeat and dispersion of John Mor's adherents, 

when the insurrection against his brother failed, and many of the insurgents were compelled to seek 

refuge in the Glynns, where their discomfitted chief encouraged them to settle permanently. A 

second flight of the Clandonnell, and of others, their kinsmen and connexions, arrived after the 

battle of Inverlochy, in 1431. On the formal surrender of the kingdom of the Isles in 1476, there 

came a third company of settlers, more numerous, probably, than any of the two preceding. But 

the largest numbers arrived during the closing years of the fifteenth century, and immediately after 

the execution of sir John Cahanagh. This leader of the Clan Ian Vohr had married Cecilia 

Savage, (48) a daughter of the chieftain of that great family seated at Portaferry, in the county 

(47) In Sunart. — The unscrupulous loyalty of John all classes of the native women of this country. In the 

Mac Ian of Ardnamurchan thus procured for him royal fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Savages held more 

favour and rich rewards, but drew down upon him the extensive possessions in the county of Antrim than in 

fierce vengeance of other branches of the Macdonnells, Down. "In 1347 Edward III. confirmed to Robert 

who afterwards wasted his lands with fire and sword, Savage, the manors of Rathmore, Duntorsy, Balancnii, 

sacked his castle, and slew himself and his two sons. and Dunaghty, with their appurtenances." (See Reeves's 



Campbells, with whom John Maclan had basely Ecctes. Antiquities, p. 281.) The 1 
co-operated in 1499, eventually rooted his posterity out of were all in Antrim, excepting Duntorsy, wdiich lay on the 
their ancient estate of Ardnamurchan. By a combination western side of the Bann at Coleraine ; and these manors 
of cruelty and insult, the Mac Ians were driven into included much larger territories than are now designated 
rebellion, in the year 1624, and Donald Campbell of by this term. The following extracts from Rot. Pat. 
IJaslerick was appointed by Argyle to reduce them to Calcnd. Hen. II. — Hen. I'll., fol. 1828, although corn- 
obedience. This he did so effectually that the Mac Ians paialively meagre, are sufficient to indicate the high rank 
soon disappeared from the roll of Highland clans, whilst and threat influence enjoyed by the early representatives 
their exterminator became sir Donald Campbell of Ard- of this family : — 

namurchan, and got grants of all their lands. Sir Donald / Robert Sauvage was appointed Sheriff of [lie 

forthwith replenished the waste lands by bringing in, as 20 Edward II. coumyofCouiradi JColeninej. Thepre^ent 

tenants, many families of Camerons, Mackenzies, and c i326 k j county of Londonderry ■•■" ' 

ti 1 r> *t r>. *• a- 1 * . r . i r • ii September county ut Lolerauic untti n« 

Hendersons. See New Statistical Account of A> gyleshire, v W the seventeenth century. 



P'/'ov ^ ;■ c -m.- 1 j , ■ , 1 .• • . =6April f Robert Sauvage was commanded bv the 

(48) Cecilia Savage. — This lady's name is the latinised 20 Edward II. | to liberate linin, sun. >r Henry O'Nnl, 

form of the Irish Sheela, which was very common among 1326-7 IgivingsecuritytodieconstableofCriigfi 



36 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



Down, and by her had four sons, two of whom escaped from the massacre in which their father 
and brothers lost their lives. The elder of these two, Alexander, now represented the 
Clandonnell south, (49) whilst the younger, Angus, settled finally in the island of Sanda, and 
became there the founder of a numerous and powerful family. (See p. 32. supra). The chieftains 
of the Clandonnell, from Donnell Balloch to John Cahanagh, had incurred the incurable hatred of 
the Scottish kings, because of their active and persistent opposition to the royal policy, in reference 
to the surrendered kingdom of the Isles. It was believed that by the capture and death of John 
Cahanagh and his sons, and the consequent dispersion of the clan, the Macdonnells had been thus 
extirpated root and branch ; whilst by way of making quite sure of this, Maclan of Ardnamurchan 
was sent to seize the fugitive youths, who had hidden themselves in the Antrim glens. The results 
of this mission are told in the Macvurich manuscript, as follows : — " There were none left alive at 
that time of the children of John Cathanach, except Alexander, the son of John Cathanach and 
Angus of the island, who concealed themselves in the glens of Ireland. MacCean, 
hearing of their hiding-places, went to cut down the woods of these glens, in order to destroy 
Alexander, and extirpate the whole race. At length MacCean and Alexander met, were reconciled, 
and a marriage alliance took place ; Alexander married MacCean's daughter, and she brought him 
good children." (See sir Walter Scott's Poetical Works, vol. x , p. 286.) This alliance remained 
probably a secret to the king, who expressed his disappointment that the utter extermination of the 
Macdonnell leaders could not have been then accomplished. But failing this, James thought the 
next best thing to be done was to have a penal enactment forthwith passed in the Scottish parlia- 
ment, prohibiting Alexander of Isla and Cantire from ever setting foot on Scottish soil, or owning 
an acre of land in that kingdom. A measure for this purpose was actually passed, and it remained 
in force during the lifetime of James IV., or, until he was slain at Flodden, in the year 1513. 

In the interval, however, the young chieftain of the Clandonnell had made himself a name in 
Ulster. Hither he had been followed not only by large numbers of his own broken clan, but by 
many soldiers from several smaller clans that had agreed, at the time of the surrender of the king- 
dom of the Isles in 1476, to follow the Clan-Ian-Vor banner. With the assistance of these hardy 



I.April 
; Edward III. 

J334 
6 February 
. Edward III. 

J 337 



«375 
16 February 

Richard II. 

US? 

1 Henr'y'lV. 



i Seneschal of Ulster, 



; authorised to treat : 



(The King granted to Robert le Sauvage, 
' '1 Seneschal of Ulster, an annual fee of £10. 

( Robert Sauvage, with others, was appointed 

J to inquire, upun oath, inn transgressions and 

'1 felonies roiniuiLtei I in Ulster, and as loprison- 

t ers in Cragfergus castle 

/ The Kinggranted to Geoffry Scolmaistre and 

) Robert Savage to be comptrollers of the great 

J and little customs in Cragtergus, Culrath, and 

I Down. 

fThe Lord Deputy gave license to Robert 

< Savage that he might take to wife Christiana 

(daughter of John de Isla lord o( the Isles. 



(Robert Savage ' 
gus. 



1 burgess of Carrickfei 



o October 

Richard II 

1386 

31 October 

) Richard II 

138s 



Mcne 1 to 1M. S.iv.^r- 
s in Ulster 



e, with of 80 marks per ? 



Ulsle 



(49) The Clandonnell South.— The Macdonnells of Isla 
and Cantire were designaled the Clandonnell from their 
celebrated leader Donnell P.alloch. The Macdonnells of 
Sleat were also thus named from the fact that six of their 
chieftains in succession bore the christian name of Don- 
nell. To distinguish them, the former were known as 
the Clandonnell South, and the latter as the Clandonnell 
North. 



THE LORDS OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. 37 

ReJshariks, (50) who are numerously represented at the present day in the population of the Antrim 
coast, Alexander Macdonnell was able not only to hold the family inheritance of the Glynns, but 
even seriously to check the progress of English invaders throughout northern Ulster. James V. 
soon found it convenient to reverse the vengeful policy of his father towards this exiled Scottish 
chief, and during the temporary visits of the latter to his native shore, many very distinguished marks 
of the royal favour were conferred upon him. 

English officials penned alarming despatches on the doings of the Macdonnells in the North 
of Ireland, and predicted the eventual exclusion of any other than Scottish interests on the coast. 
In the year 1533, the Council in Dublin forwarded this gloomy announcement on the subject to 
the Council in London : — " The Scottes also inhabithe now buyselley a greate parte of Ulster, 
which is the king's inheritance ; and it is greatlie to be feared, oonles that in short tyme they be 
dryven from the same, that they, bringinge in more nombre daily, woll, by lyttle and lyttle soe far 
encroche in acquyringe and wynninge the possessions there, with the aide of the kingis disobey- 
sant Irishe rebelles, who doo nowe ayde theym therein after soche maner, that at lengthe they will 
put and expel the king from his hole seignory there." (See State Papers, vol. ii. p. 172). It is 
curious to observe the solicitude with which the movements of these formidable Scots were watched. 
In 1538, John Allen, archbishop and chancellor, refers to the vexatious subject as follows : — " Hee 
(the king of Scots) hath alsoe this yeare twice sent for Alexander Carragh, (51) capteyne of the 



(50) Redshanks. — A Highland priest, named John 
Edgar, writing to Henry VIII., in 1542,' gives the fol- 
lowing account of this term as applied to Highlanders 
and Islesmen: — "Moreover, they call us in Scotland 
Redshankes, and in your graces dominion rough-footid 
Scottes. Please it your Majestie to undeistand, that wee 
of all people can tolerat, suinr, and away best with colde, 
foi boithe somer and wynter (except when the froeste is 
most vehemante), goinge alwaies bair-leggide and bair- 
footide; our delite and pleasure is onely in huynting of 
redd deir, wolfes, foxes, and graies, wherof wee abounde, 
and have grate plentie, but als in rynninge, leapinge, 
swymmynge, shootinge, and thrawinge of darts. There- 
for in soe moche as we use and delite soe to goe alwaies, 
the tendir delicatt gentylmen of Scotland call us Red- 
shankes. And, agayne, in winter, when the froeste is 
most vehemante (as I have sayd), which wee can not 
suffir bair-footide soe weill as snow, which can never 
hurte us when it comes to our girdills, we go to a hunt- 
ynge, and after that wee have slayne redd deir, wee flaye 
off the skyne, bey and bey, and settinge of our bair foote 
insyde therof, for neid of cunnynge, by your graces par- 
don, wee play the sutters, compassinge and mesuringe 
soe moch thereof as shal retch up to our ancklers, pryck- 
mge the upper part thereof with holes that water may 
repas when it enters, and stretchide upp with a strong 
thwange of the same, meitind above our said ancklers; 
soe, and please your noble grace, wee make our shoois. 
Therfor, wee using such maner of shoois, the roughe 
hairie syde outward, in your graces dominion of England 
wee be callit roughe-footide Scottis ; which maner of 
shoois, and please your highnes, in Latyne be callit 
perones, whereof the poet Virgil makes mencioun, say- 
ing that the olde aunciente Latyns in tyme of warres 



used such maner of shoois. And although a greate sorte 
of us Reddshankes goe after this maner in our countrithe, 
yeit, never the les, when wee come to the court (the 
kingis grace our greate maister beinge alyve) waitinge on 
our lordis and maisters, who also for velvettes and silkis 
be ryght weill amide, wee have as good garments as some 
of our fellowes which give attendaunce in court every 
daye." Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, pp. 28, 29. 

(51) Alexander Caragh. — The archbishop confounds 
Alexander of Isla and Cantire, the lord of Dunveg and 
Glynns, the real captain of the Ulster Scots, with his 
kinsman Alexander Macdonnell of Lochaber, the repre- 
sentative of Alexander, surnamed Carrach t a younger 
brother of John Mor. The representatives of this branch 
always appear to have retained the original sobriquet of 
Carrach, not because of its applicability in the original 
sense to them, but as a means of distinguishing their 
family from the multitudinous Macdonnells around them. 
In the following extract of a letter from sir Wm. Brabazon 
to lord Cromwell, dated Dublin, 26th May, 1539, this 
writer also confounds the leaders of the two families of 
Cantire and Lochaber:-- ■' I doe certefie your Lordship, 
that ther is of Scottes, nowe dwellinge in Ireland, above 
two thousand men of wane, as I am credablie enformed, 
which Scottes have as well dryven away the fieholders, 
being Englische men of that contrey, as others the Irissh- 
men, and have bylded certeyn castells there. The capteyn 
of theim is oon Alexaunder Karrogh, otherwise called 
Macdonell, who, as hymself saith, will take the hinge's 
pairt ayent all men, but under pretence to doo the hinge's 
grace service, since he taketh the contrey to himself, and 
others of the Scottes. Some of the capteyns of the 
Scottes say they will serve no man, but what they may 
gate by the sworde, that will thei have." (See Stale 



38 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



Scottes of this lande who hath gon thider, and by his retorne it is perceyvid what busynes he had 
ther ; but oonlie it appereth hee was well enterteyned in the Courte of Scotland, though of trowthe 
ther was no amitie but mortalitie between them, the king of Skottes and his antecessours having 
killed and put to death the said Alexanders fader, grandfader, and grete-grandfader, (52) and 
exiled himself out of the Isles whereby e he was compelled to inhabite here." (State Papers, vol. ii , 

P- 136) 

Alexander of Isla and Cantire returned occasionally to Scotland, and appears to have taken an 
active part in the affairs of the expiring island-kingdom, but his permanent home was undoubtedly 
on the Antrim shore. When we get the last glimpse of him in the State Papers, he is returning from 
Scotland at the head of eight thousand men, supplied by James V., and intended to counteract the 
warlike operations so vigorously carried forward by the English in Ulster during the earlier years of 
the sixteenth century. This force was added to his own, and thus supplemented, was effectively 
employed, not only for the purpose now mentioned, but also in consolidating the Scottish 
settlements on the coast. Alexander Macdonnell is traditionally said to have occupied the 
fortress of Dunanynie, the ruins of which may still be seen on the headland westward of Castle-Hill, 
overlooking Ballycastle Bay, and commanding a magnificent view of the North Channel. His 
people, who came from Cantire and the Isles, landed from their galleys at Port-brittas, a little 
harbour almost adjoining the foot of the cliff on which the castle of Dunanynie stood. These 
devoted followers, who appear to have originally settled in the lower or northern glens, were not ex- 
clusively Macdonnells, many of them being members of other broken clans — such as Macneills (53) 



Papers, vol. iii., p. 133.) The distinction between these 
Macdonnel leaders (of which the writers above quoted 
were quite in the dark) will appear more obviously as we 
proceed in our narrative. Brabazon states a circumstance, 
however, worthy of note, when he reports that Alexander 
Carrach was disposed to take the side of the English. 
This was literally true ; and this chieftain's two sons, 
known afterwards as Alexander M'Alaster Charrie and 
Randal M'Alaster Charrie (Carrach), were divided in 
their allegiance — the one generally espousing the quarrel 
of his kinsmen, the Clandonnell Scots from lsla and Can- 
tire, whilst the other as generally fought on the side of 
the English. 

(52) Grete-grandfader. — This is the account of the 
massacre given also by Macvurich, whose manuscript is 
sometimes called the Red Book of Clanranald. "There 
happened great feuds," says Macvurich, "betwixt the 
families, insomuch that MacCean of Ardnamurchan 
destroyed the greatest part of the posterity of John Mor 
of the Isles and Cantire. For John Cathenach, son of 
John, son of Donnell Balloch, son of John Mor, son of 
John, son of Angus Oge, — and John Mor, son of John 
Cathanach, and young John, son of John Cathanach, and 
young Donnell Balloch. were treacherously taken by Mac- 
Cean, in the island of Finlagan, in Isla, and carried to 
Edinburgh, where he got them hanged at the Burrow- 
muir, and their bodies were buried in the church of St. 
Anthony called the New Church." (See Scolt's Poetical 
Works, vol. x., p. 286.) Hugh Macuonnald of Sleat has 
the following reference to the then lamentable dis- 
roganisation of society: — "After the death of Angus, 



son of John, last recognised lord of the Isles, the 
Islanders and the rest of the Highlanders were let 
loose, and began to shed one another's blood. Although 
Angus kept them in obedience while he was sole lord over 
them, yet, upon his resignation of his rights to the king, 
all families, his own as well as others, gave themselves 
up to all sorts of cruelties, which continued for a long 
time thereafter. We know, and might easily prove, that 
the Macdonalds are accused by many ignorant and 
malicious writers of treasons, rebellions, and such like 
crimes, for which they have no grounds to go upon than 
that of their (the Macdonnells 1 ) niJLiiianurmy in opposing 
some of the king's descendants, who wished to deprive 
them of their natural rights, and who were greater traitors 
towards the Macdonalds than the Macdonalds towards 
them, as any man versed in the affairs of the kingdom 
may easiiy discover." — Collectanea de Rebus Albairicis, 
P- 319- 

(S3) Macneills. — These Macneills, who came from 
Gigha and Cantire, descended from the same stock, al- 
though then believed to be a distinct family from the 
Macneills of Barra. This belief, however, arose most 
probably from their having adopted different armorial 
bearings, and having generally followed a different line 
o r policy when circumstances permitted them to do so. 
On the forfeiture of the kingdom of the Isles, the Mac- 
neills of Barra followed the standard of the Macleans of 
Mull, whilst the Macneills of Gigha and Cantire attached 
themselves to the Clandonnell South. It thus happened 
that during the bloody feuds between the Macleans and 
Macdonnells in the sixteenth century, these two septs of 



THE LORD OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. 



39 



Macallasters, (54) Mackays, (55) Macrandalbanes, (56) from Gigha and Cantire, and Ma- 
gees, from the Rinns of Isla. 

By his wife Catherine Mac Ian, Alexander Macdonnell left six sons, and at least three 
daughters, whom Macvurich, the chronicler of the Clanrandal, has mentioned as "good children;" 
in other words, they were generally prosperous and distinguished in their generation, the sons 
being all leaders, more or less popular among the Scots of Ulster, and the daughters having con- 
tracted highly respectable marriages. (57) This chieftain is said to have left seven sons; some 
chroniclers believe in even a greater number, but it is the safer course to hold by a few authori- 
tative documents as our guides. In the year 1545, Mary queen of Scots granted lands to James, 
the eldest son, with remainder to his brothers Angus, Colla, Alexander, Donnell Gorme, and 



Macneills turned their swords most fiercely against each 
other. The Macneills who came with the Macdonnells 
from Cantire continued to keep up a close intercourse 
with their Scottish connexions, as did their descendants 
also in after generations. Among the Macneills of Carey, 

I whose ancestors had come from Cantire, was a most re- 
spectable family settled at Drumaduan, in the parish of 

' Culfeightrin. Doctor Macneill, a member of this family, 
married a sister of Christopher, the last lord Slane, who 
resided at Anticor in the parish of Finvoy, and whose 
grandmother was the lady Anne Macdonnell, eldest 
daughter of the first earl of Antrim. Dr. Macneill's 
great-granddaughter is married to Thomas Mitchell, 
Esq , of the Lawn, South Lambeth Road, London. 
The following extract from a letter of this gentleman, 
written in 1872, is interesting, as recording perhaps the 
latest illustration of the intercourse so long continued be- 
ween the Macneills of Carey and Cantire: — "Dr. Alex. 
Macneill, of Drumaduan, was closely related to Hector 
Macneill on the opposite coast, and it was with this 
gentleman that nearly the whole of the Macneill family 
sojourned during the rebellion (179S), having crossed in 
a little ship, the Amy, belonging to Mr. Boyd ; and, on 
their arrival, twenty-five Macneills sat down to break- 
fast at Captain Hector's. This was told me by my wife's 
mother, who died at my house a short time ago, in her 
90th year, and who was one of that party." 

(54) Macallasters. — The Clanalaster, or Macalasters 
from Cantire, are descended from Alexander or Alaster 
Macdonnell, a great-grandson of Somerled, thane of 
Argyle. The possessions of this clan, which were never 
extensive, lay in Knapdale, although several influential 
members of the family held landed property in other ad- 
joining territories. The chief or representative of the 
clan in 1493 was John Dhu, son of Torlach Macalaster, 
the steward of Cantire in 1481. In the year 1516, 
Angus, son of John Dhu Macalaster of Loupe, was one 
of a number to whom special protection was granted by 
Murdoch, duke of Albany, as Regent of Scotland. 
Between 1593 and 1604 the Tutor of Loupe granted a 
bond of manrent to the house of Hamilton, for himself 
and the whole clan Alaster. The descendants of John 
Dhu were in possession of the lands of Loupe at the close 
of the last century. (See Orig Patoch. Scot., vol. ii., pp. 
3, 31, 32; see also Gregory's History of the Western 
highlands, pp. 6S, 281, 307, 400, 401.) The principal 



families of this surname in Cantire at the present time are 
represented by Keith Macalaster, Esquire, of Glenbarr 
Abbey, and Alexander Macalaster, Esquire, of Tangie, 
a beautiful glen, six miles north-west of Campbelton. 
These gentlemen are among the few landlords in Cantire 
who reside on their estates. See Bede's Glencreggan, vol. 
i., pp. 230, 248. 

(55) Mackays. — The Mackays of Cantire and other 
more numerous and powerful families thronghout the 
northern counties of Scotland, are supposed to 
have descended from a Macdonnell of Sleat, in the 
island of Skye, whose Christian name was Aodh, or 
Hugh, and who was the common ancestor of all the 
families now bearing the names of Magee, Mackays 
Machugh, Macaw, and Mackee. Between the year, 
1306 and 1309, king Robert Bruce granted lands in Can- 
tire to Gilchrist Maclmar M 'Cay, from whom the Mackays 
of Ugadale, in Cantire, were descended. (See Orig. 
Paroch. Scot, vol. ii., p. 2; Gregory's History of the 
Western Highlands, pp 82, 308, 3S8.) It is traditionally 
told in Cantire that the founder of the Mackays there was 
a farmer in whose house Robert Bruce lodged for one 
night, on landing from the island of Arran, and whilst on 
his way to seek temporary protection from Angus of the 
Isles at his castle of Saudell. The tradition is re- 
corded at full length in Bede's Glencreggan, vol. ii., 
pp. 17—19. The lands of Ugadale passed by a mar- 
riage from the Mackays to the Macneills of Cantire. 
The Mackays are pretty numerously represented in 
the population of the county of Antrim at the present 
day. 

(56) Macrandalbanes. See p. 27, supra. 

(57) Respectable marriages.— -Their daughter Mary mar- 
ried Hector Mor Maclean, lord of Dowart in Mull, and of 
Morven or Kenalban, in Argyleshire. This couple left 
two sons, viz ., Hector Oge, who succeeded his father in 
the estates of Dowart, and Ian or John Dhu, who inherited 
the family property in Morven. They had also seven 
daughters, six of whom were married into leading families 
of the Isles. According to an Hisloiical and Genealogical 
Account of the Clan Maclean, their names were respec- 
tively Marian, Mary, Julian, Una, Jennette, and two 
named Catherine. Alexander's second daughter was 
married to a chieftain of the Macleods, and the third 
became the wife of a kinsman named Gillaspeck Mac- 
donnell, of Lecale, in the county of Down. 



40 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

Sorley. In 1554, Neal Macneill of Gigha sold lands in that island to James Macdonnell, which 
were to descend, failing his own heirs, in succession to his brothers Angus, Coll, Alexander Oge, 
and Sorley Boy. In 1558, Mary queen of Scots and her husband Francis, renewed 
the grant of 1545, with remainder to his brothers Angus, Coll, Alexander, and Sorley. Six 
brothers are here distinctly named in the first grant, but only five in the second and third. Don- 
nell Gorme, whose name is omitted in the two last grants, had probably died in the interval 
between 1545 and 1554. Alexander Oge, generally considered the second son, appears to have 
been the fourth, he and Angus changing places, in the documents above referred to. All accounts 
of the family agree in speaking of Sorley Boy as the youngest of his brothers. (See Orig. Paroch. 
Scot., vol. ii., pp. s, 6, 24.) Of these six, four fell on Antrim battle-fields, the remaining two 
although constantly engaged in active military service, being fated to die quietly in their own 
castles of Kinbann and Dunanynie. They were probably all, with the exception of James, 
gathered at last to the same resting-place in the old abbey of Bunnamairge, near Ballycastle. The 
ruins of this abbey still remain, at the foot of Glenshesk, one of the most picturesque and historical 
of the Antrim Glens. Its name, Bunnamairge, denotes its proximity to the mouth, or opening 
on the sea, of a mountain stream called the Mairge. (,58) This religious house is generally under- 
stood to have been used as a Franciscan priory from about the commencement of the sixteenth 
century, but its original foundation probably dates from a much earlier period. The Macdonnells 
began to settle in the district early in the preceding century, and Bunnamairge was selected, even 
then, as their principal place of sepulture. Although, as such, its retired position and picturesque 
surroundings naturally rendered it attractive, its selection by these settlers was, no doubt, a mere 
matter of convenience. At all events, the place literally heaves with Clandonnell dust, the chief- 
tains having found a last retreat in two very gloomy vaults under the abbey, whilst their humbler 
kinsmen sleep around in the sunshine of the open cemetery. (59) The older of these two vaults is 
a very capacious chamber, and may have been probably built about the year 1440. The entrance, 
a little northward from the great eastern window, was walled up many years ago, and the vault has 

(58) Tie Mairge.— The Irish word Bun literally signi- during which the grass— " Nature's pleasant robe of 
lies the 'end' of anything to which it may be applied — green" — was not here permitted to cover the surface, so 
whether land, lake, or river. It is also used to denote the frequently and in such numbers were graves required for 
mouth of a river, thus exactly taking the place of another the clansmen falling in batlle. Within the memory of 
Irish word, Bel, for which it may have been corruptly sub- many still living, a huge heap of bones lay along the 
stituted. Hence Bun is often found in the names of eastern wall of the graveyard, and this ghastly pile was 
places situated at the mouths of rivers, as in the present said to have been collected from time to time in Glen- 
instance, the old abbey occupying a position on the shesk, as tillage gradually extended over lands that had 
eastern bank of the river Mairge, near the point where its not been disturbed by the spade or plough for an interval 
waters enter Ballycastle Bay. The town of Cushendun of more than two centuries. This tradition, and also this 
was known in former times as Bun- Abhainn- Duin, ' the account of the accumulation of human bones, was corro- 
mouth of the river Dun.' The names of Buncrana and borated by the well-known fact that Glenshesk, from the 
Bundoran may also be mentioned as illustrations of this sea to the mountains, was literally a battle-field, on which 
Irish term. The river Mairge is only so called for about the Macdonnells won the fertile lands of the Route from 
half a mile of its course, when it approaches the sea, its its former owners, the Macquillins. During that bloody 
waters being composed of two mountain streams, the struggle, many bodies were hastily buried where 
Shesk and the Carey, which unite at Dunnamallaght they fell. The bones of these gallant foemen rested 
bridge, and from that point are known as the Mairge. quietly together, re-appearing in more peaceful times, 

(59) Open cemetery. — Local tradition speaks of a period and thus presenting sad memorials of the long-forgotten 
of several years, about the middle of the sixteenth century, conflict. 



THE LORD OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. 4 1 

remained since unvisited by a ray of light, or a breath of the outer air. The human remains 
inside, however, are thus at least protected from desecration, and permitted to repose in peace. 

On the death of Alexander of Isla and Cantire, his eldest son, James, succeeded as the chief or 
representative of the Clandonnell South. (60) He was thus lord of Duneveg and Glynns, as well 
as the military leader of the Clan-Ian- Vor, or descendants of John Mor. This arrangement took 
effect, not as a matter of course because of his being the eldest son, but in strict accordance with 
the Celtic law of tanistry, (61) which recognised only that member of the clan as chief, who was 
believed to be best fitted to uphold and promote its interests. Soon after his father's restoration 
to the royal favour, when James Macdonnell was yet a mere lad, he was invited to the Scottish 
court, and whilst there, was placed under the care of William Henderson, dean of Holyrood, 
who had been selected to give him such a course of instruction as Scottish noblemen of the 
time were supposed to require. " By this," says Gregory, " two important objects were served. 
The mind of a future leader in the Isles, as this young man proved to be in after life, was im- 
proved and enlarged, whilst his presence in Edinburgh, under the eye of the Sovereign, secured the 
obedience of his father." (Gregory's History of the Western Highlands, p. 143). It was then, doubt- 
less, that young Macdonnell was taught to write, and he appears to have been the only one of his 
brothers who had acquired that useful accomplishment. Very few of the Highland nobility or gentry 
aspired then to the knowledge of this useful art, which, indeed, they generally looked upon as the pecu- 
liar attainment of monks,and persons trained to'actas secretaries for lords and chieftains. It was also, 
perhaps, during his residence at court, that he met the lady Agnes Campbell, a daughter of Colin, 
third earl of Argyle, to whom he was married, but whether legally or not, became afterwards a 
subject of dispute. (62) She appears always to have been publickly acknowledged as his wife, and 

(60) Clandonnell South. — See p. 36, supra. When belonged. See Cambrensis Eversus, translated by Kelly, 
numerous members of the Clandonnell north and south vol. Hi., pp. 335 — 339. 

came to Antrim, and fought side by side, this distinction (62) Of dispute. — This question is never introduced in 

was soon lost sight of among themselves, their English the Irish State Papers of the period, probably because it 

and Irish neighbours taking no note of it whatever. was unknown to the officials of the English government 

(61) Tanistry. — We affect, at the present day, to look in Ireland, and it does not appear, so far as we know, in 
on the old Celtic law of Tanistry as a barbarous affair ; any of the Scottish State papers yet printed, or calen- 
but, all things considered, it was perhaps then the best dared. In these documents, the lady Agnes Campbell 
method of regulating the succession of chief and kings. is always spoken of as the wife of James Macdonnell. In 
At all events, it was very generally adopted throughout the collection of family papers, however, preserved at 



Europe, and must, therefore, have been found a good Glenarm Castle, there are statements denying the legality 

rangement during the times in which it prevailed. By of this marriage. At the period referred to, the line be- 

is law, a successor was nominated to the chief or king tween legitimacy and illegitimacy was not clearly defined 

iring the lifetime of the latter, thus generally preventing in Scotland, an evil arising from the strange custom that 

the danger of civil war in choosing a successor, after his prevailed even among the highest families, of handfast- 



death. The principle wss adopted in England when cir- iu°, or, in plain terms, taking wives for a time on appro- 
required it. Thus, in 1566, the Parliament bation. When such unions were dissolved, as they 



rged upon queen Elizabeth the necessity of nominating a frequently were, the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the 
that the nation, after her death, might escape children was generally established by an appeal to force. 



the horrors of a civil war. The members were very much We can only suggest an explanation of the doubt as to 
in earnest on this point, and gave great offence to her the legitimacy of James Macdonnell's sons on the suppo- 
majesty, by positively refusing to vote any supplies, or sition that their mother had been hand fasted to some 
even to enter on the consideration of any public business other, prior to her marriage with Macdonnell, and that 
whatever, until she would consent to their proposition. the lawyers of the time considered the first union only as 
During the life of the Celtic king or chief, the tanist's valid. John Maclean, fourth laird of Ardgour, hand- 
special duty was to hold the lands in trust for the clan fasted with a daughter of Maclan of Ardnamuchan. At 
and their posterity, to whom such lands virtually the expiration of two years he sent the lady home to her 



D 



42 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

it was even believed that the marriage was a good political move on the part of the court, as 
tending to secure MacdonnelPs loyal adherence to the interests of the Scottish crown. 

His loyalty, however, was put severely to the test soon after the death of James V. In 1545, 
when Donnell Dhu attempted to restore the kingdom of the Isles, James Macdonnell was the only 
island-chief who supported the regent, and employed not only his influence but his great military 
resources on the side of the young queen of Scots. This Donnell Dhu Macdonnell, was grandson 
of John, last prince of the Isles, whose forfeiture, in 1493, was mentioned at p. 19 supra, and son 
of Angus, whose attempt to depose the old chieftain, his father, had hastened the latter in making 
his final surrender to the Scottish crown. (63) Angus had married a daughter of the first earl of Argyle, 
so that the latter was also grandfather to Donnell Dhu, the rightful heir to the island-throne. (See p. 
20, supra). When only three years of age, he was carried off treacherously from his mother by the 
earl of Athol, at the instigation of Argyle, who took this measure to show his loyalty to the Scottish 
throne, and at the same time to secure the peace of his own newly acquired possessions in the 
Highlands and Isles. When a very young man, Donnell Dhu made his escape from Argyle, 
being released, as Macvurich's manuscript affirms, through the gallantry of his kinsmen, the Mac- 
donnells of Glenco. (See Scott's Poetical Works, vol. x., p. 286). On his escape from Inchconnell 
castle, (64) in a dungeon ot which he had been immured, the young island-prince hastened to place 



father, and his son by her, known as John Maclean of 
Inverscaddell, was held to be a legitimate son, by virtue 
of " the handfast ceremony." But John of Inverscaddell 
was a powerful and warlike chieftain, and any one dis- 
puting his legitimacy must have done so at very immi- 
nent peril. A Macneill chieftain of Barra handfasted 
with the daughter of a chieftain of the Macleans, but 
their children were deprived of their inheritance by the 
more powerful offspring of his subsequent marriage with 
a lady of the Clanrandal family. This custom, as may 
be supposed, often led to bloody feuds. Donnell Mac- 
donnell, a chieftain of the Sleat branch, handfasted with 
a daughter of Macleod, the chieftain of the great Dun- 
vegan family, and having returned the lady without ob- 
serving the conditions required on such occasions, he was 
furiously attacked by the Macleods, his lands wasted, 
and many of his people slain, before he had time to stand 
on his guard. It was probably in accordance with this 
custom that " the good John of Isla" abandoned his first 
wife, Amy MacRuari. See Account oj the Clan Mac- 
lean, p. 105, note; Scott's Poetical Works, vol. x., p Si, 
note. 

(63) Scottish Crown. — Angus, father of Donnell Dhu, 
was dead before the birth of the latter, having been assas- 
sinated by an Irish harper, at the instigation of a chief- 
tain of the Mackenzies, near Inverness. Hugh Macdon- 
nald, the chronicler of Sleat, in noticing his death, says: 
— " He took a journey south, where he killed many of 
the Macallisters in Arran, and also of his own name, for 
seizing and intromitting with some of his lands without 
his consent. Returning through Argyll and Lochaber, 
he came to Inverness. Mackenzie was like to be killed, 
or at least banished by Macdonnell, because he was al- 
ways against him, contriving all the mischiefs he could, 
least, upon recovering his own, he would deprive Mac- 



kenzie of these lands which he held of the king. . . . 
There was an Irish harper of the name of Art O'Cair- 
bery, of the county of Monaghan, who was often at Mac- 
donnald's, and falling in love with Mackenzie's daughter, 
and Mackenzie seeing him in that mood promised him 
his daughter provided he would put Macdonald to death, 
making him swear never to reveal the secret. As Mac- 
donald went to bed one night there was none in the room 
along with him but John Cameron, brother to Ewan, 
laird of Lochiell, and Macmurrich the poet. This John 
had some rights from Macdonald of the lands of Mam- 
more in Lochaber, written the day before, but not signed 
by Macdonald. The harper rose in the night-time when 
he perceived Macdonald was asleep and cut his throat, 
for which he was apprehended, but never confessed that 
he was employed by any body so to do. The harper was 
drawn after horses till his limbs were torn asunder." 
( Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, pp. 3 1 S, 3 1 9. ) The An- 
nals of Loch Ce, at the year 1490, mention this affair as 
follows: — " MacDomhnaill of Alba, i.e., the young lord, 
the best man (of the Macdonnells) in Erin, or in Alba, in 
his time, was unfortunately slain by an Irish harper, i.e. , 
Diarmaid Cairbrech, in his own chamber." (Annals of 
Loch Ce", translated and edited by Wm. M. Hennessy, 
Esq., vol. ii., p. 187.) The Annals of Ulster state that 
the abovenamed chieftain was Angus MacDomhnaill, 
and that the name of the harper was Diurmaid O'Carpri. 
(64) Inchconnell castle. — Inchconnell is the name of an 
island situated near the eastern shore of the beautiful 
I.ochawe, and on this little island are the ruins of the 
once noble castle of Inchconnell, an ancient seat of the 
Campbells, lords of Lochawe, and subsequently of the 
earls of Argyle. It was occupied as a family mansion so 
early as 1361. In that year, a sale of land's was made 
by_ Cristina Campbell, of Craignish, to her kinsman 



THE LORDS OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. 43 

himself under the protection of Torquil Macleod of Lewis, by whom his cause was warmly espoused. 
This powerful chieftain was his uncle by marriage, his lady being a daughter of Argyle, (65) and 
his favourable opinion as to the rightful claims of Donnell had such weight with other Hebridean 
lords, that young Macdonnell soon found himself at the head of a considerable army. He 
immediately commenced warlike operations, by bursting over the district of Badenoch with fire and 
sword, and afterwards holding the greater part of the Highlands and Isles, for the space of three 
years. He was again seized, and kept a prisoner in Edinburgh castle, for the long space of forty 
years, until his hair had turned grey. At the end of that period he once more made his escape, 
and was received with equal enthusiasm by those clans which had formerly supported his claims. 
In the month of June, 1545, the regent, Arran, and his privy council, issued a proclamation 
against " Donald, alleging himself of the Isles, and other Highlandmen his partakers," and this pro- 
clamation was levelled against every Highland chieftain of any note, for they all had joined Donnell 
Dhu, with the single exception of James Macdonnell, who still adhered to the regent, and to the 
interests of the young queen. 

On the death of Donnell Dhu, however, in the year 1545, his adherents, the great island barons 
and chiefs (see p. 20, supra), felt themselves suddenly placed in a difficulty as to the election of his suc- 
cessor. He had left no sons, and although the family of Sleat stood nearer than any other to the main 
line of the Macdonnells of the Isles, its chief, Donnell Gorm, was then a minor, and even its family 
possessions were in serious jeopardy from a claim put forward against them by the Macleods of 
Harris. Under these circumstances, the choice fell on James Macdonnell, which was indeed 
remarkable, as he had strenuously opposed the whole movement of his brother chieftains in favour 
of Donnel Dhu. They, nevertheless, elected him Lord of the Isles, which may have been done, 
principally, to detach him from the regent's service ; and it seems to have had that effect, at least 
for a time. On the 10th of February, 1546, a messenger appeared in Dublin, bringing a letter from 
James Macdonnell, which announced his appointment, and contained proposals for the considera- 
tion of the Irish Privy Council. The following is a full and correct copy of this missive, which, under 
the circumstances, must be regarded as a curious and somewhat extraordinary communication : — 

" Att Arnamurchan, the 24 day of Januar, the zeir of God ane thowsand fyef hundyr 46 zeir. 
"We James M'Conaill of Dunnewaik and f Glinnis, and aperand aeyr of y e Yllis, grantis us to 

Colin ' Campel,' of Lochawe, and the sum agreed on as a prosperous of all his grasping and fortunate race, and he 

penalty for any contravention of the sale by either party was able to perform wonders in the way of adding to and 

was to be paid at this castle of 'Ynischonnill. ' About consolidating his even then extensive estates. In 1475, 

the year 1400, Fordun mentions three castles in Lochawe, he got possession of immense tracts in several parts of 



of which this was one. ' Inchonyl ' was the ancient Argyleshire and the Isles, having been appointed by the 
messuage of the baronies of Lochawe, Glenorchy, Over- crown to prosecute a decree of forfeiture against the 
cowale, and Kilmun; and in 1541, when the barony of Macdonnells, and several of their adherents. In 14S9, 
Lochawe was erected anew by James V. in favour of he secured the beautiful and productive estate of Rose- 
Archibald, fourth earl of Argyle, this castle of Inch- neath, on the Gareloch, in Dumbartonshire, which had 
connell was appointed as the chief residence on the lands. belonged in succession to the Colquhouns, Macaulays, 
The Argyle family frequently occupied Inchconnell during Drummonds, and Menteiths, but of which, as chancellor 
the long period of Donnell Dhu's imprisonment therein. of Scotland, Argyle was able to make out a charter to 
See Orig. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. 128. himself. This first earl was the fifteenth chieftain of the 
(65) Daughter of Argyle. — Donnell Dhu was grandson clan who bore the surname of Campbell, from the time 
of the first earl of'Argyle, who married Isabella Stewart, at which the family abandoned their old Irish title of 
one of the heiresses of Lome. (See p. 15, supra.) This O'Duin, in the eleventh century. He died in 1493, his 
first earl, Coiin, was one of the most graspinp and wife having preceded him to the grave several years. 



44 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

sene speciall letter, deretik fra zour Lordschip to ovvr knyis men and alyas, thwchyng the effecte 
and forme of yair (their) promyssis to y e Kyng of Ynlandis Majeste, to fortyfe and suple our nobill 
cusyng Mathew Erie of Lenox. Quairfoir, we exort and prais your Lordschip, my Lord Deput of 
Yrland, with ye weill awyissit Consall of Duplyn, to schaw in owr behalf, and exprem to y e Kingis 
Majeste, that we are raddy, eftir our extrem power, our kinyesman and alya, namely our cusyng, 
Alan M'Klayn of Gyga, Clanronald, Clanechanroun, Clancayn, and owr awin sowrname, bayth 
north and sowth, to tak ane pairt with y e said Erll of Lenox, or ony oder qwhat sumever, y* Kingis 
Majeste plaissis, to hauf autyrize or constitut be his grace, in Scotland ; leilly and trewly, the foir- 
said Kingis Majeste sendand pairt of power to us, in cumpany with ye said Erll of Lenox in ane 
honest army to ye Yll of Sanday, besyd Kintyer, at Sanct Patrikis day next to cowm, or yairby, 
athowe ye said maist excellent Prence giffand to us his Majestes raward and sikar, band con- 
formand and equiwalent his Gracis band, maid to our cheyf maister Donald Lord Yllis, qhowm 
God asolzeit, ye quhilk deid in his Graceis serwece ; yis beand acceptibill promist and admittit, 
we requyre twa or thre schyppis to be send to us to ye abowven expremit place, with yeis berar 
Hector Donaldsone, beand ane pylayt to y e sammyn, 20 dayes or ye army cowmes, that we might 
be fornest and gadderit agayns ye comyng of ye said army ; to quhawm plais your Lordschip geif 
firm credence in our behalf. And for kepyng and obserwyng of yir presente promittes, desyring 
siklyke formaly to be send to us with ye said schippis, we haif affixit our propir seill to the samyng, 
with our subscription manuall, the day, zeir, and place abowven expremit. 

Signed, James M'Conil, (66) of Dunnewaik and Glenis." 

State Papers, vol. iii., p. 548. 

These offers of alliance from James Macdonnell and his island friends appear to have been 
then overlooked by Henry VIII., whose attention at this time was entirely absorbed by the progress 
of the Reformation in Scotland. Cardinal Beaton, who resisted this movement with all his power, 
and no less strenuously opposed the English attempt to force on a marriage between prince 
Edward, son of Henry VIII., and the young queen of Scots, soon fell a victim to his opposition, 
being assassinated on the 28th of May, 1546, in the castle of St. Andrews (67). James Macdonnell 

(66) James MConill. — In this form of the name, the troductory passages, in which he refers to the death of 
C instead of D is used to convey the Gaelic pronunciation James V. , and the marriage so anxiously wished for in 
in English letters. " Mac Domhnaill is the original name, England by Henry and his Court : — " Considerirge also 
and it has nothing to do with Connell, and bears no what ease and quiettnes, what wealth and ryches, we 
affinity whatever with it, except by corruption, although shulde have in Scotland in few years, yf nowe eftir our 
we have seen them classed together as one and the same said noble kynges decese, prynce Edowarde whom God 
name. This error must have arisen from want of preserve, your Mat"*- son and heare of the noble erapyr 
acquaintance with the ancient language of Ireland and of England, shuld, as he shall by the Grace of God, 
Scotland." O'Donovan's note in the Dublin Penny marye our young Quene of Scotland ; by reason whereof 
Journal, vol. i., p. 363. the foirsaid buschops, which be the Devil's convocacion 

(67) St. Andrews. — The intrigues of the English and the father of mischief, Dauid Beton ther cardinal!, 
Government at this time with the Island-chieftains, and with Beelzebub's fleshmongers, the abbotes and all ther 
the perpetration of the murder above-mentioned, were adherentes, beingequyte expulsed and dryven away, boith 
brought about in a great measure by the inflammatory the realmes of England and of Scotland maybejoynede 
tirades of John Edgar — redshank and reformer — the in one, and so your noble Mat' e - for to be superior and 
Highland priest to whom we have already referred, at p. kynge. Furthermore, knowinge what trew faithfull hartes 
37, supra. In his proposal for the union of England and the moost of the commons of Scotland (yf thai durst 
Scotland in 1 543, addressed to Henry VIII., he mentions speke), beyound the watir of Forth haue to yourhighnes, 
cardinal Beaton, by name, as the chief obstacle to such and wold hartly and glaidly so continew, yf the said 

and dooms him to destruction in the most an- pestiferous Cardinall, and his blynde ignoraunt buschops, 



asured terms. The following is one of Edgar's in- with certane uther wylde, fals, crafty bores, which haue 



THE LORDS OF ISLA AND THE ANTRIM GLENS. 



45 



must, indeed, have been a very powerful chieftain, and very popular with both the contending 
parties in Scotland, having been first elected Lord of the Isles by the barons whom he had pre- 
viously, opposed, and afterwards welcomed again by the regent, notwithstanding his temporary 
desertion, and even though he had assumed the obnoxious and then treasonable title of lord of the 
Isles. The court party was so well pleased to have him once more among them, that the regent 
settled by mediation a dispute between Macdonnell and Argyle ; and in return this great island 
chief remained firm in his allegiance to the Scottish throne as long as he lived. (68) 



drunkyne the French kyngis wynes, and taistide of his 
cups, plainge leger de mane (as thai say) with boith 

handes, wer tyed up in ropis and halters 

Alsoe, perceavinge what sedition and variance, what dis- 
sension and insurrecions, what theifte and extorcions, 
what dearth and misery, what pryde and hypocrisy, what 
invye and haterat we shal have in Scotlande, so long as 
this miserable, wretched cardinall and his buschops 
reagnethe and rulithe among us ther, without your High- 
nes, by the provision of God, hunte and dryve thaim 
shortlie fourthe of the same with fyre and sworde." 
Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, pp. 24, 25. 

(68) As he lived. — In the year 1545. Mary, queen of 
Scots, for the good service done by James Macdonnell, 
during her minority, especially in opposing the English 
— 'the auncientenemys of her kingdom' — granted to him 
the lands of Cantire north and south, consisting of 294 
marklands and 53 shilling lands ; in Isla, 91 marklands 
and 1064 shilling lands ; in Jura, 184 shilling lands ; 
together with several smaller allotments in Arran, Gigha, 
Colonsay, and other islands. In the year 1558, Mary 
and her husband Francis, because that James Macdonnell's 
title-deeds had been destroyed in time of war, and also 
for his continued good services against the English, re- 
granted all the lands specified in the original deeds. 
These deeds, together with all his family papers, had, no 
doubt, been destroyed during a raid then recently made 
by the Irish deputy, Sussex, in the course of which lie 
burned the castle of Saudell, where James Macdonnell 
then resided, and another family residence in Cantire, 
named Machrimone. In the year 1559, Mary of Guise, 
then queen regent of Scotland, granted to James Mac- 
donnell, the wardship and marriage of Mary Macleod, the 
heiress of Dunvegan. This lady was the daughter of 
William Macleod, of Skye, who died in 1 553. Hisdaughter 
being heiress to a large estate, her wardship and marriage 



were vested in the crown, and disposed of by James, earl 
of Arran, then regent of Scotland, to George, earl of 
Huntly. The earl of Argyle, however, meditating a 
marriage between the lady and some of his own kinsmen, 
bought the wardship from Huntly, but contrived to get it 
without payment, on the score that Huntly had neglected 
to quell certain turmoils in the Highlands. The deed of 
wardship was about being made over by the queen regent 
to Argyle, but the latter having declared himself a friend 
to the principles of the Reformation, the queen changed 
her mind, and appointed James Macdonnell as guardian to 
Mary Macleod, and administrator of her affairs. But this 
fourth earl of Argyle's protestantism, appears to have 
quickened his eye to business matters, and he succeeded 
eventually in obtaining this lucrative wardship. (See 
Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, pp. 141 — 146). In addi- 
tion to several family residences on his extensive Scottish 
property, James Macdonnell occasionally occupied Red 
Bay castle, near Cushendall. The ruins of this castle. 
— which stood in a most picturesque position, and com- 
manded most magnificent views of the coast, — consist now 
of a tower or keep, and a few crumbling fragments of the 
walls. In 1561, Piers, the constable of Carrickfergus, 
sent an official to Red Bay, to make a complaint to James 
Macdonnell, respecting certain disputes with Sorley Boy. 
This official reported that the castle at Red Bay was then 
being repaired by Scottish workmen, under the superin- 
tendence of James Macdonnell, and that the latter, in the 
course of conversation, "used very evil talk against the 
queen (Elizabeth), and said that the queen of Scotland 
was rightful heir." In 1563, James Macdonnell wrote to 
the deputy Sussex from Red Bay, stating that Sorley Boy 
could hold no further communications with the govern- 
ment until the assassins of the sons of Alexander Mac- 
randalboy Macdonnell were punished, and a certain 
promised grant of lands from the queen duly delivered. 



[46] 




CHAPTER III. 

COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 

I HIS third son of Alexander Macdonnell was one of the most distinguished of the 
six brothers, although he died at a comparatively early age. He was surnamed 
Dubh, or •' dark-haired,' and was also known by the sobriquet na-g Caput, ' of the 
Horses,' probably because he was a cavalry leader, (i) With the exception of Sorley 
Boy, Colla was better known on the Antrim coast than any of his brothers ; and from certain notices 
of him in the State Papers (few, but very significant), he had evidently made himself formidable in 
the eyes of all English officials, not excepting, as we shall see, the lord deputy Sussex himself. In 
the earlier and fiercer struggles with the O'Cahans and Macquillins, Colla appears among the most 
fearless and energetic of the Clandonnell leaders. Throughout such military services, he was 
generally associated with his elder brother James, at least until after their father's death. 
Although these young officers occasionally met with severe reverses, they held their positions on the 
coast with unyielding tenacity, even when assailed by more than one powerful foe. They were 
generally, however, able to engage their opponents in detail, defeating the English on the coast, the 
O'Cahans on the Bann, and the Macquillins repeatedly on the open fields of the Route (2) Unfor- 
tunately, we have only English officials' letters, and an occasional entry in the Annals of the Four 
Masters, from which to glean a few scattered inferences respecting the true state of affairs at any given 
period, on the Antrim coast. The State Papers can hardly be expected to reveal the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, respecting any affairs in which the English and Scots were the belligerent 
parties. We have, indeed, ample reason to suspect that the writers of these letters and despatches 
systematically extenuate their own defeats, and exaggerate their own successes. And it thus hap- 
pens, that in coming to any definite conclusions, we are compelled to judge from the drift of events, 
rather than from any positive information supplied by the concoctors of State documents. Some wit- 
nesses, however, speak with a greater degree of candour than others ; but not a single official letter, 
or paper (if we except a hasty expression from sir Henry Sydney, and one or two from sir Henry 
Wallop), could be found, perhaps, during the whole sixteenth century, containing any admission 
that the Scots of northern Ulster were brave or successful at any time throughout that struggle of a 
hundred years; although, notwithstanding occasional reverses, they steadily advanced, and eventually 
established themselves in all the possessions for which they had so gallantly contended. 

(1) Cavalry leader.— A Macdonnell manuscript, pre- (2) The Route. — (See p. 2, supra.') This name is the 

served by a family in the Glens, affirms that Colla bore modern form of the old Reuda, or Reuta, which had been 

the epithet na-g Caput, from his being obliged, in company contracted from the original Riada or Righfada. The 

with his men, to live on horse flesh during a campaign in territory of the modern Route — Macquillin's country — lay 

Tyrconnell, where he had gone to assist the O'Donnells between the Bush and the Bann; and, at its southern ex- 

in a clan war against the O'Neills. trcmity, between the Bann and the Glynnes. 



COLA MACDONNELL AXD HIS DESCENDANTS. 47 

In the year 1551, the Clandonnell banner waved triumphantly over the Route and Glynns. 
It had been carried even into Clannaboy, the patrimony of the O'Neils, and spoils, it was believed 
by the English, of great value, variety, and extent, had been taken by the Scots from the latter 
territory, and stored in the island of Rathlin. The authorities in Dublin, who had watched the 
movements of the various parties in the North at a respectful distance, now determined to 
strike a deadly blow at the Macdonnells, and also to seize the rich stores, which, they confidently 
hoped, at one swoop to carry off from the island. A formidable expedition, with the deputy, sir 
James Crofts, (3) at its head, moved northward into Ulster, whilst four large ships filled with soldiers 
soon appeared in the North Channel. Of the results of this expedition, we have a short notice in 
the Annals of Ireland, by the Four Masters, and we have also a more detailed account in a letter 
written by sir Thomas Cusake (4) to the earl of Warwick, (5) September 27, 1551. The notice in 
the Annals would lead to the conclusion that the force on board the squadron was landed on the 
ibland, and soon afterwards, or probably whilst in the act of landing, cut off by the Scots. Sir 
Thomas Cusake, as a matter of course, makes as little of the affair as possible, and speaks of the 
Scots as being, on the whole defeated, although he admits that they had repulsed the attack on 
Rathlin with considerable loss to the invaders. The following, however, is a full and true copy of 
as much of chancellor Cusake's ietter as refers to the attempt on Rathlin. This extract also con- 
tains several curious facts in connexion with the Scottish settlement on the coast at the date above- 
named : — 

" The nexte morowe certain prisoners of the Skottes were brought before my Lord, who told 
his Lordship that James M'Connyll and his breathern, with a nomber of Skottis were all togidder in 
the Island of Raghlin, and had with them the mooste parte of all the praies of kyne and garrans 
(t>) that VI daies before were taken by them out of Claneboy, (7) and for that the same Island was 

(3) Sir James Crofts. — This knight was of an ancient was restored in blood when twelve years of age, and two 
Herefordshire family. In 1549, he was governor of Had- years after his father's execution, in 1509. He was 
dington, and appointed, in 1551, as Lord Deputy of Ire- knighted in 1523, and in 1538, created viscount Lisle, 
land. He was recalled in the following year, and sub- He was advanced to the earldom of Warwick on the ac- 
sequently held the office of Constable of the Tower. He cession of Edward VI. , and to the dukedom of North- 
was implicated in Wyatt's conspiracy, but escaped by pay- umberland in 1551. In May, 1553, he married his son, 
ing a fine of .£500. Alter the accession of Elizabeth, he lord Guilford Dudley, to lady Jane Grey, actually ob- 
was made governor of Berwick, and advanced, in 1570, taining the signatures of the dying king and the obsequi- 
to the office of comptroller of the queen's household. ous council to a patent naming lady Jane as successor to 

(4) Cusake. — Lord chancellor Cusake was the son of the crown. He failed, however, in the most important 
Thomas Cusake of Cassington, in the county of Meath. part of his scheme — that of getting possession of the 
He represented an ancient Norman-Irish family, and his princess Mary, and subsequently betrayed signal defici- 
ancestors had been sheriffs and seneschals of Meath so ency in promptitude and courage. He soon fell a sacrifice 
uniformly that these appointments almost came to be con- to his ambition, and dragged down with him to an un- 
sidered as hereditary in the family. One of the Cusakes timely grave the incomparable lady Jane Grey, who is 
wrote a Description of Meath, which was longpreserved in described as having, at eighteen, "the innocency of 
manuscript among the collections of Trinity College, Dub- childhood, the beauty of youth, and the gravity of old 
lin, and eventually printed in Vallancey's series of learned age." See Nichol's Autographs. 

Papers. Chancellor Cusake drew up what he called a (6) Garrans, — The word Garran is probably a dimi- 

Boke on the State of Ireland, which now possesses con- nutive of gabhar, pronounced garron, denoting a work- 

siderable interest, and from which we shall make occa- horse, or hack. See Spenser's Works, vol. viii., p. 329; 

sional extracts relating to affairs in Ulster. Logan's Scottish Gael, vol. i., p. 345. 

(5) Warwick. — John Dudley, earl of Warwick, was (7) Claneboy- — These spoils were no doubt carried 
son of the notorious Edmund Dudley, baron of Exchequer, off by the Scots from northern or lower Clannaboy, 
who paid with his life the penalty of his extortions as the which lay nearer to Rathlin than the southern or upper 
instrument of Henry VII. His son, above-mentioned, territory so called, in the county of Down. Northern 



48 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



scant from the land iv myles by sea, (8) and that there was at the same place tow barkes and tow 
small galleys that thai dud take from the Skottes vi daies before. The Captaynes of the footemen 
was mooste willing to be set a land with iii or iv hondreth men, as well to revenge themself upon 
the people for invading the kingis lande and destroing his Mat;" people, as to seik their praies, con- 
sideringe that James M'Connyll and his brethren destroid in effect all Claneboy and M'Collyns 
contre, (9) and banyshed a sept of gentlemen out of their contre named Alexander Carraghes sonnes, 
men which served the kingis Matie trewlie ; (10) and besydes the same from Marketown (1 1) 10 
Glenarme put under themselfe, wherein thai dud dwell as quiet as in Skotlande, and had good 
occupynge of corne and cattaill in the same. So as thai had under occupying aboue xxx myles, 
whereby thai gate the stringth of O'Cahan, M'Collyen, and all Claneboy, and putt all the 
raptaynes and gentlemen in thoise partes of the Northe to ber them trybute and yerelie rent, which 
which was paied to them yerelie, and had no men of warre in bonnaght in thoise contres when oon 
cf them dud warre upon the other but such Skottes as James and his brethren dud send them. (12) 



Clannaboy comprised the present baronies of the two 
Antrims, the two Toomes, the two Belfasts, lower Mas- 
sareen, and the county of the town of Carrickfergus. See 
Reeves's Eccles. A ntiqitities, p. 344. 

(8) By sea. — The distance from the nearest point on the 
mainland to the island is exactly four miles. This point 
is eastward of Ballycastle, near the rock called Carrick- 
more. From the quay, near Ballycastle, the distance to 
the head of Church Bay in Rathlin is about seven miles. 

(9) M'Collyns contre. — Macquillin's territory of the 
Route was small compared with northern Clannaboy, 
extending from the Ravel to the Lagan, all of which, it 
would appear, now lay prostrate under the triumphant 
Scots. The following passage from sir Thomas Cusake's 
Accou ill of Ireland 'in 1553, describes the difficulties to 
which Hugh, son of Neal Oge O'Neill, chief of northern 
Clnnnaboy, was then reduced: — "And now lately I re- 
paired to his contre to talke further with him, to tract 
the time till grass grow, for before then, the contries be- 



ing ! 



barren of victuals and of horsemeat, no good may 



be done to destroy him; whereby I perceived that though 
he was determined (as he said) to meet me and to con- 
clude a further peece; yet he, hearing of the arrival of 
certain Scots to the Glynnes, refused to come to me, 
contrary to his writing and sending, and went to Colloe 
M'Conill, who landed with 6 or 7 score bows, and 
thought to bring them with him to war upon his next 
neighbours, so as there is no great likelihood in him 
(O'Neill) of any honest conformity. " Calendar of Carew 
MSS., 1st series, pp. 242, 243. 

(10) Trewlie. — It would thus appear that the descend- 
ants of Alexander Carrach (see p. 18, supra), had aimed at 
forming a settlement in the lower Glens independent of 
the Macdonnells of Isla and Cantire. This project the 
latter, as legitimate owners of the territory could not per- 
mit. The sons of Alexander Carrach, however, occasion- 
ally continued to side with the English, but always at 
their special and great peril. 

(11) Marketown. — This was the English way of writing 
Mairgclmvn, the name of the little town at the head of 
Ballycastle Bay, so called from the river Mairge, which 
then emptied itself into the sea at the point now known 



as the Inner Dock. When the harbour was being made 
there, in 1738, the river Mairge was shut off from its 
original winding channel, on both sides of which Mairge- 
town, or Marketon, formerly stood. 

(12) Dud send them. — This account indicates a condi- 
tion of great prosperity on the part of the Scottish settlers 
on the coast; and the fact that the Macdonnells supplied 
all the bonaghts or hired soldiers to the northern chiefs, 
implied that these proud Scots had established an arrange- 
ment which only princes had ventured to impose. The 
Macdonnells thus quartered all their soldiers in the Route, 
Clannaboy, and O'Cahan's country beyond the Bann, 
employing them, when necessary, for their own pur- 
poses, but requiring the native populations to support 
them. Bonaght meant coyne and livery, or food for man 
and horse, supplied partly in coin or money, and partly 
delivered as victuals. The amount generally imposed 
was, for every spear, quarterly, twenty shillings and ten- 
pence sterling, with corn to the meisure of three score 
and three half hoopes, or eight pecks wanting [half] a 
hoope for 63 cakes, and nine score and nine quarters of 
butter. (See Morrin's Calendar, 1st series, p. 459; 
Davis's Historical Tracts, pp. 140, 151.) This system 
implied a complete mastery on the part of those imposing 
it, and was always denounced by the English in Ireland 
unless when imposed by themselves. Although the latter 
found it often a very convenient way of living on the sub- 
jugated Irish, they could not tolerate the idea of an Irish 
chieftain imposing bonaght on his own vassals, or of 
Scottish leaders thus sustaining their own authority in the 
north. In the eleventh of Elizabeth, the abolition of 
coyne and livery, among the Irish at least, is made the 
theme of special congratulation and thankfulness, thus: — 
" Of late, to the great glory of God, and your (Eliza- 
beth's) immortal fame, a greater conquest than this (the 
overthrow of Shane O'Neill) is wrought in this your lande 
of Ireland, which is the abolishing and extirpation of 
that horrible and most detestable coyne and livery, which 
was the verie nurse and teat that gave suck and nutriment 
to all disobediencies, enormities, vices, and iniquities of 
this realm, over foule and filthie here to be expressed, and 
such as did justlie provoke the wrath and vengeance of 



:OLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 



49 



Soe as betwixt M'Collyns howse and Bealfarst was obedient to his cesse of Skottes, which is above 
1 or lx myles. (13) Then my Lord Deputie perceaving the willinge mindes of the Captynes and 
souldiers, and their peticions in that behalf, and alsoe consyderinge the losse of the Kingis Maties 
lande and people, (14) beinge moost desirous soe to have the same avengid as no daunger might 
insue, sent for the maisters and captaynes of the barkes to him, to know how many men thai moght 
land at oon tyme in the Hand, who telt his Lordship not passe Ic. And then my Lord being 
mooste looth to adventure the losse of his men in such sorte, concluded that thai shold goo soe 
many by the coast to the place, whereas the same James his gallees laie at Roode ; and if thai could 
bring the gallees with them, then thai moght land, Vc. at a tyme, whereby thai should atchue their 
interprise at their pleasure without daunger. And if thai could not come by their gallees afloate, 
that thai shold not launde in no wise, to bring them, unless thai could perfectlie perceave that the 
Skottis wolde yielde and retorne backe from the daunger of the schippis gone schott. And soe 
his Lordschip and we all concluded to doe, with the advise of the captaynes. 

"After which determinacyon, Sr- Raulf Bagnall (15) and Captayne Cuffe determyned to 



Almighty God upon the people of this lande, and to be 
feared hath bred some peril of God's displeasure to your 
most noble progenitours, the princes of England, for so 
long suffering of the same. By the extermination where- 
of, there is, in so short a time, such an alteration of this 
estate happened, that where before there was everywhere 
but howling, crying, cursing, penury, and famine, now is 
there instead thereof, mirth, joy, jollity, and blessing your 
Majestie,— with such plentifulnesse of graine and victualls 
among the people of this realme, as the like hath not been 
seen or heard of within the memorieof man; all parts of the 
same realm so quieted, the people, as it were, of themselves 
so inclined to justice, as wee dare say, your Maties commis- 
sioners and justices may have at this day free concourse 
throughout this your whole realme of Ireland. 
This is the diligent and painfull industry of your good 
servant, Sir Henry Sydney, whose parte we may not leave 
unreported without breach of conscience." See Irish 
Statutes, vol. i., pp. 333, 334. 

(13) Myles. — The distance between Dunluce, Mac- 
quillin's "howse," and "Bealfarst," is about fifty-five 
miles by the then route along the coast. For an account 
of various kinds of Irish cesses and exactions, see Ulster 
Journal of Archceology, vol. iii., p. 105 ; Montgomery 
Manuscripts, new edition, p. 46. 

(14) Lande and people. — The kings of England were 
long in the habit of keeping up a claim on lands in 
Ireland, alleging certain rights of inheritance. Their 
claim on Ulster, for example, was made out as follows : 
— " Lacye enjoyed all Ulster during his life, which was 
70 years after the Conquest, and had one only daughter, 
that was married to Sir Walter de Burke, Lord of 
Connaught, who enjoyed them both during his 
life, and had issue Sir William de Burke, Earl 
of Ulster, who had issue Richard de Burke, who 
was Earl of Ulster, and Lord of Connaught, 
and kept them both in prosperity, but was traiter- 
ously slain, leaving but one daughter, his heir. His 
daughter, named Elizabeth, was married to Lionel, 
Duke of Clarence, third son of King Edward III. Lionel 
was his father's Lieutenant of Ireland, and had the same 
revenues as his father-in-law, and he made no long stay 

E 



there. Neither he nor any of his heirs provided any 
good defence for their lands in Ulster and Connaught, by 
occasion of which, in the time of King Henry VI., all 
Ulster was clean lost. The king is right heir to the said 
Earl of Ulster and Lord of Connaught, and yet hath no 
more profit thereby, but only the manor of Carlingforde, 
which is scarce worth 100 merks by the year." 
(Calendar of Carew MSS., 1st series, pp. 4, 5). The 
plea put forward on behalf of English princes as hereditary 
sovereigns of Ireland is still more questionable. This 
plea is embodied in the well-known act of the nth of 
Elizabeth abolishing the title of The O'Neill, and is thus 
stated : — " And, therefore, it may like your Majesty to bee 
advertised, that the auncient chronicles of the realme, 
written both in the Latine, English, and Irish tongues, 
allege sundrie auncient titles for the Kings of England to 
this lande of Ireland. And first, that at the beginning 
afore the comminge of Irishmen into the said lande, they 
were dwelling in a province of Spaine called Biscau, 
whereof Bayon was a member, and the chiefe cittie. And 
that at the said Irishmen comminge into Ireland, one King 
Gurmonde, son to the noble King Belan, Kinge of Greate 
Britaine, which now is called England, was Lord of Ba- 
yon, as many of his successors were to the tyme of Henry 
II., firste conqueror of this realme, and therefore the 
Irishmen should be the King of England his people, and 
Ireland his lande. Another tytle is, that at the same 
time that Irishmen came out of Biscay, as exiled persons, 
in sixtie ships, they met with the same King Gurmonde 
upon the sea, at the yles of Orcades, thin coming from 
Denmark, with great victorie, their captaines called 
Heberus and Hermon, went to this king, and told him 
the cause of their, comminge out of Biscay, and prayed 
him with great instance that he would graunt unto them, 
that they might inhabite some land in the west. The 
king at last, by advise of his counsell, graunted them 
Ireland to inhabite, and assigned unto them guides for 
the sea to bring them thither ; and, theiefore, they (the 
Irish) should and ought to bee the King of England's 
men." Irish Statutes, vol. i., pp. 230, 231. 

(15) Bagnall. — Ralph and Nicholas Bagnall, brothers, 
came from Staffordshire to this country, in the year 1542, 



50 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

advaunce forwarde with thre hondreth souldiers, gonners, and part archers, towards the island. 
Then my Lord eftsones declared unto them his former conclusion, prohibiting them in no wise to 
launde, but to keape their boates afloat in eschewmge daunger of losse of men, and if by that 
meanes they coulde come by their gallees then to bringe them from thence, if not to retorne, 
onless they colde perceave that they colde come by them without daunger. Whereuppone they take 
shippinge, and comeinge nighe the Hand, Mr. lieftenaunte and Captayne Cuffe (16) went boothe 
in oon boate with certayne souldiers with thaim to the nombre of xxx., and iii. or iiii. boates more 
furnyshed with lyke men. And as the boate where the lieftenaunte and Cuffe was approachide 
nighe the place wher their gallees wer, they sawe their gallees drawn to drie land. Soe they coulde 
not come by them without daunger, and sawe a nomber of Skottes towards the same place, which e 
did not yelde nor retier for anie great gonne shott that was shott out of the shippes. And whiles 
the lieftenaunte were thus beholdinge the same, a soddaine sourde (surge) of the sea came at an 
ebb and sett their boate upon the rockes. Soe as after thai could not com thense, but abide the 
hazarde, and then as many as were in that boate wer drowned and slayne to the nomber of xxv., 
and the lieftenaunte, Capytayne Cuffe, and two more taken prisoners. Soe all this came through 
misfortune, assuring your honor that ther coulde noe governour sett forthe men more discreatlie 
and wise than my Lord dud, and for as goode a cause and purpose as ever men was sent. And 
thankes be to God, save onely for the losse of our men, there is like suche goode successe to followe, 
as the Skottes will noe more attempte to inhabite Irlande. 

" And then James M'Conill sent to my lord, that he never knew that anie deputie was in 
Irlande before nowe, meaninge that he thocht that noe deputie wolde hev travailed soe ferre in suche 
a wyldernes and desart places wher as noe governour went with men sence the conquest, that anie 
man may remember, soe as the same jorney is right notable, by the which ther doe natoorely insue 
greate quietnes to the contre but alsoe profitt to the kingis Matie, besydes the wynninge of 
subiectes and bannesinge of enemyes, which will not be oute of remimbrans in Irlande. (17) 

" Alsoe, the same James, after the killinge of the men and takeinge of the prisoners, dud like- 
wise send to my Lord Deputie lettres that he wolde inlardge the prisoners, and restore all suche 

the latter having been implicated in a charge of man- of Ballymaglassan, county of Meath ; the Manor of 

.slaughter. (See State Papers, vol. iii., p. 439.) Nicholas Deeps, county of Wexford ; and the priory of Innistioge, 

appears to have recommended himself in some special county Kilkenny. Six months subsequently, he wrote 

manner to Con O'Neill, first earl of Tyrone, who wrote again to Cecil, informing him of his long sickness, and 

to the council in England for a pardon to Bagnall, which forwarding George Frevelle, who was to make request to 

was readily granted by Henry VIII. Ralph Bagnall was the queen on Cuffe's behalf, for a warrant to Sussex, the 



a soldier of fortune, and appears also to have succeeded lord deputy, to pass to him in fee-farm the priory of 
in his avocation. In the year following his capture by Innistioge, in consideration that Selsekar abbey was taken 



the Macdonnells at Rathlin, he was a member of the from him. Cuffe appears to have died soon afterwards, 

Privy Council in Dublin, and as such, he signed an order as his widow, Kathrine Cuffe, of Waterford, petitions the 

for the due preservation of Irish Records. His son, sir queen, in 1565, for a grant of Selsekar and Deeps, or the 

Samuel Bagnall, was a colonel in queen Elizabeth's Irish priory lands of Innistioge. See Hamilton's Calendar, 

forces. See Kilkenny Archa:ological Journal, new series, first series, pp. 167, 210, 213, 225, 235, 284, 356. 

vol. iii., p. 187. (17) Irlande. — Cusake must have soon felt considerably 

(16) Cuffe. — This was captain John Cuffe, but to what shaken in his own prophetical powers— at least so far as 

place in England he originally belonged, we cannot dis- these Scots were concerned. In 1553, only two years 

cover. On returning from captivity in Rathlin, he later, he stated in his "Book " on the State of Ireland, 

brought his company or band into the service of sir that the Macdonnells were all-powerful in northern 

Nicholas Bagenall, the marshal of Ulster. In March, Ulster, implying, indeed, that their sway had not been 

'5^3) Cuffe wrote to Cecil for a grant of the parsonage practically infringed by anything sir James Croft had 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND ItIS DESCENDANTS. 5 1 

armour and goodes as was taken from thaim ; and that his brethren beinge suffrid to dwelle in the 
landes wher they dud inhabite in Irlande, shold berre and yelde with the kingis Matie, and doe his 
grace service, bott yett of ther comeinge again to the lande, my Lorde and we wolde in no wise con- 
discende. Then my Lord sent onto hym that onles he dud inlardge the prisoners, and retome ther 
armour and goodes, he wolde complayne to the kingis Ma'ie, and certifie the governour of Skotlande 
of his evil demeanour in this behalfe. (18) Soe as at the writinge hereof, Mr. lieftenaunte went to 
Dublin, to my Lord Deputie, and the reste be inlardged, and what furder conclusion is taken upon 
ther enlardginge as yett, I doe not knowe, beinge assured the Lord Deputie will certifye your good 
Lordship the full effecte thairoff. (19) 

" All suche corne as the same Skottes had in those partes, which was more than all Clanneboy 
had, my lord destroid in effect, soe as men reporte, the moost trust that James and his breathren 
had for provicSn of corne was in the same ; and also Coll M'Connyll, seconde brother to James, had 
a stronge castill buylded upon a rock, with a strong baan (bawn) of lyme and stoone, over the sea, 
named the castill of Keanbaan, (20) which my Lorde causid to be defaced, and brake much parte 
thairof, so as nowe it is not defensible, whiche I am sure thai neid had for soe muche more 
displeasir doon to thaim. 

"From Lessmoolin, (21) the 27th September, 1 551." — Pullic Record Office, London, Irish 
Correspondence, 1551, vol. iii., No. 52. 

From the foregoing account, although tenderly handled byCusake, it is evident that the English 
party not only sustained a severe check, but completely failed also in the several objects of their 

accomplished, and of which Cusake himself had so boasted son of Con, son of Hugh Boy. The Ultonians and Scots 

in this account of the expedition of 1551. See also were prepared to receive them. On coming together, a 

Calendar of the Carat) A/SS., first series, pp. 242, 243. fierce and furious battle was fjught between them, in 

(18) This behalfe. — Croft, the deputy, and Cusake, the which the English were defeated, and two hundred of the 
chancellor, appear to have been in a hopeless dilemma. English and Irish (of their party) were slain ; and such 
The governor of Scotland was then James Hamilton, earl of them as escaped returned back in disgrace and dis- 
of Arran, afterwards duke of Chatelherault, with whom cumhture from these two expeditions." 

James Macdonnell was in form and cordial alliance ever (20) Keanbaan. — Kinbann, 'the White Head,' is a 

since the year 154.5. See p. 45, supra. huge chalk rock of dazzling whiteness standing out in the 

(19) Effecte thairoff. — The followingis the account of this channel, somewhat beyond the line of other adjoining head- 
affair as given in the Annals of Ireland, explaining " the lands, and about a mile and a-half westward from the town 
furder conclusion," of which Cusake had not heard, when of Ballycastle. It rises abruptly from the water about 
he penned the foregoing letter : — "A hosting was made one hundred feet. The castle of Colla Macdonnell stood 
by the Lord Justice (Lord Deputy) into Ulster, in the behind this immense rock, but connected with it by strong 
beginning of Autumn ; and he sent the crews of four walls which were carried along the edges of the cliff so 
ships to the island of Reachrainn to seek for plunders. as to prevent any possibility of an assault from the sea. 
The sons of Macdonnell of Scotland, James and Colla On the southern side it was protected by a range of cliffs 
Maelduv, were upon the island to protect the district. A standing considerably inland, but only capable of being 
battle was fought between them, in which the English descended by a precipitous path. This castle had a tower 
were defeated, so that not one of them escaped to relate or keep, portions of which still remain. 

their story, except their chief, a lieutenant, whom these (21) Lessmoolin. — Cusake had an hereditary residence 

Scots took prisoner, and kept in custody until they at Lismullin, an old Anglo-Irish town in the barony of 

obtained (in exchange) for him their own brother, Sorley Skryne, county of Meath. Maria Cusake, the latest 

Boy, who had been imprisoned in Dublin by the English prioress of the ancient nunnery at Lismullin, was pro- 

for the space of a year before, and another great ransome bably a sister of the lord chancellor. She surrendered 

along with him." The following entry in the Annals at her charge on the loth of June, 31st Henry VIII., in 

1551, almost succeeding the above, is a curious com- obedience to the then recently enacted law for the 

mentary on Cusake's pretended victory: — " A hosting suppression of religious houses. This nunnery had been 

was made by the English a second time into Ulster, to originally founded in the year 1240, by Alicia de la Corner, 

w reak their vengeance on the sons of Macdonnell, the sister of the then bishop of Meath. See Steward's Topo- 

sons of O'Neill, and the sons of Niall Oge, son of Niall, graphia Hibemica. 



52 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

expedition. The partial defacement of Kinbann castle was but a sorry recompense to the invaders 
for the loss of life incurred at Rathlin, the heavy expenses of the expedition, the large money- 
ransom for Bagenall and Cuffe, and especially the surrender by the authorities in Dublin of so im- 
portant a prisoner as Sorley Boy. Colla Macdonnell soon returned to his fortress of Kinbann, 
which he continued to hold against all comers until the time of his death, in the month of May, 
1558. Lord-deputy Sussex, who had also led a comparatively fruitless expedition to the North in 
1556, wrote to secretary Boxall, on the 3rd of June, 1558, announcing Colla's death, which had 
occurred about twenty days previously, adding that he was the best man of all the brothers, and that 
he had constantly remained in Ireland. (See Hamilton's Calendar of State Papers, 1st series, p. 146)- 
As Colla thus died in the vicinity of Bunnamairge, his dust no doubt reposes in the older vault under 
the abbey. This chieftain married a lady of the Macquillins, but there is no record in the State Papers 
of such family alliance between these hostile clans. The marriage is mentioned, however, in mamr 
scriptsstillpreserved,bothamongtheMacdonnellsandtheMacquillins. Thelady'snameis traditionally 
stated to have been Eveleen, probably the dimunitive of Eva, or it may be a form of Eleanor, which, 
although not an Irish name, is frequently found in use among women of the native race. In one 
of the manuscripts referred to, Colla Macdonnell is represented as passing through the Route at some 
time — the date not specified — on his way from Cantire to Tirconnell, in command of a Scottish 
auxiliary force intended to assist O'Donnell, in a struggle then pending between him and O'Neill 
of Tyrone. It so happened that Colla arrived at Dunluce castle, as a sort of half-way house, where 
he and his redshanks were hospitably entertained. Macquillin, the lord of dark Dunluce, just then 
chanced to be at war with O'Cahan beyond the Bann, and the latter had swept away a vast spoil of 
cattle from the fields of the Route only a few days before the arrival of the Scottish party from 
Cantire. By way of making some small return to Macquillin for his hospitality, Colla Macdonnell 
offered a da^s fighting of his whole party against the O'Cahans, an offer which Macquillin was only 
too happy to accept. " So Macquillin and the Highlanders went against the enemy, and where there 
was a cow taken from M'Quillin's people before, there were two restored back, after which 
M'Quillin and Colla Macdonnell returned back with a great prey, and without the loss of a man." 
Colla and his men, on their return from the campaign in Tyrconnell, were invited to quarter 
themselves in the Route during the winter, which of course he gladly consented to do — this dark- 
haired, gigantic chief pleasantly passing the dreary winter season in wooing and winning the beauti- 
ful Eveleen Macquillin. Matters did not go on so smoothly, however, between the redshank host 
and Macquillin's people. They quarrelled, in fact, respecting certain dietary difficulties that had 
suddenly arisen, and the Macquillins are represented as having formed a conspiracy by which their 
burdensome and oppressive visitors were to be cut off in one night. The lady, who had discovered 
the existence of this plot, gave timely warning to her husband, Colla, and he had thus time to 
transfer his men to the island of Rathlin, where they were safe from the threatened massacre. 

It is more likely that these redshanks, instead of being hospitably invited to spend the winter with 
Macquillin, had been quartered on that hapless chief, according to the custom of bonachta, (see p. 48, 
supra), and that the Scotch bonaghts, or hired soldiers, had become intolerably oppressive in their 
exactions. There is no doubt some truth in this manuscript, although it may contain a somewhat 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 53 

distorted representation of facts. The events to which it refers probably occurred about the year 
1 55 1, when Cusake represents not only the Route but the adjoining territories as swarming with these 
bonaghts. In reference to the agreement thus found to exist between the State Paper- and these family 
manuscripts, it is worthy of remark, also, that when Sussex made his grand raid in 1556, he found 
Colla MacdonnelFs son, then a little child of probably about five or six years of age, under the 
protection of a vassal chief, called O'Kane. (22) Now, it so happens that another Macdonnell 
manuscript is corroborated by this passage of the State Papers, for Colla's son is stated, in the family 
record, to have been fostered in the household of a gentleman of the O'Quinns of Camrighe, 
near Coleraine. (23) 

Colla left two sons, Gillaspick and Randal. For some scanty details respecting the 
former, we are chiefly indebted to a family manuscript, whilst of the younger, we have only 
two glimpses, which merely serve to identify him, and to show that, like so many of his race, 
he adopted the occupation of a soldier. The following letter, addressed to this Randal Mac 
Colla, will explain itself: — "James Fitz Maurice, to Randal MacDonnell — The custom of the 
letter (i.e., salutation), from James, son of Maurice, to his friend and companion Randal, 
son of Colla Maeldubh, (24) and tell him that I told him to collect as many bonaght men 
(25) as he can, and to come to me, and that he will get his pay according to his own will, 
for I was never more thankful to God for having great power and influence than now. Advise 
every one of your friends who likes fighting for his religion and his country, better than for 
gold and silver, or who wishes to obtain them all as their wages, to come .to me, and that 
he will find each of these things." (26) (Journal of the Kilkenny Archceological Society, new 
series, vol. ii., p. 345.) 

(22) O'Kane. — The pursuivant who chronicled mous with mal, and signifies chief or king, Maeldearg, 
Sussex's movements from place to place whilst on his the red or ruddy chief; Maeldubh, the black chief." 
expedition to the north, says :— "On Sunday, the 19th Irish Topographical Poems, edited by Dr. O'Donovan, 
July, he removed to Collrahan ; on Monday night came Introduction, p 55. 

in Colloh M'Connell's son, a little child, which was kept (25) Bonaght men. (See p. 48, supra.) The Mac- 

with O'Kanne " For an account of Sussex's expedition, donnells grew powerful through the imposition of the 

see Calendar of Careio MSS., first series, pp. 259—262. bonnachta, or the exaction of coigne and livery for the 

(23) Coleraine. — The Macdonnell Manuscripts can be support of their swarms of soldiers. By this means, also, 
all,ornearlyall,tracedtothreeclergymennameA/tf«7r//«/r, the earls of Kildare, during the fifteenth and sixteenth 
who successfully served as curates in the united parishes centuries, became great and feared, by their boldly 
of Layd and Ardclinis. The last of these gentlemen was imitating the custom by which Irish kings imposed the 
the Rev. Daniel Macarthur, who died about the year maintenance of their soldiers on their people. In the 
1796, and the ministries of the three— son, father, and same manner, also, an earl of Desmond, at the close of 
grandfather — extended from 1796 backward, for somewhat the fifteenth century had come to the possession of ex- 
more than a hundred years. Probably the grandfather's orbitant power. England made it a treasonable offence 
papers were compiled by his successors ; but, at all events, in any Irish subject to "putt eny bonaught upon eny 
these manuscripts, whilst they occasionally jumble names Irisshmen," except when the person imposing it did so 
and dates, embody many local traditions, and preserve as deputy, and to meet some emergency of state. In the 
the knowledge of many curious and important facts year 1557, several witnesses were examined before Sussex 
which would have otherwise been utterly lost. The and his council, on certain charges against an earl of Kil- 
Macarthurs, in their generations, resided at a place called dare, for imposing the bonnachta, but these witnesses 
Tromra, near Cushindall. See the Rev. Mr. Dobbs's testified that Kildare had only done so as Irish Deputy. 
Account of Layd and Ardclinis, in Mason's Parochial See Kilkenny A rchieological Journal, new series, vol. ii., 
Survey of Ireland, vol. iii., p. 20. pp. 275, 276. 

(24) Maeldubh.— In addition to the epithets of Duv, (26) These things.— The foregoing letter, rather 

and na-g Caput, already mentioned at p. 46, supra, Colla obscurely expressed, was originally written in Irish, on 

had also wa^/ occasionally prefixed to the former. "When the last day of July, 1579, and intercepted by the Govern - 

this word mael is followed by an adjective, it is synony- ment ; so, although it was prevented from reaching 



54 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



This officer, Randal MacColla, who presided in Colonsay, had probably employment enough 
on hands in the Scottish Isles, throughout which there raged several clan-feuds at the period 
referred to in the above letter. At a later date, in the summer of 1586, he was engaged in a bloody 
teud between the Macdonnells of Isla and the Macleans of Mull, in which he very narrowly escaped 
with his life. He is mentioned as an individual of rank, and was seized by the Macleans and 
thrown into a dungeon of Dowart castle, where his own cousin, Randal the son of James, happened 
to be imprisoned as a hostage. By a lucky accident, these captives were released through the 
interposition of Lachlon Mor Maclean, although~they had been reported as put to death, and 
Angus Macdonnell, son of James, had actually avenged their supposed execution. See Account of 
the Clan Maclean, p. 57. 

Gillaspick, the elder son of Colla, was fostered as already stated, in the family of a gentleman, 
named O'Quinn, or O'Cahan, and he eventually married the daughter of his foster-father. (27) 
When he attained his majority, it is stated in the manuscript that his uncle, Sorley Boy, in 
order to mark the event in a manner worthy the young chieftain's rank, ordered the celebration 
of public games at Ballycastle, and that, among other amusements, Bull-fighting or bull-baiting (28) 
was introduced on the occasion. Unfortunately, an infuriated bull broke loose, and rushed upon 



Randal Mac Colla, it was thus preserved as a curious 
record of the time. The writer of this and several letters 
of the same import to other leaders, was James, son of 
Maurice Duff, son of John, son of Thomas Fitzgerald, a 
near kinsman of the last earl of Desmond. The two sons 
of the latter were imprisoned during several years in the 
lower of London, and in the interval this James Fitz- 
maurice sustained against the English Government a fierce 
struggle in the interests of his imprisoned relatives. This 
struggle continued from 1569 to 1573 inclusive. In 1575 
he was compelled to escape with his wife and family into 
France ; and having returned in 1579, he was slain " after 
some useless fighting," by the Bourkes and O'Briens of 
Ara. In O'Daly's History of the Geraldines, the author 
states that James Fitzmaurice had arranged with pope 
Gregory XIII. to appoint Stukely, an Englishman, to the 
command of the vessels which had been engaged to 
convey men and arms to Ireland for the purpose of con- 
tinuing the war, but that Stukely sailed to Portugal, 
entering the harbour of Lisbon at the very moment king 
Sebastian was setting forth on his expedition against the 
Muurs in Africa. Stukeley, in violation of his promise to 
the pope, and of the oath he had sworn to James Fitz- 
maurice, joined the expedition to Africa, where he fell in a 
great battle ; three kings — Sebastian, Mahomet, and 
Muley Moloc— perished at the same time. See Kilkenny 
Arclucolo^ical Journal, vol. ii., new series, pp. 354 — 356. 
(27) Foster-father. — As a further illustration of the 
curious Celtic custom of fosterage (see p. 27, supra), we 
quote extracts from a Contract entered into at Keill in 
Duror, Argyleshire, on the 8th December, 1665, between 
George Campbell of Airds, on the one part, and Donald 
Dow M'Ewin, and Rose O'Dogherty, his spouse, on the 
other part:—" Forasmekle as the said George Campbell 
gives in fostering Isobell Campbell, his lawfull dochter, to 
the said Donald and his spouse, for the space of seaven 
yearis from Beltane nixt ; Lykeas the said George 



Campbell grants and gives for the said Issobel, tua new 
calfit kyne, with ane calf and ane stirk of ane yeir old, 
with ane tua yeir old quey at Beltane, 1 667 yeiris. Lykeas 
the said Donald and his said spouse give and grant to their 
said foster tua farrow kyne, with ane stirk and ane tua 
yeir old quey, at the said term of Beltane nixt, and ane 
other tua yeir old quey at Beltane, 1667 yeiris. Quhilkis 
haill kyne, with their incres salbe in the custodie of the 
said Donald and his said spouse during the said space of 
seavin yeiris, — the milk of the said kyne to belong to the 
foster-father, and the incres of the cattaill to the said 
Isobell, being ane calf betuixt ill tua new calfit kyne : 
Item, the said George Campbell is to grass the yeald kyne 
yeirly, yf the said Donald have not sufficient pasturage for 

them And mair over, for the love and 

affectioun quhilk they (Donald and spouse) have towards 
their said foster, and also for uther gude considerations 
moving thame, the said Donald Dow and also the said 
Roiss N'Odochardie. ylkane of thame for thair awin 
pairts, sells and dispones, without recalling, to the said 
Isobell Campbell, their foster, ane bairn's pairt and portioun 
natural] of their huillguidies andgeir whatsomevir, quhilk 
sail pertain to thame the tyme of thair deceis, siclyke as 
if she war thair awin lawfull chyld : Provyding always, 
that in caise the said Donald and his said spouse depart 
out of this life without children procreat of thair awin 
bodies surviving thame, — in that case it shall be lesum to 
thame at thair deceis to nominat, ayther of them, ane 
dileabhaeh (legatee) allanerlie to succeid thame, in ane 
equall portioun with thair said foster, and heirto they are 
obleist in the most sure form obligation." See Collectanea 
de Rehns Albanicis, pp. 20, 21. 

(28) Bull-baiting. — For much curious information on 
the subject of bull-baiting in Ireland, see Transactions oj 
the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, vol. ii., pp. 319 — 
330; M'Skimin's History of Carrick/ergus, third edition, 
p. 186 ; Ulster Journal of Archeology, vol. viii , p. 236. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 



55 



Gillaspick, inflicting a mortal wound before any of his attendants had time to interpose. By his wife, 
he left one son, named Colla, who was born on the island of Loughlinch, (29) and who was removed 
at an early age to Colonsay, which was always subsequently known as his family home, as it hail 
been that of his uncle, Randal MacColla. This son of Gillaspick was known among his island- 
kinsmen as Coll Keitache mac Gillaspick vie Coll of Colonsay. He received the sobriquet of 
Ciatach, which may be latinised amli-dexter, from the fact of his being able to use both hands with 
equal dexterity. The phrase does not imply merely the dexterous use of the left hand, as generally 
supposed ; in his case at least, it meant that he could wield his ponderous sword in whatever 
hand the peculiar circumstances of each encounter with his foes required that it should be grasped. 
He was destined to take a prominent place in the history of the Western Highlands, and his name 
never failed to inspire uneasiness and fear in the ranks of the Siol Diarmid, or Clan Campbell. (30) 
During the final struggle of the Clandonnell, in 16 14, for the recovery of Isla and Cantire from the 
Campbells, Coll Kittagh soon proved himself to be a daring and intelligent leader. He was 
entrusted with the possession of Dunyveg in Isla, which the Macdonnells had seized by a coup de 
main, and which was considered the most important position in the Isles. Coll continued to 
hold the castle against the bishop of the Isles, who had undertaken to keep it for the 
government; but the earl of Argyle, whilst he urged the government to sustain the bishop 
in his efforts, at the same time, secretly encouraged the Clandonnell to resist the government, 
promising that he could, and would, secure for them their estates. The bishop discovered 
this treacherous conduct, on the part of Argyle, which was intended, of course, to lead 



(29) Loughlinch. — This is a well-known locality in the 
parish of Billy. About fifty years ago the lake, although 
then greatly diminished, covered upwards of twenty acres, 
its waters forming part of the boundary line between the 
townlands of Loughlinch and upper Glassanierin. On 
the centre of the lake was an island, and here stood a 
fortress of the Macquillins, which, according to the 
Annals of the Four Masters, was captured and plundered 
by the O'Donnells of Tyrconnell, in the year 1544. 
Loughlinch is the modern form of the ancient Irish name 
Loch-Liithinnsi, or the ' Lake of the Half Island,' because 
it was considered half-and-half the property of the people 
on its opposite shores. See Reeves's Eccles. Antiq. p. 278. 

(30) Clan Campbell.— The Campbells were, and still 
are known in the Highlands as Shock na Diarmid 
O' Duibhne, or ' Descendants of Dermod O'Duinne' — the 
founder of their clan. The surname of Campbell is 
derived by the older seanachies from a chieftain sur- 
named Cam-Pel, or 'Crooked-mouth,' but later sean- 
achies have adopted a more pleasing derivation of the 
name, accepting it as from Campo Bella, the latinized 
form of Beauchamp, the name of a Norman knight who 
married Eva O'Duinn of Lochawe. From the time of 
this marriage, it is said that the whole Clan Oduibhne 
assumed the surname of Campbell. (See Buchanan of 
Auchmar's Ancient Scottish Surnames, pp. 31, 32.) It is 
more than probable that the old surname of O'Duin was 
abandoned by the Campbells on the introduction of the 
feudal system into Scotland during the reign of Malcolm, 
surnamed Canmore, that system requiring that the grantees 
should assume the names of their lands — a stipulation 



supposed to be necessary from the fact that many such 
grantees were of foreign birth. The family of Lochow, 
with the loss of its old Irish surname, lost also its patri- 
archial rule in the district, and was required, like other 
leading families, to hold its land from the Scottish crown. 
The feudal system, however, soon found favour among 
the Celtic chiefs, for although it required them to sink 
their family surnames, it granted them in return the power 
of pit and gallcnus — in other words the power of im- 
prisoning and putting to death, not only criminals in the 
proper sense of the term, but all opponents to their petty 
sovereignties. Capital punishments were not permitted 
under the old Celtic regime, and were wholly unknown in 
Scotland until the days of Malcolm III. The Campbells 
possess no family charters older than the year 1296, the 
earlier ones having been destroyed by fire during the many 
feuds in which their owners so freely took part. They 
fought gallantly on the 6ide of Robert Bruce, and in 
return received very extensive grants of the lands forfeited 
by the Comyns, the Macdougalls of Lome, and other 
leading supporters of the Balliols. The grant from Bruce 
in 131 5 was made to sir Colin Campbell, his nephew, the 
son of his sister Mary Bruce. The son of sir Colin was 
Duncan Campbell, created a viscount, and Colin a grand- 
son of Duncan, was advanced to the earldom of Argyle. 
Indeed, from the time of Bruce, the Campbell family rose 
rapidly into great wealth, and almost unbounded terri- 
torial influence. Of its unexampled advancement, the 
record and charter his'ory of the parishes, not only of 
Lome, but Argyle and the Isles, bears the amplest testi- 
mony. 



^6 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

to the utter ruin of the Macdonnells. In writing from Isla to the Scottish council, the bishop 
concludes his letter with the following statement :— " The Clandonnell have built a new fort 
in a loch which they had manned and victualled. Angus Oge, their captain, affirms in the 
hearing of many witnesses, that he got directions from the earl of Argyle not to surrender the 
castle, and that he (the earl) should procure for Angus the whole lands of Isla, and the house of 
Dunyveg." Instead of assisting the bishop, however, the government, mainly through the machi- 
nations of Argyle, gave a commission of fire and sword against the Clandonnell, to John Campbell 
of Calder, a near kinsman of Argyle. The bishop, on hearing this, remonstrated as follows : — 
" Neither can I, or any man, who knows the estate of that country, think it either good or profitable 
to his majesty, or his realm, to make the name of Campbell greater in the Isles than they are 
already ; nor yet to root out one pestiferous clan, and plant in another little better." The war 
went on for the space of two years, with various success ; but, in the end, the Campbells, being 
sustained by the government, succeeded in exterminating the Clandonnell of Isla and Cantire. 
The following commentary on this struggle is worthy of remark, as being addressed to the 
Scottish court at the time, by sir Alexander Hay, an acute statesman : — " By many it is thought, 
that, if good will did second the duty which they (Argyle, Calder, and others; are bound to do, 
these frequent Island employments would not occur so often. For when these employments are 
so profitable in present pay, and a preparative for making a suit at court for service done, how 
easy a matter it is to have some of these unhallowed people (the islanders), with that unchristian 
tongue (the Gaelic), ready to furnish fresh work for the tinker ; and the matter so carried as 
that it is impossible to deprehend (detect) the plot." See Gregory's History of the Highlands, 
pp. 354— 35 6 - 

The principal Clandonnell leaders made their escape, most of them to the Antrim glens ; 
Coll, being driven from Dunyveg, took part in all the dangerous services of the war, and 
again got possession of that stronghold. He now held it until Argyle was fain to grant him 
and his garrison the right of marching out, which they did, when no further fighting was of any avail. 
Coll then returned to Colonsay, where he had large landed property, and enjoyed a high social 
position. In 1632, the Bishop of the Isles granted to him a lease of all the church lands in the 
island, with the teinds of the parsonage and vicarage of the parish of Kilchattan in Colonsay. This 
island had been the patrimony of a leading family of Macdonnells since the time of Somerled. 
It was subsequently granted, in 1335, by Edward Balliol to the "good John of Isla," and in 1343, 
by David II. to a member of the same family. The island afterwards came into the possession 
of John Mor Macdonnell, as in 1542, archdeacon Monro states that Colonsay " pertened ofauld 
to Clandonald of Kyntire." When James V. restored his estates to Alexander of Isla and Cantire, 
Coll of Kinbann, Alexander's third son, probably obtained Colonsay as part, at least, of what he 
may have inherited from his father. In the grants from Mary queen of Scots, to James -the 
eldest son and the trustee of his brothers, the following are the lands specified as belonging to 
the family in Colonsay — viz., Ballyrammynmoir, Macerenclew, Ardschenis, Ballytow, Machrebeg, 
Kallemoir, Karremore, Ballewtrache-Kilchattan, Ballynima, Ballyromyndow, Scalvassage, Kil- 
lorane, and Ballenehard. (See Orig. Paroch. Scot. vol. ii., p. 283). The following is Monro's 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 57 

notice of Colonsay : — " Northward from the iyle of Ornansay, be ane half mile of sea, lyes ane 
iyle callit Colnansay, seven myle lang, from the north-eist to the south west, with twa myle 
breadthe, ane fertill iyle, guid for quhit fishing. It hath ane paroche kirk. This iyle is brukit by 
ane gentle capitane, callit M'Duffye, and pertaned of auld to Clandonald of Kintyre." 

A Macdonnell manuscript states that Coll Ciatach was married to a lady of the O'Cahans of 
Dunseverick, although the compiler mentions also that it was traditionally affirmed his wife's name 
was Macneill. It is very probable, however, that the old chief had been twice married, and if so, 
the manuscript and the tradition are thus both correct. By his wife, or wives, he left sons 
and daughters. His sons names were Gillaspick or Archibald, Alexander or Alaster, and Angus. 
When the covenanting movement became general in Scotland, all who opposed, or even refused to 
co-operate, soon found themselves involved in serious dangers. Many households were then broken 
up, never to be united again. Among the latter was the household of Coll Macdonnell, which was 
dispersed by a party of the Campbells, whose leader was nearly related to the earl of Argyle. 
The following reference to this affair is preserved in the following letter, addressed to the earl of 
Strafford, lord deputy of Ireland, by a naval officer named Owen : — 

" May it please your Lordship, — I should have given a speedier Account of our Pro- 
ceedings, had the Weather been answerable to my Desires. After the Receipt of your Lord- 
ships dated the 7th of this Month, and upon Information given me by a Letter from Mr. 
Slingsby of the Flemish Ship taken out of the Harbour of Dublin, the Wind being Northerly, I set 
sail for the Isle of Man, hopeing to have met with her there ; where missing of her, and the Wind 
being come about Southerly, I stood for the Coast of Scotland, arriving upon the 17th of this 
present in the Sound of Hay where I came to an Anchor. (31) Immediately after there came a 
Boat on Board of me from the shore to see what we were, the Men whereof I used at first with 
Courtesy ; but seeing that by that means I could not gain knowledge how the Island stood affected, 
I threatened to hang them, which wrought more for my Purpose, they telling me the Strength among 
them to be about seven hundred Men, the chief being a near kinsman to the earl of Argyle, by 
name Colene Campbell, (32) who was then absent, and had committed the charge to Mr. William 

(31) Anchor. — The Sound of Isla comprises the greater islands had been one, and were disjoined by some 

part of the strait between that island and Jura. The violent agency of long ago. See Maccuiloch's Western 

water is smooth, although the tides run through with Isles of Scotland, vol. iv., p. 420; Lord Teignmouth's 

the rapidity of a river. The eastern entrance is sup- Sketches of the Coasts and Islands of Scotland, vol. ii. 

plied with a natural breakwater consisting of a group of p. 335. 

little islands, on one of which, named Freuch, or Fraoch (32) Colene Campbell. — The island of Isla then be- 
Eilan, are the ruins of a castle called Claig, said to have longed to sir John Campbell, fourth laird of Calder, who 
been used by the Macdonnells as a prison-house for their got a royal grant of it alter he had assisted finally to ex- 
captives taken in war. There is another little island of tirpate the Clandonnell South, in 1615 (Seep. 55, supra j 
this name in Lochawe. The lofty and conical paps of It would be difficult to identify the Colin Campbell above 
Jura tower above the northern shore of the Sound. The referred to, the number of gentlemen bearing that name 
island of Colonsay appears in perspective westward, and in full, being 'legion,' and all those Colin Campbells 
the peninsula of Cantire, backed by the rugged summits being about equally related to Argyle and Calder. The 
of Arran, eastward. This strait instantly attracts a probability, however, is, that the Colin who led the mar- 
stranger's attention on account of the remarkable cor- auding party to Colonsay, was either Colin Campbell' of 
respondence of its opposite shores — as if the two Lundy, or Colin Campbell of Aberuchill. 



50 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

Campbell, his unkle. (a) Him I wrote unto in a courteous manner to come on Board, which at 
first took no effect. But after understanding him to be a fervent Papist, I gave myself out to be 
the like, and that I had on Board of me a Priest. I caused a Letter to be drawn as from this 
Priest to him, protesting he should have Liberty at Pleasure to return. This took; for on the 
Morrow he came on Board, where I gave him the best Entertainment I could, which so well pleased 
him, having withal Liberty to return, that the next Day following he came again, and his Nephew 
who was returned from Coil's Isle, (34) whether he went as I well understood with an hundred men, 
having brought with him the spoil of the Island, killing all their cattle, and taking all their corn, 
butter, and cheese in boats, which were discerned to come thenceward, rowing closely along the 
shore. . . . Both the aforesaid Campbells I have brought with me, either to be examined by 
the Master of Ordnance, or to be sent to your Lordship. I have likewise brought a man with me 
that gives in evidence against them, being then present with them in Coil's Isle, upon this barbar- 
ous usage of the inhabitants. I perceive that most of the Islands are more for fear than affection 
on the Earls (Argyle's) side, which appears by complaints made against his heavy Taxes on them." 
" Carrickfergus, June 25, 1639." " Richard Owen." 

Although the native Irish were, at that period, oppressed almost beyond the power of human 
endurance, they had reason to dread also that a combination, or conspiracy, for their utter destruc- 
tion was being matured alike among English puritans and Scottish covenanters. This frightful sus- 
picion on the part of the inhabitants, especially of Ulster, was goaded to madness by certain threats 
openly uttered against their lives and their religion, by several leading members of the English and 
Scotch parties already named. " Hence it did arise," as stated in the celebrated Catholic Re- 
monstrance addressed to the king, ' that some began to consider the deplorable and desperate con- 
dition they were in, by a statute law here found among the records of this kingdome, of the second 
yeare of the raigne of the late queen Elizabeth (but never executed in her tyme, nor discovered 
till most of the members of that parliament were dead), by which no Catholique of this Kingdome 
could enjoy his life, estate, or libertye if the said statute were executed ; (35) whereunto no im- 

(33) His ankle. — It is curious, if true, that any mem- in the year 1558, and wrote her positive 'Instructions' 
ber of the Clan Campbell could have remained " a fer- for theenactmentofthis iniquitous law on the iSth October, 
vent Papist" in 1632, and being such, that he could liave 1559. Several distinguished officials in Ireland, at the 
been left, even for a short time, in a position of consider- death of Mary, took care to retain office, suiting their 
able trust. We shrewdly suspect that Mr. William, religious views to the humours of both queens. Sussex 
uncle of ' Colene,' was feigning the "fervent Papist," continued to be viceroy, and led the way in reversing his 
with some special view for the time being. previous acts, whilst sir Henry Sydney found it con- 

(34) Coll s Isle. — ' Coil's Isle,' or rather Colla's Isle, venient to remodel himself according to the new standard, 
was the English translation of the Gaelic Collinsa, writ- The penal enactment supposed to be necessary in reversing 
ten now Colunsay. That this island was meant by Straf- the wholereligious system of the country, was passed in the 
ford's correspondent is evident from its position in rela- packed parliament of 1560. We may imagine how mat- 
tion to Isla, the boats of the marauding party of Camp- ters were managed when no county in Ulster was allowed 
bells being "discerned coming thenceward, rowing close a representative, and only one of its borough towns, Car- 
along the shore" of Isla. For a notice of Colonsay (see p. rickfergus, permitted to elect a member. Munster fur- 
57, supra). "The scenery of the north and north-west niched twenty members. Connaught had no county mem- 
coast is very grand, consisting of a long range of black bers, and only two for the boroughs of Galway and 
cliffs rising in successive terraces beetling far over the Ailienry. The remaining fifty were chosen from Leinster. 
base, and worked out into caverns and broken into caves All the members, 76 in number, were selected as likely 
and promontories." See Lord Teignmouth's Sketches of to agree with the new order of things. In the Upper 
the Coasts and Islands of Scotland, vol. ii., pp. 341, 342. House there was a majority of catholics — old English ca- 

(35) Executed.— Elizabeth succeeded her sister Mary tholics, who made a show of opposition, but allowed the 



COLLA MACDOXXELL AND HIS DESCENDAXTS. 59 

pediment remayned but your majesties prerogative and power, which were endeavoured to be 
clipped, or taken away; then the plot of destruction by an army of Scotland, and another of the 
malignant partie in England must be executed ; the feares of those twofold destructions, and their 
ardent desire to maintain that just prerogative, which might encounter and remove it, did neces- 
sitate some catholiques in the North, about the 22nd of October, 1641, to takearmes in maintenance 
of their religion, your majesty's rights, and the preservation of life, estate, and libertie." The fears 
thus expressed were indeed awfully real, considering that the act of 2nd Elizabeth, and others 
almost equally sweeping, remained on the Statute Book, that no hindrance to their execution could 
be opposed except through the absolute exercise of the king's prerogative, that such hindrance was 
being rapidly removed in England and Scotland, and that a truculently expressed ferocity against 
the native Irish race was then the order of the day in both those kingdoms. "Some time before 
the rebellion broke out," says the protestant historian Carte, " it was confidently reported that Sir 
John Clotworthy, (36) who well knew the designs of the faction that governed the house of com- 
mons in England, had declared there in a speech, that the conversion of the papists in Ireland 
was only to be effected by the Bible in one hand and the sword in the other ; and Mr. Pym gave 
out that they would not leave a priest in Ireland. (37) To the like effect, Sir William Parsons, (38) 
out of a strange weakness, or detestable policy, positively asserted before many witnesses, at a 
public entertainment, that within a twelvemonth, no catholic should be seen in Ireland; he had 
sense enough to know the consequences that would naturally arise from such a declaration, which, 
however it might contribute to his own selfish views, he would hardly have ventured to make so 
openly and without disguise, if it had not been agreeable to the politics and measures of the Eng- 
lish faction, whose party he espoused, and whose directions were the general rule of his conduct." 
(Carte's Life ef Ormonde, vol. i., p. 234.) At this crisis, also, the Scottish covenanters, having 
obtained large concessions in an arrangement known as the Pacification of Berwick, (39) were 

horribly penal part of the bill to pass— on Sussex actually that, under pretence of his majestie's service, the publique 
swearing to them that it would never be carried into ex- faith" was violated. For an account of the wholesale 



robbery of the natives through the dishonest practices of 

(36) John Clotworthy. — Sir John Clotworthy was Parsons, as surveyor, see Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica, 

eldest son of sir Hugh, an English military adventurer vol. ii. , p. 97; Curry's Review of the Civil Wars oj Ire- 

who settled near the town of Antrim early in the seven- land, pp. 615, 616. 

teenth century. Sir John was one of the most successful (39) Of Berwick. — This treaty between the king and 

of the many selfish aliens who first plundered, and after- the covenanters was signed on the iSth of June, 1639, 

wards would have gladly extirpated the native Irish in- and has been well called a "travesty of amicable adjust 

habitants. For notices of him, see Lodge's Peerage, ments," as it really adjusted nothing, but rather rendered 

editedbyArchdall.;M'Skimin'sj¥«fe;-j(7/ Carrick/erqus, the relations between the opposing parties much more 

3rd edition, p. 402. unfriendly than before. The commissioners sent from 



(37) In Ireland. — See Prendergast's Cromwellian Set- the Scottish camp were Rothes, Louden, Douglas, the 
ucmcnt of Ireland, p. 312. sheriff of Teviotdale, Warriston, and Henderson. They 

(38) Parsons.— This was another most selfish and sue- met in the tent of the English commander, the earl of 
cessful adventurer; and, therefore, very much interested Arundel. The king was present, and made a favourable 
m the extirpation of the native race. He got immense impression on the cannie Scots ; and even principal 
grants of land in the counties of Meath, Cavan, Cork, Baillie, who acted as a reporter in the interests of the 
1 lpperary, Limerick, and Fermanagh. He was eventu- covenant, says:—" His Majesty was ever the longer the 
ally appointed surveyor-general, and in this capacity be- better loved of all that heard him, as one of the most 
came enormously wealthy. Yet such was his "im- just, reasonable, and sweet persons they had ever seen." 
mortal hatred to any welfare and happiness of this na- Unfortunately, the parties soon afterwards differed very 
tion," and his ambition to make himself "still greater widely as to their several versions of what the Pacification 
and richer by the total ruin and extirpation of this people, of Berwick really was. The king, at a meeting of the 



6o 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



reported as uttering vows and imprecations never to lay down their arms until uniformity of religion 
— presbyterianism of course — was established in the three kingdoms, the catholic religion being 
first utterly suppressed. " A letter," says Carte, " was intercepted coming from Scotland to one 
Freeman of Antrim (40) bringing intelligence that a covenanting army was ready to come for Ire- 
land, under the command of General Leslie,(4i) to extirpate the Roman Catholics of Ulster, and 
leave the Scots sole possessors of that province ; and that to this end a resolution had been taken 
in their private meetings and councils, to lay heavy fines on such as would not appear at their 
kirk, for the first or second Sunday ; and on failure the third, to hang without mercy, all such as 
were obstinate at their own doors." (Carte's Life of Ormonde, vol. L, p 160.) The slight military 
success achieved soon afterwards by the covenanters over the king at Newberne, coupled with their 
threats of forcibly imposing their covenant on the Irish catholics, determined the latter to appeal 
also to the arbitrament of the sword. If the Scots had restrictions on their religious liberty to 
complain of, how much more cruel and oppressive were those under which the Irish catholics had 
groaned? The latter, therefore, determined to take up arms as the Scots had done; and the leaders 
of the Irish party of 1641, O'More and MacMahon, actually justified their own movements by an 
appeal to the conduct of the Scots. Spalding, the trustworthy chronicler of passing events, when 
referring to the movements of the Irish, tells us that they,. " with an uplifted hand, vowed, 
protested, and declared their own rebellion and popish religion against our covenant and proceed- 



English Privy Council, denounced the account given by 
the Scottish commissioners as being, " in most parts, full 
of falsehood, dishonour, and scandal to his Majesty's pro- 
ceedings in the late pacification given of his Majesty's 
princely grace and goodness to his subjects in Scotland." 
He further called on the English commissioners to attest 
the falsehood of the account; and the minute ofthe meet- 
ing of Council recorded their testimony against its accur- 
acy. Indeed, the whole board " became unanimously 
humble petitioners to his Majesty that this false and 
scandalous paper might be publickly burned by the hang- 
man." (See Rushworth's Collections, vol. Hi., pp. 965, 
966.) On the other hand, the Scottish commissioners, 
aided loudly by the preachers, denounced the king as a 
truce-breaker. 

(40) Of Antrim. — These terror-inspiring statements 
were not confined to the letter addressed to an obscure 
individual in the town of Antrim. They were circulated 
with diabolical intent by persons in authority. The Re- 
monstrance of the Catholics of Ireland, addressed to the 
king in 1642, contains the following passage: — "The 
said Sir William Parsons, Sir Adam Loftus, your Ma- 
jestie*s vice-treasurer of this kingdome, and others, their 
adherents, did declare that an army of ten thousand Scots 
was to arrive in this kingdom to force the said Catholics 
to change their religion, and that Ireland could never doe 
well without a rebellion, to the end the remaine of the 
natives thereof mi;;ht be extirpated; and wagers were laid 
at general assizes and publique meetings by some of them 
then, and nowe, imployed in places of great profitte and 
trust in this kingdome, that within one yeare no Catho- 
lique should be left in Ireland." 

(41) General Leslie. — This was Alexander Leslie, an 
humble and unlettered soldier, of small personal dimen- 



sions, and deformed; but, by his talent and perseverance, 
he rose to the rank of a field-marshal in the service of 
Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden. He was the ille- 
gitimate son of a gentleman named Leslie, laird of Kin- 
invte — an estate on the water of Fiddich, which this 
laird's posterity hold at the present day. General Les- 
lie's mother was a servant, and he used to say of himself 
that his education was defective, he having never been 
able to get further than the letter G in the alphabet. 
When Leslie returned from his service in Sweden the 
covenanting war was about to commence, and he was 
taken in hand by the earl of Rothes — a Leslie also by 
name, and a zealous covenanter. The little general was 
placed at the head of the Scottish army, which he forth- 
with marched to Dunse Law to confront the aimy of 
Charles I., at Berwick-on-Tweed. It was feared that 
other great men of the covenant would have refused to 
be commanded by Leslie, but such was not the case. 
"We feared," says principal Baillie, " that emulation 
among our nobles might have done harm when they 
should be met in the field; but such was the wisdom and 
authority of that old, little, crooked soldier, that all, with 
an incredible submission, from the beginning to the end, 
gave over themselves to be guided by him, as if he hail 
been great Solyman. Certainly, the obedience of our 
noblemen to that man's advice was as great as their for- 
beers wont to be to their King's command; yet that was 
the man's understanding of our Scots humours, that he 
gave out, not only to the nobles, but to very mean 
gentlemen, his directions in a very homely and simple 
lorm, as if they had been but the advices of their neigh- 
bour and companion. " See Napier's Life of Montrose, 
vol. i., pp. 173, 176. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. bt 

ings ; yea, to the admiration of many, saying as our covenant expelled prelates and papists, so 
they would expel both protestants and puritans." " About this time, the Irish, fearing to be 
pressed with our covenant, as are the Scots, they began to look about them, and break loose, 
chiefly the papists and natives of the land ; they had provision out of Dunkirk and West Flanders, 
of ammunition, powder, and ball, together with store of brave officers of fortune out of France, 
Germany, Sweden, Holland, West Flanders, and other countries, and had drawn to an head 
whereof Sir Phelim O'Neill was chief." Again Spalding says: — "They (the Irish) rage at our 
covenant, compelled thereto by their own Irish parliament holden by the kings of England (for 
their parliament is sub-delegate to the English parliament, and whatever is enacted or done in this 
Irish parliament is by the English commissioners, and by direction and command of the council 
and parliament of England), who now had given warrant against the natives and others to sub- 
scribe the covenant, whilk bred meikle sorrow and trouble among the Irishes, and vexation and 
trouble to the Scottish and English, as is hereafter noted." Troubles of Scotland, pp. 198, 255, 
256, 266. 

Alexander or Alaster Macdonnell, a younger son of Coll, was destined to take a prominent 
part in the struggle which was soon to commence in Ulster. Soon after the breaking up of his 
father's household in the summer of 1639, he appears to have come to the Antrim coast, to 
sojourn for a time among his numerous kinsmen, the Stewarts of Ballintoy. He is generally 
represented as coming in the summer of 1641, and for the special purpose of taking part in the 
conflict which commenced on the 23rd of October in that year, but he must have arrived much 
sooner, and most probably in a company of three hundred Scottish refugees, who, having refused 
to accept the covenant, were compelled to seek an asylum on the Antrim coast. In coming here, 
Alaster Macdonnell literally came among troops of kinsfolk, for he was closely related to the earl of 
Antrim, and more or less distantly to many of the northern gentry. Intermarriages among the latter, 
early in the seventeenth century, had established numerous relationships in the families of the O'Neills, 
O'Haras, Magees, Machenrys, O'Quinns, O'Cahans, and Stewarts. A family manuscript states that 
Cahill O'Hara of Loughguile, (42) had five daughters, the eldest of whom was married to Art Oge 
O'Neill, of whom the family of Shane's castle is descended. (43) His second daughter was mar- 
ried to Felim O'Neill, of whom French John O'Neill is come. (44) His third was married to Gill- 

(42) Loughguile. — The residence of the O'Haras of was treacherously murdered by the earl of Essex, at Bel- 
Loughguile is now known as Lissanoure, the abode of the fast, in the year 1574. Art Oge O'Neill above-mentioned, 
Macartney family. The old castle, portions of which yet married Grace O'Hara, and left two sons, viz. :— colonel 
remain, was generally believed to have been built by sir Cormack O'Neill, of Broughshane, who never mairied ; 
Philip Savage, the father of sir Robert, who died in and captain John O'Neill, who died in 1687. The latter 
1390. (See p. 35, supra.) When Sussex, the Irish left three sons, the youngest of whom, Charles, inherited 
deputy, passed through Loughguile on his way from the Shane's castle estate, and married lady Mary Paulet, 
Coleraine to the Glynns, in 1556, the pursuivant, who daughter of the duke of Bolton. 

recorded the events of that expedition, states that the (44) Is come. — French John O'Neill, or Shane Fnmh- 

old castle there was originally built by Richard de Burgo, agh, as he was familiarly called, because he had lived 

the second earl ot Ulster, known as the Red Earl, from many years in Fiance, was son of Bryan, son of Felim, 

the colour of his hair. See an account of Sussex's son of "Bryan MacFelim, whose assassination is mentioned 

expedition in Calendar of Careio MSS., first series, pp. in the preceding note. French John succeeded to the 

259 — 262. Shane's castle estate, on the death of Charles. (Seepre- 

(43) Descended. — This Art Oge O'Neill was son of ceding note.) Charles died without issue in 1716, and 
Arthur, son ol Shane, sou i f sir Brian MacFelim, wh , French John came into possession of the property as a 



62 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

duff O'Cahan of Dunseverick. (45) His fourth daughter was married to John Stewart of Lisadavan, 
(46) and his fifth to one of the Machenrys of the Bann side. (47) 

Among these numerous kinsmen, Alaster Macdonnell was no doubt hospitably received. 
Whilst several others of the Scottish refugees returned to Scotland, he remained in Antrim, and 
probably induced many of the humbler class of Highlanders, who had come with their chiefs, to 
remain and take service in a regiment of eight companies, which was then being organised by his 
kinsman, Archibald Stewart. This gentleman was lord Antrim's principal agent, and as such was 
able to enlist large numbers from the poorer tenantry of the estates. When the war burst forth, 
Alaster and his Highlanders, with some recruits, in all forming two companies of Stewart's regiment, 
immediately seceded therefrom, and took his stand, as in duty bound, among his own people. He 
is unfairly blamed for not fighting against his own friends and his own cause, if it had been only 
to show his gratitude to Stewart, who, it is admitted, gave Macdonnell his appointment in the 
regiment as a politic move, and as a means of " detaching the surrounding Roman Catholics from 
the insurrection."(48) This youthful Scot proved a terrible antagonist on a fair field, but he was 
not a treacherous foe, like so many of his opponents ; and during his brief but brilliant career, he 
was never known to treat prisoners with inhumanity. It would appear that, for a time, he remained 
entirely on the defensive, and took no active part in the conflict until after the opposite party had 
fired upon, and killed several persons in Irish mobs. The struggle at other places in Ulster had 
commenced on the 23rd of October; and so early as the 16th of November, a Mr. Robert Wall- 
bank was able to inform the Irish House of Commons that two hundred of the people of Coleraine 
had, previously to that date, slain six of a party of one thousand Irish, and that not even one of 
the former had been hurt. He also stated that, in another affair, no less than sixty Irish had been 
slain, and only two of the protestants had been hurt. (See Carte's Life of Ormonde, and Appendix 
to the Commons' Journals, as quoted in Curry's Review of the Civil Wars of Ireland, p. 166. \ 
These events must have occurred early in November, or perhaps in the latter end of October, and 
yet several writers of history, quoting each other in succession, even down to Froude, represent 
Alaster Macdonnell as initiating the war in the Route by an act of treachery and murder at Port- 
naw, on the Antrim side of the river Bann. 

The truth on this point, however, is, that Stewart with the six remaining companies of his 

very distant remainder-man under the will of Rose the Machenrys, to whom it belonged, were a formidable 

O'Neill, marchioness of Antrim. power in northern Ulster. The Clan-Henry was often 

(45) Dunseverick.— There were intermarriages between distinguished by exploits in war against the English, the 
the O Cahans and Stewarts, and the relationship of the lat- O'Donnells, and sometimes the O'Neills. This clan was 
ter to thefamily of Alaster MacColl probably came through descended from Henry O'Neill, surnamed Aimhreidh, or 
his mother, who was said to have been a lady of the house the 'Contentious,' whose principal residence was the 
of Dunseverick, and consequently a kinswoman of the castle or fortress near Newton-Stewart, where he died in 
Stewarts of Ballintoy, the year 1392. See Colton's Visitation, edited by Dr. 

(46) Lisadavan.— This is the name of an old residence Reeves, pp. 51 — 53, note. 

in the parish of Dunaghy, and at a little distance from the (48) Insurrection.— See Reid's History of the Prcsby- 

present town of Clough, county of Antrim. terian Church, vol. i., p. 300. Dr. Reid dignifies this 

(47) Bann side.— The residence of the Machenrys on young Macdonnell— who never had been previously heard 
the Bann was known as castle Loughan, on Inislochan, of beyond his own little world of Colonsay— by calling 
an island in a lough formed by the waters of that river, him " an influential Romanist." He was in fact a juvenile 
about a mile and half southward from the town of Cole- outcast from his own land on account of his religion, 
raine. This had been once a very strong position, and although the son of an ancient house. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 63 

regiment, and a garrison hastily formed at Coleraine, had completely overawed the Irish population 
of northern Antrim. Towards the end of December, it was rumoured that a small Irish force was 
preparing to cross the Bann from the Derry side, at a ford called Portnaw, near the town of Kilrea. 
Alaster Macdonnell, in the mean time, had kept his little force well in hand, but he knew that unless 
help could reach him from the west, his two companies must soon be cut off. At this critical 
juncture, his danger was greatly increased by a sudden movement on the part of Stewart, who marched 
rapidly from Coleraine, and encamped on the Bann side, exactly at the ford abovenamed, and in 
such a position as effectually to block the passage against the crossing of the Irish from the western 
bank. Macdonnell now felt that he had only one course left — to clear the passage across the river, 
if possible, by a desperate assault. He determined, therefore, with his two companies to spring 
upon the six companies of the enemy ; but he felt, at the same time, how hopeless must be the 
attempt unless it could be made under circumstances favourable to his numerically insignificant force. 
After carefully calculating the chances, he attacked Stewart early on the morning of the second of 
January, and when daylight appeared, he had scattered the enemy in all directions, leaving several 
dead in their encampment, and some even in their beds. If Stewart placed no sentinels on the 
watch, or if his men were asleep when they ought to have been standing to their arms, any blame in 
the affair attaches to him, and certainly not to Macdonnell, who thus inflicted upon him such a signal 
defeat. The Derry force immediately crossed the Bann to unite with that of Macdonnell, followed 
by a mob of Irish who were afraid to remain in their own houses, and who encountered mobs of 
the opposite party along the lines of road leading southward from Ballymoney to Clough, then 
called Oldstone, and northward to Ballintoy and Dunluce. These mobs destroyed life and property 
to a much greater extent than the regularly organised forces on both sides. 

The Irish had now possession of the whole district excepting the castles of Clough, Dunluce. 
and Ballintoy. Dunluce was held by an officer named Digby, for the earl of Antrim, and its strong 
position prevented its capture by the Irish. The town of Dunluce, however, was seized, and the 
inhabitants, who were nearly all Scottish settlers, were supplied with boats and sent across the 
channel to their own land. (49) The castle of Ballintoy, although held but by a small company, 
refused to surrender, and would have taken more time to capture than the besieging force had to 
spare. Macdonnell then divided his little army, sending one portion of it along the coast to Bally- 
castle, and leading the other himself southward through Stranocum, a little town on the Bush, towards 
the castle of Clough. This place had been hastily seized by Archibald Stewart a few months pre- 
viously, although it really belonged to a private gentleman named Donnell Gorm Macdonnell, and to 
the shelter supposed to be here afforded, numbers of country people flocked, bringing into the castle 
whatever valuables they could hastily carry with them from their own houses. The garrison was com- 

(49) Own land.— Still a few traces of the Scottish dwel- bears the following inscription :— " Here . under. Lyeth . 

lers in Dunluce may be found in the old churchyard at a the . Body . of. Florence . McPhilip . alias . Hamilton . 

little distance southward from the castle. Around the Late . wife . of. Archbald . McPhilip . of . Dunluce . 

edges of a tombstone is the following inscription :— " Heir Merchl . And . Daughter, to. Captaine . Robert Hamilton 

Lvcth the Children of Waller A'yd, Marchani of Dunluce, . Of. Clady . who . departed . This . Life . The . 20th . 

Burgess of Iruin. He made thes Stone tenth of March, in of. fitly . 1674. 

Anno Domini, 1630." Inside the old ruinous church, " Death can dissolve but not destroy. 

I on the north wall, a tablet of beautiful gray limestone Who sowes in tears shall reape in joy." 



64 THE MACDONELLS OF ANTRIM. 

manded by a country gentleman named Walter Kennedy.(so) Macdonnell's force, whilst approach- 
ing, was joined by that under the command of Art Oge O'Neill (see p. 61, supra), and the latter was 
the first to summon Kennedy to surrender the place. The men, who had been hurriedly collected, 
were neither disciplined nor provisioned for a siege. Their officer, therefore, concluded that, under 
the circumstances, "discretion was the better part of valour;" but with even more than an ordinary 
amount of discretion he replied to Art Oge's summons, that he would "never surrender to an O'Neill 
the castle that belonged to a Macdonnell !" Kennedy, a cannie Scot, took care, of course, that 
his words were spoken so as to be heard by Alaster Mac Coll, and the latter was so pleased and 
flattered by the reply, that he swore to Kennedy by the " cross on his sword," that' 
provided the castle were peacefully surrendered, the garrison would be permitted to pass out in 
safety, and that the multitude of non-combatants who had sought refuge therein, might carry away 
all their effects and retire to their own houses. This was more than Kennedy could have hoped 
for. He surrendered, therefore, without delay, and so far as Macdonnell was concerned, or had 
the means of controlling others, the terms of this surrender were faithfully carried out. (51) 

Perhaps the earliest and most impartial account of affairs in the Route, from the com- 
mencement of actual hostilities there, is contained in a letter written by sir James Macdonnell to 
his kinsman, Archibald Stewart, who, after his defeat at Portnaw, closed himself and his regiment 
in Coleraine. This letter, under the circumstances, is highly creditable to the writer, and 
could only have been written by a humane and honourable man. Sir James Macdonnell was son 
of sir Alexander of Kilconway, and grandson of sir James of Dunluce, who was believed to have 
been poisoned by an emissary commissioned for that purpose by lord Burghley, in 1601. Sir James 
first named, resided at the Cross, near Ballymoney, and took an active part, on the side of the 
Irish, in the wars commencing in 1641, for which he suffered forfeiture of his estate, but was 
partially restored in 1662. (See Lodge's Peerage, edited by Archdall, vol i., p 20T.) His 
letters are interesting and valuable, as furnishing additional testimony of a most respectable 
character, that there was no premeditated plan of massacre on the part of the Irish, but that, on 
the contrary, it had been arranged among their leaders carefully to avoid even the appearance of 

(50) Kennedy.— This gentleman was the son of Anthony Threde . Day . of '. December . The ydr.of. Our . Lord . 

Kennedy, of Balsaragh, in the parish of Kirkoswild, Ayr- God. 1620." Although, at the time of his de.ith, thisgentle- 

shire, who settled on the Antrim coast about the year 1603. man had been a resident on the Antrim coast for several 

He appears to have resided at Tumarobert, near Armoy, years, he yet preferred to be designated, even on his tomh- 

although his lands principally lay in I'allyloughbeg, near stone, as of Balsaragh, his native place in Scotland. His 

Bushmills. Anthony died in 1620, his son Walter being son. Walter Kennedy abovenamed, married a daughter 

then 24 years of age. The grant from sir Randal Mac- of William Boyd, of Dunluce. For the will of the la*t 

donnell (afterwards first earl of Antrim) to Anthony mentioned gentleman see Appendix III. 

Kennedy of Twornyrobert, included one hundred acres (51) Carried out.— After the surrender, however, several 

of Ballyloughbegg, fifty acres called Merside, and a mill persons were said to have been massacred by a mob Tlie 

with five acres adjoining. His wife, Anne Moore, victims, including women and children, were making 

daughter of Quintin Moore, had a life interest in these theirway towards Larne, or Carrickfergus, when they were 

lands. Anthony Kennedy was buried in the old cemetery attacked on the side of the Ravel Water, by a murderous 

of Billy, near Bushmills, where a tombstone, inscribed gang led by one Toole M'Hugh O'Hara. M'Skimin 

with his armorial bearings, and the following inscription gives this statement, at p. 46, of his History of Carrick- 

wntten along the edges in Roman capitals, stdl marks his fergus, third edition, on the authority of one of the 

grave:— "Heir . Lycth . The. Honourable. Man . Cailit . ' Depositions ' preserved in the Library of Trinitv 

Antony Kennedy .of . Balsaragh . Who Departed . The. College, Dublin. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 05 

such a design. In truth, the only objects they had in view, as explained by sir James Macdonnell 
and others, and as admitted by many of the opposing party, were to expel the Scottish and 
English settlers from the lands in Ulster which had formerly belonged to themselves (the Irish) ; 
■End also to free themselves from the oppression of those penal laws which had bowed them to the 
very dust, and which neither they nor their fathers were able to bear. Throughout every corner of 
Ulster, with a few rare exceptions, the Irish had been swept from all the arable lands, — from their 
own green fields, fertile straths, sheltered valleys,— and doomed to live among the bogs and 
morasses, or on the mountain sides. We learn from sir James Macdonnell that the Scottish settlers 
in the Route, on being expelled from their lands, were expected to return to Scotland through the 
several sea-ports at hand ; and this humane leader offered to provide means of transport for them, 
rather than that the protestants should perish in such numbers at Coleraine. The following is sir 
James's letter : — 

" Cossen Archebald, — I receaved your Letter, and, to tell the Truth, I was ever of that 
Opinion, and soe was the most of all these Gentilmen, thai your own selfe had noe in 

you ; but certainly had I not begun when I did, I and all these Gentilmen, with my Wiffe and 
Children had been utterly destroyed; of which I got Intelligence from one that heard the Plott 
alayinge ; And those Captayns of yours (whome you may call rather Covvboyes) (52) were, every daye, 
vexinge ourselves and our Tennants, of Purpose to picke Quarrells, which noe Flesh was able to 
indure : And judge you whether I had Reason to prevent suche Mischefe ; And I vow to the 
Almightie, had they not forct me, as they did many others besides me that would rather hang than 
goe on as they did, I would stick as firm to your side as any of yourselves ; though I confesse it 
would be the worse thing for mee and mine that ever I sawe. To speake to you really the Truth, 
and the true Information of the whole kingdome — upon my Creditt I nowe doe it. All the whole 
Kingdome in generall are of our Side except Dublin, whoe hath 2000 Men about it, in Leager of 
it, if it bee not now taken; (53) Drogheda whoe hath 1600 Men about it, and are these ten Days 

(52) Ctnvboyts. — The names of these bungling, but un- supposed by sir James Macdonnell to besiege Dublin, 
fortunate captains were Glover, Peebles, and Macdougall. were only crowds of unarmed peasantry, who could 
(See Reid's History of the Presbyterian Church, vol. i., p. have opposed no organised resistance to a disciplined 
313, and note.) From the fact that Macdonnell speaks force, however small. About the time of his writ- 
of Stewart's officers so disparagingly, the latter must have ing this letter to Stewart, the whole aspect of affairs 
been guilty of some glaring mismanagement, first in pro- had changed around Dublin, for whilst the lords 
voking the collision, and afterwards in permitting them- justices trembled and temporised in presence of the un- 
selves to be surprised at Portnaw. armed country people, several regiments arrived from 

(53) Now taken.— The authorities in Dublin, although England, in the end of December, 1641. The soldiers 
they had a strong garrison and ample munitions, were composing these regiments were instantly sent out by the 



paralysed with fear on hearing of the movements of lords-justices, and instigated by them to the perpetration 



the Irish under sir Felim O'Neill. The lords-justices of all imaginable cruelty against the inhabitants of the 

ordered the castle draw-bridge to be raised, going up at districts around Dublin. The slaughter of unarmed men, 

intervals to the platforms of the tower, and expecting women, and children, became at last sport to the brutal 

every moment to witness the approach of the northern English soldiers, which they called Birding ; and officers 

enemy. They only, at first, beheld vast flocks of sea- who could not give a glowing account of the massacres 

birds, which kept filling the air with their shrieking done on these expeditions had no chance of favour in the 

above the city, and would not desist although re- eyes of the authorities. See Prendergast's Cromwelliau 

peatedly fired at from cannon. The two thousand men, Settlement of Inland, second edition, pp. 56, 57. 
F 



66 



THE MACDONNELLS OF AXTRIM. 



past eatinge of Horse Flesh 5(54) Carrickefergus,(S5) Coulraine,(s6) and my Lord Claneboyes,(s7) 
and my Lord of Ardes.(s8) This is the Truth on my Creditt; Ballemeanagh,(59) Antrim,(6o) and 



(54) Horse Flesh. — The peasantry who surrounded 
Drogheda were, also, comparatively undisciplined and un- 
armed, but equally formidable for a time, to the strong 
garrison in the latter place. Sir Henry Tichbourne was 
the commander in this garrison, and when he ventured 
out, he proved himself to be one of the most ruthless of 
all the military butchers of the time. He wrote a history 
of the siege of Drogheda, and boasts that, in a few weeks 
after he got out, " there was neither man nor beast to be 
found in sixteen miles, between the two towns of 
Drogheda and Dundalk ; nor on the other side of Dundalk, 
in the county of Monaghan, nearer than Carrickmacross, 
a strong pile twelve miles distant." Until after the per- 
petration of these atrocities at Dublin and Drogheda, it 
does not appear that the Irish, under sir Felim O'Neill, 
had commenced their system of cruel retaliation. Even sir 
John Temple owns that " those British whom the rebels 
suffered to live among them, and such as they kept in 
prison, were not put to the sword by the Irish, until, in 
the several encounters they had with his majesty's forces, 
they suffered loss of their men, and so were enraged." 
See Carte's Life of Ormonde, vol. i., p. 126; Curry's 
Review of the Civil liars, p. 169. 

(55) Carrickcfcrgus. — This place was secured by the 
vigilance and energy of the governor, colonel Arthur 
Chichester, who had heard of the outbreak on the even- 
ing of the 23rd of October, and forthwith ordered 
drums to be beaten and fires lighted for the purpose 
of warning the inhabitants of the adjoining districts. 
Great numbers rushed into the town during the following 
two days, many of whom were immediately armed and 
formed into companies, whilst multitudes of women, 
children, and non-combatants, to prevent over-crowding, 
were assisted to get across the channel, to their friends in 
Scotland. M'Skimin, without giving his authority, 
states that " Sir Henry Mac O'Neill was to have surprised 
Carrickfergus." Dr. Reid, without giving his authority, 
states that, according to previous arrangement, "the attack 
was to have been conducted by one of the Macdonnells." 
l'robably the real hero intended for this service was sir 
Henry O'Neill of Killelagh, who was a Macdonnell by 
his mother. Sir Henry O'Neill of Edenduffcan ick, whom 
Dr. Reid supposed to be alive in 1641, had died in 1637. 
See M'Skimin's History of Carrickfergus, third edition, 
p. 43 ; Reid's History of the Presbyterian Church, vol. i., 
pp. 292, note, 298. 

(56) Coulraine — This town was secured by the timely 
efforts of Mr William Rowdey, who had escaped from 
Moneymore on the afternoon of the 23rd of October, 
and reached Coleraine about eight o'clock on the follow- 
ing (Sunday) morning. Multitudes of fugitives from the 
counties of Antrim and Derry, reached Coleraine during 
the following two or three days, many arriving from the 
Route. It ought to be observed that, at the commence- 
ment of the war here, as elsewhere, the Irish committed 
no acts of massacre. The protcslants ami presbyterians 
were frequently pillaged, but allowed to escape with their 
live- to the nearest place of refuge. It was originally in- 
tended by the Irish that " the enterprise should be con- 
ducted in every quarter with as little bloodshed as 



possible," and, at first, not even an insinuation 
was sxpressed of any massacre committed on the pro- 
testants, although the latter had killed nearly a thou- 
sand of the Irish in Ulster, during the first two weeks. 
See Leland's History oj Ireland, vol. iii., p. 101 ; Carte's 
Life of Ormonde, vol. i., as quoted in Curry's Review of 
the Civil Wars, p, 166. 

(57) Lord Claneboyes. — James Hamilton, the son of 
Hans Hamilton, a preacher in the parish of Dunlop, 
Ayrshire. See Hamilton Manuscripts, edited by T. K. 

(5S) Of Ardcs. — Hugh Montgomery, second viscount 
Ards, son of Hugh Montgomery, sixth laird of Braid- 
stane. See new edition of the Montgomery Manuscripts. 

(59) Ballymeanagh. — The protection of the wdiole 
country northward trom Ballymena devolved on Archi- 
bald Stewart, who, being lord Antrim's agent, was 
supposed to have a widely extended influence. Much 
more was expected from him than he, or any one else, 
under the circumstances, could have accomplished. He 
seems to have had little talent for organisation, and still 
less for the management even of small numbers of men 
in active service. 

(60) Antrim. — Sir James Macdonnell was partly cor- 
rect in this statement respecting Antrim, although it is a 
fact that, in the absence of sir John Clotworthy, his 
brother, colonel James Clotworthy, and others, were able 
to secure the town and castle " against any sudden attack 
of the rebels. " Sir James Macdonnell, however, under- 
rated the stiength of those put upon their defence at other 
points, for Castle-Upton was secured, so also was Bally- 
gellie castle, and the town of Larne. (See Reid's History, 
vol. i., p. 299.) The officer in sir John Clotworthy's re- 
giment, who wrote a sketch of the Wan- in Ireland, 1640 — 
1652, informs us that when news came that the Irish army 
approached Antrim over the Six Mile Water, orders weie 
sent to major Faulk Ellis, who held Antrim, " to secure 
the castle, and to march away (or retreat) with Bag 
and Baggage. On which some townsmen went away, the 
Alarm of the Irish Army's approach being so terrible to 
them." The officers, however, took counsel together, 
and resolved to defend the place. These officers, besides 
major Ellis, were captains James Clotworthy, Robert 

Houston, Arthur Langford, and William , and James 

Colville. The Irish army, 4,000 strong, soon appeared 
under the command of Turlough Oge O'Neill, brother of 
sir Felim, who had no skill as a leader. His feeble 
attack on the town utterly failed. " Of the Irish killed 
at the town-head there were two captains, one Captain 
Hagan and one Captain Hara, whose heads some of the 
soldiers, without directions, brought into the town, both 
the heads knotted together with the hair, and hung them 
on a Batteries' Crook a day or two. . . . After the 
Irish fell off, they marched over the River at Muckamur, 
and quartered all Night at Old Stone. The next Morn- 
ing Captain Clotworthy, only with his man, went to 
Carrickfergus for Relief ; before it came, being about 
300 Horse and Dragoons, the Irish burnt all the Hag- 
gards of Corn in the Country, and marched away to 
Larne, where they acted as meanly." See pp. iS — 1\. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 



67 



all the Garrisons between this and Carrickefergus are fled to Carrickefergus ;(6i) soe that it is but 
a Follie to resist what God pleaseth to happen ; But certainly they will have all Ireland presenthe, 
whatever Time they Keepe it. You may truely inform my Friendes in Coulraine that I would wish 
they and if they yielde me the Towne, it shall bee goode for them and 

me, for the Booty shall be myne, and they shall be sure of goode Qurtrs., for I will sende for all 
the Raghlin Boates to Portrush, and from thanes send all the People away into Scotlande/,62) 
which, if it bee not done before sir Felim(63) his army comes to the Towne who comes the next 
week thousand Men and Peece of Artillery, all my desire of doeinge them 

good will bee to noe Purpose, therefore sende mee Word what you doe therein : As for both your 
Houses they shall bee safe,v64) and soe should all the Houses in the Countrey, if they would bee 
persuaded by mee: The 01dstowe(6s) was rendered mee, and all they within had good Quarters, 
onely the Clandeboyes Souldiers,(66) and the two Regiments from beyond the Ban were a little 
greedy for pillaginge,(67) whiche could not bee healpt; As for Killinge of Women, none of my 
Souldiers dare doe it for his Life, but the common People that are not under Rule doth it in Spight 



(6i) Carrickefergus. — By the numerous arrivals at this 
place, not only was a sufficient garrison collected under 
the command of captain Roger Lyndon, but a consider- 
able force sent out under colonel Chichester, to co-operate 
with other forces intended to encounter sir Felim O'Neill. 
In the beginning of the month of December, however, 
the Irish troops, principally collected in lower Clannaboy, 
were completely masters of the.whole country districts, 
even occupying points within sight of Carrickfergus. 
These Irish force- from Clannaboy were all officered by 
O'Neills— Art Oge O'Neill. Con Oge O'Neill, and Toole 
or Tuathal O'Neill. See M'Skiroin's History of Carrick- 
fergus, third edition, p. 44. 

(62) Scotland:. — It would have been well, had Archi- 
bald Stewart promptly adopted this suggestion about 
sending the overplus population of Coleraine to Scot- 
land, as the authorities in Carrickfergus had done- 
Pestilence, the fearful result of over-crowding, as well as 
want of sufficient supplies of food, soon appeared in 
several places, but perhaps more fatally in Coleraine than 
anywhere else in the north. From a manuscript formerly 
in the possession of the Moira family, Berwick, the 
author of Historical Collections relative to /lie Town of 
Belfast, quotes the following passage: — "The Lord 
sent a pestilential fever, which swept away innumer- 
able people; insomuch that in Coleraine there died in 
four months by computation six thousand.'' Temple, 
at p. 138 of his History, quotes from a volume of 
' Depositions,' T CD., as follows : — "James Redfern of 
the county of Londonderry, deposeth, that in the town 
of Coleraine, since the rebellion began, there died of 
robbed and stripped people that fled thither for succour, 
many hundreds, besi les those of the town who had 
antiently dwelt there ; and that the mortality there was 
such, and so great, as many thousands died in two 
days ; and that the living though scarce able to do it, laid 
the carcasses of those dead persons in great ranks, into 
vast and wide holes, laying them so close and thick as if 
they had packed up herrings together." See also Reid's 
History, vol. i., p. 317. 



(63) Sir Felim.— Sir Felim O'Neill was from the same 
stock as the earls of Tyrone, being a descendant of Oh en 
O'Neill, the great-grandfather of Con, the first earl. Sir 
Felim was educated in Lincoln's Inn, and professed for 
a time the protestant faith, but on his return to Ireland, 
he became reconciled to the Roman Catholic Church. 
The supposed deaths of all the sons of Hugh, the last 
earl of Tyrone, enabled sir Felim to place himself, at 
least for a time, at the head of the whole clan in 
1641 He was never destined to reach Coleraine (as sir 
James Macdonnell supposed that he would), nor even 
Carrickfergus. He intended to capture Lisbum first, 
afterwards to march on Carrickfergus, and then proceed 
northward to Coleraine. To carry out these intended 
movements, he and sir Con Maginnis, collected at Maghe- 
ragall the principal Irish army in Ulster, consisting of 
eight thousand men. On reaching Lisburn they were 
held in check by a small force under sir George Kawdon 
and sir Arthur Tyringham, and when some additional 
British troops arrived from Belfast and Carrickfergus. 
the Irish were defeated and driven back, and sir Felim 
was never able to approach Carrickfergus, much less 
Coleraine. 

(64) Bee safe. — The two houses belonging to Archibald 
Stewart were those of Ballintoy and Ballylough. The 
former stood about a quarter of a mile westward from 
the present village of Ballintoy The house of Bally- 
lough stood in the townland of Ballyloughmore, parish 
of Billy, and it probably occupied the site of the present 
mansion known as Ballvlough House. Until the year 
1745, the two parishes of Billy and Ballintoy formed 
the one parish of Billy. See Reeves's Eee/es. Anti- 
quities, pp. 285, 287. 

(65) Oldstowe — Oldstone or Clough. See pp. 63. 64, 
supra. 

(66) Souldiers.— The Clannaboy soldiers were marched 
from the Feevagh under Art Oge O'Neill. See p. 64, supra. 

(67) Pillaginge. — The Deny soldiers came from about 
Dungiven, under the command of Manus Roe O'Cahan 
and John Mortimer. 



68 



THE MACDONNELLS OF AXTRIM. 



of our Teeth ;(68) But for your People, they Killed of Women and Children aboute 3 Score. My 
Lord and Lady are gon to Slain — to whom I have sent ;{6g) Tell my bror. Hill and Mr. Barwicke 
that their people are all in good Health, but in my owne company.(7o) I desyre 

you not to stirr out of that till I be neere you myselfe, for feare you should fall in the hands of the 
seaven Hundred I have in the lower Part of the Countie, whoe would give you noe quarter at all ; 
(71) but when I have settled thinges here, you may come to me yourselfe, and your dearest friends 
, and the rest to transport them with the rest into Scotland ; As for goinge against the 
Kinge, wee will dye sooner, or my Lord of Antrim either,(72) but their only Aim is to have their 
Religion settled, and every one his owne antient Inheritaunce 5(73) Thus wishinge you to take my 
Counsell, whiche I proteste to God I will give you as reallie as to myselfe, and haveing the hope of 
your beleivinge mee hereinn, I reste your verie loveinge Coussen still, 

" James M'Donnell. 

" From the Catholic Campe, at Oldstowne, the nth of January, 1641," See the volume 
of ' Depositions' lettered Antrim, F. 3. 9., Collection 3402, T.C.D. ; see also Hill's Stewarts of 
flallintoy. 

The foregoing letter probably failed to produce any other result than to warn Stewart of the 



(68) Our Teeth.— Sir James Macdonnell thus admits 
the melancholy fact of massacres by Irish mobs, but 
denies that his soldiers had been guilty of such barbarity. 
The massacre perpetrated by Stewart's people here 
referred to, is probably that which occurred at a place 
called Island-Ross, near Dervock, where, between sixty 
and eighty Irish women and children are said to have 
been slaughtered. Among those afterwards slaughtered 
were two hundred and twenty Irishwomen and children, 
who had taken refuge in caves along the coast, and were 
mercilessly suffocated by those brutal Scots who came with 
Monro and sir Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck. See 
Dr. Moran's Historical Sketch of the Persecutions suffered 
by the Catholics of Ireland under the Pulcof Cronnvc'll and 
the Puritans, p. 169. 

(69) Have sent.— The writer refers to lord Antrim, the 
second earl, and his wife, the duchess of Buckingham, to 
whom Antrim had been married in the year 1635. At the 
time of the outbreak, they happened to be residing in 
Dublin, where lord Antrim was attending his parliamen- 
tary duties. On hearing of the commencement of the 
rising, they left Dublin, and went to sojourn for a time at 
Slane castle, the residence of one of the earl's sisters, who 
married William Fleming, the nineteenth baron of Slane. 

(70) Company. — "Bror. Hill and Mr. Barwicke" 
were evidently persons who had escaped to Coleraine. 
Until about the year 1830, an old tombstone lay in 
Ramoan churchyard, indicating the grave of a John Hill, 
who died in 16 10, and who, probably, settled in that 
district before the close of the sixteenth century. From 
him all the inhabitants of this surname, who were once 
numerous in Ramoan, are supposed to have descended. 
The name of Barudck, is not now known in the district. 

(71) Quarter at all.— The party here referred to was 
probably a lot of irregulars drawn from lower Clannaboy, 
and from beyond the Bann. 

(72) Antrim either.— The Irish in Ulster, and afterwards 
throughout all Ireland, constantly proclaimed that among 



the leading causes which induced them to take up arms, 
one was a determination on their part to defend the king's 
royal prerogative against the encroachments of the puri- 
tanical and covenanting factions in England and Scotland. 
(73) Inheritaunce. — Sir James thus undoubtedly ex- 
presses the two main objects of the insurgents, which 
were, as already stated, first, to have their religion freely 
tolerate!, and secondly to win back the lands from which 
they had been expelled. This statement of sir James 
Macdonnell in reference to the religious question confirms 
the representions already quoted at pp. 59, 60, supra. The 
Catholics believed that their religious faith was to be 
violently rooted out, and that if such could not be accom- 
plished, their lives were to be the penalty. In the humble 
remonstrance of the northern nobility and gentry to the 
king, there is the following passage : — " There was a 
petition framed by the puritans of this kingdom ol Ire- 
land, and preferred to the house of commons of the now 
parliament of England, for suppressing our religion, and 
us, the professors thereof, within the Kingdom ol Ireland, 
which, as we are credibly informed, was condescended 
unto by both houses of parliament there, and undertaken 
to be accomplished to their full desires, and that without 
the privity or allowance of your majesty." (See Desiderata 
Curiosa Hibernica, vol. ii. , p. 86.) Thus, the manifesto, 
under the name of an "humble petition of some Protes- 
tant inhabitants of the counties of Antrim, Down, Derry, 
Tyrone. &c," had the effect of leading directly to the 
commencement of the war in Ulster, as the Scotch settled 
in this province, humbly prayed in that document, " that 
that unlawful hierarchical government, with all its 
appendixes, may be utterly extirpated." This, whilst 
aiming mainly at the Catholics, alarmed the episcopal 
protestants also. See Dr. Robert Maxwell's Examina- 
tions ; see also the celebrated Remonstrance oj the Gentry 
and Commonalty of the County of Cava n. drawn up by 
the excellent bishop Bedell, as quoted in Curry's Review, 
pp. 163, 164. • 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 69 

risk he would incur by venturing out from Coleraine, whilst the seven hundred Irish remained in his 
immediate vicinity. Exactly a month, however, after the date of sir James Macdonnell's letter, 
Stewart had got his force so recruited, that he resolved again to try conclusions with his youthful 
and herculean kinsman, Alaster the son of Coll. On Friday, the nth of February, old style, (74) 
he marched from Coleraine, at the head of a well-disciplined and well-appointed little army of nine 
hundred men — six hundred Scots and three hundred English. Alaster was encamped at Ballymoney, 
and his force also had been considerably improved and increased. It was set in motion the moment 
he heard of Stewart's approach, the hostile parties meeting at a place called the Laney, about a mile 
from the town of Ballymoney. The Irish skeins, or short swords, soon did fearful work, for, in the 
space of two hours, almost the whole of Stewart's force was slain on the field, or in the pursuit. 
Thefollowing account of this conflict was written by a contemporary, the Rev. Alexander Clogy, son- 
in-law to bishop Bedell : — " The Scots then throughout all the province of Ulster, where they were 
most numerous, betook themselves to holds, leaving all the open country to the enemy. For the 
first attempt of Coll Kittach had so frightened them that they thought no man was able to stand before 
that son of Anak. (75) In his first encounter, at the head of a few Irish Highlanders and some of 
Antrim's Irish Rebells, that were Brethern in Evil, against Eight hundred English and Scotch, having 
commanded his Murderers to lay down all their Firearms, he fell in among them with swords and 
durks or scanes, in such a furious manner, that it was reported not a man of them escaped of all the 
Eight hundred." It is believed that fully eight hundred were slain, but one hundred must have 
escaped, Stewart having had nine hundred under his command leaving Coleraine. The survivors 
returned to Coleraine, but were there worse than useless, having only added to the awful confusion 
and over-crowding of that luckless town. A gentleman, named Coll M'Alester, who resided in the 
parish of Derrykeighan, when examined afterwards, in 1652, before one of Cromwell's courts, was 
asked " if he was in the fight at the Layney, when the English and Scotch, on the i ith February, 
1641, called black ffriday, were routed, and about 700 hundred Brittish slain," replied that he 
" came that very daye unto the Lainey, 120 cowes being lately taken from him for not compliance 
with the Irish, to get restitution of them. And Allester M'Coll M'Donnell (the Brittish forces then 
approaching) made this Examinate to joyn him and his men, and upon joining battell the British 
were defeated, and enough of them killed, but this Examinate saith he killed none of those who 
would have killed him." (See the vol. of ' Depositions' lettered Antrim, T.C.D., F. 3. 9., Collection 
2504). An officer in sir John Clotworthy's regiment who sketches the events of the war, does not men- 
tion the Laney by name as the battle-field, but only refers to the locality in general. His account of 
this affair is as follows : — " The next meeting of the British and Irish was at Bunderaga, (now 
Bendooragh) near the Crosses in the Route. (76) The British of Coleraine marched out under the 

(74) Old Style. — The new year then did not commence arranged that the year should only commence on the 1st 

until the 25th of March, so that the battle of the Laney, of January, and by an Act of Parliament to this effect, the 

although happening on the nth of February, was still old style ceased on the 2nd of September, 1752. 

within the year 1641. Very great confusion arose from (75) Anak. — There is here an allusion to the gigantic 

the fact that the historical year commenced on the 1st of stature of Alaster Macdonnell, misnamed by Clogy, Coll 

January, or according to the new style, whilst the civil or Kittach. Napier, the author of the Life of Montrose, also 

leqal year did not commence until the 25th of March. speaks of his " herculean frame." See vol. ii., p. 416. 

'To avoid the confusion thus produced, it was finally (76) Crosses in the Route.— The place thus designated 



70 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

command of Archibald Stewart of Ballintoy, and other officers, to the number oi 600 men and a 
Troop of Horse to get a prey. On which the Alarm was up, and the Irish under the command of 
Alexander MacColla MacDonald, to the number of six or seven hundred men, charged them in 
boggy ground, and beat their Horse in amongst their foot, and followed close in their Rear, and 
without any great opposition took the Rout, which was the Ruin of most of them, leaving their 
Colours with the Enemy. This was a fatal Break to the British in these Parts, and that at Garvahy 
(Garvagh) before, on the other side of the Ban. For after this Defeat, being on good Friday, the 
Irish of the Route and the O'Cahans, and their Associates in the county of Londonderry, besieged 
Coleraine on both sides, and getting no relief by sea it was reduced in five or six weeks' time to a 
low condition, and had yielded up, if the lord of Antrim had not come into the country from Dub- 
lin, and raised the siege on the Antrim side, and caused to send meal and provisions into the Town, 
himself being at his House in Dunluce." The Warr of Ireland from 1640 to 1652. pp. 22, 23. 

Soon after the occurrence of this battle, sir James Macdonnell wrote another letter, which he 
addressed to several influential leaders of the opposite party, who had got a garrison into Ballintoy 
castle This garrison was of course busily employed, when opportunities suited, in making raids 
among the Irish population of the surrounding district. Coll M'Alester, above mentioned, being 
asked why he had left his own house during the outbreak, replied, " the Reason thereof was, 
because the Brittish garrison in Ballintoy house was within three miles ; and being demanded what 
need he had to fear the Brittish, he being soe careful to preserve as many of them as lay in his 
power, 'he saith because at that time the British durst not trust one another.' " After the com- 
mencement of actual hostilities, the lamentable condition of affairs in the Route is thus further 
described by the same gentleman : — " The Irish being jealous of the English and Scotts, and the 
English and Scotts jealous of the Irish, without any difference or distinction, the Irish killed all the 
English and Scotts they could lay hands on, and the English and Scotts did the like unto the Irish, 
except some few Irishmen who showed mercy unto the English and Scotts, whereof this Examinate 
was one, who did as much for the preservation of the Brittish as lay in his power." This 
represents truly and simply, perhaps, the state of nearly the whole of Ulster at the time. The 
following is James Macdonnell's letter to the occupants of Ballintoy castle : — 

" Loveinge ffreinds, — If so you please, I thought good to informe you of the folly you 
undertake in bringinge yourselves to ruyne, where you may quietlie and without Trouble worke the 
Way of your Saftie, in takeinge of faire Quarter for yourselves, Your Wives, and Children, as others 
have done that were in greater Saftie, and were better able to subsist than you are ; where likewise 
you are not in any Case like to receive any succour from any Place, for those of Coulraine are 
strictly besieged on both sides, and by reason of their greate Diseases and Dearth of Fire and Come 
doe daylie dye apace, (77) besides many were daylie cutt off" them by sixes, eights, fifteens, and the 
last daye killed and drowned 20 at once ; and they haue not left above a verie few musketts in the 
whole towne, by that they lost in the great Conflicte. (78) Antrim is besieged and all your People, 

was known in ancient times as AonachCros, or * Enagh (78) Confiicte — The writer evidently refers to the battle 

of the .Crosses,' now the Cross, near Ballymonev. of the Laney, so that this letter was written subsequently 

(77) Dye apace.— See p. 67, supra. to the nth of February. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 7 I 

soe man) as was left are gone to the Clanaboys ; (79) though I confesse that Parte was not caused 
by our Valoure, so that upone my Creditt your State is ill unless you take Quarter, which you shall 
fairly haue, as I haue done with Dunluce, (80) which is to sett them a booty and to suffer all such 
that pleaseth to depart freely, and such as will stay to live in the Country with some such gentillmen 
in the Country as they will choose to bee with hereafter; whiche, if freelie you will take, I vow 
before God to performe by the grace of Jesus Christ. (81) And of all Men, I would wish Mr. 
Foullerton (S2) to take it if the rest doe not, for I had direction (rom Mr. Terlough Oge O'Neale, 
Governour of the County of Armagh, (83) to send him and his family to his brother Maxwell, who 



(79) Clanaboys. — This meant, no doubt, that they had 
made their escape to upper or southern Clannaboy, or 
rather to the Aids adjoining, where there was protection 
for many who assembled therefrom other districts. See the 
new edition of the Montgomery Manusa ip/s, pp. 151, 309. 

(80) Dunluce. — There was evidently no slaughter at 
Dunluce, and the arrangement between the Irish and the 
town's people appears to have been peaceably carried out. 
Captain Digby, who held the castle for lord Antrim, 
would not surrender it. The town was partially binned, 
but the Scottish inhabitants got away to Scotland. See 
p. ■ 63. supra. 

(81) Jesus Christ. — From what is known of sir James 
Macdonnell's character, we are disposed to believe that 
he made this solemn statement in all sincerity. The 
same humane and christian spirit appears to have actu- 
ated the other principal leaders of the Irish party. Thus, 
when Owen Roe O'Neill was appointed general of the 
Irish confederacy, his first words were an expression of 
his abhorrence of certain cruelties that had been perpe- 
trated by some of sir Felim O'Neill's soldiers. He e\en 
ordered the houses of these soldiers to be burned down, 
declaring that he would rather join the English than sub- 
mit to be compromised by the conduct of those who 
would tolerate cruelties towards the enemy. The protes- 
tants of the county of Cavan actually placed themselves 
under the protection of an Irish leader and chief named 
Philip O'Reilly, who fed, clothed, and conveyed them 
safely to the English quarters. Among the persons thus 
saved was Henry Jones, who afterwards became a noted 
slanderer of the Irish to please Cromwell. Jones was 
made bishop of Meath at the Restoration. In Munster, lord 
and lady Muskerry devoted their time, and energies, ami 
wordly means to the work of preserving Protestants, and 
relieving them in great numbers from cold and hunger. 
Indeed, all the leaders in that province were exceedingly 
careful to prevent bloodshed, and to protect the English 
from being pillaged. Lord Mountgarret shot a Mr. 
Richard Cantwell, who was in the rank of a gentleman, 
but who had been guilty of cruelly plundering certain 
English victims. This nobleman's humane character did 
wonders in the preservation of protestants in the city of 
Waterford, and throughout the wide extent of his terri- 
torial lands. Lord Ikerrin, sir Richard Everett, general 
Preston, and very many other Catholic leaders that might 
be named, were also most exemplary in their humane 
treatment of protestants. See Carte's and Warner's ac- 
counts of the Wars of 1641. Other equally good autho- 
rities might be quoted, but these two were protestant 
[clergymen, and therefore not likely to be unduly biased 
fin favour of the Irish. 



(S2) Mr. Foullerton. — This Mr. Fullerton was arch- 
deacon ol Armagh, but had probably es'caped to Ballin- 
toy, his native place; or he may have been there at the 
time of the outbreak. There is uncertainty as to his 
Christian name. Richard Fullerton, A.M., was made 
archdeacon of Armagh Januaiy 23, 1637, and also a 
William Fullerton, A.M., appointed prebendary of 
Loughgall, in the cathedral of Armagh, January 23, 
1637. Loughgall is a parish about four miles from 
Armagh, running northward to Charlemont. Dr. Max- 
well, in his deposition, says: — " The number of people 
drowned at the bridge of Portadowne are diversely re- 
ported, according as men stayed among the rebells. 
There were by their owne report 190 drowned 
with Mr. Fullerton." Ellen Fullerton, the widow of the 
latter, deposed that he was robbed of property amounting 
to j£i2oS, besides the value of his living, £247. (MS. 
T.C.D., F. 3. 7.) "By a copie of the Records from 
the late commissioners for adjudication of claimes, Sir 
Phillomey O'Neale did mortgage unto William Fullerton 
of Loughgaull, clerke, aboute a yeare and a halfe before 
the late rebellioun, for the sum of ^"400 sterling, the 
townelande commonly called and known by the name of 
Mollogmhosagh." (Ulster Inquisition, Tyrone, Car. II. 
No. 3.) This was part of Mr. Fullerton's claim. Colton, 
in his Fasti, vol. Hi., p. 46, calls the archdeacon William; 
he is so named also as a witness in the Court of Claims 
against the marquis of Antrim. (See Carte MSS., m 
Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 67.) He is spoken of by 
the name of William in this letter of sir James Macdon- 
nell; and in the Records above quoted, the prebendary is 
styled of Loughgaull. to distinguish him probably from 
William Fullerton of Armagh. Richard, therefore, 
may be a mistake for William. It is not known whether 
the Mr. William Foullerton who assisted in the defence 
of Ballintoy castle left any family, but he probably did, 
as his own christian name prevailed subsequently among 
the numerous families of Fullertons throughout the Route. 
See new edition of Montgomery Manuscripts, p. 80 and 
note. 

(83) Mr. Terlough Oge O'Neale.— This O'Neill be- 
longed to one of the leading families of the race. He 
was son of Henry O'Neill, son of sir Tirlough, who died 
in 1639, son of sir Henry, son of Turlough (married to 
Sarah, daughter of Turlough Luineach), son of Henry 
(who had a grant from James I.), son of Felimey Roe, 
son of Art, who died in 1515. son of Owen, son of Hugh, 
great-great-grandfather of Con More, first earl of Tyrone. 
See Annals of Four Masters, vol. vi., pp. 2402, 2403. 
This Mr. Tirlough's father, Henry, was greatly opposed 
to the rebellion, but suffered severely notwithstanding. 



7 2 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

lives on his owne House as quietlie as ever he was, onely that his Churche Benefices is taken from 
him; (84) and soe is his brother Echlin too. (85) Therefore, Gentillmen, for abaydinge further 
Bloodshead, of which I vow I have noe Desyre if I could helpe, I would advise you to take this 
faire proffer or else blame your own obstinacy and not us ; for bee sure wee will have our Wills of 
you at last, when it will bee too late for you to cry pecavi. If you take this faire proffer, I will to- 
morrow goe to you and conclude, if not I will bee to you as you will be to mee which wold wish 
to be your friend " "James M'Donnell." 

" For the Gentillmen in Ballintoy, Mr. Will. Foulerton, Archd. Boyd, (86) Thos. Boyd (87) 
and the rest." See the vol. lettered Antrim, F. 3. 9., Collection 3404, T.C.D.; see also Hill's 
Stewarts of Ballintoy. 

A few personal friends of sir James Macdonnell, in the garrisons of Coleraine and Ballintoy, 
might have, probably, been disposed to accept his terms, but the majority were naturally afraid to 
surrender. They had made up their minds, in fact, to sell their lives as dearly as possible, believ- 
ing that they could do this to better purpose when banded together than separately in their own 
houses. Accordingly, they held on, although unable to do more at last than keep their gates and 
doors well barricaded. The arrival of the earl of Antrim from Dublin brought relief to the besieged 
at both places. Although this nobleman had taken no part with the Irish, but had already denounced 
some cruel acts committed by those under sir Felim O'Neill, yet his influence at once prevailed 
with the besiegers of Coleraine to admit supplies of food into the town, which supplies (vere liberally 
provided and sent in from his own resources. (88) By this interposition they were enabled to 
hold on until the arrival of large numbers of Scottish troops; but Monro, the commander of the latter, 

See Russell and Trendergast's Report on the Carte MSS., Kathrine, a daughterof that gentleman. Thos. Boyd < 

pp. 147 — 150. bequeathed by the testator his "beste silver piece," and 

(84) Taken from him. — Dr. Robert Maxwell, then his " beste saddell and bryddell." See Appendix III. 
rector of Tynan, near Armagh, is here called brother of (SS) Own resources. — On this occasion Alaster Mac- 



archdeacon Fullerton, both being married to daughters Coll, who was chief in command, consented so to relax ■ 

of Robert Echlin, bishop of Down and Connor. Max- the severity of the siege, that the inhabitants not only 

well's house was, soon after the writing of this letter, got ample space for themselves and their cattle, but were 

plundered and burned. He was bishop of Kilmore at supplied with the best descriptions of food — beef and 

the time of Cromwell's government, from which he re- oatmeal. Alaster M'Coll, who had here the fate of so many 

ceived a pension of .£120 yearly, on account of his numer- presbyterians literally in his hands, thus dealt with them 

uus family and distressed condition. At the Restoration very much more humanely than even the rules of modern 

he resumed the emoluments of his bishoprick, and was warfare would permit, and certainly very much more 

granted also the see of Ardagh in commendam, which he than the presbyterians would have dealt with him, h; 

held until the time of his death in 1672. See Ware's the circumstances been reversed. In the great conflic 

Works, vol. i., p. 243. recently between the northern and southern states of 

(85) Echlin too. — This Robert Echlin was son of the America, or between the German and French nations, 
bishop, and called brother of Fullerton, because the latter no general of either party could have dared to act so 
had married his (Echlin's) sister. In the year following humanely as did Alaster MacColl at Coleraine. Grant 
the rebellion, Echlin was collated chancellor of Down, i.e., and Lee, Moltke and Macmahon, would have alike re- 
rector of Portaferry and Ardglass. quired an unconditional surrender under the circumstances, 

(86) Archd. Boyd. — Archibald Boyd of CarncuIIagh, atany expense of suffering and life. And no leader opposed 
near Dervock. He and John Logan are mentioned, to AlasterMacColl.sofaraswecanjudgefromother simil 
1634, in the will of William Boyd, of Dunluce, as ' cura- occasions, wouldhaveshown one particleof charity or mercy 
tors' of Issabel, a daughter of the latter gentleman. In towards himself, or his men. The presbyterians were 

taught to regard him and his adherents simply as the 
enemies of God, on whom it would have been a reproach 

his food." See Appendix III. and a crime to have had mercy. They would have gladly 

(87) Thomas Boyd. — Thomas Boyd of Carncoggie, hewed him in pieces, had they got him into their power, 
also in the vicinity of Dervock. He was an executor to even as Samuel hewed in pieces Agag, when he rebuked 
William Boyd's will, and appointed therein ' curator' of Saul for sparing the king of the Amalekites. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 73 

in return for lord Antrim's humanity and hospitality, seized his lordship and sent him a prisoner 
to Carrickfergus. These troops formed part of an army of ten thousand men, which the Scots 
volunteered to send against the Irish, but which many Englishmen suspected would have the effect 
of making Ireland a dependency of Scotland rather than of England. The Scotch offer, however, 
after some discussion between the two kingdoms, was accepted to the full extent, and ten thousand 
Scottish troops, at two instalments, in the months of April and August, 1642, landed at Carrickfergus. 
First came major-general Monro, at the head of 2,500 men, the remaining part following, three 
months afterwards, under Alexander Leslie, the commander-in-chief. (See p. 60, supra.) 
The marquis of Argyle had got a commission to be governor, for the time being, of the island of 
Rathlin, which was to be made a depot for the troops to be supplied by him in the expedition 
against Ireland. " Know ye," so runs the royal commission, " that we have given and granted 
full power and licence to the said Archibald, marquis of Argyle, to conduct and lead the said 
regiment into our said realm of Ireland against the rebels, enemies, and traitors. And we do 
nominate and appoint him, and such other person or persons as he, in his judgment and discre- 
tion, shall assign, to be governor or governors of our isle of Rachraye, giving and granting unto 
him and his said deputy full and absolute authority to take possession of the said island and 
plant a garrison there." If the rebels had previously got possession, the marquis had authority 
to expel and exterminate them, making Rachraye exclusively a place for the accommodation 
of such troops as he intended to transfer to Ulster. (89) See Liber Munerum Hibernice, 
part iv., p. 144. 

Argyle appointed, as colonel of his regiment, and probably as governor of Rathlin, a much 
better soldier than himself. This was his own kinsman, sir Duncan Campbell, of Auchinbreck, (90) 
who proceeded at once to that island, and thence to the Antrim coast, finally uniting his force to 
that of Monro, who had burned Glenarm, about the 15th of April, and was then on his march 
to Dunluce. The following curious passage, having reference to these events, is taken from a 
Latin work hitherto almost unknown in this country: — "The Earl of Antrim, in 1642, returning from 
Dublin to Antrim, relieved Coleraine, besieged by the Catholics, hoping the Heretics would give 
him the governorship of the town ; but being disappointed, he retired to Dunluce ; and soon after, 
when Colonel Robert Monro came with his forces into Ulster, he (Antrim) ordered his tenants 

(89) To Ulster.— Although Argyle's regiment, like her face, and her little son had disappeared, no one knew 

each of the other nine then raised, was to number one where. She became the wife of Campbell, and being 

thousand men, yet 1600 of the Campbells made their way irresistibly attracted in her old age by some mysterious 

to the little island of Rathlin, and literally swept it bare yearning of the heart, she returned to look at her once 

of every living thing. A vivid and harrowing tradition happy home in Rathlin, and there discovered her son, 

is still told there of this Campbell invasion, which is re- who had grown to be a man, and retained possession of 

presentedas having beenmore remorselessthan anysimilar the little farm. 

event that had ever previously happened in that island: : (90) Auchinbreck.— This knight was a cousin of the 

At a place known as Port-ua-Cailliiigh, many women are marquis of Argyle. Auchinbreck is situated in the parish 

said to have been thrust or hurled alive from the cliffs, and of Kilcalmonell, at the northern extremity of Canti: 



a curious episode is told in connexion with this atrocious Tarbet. In 1632, sir Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck, 

deed. One woman, comparatively young, survived the and dame Isabell Boyd, his wife, exchanged the teinds 

fall from the rock, and was picked up by a stalwart of Kilcalmonell with Archibald lord Lome for the teinds 

Campbell, who tenderly cared for her until she became and patronage of the chapel at the head of Loch-ger, 

convalescent, and afterwards removed her to his home in called Kilmachumag, See Orig. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii. 

the Rinns of Isla. Her husband had been slain before p. 2S. 
G 



74 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

and followers, who had besieged Coleraine, and had taken arms for their defence, to retire to the 
further parts of Ulster beyond the Bann, and kept himself at home, as abhorring the war. Yet 
Monro besieged and took Dunluce, and sent Antrim prisoner to Carrickfergus ; and, at the same 
time, Sir Duncan Campbell — MacCollin, as the Scots call him — (91), a cousin of Argyle's, who got 
Antrim's estate, had landed with 1,600 Scots in the Isle of Rathlin, adjoining to Ulster, and was 
by Monro put in possession of Dunluce and Antrim's estate." (92) Monro's wanton destruction 
of property on the Antrim estate, and his perfidy towards the northern earl, are mentioned by the 
historian, Carte, in the following terms : — " Mr. Archibald Stuart, chief agent to that earl, had 
raised, in the beginnig of the troubles, about eight hundred men, a great part of them the Earl of 
Antrim's tenants and dependents, near Ballymenagh, and with them secured that part of the County 
Antrim; notwithstanding which, this major-general, with two thousand five hundred Scots, marched 
about the middle of April, 1642, into that county, where he made a prey of about five thousand 
cows, burnt Glenarm, a town belonging to the Earl of Antrim, and wasted that nobleman's lands. 
The earl came, in the latter end of April, to his seat at Dunluce, a strong castle by the sea-side ; 
and after his arrival there, found means to supply Colerain, which had been blocked up by the 
Irish, and was reduced to extremity, with an hundred beeves, sixty loads of corn, and other pro- 
visions, at his own expence. He had offered Monro his service and assistance for securing the 
country ; in the peace of which he was greatly interested, by reason of his large estate, the rents of 
which he could not otherwise receive. Monro made him a visit to Dunluce, where the earl re- 
ceived him with many expressions of gladness, and had provided for him a great entertainment ; 
but it was no sooner over than the major-general made him a prisoner, seized the castle, and put 
the rest of the earl's houses into the hands of the Marquis of Argyle's men." — Life of Ormonde, 
vol. L. p. 1 38. 

On the arrival of the Scots, Alaster MacColl had no force sufficient to offer a successful 
resistance ; his only alternative, therefore, was to collect his men and lead them across the 
Bann, for the purpose of strengthening the now insignificant army under sir Phelim O'Neill. 
The latter was then occupying certain strong positions in the county of Derry, and on 
receiving the reinforcement under Alaster MacColl, he gathered up his levies and marched 
on Raphoe in Donegal, expecting to encounter his most formidable enemy, sir William 

(91) Scots call him. — MacCkaillean Mor was, until a an' ye may tell MacCallum More that Allan Iverach said 

comparatively recent period, among the Highlanders and sae.' " 

Islesmen, the Celtic title of the eails, and afterwards the (92) A ///rim's estate.— The full title of the Latin work 

dukes of Argyle. It is literally MacColin Mor, or de- of which the foregoing is an extract, is as follows : — De 

scendant of ' Big Colin,' who was one of the early chiefs Haer.sis Anglicana Intrusions et Progress//, et de Bello 

of the family, and whose tombstone may still be seen in Catholico ad Am/urn 1641 incepto, exindeque per aliquot 

the old churchyard of Kilchrennan, on the shore of Loch- annos geslo Commentarius. Carte made an extract of 

awe. This Celtic title is generally written in the cor- this work, which is preserved among the Carte MSS. 

rupted form of MacCallum More. Scott writes it so, as in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 97. John P. 

in the following passage : — " ' I'll say naething against Prendergast, Esq.. author of the Cromwcllia// Settlement 

the MacCallum More and the Slioch-na-Diarmid,' said of Ireland, has kindly forwarded extracts, with the 

the lesser Highlander, laughing. 'I live on the wrang following note: — "This account of Irish Affairs was 

side o' Glencore to quarrel with Inverara.' ' Our loch written at Florence in 1666, by a Monk of the [ ] 

ne'er saw the Cawmill lymphads (galleys),' said the Order, by command of their General. He was associated 

bigger Highlander. ' She'll speak her mind and fear with Richard Farrell, who was at this time supervising 

naebody ; she doesna value a Cawmill mair as a Cowan, Massari's History of Irish Afairs." 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDATS. 75 

Stewart (93). The latter was better prepared than O'Neill had expected, and met him at a place 
now called Glenmaquin, in the parish of Raphoe, inflicting a severe defeat on the Irish chief 
and his Antrim allies. This battle occurred on the 16th of June, 1642, the slain on the side of 
the Irish being, according to Cox (Hibernia Anglkana, vol. ii., p 115) two hundred, and according 
to others as many as five hundred men. The Antrim reinforcement suffered most severely, and 
on it, indeed, mainly depended O'Neill's hopes in the affair. Among the Antrim officers slain was 
Donnell Gorm Macdonnell, an influential leader in the Route (94). 

The Donnell Gorm slain on the field of Glenmaquin had a kinsman, also named Donnell 
Gorm, who was known as of Killoquin, in the parish of Magherasharkin, and was also actively en- 
gaged on the side of the Irish in 1641 (95). This gentleman, when examined in 1652 at Cole- 
raine, stated that the conflict at Portnaw took place partly on the lands of his father, and partly 
on those of Henry O'Haggan, and that there were about thirty of the British soldiers slain there. 
Other hearsay accounts represent the loss of life as immense, and evidently confound the two 
battles of Portnaw and the Laney. " The Irish," says Donnell Gorm, " under the com- 
mand of Allester M'Coll, James M'Henry, and Toole O'Hara, routed the English and Scotch 
forces, and killed five or six hundred of them in the Layney; after this defeate James M'Coll 
M'Donnell (96), Allester M'Coll M'Donnell, and James M'Henry, with their men, beleagured 
Colrane, and encamped at Peter Lowries and the Sterlins houses, about one mile and a half from 
Colrane ; the said Allester M'Coll sent for this Examinate to come and joyne with them and 
bring some men with him, whereupon he, this Examinate, went thither, and took five or six men 
with him ; he had no command there, but stayed with James M'Coll M'Donnell (Allester 
M'Coll, who sent for him, being gone into the Glenns before he came) and with James M'Henry 
and the rest (he doth not remember who then were there), about fower or five daies; during 
his being there, he saw one Donnoghy M'Deltan hang a Scotchman upon a Carr at Peter 
Lowries house end, but by what order, or wherefore he did it, he knows not ; and he was then 
about to hang another Scotch boy, called George Thomson, whom this Examinate saved, and made 
him his man, aud gave him his own cloake and targe to bear, lest any of the Irish should do him 
hurt ; at his return home he tooke the said George Thompson home with him, and sett him to 

(93) William Stewart. — This fortunate knight was a Stewart. He was the founder of that family after- 
native of the parish of Whithorn, Wigtonshire. The wards represented by the earls of Blessington. See 
family lands were known as those of Barclaye, Castlewigg, Galloway Lauds and their Owners, vol. i., pp 482, 
and Tondergie. He was the son of Archibald, son of 483; Lodge's Irish Peerage, edited by Archdall, vol. vi., 
John, son of Walter, who died in 1550, son of sir Walter, pp. 243, 244. 

son of sir William of Garlies— of the house of Darnley. (94) In the Route. — This Donnell Gorm had occu- 
Sir William and his brother, sir Robert Stewart, had pied Clough Castle in 1641, and was a grandson of sir 
served many years in foreign wars, under count Mans- James of Dunluce, who died in 1601. He was appointed 
feldt, and also under the kings of Denmark and Sweden, to hold Br.llycastle for the Irish soon after the outbreak, 
raising themselves to the command of regiments, and This position he abandoned on the approach of Sir Dun- 
at the same time collecting considerable wealth. They can Campbell from Rathlin. The battle-field on which 
both became extensive undertakers in Ireland, were he was slain, within two miles of Raphoe, is called Glan- 
knighted by James I., and became baronets. Sir William mack-win by Cox and Reid, but Glanmaguiny in the ' De- 
was a privy councillor during the reigns of James I. and positions.' 

Charles I. In 1643 he sold his patrimonial lands in (95) In 1641.— Donnell Gorm of Killoquin was son 

the barony of Garlies to Patrick Agnew of Barmeil, and of Angus, son of Donnell Gorm, son of sir James. His 

this finally closed his connexion with Galloway. His father got lands from the first earl in 1625. 

Irish property lay in Tyrone, the principal family (96) James M'Coll.— James, son of Coll, son ot sir 

residences being those of Aughentain and Newton- James of Dunluce, son of Sorley Boy. 



76 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

worke; some time afterwards he came to see the said officers, who lay at Ballyrashane to 
besiege Colerane (97), and sometimes he went to Oldstone Castle, to see James M'Coll M'Don- 
nell and his wife, who lived there after it was surrendered to him, except at such times as he came 
unto the Irish campe lying before Colerane. And this Examinate saith that he never saw any 
killed or put to death but the said Scotchman who was hanged, but he hath seen very many dead 
corpses of men who had been killed by the Irish, but by whom he knows not; when the 
Scotch army under the command of Generall Lasley or Monro came into the Route, he and all the 
Irish that could escape fled over the Bann, and joyning themselves with sir Phelemy Roe O'Neile, 
went and fought the Brittish forces at Glanmackquin, where the Irish were routed, but this 
Examinate saith that he had no command there, but served as a horseman, or trooper; and 
after the defeat at Glanmackquin, he lived by his husbandry for about five years, after which, 
haveing noe maintenance left him, he took on to be a captain in Mr. Alex. M'Donnell, the Earle 
of Antrim's brother's regiment of foot, and served two years in Mounster under him against 
Ormonde and Inchiquin's forces." Volume of 'Depositions' lettered Antrim, T.C.D., F. 3. 9., 
collection 4,245. 

After this defeat, we hear no more of Alaster MacColl until his re-appearance in 1644, when 
he was appointed by the earl of Antrim to command the troops sent into Scotland to co-operate 
with Montrose. In the Latin work from which we have already quoted, we have the following 
very interesting reference to Antrim's escapes from prison, and his movements subsequently in 
connexion with the sending out this expedition to Scotland: — "Antrim after six months made his 
escape, (98) and went to the king in England, and was by him, as Colonel James M'Donnell, his 
relative and friend, told me, (99) designed to be Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and came hence in 
a vessel stored with arms, and off Greencastle sent one in a boat to see if they were friends or 
enemies in the Castle. The man was taken by Monro, and by a shirt placed on a stick, signifies 
they were friends. Antrim landed, and was taken, and put in Carrickfergus again, whence after 
nine months he escaped, (100) and was by Lord Chichester's keeper conveyed on foot through 

(97) Colerane. — The liberties of Coleraine were in- to get free from Monro's clutches without delay. For 

eluded in a circuit of three miles around the town, the greater security the prisoner had been committed to the 

centre of which circuit was the place known as the custody of a very godly officer named Wallace; which, 

Diamond. The earl of Antrim prevailed on the Irish to under the circumstances, was, in itself, a rather ominous 



abandon every position within this circuit, so that the proceeding. Fortunately for Antrim, however, there i 

besieged might have room to graze their cattle. Lodge's associated with Wallace another officer named Gordon, 

Peerage, vol. i., p. 209. not perhaps so " truly Christian" as the former, but evi- 

(98) His escape.-Lovd Antrim made this first escape ^ entl y m °™ obliging For, says old Spalding, "this 

by a simple but ingenious stratagem. Baillie's account of '^tenant Gordon craftily conveyed up, unesp.ed, in his 



it is thus :-" Having obtained the General's pass for a breeches certain tows by the whilk the Earl escaped and 

sick man, two of his servants carried him in a bed, as sick wan ^"\ awa >'- '» « a lace s P»* S nef i and th e Lieu- 

to the shore, and got him boated for Carlisle, whence he tenant followed and fled also His escape was wrought 

went to York. Baillie's Letters, vol. i., p. 365. '» October, whereat Major Monro leuch not a word. 

v ° J (See Spalding s History of the Troubles in Scotland, p. 

(99) Told me.— This Colonel James Macdonnell was 35 g.) This lieutenant Gordon was a brother to the 
the son of Sorley, son of sir James, who died at Dunluce ear i f Sutherland. At p. 511, Spalding refers to him 
in 1601, son of Sorley Boy. He was cousin to sir James as follows :—" In the beginning of the year 1643, 
of the Crosse, whose letters have been above quoted, Captain George Gordon (the Earl of Sutherland's 
and cousin also to James MacColl of the Vow. See brother) staid himself a while in Ireland with his 
note, supra. otner com p an y tne re in General Leslie's regiment ; 

(100) He escaped. — Lord Antrim was, during his second during which time he married Lady Rose Macdonald, 
imprisonment, in imminent danger, and it behoved him the daughter of Randal, Earl of Antrim, in the year of 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 



77 



Ulster to Charlemont, a garrison of the Roman Catholics, where he was. well received by Owen 
O'Neill, (101) but would not follow his advice, but being persuaded by a certain knight was so 
infatuated that he did nothing afterwards but to his own and his best friends prejudice (as the said 
Col. M'Donnel told me) and relates in the Account of the Antrim affairs and Antrim's Scottish 
expedition, which he wrote at Rome — the more to be depended on, because he was a Colonel 
in that expedition. (102) The knight that persuaded him was, I believe, Sir Felim O'Neill, 
jealous of Owen, for fear he should supplant him in the headship of the family, (103) who probably 



God, 1643, and afterwards made Lieut. -Colonel there." 
Lady Rose was sister to the second earl of Antrim, 
and this marriage accounts for Gordon's zeal in the 
earl's behalf. (See Reid, vol. i., p. 439.) By the way, 
Spalding tells a good story of this godly captain Wal- 
lace's Sabbatarianism. " Upon Sunday, the 21st June 
(1640), six soldiers, alledging a warrant frae Captain 
Wallace, their Captain, to take Salmon frae the fishers of 
Don, whilk were taen on Sunday, came with six creels on 
their backs, and began to fill them up with Salmon taken 
the night before. Prasmoir, an heritor of said water, 
advertised thereof, goes with his brother, John Gordon, 
takes back the fishes plundered frae him and his neigh- 
bours, and caused them carry them back in their own 
creels, and took from these six beastly fellows the fish 
and creels." (History of the Troubles in Scotland, pp. 
1 So, 181.) According to a local tradition, lord Antrim, 
on his second escape, first of all visited Glenarm, but was 
closely pursued by Monro's emissaries from Carrickfer- 
gus. He was thus scon compelled to abandon the castle 
and seek safety in the beautiful glen, which was then 
even more densely clothed in woods than at present. 
Both lord Antrim and his servant were well mounted, 
and on being informed, the day following, that a large 
party of Monro's men had renewed the search for him, 
and were approaching in hot pursuit, the servant, whose 
name is said to have been Maconkey, insisted on chang- 
ing clothes with his master. When this was done, the 
fugitives waited until seen by Monro's horsemen ; they 
then galloped off in different directions, the apparent ser- 
vant as if abandoning his master. The real servant, dis- 
guised as lord Antrim, soon drew the whole party in 
pursuit of himself, and, being mounted on his lordship's 
best charger, was able to keep ahead of his pursuers until 
he believed his master was beyond their reach. He then 
surrendered himself, hoping, as did lord Antrim, that his 
punishment would only be some term of imprisonment. 
But, as old Spalding significantly expressed it, Monro 
was not the man to leuch (laugh) at a matter of this 
nature, and the tradition affirms that this faithful servant 
was hanged in Carrickfergus for his fidelity. 

(101) Owen O'Neill. — This celebrated soldier was 
removed when a child from Ireland, in 1601, when the 
earls of Tyrone and Tirconnell hastily withdrew to the 
continent. In 1642, he had made a distinguished 
military reputation on the Continent, and was invited by 
the northern Irish leaders to return to this country. On 
his landing at Doe Castle, in Donegal, he was escorted to 
Charlemont by a large assemblage of the Ulster gentry, 
among whom were the representatives of the O'Neills, the 
O'Reillys, the O'Cahans, and the Macmahons. He was 
accompanied to Ireland by certain other distinguished Irish 



exiles, among whom were his own three sons, Henry, 
Bryan, and Conn O'Neill; Bryan MacFelim O'Byrne, 
Owen O'Dogherty, Gerald Fitzgerald, and Daniel 
O'Cahan, a gifted linguist, and general scholar. Before 
taking Owen Roe to Charlemont, the assembled chiefs, 
including sir James Macdonnell of the Cross, county 
Antrim, adjourned to Clones, where Owen Roe was 
elected commander of the northern forces, and sir Felim 
Roe president of Ulster. See Meehan's Fate of the Earls 
of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, p. 449. 

(102) That expedition. — See p. 74, supra. 

(103) The family. — There was a rivalry between sir 
Felim O'Neill and Owen Roe on the question of their 
respective claims for precedence. Each aimed at being 
acknowledged as The O'Xeill, or head of the whole race. 
Sir Felim was legitimately descended from Hugh, the 
great great grandfather of Con, first earl of Tyrone. 
Owen Roe was grand nephew of Hugh, the last earl of 
Tyrone, who was grandson of Con the first earl. But 
Owen Roe's father was illegitimate. Whilst sir Felim, 
however, had the advantage of legitimacy, Owen Roe 
was greatly superior in talent and military acquirements. 
Neither of them was declared the O'Neill, the defect of 
merit in the one, and of birth in the other, preventing the 
assembly of the Irish gentry at Kinnaird from deciding 
that dispute. See Carte's Life of Ormonde, vol. i., p. 
349) ;0' Kelly's Macarie Excidmm, edited byO'Callaghan, 
pp. 180 — 182.) In November, 1649, sir Felim married 
lady Jane Gordon, adaughterof the marquis of Huntly, and 
widow of lord Strabane. The courtship was rather of a 
romantic character, and was carried on solely by epistolary 
means. At length they were brought suddenly face to 
face in the year abovenamed, the lady's castle of Strabane, 
being then assaulted and taken by Monro, and the lady 
herself narrowly escaping suffocation from the smoke of 
her burning rooms. Her faithful knight soon made his 
appearance, and the preliminaries having already been 
pretty fully gone into by letter, they were forthwith 
married. Only three years afterwards, in 1652, sir Felim 
was taken prisoner in the island on Lough Roughan or 
Ruchan, near Dungannon. His captor, lord Caulfield, 
placed him in the custody of colonel Venables, at Carrick- 
fergus, the latter receiving him apparently with much 
kindness, and promising to be kind to his lady and 
children. Venables, in two days afterwards, forwarded 
sir Felim to Dublin, " on a little paced Nag," alias a 
pony, where he was forthwith tried and convicted. The 
work in Cromwell's Shambles was vigorously carried out, 
sir Felim being quartered whilst he was half alive. One 
quarter was sent to Lisnagarvey or Lisburu, "as a 
Memorial of his Burning that Town at the beginning of 
the Warr, in November, 1641 ; another quarter was set up 



78 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM 



suggested to Antrim that his own estate might be taken away and given back to the Irish (104). 
Antrim went from Charlemont to Kilkenny, and was pressed by the Supreme Council (105) to take 
the oath and some command, but he would needs go to the King ; and Antrim's grandfather having 
come out of Scotland, being of the MacDonnel, (106) and the Highland Scots favouring the Irish, 
it was resolved that Antrim should be put at the head of some of the Confederate Irish to spirit up 
the Scots and the Marquis of Montrose's command there, (107) with a promise that Antrim should 
be made Duke of Argyle, if he would suppress Argyle and his adherents. (108) .... The 
Supreme Council approved of Antrim's design, but said Ireland wanted soldiers, and money to 
furnish out an army, and soldiers would not engage in such a perilous war without money. Antrim 
answered, to keep his word with the King — ' Do you but furnish me with arms, and ships to trans- 



in Dundalk, for taking that Town then ; another quarter 
in Drogheda, for besieging the same with forces the same 
Winter ; and the other quarter and his head, in Dublin, 
he being the chief man that contrived and plotted to take 
it on Friday night, the 23rd Oct., 1641, who was not there 
the same night but at Charlemount. " (See an Officer's 
Account of the IVarr in Ireland, 1641 — 1652, pp. 97, 
147.) Sir Felim was tried for high treason, and not for 
murder, and was put to deatii simply because he was a 
staunch royalist, who nobly refused at last to save himself 
by any base attempt to criminate the king. Sir Felim 
had treated lord Ca'ilfield with great kindness, in 1641, 
instead of murdering him, as the popular account has it. 
See Russell's and Prendergast's Report on the Carte MSS., 
pp. 120, 121. 

(104) The Irish. — One portion of Antrim's estate, the 
Glynns, his ancestors had inherited from the year 1399. 
The other part, known as the Route, had belonged to the 
Macquillins, whose traditional policy in favour of England 
was not likely to induce the old Irish party to make any 
change, even should it have the power, in the ownership 
of Antrim's property. 

(105) Supreme Council. — This was the executive body 
of the whole Conjederated Catholics of Ireland. The 
Irish, in self-defence, were obliged to form this con- 
federacy in 1642. " Nor did they find any great difficulty 
in engaging them (the English Catholics) ; they being 
ready enough to consider it as a common cause, and to 
imagine that the same snares, which they were persuaded 
had been laid for the lives and estates of the lords of the 
pale, would be made use of to destroy them, by piecemeal, 
one after another ; and that the only way to prevent the 
destruction of each particular, was to unite all together as 
one man, to make a general association for their defence, 
and to depend upon the fate of war to make the best 
terms they could for themselves." (Carte's Life of 
Ormonde, vol. i., p. 262.) The Confederacy, on being 
formed, immediately presented an humble and dutiful 
address to the king, staling the necessity, "after long 
patience, of putting themselves in a posture of natural 
defence ; with intention, nevertheless, never to disturb his 
Majesty's government, to invade any of his high pre- 
rogatives, or oppress any or his British subjects, of what 
religion soever, that did not labour to oppress them." 
This address concludes in the following words :— " We, 
therefore, with hearts bent lower than our knees, do 
humbly beseech your majesty, timely to assign a place, 



where, with safety, we may express our grievances, and 
you may with freedom apply a seasonable cure to them.'' 
See Curry's Review of the Civil Wars, pp. 231, 232. 

(106) MacDonnel. — Antrim's great grandfather, Alex- 
ander of Isla and Cantire, is probably here meant, that 
chieftain having come out of Scotland about the year 1493. 
Antrim's grandfather, Sorley Boy, was probably born in 
Ireland, having first ;seen the light at a time when his 
father was prohibited by a Scottish parliamentary enact- 
ment from setting foot on Scottish soil. See p. 38, supra. 

(107) Command there. — James Graham, the most dis- 
tinguished of Scottish royalists, was born in 1612, and 
succeeded as fifth earl of Montrose at the death of his 
father in 1627. He was an advocate of the original 
national covenant, in the cause of which he was sent 
against Lord Aboyne in 1639, whom he defeated at the 
bridge of Dee. He soon found sufficient cause (as he 
explained in a lengthened statement) to separate from his 
covenanting associates, who imprisoned him for six 
months, in 1641, in the castle of Edinburgh, for having 
stated his conviction that the marquis of Argyle contem- 
plated the deposition of the king. In 1644, he and the 
earl of Antrim determined to initiate a movement in Scot- 
land intended to impede the aggressive policy of the 
covenanters. The well-known and sagacious John Evelyn 
has the following reference to Montrose's difficulties at 
the commencement of his brilliant career : — " Montrose 
had long been faithful to the king's cause, although the 
king was kept ignorant of it by the artifices of the 
marquis of Hamilton ; for though in the beginning of the 
troubles in Scotland, as far back as 1641, Montrose had 
joined the Covenanters, yet, seeing reason to change his 
politics, and trusting to the weight of his family alliances, 
he came to England with the loyal intention of rendering 
all the services in his power to the king. On his arrival 
at the English Court, Hamilton, generally accused of 
deceiving Charles with respect to Scottish affairs, con- 
trived so artfully to throw slights upon Montrose that the 
latter returned to the Covenanters, with whom being again 
disgusted, he wrote to the king expressing his loyalty and 
desire of serving him ; but it is asserted that Hamilton 
took the letter out of his majesty's pocket in the night 
and sent it to the Covenanters, in order to destroy Mon- 
trose's character in every quarter." See Evelyn's Memoirs, 
vol. ii., p. 82, note. 

(10S) His adherents. — There is no evidence that Antrim 
ever expected more from his Scottish project than the 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 



79 



port them, and I will find soldiers.' The Supreme Council agreed, and Antrim got together his 
tenants of Antrim and Claneboie, who had served in the Irish army, and the Supreme Council 
provided them quarters till they embarked. (109) James M'Donnel (whose relation I follow) was 
then in Conaght, after the Cessation, (no) at his sister's house, who was married to David Bourke, 
a brother of Viscount Mayo, and was wrote to by Antrim to come, which he did, and called also 
Alexander M'Donnel, (m) son of Coll Kittagh : Antrim sent them both to Dublin to Ormonde, 
who (as James says), promised them his utmost assistance, and, from the time of their landing in 
Scotland, promised to send them supplies, and would pawn his goods and plate for it. (112) They 
returned satisfied, and went to Waterford to embark ; but the commissioners deputed by the 
Supreme Council would spare only three ships, with a frigate or pinnace ; upon which it was resolved 
that the men should embark and be sent before into Scotland, and Antrim himself, and his brother, 
Alexander MacDonnel, should follow with the rest of the 5,000, for so many were resolved to be 
sent." Carte Manuscripts, Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. xcvii. See p. 74, supra, note. 



restoration of such lands as had belonged to his family, 
and of which the Macdonnells had been deprived by the 
Campbells. 

.(109) Embarked. — " The men were almost all of them 
levied in Ulster, and consisted chiefly of his (Antrim's) 
own tenants and neighbours that served in the Irish 
army, and were commanded by discontented officers, who 
had been disbanded, as being averse to the Cessation, and 
desirous to renew the war, so that the carrying of them 
out of the kingdom was no ill piece of service. He had 
done this with a good deal of expedition, having raised 
2,000 men before the end of April, and marched them 
into the counties of Longford and Westmeaih, which were 
by the Supreme Council assigned for their quarters till 
they embarked." (Carte's Life of Ormonde, vol. 1., p. 4S1.) 
The vessels in which they embarked were hired from 
Wexford, Waterford, and Dungarvan, but these ships 
were required to rendezvous at Passage, as the point from 
which they could most conveniently set sail at low water. 

(no) Cessation. — In 1643, the Confederated Catholics 
memorialised Charles I. for an armistice, offering at the 
sametimetoassistthe king against his enemies in England. 
Charles eagerly caught at the proposal, for although these 
Confederates were, in some measure, to be regarded as in 
opposition to his worthless Irish government, he looked 
on them justly as much less so than were the parliamen- 
tarians to his own authority in England. Through 
Ormonde, as Irish deputy, a cessation of hostilities, for the 
space of one year, was therefore arranged between the 
royal forces in Ireland and those of the Irish Confederates. 
The king, by means of this armistice, obtained a sum of 
,£30,000 from the Catholics, and was able, besides, to 
draw ten of his own regiments into England. The 
Puritans in England and the Covenanters in Scotland paid 
no attention to this cessation of arms, the latter, indeed, 
taking advantage of it to continue their devastations in 
Ulster with, if possible, greater atrocity than before. See 
Montgomery Manuscripts, new edition, p. 324, note. 

(in) M'Donnel. — AlasterMacdonnell, it would appear, 
had been seriously wounded at the battle of Glenmaquin, 
near Raphoe, and was probably not altogether recovered 
when he received this call from the earl of Antrim. He 
had been staying at the house of a priest named O'Crilly, 



whilst suffering from his wound. The following reference 
to this passage in his career is made by the officer of sir 
John Clotworthy's regiment: — " The next Boute the Irish 
and British had in Ulster was at a place called Glomma- 
quin, 111 the County of Dungall, whither sir Phelim 
O'Neill and O'Cahan, their chief Commanders, marched 
with about 4000 men, which, the British hearing, under 
the command of sir Robert Stewart, an old soldier, 
entrenched themselves in Night time, but had not time to 
make it full Breast high before Morning, when the Irish 
appeared close to them, and sent a Brigade under the 
Command of Alexander Mac Colla Mac Donnell, a stout 
brave Fellow (under the command of Montrose after- 
wards in Scotland), who charged up alone to the work, but 
was shot, and afier a very severe skirmish the Irish fell 
back, and took the Retreat, where many were slain, and 
with much ado O'Cahan brought off Mac Donnell in a 
Horse litter," See Warr of Ireland from 1640 to 1652, 
pp. 23, 24 

(112) Plate for it. — Ormonde's professions of zeal in this 
service very much outran his actual practice afterwards. 
Antrim, however, was rather taken by surprise at the 
exhibition of any anxiety, much less of zeal, on Ormonde's 
part, to promote the objects of this Scottish expedition, 
the bearings of which, indeed, he (Ormonde) at first 
either did not understand, or was disposed to interpret as 
an illustration of Antrim's selfishness and ambition. 
When Ormonde saw, however, that the movement would 
go on without, if not with his co-operation, he gave an 
order to supply Antrim with some gunpowder, which was 
wanted to complete the little armament, and which he 
(Ormonde) had only then just purchased at Waterford for 
some other special purpose. The Confederate Assembly 
had resolved " to assist Antrim with 2000 muskets, 2400 
weight of powder, proportionable match, and 200 barrels 
of oatmeal by the first of May ; upon knowledge, first, 
that all other accommodations be concurring, and a safe 
and convenient Port be provided in Ulster, for receiving 
thesaid arms, ammunition, and victual." The only Ulster 
ports in Ormonde's power were those of Carlingford and 
Greencastle, and these he was afraid, tor this or any other 
purpose, to permit the. Irish Confederates to occupy. See 
Carte's Life of Ormonde, vol. i., p 479. 



80 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

At length, after much delay, and not a few disappointments, the little expedition moved off 
from Passage (113) at nine o'clock on the morning of June 27, 1644. When Lord Antrim had got 
it fairly afloat, he forwarded a brief communication to Ormonde, in which he states that the num- 
ber of men sent was "hard upon 1600, completely armed by my own shifts, besides 1500 pikes ; I 
discharged seven or eight hundred men for want of shipping. I shall desire your lordship to join 
with me to procure the remaine of the armes promised me, that I may send my brother with a 
second supply, who shall go thither with more men. Passage, June 27, 1644." (See Carte's 
Life of Ormonde, vol. iii., pp. 318, 319.) Antrim continued to exert himself in this business with 
at least moderate success, as Ormonde, referring to the result, in a letter dated July 17, says : — 
" The number of men then embarked by him (Antrim) from Waterford and other places amounted 
to 2,500, well-armed and victualled for two months." {Ibid, p. 328.) On the 16th of the preceding 
May, Antrim stated, in a letter to Ormonde, that he " had then for three months past, maintained 
by his own credit and that of his friend, at least two thousand men, ready to be shipped off, wait- 
ing for their arms and provisions, which, he feared, would not come so soon as expected, while the 
parliament ships were so thick on the coast." Indeed, this delay so much deplored by Antrim, 
was a fortunate circumstance connected with this expedition, for had it sailed in the month of 
Arml (as he engaged to his Scottish friends that it would do), or at any time during the month of 
May, his little handful of men could hardly have escaped the enemy's cruisers, which then swarmed 
on the coasts, and showed no mercy to such ill-fated Irish royalists as happened to suffer capture in 
their attempts to cross the Channel. In the month of May, Ormonde had sent 150 men to Bristol, 
in the king's service, but they were captured by a captain Swanley, commander of a parliament 
. ship, who inhumanly ordered seventy men and two women to be thrown overboard, simply because 
they were Irish, the English newspapers in Lancashire jocularly announcing that, if they would not 
take the covenant, they would take the water. (114) It so happened, however, that in the interval 
between the end of May and the 17th of June, the parliament war-ships had completely deserted 
the Channel, on the fall of Liverpool before the king's forces. The ships, therefore, that carried 
the Antrim soldiers had thus a free and safe passage, though not a very quick one. Alaster 
MacColl, the commander-in-chief, and his principal officers took their place in a pinnace or 
frigate named the Harp, which accompanied the three ships containing the soldiers. These 
officers, colonels of three regiments were — 1. James M'Donnell (see p. 76, supra) ; 2. Randal 
Oge, son of Alexander, son of Randal, son of Angus, brother of Sorley Boy; 3. Manus or 
Magnus O'Cahan, who belonged to a family in the county of Deny. The names of these leading 

(113) Passage.— There was a celebrated fort at this admiral, and all other officers by sea and land, to except 
place, on the other side of the river Barrow, opposite the all Irishmen and all papists born in Ireland, out of all 
fort of Duncannon. When Cromwell afterwards took capitulations, agreements, or compositions, hereafter to 
the Fort of Passage, Waterford easily fell into his power. be made with the enemy ; and upon taking of every such 
See Carte's Manuscripts, ' Irishman or papist born in Ireland, forthwith to put such 

(114) Thcwatcr. — This Swanley was a true exponent of person to death. '" (See Hughes's Abridgment of Acts, p, 
the puritanical ferocity of that time. On the 24th October, 165.) For another remarkable illustration of this ferocity 
1644, the English parliament enacted that no quarter towards the Irish, see new edition of the Montgomery 
would be given to any Irishman or papist born in Ire- Manuscripts, p. 345. In the same year, 1644, the par- 
land, that should be taken in hostility against the parlia- liament of Scotland also passed a similar ordinance, by 
rnent, either upon the sea, or in England or Wales. agreement with the parliament of England, against giv- 
Stnct orders were given "to the lord general, lord ing quarter to any Irish soldiers that might fall into 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 01 

officers are preserved in a Macdonnell manuscript, but it is to be regretted that many other 
names of those concerned have not been recorded — at least in any document to which we have 
had access. The fate of these, and several other Irish officers, will be mentioned in a subsequent 
page. 

On the third day after setting sail, the Harp picked up at intervals no less than three vessels, 
one of which had a cargo more curious than useful ; but the other two were loaded with provisions, 
which, under the circumstances, were most valuable prizes for the Irish captors. The first vessel 
thus seized contained forty passengers, several of whom were preachers returning from Ulster, 
where they had been administering the covenant, being accompanied on that mission by a number 
of laymen. The other two vessels were loaded with victualling of various kinds, which the 
parliament had sent to relieve their famishing soldiers in Ulster, for by this time (1644) the Low- 
landers under Monro and Leslie, and the redshanks under Duncan Campbell, had swept the whole 
province of its food, so that the old Scots and the new Scots were now just ready to devour one 
another (115) In the meantime, the provisions in these two ships were most acceptable to Alaster 
MacColl and his friends, who had really left home very scantily provided in this respect, notwith- 
standing the empty boast in Ormonde's letter on the subject, as quoted in the preceding page. On 
seeing four preachers in his hands, it occurred at once to Macdonnell that he had now a pro 
vidential opportunity of redeeming his old father, and two of his brothers from Argyle's dun 
geons, by exchanging these preachers for his kinsmen. He did not pitch the other passen 
gers overboard, in retaliation for the fiendish atrocities of the Swanleys ; but, on the contrary 
Macdonnell humanely released them all, except three preachers, named respectively Weir, 
Watson, and Hamilton. These, too, he would have been delighted to release at once, on the con 
dition above-mentioned ; but although Argyle loved covenanting preachers, he loved still more 
the recreation of putting Macdonnells to death, and in this case he actually permitted two of the 
three preachers to die in captivity rather than forego his bloody recreation. See Reid's History of 
the Presbyterian Church, vol. i., pp. 442 — 444, 536. 

On the 5th day after their departure from the Irish coast, the expedition had only got as far as 
a bay in the sound of Isla (116), where they cast anchor, and no doubt congratulated them- 
selves on their good fortune for so far. They were told, however, that within a day's sailing there 
were two castles, strong, but negligently kept and weakly garrisoned by the marquis of Argyle. The 

Scottish hands even in the course of regular warfare. spoliation, which, they say, would be all well enough if 

This act was fiercely put into operation, as we shall see, only the papists were to suffer, but calamitous when the 

in the year 1647. starvation of others must also be thus involved ! See 

(115) One another. — In 1642, the Scottish forces were Carte's Life of Ormonde, vol i., p. 311. 
principally occupied in robbing the counties of Down (116) Of Isla. — See p. 57, supra. The Scottish 

and Antrim of their cattle, which counties they wasted preachers are represented by Dr. Reid as being captured 



very much more grievously than did the Irish insurgents by Alaster Macdonnell on the 3rd of July, although 
under Hugh O'Neill. Those Lowland Scots, old and Kirton MSS. are quoted in the succeeding page, and re 
new, as they were called (according to the times of their present the capture as having occurred on the 2nd of July, 
arrival), now numbered 20,000 in Ulster; and they kept One of the preachers, named Weir, preached in Donagha 
continually driving vast herds of cattle to the coasts from dee on the latter day, and embarking after the sermon, 
which they sent them to Scotland. The cattle were thus fell into Alaster Macdonnell's hands. The matter of 
swept from Ulster in such prodigious numbers that the that sermon, however, is reported to have " much re- 
lords-justices, in their letter of June, 1642, complain to freshed him (the preacher) in all his sufferings after- 
the parliamentary commissioners about this unparalleled wards." See Reid's History, vol. i., pp. 440, 442. 
H 



iS 2 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

latter never dreamed that, as the little Irish armament had disappointed its Scottish friends before, 
it would now venture across so promptly, after the departure of the parliament war-ships, 
and just at the time when its men could be safely landed on the Argyleshire coast. But it 
did. The two castles were attractive, and besides, Alaster and his friends flattered themselves that 
their arrival would be anxiously awaited by enthusiastic royalists. When they did land, however, 
at Ardnamurchan, on the 8th of the month, the actual state of affairs must have proved very dis- 
couraging indeed. The Irish had been led to expect that the earl of Seaforth would be 
impatiently watching from his own headlands their approach to the shore, — that the marquis of 
Huntley was in arms — and, above all, that Montrose had unfurled the royal standard to the breezes 
of the Highland hills. But nothing of the kind. Seaforth, although he promised to be there, yet, 
on second thoughts, he had joined the covenanters, and was then actually their chief in command 
north of the Spey. Huntley, who hated the covenant, but saw no hope in opposing it, had dis- 
solved his forces, and retired to hide himself in some Highland fastness. And Montrose — where 
was he, or how employed ? He was lurking in the house of a kinsman at Inchbrackie, near the foot 
of the Grampians, with no very definite hope now of being able to move at all in the royal cause. 
They all, it is true, had already made a show of assembling an army in Scotland for the king, but in 
the absence of their Irish allies, the attempt had proved utterly abortive. In the month of April, 
Montrose had entered the borders with one thousand men, horse and foot, and seized Dumfries ; 
but the people "made no sign," and his own adherents rapidly disappeared from around him. 
The marquis of Huntley had risen at the same time in the North, and seized Aberdeen, but there 
was there also the same total absence of royalist enthusiasm, and so Huntley also retired. Such 
was the state of affairs when Alaster MacColl landed at Ardnamurchan with that little Irish band, 
which was literally the forlorn hope of Scottish royalists — the nucleus of that army which was soon 
afterwards to perform such brilliant exploits. 

On looking around after the disembarkation of his men, and witnessing something of the dismay 
and desertion which prevailed on all sides, Alaster's first impulse was to return whence he came; but 
lo ! his means of doing so had been already destroyed, for Argyle, who watched him with a much larger 
force at a distance, contrived to burn the greater part of Macdonnell's shipping almost as soon as 
the Irish had got to the shore ! This piece of successful cunning on the part of the MacChailkan 
More even that grim gentleman himself must have afterwards secretly deplored, for he had thus cut 
off from a desperate antagonist the only means of retreat. Macdonnell's next impulse, seeing that he 
could not return, was to dash at the two castles in succession (117), which was done with such effect 

(117) In succession.— These were the castles of Mingarrie game was the ancient and celebrated residence of the 

in Ardnamurchan, and Lochaline in Morven. The Maclan Macdonnells of Ardnamurchan until their expul- 

ruins of this latter fortress still exist at the head of the sion by the Campbells at the commencement of the 

Loch. It is traditionally said to have belonged to the seventeenth century. In 1612 a commission was granted 

family of Machines. (See Orig. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., by Archibald, seventh earl of Argyle, to Donald Camp- 

p. 193.) Mingarry castle stands on a low rocky promon- bell of Barbreck-Lochow, " to take and receive the castle 

tory south of Ardnamurchan Point. " The castle, fifty of Mingaray, and to put keepers in it at the Earl's ex- 

fect in length, and three stories in height, is surrounded pense, with power to summon before him the tenants of 

by an irregular hexagonal wall nearly as high as itself, Ardnamurchan, to fix and collect the Earl's rents, ar-d 

and rising immediately from the edge of the rock, to the punish refractory tenants." See Orig. Paroch. Scot., 

angles of which those of the castle are adapted." Min- vol. ii., pp. 196, 197. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 83 

that the garrisons gave way at once, and admitted the gallant Irish without much of a struggle. In 
each of these places Macdonnell left a garrison, which was small at first, but soon became strong 
by the arrival of a reinforcement from Waterford. From the contents of the two parliament 
ships, he was enabled to provision these garrisons so well that they resisted successfully, in each 
case, a siege of six months' duration. On making this very judicious arrangement, the young 
commander went forth to take a leading part in the achievement of those remarkable 
victories, which, throughout the course of the next two years, not only prevented the covenanters 
from sending any further supplies of men into Ireland or England, but obliged them to recall their 
forces across the Tweed, and in part from the Irish shore, to defend themselves from destruction (118). 
" It cannot be denied," says Clarendon, " that the levies the marquis of Antrim made, and sent 
over to Scotland under the command of Colkitto (119), were the foundation of all those wonderful 
acts which were performed afterwards by the marquiss of Montross. They were fifteen hundred 
men, very good, and with very good officers ; all so hardy that neither the ill fare nor the ill lodging 
in the Highlands gave them any discouragement. They gave the first opportunity to the marquiss 
of Montross of being at the head of an army that defeated the enemy as often as they encountered 
them. After each victory, the Highlanders went always home with their booty, and the Irish 
only staid together with their general. From this beginning, the marquiss of Montross grew to that 
power, that after many battles won by him, with much slaughter of the enemy, he marched 
victoriously with his army till he made himself master of Edinburgh, and redeemed out of the 
prison there the earl of Crawford, lord Ogilvy, and many other noble persons, who had been taken 
and sent thither with a resolution that they should all loose their beads ; and the marquiss of 
Montross did always acknowledge, that the rise and beginning of his good success was due and to 
be imputed to that body of the Irish which had in the beginning been sent by the marquiss of 
Antrim, to whom the king had acknowledged the service in several letters of his own hand- 
writing." (120) Clarendon's Life Written by Himself, vol. ii., p. 246. 

(118) Destruction.— Four regiments of the ten that had might have guarded himself against any inaccuracy on 
been sent to Ulster from Scotland were brought back by this point, actually writes the name MacColl MacKittish, 
the Scottish authorities to meet the emergency that now whilst English writers have occasionally transformed 
suddenly arose among the sons of the covenant. The Alaster into a Colonel Kilto. Burton, one of the latest 
officer in Sir John Clotworthy's foice says:— "For of and most pretentious of Scottish historians, actually 
the ten regiments come out of Scotland (which, indeed, speaks of this commander as Macdonald of Colkitto, thus 
were but the scum of that country, excepting officers, mistaking the latter word for the name of a residence! 
who were generally accomplished gentlemen, and very See Burton, History of Scotland, vol. vii., p. 189. 
musical and liberal), there went back to Scotland (120) Hand writing. — These letters, and several others 
four regiments, to assist Argyle against Mount-Rose; that from th ! king, were preserved among tie family papers at 
is to say, the Lord Sinclair's regiment, garrisoned in Glenarm castle, until the time of the late Mr. Macdonnell, 
Newry, Colonel Hume's regiment, garrisoned in Belfast, second husband of the countess Anne Katherine. They 
Colonel Campbell's, alias Lawer's, regiment, in Temple- are described, by a gentleman who had an opportunity of 
patrick, and Colonel Campbell's, alias Aghinbrack's, reading them, as containing many expressions of the 
quartered in the Roote." — Warr 0} Ireland, p. 50. royal gratitude to the marquis of Antrim for his exertions 

(119) Colkitto.— Perhaps no other historical Celt has in sending out the Scottish expedition. When writing to 
been so often misnamed as Alaster or Alexander Mac- Ormonde, Jan. 4, 1644, the king describes the victories of 
donnell. He is almost invariably called Collkittagh, or Montrose as having already produced "very powerful 
Colkitto, which is exactly a combination of his father's effects in the temper of the Scottish nation at London," 
Christian name and nickname ! Dr. Reid, vol. i., and urges Ormonde to send supplies to Montrose, which 
p. 340, styles him "the noted Collkittagh," although he he (the king) considered "as one of the most essential 
had previously explained, at p. 300, that Alaster Mac- points of all his affairs." Digby, also, the chief secretary, 
donnell was the son of Collkittagh ! Spalding, who who could sneer occassionally at Antrim's 



84 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

Scottish historians, if perhaps we except Guthrie and Wishart, are very much disposed to 
ignore Alaster MacColI and his handful of Irish. Burton, whilst admitting that Montrose's High- 
landers invariably deserted him after a battle, running away to their several districts with whatever 
booty they had picked up, is careful to inform us, at the same time, that the general on such occa- 
sions, " had few but the worthless Irish who could not leave him " {History of Scotland, vol. vii., p. 
187). Napier, the author of the well-known Memoirs of Montrose, although admitting that Alaster 
and his men were useful, evidently regards them as being so only in assisting to swell the triumphs 
of Montrose. In no part of his narrative does this unworthy sentiment appear more distinctly than 
when telling of Macdonnell's arrival at Ardnamurchan, and the difficulties with which he was then so 
thoroughly beset. " Foiled and hemmed in," says Napier, " Macdonald attacked Argyle's country 
with the desperate bravery for which he is celebrated, rather than for the higher qualities of a mili- 
tary leader. He did more, however, than take a few strongholds, and waste the districts of the 
enemy." It is hard to imagine what better any military leader, even of " the highest qualities," could 
have done under the circumstances. With rare judgment and decision Macdonnell had seized two 
fortresses, and placed garrisons therein, which continued to exercise a most important influence on 
the progress of the war. He next swept with his little band the whole of northern Argyleshire, and 
afterwards the country of the deserter, Seaforth, — punishing the powerful clan of the Mackenzies 
from Ardnamurchan to Strathnaver. " He did more," says Napier, — but what ? When Alaster 
found himself in Badenoch, he naturally began to wonder what was next to be done, and forthwith 
he sent a fiery cross to the covenanting committee of Moray, commanding all subjects capable of 
bearing arms to arise &ndfollo7v Montrose. This was what Napier thinks of more importance than 
taking " a few strongholds and wasting the districts of the enemy." But it so happened that Mac- 
donnell's fiery cross did very considerable harm, for the covenanters caught it up, and in the name 
of the estates, they forthwith summoned, by this startling process, every man between sixteen and 
sixty dwelling north of the Grampians, to arise for the covenant ! Macdonnell had also written to 
Montrose, and when this letter reached him, as he lurked in Methven wood, a covenanter was 
approaching with the fiery cross, on his way to St. Johnston. Montrose hastily stepped towards the 
man, and "enquired what the matter meant? The messenger told him, that Coll MacGillespick, for 
so was Alexander Macdonald called by the Highlanders, was entered in Athole, with a great army 
of the Irish, and threatened to burn the whole country if they did not rise with him (Macdonald) 
against the covenant ; and he was sent to advertise St. Johnston, that all the country might be 
raised to resist him." (Napier's Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii., p. 418). " Macdonald and his band 
seemed in the very jaws of destruction," says Napier, " when fortune unexpectedly favoured the 
brave." In other words, Montrose heard that Alaster had penetrated to Badenoch, and the fact 
that Montrose then determined to go at least a part of the way to meet him, is represented as 
having been the salvation of the Irish. 

But, with due deference, we are rather inclined to think that Montrose personally, and 

then saw that the true policy would have been to "use all king's party finds such admirable effects in England." 
possible means to encourage and assist the Earl of Antrim See Curry's Review of the Civil Wars, p. 259, and 
and his forces in the service of Scotland ; whereof the notes. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 85 

Montrose's cause, were then exactly " in the jaws of destruction," and were rescued only by 
the very bold and successful movements of Macdonnell. Napier, under the hallucination that 
Montrose had all the merit of the extrication or salvation of Macdonnell, informs us that the plan 
he adopted for this purpose "was a stroke of genius." But how? Certainly, "the stroke of 
genius,'' if such there was, belonged to the son of Coll MacGillaspick. For Montrose, in reply 
to the letter, sent Alaster no help, did not even promise to join him where he then was, but " sent 
him orders to march without delay on Athole, where the king's lieutenant (Montrose himself ) would 
meet him ere long." Now, that appears to have been a very cool order, under the circumstances, 
and much more easily given than obeyed. Macdonnell had fought his way from Ardnamurchan 
into Badenoch, and now he must fight his way, as best he could, to the Blair of Athol ! But, no 
sooner said than done, on the part of the Irish, for without a moment's hesitation they moved on. 
It was no child's play, however, to reach the appointed place of rendezvous, as Argyle was dodging 
behind Macdonnell with more than treble his force ; in front, the sons of the covenant were 
gathering in thousands ; whilst between him and Athol lay the lakes of Inverness and the range of 
the Grampians. But he accomplished this daring march to meet the ' Lieutenant,' and had even 
stormed the castle of Blair Athol before the latter arrived. When Montrose did come, he was 
almost alone, but he was a host in himself, being well known and greatly admired among the 
Highlanders. His advent at Blair Athol was opportune, as the Stewarts and Robertsons of that 
district, although hating the government of Argyle, were mustering their forces with a view to attack 
Alaster Macdonnell as a foreign invader. Montrose has got immense laudation for coming so 
promptly from Inchbrackie to meet Macdonnell, although in reality his tardiness had almost brought 
him in time to be too late. The Athol-men, and even others disposed to take the side of the king, 
refused at first to join the devoted little Irish band, who had come so far to assist and inspire them. 
The Highland caterans would not so much as move further under Alaster MacColl, whom they looked 
upon then as nobody, with his insignificent following of only twelve hundred Irish, they having been 
led to expect the arrival of 10,000 men from the Antrim shore ! Indeed, so much had this feeling 
of estrangement begun to prevail, that the two little armies of Athol-men and Irish, forgetful of their 
common cause, and even their common origin, had drawn themselves up on two opposing hills in 
battle-array, and were only prevented from slaughtering each other by the coming of Montrose at 
the eleventh hour ! The difficulty was soon arranged, however, by the presence of the latter, who 
proceeded, amidst the enthusiastic cheering of the men of Badenoch, and Athol, and Antrim, to 
plant the royal standard in a conspicuous position near the castle of Blair, which overlooks the strath 
of Athol, and all the valley known as Glenfender, and the greater part of the romantic Glentilt. 

Although this assemblage could not have appeared very formidable, it is evident that Napier 
is disposed to represent it as even more insignificant than it really was, by way, we suppose, of 
making its exploits appear the more remarkable. But these exploits, performed generally under 
such unfavourable circumstances, speak abundantly for themselves. The Irish appear to have 
been the only portion of the little royalist army which had then assumed regular military 
form. Napier states that the latter numbered at Blair Athol about 1200, divided into three regiments, 
and armed with " rusty battered matchlocks, to which the oldest brown-bess now on her death-bed 



86 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

in Britain would be a beauty." Lord Antrim had sent off in the first instalment "hard on 1600 
men," but probably the difference between this number and 1200 consisted of those who were left 
in the two garrisons on the coast. Among the arms furnished to the Irish were 1500 pikes, but 
Napier says nothing on this point in particular, informing us only in general terms respecting the 
whole force, that " a motley collection of pikes, clubs, bows and arrows, shewing like an antiquary's 
museum, in some measure supplied the deficiency. But one-third of his (Montrose's) little army 
was utterly destitute of other weapons than the stones they picked up on the field of battle." The 
leading features of this royalist host are fully described, when it is added, that the ammunition 
consisted of exactly a single round for all the muskets on hand, and that, as a cavalry force, they 
mustered only three luckless horses reduced to skin and bone ! The valiant spirit of Montrose, 
however, enabled him, amid these rather doleful surroundings, to dictate the following dignified 
manifesto, which he forwarded to Argyle : — 

" My Lord, — I wonder at your being in arms for defence of rebellion ; yourself well knowing 
his Majesty's tenderness not only to the whole country, whose patron you would pretend to be, but 
to your own person in particular. I beseech you, therefore, to return to your allegiance, and submit 
yourself, and what belongs unto you, as to the grace and protection of your good king ; who, as he 
hath hitherto condescended unto all things asked, (121) though to the exceeding great prejudice of 
his prerogative, so still you may find him like an indulgent father, ready to embrace his penitent 
children in his arms, although he hath been provoked with unspeakable injuries. But if you shall 
still continue obstinate, I call God to witness that, through your own stubbornness, I shall be com- 
pelled to endeavour to reduce you by force. So I rest your friend, if you please, 

" Montrose. " 

Among the Carte Manuscripts, preserved in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, there is a paper 
bound up in vol. i., pp. 73 — 76, written by Col. James Macdonnell, already mentioned at pp. 76 — 79, 
supra, and' containing a modest and truthful account of events, from the landing of the Irish at 
Ardnamurchan, on the 8th of July, until the first week in February ensuing. The following is a 
copy of this highly interesting document, which is entitled — " Intelligence from his Majesty's army 
in Scotland, to be presented to the most honourable the lord lieutenant of Ireland ; ivritten at Inverlochy 
in lochabar, the -]th of February, 1644, by an Irish officer of Alexander Macdonnell 's forces ." — 

(121) Things asked. — Montrose here refers to the con- called on, who could scarce get a word spoken for 

cessions the king bad made in 1640, and which were then tears trickling down along his grey hairs like drops of 

believed to be ample enough to satisfy, and even rain, or clew upon the tops of the tender grass, said — ' I 

immeasurably delight the Scottish people. Charles was do remember when the kirk of Scotland had a beautiful 

willing, in deference to their wishes, to abrogate the face. I remember since there was a great power and life 

canons, the liturgy, the high commission, the articles of accompanying the ordinances of God, and a wonderful 

Perth, and even the order of bishops, though not work of operation upon the hearts of people. These, my 

episcopacy; so that the old preachers, who had witnessed eyes, did see a fearful defection after, procured by our sins, 

what they called the perfection of Preibyterianism in the and no more did I wish before my eyes were closed but 

days of the Melvilles, rejoiced that their eyes had been to have seen such a beautiful day. Blessed, for evermore, 

permitted to see the changes conceded by the king in be our Lord and King Jesus; and the blessing of God be 

1640. These old preachers were encouraged, at the upon his Majesty, and the Lord make us thankful!" 

meeting of their general assembly in that year, to pro- Other old preachers followed in the same strain, and 

claim their great joy on account of the concessions almost in the same words. Peterkin's Records, p. 250, as 

thus granted by the king. "Mr. John Weems being quoted in Burton's History of Scotland, vol. vii., pp. 70, 71. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 5 7 

" When the Irish forces arrived in Argyle's bounds in Scotland, our general-major, Alexander Mac- 
donnell, sent such of his majesty's commissions and letters to those to whom they were directed, 
although for the present none were accepted of; (122) which caused our general-major and those 
forces to march into Badenoch, (123) where they raised the country with thern ; and from thence 
to Castle-Blaire in Athole, (124) where the lord marquess of Montrose came unto us, and joined 
them (the Irish) with some other small forces. From thence they marched to St. Johnston, (125) 



(122) Accepted of. — At the head of these nnexpected 
repudiators of the royal cause, was the earl of Seaforth, 
(see p.82, supra). The defection of this nobleman was a 
' sore discouragement' to begin with, as, next to Argyle 
himself, he was then the most potent chieftain in the 
Western Highlands. The Mackenzies, of whom Seaforth 
was the head, had risen, like the Campbells, on the ruin 
of the Macdonnells, and they were naturally chary of now 
fraternising with " the broken men" whom they had such 
good reasons to fear, should any sudden change place the 
lord of Antrim in a position to remedy the wrongs of his 
Scottish kinsmen. 

(123) Badenoch .—The territory of Badenoch was the 
well-known locale of the Clanchattan, or Mackintoshes. 
A Scottish topographer of the sixteenth century, referring 
to this and the adjoining regions, says : — " At this narrow 
poynt, lying betwixt these waters, (the Don and Dee) the 
countrie of Marr beginnes, growing alwayes wider and 
wider, till it be 60 myles in lengthe, and come to Bad- 
zenoch. The countrie of Badzenoch hath, as it were, a 
back running out thorow the midst of it, which spouts 

forth water into both the seas These three 

countries, Habre, (Lochaber), Badzenoch, and Marr, 
comprehend the breadth of Scotl betwixt the two seas." 
Certayiic Matters concerning the Rcalme of Scotland com- 
posed together, as thev were A. D. 1597. These districts, 
especially those of Badenoch and Lochaber, had been swept 
with fire and sword by Argyle, in 1639, he having then 
obtained a commission from the covenanting parliament 
to root out therefrom all intestine enemies, in other words, 
all the Macdonnells dwelling therein, and all others who 
sympathised with them. In this congenial work Argyle 
spent the summer of 1640. Referring to that business, 
James Gordon, in his History of Scots Affairs, says : — " It 
was his (Argyle's) design to swallow up Badenoch and 
Lochaber, and some lands belonging to the Macdonnells, 
a numerous tribe, haters of, and equally hated by Argyle. 
He had got some hold upon Lochaber and Badenoch the 
last year, 1639, as a cautionary pledge for some of Huntly's 
debts, for which he was become engaged as cautioner to 
Huntly's creditors. By this means his title was legal, in 
case of breach of condition by Huntly ; yet, at this time 
he could not pretend so much against Huntly ; therefore, 
this expedition against those Highlanders was prosecuted 
for advancement of his private design." 

(124) /;; A thole.—" Tay is the greatest river in Scot- 
land, which, turning course at the hills of Grangebean, 
joynes with Athole, a fertile countrie situate in the very 
wildernesse of the same mountaines, at the foote whereof 
there is a parte of Atholl lying playne, named the Blair, 
which word signifies a grounde proper for woode. (See 
Realme oj Scotland, 1597) Montrose selected this par- 
ticular district for the place of his first rendezvous with 
the Irish, because he admired the bravery and loyalty of 



the Athol-men no less than they had loved his family — 
the gallant Grahams. " The castle of Blair- Athol," says 
Napier, "so pleasantly associated in the minds of the 
present generation with the happy progresses of our own 
Queen precisely two centuries later, was the only strong- 
hold in Scotland of which Montrose kept possession 
throughout his great campaign in support of the Throne. 
The heart of the loyal district whence he derived his best 
support, it became the focus of his fiery career, where he 
recruited his forces, and kept his prisoners. Lofty as the 
old pile is still, it then reared its head more than one 
story higher, the star of Athole ; but shorn of its beams, 
in the reduction of its ancient stature during the civil war 
of the iSth century. Montrose was never known — we 
say it pointedly and emphatically — to treat a captive with 
inhumanity, or to put a prisoner of war to death. He 
had many opportunities, and extreme provocation so to 
retaliate, but never did." (Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii., 
pp. 462, 463.) The great covenanting authorities, so long 
as Montrose remained a covenanter, were loud in their 
objections to his leniency as a commander, and never 
then insinuated any charges of cruelty against him. 
Thus, principal Baillie, who is accepted as their most 
approved representative in all historical matters connected 
with the conflict, says of Montrose in 1639, when refer- 
ring to the magnanimous conduct of the latter at 
Aberdeen : — "The discretion of that generous and 
noble youth, was but too great. A great sum was named 
as a fine to that unnatural city, but all was forgiven." 
Baillie styles Aberdeen "unnatural" because the inhabi- 
tants refused to accept the covenant. The same chroni- 
cler further states: — "Our forces likewise disbanded, it 
was thought, on some malcontentment either at Mont- 
rose's too great lenitie in sparing the enemies' houses, or 
somewhat else." (See Baillie's Letters, vol i., pp. 197, 
205.) But when Montrose became a royalist, the cove- 
nanters endeavoured to blacken his character as a cruel 
soldier. 

(125) St. Johnston. — This was a common name fur 
Perth. • The little army wanted many very important 
matters such as food, clothing, cannon, baggage, and so 
forth, which could not be had by going back again to 
the Highlands, so the leaders boldly pointed southward 
to the good city of Perth as a place where they could be 
comfortably lodged, provided they were able to reach it. 
Argyle was behind with his claymores; Sutherland, 
Forbes, Seaforth, the Grants, and Frasers had all risen 
north of the Grampians, whilst a large force was known 
to be congregated at or near Perth. When Montrose 
reached a plain about two miles and a half west from 
that place, on Sunday morning, the 1st of September, he 
was startled to find a large well-appointed army waiting 
his approach. This plain was Tippermuir, and this host 
was one of the armies of the covenant. In front were 



88 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



where the enemy had gathered together 8000 foot and 800 horse, with nine pieces of cannon, his 
majesty's army not having so much as one horse; for that day the marquess of Montrose went on 
foot himself, with his target and pike; the lord Kilpunt (126) commanding the bowmen, and our 
general-major of the Irish forces commanding his three regiments. The armies being drawn up on 
both sides, they both advanced together ; and although the battle continued for some space, we lost 
not one man on our side, yet still advanced, the enemy being three or four to one ; howsoever, God 
gave us the day ; the enemy retreating, with their backs towards us, that men might have walked 
upon the dead corps to the town, being two long miles from the place where the battle was pitched. 
The chace continued from 8 o'clock in the morning till nine at night ; all their cannon, arms, 
ammunition, colours, drums, tents, baggage, in a word, none of themselves or baggage escaped our 
hands, but their horse, and such of their foot as were taken within the city. This battle, to God's 
glory, and our prince's good, was fought the first day of September. (127) 

" From thence we marched straight to Aberdeen, only surprising such as withstood us, with 
little or no skirmishing, till the 13th of the same month at Aberdeen the covenanters of the north 
(128) had gathered themselves together, to the number of 3000 foot and 500 horse, with three pieces 



nine pieces of artillery, and at each extremity of the long 
line was placed a division of cavalry. Lord Elcho (1st 
earl of Wemyss) commanded the right wing in person, 
and sir James Scott the left; James Murray (fourth earl 
of Tullibardine) and lord Drummond (third earl of Perth) 
■took charge of the centre, or main battle. Here was a 
formidable array such as the Antrim men in Montrose's 
little force had never before witnessed, but at the sight 
of which they appear to have felt no dismay. The op- 
posing host, as if to want for nothing, had received a 
special benediction, and in its early devotions, several 
preachers of the covenant had actually baptized it " the 
army of God." One preacher declared further, that " if 
ever God spoke truth out of his mouth, he promised 
them, in the name of God, a certain victory that day." 
(See Napier's Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii. , p. 429. ) The 
covenanting battle-cry at Tippermuir is said to have been 
— " Jesus, and no quarter!" This is stated on the 
authority of a pamphlet on the Occurrences of the war, 
including the battle of Tippermuir printed in 1644, im- 
mediately after the event. See Napier's Memoirs of Mont- 
rose, vol. ii., p. 582 ; see also Curry's Review of the Civil 
Wars, p. 259. 

(126) Lord Kilpunt — Lord Kilpont was son of Wil- 
liam Graham, seventh earl of Menteith, who was also 
served heir to the earldom of Strathearn, and created earl 
of Airth in compensation for the king's reduction of the 
latter title. 

(127) September.— Such was the battle of Tippermuir, 
so disastrous to the army of the covenant. In making 
his preparations for the conflict, Montrose placed the 
three Irish regiments in the centre under the command of 
Alaster M'Coll. Lord Kilpont, at the head of his bow- 
men, occupied the left flank, and Montrose with the 
Athol men the right. Napier states that the Irish 
musketeers, having only one round of ammunition, 
" rushed close up to the main battle of the covenant, 
delivered their volley, sub ore, and then, clubbing the 
musket dealt death around them, without the loss, it is 



said, of a single royalist." 'Clubbing the musket' was 
not a practice known at that period among the Irish of 
Ulster. After using this weapon at the commencement 
of a battle it was laid aside, and the Irish skein, or short 
sword, generally ended the struggle. This was Alaster 
Macdonnell's method of winning the important battle of 
the Laney, near Ballymoney (see p. 69, supra), and he 
no doubt adopted the same at Tippermuir. The Irish 
pikes appear to have been used by the Athol men under 
Montrose. Two thousand covenanters perished on the 
field and during the pursuit. The Rev. John Robertson 
of Perth spoke with contempt of their conduct. " Our 
enemies," says he, " that before the fight were naked, 
weaponless, ammunitionless, and cannonless men, and 
so unable to have laid siege to the town, by the flight of 
our friends, were clothed, got abundance of arms, and 
great plenty of ammunition, with six pieces of cannon." 
Of the unhappy burghers whom he had blessed at sun- 
rise, this disappointed preacher adds, "they were all 
forcfaintcd and bursted with running; insomuch that nine 
or ten died that night in town without any wound." 
Among the more 'godly' of the covenanters it was agreed 
that their great disaster at Tippermuir was a result of 
" the sins of the Assembly, the sins of the Parliament, 
the sins of the Army, and the sins of the People." (See 
Napier's Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii., pp. 432, 433.) For 
certain very amusing particulars connected with the sur- 
render of Perth, see an original letter from the ministers, 
printed in the Scots Magazine for November, 1817. 

(12S) Covenanters of the north — The principal oppo- 
nent of the royalists at Aberdeen was the well-known 
lord Burleigh, who was in command of two thousand five 
hundred foot and 500 horse, Montrose having only 1,500 
foot. This Robert Arnot ol Ferney married the heiress 
of Burleigh, and had the title of lord Burleigh in virtue of a 
letter from the king. His great-grandson, the last lord 
Balfour of Burleigh, while yet a young man, was con- 
demned to be beheaded for the murder of a schoolmaster 
who had married a waiting maid with whom Balfour was 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 



of cannon. We had then about So horse ; the battle being fairly pitched, it continued for a long 
space, and the enemy behaved themselves far better than they did at St. Johnston. Yet we lost 
not that day above 4, but the enemy were altogether cut off, unless some few that hid themselves 
in the city. The riches of that town, and the riches they got before, hath made all our soldiers 
cavaliers. This battle being ended, only our manner of gowing down to battle, and how each com- 
manded, I omit till it be drawn, and set down in a more ample manner ; now tending only brevity of 
our proceedings, for if I should write the whole truth, all that hath been done by our army, would 
be accounted most miraculous, which I protest I will but show in the least manner I can, leaving the 
rest to the report of the enemy themselves. (129) 

"After this battle we marched towards the highlands again, so far as to Castle Blaire, where I 
was sent to Ardamuragh (Ardnamurchan) with a party to relieve the castle of Migary (Mingarrie) 
and the castle of Laughaline ; Migary having a leaguer about it, which was raised two or three days 
before I could come to them, (130) at which time the captain of Clanronald, with all his men joined 



in love. But he made his escape from prison disguised 
in his sister's clothes, and joined the insurgents of 1715. 
He was among the attainted, and his property, worth 
about ;£ 700 ner annum, with his title were forfeited to 
the crown. "See Wishart's Memoirs of Montrose, pp. 85, 



(129) Themselves. — After the victory of Tipp 
and plunder of Perth, Mon::rose crossed the Dee at a 
place called Crathes, fifteen miles above Aberdeen, and 
marched his little army down the north bank of that river, 
on the 1 2th of September. The battle near the latter 
city took place between " the Crab-stane and the Justice- 
milns," m its immediate vicinity. The Irish here, as at 
Tippermuir. appear to have had some of the hottest work 
on their hands, fo make up for deficiency in cavalry, 
the stoutest of the Irish, under the command of captain 
Mortimer, were intermingled wi f h the horsemen — a curi- 
ous stratagem, and one which certainly implied a very 
decided reliance on the part of Montrose in the steadi- 
ness and gallantry of these Antrim soldiers. On tire 
commencement of the battle, the covenanters were able 
to seize a cluster of cottages and garden-walls, "and from 
this post they were speedily dislodged by a body of Iri c h 
musqueteers, who drove a troop of lancers before them 
like a flock of sheep." From a very strong position that 
had been seized by the stout commander, Burley, he was 
driven headlong with Ms five hundred men, mainly by 
the dashing gallantry of captain Mortimer and his Irish 
regiment, who, by this time we suspect, had laid their 
muskets aside and taken to their skeins. Sir William 
Forbes of Craigievar dashed lis tT>op against Alaster 
MacColl, but the latter ordered I s men to fall back on 
either side until Craigievar's cavalry thundered between, 
when the troop was literally annihilated, "as ' c it had 
charged down the crater of a volcano." (See Napier's 
Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii. , p. 456. ) Colonel James Mac- 
donnell reserved the details rf this battle and the plans 
thereof for the book he intended to write, and which he 
did afterwards write at Rome. (See p. 76, supra. ) 
Captain John Mortimer, who distinguished himself at this 
battle near Aberdeen, and indeed throughout the whole 
course of the war, was one of the officers who led the 
Irish from the western side of the Bann into Antrim, 
I 



across the ford at Portnavv, on the morning of the 2nd of 
January, 1641. (See p. 63, supra. ) He appears to have 
attached himself closely to Montrose, accompanying him 
into exile after the battle of Philiphaugh. On returning 
with Montrose again to Scotland, Mortimer was taken 
prisoner in a skirmish near the castle of Dunbeath, in 
1650, and soon afterwards executed. (See Wishart's 
Memoirs of Montrose, pp. 376, 491,) Mortimer had 
probably come from Connaught, there being then several 
families of Macdonnells in that province who continued 
to hold a friendly intercourse with their kinsmen in An- 
trim, and by this means, perhaps, Mortimer had been 
drawn hither. The poet Spenser supposed that the Mac- 
namaras of the West had been originally Anglo-Norman 
Mortimers (see O'Daly, Tribes of Ireland, p. 78, note, : 
but, more Drobably, the Mortimers of the seventeenth 
century had been originally Macnamaras. 

(130) Come to them. — This siege of Mingarry castle, in 
which Alaster M'Coll had left a strong garrison, was un- 
dertaken by Argyle ostensibly to release the three Pres- 
byterian ministers already named, but really to get 
possession again of his and the adjoining stronghold of 
Lochaline, .oth of ,vhich were essential to Argyle's 
defence of his own territories. He could not be induced 
to relinguish his hold of the three prisoners, Alaster's 
father and two brothers, even to save the preachers, but 
when remonstrated with by the church authorities, Argyle 
replied that he would liberate them with the high hand, 
and invited commissioners from the General Assembly to 
go with him to the siege of Mingarry, that they might 
witness his efforts in this matter. Accordingly three 
commissioners "ar sent with the marqueis," as it is 
written in the Kirk/on MSS., "who willinglie took upone 
thame the iomey, hopeing weel to bring the faithful mm: 
of Godjimes Hamilton (the other two, Weir and Watson 
having died), home with thame. But their hope was 
disappointed." (See Reid's History of the Presbyterian 
Church, vol. i., pp. 443, 534). When the Campbells 
heard of the advance of colonel James Macdonnell to the 
west coast, they abandoned the sieges of both Mingarry 
and Lochaline, and had got themselves out of his way two 
days before he could reach Ardnamurchan. Napier, (vol. 
ii., p. 462) errs in stating that Alaster MacColl headed 



gO THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

with Glencoe men, and others who had an inclination to his majesty's service. (131) In the mean 
time when I was interested on the services, the marquess of Montrose marched back to the low- 
lands, almost the same way he marched before, till they came to a place called Fivy, in the shire 
of Aberdeen, where Argyle was most shamefully beaten out of the field ; and had it not been for 
his horse, they had suffered as deeply as the rest ; so that there was not on our side any hurt done ; 
but on their side they lost many of their best horse, and most of all their commanders hurt, and the 
earl Mareschal's brother killed. After the armies separated, the lord marquess marched again to 
Castle-Blaire, in Athol, where I met again with him and such of the highlands as had joined with 
me ; the day of Fivy was on October 28th. (132) 

"From Castle-Blaire we marched to Glanurghyes, called M'Callan, (133) M'Conaghy, (134) 
all which lands we burned, and preyed from thence to Lares, alias Laufers ; (13s) and burned and 
preyed all this country from thence to Achenbracke's, (136) whose land and country we burned 
and preyed ; and so throughout all Argyle we left neither house nor hold unburned, nor corn nor 
cattle that belonged to the whole name of Campbell. (137) Such of his Majesty's friends as lived 



this movement west against the besiegers of Mingarry. 
Colonel James Macdonnell states distinctly that he himself 
was sent on this mission. Alaster went northward at the 
same time for ihe purpose of looking after reinforcements. 

(131) Majesty's service. — The accession of the Clan- 
ranald and Glenco men to the ranks of Montrose was 
naturally considered a very important matter for the 
royalists. The Clanranald of Lochaber included all the 
Macdonnells of Garragach and Keppoch, one of the most 
warlike and powerful of Highland clans. The Glenco 
men, another warlike sept of the Macdonnells, were 
known as the Clan Ian Abrach, from the fact that one 
of their chieftains had been fostered in Lochaber. (See 
p. 29, supra). These and other powerful champions of 
the royal cause were brought forward principally by the 
influence of Alaster MacColl, who visited them after the 
battle of Aberdeen, and was there received with open 
arms among his kinsmen. 

(132) October 2%th. — Fivy castle, in the immediate 
vicinity of which this action was fought, is about two 
miles westward from Montrose. Argyle- had followed 
the royalist forces from Athol, across the Spey, through 
Badenoch and Strathbogie, but keeping at a very respect- 
ful distance, and employing himself in devastating the 
districts of Lude, Speirglass, Fascally, Don-a-Vourd, 
and Ballyheukane, burning the country onward to Angus, 
and as far northward as Dunottar. He was accompanied 
on this occasion by a thousand of his best claymores, 
fifteen hundred militia, and seven troops of horse com- 
manded by the earl of Lothian. All at once, however, 
he found himself in the presence of the royalist force, 
which had encamped at Fyvie. Montrose, seeing such a 
powerful array of the Campbells, addressed himself to 
Colonel Manus O'Cahan, Alaster and James Macdonnell 
being both absent. O'Cahan was worthy of the occasion ; 
and, with his handful of Irish, he began by driving a body 
of Argyle's best marksmen from an excellent position 
they had seized about midway up the rough sides of the 
eminence occupied by the royalists. These marksmen 
were driven headlong down the hill, the Irish thus find- 



ing quantities of powder in bags which the covenanters 
had no time to remove. 

(133) M'Callan. — ' Glanurghyes' was Glenurchy (see 
p. 12, supra), the inhabitants of which were Campbells, 
known as Mac C/iailleaii, descendants of Collin, a dis- 
tinguished chieftain, lord of Lochawe, who lived in the 
13th century. His descendants, in the 17th century, had 
spread themselve over Glenurchy and other districts 
adjoining. 

(134) M'Conaghy. — The Campbells of Inveraw were 
known as the Clanconaghy, or Clandonaghy — from Don- 
agh, pronounced in Gaelic like Conaght— the christian 
name of one of their most distinguished chieftains. 

(135) Laufers. — Now always written Lawers. The 
Campbells of Lawers, in Breadalbane, were a branch of 
the Glenurchy stock, and held extensive lands in Bread- 
albane and Strathearn. Sir John Campbell of Lawers, 
by marriage with his cousin, became lord of Louden. 1 

(136) Achenbracke.- Sir Duncan Campbell of Auchen- 
brack in Cantire. See p. 74, supra. 

(137) Name of Campbell. — This was an awful foray, 
but the marquis of Argyle and his clan could have 
hardly hoped to preserve their own hearths from deso- 
lation in turn. Not only did their own burning and 
rapine from Athol to the braes of Angus now rise up in 
judgment, but still more, the fearful scenes of 1640, 
when Argyle got a commission of fire and sword from the 
Estates to go against several Highland chiefs, especially 
the Macdonnells, taking care afterwards to obtain from the 
same source a deed of exoneration from the guilt which 
he had incurred under that commission. (See Napier's 
Memoirs of Montrose, i., 253.) After the affair of 
Fivy, Montrose returned again to Blair-Athol, where 
he was delighted to meet Alaster Macdonnell, who 
had come from his recruiting tour, bringing with him 
John of Moydart, captain of the Clanranald, with five 
hundred of his following ; Keppoch, with his men from 
the braes of Lochaber ; the Stewarts of Appin ; Ihe 
warriors of Knoidart, Glengarry, Glennenis, and Glenco ; 
Camerons from the Lochy, and Farquharsons from 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 



near them joined with us. We then marched to Lochaber, where M'Alane (138^ came and joined 
us, but had but few of his men with him. From thence we marched to Glengarry, where the lord 
of Glengarry joined with us. At this place we got intelligence that Argyle, Achenbracke, and the 
whole name of Campbell, with all their forces, and a great number of lowlandmen with them, were 
come to Inverloughy (139) in Loughaber, following us. This caused us to make a countermarch, 
the nearest way over the mountains, till we came within musket-shot of the castle of Inverloughy, 
it then being night, so that the enemy stood to their arms all night, the sentries skirmishing together. 
By this place of Inverloughy, the sea comes close, and that night Argyle embarked himself in his 
barge, (140) and there lay till the next morning, sending his orders of discipline to Achenbracke, 

(138) M'Alane.— This was the common Highland way 
of naming Maclean. Among the septs of this great clan 
who joined the royal standard several "lived near them" 
(the Campbells), and were therefore compelled to hold 
back from Alaster MacColl on his first landing at Atd- 
nainurchan, but they now took courage and determined 
to espouse the cause of the king. Sir Lachlan Maclean 
of Dowart castle in Mull, the chief of the clan, leaving in- 
structions with his brother Donnell to assemble the Mac- 
leans, immediately set out to join Montrose, accompanied 
by about thirty kinsmen, among whom were the repre- 
sentatives of the powerful families of Coll, Treshnish, 
Kinlochaline, Ardgour, and Kingerloch. See Account of 
the Clan Maclean, p. 124. 

(139) Inverloughy.— When tidings reached Montrose 
that Argyle had got to Inverlochy he was at the head of 
Lochness, and the Campbells did not imagine that there 
could bea collision for some lime. But Montrose, without 
delay, marched through the glen of Albin, along the rugged 
bed of the Tarf, over the Lochaber mountains, and saw from 
the skirts of Ben Nevis the frowning towers of Inver- 
lochy reposing in the moonlight. Argyle had taken the 
precaution to recal Auchinbreck from Ireland, for sir 
Duncan Campbell was considered a brave captain, and 
even moie than Argyle's right hand in war. "The Clan 
Campbell in full gathering, like an exasperated bee hive, 
numbering with the government troops about three thou- 
sand, confronted Keppoch, Clanrandal, Glengarry, 
Lochiel, Macpherson, Macgregor, and Strowan, with at 
least contingents of their septs. " At this battle of Inver- 
lochy, which was fought on Sunday, the 2nd of February, 
1645, ' ' the military power and prestige of Argyle perished 
forever." Patrick Gordon of Ruthven, the well-known 
author of Britain's Distempers, states that " the laird of 
Auchenbreck was killed, with forty barons o{ the name of 
Campbell; two and twenty men of quality taken prisoners; 

' ndred killed of the army. In the castle 



Braemar. These all had been sufferers more deeply from 
Argyle's recent commission ; and whilst Montrose's 
opinion was in favour of invading the Lowlands forth- 
with, it was the almost unanimous desire of the other 
leaders to sweep the territories of Argyle with fire 
and sword, the scourge which he had himself so un- 
sparingly applied to them. The great foray was, 
therefore, commenced, the royalist army marching in 
three divisions, one of which was led by Montrose, the 
second by Alaster Macdonnell, and the third by the 
captain of Clanranald. The Western Highlands were 
thus traversed and laid waste, even as Argyle had 
despoiled his neighbours ; "in that," says Dr. Wishart, 
" retaliating Argyle with the same measure he had meted 
unto others ; who was the first in all the kingdom that 
prosecuted his countrymen with fire and sword. . . . 
These things lasted from the 13th of December, 1644, to 
the 28th or 29th of January following." The Camp- 
bells had been in the habit, when returning to their 
comparatively inaccessible haunts in Argyleshire, of 
quoting the first portion of their own old proverb — 
It is a far cry to Lochawe — thus defiantly chal- 
lenging those wdiom their raids had left desolate to 
follow them into the Highlands, if they dare. But Mont- 
rose and Alaster Macdonnell now followed them wi.h a 
vengeance. Before setting out, however, the practicability 
of the expedition was duly discussed, and when the ques- 
tion arose, "shall we be able to find food in the wilds of 
Argyleshire?" a warrior from Glenco, named Angus 
Mac Ailen Dubh, quickly replied " I know every farm 
belonging to Mac Cailinmhor ; and if tight houses, fat 
cattle, and clear water will suffice, you need never want." 
The " tight houses " were soon all burned, and the fat 
cattle driven away. Argyle had said often that he would 
rather forfeit 100,000 crowns than that the enemy should 
know the passes by which an armed force could penetrate 
into his country. The marquis was at Inverary, and when 
he heard that Montrose was really coming, he fled, taking 
refuge in a fishing-boat in Loch-Fyne, thus abandon- 
ing his people in their hour of trial. The inhabitants of 
Argyleshire being thus basely deserted, made no attempt 
to resist the troops of Montrose, who, for the space of six 
weeks traversed the whole country, without moleslation, 
burning, wasting, and destroying every village and home- 
stead with all food of every description. The Irish and 
Athol men swept Breadalbane, none of the name of 
Campbell who could bear arms escaping, and those 
throughout Glenurchy being also specially punished. See 
Brown's History of the Highlands, vol. i., pp. 3^8, 359. 



of Inverlochy there were fifty of the Stirling regiment 
with their commanders, that got their lives; but of two 
hundred Highlanders none escaped the Clandonald fury." 
The slain are said to have equalled in number the whole 
of Montrose's army." See Napier's Memoirs of Mont- 
rose, vol. ii. , p. 485. 

(140) His baige.— This luckless barge has been asso- 
ciated with the name of Argyle ever since the day of In- 
verlochy. No sooner had the van of the royalist force 
entered Strathlochy, at five o'clock on Saturday evening, 
than Argyle entered his barge, or galley, and put himself 
in a secure position beyond Loch -Linn. The Guthrie 



Q2 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

and the rest of the officers there commanding the battle, which on all sides being pitched, and their 
cannon planted, the fight began ; the enemy giving fire on us on both sides, both with cannon and 
muskets to their little avail. For only two regiments of our army playing with musket-shot, advanced 
till they recovered Argyle's stand? T d and the s.anckrd-bearer, at which their whole army broke; (141) 
which were so hotly pursued both with foo and horse, that little or none of the whole army escaped 
us, the officers being the first that were cut off. There Achenbracke was killed, with 16 or 17 of 
the chief lords of Campbell ; their other lowland commanders (only two lieutenant-colonels) all cut 
off. (142) Four others of the name of Campbell were taken prisoners, as Bearbrick, (143) the 
young laird Carrindel, (144) Inverleen captain, son of Enistefinth, and divers others that got 
quarter, being men of quality. We lost but two or three that day ; this battle was fought on the 
2nd of February." 

The exploits of the little army under Mortrose and Macdonnell were celebrated by several 
Gaelic bards, and ch>'ef among them was J ohn Lom Macdonnell. This really distinguished poet 
was born in the reign of James I. of England, and died at a very advanced age, in the reign 
of queen Anne. He appears to have accompanied Montrose during all the campaigning of 
1644 and 1645, and contributed not a little by his pen, probably as much as the other did by 
his sword, to the support of the royal cause. He had the honour of receiving the appointment 
of poet laureate to the king — a flattering tribute, certainly, to the genius of a bard who had previously 
been unknown and unheard of beyond the district of Lochaber. Whilst Montrose rested at Kil- 
cummin after the raid into Argleshire, the bard brought intelligence that Argyle was desolating 
all the Brae country of Lochaber, and was even burning through Glenroy in pursuit of the 

Memoirs state that among Argyle's associates in the (142) All cut off. — Campbell of Auchinbreck had come 
barge was "Mr. Mungo Law, minister of Edinburgh, from Dunluce to fall by the hand of Alaster MacColl. 
whom he (Argyle) had invited to go along with him, to Grant, inhis Memoirs of the Mar.ptis of Montrose, at p. 222, 
bear witness to the wonders he proposed to perform in states that "the gallant Sir Donald (Duncan) Campbell of 
that expedition." Auchinbreck was slain by Major-General Alaster Mac- 
(141) Army broke — It is evident that the Irish regi- Coll, who, by one blow of a two-handed claymore, swept 
ments had thus specially distinguished themselves, having off his head and helmet together." In the despatch of 
had the honour of seizing Argyle's standard and carrying Montrose to the king he refers to the lowland ' corn- 
it off in triumph. No Scottish chroniclers say a word of manders' as follows: — " Some gentlemen of the Lowlands 
this. The Maclean Account states, p. 125, that Montrose that had behaved themselves bravely in the battle, when 
led the Athol men, and that the battle commenced about they saw all lost fled into the old castle, and, upon 
sunrise. " The Campbells," it is added, "did all that their surrender, I have treated them honourably and 
brave men could do to check the furious assault of the taken their parole never to bear arms against your 
royalists, but being disheartened by the impetuosity of Majesty." (See Napier's Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii., p. 
the attack and the desertion of their leader, they threw 485 ) 

away their arms and attempted to gain their boats. . . (H3) Bearbrick. — This is the name of a property near 

Campbell of Skipness, one of the bravest of the rebel Lochawe which was owned by Mr. Donald Campbell, 

leaders, on being brought before Montrose, declares had who became an effective help to Argyle in the suppres- 

he entertained the least suspicion of the cowardly charac- sion and extirpation of the Maclans of Ardnamurchan, 

ter of Argyle, he would have that morning placed him- and who was made a baronet by the title of sir Donald 

self in the ranks of the royal army" (pp 126, 127). Campbell of Ardnamurchan. (Seep. 35, supra.) This 

Montrose, when giving an account of the battle in a let- sir Donald was an illegitimate son of sir John Campbell 

ter to the king, says: — "Our men did wonders, and came of Calder, who has assassinated by some of his kinsmen 

immediately to push of pike and dint of sword, after the in 1592. Donald was originally bred to the church, and 

first firing. The rebels could not stand it, but, after became dean of Lismore, but he preferred more active 

«rae resistance at first, began to run ; whom we pursued duties than those of an ecclesiastic. See Gregory's His- 

for nine miles together, making a great slaughter, which lory of the Western Highlands, p. 407. 

1 would have hindred, if possible, that I might save your (144) Carrindale. — More frequently written Carra- 

Majesty's misled subjects," dale. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 93 

royalist army. This intelligence was enough for Montrose. John Lom Madonald was always 
of opinion that the royalist victory at Inverlochy was mainly achieved by Alaster Mac 
Coll. The stanzas subjoined were composed by him on the tower of the old castle, over- 
looking the battle-field. Montrose jocularly reproached the bard for not being in the battle, 
but he excused himself on the plea that had he taken part, there would have been no one 
to celebrate his (Montrose's) heroism. He subsequently lamented in pathetic verses the deaths 
of Charles I. and Montrose, bu he did not attack Cromwell, because the latter had so thoroughly 
crushed the covenanters. " He sung the murder of the children of Keppoch, and having 
obtained a commission to apprehend the murderers dead or alive, he ceased not to pursue his 
object until he carried their heads to the lords of council. He was an eccentric character, warm 
and ardent in his friendship, bitter and unrelenting in his hatred, the greatest share of which fell 
to the Campbells. It is related that, dining one day with the duke of Argyle, his host asked 
him why he kept always gnawing at his (the duke's) clan, and the bard, presuming on his bardic 
privilege, promptly replied that it was because he could not stvallow them." (See Logan's Scottish 
Gael, vol. ii., pp. 247, 248.) The following admirable translation from the Gaelic, of Macdonnell's 
poem on the battle of Inverlochy, is printed in Napier's Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii., p. 483 : — 

" Heard ye not! Heard ye not! How that whirlwind, the Gael, — 
To Lochaber swept down from Loch Ness to Loch Eil, — 
And the Campbells, to meet them in battle-array, 
Like the billow came on, — ard were broke like its spray! 
Long, long, shall our war-song exult ; n that day. 

" 'Twas the Sabbath that rose, 'twas the Fe^t of St. Bride, 
When the rush of the clans shook Ben Nevis's side ; 
I, the bard of their battles, ascended the height, 
Where dark Inverlochy o'ershadowed the fight, 
And I saw the Clan-Donald resistless in might. 

" Through the land of my fathers the Campbells have come, 
The flames of their foray enveloped my home ; 
Broad Keppoch in ruin is left to deplore, 
And my country is waste from the hill to the shore, — 
Be it so! By St. Mary, there's comfort in store! 

" Though the braes of Lochaber a desert be made, 
And Glenroy may be lost to the plough and the spade, 
Though the bones of my kinsmen, unhonoured, unurned, 
Mark the desolate path where the Campbells have burned, — 
Be it so! From that foray they never returned ! 

" Fallen race of Diarmid! Disloyal, — untrue — 
No harp in the Highlands will sorrow for you ; 
But the birds of Loch Eil are wheeling on high, 
And the Badenoch wolves hear the Camerons' cry,— 
' Come feast ye, come feast where the false-hearted lie!' " 



94 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



Montrose enjoyed his laurels at Inverlochy for a time, and then, towards the end of March, he 
repassed the Grampians, chasing the covenanting general Hurry across the Esk to Dundee. This 
town had, on a former occasion, rejected a summons to surrender sent by Montrose, and he now 
determined to take it by assault. Dundee was forthwith attacked, therefore, and stormed, by 
Alaster Mac Coll and lord George Gordon, (145) Montrose superintending the operations from a 
place called the Law, in the vicinity of the town. A formal surrender was just about to be 
arranged, when certain scouts, who had previously misled Montrose as to the position of the 
enemy, brought the startling news that the two covenanting generals, Baillie and Hurry, had 
formed a union of their forces, and were then only a mile from Dundee, at the head of 3,000 foot 
and 800 horse. Montrose hurriedly retreated to Arbroath, whilst his pursuers rested for the night 
at Forfar, thinking that they had James Graham at last, and could give a good account of him and 
his small force of 700 men, early the next morning. But the latter, by a daring manoeuvre, 
turning from Arbroath to the north-west, passed close to his pursuers in the nighttime, and so found 
his way by Kerriemuir to the South Esk, which he crossed at Carriston castle, just as the dawn 
began to appear. Here he found that the portion of his forces at Brechin had already made their 
way to the hills. He, therefore, hastened his march in the same direction, and gained the fastnesses 
of the Grampians, through Glenesk, after a march of three days and two sleeplesss nights. 
" I have often," says Dr. Wishart, " heard those who were esteemed the most experienced 
officers, not in Britain only, but in France and Germany, prefer this march to his most celebrated 
victories." (146) 

This disaster was only to be regarded as such, because it afforded an opportunity for many to 
desert ; nor is it surprising that such deserters had become wearied of uninterrupted marching and 
fighting. To recruit the ranks, Alaster Mac Coll, now a general, taking with him a regiment of his 
trusty Antrim men, went off even further than before into the Highlands, to obtain fresh levies. It 
is most likely Colonel James Macdonnell went with him as before, see p. 89, supra, but, unfortunately, 
we have not been able to obtain a copy of his Memoir of the Scottish Expedition, in which, no 
doubt, this recruiting excursion to the far north has been duly noticed. Alaster was regularly in 

(145) Lord Gordon. — This was lord George Gordon, was eventually, through the latter's influence, made head 

a younger son of the marquis of Huntly, who, with his of the house of Huntly. For a notice of the founder of 

brother Ludovic, joined Montrose at Kilcummin, after this family see p. 31, supra. 

the battle of Inverlochy. Their eldest brother, lord (146) Victories. — See Napier's lilt-moirsof Afotttrose, vol. 
Aboyne, and their youngest brother, lord Lewis Gordon, ii. , p. 497. During this retreat, which, although so cele- 
adhered to the cause of the covenant, being influenced brated, must have been a very distasteful process to 
to do so only by the fear of Argyle, their uncle. Alaster MacColl, that highly distinguished officer was 
Spalding has the following passage in reference to this deprived of his body-servant by the enemy The follow - 
youngest son, who became third marquis of Huntly : — ing curious reference to this loss is copied by Napier from 
" About this time (February, 1641) Lewis Gordon being the original in the Montrose Charter Room, and printed in 
with his father, the Lord Marquis of Huntly, at London, vol. ii., p. 497, of his Memoirs of Montrose : — "Edinburgh, 
upon some alleged miscontentment, left his father's crm- 17th April, 1645. — Donald Magregor. born in the clachan 
pany without his knowledge, and to his great grief, for beside the head of Lochow, depones — He was footboy to 
he unwisely conveyed away with him his father's haill Captain Hugh M'Dougall, and was taken by the rebels 
Jewells in a cabinet, being of great worth, and to Hoi- when bis master was slain at Inverlochy; and has ever 
land goes he, leaving his father sorrowful for his bad mis- been with them since, being kept by Major-Genera] Mac- 
carriage, although he had no great store of wealth lying donald (Alaster MacColl) as his footman; depones— he 
besi.ie him at that time, for maintenance of his noble was taken after the burnirg of Dundee, about six miles 
rank " This younger brother, being the tool of Argyle, therefrom, being carrying his master's hat, cloak, and a 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. Q5 

the habit of visiting Argyleshire when sent forth on these important missions, for he appears to have 
h.id unwonted pleasure in humiliating the Campbells, from whom his family, in their generations, 
had suffered so many outrages and oppressions. Among those who returned with him on the 
present occasion was sir Lachlan Maclean, who came from Mull at the head of eleven hundred men. 
In their progress to the camp of Montrose, one of their principal recreations was to clear the 
country of Argyle of all the Campbells who could be found in arms there. After their arrival, 
the next great conflict with the covenanters occurred on the 9th of May, 1645, at the village 
of Auldearn, near the town of Nairn. The royalist army on this occasion' was very much 
weaker than the opposing host, which latter was commanded by sir John Hurry, (147) assisted 
by the earls of Seaforth, (148) Sutherland, (149) and Findlater. (150) In making his arrangements 
for the battle, Montrose entrusted the royal standard to the keeping of Alaster Macdonnell, a rare 
honour and a perilous one, for the sight of the standard was always certain to draw the full rush of the 
enemy upon that particular position. Montrose was only able to spare Macdonnell four hundred foot, 
with the injunction that he was, on no account, to permit himself to be drawn from the trenches in 
which he was placed. Soon after the battle began, however, he could not resist a dash at the 
strongest position of the enemy, which proved a serious mistake, for his little company was all but 
surrounded in an instant, and could have only been even partially saved by a rapid return to its 
trenches. " Upon this occasion it was that the son of Coll Keitache chiefly distinguished himself 
by his undaunted bearing, and great personal prowess. As he had been first in advance, so he was 
among the very last to seek the garden into which they were now returning; and frequently checked 
with his single hand, the advancing enemy, whose pikes and arrows most severely galled the retreat- 
ing infantry. The pikemen were so close upon him as to fix their spears in his target, which he cut 
off with his broadsword in groups, at a stroke. Thus fighting like a lion in the rear of his troops, he 
gained the approach to the garden accompanied by a few friends, who wished him to enter before 
them. At this critical moment his sword broke. Davidson of Ardnacross, his brother-in-law, 
handed him his own, and whilst in the act of doing so, fell mortally wounded. Macdonald having 
entered along with some of the enemy attacked them furiously in order to clear the way for those 
who were still struggling without. . . . Seventeen of Alaster's officers and veterans lay wounded 
within the enclosure, and many of the Gordons were slain. But the royal standard was safe ; and 
with this and the remnant of his troops, the herculean Islesman again' rushed out and attacked the 
regiment of Lawers (151) on the opposite flank. ' Many were the warlike deeds performed that 

pair of gloves, and that he knows not the gentleman who that when Hamilton's avmy of the ' Engagement' was 
took him ; and depones he was brought alone to Dundee routed, " among others, Colonel Urry got a dangerous 
and none with him." shot on the left side of his head, whereof, though he was 
(147) Sir John Hurry. — This general was originally a afterwards taken prisoner, he recovered." Sir John and 
royalist, and was supposed to have been killed fighting other associates of Montrose, were favoured with decapi- 
on the side of the king at Marston Moor. He lived to tation by the Scotch guillotine, called the Maiden. 
fight on other fields, however, under the banner of the ( 148) Seaforth. — George Mackenzie, the second earl, 
covenant, but with no better cuccess. Eventually, he de- For notice of his family see p. 82, supra. 
serted the covenanters and joined Montrose, at whose (149) Sutherland. — John, the thirteenth earl, 
side he had the honour of being hanged at last in 1650. (150) Findlater. — James Olgilvy was first earl of Find- 
When being taken to the scaffold, he is described by the later. 

Rev. James Fraser as "a robust, tall, stately fellow, with (151) Lawers. — See p. 90, sufra. 
a long cut on his cheek." Sir James Turner mentions 



g6 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

day by the Macdonalds and Gordons. Many were the wounds given and received by them, inso- 
much that Montrose said after the battle that he himself witnessed the greatest feats of arms, and 
the greatest slaughter he ever knew performed by a couple of men, namely Nathaniel Gordon, (152) 
and Ronald Og Macdonald, son of Master, son of Angus Uaibrach.' " (153) Memoirs of Montrose, 
vol. ii., pp. 503, 505. 

It was estimated that three thousand covenanters fell on the field at Auldearn and during the 
pursuit, which continued several hours. This great victory, which cost the royalists also the lives 
of many brave men, completely subdued their opponents throughout the north and west of Scotland. 
On leaving the vicinity of Auldearn, Montrose marched into Aberdeenshire with almost incredible 
rapidity, resolved to scatter a mustering in strong force under general Baillie (154) and the earl of 
Balcarres. (155) This covenanting army he overtook on the morning of the 2nd July, 1645, at a 
place called Alford, on the southern bank of the river Don-, where he gained another great victory, 
which was also achieved by the royalists at a comparatively trifling loss. Of their enemies, twelve 
hundred were left dead on the field. Among those who fell in the army of Montrose was lord 
Gordon of Aboyne, eldest son of the marquis of Huntley, whose death the royalist soldiers of every 
rank bewailed as that of a brother. (156) Alaster Macdonnell was not present at this battle, being 
once more engaged in recruiting, but the fact that the covenanting generals hastened to attack 
Montrose in his absence, is evidence of the name he had gained for gallantry and skill as a soldier. 
Among the distinguished officers of the royalist army who were killed at Alford, was an Irish 
captain named Dickson. 

Yet another victory was to crown the arms of Montrose and Macdonnell, in the cause for which 

(152) Gordon. — This officer, whorr Napier (vol. ii., p. married daughters of George, first lord Forrester of Cor- 
450) terms " the very beau ideal of a cavalier," was after- storphine, whose patent of nobility extended to the hus- 
wards taken prisoner at the battle of Philiphaugh, and bands and children of these ladies successively. Jamefe 
beheaded at St. Andrews with several other distinguished Baillie, the younger brother, and second lord Forrester, 
loyalists. was slain by his wife's niece with his own sword, — for 

(153) Uaibrach. — This reference to the exploits of one which deed the young lady was executed. See Wishart's 
of the Antrim officers is quoted by Napier from Mac- Memoirs of Montrose, p. 11S. 

vurich's MS., sometimes called the Red Book of Clanran- (155) Balcarres. — Alexander Lindsay, second viscount 

aid. This Randal Oge was great-grandson of Angus and first earl of Balcarres, commanded the cavalry at the 

Uaibrcach, or the 'Contentious,' brother of Sorley Boy. battle of Alford. According to the Macvurich MS., 

Macdonnell is named in Macvurich's MS. — Alastair Mac- Balcarres hurried Baillie into this engagement sooner 

Cholla-Ciotach, Mhic Ghiollesbui^, M.':ic .-lias/air, M/iic than the latter would have judged expedient, by calling 

Eoin Cathanich. This title omits Colla of Kinbann, the out — "The enemy are in the habit of making the first 

father of Gillaspick. onset; do not allow them to have that advantage to-day, 

(154) General Baillie. — Baillie of Letham was a natural but engage them instantly." But no sooner did Baillie 
son of sir William Baillie of Lamington, by a Mrs. Home, begin to move than lord Gordon of Aboyne launched his 
and born in the lifetime of sir William's wife, Margaret right wing against the three squadrons of Balcarres's 
Maxwell, countess of Angus. He married Mrs. Home horse, which, after stoutly sustaining the first assault, fled 



after the death of lady Angus, in order to legitimise his in confusion, and were pursued with great slaughter, 
son, but in this he did not succeed. The son went as a (156) A brother. — " Nothing could have supported 

soldier-adventurer to Sweden, where he served for a time the army under this immense deprivation but the presence 

in the army of Gustavus Adolphus, and was invited to of Montrose, whose safety brought gladness, and revived 

return to Scotland, in 1638, by the covenanters, who ap- their drooping spirits. Yet Montrose himself could not 

pointed him to a command in their army, which was restrain his grief, but mourned bitterly as if for his dearest 

then being mustered against the king. After the disgrace and only friend. Grievously he complained that one who 

of Argyle at Fy vie and Dunkeld, he was constrained to was the ornament of the Scottish nobility, and the boldest 

accept the command-in-chief of the covenanting forces in asserter of the royal authority in the north, his best and 



Scotland, but was soon afterwards defeated by Montrose bosom friend, should be thus cut off in the flower of his 
the two battles of Alford and Kilsyth. His two sons age." See Wishart's Memoirs, pp. 151, 152. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 97 

they so valiantly contended. General Baillie, the principal covenanting leader in the north, after 
his defeat at Alford, retreated hastily to Perth. Thither he was soon pursued by Montrose, who 
cleared out several straggling parties of the enemy in his march through Strathearn. Baillie believed 
that his pursuer was on the way eastward leading to Edinburgh, and went out therefore from Perth 
in company with Argyle to watch the movements of Montrose. The latter, crossing the Forth 
four miles above Stirling, marched through Kippen, and passing the Kilsyth Hills by Fintry, en- 
camped at the village of Kilsyth. Here he was soon followed by Baillie, Argyle, and other 
covenanting leaders, who had got together another army of 7000 foot and 1000 horse, and took a 
position that they believed to be impregnable, and that enabled them to guard all the passes by 
which the small royalist force could escape, for the covenanters then certainly expected that victory 
would crown their efforts. But, once more, they were doomed to a defeat more disastrous than any 
that had yet befallen them. Alaster Macdonnell is described as keeping his brave Irish well in 
hand before the battle commenced, " whilst the clans were too impatient for action, and most dif- 
ficult to restrain, owing to the emulation and dispute for precedence arising between seven hundred 
of the Macleans, under their chief, sir Lachlan Maclean of Dowart, and five hundred of the Clan- 
ranald, under their captain, John of Moidart, and his impetuous son, Donald. These had all been 
absent from the last victory, and were now burning to distinguish themselves as Glengarry had done at 
Alford." This rivalry had nearly proved fatal to the royalist army, which was saved partly by the skill 
of Montrose, but perhaps still more by the judicious gallantry of Macdonnell and the Irish. When 
the covenanters broke and fled, the pursuit was kept up for the distance of fourteen miles from the 
battle-field, and on that 15th of August, it is estimated that not less than six thousand of them 
were slain. Most of the covenanting commanders saved themselves by a timely flight, taking refuge 
in Stirling castle, whilst Argyle himself took care to ensure his own safety by never drawing bridle 
till he reached the Forth at Queensferry, where he sought the protection of a vessel lying at anchor 
in the road of Leith. He was by this means put on shore as far away as Newcastle Thus, the 
covenanting forces in Scotland were literally scattered as chaff before the wind, whilst the leaders 
of those forces disappeared from every position which, it might be supposed, they would have made 
some efforts to hold. As Seaforth could not be found in the north, after the battle of Inverlochy, 
so neither was Lanerick to be seen in the south after the disaster of Kilsyth. Argyle, Loudon, and 
Lindsay, took refuge in Berwick and Newcastle, whilst Cassilis (157) and Glencairn (158) fled to 
Ireland, sojourning for a time among the Scots of Ulster. 

(157) Cassilis.— John Kennedy, sixth earl of Cassilis, in various respectable publications, such as Chambers's 

was a staunch covenanter, or rather a facile instrument Picture of Scotland, and the New Statistical Account of 

in the hands of Argyle, and a virulent declaimer against that kingdom Adjoining Castle Kennedy is a loch with 

Montrose. When he fled to Ireland there were several an island in the centre. " Within this little island," 

of his kinsmen in Antrim and Down, among whom he says an old chronicler, " which is also planted with trees, 

may have taken refuge. This sixth earl of Cassilis at- is a little house built, into which the Earl of Cassilis used 

tended the assembly of divines at Westminster in 1643; to retire himself betwixt sermons, having a boat for that 

and whilst thus employed his countess took the oppor- purpose, in which also he could be transported from 

tunity of eloping with sir John Faa of Dunbar, her Castle Kennedy to the church, and so back again, the 

former lover, who came to Cassilis, or Castle Kennedy, way from the kirk to the castle by land being about a 

in the diguise of a gipsy. To this event the well-known mile on either side of the loch." 

ballad of " Johnie Faa" refers, and all the alleged facts (158) Glencairn.— This William Cunningham, ninth 

connected with the elopement are circumstantially detailed earl of Glencairn, wavered in his allegiance between the 
K 



98 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

After resting his army two days at Kilsyth, Montrose quietly went down into the valley of the 
Clyde, and was hailed with acclamations of joy by the people of Glasgow. At Bothwell, complimen- 
tary addresses poured in upon him from all parts of Scotland, being presented by special commissioners. 
" The shires and towns of Renfrew and Ayr sent deputations to deprecate offended sovereignty, 
imputing to the agitation of the covenanting clergy all their sins of rebellion. Montrose accepted 
their submission, took their oaths of allegiance, and dismissed them as friends. But, understanding 
that the fugitive earls had been raising forces in the western shires, he despatched his major- 
general, Alaster Mac Coll, accompanied by young Drummond of Balloch (159), with a strong force 
to suppress these levies. Strange to say, this party found their mission resolving into a pleasant 
progress through what then was known as the most covenanted district of Scotland. And nowhere, 
says Guthrie, did Montrose's delegates receive so hearty a welcome as at Loudon Castle. (160) 
The chancellor of course was not at home. But the baroness in her own right, actually took the 
son of old Coll Keitach in her arms, honoured the party with a sumptuous entertainment, and sent 
her major-domo, John Halden, back with them to Montrose, to present her humble service to the 
king's lieutenant." (161) Napier's Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii., p. 555. 

This mission into Renfrew and Ayrshire, the very hotbed of the covenant, places Alaster 
Macdonnell in a somewhat new light, and affords us in some respects a clearer view of his character 
than what could be obtained merely on a series of battlefields. Curiously enough, a letter has been 
discovered some years ago, among the papers of the Eglinton family, at Auchans, which reveals 
several interesting particulars, hitherto entirely unknown, in connexion with the visit of Macdonnell 
to Ayrshire, and even goes far to persuade numerous Lowlanders of the present day that he was not 
the bloody freebooter he is represented to have been by some holy chroniclers among themselves. 
This letter was written by a gentleman named Montgomery, a kinsman of the then covenanting 
earl of Eglinton, (162) to whom it was addressed, and who must have been very well pleased 

king and the covenant. His kinsman, Cunningham of ried, in 1620, sir John Campbell of Lawers, of the 

Glengarnock, had settled in Donegal, and in his family, Breadalbane family. In 1633, he was created earl of 

it is probable, the runaway earl took refuge. Loudon, and in 1641, when Charles I. visited Edinburgh, 

(159) balloch. — This gallant royalist was nephew of Loudon was appointed lord chancellor of Scotland. 

Archibald, first lord Napier. Associated with Graham His lady, by whom he obtained the magnificent estate of 

of Inchbrackie, Drummond defeated the remnant of Loudon, was the daughter of George, master of Loudon. 

Argyle's Highland army quartered on lord Napier's Both her father and mother died in March, 1612, her 

lands in Menteith. "This last gleam of good fortune grandfather, sir Hugh, surviving eight years afterwards. 



shed upon the arms of Montrose, was a brilliant affair, Chancellor Loudon, her husband, died in 1652, and was 

but led to no results." Drummond escaped with Mon- buried in the family vault under Loudon kirk, "where, 

trose to Norway. some years ago, his face might be seen beneath the coffin- 

(160) Loudon castle. — Loudon castle was, even in 1645, lid in perfect preservation." Paterson's Ayrshire, vol. 
a magnificent residence, occupying a gentle slope on the ii., p. 321. 

north bank of the river Irvine. The castle, which is em- (162) Eglintoune. — This sixth earl of Eglinton was 

bosomed in woods, is said to combine all that is pleasing known as Grcvs/cd, an epithet which he acquired from 

and imposing in an old baronial residence. There is an his well-known readiness to appeal to the arbitrament of 

ell yew-tree of unknown antiquity still standing close to the sword in the settlement of all weighty disputes, 

the eastern wall. It is said that one ol the family charters whether public or private. He was the greatest, cer- 

uas signed under it in the time of William the Lion. tainly, and most historical of all the earls of his family, 

See Paterson's Parishes and Families of Ayrshire, vol. ii., with perhaps the exception of the first. Of this sixth 

P- 3 '7- earl there is the following notice in the well-known 

(161) Lieutenant.— This lady was Margaret Campbell, Broomland's MS. — "This earl was among the number 
baroness of Loudon in her own right, having succeeded of those peers who engaged themselves against the 
her grandfather, sir Hugh, in the year 1622. She mar- king (Charles I.) in the yeai 163S, upon the first com- 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 99 

indeed that the writer's tact and discretion had been the means of saving his (the earl's) estates 
from being plundered : — 

" My Lord, — I Thonghte good to acquainte youre Lordship with the occurrences heire since 
youre Lordship's departoure ; Alexander Mac Donald came to Kilmarnocke the nixt day therafter 
with thre hundedth horse, spoylling and plundering the countrie untill twesday, at what tyme 
plundering was discharged. The gentilmen of this shyre, for the most pairt that was in the countrie, 
came and tookeprotectioune on thursday. Colonell Hay sent for me, professing friendship to your 
Lordship's house, and desyred me that I would deall with Alexander M'Donald, General-major, 
for saving your Lordship's houses and lands, by giving ane sowme of money. I told him I had no 
warrande from your Lordship, nor yett from your sone, to dealle in a matter of such consequence, 
but being earnestlie desyred by some of your Lordship's tennantes to enquyre his pryce, and to drawe 
him to the lowest, quhilk they promised to relieve me of, and not to trouble your Lordship with the 
paymente thereof; which accordinge to their desyre, I did, and desyred of the major-generall that 
he would give me four dayes to convene your lordship's tennantes and wassales ; and I promised 
before Sunday at nighte to returne him ane answer by coming myselfe, which I did, and all of your 
Lordship's tennentes and vassales was contente to drawe up ane band for my releife, before Saturday 
at nighte. But the generall-major goinge to Lowdoune where the house was randered upon agree- 
mente of Aught thowsand and five hundreth merkes for savinge of the ploundering of the houses 
and paroches of Lowdoune, Galstonne, and Mauchline. But some envyous persoune told the 
generall-major whill as he was at Lowdoune that I intended no trew dealling with him, but had 
sent away some gentilmen to my Lord Marqueis of Montrose for ane protectioune to your Lordship's 
landes, and so to prejudge him ; which in trewth was altogether ane false reporte, for I never 
intended to prejudge the agreement. Howsoever, Hew Montgomery in Bowhouse, (163) wente to 
my Lord Montrose, at the desyre of some other freinds, without my knowledge, and as I believe 
my Lord Seatoune (164) his meanes obteaned ane protectioune whereof this is the coppie, which 
indeed the meanest gentilman here would not accept of. Wherfore, the generall-major came from 

mencing of our bloody civil war. He had the command who died in 1632, he had five sons. By his second wife, 

of a regiment of the army which was sent to Ireland in Margaret, daughter of Walter lord Buccleugh, who died 

the year 1642, towards the suppressing of the rebellion in 1651, he left no children. See Montgomery Mauu- 

there. He was likewise personally engaged in the battle scripts, new edition, p. 7, note 21. 

of Long-Marston-Moor, which was in the year 1645, in (163) Bow/iouse. — This gentleman was son of Hugh 
the service of the parliament of England against the king, ' Montgomery, of Stane, Auchinhood, and Bowhouse, in 

where he behaved with abundance of courage ; yet his the parish of Irvine, and Elizabeth, daughter of Blair, of 

lordship still retained a respect and affection for his ma- Adamtoune. Hugh Momtgomery, the younger, married 

jesty's person, and no man more abominated the murder Margaret, daughter of the laird Calderwood, of Pea- 

of the king than he. He heartily concurred in, and was cockbank, and died in 1658. The founder of this branch 

extremely satisfied with, the restoration of Charles II. , by of the Montgomerys was William Montgomery of Green- 

whom he was constituted captain of his guards of horse field, third son of the first earl of Eglinton. Paterson's 

in the year 1650, and next year, while he was raising Ayrshire, vol. ii. , pp. 100, 101 



forces in the western parts for the king's service, he was (164) Lord Seatoune. — Lord Seton was a younger 
surprised at Dumbarton by a party of English horse, and brother of Alexander sixth earl of Eglinton — the noble- 
sent prisoner to the town of Hull, and afterwards re- man to whom the above letter was addressed. This earl, 
moved to Berwick-on-Tweed, suffering likewise the se- who had been previously known as sir Alexander Seton 
questration of his estate until the year 1660. He died in of Foulstrulher, succeeded to the Eglinton estates on the 
1661, and by his first wife, the lady Anne Livingstone, death of his cousin, Hugh Montgomery, in 1613. 



IOO THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

Lowdoune that same nighte to Eglintoune, (165) and caused send for me; and after my coming 
did accuse me of my intentioune of wronging of him, as is aforesaide; and after I had cleared 
myselfe, I did agree with him, at the desyre of your Lordship's tennantes and vassales, for the sowme I 
of four thowsand merkes, six hundreth thereof to be paid presentlie, and thre thowsand four hun- 
dreth merkes to be payed the last of this month I wente to Irwin presentlie and delyvered my 
Band to him, and received ane band of your Lordship's tennantes ; and thereafter the receipt of 
my Band, the General-major did remove his sowldiers from your Lordship's landes, having done no 
harm to the house, and no great harm to your Lordship's landes, being compared with others in the 
countrie. (166) He lykewise commanded that all the musquetes, powder, Ball, and match, pikes 
and launces that was in the house of Eglintoune should be carried up to the Leaguer on the 
Monday therafter. Wherfore I went to the Leaguer the first of September, hopeing to find favour 
by Colonell Hay his meanes for not delyuering of the Ammunitione ; which accordingly as I expect 
I fand ; for in trewth Colonell Hay did all the good he could in anything that concerned your 
Lordship ; I payed the sex hundreth merkes ; and thereafter being informed by William Home that 
your Lordship's tennentes of Eastwood were plundered, and thre of them slaine, I wrotte to the 
generall-major with my sone complaining of the wrong received. He returned me this answer — 
that it was done before the agreemente, and in tyme comin there should be no Harme done to 
your Lordship's landes. I hear that there is no great skaith done to the parke, only some sheepe 
and some young staiges caryed away, which indeed the Generall major offered to cause delyver, if 
my sone would affirme that those staiges was your Lordship's which he saw, namely, ane roaned 
staige, which by reason he had not seen him before, could not trewly affirme to be your Lordship's. 
As for the paroch of Egilsome, they had thre of Montrose sowldiers, which they maintained, to 
whom they gave ane sowme of money, wha did keep them from any great harm. I have likeways 
written to my Lady Montgomery, wha is now in Carrickfergus, acquainting her of all those pro 1 - 
ceidings, and of the quyetnes of the countrie heir, desyring her returne home, which I fear she be 
not able to doe beforhir delyvery. (167) Sua hoping to see your Lordship shortlie, I remaine, &c, 
"Langshaw, the 13 of Sept., 1645." " Neill Montgomery, off Laingschaw." (168) 

(165) Eglintoune. — The old castle at Eglintoune, and a third, that he "convened with the rebels at 
which was visiied by Alaster Macdonnell, was taken Kilmarnock, and at their leagues at Bothwell." Such of 
down about the close of the last century, and the present the clergy as took Alaster's side were severely handled by 
mansion built on its site. It occupies a gentle eminence the presbytery, some of them being expelled or suspended 
above the Lugton, which flows past the castle on its from their office. See Paterson's Ayrshire, vol. i., 
northern and eastern sides. See Paterson's Ayrshire, pp. 117 — 120. 

vol. ii., p. 244. (167) Delyvery. — This lady Montgomery was the 

(166) The countrie. — Parties who refused to enter into second wife of the sixth earl of Eglinton. Her name was 
any agreement with Macdonnell respecting contributions, Margaret Scott, daughter of Walter lord Buccleugh. 
were plundered according to a regularly arranged scale. She was not so courageous as her neighbour, lady 
Very many in Ayrshire, however, either from sympathy Loudon, who remained in her castle and received the 
with the royalists, 01 from fear of Macdonnell, sought his invaders politely. Lady Montgomery fled to Carrick- 
protection. Such persons at once became special de- fergus, where her step-son, colonel James Montgomery, 



linquents in the eyes of the covenanting preachers, and then commanded a regiment under Monro. When the 

lists of '• disaffected persons" were very soon forwarded by earl of Eglinton was imprisoned in Hull by Cromwell in 

the presbyter)' of Ayr to the general assembly. Several 1650, his lady went to reside there, and died, without 

of such delinquents were at once summoned before the leaving any children, on the 5th of October, 1651. Her 

presbytery, and all, even those in high social positions, body was embalmed, and brought by sea to Dalkeith, her 

were afraid to refuse. One acknowledged that he had birthplace. 

supped accidentally with Alaster Macdonnell, the public (16S) Laingschaw.— The founder of the Montgomery's 

enemy ; another, that he was at Kilmarnock with Alaster ; of Lainshaw, in the parish of Slewarton, was Nigel or 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. IOI 

" As for the laird of Rowallane, (169) whome I hear is with your Lordship, his tennentes did 
agree for ane thowsand merkes for his landes, Crawfurdlandes (170) and Lochridges, for the quhilk 
by reasone they wanted money, I gave my Band to the Generall-major, to be payed at Luks-mass, 
having received their band for my reliefe. As for the Laird of Cuninghamheid, (171) his friends 
did agree for twelfe hundreth merkes quhilk the tennentes hes reallie payed. Both of Cuningham- 
heid and Rowallans lands are greatlie plundered, to the worth of ten thowsand poundes, as I am 
creditable informed. As for the towne of Kilmarnocke, I think it undone." (172) See Paterson's 
Parishes and Families of the County of Ayr, vol. i., pp. 116, 117. 

These operations were carried forward by Macdonnell in Ayrshire during the interval between 
the battle of Kilsyth, on the 15th of August, and the end of the month. Montrose was now beset 
with great folks, some of whom had come around him from fear of consequences, should they con- 
tinue their opposition to the royal cause ; but most of them being free from fear of the covenanters, 
came to offer him sincere congratulations on the success of his arms. He only then received a 
commission from the king, which had been dated at Hereford, the 25th of June, appointing him 
lieutenant-governor and captain-general of Scotland. The ceremony of presenting this commission to 
Montrose by sir Robert Spottiswoode, secretary of state for Scotland, took place at Bothwell, on 
the third of September. At that meeting, Montrose addressed his soldiers, praising in simple but 
expressive terms their loyalty and courage. Then, in presence of the whole army, he addressed 
words of the most flattering approval to Alaster Mac Coll, and by virtue of the power granted in the 
commission from the king, Montrose concluded the proceedings by conferring the honour of knight- 
hood upon his brave major-general. This was but an empty compliment under the circumstances, 
yet it was probably a cause of jealousy among the numerous and distinguished Highland chiefs who 
then stood around Montrose. Sir Alexander or Alaster Macdonnell appears to have concluded 

Neil Montgomery, second son of the first earl of Eglin- appear that sir William Mure also held a portion of the 

ton. This Nigel married the lady Helen Campbell, a estates known as Craufurdland, in the parish of Kilmar- 

daughter of Colin, first earl of Argyle. Neil Mont- nock. The mansion-house on his portion of the property 

gomery, the writer of the above letter, was sixth in stands on the summit of a steep bank. The estate and 

descent from Nigel, and succeeded to the family estate castle are now the property of the very ancient family of 

on the death of his father in 1635. He married Mar- Craufurd. See Paterson's Ayrshire, vol. ii., p. 169. 

garetta Lockhart, daughter of the laird of Barr, and by (171) Cuninghamheid.— This was sir William Cuning- 

her left two sons and four daughters. This gentleman hame, laird of Cuninghamheid, in the parish of Dreghorn, 

evidently sympathised with the cause of the king. See and ninth in descent from William Cuninghame, the 

Paterson's Ayrshire, vol. ii., p. 454. founder of the family, who died in 1418. Sir William 

(169) Rowallane. — This laird of Rowallane, in the succeeded to the estate on the death of his father in 1641; 
parish of Kilmarnock, was sir William Mure, seven- and Balfour states that " the wairde and marriage of the 
teenth in descent from David de Moore, mentioned laird of Cuninghamheid, whose father died in the 
in a charter of Alexander II. early in the 13th century. country's service, was ordained to be given gratis to his 
Sir William Mure, above referred to, was a gentleman heir by the Parliament, August, 1641." Sir William 
of some literary distinction. Whilst he remained in com- married Anne, eldest daughter of Thomas, lord Ruthven, 
mand of a regiment with the Scottish army in England of Freeland. He died in 1C70. See Paterson's Ayr- 
he wrote often to his eldest son. In a letter dated at shire, vol. i-, p. 451. 

Newcastle, August, 1644, he says : — "I have written to (172) Undone. — Alaster Macdonnell made his head- 
Adame Mure, to whom you shall also speak, and re- quarters in the town of Kilmarnock, which accounts for 
queist that he must take the whole care and chairgeof the injury done to the place, and which perhaps Mont- 
my harvest, and stay constantly at my house for that gomery had witnessed. It is stated, however, in the 
effect, and I will suffieientlie recompense his paynes." Sir History of Kilmarnock, that " there is no tradition or re- 
William died in 1657. See Paterson's Ayrshire, vol. ii., cord of any material loss sustained by the inhabitants at 
p. 192, 193. this particular crisis." See Paterson's Ayrshire, vol. ii., 

(170) Crawfurdlandes. — From this statement it would p. 162. 



IQ 2 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

that Montrose could do without him, at least for a time; and that now he might look 
after some friends— and perhaps foes, too— whom he had lost sight of in Argyleshire. A 
desperate infatuation appears to have taken possession of the royalists from the highest to the 
lowest, for whilst they made haste to disband themselves, a great covenanting army, well-equipped, j 
and highly fed on English beef, was marching across the Tweed to demolish them. This army was 
led by David Leslie, a nephew of Alexander Leslie, and described as being stealthy and ferocious 
as a wild-cat. The Gordons had left Montrose, and so had the Highlanders, for these heroic fel- 
lows invariably indulged themselves in visiting their homes after each battle ; but sir Alexander Mac 
Coll had left behind him, with Montrose, 700 Irish infantry, and these, in fact, constituted the only 
force on which he could depend. This small party was suddenly surprised during a dense 
fog, at Philiphaugh, near Selkirk, on the 13th of September. The Irish fought with their 
accustomed gallantry, so long as fighting could serve any purpose, but they were soon surrounded 
by masses of cavalry. They had got possession, however, of some trifling entrenchments, and were 
selling their lives as dearly as possible, when an unexpected offer of quarter was given on condition 
that they would surrender. They did so, throwing down their arms, and standing defenceless 
prisoners in the presence of their enemies. These gallant Irish were then instantly butchered, after 
having received the promise of protection ! They met their sad fate bravely as men could do, but 
it is grievous to know that they, with many of their hapless wives and children were thus murdered 
in cold blood. (173) In many a fair field these Antrim soldiers had defeated the hardiest and 
staunchest adherents Argyle could muster against them. " They had proved themselves able to 
out-manceuvre the covenanters, out-walk them, and out-fight them." The fields of Tippermuir, 
Aberdeen, Fyvie, Inverlochy, Dundee, Auldearn, Alford, and Kilsyth, have borne witness, and will 
ever bear witness to their valour. The Rev. principal Baillie, to whom we have already referred, 
speaks of their atrocious murder at Philiphaugh in the following style : — " The Lord made these 
men so mad as to stay for our army's coming to them in a plain field : Above a thousand were 
buried in the place : whereof scarcely fifteen was ours." Although Baillie gloats over the magnitude of 
the hecatomb here offered to appease covenanting wrath, it was not just so great as he represents. 
Wishart reckons the number of Irish then butchered at five hundred, and Guthrie at seven hundred, 
but besides the actual men at arms, there was unfortunately a numerous camp following that shared 
the same fate. The appalling murder of these camp-followers is thus recorded by Patrick Gordon 
of Ruthven, in his manuscript history, which he entitles Britain's Distemper:— "With, the whole 
baggage and stuff, which was exceeding rich, there remained none but boys, cooks, and a rabble 
of rascals, and women with their children in their arms. All those, without commiseration, were 
cut in pieces ; whereof, there were three hundred women, that, being natives of Ireland, were the 
married wives of the Irish. There were many big with child, yet none of them were spared, : 

(173) fit cold Mood. — The royal standard of the small Banters by this time were masters of the field, this 

force under Montrose was preserved from the enemy at Antrim hero forced his way sword in hand to Mon- 

Philiphaugh by a brave Antrim soldier, who, with sur- trose, who, in honour of his bravery, appointed him 

prising presence of mind, coolly stripped it from the staff one of his own lifeguards. See Wishart's Memoirs of 

and wrapped -it round his body. Although the cove- Montrose, p. 202. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. IO3 

were cut in pieces, with such savage and inhuman cruelty, as neither Turk nor Scythian was ever 
heard to have done the like : For they ript up the bellies of the women with their swords ; till the 
fruit of their wombs, some in embryo, some perfectly formed, some crawling for life, and some ready 
for birth, fell down upon the ground, weltering in the gory blood of their mangled mothers. Oh ! 
impiety; oh horrible cruelty, which Heaven, doubtless, will revenge before this bloody, unjust, 
and unlawful war be brought to an end." 

The horror of such a scene was surely rendered still more horrible by the fact, as recorded by 
Guthrie, that covenant preachers were the principal instigators. " Montrose's foot," says Guthrie, "so 
soon as the horse were gone, drew to a little fold, which they maintained until Stewart the adjutant 
procured quarter for them, from David Leslie : Whereupon they delivered up their arms, and came 
forth to a plain field as they were directed : But then did the church-men quarrel (complain) that 
quarter should be given to such wretches as they ; and declared it to be an act of most sinful im- 
piety to spare them : wherein divers of the noblemen complied with the clergy : and they found 
out a distinction whereby to bring David Leslie off; and this it was, that quarter was only meant to 
Stewart the adjutant himself, but not to his company : After which, having delivered the adjutant 
to Middleton, to be his prisoner, the army was let loose upon them, and cut them all in pieces." 
This brutal ferocity on the part of the preachers was not a mere characteristic of one, or two, 
or three, of the fraternity, but it was a settled principle of action among them all, their 
great mission at this time being the hounding on the Estates to the execution of all prisoners 
of war. In the interval between the battle of Philiphaugh and the 1st of December, many of the 
Scottish nobility and gentry who had fought in the ranks of the royalist army were taken prisoners. 
On the 5th of December, a commission from the General Assembly of the church presented a 
' Remonstrance' to the Estates or Scottish Parliament, complaining that the delays in the execution 
of the prisoners of war were displeasing to the Supreme Judge of all the earth, dangerous unto 
themselves (the members of Parliament), and grievous unto the hearts of the Lord's people ! 
Previously, on the 24th of October, the petition of the Synod of Merse and Tcviotdale had been pre- 
sented, in which the members honestly remind their legislators, that the desires of justice against 
delinquents were not the scattered and inconsiderate wishes of one or two, blinded with prejudice or 
transported with passion, but the common and deliberate motions of the assemblies of the Lord's 
servants, after they had supplicated Himself for direction ! In the same month, a petition from the 
Synod of Fife earnestly prays that, as its compilers had heard of the Parliament's zealous 
purpose of executing justice upon those bloody men whom God had put into their hands, so just 
and laudable a resolution might speedily be put in execution. Those holy petitioners trusted, that 
in thus delivering themselves, their conduct would "not be thought unbecoming of their place and 
calling!" The petition of the Synod of Galloway craves most earnestly "that which your late 
oath of Covenant and Parliament, your place and the bleeding condition of your native country 
require, that the sword of justice may be impartially drawn against those persons now in bonds, 
who have lifted up their hands against the Lord, the sworn Covenant, and this afflicted Kirk !" 
The clergy composing the Synod of Dumfries say in their petition — " We need not lay before your 
Honours what the Lord calls for at your hands, in the point of justice ; nor what you owe unto 



104 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

the many thousands of his people, whose blood is as water spilt on the ground." They 
urge the infliction of death on the prisoners of war as " the common and deliberate motions of the 
Assemblies of the Lord's servatits, after chey have supplicated Himself for direction, and searched 
for truth in His own word, which presseth the administration of justice with much vehemence and 
perspicuity : we are therefore confident that your hearts will not faint, nor your hands fail, until you 
have cut off the horns of the wicked, and made enemies bear the just reward of their violence and 
cruelty." See the Second Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, p. 175; 
Napier's Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii., pp. 593 — 595. 

Such ghastly counsels produced the bloodiest results — results so shocking that at last the scaffold 
came to be called the " Covenant Shambles." Such of the hapless Irish as were not slaughtered at 
Philiphaugh,were done to death in due course subsequently. Two of their most distinguished officers, 
colonel Manus O'Cahan and major Lachlan, had greatly endeared themselves to Montrose by their gal- 
lantry and fidelity. (See p. 90, supra) They commanded at Philiphaugh, where, instead of being mas- 
sacred with their soldiers, they were studiouslyreserved for a more lingering and ignominious fate. The 
covenanters wished to have an exhibition of triumph in the capital, so these officers were sent forward 
to Edinburgh, and hanged on the Castle-Hill, without even the semblance of a trial (174). Several 
Irish.includingwomen and children, made their escape before the general massacre at Philiphaugh, and 
were soon afterwards captured along the line of Leslie's march. This brutal fellow was accompanied 
by a committee of estates appointed to assist him in deciding all doubtful points that might arise ; he 
also benefitted by the presence of several preachers, who never failed, when Irish captives were 
brought in, to urge their immediate execution. At one point in the line of march, these preachers 
must have felt that their exhortations were not given in vain. Wishart records that Irish stragglers, 
" being gathered together, were thrown headlong from off a high bridge; and the men, together 
with their wives and children, drowned in the river beneath ; and if any chanced to swim towards 
the side, they were beaten off with pikes and staves, and thrust down again into the water." The 
covenanting soldiers, guilty of these barbarities, were braced up to their bloody work by the 
preachers, who kept repeating the following, among other passages of Scripture, supposed to 
countenance their atrocious conduct: — "What meaneth, then, this bleating of sheep in my ears, and 
the lowing of the oxen ? Thine eye shall not pity, and thou shalt not spare." But the covenant- 
soldiers did not require to be stirred up in the matter, for they had, as they felt, many defeats 
now to avenge on these hated Irish; indeed during Montrose's campaigns the soldiers of the covenant, 
by defeats as invariable as they were ignominious, had become absolutely frantic. In addition to 
the Irish caught on the line of Leslie's march, there were many who had escaped in other 
directions, but who were also eventually captured on the 26th of December, 1646; immediately after 
the petitions received from the Synods of Merse and Teviotdale, Fife, Dumfries, and Galloway, 
" The House ordains the Irish prisoners taken at and after Philiphaugh, in all the prisons of the 
kingdom, especially in the prisons of Selkirk, Jedburgh, Glasgow, Dumbarton, and Perth, to be 

(174) Of a trial.— It was at this time that the Rev. David Dick, referring to the number and quality of the 
persons executed, piously ejaculated-" The work goes bonniely on ! " See Guthrie's Memoirs, p. 1S2, as quoted by 
\\i4iait, p. 224, note. r ' ' 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. IO5 

executed without any assize or process, conform to the treaty betwixt both kingdoms passed in act." 
" These," says Napier, " were only the gleanings of that glorious harvest day of die Covenant. 
There was no treaty between the kingdoms (England and Scotland) that touched the case. That 
was a miserable subterfuge, a flimsy phraseology, by which conscious cruelty sought to cloak a 
cowardly crime." See Napier's Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii., pp. 581 — 584; see also Prendergast's 
Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, pp. 67, 68. 

Whatever may have been the real cause of Macdonnell's departure or defection from Montrose 
after the battle of Kilsyth, the royalist movement in Scotland thus and then suddenly collapsed. 
Alaster had been more than his right hand to Montrose as the leader of the small but most efficient 
Irish force, and as the only individual who could rouse, to the extent he had done, the enthusiasm 
of the Highland clans. Napier is compelled to admit, that the name of Alaster MacCholla-chiotach 
is even more famous in Highland tradition and song than that of Montrose himself, that in fact he 
was a knight of such valiant bearing as to have taken largely to himself the chief military glory 
arising from those brief but astounding campaigns. (See Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii., pp. 504, 569.) 
Napier censures sir Alaster in unmeasured terms for leaving Montrose ; but the latter, who must 
have known all the circumstances connected with his friend's withdrawal, has spoken, so far as we 
are aware, no words of blame, but simply of disappointment. Whilst Napier has an apology for 
" the home-sick chiefs" who left Montrose to his fate, he waxes wrathful about Macdonnell's 
"shameful desertion" and "miserable end." As to his desertion, this critic evidently knows 
little of its cause; and even less of Macdonnell's "end," when he states, as in vol. ii., p. 603, that 
"he fell in some unrecorded provincial quarrel." By way of representing his departure as 
inexcusable, Napier states, vol. ii., p. 569, that "Sir Alaster was now captain of the clans under the 
viceroy of Scotland," but this title, if ever really applied to him, must have been given in some 
figurative sense which he certainly did not appreciate, or perhaps understand. He returned to the 
western Highlands in company with sir Lachlan Maclean of Mull, who led homeward his whole 
force under the impression that peace had permanently come, and that the services of his valiant 
clan would no longer be required. As, he and sir Alaster marched quietly homeward, they en- 
countered a party of seven hundred Campbells, who still lurked at a place called Lagganmor in Lome, 
and who were instantly dispersed by an advanced guard sent forward by Macdonnell and Maclean, 
consisting of only two hundred men. In reference to the departure of sir Alaster and others at that 
juncture, Grant has the following account : — " Now at this important crisis, when at the zenith of its 
fame and good fortune, the Highland army fell completely to pieces. The clans of Athol and the 
Macleans, 3000 in number, hearing that their dwellings had been destroyed, and their children left 
homeless to the snows of the coming winter, departed to rebuild what the troops of Baillie in the north 
and the Campbells in the west had burned and overthrown. Others were urged by the stern necessity 
of securing their little harvest, lest if they did not, their families would starve. Sir Alaster MacColl- 
keitach, having unfortunately learned about this time that his friends, relations, and clansmen, who 
had fled from the vengeance of the Campbells to the isles of Rachlin and Jura, were pursued thither 
L 



106 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

by the laird of Ardkinglass, (175) the captain of Skipness, (176) and others acting under the orders 
of Argyle, became animated by a true Highland longing for reprisals ; for the covenanters treated 
his people with frightful severity, slaying women and children, even nurslings at the breast. All 
the influence of the captain-general, whom he loved so well, failed to restrain him ; every entreaty 
and argument were used by Montrose, and by Airly, (177) to induce him to stay, for they knew his 
value, and also that they never could deem themselves completely successful while the whole 
armed force of Scotland occupied the north of England, and could be recalled in a week. MacColl 
replied that he ' would be no true Highlander, if he preferred even the king's cause to that of his 
own blood and kindred,' and with 500 Highlanders and 120 chosen Irish musketeers, on the 3rd 
September, he marched for the west country on his errand of vengeance, bidding adieu to Montrose, 
never to meet with him more." See Grant's Memoirs of Montrose, pp. 290, 291. 

Whilst sir Alexander remained in the Western Highlands, the Argyle faction got the king into 
their hands, and when they could not induce him to become out and out a covenanted-king, they 
forthwith handed him over to his enemies, receiving at the same time a consideration of,£4°°>°°°- 
Having thus settled effectually and for ever with their sovereign, they immediately turned their 
attention to his friends, now scattered throughout Scotland. David Leslie, accompanied by 
Argyle, at the head of a large army, went about cutting off those friends in detail, as a most congenial 
sort of occupation. Sir Alexander, hearing that they had actually resumed their bloody mission, was 
soon in arms, and made arrangements with several clans to join him, but Leslie and Argyle were very 
wily in their movements, and attacked him before any junction with his friends could be accomplished. 
They marched rapidly through Dumbarton into Argyleshire, and took Macdonnell by surprise in Can- 
tire. The latter, unable to make head against such a large force as followed Leslie, was compelled to 
retreat into Isla. " Here," says the Account of the Clan Maclean, p. 145, " the brave Macdonald 
made his last stand against the enemies of his king, but finding his position in too precarious a state 

(175) Ardkinglass. — The lairds of Ardkinglass repre- in Isla and Cantire. See Cosmo Innes's Sketches of 
sented a very oid and influential family of the Camp- Early Scottish History, pp. 414, 532. 
bells. Sir James Campbell of Ardkinglass, was (176) Skipness. — Archibald Campbell, the laird of Skip- 
comptroller of the household to James VI. of Scot- ness, had now forgotten his wrath at the cowardice of 
land, and one ot the guardians appointed by the sixth Argyle in the battle of Inverlochy. (See p. 92, supra.) 
earl of Argyle to superintend the education of his son. Skipness was slain soon afterwards at Dunavertie, where 
Another of these guardians was sir John Campbell of he fell on the first day of the siege, in 1647. His mother, 
Cawdor. When sir James died, his son, sir John of a lady of the Macfarlanes, saw him, as she supposed, ap- 
Ardkinglass, became jealous of his kinsman Cawdor, as proaching, but the person who arrived was a messenger 
having more influence with the youthful earl than he. with tidings of his death. The shock brought on a 
Young Ardkinglass having endeavoured in vain to gain fainting-fit from which she never awoke. On his tomb- 
the earl's affection by means of witchcraft, took a more stone in the old Gaelic church of Campbelton there is 
certain Highland method of removing the obstacle from an inscription, of which one line is : — " His cause of 
his path. He employed two poor natives to kill Cawdor, fight was still Christ's right!" Bede's Gleucreggan, 
and the latter was shot at his house in Lome, the " hag- vol. i., p. 35. 

but " being supplied by Ardkinglass. The assassin laird (177) Airly. — This nobleman was James Ogilvy, 

had great difficulty in extricating himself from the eighth viscount and first earl of Airly. His castle, "the 



threatened consequences of his crime, but he succeeded, bonnie house o' Airlie," was fortified against the coven- 

mainly from his influential position and his solemn ap- anters in 1640, and maliciously destroyed by Argyle. 

peals to the Almighty of his innocence. His son, to Airly remained faithful to the royal cause, suffering 

whom reference is made in the text, was an efficient as- many grievous losses, and even defying the excommuni- 

sistant of Argyle in the extermination of the Macdonnells cation of the kirk. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 107 

to hope for success by opposition, or for mercy by submission, he immediately passed over into 
Ireland." The little force left behind in Cantire, consisting principally of Macdougalls and soldiers 
from Antrim, shut themselves up in the fortress of Dunavertie, " and were soon reduced," says 
Napier (Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii , p. 603), "to that species of capitulation which best suited the 
tactics of Argyle, and against which the Synods of the Covenant enacted no laws, — the capitulation 
that was only made to be broken." Guthrie's account of theresult is this — " Having surrendered their 
arms, the marquis of Argyle and a bloody preacher, Mr. John Nevoy, prevailed with him (Leslie) to 
break his word ; and so the army was let loose upon them, and killed them all without mercy; whereat 
David Leslie seemed to have some inward check : For, while the marquis and he, with Mr. Nevoy, 
were walking over the ankles in blood, he turned about and said, — ' Now, Mass John, have you not, 
for once, gotten your fill of blood?' This was reported by many that heard it." See Memoirs of 
Montrose, vol. ii., p. 603. 

Sir James Turner, who was then adjutant in Leslie's army, refers to this massacre. "We 
besieged Dunaverty," says he, "which kept out well enough till we stormed a trench they 
had at the foot of the hill, whereby they commanded two stripes of water. This we took, and in 
the assault forty of them were put to the edge of the sword." After this event, so disastrous to the 
garrison in the loss of men, and its supply of water, every contrivance was prepared for catching 
rain, but no rain fell, not even a friendly cloud assisted in mitigating the burning rays of a July sun. 
When the garrison could hold out no longer, a parley was asked for, and granted, sir James Turner 
being appointed to negotiate terms of surrender with Archibald Oge Macdonnell, who had been 
left by sir Alaster in command of the garrison. (178) After lengthened discussions, the garrison 
had no alternative but to surrender at discretion, or to the mercy of the kingdom. The men 
delivered up their arms, were manacled, marched out on the summit of the rock, and con- 
fined in various places connected with the fortifications. After five days of cruel sufferings on 
the part of the prisoners, and of mock deliberations and prayers on the part of their inhuman 
butchers, " every mother's son," says Turner, "was put to the sword, except one young man, Mac 
Coul, whose life I begged, to be sent to France, with one hundred country fellows, whom we had 
smoked out of a cave, as they do foxes, and were given to Captain Campbell, the Chancellor's 
brother." (179) The traditions, still lingering about Dunaverty, affirm that the covenanters were 
exceedingly brutal even in their manner of putting their hapless victims to death, hurling many of 
them from the precipice whilst they were in the act of imploring water, and telling them as they 

(178) The garrison.— This Archibald Oge Macdonnell at a little distance from the castle. Their graves are un- 
was the young chieftain of the house of Sanda, an island disturbed to this day, although the field has been re- 
situated at a little distance south-east from the Mull of gularly cultivated ever since the time of their interment. 
Cantire. (See p. 32, supra.) In 1639 he was one of (179) Chancellor's brother.— Campbell of Lawers was 
three hundred Macdonnells who were forced to seek chancellor Loudon's brother, and these young captives 
refuge against Argyle's violence with the second earl of were handed over to him that they might be made soldiers 
Antrim at Dunluce. He was the direct representative of the covenant. Young "Mac Coul," whom Turner 
of Angus Macdonnell, son of John Cahanagh, traiterously preserved, was a Macdougall, almost the last of his 
put to death by James IV. (See pp. 35, 38, supra). This clan. Tradition tells of a child, named Randal Mac- 
Archibald Oge and his father were both among those donnell, who was saved at the same time by the tact and 
massacred at Dunaverty by Leslie and Argyle. They courage of his nurse, Flora M 'Cambridge. This Randal 
were buried side by side in a field called " Maclnibeg," became the husband of Anne Stewart, sister to the first 



To8 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

did so, to go and quench their thirst in the sea ! In the year 1822, an unusually violent sea broke up 
a large sand-bank at the foot of the cliffs, and thus revealed a very chamel house of bones, the sight of 
which appalled beholders, as but too significantly establishing the truth of the ghastly local 
traditions that still live on the Mull. See Bede's Gkncrcggan, vol. i., p. 122. 

The murder of these men, upwards of two hundred in number, was one of the many dreadful ac- 
cusations against Argyle on his trial. The abovenamed sir James Turner was summoned as a witness 
against the wretched Mac Chaillean More, who had got hopelessly into the hands Qf the Philistines 
in 1 66 1, and paid the penalty of his inhuman career. Turner, in his Memoirs, pp. 46, 47, afterwards 
refers to his evidence on the trial, as follows : — " Here it will be fit to make a stop till this cruel action 
be canvassed. First, the Lieutenant-general (Leslie} was two days irresolute what to do. The marquis 
of Argyle was accused, at his arraignment, of this murder, and I was examined as a witness. I 
deposed that which was true, that I never heard him advise the Lieutenant-general to it. What he 
did in private I know not. Secondly, Argyle was but a colonel there, and so had no power to do it 
of himself. Thirdly, though he had advised him to it, it was no capital crime ; for counsel is no 
command. Fourthly, I had several times spoke to the Lieutenant-general to save these men's lives, 
and he always assented to it ; and I know of himself he was unwilling to shed blood. Fifthly, Mr. 
John Nave (or Nevoy) who was appointed by the commissioners of the kirk, to wait on him as his 
chaplain, never ceased to tempt him to that bloodshed ; yea, and threatened him with the curses that 
befel Saul for sparing the Amalekites, for with them, his theology taught him to compare the Dun- 
avertie men. And I verily believe that this prevailed most with David Leslie, who looked upon 
Nave as the representative of the kirk of Scotland." (180) 

Old Coll Kittagh and his two sons, Angus and Gillaspick or Archibald, who had been 
imprisoned by Argyle from 1639 to 1644, were set free in the latter year, so soon as Alaster Mac- 
donnell made his presence felt throughout the Western Highlands. Coll Kittagh came forth as a 
veteran warrior once more, and his bravery and experience induced the Scottish royalists to place 
him again in charge of the important castle of Dunyveg in Isla. He held this position gallantly 
from 1644 until 1647, tne y ear of his death, when he was entrapped into a surrender by 
Leslie, (181) who promised him honourable protection. When Argyle and Leslie had com- 

earl of Bute- (See Bede's Glencreggan, vol. i., p. 121.) ber of the presbytery of Irvine, and, on his return, he 

The Christian name, Flora, was prevalent among the attended a meeting of this body, 15th of September, 

MacCambridges on the Antrim coast until about forty 1647, when it was arranged that a thanksgiving day 

years ago. should be solemnly observed, because that " the Lord 

(180) Of Scotland. — This preacher's name was gene- has been pleased to grant so glorious a victory to our 



rally written Nevey, sometimes Nevoy. He was minister army employed against the rebels in the highlands." The 

of Loudon parish. Wodrow describes him as "an ex- minutes of that meeting contain the following entry: 

ctllcnt man, ami very much valued by the Earl of — "Mr. John Nevoy is returned from the army, and 

Loudon." (See Memoirs of Montrose, vol. ii., p. 603, note.) gave the brethren hearty thanks for their care in supply- 

The clergyman who wrote the New Statistical Account ing his kirk in the time of his absence." The chance of 

of Loudon parish has the following reference to this getting 300 Irish and Highland papists murdered in cold 



worthy :— " The Rev. John Nevey, then minister of blood, and without risk, was to these sons of the Coven- 

Loudon, and chaplain to David Leslie'., army, was the ant a really genuine cause of thanksgiving ! See Scottish 

chief instigator of the bloody massacre of Dunavertie, in Journal of Antiquities, &c , vol. i., p. 300. 
Cantyre, where the whole garrison of 300 were put to (1S1) Leslie. — This was David Leslie, a nephew of 

death in cold blood, whose bones may even now be seen Alexander Leslie, earl of Leven. (See p. 60, supra. ) 

among the sand-banks on the beach, near the fort." (See David obtained the rank of a colonel in the army of 

n's Ayi rhire, vol. ii., p. 315.) Nevey was a mem- Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden. On his return to 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. log 

pleted their bloody work at Dunavertie, they proceeded without loss of time against a small number 
of^royalists who had taken refuge in the fortress of Dunyveg. " From Kintire," says sir James 
Turner, "we went by sea to Yla, and immediately invested Duneveg. I must remember, by the 
way, that we carried bot about fourscore horses with us after we left Kintire, the rest of the troopes 
being left in Lome, under the command of Colonell Robert Montgomery, (182) since Generall 
Major, who blocked up the house of (183) belonging to Mackoull in Lome, whose clan 

was, as I said, extirpated verie neere at Dunavertie. (See note 179, supra) Dunneveg, after a stout 
resistance, for want of water came to a parley. I am appointed to treate with one Captaine 
O'Neale (184) and Donald Gorm, (185) who came out of the house on the Lieutenant Generall's 
word. Life was promised to them : all the officers to goe where they pleased : the sojours to be 
transported to France, and given to Henry Sinclaire, my old Lieutenant Colonell. (186) The 
articles I saw couchd in writeing and signed by both Argyle and Lesley. This capitulation was 
faithfullie observed. A little skurvie ile in the end of Yla was keepd by a bastard sonne of Coll 
Kittoch, which we left to its fortune. (187) But before we were masters of Dunneveg, the old man 



Scotland, he offered his services to the covenanters, 
which were readily accepted. In 1644 he was promoted 
to the rank of major-general, and commanded at the 
battle of Marston-Moor. In 1647 he was recalled from 
England to fight the royalists, whom he defeated at 
Philiphaugb, under circumstances that gave him an easy 
victory, and enabled him to gratify his naturally 
cruel disposition. In 1650 his military reputation 
was increased by the skill with which, for a time, he 
baffled Cromwell near Dunbar. Leslie was captured at 
the battle of Worcester, and sent to the Tower, where 
he was imprisoned until 1660. He was then set free at 
the Restoration, created viscount Nevvaik, and received 
a pension of ,£500 a year. 

(182) Montgomery. — This officer was fifth son of the 
sixth earl of Eglinton. He was wounded at Marston- 
Moor, where he commanded in his father's regiment. 
When Charles II. absconded from the covenanters at 
Perth, Montgomery was sent to bring him back, and suc- 
ceeded in persuading the fugitive to return. He escaped 
with the king after the battle of Worcester, and went 
abroad with him; returning in 1660, and receiving the ap- 
pointment of a gentleman of the bed-chamber. He 
married a daughter of James Livingstone, first earl of 
Kilsythe, and resided after the wars in the vicinity of the 
town of Irvine. William Montgomery, of Rosemount, 
referring to the family of the sixth earl of Eglinton, says : 
— "I knew also Major-General Robert Montgomery, in 
Scotland, before Dunbarr fight, and in London also. 
Anno. 1665." — Monte^'merv Manuscripts, new edition, p. S. 

(183) House of. — The house here referred to, but not 
named, by Turnerwas either Dunolly, or one in the little 
island of Kerrara, off Oban, the ancient and well-known 
castles of the Macdougalls. Their clan was known as 
the Macalans, and Maeoulls, so designated from some 
early and distinguished chiefs of the family. 

(184) Captain O'A'aife- This was a Donnell O'Neill, 
who served in sir Henry Tichbourne's regiment, and acted 
as secretary to the latter at Drogheda, before and during 
the siege by the Irish of that place, in 1641. The officer 
in sir John Clotworthy's regiment, who wrote an : 



of the war, has the following reference to this captain 
Donnell O'Neill:—" After he left Drogheda he went with 
Colonel Alexander MacDonall, Captain, into Scotland, 
where he was with the [Irish contingent] till they were 
defeated at Philliphaugh in 1646. Then he came to Ire- 
land, and was major to Colonel M'Donall at Dublin 
siege, in 1649 (now Lord of Antrim). The poor gentle- 
man, as stout a man as a gentleman could desire to charge 
an enemy, died lately — his Heart being broke by the un- 
happiness of his two sons turning Tories (robbers), the 
one of which being drowned in Black Water, and the 
other called Con brought out of Scotland and hanged at 
Dungannon, which he well deserved, for murdering his 
comrade Tory, one Hagan." This stout captain Donnell 
O'Neill, who rose to the rank of major, was present at 
the battle of Lisnastrain, near Lisburn, in 1649, where 
the royalist force in which he served was entirely de- 
feated by the Cromwellians. (See History of the II 'a/ 1 . 
1641 — 1652, pp. 16, 17, 102.) O'Neill was one of the 
very few Irish officers who survived the campaigning with 
Montrose. 

(185) Donald Gorm.^Thh officer was a Macdonnell, 
and probably aLo from Antrim. His name was a com- 
mon one among the Macdonnells. both of Antrim and 
Argyleshire. He had got into the hands of the Philis- 
tines in Isla, where he, no doubt, found a grave. 

( 1 86) Lieutenant ( 'olonell. — Henry Sinclaire was brother 
of lord Sinclair, and held the rank here mentioned in 
the regiment of the Inter. Sir James Turner states, in an 
earlier portion of his Memoirs, that " a little before the 
report of the (Irish) rebellion came to Scotland, my Lord 
Sinclar's major dyed, whose place my Lord was pleased 
to bestow on me: a favour (in regard he had then choyce 
of a hundreth more sufficient) I can never either remem- 
ber or mention but with much thankfulness." — p. 18. 

(187) Its fortune. — This place was known as the Isle 
of Finlaggan. It is referred in the following passage in 
an old Description of the Tsles of Scot/and, written about 
•597:— "Neere unto this Island (Isla) is the Round 
Island, taking the name from Counsel! ; for therein was 
the justice-seat, and fourteene of the Countrey did minister 



IIO THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

Coll, comeing foolishlie out of the house where he was governour, on some parole or other, to speak 
with his old friend, the captaine of Dunstaffage castle, (188) was surprised and made prisoner, not 
without some staine to the Lieutenant Generall's honor. He was afterwards hanged by a jury of 
Argyle's Sheriff depute, one George Campbell, (189) from whose sentence few are said to have 
escaped that kind of death." Memoirs, pp. 47, 48. 

In this case the treachery and atrocity of the Campbells had a fearful illustration. Those of 
them immediately concerned in the seizure and execution of Coll Kittagh acted under the 
personal superintendence of Gillaspick Grumach himself (190). According to the Ac- 
count of the Clan Maclean, pp. 145, 146, Coll was committed to " Dunstaffnage Castle in 
Lorn, and placed in the keeping of a Campbell there, until a jury of Campbells could be 
got together to enjoy the gratification of tormenting a fallen foe — of lecturing him with cowardly 
abuse — of passing sentence of death upon him — and of finally glutting their eyes by the last 
struggles of their victim on a gallows. This Campbell ceremony was literally gone through in the 
case of Colla Kittoch MacGillaspick, and the final and more melancholy part of it performed in 
the cleft of a rock in the immediate neighbourhood of Dunstaffnage Castle : Across this cleft the 
murderers placed the mast of Macdonald's own galley, and leading him forth with the halter round his 
neck, he was suspended to the mast, and perished amid their fiendish yells." See also Gregory's 
History of the Western Highlands, p. 414. In a Historie of the Churche and Kingdom of Scotland, 
known as the Kirkton Manuscripts, there is a different account of Coll Macdonnell's execution. This 
latter account was printed by Dr. Reid in his History of the Presbyterian Church, and is contained 
in the following passage, which refers also to the imprisonment and death of two of the preachers 
already mentioned : — " Therefore, doe they lay it home to the Marqueis of Argyle's door 
that his Lordship might have gotten these holie men of God liberated ife his lordship, for the thrie 
ministers, would have sett at libertie old Coll Kittach and his two sonnes Archbald and Anguse. (191) 

Justiceunto all the rest, continuallie, and intreated of the and clan of the Macdonnells, known as the Maclans of 

waightie affaires of the Realme, in coimsell, whose great Ardnamurchan. 

equity and discretion kept peace both at home and (190) Grumach himself.— The sobriquet of Grumach, 

abroade, and with peace was the companion of peace, or " Grim," was originally given to Argyle because of 

aboundance of all things." — (Rcalmc of Scotland, &c.) In his squint, and sinister expression of countenance; 

this island was around table of stone, at which the Council and eventually, in connection with the word Gil 



of the Isles sat in deliberation, and which table Argyle, laspick (the Gaelic form of his christian name), it be- 
on this occasion, took care to carry off and destroy. came his almost exclusive designation among the High- 
(188) Dunstaj}a«e castle. — This "old friend," the landers. The portrait of this nobleman, as still preserved, 
captain of Dunstaffnage, was a Campbell, and probably we believe, at Inverary Castle, confirms fully the de- 
used his influence to bring Coll into the hands of scription implied in the term Grumach. A singular 
his remorseless enemies. Dunstaffnage was held by the mistake in reference to this matter occurred in Lodge's por- 
Campbells from the time that the whole district of Lome trails— Gillaspick Grumach being therein represented by 
came into the family by the marriage of Colin Campbell, a handsome face, whilst an engraving from his own grim 
first earl of Argyle, with Isabella Stewart, daughter of the likeness was published as the portrait of his son, a 
last Stewart, lord of Lome. In 1541 the castle was ap- really good-looking man. The mistake, however, was 
pointed by James V. as the principal messuage of the easily discovered. In disposition Gillaspick Grumach 
lordship of Lome. See Orig. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. was not more truculent than cunning, and it was truly 
!I 7- observed that he "was the only man in the kingdom of 
(189) George Campbell. —This worthy was nephew of Scotland who daily rose in wealth and power amidst the 
of sir Donald Campbell, of Ardnamurchan, and was distractions of civil war." Napiej's Memoirs of Montrose, 
known as George Campbell of Airds. Both uncle and vol. i., p. 157. 

nephew were infamous for the cruelty and rapacity (191) Angusc.— These two sons were taken prisoners 

with which they rooted out and destroyed an old family and executed by Argyle— the one at Skipness Castle in 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. I r I 

But the truth is he had not old Coll now to deliver, for haveand him his prisoner and a wicked 
man (I dowt not) that deserved death, while Montrose and Allaster M'Donald was waisteing and 
burneing his bounds, he (Argyle) sends his prisoner old Coll to Captain Gillaspie in Kirkcaldie 
(who had a commissione from the estates to make up a warre ship) with ordour to keip him sicker 
under the deck till he, and no other but he, suld send written orders for his redeliverie, which order 
was sent soone by one of Argyle's captarons, who upon the sight of the order received him and 
hanged him ower the schipp side, betwix Innerkething and Kirkcaldie. So was he both hanged 
and drowned. My authour sayes that he was in Gillespies shipp when he saw old Kittagh delivered 
to the captain, and when he came to shore at Kirkcaldie he hard that he was hanged. . . . 
Now Argyle (though too late) acknowledges God's justice against him in the loss of his best friends 
and waisting of his lands for his too small respect to these faithful men of God; whome he might 
have gotten restored to him at first on reasonable conditions, but his deep hatred against old Coll 
hinderet all." (See Reid's History oj Presbyterian Church, vol. i., pp. 533, 534, 536.) Thus Argyle's 
enemies would have acted reasonably and humanely, but that truculent son of the Covenant who 
could pretend to " acknowledge God's justice," permitted two of the three " holie men" to perish 
of sickness in a dungeon, rather than forego the gratification of taking the life of an old man of 
nearly four score years, who was no longer able to wield his sword as, it must be acknowledged, he 
had often so effectively done against the Campbells, in the days of his youth. The remains of 
Coll Macdonnell were laid down reverently by the hands of his clansmen, in the old churchyard of 
Oban, on the coast of Lome. He was born at Loughlinch about the year 1570, and was seventy-six 
at the time of his death in 1647. 

But Argyle's bloody mission had not yet ended. Several royalists were known to have taken 
refuge with the Macleans of Mull, and among them a number of Irish officers, who, for obvious 
reasons, had become special objects of covenanting vengeance. The following is sir James Turner's 
account of Argyle's doings in that island, assisted, of course, by his worthy kinsmen, the Campbells, 
and cheered forward by his chaplains: — " From Yla we boated over to Jura, a horrid ile, and a habita- 
tion fit for deere and wild beasts (192) ; and so from ile to ile till we came to Mull (193), which is 
one of the best of the Hebrides. Heere Maclaine saved his lands with the loss of his reputation, 
if ever he was capable to have any. He gave up his strong castles to Lesley, gave his eldest 
sonne for hostage of his fidelitie, and, which was unchristian baseness of the lowest degree, he de- 
livered fourteene very prettie Irishmen, who had been all along faithfull to him, to the Lieutenant 
Generall, who immediatelie causd hang them all. It was not well done to demand them from 

Cantire, and the other at Dunyveg in Isla. Their deaths Dera, which word, in the Gothick tongue, signifieth a 

are mentioned in a Declaration published by the covenant- deere." — Realme of Scotland. 

ingarmy, "of two victories in Argile, and stating that the (193) Mull. — According to the Description of the Isles 

country was cleared of rebells." In this production there already quoted, Mull " is 24 myles of length and as much 

are references also to the sieges of the castles of Eilah and in breadth, unpleasant indeed, but not unfruitfull of comes. 

Skipinoth — Isla and Skipness. There are many woodes in it, many heardes of Deere, and 

(192) Wild beasts. — In a Description of the Isles of a good haven for shippes. There are in it two waters, 

Scotland, written about the year 1597, Jura is said to be entering into the sea, over against Dowe Island. And 

"foure and twentie myles in length." "The shore side there are two waters well-spred of salmond-fish, and some 

of Jura is well manured (cultivated), and the inner part of stryppes not altogether emptie thereof. There are two 

the countrey is cled with wode, fulle of Deere of sundrie Loches in it, and in every one of the Loches an Island, 

kindes. Some think that this Isle was named of olde and in every Island a Tower. The sea running into this 



I I 2 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

Macklaine, bot inexcusablie ill done of him to betray them. Heere I cannot forget one Sir 
Donald Campbell, (194) a very old man, fleshed in blood from his very infancie, who with all 
imaginable violence pressd that all the whole clan of Macklaine sould be put to the edge of the 
sword ; nor would he be commanded to forbeare his bloody sute by the Lieutenant Generall and 
the tuo Generall Majors, and with some difficulty was he commanded silence by his chiefe, the 
Marques of Argile." Memoirs, pp. 48, 49. 

Although the hapless Trish officers met the fate here mentioned, it was "conform," as the Scotch 
expressed it, to the hideous law already referred to, (see p. So, supra) which refused all quarter to 
such Irish as were taken prisoners in battle, and even in its practical operation, to their wives and 
infants. The Account oj the Clan Maclean, already quoted, gives a different version of this awful 
story, and places the conduct of Maclean in a more favourable light than sir James Turner was 
disposed to view it. The latter certainly witnessed what had thoroughly disgusted him with the 
Macleans, as he did not feel disposed to withstand even the atrocious proposal of the hoary wretch, 
sir Donald Campbell, for the cold-blooded murder of all the inhabitants of Mull. " For my part," 
says Turner, " I said nothing, for indeed I did not care thogh he had prevailed in his sute, the 
deliverie of the Irish had so much iritated me against the whole name" [of Maclean]. (Memoirs, p. 
49.) But Argyle had brought five thousand covenanters with him into Mull, and the Macleans 
probably resisted the surrender of the Irish officers as long as they could. The covenanting host, 
as may be supposed, was rampant on the occasion, sweeping the whole island from shore to shore, 
and " committing the most disgraceful outrages of which even the mean, vindictive spirit of Argyle 
and his sanguinary associates were capable. These wanton cruelties were the more inhuman, as 
no resistance on the part of the inhabitants had, on this occasion, been offered to the rebels." 
On the arrival of Leslie and Argyle before the walls of Dowart castle, Maclean was first of all sum- 
moned to give up the Irish officers, which the Account of the Clan Maclean states he positively refused 
at first to do ; and thereupon commenced the scenes of rapine and murder throughout the lovely 
retreats of Mull, already mentioned. " In addition to this, the castle itself, in its defenceless state, 
was besieged by a force of nearly three thousand men, the rebel leaders threatening to put 
every human being within to the sword, if obliged to take possession of it by force. Argyle, more- 
over, had possession of the heir of Douart, whom he had kidnapped at Dumbarton, and whose life 
was threatened in case of any resistance on the part of his father. Sir Lachlan was too well aware 
of the unscrupulous character of the cowardly kidnapper, to insist, under such circumstances, upon 
very strict terms ; he at once agreed to place the castle at the disposal of the rebel general on con- 
dition that they recalled the detachments which were sent out under Turner and old Campbell of 
Ardnamurchan, and that the lives of the inmates of the castle should be spared. In this condition 
the chief of Maclean distinctly mentioned ' eight Irish gentlemen, his friends, who were enjoying 
the hospitality of the lady of Douart.' The castle was surrendered, but the conditions were regarded 

Island at four sundrie partes, makes foure salt-water known as Mr. Donald Campbell, of Barbreck-Lochow. 

Loches therein, all foure aboundinge in Herring." For an account of his career see Gregory's History 

(194) Sir Donald Campbell. — This cruel, crafty, and of the Highlands, pp. 371, 382, 384. 400, 407, 408, 409, 

prosperous old knight was originally a preacher, and 411. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 



113 



by Leslie and Argyle with their usual adherence to the principles of honour ; the unhappy Irish 
guests were immediately seized and carried to a short distance from the castle where seven of them 
were shot." (195) See Account of the Clan Maclean, pp. 147, 148—150. 

On sir Master MacColl's return to Ireland he did not long remain unemployed, having 
obtained a distinguished command from the supreme council of the confederates as lieut.-general 
of Munster, under lord Taafe. The latter was opposed by Inchiquin, the parliament commander, 
and after a series of manoeuvering on both sides, these leaders met at a place called Cnocnanos, 
between Mallow and Kanturk, in the county of Cork, on the 13th of November, 1647. Taafe's 
army, consisting of 7000 foot and 1000 horse, was in two divisions. The left wing under Taafe 
numbered 4000 foot and two regiments of cavalry, whilst the right, under sir Alexander, contained 
3000 foot, supported also by two regiments of horse. The battle began by Macdonnell ordering a 
charge of cavalry which shook Inchiquin's left wing terribly, and was instantly succeeded by a dash 
of Macdonnell's Antrim foot regiments, which broke the enemy and chased the greater part of 
Inchiquin's army to the gates of Mallow. In the mean time Inchiquin's right wing was successful 
in breaking up Taafe's left, and then suddenly attacked Macdonnell's with similar results. Carte, 
in his account of the battle, states that sir Alexander Macdonnell rode up to an eminence to recon- 
noitre, and that whilst thus engaged, he was suddenly surrounded by tourteen of Inchiquin's troopers 
and slain. (See Life oj Ormonde, vol. ii., p. 9 ) He is said by others, as Belling and Cox, to have 
been murdered by an officer in cold blood after he had received quarter. The officer in sir John 
Clotworthy's regiment who wrote an account of the war, has the following reference to sir Alaster's 
death :— " And MacDonall himself, going off two or three miles, got quarters, and all those men 
who stuck to him, from a coronet of Horse called [O'Grady], at which Time comes up one Major 
Purdon, afterwards Baronetted, and demanded the Coronet who it was he gave quarters to. On 
which he told him ; on which Purdon was in a fury, and Shot MacDonall in the Head, being the 
other's Prisoner, and so MacDonall was lost. In revenge of which the Coronet for seven years 
fought Purdon every year, but most commonly got the worse, which was the more Pity. 
The most of Taafe's Foot were lost, but of his Horse not two hundred. The loss of this Field was 
much attributed to the want of ready conduct, and those on the right hand did not fight so vigor- 



( .!.? 5 i l Z er L ^-— Adding to the Maclean ac- guests of her father's halls were at that instant preparing 
' 'n Mull to meet their doom, overcome by the distressing sight, 



was only seven, whilst Turner states there were fourteen. she fainted away, and fell to the ground. Her kinsman 
I he Maclean account would naturally wish to represent immediately jumped off his horse and flew to her aid. 



the number as sraa 1 as possible, but Turner, who saw At the same moment her fall caught the attention of one 
with his own eyes the " fourteene vene pretty Irishmen," of the gentlemen in the melancholy group, who ex- 
could hardly be mistaken as to the number. The claiming, ' Ye heartless murderers, will none of you save 
Maclean account states there were really eight Irish the lady." rushed forward and vaulted with the quick- 
officers in Dowart castle, and that one of them escaped ness of thought into the deserted saddle of the young- 
?/- u means of a slm P le but romantic little stratagem. lady's kinsman, galloped off, and was soon out of the 
the circumstances under which the only survivor reach of pursuit among the mountains. Whether the fit 



escaped the fate of his companions," says the account, and fall of the maiden of Douart were a premeditated 

is both curious and interesting. Just as the victims design or the result of accident, must be left to the reader 

were brought out to prepare for death, Marrion of Douart, to determine ; it is, however, the fact, that by the instru- 

youngest daughter of the chief, accompanied by a kins- mentality of the same lady the gallant fugitive had a boat 

man on horseback, was taking her departure from the provided for him on the south side of Mull by which he 

Castle of Moy, the seat of Maclean of Lochbuy, finally escaped." Account o, the Clan Maclean, pp. 

and happening to pass the very spot where the late 149, 150. v 

M 



t t 4 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

ously as MacDonall did on the left hand. But it was his Destiny to be so lost after these many 
fights and dangers he was in in the warrs of Scotland,— being as stout and strong a man as ever 
carried a Broad Sword and Targett of late days, and so vigorous in Fight that had his conduct been 
equivalent to his valour, he had been one of the best Generals in Europe." History of the IVarr, 
1640 — 1652, pp. 73, 74. It is believed that sir Alaster's remains were buried in the neighbourhood 
of Kanturk, " and that his sword, which had a steel apple running on a groove along the back, is 
preserved in Loughan castle, county of Tipperary." (196) See the Dublin Magazine and Citizen for 
April, 1843, pp. 25, 26. 

Sir Alaster Macdonnell was married to a lady of the very ancient and once powerful family of 
Macallaster of Loupe. The lands of Loupe, anciently known as Le Lowpe in early charters, 
belonged to the Macallasters since the year 1490. Col. Somerville Macallaster, the heir male of 
the old line, sold the family property about the beginning of the present century. (See Orig. 
Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. 31 ; Gregory's History of the Highlands and Isles, pp. 68, 418.) By this 
lady, our valiant knight left at least two sons named respectively Colla, and Gillaspick or Archibald, 
after his father and eldest brother. (197) These children were brought by their father to the Antrim 
Glens, when he escaped from Leslie and Argyle, in the summer of 1647. It is traditionally told 
that Hector Macallaster, the gentleman in whose household the children had been placed, was among 
the first victims of Argyle's ferocity in the district of the Loupe. Macallaster (who was probably 
the father of sir Alexander Macdonnell's lady), had married a kinswoman of Argyle, and was rich 
not only in lands, but money, "the sinews of war," and Argyle, presuming'on his family connexion, 
urged Hector Macallaster to espouse the cause of the covenant. The latter utterly refused, and 
had set out with his two sons to join the garrison at Dunavertie. Argyle being told of this, had the 
three gentlemen seized in the neighbourhood of Campbelton. Macallaster's wife, hearing of their 
capture, and knowing into whose hands they had fallen, hurried forward in dismay to Argyle's camp, 
but she was too late, except to see the lifeless bodies of her husband and sons dangling from a 

(196) Tipperary. — A Macdonnell manuscript represents for the use of the children of John M'Donnell, late of 
that his death-wound was received in the back after he had Tanaughconny, gentleman, deceased, the ten acres, 
ridden off the field, and was in the act of bending for- county measure, of Tanaughdressagh and Tanaugh- 
ward on the saddle so as to permit his horse to drink. conny, the twenty acres of Knocknacarry, and the moun- 
He was buried in the tomb of a Mrs O'Callaghan in tain land which the tenants of Knocknacarry now enjoy 
Clonmeena churchyard, parish of Kanturk. His sword, with it, and a parcell of mountain called Nowne, now in 
which is now said to be in the possession of the the possession of the said Coll M'Donnell, as adminis- 
Egmont family, has a ball often pounds weight, with a trator to the said John M'Donnell. The landlord re- 
wheel through it, on an open rod at the back of the sword, served all royalties, mines, and minerals, all hawks and 
running from the hilt to the point, so that when he raised other game, with the right to fowl, fish, and hawk on 
his hand the ball glided to the hilt, and when he gave a the premises. The lease to run for a term of 19 years, 
blow it rushed towards the point, causing the weapon to at the yearly rent of ,£14. The tenant was bound to 
strike with an impetus that neither man nor horse could plant 14 trees yearly, oak, ash, sycamore, or elm, and 
withstand. See Dublin University Magazine, vol. xxxi., to make 2S perches of ditch yearly, until the arable land 
221 - would be enclosed ; the ditches to consist of double rows 

(197) Eldest brother. — He had probably another son, of stones, or one row with quicksetts. A memorandum 
named John, who died before his brothers. A lease which on the back of the lease states that its true meaning and 
was granted to Coll, may probably throw some light on the interest was that Margaret M'Donnell, widow of John 
matter. This indenture was made the 17th of December, M'Donnell, should enjoy yearly one equal third part of 
1684, between Alexander, third earl of Antrim, and Coll the profits, after the rent be paid. The lease is witnessed 
M 'Donnell of Kilmore, in the county of Antrim, gentle- by Pat. M 'Henry, HughM'Collum, and Francis Andrews, 
man. Lord Antrim agreed to lease to Coll M'Donnell, ThecounterpartispreservedintheAntrimofficeatGlenarm. 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. I 1 5 

gallows which had been hastily erected at a place now known as the Whinny Hill. Argyle told 
the executioners to do their work quickly, first hanging the "whelps," and afterwards the "old 
fox," the names by which he designated the father and his sons ! When his kinswoman witnessed 
the fate of her husband and sons, she fell on her knees invoking the most fearful curses on Gillaspick 
Grumach ; and the people of the district, who to this day tell the story, never fail to add that this 
heart-broken woman's curses clung to Argyle until he himself was dragged to the scaffold. See 
Bede's Gltncreggan, vol. i., pp. 124, 125. 

The following statement relating to the family of sir Alaster Macdonnell is interesting, and in 
some respects curious: — "Mrs. M'Donnell of Ballypatrick(i98) had many manuscript papers relating 
to the M'Donnells in Ireland and the Highlands. She had the greatest regard for these 
documents, and would not willingly permit them to remain long out of her possession. She 
was supposed to have had the best information respecting the Clan Donnell. I have lately 
read the statement contained in the Dublin University Magazine, of February, 1848, re- 
specting the sons of Sir Allaster M'Coll Kittagh, which information was derived from Mrs. 
M'Donnell of Ballypatrick, through Aeneas M'Donnell with whom I was also acquainted. I 
cannot doubt the correctness of this statement, which agrees with all I have heard of the 
family, with the exception of some unimportant inaccuracies in the names of persons and 
places. (199) The McDonnells of Ballypatrick were of the Clan Ranald family; (200) and Aeneas 
was a very respectable and intelligent man, and claimed to be descended from Saurly Buy, the 
father of the first Earl of Antrim, which claim, I understand, was intimately acknowledged by 
members of the Antrim family. Mrs. M'Donnell of Ballypatrick had an aunt named Catherine, who 
was daughter to Captain Archibald M'Donnell of Glassmullin, and was married to a M'Donnell who 
had property in the Route, and lived there. They had one son, who was at school in Dublin, and 
they were on their way to visit him, when they heard of his death. And about the same time, some 
ill-disposed person lodged information against the Route family for being Papists, in consequence 
of which they lost all their landed property. (201) The mother of the young man took their losses 
so much to heart that she gave herself up entirely to religion, and having given all to the church 

(198) Ballypatrick, — This was an old residence of the (200) Clan Ranald family.— (See p. 90, supra.) Mrs. 
Mcicdonnells' in the parish 'of Culfeightrin, barony of M'Donnell of Ballypatrick was wife of Randal Mac- 
Carey, donnell, who died there in 1775, and who was lineally 

(199) And places. — The statement here referred to in descended from a Scottish chieftain of the same name in 
the Dublin University Magazine, vol. xxxi., pp. 218 — Benbecula. 

222, professes to be "a genealogy of the Macdonnell (201 J Landed property. — We have here a melancholy 
family, drawn up and reduced to writing, from infonna- illustration of one of the many wicked penal laws in- 
tion supplied by Mrs. Macdonnell of Ballypatrick. " This fhcted on Roman catholics, after the infamous viola- 
account refers to events scattered over three centuries, tion of the Treaty of Limerick. It had been long 
and to persons whose lives reach backward from the time previously the law of the land that catholics could 
of the fifth earl of Antrim to that of Alexander Macdon- not hold property in Ireland, but, as catholics were 
nell of Isla and Cantire, who came to the Glens in at least five to one over protestants, intermarriages 
1493. Whilst there is, as may be expected, much con- took place, and other circumstances occurred in which 
fusion of names and dates in this 'genealogy,' the out- protestants found it their interest to hold property 
line is in some respects interesting, and certainly con- for catholics, so as to preserve it to the owners. In 
tains some curious information, which probably would the year 1695, however, it was made penal for any 
have been overlooked by any less loving, though perhaps protestant to do so. But this was not all. From the 
more learned, genealogist than Aeneas Macdonnell. date now mentioned, any protestant, seeing a catholic 



n6 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



that remained to her after the confiscation of their lands, she afterwards lived the life of a recluse, 
and at her death, requested that her coffin might be kept for the next poor person, and that she 
might merely be carried to the grave in it, and then buried in the clay. (202) Respecting the old 
carved oak furniture in possession of the Kilmore M'Donnells, which is of a very old date, it is said 
to have belonged to the M'Donnells of Colinsay or Kintyre, (203) and is supposed to have been 
brought over to the Glens by some of that family, probably by sir Allister M'Coll's sons, Coll or 
Archibald. (204) When I first came to Kilmore, the old cabinet had a very handsomely carved top 
to it, with a very old date on it, which I cannot now recollect, and which, I am sorry to say, has 
been lost or destroyed many years ago. 
"June 3, 1869." 

Of sir Alaster's sons, the older, Coll, was surnamed A-Voulin, 'Of the Mill,' to distinguish 
him from others in the district who bore the same Christian name. The fact of his being so 
designated is evidence that water-mills were then (1680) but few and far between. Only people of 
standing were able to possess these accommodations, the humbler classes in Ireland using the old 
querns, and in Scotland an implement known as the braidh (205). Coll A-Voidin had lands at 
Nappan, Carrickfaddon, Tor-Point, and Cushendall, in the Glens, with a portion of Glassaneerin in • 
the Route. (206) He resided at Kilmore, sometimes also known as Ballinlig, in the beautiful 
Glenariff, the most picturesque of all the Antrim glens. His wife, Anne Magee, was the 
daughter of a gentleman who then represented the principal family of this surname on the Antrim 



tenant at will on a farm, which, in his opinion, yielded one- 
third more than the yearly rent, might, by simply swear- 
ing to the fact, enter on such farm and keep possession ! 
It was no doubt under this last-mentioned clause that 
Catherine Macdonnell and her husband lost their lands 
in the Route. This district then swarmed with settlers 
from Scotland, who were not over-scrupulous in their 
treatment of Roman catholics, and who were only 
too happy in many instances to obtain the possession 
of farms on such easy terms. To avoid the pressure 
of these iniquitous laws, it became a necessity for indi- 
vidual members of catholic families to projess pro- 
testantism, in order to save the property for the others 
who remained catholics — in a word, to preserve the 
household from ruin ! 

(202) In the clay. — These worthy people could not 
bring themselves, it would appear, to play at protest- 
antism ; and, rather than do as many others did, they 
preferred to accept the spoiling of their goods. The 
mode of burial requested by Catherine Macdonnell was 
similar to that also prescribed for herself by the recluse 
known as the Nun of Bunnamairge. The latter, accord- 
ing to local tradition, added another condition as an evi- 
dence of her humility — namely, that she might be buried 
at the entrance to the chapel, so that all entering might 
tread on her grave ! 

(203) Or Kintyre. — Probably none of the furniture in 
the family mansion of Colinsay escaped the rapacity of 
tiie Campbells in 1639. (See p. 58, supra.) The old 
cabinet, and other articles referred to above, more likely 
belonged to the Macalasters, and formed part of the 
tochei or dowry received by sir Alaster with his lady. 



(204) Coll or Archibald. — One Macdonnell manuscript 
affirms that sir Alaster left three sons, the name of the third 
being John. (See the lease granted to Coll for John's 
children, note 197, supra.) There is a tradition that sir 
Alaster's children were sent to the care of the marquis 
of Antrim, and that they were placed with a tenant 
named Macaulay, who neglected them, and even com- 
pelled them to work as menials so soon as they were 
able to do so. As the marquis of Antrim had not then 
possession of his own estate, nor was permitted to live in 
that district at all, it is very possible he may have en- 
trusted the children to some person who acted selfishly, 
and without any sense of honour. 

(205) The braidh. — The quern is of very great anti- 
quity, and strange to say it is partially in use throughout 
some districts of Ireland even to the present time. The 
late Dr. O'Donovan, referring to this subject, says : — 
" We often ground wheat with it (the quern) ourselves. 
We first used to dry the wheat on the bottom of a pot, 
grind in a hurry, and then eat the meal mixed with new 
milk." (See O'Daly's Tribes of Ireland, p. 83, note.) 
In somedistricts of Scotland the use of the braidh for grind- 
ing has not yet been altogether abandoned. The braidh 
is a round flat stone, with a hole in the centre for a 
handle. The grain is placed on another flat stone, and 
crushed by the application of the implement now men- 
tioned. The process, however, is very slow, and more 
clumsy ill every respect than the action of the quern. 
See Bede's Glencrcggan, vol. ii. , p. 105. 

(206) The Route.— Of the lands thus held by Coll, 
Torr-Point, and Carrickfadden are situate in the parish 
of Culfeightrin. barony of Carey ; Cushendall and 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. I I 7 

coast. The Magees came originally from the Rinns of Isla, settled first in Island-Magee, and 
at the time of Coll Macdonnell's marriage, their principal family was in possession of the lands of 
Ballyuchan, adjoining Murloch Bay. (207) Coll was succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander, by 
whom, soon after his father's death, the following memorial was addressed to his kinsman, the 
fifth earl of Antrim : — 

" Your memorialist has the honour to be lineally descended from, and grandson to Lieutenant- 
Generall Alexander M'Donnell, who served your predecessor, the Lord Marquis of Antrim, in Scot- 
land, under the glorious Marquis of Montross, and defended the king's cause. I had the misfortune 
to lose the Mill Quarter land of Cushendall by the Hollowblades. (20S) Your Honourable ffather 
also suffered, and the Quarterland of Nappan, which I held, being sett to Mr. Henry Higginson. 
I hold under your Lordship the Quarterland of Kilmore in the Barrony of Glenarme, the Quarter 
of Drimadune in the Barrony of Carey, the Quarter of Clochcorr, and the half Quarter of Glas- 
sineerin in the Barrony of Dunluce, the unexpired time of which remnant being all I have for the 
supporte of my numerous small family. I humbly beg your Lordship will be pleased to allow your 
memorialist the preference of said little Holdings upon what terms as to tenure and rents your 
Lordship thinks proper. " Alex. M'Donnell. 

" August 18, 1738." 
This gentleman married, as his first wife, Miss M'Donnell of Nappan, by whom he had several 
children. His second son, Michael, surnamed Roe, was father of the late Dr. James M'Donnell of 
Belfast, so highly distinguished as a physician, and so universally esteemed as a man. Dr. M'Donnell 
left two sons, the elder of whom, the right honourable sir Alexander M'Donnell of Dublin, has re- 
centlyretired from the position of chief commissioner of Irish Education, theresponsibleduties of which 
he had so long and honourably discharged. His younger brother, Dr. John M'Donnell, is Medical 
Poor Law commissioner for Ireland, and also a commissioner of the Local Government Board. Alex- 
ander M'Donnell of Kilmore, first named, married as his second wife Miss M'Veagh, of Drimadoone, 
(209) and by her had a son, John, who succeeded to the Kilmore property, and married Rose, 

in Ireland after the revolutionary struggle of 1690. 
Among its purchases was the estate of Daniel 
M'Donnell, supposed to be demised to him by the third 
earl of Antrim in the year 16S7, for a term of 500 years, 
at the annual rent of £$. The Mill quarterland was 
claimed by the Hollowblade company as part of their 
purchase, and was thus, it was said, unjustly snatched 
from the earl and his tenants. It was believed that the 
company established its claim through the false swear- 
ing of a person residing in the district. The earl in- 
duced the tenants on this division to surrender their 
holdings peaceably, except one, Archibald M'Donnell of 
Glassmullan, who resisted the company's agents, and 
thus actually preserved his holdings to the Antrim estate. 
See Family SIS. as printed in the Dublin University 
Magazine, vol. xxxi., pp. 221, 222. 

(209) Drimadoone. — On the 9th of December, 1709, 
Randal, fourth earl of Antrim, granted a lease of the 
townland of Drimadoone, in the barony of Dunluce, to 
John M'Veigh, gentleman, On the back of this lease is 
the following entry : — " I doe hereby, for me and my 



I 1 8 . THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

daughter of George Savage, Esq. Their eldest son, the late Randal M'Donnell, married Mary, 
daughter of Archibald MacElheran, Esq., (210) of Cloney, by whom he left two sons, Alexander 
and John. The former, who was known as of Kilmore and Dublin, married, in 1851, Margaret, 
daughter of Alexander M'Mullin, Esq., of Cabra House, county of Down, and by her left one 
daughter, Rachael Mary Josephine, who, at her father's death in 1862, succeeded to the family 
property in county of Down — the Antrim lands being the inheritance of her uncle, lieutenant- 
colonel John M'Donnell, J.P. In the year 1870, this gentleman married the honourable Madeline 
O'Hagan, daughter of Thomas lord O'Hagan, lord chancellor of Ireland. (211) 

Sir Alaster MacColl's second son, Archibald, surnamed Mor, entered the army when a mere 
youth, and became a distinguished officer. Several years before his death, which occurred in the 
year 1720, he settled at Glassmullin, in the parish of Layd, where he. also held the lands of 
Dooney, Ligdrenagh, Mullaghbuy, and the two Knockans. In the year preceding his death, he 
rented from Randal, the fourth earl of Antrim, the lands of Glassmullin, Gallvolly, Tully, Camelagh, 
Knockans, and Carnaine, the landlord reserving all timber and timber-trees ; mines, and minerals; 
quarries of stone, slate, and coal; hawks and all other birds of game ; with the right of fowling, 
fishing, and hawking over the premises. The tenant was bound by a bond of ^500 to fulfil all 
the terms of the lease, which was witnessed by James Horan, Maurice M'Hendry, and Edmund 
Keating. 

This captain Archibald M'Donnell's wife was Anne Stewart, daughter of captain Stewart of 



heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, transfer and 
make over my whole right, title, and interest, of the 
written Lease, and the lands therein mentioned, and all 
the issues and profits arising thereout, to Mr. Alex. 
M 'Donnell of Knapan, his heirs, executors, adminstrators, 
and assigns, in consideration of part of his marriage 
portion with my daughter Anne M'Veagh ; as witness my 
hand and seal this 20th day of May, 1727. 

"Elease M'Veagh. 

" Witness prst , 
"Akchd. M'Donnell, 
"Hector Hamilton." 

(210) MacElheran. — This surname is a contraction of 
Mac Gilla-Ciaran, or Kieran, ' the descendant of the dis- 
ciple or servant of St. Ciaian. ' This Irish saint passed 
into Scotland in the seventh century, and dwelt in a cave 
near the present Campbelton. The old local name for 
Campbelton is Ceatin-loch-cill-Ciaran, so called from this 
saint's church, which was built at the head of the Bay. 

(2ii) Ireland. — The old churchyard of Layd, near 
Cushindall, has been the burial-place of this branch of 
the Macdonnell family for many generations. On a large 
square tablet are the following inscriptions : — 

■' To the memory of Coll M'Donnell late of Kilmore, 
and Family, who is here buried, aged 74 years, died the 
25th day of March, 1719. 

"Here lieth the remains of John M'Donnell late of 
Kilmore, who departed the 25th of December, 1S08, aged 

" Also, Rose Savage, his wife, who departed this life 
the 24th of July, 1S14, aged 78 years. 



" Also, his son Alexander M'Donnell of Rathlin, aged 
60 years, who departed this life the 13th of February, 
1820. 

" Also, to the memory of the said John's eldest s 
Coll, lost at sea, 24th June, 1820, aged 63 years. 

" Also, said John's fourth son Archibald, late an officer 
in the Royal Navy, died 2 1st February, aged 77 years. 

"Also, said John's sixth son, John, died February, 
1S41, aged 69 years. 

"Also, said John's fifth son, Randal of Kilmore, 
GlenarifT, died 14th August, 1S54, aged 82 years. 

"Also, Margaret Anne, daughter of Alex. M'Mullin, 
Esq., of Cabra house, county of Down, and wife of Alex- 
ander M'Donnell, Esq., of Dublin and Kilmore." 

Onahandsome monument is the following inscription:— 
"Erected in Memory 

" Of James M'Donnell of Belfast and of Murlough, in 
this county — a Physician whose great abilities and greater 
benevolence made him venerated in the Glens of Antrim, 
where he was born; and in Belfast where he died a.d. 
1S45, in his 82nd year. 

"Also, in memory of Eliza, daughter of John Clarke, 
Esq., of Belfast, and wife of the said James M'Donnell ; 
she died a. D. 1 798. Also of Penelope, daughter of James 
Montgomery, Esq., of Lame, and second wife of the said 
James M'Donnell. She died A.D. 1854. 

"Also, in memory of Michael, father of said James ; 
and of Alexander, father of Michael ; and of Coll", father 
of Alexander, and son of Major-General, Sir Alexander 
M'Coll Macdonnell, knight of the field, whose otherson. 
Captain Archibald likewise rests in this churchyard." 



COLLA MACDONNELL AND HIS DESCENDANTS. 



119 



Redbay. (212) By her he had one daughter, Catherine, already mentioned (see pp. 115, 116, 
supra), and one son, Coll, who married Anne M'Donnell of Nappan. This couple left one son, 
Alexander, who resided at Cushindall, and whose daughter married Archibald M'Elheran, Esq., of 
the same place. (213) 



(212) Redbay.--In the year 1637, Alexander Stewart of 
Eedbay, and his son John Stewart, obtained a lease from 
Randal, second earl of Antrim, of the constableship and 
keeping of the castle and house of Redbay, with the town 
custom, market custom, and lands thereof ; also, the 20 
acres of Garvah, the 35 acres of Maynthe, the five acres 
of Cloney, the 15 acres of Ballyvistoe, the ten acres of 
Gurterlie, the 90 acres of Aghoshie, the 20 acres of Knock - 
mayne, and the 20 acres of Cloghglass, the landlord reserv- 
ing all mines and minerals ; hawks, and other game ; all 
salmon, fishings; mills, and millseats; with quarries of free- 
stone, slate, and marble. The lease to run for the term of 
Alex. Stewart's natural life, and after his death, the lands to 
be held by his son and his wife in fee-farm, in as large and 
ample a manner as the said Alexander and his father, John 
MacRobert Stewart, held and enjoyed the same. The 
yearly rent was ^24, with £2 12s of crown rent. On the 
death of each occupier or owner of these lands, the land- 
lord claimed as heriot the best beast on the premises. 
The tenant was bound to enclose portions of the premises 
and plant trees in such enclosures. This lease was 
witnessed by Archibald Stewart of Ballintoy and Daniel 
M'Naghten of Ballymagarry. The counterpart lies in the 
Antrim office at Glenarm, 

(213) Same place. — On a tablet, in the churchyard of 
Layd, are the following inscriptions : — 



'• Here lyeth the body of Captn. Archd. M'Donnell of 
Glassmullin, son to Alexander M'Donnell, Major-General 
and Knight of the Field, who departed this Life Septr. 
2S1I1, 1720, aged 73 years. 

" Also, Anne Stewart, spouse to the said Captain, who 
departed this Life April 6th, 1 714, aged 68. 

"Likewise, their son, Coll M Donnell of Glassmullin, 
who departed this Life June 6th, 1737, aged 49. 

"And also, his son, Alexander M'Donnell, who died 
July 26th, 1782, aged 48 years. 

"Also, Alexander M'Donnell, son of the abovenamed 
Alexander, who died the nth day of October, 1 791, aged 
16 years. 

"Also, his sister, Rachael, who departed the 19th of 
March, 1S05, aged 23 years. 

" Also, said Alexander's daughter, Anne, wife of 
Archibald M 'Elheran, Esq., Glassmullin and Cushindall, 
died iSth December, 1825, aged 61 years. 

" Also, Anne Black, wife of said Alexander, died 30th 
April, 1835, aged 98 years. 

"Also, Rose Anne, grand-daughter of said Anne 
M'Elheran, and 2nd daughter of Randal M'Donnell, 
Esq., of Kilmore, Glenariff, died iSth May, 1850, aged 
31 years. 

" Also, said Randal's third daughter, Rachael, died 
December 30, 1854, aged 33 years." 



ISO 



CHAPTER IV. 



SORLEY BOY 



CDONNELL. 




N now returning to Sorley Boy, the sixth and youngest son of Alexander of Isla and 
Cantire, we approach the central figure among all the Macdonnells of modern times. 
Somhairle Buidhe, more familiarly known as Sorley Boy, (i) although the last born 
of the brothers, was pre-eminently the first in distinction. Since the days of Sornerled, 
the great thane of Argyle, from whom he is the eleventh in descent, no chieftain of the family can 
rank with Sorley Boy, either in military genius or political sagacity. It is curious, that these two 
great chiefs, who bore the same christian name, bore also a marked resemblance to each other in 
character and destiny. Both were alike sagacious and brave, and the stormy career of both was 
eventually crowned with a similar success. Somerled of Argyle expelled the Norwegians from his 
family inheritance, and so consolidated the several territories he had wrested from the invaders as 
thus to form a noble principality for his successors— a new kingdom of the Isles, in which Isla 
and not Man, was to be the seat of government. (See p. 8, supra). Somhairle or Sorley of 
Antrim, in a struggle which continued, with but slight interruptions, through a period of more than 
forty years, defended his family inheritance of the Glynnes against numerous and powerful assailants 
annexed the more fertile territory of the Route, and left to his house the possession of estates much 
more extensive and important than the ancient principality of Dalriada. Somerled of Argyle had 
only to contend at first against one foe—the Norwegians-although he was subsequently involved 
with others ; but Sorley of Antrim was compelled to fight in turn, the O'Cahans, the Macquillins, 
the O'Neills, and he had literally to dispute every acre of his territories against the best generals 
queen Elizabeth could select and send to Ulster. He taxed to an enormous extent the energies of 
such lord deputies as Sussex, Sydney, Fitzwilliam, and Perrot,-and of such military commanders as 
Essex, Norns, Malbie, and Bagenall. From the Antrim coast, as his base of operations, he met and 
defeated the forces of the Pale (a) so far south as Newry ; he carried the Clandonnell banner over 



(I) Sorley Bov.—Yox the meaning of the name Somer- 
led or Somhairle see p, 7, supra. The abridged form, 
Sorley, has been anglicised Charles, and in Scotland 
still more ridiculously, Samuel. The epithet Buidhe 
pronounced Buie, 'yellow,' was applied to denote the 
colour of tin* chieftain'.., hair, and thus to distinguish him 
from other kinsmen of the same name. These sobriquets 
were very commonly used among the Macdonnells, and 
applied to almost all their chieftains. The 



they 1 



words. Jl/or, 'large-bodied;' Ballach, 'freckled;' Dull, 
black-haired;' Ruadh or Roe, 'red-haired;' Gorme 
blue-eyed; Grumaeh, ' grim,' and several others denot- 
ing places of fosterage, and places where they lived or 
died, are found in connexion with every leading branch 



of the race. (See also Irish Topograthical Poems, edited 
by O Donovan, Introduction, p. [17].) Sorley Boy is 
supposed to have been about the thirty-sixth in descent 
Irom Colla Uais. 

(2) The Pale.— This celebrated division of Ireland, so 
called from the word to empale, or enclose as with pales 
' mentioned about the commencement of the thir- 
ty, as the region wherein English law and 



teenth 1 



authority then prevailed. " The Pale was originally known 
lie Jinglish Lande,' and comprehended the counties 



•npr 

jish : 

>l Meath, Louth, Dublin, and Kildar. 
'"? [?"•". s , a - vs C am P'°n. " there is of Irelande into Irishe 
'■ d Knghshe Pales, for when the Irish had raised con- 
mual tumults against the English planted here bv the 



old di: 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 121 

Clannaboy north and south ; and the slogan (3) of his warlike Scots was heard alike on the hills of 
Derry and in the straths of Tyrone. In the prosecution of his aims, he encountered severe re- 
verses, but his indomitable courage rose above disasters which would have overwhelmed most 
other men. 

This great Scoto-Irish leader was born about the year 1505, and during that interval in which 
his father was prohibited, by a very stringent enactment of the Scottish parliament, from returning 
to his native country (see p. 36, supra). Sorley is generally represented by English writers as a 
Scottish freebooter, who had no other claim to any part of the Irish coast than what he was able 
to establish by violence and rapine ; but such writers knew nothing of his family, or of the events 
which shaped his remarkable career. In the absence of positive evidence to the contrary, there 
is reason to conclude that he was an Ulsterman by birth. His well-known and permanent 
residence — probably the castle in which he was born, and certainly that in which he died — was 
Dunanynie, in the vicinity of the present town of Ballycastle. Shane O'Neill, as we shall see, dated 
a letter from "the town of Somhairle which is Baile Caishlean;" and Shane's secretary, a gentleman 
named Fleming, mentions Ballycastle at the same date (1565) as "Sanhirly Boy his towne." When 
driven occasionally by reverses from every other foothold on the coast, he clung with unyielding 
tenacity to the lands of the two territories now represented by the parishes of Ramoan and 
Culfeightrin, which meet at Ballycastle. The adjoining bay afforded him greater facilities than 
any other inlet on the Antrim coast. His residence of Dunanynie overlooked its waters ; his 
galleys, bringing soldier-settlers from Cantire and the Isles, floated into its little harbour; and 
the low or northern Glens, first sought and occupied by the Scots who came at former periods 
(see p. 37, supra), had, in Sorley's time, many friendly hearths to welcome his fresh companies as 
they arrived. No one of alien birth would, or perhaps could, have so thoroughly identified him- 

conquest, at last they coursed them into a narrow circuit of morals within the Pale, after the English had been 

of certain shires in Leinster, which the English did driven to live together in such limited quarters. About 

choose as the fattest soil, most defensible, their proper the middle of the fifteenth century in particular, their 

right, and most open to receive helpe from Englande; dissensions raged most violently, and mutual recrimina- 



hereupon it was termed the Pale, as whereout they durst tions of treason, murder, sorcery, and almost every other 
peepe ; but now within this Pale uncivil Irish and crime, disgraced their contending factions. See Tracts 



rebells do dwell, and without it contries and cities relating to Ireland, vol. ii ", pp. 97 — 99. 

English are well governed." The English, on their (3) The slogan. — The Scots, like their progenitors, 

coming to Ireland, had extended their possessions much the Irish, always attacked the enemy with loud shoutings, 

beyond the four counties already named; "but, having preserving silence, however, until the very moment of 

fallen at odds among themselves," says Dr. Boate, "and the onset. Slogan (sluagh-ghairm) is the Scottish word 

making several great wars the one upon the other, the generally used for the gaoir-calha, or clan war-cry of the 

Irish thereby got the opportunity to recover, now this, Gael. (See Logan's Scottish Gael, vol. i., pp. 154, 155; 

and then that part of the land ; whereby, and through see also a learned paper on Irish War- Cries in the Ulster 

the degenerating of a great many from time to time, who Journal of Archeology, vol. in., pp. 203 — 212.) Among 

joining themselves with the Irish, took upon them their the Highland clans their war-cries were often the names 

wild fashions and their language, the English at length of places, which seem to have operated like charms on 

came to be so weakened that at last nothing remained the soldiers. In Scotland, it was customary for the Mac - 

to them of the whole kingdom worth speaking of but donnells to rush forward in a charge with the cry Fraoch 

jreat cities and the fore-named four counties, to Eilan, ' Heathy Island' (see p. 57, supra); but whether 



which the name of Pale was given, because the English this was used as their war-cry in Ulster we are unable to 

colonies and plantations which before were spread over say. The war-cry of the Campbells was Bencruachan : 

the whole land, were now impaled to so small a compass, of the MacFarlands Loch-Sliodh; of the MacGregors A rd- 

as it were impaled within the same." (See Preface to choille; of the MacKenzies Tullach-Ard, &c, &c. The 

Morrin's Patent Rolls of Elizabeth, p. xvii., et seq.) Highland clans had also their badges or suidcheantas. 

Numerous early documents record the great corruption That of the Macdonnells and Macalasters was the 
N 



122 THE MACDONNELLS OE ANTRIM. 

self with Irish aims and objects as this chieftain invariably did. His whole history was connected 
with Ulster, even to his marriage with an Irish wife, and his burial in an Irish grave. (4) 

Through the medium of State Papers recently calendared, we are enabled to know more of 
his life and times than did our fathers of any preceding generation since his own period. (5) 
We are thus better able to form an accurate idea of the motives which actuated his conduct, 
or rather of the events which generally shaped his daring and successful policy. He was early 
trained to his work as a soldier under the eye of his warlike father, and he no doubt witnessed, when 
a boy, many of the bloody conflicts of the Clandonnell with their numerous opponents.' His 
education was entirely of a military character; for, although he could wield his sword, or battle-axe, 
efficiently, he knew nothing about the use of the pen, further than to make a mark as directed by his 
private secretary, or, more frequently, only " touching the pen" whilst the latter was in the act of sign- 
ing his name. (6) In the State Papers already calendared he is only first mentioned in the year 1551, 
but this is easily accounted for by the fact that, until the death of his brother Colla, in 1558, Sorley 
had occupied a comparatively subordinate position. The mention of him, however, at the former 
date is very significant, for we are then told that circumstances had compelled the English to release 
him after an imprisonment in Dublin castle of twelve months — a fact which tells plainly enough 
that he had become a terror to his enemies, and a distinguished Clandonnell leader. In 1552, 
Sorley was ordered by his eldest brother and chief, James Macdonnell, to drive the English from 
Carrickfergus; and, not only had he done so, but at the same time had surprised and carried off 
the constable of the castle. On the head of this official, whose name was Walter Floddy, (7) he 
laid a heavy ransom, but on its payment, and before his departure from Sorley's castle, the proud 
northern chieftain gave forth, perhaps unguardedly, for it was after supper, the very key-note of his 
policy, saying " playnly that Inglische men had no ryght to Yrland" — a bold announcement this, 
and one which appears to have aroused against him the bitterest jealousies of the Pale. 

Fraoch Gorm, or common heath. See Logan's Scottish Glynnes," in December, 1567, and is signed Somkairle 

Gael, vol. i., pp. 204--296. buy M'Couai/e. For the use or adoption of the Cinstead 

(4) Irish grave. — Sorley Boy's wife was Mary, a of D in spelling his surname see p. 44, supra. This let - 
claughter of Con O'Neill, and sister of the celebrated ter was probably sent from Dunanynie castle, as he had 
Shane, surnamed au-diomas, or 'the haughty.' Con was just landed there when it was written, and had only then 
inaugurated as the O'Neill in the year 1519, and created possession of that immediate district. A week after 
first earl of Tyrone in 1542. He died in the year 1559. writing the above, or on the 23rd of December, 1567, he 
He was twice married, his first wife being Elianor, a wrote a second letter (both being addressed to Piers and 
daughter of Thomas Fitzgerald, earl of Kildare; and his Malbie), signing his name Soirle MakCouell, which is a 
second, Mary, a daughter of Alexander Macrandalboy form so different from the preceding as to suggest the idea 
Macdonnell, whom Sussex knighted, and to whom he that it was written by a different secretary. Although 
granted extensive lands around Glenarm. his sobriquet Buidhe was always used when speaking 

(5) Own period. — The State Tapers to which we more of him, he rarely had it written as a part of his signa- 
especially refer are those relating to Ireland, which have ture. 

been so carefully calendared by Hans C. Hamilton, Esq., (7) Floddy. — In December, 1554, the lord-deputy St. 

of the State Papers Office, London. On these docu- Leger, writing to sir William Petrie, informs him that 

merits our sketch of the career of this illustrious Macdon- " Walter Flouddy now repairs over with the young lord 

nell is mainly founded. When other State Papers are of the Out-Isles of Scotland," adding that " Flouddy 

quoted, the references to those are always given in con- was, two years past, removed from the custody of the 

nexion with the extracts from them. Castle of Knockfergus for his demerits." Among the 

(6) His name. — A few of Sorley's letters are found officers serving against Hugh O'Neill in 1599 was "Capt. 
among the State Tapers, and, judging from Hamilton's Water Fludd," probably a son of the dismissed constable. 
Calendar, these documents may be described as brief and See Dymmok's Treatiee of Ireland, p. 43. 

pithy. The fust in order of time is dated " from the 



SORLEY EOY MACDONNELL. 



123 



The year of grace 1558 was a memorable one in the history of this chieftain, and, indeed, of 
the entire Scottish settlement in Antrim. On the subjugation of the Macquillins, which had been 
virtually accomplished about the year 1555, James Macdonnell, as chief of the clan, appointed his 
brother Colla to the lordship of the conquered territory of the Route. At the death of the latter, 
James offered the vacant place in succession to his brothers, Angus and Alexander, and on their 
both declining to accept it, the position was offered to their youngest brother, Sorley Boy, who appears 
to have readily undertaken the responsibility. His appointment, however, must have been exceed- 
ingly distasteful to the Macquillins, and may probably have been the moving cause of their efforts 
so soon afterwards to re-introduce themselves as owners of the Route. During the few years that had 
elapsed from the time of their virtual submission, the old chieftain, Edward Macquillin, and his 
sons, (8) appear to have remained quiescent, partly because of their inability to renew the contest, and 
partly perhaps because Colla Macdonnell's wife was their kinswoman. This marriage alliance, 
no doubt, had something to do with their submission, at least so long as Colla lived, and was per- 
mitted by his brothers to have exclusively the lordship of the Route. (9) But when he died, and 



(8) His sous. — The christian names of these sons, ac- 
cording to a Macquillin manuscript, were Edward, 
Charles, and Rorie, or Roderick. Their fates were soon 
decided during the fatal struggle with Sorley Boy. In the 
first battle, which occurred near the walls of Bunnamairge 
abbey, the youngest of the three, Rorie, was slain. The 
Macquillins were there repulsed with severe loss, and re- 
treated southward, up Glenshesk, selecting what they 
deemed a strong position on the eastern bank of the 
river Shesk. Here they were soon assailed furiously by 
the enemy. In this conflict, however, the Macdonnells were 
repulsed, after great slaughter on both sides. Among the 
dead Macquillins was found the body of Charles, the second 
brother. At Slieve-an-Aura, the locality of another of 
the numerous skirmishes which followed throughout the 
same district, the Macquillins were entirely defeated, 
Edward, the eldest brother, escaping from the field, and 
taking refuge on an island in Loughlynch (see p. 55, 
supra), where he was soon afterwards slain by one of 
Sorley Boy's officers, named Owen Gar Magee. The Mac- 
quillin manuscript states that the Macquillins were assisted 
in this campaign by O'Neills of lower Clannaboy under 
the leadership of an officer named Shane O'Dennis 
O'Neill, and also by another party of O'Neills from 
Tyrone, commanded by Hugh MacFelim O'Neill. It is 
further stated, that the Macquillins were betrayed by a 
piper named O'Cahan, and deserted by the Macaulays, a 
then powerful sept who dwelt in the Middle Glens. On 
the night before the decisive battle of Aura, Sorley Boy 
ordered rushes to be strewn on a dangerous swamp which 
lay between the hostile camps, and over which the Mac- 
quillins believed he intended to charge them at the 
earliest dawn. They were treacherously led to suppose 
that Sorley's road across the swamp had been made 
sufficiently secure to permit a charge of cavalry, and re- 
solving to move before waiting his attack, they rushed at 
the swamp, their horses soon sinking to the saddles 
among the thinly-strewed rushes, and rendered unable to 
move, whilst their riders fell an easy prey to the arrows 
and Lochaber axes of the Clandonnell. The Macquillin 
manuscript contains a minute account of this stratagem and 



its results. It became afterwards a saying in the distric 
that "a rush-bush was never known to deceive any one 
but a Macquillin." The manuscript speaks of the 
decisive battle as having been fought at Galgorm, near 
Ballymena, but the traditions of the district all unite in 
pointing to the western bank of the little stream called 
the Aura as the closing scene of the struggle, which 
stream forms part of the boundary between the parishes 
ofArmoyand Loughguile. The tenant-farmers of Cul- 
feightnn still tell of a Macdonnell in their own class who 
visited Glenarm Castle to obtain a renewal of his lease, 
from the fourth earl of Antrim. The latter happened to 
be absent on the farmer's arrival, but the countess 
(Rachael Skeffington) received him with the exclamation 
— "Another Macdonnell! Why you must all be Mac- 
donnells in the Low Glens!" "Aye," quietly replied the 
clansman, " too many Macdonnells to-day, but not one 
too many on the day of Aura!" For an account of the 
quantity of bones dug from the battle-fields of Glenshesk 
see p. 40, supra. See an account of the Macquillin manu- 
script in the Ulster Journal of Arcluvology , vol. viii. , pp. 
256, 257. 

(9) The Route— See the brief but significant notice of 
Colla Macdonnell's death by the lord-deputy Sussex, at 
p. 52, supra. The following is a full copy of that portion 
of Sussex's letter to which a reference was given above: — 
"Sens the closing up of my letter to the Lords of the 
Councell, I have received certen knowlege that Jeames 
M'Conell is returned ynto Scotland, with his ordynance ; 
He brought with him VI C (600) men, thynking to have left 
the moste parte behynd him, but they herying of prepara- 
cyon by sea (and ferynge more then was) refused, and so 
returned with him. His brother Colle, the best man of 
them, and he that ever contynued yn Ireland, dyed xx 
dayes paste, sens whych tyme Jeames offered the Rowte 
to Alysander, who refused it, then he offered it to Eneas, 
who also refused it, and lastlye he offered it to Sorleboye, 
who only of all the brothers remayneth yn in this realme, 
and hathe sens that tyme written letters to me the coppye 
therof ye shall recyve enclosed. His meanynge is but to 
wyn tyme this somer. The xth of this presente I sett 



124 TH£ MACDONNELLS OF ANTRUM. 

was replaced by his ambitious brother, Sorley, they must have lost all hope of restoration from any 
agency other than their own armed resistance. Colla Macdonnell died in May, 1558, and the war 
was renewed between Sorley and the Macquillins in the summer of 1559. It is probable that the 
English took no active part in this business, which must have assumed pretty much the appearance 
of a family quarrel; we have, therefore, unfortunately, no references to the subject in such State 
Papers, at least, as have been already calendared. The traditions of the district, which linger so 
distinctly along the hill-sides and in the retired glens, represent the struggle as furious in its progress, 
and perfectly decisive in its results, pointing, moreover, to certain battle-fields which were most 
gallantly disputed, and on which piles of dead Macquillins and Macdonnells were hurriedly placed 
side by side in the same graves. 

Sorley Boy had occupied the spring months in collecting fresh troops on the Scottish coast, and 
with these he landed in the first week of July at Margietown or Marketon (as the English wrote the 
word), at the head of Ballycastle Bay. (10) His absence from the Route, even for so short a period, 
was diligently improved by the Macquillins for their own purposes, so that on the arrival of the 
Scots, the former were not only awaiting them, but had taken up an advantageous position at the 
foot of Glenshesk. A Macquillin manuscript states, that the first battle was fought on the level 
grounds adjoining the abbey of Bunnamairge, whilst a Macdonnell manuscript affirms, with greater 
probability, that it occurred at a place called Beal-a-faula, in the townland of Drimavoley, at a 
little distance south-west from the abbey, and in a rugged district where strong defences could be 
easily thrown up. But, whilst family manuscripts and local traditions point alike to several battle- 
fields, there is confusion as to the date of that memorable campaign. The Macquillin manuscript fixes 
1569 as the year; and we have seen several other statements, in print, referring to the same point, 
but all differing as to the time, and all, we believe, assuming a later date than that abovenamed. 
The old chieftain of the Macquillins is represented, alike in family manuscripts and in local traditions, 
as having had three sons slain during the progress of the war. His sons, however, must have been dead 
several years prior to 1569, and consequently could not then have engaged in mortal conflict with 
the Macdonnells. The only members of this leading family of the Macquillins alive in 1569 were 
the old chief, Edward Macquillin, and his grandson, the well-known Rorie Oge. Instead, however, 
of being then opposed to the Macdonnells, they were allied with them against the English. (See 
Hamilton's Calendar, 1st series, pp. 359, 363, 369, 375, 377, 381, 383;) Whilst the State Papers, 
therefore, speak frequently of the old chief and his grandson in 1569, there is no trace whatever of 
the three brothers ; so that the battles in which they perished must have occurred previously to 
that date, (n) 

forwarde to Lymeryke, and after a good order taken there, place in 1569, nor later. In 1569, the son of one of 

I wylbe bolder with such as have this wynter paste taken these brothers had married Turlough Luinech's daughter, 

their plesures. And so I take my leave. From Kyi- and had made peace with the Macdonnells. So said sir 

maynham the-thyrd of June, 155S. " T. Sussex. Nicholas Malbie, when writing to the lords-justices from 

"The Lord Deputy to Mr. Secretary Boxoll in cipher." Dundalk. Sir Henry Bagenall wrote about the same 

— SloJ'! Papas, Ireland, in Public Record Office, London, lime (January, 156S), stating that Sorley Eoy had gone to 

vol. ii., n. 49. Scotland, and had left his troops in charge of Brian 

(10) ballycastle Bay— See pp. 37, 48, supra. Carragh O'Neill and this Rorie Oge Macquillin— an act 

(11) To that date. — The battles in Glenshesk in which implying assured friendship between them at the time in 
the three brothers perished could not thus have taken which the popularly received accounts represent them as 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 



125 



This campaign appears to have been a good test, if any such were needed, of Sorley's energy 
and genius as a military leader. (12) It is curious to mark, at this time, the respectful tone assumed 
towards the Macdonnells by English authorities and officials, even from the queen on her throne 
down to the constable of Carrickfergus castle. The deputy, Sussex, had made two raids into Ulster 
against the Scots — one in 1556, and another in 1557, and, most probably, this latter one had 
encouraged the Macquillins in the rising to which we have referred. When these raids, however, 
so very expensive, were found to produce no adequate results, and when it was further apparent 
that the Scots were then fully able to keep all the minor clans around them in check, the government 
changed its front, and began to look complaisantly, if not in real friendship, towards the north. 
The queen wrote to James Macdonnell in June, 1559, strongly expressing her sense of his fidelity, 
and also of his diligent service, as reported to her by the deputy Sussex, who, by the way, had 
burned down all that chieftain's houses, and destroyed his property in Cantiie, only a few months 
previously ! The deputy was only romancing when he talked of Macdonnell's fidelity ; but by getting 
the queen to write such a letter, he had hopes of thus disarming the hostility of the Macdonnells, 
now that a brush with Shane O'Neill was daily expected. When the government afterwards issued 
their celebrated indictment against Shane as a traitor, they refer in that document to the year 
1559, and to the friendly attitude of the Macdonnells, in the following style: — " During this tyme, 
James M'Connell and his brethren, acceptyng themselves no longer to be forren enemies after peace 
proclaymed between England and Scotland, sought to reconcyle themselves also to the Queen's 
Ma ties grace and favour touchinge the causes they dealte within this Realme, and offered their service 

at deadly feud with each other! "The Macquillans of has the foflowing reference to the difficulties of Macquillin's 

the Route, in the county of Antrim, are said to have been position amidst so many hostile neighbours :— " His 

originally Welsh, quasi Mac or Ap Llewellan; but the countrie lyeth far from ayde of your Inglisshe pale, which 

names of Fitz-Howlyn, MacUgelin, more probably came hath bene a great cause of his long rebellion, beyand 

from Hugolin. The ancient book called Salus Populi, forced to adhere to some Irisshman for his defence against 

said to have been written as early as Henry the Sixth's some other of them ; and, as he confesseth, none of his 

time, mentions Fitz-Owlin of Tuskard. A document name, sithe the firste conqueste of their lande, beyand 

about the date of 1515, which is nearly a transcript of capteyn, have dyed in their beddes, but all slayne by 

Sid us Populi, and printed in the first volume of the Irish Irisshmen." (State Papers, vol. iii., p. 281.) Referring 

State Papers, enumerates among the great Irish rebels of to the same difficulty in the position of the Macquillins 

Ulster, Fitzhowlin of Tuscard. (See Reeves's Eccles. and other northern chieftains, sir Thomas Cusake, writ- 

Auliijuities, p. 72.) The Dublin Council-Book of Henry ing to the duke of Northumberland, says: — "When 

VIII's. time has this entry under the year 1541: — 'Thesub- the Scottes doe come, the most parte of Clanneboy, 

mission of Maquillen, who desireth to be reputed an M'Quoyllen, and O'Cahan, must be at their comaund- 



Englishman, as his ancestors weare.' This submission is mente in finding them in their countries; and hard it is to 
printed in the State Papers. The Lord Deputy observes stay the comeing of them, for ther be so many landing 
in the letter forwarding it, ' Maquylan is an Inglishman. ' places between the highe lande of the Rathlyns and Knock- 
It is signed by ' Roderic MacCuyllen, sui nationis prin- fergus, and above the Rathlyns standeth so far from 
cipalis et capitaneus de Rowte.' The name of one of the defence, as it is very hard to have men to be there 
hostages for its performance is ' Jenico MacGerald Mac- continually being so far from helpe. The water of the 
Cuyllen,' both of which Christian names were those in Bann cometh to Loughnaye, which severeth Clanneboye 
use by the English race. The following notice occurs in and Tyrone and M 'Quoyllen and O'Cahan's countrey." 
the earl of Sussex's journey through Ireland in 1556:— See Calendar of Careiv 3ISS., 1st series, p. 243. 
' In the monastery of Coolrahan is buried the ancestor of (12) Military leader.— It is traditionally told in the 
MacGuillin on the left hand of the altar, and on the tomb Antrim Glens that during the battles, which succeeded 
lyeth a picture of a knight armed.' To these notices each other from day to day, for upwards of a week, the 
might be added a letter of Shane O'Neill to Queen Scots were occasionally in extreme want of food supplies, 
Elizabeth, in which he mentions Maquillen as a ' mere and that Sorley Boy was obliged to subsist on oatmeal, 
Englishman.'" (See Irish Topographical Poems, trans- which he mixed with water in the heel of his boot ! This 
lated and edited by O'Donovan, introduction, p. 23, note.) was, indeed, simple enough fare, but he is said to have 
In 1542, the lord-deputy St. Leger, writing to the king, pronounced it admirable under the circumstances. 



I2 6 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

to hir Ma tie in all causes wherein they shuld dealt; whereunto her Ma tie gave favorable eare ; upon 
knowledge whereof Shane, that falsely and traytorously had always combined with them whiles they 
were forren enemies, dyde, so soone as he perceyved them to be drawne to hyr Ma ties devotion, enter 
warre presentlye against them, and so being alwayes a traitor and frynde to them (the Macdonnells) 
when they were foren enymies, became also a traytor and enymie to them when they grewe trewe and 
frendlie to this estate." (See Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. v., pp. 263, 264.) The sole object of 
the Macdonnells in making this semblance of friendship "in all causes wherin they shulde deale," was 
simply to obtain even a short respite from war, that they might have time to recruit their strength 
after such heavy losses as Sussex had wantonly, and without any advantage to the government, 
inflicted upon them. At the very time, however, in which the government was thus endeavouring 
to win over the Macdonnells, their wisest agents were engaged in drawing out what they called a 
" device for the government of Ireland," in which it was " noted by what means the Scots may be 
exiled." Some of these politicians were evidently more candid on this point than others. The text 
of this 'Device' contains the following sentence: — " Ther be certen Skotts that dwellith in the 
Northe contre by the see side, that have had certeyn terrytories of certain gentlemen by marriage, 
and have contynued and kept their possession theis 300 yeares, and ar nownaturall Iryshemenand 
subjects." To this statement, sir John Alen (13) has set in the margin the ungentlemanly mono- 
syllabic contradiction — " a lye." The original writer next admits " the greate favour and love that 
of oulde time hath bene betwene the Quenes Highenes (Mary queen of Scots) auncestors and the 
auncestors of James M'Coynell, who is of the blode roiall of Skotlande." These, the writer con- 
sidered, were established facts which required to be cautiously dealt with, but sir John Alen, and the 
party he represented, aimed at a high-handed policy, which contemplated nothing less than the utter 
and immediate expulsion of the Scots. 

The war between the English and Shane O'Neill then about to commence, and indeed all the 
struggles between them during the preceding ten years, originally arose from the intermeddling of the 
government. In creating Con an earl, and his illegitimate son a baron, thus ignoring Shane 
his lawful heir, the government laid a sure foundation for contention and quarrel in the family. This 
illegitimate son's mother was an inhabitant of Dundalk, and was generally believed to have 
had this youth by a blacksmith named Kelly. But Con O'Neill had made it a rule never to 
refuse paternity to any one presented as his child, and the boy from Dundalk so pleased him in 
every respect, that he determined to make him his heir, overlooking his legitimate son, Shane, 
who was then young, and not a youth of much promise. By the care of the Donnilaughs, how- 
ever, with whom he was put to foster, he grew up robust, intelligent, handsome, and of magnificent 
dimensions — every inch an O'Neill. Shane soon showed a talent for the turbulent public life of 
Ulster, and one of his first movements was to nullify the old gentleman's arrangements by slaying the 
luckless intruder from Dundalk. Then there was war, of course, between the father and son, each 
striving to work the greater desolation in the country. The English now again interfered, by the 

(13). -S'^'' jfohn Attn. — This official was first clerk of ton's Calendar. Alen's salary of £20 per annum as master 

Council in Dublin, afterwards master of the rolls, and of the rolls was payable out of the customs of the ports 

finally lord chancellor of Ireland. Very many of his of Dublin and Drogheda. He held one or other of the 

letters are found among the State Papers, all indicating a public offices ftom 1533 to 1566. — See also Morrin's 

sharp-witted, practical man as their writer.— See Hamil- Calendar of the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 12/ 

the imprisonment of Con to prevent further ruin. " The cause of his reteyner," says sir Thomas 
Cusake, the lord chancellor, " was both for wasteinge and destroing of his countrey, and for that 
he sayed, that he wolde never, for his tyme, care for the amendment of the same, with many other un- 
decent words for a capten of a countrey to saye." The truth is, the old earl had been driven to despair, 
not so much perhaps by the violent conduct of his son, as by the intriguing of his English friends. 
Shane had carried off from Dungannon castle all his father's plate and other valuables, together with 
a sum of ;£8oo, equal to ^8000 at the present day, and when Cusake went to remonstrate, he found 
Shane as unpatriotically disposed as his father, — " for," says the chancellor, "he (Shane) was bent 
to do what he coulde to destroy the pore countrey." Old Con's grey hairs were thus soon brought 
in sorrow to the grave ;(i4) and Shane, despising the English earldom, had himself proclaimed 
The O'Neill, the leader and representative of the whole clan or Cinel-Eoglian — a title which he valued 
more highly than any the government could confer. (15) 

Sir Henry Sydney, who was lord-justice at the time Shane acted thus independently even of 
advice from Dublin castle, came northward to Dundalk, or within six miles of Fedan, Shane's well- 
known residence. Sydney summoned him to come to Dundalk to answer for certain matters 
currently reported to his disadvantage, and whilst Shane felt that it was rather unsafe to comply with 
this summons, he also felt that it might be quite as dangerous to refuse. In this difficulty he 
adopted a novel but pleasant method of extrication. He invited Sydney to come and be his gossip, 
declaring that on the faith of this tie he would submit to do all that the queen's service might require. 
(16) Sydney accepted the invitation, and was magnificently entertained, standing sponsor at the 

(14) The grave.— The grant to Con O'Neill, in return had required his Parlement robes to be sent him, as earl 
for the surrender of his country, was the title of earl of of Tiron, yet now lie required not so mean an honour as 
Tyrone, to be enjoyed by his illegitimate son, Ferdoragh to be an earl, except he might be better and higher than 
or Matthew, and his heirs male for ever, with all the an earl. ' For I am,' saith he, ' in blood and power better 
castles, manors, and lordships which he previously pos- than the best, and I will give place to none of them; for 
sessed. This grant from the Crown was to be held by mine ancestors were kings of Ulster, and as Ulster was 
knight's service, on the conditions that he, Con, would theirs, so now it is mine, and shall be mine ; with the 
exchange the name of O'Neill for whatever other name sword I won it, and with the sword I will keep it.' " — 
the king — Henry VIII. — might be pleased to supply; Hooker in Holinshed, p. 333, as quoted in Dymmok's 
that he would adopt and use the English language; that Treatise of Ireland, edited by Rev. Richard Butler, 
he would cultivate his lands after the English fashion; p. 70. 

that he would live in obedience to English law, and be (16) Might require.— Pi. spiritual affinity was acknow- 

prepared with a rising out of horse and foot when the ledged by the canon law between a gossip or sponsor and 

lord-deputy was pleased to go a hosting against Irish the child for whom he stood at the baptismal font. The 

rebels. Con probably regretted this arrangement, as he right of a gossip was regarded among the Celts as equal 

is said to have cursed any of his posterity who should to that of the natural parent, and hence gossipred or com- 

learn to speak English, sow wheat, or build castles, paternity having such a binding force between Irish and 

even although at the time of his being created an earl English, was declared to be treason by the famous statute 

the king gave him a gold "cheyne of 60 pounds and odd, of Kilkenny. But this law did not prevent it from being 

furnished his robes, and paid the charges of his creation, practised so lately as the close of the seventeenth century. 

£65 10s 2d, giving him in ready money .£100." — See An earl of Thomond, when borrowing ^1000 from queen 

Morrin's Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1st series, pp. 79, Elizabeth bound himself in the recognizance "not to 

85. marry, gossip, or foster contrary to the Statute in that 

(15) Could confer.— Shane literally despised any other behalf provided without the license of the Lord Deputy 
dignity compared with this. When the MacArtimore or Governor for the time being." See Ware's Works, 
was made an earl, Shane scoffed at both the man and vol. ii., p. 72. The violation of the sacred tie of gossipred 

..., ... - ■ ,___ .__.. :,j' j :-n.. — :™:„ rt i i\t — ,„;a'„ » i 



the title, " braieing out speeches not meet nor seem- was considered specially criminal. Menteith's treachery 

lie." " For," said he, " Ye have made a wise earl of to sir William Wallace was held a peculiarly aggravated 

MacArtimore; I keepe as good a man as he is; and albeit sin because of the latter having been twice a gossip in the 

I confess the Queene is my sovereign Ladie, yet I never family of the former. See The Wallace, book viii., 1593, 

made peace with her but at her seeking ! And where he xi., 848. 



128 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



christening of one of O'Neill's children. After this ceremony came a conference, during which Shane 
not only justified his conduct, but asserted his princely pretensions with clearness and good 
temper. He affirmed that the late baron of Dungannon, whom he had slain, was not the son of 
Con at all, a statement in which Sydney seemingly acquiesced, as he quickly passed to another and 
a more delicate point in the controversy. He objected that Shane had no right to assume the title 
of The O'Neill, (17) as his father had surrendered his territories to the king, and under that 
surrender the settlement had been made with the government. To this Shane firmly replied that, 
according to the institutions still existing in Ireland, his father had no power whatever to make 
any such surrender, having but a life interest or right in the title and territories of the clan, and 
being elected according to the law of tanistry. (18) He further contended that, even according to the 
English law, the letters patent granting his father the earldom were illegal, no inquisition having 
been made, as for this purpose the country ought to have been previously shire ground. (19) 
Sydney next referred to certain tumults that Shane had stirred up by his demands on the obedience 
of the northern chiefs, to which O'Neill replied freely that he had arrogated nothing beyond the 
time-honoured and lawful rights of his ancestors, who had been the superiors or lords of the other 
chieftains in Ulster. (20.) By the advice of his council, Sydney replied finally that the queen 



(17) The O'Neill. —The English always regarded this 
title with jealousy and fear, and in the act passed after 
Shane's death, known as the eleventh of Elizabeth, the 
following clause was introduced to abolish the right of 
any one to be called The O'Neill ever afterwards : — 

"And forasmuch as the name of Oneyle, in the judg- 
ments of the uncivill people of this realm, doth cany in 
itself so great a soveiaigntie, as they suppose that all the 
Lords and people of Ulster should rather live in servitude 
to that name, than in subjection to the crown of England: 
be it therefore enacted, &c, That the name of Oneyle, 
with the manner and ceremonies of his creation, and all 
the superiorities, titles, dignities, preheminences, juris- 
dictions, authorities, rules, tributes, and expences used, 
claymed, usurped, or taken by any Oneyle, as in right of 
that name, or otherwise, from the beginning, of any the 
lords, captaines, or people of Ulster, and all manner of 
offices given by the said Oneyle, shall from henceforth 
cease, end, determine, and be utterly abolished and ex- 
tinct for ever. And that what person soever he bee, that 
shall hereafter challenge, execute, or take upon him that 
name of Oneyle, or any superioritie, dignitie, jurisdiction, 
authoritie, tributes, or expences, used, claymed, usurped, 
or taken heretofore by any Oneyle, of the lords, captaines, 
or people of Ulster, the same shall bee deemed, and taken 
high treason, and the person or persons therein offending, 
and being thereof attainted, shall suffer and sustain such 
pains of death, forfeiture of lands and goods, as in case of 
high treason by the laws of this realm hath been accustomed 
and used." — Irish Statutes, vol. i., p. 335. 

(iS) Tanistry. — See p. 41, supra. 

(19) Shire ground. — In this statement O'Neill was 
quite correct. The O'Neill's country, including the pre- 
sent county of Londonderry, was not made shire ground 
until the month of July, 1591, "when certain commis- 
sioners appointed by Queen Elizabeth made a return into 
the Court of Chancery, in which the river Finn on the 
west, Lough Foyle and the sea on the north, the river 



Bann and Lough Neagh on the east, and the Llackwater 
on the south, were set out as the boundaries." This im- 
mense sweep of Ulster was divided into the following 
eight territories : — 1. The Baronie of Loghyuisolin, now 
Loughinshollin; 2. The Baronie of Donganyn, now Dun- 
gannon ; 3. The Baronie of Cloehare, now Clogher ; 
4. The Baronie of O/uaghe, now Omagh; 5. The Baronie 
of Strathbanc, now Strabane; 6. The Baronie of Coulrane, 
now Coleraine ; 7. The Baronie of Ly moevadye, now 
Newtownlimavady ; 8. The Baronie of Anrtgh, now 
Enagh, r.ear Derry. See Reeves's edition of Primate 
Cotton's Visitation, A.D. 1397, pp. 125—131, where the 
reader will find a most interesting account of the sub- 
territories or divisions in each barony throughout this 
vast tract. 

(20) In Ulster. — These minor or inferior chieftains were 
known among the Irish as Urriaghs, from Oir-righ, "sub- 
king or chief," tributary to a superior. The O'Neills 
anciently claimed as their subordinates the O'Cahans, 
the O'Hanlons, the MacMahons, the Magennisses, the 
Macartans, the Macguires, and sometimes even the 
O'Donnells. There were many points connected with 
the tributary claims thus vested in the O'Neills open to 
discussion, but generally settled by force. One of the 
bloodiest clan-battles on record occurred between the 
O'Neills and O'Donnells, in the year 1491, and was 
brought on by the following demand and reply of their 
chieftains: — "Send me my rent," said O'Neill, "or if 
you don't — !" "I owe you no rent," retorted O'Don- 
nell, " and if I did— !" Among the Remedies for the 
evils of Ulster recommended by Marshall Bagenall, in 
15S6, the following holds a prominent place : — " As to 
the seconde : ly ke as in the former tyme of good govern- 
ment it was a thing most regarded in all the treaties 
to weaken the force of the O'Neiles by withdrawinge 
their Uryaghes, as was done by King Henry the Eighthe 
with Con O'Neile, whom, when he had made Earle of 
Tyron, he gave him no more by patent than the bare coun - 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 



129 



would undoubtedly act justly in the business, advising O'Neill to remain at peace until her pleasure 
should be made known. Shane took his advice, and there was peace until Sydney was replaced by- 
Sussex in the office of deputy. 

Unfortunately for the Scots, they were almost invariably drawn into the conflict, on one 
side or other, when war was proclaimed between Shane and tne English. James and Sorley 
Macdonnell determined, however, in 1560, to stand aside, notwithstanding the most pressing 
appeals from the belligerents, and thus permit them to settle their own quarrel as best 
they might. Shane appealed to the leaders of the Clandonnell as their former ally, (21) 
reminding them that he and they were in the same position, battling from year to year against the 
wily and persistent usurpations of the Sassanach. (22) On the other hand, Sussex for the govern- 
ment, was actively engaged forming a combination against O'Neill among parties that had previously 
been associates in his policy. With this object, he commissioned an agent, named William 
Hutchinson, to go first to Edinburgh and consult there with Thomas Randolphe, (23) the queen's 
ambassador; thence to the earl of Argyle, (24) carrying letters to that nobleman, not only from 



trie of Tyron, and specyallye provided that he should not 
intermeddle with anie on this side the Blackwater: soe 
is it most needful to take the opportunitie which nowe 
the people and the tyme doth better offer than it did then. 
Thearfor, the way is to apportion to Turloughe Lenoghe 
and the Earle of Tyron (being both of one sirname) lands 
on the north side of the Blackwater to them and their 
heirs male, indyfferentlye bounded by some well ac- 
quainted with those countries, whearewith they should 
onlye deale, and meddle no farther, but leave the govern- 
mente of the rest to her Majesties cheef commissioner or 
other her Highnis officer in that province." — See Ulster 
yoiirnal of Archaeology ', vol. ii., p. 158; vol. iii , pp. 38, 
45- 

f2l) Former ally. — This was true, especially on two 
memorable occasions, in 1556 and 1557, when the lord 
deputy Sussex made Hustings against the Antrim Scots. 
In the proclamation denouncing Shane as a traitor ten 
years afterwards, there is the following reference to his 
conduct during the first Hosting above-named: — "Shane 
dyd not onely refuse to repayre to her Ma" 68 said Lieu- 
tenant, but falselye and trayterouslye did, with all his 
force and power of men of warre repayre to James 
MacConnell, conspiring ami combyning with himagaynste 
our late souereign Ladye Queene Mary." Referring to 
his demeanour during the Hosting in 1556, the proclama- 
tion thus speaks : — " After another Hostyng called and 
jorney prepared agaynst James MacConnell and his 
Breathren, styll reputed as foryn enemies, Shane did 
contrary to his oathe refuse to repayer to her Ma ties 
said Lieutenant then beying at the Newrie, accompanyed 
by the earles of Kyldare, Ormond, and Desmond, and 
others the Nobles of this Realme, upon eny protection or 
assurance that they could make unto hym . . . 
receyvinge presentlie into his fostering and kepyng the 
goodes and cattels of James MacConnell and his brethren; 
he as a faulse and perjured traitor eftsones combyned with 
them and procured an assault to be made in a pace (pass) 
upon her Ma tie " armye in their retume." (See Ulster 
Journal of Archeology, vol. v., p. 261.) These legislators, 
even so long after the occurrence, and when Shane was 
in his grave, had not forgotten the ' assaulte' made ' in a 
pace' on the English army, in 1556, on its return from 




Clannconcadhan (Glenconkein) in Tyrone. The pursui- 
vant, Phil. Butler, who recorded the incidents connected 
with that Hosting against the Scots, has the following 
evidently "cooked" account of the 'assaulte': — "On 
Saturday, the 18th (June), the Deputy (Thomas Fitz- 
walter, earl of Sussex), came to the pass of Ballohe 
M'GilleCorroughe, otherwise Balldromm Clashahe. He 
stayed at the hill by the pass, called Knockloughan, into 
which pass the earl of Ormond and Ossory, sir George 
Stanley, Humphrey Warren, Thomas Robert William- 
son, Hugh Lipput, and other captains, with English 
footmen, gallowglasse, and other Irishmen entered, and 
encountered the said Scottes, vanquished them and slew 
two of their captaines, the one called M'Imerstille, with 
200 others. James Donnollohe Nell left his shield behind 
him, and escaped narrowly, and so did James and Colle 
M'Connell." For an account of this Hosting, see 
Calendar of the Carew MSS , 1st series, pp. 259—262. 

(22) Sassanach. — This was the usual designation em- 
ployed by the Irish in reference to Englishmen. Not 
unfrequently it was preceded by the opprobrious word 
bodach, intended to mark the coarse manners and cold 
reserve of the Sassenach, especially of such as had 
not been residents in Ireland. The native Irish rarely, 
if ever, applied the phrase Boddach Sassenach to the 
English of the birth of Ireland, but reserved it for 
such English as had newly arrived, either as soldiers or 
in some official capacity. See Prendergast's Cromwellian 
Settlement of Ireland, introduction, pp. lxii ; see also, 
Montgomery Manuscripts, new edition, p. 22, and note. 

(23) Thomas Randolphe. — Sussex received a reply from 
Randolphe on May 15 following, in which the writer 
speaks of an interview with James Macdonnell, and of 
the latter's willingness to serve against Shane O'Neill. 
This Thomas Randolph was afterwards appointed mas- 
ter of her majesty's posts in England, or as we would 
now designate him, post-master geneial. See Hamil- 
ton's Calendar, first and second series. 

(24) Earl of Argyle.— See p. 45, supra. This was 
GiUaspick or Archibald, the fourth earl, a true Campbell 
in his instincts for accumulation and annexation. This 
nobleman extended his influence into the North Isles, 
and over two of the most powerful tribes in that region — 



I30 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

himself, but from Cecil also. Hutchinson was instructed to obtain letters from Argyle to James Mac- 
donnell, who resided in Can tire, and to the countess dowager of Argyle (25), who had married Calvagh 
O'Donnell of Donegal, and was therefore supposed to be cordially in the interests of her husband. 
The agent was next to cross the channel, from Cantire to the Antrim coast, with instructions from 
James Macdonnell to his brother Sorley Boy, and with a letter also from the queen, — going thence to 
Donegal, with the offer of the title of earl to O'Donnell, and a letter to his lady the countess dowager 
of Argyle, informing her that the writer, Sussex, had certain presents for her from her majesty the 
queen. So far, however, as the Macdonnells were concerned, they appear to have made up 
their minds to remain neutral; and they did so, James contriving to keep the English from any 
threatenings of war against the Scots, and Sorley Boy playing the same difficult game with 
O'Neill. The war, which did not actually commence for some time afterwards, was brought abruptly 
to an end in 1563, by Shane's unexpected submission, followed by his memorable visit to Elizabeth. 
During that visit, he appears to have become quite a hero in her estimation, at least for a 
time, and she not only gave him back his lands, but lent him a round sum of money on his return. 
Even the hapless Urriaghs (26) were handed over to his tender mercies, an act which both she 
and they had soon good cause to regret, The articles of agreement on this occasion were drawn 
out by sir Thomas Cusake, and are calendared from the Patent Rolls of 1563 by Mr. Morrin, as 
follows: — "Her Majesty receives Shane O'Neill to her gracious favour, and pardons all his offences; 
he shall remain captain and governor of his territory or province of Tirone, and shall have the 
name and title of O'Nele, and all the jurisdiction and preeminences which his ancestors possessed, 
with the service and homage of the lords and captains called Urraughts, and other the chieftains 
of the O'Nele country, and he shall be created Earl of Tyrone." See Calendar, 1st series, p. 485. 
In return for all these gracious acts on the part of the queen, Shane took occasion to declare among 
her courtiers that he was anxious above all things to do some service which would, at least to some 
extent, prove his gratitude. This sentiment being of course duly applauded, and especially by 
lord Robert Dudley, (27) Shane forthwith wrote tb the council in Dublin, stating that, as he 
could see no greater traitors, or more dangerous rebels to the queen's authority, than the Scots, he 

the Clandonnell of Skye and North Uist, and the Clan- the earls of Murray, Glencairne, and Rothes, with the 
Leod of Harris, Dunvegan, and Glenelg. On the 28th lord Ochiltree and others had gone into England to seek 
of April, 1567, Mary queen of Scots granted Argyle a aid from Elizabeth, whilst he (Argyle) and Boyd re- 
commission of fire and sword against the Macleans of mained in the mountains beset on all sides. John Knox, 
Mull, who had overrun the isle of Gigha, being part of he states, had told him of the archbishop of Armagh's 
the jointure lands of lady Agnes Campbell, James Mac- fervency in religious things. Religion, he adds, is the 
donnell's widow, and sister of this fourth earl of Argyle. only cause of his own distresses. He writes from Dun- 
The latter was the first Scottish man of rank who warmly nune (Dunoon) September 19, 1565, and encloses copy 
espoused the doctrines of the Reformation. He used to of the Protestation of the Scottish Nobility and Congrcga- 
have John Knox frequently preaching to his family and Hon professing the right Religion. 

retainers at his residence known as Castle-Campbell in (25) Dowager of Argyle. — This lady was CathrineMac- 

Clackmanan, on the banks of the picturesque little river leau, married first to Colin, third earl of Argyle, and 

Devon. He was engaged with the duke of Chatelher- afterwards to Calvagh O'Donnell of Tirconnell, or Done- 

ault and the earl of Murray in a rebellion arising out of gal. 

the opposition made by these noblemen to the marriage (26) Urriaghs. — For an explanation of this term see 

of Mary queen of Scots with lord Darnley. This re- p. 128, snpra. 

bellion was a bloodless one, as the rebel chiefs soon (27) Robert Dudley.— -This nobleman is better known 

submitted and made their peace with Darnley and the as earl of Leicester— one of queen Elizabeth's principal 

young queen. In a long letter to the archbishop of favourites. 
Armagh, Argyle states that the duke of Chatelherault, 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. I 3 I 

was disposed to inflict some signal punishment upon them. It is believed, however, that O'Neill was 
thus craftily intending to clear his own path for a renewal of the struggle with the English, on a 
much greater scale, and with better hopes of success. He found that the Scots had become im- 
practicable as allies, that they could no longer be employed to carry out his own political designs, 
that their leaders were becoming too powerful, and one of them at least as popular as himself in 
Ulster. Before engaging, therefore, in another war with the English, the ' redshank' host must be 
in someway disposed of, as encumbering, and occasionally threatening his course of action. He 
well knew that the Scots were hated, and even feared, as much by the government as by himself ; 
and he knew that his resolution of expelling them from the coast had been hailed with the warmest 
approval in high quarters. His letter to the lord-justice and council on this subject was written 
at Corcra castle, in Tyrone, on the iSth of August, and in four days afterwards their reply was sent 
northward, expressing their unqualified approval of his project, and regretting that he need expect no 
supply of men or victual from Carrickfergus. O'Neill commenced operations without much delay,as, 
on the 5th of September, we find him writing to the council from Coulrath (Coleraine), informing them 
that he was rebuilding a castle there on the eastern side of the Bann, and that he had sent a detachment 
over the river in cots or coracles to occupy the monastery on the western side, which his men held 
against the Scots during a siege of twenty-four hours. Sorley Boy had been wounded in this conflict. 
Terence Danyell, the dean of Armagh, had also written to the council, stating that there was a 
great flood in the Bann, that O'Neill had erected a strong fort in the old castle of Coulrath, and 
had sent men over the river to ward the Friery, which the Scots attacked like madmen. This affair 
was the only battle recorded during the remainder of that year; but O'Neill busily engaged himself 
in preparations for more important movements in the following spring. Sir Thomas Cusake was in 
raptures with Shane's general bearing, and wrote to Cecil that " having had full discourse ot his 
doings" with that chief, his dealings with or against the Scots, as explained by Shane himself, had been 
" most commendable." This commendable work on the part of O'Neill consisted in his having swept 
over portions of the Scottish settlements with fire and sword, his raid being referred to in a letter from 
the mayor of Drogheda to Cecil, in which the writer states that Shane had attacked the Scots at All- 
Hallowtide, burning part of their country, and taking pledges. "Three hundred Scots," he adds, " of 
James M'Donnell's household men (28) have arrived at Lecale, and are now entertained by M'Gilles- 
spoke."(29) 

(28) Household men —These household soldiers, called Cearnachs and Kerns. See Logan's Scottish Gael, pp. 

in the Scottish Gaelic Lttchdlachk, formed a body of 147, 177. 

young men selected from the best families of the clan, (29) M' Gillespoke. — The best known leader among the 

and carefully trained to the use of the sword and targe, Scots of Lecale was Alexander Macrandal Boy Macdon- 

archery, wrestling, swimming, leaping, and all military nell. He left two sons, Allister and Gillaspick ; and one 

as well as athletic exercises. They were anciently armed daughter, Mary, who became the second wife of Con 

with darts and dirks, and their special duty was to attend on O'Neill, first earl of Tyrone. Her two brothers were as- 

the chief. "They were usually retained by the heir or tanist, sassinated by Andrew Brereton, at Ardglass, whilst he 

who was himself required to prove his right to command entertained them at supper. The council in Dublin, 

them, and the claim to the chieftainship by his personal writing to the council in London, on the 20th May, 

valour. It was therefore customary for him to lead them 1551, refers to this murder, stating in substance that Con 

on some desperate foray, from which they were expected O'Neill, the earl of Tyrone, had sent a force with two of 

to bring home a prey of cattle or other spoil, or die in his wife's brethren, young men, to distrain for rent owing 

the attempt. These companies were called Catharn, a by the Macartanes, a sept of Irishmen bordering on 

word signifying 'fighting bands,' otherwise pronounced Lecale. Brereton set upon them and slew them, toge- 



132 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

O'Neill's plan for the spring campaign was ably arranged, and skilfully carried into execution. 
Early in the April of 1565, his forces were equipped, and prepared to take the field. He resolved 
to assail the Scots in their remote positions, and before it would be possible to summon James 
Macdonnell to the rescue. Having solemnly celebrated the festival of Easter at his castle of 
Fedan, (30) near the Newre, O'Neill marched on the following Tuesday as far as Dromore, and 
thence the next day to Monynimrock, in the vicinity of Edenduffcarrick. There he remained 
collecting his best troops until the following Sunday afternoon, and then marched rapidly northward. 
The Scots, no doubt, were now pretty well convinced of his designs. Their warning fires 
blazed along the Antrim headlands during that Sunday evening, and no sooner had the first flames 
leaped up from the hill near Torr-Point, (31) than the faithful Fir Chinntire, or men of Cantire, 
grasped their weapons and manned their galleys with heroic daring. James Macdonnell, then residing 
at his ancient castle of Saudell, quickly mustered all his available forces, and crossed the Channel 
on May-Eve, having previously made arrangements with his brother, Alexander Oge, to follow hastily 
with whatever reinforcements could be collected. James arrived in Cushindun Bay, then called 
Bun-abhainn-Duin, as the dawn of May morning melted the mists from the headlands along 
the coast. On looking southward from his place of disembarkation, he must have seen his 
own castle at Red Bay in flames, and he soon afterwards discovered that the work of 
destruction was rapidly progressing within and around the castle walls. A few hours later, 
and Sorley Boy, with the remnant of his defeated force, came onward in full retreat before O'Neill, 
and having united with the Scots from Cantire, the retreat was continued northward to Ballycastle, 
where it was hoped that, during the day, reinforcements would arrive under Alexander Oge. This 

ther with several of their men. This murder caused great had provided as great and good cheare as was to be had 
excitement and horror among all the Scots in Ulster. It in the countrie." " So I shortened his Christmas," adds 
was not forgotten in 1563, when the government wanted this knight, so valiant on his own showing, "and made 
all the Scots to unite with them against Shane O'Neill. an ende of myne owne with abundance of his good pro- 
Sussex, the deputy, writing to the council in England, vision, but provided for such an unbidden guest as I was." 
on the 24th of April, 1563, relates the circumstances of Sydney would make us believe that O'Neill and his scout 
the assassination at Ardglass, and requires that Brereton, held a sort of colloquy on the subject of this vain knight's 
an English adventurer, be sent back to Ireland to answer heraldic distinctions. The scout announces Sydney's ap- 
for his doings. The Scots, he affirmed, must be appeased. proach. " That is not possible," answered Shane, " for 
When Randolph, the queen's ambassador, visited James the daye before yesterday I knowe he dyned and sate 
Macdonnell in Cantire to enlist him for the cause of the under his cloth of estate in the hall of Kilmaynham." 
government against O'Neill, one stipulation was, that the This is rather unlike the style in which Shane would have 
authors of the murder of his (Macdonnell's) two young expressed himself under the circumstances. The scout, 
kinsmen were to be punished. Sussex wrote again to by way of impressing his chief with the fact of the great 
London, stating that Owen Roe Macdonnell, formerly in Sydney's approach, exclaims, " I saw the redd bracklok 
the queen's service, refused to receive the letters sent to with the knotty club, and that is carried before none but 
him from the deputy, declaring that he would never himself" — "meaning," says Sydney, " my pensell with 
"come at Englishman" till the murder of Allister and the ragged staff." This awe-inspiring "ragged staff" 
Gillaspick M'Randal Boy were revenged. Gillaspick, was the cognisance of the Sydneys, but sir Henry did not 
one of the brothers, left a son, then known as MacGil- evidently know that the word bratach, used by the scout, is 
laspick, and mentioned above as having "entertained" Irish for a flag. Sydney could explain that the scout 
James Macdonnell's household men. meant "my pensell with the ragged staff," but who could 
(30) Fedan. — From the Irish word Fiod/ia, "woods" explain what this pedantic knight meant by bracklok ? — 
or "forests." It may be that Shane made a rule See Ulster Journal of Archeology, vol. iii., pp. 42, 49. 
to hold Easter in his castle of Fedan, and the festival (31) Near Torr- Point.— -This hill is indicated on 
of Christmas at Dungannon. Sir Henry Sydney boasts Norden's Map of Ireland, about 1610. There is no name 
of having driven him from the enjoyment of his Christ- of the hill given, but there is the following announcement 
mas festivities, "in the heart of his country, where inscribed at the point on the map where the hill is sup- 
he had made as great an assembly as he could, and posed to be: — " At this marke the Scottes used to make 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 133 

hope was doomed to disappointment, and on their arrival at the town now mentioned, nothing 
remained for James and Sorley but to make the best preparations in their power for the conflict that 
was soon to ensue. With this object they took up a position at the foot of Gleanntaisi, (32) which 
stretches from Ballycastle Bay along the north-western base of Knocklayd, thus permitting O'Neill 
to occupy the ancient town of Baile-cashlein, where he encamped on the night of the first of May. 
The position of the Scots does not thus appear to have been well chosen, and especially if they had 
wished to keep open their communication with the Bay, in which there was an almost certain hope 
that Alexander Oge would arrive during the night. No help, however, came. On the morningof the 
second of May, before five o'clock, O'Neill's army moved forward and attacked the Scots, who 
numbered about one thousand men, whilst their enemies were at least two to one. After a bloody 
struggle, the Scottish host was almost literally annihilated. Its officers were all either killed or 
captured, and of the men, few were permitted to leave the field, and fewer still to survive the 
retreat. 

The brief notice of this important battle in the Annals of the Four Masters is supplemented 
by several letters preserved among the Irish Correspondence in the State Papers office. One of these 
letters was written by Shane O'Neill himself, as soon as the general results of the battle were fully 
known. When the prisoners (only officers) were collected, and safely lodged in Baile-caishlein, he 
laid aside his bloody sword, and taking up his pen, wrote in Latin to the lord-justice Arnold, the 
following account of his victory : — 

" It becomes my duty to inform your Lordship of my progress towards the North in the Queen's 
service against the Scots, who are her Majesty's enemies and the usurpers of her territory. In the 
first place, I took care to clear all the passes in the woods by which I could have access to Clann- 
aidh-boe. (33) I there built an old fort, and at that point the gentry of Clann-aidh-boe joined me 
with their followers. I proceeded thence towards the territories occupied by the Scots, and Som- 
hairle Boy defended a certain pass, with the object of preventing my further progress. But by divine 

their warning-fires." The hill is situate between Fairhead they were thus removed to a considerable distance from 

and Torr Point, but a little way inland from the cliffs. the line of the O'Neills' march. 

The precise spot was probably on the high land of Bally- (33) Clann-aidh-boe. — More correctly Clan-Aodh- 

euchan, adjoining Murloch Bay. Buidhe. so called from the descendants of Hugh O'Neill, 

(32) Gleanntaisi. — The Four Masters thus designate smnamed Bnid/ie, or, 'yellow haired.' This Hugh O'Neill, 

the immediate locality of the battle. In speaking of the in the thirteenth century, established his authority over 

fall of the more distinguished persons slain on that field, the principality anciently called Uladh, the larger portion 

the annalists add: — "Many others not enumerated, were of which was subsequently known by the tribe name of 

slain in this defeat of Gleanntaisi." The Annals of Loch his descendants — Clannaboy, or country of the de- 

Ce mention that the battle-field was in Glennsheisg, and scendants ol Hugh Boy I. The whole extensive region 



there is thus uncertainty as to its exact position. These bearing this name was .livided into upper or southern, and 

two glens, Glentow and Glenshesk, meet on the shore at lower or northern Clannaboy. Northern Clannaboy ex- 

Ballycastle, the one stretching from Armoy along the tended from the Ravel southward to the Lagan, comprising 

western base of Knocklayd, and the other from Slieve-an- twenty sub-territories or tuoghs, which are all contained i 



Aura along the eastern side of that mountain. The water the modern baronies of the two Antrims, the two Toomes, 

called the Taw flows down the former to the sea, its name the two Belfasts, lower Massereene, and the county of 

being evidently the anglicised form of Taisi, or rather Carrickfergus. Upper Clannaboy extended southward 

Taise. If the Scots had encamped in Glenshesk, it is from the Lagan, comprising nine sub-territories or tuoghs, 

not easily understood how the O'Neills could have reached which exactly constitute the two modern baronies of 

Ballycastle without a collision. But if the Scots moved upper and lower Castlereagh. See Reeves's Eccles. 

forward and encamped at the foot of Glentaisi or Glentow, Antiquities, pp. 344 — 348. 



134 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



aid I gave them battle, in which many of his men were slain ; the remnant fled ; we took large spoils 
on that day, and at night we occupied the camp from which Somhairle had been expelled. Thence 
we advanced the following day through their valleys and protected routes, until we came to the 
castle of James M'Donnell, called Uaim Aderig, (34) which, with the town, we burned, and after- 
wards plundered all the adjoining district. (35) On that night, James M'Donnell, accompanied by 
his brothers and all their forces, arrived in Ireland. He entered the neighbouring harbour with a 
large fleet of galleys, and immediately he and Somhairle united their Irish and Scottish forces. We 
advanced on the day following without opposition to the town of Somhairle, which is named Baile 
Caishlein, (36) and remained there all night in camp, as there was no time to attack them that 
evening. Early next morning, we advanced upon them drawn up in battle array, and the fight was 
furiously maintained on both sides. But God, best and greatest, of his mere grace, and for the 
welfare of her Majesty the Queen, gave us the victory against them. James and his brother 
Somhairle were taken prisoners, and a third brother, Angus, sumamed the ' Contentious,' and John 
Roe, (37) were slain, together with two Scottish chiefs, namely, the son of Mac Leod, (38) and the 
son of the Lord of Carrig-na-Skaith (39) A young chieftain of Isla was slain, whose father was 
brother to James aforesaid. (40) The sons of Alexander Carrach, (41) and the sons of Alexander 
Gallta, (42) besides many of the Scottish nobility were captured, and great numbers of their men 
killed, amounting in all to six or seven hundred. Few escaped who were not taken or slain. Glory 
be to God, such was the result of these my services undertaken for her majesty in the Northern 



(34> Uaim Aderig. — More correctly Uaimhaderg, 
' Red-Caves,' now Red Bay. 

(35) District. — The beautiful Glenariff was the district 
which O'Neill desolated on that occasion. 

(36) Baile Caishlein. — This place was so called from 
the caiseal or cashel on Dunanynie, a little westward of 
the modern town. Several eminent Irish authorities 
think that caiseal is another word for Cios-ail, or Rent- 
Rock, as it is so frequently applied to the position, gene- 
rally on a rock, at which the rents of a district were paid. 
This position near Ballycastle is called Dunanynie, " hill 
of the Fairs or Assemblies," with the addition of Coi^nc, 
which has been dropped in modern days, but which im- 
plied that there the rents and tributes were of old col- 
lected from the district. 

(37) John Roe. — John Roe Macdonnell was a distin- 
guished captain of the Scots, but to what family he be- 
longed we have not been able to discover. He was pro- 
bably married to a niece of Shane O'Neill. (See Hamil- 
ton's Calendar, 1st series, p. 215.) He was slain in the 
retreat from Gleanntaisi, when he had got as far as the 
hollow at the head of Glenshesk, called Lag-na-g Capull. 
In that dreary place there is a pillar-stone still standing 
at his head, the spot being known to the people of the 
district as Slaught- Eoin-Ruadh, or John Roe's monu- 
ment. The Irish word Leacht, meaning a sepulchral 
monument marking one distinguished grave, is sometimes 
corruptly spelled Slaught. There was a coat of mail 
found here by turf-cutters some years ago. This relic, 
which is described in the locality as being curiously 
wrought, hung on the front of a cabin for a long period — 
until it dropped piecemeal away and disappeared. 



(38) MacLeod.— It would be difficult to identify this 
young chief among the numerous officers supplied by the 
several leading families of the Macleods at the period re- 
ferred to. He was probably a nephew of James and 
Sorley Macdonnell. See p. 39, supra. 

(39) Carrick-na-Skeath. — This place, near the Mull 01 
Cantire, is now known as Carskay. It is situated on the 
coast, in the parish of Kilcolmkill. The castle, which 
belonged to the Macneills, was built on a rock forming a 
small island near the shore. In the adjoining churchyard 
of Keil there are several tombstones marking the graves 
of Macneills of Carrick-Skeath, orCarskay. (Orig. Paroch. 
Scot., vol. ii., p. 8.) The young chief of Carskay who 
fell at the battle of Gleanntaisi was a Macneill, but we 
cannot make out any particulars of his career. 

(40) James aforesaid. — If this young chieftain was 
really a nephew of James Macdonnell, he must have been 
a son of Angus, James's second brother, who resided 
generally in Isla. 

(41) Alexander Carrach. — See p. iS, supra. 

(42) Alexander Gallta. — This chieftain was of the Mac- 
donnells of Sleat, and known in the Isles as Alexander 
MacConnell, surnamed Gallic/i, because fostered some- 
where at a distance from home. His son, the Don- 
nell Gorm Macdonnell of Sleat, after his liberation, 
came to Ulster as a leader of Scots, under Sorley Boy. 
The founder of this family was Hugh, third son of 
Alexander of the Isles. Hugh's descendants were 
known as the Clanhuistein, and also as the Clan- 
donnell North. Macdonnell of Sleat has always had 
the title of Macdhonuill na'n Eilcan, or Macdonnell 
of the Isles. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 



135 



parts. Nor here alone, but everywhere throughout Ireland, where my aid may be required, I am 
ready and prepared to make sacrifices for her grace. Humbly requesting your Lordship to inform 
her majesty of all these affairs, I now bid you farewell. From the town of Somhairle, called Baile 
Caislein, 2nd May, 1565. Her Majesty's faithful servant, and your obedient, 

"I am O'Neill." (43) 

The following letter, written about a month later by Gerot Flemynge, O'Neill's secretary, and 
addressed to sir Thomas Cusake, contains a much more detailed and interesting account of Shane's 
movements during this celebrated expedition :— 

"After most hearty commendacions, and have bene comanded by my Lord O'Neill to write 
to your worshipp all his doings and proceedings in this his last journey uppon the Skotts, which I 
here write unto you in such sorte that your worshipp may discerne every dais wourck by h.tself. 
He kept his Easter at Fedan (44), when he tooke his jorney the Tuesday in the said Easter wyck 
towards the Skotts, which day he rode xvi. mile, and camped that night at Dromemoer. (45) The 
next morning he cutt all the Passes or Woods that lay in his way from thence (called Kyllwarlme,) (46) 

(43) I am O'Neill.— This extraordinary man's letters, 
composed generally in the Latin language, are numerous, 
and highly characteristic of the writer and his times. 
Some of their addresses exhibit the nomad style of life 
frequently adopted by this leader of predatory and insur- 
rectionary bands. He dates one ex finibus de Tirconatl, 
when about to wage war with the neighbouring sept of the 
O'Donnells; and another, ex sylvis meis, when driven by 
the English into a woody fastness. The earl of Sussex, 
in a reply to one of these letters, remonstrates at their 
proud tone. Their ambitious tenor bears out the sobriquet 
an diomasox 'the Haughty,' generally applied to Shane, 
whilst their wit and spirit show that his mind was as 
vigorous as his body. (See Ulster Journal of Archeology, 
vol. ii. , p. 1 .) Into the Book of Howth are collected several 
curious references to Shane O'Neill. Among other matters 
connected with his military tactics, we are told that as the 
troops of Sussex, the lord deputy, on one occasion were 

marching through the woods between Dungannon and 

Loughneagh, "from eight of the clock in the morning 

till seven afternoon, O'Neile never gave over to skirmish 

with them. All that while the woods so rang with the 

shot that it was strange to hear, and also the noise of the 

Scotts that O'Neile had, crying all that day till a little 

afore night." (See Calendar of the Carcw Jl/SS., vol. v., 

p. 201.) The following is sir George Carew's estimate of 

Shane's character generally :— " This O'Neile was a 

prudent wise captain, and a good giver of an onset or 

charge upon his enemies, during the time of his reign, 

and was given from fourteen years of age, till the day of 

his death, always in the wars. Sometimes he had war 

with the Lord Deputy, O'Donell, his father, his brother, 

Maguire, and others at one time. Proud he was and ar- 
rogant, for he thought that no man ought of right to be 

his superior, or seem his eqall. He had great policy in 

the wars, that he was practised with, no man more in his 

time. He was a great surfeiter, great spender, and cruel 

and extreme in all his affairs, no man his like, and liberal 

in nothing but in housekeeping ; a courteous, lovmg, and 

good companion to those whom he loved, being stran- 



gers to his country. They said he was the last that would 
give the charge upon his foes, and the first that would 
flee ; but he could well procure his men to do well, for 
he had many good men according to the wars of his 
country.— Ibid., vol. v., p. 205. . 

(44) At Fedan.— See p. 132, supra. This locality is 
now known as the Fews, which is also the name of 
two baronies. Marshal Bagenall speaks of it in 1586, 
as follows :— " Femes bordereth upon the English fale, 
within three miles of Dundalk; it is a very strong 
countrey of woode and bogg, peopled with certeyne of the 
Neyles, accustomed to lyve much upon the spoile of the 
Pale." A manuscript in the Lambeth library has the fol- 
lowing reterence to Shane's abode at Fedan or the Fews:— 
••And" Shane O'Neille dwelling within less thanamile of the 
Newrie, at a place called Feidem, suffered no subject to 
travel from Dublin northward; but silhence the building 
and fortifications made there by the said Sir Nicholas Bage- 
nal, all the passages were made free, and much of the 
countrie next adjacent reduced to reasonable civihtie ; 
till this late rebellion of Tirone hath stopped again all t.ie 
said passages, and laid the countrie in a manner waste, 
as it was in the said time of Shane O'Neille."— See Mont- 
vomerv MSS., new edition, p. 313. "«te 4 2 - L , 

(45) Dromemoer.— Now Dromore, in the county of 

°U6) Kyllwarline.—" A portion of Lower Iveagh was 
known, in the sixteenth century, by the name oihdwarhn, 
which is variously writun AV/WrA«, kilwarly, A'lzoarn- 
inge, and Kikoarney. This tract comprehended the parish 
of Hillsborough, and the neighbouring parts of Blans, 
Moira, Dromore, and Dromara. The townlands con- 
tained in it are set out in the Ulster Inquisitions, No. 31, 
Car I. It was the patrimony of a branch of the Magmms 
family which was called MocRory, from Rudhraighe, an 
ancestor. Art, surnamed na Madhman, or 'of the Over- 
throws,' who flourished a.d. 1380, had two sons, Aodh 
and Cathbar ; from the former of whom the lords ot 
Iveagh were descended ; while the Kilwarlin branch 
derived its origin from the latter. In 1575. Ever Mac 



136 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



of the M'Cuilins and Kylultagh of Claneboye, which were xii. mile long), (47) that x men may go 
in a ranck, till he came within Claneboye a mile beyond the Pase, and campid that night at Mony- 
nimrock. The morrow after being Thursday, he rood towards Gallantry, (48) a mile from Edin- 
dukarig (49), where he campid that night, in which place he buylded and renywied an old Fort, 
within which there was the situacon of an house, about buylding whereof he was Friday, Saturday, 
and till Sondaye at noone, and from thence (having left sertaine of his men in the sayde Forte) he 
removed towards Cloghdonaghy in the Roott, and entering into a Pase called Knockboy (50) 
of a quarter of a mile long, the Skotts being redy before him, unawares sett upon him, where he 
kiled of them to the number of xx., and the reste were faine to take the Boggs and Woodes, and 
took their praies that afternoone. But that night he campid at Cloghdonaghy (5 1) aforesaid. In 
the morning after being Monday he departed thens towards Owderick, (52; in the Gulines countrey, 
to James M'Conill, his owne towne, which towne he wone that same day. This day landid James 
himself with all his company in Ireland, and after that O'Neill wone the towne, and saw that it 
stood in such a place that it was out of his reche to helpe them of his men to whome he thought 
to comitt the kyping thereof, of his own men he bracke it to the grounde rather than the Skotts 
should againe enjoye the same. He campid that night in the said towne, and on the morrow being 



Rory of Kilwarlyn made a surrender of this tract to queen 
Elizabeth, and took out a patent for the same; which 
original document is in the possession of George Stephen- 
son, Esq., of Lisburn ( 1S47), whose maternal ancestors 
were of this race. The name Kilwarlin is still locally 
preserved, and is borne by the marquis of Downshire, in 
his inferior titles of viscount and baron."— Reeves's 
Eccles. Antiquities, p. 389; see also Lodge's Peerage, 
edited by Archdall, vol. ii.,p. 333; Dubourdieu's Antrim, 
p. 626. 

(47) XII. mile long. — Shane's march from Dromore in 
the county of Down, to the vicinity of Edenduffcarrick, 
now Shane's Castle, lay through one dense and continuous 
forest. Hence the name of the district Coill Ulltach, 
'Wood of Ulster,' now spelled Killultagh. On the 
corner of an old map of Down published in 1590, there 
is the following note: — "Alongethis river (the Lagan) 
be ye space of twenty-six miles groweth much woodes, 
as well hokes for tymber as hother woodde, which maie 
be brought in the baie of Cragfergus with bote or drage." 
( Ulster Journal of Archeology, vol. iii., p. 274). In 
1 5S6, the dense woods of Killultagh had been, in some 
places, superseded by swamps and bogs, as marshal 
Bagenall, in his Description of Ulster, at that date, informs 
us that the district referred to was "full of wood and 
bogg." Killultagh, strictly speaking, was no part of 
Clannaboy, north or south, but a territory perse. It is 
now included in the county of Antrim, and (with the 
small additions of the parish of Tullyrusk, three town- 
lands of Derriaghy, and the cast portion of the parish of 
Camlin) constitutes the present barony of Upper Masse- 
reene. Dr. Reeves defines Killultagh as containing the 
present parishes of Ballinderry, Aghalee, Aghagallon, 
Magheramesk, Magheragall, and the portion of Blaris 
north of the river Lagan. See Reeves's Eccles. Antiquities, 
PP- 2 34> 347- 

(48) Gallantry.— \n an old rental of the Shane's Castle 
estate, this name is written " Gallanagh als Glanellagh." 



(49) Edindukarig . — The Four Masters, at the year 1490, 
call this place Euan dubh Cairge, • The dark face of 
the rock. ' This old name has been long superseded for 
the modern one of Shane's Castle. 

(50) Knockboy. — This place, in the neighbourhood of 
Broughshane, still retains its old name. The mention of 
it by Flemynge here serves to indicate the line of Shane's 
march from Edenduffcarrick to Clough. Knockboy was 
then densely wooded also. 

(51) Cloghdonaghy. — Now Clough, in the county of 
Antrim. The parish is called Dunaghy, which is the 
modern form of Dun-Eochaidh, the name of a fort which 
stood near the modern village of Clough, and which Dr. 
O'Donovan supposed to be the Dun-Eachdach mentioned 
in the twenty-ninth verse of the Circuit of Muircheariach. 
The following are the lines in which the poet mentions 
Dun-Eochaidh, or Dunaghy: — 

" We were a night at Dun-Eachdach, 

With the wiiu-'-haiulL-.i u.uhke band ; 
We carried the King of Uladh with us 

In the great circuit we made of all Ireland." 

The king of Uladh was carried off on that occasion as a 
hostage. Dunaghy is situated on the banks of the river 
Fregabhail (now Ravel), so well-known to the ancient 
Irish. In the grant from the Crown to the Antrim family, 
in 1603, Clough is called Clogh-Maghera-Donaghic The 
remains of an old castle, from which the Macdonnells ex- 
pelled the Macquillins, are still standing, at a little dis- 
tance northward from the village. See Reeves's Eccles. 
Antiquities, pp. 72, 332. 

(52) Owderick.— This is another form of Uaimhderg 
(see p. 134, supra), the name of the castle at Red 
Bay. Uaimh is pronounced om; and the name is here 
written by Flemynge pretty much as it was pronounced 
by the Irish. Flemynge is mistaken in supposing 
that Red Bay was ever in the Gulines' (Macquillin's) 
country. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 



137 



May day he removid thence to a place callid Nyw Castell (53) in the Root, Sanhirly Boy (54) his 
towne, where that night he campid, haveing his enymies within a mile in sight camping before him. 
On the morrowe after when he exhortid his men to be true to their prince, and of a good couradge, 
showing them what praise should follow unto them if they overcame their enymies, and what service 
to their prince it should be, he gave towards the enymies and mett them about v. of the clocke in 
the morning, to whom he gave the overthrowe, and took of their banners and ancients (55) xiii., 
took James M'Conill himselfe, being very sore wounded, his brother Sanhirly Boy, M'Lode, his 
son, (56) his brother-in-law, and xix. other Gents prisoners; and killed of the Skotts at that present 
tyme to the nomber of vii. hondreth that they can make a compte of. After which conflicte O'Nele 
campid that night at Nyw Castell foresaid, (57) where the said James M'Conill, being prisoner, 
offrid O'Nele all the goodes, cattels, creatts, stoodes, (58) and landes that he had in Irelande and 
Scotland and to sett himselfe at liberty, affirminge by othe that he would never seeke to revenge 
the same, whose answere was, that the service he went aboute was not his but the princes, and that 
it lay not in himself to doe anything but according to her direction. (59) In the morning after he 
removed thence and came to Downesterick and Downelisse (60) in the Root, being five myles 



(53) N w y Castell. — New Castle, was another name for 
Ballycastle, which was so called from a castle that had 
been built by the Scots on the site afterwards occupied by 
Randal Macdonnell's castle, and which was thus distin- 
guished from the very old structure on Dunanynie. 

(54) Sanhirly Boy. — Here is another, and perhaps 
unique, variety of the name Somhairle or Sorley. — See 
p. 122, supra. 

(55) Ancients. — This word is a corruption for enseigns 
or ensigns, meaning penons bearing military insignia. 
The term is also applied to the bearers of such penons, 
who are called ensigns, and formerly ancients. The loss 
of so many ensigns must of itself have been regarded as 
a most disastrous affair among the Scots, who, in common 
with all Celts, associated a superstitious importance to 
their banners. In the island of Oransay, near the tomb 
of Murchard MacDuffaidh, who died in 1509, there was, 
until recently, a pole erected in honour, or rather to the 
memory of the ensign staff of his distinguished family, on 
the preservation of which, it was supposed, depended the 
fate of his race. At Bracadal, in the Isle of Skye, lands 
were set apart to pay for the preservation of the Braotach- 
Shi of Macleod, which, tradition states, was only brought 
publickly forth on three grand occasions. See Logan's 
Scottish Gael, vol. i., p. 289. 

(56) His son. — For a notice of the two distinct septs of 
the Macleods in Harris and Lewis, see p. 28, supra. 
The descendants of both Torquil and Tormond were, 
from an early date, adherents and allies of the Macdon- 
nells, and in the sixteenth century came to Antrim in large 
numbers, as auxiliaries of the latter. We cannot dis- 
cover the particular family to which the officer above- 
mentioned belonged, but he had married a sister of Sorley 
Boy. See p. 39, supra. 

(57) Nyw Castell foresaid. — This new castle stood on 
the north-eastern side of the space now known as the 
Diamond in Ballycastle. The adjoining level grounds, 
reaching down to the sea, were no doubt occupied by the 
O'Neills' encampment on the night after the battle. 

P 



(58) Stoodes. — The several terms here employed had 
their distinct meanings. The 'cattell' then only included 
cows; the 'creatts' were large flocks driven together in 
time of war, including not only cows, but sheep and 
swine; 'stoodes' implied only horses. In this offer of 
Macdonnell was included all his earthly stores, for cattle 
represented the riches of Celtic chiefs. 

(59) Her direction. — O'Neill took care to parry any 
direct hints from high quarters on the subject of James 
and Sorley Macdonnell's release. His first letter to the 
queen after the battle is dated June 18, from his camp 
in Clannaboy, and is taken up principally with his recom- 
mendations of a Mr. Stucley to her majesty; concluding 
with the announcement that he would write again of 
other matters, but was then much occupied with the 
expulsion of the Scots who were threatening an invasion. 
On the 2Sth of July, he wrote again to the queen, from 
Beind Berb (Benburb), referring to the battle with the 
Scots, and the enormous ransoms he was exacting for the 
release of the prisoners. He further informs her that the 
queen of Scots, the earl of Argyle, and the island-lords 
had made urgent applications to him for the release of 
the Macdonnells, but that he had answered, he could do 
nothing in the matter until he knew his own queer? s mind 
on the subject. 

(60} Downelisse. —Now Dunluce, pp. 63, 7 1, supra. Sir 
Richard Hoare has the following reference to this ruin: — 
"At first sight it only presents an unseemly pile of ruins, 
like those of a village destroyed; but on a nearer approach, 
its situation becomes truly striking, and indeed majestic, 
and particularly when viewed from the sea-shore at its 
base. Its position is one of the boldest, and gives a 
degree of grandeur to the ruins, which, in a less command- 
ing situation, might perhaps pass unnoticed." (Tour in 
Ireland, p. 205). Dubourdieu adds: — " The mansion and 
offices were situated on the mainland ; their remains are 
very extensive, and are divided from the fortress by a 
deep cut in the rock on which the castle is placed. It 
projects into the sea, and has the appearance of having 



I38 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

asonder, which were Sanhirley Boy his cheefe castles (61) and the cheefe defence and holt of those 
partes, of the which he wan the same day Downesterick (62) wherein he left sertaine of his men to 
defende it againste the enymie. But the other he could not wyn in the space of thre dayes after, 
till at laste, partlye through feare of Sanhirly Boye his dethe, who was kepte without meat or drinke 
to this ende the castell might be sooner yielded, (63) and partlye for saulfgarde of their own liffys, 
seeinge the manifold and cruell skirmishes and assaults on every side, the warde wer faine to yelde 
the castell into his handes, (64) which e alsoe he comitted to the saulfe kepynge of such of his men 
as were most able to defende the same, and mooste true to hym (65); and haveinge thus wann 
the said castells, kyllid and banyshed all the Skottes out of the North, he returned back again to 
the firste Fort called Gallantry in Claneboye (see p. 136, supra), whence he sent James M'Conill, 



been split off from the cliff; over the chasm lies the only 
approach to the castle, along which is now a narrow wall, 
but what was probably one side of a bridge which joined 
it to the land, as, on examination, another wall appears 
to have run parallel to it." (See Statistical Account of 
the County of Antrim, vol. ii., p. 10). The "very ex- 
tensive remains" of the "mansion and office on the main- 
land" have now almost entirely disappeared from their 
original position, and may be seen built into the house, 
offices, and ditches of a farm in the immediate vicinity. 
The oak roofing of the church, which was rebuilt in the 
time of the duchess of Buckingham's residence at Dunluce, 
1637— 1640, forms the roofing of an old barn in the dis- 
trict. 

(61) Cheefe castles.— Besides the castles here mentioned 
as "cheefe " ones by Fleming, there were also Dunanynie, 
Deffrick, Clough, Clare Castle, and New Castle — all on 
the lands of the Macdonnells, and in that northern dis- 
trict ; besides Redbay, and Court Mac-martin, on the 
coast further south. 

(62) Downesterick. — Now Dunseverick, about five Irish 
miles in a north-easterly direction from Dunluce. This 
was the celebrated Dun-Sobhairce, or Duin Sebuirgi of 
ancient Irish history. It is supposed to have been one 
of the three earliest fortresses built in Ireland. In later 
times, Dunseverick belonged to the O'Cahans, the branch 
of that great family which owned it being known as the 
Claim Magnus na Bnalse, ' the clan Magnus or Manus 
of the river Bush,' to distinguish them from the Claim 
Magnus na Banna, whose territory was situated west of 
the river Bann. It would appear that the Macdonnells, 
as the superior power in the Route in 1565, had a garrison 
in the fortress of Dunseverick, although the older occu- 
pants — the O'Cahans — were permitted to hold the castle 
until the time of Cromwell, when its owner was executed 
for joining in the war of 1641. The ruins of the 
latest castle on this insulated rock are evidently those of 
a structure built about the twelfth century, and probably 
by an Anglo-Norman invader. The rock of Dunseverick, 
in the little bay on the east of Bengore-Head, is about 
half an acre in area, and 120 feet in height. Immense 
masses of the principal rock present the appearance of 
having been hewn away as if to render the castle more 
inaccessible. For a most interesting sketch of the early 
history of Dunseverick, see O'Donovan's contribution to 
the Dublin Penny Journal, vol. i. pp, 361—363 

(63) Sooner yielded.— Shane would have had no hesita- 



tion in permitting Sorley Boy to be starved to death as a 
punishment for the stubbornness of the Scottish garrison 
in Dunluce, had the men not surrendered in time. When 
excited on any subject, O'Neill appears to have generally 
demeaned himself as a brutal savage. His torture of his 
own father-in-law, CalvaghO'Donnell, is a frightful illustra- 
tion of his temper. In the same year, 1561, Shane tells, 
and rather boasts, of having most brutally mal-treated one 
of his own servants for a comparatively slight offence. The 
lord-justice had complained of this messenger, that he had 
not fully explained Shane's meaning in a message sent to 
him (the lord-justice), and Shane replies on the 9th of June, 
ex Confinibns de tir Conaill, stating to the lord -justice 
that as a punishment for such neglect, he had first put 
his servant to the torture and afterwards cut off one of 
his ears ! He further states that the messenger had not 
spoken his (O'Neill's) mind, as he had been provoked by 
being robbed on his way by Henry O'Neill's people ! 
For several other illustrations of Shane's cruelty, see 
Irish Statutes, vol. i., pp. 323, 324. 

(64) His handes.— These castles taken from the Scots 
were garrisoned first by O'Neill's soldiers, the latter 
being afterwards superseded by English soldiers. In 
156S, three years subsequently, we find that an English- 
man named Cadogan was constable of Dunluce, and that 
in the March of that year he surprised a captain of 
Turlough Luineach's Scots, who went to attend the Red 
dean (Terence Danyell) to the earl of Argyle. See 
Hamilton's Calendar, first series, p. 368. 

(65) Trite to hym.— Of all Shane's adherents, theO'Don- 
nellys, among whom he fostered, were supposed to have 
been most trusted by him, and most frequently honoured 
by being placed in positions of difficulty and danger. A 
noted pirate, who had been intimately acquainted with 
Shane's country, has left an account of it which enables 
us to know something of his more private life. 
Among other rather curious revelations by this pirate, 
whose name was Phetliflaee, he tells us that "Shane 
O'Neill's power and strength, and safe-keeping of him, 
lay in his country, and does not consist in his number of 
men, which is but a handful (if I may say so) of rascalls, 
but in his crafty slights, by which he covereth himself in 
the privities of his country, with his ereats, when his 
country is attempted. His trust and safety dependeth 
not in the noblest of his men, nor on his kinsmen and 
brothers, but upon his foster brothers the O'Donnellys, 
who are three hundred gentlemen, to whom he hath 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 1 39 

beinge sore wounded, and other of the prisoners to Castell Corcke (66), a tovvne of his owne in 
Tyron, and kept Sanhirly Boy with himself. The night after this conflicte, James M'Conill his 
brother Alexander took shippinge in Scotland with ix. hondreth men, and thinking to com helpe 
his brother, landed at a place called Raghline, an iland in the sea within ii. myle of Ireland. (67) 
But when he had wourde of his brother his miscaryinge, returned backe againe. These my Lord 
and Master his doings I his servant have writene to your wourshipp, that I shoulde advertise you 
nothinge but truthe,nor write nothing in this letter but that he comandid me. And after this letter 
redd and declarid unto himselfe, understandinge the same to be his owne mynde in everythinge and 
accordinge to his comaundment, his lordship comaundid me to be the berer meselfe to your 
Wourshipp of the same, with your man to veryfie and affirme my booke othe before you all the 
contents of this letter to be true, which I have don accordingly. — By me 

" Gerot Flemynge." (68) 
Thus James Macdonnell, the most popular as well as the most powerful among Scottish northern 
chieftains, was left to die in O'Neill's dungeon. It is true, his release had been asked from 
Shane by queen Elizabeth, and strenuously besought by Mary queen of Scots, and even demanded 
by the earl of Argyle, in the name of the great lords of the Western Highlands and Isles. As we 
have seen above, he had offered an immense ransom for himself, and the Clandonnell were ready to 
give his weight in gold ; but Shane had now secured his great rival in northern Ulster, and saw in 
Macdonnell's destruction the removal of the main obstacle, as he believed, to the realisation of his own 
dreams of undivided supremacy. O'Neill's distinguished captive soon died, probably from deliberate 
neglect or violence. There is no positive evidence of this, so far as is known, except that the Scots 
freely and often charged Shane as the murderer of their chief. If we may infer anything respecting 
James Macdonnell's death from O'Neill's cruelty in some other cases, there is reason to suspect at 
least that Macdonnell's last days were bitter indeed. His fate was deplored by his own people in 
Antrim and the Isles. The Four Masters say that " the death of this gentleman was generally 
bewailed ; he was a paragon of hospitality and prowess, a festive man of many troops, a bountiful 
and munificent man. His peer was not to be found at that time among the Clandonnell of 
Ireland or Scotland ; and his own people would not have deemed it too much to give his weight in 

given livings and countries. " See L'lsUr Journal, vol. been very particular in exactly following Ii is master's 

iii., p. 47, directions. He was not only a secretary but a messenger 

(66) Corcke. — When Shane was negotiating with the also, and he had probably the fate of his predecessor 

government about this attack on the Macdoimells, one before his eyes, who lost one of his ears from failing 

of his letters is dated from this residence, which he calls clearly to convey his lord's behests. (See p. 138, supra.) 

Castle Corcra. (See Hamilton's Calendar, first series, In 1539, this Gerot Flemyng wrote to Thomas Crumwell 

p. 244). In more modern times, the name was generally desiring to be his servant, and to see the king, Henry 

written Corocke. The castle stood in upper Badony, VIII., and the prince. He could not then, he says, 

near Strabane, but its ruins have entirely disappeared. travel to England, because the country in his neighbour- 

The remains of a monastery adjoining the site of the hood (Dublin) was very unsettled, especially from the 

castle are still to be seen. This monastery was built in movements of the O'Neills. He (Flemynge) had no land 



the fifteenth century for Franciscan friars. The lands to maintain his horses and kerne. He sends to Crum- 

bekragiug to it were granted to sir Henry Piers, who sold well, as a token, the horse that O'Donnell's standard- 

them to sir Arthur Chichester. See Seward's Topographia bearer rode on the day of O'Neill's (Con's) discomfiture. 

Hibernica. The above letter describing Shane's victorious expedition 

(67) Of It eland. — See p. 48, supra. This island isdis- against the Scots, was written twenty-six years after his 
taut, from the nearest point on the mainland, four miles. epistle to Crumwell. See Hamilton's Calendar, 1st series, 

(68) Gerol Flemynge. — Gerald Fleming appears to have pp. 4S, 246, 265. 



I^O THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

gold for his ransom, if he could have been ransomed." It was reported that O'Neill had honoured 
the remains of James Macdonnell by interment in ' Armagh the holy,' and the Scots were under this 
pleasing impression ; but it is hardly probable that Shane would so distinguish a dead foe, who had 
persistently thwarted his projects, and could never be made subservient to his designs. 

The immediate results of this battle in the Glen near Ballycastle are concisely stated in 
Cusake's letter above. Shane had entered on his northern campaign only with one object — to kill 
or banish the Antrim Scots— and thoroughly did he accomplish his work. Sorley Boy was taken 
alive and unwounded, his captor calculating, that, in various ways, the possession of this dis- 
tinguished prisoner might be turned to account. O'Neill was at pains to represent to the govern- 
ment that his victory over the Scots had been complete, and that the seizure of Sorley Boy would 
silence all claims on the part of the Macdonnells to hold any lands on the coast. But when 
Shane thus triumphantly carried off Sorley from Ballycastle, he had literally "caught a Tartar," and 
although the victory in Gleanntaisi had been apparently decisive, other results very different from 
those contemplated either by Shane or the government, soon appeared. The Scots had been 
defeated and dispersed, but the process of recuperation amongst them was very soon initiated on 
both sides of the channel. They were known by the government to be biding their time for Shane, 
and when the latter soon afterwards threw off his mask, overrunning the lands of refractory 
Urriaghs, and defying the authorities of the Pale, the Scots were anxiously enlisted by Sydney as 
the very people to get into close quarters with their deadly foe. After a two years struggle against 
the combined forces of the English and the O'Donnells, Shane found himself reduced to the greatest 
difficulty, and appears to have had no rest except in devising projects of deliverance. He is said 
to have consulted his secretary whether he should not appear in the presence of Sydney with a 
halter round his neck as the most abject symbol of submission ! The secretary suggested in reply 
first, that such an act under the circumstances might endanger his life ; and secondly, that it would 
be undignified and pusillanimous. This purpose thereupon was abandoned, but another still more 
desperate took its place. Sorley Boy, whom Shane had carried about with him as a captive for a 
period of more than two years, was probably, the inspirer or instigator of this latter project, which 
involved the fearful risk of an appeal for help to the Scots ! Reckless as Shane naturally was, he 
could hardly have brought himself to suppose that the Macdonnells would forget his treachery in the 
spring of 1565, when he fell upon them unexpectedly, and without provocation. According to an 
arrangement with sir Henry Sydney, Alexander Oge, the fourth brother, had arrived at Cushindun, 
to take part in the war against O'Neill, and with him the latter was induced, by some means, to 
open negotiations through Sorley Boy. 

The Irish annalists truly describe Shane's infatuation, or madness, in this business, as " an 
omen of the destruction of life and the cause of death." We are strongly inclined to believe 
that Sorley Boy arranged the whole affair, and brought it at last to the consummation so 
naturally and ardently wished for by the Macdonnells. Other parties at the time claimed 
the credit of planning Shane's destruction, (69) and by turns they had their claims allowed, 

(69) Destruction, — Of all these claimants, we fancy the had sounded, some time previously, the true key-note for 
first and foremost place is due to the queen herself, who his downfall in the following pithy announcement to her 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 



M 



but the plot that resulted in his death we think must be traced mainly to his distinguished captive. 
There must certainly have been an understanding between Sorley and his brother Alexander, for 
otherwise it is not probable that the latter would have listened to any proposals whatever from 
O'Neill, after having made his arrangements with Sydney. On the contrary, Alexander had de- 
clared war to the knife against O'Neill, if not in words, yet by the more unmistakeable act 
of sweeping a prey from Clannaboy on his arrival, which prey consisted of 1200 cows, besides 
sheep, swine, and horses. On the return of the Scots to Cushindun with their valuable cattle- 
spoil, their leader received an invitation from Shane, desiring that he and they should have 
a friendly meeting, with the view of forming a permanent alliance against the English, 
their common enemy. (70) This invitation was, no doubt, explained by Sorley to his brother 
through some medium not mentioned. At all events, it was readily, and even gladly accepted 
by the Scots. The meeting was arranged to take place at a short distance from the present 
village of Cushindun, on the north-western slope above the bay. (71) Thither went O'Neill at 
the time appointed, accompanied by the countess of Argyle, (72) his secretary, and a small 



lord deputy : — ' ' As touching your suspicion of Shane 
O'Neale, be not dismayed, nor let any of my men be 
daunted. But tell them that if he arise, it will be for 
their advantage ; for there will be estates for them who 
want. Nor must he ever expect any more favour from 
me." (See Ware's Annals, at the year 1564.) After 
this, the sooner Shane could be got to "arise" the better, 
and it was only his desperate assault on the Scots in that 
retired Antrim Glen that delayed his doom so long. In 
that movement he was playing his own cunning and des- 
perate game, as he thought, to perfection; but the queen 
at anytime was able to show a card, the slightest glimpse 
of which would paralyse all his efforts. The Scots ap- 
pear to have been actuated by revenge, in the part of the 
bloody drama assigned to them ; but all the English 
officials, from the greatest to the least, had their eyes 
steadily fixed on the pleasant prospect of the straths and 
glades enclosed by the Finn and the Foyle, the Black- 
water and the Bann. Sydney claimed and deserved im- 
mense consideration for his share in the business, but he 
had afterwards to lament, which he did in touching style, 
that his public services had been undervalued and for- 
gotten. Sydney, according to his own account, was an 
overmatch for Shane in the diplomatic way. "lam in- 
formed," writes this knight of the Ragged Staff, "he 
(Shane) offered to them of Kintire all Clandeboy, all the 
geld kine of his countrie, also to deliver up Sorle-boye, 
and give them pledge and assurance for his fidelitie to- 
wards them. But I, fearing this beforehand, have so tem- 
porized with the Captain of Kintire, Sorleyi's brother, that 
'they have utterly refused his requests." Sydney, indeed, 
had been in frequent communication with Alexander Oge, 
knowing him, as he informs us, " to be the mortal enemy" 
of Shane O'Neill; and Sydney further had the credit of 
sending over an emissary named Douglas to Kintire, by 
whom, as he states, " the Scottes that killed O'Neill were 
brought over." See the Ulster Journal, vol. iii., p. 101. 
(70) Common enemy. — O'Neill had very considerable 
tact and perseverance in getting the Irish to believe that 
the English were their common enemy; and, indeed, the 
enemy also of the old English, who had become in senti- 



ment and policy more Irish than the Irish themselves. 
The following letter, addressed to the earl of Desmond's 
brother— John Fitzgerald — is a somewhat curious illustra- 
tion of Shane's powers of persuasion in the direction now 
stated: — "Commendations from John O'Nele to John 
O'Desmond, son to the late Earle of Desmond. Certify 
yourself than Inglishmen have no other eye but only to 
subdewe both English and Ierish of Ireland, and I and 
you especially. And certify yourself also that those their 
Deputies, one after another, hath broken peace, and did 
not abide by the same; and assure yourself also that 
they had been with you ere this time but for me only. 
And they have not the good luck of war as yet. And 
for all that my Lord Deputy is in our next borders, we 
have robbed, spoyled, and burned Meath and all these 
quarters. And since that, our helps is good together. 
My especial good friend, now is the time or never to set 
against them as well as you can; or else God will be re- 
venged on you if you do the contrary. And therefore 
believe this bearer. I am O'Nele." — See Ulster Journal, 
vol. iii., p. 44. 

(71) Ahoz'e the Bay. — The Scots whom Sydney had 
brought across the channel, by means of Douglas, 
landed at Cushendun on the iSth of May, and en- 
camped on the slope northwest of the Bay, at a place 
called Ballyterrim. On Norden's Map this spot is 
marked as the spot where " Shane O'Neyle was slaine." 
The annalist Dowling fixes the place of Shane's 
death "at the Key of Ybuyg." The event may have 
taken place at the little landing-place or "Key," but 
where Ybuyg is, or rather what particular place is meant, 
we cannot imagine. Cushindun was known also as Bun- 
abhainn-Duin, but whether Dowling's term is in part com- 
posed of Bun, " the foot" of the river Dun, it would be 
difficult say. — See Ulster Journal, vol. iii., p. 101. See 
also, the Annals of the Four Masters, vol. v., p. 1617. 

(72) Countess of Argyle. — For a notice of this lady's 
family, see p. 130, supra. She is always referred to in the 
State Papers as Countess of Argyle (see Hamilton's 
Calendar, 1st series, pp. 152, 170, 172, 217, 237), and 
the probability therefore is, that before her marriage with 



I42 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

troop of fifty horsemen. A sumptuous banquet had been prepared to inaugurate the re-union of 
the O'Neills and the Macdonnells, Shane and his party regaling themselves no doubt on the beef 
and mutton that had been taken a day or two before from his own devoted adherents in Clannaboy. | 
When the festivities had been conducted harmoniously for the space of two days, it would appear j 
that one of the Macdonnells, the son of Gillaspick, (73) charged O'Neill's secretary (74) with originat- 
ing, or at least circulating a report of a marriage then said to be in contemplation, between O'Neill I 
and the widow of James Macdonnell, who had died of his wounds in one of O'Neill's dungeons. 
This report, which had even reached the government, and was mentioned in a letter from the 
Irish deputy to the council in England, the Scots regarded as a foul slander on the lady 
of their late lamented chief. The secretary, instead of employing the soft word that turneth 
aside wrath, taunted the Macdonnells as unworthy the honour which they seemed so anxious to 
repudiate, reminding them at the same time that O'Neill was the hereditary prince of Ulster, and 
that by his ancient lineage, as well as his exalted position, he was fully entitled to match even with 
their queen, Mary of Scotland. (75) At this point in the dispute, Shane himself approached, and 
being, it is said, heated with wine, he foolishly took up his secretary's quarrel, and no doubt spoke 
his mind freely on the whole subject in hand. It is not improbable that he even accompanied his 
words by a blow, aimed at the audacious Gillaspick. Where now was Sorley Boy? He was 
present, and a word from him would have allayed the wrath of the Macdonnells ; but the 
word was not spoken. On the contrary, some significant look or gesture from him probably- 
sealed Shane's fate, by bringing upon him in quick succession, the blows of the Scottish dirks, — or 

Calvagh O'Donnell, she had been tlie wife of Colin, third Macrandalboy Macdonnells of Lecale were of quite a 

earl of Argyle. In the Genealogical Account of the distinct branch from the family of Isla and the Glynnes, 

Macleans, the author states that she was the third daughter and also from the Alaster Carragh family of Lochaber. 

of Hector Mor, and that her Christian name was Julia, See pp. iS, 27, 39, supra. 

but other writers speak of her as Catherine Maclean. She (74) His secretary. — There is a doubt as to the name 

is referred to in the State Papers as a spirited and highly of Shane's secretary on this occasion, and two persons 



cultivated woman, who sympathised with, and probably have been mentioned as such. They may have been both 
aged Shane O'Neill in his resistance to English secretaries: the one a colleague, or more probably an 



rule in the North. At the time of Shane's treacherous assistant to the other. Campion, who wrote his His 

capture of her husband, Fitzwilliam wrote to Cecil on the of Ireland four years after the death of Shane, distinctly 

subject, adding that it was then generally believed Shane states that Neal MacConnor was his secretary at the time 

had acted by her consent. For references to this outrage, of the assassination in 1567. (See The Ulster Journal, 

see Irish Statues, vol. i., pp. 323, 324; Calendar of the vol. iii., p. 267, note.) This official, however, is called 

Carew Papers, 5th series, pp. 204, 209. Eugene, Owen, or John O'Hagan in the State Papers 

(73) Gillaspick. — This Macdonnell has puzzled chronic- (see Hamilton's Calendar, 1st series, p. 230), and from 

lers generally, and few, if any, could state with certainty the standing or rank held by this family, it is most likely 

the family to which he belonged. Hamilton's Calendar, that he was O'Neill's principal secretary. His signature 

however, and the Calendar of the Can-v MSS. have re- to a memorandum drawn up at Fedan in 1565 is given 

vealed him. Campion was right in designating him thus — " l\r me Eugenium hagan seerctarium doinini 

Mac-gilly-Aspuck, but he does not give us any further lueill." Whatever may have been his name, however, he 

light as to his family. This young Scot, however, was does not appear to have conducted himself wisely in the 

the son of Gillaspick Macrandalboy, who, with his interests of his master on the occasion referred 



brother, Allister Macrandal I3oy, was slain treacherously is said to have suggested, or rather urged the propriety of 

by Andrew Brereton, at Ardglass (see p. 31, supra.) O'Neill's seeking to renew his former alliance with the 

1 ins Gillaspick, it would appear, was married to a sister Scots; and if so, he should have prepared himself to assist 

of James Macdonnell, so that MacGillaspick was nephew at the meeting with greater tact and prudence than he is 

of the latter. In killing O'Neill, therefore, he was aveng- represented to have done. 

ing the deaths of his two uncles, James and Angus, the (75) Mary of Scotland. — It so happened that the queen 
latter of whom fell on the field of Glenntaisi, James dying of Scots was at this time a widow, remarrying soon after- 
soon afterwards of his wounds. See p. 139, supra. These wards with Bothwell. 



SORLEY BOY JIACDONNELL. 



143 



' slaughter knives,' as Campion designates those weapons. Shane was literally hewn to pieces, 
and his mutilated remains flung into a pit near the place of his assassination. The disaster on the 
field of Gleanntaisi was thus in some degree avenged, and Sorley Boy restored to freedom after a 
galling captivity of more than two years. (76) 

And thus perished one of the most powerful, if not bravest of the Hy-Niall princes. (77) Like 
all others placed in prominent positions, his character has been variously estimated. The Irish 
annalists, if none others, were enthusiastic in his praise, literally ransacking their legendary history for 
parallels which might appear in the eyes of the native population sufficiently complimentary. They 
spoke of him as a Conchobar " in prowess and provincial dignity"— a comparison which implies how 
very much they had been dazzled by his career, for Conchobar Mac Nessa was one of the most illus- 
trious of the Rudrician princes of Ulster. These annalists also describe O'Neill as a second Lughaidh 
jmrnamed 'Long-Hand,' the said Lughaidh having been, in his generation, a most valiant and success- 
ful leader of the Tuatha de Danaan, who delivered his people from the galling oppression of the ancient 
Formorians, or men of the sea. (78) Shane's enemies formed a very different estimate of him, 
and employed the most abusive epithets that could be selected from the English vocabulary 
to describe his life and career; but, after all, his great crime in their eyes was that, barbarian though 
they would have the world to believe him, he nevertheless contrived to raise armies, erect forts, 
besiege fortified towns, and defeat English troops. O'Neill's efforts to resist the queen's govern- 
ment in Ulster cost her majesty upwards of one hundred and forty-seven thousand pounds— a very 



(76) Tivo years.— Campion and Hooker mention that 
captain Piers ("by whose device," they state, "the 
tragedie was practised"), exhumed Shane's body alter it 
had lain in the pit four days, and cut off the head. In 
this state Piers thought it could not be preserved suffi- 
ciently to answer his purpose ; neither could it well be 
presented to the lord-deputy if in an advanced stage of 
decomposition — so this gallant captain pickled the head in 
a pipkin, and sent it to Sydney ! The latter sent it for- 
ward before him to Dublin, where it was staked on a pole 
at the castle, and where it was standing in 1571, when 
Campion wrote his account of the assassination. Sydney 
had offered by proclamation ^1000 for O'Neill's "bodie, 
1000 markes for his heade," and £500 " to him that shall 
kill him though he bring neither heade nor bodie." The 
Scots did not know, at the time of Shane's death, that a 
reward had been offered for his head, but on hearing of it 
afterwards, they claimed the money. Sydney was under 
the impression that the Scots had pickled the head and 
sent it to him ; but on hearing of the reward, Alaster 
Oge applied for it. "And as I think," says Sydney, 
"if they (the Scots) be not lately satisfied, they do so 
still ; as I know, not many years since, in your presence 
at the Council Board, the forenamed Alyster Oge did." 
It is not at all likely that the Scots got back the money 
from Piers. See Ulster Journal, vol. iii., pp. 91, 101. 

(77) Hy-Niall princes. — O'Neill's personal bravery was 
not conspicuous, so far as we are aware ; we have seen 
hints to the corttary, which hints, however, may have 
been inspired by very questionable motives. Phettiplace 
the pirate, whose account of Shane was no doubt intended 
to move the authorities for his, the pirate's pardon, has 



left the following rather derogatory statement respecting 
O'Neill's mode of warfare :—" His quality in warlike 



might indeed is little in him at all, for when the Lord- 
Deputy attempteth his country, the natural warlike guise 
is not to be at home, but his country waste ; for as soon 
as he heareth of the Lord-Deputy coming towards his 
country, he divideth his people and create into the 
strengths of his country, that is in his bogges, woodes, 
passes, and islands. He knoweth the provision and his 
force, yea, and wdiich way he will pass, as well within 
four and twenty hours as if he were in Dublin at the 
setting forth of the said journey, and how many days he 
is appointed to tarry in his country. Accordingly he 
provideth to keep him covertly with his create in his 
fastness, lying himself lurking with two or three hundred 
horsemen, seeking what means he can to damage some 
wing or tail of the Lord-Deputy's. And when the Lord- 
Dep°uty returneth then O'Neill is at home, and followeth 
him homewards, doing what exploits he may."— Ulster 
Journal, vol. iii., p. 48- 

(7S) Men of the sea.— The words of the annalists in 
reference to his death are as follow:—" Grievous to the 
race of Owen, son of Niall, was the death of him who 
was there slaine, for that O'Neill, i.e., John, had been 
their Conchobar in provincial dignity, their Lugh Long- 
handed in heroism, and their champion in time of danger 
and prowess." The followinglquatrain was composed to 
commemorate his death : — 

" Seven years, sixty, five hundred, 
And a thousand years, it is no falsehood. 
To the death <>( lu'n. qramlson of Con, 
From the coming of Christ into a body." 



144 TH£ MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

large sum at that period ; and this did not include the many additional taxes levied on the country | 
during the progress of the war, nor the incalculable damages thus inflicted on the people. In the 
several battles there were slain no fewer than 3,500 English soldiers, besides many others, Irish and 
Scotch, who, under other circumstances, would have ranked among the most useful of the queen's 
subjects. (See Stuart's Historical Memoirs of Armagh, p. 261.) Fitzwilliam, informing Cecil of 
Shane's death, in a letter of the 10th of June, says : — "This rebel's end was on Monday, towards 
night, the second June, an end hard enough, but not sufficient for his deserts. If God's will so had 
been, I would lie might have been taken, to the end he might in other sort have received his just 
desert, and that he might have told, as is said he did report he would, so much as should have 
gained the queen's Majesty more land than Tyrone was worth." Fitzwilliam had the reputation of 
being a very religious man, but his reference to Shane's death was heartless, and indeed 
blasphemous. He was of opinion that the event might have been better arranged, had Providence 
waited until the council in Dublin would have dealt with him in some ' sort' more suitable to his 
deserts — to wit, by torture, hanging, and quartering. The only absolute gainer by Shane's death 
was Piers, (79) who obtained the reward offered by the government for his head. 

Not long after this formidable and much feared chieftain had passed away, the enactment 
known as the eleventh of Elizabeth, for the extinction of the title The O'Neill, became law. 
This act recites the circumstances of his death, and as the recital differs in some particulars from 
the generally received accounts, it is here submitted in extenso : — "He was driven to such 
straightness and extreem exigent, that the 2nd day of June, 1567, feeling himself all weakened, 
and beholding his declination and fall neer at hand, avowed and fully determined to come 
in disguised manner, for fear of intercepting, with a collar about his neck, to the presence 
of the said lord deputie, and to submit himselfe as a most wretched man, hoping by that 
order of humilitie to have found some mercie and grace at your Majesties hands, until he was 
staied against his will by such as pretended to bee his trusted friends, and in especial by the 
persuasion of a barbarous clerk, named Neyl MacKever, (80) whom hee had in most reputation, 
and used for his secretary, by whose councell the said rebell was drawen to try and treate the 
friendship of the Scotts, in joyning with them for the maintayning of that his traiterous rebellion ; 
which, if he might not obtain, then agreed, that his first determination was the likeliest way to save 

(79) Piers.— William Piers was son of Richard Piers, to was Wm. Piers, Esq., from whom sir John Piers, of 

near Ingleton, in Yorkshire. It would appear that at Tristernagh Abbey, is the ninth in descent. His son, 

sometime, which is not stated, this William Piers "saved Henry Piers, Esq., of Tristernagh, conformed to the 

the princess Elizabeth from the rage and fury of her sister Roman Catholic Church, and prevailed upon his sons to 

queen Mary, by conveying her privately away." Queen embrace the same faith, of whom Thomas, his third son, 

I b afterwards, in 1566, gave him an appointment became a Franciscan Friar. His great grandson, Sir 



in the army, and sent him to Ireland "where his services Henry Piers, of Tristernagh, was the author of a Choro- 

were rewarded by a grant of several lands of great value, graphical Description of the County of IVcstmeath, a 

and .particularly tjie abbey of Tristernagh, in the county work of great merit for the age which produced it. 

of Westmeath. He was also appointed governor of The family residence at Tristernagh is now (1850) in a 

I arrwlcfergus, and seneschal of the county of Antrim; frightful state of dilapidation, and the family estates 

we also find him seneschal of Claneboy in 1562; and it much encumbered." See Annals of the Four Masters, 

was he, says Ilohngshed, who brought in the head of the vol. v., p. 1567, note. 

rebel Shane O'Neile, for which he received 1000 Marcs." (80) Mac JTa>er.—See p. 142, supra. Mac Connor is 

(bee Lodge s Irish Peerage, edited by Archdall, vol. ii., probably the correct name. The framers of the act are 

pp. 201—204. 'tote). "The Captain Piers here referred confused on other points also. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 145 

his life, with the losse of his lande and reputation, and thereupon took his journey towards the Scotts, 
who were incamped in Claneboy (81) to the number of sixe hundred under the leading of Alexander 
Oge, brother to James MacConell, and one MacGilly Aspuke his nephew, sonne to Agnes Uye, 
brother also to the said James which was slain in the late overthrowe given by the said Shane 
O'Neyle to the Scottes, (82) and so entered the tent of the said Alexander, accompanied with 
O'Donilles wife, whom hee had kept, Swarley Boye, brother to the said Alexander, the said 
secretary, and the number of fiftie horsemen, where after a few dissembled gratulatorie words used 
betwixt them, they fell to quaffing and drinking wine. This Agnes Ilye's sonne, all inflamed with 
malice and desire of revenge for the death of his father and uncle, began to minister quarrelling 
talk to Oneyle, who took the same verie hot, and after some reproachfull words past betwixt them 
the said Gillaspuke demanded of the secretorie, whether hee had bruited abroad, that the ladie, 
his aunt, wife unto James MacConell, did offer to come out of Scotland into Ireland to marie with 
Oneile, the secretorie affirmed himselfe to be the author of that report, and said withall, that if his 
aunt were queen of Scotland, shee might bee well contented to match herselfe with O'Neyle ; the 
other with that gave him the lye, and said, that the ladie, his aunt, was a woman of that honestie 
and reputation, as would not take him that was the betrayer and murderer of her worthy husband. 
Oneyle, giving ear to the talke, began to maintayne his secretorie's quarrel, and thereupon Gillas- 
puke withdrewe himselfe out of the tent, and came abroad amongst his men, who forthwith raised 
a fray, and fell to killing of Oneiles men ; and the Scottes, as people thirstie of O'Neiles bloud, 
for requiting the slaughter of their master and kinsfolke, assembled together in a throng and thrust 
into the tent, where the said Oneile was, and there with theire slaughter swordes hewed him to 
pieces, slew his secretorie, and all those that were with him, except a few which escaped by their 
horses. (S3) Alexander Oge, after this bouchery handling of this cruell tyrant, caused his mangled 
carcasse to be carried to an old ruinous church near unto the camp, where for lack of a better 
shroud, hee was wrapt in a kerns old shirt, and there miserably interred, (84) a fitt ende for such 
a beginning, and a funerall pompe convenient for soe great a defacer of God's Temples, and a 
withstander of his Princes lawes and regall authoritie. And after being four dayes in earth, was 

(81) Claneboy. — The Scottish camp was in the vicinity was, probably, Catherine Maclean, 'O'Donhell's wife.' 
of the present village of Cushindun, in the Glynns. The She was cousin to Gillaspick Macdonnell, who began the 
framers of this act were not familiar with northern topo- melee in which Shane, her last husband, was slain. She 
graphy, else they could not have confounded the two probably returned to her native island of Mull. 

equally distinct and well-known territories of Clannaboy (S4) Miserably interred. — Shane's body is said to have 

and the Glynns. been finally interred in the grounds connected with the 

(82) To the Scottes. — For an account of this overthrow old monastery at Glenarm. A local tradition states that 
in Gleanntaisi, see pp. 133 — 138, supra. The chieltain soon after his burial there, a friar from Armagh appeared 
here incorrectly named ^«<-j-//)v, was Angus Macdonnell, at the gate of the monastery, and was admitted, 
surnamed Uaibhreach, who generally resided in Isla. The " Father," said he, addressing the abbot, "I come from 
person who commenced the quarrel with O'Neill's secre- our brothers of Armagh to beg that you will permit us to 
tary is named in the act both Mac Gilly Aspucke and remove the body of the great O'Neill for the purpose of 
Gillaspuke. If the former be the correct form of his interment in the tomb of his ancestors at Armagh." The 
name he must have been the son of Gillaspick, who abbot at Glenarm paused for a moment before replying — 
married a sister of James Macdonnell ; but if Gillaspick " Have you," said he, " brought with you the remains of 
was the right word, the person must have been son to James Macdonnell, lord of Antrim and Cantire, who was 
Angus of Isla. In either case he would have been buried among strangers at Armagh ?" The friar answered 
nephew of James and Sorley Macdonnell. See p. 142, that he had not brought the wished-for remains. "Then." 
supra. replied the abbot, " whilst you continue to tread on the 

(83) By their horses. — Among those who thus escaped grave of James lord of Antrim and Cantire, know ye that 

Q 



146 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

taken up by William Piers, and his head sundred from his bodie was brought into the said lord 
deputie to Drogheda, the 21st of June, 1567, and from thence carried unto the citie of Dublin, where 
it was bodied with a stake, and standeth on the top of your Majesties castle of Dublin." See frisk 
Statutes, vol. i. pp. 327, 328. 

It was a pleasant time among the authorities of the Pale, when they heard of O'Neill's actual 
decapitation. They felt a relief — beyond what they could very clearly express — from the strain that 
had been put upon them all, high and low. In London, the gratification was almost as intense, 
although the queen could not feel altogether satisfied until she heard that Sorley Boy had taken his 
departure from Ulster soon after his release. She had got done with Shane, and the next best 
thing was to have done, for the future, and for ever, with this Antrim chief. So, she lost no time in 
writing to Sydney, urging him to pay the Scots at once for their going to the Antrim coast on his 
invitation, and to be careful that they should all return without loss of time to the places whence 
they came. Sorley, however, was not exactly the man to permit himself and his people to be dealt 
with in the summary style which the queen and her officials were so determined to adopt. Of all his 
race, he was perhaps the least disposed to permit the hereditary claim of his family on the Glynns to be 
thus unceremoniously set aside ; and, as for the Route, it had cost so much Clandonnell blood 
already, and was, withal, such a pleasant place in itself, that he had soon made up his mind to regain 
what was lost, or perish in the attempt. Although, therefore, he quietly got across the Channel to 
Cantire on an evening in June, when the sea was smooth as glass, and the shores all around looked 
their loveliest, yet he did not go before he had ascertained that the Scottish settlers in Antrim 
generally, remained on their lands. His fortified positions, indeed, from Dunluce to Red Bay, were 
either broken down, or held by small English garrisons, but this state of affairs he had resolved 
within himself would soon come to an end. Accordingly he spent the remainder of that summer 
in the Isles, and among the hills of Argyleshire, and succeeded in forming an alliance between the 
Campbells and the Clandonnell — an achievement which few, if any but himself was ever able to 
accomplish. Having collected from both clans eight hundred picked redshanks, he did not think 
it necessary to ask for permission to return, and his unexpected arrival at Ballycastle Bay on the 
27th of November, 1567, was very promptly announced to the government by both Piers and Malbie, 
two of its most active and intelligent agents in the North. Their letter was dated from Carrickfergus 
on the 28th — the day after Sorley's arrival; and on the 10th of December, Terence Danyell wrote 
more fully of his return, stating that so soon as the Scottish force had disembarked, Sorley took 
occasion to sware solemnly, in the presence of his men, that he would never again " depart Ireland 
with his good-will'' — an oath which he scrupulously kept until his dying day. The resolution to 
which he then solemnly pledged himself was — not that he would never leave the Irish shore — but 
that he would never again do so under restraint, or against his will. During the subsequent years 
he was often in Scotland, forming alliances or collecting re-inforcements, but always returning to the 
Antrim shore with, as it would appear, a firmer determination to hold his lands against all comers, 

we, here in Glenarm, will trample on the dust of your to the Causeway, pp. 39, 40. The foundatians of the old 
great O'Neill." This tradition has been quoted in nearly abbey walls at Glenarm may still be traced in the cemetery 
the above words by the Rev. G. N. Wright, in his Guide connected with the neat little modern church there. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 



'47 



On his return in the winter of 1567, he re-introduced himself with becoming modesty to 
the authorities of the Pale, requesting that he might have quiet and immediate possession of the 
Glynnes, by grant from the crown, which were his family possessions, and also of the lands of Monery 
and Carey. (85) The government was probably not more surprised by the suddenness of his re-ap- 
pearance than by the moderate nature of his request, which implied his entire acknowledgement of 
the queen's authority, even over the lands which belonged to his ancestors. They, however, 
unwisely hesitated and delayed, until Sorley found that he had no course but one, no alternative 
but a new appeal to arms. Neither was he slow, when thus compelled, to initiate the quarrel. By 
the commencement of 1568, the English garrisons along the coast, excepting that of Dunluce, had 
disappeared, their places being occupied by bands of fierce Islesmen and Highlanders. A few 
months subsequently, Sorley was the central figure among a number of Ulster lords whom he had 
drawn around him, and united in a League against the government. Of these, the two most 
prominent, after Sorley himself, were Brian Mac Felim O'Neill, (86) the chieftain of upper or 
southern Clannaboy, and Turlough Luinech O'Neill, cousin of Shane, who now renounced his 
allegiance to the queen, and proclaimed himself the rightful hereditary prince of Ulster. (87) Not 
satisfied with this important move, Sorley returned to Scotland and secured an alliance with Donnell 



(85) Monery and Carey. — These two districts are men- 
tioned in the Antrim patents as belonging to the Glynns, 
although in earlier times they appear to have formed a 
distinct territory. The other territories of the Glynnes, 
constituting two-thirds of the whole, belonged to the 
Bysets, but Monery and Carey were not included in their 
estate. Carey is now a name locally restricted to the 
parish of Culfeightrin, although it is also the name of a 
barony including several parishes besides that of Culfeigh- 
trin. The early form of the name is Cathrigia, from 
Cathraige, a tribe or sept by whom it was occupied at a 
remote period. Monery is supposed to have been "about 
co-extensive with the parish of Ramoan and Grange of 
Drumtullagh." In the grant from the crown to sir Randall 
Macdonnell, in 1603, the name is written Munerie ; and 
in the renewal of this grant by Charles I., it is spelled 
Mynirie. This territorial name in all its forms is now 
obsolete. See ReeVes's Ecclts. Antiquities, p. 332. 

(86) O'Neill. — This chieftain was encouraged by the 
English to usurp the chieftaincy of both upper and lower 
Clannaboy, while his uncle sir Con, and his elder brother, 
Hugh, were held as prisoners in Dublin Castle. SirThomas 
Smith, in 1572, obtained a grant of sir Brian M'Felim's 
lands, against which the latter indignantly remonstrated 
in a series of letters, written in eloquent and expressive 
Latin, dated a Carrigfergusia, and signed Bcrnardus CfNele 

f litis Philimei. The career of this brave chief was sud- 
denly brought to a close by the dastardly Walter Devereux, 
earl of Essex, who is only known on this coast by deeds of 
treachery and murder, with the memory of which his 
name is linked through all time. The assassination of sir 
Brian Mac Felim O'Neill is thus noticed in the Annals 
of the Four Masters, at the year 1574: — "Peace, sociality, 
and friendship were established between Brian, the son of 
Felim Baccach O'Neill, and the earl of Essex; and a feast 
was afterwards prepared by Brian, to. which the Lord- 
Justice and the chiefs of his people were invited; and they 



passed three nights and days together pleasantly and 
cheerfully. At the expiration of this time, however, as 
they were agreeably drinking and making merry, Brian, 
his brother, and his wife, were seized upon by the earl, 
and all his people put unsparingly to the sword, men, 
women, youths, and maidens, in Brian's own presence. 
Brian was afterwards sent to Dublin, together with his 
wife and brother, where they were cut in quarters. Such 
was the end of their feast. This unexpected massacre, 
this wicked and treacherous murder of the lord of the 
race of Hugh Boy O'Neill, the head and the senior of 
the race of Eoghain, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, 
and of all the Gaels, a few only excepted, was a suffi- 
cient cause of hatred and disgust to the Irish. ' ' This mas- 
sacre happened at Belfast, and two hundred of O'Neill's 
followers, in attempting to save him, were put to the 
sword. 

(87) Of Ulster.— Turlough O'Neill, son of Niall Con- 
nelagh, was surnamed Luinech from having fostered in a 
family named O'Luney. Turlough was a cousin-german 
of Shane, and succeeded to the chieftaincy of the clan on 
the death of the latter in 1567. He did not obtain this 
distinction without much debate and strife with Hugh 
O'Neill, afterwards earl of Tyrone, whom the Eng- 
lish backed against Turlough. The clan, however, 
stood firmly by the latter, whom they had previously 
chosen tanist, and would accept no chief whom they did 
not themselves elect. Turlough Luinech warned the 
government to beware of Hugh O'Neill, whom they had 
educated and petted, and had thus, as he expressed it, 
"raised up a whelp they would not easily pull down." 
Turlough had two castles on the Bann, one at Toome, 
and one at Coleraine, known as Castleroe. His principal 
residence was Dunnalong, on the Tyrone side of Lough 
Foyle, six miles above Derry, and about the same distance 
from Lifford. Few traces of this once-important fortress. 
now remain. 



146 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

taken up by William Piers, and his head sundred from his bodie was brought into the said lord 
deputie to Drogheda, the 21st of June, 1567, and from thence carried unto the citie of Dublin, where 
it was bodied with a stake, and standeth on the top of your Majesties castle of Dublin." See Irish 
Statutes, vol. i. pp. 327, 328. 

It was a pleasant time among the authorities of the Pale, when they heard of O'Neill's actual 
decapitation. They felt a relief— beyond what they could very clearly express — from the strain that 
had been put upon them all, high and low. In London, the gratification was almost as intense, 
although the queen could not feel altogether satisfied until she heard that Sorley Boy had taken his 
departure from Ulster soon after his release. She had got done with Shane, and the next best 
thing was to have done, for the future, and for ever, with this Antrim chief. So, she lost no time in 
writing to Sydney, urging him to pay the Scots at once for their going to the Antrim coast on his 
invitation, and to be careful that they should all return without loss of time to the places whence 
they came. Sorley, however, was not exactly the man to permit himself and his people to be dealt 
with in the summary style which the queen and her officials were so determined to adopt. Of all his 
race, he was perhaps the least disposed to permit the hereditary claim of his family on the Glynns to be 
thus unceremoniously set aside ; and, as for the Route, it had cost so much Clandonnell blood 
already, and was, withal, such a pleasant place in itself, that he had soon made up his mind to regain 
what was lost, or perish in the attempt. Although, therefore, he quietly got across the Channel to 
Cantire on an evening in June, when the sea was smooth as glass, and the shores all around looked 
their loveliest, yet he did not go before he had ascertained that the Scottish settlers in Antrim 
generally, remained on their lands. His fortified positions, indeed, from Dunluce to Red Bay, were 
either broken down, or held by small English garrisons, but this state of affairs he had resolved 
within himself would soon come to an end. Accordingly he spent the remainder of that summer 
in the Isles, and among the hills of Argyleshire, and succeeded in forming an alliance between the 
Campbells and the Clandonnell — an achievement which few, if any but himself was ever able to 
accomplish. Having collected from both clans eight hundred picked redshanks, he did not think 
it necessary to ask for permission to return, and his unexpected arrival at Ballycastle Bay on the 
27th of November, 1567, was very promptly announced to the government by both Piers and Malbie, 
two of its most active and intelligent agents in the North. Their letter was dated from Carrickfergus 
on the 28th — the day after Sorley's arrival; and on the 10th of December, Terence Danyell wrote 
more fully of his return, stating that so soon as the Scottish force had disembarked, Sorley took 
occasion to sware solemnly, in the presence of his men, that he would never again " depart Ireland 
with his good-will'' — an oath which he scrupulously kept until his dying day. The resolution to 
which he then solemnly pledged himself was — not that he would never leave the Irish shore — but 
that he would never again do so under restraint, or against his will. During the subsequent years 
he was often in Scotland, forming alliances or collecting re-inforcements, but always returning to the 
Antrim shore with, as it would appear, a firmer determination to hold his lands against all comers, 

we, here in Glenarm, will trample on the dust of your to the Causeway, pp. 39, 40. The foundatians of the old 
great O'Neill." This tradition has been quoted in nearly abbey walls at Glenarm may still be traced in the cemetery 
the above words by the Rev. G. N. Wright, in his Guide connected with the neat little modem church there. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 



147 



On his return in the winter of 1567, he re-introduced himself with becoming modesty to 
the authorities of the Pale, requesting that he might have quiet and immediate possession of the 
Glynnes, by grant from the crown, which were his family possessions, and also of the lands of Monery 
and Carey. (85) The government was probably not more surprised by the suddenness of his re-ap- 
pearance than by the moderate nature of his request, which implied his entire acknowledgement of 
the queen's authority, even over the lands which belonged to his ancestors. They, however, 
unwisely hesitated and delayed, until Sorley found that he had no course but one, no alternative 
but a new appeal to arms. Neither was he slow, when thus compelled, to initiate the quarrel. By 
the commencement of 1568, the English garrisons along the coast, excepting that of Dunluce, had 
disappeared, their places being occupied by bands ot fierce Islesmen and Highlanders. A few 
months subsequently, Sorley was the central figure among a number of Ulster lords whom he had 
drawn around him, and united in a League against the government. Of these, the two most 
prominent, after Sorley himself, were Brian Mac Felim O'Neill, (86) the chieftain of upper or 
southern Clannaboy, and Turlough Luinech O'Neill, cousin of Shane, who now renounced his 
allegiance to the queen, and proclaimed himself the rightful hereditary prince of Ulster. (87) Not 
satisfied with this important move, Sorley returned to Scotland and secured an alliance with Donnell 



(85) Monery and Carey. — These two districts are men- 
tioned in the Antrim patents as belonging to the Glynns, 
although in earlier times they appear to have formed a 
distinct territory. The other territories of the Glynnes, 
constituting two-thirds of the whole, belonged to the 
Bysets, but Monery and Carey were not included in their 
estate. Carey is now a name locally restricted to the 
parish of Culfeightrin, although it is also the name of a 
barony including several parishes besides that of Culfeigh- 
trin. The early form of the name is Cat/irigia, from 
Cathraige, a tribe or sept by whom it was occupied at a 
remote period. Monery is supposed to have been "about 
co-extensive with the parish of Ramoan and Grange of 
Drumtullagh." In the grant from the crown to sir Randall 
Macdonnell, in 1603, the name is written Muuerie; and 
in the renewal of this grant by Charles I., it is spelled 
Mynirie. This territorial name in all its forms is now 
obsolete. See ReeVes's Eecles. Antiquities, p. 332. 

(86) O'Neill.— This chieftain was encouraged by the 
English to usurp the chieftaincy of both upper and lower 
Clannaboy, while his uncle sir Con, and his elder brother, 
Hugh, were held as prisoners in Dublin Castle. Sir Thomas 
Smith, in 1572, obtained a grant of sir Brian M'Felim's 
lands, against which the latter indignantly remonstrated 
in a series of letters, written in eloquent and expressive 
Latin, dated a Carrigfergusia, and signed BcrnarJus OW'e/e 

films Philimei. The career of this brave chief was sud- 
denly brought to a close by the dastardly Walter Devereux, 
earl of Essex, who is only known on this coast by deeds of 
treachery and murder, with the memory of which his 
name is linked through all time. The assassination of sir 
Brian Mac Felim O'Neill is thus noticed in the Annals 
of the Four Masters, at the year 1574: — "Peace, sociality, 
and friendship were established between Brian, the son of 
Felim Baccach O'Neill, and the earl of Essex; and a feast 
was afterwards prepared by Brian, to which the Lord- 
Justice and the chiefs of his people were invited; and they 



passed three nights and days together pleasantly and 
cheerfully. At the expiration of this time, however, as 
they were agreeably drinking and making merry, Brian, 
his brother, and his wife, were seized upon by the earl, 
and all his people put unsparingly to the sword, men, 
women, youths, and maidens, in Brian's own presence. 
Brian was afterwards sent to Dublin, together with his 
wife and brother, where they were cut in quarters. Such 
was the end of their feast. This unexpected massacre, 
this wicked and treacherous murder of the lord of the 
race of Hugh Boy O'Neill, the head and the senior of 
the race of Eoghain, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, 
and of all the Gaels, a few only excepted, was a suffi- 
cient cause of hatred and disgust to the Irish." This mas- 
sacre happened at Belfast, and two hundred of O'Neill's 
followers, in attempting to save him, were put to the 
sword. 

(87) Of Ulster.— Turlough O'Neill, son of Niall Con- 
nelagh, was surnamed Luinech from having fostered in a 
family named O'Luney. Turlough was a cousin-german 
of Shane, and succeeded to the chieftaincy of the clan on 
the death of the latter in 1567. He did not obtain this 
distinction without much debate and strife with Hugh 
O'Neill, afterwards earl of Tyrone, whom the Eng- 
lish backed against Turlough. The clan, however, 
stood firmly by the latter, whom they had previously 
chosen tanist, and would accept no chief whom they did 
not themselves elect. Turlough Luinech warned the 
government to beware of Hugh O'Neill, whom they had 
educated and petted, and had thus, as he expressed it, 
"raised up a whelp they would not easily pull down." 
Turlough had two castles on the Bann, one at Toome, 
and one at Coleraine, known as Castleroe. His principal 
residence was Dunnalong, on the Tyrone side of Lough 
Foyle, six miles above Derry, and about the same distance 
from Lifford. Few traces of this once-important fortress, 
now remain. 



I5O THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

to the lords-justices. On the 19th of March there was a letter from Malbie to Cecil, (95) informing 
him that the two ladies, mother and daughter, were coming from Scotland as wives for O'Neill and 
O'Donnell, and that a certain captain Thornton held himself in readiness to intercept 
them at sea. A month later, both Fitzwilliam (96) and Bagenall wrote to the queen from 
Carrickfergus, stating that James Macdonnell's widow intended to reach Ireland about the last day 
of April, and that, in the meantime, she had sent a bark to Loughfoyle with victuals. (97) The 
ladies, however, did not come so soon as either their friends or enemies had expected, the whole 
summer being spent in negotiations between the authorities in Dublin and Cantire, on the 
subject of Ulster affairs generally, and these two contemplated marriages in particular. At length 
came an ultimatum from Cantire, which was reported by the Irish deputy to Cecil in the month of 
November, and which announced in substance that should queen Elizabeth assist Mary queen of 
Scots in the difficulties with which the latter was then beset, (98) the earl of Argyle would minister 
all neighbourly offices in Ulster, but otherwise he would invade this province in person, with an 
army of 5000 men. And as for James Macdonnell's widow, she was willing to match with an 
Irishman, provided she and her sons might enjoy the inheritance that her late husband and his an- 
cestors held in Ireland for seven generations ; (99) but if not, then as long as any of the Clan- 
donnell lived, their title to these lands would never be relinquished, or undefended. These were 
decisive terms, and in addition to them, or rather in explanation of the spirit in which they were to 
be understood, lord Hemes expressed himself in a manner, as reported by Fitzwilliam, " full of the 
rancour of a ranck Skotte !" 

Lady Cantire and her daughter postponed their nuptial excursion until the following summer, 

(95) Cecil. — William Cecil, lord Burghley, born in him to the office oflord deputy in 1559 — a position which 
1520, is deservedly placed at the head of English states- he held three times. He died in 1599. (See Lodge's 
men of the sixteenth century, not only for his great Irish Peerage, edited by Archdall, vol. ii. , p. 176.) 
abilities, but also his unwavering attachment to the best " Fitzwilliam was one of the most sordid men that ever 
interests of his sovereign, queen Elizabeth. He was filled that high office, and, like Perrot, he turned the 
appointed secretary of State at the early age of twenty. deputyship to good account, never scrupling any atrocity 
In 1549, he fell for a time, with the fall of protector that might help him to fill his coffers. He was in sooth 
Somerset; but in 1551, he was restored to his situation, a very miser, and you are aware that he went to Con- 
knighted, and made a member of the privy council. naught, when he heard that some ships of the Armada 
During the reign of Mary, he was contented to remain in were stranded on the coast, and laid waste whole terri- 
comparative obscurity, being a member of parliament, tories of the Irish chiefs, because they would not, or could 
however, representing his native county of Lincoln. On not, give him the Spanish gold, which was said to have 
the accession of Elizabeth, he was forthwith appointed been found on the persons of the shipwrecked sailors. " 
prime minister — a position which he occupied for the long Meehan's Rise and Fall of the Franciscan Monasterit 
period of forty years. In 1561, he was appointed master p. 67. 

of the Court of Wards, and in 1572, lord high treasurer. (97) Victuals. — If this bark was not laden with 

He died in the year 1598, being then seventy-eight years delicacies, specially intended for the distinguished party 

of age, and in actual possession of all the onerous offices soon expected to follow, we have here an evidence of the 

above-mentioned. See Nichol's Autographs. scarcity which must have then prevailed in Ulster. 

(96) Fitzwilliam. — William Fitzwilliam was bom in (98) Then beset. — Elizabeth did 'not certainly assist her 
1526, and early in life had attained to the important posi- kinswoman. When the latter escaped to England, instead 
tion of marshall of the King's Bench. On the death of of giving her a home and protection, she immured her 
Edward VI., he promptly joined in the proclaiming of during eighteen years in a prison, from which she was 
Mary as queen, by whom he was afterwards duly only set free by the headsman. 

honoured. He and sir John Allen were sent to this (99) Seven generations. — From the year 1399, the date 

country as delegates for the management of the crown of John Mor Macdonnell's marriage with Margery Byset, 

property, which was then enormous. In 1555, Fitz- to the year 1568, the time referred to in the text, was 

william was appointed keeper of the great seal, and his about seven generations, 
intimate knowledge of Ireland induced Elizabeth to raise 



SUR.LEY BOY MACDONNELL. 



151 



probably influenced by some weighty considerations of state. However, in the month of July, 
569, the channel was dotted over with white-winged galleys, bringing the distinguished parties from 
Cantire and the Isles. Whilst this sight gladdened the hearts of the Antrim Scots, it created a 
panic amongst the agents of the government in the north, (100) who did not fail to forward speedy 
intelligence of the movement to the authorities in the Pale. Piers wrote first to the lord chancellor, 
informing him that James Macdonnell's wife had come with an army of Scots, sent by the earl of 
Argyle, and adding that he (Piers), contrary to his expectation, had not been able to muster as 
many men as would enable him to take the field with any hope of success. The marriage of 
Turlough Luinech O'Neill with lady Cantire was celebrated in the lovely little island of Rathlin, 
but unfortunately the notice of this affair in the State Papers is very meagre indeed. Fitzwilliam, 
writing to Cecil, on the 12th of September, announces that Turlough Luinech "was 14 days in the 
Raghlins, and there concluded his marriage with James M'Donnell's late wife." Had the bride 
and groom been a youthful pair we might imagine that the island was selected for the celebra- 
tion of this event because of its romantic position and surroundings ; but as Turlough was a 
widower, the father of a family, and lady Cantire the mother of many sons, the choice of Rathlin 
as their wedding place was probably dictated by some considerations of prudence. But whether or 
not, there required, no doubt, extensive preparations to be made on the island for the accommo- 
dation of such a large and distinguished party as there assembled. (10 1) It is curious that in the 
preceding summer, when the marriage was expected to take place, Terence Danyell wrote to the lords 

Danann ruler in Rathlin. Among the guests of that 
long-vanished assembly, were the king of Lochlan or 
Norway, with his queen Bebeire, and his daughter Berida, 
and his two sons Naoise or Angus, and Arall or Harald ; 
an Ulster prince named Fergus ; Muireadhach, a son of 
the king of Alba ; Anadhal, a son of the king of Con- 
naught ; Criomthan, son of Fergus fairge ; Lathairne, a 
prince from whom the town of Lame has its name ; 
Fiachtna, surnamed/oww, or fair-haired, and many others. 
An account of this banquet is preserved in an historical 
tract, entitled the " Battles of Congal Clarainech." This 
tract forms part of the rich manuscript materials in the 
library of the Royal Irish Academy. [For a lengthened 
and most interesting extract referring to the island of 
Rathlin, see Appendix V.] Although during the middle 
ages, and in more modern times, Rrthlin was claimed 
and held as belonging to the kingdom of the Isles, (see p. 
13, supra), yet in more remote periods, this island was 
known as part and parcel of the Antrim Glynns. So early 
as the sixth century, there arose a dispute on certain terri- 
torial questions, between the Dalriads of Erinn and Alba. 
This dispute was settled at the celebrated council of 
Dromceatt, through the agency of St. Columba. Among 
the Carew Papers is a volume numbered 621, and the 
contents of folios 40 and 41 have been calendared as fol- 
lows :— " St Columba I. The judgment of Columbanus, 
whereby it appears that the seven Toaghes of the Glinnes 
and the Isle of Raghlins are Irish ground, in anno 563. 
(Taken from the " Book of the Life of St. Columba.") II. 
A translation of an Irish Book written of the Life of St. 
Columba, concerning the seven Toaghes of the Glinnes, 
called Dalriada, whereof the island of the Raghlin was a 
parcel, in the year of our Lord 563." Calendar of the 
Carew MSS., 5th series, pp. 344, 45 6 - 



(100) In the north. — This panic was considerably 
intensified by an old prophecy, supposed by the Irish of 
Ulster to refer to the family of O'Donnell of Tyrconnell, 
and in particular to the marriage of its chief with a Scottish 
woman. When, long afterwards, Ineen Dhu Macdon- 
nell's gallant son, Hugh Roe, became so troublesome to 
the government, the members ; of the privy council, 
during the time of Fitzwilliam being deputy, were 
alarmed at the interpretation then put upon the old 
prophecy, and actually requested the archbishop of Tuam 
to give his opinion as to its import. "Concerning 
O'Donnell and his country," wrote sir W. Fitzwilliam, 
" this is to be noted : First, this young O'Donnell, who 
brake prison from Dublin, is born of a Scottish woman, 
James M'Donnell's daughter, by whose forward means, 
her son, now O'Donnell, hopeth to be fully assisted out 
of Scotland, to bring to pass some old prophecy which 
flieth amongst them in no small request, importing that 



152 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

justices, informing them that "Sorley Boy had passed two nights in the Glynns, cutting wattles to build 
in the Baglilins." This timber may have been probably intended to repair the old castle, or build 
temporary dwellings for the guests. As the ceremony took place in the month of August the island 
no doubt looked its best, being always more attractive at that season than any other. The fields, 
then " fading green and yellow," contrast most vividly with the blue waters which lie placidly at the 
base of the weather-beaten cliffs. If the guests felt somewhat imprisoned during their fourteen 
days of festivity, they must have also felt that never was island-prison more pleasant or attractive. 
If they occasionally lifted their eyes at all from the wild beauties of the island to look at the 
Antrim shore, the views east and west were such as they could have hardly ever afterwards forgotten. 

The Scots had now another interval of comparative peace, for so many of their country- 
men had arrived about the time of the two distinguished marriage alliances abovementioned, 
that the forces of the northern chieftains were thus amply and efficiently recruited. This im- 
proved state of affairs continued until the summer of 157 2, when rumours of a most formidable 
English invasion, which was to come direct from Liverpool to the Antrim coast, created a violent 
excitement throughout Ulster. The northern League, which had shown symptoms of dissolu- 
tion, was re-invigorated, and the redshanks became once more the most important people of 
Ulster. The leader of this invading host was Walter Devereux viscount Hereford, created earl 
of Essex in 1572. Like other restless spirits in England who sought this country, Essex saw in 
Ireland an attractive field, where he might be able not only to exhibit a chivalrous gratitude to the 
queen for the earldom she had conferred, but also to reap a rich harvest of wealth and renown for 
himself. The queen, having granted the estates of sir Brian Mac Felim O'Neill to sir Thomas 
Smith and his son, was soon doomed to hear of the fatal results produced by that glaring act of 
injustice. Sir Brian continued to remonstrate until the grant to the Smiths had been duly con- 
firmed ; when he found, however, that the lands which were held by his ancestors during a period, 
as he stated, " of fourteen descents," had been actually handed over to an English stranger (see 
Appendix IV.), he commenced a formidable rebellion, sweeping the districts occupied by the Eng- 
lish with fire and sword, and burning the town of Carrickfergus. Of course sir Brian was fiercely 
denounced in England as a most audacious rebel. Stout volunteers offered their services to assist 
in crushing him, and, at the same time, the Scots, his allies, who, with equal audacity, had not 
only seized the Route and Glynns, but had overrun the lower Clannaboy, which the queen claimed 
as her own. Here was work for Essex, and he was not slow in taking it up. 

It is curious, that although Essex came to Carrickfergus breathing out threatenings, especially 
against Sorley Boy and his Scots, he appears soon to have found some reason for mitigating the 
sternness of his resolves in this particular. At first he had received a feigned submission from sir 
Brian Mac Felim, in consequence of which he informed Burghley that he had suffered the " Irishry 
to reap their corn quietly," and had even generously handed over to them (the Irish) " all the Scots 
harvest." This policy on his part, according to his own account, had brought matters to such a happy 
condition that " without loss or danger, men may travel already almost as far as the Bann, and the 
other way through the Ardes into the English Pale in effect." This was written on the 10th of 
September, but on the 2nd of November, the whole aspect of affairs had changed. Sir Brian had 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. l 53 

brought his creaghts, consisting of 10,000 head of cattle, to the vicinity of Carrickfergus, as an 
earnest of his submission, but on discovering Essex's real want of means, he removed Ins 
cattle, having of course neither the wish nor the power to meddle with "the Scots' harvest. 
On the other hand, Sorley Boy, who « had bound himself with an oath to maintain the war" against 
Essex now rather rose in the estimation of the latter, so that by the ist of November he was 
inclined to take Sorley by the hand as an assistant against the ' Irishry ! ' The following is a part of 
Essex's ' instructions' to the council in England, through Waterhouse :-" I wish it m.ght come m 
question whether it were necessary to use his (Sorley's) service against the Irish, who willfully have 
refused the grace and mercy of her Majesty, broken their fidelity, and vowed confederacy in rebel- 
lion If it be thought the less ill to retain him, than to bound him to a place certain, and a number 
certain, to make him a denizen, and assign him a service in lieu of rent, as captain of her Majesty s 
kerne, which he, being a mercenary man and a soldier, will easily consent unto; time, hereafter, 
and law, shall keep him within bounds, and a stronger force than his own shall ever master him ; 
and as I am informed, there is not within his circuit any commodious landing-place. You may 
enlarge this matter as you think good; which, though it threaten peril, yet a continual eye being 
had upon him, time may disarm him, and make him a plague in the mean season to the obstinate 
Irish.'' See Calendar of the Carm MSS., first series, p. 449 S Lives of the Devenu,; Earls of Essex, 

vol. i., pp. 35, 36. 

But Sorley Boy had not the most distant idea of permitting himself thus to be made an instru- 
ment in Essex's hands, for the injury of his own allies-the Irishry. Indeed, it is quite evident 
from these and similar suggestions on the part of Essex, that he knew nothing of this gallant and 
sagacious Macdonnell, who presented himself, in reality to find out through Smith, the true senti- 
ments and intentions of Elizabeth, in reference to the Antrim Scots, now that she had 
pretty good proof of their ability to hold the northern coast. Essex states that » Sorleyboy hath 
made petition for a portion of the Glinnes claimed by him by inherence from the M.ssets (Bysets), 
that the same might be confirmed unto him by her Majesty's gift, for which he would serve her 
Majesty against all other ; which inheritance, he saith, was bounded and limited in the time of the 
government of Mr. Comptroller and of my lord Chamberlain." (See Calendar of Carew MSS., first 
series p 449). The arrangement above referred to was mooted during the administration of 
Sussex, who afterwards held the office of chamberlain when Essex was in Ulster; but the ' inheritance 
of Sorley Boy, as "bounded and limited" by Sussex, included much more than a portion of the 
Glynns What Essex represents here as a submission on the part of the Antrim lord was simply a 
conference between him and colonel Smith, during which, among other matters he stated his wish to 
obtain letters^ denization from the queen. All Scots, when settling in Ireland, requ.red such letters, 
and even the children of Scottish parents, although born here, required to obtain them, if their parents 
had neglected to do so. At this interview, it would appear, Sorley had expressed some anxiety on the 
subject (probably a feigned anxiety), and forthwith the matter was communicated to the queen. (102) 

'SSt^S^^SS^SS^^ A and enjoy the liberties of marriage. In other 

B 



154 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

In a very short time afterwards came letters patent, granting denization to Sorley. " We are given 
to understand," says the queen, " that a nobleman named Sorley Boy, and others who be of the 
Scotch-Irish race, and some of the wild Irish, at this time are content to acknowledge our true and 
mere right to the countie of Ulster and the crowne of Ireland, to profess due obedience to us and 
our crowne of England and Ireland, and to swear to be true subjects to us and our successors, as 
others our natural subjects born in the English Pale be, or ought to be, submitting themselves to 
our laws and orders, upon condition that they may be received as denizens of England and Ire- 
land ; and we (being willing by all gentle means to bring the strayed sheep home again to the right 
fold, and to maintain peace and quietness in the realm, and to refuse none that will acknowledge 
their duty) are content that any mere Irish, or Scotch-Irish, or other strangers who claim inheritance, 
or shall hold any lands, or be resident in any place which is within our grant made to Sir Thomas 
Smith and Thomas, his son, now Colonel of the Ards and Claneboy, who will be sworn to be true 
lieges to us and our successors (as the denizen strangers do sware in the Chancery of England), 
before the said Thomas Smith, junior, (103) or the Bishop of Down (104) accompanied with other 
discreet persons, and from that day be content to hold their lands of us and the said Colonel, and 
shall yearly pay to us 20s for every plowland as all Englishmen, followers of the said Smith, pay, 
shall be reputed and taken for denizens and not for mere Irish ; and that the said Smith, or the 
bishop of Down, may take the said oath during the space of seven years ; and upon a certificate of 
the Colonel of any person or persons having taken the said oath, the Lord Deputy or Chancellor 
shall order letters of denizenship to be passed to him, or them, including twelve in each patent, if it 
should be considered convenient." See Morrin's Calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery 
first series, p. 553. 

This grant could not have been considered of much, if any value, by Sorley Boy, as it does not 

words, he did not wish that the queen should have the misfortune, do now repair unto him, and can better testify 

wardship of any or all of his sons and daughters, which the circumstance of his death, I refer to them the report 

wardship in his case would have been a very oppressive thereof, being sorry of the mishap, which has given the 

affair indeed. Smith, in forwarding this communication, Irishmen great cause of rejoicing." Essex, when after- 



recommended that Sorley should be induced lo profess the wards accounting for the manner in which he had employed 

reformed religion, probably as arelief from the oppressions his own soldiers, says, in writing to the queen, on March 

of wardship and marriage, which fell with additional 31, 1575 :—" Indeed, upon the death of sir Thomas 

severity on Roman catholics. See Hamilton's Calendar Smith's son, I gave Mr. Moote, your majesty's pensioner, 

of State Papers, 1st series, p. 508. some countenance in the Ardes, by a few men in wages, 

(103) Thomas Smith, junior. — This gentleman was and after maintained a ward in his house when he was 

slain in the month of October, 1573, (see p. 152, supra), slain." Camden's account of the result of Smith's attempt 

at the instigation of Niall O'Neill, son of Brian surnamed at colonisation is as follows :— " After he (sir Thomas) 

Fagartach. Essex, writing to Burghley, from Carrick- had been at great expense, his natural son whom he had 

fergus, on the 20th of October, says :— " The same day at appointed governor, was surprised, and thrown alive to 

my coming home I received letters from Mr. Moore, the dogs by the Irish; but the abandoned wretches suffered 

pensmner, and from a brother at Mr. Secretary's, that his the punishment of their cruelty, being slain, and given to 

son Thomas Smith had been slain in the Ardes that after- wolves." (Britannia, edited by Gough, vol. iv., p. 422. ) 

noon ; which, as I have since learned, was by the revolt- Camden gives no authority for this story as to the fright- 

ings of certain Irishmen of his own household, to whom ful maimer of Smith's death, and we have not elsewhere 

he overmuch trusted, whereof one being retained by a met with it, nor heard of it, as being in any State docu- 

rebel, Brian Erto O'Neill, did kill him with a shot, and ment. 

was str "-' ken "> tlle nead 5 his men finding his house scant (104) Bishop of Down.— This dignitary was Christopher 

guardable, have sent unto me for a band of horsemen to Browne, who had been a prebendary of St. Patrick's, and 

convey them to Mr. Moore's at Holywood, which this day was warmly recommended to the bishopric of Down as 

1 have sent unto them ; and because some of Mr. Secre- "discreet and learned in the Irish language." See 

tary s kinsmen, and one of his brothers, who beheld this Hamilton's Calendar, 1st series, pp. 484, 495. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 



155 



appear to have affected in the least degree his relations with his allies, the Irishry commanded by 
the O'Neills. On the contrary, only three months after this grant, he and his allies confronted 
the troops of the Pale as far south as Newry, — in fact at their own doors, — disputing the possession 
of that place during a long summer day, or from eight o'clock in the morning until six in the even- 
ing. (105) About the time also of his denization, he had received a royal grant of as much of the 
Glynns as had belonged to the Bysets, being only about two-thirds; but Sorley thought he had good 
enough title to that portion already, and was disappointed that the grant did not include the whole 
Glynns, and the territory of the Route also. It is mentioned in a Macdonnell manuscript, that when 
the queen's patent arrived, Sorley did not receive it with becoming gratitude, but, on the contrary, 
adopted a rather demonstrative method of expressing his disregard of the royal authority. In 
the court-yard of his castle, and in presence of his principal officers, he placed the queen's patent 
and its accompanying documents on the point of his sword, and thrust them into a fire kindled 
specially for the occasion, — announcing, at the same time, that he intended to hold his lands by his 
sword, and not by royal favour ! This incident must have occurred soon before Essex finally dis- 
appeared from Ulster. (106) 

Among the various arrangements which Sydney imagined, and even reported afterwards, that 
he had made in the Route and Glynns, one specially referred to the island of Rathlin. In 1575, 
Essex discovered therein a "castle of very great strength," and recommended that one hundred men 
should be stationed in it, sixty to remain on the island, and the remaining forty to be employed 
principally in carrying water and provisions to their brothers from the mainland ! It was his (Essex's) 
firm conviction that such a force would do better service there against the Scots and Irish than three 
times their number at any other point in the North. Essex had been only able to station forty 
men in Rathlin; and Sydney, making a virtue of necessity, had these unfortunate men removed 
after two months of suffering and privation, which they never afterwards could forget. Sydney refers 
to the matter as if it were entirely optional whether these men should remain or remove; but if, as 
he reported, the Route and Glynns were full of corn and cattle, and the " Scotte verie hawtie and 
proud by reason of the late victories he hath had against our men, fynding the baseness of their 
courages," the truth most probably was, that he had got a pretty decided intimation from Sorley 
Boy to have them removed without delay. Removed forthwith they were, Sydney explaining in 

(105) Evening. — This fact is mentioned in a letter from at first borrowed from the queen. The remainder of 
Fitzwilliam to Burghley, doted at Kilmainham on the his property, however, only sold for ,£10,500, leaving him 
30th June. See Hamilton's Calendar, first series, p. 515; thus ,£15,000 in debt. He then returned to Dublin, to 
see also a letter from sir Nicholas Bagenall, expressing look after his grants of Farney and Islond-Magee, but 
fears, July 25, of another attack on Newry by Sorley Boy died at the metropolis, in September, 1576, under the 
and his allies the O'Neills, p. 519. influence, it was said, of poison administered at the insti- 

(106) From Ulster. — Essex wrote his last communica- gation of Leicester. In a poem entitled Leicester's Ghost, 
tion from Ulster, at Newry, on the 31st of July, 1575. there occurs the following: — 

He thence went to Dublin, where, after a brief delay, he . t 

passed into England taking up his abode for a time at " ^3g$*Z£fg&r* 

Durham House, on the south side of the Strand; the site j n [ re i a nd did pn.nact tin; tune too Ions, 

of this residence is now occupied by the Adelphi. From While some in England ingled underhand, 

this place he issued several letters to the queen and others And at his cumis homeward to this land 

, ' . 1 ■ 1 j r . .. .1 *■ II- cr *u He died with poison, as tney say, lliiei led, 

bemoaning his hard fate, at the same time selling off the Nut without c J use] for ve „„„ nC e 1 bU spectecl." 

remainder of his estate to meet a debt cf ,£25,000 expenses 

incurred in his attempt against Ulster, besides the ,£10,000, —See Somers' Tracts, vol. i., p. 275. 



156 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

his report that the men had suffered greatly, that Rathlin was an expensive and useless station, and 
that it could be easily retaken at any time, when necessary. " The Fort of the Raghlins I cawsed 
to be abandoned," said he, " for that I saw little purpose for the present to keepe it ; so small 
commoditie at so great a charge to her majestie, being a place so difficult to be victualled ; they 
within the Piece having no fresh water to relieve them, which, with greate danger to themselves, 
they are forced to fetch abroade. The souldiers I cawsed to be brought hence, being 40 in number ; 
they confessed that in this small tyme of their continuance there, they were driven to kill their horses 
and eat them, and to feed on theim, and young coltes' flesh, one moneth before they came away, 
soch extremitie they endured for victuals ; it is a Piece verie easy to be wonne at any tyme, but 
very chardgious and hard to be held." Unhappy Sassanach soldiers, the fresh sea-breezes only 
added to their misery by improving their appetites ! There were myriads offish, and almost every 
bird "that dips the wing in water," all around them. Raghery never wanted puffins, which are easily 
caught, and, when skinned, make a wholesome repast in time of need; but the Saxon veterans, it 
seems, could see or think of no victims smaller than their horses ! The island is also most liberally 
supplied with fresh water, having two lakes and thirty-three springs, which, certainly, did not all 
burst into existence since the year 1575. Lough Claggan in the north-west covers about a dozen 
of acres, and the waters of Runaolin in the south-east extend over a space of at least thirty acres. 
Within less than a quarter of a mile from the castle where these men were stationed, there is a well 
as remarkable as it is delicious and abundant, its waters rising and falling with the tide, although 
more than one hundred feet above the level of the surrounding sea, 

In connexion with this island, Sydney mentions an atrocious exploit in which he himself 
took part, and to which he refers with evident pride. When vice-treasurer of Ireland, he accom- 
panied Sussex, the lord-deputy, on two hostings to the north, in 1556 and 1557. "The second 
journey," says he, " the Earl of Sussex made into those quarters of Ulster, he sent me and others 
into the island of Raghlyns, where before, in the time of Sir James Croft's deputyship, Sir Raulf 
Bagnall, Captain Cuff, and others sent by him, landed little to their advantage (see p. 50, supra), for 
there were they hurt and taken, and the most of their men that landed either killed or taken, but 
we landed more politicly and safely, and encamped in the isle until we had spoiled the same, — all 
mankind, corn, and cattle in it." {Calendar of Carew MSS, second series, p. 359). Sydney's party 
were more fortunate than their brother freebooters, for they evidently had to meet no enemy. They 
landed quietly, and encamped in some green nook until they had time to destroy all the crops and 
cattle, and to murder in cold blood every man, woman, and child, on the island ! Sydney did not 
evidently like to say anything of women and children, but they were included in his phrase, " all 
mankind," as applied to the inhabitants. On his first journey with Sussex to the north, in the 
previous year, 1556, he says he performed an exploit, which, by the way, no one else ever mentioned, 
or perhaps ever heard of. " In the first journey," says he, " that the Earl of Sussex made, I killed 
James Mac O'Nell (M'Connell) a mighty captain of Scots." Now, the only mighty captain of 
Scots ever known of this name was James Macdonnell, the eldest brother of Sorley Boy, who, in 
the year mentioned by Sydney, had, in conjunction with his brother Colla, established himself as 
lord of the Route, in despite of all the efforts of both the English and the Macquillins. If there 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. I57 

lad been any other " mighty captain " so called, he would have been frequently named and well 
mown. James Macdonnell, the mighty captain, was living ten years after this deed performed 
upon him by Sydney; and therefore Sydney, in this, as in several other instances, must have 'drawn 
the long bow' to a very considerable extent. 

Although the territories of the Route and Glynns exhibited such unmistakeable evidences of 
prosperity under the powerful sway of Sorley Boy, Sydney strenuously recommended that he should 
be expelled forthwith, as a very troublesome usurper. He would have restored the Glynns to the 
sons of James Macdonnell, thus ignoring altogether the Celtic law of tanistry (see p. 41, supra). 
The Clandonnell in Antrim wanted to hold their territories against English intrusion, and Sorley 
Boy was their adopted leader, simply because he was the most efficient and trustworthy for 
the purpose in hand. Sydney was, no doubt, influenced on this question by his interviews with 
lady Cantire, and her appeals on behalf of her sons. Writing to Walshyngham, he speaks of the 
lady as follows : — -"And truly, sir, I found her a good counsellor to him (Turlough Luinech), a 
well-wilier to peace, and a reverent speaker of the Queen's majesty. She would still persuade him 
to content himself to be a subject, alleging many examples of her own country of Scotland, where 
there was many as great potentates as he was, and her own brother or nephew, the Earl of Argyle 
(I wott not whether, but daughter she was to an Earl of Argyle), (107) who challenged as much 
jura regalia and other sovereignties as he could, and yet contented themselves to submit their 
causes to laws of the realme, and themselves to the king's pleasure. In truth, sir, she was a grave, 
wise, well-spoken lady, both in Scotch, English, and French, and very well mannered." This lady 
Cantire was also styled lady Tyrone, after her marriage with Turlough Luinech O'Neill. By this 
alliance she evidently hoped that she had thus a better chance of securing for her sons the 
family estates of the Glynns. As a general rule, her policy was peace with the government, 
and union of all parties, when possible, against Sorley Boy. She figures in the State Papers, either 
as wise, amiable, and accomplished, or the reverse, just as she is found to declare, from time to 
time, for or against the government. Thus, in 1575, Ralph Bagenall finds her a " verie nobell, 
wysse woman, and as dutyfullie using herself to further the Queen's service every waye, as if she 
weare a naturall borne subjecte ;" whilst in 1577, Sydney, whose eulogistic account of her we have 
quoted above, had entirely changed his mind, and wrote to the council in London that Turlough 
Luinech had become again rebellious, owing to the " lewd counsel of his wife," who had " a design 
to make her younger sons by James Macdonnell .y/a/v& in Ireland !" Many passages might thus be 
quoted from the State Papers for and against the lady, but they really contain no evidence one 
way or other, as to her real character. At the time of her marriage the great northern League 
had been already formed, and as Sorley Boy was the virtual strength of this association, lady 

(107) Of Argyle. — This lady Cantire was the daughter great estates. This lady Cantire's brother, the fourth 

of Colin, third earl of Argyle, who had some serious earl, eventually succeeded in regaining almost all 

difficulties with James V., in the course of which Argyle the dignities enjoyed by his father and grandfather — 

was stripped pretty sharply of his jura regalia. The king among which may be mentioned the offices of lieutenant 

began to reflect that Argyle had received too extensive of the borders, warden of the marches, hereditable 

powers as lieutenant over the Highlands and Isles. Argyle sheriff of Argyleshire, justiciar-general of Scotland, and 

was deprived, therefore, of his commission against the master of the king's household. See pp. 45, 150, 

Isles, and of his honours, but was allowed to hold his supra. 



158 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

Cantire could only wait and watch for some opportunity to advocate the claims of her sons. 
She was thus placed in a difficult position, for Sorley Boy, whom it would have been her interest 
and her wish to weaken, was thoroughly sustained by those multitudinous Scots drawn to Ulster by 
the marriages of herself and her daughter. 

During the ten years succeeding Essex's departure, the Antrim Scots enjoyed a period of com- 
parative quiet, with the exception of occasional alarms and annoyances caused by the English 
garrisons at Carrickfergus and Coleraine. Whatever rumours of wars circulated in the interval 
throughout the Route and Glynns, during the administrations of Sydney, sir William Drury, (108) and 
lord Grey, (109) there was no actual fighting. The best generals and craftiest politicians at the queen's 
command had done their utmost for the expulsion of the Scots, but hitherto in vain. Sorley Boy 
once more reigned without a rival on the coast, whilst his authority was paramount in northern 
Clannaboy, and throughout several territories beyond the Bann. During those halcyon days his 
people literally exchanged their swords for ploughshares, and their Lochaber axes for pruning- 
hooks. (no) The fields began to assume the shapes and dimensions which many of them retain to 
the present day, particularly in the Glynns, whilst herds of cattle appeared on the hill-sides and 
plains. As a general rule, when the Scots had breathing-time from the woeful work of war, they 
aimed at the accumulation of property in cattle, each settler in the Route and Glynns paying 
rent at first, not according to the arable value of the land, but according to the number of cows 
he was able to put on the common pasturage. These cows were counted twice each year, on the 
12th of May and the 12th of November, any defaulter in rent forfeiting a cow, or cows, as the 
case might be. The peace and prosperity then enjoyed by the Scots had no small attractions for 
their countrymen on the Highland hills and in the bleak outer Isles. The two distinguished 
marriage-alliances, however, already mentioned, at p. 151, supra, had greatly increased the influx of 
Scottish settlers at this crisis. In the autumn of 1580, sir Nicholas Malbie, writing to the earl of 
Leicester, (in) refers to this fear-inspiring fact as follows: — "Here is a great bruit of 2000 Scots 
landed in Clandeboye. Tyrlagh Lenagh's marriage with the Scot is cause of all this, and if her 
Majesty do not provide against her devices, this Scottish woman will make a new Scotland of Ulster. 

(108) Drury. — Sir William Drury's native place was period, Sydney has the following severe reflection on 

Hawstead, in the county of Suffolk. In 1575, the queen the administration of the former:— "And surely, sir, 

appointed him president of Munster, and during the few so it (the peace) might have been kept, if the violent 

years of his holding that office, he aimed at thwarting and and intempestyne proceeding of the Earl of Essex and 



akening the authority of the great earl of Desmond. his followers had not ben; for undoubtedlie 

On the departure of Sydney in September, 1578, sir William horses, victualls, and other furniture, as well for the warre 

Drury was sworn in lord-justice of Ireland — an office as husbandtry, was spent and spoyled in that his enter- 

which he held until the time of his death in September, prise, whereof came no good." — See Ulster Journal 0/ 

1579, at Waterford. Arc/ia-ology, vol. iii., p. 96. 

(109) Lord Cny. — Arthur lord Grey of Wilton, was (ill) Leicester. — Robert Dudley, a younger son of that 
appointed lord-deputy of Ireland in July, 15S0, after sir duke of Northumberland who was beheaded for proclaim- 
William Pelham had held the office of lord-justice from ing lady Jane as queen. Dudley was created earl of 
the date of Drury's death. It is curious that lord Grey's Denbigh, September 28, 1563, and earl of Leicester on 
patent to the office does not appear to have been ever in- the following day. In 1575, he gave the queen a memor- 
rolled. (See Liber Muncrum Hibernice, part ii„ p. 4.) able entertainment at Kenilworth castle, which lasted 
He came reluctantly to Ireland, having expected some seventeen days, and cost ^60,000. The full details of 
more congenial appointment from the queen. this grand affair are very fully recorded in Nichol'.- 

(110) Pruning-hooks.— A similar interval of peace had Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, vol. i., pp. 420—526. 
preceded the advent of Essex. Referring to that Leicester died in 1588. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 1 59 

She hath already planted a good foundation ; for she in Tyrone, and her daughter in Tyrconnell, do 
carry all the sway in the North, and do seek to creep into Connaught, but I will stay them from 
that" This increase of Scottish settlers, however, furnished sir John Perrot(ii2) with the pretext 
for another crusade against the North. He was naturally a lover of war and spoil, and being 
appointed deputy in 1584, he appears to have early made up his mind to signalise his administration 
by the expulsion of the Scots. Their daily increasing numbers was the argument employed to the 
queen and council in justification of this wicked project ; and, indeed, Perrot was moreover confirmed 
in his resolution by the discovery that his victims had become so comfortable in their worldly 
condition as to be well worth the spoiler's attention. He informed the council that he had intended 
at first " to look through his fingers at Ulster, as a fit receptacle for all the savage beasts of the 
land" — in other words, to let Ulster alone, and permit the Scots there to follow their own ways ; 
but he adds, the arrival of " many Scots," among whom were " Mac Ilanes" sons, had altered his 
peaceful intentions. Two sons of Maclean of Mull had visited Ulster among other Scottish 
adventurers, and, according to Perrot's account, had greatly excited his suspicions and fears. 

Once more, therefore, the forces of the Pale, and others whom the Pale was able to command, 
were arrayed against the Antrim Scots. The first intimation we have in the State Papers of this 
bloody business is a letter to Perrot from the English council, dated August 15, 1584, informing him 
that arrangements had been made to send soldiers, treasure, and victuals from England to repel the 
Scottish invasion. Next, there is a letter from the Irish secretary, Fenton, (113) to the English 
council, stating that he has been appointed to " attend in the Northern journey," reporting the 
airival of more Scots, and concluding with the gratifying intelligence that Turlough Luinech has 
been detached from Sorley Boy, and would go, taking his son with him, to assist in the expulsion of 
his former allies. Fenton further states that the lord deputy will have 2000 men, besides the 
risings out of the Irishry. On that grand occasion, Perrot took with him all the " protectees of 
Munster ;" in other words, as many soldiers as could be supplied by such leading families in Munster 
as had lived under the protection of the government, during the great Desmond rebellion that had 
then just been quelled in that province. He also compelled subjugated rebels from other quarters 

(112) Sir John Perrot. — This knight was believed to be On the urgent recommendation of sir William Pelham, 
a son of Henry VIII., whom he very much resembled in the lord-justice of Ireland, Fenton was appointed secretary 
personal appearance, and also in his arbitrary temper. of slate. In March, 15S4, Fenton writes to Leicester as 
Sir Robert Naunton states that Perrot "was sent lord- follows:— " Since the death of Sir Nicholas Malbye, the 
deputy into Ireland, as it was then apprehended, for a Justices have committed to me, by way of custodium, the 
kind of haughtiness and repugnance in counsells; or, as young Baron of Leitrim, son to the late created Baron, 
others have thought, the fittest person then to bridle murdered, it is supposed, by his brother, the Earl of 
the insolences of the Irish." Perrot, whilst in Dublin, Clanrickard. They have now written to your Lordship 
often told the council there to "stick not so much upon and Mr. Secretary Walshingham, to be a mean to her 
the queen's letters of commandment, for she may com- Majesty to bestow upon me his wardship and marriage, 
mand what she will, but we will do what we list." He His father's living is dangerously entangled, and subject 
was eventually accused of high treason, and imprisoned in to great traverse and contention in law. If his father's 
the Tower, where he suddenly died, just as the queen had inheritance be recovered, it may bring to my small living 
determined to pardon him. See Somers' Tracts, vol. i., some help dining the minority. I beseech you to be a 
p. 268. mean for her Majesties' letters. The Lords-Justices have 

(113) Fenton. — Sir Geoffry Fenton, a native of Not- not the power to dispose of the wards of noblemen." 
tinghamshire, was twenty-seven years a member of the Fenton died in 1608, and was buried in St. Patrick's, 
Irish Privy Council, during the reigns of Elizabeth and and in the same tomb with his father-in-law, Dr. Robert 
James I. He translated the History of Guicciardini into Weston. See Fuller's Worthies, vol. ii., p. 574; Cairn- 
English, and dedicated this valuable work to the queen. der of Carnu MSS., second series, pp. 276, 374. 



:6o 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM . 



to serve ia this northern expedition, such as the "principals of the O'Connors and the O'Mores, 
(114) not so much," says Fenton, "for the confidence he has in them, as for that he will not leave 
behind him so doubtful men in so loose a time." The letter from which this is an extract was 
written on the 19th of August, and three days later he writes to Walshyngham that the deputy 
would commence his march on the 25th, and that the Donnelaughs and O'Cahans had deserted 
Turlough Luinech and joined the Scots. Among the rebels recently suppressed was the earl of 
Clanrickard, (115) who had written on the 14th that he was prepared to go against the Scots, and 
was then sending forward his son Richard (116) with all haste to join the deputy. On the day ap- 
pointed an immense force moved northward, commanded by Perrot, who was accompanied by the 
earls of Ormonde, (117) Thomond, (1 18) and Clanrickard, sir John Norris, Hugh O'Neill, baron of 



(114) O'Mores. — The fierce and protracted struggles of 
these septs against the English rule are sufficiently memor- 
able. The O'Mores and O'Connors fought through 
eighteen insurrections during a period of sixty years ! 
Down to the time of Essex, their suppression had cost the 
state more than ,£ 200,000, whilst the means employed by 
Elizabeth to prevent them from recovering their estates 
cost in soldiery alone twelve-fold her rents; nor was there 
any peace until their swordsmen were extirpated, and 
the common people of these clans driven into Kerry. 
After sixty years of struggle, which ended so disastrously 
for these hapless Irish, they declared they would rather 
perish where they were born than live elsewhere. (See 
Ulster Journal of Archeology, vol. iii., pp. 341, 342). 
Perrot appears to have completed the butchery of the 
principal men of the O'Mores. Writing to Leicester, 
afterwards, in April, 15S7, Perrot records his own brutal 
murders thus boastfully:— "I caused to be hanged Conell 
M'Lysaghe O'.More, Lisaghe M 'William O'More, three 
notable men of the Kellies, and I have Conell M'Kedaghe 
O'More's head upon the top of the castle, so as there 
remaineth not one principal of the O'Mores, but Shane 
M'Rosse, who was within these four days sore hurt, and 
like to be killed ; and so was Walter Roghe also ; whose 
heads I am promised very shortlie. / have also taken the 
young fry of all the Mores, saving one whom I am 
promised to have. So as I do not know one dangerous 
man of that sept left." ( Calendar of Carao MSS., second 
series, p. 442.) Fenton, when writing to the earls of 
Warwick and Leicester, tells a lamentable tale of the last 
leading man among the O'Connors. "Since my last," 
he says, "two of the O'Connors were couvented before 
the Council last week, to debate such challenges as they 
had one against the other. The one was called Tiege 
M'Gillpatrick, and the other Connor M'Cormok." The 
government, in a word, set these hapless men by the 
ears, and now instigated them to destroy each other. 
Fenton goes on to tell, as delightful news to the English 
earls, that the one O'Connor challenged the other — that 
the lords-justices and council decided that the fight 
should come off the following morning "in the inner 
couit of the castle of Dublin"— that Fenton himself, the 
chief-secretary, presided on the occasion— that Tiege 
O'Connor slew his adversary and kinsman, cutting off 
his head and presenting it to the English officials who 
witnessed the slaughter— that Tiege then sent the sword 
with which he had done this deed as a present to the earl 
of Leicester, Fenton concluding his letter with the prayer 



— " I would her Majesty had the same end of all the 
O'Connors in Ireland." The reader may see Fenton's 
letter in exlenso printed in the Calendar of Carew MSS., 
second series, pp. 361, 362. 

(115) Clanrickard.— Ulick Burke, the third earl of 
Clanrickard, who, although at first wavering in his 
loyalty to the queen's government, was soon confirmed 
therein by the drift of events. He afterwards assisted sir 
Richard Bingham to crush the rebellion in Connaught, 
and for so doing was rewarded by receiving large grants 
from the crown of the rebels' forfeited lands in that pro- 
vince. He married a daughter of Richard, earl of 
Arundel, by whom he left a family of six sons and two 
daughters. He died in 1601. The younger of his 
daughters, lady Honora, became the wife of the veteran 
sir Nicholas Malbie. See Lodge's Peerage, edited by 
Archdall, vol. i., p. 130. 

(116) His son Richard.— This was the successor of 
Ulick, the third earl, and was known afterwards as 
Richard of Kinsale, because of the bravery he exhibited 
at the battle there in 1601. This young noble received 
the honour of knighthood in the year 1584. His father, 
the third earl, although loyal in the time of Perrot's ad- 
ministration, became refractory again during the rebellion 
of Hugh O'Neill, and Richard, the son, "put himself as 
a gage and bridle to his father's proceedings," and at the 
battle of Kinsale — such was the fury of his loyalty — he 
killed no fewer than twenty Irish kerne with his own 
hand. This earl married Fiances, the daughter of sir 
Francis Walshingham, who had been previously married, 
first to sir Philip Sydney, and next to Robert Devereux, 
earl of Essex. He died in 1635. See Lodge, edited 
by Archdall, vol. i., pp. 131 — 134. 

(117) Ormonde.— Thomas Butler, the tenth earl, and 
generally known as the great earl. At the time of 
this expedition in 1584, Ormonde had been thirty- 
three years in the public service. One of the Carew 
MSS. is entitled, A Short Note of some parts of 
Thomas Earl of Ormond's sendees and employments at 
several times these 33 years fast. "He began his mili- 
tary services as a lieutenant in Wyatl's rebellion, and 
served with the Earl of Sussex in all his journeys to 
the North against the Scots, taking 200 horse and 500 
foot at his own expense, and fighting on foot at every 
engagement with the enemy." Towards the close of 
his career, he was appointed lord general of Munster, 
where," it is stated, " he executed and put to the sword 46 
captains and leaders under Desmond, with 800 noted 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 1 6 1 

Dungannon, and several gallant captains. This great host divided itself into two sections, and 
marched down both banks of the Bann on Dunluce. But Perrot had hardly time to commence this 
movement when rumours got afloat that there really was no Scottish invasion at all, and that the im- 
mense expense and uproar of the expedition might have well been spared ! These rumours, which 
were endorsed by Mr. Davyson or Davison, (i 19) a high authority in such matters, made a deep im- 
pression on the queen and her council. On the 31st of August, not a week after Perrot had left 
Dublin, he received a letter from the council in London, plainly intimating that the report abovemen- 
tioned had become general, and concluding with the following significant hint : — " You are not 
ignorant how loth we are to be carried into charges, and how we would rather spend a pound forced 
by necessity, than a penny for prevention." Elizabeth, when writing to Perrot several months after- 
wards, supplied a paragraph in her own hand, rebuking him sharply for believing that so great a num- 
ber of Scots had then arrived, and cautioning him against such rash unadvised journies in future ! 
It was an easy matter for Perrot and his large well-appointed force to march unopposed, and 
seize the fortress of Dunluce, which was then held by only a small garrison. Sorley was evidently 
unprepared for such a fierce and powerful invasion, and the few .neighbouring septs who had hastily 
joined him, seeing the hopelessness of their efforts, almost as hastily took their departure. Perrot, 
having committed himself to the work, naturally endeavoured to represent its results in as favourable 
a light as possible ; but there is little candour among the writers of these State letters, and on them, 
unfortunately, we are dependent for our meagre knowledge of the events which they describe, or 
rather distort, so as to answer their own ends. Fenton writes from Dunluce, on the 14th of Decem- 
ber, stating that Perrot was then at the Bann with O'Neill and his wife, (1 20) and that the siege of the 
Rock of Dunluce was proceeding. The battery used was a " culverin and two shakers of brass." 

traitors, and above 4,000 of Iheir men. This was in and chattels), to walk very warily in future, and neither 

1580. Some of his troop, after he was discharged from to "marry, gossope, nor foster contrary to the statute 

Munster, executed and put to the sword four captains and in that behoofe provided. " He died in 1636, and was 

33 of their men. In his last time of Government of buried in St. Patrick's. See Lodge's Peerage, edited by 

Munster, the Earl of Desmond (Garret Fitzgerald, 16th Archdall, vol. ii., p. 30. 

Earl of Desmond, and Ormonde's stepfather) was put to (119) Davison. — This man, whose parentage is un- 

the sword by Ormond's directions, with 3S captains, and known, rose by his talent and address to be a secretary 

747 traitors. Since his last discharge from Munster, and of stale, and appears to have been connected by marriage 

after the landing of Sir John Perrot as Deputy, he executed with the Dudleys, Sydneys, and other noble families. lie 

six leaders, and 63 other traitors." {Calendar of Carew wasthechief instrument in the hands of Elizabeth for carry- 

3ISS., second series, pp. 414, 415.) A Munster poet, ing out the execution of Mary queen of Scots, no other of 

named Eugene Magrath, has celebrated this earl's military Elizabeth's ministers being willing to incur the odium of 

career. The following is a translation of that portion of being publicly connected with that brutal transaction, 

his poem which refers to Ormonde's doings in the north: — Davison died in 160S, deserted by his former associates, 



and afflicted by the evils of extreme poverty. See 
Nichol's Autographs. 
Twice he set fjlen-Concadhairi on fire. (l20) And his wife. — This residence occupied by Tur- 

This wealthy .in.! tei.il.-r-he.irted chieftain; lough Luinech was situated on the western bank of the 

He left no herds around Loughneagh- Ba ;„ the imme diate vicinity of Coleraine. It was 

The seer so provident and bountiful. , * ~ .. , ~ , ^ ,, , -r T _„„ 

known as Castleroe or ' Red-Castle. In 1579, one 
{Kilkenny Archtzol. Journal, vol. i., p. 477.) When this Mantis O'Cahan proposed to expel Turlough Luinech 
poem was written the island of Rathlin, being one of the from this place, and bring in certain Spanish merchanls 
Hebrides, was supposed to belong to Alba or Scotland. to conduct the fishings on the Bann. When lady Cantire. 

(118) Tlwmond. — Connor or Cornelius O'Brien, third Turlough Luinech's wife, wrote to Elizabeth and the 
earl of Thomond. He joined the rebellion conducted by earl of Morton, her letters were dated from the "Roott," 
James Fitzmaurice (see p. 53, supra), and for so doing but the name of the residence is not given. It was, 
he was compelled, in 1572, to enter into a recognizance most probably, however, in Castleroe those epistles were 
(under the penalty of ,£10,000, to be levied off his lands penned. 



1 62 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

The day after the date of Fenton's letter Perrot returned to the camp before Dunluce, and wrote a 
long statement to the Privy Council, in which he boldly vindicates his own course. In this letter 
is the following passage : — " As Surleboyhad entertained a number of Scots, joining to him O'Cahan 
and Brian Carragh, and had gotten by the sword the Rowte, part of the Glinnes, Magwillins, and 
other landes, (121) I entered into action against him on both sides of the Ban. O'Cahan hath 
come in, and Brian Carragh maketh meanes to be received to mercy. Because Sorley shuns my 
side of the Ban (Clandeboye), I have sent over to the Lord President of Munster (Sir John Norris), 
on the Tyron side, some of my horsemen, footemen, and Kerne." (122) Perrot was greatly mistaken 
if he imagined that Sorley avoided the eastern bank of the Bann from any other than purely strategic 
considerations. Of the report circulated by Davison that only a very few Scots had really come to 
Ulster, Perrot says — " they were in number little fewer, their training and furniture no worse, and 
their purpose no better than I wrote." " Myself, and the rest of my company," he continues, " are 
incamped before Dunluce, the strongest piece of this realme, situate upon a Rocke hanging over 
the sea, divided from the main with a brod, deepe, rocky ditch, natural and not artificial, and having 
no way to it but a small necke of the same rocke, which is also cutt off very deep. It hath in it a 
strong ward, whereof the capten is a natural Scot, who when I sent to summon them to yielde, 
refused talke, and proudly answered, speaking very good English, that they were appointed and 
would keep it to the last man for the king of Scots use, which made me to draw thither." This 
answer of the proud Scot is evidently retailed by Perrot with much prominence, as if on it he 
would have been justified in " drawing thither" — a very mild way of characterising his noisy and 
expensive invasion of Ulster. See Calendar of Carew MSS., second series, p. 380. 

The deputy no doubt secretly felt very much disappointed that he had really no enemy to 
encounter, the actual state of affairs in Antrim fully corroborating the truth of the general rumours. 
Except the small garrison in Dunluce castle, there were hardly any Scottish soldiers to be found, 
and Sorley Boy had actually gone across the Bann to look after such as could be made available in 
the emergency. Perrot, however, makes the most of any small affairs in the way of skirmishing 
that occurred. On the 17th of September, he wrote to the council as follows : — " The ward of this 
castle of Dunluce, being 40 men, most part Scots, have surrendered. Lord President (Norris) has 
lighted upon Sorley's people and creaghs, killed certain of them and taken a great prey. I have 
taken Dunferte, (123) the ward being fled; likewise another Pyle by Portrushe. (124) The Raghlin 

(121) Other landes.— What the ' other lands' were to cast with wonderful facility and nearness. Within these 

which Perrot here alludes, we cannot imagine. Sorley few years they have practised the musket and callyver, 

Boy had possession of the Route, including Macquillin's and are grown good and steady shots." According to the 

lands, and one-third part of the Glynns, his nephew, same authority, " Irish horsemen are armed with head- 

Donnell Gorm, having the other two-thirds. The one pieces, shirts of mail, a sword, a skeine, and a spear, 

third of these territories, thus held by Sorley, comprised They ride on pads without stirrups. In joining battle, 

the two districts of Munerie and Carey, now known as they do not bear the lance under arm, and so put it to the 

Ramoan with the grange of Drumtullagh, and Culfeigh- rest, but, taking it by the middle, bear it above the arm, 

trin. There were no charges in this indictment which and so encounter." 

had not been generally known, and certainly none to (123) Dunferte. — A small portion of the ruins of this 

justify an appeal to force in the settlement of them. castle may still be seen on the coast, at a place called 

(122) Kerne. — In Dimmock's Treaties of Ireland, Blackhill, between Portrush and Portstewart. The old 

Kerne are described as "footmen, slightly armed with name of Dunferte has become obsolete, and the ruin is 

a sword and target of wood, or a bow and sheaf of now known in the locality as Ballyreagh castle, 
arrows with barbed heads ; or else three darts which they (124) Portrushe. — This pyle, or castle, stood near 



SORLEY BOY MACDCXNNELL. 



I6 3 



is now all the refuge left him ; it hath been the Scots accustomed landing-place. Having shipping 
at hand, I have appointed 200 or 300 footmen to go thither to-morrow for the taking thereof." 
(Calendar of the Carew MSS., second series, p. 380.) This is Perrot's last dispatch from Dunluce, 
but on his return to Dublin, he wrote on the 25th of October, communicating the following very 
gratifying intelligence of rapine and disaster inflicted by his soldiers on the Scots : — " The Lord 
President (Norris), the Baron of Dungannon (Hugh O'Neill), Mr. Thomas Norris, and Edward 
Barkley, did good service against Sorley Boy, the Scots, and the Irish, in Glancomkine. (125) After 
this small blow on that side of the Ban, and the taking of his Forts and followers on this side, his 
forces were scattered, and he doth keep his fastness. (126) Where before he was lord over 50,000 
cows, and ruled over that end of the Realme, by aid of the Scots, his countrymen, he has now scarce 
1500 cows to give him milk. Should he get no favour at my hands, it is said he means to go to 
Scotland if he can. I have placed garrisons at Colrane and Knockfergus, almost all of the old pay. 
The natural subjects of that province, the Macquillins, desirous to be freed from the Scots, came to 
me without protection or pardon. I dismissed them to meet me at the Nurie. I won them there to 
a conditional composition to find her Majesties garrisons in bread and drink. (127) I could not go 
over to the Rawlin (Rathlin) to dispossess Sorley and the Scots of that refuge also, because the 
waters might have arisen and stopped my return for want of bridges, (boats ?) and we had great 
want of victuals, but I trust ere it be long, it will be taken." (128) Calendar of Carew MSS., second 
series, 383. 

could have induced them to keep at a respectful distance 
from this retreat, which Perrot here speaks of as if it had 
been a giant's den not to be approached. 

(127) Bread and drink. — The garrisons here meant 
were those of Coleraine, Dunluce, and whatever minor 
positions the government had been able to seize on the 
coast. Among the latter was Dunanynie. Coleraine 
appears to have had a strong garrison. Among the 
" Articles indented and agreed upon between the lords of 
Ulster and sir John Perrot" in that year(i5S4) was one 
dated September 14, by which Theobald M'Guilly, the 
chief of his name, covenanted to maintain 100 footmen in 
garrison at Colrane, and 25 horsemen; every horseman 
for his victual to have the same allowances as the foot- 
men had, and for their horses he was to provide them oats 
sufficient. Each footman was to have 20s every 
quarter, either in money or in cattle. Every soldier be- 
sides, whether footman or horseman, was to have two 
' medders' of oatmeal and one ' medder' ot butter every 
five days. The captain of 100 men was to have eight 
such allowances, every lieutenant four, and every ensign, 
Serjeant, drummer, and surgeon two. See Calendar of 
Carew MSS. , second series, pp. 3S2, 383. 

(128) Will be taken.— The hope here expressed by 
Perrot was soon afterwards realised, but the captors, as 
in former instances, were soon fain to abandon the island. 
On the 22nd of March following, Bagenall, Stanley, and 
Barkley, addressed a joint letter from Carrickfergus to 
Perrot, informing him of captain Thornton's "great and 
sufficient service in transporting them to the Raghlins. 
Captain Henshaw had been left to ward the Raghlins and 
Donanany. Had sent away Roche's bark with 20 men. 
Escape of O'Hara and the rest of the pleges." On the 



the old church — at the base or root of the tongue 
running westward into the sea, and known locally as 
Ramore. 

(125) Glancomkine. — This rather celebrated district, 
which forms the western portion of the barony of Lough- 
inshollin, county of Derry, is mentioned by the Four 
Masters, who call it Gleann-Concadhain, at the years 
1526, and 15S4. Cn Norden's Map, it is marked 
Clanconcan. Speed's Map presents it as Glankaukvue, 
lying between " Carnantogher" and "Slew Gallon." 
English commissioners, in 1 591, had spoken of it by the 
name of Clonconkayne. (See Colton's Visitation, edited 
by Reeves, p. 125.) Sir John Davis, who passed through 
this place in the year 1608, has the following remarks : — • 
"From Dunganon, wee passed into the countie of 
Coleraine, through the glinnes and woodes of Clanconkeyn 
where the wilde inhabitantes did as much wonder to see 
the King's Deputy, as the goastes in Virgill did wonder 
to see vEneas alive in Hell. But his Lordship passing 
that waye was of good importance 2 wayes for his Ma'ies 
service ; for both himselfe and all the officers of the armey 
have discovered that unknown fastness ; and also the 
people of the countrie, knowing their fastness to be dis- 
covered, will not trust so much therein as heretofore ; 
which made them preseam (presume) to comitt so many 
thefts, murders, and rebellions ; for assuredly they 
preseam ed more upone our ignorance of their contreys 
than upone their own strength." See Ulster Journal oj 
A rchaeology, vol iii., p. 1 70. 

(126) His fastness. — See preceding note. Perrott's 
officers must have known the locality of this fastness, but 
were evidently afraid to enter it. They appear to have 
known exactly were Sorley was; and only fear, therefore, 



164 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

In the foregoing extracts there is evidence of the loose and unscrupulous style in which these 
despatches generally were got up. One fact, however, is only too evident. The English soldiers 
and their Irish allies being so numerous, and having so little fighting to do, engaged in the wholesale 
spoiling of cattle, and the plunder of all sorts of other property. In times of war, it was customary 
with the inhabitants to collect their cattle and drive them about in herds to keep them as 
much as possible under the protection of the military force. But, unfortunately for the Scottish 
settlers, they had been surprised on this occasion, so that there was no military force sufficient to 
afford them protection, and no time to have their cattle hidden in fastnesses out of the spoilers' 
reach. The fifty thousand head of cattle pasturing on the plains between the Bann and the Bush 
did not belong to Sorley Boy, as Perrot supposed, but were the property of the Irish and Scottish 
dwellers in the Route. This fine herd did not even include the cattle belonging to the inhabitants 
of the Glynns. The latter were robbed of their flocks by English forces issuing soon afterwards from 
Carrickfergus. As a means of preserving them, the people throughout the Glynns drove their 
cattle into bogs and morasses, and were thus occasionally able to baffle their pursuers ; but the 
latter, when led by such men as Perrot, brutally destroyed any cattle they could not easily remove 
from these morasses. Perrot says nothing in reference to any other property than cattle stolen by 
his soldiers, but he sends certain significant presents to his friends, Walshingham and Burghley, 
which plainly enough prove that Sorley's residences had been plundered of their contents. To 
Walshyngham, he sends a " mazor" (129) garnished with silver gilt, and having Sorley Boy's arms 
graven in the bottom. This mazor or bowl was no doubt a valuable affair, being thought worthy by 
the spoilers of presentation to Perrot, who, in his turn, considered it a fitting gift for his English 
friend. Sorley Boy's coat armorial was no doubt nearly, if not entirely, the same as that worn 
by his great ancestor, Somerled of Argyle. Randal, son of Somerled, gave a charter to the abbey 
of Paisley, and curiously enough, this charter still preserves the original impression of the family 
seal, which bears on one side a ship filled with men at arms, and on the reverse the figure of an 
armed man on horseback with a drawn sword in his hand. (130) 

1st of May, a Mr. John Price wrote to Walshyngham, Thomas Flemyng, part of the goods of the late rebel 

from the camp at Edondaffcarrick, stating, among other Shane O'Neal!. Among these are bason and ewer, 87 oz., 

matters, that the " island of Raghlins is very barren, full flat bowl, 92 oz., standing cups, flat cups, mazers, &c. 

of heath and rocks, and there is not any woods in it at See Third Report on Historical Manuscripts, p. 227. 
all." The island had evidently remained without inha- (130) In his hand. — See Orig. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., 

bitants from 1574, when, as we shall see, its people were p. 2, note. As to be expected, the family arms have 

cruelly massacred by English soldiers. As it had thus become more complicated in modern days. They are 

lain wa^te for the space of ten years, Perrot's men no now, according to Lodge, " Quarterly (1) Topaz, a Lion 

doubt found it bleak enough. They were only too happy Rampant, Ruby, for MacDonnell. (2) Topaz, a Dexter 

to abandon it when the peace came between Sorley and Arm issuant from the Sinister Fess-Point, out of a Cloud, 

the English in 1586. See Hamilton's Calendar, second Proper, holding a Crosslet fitchee, Saphire, said to be 

series, pp. 556, 562. assumed from one of the families assisting St. Patrick to 

(129) Mazor. — Among the family jewels and valuables reduce the Irish to civility, and to propagate the Christian 

of sir Colin Campbell, in 1640, was " ane greate maser, faith. (3) Pearl, a Ship with the sails furled up, Diamond, 

with ane silver lip, quhilk will containe a quart, quhilk (4) Parti, per fees, a Saphire and Emerald, the under part 

also has ane silver foote ; and ane uther little maser with wavey, a Dolphin naiant in fess, Pearl." (Lodge's Peerage, 

silver lip and foote, with ane cover double over gilt." vol. i., p. 214.) A lion was the general badge of the 

(See Inne,'s Sketches of early Scottish History, p. 509). Celtic tribes. In ancient families not many instances 

Among the MSS. preserved at Penshurst, Kent, the seat occur where the supporters are figures of creatures long 

of lord De LTsle and Dudley, is a note of plate received supposed to be extinct. The Highlanders appear to 

by sir Henry Sydney, deputy of Ireland, at the hands of have had less fancy than others for these uncouth de- 



SOR.LEY BOY MACDONNELL. 1 65 

To Burghley, Perrot sends a still more curious present, found also among Sorley's household 
treasures. " And for a token," says Perrot, " I have sent you Holy Columkill's Cross, a god of 
great veneration with Surley Boy and all Ulster, for so great was his (Columkill's) grace, as happy 
he thought himself that could get a kiss of the said cross. I send him unto you, that when you 
have made some sacrifice to him, according to the disposition you bear to idolatry, you may, if you 
please, bestow him upon my good Lady Walshyngham, (131) or my Lady Sydney, (132) to wear as a 
Jewell of weight and bigness, and not of price or goodness, upon some solemn feast or triumph day 
at court." Could this have been the cross which St. Columba received from Pope Gregory the 
Great as a distinguished mark of his favour and approval? The circumstances of the memorable 
gift are told in detail by Columba's Irish biographer, O'Donnell, who states that the cross 
was preserved in Tory Island, at the date of his writing, a.d. 1532. "This altar cross," says Dr. 
Reeves, "is not now (1857) known to exist, but from the description it would seem that it was 
cased in metal, and adorned with crystal bosses, like the cross of Cong preserved in the 
Museum of the Royal Irish Academy." (See Adamnaiis Life of St. Columba, edited by Dr. 
Reeves, pp. 318,319.) May not this relic have found its way from Tory Island to Dunluce or 
Dunanynie, as to a place of safety ? And may it not still be preserved in some English cabinet of 
curiosities? 

During the skirmishing in the vicinity of Dunluce, and elsewhere, no one of the deputy's party 
had been able to get a glimpse of Sorley Boy. One said that he was hiding beyond the Bann ; 
another, that he had gone to Scotland; whilst Perrot himself affirmed that should Sorley be able to 
make his escape he would certainly do so ; or, if not, that he might soon be expected to submit. 
Sorley, however, was nowhere to be found; and even his nephew, Donnell Gorm, who had been 
coquetting with Perrot in hope of obtaining the Glynns, " was discovered not to be so honest as 
was looked for." Donnell, however, knew pretty well that his uncle would soon show himself, and 
did not dare to incur the old warrior's wrath by any, even the slightest act, in favour of the foe. 
The Macquillins also probably knew this, when they, very wisely, would only enter into a ' con- 
fenders of their arms. At tournaments, and other public her first husband, sir Philip Sydney, she married Robert 
displays, their clansmen stood by their shields in naked Devereux, earl of Essex. When the scaffold deprived her 
fierceness, as in the Macdonnell coat armorial; or in their of him, she lastly married lord St. Albans. (See 
native breacan or tartan, as in those of many other High- Hamilton's Calendar, 1574— 1584, pp. 209,489, 515, 
land chieftains. See Logan's Scottish Gael, vol. i. p. 518, 547, 561 ; see also Somers's Tracts, vol. i., p. 
292. 263.) John St. Barbe, no doubt a connexion of lady 

(131) Laity Walshyngham.— This lady's name was St. Walshyngham, got an extensive grant of lands in 1603, 
Barbe, but we know not to what family she belonged. from James I. These lands had belonged to the 
It is evident, however, from the many references to her O'Connors of Roscommon. The name St. Barbe was 
in the letters of her husband's correspondents that she pronounced and often spelled, as in this grant, Simberbe ; 
must have been a general favourite. Sir Richard later it was simply Birte. This gentleman, who dwelt at 
Byngham, who appears to have been a family connexion, a place called Turrock in Roscommon, left three 
addresses several letters to her, mentioning always his daughters, named respectively Joan, Mabell, and Chris- 
progress as an officer in the Irish service. A gentleman tian Birte. who obtained a grant in 161 1, of four quarters 
named Richard Shee, sends her a "flacket," probably a of land adjoining Castle Turrock. See Patent Rolls of 
flasket, of Aquavita from Ireland. Sir Henry Sydney's James I., pp. 16, 249. 

son, Philip, was married to Walshyngham's daughter, and (132) Lady Sydney.— Sir Henry Sydney's wife was 

hence the former, in 1584, writing from Ireland styles lady Mary Dudley, daughter of John, duke of North- 
Walshyngham " brother," his lady, " my lady your wife umberland, and sister to the earls of Warwick and 
my verie good sister," and their daughter, " my daughter." Leicester. She was mother of the celebrated sir Philip 
This daughter was their sole heir, and after the death of Sydney. 



1 66 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

ditional composition' to supply bread and drink to the garrison of Coleraine. Perrot, however, did 
not consider his presence longer required in the North, and withdrew to Dublin. Very soon 
afterwards, a sharp-witted English officer, named Carleill, was able so to interpret the sounds on the 
northern breezes blowing from the Isles, as to inform Walshyngham, his father-in-law, that Sorley 
had 4000 Islesmen ready to return with him, and to assist him " in taking back his lands." In the 
meantime, however, Perrot received two letters of very equivocal import, from two of his most 
esteemed agents. The first came from sir Henry Bagenall at Knockfergus, telling of a battle in 
which some Scottish officers are named as being killed, and among the rest Donnell Cassyleye, 
Sorley's guidon-bearer, (133) with forty of the common soldiers. But although Bagenall can tell of 
the losses sustained by the enemy, he says nothing of his own, and concludes hastily with an urgent 
demand for more men and a liberal supply of spades, shovels, and other such useful implements. 
The second letter came also from Knockfergus, and was written by Nicholas Dawtry, (134) who had 
charge of the queen's stores there. He was also seneschal of Clannaboy, the Dufferin,and Killultagh; 
but he writes to Perrot acknowledging his inability to have Sorley Boy, or his son, assassinated, not- 
withstanding the favourable opportunities he may well be supposed to have had for the perpetration 
of such an act. It could not be done, however, for the Scots had banished all of Irish birth and 
combined in assured friendship. Dawtry adds that he himself and 102 others are wounded, without 
saying a word of their slain. The fact, however, of such a number of wounded is significant enough. 
Another officer, named William Bowen, writes from the camp, in 'Lesbryn in Clandebuy,' 
referring to the conflict, in which Donnell Gorm commanded, and " Alexander Carragh was sore 
wounded." Bowen concludes by asking the constableship of Dunluce, and stating, as a report, 
that a great force of Scots was coming over from Scotland. 

These letters had hardly been dispatched by Perrot to Walshyngham, when another 
reached the latter from an agent named Beverley, telling him that the sea had become 
so very boisterous that victualling could not be got to Coleraine. " Of thes things," says 
Beverley, " I thought it my dutie to signifie unto your Honnour, with desire hereafter to avoide 
the wynter victlinge northwards (namelie Colrane), where there is no haven or harbour to 
succor anie barck above 14 tonn, but are constrayned to lie at sea in open roodes with their 
victualls, where the ocean sea raiseth such a billow as can hardlie be endured by the greatest 

(133) Guidon-leaver. — Guidon, sometimes written Guyd- more modern times the banner was only edged with 
hommc, came to signify the flag or standard, though twisted silk or fringe, and was charged with the separate 
strictly speaking this was the designation of the person quarterings of the chief or noble before whom it was 
who carried it. The Scottish Gael named the soldier carried. The name of Sorley's standard-bearer, M'Cassy- 
who had the honour of bearing aloft the battle-flag Fear- /eye, is perhaps incorrectly written by Bagenall. 
go-saelan, ' the man with the standard.' Every leading (134) Dawtry. — This captain Dawtrie appears to 
chieftain of the Gael, Irish and Scottish, had his hereditary have been employed by Perrot on difficult and delicate 
standard-bearer, an office which was generally enjoyed by missions. At this time serious complications had arisen 
one family, and to which a liberal remuneration in lands between the English and Scottish governments on the 
and perquisites was always attached. The material of subject of piracies which had become frequent in the 
which these old Celtic flags were made is not easily deter- Channel, and Dawtrie was sent to James VI. to have 
mined. In a poem entitled the Death oj Fraoich, nearly the whole question arranged. See Montgomery Mann- 
as, old, it is supposed, as the time of Oisin, the writer scripts, new edition, p. 121, note. For two interesting 
speaks of the Bratach-sroil, or 'silken-flag,' but it is letters of this captain Nicholas Dawtrie, see Hamilton's 
probable that the term now used to designate silk was Calendar, second series, pp. 507,539. For references to 
formerly applied to any material of very fine texture. In him, see Ibid., pp. 340, 341, 375, 433, 571, 577. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 1 67 

shipps. (135) And skante once in 14 daies thos wynter seas will suffer anie smale vessel to laye 
the shippes aboarde to unlaid the victuals." The difficulty also of landing stores at Marketon or 
Ballycastle Bay, was as great, if not greater, than at Coleraine. On the 20th of January, 1584, 
Beverley informs Burghley of having made attempts there to victual 2000 men, employed against 
the Scots in that immediate district, and of the great waste or loss of the stores which had occurred. 
The mariners, he states, were forced to unlade the victual at Marketon Bay on rafts, wading up to 
the neck where boats could not be employed. On the same day, sir Henry Wallop, the treasurer- 
at-war, wrote to Walshyngham, dwelling warmly on the evils of this new campaign, which, he 
says, " was against the minds of the Council," and in which " our men (the English) take the worst 
in every encounter." Wallop is particularly wroth on " the iniquity oj Marketon Bay" where the 
victual had to be brought to the shore on a raft. (136) We have here at last got one candid 
witness, and his statement as to the results of the campaign contrasts curiously with the accounts 
supplied by the officers, who felt, indeed, that they need not communicate with Perrot at all, unless 
they could tell him of victories over the Scots. After the announcement made by himself on com- 
mencing his grand march northward, he is now sorely puzzled in being obliged, three months after- 
wards, to inform the English council of a real Scottish invasion, " in an unwonted season, manner, 
arid number." Perrot saw no way out of his dilemma than to blame the council for not sending 
600 men as he had requested, and to admit at the same time that the Scots, as soldiers, were superior 
to the English soldiers of the Pale. He enclosed on that occasion two letters, which, although 
written in the usual boasting and unreliable style of the English officers, are nevertheless highly 
interesting as records of the progress of this final struggle between themselves and the Scots in 
Antrim. The first of these letters was written by sir William Stanley on the 5th of January, 1584, at 
Dunanynie near Ballycastle, and is as follows : — 

" My verie good Cozen, — The day I wrote to you last, being the first of this moneth, by 
Shane M'Brian, (137) I marched from the Lough to the Abbey of Banymargey (138) where I found 

(135) Greatest shipps.— -The difficulty to which Beverley for the accommodation of boats and little smacks, whilst 
refers arises from the complete exposure of this part of the harbour, built at great expense to the public in 1738, 
the coast to the fury of the Atlantic in stormy weather. has been long since utterly useless. 

The waves have built up an immense barrier of sand (137) Shane M'Brian.— Notwithstanding the cruel fate 

across the mouth of the Bann, and running parallel with of this chieftain's father, sir Brian Mac Felim O'Neill, 

the shore for an extent of several miles. This barrier, we here find that Shane had taken the side of the 

which is locally known as the Bar, shuts out large English against his family ally, the Scots. It is stated 

vessels from ascending the Bann to Coleraine, as the also by Perrot, in a letter to the English council, 

depth of the water on this sand-bank is at times but ten dated June, 1585, that Shane had proved himself an 

feet, and more frequently only five or six. active agent in assisting to expel the Scots. " By 

(136) On a raft. — The great waste or loss of victuals letters of March 3, we informed you of the service 
here occurred, no doubt, from the stores being swept off in the North. The Scots little looked that our service 
the rafts by the fury of the waves, but where, or why, the would endure through the winter season. Angus 
men were required to wade up to their necks at the work M'Donnell made no long abode there after his landing. 
of unlading, it is not now easy to understand. The open- The last and chief material remaining of them were with 
ings of Glentow and Glenshesk once formed an estuary, M'Donnell Ballagh, a man of accompt amongst them, 
at the head of which was evidently the ancient landing- and specially noted for that he was a chief actor at the 
place at this point on the coast, but there was no time killing of captains Baker and Chatterton and their bands, 
since, in which rafts, or boats, could not have easily He and his men were getting away too, and a couple of 
floated into Port-Briltas, without the labour of wading, galleys were come to fetch them over, but Shan M'Krian 
as above-mentioned. The ancient landing-place, once having good spial upon them, did, by direction of Sir 
known as Port-Briltas, is still to some extent available Harry Bagenall and Sir William Stanley, draw captain 



168 



THE MACDOXNELLS OF ANTRIM, 



captayne Carleill (139) and about 47 men of his and captayne Warrens (140) horsemen. The 
horsemen were loged in the church, and with our two companies we incamped near the same ; and 
when captayne Bowens (141) company came we caused them to lodge at the Fort of Donanynie. (142) 
It was captayne Carleill's wach nyght ; about n of the clok the same nyght, came certayne 
troupes of Skottes on foote, and aboute vi. horsemen with them, who had upon their staves wadds 
lyghted, wherewith they sodaynly sett the roufe of the churche, being thatched, on fyer. They gave 
us a brave canvasado, (143) and entred our campe. The alarme beinge geven, I came forth in my 
shert; and at our first incounter, my men answeringe with mee verie gallantlie, we put them off the 
grounde, where the left one of their men that was emongst them of greate accompte ; he was Sorlles 
gydon. (144) They wolde fayne have had him away, but they wer so plyed with Shotte, that they 
left him, and the feld also, and fell to ronnynge away; where our horsemen might have done good 
servis, but they were so pestered in the church, that they coulde not get forth theire horses in tyme 
to doo anythinge, and yet the skermish contynued three quarters of an owre. Ther wer bornt in 
the church seven horse and hackneys. I had slayne my sergeant, and one armed man, William 
Jones ; captn. Carleille had one killed and eight hurte ; and I had twelve choys men hurte, and 
myselfe with arowes, (145) in the raynes of my bak, as I called forwarde my men; in the 
arme, and in the flanke, and through the thigh ; of which wounds I am verie sore, although I 
trust in God I shall recover it. 



Woodhouse with his and Sir George Bourchier's bands, 
besides his own company, upon him on a sudden, and 
killed him, and all his best men, to the number of 52, 
whereof some were gents, and presentlie surprised the 
two galleys and burnt [them]." See Calendar of Careiu 
MSS., second series, p. 403. 

(138) Banymargey.— Correctly Bunnamairge, see p. 
40, supra. Perrot spells this name Bonamargie. See 
Hamilton's Calendar, p. 5S4. 

(139) Carleill. — March 6, 155S, a queen's letter 
directed the appointment of captain Christopher Car- 
leill to the office of seneschal of Claneboy, Dufferin, 
and Killultagh; with the charge of 25 horsemen, to 
enable him to resist the invasion of the Scotch 
islanders, " who, being not far distant from those parts, 
do use sundrie times in hostile manner, to come over and 
infest that province of Ulster." Carleill was son-in-law 
to Walshyngham, which perhaps accounts for the great 
warmtn with which the lords in council recommend him 
to the Irish deputy. Their letter, requiring his appoint- 
ment to the above-named office which Dawtrie had re- 
signed, concludes as follows:— "And, for that we think 
that preferment to be too meane for one of his deserts and 
sufficiency, we pray your lordship to afford him all the 
favour and furtherance you may, and that when some 
other place shall fall voide, that may be fytt for him, you 
shall have a special care of his advancement to the same 
before any other." See Morrin's Calendar 0/ Patent and 
Close Rolls, second series, p. 160. 

(140) Cattain Warren.— Captain William Warren, 
long known as a distinguished English officer. He was 
bruiner to sir Henry Warren, in whose favour he pre- 
sented a petition to the queen, and thereby saved sir Henry 
from the loss of his lands at Ballybrittan. See Morrin's 
Calendar, second series, p. 258. 



(141) Bowen. — Captain William Bowen, an active 
English officer against the Scots. He applied to have 
the constableship of Dunluce in 15S4, but, fortunately for 
himself, did not obtain it, as Peter Carey who was ap- 
pointed, was hanged by the Scots over the battlements 
soon afterwards. For Bowen's letters, see Hamilton's 
Calendar, second series, p. 539. 

(142) Donanynie. — See pp. 38, 121, supra. 

(143) Canvasado. — For Camisado. See Hamilton's 
Calendar, second series, preface, p. exxiii. 

(144) Sorlles gydon. — Sorley Boy lost several stan- 
dard-bearers in these conflicts. Donnell M 'Cassayleye's 
death has been already noticed ; Donough Reoughe 
Maccaughtpen. another 'giddon' was slain in Glen- 
dun on the 13th of November; and now a third, 
whose name is not given, falls at this night-attack on 
the English in Bunnamairge. The name of the second 
is a puzzle, and may be intended either for Maccaughern 
or Macnaughten. See Hamilton's Calendar, second 
series, preface, p. exxiii., and note. 

(145) With arowes.— In one of Perrot's letters to the 
English council, he states that the Scottish bowmen were 
more effective in the field than the English 'shott.' The 
Scots were already celebrated for the use of this weapon. 
In 1263, the most formidable opponents of Haco, at the 
battle of Largs, were bowmen. At Bannockburn, 10,000 
bowmen had much of the honour arising from that great 
triumph of the national cause. The bow was last used 
as a military weapon by British troops about the year 
1700, when the regiment of royal Scots, commanded by 
the earl of Orkney, "were armed with bows and arrows, 
swords and targets, and wore steel bonnets." The Scots 
made their bows of yew; the English preferred ash; and 
the Welsh always used the wild elm. See Logan's Scot' 
tish Gael, vol. i., pp. 334 — 337. 



SOREEY BOY MACDONNELL. log 

"Ther passed within the vewe of this place this daye 24 galleys (146) out of Cantyer, as is 
supposed to landesome Skottes aboute the Red Bay; (147) our shipping here had the sight of them, 
but it was so calme they could not bouge. (148) Our victuals be not yet all landed ; we have great 
:rouble with the caryage of it up, and smale helpe of the contrie. (149) There are certaynlie looked 
for here 2,500 Skottes, and it is thought those galleys will lande them this nyght, therfore our 
appointed meetinge can not hold ; but I pray you intrench yourselfe stronglie, and so will we, to 
keepe this place till we heare other newes, or till my Lord Deputy com, to whom I have written to 
that ende. (150) We have sent for captayne Bangor and captayne Meryman to com hyther, and 
for Captayne Parker's companie to com to Coollrane to kepe that place. I fynde the companyes 
heare verie weake, partlye by manes of leavinge many wardes ; ther is one warde at Coollrane, (151) 
another in the castell on the other syde of the Bande; (152) and captayne Bowen hath XV. men 
where he lyeth; (153) and nyne in the ward at Donanany ; so that he hath not heare above thre 
ikore in the campe ; and this skermish hath weakened me and captayne Carleille of 24 men that 
ire slayne and hurte ; and for our horsemen, we can make no accompt of them, for theire horses 
and fometure being bornt, they are able to do little servis. 

" I have taken of the purser. of the Hare (154) VI. horsemen's staves for Lieutenant Smyth 



(146) Galleys. — These galleys were long boats, having 
each a single mast in the centre which carried a square 
mainsail. A little mast fixed at the prow bore the flag. 
The Ilebridean galley was usually impelled by twenty oars. 
Grantees were required by their charters to provide and 
maintain, for the service of the lords of the Isles, these 
vessels in proportion to the extent of their lands. The long- 
fad, or lynaphad, or galley, performed a leading part in the 
history of the Highlands and Isles of Scotland, and hence it 
appears in the 'coat armorial' of certain leading chiefs. 
Somerled's usual fleet amounted to upwards of fifty sail, 
and at times even to so many as one hundred and sixty. 
For an interesting account of a curious poem connected 
with Ilebridean seamanship, see Logan's Scottish Gael, 
vol. ii., pp. 183 — 185. Randal Mac Somerled's coat 
armorial had the figure of a galley prominently exhibited. 
See p. 164, supra. 

(147) Red Bay. — The landing of Sorley's troops took 
place at Cushindun, not Red Bay, as here surmised by 
Stanley. 

(148) Could not bouge. — This word is now written budge, 
meaning to move slightly or slowly. It was rather re- 
markable that, at mid-winter, there was such a calm on 
the channel as here stated. Such an occurrence is very 
rare indeed. 

(149) The contrie. — The ship-stores must have been 
carried from the port up the very steep ascent now 
/now as the Castle-hill. This was no trifling task; 
indeed it would be so at the present day, even with the 
facilities of a comparatively smooth road and wheeled 
conveyances. 

f (150) To that ende. — Perrot talked about another journey 
to the north, but on hearing that Sorley had landed in 
such force, and appeared peaceably disposed, the deputy 
was easily persuaded to remain in the castle. The result of 
his last journey was doubtful, if not discreditable, The 
queen, when writing to hitn on the 14th of April, 15S5, 
T 



concludes with a paragraph written by her own hand, 
rebuking him sharply for believing that a great number 
of Scots had come to the northern coast. She cautioned 
him also against such rash, unadvised journeys in future. 
See Hamilton's Calendar, second series, p. 560. 

(151) Coollrane. — The fort at Coleraine, built some 
years previously on the Antrim side of the Bann, was 
occupied by the small 'warde' or garrison here mentioned. 
See p. 131, supra. 

(152) Of the Bande.— This ' castell' on the Derry side 
of the Bann was known as Casllcroe, and had been an 
early and well known residence of the O'Neills (see p. 161, 
supra). The rebel earl of Tyrone appears to have been 
frequently here in the time of his countess, Mabel 
Bagenall. In a Declaration by one Thadie Nolan, a 
pursuivant, at Dundalk, on the 13th of j[une, 1593, there 
is the following curious reference to a visit made by the 
earl to Castleroe, in the year above-named: — "More- 
over, he (Tyrone) said openly, in the audience of the 
countesse his wife, Harry M'Shane O'Neill, O'Chainnes 
sonne, and divers others, in the howse at Castlerowe 
aforesaid, that there was no man in the worlde that 
he hated as much as the Knight Marshall ; and further 
said (onely to myselfe) if he wer disposed, he wolde be 
within a myle of the said Marshall, in spighte of his 
teethe, do what he could." {Kilkenny Journal of 
Archeology, vol. i, new series, p. 308 ) The ' Knight 
Marshal' was sir Henry Bagenall, brother to the countess 
O'Neill. Between these brothers-in-law there was a 
deadly feud which only ended by the death of Bagenall, 
soon afterwards, at the famous battle of the Blackwater. 

(153) He lyeth. — The encampment occupied by Bowen 
was on the level grounds immediately aHjoining the abbey 
of Bunnamairge. 

(154) Hare. — The names of several other vessels em- 
ployed about this time in carrying men and ammunition 
into Ireland were the Achates, the Aid, the Antelope, the 



170 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



because thers are bornt ; I praye you be not displeased with him for levinge them. I pray you 
hasten away our proporcon of victuals, for I loke for no helpe from the con trie. And so, with my 
hardest commendacons to yourself, and all the good company with you, I lake leve. At the Fort 
of Donanany, this 5th Janewary, 1584. Your verie loveinge cozen, 

"William Stanley." (155) 
Stanley's very interesting letter is addressed—" To the right Worshipfull my verey loveinge 
cozen, Sir Henry Bagenall, Knight." On the writer's own showing, it is plain that the Scots had 
dealt upon him a severe blow. They took him by surprise, and it may well be supposed that as 
they entered his camp and continued the struggle during three quarters of an hour,— probably much 
longer,— the 'weakening' which he laments must have been much more serious that he admits. 
Stanley does not appear to have known that Donnell Gorm commanded the Scots at Bunnamairge. 
This leader had got a grant of the two-thirds of the Glynnes, but was discontented with the terms 
thereof. (156) He had attacked Stanley here for some special object, which he probably achieved, 
afterwards retreating in good order. Stanley's letter to Bagenall was enclosed by the latter to sir 
John Perrot, on the 7th of January, Bagenall accompanying it by a communication from himself 
equally interesting, written at Carrickfergus, to which place, as captain Lee (157) informs Walshyng- 



Anne Auchier, the Bear o( London, the Bull, the Dread- 
nought, the Elizabeth Bonaventure, the Flying Hart of 
Antwerp, the Foresight, the Gift of God, the Grace of 
Neston, the Green Dragon of London, the Greyhound of 
London, the Handmaid, the Jacques, the Jonas of Bristol, 
the Lion, the Margaret of Chester, the Marlion, the 
Marseilles, the Martin, the Mary Edwards, the Nightin- 
gale, the Relief, the Revenge, the Richard and Jane, the 
Samaritan, the Squire], the St. Peter, the Swallow, the 
Swiftsure, the Tiger. 

(155) William Stanley.— Stanley was knighted by sir 
William Drury, lord-justice of Ireland, in the year 1579. 
On the close of this war with Sorley Boy, he was placed 
in command of 1,000 men sent to serve in Holland, and 
appointed governor of the town of Deventer in the 
Netherlands, which town, with its garrison of 1,200 men, 
changed sides in the war, going over under Stanley's 
command from the English service to that of the Spaniards. 
English historians represent Stanley as being bribed to 
act thus, but it is more likely that, having become a 
Roman catholic, he felt dissatisfied with the English 
service. A rumour was spread in Ireland that he was 
soon to return at the head of an invading Spanish force, 
which rumour is referred to in the following passage of a 
curious tract written by one Robert Taine, in the year 
15S9:— "But yet there is a foolish rumoure, that sir 
William Standley with the Spanish kinges force wil enter 
Ireland, and that the Irish people who loved him wil 
take his part. No doubt he was wellbeloved there ; but 
I think rather for his justice and good dealinge amongst 
them before he was suspected of treachery, than for anie 
matter of false conspiracie either to prince or countrie; I 
doe think that Sir William then knew not tenn traitours 
in all Ireland; for how durst anie rebel make his villainous 
intent known to a man so famous for true service, as in 
those days he was accounted? But suppose that he doe 
come— what is he to the late greate Earell of Desmonde, 
who had greater followers than Sir William is, and the 



kinge of Spaine his purse more plentifull than hee can 
have it." Brkfc Description of Ireland, edited by A. 
Smith, pp. 12, 24; see also curious references'to sir Wm. 
Stanley's treachery in Morrin's Calendar, second series, 
pp. 155, 168, 255. 

(156) The terms thereof.— The following account of this 
grant to Donnell Gorm, dated at Dunluce, September 18, 
1584, was drawn up by Perrot and his council: — "Humble 
suit has been made to us, the Lord-Deputy and Council, 
as well by the Lady Agnes Campbell, wife of Turlough 
Lennoghe O'Nele, mother to the abovenamed Donnell 
Gorme, as also by the said Donnell himself, that in re- 
spect of his humble submission to her Majesty, we would 
grant him her pardon, and a patent to enable him to be a 
free denizen in this her realme, and so much of the Glynnes 
of Ulster as were the lands of Misset, otherwise Bisset, 
for such yearly rent and services as we think requisite. 
Considering the letters from her Majesty of 14 March, 
1583, declaring her favour towards the said Lady, we 
grant the aforesaid petitions. The castle of Olderflete 
shall be at her Ma ties disposition. The said Donnell, or 
his heirs, shall not serve any foreign prince or potentate. 
He shall keep no Scots but such as be native of Ireland, 
and shall book all men in his country, and deliver the 
book to the Knight Marshall (Sir Nich. Eagnall), or to 
Sir Henry Bagnall, his son. He shall serve her Majesty 
with a rising out of 80 footmen at his own charges. He 
shall not unlawfully intermeddle with any borderers of 
Ulster. To pay a yearly rent of 60 beeves, to be deli- 
vered at the Newry. To serve against Saurlie Boye and 
any other foreign Scot. Not to convey any part of the 
Glynnes. He shall preserve all the hawks bred in the 
Glynns aforesaid, of what nature soever they be, and the 
same yearly to be sent in safety to the Governor of the 
realm for the time being. He shall not draw to him any 
of the followers of Claneboy, the Rowte, or the Ardes." 
See Calendar of the Carew Il/SS., second series, p. 3S1. 
(157) Lee. — This was the celebrated captain Thomas 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 



17? 



ham, Bagenall had just made a " precipitate flight " from Glenarm. This flight was occasioned by 
the re-appearance of Sorley at Red-Bay, an event which prevented an appointed meeting between 
Bagenall and Stanley, and soon brought about other results of still greater importance. The 
following is sir Henry Bagenall's letter to Perrot :— 

" Right Honourable my verey goode Lord, — May it please your Lordship to be advertised 
that upon the 30th of last month, both Sir William Stanley and I arrived at Glanarme, wher he 
stayed with me tyll the arrivall of his victualls at Donamynie (Donanany), and marched by nyght 
through the Brad (158) to the Rowte, as his enclosed letter doth import ; upon Thursday the vii of 
this instant, we appoynted on either syde to invad the enemye, and so to have met in Glannymye. 
(159) In the meane tyme we wer not idle, for upon Sondaye last I sallyed furth with my com- 
panyes towards certayne Glynnes neer us, wher the enymie, Donell Gorm, and his crete then 
lodged; in myretorne having not showed themselves afore, theychardged me hotlye in apace, (160) 
wher I had the chace of them, and put them to flight, and broght som of theire heads awaye, and 
hurte others ; of our syd only one soldier of Mr. St. Leger's was slayne, and ane other of Mr. 
Treasurers a little hurte. What befell to my cozen Stanley on the other syde I need not recyt, the 
enclosed letter will declare. Sir William Stanley in his maketh mention of the galleys that wer seen, 
and trew it is, that they arrived at Bonandonnye (161) upon Twisday last at night, with Angus 
M'Conell,-(i62) all his brethren, and Sorley Boy, with all the force they could bringe. The very 
certayntie of their numbers yett I knowe not perfectlye, but as reporte is 2000, so as by this meanes 



L?e. His letter to Walshyngham, mentioning Bagenall's 
flight from Glenarm, on the landing of Sorley at Cushin- 
dun Bay, concludes thus: — "I was amongst the rest 
as a common town dog at every hunter's call, ap- 
pointed to attend his Lordship (Perrot), but now turned 
off to get my food where I may. " Lee is better known 
as the author of his Brief Declaration of the Government 
of Ireland, 1 594, than for his military services. See a 
copy of his tract in Curry's Review of the Civil Wars, pp. 
5S7— 609. 

(158) The Brad. — This well-known division of lower 
or northern Clannaboy was anciently known as Knock- 
boynabrade. ' ' The name is preserved in the townland of 
Knoekboy, and in the word Braid, which is used to denote 
as well the parish of Skerry as the river which bounds it 
on the south. The valley through which the Braid river 
flows, dividing the parishes of Skerry and Rathcavan, is, 
in all probability, that which Colgan refers to in the fol- 
lowing description: — ' Ilodie vocatur Braige-Dercan 
estque vallis in Baronia Aendromensi Dioecesis Con- 
nerensis, olim dicta Glann-fada-na-Feine, i.e., vallis longa 
Feniorum.' (Trias Th., p. 1S3, col. 2.)" Reeves's 
Eccles. Antiquities, p. 345. 

(159) Glannymye. — This name is a corruption of the 
Irish Gleann-Meadonagh , i.e., ' Middle-Glynnes,' In the 
patents to sir Randal Macdonnell, the name is written 
Gliumiconogh and Glcndoneuaghe, "which seems," says 
Dr. Reeves, " to be intended for Glendun." See Eccles. 
Antiquities, p. 332. 

(160) In a pace. — A ' pace' meant an opening or path 
cut in the woods. Our present word pass now only im- 
plies a defile between rocks or rugged hills. 



(161) Bonandonnye. — Bun-abhain-Duinn the 'mouth 
of the river Dun. (See p. 132, supra.) This place was 
doubtless selected by Sorley for disembarkation, in pre- 
ference to Marketon Bay, the latter being at least partially 
in possession of the enemy, and a land-force of the enemy 
apparently awaiting his arrival there. Had Sorley 
known how really insignificant the English there mustered, 
both by sea and land, he would have probably thrown his 
formidable redshank host upon them without waiting to 
go round as far as Cushindun. The word cosh has the 
same meaning as bun, both denoting the mouth or open- 
ing of a river. 

(162) Angus M'Conell.— See p. 45, supra. Angus 
and his brothers were now evidently reconciled to 
their uncle Sorley, if there ever had been really 
any quarrel between them. The English policy always 
was to set up some other than the real representative of the 
clan as a means, and almost always an effectual means, 
of dividing the latter. In the present instance, how- 
ever, this policy does not appear to have succeeded, for 
although Donnell Gorm had got a grant of the Glynnes, he 
still continued to fight on his uncle's side. The govern- 
ment then took up Angus, the eldest surviving brother, 
who had estates in Scoltand, and who, on that account 
was objectionable to the queen as a person to whom 
she could hardly reconcile herself to grant lands in 
Ulster. A grant, however, was formally made to 
Angus, which he, like his brother Donnell Gorm, ap- 
pears to have abandoned, on some conditions to suit his 
uncle. The following is an abstract of this grant to 
Angus, dated May 16, 15S6:— "Indenture made between 
the Deputy and Council and Angus M'Donnell, of 



r- 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



oar former intention and plott to have mett is altered, and I also enforced to retyre hither 
for salfgard to this towne, and creates of the countrie, which I will gard to the most annoy- 
ance of the enemye that I maye, till I heare further from your Honour. They were all determyned 
yisterdaye to have broken downe hithervvarde to burne this towne, and afterwards to have had the 
spoyle of Con M'Neyl Oge's contrey; (163) for the Rowte they make reckoninge to be their owne 
at all tymes, upon which advertisement I thought good to hasten to stop that purpose the best I 
could. The hearinge that I had so prevented them, at this tyme, turned their corse to the Rowte 
ther to break their forraye ; but how they sped yett we cannot knowe. When they com hither, as 
I am sure they will verye shortlye, I will carry myself as neare as I can in that sort, that I may do 
her Majesty most honour and service, and, as my match may be somewhat reasonable and indif- 
ferent, till I hear from or see your Lordship, which I assure myself shall be with all convenient 
expedition : (164, and as I have often heretofor, so I must nowe of force acquainte your Lordship 
plainlye with the weakness of the other company of horsemen, which your Lordship directed to 
serve with me ; and nowe I can but wishe that they wer stronger till your Lordship may amend it. 
I have written to my father (165) to hasten hither M'Gynnes (166) and the Baron (167) with their 



Dovvnavaige. In respect of the suit made to the queen 
by the lady Agues Campbell, wife to Turlough O'Neale, 
and of the submission made by the said Angus, the Lord 
Deputy and Council grant, that the said Angus shall have 
to him, and his heirs male of his body, by letters patent, 
all the castles, lands, &c, called Misset, alias Bisset lands 
within the Glynnes. If it be found that the castle of 
Olderflete is parcel of the premises, then the Queen shall 
have the same. He is to hold of her Majesty by the services 
of homage, fealty, and two knights' fees; and on condition 
of performing the articles following:— I. Neither he, nor 
his followers to serve any foreign prince or any other 
person within Ireland against her Majesty. 2. No Scots 
under him, whom he may command, to disquiet the peace 
of this realme, or serve against her Majesty in this realm, 
except when there is war between England and Scotland. 
3. Not to retain any Scots above 30, other than be 
natives of Ireland, and to deliver a book of their 
names to the Marshall of the Queen's garrisons in 
Ireland. 4. To serve her Majesty with a rising out of 
80 footmen in Ulster, at his own and their own charges. 
5. He and his tenants not to intermeddle with their 
borderers in Ulster. 6. To pay a yearly rent of 60 good 
and fat beeves at Carrigfergus, between Lammas and 
Hallowtide. 7. To serve against all that shall invade 
this realm, except against the Scots when war is pro- 
claimed against England and Scotland. 8. Not to alien 
or convey away his lands. 9. To yearly preserve and 
give to her Majesty one eyrie of the best hawks, either 
goshawks or falcons. " {Calendar of Carat) MSS. , second 
series, p. 426.) This last-named condition in reference to 
the hawks is much more reasonably put than in the grant to 
Donnell Gorm (see p. 170, supra), who was bound to 
preserve ail the hawks of every kind, bred in the Glynnes, 
and forward them to the lord-deputy, for the queen. 
From an early period, the peregrine falcon was considered 
superior to the goshawk, and therefore in greater repute. 
Giraldus Cambrensis tells a story of Henry II. when 
crossing to Ireland, having cast off a Norway goshawk at 



a peregrine falcon, and that after a fierce but brief struggle, 
the goshawk fell dead at the king's feet. This incident 
is said to have convinced the king that, of the two kinds, 
the falcon is the better. Old Fuller, who refers to 
this story of Giraldus, informs his readers that these 
hawks' aeries are so called from the French word aire, 
' an egg,' and not because they build their nests in the air! 
See Worthies of .England, vol. iii., p. 553. 

(163) Neal Oge's country. — Neal Oge O'Neill's country 
was upper or southern Clannaboy, now comprised in the 
two baronies of upper and lower Castlereagh. See p. 133, 
supra. 

(164) Expedition. — See also Stanley's letter, pp. 16S, 169, 
supra. Perrot abandoned his purpose, but not before hav- 
ing incurred some expense to the state, and imposed trouble 
on several persons. Morris, as a rare hand at butchering 
the Scots, had been ordered from Munster to accompany 
Perrot. In a letter to the privy council, dated March 7, 
1584, Norris refers to Perrot's change of purpose thus: — 
"It may please your Lordships to be advertized that upon 
report of the landing of the number of Scots with Angus 
M'Conell in the North, I was sent for down hither by 
my Lord-Deputy, to attend his Lordship in a journey, 
which he forthwith purposed to make thither, but hearing 
that the said Scotts, either terrified with the strength of 
the garrison there from further attempt, or drawn home 
again by means of some changes or troubles there hap- 
pened, as is informed, and being, because of the untimely 
season of the year, discounselled from taking so hard a 
journey in hand, his Lordship hath thereupon stayed his 
purpose." See Hamilton's Calendar, second series, pre- 
face, p. xci. 

(165) My father. — Sir Nicholas Bagenall. See p. 50, 
supra. 

(166) M'Gynnes. — Sir Hugh Magennis, afterwards 
created baron Iveagh. 

(167) The Baron.— Hugh O'Neill, afterwards created 
earl of Tyrone. See p. 147, supra. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. I 73 

forces tyll your Lordship's pleasure be known. In the mean tyme I will not further troble you, but 
pray the Almighty long to prosper you. From Carrickfergus, this 7 th January, 1584. Your 
Lordship's all at comaundment, "H. Bagenall. (168) 

" Postscripte. — This I must saye by the waye to your Lordship, that theire aide came to them 
(the Scots) in highe tyme, for I wolde have had no doubt but, by our plott, in one moneth we had 
banished them from their glinnes; but nowe I heare that many horsemen of the Rowte and 
O'Cahan's contrey are come to Sorley." 

Postscripts are proverbially significant, and certainly this one from Bagenall is no exception 
to the general rule. Had the Scots permitted him and Stanley quietly to unite their forces in the 
neighbourhood of Cushindall, the one marching from Glenarm and the other from Ballycastle, he 
fancies the northern campaign might have been thus brought to a triumphant close ; but as it 
happened, Sorley had landed at Cushindun in time to thwart their arrangements, and was rallying 
around him a most formidable party, even as the two English knights were in the act of writing the 
letters above quoted. In truth, the war appeared as if only then really about to commence. It 
was destined to end only by a virtual surrender to Sorley of more territory than he had asked for, 
or then expected. On his return to the coast, he was not slow in making his terms once 
more known to the government. In a peace-loving but undaunted spirit, he addressed Perrot 
from his " Campe in the Rowte," stating that those who had been formerly employed to treat for him 
had made matters worse instead of better between them. What was past, however, could not be re- 
called. He now only wanted to enj oy peaceable possession, originally granted by Sussex, and after- 
wards confirmed by Sydney. He was willing, for peace's sake, to accept the lower or third part of the 
Glynnes, provided he would get the whole of the Route, including three great districts between the 
Bush and the Bann, known as Macquillin's country, as an equivalent for giving up the two-thirds of the 
Glynnes granted to his nephew, Donnell Gorme. For this grant he was willing to pay the same rent 
as for the former, supplying 20 furnished horsemen and 80 able footmen in her majesty's service, at his 
own expense, at any time required, and at any place throughout the north, from Newry to Lough- 
foyle. These terms were signed Surle M'Donnell, not M'Connell, as on former occasions. The 
date of his letter to Perrot containing these terms, is February 5, 1584, old style, or precisely a 
month later than Stanley's letter written at Donanynie, and already quoted. On the day Sorley 
wrote to Perrot, he forwarded a communication to captain Carleille, thanking him for his 

(168) H. Bagenall. — See p. 128, supra. This knight william, Sir Henry Bagenal received a considerable por- 

was celebrated in sir Walter Scott's poem of Rokeby. tion of the murdered chieftain's lands ; and there can be 

He was named after sir Henry Sydney, who stood as little doubt that he hoped to oust Tyrone himself, and 

gossip or godfather at his baptism. He is well known share the partition of his wide domains. He was, in 

as the writer of the Description of Ulster in 1586, to sooth, a greedy adventurer, restless, rapacious, unscrupu- 

vvhich reference has already been made. The following lous; in a word, one who deemed it no sin or shame to 

is an almost contemporary account of Bagenall : — aid in any process by which the rightful owner might be 

"Sharing his father's hatred of the Irish, and intent on driven from his holding, provided he got share of the 

his own aggrandisement, he lost no opportunity of adding spoil. This man hated Tyrone with implacable animosity; 

to the grants which he inherited; so much so, indeed, that and indeed the Earl reciprocated the sentiment — nay, 

he ultimately became one of the most active of the sup- branded him in public and private as a coward, who 

planting foemen of the O'Neills and their subordinate shrunk from the ordeal of single combat." (Seep. 149, 

lords. When the MacMahon of Monaghan was executed supra.) Meehan's Rise and Fall of the Franciscan 

at his own door, by the infamous order of deputy Fitz- Monasteries in Ireland, p. 29. 



174 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



courtesy and good counsel at some parley where they had recently met. In this letter he refers to 
his lands as having been in his possession for the period of forty years. He speaks also of the 
Macquillins as having been untrue and treacherous, and of his own readiness to put one of his own 
sons into the hands of Hugh O'Neill, baron of Dungannon, as a pledge for the faithful performance 
of the terms he had now offered to Perrot. This son's life had been threatened by the leader of 
the Macquillins, and Sorley requested Carlille to restrain the latter, and punish him for his threats. 
His son was probably a prisoner at the time in the hands of the Macquillins, the latter being 
evidently allies of the English. In the signature of this letter, the chief's christian name is written 
Saurle, which is still another form of the word. In a second letter to Carleill, written on the same 
day and from the same place, Sorley explains why it was that one of his (Sorley's) messengers had been 
slain by Scottish soldiers. The man was found guilty of several acts of treachery, probably 
in supplying English soldiers with information which ought not to have been given to an 
enemy. (169) 

The war went on during some months longer, and in these months English officers reported 
unvarying successes for themselves, although occasionally we meet in their letters unguarded ex- 
pressions which significantly contradict the otherwise boastful chorus of their feigned triumphs. (170) 
Thus, sir William Stanley, having recovered from wounds he had received in the surprise at 
Bunnamairge, states in a letter to Burghley, that, although the conflict there cost him 
the lives of several good soldiers, they had put the Scots to flight, which had not been done before 
for seven years. He might have safely said, however, notwithstanding their continual boasting, that 
except in some very trivial skirmishing, the like had not happened during twice the seven years 
preceding. Among the numerous letters relating to this final struggle with Sorley, all boasting more 
or less of victories over the Scots, there is only perhaps one written from the Glynnes by a person 
who was not actually concerned as a soldier in the war. This person, named Martin Couche, would 
seem to have been sent northward to see for himself, and to report on the condition of affairs to his 
employer, sir Francis Walshyngham, the English chief secretary of state. In one of his letters, 

169. An enemy. — In one of his letters, Sorley informs only a few years previously. When Essex was thwarted 

Carleill that he is willing to put his son as a pledge into in his own selfish projects, he wrote to Burghley com- 

the hands of the baron of Dungannon or Mr. Edward plaining of certain officers whose practices he had dis- 

Moore, of Mellifont, near Drogheda (see p. 154, supra). covered, and who were individually pocketing three or 

He also declares that he and Macquiilin cannot live longer four thousand pounds sterling a year, which ought to have 

in the same country, meaning territory. Theobald Mac- been employed in the public service. It appeared that 

quillin, the leader of the clan at this crisis, may have been these gentry were in the regular habit of raising unlimited 

a cousin of Rorie Oge, executed in 1575. For abstracts supplies from the Irish without a shade of authority to do 

of Sorley's letters to Carleill, see Hamilton's Calendar, so. (See Lives of the Devereux, Earls of Essex, vol. i., 

second series, p. 551. p. 67.) Leland, in his History of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 189, 

(170) Feigned triumphs. — Officers of the class above- mentions a case, not uncommon, of English officers who 

mentioned were numerous in Ireland at every period from had assured certain Irish chieftains that upon surrender of 



the time of the invasion, and were very generally the real themselves to the government, they would obtain pardon 

authors of many of Ireland's greatest woes. These un- for their rebellion. " These chiefs embraced the counsel, 

principled adventurers' policy led them to excite or goad submitted, and consented to attend the Lord Deputy St. 

the natives into rebellions, in the hope of military promo- Leger into England; but here, the only favour granted 

Hon, or, better still, grants from the crown of rebels' for- was, that they were not brought to immediate execution. 

feited lands. When neither of these objects could be They were committed to prison, their lands declared for- 

gained at once, they took care, during intervals of cessation feit, and granted to those by whose counsel they had sin- 

from war, to enrich themselves in humbler but no less rendered." 
certain ways. An. apt illustration had occurred in Ulster 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 175 

written on the 2nd December, he enclosed a statement which has been attractively calendared — 
Relation of the Journey to the Woods called the Glynns against the usurping Scots. We had the curiosity 
to get from the London State Papers Office, a full and true copy of this ' Relation/ hoping that it 
might tell us at least something of the 'Woods' in which those irrepressible Scots had their haunts. 
But Martin Couche chanced, whilst there, to be an eye-witness of a fight at which sir Henry Bage- 
nall himself commanded, and he was evidently so surprised with the whole affair that he could 
speak of nothing else. The following is the 'Relation' of this comparatively impartial eye-witness : — 

"The XIII th of November laste, the garisons of Knockfergus and Collrane the number of 
fyve hundrethe foote and one hundrethe horsemen English, together with so manie Irishe on foote 
and horseback, joyninge our forces, and drawinge ourselves towardes the Glyne, marchinge in verie 
good sorte, and sett in battalia by the comaundement of S r - Henrie Baggnall, knighte, colonell of 
the sayd forces. The woodes which we call y e Glyne beinge y e place of strenghte where the 
usurpinge Skotts contynewe themselves with theere cattell, which wee properlie term create ; as 
soone as wee entred the sayde Glyne the enimys beinge some XIII XX (171) bow-men or neare there 
abouts, chardged the rerewarde of our battayle (172) very hoatlie, where uponn the skyrmyshe was 
verie sharpe. This sayde skyrmyshe contynewed for the space of one haulfe hower, or there abouts, 
wherin was slayne of our companie of Englishe V. or VI. and wounded besydes one hundrethe and 
upwards insomyche wee wer enforced, whether hitt (it) were for wante of government, or otherwise 
for lake of breathe, to retyre shamefullie, and the sayde Skottes pursewinge us verie desparatlie at 
the verie skyrte of the woode, where they gave over, and so made our retreate to y e campe beinge 
within one Englyshe myle of y e Redd Baye. The nexte daye followinge perfytt intelligence was 
brought to y e colonell yt there was slayne of the Skottes by us the same tyme in number XLL, and 
wounded deadlie XXVI. Our happes was the worse and so constrewed amoinge some of the better 
sorte of soulders for that wee wanted our comaunder captayne Carlyell, (173) whose absence is 
greatlie lamented by all y<= garison of Collrane." 

The foregoing statement, it will be observed, says not a word as to the number of the losses 
sustained by the English in the battle near Red Bay, and in no other letter is there the least 
reference to this affair at all. Couche accompanied his statement by the following note : — 

"Right honorable, my bounden dewtie humblie remembred, may hitt please the same for better 
dischardge of my dewtie to your honor I have here inclosed a noate of the servys latelie performed 
in the noarthe, wherin myselfe was ; and therfore do presume the rather to signifye the same to your 
Honor : Thus cravinge pardon, evermore desireinge to contynewe as one of the number of yours, 
with prayer for y e lounger preservacon of your Honor, with increase. Dublyn this seconde of 
December 1584, your Honor's humble servaunt at comaundment, " Ma. Couche. 

" To the Righte honorable my singular good master, S r - Frauncys AValshyngham knighte chyffe 
secretarie to Hir Ma tie > and one of Hir Highnes most honorable Previe Counsell " Public Record 
Office, State Papers, Ireland, vol. cxiii., no. 5. 

(171) XIII.**-— This is Couche's method of writing (173) Carleyk.— See pp. 166, 168, supra. This officer 
thirteen score, or thirteen times twenty. was appointed governor of Canickfergus in the year 1592. 

(172) Our battayle. — The battle was a woid used to During his term of office he issued a proclamation on the 
denote the main body of foot constituting an army. suljcct of improving the district by the holding of regular 



176 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

We give the following letter also in extenso, as a good specimen of the style of officers' letters 
from the north, and as illustrative of the savage manner in which the war was waged, even against 
the defenceless people who were employed in taking care of the creaghts or cattle in the Glynns. 
The writer, Barkley, was one of those numerous adventurers who came with the earl of Essex, (174) 
and was, doubtless, anxious to avail himself of any opportunity to avenge upon the Scots the disap- 
pointment to which he, in common with all his brother adventurers, was doomed, by the failure of 
that nobleman's expedition : — 

" My duetie humblye remembred to your Lordship. The seavententh day of this moneth we 
marched towardes the Glynnes; and so soone as Sorlye heard of it, he forsooke the same, and wente 
with all his creates to the fastnes of Castelltoome, wheare he went to passe over the Band if 
he thought himselfe too weake. But O'Nell verie honestlie was ther to staye him of that 
passadge, (175) and as soon as wee understoode of Sorley's repayer towardes those Borders, wee 
croste over the Roote, and in Bryan Carroughs fastnes, (176) we happened upon five hundrethe 
kyne of Donnell Gormes; and captayne Warren with eight horsemen chardged a twentye or thirtie 
of the Scotts, and hitt with his pistoll one of the captaines ; and a gen tell man of his own, Mr. 
Nixe (who served verie valiantlie), was shott in to the hand, which was all the hurtt that was done 
that daye of both sydes. The eightenth daye we divided ourselves; S r - Henrye Bagnold in the one 
parte and myselfe in the other, from the breake of the daye to y e fale of the night searched the 
woodes ; and capten Lee with a wyng of shott happened upon Sorlyes cariadge, and had verie 
greate spoyle, had the killinge of their poore people, and hougheinge of manye of their hackneys 
andgarrans. They could bringe none awaye by reasone the bogg was so deepe. The nynetenth 
daye upon good spiall we entred the other syde of the woode, wheare we were drawen uppon all 
the creates that the Scottes had, wheare we had the spoyle of the value of five or sixe thousand 
pound in my judgment; we brought awaye three thousand cowes and garrans, and we houghed in 
the boggs a thousand more; (177) we have taken a Scottishe-woman that telleth us manie strange 

markets therein. In this proclamation, he refers to the various kinds. The English soon discovered this, and 

lamentable results of the war for the expulsion of the always aimed at the wanton destruction of such cows, 

Scots, in which he held such a prominent command, and sheep, and swine, as they could not themselves actually 

which had contributed so to desolate the whole Antrim devour, and of such horses as they did not require for 

coast, or, as he expressed it, " thes northeaste partes of their own uses. Fynes Moryson, an Englishman, in his 

Ulster, a greate parte whereof lyeth still waste for lacke account of the rebellion that occurred soon after this 

of inhabitacon." See M'Skimin's History of Carrick- period under the leadership of Hugh O'Neill, earl of 

Wgus, 3rd edition, p. 294. Tyrone, says:— "In the heat of the last rebellion, the 

(174) Essex. — See pp. 152, 153, 155, supra. very vagabond rebels had great multitudes of cowes, 

(175) That passadge. — The enmity between Sorley and which they still (like the nomades) drove with them, 
Turlough Luinech, which Sydney congratulates himself on whithersoever themselves were driven, and fought for 
having stirred up, appears to have still continued. This them as for their altars and families. By this abundance 
enmity, however, arose out of lady Cantire's (now lady of cattle the Irish have frequent, though somewhat poore 
Tyrone's) anxiety to obtain the Glynns for one of her trafficke for their hides, the cattle being in general very 
sons. (See p. 157, supra.) Turlough Luinech had a little, and only the men and the greyhounds of greate 
residence at Toome, and had probably drawn a consider- stature. Neither can the cattle possibly be great since 
able force of his kerne to that point, when thus able to they only eat by day, and then are brought at evenings 
turn Sorley aside from crossing the river. within the bawnes of castles, where they stand or lie all 

(176) Fastnes. — This fastness was known as Inishrush night in a dirty yard, without so much as a lock of hay, 
on the Bann. whereof they make little for sluggishnesse, and that little 

1. Vv t * ousa "d »"»'e.~ The twenty or thirty Scots they altogether keepe for their horses. And they are 
charged by Warren were probably cattle-keepers. The thus brought in by night for fear of theeves, the Irish using 
wealth' of every clan consisted mainly in its cattle of almost no other kind of theft; or else for fear of wolves, 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. \~}J 

tales of their determynacon, which I doe beleeve to be true, and by the nexte bote that cometh to 
Dublyn, I will send her to your Lordship : theire meaninge is, as she sayeth, not to fight with us, 
and soe it felle oute, for they stoode by and never offered skyrmishe, seeinge theire goodes taken 
from them. The contrey people hearinge that the Scottes forsooke their goodes and repayred 
again to the Glynnes followed the spoyle and did them as much hurtt as was possible to be done. 
On Mondaye nexte we meane to sett forwarde towards the Glynnes and the Raughlens, and to devyde 
ourselves into three partes, hopinge we shall yeeld good acompte by the twentyeth of the nexte 
moneth, desyringe your Lordship by that time to give me leave to be the messenger myself, for I 
am verie weerye of the north ; either S r - Henrye Bagnold or S r - William Stanley is sufficient with 
three hondrethe footmen and fiftie horsmen to ende thes warres: Sorlye, I dare be his suertye, will 
yelde unto anie thinge that your Lordship will sett downe, and give his sonne pleadge for the same. 
Thus leavinge to trouble your Lordshipp anye further for this time, I humblie take my leave. 
Carrikefargus this XXVI th of Februarye 1584. Your Lordshipps most humble for ever, 

" E. Barkley." 

" Post script. — It is reported heare that Captain Carleill giveth up his chardge ; his Lyvtenant 
Hynshawe hath behaved himself so sufficyentlie in all respects in this time of service as your Lord- 
ship can not in honour bestow it upon any from him ; for his credite he doth desire it, if it be but 
for a daye, otherwise he thinketh it will be to his disgrace. (178) Sargaunt Price hath, in two or 
three actions, behaved himselfe verye valiantlie, and doth rest willinge and duetifull in any thinge 
that belongeth to a soldiour. (179) The soldiours are half without brogs and stockens which will 
hinder us greatlye if your Lordshipp supplye us not. . 

"To the Righte honnorable and my verye good Lord S r - John Perrod, knight, L: Deputie of 
Ireland, give these." Public Record Office, State Papers, Ireland, vol. cxiv., no. 82. 

All official documents at this crisis speak of the Scottish cause as literally in articulo mortis. 
Bagenall, Stanley, and Barkley, wrote a joint-letter to Perrot in which they announced that Donell 
Gorm and his brother had taken their departure to Scotland, that Sorley Boy's son alone kept the 
field with only 120 men, and that he was so pressed as to be unable to rest two hours in one place at a 
time. Perrot delightedly forwarded this intelligence to Walshyngham, prefacing it with the announce- 
ment that "the Scots are clean banished again !" Bagenall informed Burghley that one William Nyx 
with nine others had defeated 120 Scots, killing their captain. Another English officer named 
Stafford, (180) described a sharp combat between 170 of his soldiers and 1200 Scottish and Irish 

the destruction whereof being neglected by the inhabi- Calendar, second series, pp. 533, 556, 577.) Henshawwas 

tants, oppressed with greater mischiefs, they are so much appointed seneschal of Monaghan in 1592. (See Morrin's 

grown in number, as sometimes in winter nights they will Calendar, second series, p. 226.) 

come to prey in villages, and the suburbs of cities." (179) To a soldiour. — Price writes to Walshyngham on 

{Historic, part iii ., pp. 159, 160.) This swarming of thieves the 1st of May, 1585, from Edenduffcarrick, informing 

and wolves, especially in Ulster, was the result of the him how he had been chasing the Scots from bog to bog. 

disorganisation and desolation produced by such repeated See Hamilton's Calendar, second series, p. 562. 

English invasions of the north such as that now under- (180) Stafford. — This was Francis Stafford, afterwards 

taken by Perrot. knighted, pensioned, and made a member of the Irish 

(17S) To his disgrace. — This captain Henshaw was left Privy Council. He was one of those who sighed the 

in Rathlin to hold the garrison there in March, 1585. official account of Hugh O'Neill's submission at Melli- 

One of his soldiers carried a letter to Perrot, from Sorley font. Writing to Robert Cecil (Salisbury) in April, 

Boy, containing overtures of peace. (See Hamilton's 1603, sir Francis Stafford " sorrowes moch the loss of 
U 



i 7 8 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



" in which they couched the pike above 40 times and many times came to the sword." The 
writer states that this was " a sharp combat," without giving any particulars as to his own losses, 
which he could have accurately told, but, as was usual with the writers of such reports, he 
volunteers a statement of the enemy's losses, which he could not have accurately known. Among 
the officers of the latter slain on that occasion he mentions Neece Ro (Angus Roe) M'Donagh 
M'Allester, and Donnell M'Randal Boye (Macdonnell). Beverley, (1S1) the victualler, testifies 
when writing to Burghley, that " the Scots had small fear at first of being supplanted, but now their 
hearts are broken, their goods preyed, and they shrowd themselves in secret corners." 

The march of events soon proved how little these writers knew of the real state of affairs 
in the north, or of the intentions of the 'pottentates' throughout this troublesome province. 
The foregoing accounts were written in the spring, but the whole aspect of affairs had changed 
before the coming of the following autumn. In the spring, Fenton chuckled in the belief that the 
government had been able to enforce silent submission throughout the land, and that " God delyteth 
in peace ;" but " the summer grief had brought him," and the Scots, whom he supposed incapable 
of further resistance, had become more troublesome than ever. In the month of August, he 
wrote to Burghley, imploring him to urge upon Perrot the necessity of doing somethiiig 
to quiet Ulster before the storm, then evidently gathering, would burst upon them in another 
tempest of war. But Fenton had overlooked the fact that there had been only a lull in the 
storm, not a cessation, as he imagined. He now encloses a letter received from an emissary 
in the neighbourhood of Dungannon, in which it was stated that the Scots had been 
joined by the following formidable array of friends, viz., " Con M'Neal Oge's son, (182) 



their gracious and sacred Princess (Elizabeth), and yet is 
revived and comforted in that God hath been pleased to 
provide so renowned and zealous a king for them. " In a 
Setter dated October 12, in the same year, Stafford assures 
Cecil that " the benefit and good fortune which hath hap- 
pened to him hath proceeded from Cecil's honourable 
means and countenance. Protests to God that his de- 
pendancy is wholly open to Cecil, with this assurance, 
that with all faith and duty during his life it shall be 
performed and manifested in his (Stafford's) most humble 
and reverent regards, with continual prayers for the pre- 
servation of his (Cecil's) health and increase of his honour. 
Commits him to the protection of the Almighty, and 
himself to the happiness of his (Cecil's) continual favour 
and countenance. " For several references to this pious 
and fortunate knight, see Russell's and Prendergast's 
Calendar, 1603 — 1606, pp. II, 14, 16, 30, 61, 91, 95, 
2 54, 4 2 5' Sir Francis obtained an extensive grant of 
lands on the Bann, and resided in the vicinity of Port- 
glenone. His daughter, Martha, married sir Henry 
O'Neill of Shane's Castle, and was mother of Rose 
O'Neill, second wife to the first marquis of Antrim. (See 
Lodge's Irish Peerage, edited by Archdall, vol.i., p. 211.) 
Sir Francis enjoyed, during several years, the office of 
governor of Ulster. He was interred in the church of 
St. Nicholas, Carrickfergus. See M'Skimin's History of 
Carrickfergus, 3rd edition, p. 141. 

(181) Be-oerley.— This victualler had also the honour of 
knighthood, soon afterwards, and was styled Comptroller 
of the Victuals, an office which he held bv letters patent, 



with a salary of 10s per diem. See Russell's and Prender- 
gast's Calendar, p. 494. 

(182) M'Neal Oge J sxon.—Con M'Neal Oge O'Neill of 
Clannaboy left two sons, the elder of whom was slain in 
15S4. He was known as Donnell M'Quin or M'Conn, 
and his death is mentioned by the lords-justices, when 
writing to the council at London, on the 31st of January, 
in that year. They describe this young chieftain as hav- 
ing been very dangerous, which meant that he had resisted 
the authorities of the Pale, often successfully, and to the 
death. Con's second son probably succeeded his father 
in at least a portion of the family estates, as we here find ' 
him allied with Sorley Boy in the year 15S5. Con 
M'Neale Oge, the father, was a very warlike chief, and 
appears to have taken spoils repeatedly from the inhabi- 
tants of Carrickfergus. In a "Note of their great 
Losses," it is recorded that on one occasion he took from 
them 400 kine, after having slain the mayor and the con- 
stable of the king's castle, with 24 of the townsmen. At 
another time, Con carried off their mayor, William Wallis, 
and a Mr. Corbett, from whom he received ,£540 as their * 
ransom. A third visit from this chieftain is recorded, 
when he seized and carried off 100 head of cattle. He then 
placed 200 men by night in the middle of the town to kill sir 
Brian MT'ellomy, and thus to win the town. Perceiving 
they were hardly beset by him, they (the inhabitants) gave 
to Sorley Boy M'Donell £20 sterling in wine, silk, and 
saffron to assist them. (See Calendar of the Carev) SlSS. , 
second series, pp. 147, 148.) In 1584, there were great 
disputings about territory among the O'Neills, and sir John 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 



179 



the Scots of the Dufferin, (183) the O'Kellies, (184) the woodmen of Kilwarlin, (185) and 
Macartan's countrey, (186) and Hugh M'Phelim's sonnes." (187) Here was a most formidable 
combination in favour of the Antrim Scots, and Sorley once more felt himself master of the position. 
Light is beginning to dawn upon the authorities at last. Perrot cannot accept it, but would blindly 



Perrot states that Con M'Neale Oge aspired, by the law 
of tanistry, to the government of all Clannaboy, but that 
he adjudged to him upper or southern Clannaboy, giving 
the northern territory to Shane M 'Brian and Hugh 
Oge. [Ibid., second series, p. 3S3.) After this ar- 
rangement, probably, he was knighted, as in the 
following year he is styled sir Con. The disputes 
among this connexion appear to have continued, for in 
1592 we have the following reference to the subject in a 
letter from Elizabeth to the Irish deputy: — " It appears 
that for extinguishing the contention between Shane 
M 'Brian and his cousin, Neal Oge, touching lands in 
North Clandeboye, they have submitted themselves and 
given pledged to live in obedience to our laws, and are 
desirous to have by our grant the country divided between 
them, whereupon you have thought it convenient that 
Shane M 'Brian, being the chief of the sept, should have 
three parts of the country, and Neal Oge a fourth part; 
and yet nevertheless that the castle of Edendoghkeny, 
with the lands thereunto belonging, should remain with 
us, for which they have both made such contention. 
Morrin's Calendar, second series, p. 226. 

(183) Of the Dujerin.— Scots settled extensively 
throughout the territories of the Dufferin and Lecale 
during the sixteenth century. Their leader is known in 
the State Papers as Alexander Macranald Boy, so called 
from the descent of himself and his clan from Randal, 
surnamed Ban or ' white-haired,' second son of John 
Mor and Margery Byset. For sir Thomas Cusake's 
account of the Scottish occupation of the Dufferin, see 
the Calendar of the Careiu MSS., first series; and for 
Marshal Bagenall's account, in 15S6, see Ibid,, second 
series. 

(184) The O'Kellies. — This clan occupied one of the 
nine subdivisions of upper or southern Clannaboy. Their 
lands comprehended " the greater part of Comber parish 
and Tullynakill. Ua Norden's map the name Kellies is 
laid on the situs of Comber, and Slut Kellies a little 
W.S.VV. of Drumbo. Johnson's map places the Kellies 
between Castlereagh and Dufferin on the east and south, 
and Slut MacO'Neale and Kinelarty on the west. The 
family was originally settled near Drumbo." (Reeves's 
Eccles. Antiquities, p. 347.) The O'Kellies were also 
known as the Mag Vuileachans ; and " Clanbrassel Mac- 
Coolechan (Clan-Breasail Mag Dhuilechain), so called for 
distinction betwixt it and one other country of the same 
name in the county of Armagh, is a very fast country of 
woodeandbogg, inhabited with a sept called the O'Kellies, 
a very savage and barbarous people, and given altogether 
to spoils and robberies." See Cambrensis Eversus, 
translated and edited by Kelly, vol. i., p. 248, note; see 
also an old authority quoted in Dubourdieu's Antrim, 
vol. ii., p. 627. 

(185) Kiluiarliu. — The territory of Kilwarlin adjoins 
Killultagh, and its wood men were always a formidable 
power in ancient Ulster. In 15S5, the year above referred 
to, their captain or leader was Ever Macrorie M 'Brian 



Magennis, this branch of the Magennises being known as 
MacRorie from its founder Rudhraighe. Their territory 
comprehended the present parish of Hillsborough, with 
portions of the parishes of Blaris, Moira, Dromore, and 
Dromara. 

(186) Macartan's countrey. — The present Kinelarty, 
anciently known as Cinel-Fagartaigh — i.e., 'Race of 
Fagartach,' the tribe name of the Macartans. They 
derive their name from Fagartach, son of Mongan, son of 
Saran, of the race of Ross, king of Ulster. From Artan, 
grand-son of Fagartach, they take their hereditary sur- 
name of Macartan. Their country lies between Kil- 
warlin and Lecale. In 1585, their leader was Acholie 
M'Cartan, who could turn out in Sorley Boy's service a 
goodly number of footmen but no horsemen, because their 
country was not suited to the training of cavalry, being 
then covered by woods and bogs. (See Reeves's Eccles. 
Antiquities, pp. 213, 36S; O'Daly's Tribes of Ireland, 
translated and edited by O'Donovan, p. 60 ; Book of 
Rights, edited by O'Donovan, p. 206.) The queen had 
granted this territory to sir Nicholas Malbie, by whom 
the rightful owners were expelled. In 1575, when 
Sydney visited the neighbourhood, instead of the Mac- 
artans, he found in Kinelarty bands of outlaws and thieves. 
"Now," says Sydney, "no Benefitt arryseth at all to 
Malbye, nor none ells; but contrariwise, being held as it 
is, breadethe moche Trouble and Inconvenience to the 
goode Neighbourhoode, and common Quiet and Securitie 
of the Countrie. " Sydney's Letters and Memorials, vol. 
i., p. 76. 

(1S7) Hugh M'Phelim's sonnes. — Hugh MacFelim 
O'Neill was elder brother to Brian MacFelim mentioned 
at pp. 147, 153, supra. He was captain or lord of Kill- 
ultagh, a territory consisting of about sixty thousand 
acres, now comprising almost all the Lisburn estates. 
Although he had been a fierce opponent of the Scots, and 
was slain by them in 15S3, his sons now (1585) united 
their forces with those of Sorley Boy. For an account of 
a 'difficulty' or dispute between Hugh MacFelim and the 
people of Carrickfergus, see M'Skimin's History, 3rd 
edition, pp. 291, 292. Northern Clannaboy was divided 
bv Perrot between the sons of sir Brian M'Felim and 
Hugh M'Felim, but Bagenall states, in his account of 
Ulster two years later (1586), that there had been great 
dissentions and slaughters among these cousins. (See 
Calendar of the Careiu MSS., second series, p. 438.) 
Dymock, in his Ireatice of Ireland (1599), refers to this 
division as follows: — " North Clanneboy is devided into 
two partes, the ryver of Kellis being the meare bownde. 
The South parte thereof was given for a rent to the sons 
of Brian M'Felim O'Neile, who were all pencioners to 
her majestie, and the eldest Shane M'Brian yett liveinge 
was cheeffe. The north part beyond Kellis to the ryver 
of Ban, by lough Eaugh, was assigned to the sonnes of 
Hugh M'Felim, elder brother to sir Brian, whose eldest 
sonne and chiefe of that parte is Hugh Oge M'Hugh." 
See Butler's edition, p. 22. 



l8o THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

break away on another journey to the North. The council oppose, and eventually prevent this 
project. Fenton now thinks that it would be good policy to permit Sorley and his son to enjoy 
some corner of the Route, handing over the residue to M'Quillye ! Then there is an order in 
council, which had to be made in consequence of the loss of Dunluce castle to the government ; 
next a letter from Perrot, urging his recall, declaring that he can hardly endure the discredit at 
Dunluce, and that he could not answer for the peace of the realme, now that the northern gap is 
again set open ! And last of all comes a " plain unvarnished" statement from Wallop, telling of the 
fall of Dunluce, (188) and the slaying of Peter Carie, its constable, together with many of the English 
garrison. In truth, this hapless constable was hanged over one of the walls of Dunluce, and in 
sight of an English force, which quickly decamped without any attempt either to save him, or avenge 
his death. In April, 1586, the queen wrote to the Irish deputy and council, directing a pension of 
one shilling a day, to be paid to Catherine Carie, in consideration of the loss of her husband, who, 
when " appointed Constable of the Castle of Dunluce, was betrayed by some of his own, and 
miserably slain by the Scots." His widow had " five small children without any means for their 
maintenance or bringing up." See Morrin's Calendar, second series, p. 127. 

The joy occasioned among the Scots of Antrim on their repossession of this great old fortress, was 
soon overclouded by tidings of the death of Alexander Macdonnell, Sorley's favourite and most gallant 
son. His father had now become old and feeble, and on hearing of his son's treacherous slaughter, the 
aged chief had probably a clearer vision of the horrors of war than was ever previously vouchsafed to 
him. At all events, he seemed from that moment to have made up his mind for peace. The retaking 
of his principal fortress from the enemy appears also to have thoroughly gratified the veteran 
warrior, because another laurel was thus added to his military crown, and especially because he 
felt that from Dunluce he could make overtures for peace without humiliation. So, Sorley overtured 
for peace, and fortunately he found his opponents only too happy to listen. It was forthwith 
arranged that he should go to Dublin and make a formal submission, and that, in return, he would 
receive a liberal grant from the crown. The government authorities were well aware that, as they 
wanted peace, there was only one way of obtaining it, and" in that way they had determined to 

(188) Fall of Dunluce. — In a memoir of sir John Perrot, them before); but the constable, willing to pay the price 

written several years afterwards, the author exonerates the of his folly, chose rather to forego his life in manly sort, 

deputy, and lays the blame of this disaster on the hapless than to yield unto any such conditions, and was slain." 

Cary, or rather on his northern extraction:—" Withal, (See Dubourdieu's Antrim, vol. ii., pp. 611, 612.) This 

there happening an accident of the loss of Dunluce (which story is hardly creditable in some respects, and would 

the Deputy had now, and placed a ward therein), he ad- have been very differently told by the hapless Cary him- 

vertised the same unto the Privie Council in this manner. self. Whether he was a Cary or Carew, whether of the 

When he first took that pile, he placed a pensioner called north or south, he was undoubtedly of English race. It 

Peter Cary to be constable of it, with a ward of fourteen is not to be believed that Perrot would have left such an 

soldiers, thinking him to be of the English pale or race; important place as Dunluce in charge of only fourteen 

but afterwards found that he was of the North. This men, and at such a very critical time. Wallop, the 

constable reposing trust in those of his country and kin- treasurer-at-war, speaks of many of the English garrison 

dred, had gotten some of them unto him, and discharged as having been slain, a form of expression which he would 

the English soldiers, unknown to the Deputy; two of hardly have used if only a few of the fourteen men had 

these having confederated with the enemy, drew up fifty been put to the sword. And, then, the idea of hauling 

of them by night, with ropes made of withies. Having fifty men up such a height by means of ■withies— ropes 

surprised the castle, they assaulted a little tower, wherein made of willow osiers — isquite out of the question. There 

the constable was, and a few with him. They at first must have been a desperate struggle for the possession of 

offered them life, and to put them in any place they a place which was regarded as so important by both 

would desire (for so had the traitors conditioned with parties. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. l8l 

proceed at last. There was no longer, therefore, any talk about the exclusion or expulsion of the Scots. 
The government by its agents, or rather the queen by her deputies, had made many an effort and sacri- 
fice to sweep the redshanks from Ulster, but all these efforts and sacrifices were made in vain. They 
had, also, time after time, distributed the Route and Glynns to minor claimants, but that farce could 
not now be repeated, and there was nothing for it but to satisfy their gallant old foe. They had 
gone through the form of granting two-thirds of the Glynns to Angus Macdonnell j whilst doing so, 
however, they must have felt that their grant was merely in name, and would soon be re-arranged 
between Sorley and his nephew ; but, as if making haste to appease him in the interval, Perrot 
actually substituted in the new grant to Sorley the four tuoghs or sub-territories of Dunseverick, Bally- 
money, Loughgill, and another small fragment between the Bush and the Bann, all of which he had 
virtually held, to be sure, but of which he had never received any formal grant from the crown. This 
was done to make up for the grant to Angus, although these tuoghs and the other smaller portion had 
all originally belonged to the Macquillins, who were to continue holding under Sorley Boy, as they 
had done for the space of forty years previously. This astute old warrior, therefore, went to Dublin, on 
these conditions, and performed his part of the ceremony of submission to perfection, prostrating him- 
self before a portrait of queen Elizabeth that hung in a room of the castle, and expressing very great 
contrition for his own reckless and ungrateful career ! His submission was made on the nth of 
February, near the close of the year 1585, old style, and on the 22nd of the same month, Perrot 
and the council conferred on him the distinguished honour of presenting a velvet mantle adorned 
with gold lace ! (See Cox's Hibemia Anglicana, i., p. 409). So ended Sorley's long and stormy 
controversy with the State. The indenture between him and Perrot is dated June 18, 1586. In 
addition to all the lands granted, including the tuoghs of Munerie or Mowbray, and Carey, i.e., 
Culfeightrin, Ramoan, and the grange of Drumtullagh, he was given the constableship or key- 
keeping of the castle of Dunluce by the delivery of Mr. Stafford. He was bound to hold of the 
queen by the service of homage, fealty, and two knights' fees, and on condition of observing the 
same articles as had been previously imposed on Angus Macdonnell. (189) See pp. 171, 172, 
supra. See also Calendar of the Carew MSS., second series, pp. 427, 428. 

(189) Angus Macdonnell. — An arrangement appears to in a small cheap style so flatteiing as one of her own 
have been soon afterwards made between this chief and magnificent dresses. This explains the following passage 
his uncle Sorley Boy, by which the latter re-entered into of a letter from the Irish deputy, dated Oct. 27, 1578 : — 
possession of the entire territories of the Glynns. The " It maie please yr honour, that the forepartes of the Earl 
persevering efforts, therefore, of lady Cantire on behalf of of Desmond's and O'Neale's wyves gownes maie bee 
her sons produced no permanent results. She was so sente." Before the presentation of a dress from the queen 
influential, however, that the English council always to each of the ladies named, it was found necessary to re- 
endeavoured to meet her wishes, — at least when this policy place, by new materials, certain " slobbered " breadths in 
could be carried without much sacrifice. Some time prior the fronts of the two gowns. Considerable delay, and 
to the commencement of the final struggle with Sorley much correspondence had to precede this desirable 



Boy, it was no doubt felt that an effort would be required novation. At length, however, early in January 1579, 

to keep Turlough Luinech and his lady at peace, and for the Irish lord-chancellor Gerrarde, wrote to secretary 

this purpose the queen resolved to bestow on the latter a Walshyngham, as follows :— " I sente my Man with her 

distinguished mark of her favour, in the shape of a royal Ma"" Gowne to Turloghe his Wyfe, who is a continuall 

dress. Among the many treasures of her majesty's ward- good instrumente to continewe him quyett ; his lettres to 

robe were certain garments of great magnificence, costly mee acknowledginge the receipte I sende y honour to bee 

silks and cloth of gold, which, in their day, had excited made knowen to hir Ma'ie- Her Highnes never bestowed 

the deep admiration of the ladies of England. When a garment better ; the other I have not yet delyvered to 

the queen wished, therefore, to bestow upon a lady sub- the countesse of Desmonde." 
ject an especial token of regard, she could select nothing 



[8a 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



By his wife Mary O'Neill, daughter of Con first earl of Tyrone, Sorley Boy had a numerous 
family of sons and daughters. The names of his sons were Donnell, Alexander, James, Randal, 
Angus, and, according to Mac Firbis, Ludar. The name of Ludar is added in what is called the 
" Dumb Book of James Mac Firbis," but it does not appear in the pedigree previously given by him. 
(See Appendix I ) Of his daughters, only one appears in record, she having married the chieftain of 
the Macnaghtens (190) in Scotland. According to the Four Masters, Sorley's lady, Mary O'Neill, died 
in the year 1582, and herlordin 1590. (191) A Macdonnell manuscript affirms that Sorley Boy died 
at Donanynie castle in 1589, old style, and was buried at Bunnamairge. The faithful clansmen carried 
the remains of their brave old chieftain down the slope of the castle-hill, past the harbour where he had 
so often welcomed his Clandonnell kinsmen to the Antrim shore, and across the ford of the Mairge, 
where the Irish caoine and the Highland coronach mingled in one wild wail for the dead. 
(192) They laid Sorley's remains in the older vault, the only family burial-place in the abbey then 
available. It is traditionally stated in the district that, when his son Randal built the later vault in 
1621, he had his father's remains brought into it. This tradition is likely to be true, but there are 



(190) Macnaghtens.- — The Macnaghtens are descended 
from Ferchar Fada, one of the early Dalriadic kings of 
Scotland. (See Adamnan's Life of Si. Columba, edited 
by Reeves, p. 438. ) Several leading families belonging 
to the clan held lands in Glenurchy, and on the shores 
of Lochawe. The Macnaghlens were zealous adherents 
of Robert Brace during the struggle for Scottish indepen- 
dence. In 1343, King David II. granted to Alexander 
Macnaghten all the lands that had belonged to his de- 
ceased father John, his grandfather Duncan, and his 
great-grandfather Alexander. Between the years 1390 
and 1406, David III. confirmed to Maurice Macnaghten 
a grant of extensive lands lying on the shores of Lochawe. 
On a small island, or rather peninsula, at the northern ex- 
tremity of this beautiful loch, stand the ruins of their an- 
cient fortress or castle, called Fraoch-Elan, the keeping of 
which was granted to Gillechrist Macnaghten in 1267, 
on condition that he and his heirs would keep it in good 
order, and well-furnished for the reception of the king, as 
often as the latter might be disposed to visit it. The 
burial-place of the old line of the Macnaghtens was the 
churchyard of Glenurchy. (See Orig. Paroch. Scot., 
vol. ii., pp. 141, 145.) The first of the Macnaghten 
family who settled on the Antrim coast was John, sur- 
named Dim, or ' dark-haired,' a nephew of Sorley Boy. 
This John Macnaghten became principal agent to his 
cousin, the first earl of Antrim, and his first place of 
residence was at Ballymagarry, in the vicinity of Dunluce 
castle. He died in 1630, and was buried near the entrance 
to the Antrim vault, in Bunnamairge, where the following 
inscription, in Roman capitals, on a slab of red freestone, 
is still legible : — 
"Heir . Lveth . the . Bodie . of Jhn . Macnaghten . first 

secretarie . to . the . first . Earle . of . Antrim . who 

departed . this . Life . in . the . yeare . of. our . Lord 

God. 1630." 
The Antrim branch of the Macnaghtens has worthily 
sustained the ancient family name, and is represented at 
the present time by sir Edmund Workman Macnaghten, 
Bart., of Dundarave, near Bushmills. 



(191) In 1590. — Mary O'Neill was not buried in Bun- 
namairge, but in the Franciscan convent of Armagh, the 
burial-place of her father Con O'Neill, and of his family, 
from the period of its erection in 1266. It is curious, 
however, that the house was originally erected by a Mac- 
donnell, who was chief of O'Neill's gallowglasses, in the 
thirteenth century. The O'Neills are well known to have 
esteemed the Franciscans more than any other religious 
order, and hence their preference of this convent church 
of Armagh as their place of burial. In it was interred 
Gormliath, the lady of Donnell O'Neill, king of Ulster, 
i" I353> together with a long list of chiefs, and their 
families, down to the end of the sixteenth century. The 
house was reformed in 1518, and was burned in 1566, 
during the war waged between Shane O'Neill and sir 
Henry Sydney. In 1596, Hugh O'Neill placed his son 
Con in ambuscade among the ruins, from which he sallied 
out, surprised, and cut to pieces a large detachment of 
English conveying provisions to the city, whose governor, 
sir Francis Stafford, was compelled to surrender it. A 
portion of the ruins of this convent may still be seen in 
the demesne lands adjoining Armagh. Although Mary 
O'Neill, the wife of Sorley Boy, may have preferred 
Armagh as a holier, and likely to be a more secure resting- 
place than Bunnamairge, yet her remains would have had 
a more peaceful and permanent abode in the latter. For 
an account of the Franciscan convent at Armagh, see 
Reeves's Ancient Churches of Ai magh; Median's Francis- 
can Monasteries, pp. 280, 28 1. 

(192) For the dead.— The late Rev. Luke Connolly, of 
Ballycastle, mentions in his Statistical Account 0; Ramoan 
that the Irish Lament was still " kept up here among 
Roman Catholics (1820), and is arranged with more 
melancholy sweetness than in any other part of Ireland. 
It consists of six notes, the first four of which are chanted 
in a low solemn tone, the concluding two more loud and 
rapid." (See Mason's Parochial Survey oj Ireland, vol. 
ii., pp. 510, 511.) The following is the definition of keen 
in O'Brien's Irish Dictionary :—" A cry for the dead, ac- 
cording to certain loud and mournful notes and verses, 



SORLEY EOY MACDONNELL. I S3 

no traces of his coffin now to be found, and if any inscription referring to him had ever existed 
here, on stone or brass, it has long since disappeared, In looking around the gloomy receptacle, 
it is difficult to associate, even the dust of this great chieftain with such quiet obscurity. But — 

"The glories of our birth and state, 

Are shadows, not substantial things- 
There is no armour against fate, 

Death lays his icy hand on kings ! " (193) 

In the older vault at Bunnamairge Sorley's children also were interred, some of them being sent 
prematurely to its silent abode by secret treachery, or cold-blooded massacre. As only one of his 
daughters is accounted for, the others — whatever may have been their number or names — are sup- 
posed to have perished, when comparatively young, in a fiendish massacre perpetrated by the 
followers of Essex. The expulsion of the Scots was one of this heartless adventurer's crazes, and his 
movements here were comparatively aimless, except in so far as this object was attempted to be carried 
out. (See Appendix VI.) His expedition was not only a miserable failure, but it will ever be regarded 
in Ulster as a deep stain on the government of England. In the summer of 1575, and not long prior to 
the sudden collapse of Essex's adventure, it became known that he intended to order a raid northward, 
and Sorley Boy took the precaution of sending part of his own family, together with the wives and 
families of his leading officers, to the island of Rathlin. Essex soon discovered that the place was 
crowded with refugees — women, children, and non-combatants — who had carried with them their 
family-treasures, including plate, and other valuables. And this proud English earl saw nothing 
dastardly or atrocious in attacking these defenceless people. On the contrary, he chuckled 
over this opportunity of wreaking a deadly revenge on Sorley Boy and his principle adherents, in 
return for the defeats and disasters the latter had inflicted on English freebooters in the field. 
Essex secretly ordered John Norris, then in command of three frigates at Carrickfergus, to make 
an immediate descent on Rathlin. "And when," says he in a letter to the queen, dated July 
3 x j 1575, — " I bad given this direction, to make the Scots less suspicious of any such matter pre- 
tended, I withdrew myself towards the Pale," — in other words, he went to Newry, from which place 
hepennedhis infamous account of this business to Elizabeth. On the 20th of July, Norris appeared 
off the island, and on the second day after his arrival he landed a large force by means of a flotilla of 
boats. In the fortress now (and probably then) known as Bruce's castle, Sorley had placed a garrison of 
about fifty men, and into it also had crowded the higher class of refugees, increasing the number of 
persons inside the walls to about two hundred. The commander of the garrison, whose name is not 

wherein the pedigree, land, property, generosity, and good more homely style, by the monk Adamnan over Bruidhe, 

actions of the deceased person and his ancestors are when placed in his coffin. The latter was one of the 

diligently and harmoniously recounted, in order to excite wide-spread and powerful family to which Sorley Boy 

pity and compassion in the hearers, and to make them belonged, and was ruler of that ancient kingdom of which 

sensible of their great loss in the death of the person whom Dumbarton on the Clyde was the capital. Adamnan's 

they lament." For illustrations of the keen, or caoine, see words are : — 

Croker's South of Ireland, pp. 173 — 182. The Scottish "It is rare It is rare 

cumhadh or coronach is exactly a similar production, After ruling in the northern kingdom, 

and used also as in Ireland, at wakes and funerals. For That a hollow stick of withered • 

several curious illustrations, see Logan's Scottish Gael, vol. 



I of the king of Akluaith.' 



ii., pp. 238—245. See Chronicle of the Picts and Scots, edited by W. F. 

(193) On hings. — The same truth was uttered, in a Skene, p. 409. 



I84 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

mentioned by Essex, was slain at the first encounter. The command then devolved on the con- 
stable of the castle, whose name also is unrecorded, and who appears to have surrendered sooner 
than he ought to have done, considering the immense advantage of his position. But we must 
permit Essex to tell the concluding part of this horrible tale, which he did with much pride and 
delight, in his letter to the queen : — " He (the constable) came out and made large requests, as 
their lives, their goods, and to be put into Scotland, which requests Captain Noreys refused, offering 
them as slenderly as they did largely require ; viz., to the aforesaid constable his life only, and his 
wife's, and his child's, the place and goods to be delivered to Captain Norrey's disposition, the 
constable to be prisoner one month, the lives of all within to stand upon the courtesy of the soldiers. 
The constable, knowing his estate and safety to be very doubtful, accepted this composition, and 
came out with all his company. The soldiers being moved and much stirred with the loss of their 
fellows that were slain, and desirous of revenge, made request, or rather pressed, to have the killing 
of them, which they did all, saving the persons to whom life was promised ; and a pledge which was 
prisoner in the castle, was also saved, who is son to Alexander Oge Macalister Harry, (194) who 
pretendeth to be a chief of the Glinnes, which prisoner Sorley Boy held pledge for his father's better 
obedience unto him. There were slain that came out of the castle of all sorts 200 ; and presently 
news is brought me out of Tyrone that they be occupied still in killing, and have slain that they 
have found hidden in caves and in cliffs of the sea, to the number of 300 or 400 more. They had 
within the island 300 kine, 3000 sheep, and 100 stud mares, and of bear corn upon the ground there 
is sufficient to find 200 men for a whole year." See Lives of the Devereux, Earls of Essex, vol. i., 
pp. US, "6. 

This news was received by the queen whilst she enjoyed " the princely pleasures of Kenil. 
worth," as the guest of her favourite, the earl of Leicester. To the first letter Essex received in 
reply, Elizabeth added the following postscript in her own hand : — " If lines could value life, or 
thanks could answer praise, I should esteem my pen's labour the best employed time that many 
years hath lent me. But to supply the want that both these carrieth, a right judgment of upright 
dealing shall lengthen the scarcity that either of the other wanted. Deem, therefore, cousin mine, 
that the search of your honour, with the danger of your breath, hath not been bestowed on so un- 
grateful a prince that will not both consider the one and reward the other. Your most loveinge 
cousin and sovereign, E. R." In a second letter, written from Dudley castle, alias Kenilworth, 
and referring to the event at Rathlin, the queen expresses herself as follows : — " If you knew what 
comfort we take to have a subject of your quality, — so assured unto us by bond of loyalty, whereof 
we have always had so good a trial, and tied unto us so nearly by affinity, a note of no small 
assurance — to growe in this time when the most part of men do give themselves over, as it were, 
a prey unto delicacy ; to be so serviceable in a calling whereof we may, in time to come, take so 
great profit; you should then acknowledge that care, and hazard, and travail, bestowed in the 

(194) Harry. — Correctly Carrach, the sobriquet borne Carrach and Sorley Boy were at variance, as occasionally 

by this sept of the Macdonnells, because of their descent happened, especially when the latter was beset by enemies 

from Alexander, surnamed Carrach, a younger son of from without. For Alexander Carrach's descent, see p. 

John of Isla. At the period of this massacre, Alexander 18, supra. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 185 

service of a prince that maketh as thankful acceptation of the same as any other prince that liveth." 
See Lives of the Devereux, Earls of Essex, vol. i., pp. 119, 120. 

Whether Essex was able to take any comfort from the foregoing royal announcements, or 
whether he understood them at all, it is not now of much importance to inquire. On the same 
day, however, that he had written to the queen about the massacre at Rathlin, he penned a letter to 
Walshyngham containing the following ghastly postscript: — "I do now understand this day by a 
spy coming from Sorley Boy's camp, that upon my late journey made against him (195) he then 
put most of his plate, most of his children, and the children of most part of the gentlemen with 
him, and their wives, into the Raghlins, with all his pledges (hostages), which be all taken and 
executed, as the spy sayeth, and in all to the number of 600. Sorley then also stood upon the 
mainland of the Glynnes, and saw the taking of the island, and was likely to run mad for sorrow, 
tearing and tormenting himself, as the spy sayeth, and saying that he then lost all he ever had." 
This passage gives us an awful glimpse of the scene in Rathlin. The old chieftain's frantic de- 
meanour certainly implied that some members of his family were on the island, and in the clutches 
of the fiends who followed Norris. When Sorley saw the English frigates approaching Rathlin, 
he no doubt hastily sought some point on the mainland from which he could observe their move- 
ments. From the headlands a little eastward of Ballycastle, and in the vicinity of his own residence 
of Dunanynie, he was only distant four miles from the scene of the massacre, and could, therefore, 
easily witness the progress of events on the island. The smoke of guns, the blaze of burning 
houses, the rushing of little parties in flight across the green fields to take refuge in the caves on 
the shore, and, especially, the signals of fear and despair which would doubtless be hoisted at 
various points, could be distinctly seen from the headlands on that part of the coast. (196) 

In the number of its victims, if not in the deliberate atrocity of its execution, this massacre 
was very much more appalling than that of Glenco. But yet, so far as we are aware, it called forth 
no words of grief or indignation from the subjects of "good queen Bess." On the contrary, they were 

(•95) Against him. — This movement against Sorley fastness, states that it was on the western side of the Bann, 

Boy to which Essex more than once refers in his letters although it is added, he, Brian Carragh, " manureth and 

as something to be proud of, led to no results further feedeth upon the land on this side the river." For Essex's 

than two or three days' skirmishing with the Scots on the letter to Elizabeth on this expedition, see Lives of the 

Bann. The 'fastness' of which Essex speaks in his long Devereux, Earls of Essex, vol. i. p. 108— III ; see also 

letter to the queen on this subject, was the fortified Appendix VI. 

residence of Brian Carragh O'Neill. "That part of (196) Of the coast, — In the eleventh volume of Froude's 

Ulster," says Dr. Reeves, "known in the sixteenth History of England, the author has a reference to this 

century as Brian Carraglt's country, consisted of a tract massacre. His account was severely criticised in the 

on either side of the Bann, of which Portglenone may be Athcnceum by a Mr. Brewer, professor of History in 

taken as the centre. The portion on the Antrim side of the London University, who asserted that the massacre 

the river which consisted of the adjacent part of the parish could not have been witnessed from the mainland, which 

of Ahoghill, was held by inheritance under O'Neill of was distant seven miles from Rathlin, and that, after all, 

Clanaboy; whilst the Londonderry portion, which con- Sorley Boy was only an audacious and troublesome Scot- 

sisted of the south-east part of Tamlaght-Ocrilly, was tish freebooter ! These assertions, however, only prove 

wrested by force of arms from O'Cahan, and held in that the professor is not familiar with the topography of 

adverse possession. . . . The place which is tradi- the Antrim coast, and that he must have learned his 

tionally pointed out as the site of Brian's abode is a small Scottish history principally from the Carew jVSS., which 

island in the middle of a marshy basin at Inishrush, called he has been recently assisting Mr. Bullen to calendar, 

the Green Lough. This spot was really the litis ruis, Froude, who knows little of Sorley Boy, and less of the 

' Island of the Wood." — Proceedings of the Royal Irish Antrim coast, was unable to meet his critic's pretentious 

icademy, vol. vii., pp. 211 — 217. Essex referring to this allegations. 
V 



1 86 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

well pleased to hear the news, and no doubt heartily approved of the following letter from Elizabeth 
to Essex, acknowledging her obligations to Norris, " the executioner," as she appropriately designates 
him :— " By your letter of 31st July, you advertise us of the taking of the island of Raughlins, the 
common receipt and harbour of all such Scots as do infest that realme of Ireland, and that your 
proceeding against Sorley Boy has taken happy success. (197) Give the young gentleman, John 
Norrice, the executioner of your well-devised enterprise, to understand that we will not be unmindful 
ofhis good services." (198) (Calendar of Carew MSS., second series, p. 21.) In praising his officers 
generally to the queen, after this exploit, Essex tells her that " they think themselves happy when 
they may have any occasion offered them that is to do your highness acceptable service ; and as I 
have had sundry proofs of them, and lately in the service done against the Scots in the fastness, 
and this now done in the Raghlins, so do I find them full willing to follow it untill they shall have 
ended what your Majesty intendeth to have done^ (Lives of the Devercux, Earls of Essex, vol. L, 
p. 117.) Her majesty intended to have the Scots expelled, or exterminated, and these officers were 
bent, it would appear, on nothing so much as working her will. So early as the 6th of August, she had 
sent from Chartley the following general expression of her praise and thanks, to sir Peter Carew, 
the sons of lord Norris, captain Malbie, and captain Barkleye— all of whom were doubtless assisting 
at the butchery in Rathlin :— " The Earl of Essex greatly commends your diligence and faithful 
service. We give you our hearty thanks, especially considering that in all services and hard 
accidents you have continued still with our said cousin when others have left him." See Calendar 
of Carew Manuscripts, second series, p. 21. 

We have already mentioned the death of Sorley Boy's favourite son, Alexander, whose tact and 
bravery so essentially strengthened the old chieftain's hands. If the walls of the vault in 
Bunnamairge could speak, they would tell how that gallant young soldier had been brought hither 
to be buried. When the English host under Perrot approached Dunluce, Alexander Macdonnell 
was foremost in the field to meet them, and with only a handful of men contrived to keep the 
struggle going on until the arrival of reinforcements, which his father had collected in Argyleshire 
and the Isles. In 1585, he headed a skirmishing party against captain Meryman or Merriman, and 
sought an opportunityof challenging that English desperado to single combat. The stratagem by which 
the latter effected young Macdonnell's destruction was base and dastardlyin no common degree. The 

(197) Happy success. — This delightful result consisted Gillahridghe, ' the son of Gillabride.' In early chronicles, 

in the fact, as believed, that every human being in the Somerled or Somhairle, the great thane of Argyle, was 

island, excepting the constable and his family, had been always known as Mac Gillabride, to distinguish him from 

slaughtered ! At least one other, however, and probably others of the same name Norse chroniclers, between 

a few more, were able to conceal themselves from the the years 1 156 and 1 164, often corrupt his name into 

brutal Sassanachs. In a letter from D. M'Curdy, Esq., Sowrdy Mac I/lurdy ! See Orig. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., 

of Wigan, the writer says : — " There is a tradition in our p. 2. 

family that the only one left alive by the company of (198) Good services.— For a notice of the Norris family 

soldiers sent to Rathlin by Essex, and under Norris, in see Appendix VI. Soon after the massacre in Rathlin, 

1575, besides the chief and his family, was a woman the queen made good this promise to Norris by appoint- 

named M'Curdy, who was found still alive, in one of the ing him to the lucrative and distinguished office of 

caves to which the inhabitants fled for shelter ; all the president of Munster. He was one of six brothers, the 

others being savagely butchered." The surname of sons of sir Henry Norris, created lord Norris of Rycot, 

M'Curdy, — once so prevalent in the Highlands of Scot- groom of the Stole, and executed in 1536, on a charge of 

land and on the coasts of Ulster, is evidently a contraction alleged adultery with Anna Bullen or Boylen. He ii 

of Mae Illurdy, the latter being a corruption of Mac believed to have been innocent of this charge. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 1 87 

following is Cox's account of this affair : — " Alexander M'Sorlie who commanded the Scotts, 
challenged Merriman to a combate ; and a lusty gallowglasse (199) being by, said he was the 
captaine, and so to the duell they go ; the gallowglasse stund the Scotte at the first blow, but 
he, recovering himselfe, killed the gallowglasse ; and thereupon Merriman stept out and fought 
Alexander a good while with sword and target, and so wounded him in the leg that he was forced 
to retreat. Thereupon his army being discouraged, was totally routed ; and Alexander, being hid 
under turf in a cabin, was discovered, and his head cut off, and set on a pole in Dublin." One 
Price, a sergeant in Merriman's troop, was present on this occasion, and wrote an account of the 
combat and its results, to Walshyngham. " So we killed," says he, "of them aboute three score 
Scotts, and hurt many of them, and after Alexander MacSorlie had many wounds, he swame over 
to a lough (an island in a lough) for refuge, and there we found him by great chance, beinge layed 
in a deepe grave, in the gronde, as though it had been some dead corse, strawed over with green 
rushes, and on evrie side of the grave six ould calliopes (calliaghs, old women,) weepinge ; but in 
searching the grave, we found a quick corse therein, and in remembrance of Donelus we cried 
quittance with him, and sent his head to be set on Dublin Castle." The conclusion of this passage 
is unintelligible. Probably the writer meant that the English force thus murdered Alexander in 
revenge for some defeat inflicted upon them by his elder brother Donnell, who had been a gallant 
leader, but who was slain whilst skirmishing near the Bann, a few years prior to 1585. 
When Sorley, soon after the death of his son Alexander, went to Dublin to make his formal 
submission, an English official cruelly invited him to look at his son's head, where it had been placed 
on a spike at the entrance to the castle. The grief-stricken old man, groaning in spirit, proudly 
replied — ■" My son hath many heads !" The knowledge of this striking incident is preserved in a 
Macdonnell manuscript. 

Sorley Boy was succeeded by his third son, sir James Macdonnell, who died unexpectedly at 
Dunluce, on Easter Monday, the 13th of April, 1601. He had made himself peculiarly obnoxious to 
the government of Elizabeth by his active co-operation with the great northern earl, Hugh O'Neill, and 
because of his very friendly intercourse with the Scottish court He was a gay, handsome, and very 
hospitable knight, a frequent guest of James VI., at whose hand he received the honour of knight- 
hood. In the year 1597, he advanced a claim to the estates of Isla and Cantire, on the ground, 
as sir James alleged, of his cousin Angus Macdonnell's illegitimacy. The king having 
shown a disposition to favour this claim, the lord of Dunluce visited the Scottish court, where 
he and his train were received with marked distinction. " Whilst in Edinburgh his claim to the 
Scottish properties abovementioned was formally brought before the Privy Council, but as it was 
founded on an erroneous allegation, namely the bastardy of Angus Macdonnell, it was speedily 

(199) Gallo-to°Iasse. — Dymock, in his Treatice of feet long, the blade whereof is somewhat like a shoe- 

Ireland, defines Gallowglass to be " picked men, of great maker's knife, and without a pike ; the stroke whereof is 

and mightie bodies, cruel, without compassion. The deadly where it lighteth, And being thus armed, 

greatest force of the battle consisteth in them, chusing reckoning to him a man for his names bearer, and a boy 

rather to die than to yield ; so that when it cometh to to carry his provisions, he is named a sparre, of his 

hardy blows, they are quickly slain, or win the field. weapon so called, eighty of which sparres make a battle 

They are armed with a shirt of mail, a skul, and a skeine: of Gallowglass." 
the weapon they most use is a battle-axe or halbert, six 



1 88 THE MACDONNELS OF ANTRIM. 

dismissed by the advisers of the Crown." (Gregory's History of the Western Highlands, pp. 273, 
274.) To make up in some measure for this disappointment, the lord of Dunluce received from the 
Scottish king the honour of knighthood, together with a grant of an estate in Caotire. The lands 
then granted lie on the western shore of that peninsula, extending from near the Mull in a northern 
direction towards Machrihanish Bay, and opposite Ballycastle on this coast. The grantee is styled 
in the patent 'sir James Macdonald of Dunluce, eques auratics de Cullelungart,' the latter being the 
portion of his Cantire lands containing the principal messuage or residence. (200) Sir James's 
visit to Edinburgh, in 1597, is noticed in the following terms by a chronicler named Patrick 
Anderson, whose History is still in manuscript : — " At this time one Sir James Mac Buie (Mac 
Sorley Boy), a great man in Ireland, being here for the time to complain of our chief Islesmen, was 
knighted, and went with his train to visit the castle, and provision therein, and gave great and noble 
rewards to the keepers." Another contemporary chronicler, named Birrel, has the following entry 
in his Diary in reference to sir James's departure from Edinburgh : — " He went homeward, and for 
bonally (don aller, an entertainment at the commencement of a journey), the cannons shot out of 
the castle of Edinburgh." The Chronicle of Scottis Kingis, published by the Maitland Club, describes 
sir James as " ane man of Scottis bluid, albeit his landis lye in Ireland. He was ane bra man of 
person and behaviour, but had not the Scots tongue, nor nae language but Erse." (See Chambers' 
Domestic Annals of Scotland, vol. i., pp. 286, 287.) This fact last mentioned proves that Sorley 
Boy's family resided on his Irish estates, and had become, in one respect at least, more Irish than 
the Irish nobility themselves, many of the latter being able to speak Latin and English. 

In 1597, sir John Chichester, then governor of Carrickfergus, writing to Burghley, forwarded a 
complaint to the government against sir James Macdonnell and his brother Randal. " I must not 
forget," he says, " to acquaint your lordship, with the doubt that is held by us of James M'Donnel 
and Randoll his brother; who albeit they have not yet absolutely declared themselves in dis- 
obedience, yet they have so behaved themselves of late towards her Ma ties service, as it promiseth 
little better fruit at their hands. For, firste they have obstinately refused to do anie service without 
maintenance from her Ma tie , detaininge her rents, notwithstanding I have often demanded the 
same of them. They have likewise broken down two of their castells, the one called Glinarme, (201) 
and the other Red Bawne, (202) forteffeinge themselves only in Dunluse, where they have planted 

(200) Residence. — The original patent is still preserved street leading up from the Barbacan. After the partial 
at Glenarm castle, and recites the names of the denom- demolition or " breaking down" of this structure in 1597, 
inations on the Cantire estate, as follows : — " The four as above stated, it was never rebuilt. In six years after- 
merklands of Cullelungart, the four merklands of Kilkevin, wards, sir Randal got a grant of the estates, and built the 
the four merklands of Ballygrogan and Craigothe, the original portions of the present castle, adding to them 
three merklands of Catcadell and Gorthbane, the three before his death in 1636. The ruins of the Bysets' castle 
merklands of Clackmakill, the two merklands of Rand- were permitted to remain long after it had been abandoned, 
leithes, the two merklands of Auchecoyne, the two (202) Red Bawne.— Red Bay castle, here called Red 
merklands of Kilravane, the two merklands of Cloghqu- Bawn, was also supposed to have been built by the Bysets, 
hordill, the two merklands of Auchintor, the one merk- although perhaps they had only rebuilt old structures here 
landofAuchinstefory,andtheonemerklandofGlenndeill." and at Glenarm. In 1562, James Macdonnell, eldest 
See also Orig, Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., pp. 6, 7, II. brother of Sorley, repaired the castle at Red Bay, and 

(201) Glinarme. — This was the old castle at Glenarm brought workmen from Scotland for this purpose. It was 
built by the Bysets about the middle of the thirteenth partially demolished by Shane O'Neill in 1565, but rebuilt 
century. It stood on the southern side of the river, just and held by a succession of constables until about the 
opposite the present castle, and at the top of the little year 1640. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELI.. 1 89 

three peeces of ordnaunce, demi- cannon, and culvering, which were had out of one of the Spanish 
ships coming upon that coast after our fight with them at sea in '88. I have demaunded the said 
peeces of them, to have placed them in Kerogfargus for the better strengtheninge of the towne, 
but they have utterly denied the delivery of them." (See Ulster Journal of Archaology, vol. v., p. 
191). The ill-fated Spanish vessel, wrecked in the vicinity of Dunluce castle, was not one of the 
large ships of the Armada, but a galleass, or gigantic galley — a description of vessel carrying 
generally fifty guns, and impelled by oars. This vessel was the Gerona, and the com- 
mander then in charge of her was the famous Alonzo da Leyva, who, says Froude, " was so cele- 
brated personally, and so many attractions combined in him of birth, bearing, and distinguished 
services, that of the fathers of the highborn youths who had volunteered to accompany the Armada, 
most of them had committed their sons to da Leyva's special care." This commander had sailed 
at first in a magnificent ship named the Rata, and such was the precious quality of his volunteer 
band, that after any fight, or storm, encountered by the Armada, the first inquiry that ran among the 
fleet was — Is the Rata safe? The Rata was wrecked, but her precious cargo was safely transferred 
to another vessel ; that other was doomed to the same fate, but yet again Alonzo was able to 
rescue his company of gentle and noble Castilian youths from the fury of the sea. After a few 
weeks' woeful experience on the western coast of Ireland, they made their way to Killybegs in 
Donegal, where they got on board the Gerona, Alonzo believing that she could carry them safely 
to the Scottish coast, where they would have received protection. It was found, however, that 
only about half the large party in Alonzo's charge could get accommodation in the Gerona, the 
other half being disposed of among Irish friends in Ulster, who engaged to keep them safely during 
the winter months. The larger and more distinguished portion of the company, numbering more 
than three hundred, sailed away with Alonzo along the northern coast from Killybegs towards the 
Scottish shore, passing safely Tory island, Lough Swilly, Lough Foyle, and the Magilligan strand. 
But the wind began once more to rise, and the sea to roll in with its accustomed fury, as the Gerona 
passed Dunluce and neared the Causeway headlands The rowers were utterly unable to keep the 
immense andunwieldy galleass sufficiently out at sea; she soon became the sport of the waves, and was 
at length dashed against a low splintered rock running out from one side of a little creek between the 
Giant's Causeway and the castle of Dunluce. The galleass had no sooner struck than she went to 
pieces, and out of the large number on board, only five are said to have been rescued from the wreck. 
Two hundred and sixty bodies, including those of Alonzo and all the young Castilian nobles on 
board, were washed into the little creek since known as Port-na-Sfagnia, and were buried no doubt 
in the old cemetery near Dunluce castle. See Froude's History of England, vol. xii., pp. 515, 316. 
At that memorable period Sorley Boy, who was still living, occupied his favourite residence 
of Dunanynie, near Ballycastle, but his eldest surviving son, James, was constable or governor of 
Dunluce castle under his father. A few of the guns were recovered from the wreck and mounted 
on the castle, and the Macdonnells got other fragments of the vessel, one of which will be subse- 
quently mentioned. It is curious that, whilst Froude has exercised a commendable industry 
in searching Spanish State Papers referring to the fate of the Gerona and her commander, he 
seems never to have thought of the Irish State Papers containing an account of efforts 



I90 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

made by the government, in the course of the following summer, to get possession of whatever 
valuables could still be secured. The tone of these State documents implies that there must have been 
considerable excitement in the Route, owing to a report that the Spanish vessel had large stores of 
ducats and doubloons on board. Sir Geoffry Fenton made out a list of all the Spanish vessels 
wrecked on the Irish coasts, in which it is stated that in the wreck at Dunluce about 300 men 
perished. {Calendar of Carew MSS., second series, 472.) The government officials, inspired 
by their unscrupulous and money-adoring lord deputy, Fitzwilliam, (see p. 150, supra), made great 
preparations to collect the treasure, but by the time their preparations were complete, there remained 
nothing to collect. On the 27th of July, 1589, John Dallawaye wrote to sir George Carew, master 
of the ordnance, as follows : — " Since my cominge into the North, I have learned that there are two 
Spaniards and a Scottish captain come over to weigh the ordnance in the Routt, and it is reported 
that there is a great store of gold and silver there, and that the Spaniards and Scottish captain have 
brought the king of Scots letters to Anguishe M'Connell (203) and to Sorley Boy ; but it is a thing 
uncertain to me but by report; but for certain the men are in the Routt, and purpose to proceed in 
the matter." (204) On the 30th of the same month, sir Henry Bagenal wrote to Carew, as 
follows : — 

" My most worthy and good Uncle, — I long to hear of the safe arrival of your best comfort. 
If she be come, let her know that there is no artillery at Dunluce to draw you from her. The 
King of Scots, as I hear say, sent for the same, and at first they did weigh two great peeces. I am 
sure they have all, and are gone." The first of August, 1589, is the date of a commission from the 
lord-deputy Fitzwilliam, to sir George Carew, requiring him to take her majesty's "gallyon called 
the Pojtingay," to recover certain pieces of ordnance in Ulster, " where some of the Spanish fleet 
perished." On the 24th of August, the deputy wrote to Carew as follows: — "This day I re- 
ceived your letter of the 16th of this month by this bearer the pursuivant, being glad of your and 
my lady your wife's arrival in good safety, together with her Maties treasure and munition. I wold 
that the Lord Admiral had not written to captain Thornton for his repair to Chester, so might he 
have gone with you about the ordnance by Dunluce, which I heard by Sorley Boy, and likewise 
from captain Henshawe, was assayed by some out of Scotland to be weighed, but still in the water. 
Take with you 50 of Mr. Marshall's footmen, and the two half bands which he already has at Knock- 
fargus, and Mr. Waring's 20 horsemen in the Ardes, in your way thitherward, providing cables and 
other things, either out of your office or by the help of the Lord Chancellor of Dublin. At Knock- 
fargus you will obtain greate boates and casks." (See Hamilton's Calendar, second series, pp. 10 — 
12; see also Calendar of Carew MSS., second series, p. 11). This deputy had already made 
himself infamous for plundering Spanish shipsbelonging to the Armada, and remorselessly butchering 

(203) AnguisheM' Council. — Angus M'Donnell, nephew (204) In the matter. — Sir George Carew styles the 

of Sorley, got a grant from the crown of so much of the writer of the above letter, on the margin, " Auncyent 

Glynns as had belonged to the Bysets (see pp. 171, 172, Dallawaye," 'auncyent' being the old form of ensign, 

supra), and would thus appear to have been in possession of He was, no doubt, the person who subsequently settled 

these territories in 1589. These lands, however, must have at Braidisland, and founded the family of Dalway 

soon passed into the possession of the Dunluce family — there. For the grant of the Dalway estate, see Mont- 

probably during the lifetime of Sorley Boy, who died in gomery Manuscripts, new edition, p. 57, note. 
the following year, 1590. 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 1Q1 

all Spanish soldiers and sailors then thrown into his hands. See p. 150, supra. The treasure and 
munition mentioned in the foregoing letter were brought by Carewfrom England not from Dunluce, 
and as we hear no more in the State Papers of this shipwreck, except that three hundred 
Spaniards were drowned, it may be supposed that the government officials failed to secure any 
portion of the spoil. 

The unfortunate Spaniards at Dunluce, in perishing with the wreck of their ship, thus saved 
Fitzwilliam the trouble of their execution ; and the Macdonnells were too powerful to permit 
coercive measures on the part of the deputy being applied to themselves, or their clansmen, for the 
purpose of extorting any treasure which may have been found in the ill-fated vessel. Every Spanish 
ship of the Armada was furnished with its own supply of gold and silver for the great expedition, 
the two descriptions of money being preserved in two exceedingly strong chests or safes on board each 
vessel. Although the Macdonnells did not probably claim any of the gold and silver, they retained the 
two safes, the three pieces of cannon already mentioned, and, it may be, other fragments from the 
wreck. What became of the guns after the dismantling of Dunluce castle, we know not ; but the 
chests, or strong boxes, are still in the possession of the Antrim family, and have been long used 
as receptacles for valuable papers and documents connected with the estate. These chests lay 
originally at Dunluce; next in Ballymagarry, where the family had a residence; then at Ballylough, 
the house in which the agents generally dwelt ; and, finally, they were removed to Glenarm castle, 
about the year 1740, when a misunderstanding arose between the fifth earl and his agent, Alexander 
Stewart. The latter complained " that Lord Antrim had prevailed on John Cuppage, who received 
rents for Mr. Stewart as his assistant, to surrender the keys of the iron chest, so that Mr. Stewart had 
been thus deprived of access to papers which would have enabled him to specify names, dates, and 
accounts, with greater precision." This " iron chest " was the larger of the two safes, both of which 
are still in excellent preservation, having been occasionally painted in the original colours, whilst the 
several emblematical figures were tastefully retained. The chests, made of iron, are covered 
with iron straps, so as to render them immensely strong. There is one such chest or safe, which 
belonged to a ship of the Armada, preserved in the Tower of London, and it is in all respects similar 
to the larger one at Glenarm. The authorities in the Tower believe, we are told, that their specimen 
of the Spanish safe is unique — the only one in the three kingdoms. In this, however, they are mistaken. 
Besides the two at Glenarm, there is another in the Presbyterian church at Dundonald, county of 
Down, which was presented to the congregation there by a Belfast merchant, to be used as a secure 
and convenient receptacle for the communion-plate and the records connected with their worshipping 
society. (205) 

The ' difficulty' on the question of the Spanish guns mentioned above, was soon afterwards 
followed by a still greater one. Sir John Chichester, governor of Carrickfergus, thought it necessary to 
send parties into the Route, to collect by force such rents and cesses, as he alleged, were due out of 
that district to the queen. Like most tax-collectors under such circumstances, these functionaries 

(205) Society. — The Dundonald chest was, no doubt, brought to this district by some Scottish settler at the 
commencement of the seventeenth century, several of the Spanish ships having been wrecked on the coasts, and among 
the islands, of Scotland. 



tgl THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

appear to have done their work harshly. Sir James Macdonnell was thus provoked to draw together 
a considerable force, at the head of which he followed the tax-collecting party to the neighbourhood 
of Carrickfergus, ostensibly for the purpose of remonstrating against certain oppressions of which 
they had been charged in the course of their difficult work, but evidently prepared also for the con- 
tingency of an open rupture with Chichester. This latter was the result, owing principally to the 
rash and arrogant conduct of certain English officers, among whom one named Moses Hill (206) 
appears to have been especially prominent. A battle ensued between the Scottish and English 
forces, commanded respectively by sir James Macdonnell and sir John Chichester, at a place called 
Altfracken, near Carrickfergus, in which the English were entirely defeated, and their commander 
slain. (207) Sir John Chichester's place as governor of Carrickfergus was soon afterwards filled up 
by the appointment of his younger brother, sir Arthur, against whose advancement to this position 
sir James Macdonnell warmly remonstrated. The latter, when writing to sir Francis Stafford, 
ventured on the following significant announcement: — " If her Matie desire me to be her subject, I 
will not have Sir Arthur Chichester to be the governor of Carrickfergus." This declaration was not 
afterwards forgotten either to the lord of Dunluce, or to his people, the Clandonnell on the Antrim 
coast. Sir James Macdonnell died in 1601, from the effects of poison, it is supposed, administered 
by an emissary in the pay of lord Burghley. (208) The Four Masters record his death as follows: — 
" James, the son of Sorley Boy, son of Alexander, son of John sumamed Cahanagh, the most dis- 
tinguished of the Clandonnell, either in peace or war, died on Easter Monday." By his wife Mary, 
daughter of Felim O'Neill of Clannaboy, he left a large family, of whom nine were sons, and of these 
sons, excepting Alexander the youngest, very little is known. (209) 

It is believed that there are collateral branches of this family, among whom may be mentioned 

(206) Moses Hill.— This officer came with Essex in have declared that, were the money to he had in no other 
1573, and after the death of the latter, he served with his way, he would willingly sell his very shirt! For a 
son Robert, earl of Essex, with lord Mountjoy, with sir curious and interesting account of the suspicious circum- 
John, and sir Arthur Chichester. He was early appointed stances connected with the death of sir James Macdon- 
governor of Olderfieet castle, and it is rather remarkable nell, see the Ulster Journal of Archccology, vol. v., pp. 
that his rash conduct before the battle of Altfracken, and 207, 208. 

his expulsion from Olderfieet by the Macdonnells soon (209) Is known. — For a short account of sir James's 

afterwards, did not operate as a check on his prosperous descendants, see Lodge's Peerage, edited by Archdall, 

career. In 1603, he was appointed provost-marshal of the vol. i., pp. 201 — 204; see pp. 64, 68, 70, 71, supra; 

foi ccs in Ulster, and from that period received several grants see also Appendix VII. A great grandson of sir James 

of lands, especiallyat Hillsborough, in the county of Down. settled at a place called Kilkee, in the county of Clare, 

He purchased some church property at Drogheda, where prior to 1663, and there married Penelope, third daughter 

he became extremely obnoxious to the native Irish of Daniel More O'Brien, of Dromore and Dough in the 

people. " To us Franciscans," says father Mooney; "he same county. This lady was sister to Honora, the second 

was another Heliodorus, desecrating our holy places, viscountess Clare. The youthful Macdonnell from the 

persecuting the members of our brotherhood, and laying Route was the founder of a most respectable and influen- 

sacnlegious hands on the consecrated utensils of the tial family in the county of Clare, the present representa- 

sanctuary." See Median's Franciscan Monasteries, pp. tative of which is major \V. E. Armstrong Macdonnell, 

35. 3°- of New Hall, near Ennis. The Macdonnells of Clare 

(207) Stain. — For several interesting letters relating to have been more fortunate than their Antrim kinsfolk in 
this battle which occurred in 1597, see the Ulster Journal having had several native bards of more than ordinary 
k ^''f'''' ^w ''i , - , '' vo1 - v -' PP- l8 S — 209. For an account of talent to celebrate the interesting events in their family 
the flight of Moses Hill and others into Island Magee, history. Among these bards may be mentioned the 
after the battle, see Richard Dobbs's Briefe Description of well-known Mac Curtins, Andrew and Hugh ; Tohn 
the county of Antrim in Appendix II. Hartney, John Hore, and Thomas Meehan. As a 

(20b) Burghley. — About the same time, Burghley was specimen of the poems written respecting the Macdon- 
™°£t intent on procuring the assassination of Hugh nells of Clare, we give the following translation of Hugh 
O Neill, and to furnish means for this object, he is said to Curtin's verses on the marriage of Sorley Macdonnell 



SORLEY BOY MACDONNELL. 1 93 

Charles Macdonnell, now, if alive, an Austrian count, and formerly secretary to field-marshal Nugent. 
He held property near Newtown-Mount-Kennedy, in the county of Wicklow, which was sold in the 
Encumbered Estates Court, about i860. A kinsman, sir Richard Graves MacDonnell, referring 
to this Austrian count, says : — " The said Charles had promised to look up his papers, and I believe 
he had several documents calculated to throw light on the family history, but the sale of his property 
in Wicklow, and his own settlement abroad have, doubtless, melted away the chance of getting infor- 
mation from him." — Extract of a letter to the Author. 

with Isabel, daughter of Christopher O'Brien of En- Since I lost the great men who were prompt to befriend me— 

nistvmon • The heroes,- the princes of Cashel and Clare ! 

..OSwanofbrightplumagelOmaidenwhobearest "^S^SS^^St^S^^ 

&tt«&%523^£&Etem. °fthe P-f C ? Ua Ua,s the swift-they whc, headed 



[ speech of a 



So proudly the conquering tribes of the North ! 



Thou rose uf the garden of golden Dal-Cas ! " 
—See Collection of Poems written by Clare Bards, Dublin, 
1S63, pp. 3, 57. See also Appendix VIII. 



Lw 



CHAPTER V. 

SIR RANDAL MACDONNELL, FIRST EARL OF ANTRIM. 




jIR Arthur Chichester, although professing for the good of the state, to abandon all 
vengeful feelings towards the Macdonnells on account of his brother's death, appears 
to have seized every opportunity of retaliation. Whilst they were actually in rebellion 
with Hugh O'Neill against the queen, Chichester was bound to meet them fairly in 
the field, and, if possible, to defeat them by the agencies of honourable warfare ; but his policy was 
to employ any means for this object, even to the wanton and horrible sacrifice of non-combatants, 
including women and children. This policy is pretty plainly expressed in the following terms : — 
" On the seaventeenth," he says, " in remimbrance of the daye (i) I undertooke my jorney into the 
Roote, marcheinge by nyght untill I came thither, to avoyde discoverye ; I founde Randall gone 
with Tyrone, towards Mounster, (2) with 120 foote and 24 horse, leaveinge his nephewe with the 
rest of his force for the garde of that countrie. (3) Bot I, comeinge unlooked for amonge them, 
made my entrance almost as far as Dunluce, (4) where I spared neither house, corne, nor creature; 
and I brought from thence as much prey of all sortes as we could well dryve, being greatlye hindered 
by the extreame snow fallen in the tyme of my bemge abroade. (5) Upon my returne, they keept 
passages and straytis, uppon which they fought two dayes with us ; (6) wee lost some few men, 



(1) Of the daye. — This extract is from a letter to 
Cecil, dated November 22, 1601. The day so worthily 
' remimbered,' according to Chichester's estimate of such 
matters, was the anniversary of queen Elizabeth's acces- 
sion to the throne in 155S. The murder and rapine, 
which Chichester on this occasion let loose upon the 
Route, were indeed the very agencies best fitted to execute 
Elizabeth's ruthless policy towards the Antrim Scots. 
There was only to be another anniversary of this event, as 
the queen died on the last day of the year 1602. Eliza- 
beth was distinguished for the sagacity with which she 
selected her agents. " The great events and discoveries 
of the Elizabethan era produced a love of adventure which 
broke forth in every direction, and varied in the dignity 
of its objects and in its character, from the height of 
heroism to the depth of baseness. The eagles took wing 
for the Spanish main; the vultures descended upon Ire- 
land. " Gold win Smith's Irish History and Irish Charac- 
ter, p. 79. 

(2) Towards Mounster. — After the death of sir James 
Macdonnell, Randal thus appears to have been recognised 
as the head or chief of the clan. Chichester knew well 
when to make his bloody raid into the Route — when all 
the experienced officers, and nearly all the rank and file 
of the Clandonnell had departed on their ill-starred expe- 
dition with Hugh O'Neill to join the Spanish force that 
had landed at Kinsale. About 800 of the Clandonnell 
were thus absent under the command of their valiant 



captains Randal, Donnell Gorm, Angus, Rorie, and Coll- 
duffe Macdonnell. Of these officers, according to a 
Macdonnell manuscript, only Randal and his brother 
Angus returned, the others, with most of their men, hav- 
ing perished at the diastrous battle of Kinsale. 

(3) Thatcounttic. — Randal's nephew was oneof the nine 
sons of sir James Macdonnell, probably Alexander, after- 
wards so well known. 

(4) As Dunluce — On this occasion Chichester must 
have marched by night from Carrickfergus along the 
coast, otherwise his movement would have been sooner 
discovered. On his raids from Carrickfergus, whether 
into Down, Antrim, or Tyrone, he always aimed at re- 
turning by a different route, so as to desolate as much of 
the country as possible. We find that he practised this 
manoeuvre when retreating from the neighbourhood of 
Dunluce, as his line of march lay inland considerably from 
the coast, and through the Glynns. 

(5) Beinge abroade. — This reference to the severity of 
the weather in November, 1601, is confirmed by other 
accounts. "There happened a great frost, the like 
whereof hath been seldome seen in Ireland." Hibernia 
Pacata as quoted in the Census of 1851, vol. i., part v., 
p. 105. 

(6) With us.~ From Chichester's admission it is 
evident that the small party of Clandonnell, left to protect 
the Route, had acted gallantly on the occasion. He 
probably returned by Clough, in the present parish of 



SIR RAXDAL MACDOXNELL. 



95 



horse and foote, but they a far greater .number, for I brak them severall tymes, and made them 
often rune, in which consists all their safetie. I have often sayd and writen yt (it) is famine that 
must consume them ; our swordes and other endeavours worke not that speedie effect which is 
expected, for theire overthrowes are safeties to the speedie runners, uppon which wee kyll no 
multetudes." See Montgomery Manuscripts, new edition, p. 48, note. 

The suppression of Tyrone's rebellion, and the accession of James VI. of Scotland to the 
English throne, were events of much importance to the people that still survived such desolation 
as had been thus brought upon the Route and Glynnes. The Macdonnells naturally rejoiced that 
the Plantagenet line of sovereigns had come to an end in England, and that henceforth the throne 
was to be occupied by a prince not only of Scottish blood, but by a kinsman of their own. (7) 
Randal Macdonnell was known among his own people by the sobriquet of Arranach, from having 
been fostered in the Scottish island of Arran, and having probably a residence therein. (8) From 
his proximity to the Scottish capital, he had easy means of access to the court of James VI., and 
was just such a man — being more of a politician than soldier — as could supply the king with that 
information concerning the state of Ulster that he specially wanted to obtain. James had been 
long anxiously waiting to hear of Elizabeth's death, and preparing himself to succeed her as 
sovereign of Great Britain, and, if possible, of Ireland also. There was a doubt as to this 



Dunaghy, and from thence through the wild regions lying 
between that village and Glenarm, in which there are 
several "passages and straytis," where a small force could 
harass and waste a much larger one when in retreat. 
This was no doubt the same route by which Sussex 
reached Glenarm, coming from Coleraine through the 
parish of Loughguile, in 1556. The pursuivant who re- 
corded the deputy's movements on that occasion, says: — 
" This day we came by a castell of M'Guillin's called 
Castan Lough-Keoulle, and also a great causy or high 
gravelled way." The following account of the road now 
referred to has been kindly supplied by a gentleman in- 
timately acquainted with the district: — "The road through 
this district was very well known within the memory of 
persons living; some portions of it were removed in mak- 
ing land improvements; some are still frequented bye- 
ways; and a part utterly disused and nearly forgotten 
might yet be traced through the deep bog or moor at the 
head of Glenariff. At this last named place, no doubt 
the most dreary portion, the road, about seven feet in 
width, was formed of broad flat stones, and was called in 
the country the Black Causeway, being the connecting 
link between Clough and the coast, and therefore requiring 
occasional repairs. About a century ago, it was cus- 
tomary for the glens-men, and those from the interior, to 
meet on certain appointed days during the summer 
season, for the purpose of repairing the causeway. The 
dwellers in that region then carried their butter to Bally- 
mena market by means of creels suspended at their horses' 
sides, each person placing a large flat causeway stone in 
one of his creels to balance the butter on the opposite 
side. These stones, thus carried to Ballymena, were 
flung into a heap on the premises of an extensive butter 
merchant in that town, who is said to have used them in 
building a large concern for his better accommoda- 
tion. At any rate, this rude road, and this primitive 
mode of conveyance, could alone be adopted at the period, 



as no wheeled conveyances would have been there of the 
slightest service. The system of carriage by pack-horses 
prevailed, at the same period, in many places throughout 
England much more important than the Antrim Glens. 
Those who know the glens, however, will be inclined to 
say, that the district has made as great, if not greater ad- 
vancement than most other localities, since the days of 
the Black Causeway." 

(7) 0/ their man. — Not to speak of the earlier inter- 
marriages between the Macdonnells and Stewarts, the re- 
lationship of the two races was established by the marriage 
of Jane Macdonnell, a great grand-daughter of Somerled, 
with Alexander, the son and heir of Walter, the high 
steward of Scotland. By this marriage, which took place 
about the year 1210, the husband obtained the isles of 
Bute and Arran as a wedding-dowry with his wife. Some- 
time later, there occurred another distinguished matrimonial 
alliance between the house ot Stewart and that of Isla, the 
husband and wife being within the forbidden degrees, and 
therefore requiring a dispensation from Rome to render 
the marriage valid, which dispensation was obtained in 
the year 1342. (See Andrew Stewart's History of the 
Stewarts, p. 433 ; Gregory's History of the Highlands and 
Isles, p. 19.) But the Macdonnells of Dunluce were still 
more closely related to the royal family of Scotland 
through their ancestor John Mor, who was the grandson, 
by his mother, of Robert II., the first Stewart king, 
descended from Alexander, the son of Walter, the High 
Steward aforesaid. See pp. 17—21, supra. 

(8) Residence therein. — A powerful branch of the Mac- 
donnells inherited a portion of the island of Arran, from 
a very early period. In the sixteenth century, Mary queen 
of Scots granted a portion of this island to James Mac- 
donnell, the uncle of sir Randal of Dunluce; and the 
latter most probably had a claim through this connexion 
on some lands therein, on which he occasionally resided. 
See Orig. Paroch. Scot., vol. ii., p. 245. 



Ig 6 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

latter point, and hence the king's anxiety to conciliate the Irish, and his ready promises of favour 
to all who were able and willing to recommend him to the acceptance of the Irish people. (9) 

Among the king's most useful and experienced friends in this important matter was Randal 
Arranach ; for although he had been a rebel to the English crown so long as Tyrone's rebellion had 
any vitality, no man in all Ulster had more wisely or promptly accepted the position in which 
Tyrone's declining power had placed him. Macdonnell knew when, to lay down his arms with 
dignity, as well as for his own great advantage. In the Autumn of 1602, he deliberately passed 
from the rebel ranks to the side of sir Arthur Chichester, offering to serve against Tyrone in Fer- 
managh, with 500 foot and forty horse, at his own expense. When Randal deserted Tyrone, how- 
ever he well knew that his further adhesion would be of no avail in sustaining that chieftain's "lost 
cause ;" and when he volunteered, in his new-born loyalty, to serve against Tyrone, he was perfectly 
certain that such service would not be required, (ro) His well-timed movements, however, at this 
critical period laid the foundation of all his subsequent honours and emoluments. At Tulloughoge, 
in the vicinity of Dungannon, he was introduced by Chichester to lord Mountjoy, (n) the then 
Irish lord-deputy, from whom he forthwith received the honour of knighthood. Thus recommended 
to the new king, and being previously his majesty's personal friend and informant, sir Randal was 
among the very first, under the new order of things to experience the sweets of royal favour. By 
letters patent, dated May 28, 1603, the king granted to him the entire region comprehending the 
Route and Glynns, and extending from Larne to Coleraine. This vast expanse comprised anciently 
sixteen tuoghs or territories, and in modern times it includes the four baronies of Dunluce, Kilcon- 
way, Carey, and Glenarm. The Antrim estates, as thus originally granted, contained 333,907 
acres. The names of all the ancient tuoghs or districts are recited in the Antrim patents. 
See Appendix IX. 

(9) Of the Irish people.— By way of exhausting the wretchedness and finall extirpation." Sir John Davies, re- 
vigour of England so as the more easily to accomplish his ferring to O'Neill's surrender or submission, says:— 
accession to the throne, James kept his agents in Ireland, " Whereupon, the multitude being brayed, as it were, in 
first fomenting, and afterwards sustaining the earl of a mortar, with sword, famine, and pestilence together, 
Tyrone's rebellion, which cost England, from April I, submitted themselves to the English government, received 
1600, to March 29, 1602, the sum of ^283,673 19s 4,J<d. the laws and magistrates, and most gladly embraced the 
"After Tyrone's return from London, he told Sir Thomas king's pardon and peace in all parts of the realm, with 
Phillips and many others, that if his submission had not demonstrations of joy and comfort!" See Curry's Review 
been accepted, he had contracted with the Spaniards to of the Wars of Ireland, p. 48. 

fortify two or three places in the North, where his allies (11) Lord Mountjoy. — Charles Blount, eighth baron 

and friends in the Scottish Isles should, and might with Mountjoy, came to Ireland as lord-deputy in 1599, 

ease, relieve and supply him." See Harris's Hibernica, on the departure of Robert Devereux, earl of Essex, and 

part i., 1 30; see also Montgomery Manuscripts, new had the credit of ending the long war with Tyrone, 

edition, pp. 23 — 25. Mountjoy returned to England in 1605, bringing with 

(10) Zfc required. — The probability, indeed, is that him the vanquished Hugh O'Neill — no common trophy ! 
O'Neill and his intended son-in-law, Randal, had arranged The conqueror received many favours from James I., 
between themselves the whole affair as to the time and Elizabeth having died without the consolation of knowing 
manner of their several submissions. Macdonnell's sub- that at last her arms had triumphed. Mountjoy, in order 
mission was made a few months earlier than that of to secure his conquests in Ulster, erected several castles, 
O'Neill, but the latter had made up his mind on the point among others Charlemont and Mountjoy, and garrisoned 
for a considerable time previously to his actual humilia- a number of towns with English troops. Among his 
tion at Mellifont on the 30th of March, 1603. Gainsforde, military arrangements for the peace of the province, he 
an English pamphleter, wrote a partisan account of Hugh stationed sir Richard Moryson atDownpatrick as governor 
O'Neill's rebellion, which he entitles — "The True, of Lecale, sir Josias Bodley at Armagh, and sir Edward 
Exemplary, and Remarkable Historye of the Earle of Cromwell at Dundalk. Mountjoy purchased from sir 
Tirotte, bv him who was an eye-witness of his fearful! John King his reversionary interest in the Fitzgerald 



SIR RANDAL MACDONNELL. I97 

Sir Randal Macdonnell, in thus obtaining possession of these great estates, was much 
envied, even by persons who had themselves obtained very large grants from the crown. Among 
these may be specially mentioned sir Arthur Chichester and sir James Hamilton, who appear to have 
taken counsel together against sir Randal, and who lost no opportunity of creating suspicions among 
English statesmen, as to his movements and designs. Chichester, who now filled the office of 
deputy, was thus of course the more formidable opponent, having the ear of the English cabinet, and 
being ambitious to please the king by the extirpation of catholic land-owners. With this object 
always prominently in view, he spared no efforts to arouse the hostile bigotry of the English cabinet 
against the Irish nobility and gentry; and of the very many despatches concocted by him, and sent 
from Dublin castle, there were few, indeed, that did not teem with alarms on the subject of papis- 
tical conspiracies. Among other insinuations against sir Randal, Chichester began by regretting 
that the latter had got such large territories so irretrievably into his possession, and that he, the patriotic 
deputy, had no power to introduce any arrangements by which sir Randal's territories might be 
improved ! In a letter to Salisbury, dated Dublin Castle, June 14, 1606, Chichester says of sir 
Randal that " he is neither thankful or obedient, as some late actions of his brothers (12) upon his (sir 
Randal's) command, hath laid open, as Mr. Hamilton (13) could inform him. He (Chichester), 
for some respects, had borne with him and his misdemeanours hitherto, but conceived that there 
would be means found to enforce him to what was fitting, by the creating to be freeholders im- 
mediately from the king, some of the ancient inhabitants who then were as slaves unto him, and 
yet have large quantities of land to himself. By this means all the sea-side on the eastern parts 
from the river Bann to this city (Dublin), would be civilly planted, and his majesties rent increased 
and truly answered, whereas he (sir Randal) is a daily suitor to have them abated. (14) Induced 
by his majesty's letters requiring him to be favourably used, he (Chichester) had granted him two 
years' rent, which was ^320 ; yet he was not satisfied, but immediately sought to have ^40 abated 
for ever, when the whole is but ^160, for sixteen tuoghs, or small baronies, containing above thirty 

estates in the county of Down. Either Mountjoy or his was created viscount Clannaboy. He received very 

son sold that interest to lord Cromwell ; or, as some say, large grants from the crown in the counties of Antrim 

exchanged the lands in Down for others in Devonshire. and Down. For many interesting particulars relating to 

Mountjoy was created earl of Devonshire, but only lived him and his family, see The Hamilton Manuscripts, edited 

to enjoy this proud title for a briefperiod. From the time of by the late T. K. Lowry, Esq. 

his advancement to the earldom, on the 26th of May, 1603, (14) Abated. — On the 20th of April, 1605, the king 

until the time of his death he resided in England, being wrote to Chichester informing him that he had " received 

a member of the English privy council, and in this capa- petitions from Sir Randal for a new grant of his lands 

city suggesting almost the entire policy which was then upon surrender of former letters patent, praying allowance 

adopted for the government of Ireland. When the Eng- for anything yielded in the abatement and remitting of 

lish council, on the 30th of April, 1606, announced the his rent, in respect of the poorness and dispeopling of his 

earl of Devonshire's death to Chichester and the council country ; the remitting of his rent by the advice of our 

in Dublin, the announcement was accompanied with the Lord Lieutenant is allowed and continued at his discre- 

admission that " his experience and merit in Ireland tion ; the surrender of letters and abatement of rent for 

were such that his Majesty and the Council intermeddled things yielded is deferred for inquiries ; the uttermost 

little in most particulars." See Russell's and Prender- benefit and favour consistent with justice being conferred 

gast's Calendar, first series, p. 460. upon the petitioner against all persons inclined to do him 

(12) His brothers.— Sir Randal's brothers were Angus, wrong." (See Russell's and Prendergast's Calendar, first 
commonly called Neece, and Ludar, commonly called series, p. 267). The last sentence of the foregoing letter 
Lother. See p. 182, supra. must have been felt by Chichester as rather a sly hitagainst 

(13) Mr. Hamilton.— -This gentleman was knighted himself on the part of the king. It appears from a letter 
soon after the date of Chichester's letter. In 1620, he written by Chichester to Salisbury, on the 22nd of Feb., 



ig8 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



miles in length, lying together, and as good as any in those parts of the kingdom. This he had 
gotten from his majesty by mere suggestion, as his ancient inheritance, whereas his father held only 
four tuoghs of M'Quyllins' lands by grant from the deputy, (15} which be right (if any were) should 
have descended to the son of his elder brother, the dispossessing of whose children, and thrusting 
the M'Quyllins clean out of all, would in time raise trouble in those parts; yet he (Chichester) had 
giving the M'Quyllins some poor contentment by sealing them in a tuoghe of land in the lower 
Clandeboye." (16) See Russell's and Prendergast's Calendar, first series, pp. 502, 503. 

Chichester's location of Rorie Macquillin in lower Clannaboy is noticed also in another State 
Paper, describing a perambulation made throughout Ulster in 1605 by the deputy and several 
members of his council, for the purpose of introducing certain territorial arrangements then supposed 
to be necessary. The deputy and his associates, whilst in the county of Antrim, established their 
headquarters at Carrickfergus. (17) On that occasion, they divided this county into eight baronies, 
annexing Killultagh, which had been previously a territory per se. At first, it was in contemplation 
to annex that district to Down, and then to divide the latter — which would otherwise have been very 
large — into two counties ; but Killultagh was annexed to Antrim, because the river Lagan separates it 
from Down, and, therefore, the commissioners supposed that the interests of its inhabitants could 
be more conveniently looked after by the sheriff of Antrim than the sheriff of Down. The con- 



1604, that sir Randal was the very first to pay his rents 
to the crown, within the government of Knockfergus, 
after the settlement of the county under the new king ; 
and that Chichester wished to appropriate to himself those 
rents paid by sir Randal, in discharge of a debt alleged to 
have been due to him (Chichester) by the late queen. 
SeeRussel'sand Prendergast's Calendar, reign of James I., 
P H9- 

(15) The deputy. — This deputy was sir John Perrot, 
who granted to Sorley Boy, in 1586, the tuogh from the 
Bush to the Bann, and the three other tuoghs of Dun- 
severick, Loughgill, and Ballymoney, in lieu of the two 
thirds of the Glynns granted at the same time to Angus 
Macdonnell of Isla, son of James. These tuoghs had 
once belonged to the Macquillins. See p. 181, supra. 

(16) Clandeboye.— "On the 10th of March, 1608, the 
king confirmed the abovenamed arrangement respecting 
the Macquillins, by granting to Rorie Oge Macquillin the 
whole tuogh of Glynagherty, including twenty-one town- 
lands, bounded on the north by the river Glanrawree and 
the other geneial mearings between the Rowte, Glynnes, 
and Lower Clandeboye ; to the west the Mynwater runs 
between it and Muntercallie in the Lower Clandeboye, 
until it joins the river Owenbrade ; then the bounds be- 
tween those tuoghs extend directly about two miles 
between the tuogh Kearte, through the midst of the said 
river until it joins the river Owendivinagh, and thence the 
Owenbrade is the known mearing between that tuogh 
and the tuogh Muntermurrigan, until it joins the river 
Aghadowey, which holds its course about a mile between 
this tuogh and the cinament of Knockboynabrade to the 
ford of Aghadowey, and so about half a mile through the 
midst of a bog there, and so by the east and the north 
foot of the Ciburrane situate in this tuogh upon the border 
of the Glynnes ; excepting any lands belonging to the see 



of Down and Connor, and all hereditaments, &c, belong- 
ing to any religious houses. Yearly rent £$, Irish ; to 
find and maintain every year, for the space of forty days, 
2 able horsemen and six footmen, to serve whenever 
required, within the province of Ulster. To hold for- 
ever, in capite, by the twentieth part of a knight's fee." 
(See Patent Rolls, of reign of James 1., p. 114). The 
territory thus granted comprised the whole parish of 
Kilconriola. and the adjoining portion of Ahoghill on the 
east side of the Main Water. "On the 18th of May, 
1619, these lands were surrendered by Macquillin to Sir 
Faithful Fortescue. On the 30th of May, Sir F. Fortescue 
received a grant from the crown of the tuogh of Clanag- 
herty. The lands were created the manor of Fortescue, 
with 100 acres in demesne ; power to create tenures, to 
to hold courts, baron and leet, and a monthly court of 
record, to appoint seneschals and bailiffs, to enjoy all 
waifs and strays, to have free warren, chace, and park. 
To hold at the rent and on the conditions of the grant to 
Macquillin." See Patent Rolls, James I., pp. 363, 
367- 

(17) Carrickfergus. — Chichester appears to have had a 
decided preference for this place above any other in Ulster, 
and expended large sums of his own, and of the public 
money in its improvement. He concludes a letter to the 
earl of Salisbury, dated October 2, 1605, as follows: — 
" Knockfergus is the only corporate town (the new Liffer 
of the Deny excepted) to the northward of Dundalk. The 
first foundation thereof was laid by his Majesty's ancestors. 
It was the first place committed to his (Chichester's) 
charge in this kingdom ; he stands zealously affected to 
the good thereof ; and in order to repair the ruins of that 
castle and pier, he will husband the expenses with more 
care than he ever did any of his own." Russell's and 
Prendergast's Calendar, p. 341. 



SIR RANDAL MACDONNELL. 1 99 

venience of this arrangement was obvious enough, and especially at a time when the Lagan had no 
bridges to span its waters, and thus connect its opposite banks. Chichester and his friends next 
dealt with the interior portion of Antrim, then known as lower or northern Clannaboy. (See pp. 47, 
48, 133, 145, supra.) They gave to Shane O'Neill, eldest son of sir Brian MacFelim (see pp. 167, 
179, supra), five tuoghs or districts, each tuogh containing about sixteen townlands, and every town- 
land about 120 acres, some more and few less. (18) To the family of Shane's younger brother, Nial, 
they gave two tuoghs. To Rorie Macquillin, they gave the one tuogh of Clanagherty "in considera- 
tion," says Chichester, " of the loss of his inheritance, disposed of by his Majestie to sir Randolphe 
MacDonnell." The king, be it observed, had granted to Macquillin the whole barony of Inishowen, 
in compensation for his then disputed claim to but a comparatively small portion of the lands that 
had once belonged to his ancestors. Chichester, however, takes credit to himself, as a wise and 
generous deputy, for granting this one tuogh of Clanagherty to Macquillin, forgetting to add, however, 
that it was done in consideration of the latter giving up to him (Chichester) the very much larger 
and more valuable property of Inishowen. (See Russell's and Prendergast's Calendar, first series, 
p. 321.) Although Macquillin soon disposed of Clanagherty to sir Faithful Fortescue, it would 
appear that several leading families of his clan remained as tenants, even after the property 
had come into the possession of William Adair and William Edmonstone. (19) 

It was believed that Rorie Oge Macquillin did not long survive the sale of his Clanagherty 
estate; but he lived to be an old man, and was alive in 1634. In his old age,he was fortunate in having 
found a kind neighbour and friend in sir Robert Adair of Ballymena, who appears to have been Mac- 
quillin's tenant in some lands which the latter had retained from the general wreck of his property. 
The following documents, preserved among the Adair Papers at Ballymena castle, and kindly 
supplied by lord Waveney, serve to show the cordial respect and confidence with which the fallen 

(18) Few less. — These lands, known as the Edenduff- Alexander Macdonnell, on the 12th of October, 1626. 

carrick estate, were confirmed to Shane O'Neill, eldest It refers to a family of the Macquillins as follows: — 

son of Brian MacFelim, by royal grant dated the 12th of " Loveinge Friend — Mr. Edmeston, — I pray you trouble 

May, 1607. The names of the five tuoghs or districts not Ever M'Quilene his wiffe for the land that 

above referred to were Muntercvedy, Fidgh or Feevah, she is in possession of untill you heere what becomes of 

Muntercallic, Knockboynabradc, and MimUr-Miirn^au. her husband, and what favour you shewe her hereinn I 



This extensive property was held in capite, by the tenth will and I hope you will not cause 1 

part of a knight's fee. Among the reservations were — all her but by due course of law, and so this being all, I rest 



hawk's nests, and all young hawks on the premises. your very lovinge Freind, Antrim." In the second lette 
For a minute account of the townlands and mearings or which was written December 16, 1629, the earl tells his 
boundaries of each division, see Patent Rolls of James I., correspondent that the sheriff of the county is the king's 
p. 93. lieutenant, and that he (Antrim) could not command him; 
(19) Edmonstone. — This gentleman, who bought the but that he is ready to do Mr. Edmonstone any pleasure 
Redhall estate on the Antrim coast, in the year 1609, in his power. The third letter is dated Dunluce, the 5th 
was the seventh laird of Duntreath in descent from sir of Julii, 1630, and has reference to disputes and law pro- 
William Edmonstone of Culloden, who, in 1452, married ceedings among some neighbours. The earl says that he 
the lady Mary Stewart, daughter of Robert III. In the would "send for John Hunter to see what he can say in 
Edmonstone collection of family manuscripts preserved the plaintive's behalf." He coucludes as follows : — 
at Colzium, near Kilsyth, there are four letters of the first "I think I wroate nothing sharpp unto you, that 
earl of Antrim, one of which was addressed to William, should give you any discontentment, the matter being 
the hist settler of the family at Redhall, and the remain- friendlie considered, and so this being all to this purpose, 
ing three to Archibald Edmonstone, son of the latter. I rest your verie loveinge friend, Antrim." In (he fourth 
Tracings of these letters have been kindly sent by sir letter, which is addressed to his "worthie Freind," and 
Wm. Edmondstone, Bart., the present worthy representa- dated 10th April, 1634, the earl says :— " I have seene a 
tive of the family. The first letter was writtenat the Crosse, warrant that you have sent for one John Gorme M'Martine 
near Ballymoney, the residence of the earl's nephew, sir and one William Moore to examine the difference betwixt 



THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 



native chief regarded the prosperous but kind-hearted planter. They are here submitted in the 
order of their dates, and are only interesting as affording us a glimpse at the closing period of 
Macquillin's life. The following are the terms of a bond given by him to his friend : — 

" Be it knowen unto all men, by these presents, that I, Rorie Og M'Quiline of Glanaghertie, 
gent., doth binde and obleishe myself, myne heires, exects. and assignes unto Robert Adare, esquire, 
high sherife of the countie of Antrim, (20) in the some of Twentie pounds ster. lawfull money of 
and in England, to the paymt. whereof well and trulie to bee made unto the said Robert Adare, at 
his will and pleasure I bind my selfe firmlie by these presents dated at Ballemeanagh ye 21st of 
Desember, 1630. 

" The Conditione of this obligatione is such that if the above bounden Rorie Og M'quiline 
doth warrant and make good ane aquitance under ye hand of ye said Rorie og for ye some of tenn 
pounde fiv shillings ster. in part of payment of his rent and stipende out of ye halfe of Glanaghartie 
bearinge date with these presents— This beinge performed be ye said Rorie, that then ye above 
bonde to bee voyd, otherwise ye same to bee and Remaine in full force and strenth in law— in 
witnes whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seall ye day and yeare above written, 

Signed, Sealed, and Delyvered Rorie og I I M'Quiline. 

in ye presence of us, hfe 1/ | mark , 

"James Steward. 

" S Adare. 

" Ed. Sharmane. 

" Hugh O'Hara." 



one Robert Peoples and them." He'concludes by an ex- 
pression of his opinion that the matter is of "noe great 
importance. Sendinge my love to you and your wiffe, I 

rest your assured loveinge friend to doe you service 

Antrim." For a notice of the ancient and worthy family 
of Edmonstone of Duntreath and Kilsyth, see new edition 
of Montgomery Manuscripts, pp. 57, 58. 

(20) Antrim.— This gentleman, who was subsequently 
knighted, served as member of parliament for Wigtonshire 
from 1639 to 1648. He was son of William Adair, who 
purchased the Ballymena estate from sir Faithful Fortescue, 
and died in 1626; son of Ninian married to Helen Gordon 
of Lochinvar; son of William married to Helen, daughter 
of the second earl of Cassilis ; son of Ninian who died in 
1525 ; son of Alexander slain at the battle of Flodden in 
1 5 13; son of William; son of Nigel or Neil Adair of 
Dunsky, who was living in 1426. This ancient and 
honoured family is derived from an Irish stock, being 
really Fitzgeralds of Desmond, a branch of which is believed 
to have removed from Athdare or Adare, in Ireland, to 
settle on the other side of the channel, in Galloway 
Rorie Oge Macquillin had probably died before 1636, as 
his friend, sir Robert Adair, married in that year, the 
marriage settlement including, among others, the lands 
that had been held by Rorie until the time of his death 
The indenture between Robert Adare of Ballymanagh, 
Esq., and his wife Jane of the one part, and John Edmon- 
stone of Ballibantra, William Houstone, younger, of 
Uihub.ickie, Alexander Adare of Ballicheg, aU of the 
county of Antrim, gents., and Thomas Adare, provost of 



Stranraier, witnessed, that Robert Adare, demised, and 
granted to the gentlemen now named, his whole moiety 
or half part of the tuogh or territory of Glannarhartie als 
Clanarchy, containing the townlands of Ballymanagh and 
Ballyloughaw, the three quarters of Broghnemalte, the 
quarter of Garmenicke, the half quarter of Cardonavy, 
then in the possession of Francis Shawe, the townland of 
Lymore, the half quarter of Twishen, the townland of 
Loghnegary, the half townland of Antequintas, the half 
of Cabragh, the half of Doneveagh, the three quarters and 
a half of Dromyne, the half of Dongall, the townland of 
Monaghan, the half of Ballye, the towns and townlands 
of Cragewarrin, Ballygarvy, Downfean, and Clogher, the 
half of Kilfluigh, the half quarter held by William Moore 
and John Magee, lying next adjoining to Ballymanagh and 
Downefean, to have and to hold in trust for Jane his wife. 
The date of this deed is 8th June, 1636, the witnesses 
being Ar. Edmonstone (father of Mrs. Adair), Ffrancis 
Edmonstone, A. Tumebull, William Adair, and Humph- 
rey • For list of the lands held by sir Robert at 

the death of his father in 1626, see new edition of Mont- 
gomery Manuscripts, p. 1 13, note. This fine estate is still 
intact, and now in the possession of the right honourable 
lord Waveney, the popular and noble-minded representa- 
tive of its original purchaser, William Adair. When the 
latter first settled in the district, his lands included about 
the half of Clanagherty, the other half being purchased 
from sir Faithful Fortescue by William Edmonston of 
Duntreath, who soon afterwards sold it to Dr. Alexander 
Colville. With a grand-daughter of the latter this, the 



SIR RANDAL MACDONNELL 201 

This bond is followed by the required acquittance, thus - 

" I Rorie og M'quiline of Glanaghardie, gentlman, doe by these presents acknowledge my selfe 
to have Receaved from ys hands of Robert Adare, esqre., high sherife of ye Countie of Antrim, 
ye some of tenn pounds fiv shillings ster. lawfull money of Ingland, and that in part of payment of 
my rent and Stipende, wch was due to me from ye said Robert Adare, esquire, for his half of 
Glanaghardie, (21) and that according to ane agreement, made betwixt me ye said Rorie og 
M'quiline and Mr. Will. Johnstone, esqre., att ye Counsell table, wch rent and stipende was due to 
me since May Day, 162S, for ye which some this shall be unto ye said Robert a sufficient 
aquitance, and Further bindeth my selfe to save and harmless keep ye said Robert Adare from and 
against all persones and especiallie att ye hands of knight, as witnes my hand ye 21st 

of Desember, 1630. 

" Delyvered in y<= Rorie og / M'Quiline. 

presence of us, his mark. 

"James Steward. 

" S Adare. 

" Ed. Sharmane. (22) 
" Hugh O'Hara." 

The following assignment is evidence of Rorie's declining powers and his increasing depen- 
dence on the good offices of his friend : — 

" May it please youre Lo. that I have assigned and given over to my good ffreind Robert 
Adaire of Ballymeanogh, esqre., my wholl right and Interest of my yearly Pensione of foure shillinges 
Irish p. diem, w<=h was granted unto mee by our late Souvrainge King James of blessed memory, 
dureing my naturall lyffe, as by the late establishment doe appeare. Theirefoire, my humble desire 
unto youre Lo. is that youre Lo. wilbee pleased to give direction and command that the said Robert 
may Receave the same in tyme comeing, Togither with what Arrears is due ; ffor that I have ap- 
pointed him for mee, and in my place, as be a letter of Atturney will appeare ; and that because the 
said Robert hath given me in land and money full sattisfactione and contentment, wch I enjoy 
yearlie of him, as alsoe doth mee many other greatt Courtessies and ffavours Dayly wch Redounde 
much unto my advantage and proffitt, soe that I am fully sattisfied and paid by him, and withal 
I am ane old man of greatt yeares, not well able to trawaill my selfe, and to appearance is not 
lyke to have many dayis. Theirefore, I hope youre Lo. will take this into your goodly Considera- 
tione, and not suffer any longer Delay of this little poore thing wch is the meanes of my Liveing, 

Galgorm estate, passed into the family of Moore, her son several members of his family, see the new edition of the 
being ennobled as viscount Mountcashel. His represen- Montgomery Manuscripts. 



tative sold out these lands several years ago. See lord (22) Ed. Sharmane. — This gentleman is represented at 

Clermont's very interesting History of the Family of the present day by John Sharman Crawford, Esq., of 

Fortescne, vol. ii., pp. 94, 95. Crawlordsburn, county of Down. Edward Sharmane's 

(21) Glanaghardie. — See preceding note. The other grandson, also named Edward, married Anne O'Neill, a 

halves and quarters of the townlands of Clanaghertie not daughter of French John O'Neill of Shane's Castle. 

included in sir Robert Adair's estate, belonged to the Several relics of this lady are still preserved at Craw- 



Colville family, whose castle or manor-house was Gal- fordsburn, among which may be mentioned a pair of 
gorm. For an account of Dr. Alexander Colville and beautiful claret -jugs, presented with other articles on the 

occasion of her marriage. 

X 



202 THE MACDONNELS OF ANTRIM. 

for wc» I shall ever pray for youre Lo. long health and happines — I Rest youre Lo. humbell 
servant, 

mark 

" Witness hereunto, /I 

" M. TURNEBUIX, RotUE OGE / M'QUILLIN. 

" Huh: O'Hara." |/ 

his 

The following is the document conveying from Macquillin the power of attorney to his 
friend : — 

" I Rorie Oge M'Quilin gent, doeth hereby appoynt Robert Adare of Ballimanagh, esqr. to 
paye the rent of Laymoir being ten lib. ster. to my wyff Mistris Marie O'Neall, as alsoe I doe 
appoynt ye said Mr. Adare to take up yearlie of the rent of ye towneland of Loghnegarrye, (23) or 
to sett ye same for the use and benefit of her my said wyf to have all the days of my lyff, which 
rent I doe alow for my hous keeping, and doeth hereby charge the said Robert not to pay any rent 
nathere out of Laymore nor out of Loghnegarrye dureing my lyff bot to my wyff for the use afore- 
said, and I bind my selfe to ye said Robert not to medell with ye rent of the said ten pounds, nor 
to trubell any of ye tennants during my lyff — And this is to be ample forme of law, as 

witnes my hand this 4th July, 1634. 

his 

" Signed and Delyvered I /I . ' 

• „ oo ,„- ^«- Rorie og / M'Quilin. 

in presence off I / I 

" Hugh O'Hara. mark. 

" Jenken M'Quilt.ix. 

"Richard _\/\ M'Ferdoragh M'Quillin. 
\/ his mark. 

On the list of sir Randal Macdonnell's most troublesome neighbours may fairly be placed also 
one captain Phillips, afterwards betterknown as sir Thomas Phillips, whom Chichester terms "a discreet 
and honest servitor." As a means of introducing a ' plantation' of English and Scotch at Coleraine, 
Chichester obtained for Phillips a grant of the old abbey lands adjoining that town j and no sooner 
did the latter get a foothold, than he began to add to his possessions. There had been negotiations 
between him and sir Randal about a lease of Portrush and the lands adjoining; some cause, 
however, had operated to change the landlord's opinion in the matter, and he would have gladly 
dispensed with Phillips as a tenant. The latter pretended to feel aggrieved, and when writing, May, 
19, 1605, to Robert Cecil, the English chief-secretary, Phillips states in substance, that " Sir Randal 
M'Donnell, upon their first acquaintance, being in a good humour, gave him a little neck of land 
called Port Rush, some mile and a half from the castle of Denn Lewes (Dunluce) ; it contains 
some sixty acres or thereabouts. When he gave it him, he conditioned he should keep the 'red- 
shanks' from landing there ; which he undertook, and has at his own charge made it defensive 
against them or any other his majesty's enemies. It stands to very great purpose, being an outlet to 
all places in the north. Hard by it is a goodly road. Under the fort itself there might be made a 

(23) Loghnegarrye. — This place is now known as Loghmegarry, in the vicinity of Ballymena. Rorie appears 
from another paper to have had his residence in that townland. His wife, Mary O'Neill, probably survived him, 
but to what branch of the O'Neills she belonged we are unable to discover. 



SIR RANDAL MACDONNELL. 



203 



good harbour, with the value (cost) of ^100, which would save many men's lives and goods, as 
there is no harbour there for shipping. It is one of the most necessary places in all the north for 
a ward to be kept, for with ten men it might be kept from all the Irishry and redshanks of the isles. 
It is the key of all those parts. It is offensive and defensive against the islanders who usually did 
land there, for it is but six hours sailing. Divers have told him (Phillips) they grieve much that he 
(sir Randal's) is seated there. Sir Randal is sorry to have let him have it, and would give any 
reasonable thing to have it back again. Has it for 40 years, paying yearly one hogshead of claret 
wine. Has been at great charge there, and as yet got nothing. Sir John Davys (24) can inform 
his lordship of the circumstances. Prays to have some settled estate as a ward there, and a grant 
of Castletown (Castle Toome) during his life, as being two of the most necessary places in the north." 
(25) Russell's and Prendergast's Calendar, first series, pp. 275, 276. 

On the 1 6th of July, 1606, sir Randal addressed a long letter to Salisbury complaining of the con- 
duct of sir James Hamilton and captain Thomas Phillips, in conspiring to deprive him of his right to a 
fourth part of the fishing of the river Bann. Richard Dobbs, in his Brief e Description of this county, 
refers to the loss thus sustained by the earls of Antrim (see Appendix II.), but it was not known in 
his time, by whose ingenuity the flaw was discovered in the Antrim patent which deprived the grantee 



(24) Sir John Davys. — One of the most efficient, and 
best known of sir Arthur Chichester's assistants in the 
government of Ireland, was sir John Davys. He arrived 
on the 20th November, 1603, as solicitor-general, and on 
the special recommendation of the earl of Devonshire. 
He succeeded as attorney-general on the 29th of May, 
1606, and continued to fill that office until the year 1619. 
It' was during this period that he frequently acted as 
judge of assize, thus acquiring that knowledge of the 
country and its people, " which, combined with the 
graces of his style, renders his accounts so attractive." 
See Preface to Russell's and Prendergast's Calendar, pp. 
exui., cxiv. 

(25) In tin north. — Although Phillips was a fortunate 
adventurer, he was unable to attain to the accomplishment 
of all his cherished projects. He does not appear to have 
obtained, as he asserts he had, a lease of forty years from sir 
Randal Macdonnell of the "little neck of land called Port 
Rush," nor was he able to get from the crown, notwith- 
standing the efforts of his influential friends, any "settled 
estate," at that place. The king would not consent to 
mutilate the estate of sir Randal Macdonnell to accommo- 
date even so "discreet" a servant as captain Phillips ; 

but he rewarded him very amply, notwithstanding. The 
latter had evidently set his heart on Portrush, and for a 
grant there was willing to undertake great exploits against 
the Irish and the Islesmen alike. All traces of the old 
fortress, described as equally offensive and defensive, 
have disappeared. On the 1 8th of February, 1606, captain 
Phillips obtained a grant, for twenty-one years of the 
castle and fort of Twom, or Castletown, with thirty acres 
adjoining, all which are held in his Majesty's possession, 
being lands of right belonging to the crown, for the 
defence of those remote parts, and places thereabouts. This 
was made a grant for ever, on 1 7U1 June, 1612. The rent, 
a pair of gilded spurs, value 20s., to the king or chief 
governor, if any of them should come to the said castle. 
On the 22nd of February, in the same year, the grantee had 



license from the crown to hold a Wednesday market and 
a fair on the 24th of June and two days following at 
Coleraine, with the usual courts and fees. On the 20th 
of April, 1609, sir Thomas Phillips, knight, had license to 
make aquavita in Coleraine county (now county Deny) 
and in the Rowte, in Antrim county. On the 20th June, 
1606, this officer had a grant of the customs and subsidies, 
small and great, upon all merchandises, wares, and goods, 
imported and exported at Portrush and Portballintrea in 
Antrim county and the river Bann in Antrim, Tyrone, and 
Coleraine counties (except the duties on the wines), with 
the ferry and ferryboat of Coleraine over the Bann, and 
the ferry of Twome over the said river, and all other 
ferries and passages over that river, in every convenient 
place betwixt Coleraine and Twome, with the fee of one 
halfpenny for every passenger and his burden, and for 
every cow, bull, and ox, and in proportion for smaller 
cattle, to be carried over between sun and sun ; rent £1 
sterling, to hold for 21 years. This grant was made in 
redress for the many stealths, robberies, and other evils, 
which were actually committed and carried from one 
country to the other over the Bann, by reason there was 
no keeping upon the passages thereof, and that every one 
transported whom and when it pleased him by boats, and 
other small vessels, much tending to the disturbance of 
the common peace of the said countries and his Majesty's 
service. Sir Thomas Phillips finally obtained a " settled 
estate," in the neighbourhood of Newtownlimavady, 
which was conveyed to him by deed, 20th September, 
1612, by William Cockayne, alderman of London, 
governor, and the other commissioners of the plantation 
for the city of Derry, in the province of Ulster. The 
lands in Colrane county (now Derry) are created the manor 
of Lymovade, with 500 acres in demesne. To hold for 
ever, in common soccage. 30th Deer., 1613. For the 
abovenamed several grants, see Patent Rolls, James I., 
pp. 83, 86, 131, 199. 20 °> 2 °4- 286 - 



204 THE MACbONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

of this fourth part of the fishing. In the following summary of sir Randal's letter, the discoverers stand 
clearly enough revealed : — "The encouragement his Lordship was pleased to give him (Sir Randal) in 
desiring that he should certify him from time to time, of anything that might concern himself in 
particular, makes him presume now to recur to his Lordship. Upon his arrival here found himself 
dispossessed of the fourth part of the fishery of the river Band, which his Majesty was pleased to grant 
him by patent, being the best stay of his living. (See Appendix X). This was wrought by means of 
one Mr. James Hamilton, who, searching and prying curiously into his patent (as he doth into many 
other men'sestates), seeks to take advantage upon words and other slight causes, thereby to avoid his (sir 
Randal's) interest, and to pass it to himself upon other men's grants which he hath purchased. He is 
now possessed of great countries, and yet is not contented therewith, but seeks to pull from him that 
little portion which his Majesty of his bounty hath been pleased to bestow upon him. In this 
device Captain Thomas Phillipps, being formerly his (Sir Randal's) farmer of that fishing, hath 
joined with Hamilton ; and by that means he (Sir Randal) is put from his possession, they having 
laboured warrants to that effect by consent between them. Besides this, Captain Phillipps hath 
procured two several informations to be laid against him in the Star-Chamber, suggesting that a 
riot was committed by some of the people of his country about the said fishing ; wherein about 60 
of the poor inhabitants are brought in question, who had not any intention to commit any outrageous 
or riotous acts, but came in a friendly and familiar manner, and there was not so much as any evil 
language passed between them. For his own part, he was then with the Lord Deputy, at Dublin ; 
and coming afterwards towards the fishery, desired to speak with Captain Phillipps, who came forth 
as though against an enemy with pike and shot. Having no more in his company but two serving 
men and three merchants, some provocations and injuries were offered him, but he passed them 
over, rather desirous to seek right by any means than by force, remembering the words that his 
Lordship spoke to him at parting, desiring him not to be his own carver. He will ever be mindful 
of these words when any such occasion is given him, and yet he is brought into the Star-Chamber 
for his patience, which does not grieve him so much as the untrue report given out of him otherwise, 
of purpose to bring him in disliking of the state. His poor people thus troubled are in so great 
terror that they have fled for the most part, he knows not whither. Only this will he desire, that 
he (Salisbury) will not give credit to any sinister informations against him, without first hearing his 
answer, and that he will be pleased to write in his behalf to the Lord Deputy, that he may find 
his lawful favour in some greater measure than as yet he had found, and that his Lordship may use 
him no worse than the rest of the gentlemen in the province of Ulster, nor be a partial judge 
betwixt him and those that take his fishing from him." (See Russell's and Prendergast's Calendar, 
first series, p. 518). Sir James Hamilton, referred to in the foregoing letter, got a conveyance 
of the whole fishery of " the pool of Lough Eaugh (Neagh) and the river Band up to the rock or 
waterfall called the ' Salmon Leap ;' also full right and liberty of catching, and carrying away, and 
exporting salmon, and all kinds of fish in the said pool, Lough Eaugh and the Band, within the 
foresaid limits, and the bottom and soil of the same, and of each of them." This valuable grant was 
sold by him to sir Arthur Chichester, on the 10th of April, 1606. 

I or whatever reason, whether from relationship or policy, the king appears to have turned a 



SIR RANDAL MACDONNELL, 205 

deaf ear to all insinuations against sir Randal Macdonnell, although the insinuations reached him 
from high quarters and through influential channels. Chichester was not slow in discovering that 
his majesty had set himself against permitting the disintegration of the Antrim lord's estate, and 
therefore took up new ground from which to assail him. Because Macdonnell's kinsmen, together 
with numerous other members of the Clandonnell, came and went frequently across the channel on 
their own several errands, Chichester had a pretext for complaining that some conspiracy, or 
rebellion, was being thus matured amongst them. On the Sth of T une , 1604, sir Arthur wrote to 
Cecil, recommending that Phillips should have a custodiam of the abbey of Coleraine, rather than 
a Scotchman, who was then soliciting that position. Chichester preferred Phillips, as the latter, he 
stated, would " hinder the unlawful excursions of our neighbouring islanders, who come and go at 
their will and pleasure, leaving ever behind them some note of their incivility and disobedience. 
As of late, Angus M'Connell (see pp. 171, 172, 1 8 r, supra), lord of Kentyre, pursuing one of his sons 
that had offended him at home, lighted upon him at the Roote, where he tried and hung some of his 
men ; and charging his son with sundry treasons, after a few cups were soon reconciled, and returned in 
company, before he (sir Arthur) could apprehend them. At his return thither (to Knockfergus from 
Dublin) he found several companies of outlaws and rebels gotten together in this country and on 
the borders of Tyrone ; one party, of above six score, which he has broken, and killed, and hanged 
above the third man ; and the earl of Tyrone has done the like with those upon his borders, not 
sparing his own nephew whom he took and hanged ; (26) and so, God be thanked, they are in 
reasonable quiet, albeit poor, and in great necessity, which makes them outlaws, being driven to 
steal for want of other substenance." (Russell's and Prendergast's Calendar, first series, p. 17S.) 
The unhappy people, who thus formed themselves into predatory bands, had been driven from 
their homes during the progress of the savage war in Ulster. On the 28th of August in the 
same year, sir Arthur wrote to Cecil, who had then been created viscount Cranbourne, 
that on his return to Knockfergus from Leixlip, "he heard of the arrival of seven score 
of islanders at the Roote, to Sir Randall M'Donnell, under the command of Donnell 
Greame fGorm, see pp. 165, 170, 176, supra J, with such arms as they usually beare. 
The number and fashion of them has caused him to send for Randall, charging him to 
bring that gentlemen and his people with him. Is suspicious of these assemblies and con- 
ferences, and therefore has kept together Captain Phillips's company of soldiers, who hath spent the 
two years past at Toom, keeping in quietness those parts which lie on the Bannside to the mouth 
of that river, and so along the coast which borders on Scotland. Knows no country that betLer 
requires looking after, nor a better man for the business than Captain Phillips, which has made him 

(26) Hanged. — It is to be regretted that Chichester has Sort of jury that would be employed on his trial, offered 
not been more explicit in this story, which represents the Chichester a ransom of .£Soo for his nephew; but although 
earl of Tyrone as hanging his ow n nephew. The only the latter dearly loved money, he loved the blood of 
nephew of the latter, indeed, of whom mention is made Bryan Mac Art still more, and therefore Tyrone's nephew 
as being hanged, was Brian Mac Art O'Neill, whom his was convicted and hanged. This remorseless act on the 
uncle Tyrone loved, but whom Chichester feared. This part of Chichester was bitterly denounced afterwards by 
young man had been present at a drunken brawl in which Tyrone in his declaration of the grievances which had in- 
one of the brawlers happened to be killed, and Chichester duced him "to depart his country." See Median's 
seized this opportunity to have Brian Mac Art throw 11 Franciscan Monasteries, pp. no, III, 193, 1 94. 
into gaol on a charge of murder. Tyrone knowing the 



206 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

(Chichester) advise that his company be not disbanded till the country be better settled." (Ibid., 
p. 194.; The district to which sir Arthur refers was that extending along the coast in a north" 
eastern direction, from Coleraine to Ballycastle and Cushindun. Considering that the cause of 
this excitement was the deplorable famine existing throughout the district, sir Randal Macdonnell's 
position must have been an unenviable one indeed. 

The Scottish kinsmen of sir Randal continued to disturb Chichester's nerves at intervals. On 
the 8th of June, 1607, when writing to Salisbury, he states that it had been " certified by several 
letters that Angus M'Connell, pretended Lord of Kentyre, has put himself into arms and done some 
annoyance to the Earl of Argyle's people seated in that promontory. (27) Many of the poor people 
make means to fly into the Roote, to Sir Randall M'Donnell, and Angus threatens to put over into 
those parts with his galleys for the spoil of that country and the subjects adjoining. Has directed 
them to have a care of their safety, and will give them the best assistance he may." {State Papers 
Ireland, vol cci., p. 77.) Sir Randal, in giving refuge to Argyle's people, was thus literally pro- 
tecting the enemies of his race — a fact which Chichester is forced to record, although he abstains from 
any comment on this generous conduct of Macdonnell. When writing to the English Privy Council, 
on the 16th of July following, Chichester returns to the subject of the threatened invasion from the 
Scottish coast, as follows : — " About six weeks since, having received intelligence from the sea-coasts 
of Ulster, and especially of Antrim, that Angus M'Connell and Donnell Gorm, with some other 
confederates, that had gotten together a number of men and long boats, and were up in arms 
in the Islands of Scotland, intending to make attempts on those coasts, and especially that of Ken- 
tyre, of which Angus pretends to be lord, and also upon the opposite parts of this realm, he 
(Chichester) had directed Captain St. John with the king's ship, the ' Lion's Whelp,' ... to 
ply up and down the channel from the river of Strangford to that of Loughfoile, both to secure these 
parts and so to amuse the rebels that perhaps they would lie still. . . . Angus M'Connell has 
some purpose to come over in person ■ and though any one of these islanders would come to him 
upon the least word from him, yet this man seems to be inclined to come over without any such 
capitulation. If he come in that manner, as otherwise he shall not, he (Chichester) means to detain 
him until he hears Salisbury's further pleasure concerning him. Many of the inhabitants likewise 
of that side have made suit to come over into the county of Antrim with their goods and cattle to 
inhabit there, and they offer to be guides back again if they (the State) should make any expeditions 
against the Islanders. All this proceeds from a conceit they have, that some soldiery would be sent 
against them from hence, and like to come upon them and spoil them unawares. They do not 
here certainly know in what disgrace or terms of disloyalty these islanders stand with his Majesty, 
but whensoever he shall be pleased to reduce them to obedience, it is to be done from their northern 
parts more effectually than from any other. Since the writing of this letter, news is sent him out 
of Tirconnell that Caphare Oge O'Donnell, with thirty men in company, well appointed after their 
fashion, is gone to the Isle of Ilia (Isla), among the rebels. His return with some forces against 

(27) That promontory. — Chichester meant peninsula, may, probably, have been spoken of as designating the 
when speaking of Cantire. The celebrated Mull of whole peninsula. For an account of this teiritory, see 
Cantire is indeed a promontory so remarkable that it p. 3, supra. 



SIR RANDAL MACDONNELL. 207 

the country there is to be feared, for he is a malcontent, and unsatisfied with the Earl of Tirconnell, 
who witholds most of his land from him against right, as he affirms; and that was the cause of his 
and Neale M'Swyne's last stir in Tirconnell. Has given directions by Captain St. John to bring him 
again if possibly he may come by him. And hereof has written to the Earl of Argyle." State 
Papers, Ireland, vol. ccxxii., p, 101. 

The " poor people," whom Chichester describes above as flying from the face of Angus Mac- 
donnell in Cantire, had been planted in that district seven years previously, and werepresbyterians 
from the shires of Renfrew, Dumbarton, and Ayr. The seventh earl of Argyle, and several of his 
kinsmen, the Campbells, had encouraged, if not originated for their own purposes, an insurrection 
among the Highland clans in 1599. Angus Macdonnell headed this movement, and being defeated 
one of the conditions imposed upon him by the government was the entire removal of his clansmen 
and adherents from Cantire. When the district was thus swept clean of its native inhabitants, Argyle 
offered, that if it were granted to him, he would pay the crown a higher rent than ever the Macdon- 
nells had done, and would also forthwith plant it with respectable farmers from the Lowlands. 
These offers were eagerly accepted by the crown, and without delay a number of settlers from the 
counties abovenamed took possession of the lands that had been occupied from time immemorial 
by the leal and gallant Fir Chintire, or ' men of Cantire.' In 1607, sir James Macdonnell, the son 
and heir of the old chieftain Angus, escaped from prison, and his appearance among the clans was 
the signal for another attempt on the part of the Macdonnells to wrest their extensive lands from 
the Campbells. The new insurrection was initiated by Angus seizing his hereditary district of 
Cantire, and expelling the settlers, who indeed did not wait to be expelled. Fortunately for them, 
better lands awaited them on the Antrim coast, and many of them made their way with their cattle 
and goods across the channel. Sir Randal Macdonnell received them, presbyterians though they 
were, and these people were the more welcome no doubt, because of their bringing with them the 
means of stocking their farms, In this way came many Lowland settlers to the Antrim estates, who 
were literally driven thither by the circumstances above-mentioned, and who, otherwise, might never 
have dreamed of leaving the opposite shore. 

A little time was sufficient to prove that sir Randal, so far from concocting rebellion among his 
Scottish kinsmen, had been doing good service in allaying excitement and insurrection on both sides 
of the channel. But Chichester was not to be appeased, and would have it, that sir Randal, if not 
hatching mischief among his Scottish kindred, must at least be supposed to sympathise with the 
real sufferings of his discontented Irish connexions. On the 12th of September, 1606, the deputy 
concludes a long letter to Cecil, lord Salisbury, by an expression of his decided belief that the 
Ulster lords, O'Neill and others, had assumed a very disagreeable attitude, and that " among them 
all there is not a more cancred or malicious person than sir Randall M'Donnell, who from a beggar 
is made great and yet rests unthankful." In this letter Chichester enclosed the depositions of 
several spies, who had been employed to watch the slightest movement of O'Neill and O'Donnell. 
The latter had been created earl of Tirconnell, and was envied his title and his estate by his kins- 
man, sir Neale Garve O'Donnell, whom the government encouraged in opposition to the discon- 
tented earl. Although the two northern earls of Tyrone and Tirconnell had been nominally 



208 THE MACDONNELLS OF ANTRIM. 

restored to their estates on the accession of James I. to the English throne, they soon found that 
the terms of their title-deeds could be disputed in law, and were in fact no protection against 
schemes for the plantation of Ulster so ardently cherished by Chichester and other greedy adven- 
turers. The king continued to stand firmly in favour of sir Randal Macdonnell against their machi- 
nations, yet they more than once endeavoured to include him in the number of their distinguished 
victims. Sir Neale O'Donnell's famous, or rather infamous depositions, made on the 7th of 
August, 1606, " at the camp near Devenish," contain the following account of sir Randal : — " It is 
a common opinion among them in all the North, that Sir Randall Macdonnell is a party with them 
(O'Neill and O'Donnell) in all plots and devices ; and that he hath given out that he cares not 
for Sir Arthur Chichester more than for any ordinary person, knowing the king will hear him and 
further his desires ; and that if he would not, he would show him (the king) another trick." In 
reference to this passage, Chichester remarks on the margin : — " It may please you to observe that 
Sir Neale O'Donnell is an apparent opposite to the earl of Tirconnell, yet out of sundry collections 
from other advertisements, I conceive he hath informed no more herein than he hath observed.'' 
In other words, although the earl of Tirconnell had exculpated sir Randal from the use of any such 
expression in reference to the king, yet Chichester would much prefer that the statement of his own 
creature, sir Neale O'Donnell might be accepted by the king and cabinet as the true version of the 
story. See Russell's and Prendergast's Calendar, first series, pp. 566, 569. 

It was not surprising that sir Randal, whose wife was daughter of Tyrone and niece of Tir- 
connell, should sympathise with these nobles in their unhappy and dangerous position. It was no 
longer to be doubted that their estates were wanted, that the king declined to issue any orders for 
their protection, and that the slightest pretext would be used for the purpose of denouncing them 
as traitors. These proud chiefs could hardly brook the idea of craving help from any hand, how- 
ever exalted, but yet they consented more than once to do so, and their occasional letters of re- 
monstrance to Salisbury and the king may have been, probably enough, inspired by suggestions 
from sir Randal Macdonnell. On the 17th of June, 1606, the earl of Tyrone addressed one such 
letter from Dungannon to his majesty, the substance of which is as follows :— " He (Tyrone) had 
presumed by his letters written in December last, to complain of the hard courses held against him 
before the present Lord Deputy's time, by sundry persons that have pryed so nicely into his late 
patent, that, unless it please his Majesty to explain his royal meaning in expounding his patent, 
those courses would work to the overthrow of his estate. For divers offices (inquisitions) had been 
found and returned, without the privity of the Lord Deputy then governing, by juries impannelled 
unawares of him (Tyrone). But having received no answers to his letters, and finding the now 
Lord Deputy very upright, (28) he renews his most humble suit. And inasmuch as the chief ground 
of such as sought to take his chief living from him, rose upon colour of terming divers parcels of 
his inheritance to be monasteries, friaries, and of abbey land ; and as the Bishops of Clogher and 
Derry, where their predecessors had only chief rent, would now have the land itself ; he besought 

(28) Very u/>rig/tt.—This account of Chichester's stated in the same sentence that "he (Tyrone) had 
character, if sincerely given by O'Neill, is proof that received no answers to his letters," was owing entirely 
he knew httle of the deputy's real nature. The fact to Chichester's unworthy insinuations against him. 



SIR RANDAL MACDONNELL. 



209 



the king to stop any such mean courses, and force them to be contented with that their predecessors 
had formerly enjoyed these many years past." (Russell's and Prendergast's Calendar, first series, 
P- S°3)- O 11 tne 26th of May, 1607, Tyrone addressed from Mellifont near Drogheda, another 
letter to the king, referring pointedly to the bishop's doings against him. The following is the sub- 
stance of this letter : — " His Majesty had restored him to such lands as he (Tyrone) and his 
ancestors had enjoyed in the reigns of her late Majesty and her predecessors, excepting Sir Henry 
Oge O'Neill's country, (29) and Sir Tirlough M'Henry O'NeiU's country, (30) and certain other 
parcels of land reserved to his Highness. (31) But now there are many that seek to deprive him 
of the greatest part of the residue : for the Lord Bishop of Derry not only claims for himself lands 
whereunto none of his predecessors ever made claim, but also sets on others to call into question 
that which never heretofore was doubted to be his (Tyrone's) and his ancestors. (32) His Majesty's 
counsel-at-law likewise calls in question, namely, Killitragh, Glanconkene, Slieveshiose, Slught-Art, 
and Iraght-I-Cahan, as not being specially named in his letters patent, whereas, in truth there is 
not one parcel particularly named in them j and by the like reason they may take from him all the 
lands he holds. (33) Prays therefore, for new letters patent to him and his heirs, of the parcels 
before recited by special name, in the form usually granted to his Majesty's subjects of this kingdom, 



(29) Henry Oge O'NeiU's country. — This 'country' con- 
sisted of "two ballibetoes in Tyrone, adjoining to the 
river of Blackwater on the north side, called Mointer- 
birne, and three ballibetoes in Tourannie, on the south 
side of that river." (See Russell and Prendergast's 
Calendar, firstseries, p. 318.) Thedistrict, now known as 
Caledon was, granted from the crown to sir Henry Oge 
O'Neill, knight, of Drommorry, in Tyrone, on the 12th of 
June, 1606. Rent one horse and two spurs, or 40s. at his 
option, payable yearly at Michaelmas, besides all other 
rents and services formerly due. To hold in fee-farm, in 
capite, by the service of a knight's fee. From this grant 
were reserved all monasteries, churches, tithes, and spiri- 
tual hereditaments. (See Patent Rolls of James I., p. 75.) 
There existed an old and fierce dispute between sir Henry 
Oge O'Neill and Hugh, earl of Tyrone. See Russell's and 
Prendergast's Calendar, first series, p. 409. 

(30) Sir Tirlough ISP Henry's country.— -This district in 
the county of Armagh is now known as the Fews (see p. 
135, supra), and was granted by the crown in September, 
1603, to sir Turlough M'Henry O'Neill. The rent was 
a horse and two pair of spurs, yearly, or 40s. at the 
grantee's option. To be held for ever, in capite, 
by the service of a knight's fee. (See Patent Rolls of 
James I., p. 67; Erck's Repertory, Patent Rolls, i., p. 
171.) The countess of Tyrone stated, in 1606, that her 
husband and sir Turlough M'Henry of the Fews were 
then very good friends. See Russell's and Prendergast's 
Calendar, first series, p. 409. 

(31) To his Highness. — These portions of Tyrone's 
estates were reserved arbitrarily by the crown when re- 
granting in 1603. In the county of Armagh, 300 acres 
were thus withheld and allotted to the fort of Mountnorris, 
and 300 acres allotted to the fort of Charlemount, with 
competent houseboote, hedgeboote, ploughboote, fire- 
boote, and turbarie for the garrison, growing upon the 
land. In the county of Tyrone, 300 acres were allocated 
from the earl's lands to the fort of Mountjoy, with the 



same perquisites ; and the town of Lifter (now Lifford) with 
four quarters of land, and a meadow of 60 acres called Stra- 
moore, were absolutely reserved by Chichester from the 
adjoining estates of the two earls, Tyrone and Tyrconnell. 
See Russell's and Prendergast's Calendar, first series, pp. 
318, 320. 

(32) Ancestors. — This bishop of Derry was George 
Montgomery, a son of the fifth laird of Braidstane in 
Ayrshire, and brotherofsir Hugh Montgomery, of the Aids 
in county of Down. The bishop was originally dean of 
Norwich. For an account of his appointments as privy 
councillor, commissioner to Ireland, and also of his career 
as bishop of Derry, Raphoe, Clogher, and finally of Meath, 
see new edition of Montgomery Manuscripts, pp. 21, 73, 
97, 98, 101 — 109. 

(^) He holds. — The commencement of the seventeenth 
century was an age of adventurers and d