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Full text of "The history of the Western Highlands and Isles of Scotland, from A.D. 1493 to A.D. 1625, with a brief introductory sketch, from A.D. 80 to A.D. 1493"

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From A.D. 1493 to A.D. 1625, 

. , 


From A.D. 80 to A.D. 1493. 



Joint Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; Secretary to the lona Club; 

Honorary Member of the Ossianic Society of Glasgow; 

Honorary Member of the Society of Antiquaries , Neiccastle-on-Tyne ; 

and Member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of the 

North at Copenhagen. 








iir nz'n (gilean, 


jof ifj* Jfsles: 








PKEFACE, ... i 


A. D. 80-1493. 

Object of the Work and of the Introduction, . . 1 

The Caledonii and Mseatae, .... 1 

The Picti and Attacotti, ...... 2 

The Dicaledones and Yecturiones, . . .2 

The Irish Scots or Dalriads, .... 2 

The Strathclyde Britons and Angles, ... 2 

The Scottish Conquest under Kenneth Macalpin, . 3 

The Dicaledones, or northern Picfcs, also called Albanich, 3 
The Albanich, the earliest inhabitants of the Hebrides 

or "Western Isles, ..... 3 

They are partly displaced by the Dalriads, . . 3 

First appearance of the Scandinavians in the Hebrides, . 4 
The Hebrides conquered by Harald Harfager, King of 

Norway, ...... 4= 

The Yikingr of the Isles, ..... 4 

Ketil, King of the Isles, ..... 5 

Aulaf, Maccus, Gofra, and Ragnal, Kings of the Isles, . 5 
Sigurd and Thorfin, Earls of Orkney, successively con- 
quer the Isles, ..... 5 

Diarmed MacMaelnambo, Godred MacSitric, Fingal, and 

Godred Crovan, successively Kings of the Isles, . 5 
Godred Crovan expelled from the Isles by Magnus Bare- 
foot, King of Norway, .... 6 

Sigurd, son of Magnus Barefoot, made King of the Isles, 6 

Lagman, King of the Isles, .... 6 

Donald MacTade appointed Regent of the Isles, . 7 

He is expelled by the Islanders, .... 7 


Olave the Red, (or Olaf Bitting,) King of the Isles, . 7 

Ragnhildis, his daughter, is married to Somerled, Lord 

of Argyle, ...... 7 

Mixture of Norse and Celtic blood in the Isles, . 8, 9 

The Fiongall or Norwegians, and Dubhgall or Danes, . 8, 9 
Parentage of Somerled of Argyle, ... 10 

Different opinions as to the origin of his family, . . 10 

Probability that he was of Irish, and not of Norse descent, 10, 11 
Gillibrede of the Cave, . . . . .11 

Early life of Somerled, ..... 12 

His rapid rise and great acquisitions, . . . 12 

He marries a daughter of the King of the Isles, . . 12 

Godred the Black, King of the Isles, . . .13 

His tyranny and oppression, . . . .13 

Revolt of many of the Islanders, who proclaim Dugall, 

son of Somerled, King of the Isles, ... 13 
War between Godred and Somerled, ... 14 
Which is followed by a treaty and a division of the Isles, 14: 
The South Isles (except Man) ceded to the sons of Som- 
erled, 14 

Renewed hostilities between Godred and Somerled, . 14 

Godred flies to Norway, and Man and the North Isles 

are seized by Somerled, . . . .15 

Wars of Somerled with Malcolm IV., King of Scotland, 15 

Somerled enters the Clyde with a large army, and lands 

near Renfrew, . . . . .15 

Defeat and death of Somerled, . . . .16 

Man and the North Isles return to Godred, . . 16, 17 

The Sons of Somerled, . . . . .17 

Division of Argyle and the South Isles among them, . 17 

Quarrels between Reginald and Angus, sons of Somerled, 1 7 

Angus and his three sons killed by the men of Sky, . 17 

Argyle and the South Isles divided between Dugall and 
Reginald, the surviving sons of Somerled and Ragn- 
hildis, . . . . . .17 

Dugall and Reginald are both called Kings of the Isles, 17 

Reginald, son of Godred, a King of the Isles at the same 

time, . . . . . . .17 

Remarks on the import of the word King, as used by the 

Scandinavians of the Isles, . . . .17,18 


Origin of the family of De Ergadia or MacDugall, Lords 

of Lorn, ...... 18 

Origin of the family of De Insulis or MacDonald, Lords 

oflsla, .18 

Origin of the family of De Insulis or MacRuari, Lords of 

the North Isles, . . . . .18 

Representatives of these families in the reign of Alex- 
ander III., ...... 18 

These families held lands both under the King of Nor- 
way and the King of Scotland, . . . 19 
Encroachments of the Scots 011 the Kingdom of the Isles, 19 
Projects of Alexander II., and his death, . . 20 
Proceedings of Alexander III. against Angus Macdonald, 

Lord of Isla, ...... 20 

Expedition of Haco to repress the aggressions of the Scots, 20 

He establishes the authority of Norway over all the Hebrides, 20 

His invasion of Scotland, his repulse, and death, . 20 

Vigorous measures of Alexander III. against the Islanders, 20 

Death of Magnus, the last King of Man and the Isles, . 20 

Treaty between Alexander III. and Magnus, King of Norway, 21 

The Hebrides or Western Isles ceded to Scotland by Norway, 2 1 

Allegiance of the Islanders transferred to the King of Scotland, 21 
Position of the descendants of Somerled before and after 

the cession of the Isles to Scotland, . . . 22 
They attend the Scottish Parliament in 1284, as vassals 

of Scotland, ...... 23 

At this time, there was no Lord of the whole Isles ^ the 
Lordship, as known in later times, embracing nearly 
all the possessions held, independently of each other, 
in 1284, by the MacDugalls, MacDonalds, and Mac- 

Ruaries, . .... 23 

Forfeiture of the Lord of Lorn, and acquisitions of the Lords 

oflsla and the North Isles, in the reign of Robert I., 24 

Wise policy of King Robert, .... 25 

Forfeiture of the Lord of the North Isles, . . 25 

Death of King Robert, ..... 26 

And of Angus Oig, Lord of Isla, .... 26 

John of Isla, son of Angus Oig, joins Edward Balliol, 

who confers upon him many lands, ... 26 

Return of David II. from France, . . . 26 



When the Lord of Isla is forfeited, ... 26 

He is pardoned and restored, .... 27 

And the Lord of the North Isles is likewise restored to 

his estates, . . . . . 27 

Origin of the Macians of Ardnamurchan, . . 26,27 

Ranald MacRuari of the North Isles is assassinated by 

the Earl of Ross, . . . . 27 

His sister, Amie, wife of John of Isla, becomes his heir, 27 

John of Isla, thus acquiring the North Isles, in addition 
to his former possessions, assumes the style of LORD 
OF THE ISLES, ..... 27 

The heiress of the MacDugalls carries Lorn Proper (to which 

her father had been restored) to the family of Stewart, 28 

Intrigues of the Court of England with the Lord of the 

Isles,. ...... 28 

Turbulence and disaffection of the Lord of the Isles, . 28 

He is again reconciled to David II., ... 28 

Marriages and issue of John, first Lord of the Isles, . 29 

His eldest son, by his second wife, (Margaret,) daughter 
of King Robert II., becomes his heir, to the exclu- 
sion of the sons of the first marriage, . .29, 30 
State of the Isles at the death of the first Lord, . . 30 
Donald, second Lord of the Isles, succeeds, . . 30 
He marries Mary Leslie, afterwards Countess of Ross, 
in whose right he was properly first Earl of Ross of 
his family, . . . . . .31,32 

His disputes with the Regent Albany The Battle of 

Harlaw, 31 

He is acknowledged as Lord of the Isles by all the Island- 
ers, and even by his brothers of the half-blood, . 31 
Disputes between Godfrey and Ranald, the surviving sons 

of the first marriage of John first Lord of the Isles, 31 

Origin of the Clan Ian Yor of Isla and Kintyre, and of 

the Macdonalds of Keppoch, ... 32 

Intrigues of the Islanders with England, . . 32 

Death and issue of Donald, Lord of the Isles, . . 33 

Alexander, third Lord of the Isles and second Earl of 

Ross, . . . . . .33 

Is at first in great favour with King James I., . . 33 

But soon rebels, ...... 34 



Causes of his rebellion Feud between the Clanranald 

and Siol Gorrie, ..... 34 

Murder of John Mor of Isla, .... 35 

The King holds a Parliament at Inverness, . . 35 

Where the Lord of the Isles, and many other chiefs, are 

seized, .... .35 

Some of whom are executed, and others imprisoned, . 35, 36 
Liberation of the Lord of the Isles, ... 36 

He (after becoming Earl of Ross) assembles his vassals 

and burns the town of Inverness, . . . 36 

The rebellion suppressed by the activity of the King, . 37 

Surrender, and humiliating submission of the Earl of Ross, 37 

He is imprisoned in Tantallon Castle, ... 37 

The Royal forces in Lochaber are routed by Donald 

Balloch of Isla, 37, 38 

And the Earl of Caithness is killed, . . .38 

The King marches to Dunstafrnage, and the rebels 

disperse, ...... 38 

But many of them are seized and executed, . . 38 

A head, said to be that of Donald Balloch, sent from 

Ireland to the King, . . . .38 

This, however, is only a stratagem, by which Donald 

Balloch escapes the pursuit of his enemies, . . 39 

Forfeiture of Alexander, Lord of Lochaber, paternal 

uncle of the Earl of Ross, .... 39 

The Earl of Ross pardoned and liberated, . . 39 

He is appointed Justiciar of Scotland, north of the Forth, 

in the reign of James II., .... 39 

He punishes the Clan Chameron for their former deser- 
tion of him, ...... 40 

The Clan Chattan contrive to escape his vengeance, . 40 

He enters into a treasonable league with the Earls of 

Douglas and Crawford, .... 40 

Death and issue of the Earl of Ross, . . . 40,41 

John, fourth and last Lord of the Isles, and third Earl 

of Ross, succeeds, ..... 41 

His brothers, Celestine Lord of Lochalsh, and Hugh 

Lord of Sleat, . . . . .41 

Power and ambitious projects of William, Earl of 

Douglas, ... .. 41,42 


Renewed league between the Earls of Douglas, Ross, and 

Crawford, . . . . . .42 

The King marches against the Douglases in the absence 

of the Earl, who had gone to Rome, . . 42 

The Earl of Ross rebels, and seizes the royal castles of 

Inverness, Urquhart, and Ruthven in Badenoch, . 43 

The Earl of Douglas returns from Rome, and is assassi- 
nated by the King, ..... 43 
The Douglases rise in arms, but are defeated by the 

Royal troops, ..... 44 

James, Earl of Douglas, retires to the Isles, . . 44 

He is well received by Ross, who sends an expedition 

under Donald Balloch to ravage Ayrshire, Arran, 

and Bute, ...... 44 

Excesses of the Islanders, .... 45 

Flight of Douglas to England, and submission of 

Ross, . . . . .45 

Ross is appointed one of the Wardens of the Marches, . 45 

He is present at the siege of Roxburgh and at the death 

of James II., ..... 46 

He and his vassals attend the firs't Parliament of 

James III., . . . * . . .46 

He is induced by the Douglases to intrigue with the 

King of England, ... 46 

Remarkable treaty between Edward IY. and the Earl 

of Ross, . . . . . . 47, 48 

The Earl of Ross rebels, and assumes regal powers, . 48 

His forces are placed under the command of his bastard 

son, Angus, and of Donald Balloch, . . 48 

He is summoned before Parliament for treason, . . 49 

But the rebellion is suppressed without the government 

proceeding to extremities, .... 49 

The treaty with England is at length discovered, . 49 

And Ross is again summoned on a charge of treason, . 49 

Sentence of forfeiture is pronounced against him, . 50 

The Earls of Crawford and Athole sent against Ross, . 50 

Who sues for pardon through the medium of Huntly, . 50 

He is pardoned and restored to his forfeited estates, . 50 

But immediately resigns to the King the Earldom of 

Ross and the lands of Kintyre and Knapdale, . 50 



And is created a Baron Banrent and Lord of Parliament, 

by the title of Lord of the Isles, . . . 50 

The Earldom of Ross inalienably annexed to the Crown, 50 
The two bastard sons of the Lord of the Isles are made 

heirs to the Lordship, . . . .51 

Turbulent conduct of Angus, the elder of these, . . 51 
The Islanders divided into two factions, one supporting 

the Lord of the Isles, the other his son, . . 51 
Angus of the Isles invades Ross and gains a victory over 

the Mackenzies and others at Lagebread, . . 52 
The Earls of Argyle and Athole endeavour to reconcile 

him with his father, but without effect, . . 52 
Battle of the Bloody Bay, in which Angus gains a naval 

victory over his father's adherents, . . . 52 
Donald Dubh, the infant son of Angus, seized by the 

Earl of Athole and imprisoned, . . . 53 
Angus of the Isles invades and ravages Athole, and carries 

off the Earl and Countess of Athole as prisoners, . 53 
In his return to the Isles, he meets with a storm, and, 
under the influence of superstition, he liberates his 

prisoners and performs a humiliating penance, . 54 
He is assassinated at Inverness, . . . .54 

Remarks on the chronology of the preceding events, . 55 
Alexander of Lochalsh becomes the heir- apparent of his 

uncle, the Lord of the Isles, .... 55 

He invades the Earldom of Ross, . . . 55, 56 

And ravages the lands of Croniarty, . . . 56 

But is routed by the Mackenzies at Blairnepark, . 56, 57 

And his followers expelled from Ross, . . . 57 

Excesses of the Mackenzies after their victory, . . 57 

The Earl of Huntly is sent against them, . . 57 

The Lord of the Isles is finally forfeited, . . 58 
And afterwards goes through the, form of surrendering 

his Lordship, ..... 58 

He retires to the Monastery of Paisley and dies there, . 58 
Notices of the vassal tribes or clans that followed the 

Lords of the Isles, up to A.D. 1493, . . 58, 59 
The house of Lochalsh, . . . . .59 

The house of Sleat, or Clan Huistein, ... 60 

The house of Isla and Kintyre, or Clan Ian Vor, . 61 



The Clan Ranaldbane of Largie, . . % .63 

The house of Keppoch, or Clan Ranald of Lochaber, . 63 

The Siol Gorrie (of Uist), .... 64 

The Clan Ranald of Moydert, Morar, Knoydert, and 

Glengarry, . . . . . .65 

The Clan Ian Abrach of Glenco, . . . .66 

The Clan Ian of Ardnamurchan, . .. . . 67 

The Clan Allaster of Kintyre, . . . . 68 

The Clan Gillean or Macleans, . . . .68 

OfDowart, . . . . .69 

Of Lochbuy, . . . . . 69, 70 

Of Coll, 70,71 

Of Ardgour, . . . . .71 

The Clan Leod (comprehending) . . . 72-74 

The Siol Torquil or Macleods of Lewis, . . 72 

The Siol Tormod or Macleods of Harris, . . 73, 74 

The Clan Chameron, ..... 74-77 
The Clan Chattan, . . . . .77-79 

The Clan Neill (comprehending) . . .79, 80 

The Macneills of Barra, . . . . . 79, 80 

The Macneills of Gigha, . . . .79,80 

The Clan Finnon or Mackinnons, . . . 80 

The Clan Guarie or Macquarries of Ulva, . . 81 

The Clan Duffie or Macfies of Colonsay, . . . 81 

The Clan Eachern or MacEacherns of Killelan, . . 81 

The Mackays of Ugadale in Kintyre, ... 82 

Notices of families temporarily connected with the Lord- 
ship of the Isles, but not vassals at the date of the 
forfeiture, 1493, ..... 82 

The Mackenzies of Kintaill, . . .83 

Vassals of the Lordship of Lorn 

The Macdougalls of Dunolly, ... 83 

The Stewarts of Appin, . . . .83 

The Earls of Argyle and the Campbells* . . .84, 8 J 


A.D. I493-I5I3- 
Introductory remarks, . . . . .86 


Moderation of James IV. in regard to the Lordship of 

the Isles. ...... 87 

He proceeds in person to the West Highlands, . . 87 

Several of the vassals of the Isles make their submission, 87 

He confers knighthood on Alexander of Lochalsh, and 

on John of Isla, ..... 88 

His promise to Alexander of Lochalsh, regarding the 

free tenants of the Isles, .... 88 

He again visits the Isles, and garrisons the castle of Tar- 

bert, . . . . . . . 88, 89 

He makes a third visit to the Isles, and garrisons Duna- 

verty in Kintyre, . . . .89 

Discontent of Sir John of Isla, .... 89 

Who storms Dunaverty and hangs the Governor, . 89 

Sir John and four of his sons are apprehended by Macian 
of Ardnamurchan, and afterwards executed in Edin- 
burgh, ...... 90 

The King visits the Isles a fourth time, and holds his 

court at Mingarry in Ardnamurchan, . . 90 

More of the vassals of the Isles make their submission, . 90, 91 
Mackenzie of Kintaill, and Farquhar Mackintosh, eldest 

son of the captain of the Clanchattan, are imprisoned, 91 

Important act of Privy Council in reference to the Isles, 91 

Reconciliation of five chiefs of rank in the West High- 
lands and Isles, ..... 92 

Insurrection and defeat of Sir Alexander of Lochalsh, . 92 

He is assassinated by Macian in the Isle of Oransay, . 93 

Mackenzie of Kintaill and Farquhar Mackintosh escape 

from Edinburgh Castle, .- . . .93 

Mackenzie is killed at the Tor wood, and Mackintosh 

again made prisoner, . . . .93 

James IV. again visits the Isles, and holds his court in 

Kintyre, ...... 93 

He receives the homage of some of the Islanders, . 93 

And suppresses the feuds of others, ... 94 

Sudden change in the King's policy, . . . 94 

He revokes all the charters granted by him of lands in 

the Isles, since 1493, . . . .94 

Commission to the Earl of Argyle to let the most part of 

the Lordship of the Isles on lease, ... 94 



Various grants to Argyle, Lord Gordon, Stewart of 

Appin, and Macian of Ardnamurchan, . . 94, 95 

Feud between the Macleans and Camerons, . . 95 

Legal proceedings against many of the old vassals of the 

Isles, ...... 95 

Discontent of the Islanders, .... 95 

They organize an insurrection in support of the claims of 

Donald Dubh, son of Angus the bastard of the Isles, 96 

Measures pursued by the King at this juncture, . 96 

Macleod of Lewis is charged to deliver up Donald Dubh, 97 

And is forfeited for refusing to obey, . . . 07 

Commission to Huntly and others for letting forfeited 

lands on lease, ..... 97 

Efforts of the King to break up the confederacy of the 

Islanders, ...... 97 

In which he is unsuccessful, .... 97 

The Islanders invade and ravage Badenoch, . . 98 

Preparations for suppressing this rebellion, . . 98, 99 

The rebels increase in numbers, .... 99 

New distribution of the Highlands and Isles with refer- 
ence to the administration of justice, . . 99, 100 
Slow progress made by the government in reducing the 

rebels, 100,101 

Submission of Maclean of Dowart and others of the rebel 

chiefs, ...... 101 

Macleod of Lewis and others still hold out, . . 102 

The rebellion is at length suppressed, . . .102 

Donald Dubh is again imprisoned, . . 102, 103 

Consequences of the late rebellion, . . . 103 

The King endeavours to promote a knowledge of the law 

of Scotland in the Isles, .... 104 

Great increase of power to the Earl of Huntly, . . 105 

Gradual improvement of the Isles under James IV., . 106 

Condition of the various tribes in the end of his reign, . 106 

The house of Lochalsh, . . . .106 

The Clan Huistein, . . . .107 

The Clan Ian Vor, .... 108 

The Macdonalds of Keppoch, . . 108, 109 

The Clan Eanald of Moydert, . . 109, 110 

The Clan Ian of Ardnamurchan, . . . 110 



The Clan Ian of Glenco, . . . .110 

The Macleans and Clan Chameron, . 110, 111 

The Macleods of Lewis, . . . .111 

The Mackenzies and Macleods of Rasay, . . Ill 

Popularity of James TV. with the Highlanders, . . 112 

Battle of Flodden, and death of James IV., . . 112 

Curious anecdote connected with the battle of Flodden, 112, 113 


A.D. 1513-1542. 

Confusion in Scotland after the death of James IV., . 114 
Insurrection of Sir Donald of Lochalsh, . . . 114 

"VVho is supported by Maclean of Dowart and Macleod of 

Dunvegan, . . . . . .114,115 

The Earl of Argyle sent against the insurgents, . . 115 

Farther measures of the Privy Council against them, . 115,116 
Macian of Ardnamurchan supports the government, . 116 
Strength of the insurgents, . . . . 116 

Some of them submit, and their example is followed by 

Lochalsh, . .' . . . .116,117 

Lochalsh projects a new insurrection, . . . 117 

Apparently owing to the intrigues of English agents, . 117,118 
He expels Macian from Ardnamurchan, and seizes the 

Castle of Mingarry, . . . . .118 

His violence disgusts his followers, who desert him, . 118,119 
Offers of Argyle, of the Macleans of Dowart and Lochbuy, 

and of Macleod of Harris, to the Privy Council, 119-122 
The Earl of Huntly and the Clanchattan, . . 123 

Two brothers of Sir Donald of Lochalsh are executed, . 123 
Maclean of Dowart takes the oath of allegiance, . . 123 

Feud between Lochalsh and Ardnamurchan, . . 124 

In which the latter and two of his sons are killed, . 125 

Argyle advises the forfeiture of Lochalsh, . .125 

And takes a protest regarding it, . . .125 

Death of Sir Donald of Lochalsh, being the last male of 

that house, . . . . . .126 

Comparative tranquillity of the Isles, . . .126 


Increase of power of Argyle and the Campbells, . . 126,127 

Renewed disorders in the Isles, and their causes, ' . 127 
Dowart exposes his wife on a rock, . . .128 

And is assassinated by Campbell of Calder, . . 128 

James Y. escapes from the hands of Angus and the 

Douglases, . . . . . .129 

Change of the policy of government regarding the Isles, 129 

Feud between the Macdonalds of Sleat and Macleods of 

Harris, 130,131 

Disturbances in the South Isles, . . . .132 

Argyle employed against the South Islanders, . . 132 

A herald sent by the Privy Council to treat with Alex- 
ander of Isla, . . . . .133 
The herald makes an unfavourable report, . . 133 
Further preparations for an expedition to the Isles, . 133,134 
Nine of the principal Islanders treat with the King, . 133,134 
Who resolves to proceed in person to the Isles, . . 135 
And makes great preparations with that object, . . 135 
Alexander of Isla comes to Court, and is received into favour, 136 
Maclean of Dowart likewise submits, . . 136 
The King gives up his intention of going to the Isles, . 136 
Offers of Argyle and Murray against the Islanders, . 136,137 
These Earls proceed to the Isles, . . . .137 
General submission of the Islanders, . . .137,138 
Terms given to Alexander of Isla, . . .138 
The Privy Council begin to distrust Argyle, . . 139 
Insidious conduct of that nobleman, . . . 140 
Accusations preferred by Alexander of Isla against him, 

and offers of service by that chief, . . . 140,141 

Argyle recalled and committed to prison, . . 142. 

Alexander of Isla is sent to Ireland, at the head of a 

body of men, by James V., .... 142 
The King attends to the education of the son of that chief, 1 43 
The West Highlands and Isles continue quiet for several 



Present position of the Clanhuistein of Sleat, . . 144 

Insurrection of Donald Gorme of Sleat, . . . 145 

He ravages Trouterness, and invades Kintaill, . . 145 

And is killed before the Castle of Elandonan, . .145,146 

James Y. proceeds to the Isles with a large naval force, . 146,147 



And makes all the great chiefs prisoners, . . 147,148 

Some of whom are liberated, on giving hostages for their 

good conduct, . . . . 148 

Whilst others are detained in confinement, . . 148 

Royal garrisons placed in the Isles, . * ' . 149 

The Lordship of the Isles inalienably annexed to the Crown, 149 

Death of James V., and consequences of that event, . 150 


A.D. 1542-1560. 

State of parties in Scotland after the death of James V., 151,152 
Intrigues of Henry VIIL, .... 152 

Singular political changes. The Earls of Arran and 

Lennox change sides, . . . .153 

Consistency of the Earls of Huntly and Argyle, . . 154 

Second escape from prison of Donald Dubh of the Isles, . 154 
The captive chiefs and hostages liberated by the English 

party, in order to assist Donald Dubh in embarrassing 

Argyle and Huntly, ..... 155, 15G 
Donald Dubh and the Islanders invade the Earldom of 

Argyle, ...... 15G 

Offers made by the Regent Arran to Donald Dubh, but 

rejected, ...... 156,157 

James Macdonald of Isla, alone of the Islanders, supports 

the Regent, ...... 157 

Disturbances in the North. Feud between the Clanranald 

and the Erasers, . . . . .157 

Origin of this feud, .... .157,158 

The Clanranald invade the lands of the Erasers and Grants, 159 
Huntly, with the Erasers and Grants, marches against 

them, and invades Lochaber, . . .159 

The Clanranald and their allies retire on his approach, . 159 
Huntly and the Grants return by Glenspean and Badenoch, 100 
Lord Lovat and the Erasers return by the Great Glen, . 160 
They are intercepted by the Clanranald, . . .160 

Battle of Kinloch-lochy, in which Lovat and nearly all 

his followers are slain, . . . .161,162 



Huntly again invades Lochaber and wastes the lands of 

the rebels, . . . . . .163 

The Earl of Lennox, with an English armament, enters 

the Clyde, and commits great devastations, 164-167 

He intrigues with the Islanders, . . . .167 

Failing in the main object of his expedition (the capture 

of Dumbarton Castle), he returns to England, . 167 

Battle of Ancrum Muir, ..... 168 

By the influence of Lennox, the Islanders enter into a 

treasonable correspondence with England, . . 169 

Proclamation of the Scottish government against Donald 

Dubh and his followers, . . . .169 

The Islanders threatened with forfeiture, . . 170 

Donald Dubh, now styling himself Lord of the Isles, 

sends commissioners to the English court, . . 170 

Names of his barons and council of the Isles, . . 170 

Four thousand Islanders proceed to Knockfergus, . 170 

And take an oath of allegiance to England, . . 170 

They engage to forward the views of Henry VIII., . 171 
Description of these Hebridean troops, . . . 171 

Treaty between the commissioners of the Lord of the 

Isles and Henry VIII., . . . .172,173 

Preparations for an invasion of Scotland from Ireland, . 173,174 
The absence of the Earl of Lennox causes the postpone- 
ment of the expedition, . . . .174 

The Islanders return to Scotland their dissensions, . 174 
Lennox a second time enters the Clyde, hoping to seize 

Dumbarton Castle, . . . . .175 

But is again foiled and forced to retire to Ireland, . ' 176 

Donald Dubh of the Isles dies at Drogheda, . . 176 

He is sumptuously interred by Lennox, . . .176 

James Macdonald of Isla, changing his politics, is chosen 

to succeed him, . . . . . 177 

But is only partially supported by the Islanders, . 177 
Several of whom are- reconciled to the Regent Arrau, . 1 77 
James Macdonald enters into communication with the 
Privy Council of Ireland and the Court of Eng- 
land^ .177,178 

His proposals, and demand of a pension, . . .178 

Henry VIII. ceases to intrigue with the Islanders, . 178,179 


Locliiel and Keppoch apprehended and executed for high 

treason, . . . . . .179 

Most of the other western chiefs submit to the Regent, . 179 
Disputes between Argyle and James Macdonald, . 180 

Settled by the mediation of the Regent, . . . 180 

Battle of Pinky, ...... 180 

Many of the Islanders absent from the army, . . 181 

Causes of their backwardness, .... 181 

Influence of Mary of Guise, the Queen-mother, . . 181 

Who endeavours to re-introduce the policy of James Y. in 

regard to the Islanders, . . . .181,182 

The Regent, by her advice, holds courts at Aberdeen and 

Inverness, . . . . . .182 

Proceedings against the Clanranald and Clanchameron, . 182 
The Queen-mother assumes the Regency, . . 183 

The Earls of Huntly and Argyle ordered to proceed against 

the Clanranald and the North Islanders, . . 183 

Their want of success, . . . . .183 

Causes of Huntly's failure, .... 184 

Inquiry into Huntly's conduct, . . . .184 

He is disgraced and punished by the Queen Regent, . 184 
The forfeiture of the late William Macintosh, captain of the 

Clanchattan, is rescinded, . . . .184 

Argyle sent against Macleod of Lewis, who submits, . 185 
Athole prevails on John Moydertach, captain of the Clan- 
ranald, to surrender himself to the Regent, . . 185 
Escape of John Moydertach, .... 185 

The Queen Regent holds justice courts at Inverness, . 186 
Severity of her measures, ." . . .186 

John Moydertach flies to the remote Isles, . . 186 

Progress of the Reformation, as far as regards the High- 
lands and Isles, ..... 186,187 

The fifth Earl of Argyle becomes a great Protestant leader, 187 
The Queen Regent, to weaken Argyle, intrigues with 

James Macdonald of Isla, . . . .187 

But eventually fails of success, and Macdonald joins the 

Protestants, ..... 188 

Death and character of the Queen Regent, 



A.D. 1561-1585. 


General remarks on the state of the Highlands and Isles, 189 
Feud between the Macleans of Dowart and Coll, . 190 

Feud between the Macleans of Dowart and the Macdonalds 

of Isla and Kintyre, . . . . .191 

Proceedings of the Privy Council in this feud, . . 191,192 

Death of James Macdonald of Isla, in a battle in Ulster 

with the O'Neills, . . . . .192 

Retrospect of the History of the Clandonald in Ulster, up 

to the death of James Macdonald, . . 192-200 

Rebellion of Shane O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, . . 200 

He is killed by the Clandonald in Ulster, . . 201 

His successor, Torlogh Luineach O'Neill, kills Alexander 

Oig, brother of James Macdonald, . . . 201 

The Clandonald of Isla and Kintyre weakened by their 

losses in Ireland, .... 201 

Opposition of Argj^le and Murray to the marriage of Queen 

Mary with Darnley, ..... 201 
They rebel, but are forced to fly to England, . . 201,202 

Proclamation regarding the trade in cattle and other com- 
modities with the "West Highlands and Isles, . 202 
Dissensions in the Clanchameron, and murder of Donald 

Dubh, captain of that tribe, .... 202,203 
Argyle extends his influence over the Clandonald of the 

North Isles, and the Clanleod of Harris, . 203 

Retrospect of the history of these clans, pointing out the 

circumstances which favoured Argyle' s projects, 203-207 
Queen Mary deposed. Effects of that event on the High- 
lands and Isles, . . 207 
Vigorous measures of the Regent Murray, . 208 
He suppresses a feud between the Clanchattan and the 

Macdonalds of Keppoch, 
And another dispute between the Macdonalds of Sky and 

the Mackenzies of Kintaill, ... 209 

Causes of the latter feud, ... 209 

Retrospect of the history of the Siol Torquil or Macleods 

of Lewis, . . .209,210 



Massacre of the Macleods of Rasay, . . . 211 

Feud between the Mackenzies and the Macleods of Lewis, 212 
In which the Macdonalds of Sky support the latter, . 212 
Principal partisans of the contending tribes, . 213 

Regencies of the Earls of Lennox and Mar, . . 213 

Regency of the Earl of Morton, . . . .213 

Farther dissensions in the Siol Torquil, . . . . 213,214 

Quarrel between the Earls of Argyle and Athole, . 214,215 

Which is suppressed by the interference of the Regent, . 215 
Argyle and Athole unite against Morton, who is at length 

deprived of the Regency, . . . .215 

Influence of Captain James Stewart, afterwards Earl of 

Arran, ...... 215 

Complaints by Glengarry and others against the Earl of 

Argyle, for oppression, . . . . 216 

Violent conduct of Lauchlan Mor Maclean, the young 

chief of Dowart, . . . . .217 

He renews the feud between his family and the Mac- 
donalds of Isla, . . . . . . 218 

Temporary reconciliation between these tribes, . . 218 

Feud between the chiefs of Glengarry and Kintaill, . 218,219 
Renewed dissensions in the Siol Torquil, . . 219,220 

History of the Clandonald in Ulster, since the death of 

James Macdonald of Isla, . . . 221-227 

Sorley Buy Macdonald, ancestor of the Earls of An- 
trim, ...... 221-227 

Act of Council in favour of Angus Macdonald of Isla, . 227 
Several great chiefs in the Isles summoned before the 

Privy Council, . . . ... 227 

Continuation of the history of the Clanchameron, . 228,229 

Fall of James Stewart, Earl of Arran, . . .229 

James VI. assumes the Government, . . . 229 


A.D. 1585-1595. 

The feud between the Macdonalds and Macleans again 

breaks out, . . . . . . 230 



Causes of its renewal, ..... 230,232 
Mutual treachery of Maclean and Macdonald, . . 232,233 

Progress of the feud, .... .233,235 

Barbarity of the Macdonalds, .... 234 
Mutual ravages of the contending clans, . . . 235 

Tribes involved in this feud on either side, . . 235,236 

Measures taken by the government for suppressing this 

feud, 236 

Important act of Parliament, commonly called the General 

Bond, 237- 

Angus Macdonald of Isla is outlawed, . . . 237 

Whilst Lauchlan Mor Maclean is received into favour, . 237 
Treachery of Maclean to John Macian of Ardnaniurchan, 238 
Massacre of many of the Clan Ian, . . 238 

The Macleans invade the lands of the Clan Ian, and are 

assisted by some Spanish troops, . . . 239 

The Macleans besiege the Castle of Mingarry, but are 

forced to raise the siege, . . . .240 

The Macdonalds employ English auxiliaries, . . 240 

Suspension of hostilities between the Macdonalds and 

Macleans, ...... 240 

The chiefs of Dowart, Isla, and Sleat, are entrapped by 

the government, and thrown into prison, . . 240,241 

Lauchlan Mor Maclean and Angus Macdonald are brought 

to trial, and submit themselves to the King's mercy, 241 
Observations on the policy of James VI., . . 241,242 

Embarrassments and cupidity of that Monarch, . . 242 

Maclean and Macdonald pardoned 011 paying a fine to the 

King, . . . . .242 

And on agreeing to certain conditions imposed on them, 243,244 
Murder of the bonny Earl of Murray, . . . 244 

And of John Campbell of Calder, . . . 245 

These murders the result of one plot, . . . 245 

Origin and progress of this plot, and names of the con- 
spirators, ..... 245-251 
Ardkinlass is suspected of the murder of Calder, . 251 
He refuses to plot against the Earl of Argyle, . . 251 
Whose life is attempted by poison, . ... 252 
Ardkinlass has recourse to witchcraft, . . . 252 
Partial discovery of the plot, . . . 252 



Some of the inferior agents executed, . . .252 

Ardkinlass and Macdougall of Dunolly are thrown into 

prison, but escape punishment, . . .252 

Confessions of Ardkinlass and of Margaret Campbell, . 253 
General feeling against the Chancellor Thirlestane, as 

concerned in these murders, . . . 253 

Further inquiry stifled by undue influence, . . 253 

Effects of the murder of the Earl of Murray and Campbell 

ofCalder, ...... 254 

The Macintoshes take part against Huntly, . . 254 

"Who courts the Macphersons, .... 255 

Feud between the Stewarts of Appin and Campbells of 

Calder, ...... 255 

The Island chiefs fail to perform the conditions imposed 

upon them, . . . . . . 255 

They are summoned before the Privy Council, and threat- 
ened with forfeiture, . . . . .255 

Proceedings in Parliament against them, . . 256 

The Earls of Huntly, Angus, and Erroll, and the chiefs of 

Do wart and Isla, forfeited by Parliament, . . 256 

The forfeited Earls rise in arms, . . . .256,257 

The Earl of Argyle sent against them, . . . - 257 

Battle of Belrinnes or Glenlivat and defeat of Argyle, . 257, 259 
Treachery and death of Campbell of Lochnell, . . 258 

Gallant behaviour of Maclean of Do wart as one of Argyle's 

officers, . . , . . .259 

The King proceeds in person against the rebel Earls, . 259 
Who are forced to disband their followers and fly abroad, 260 
MacRanald of Keppoch submits to Argyle, . . 260 

Macdonald of Sleat and Macleod of Harris lead some 

forces to assist the rebel O'Donnell in Ulster, . 261 

Tyrone offers to procure the expulsion of these auxiliaries 261 
But rebels himself in the following year, . . . 261 

The Scottish Privy Council forbid assistance to be given 

to the Irish rebels, 262 



A.D. i595- l6 3- 


Endeavours of the King to increase Ills revenue from the 

Isles, .263 

Proclamation for an expedition to the Isles, by the King 

in person, ... ... 264 

Effects of this proclamation on the Islanders, . . 264 

Position of the Siol Torquil, . . . .204,265 

The King gives up his intention of going to the Isles, . 265 
And orders the Commendator of Pittenweem against the 

Clandonald of Isla and Kin tyre, . . .265 

Further preparations for this expedition, . . 206,267 

Which is delayed for several months, . . .267 

The King writes to James Macdonald of Duiiluce (son of 

Sorley Buy), . ^ . . . 268 

Some of the royal forces proceed to Kintyre, . . 268 

Offers by the Macdonalds of Isla to the Privy Council, . 268 
The Commendator of Pittenweem holds a Court in Kintyre, 268 
And receives the submission of the inhabitants of that 

district, ...... 269 

Feiid between the Macleans of Dowart and Coll, . 269 

Act of Privy Council in favour of the latter, . . 270 

Renewed dissensions in the Siol Torquil, . . 270 

One party of which tribe is supported by the Mackenzies, 271 
Torquil Dubh Macleod of the Lewis is apprehended and 

executed, . . . . . .271 

Neill Macleod, a bastard, takes the command of the Lewis, 271,272 
Feud between the Mackenzies of Gerloch and the Siol 

Vic Gillichallum of Rasay, .... 272 

Various plans for curbing the Clandonald of Isla, . 272 

Conditions required from, and agreed to, by Angus Mac- 
donald of Isla, . . . .272,273 

Claims of James Macdonald of Dunluce, . . .273 

That chief is invited to Scotland, and arrives at Edin- 
burgh on a visit to the King, . . . 273 
His claims are rejected by the Scottish Privy Council, 274 
He is knighted by James VI., who grants to him some 

lands in Kintyre, ..... 274 


Maclean of Dowart and Macdonald of Isla prepare to pro- 
ceed to Ireland with a body of men, . . 274 
Apprehensions of the Irish Privy Council, . . 274,275 
Probable views of Angus Macdonald in this measure, . 275 
The projected enterprise of the Islanders is given up, . 275 
Act of Parliament requiring the chiefs in the Highlands 

and Isles to exhibit their charters, . . 275,276 

Undue severity and real object of this Act, . . 276 

Act of Parliament for erecting three new royal burghs in 

the Highlands and Isles, . . . .277 

A Council often appointed to deliberate on the state of 

the Highlands and Isles, . . . .277 

Forfeitures in consequence of the Act first above mentioned, 278 
The Isle of Lewis and other lands granted to a company 

of Lowland adventurers, .... 278 

The terms of their contract with government, . . 279 

The proceedings of government too precipitate, . . 279 

And a strong party thus formed in the North Isles against 

the adventurers, ..... 280 

Sir James Macdonald sent from court to treat with his 

father Angus Macdonald of Isla, . . . 280 

Violent and unnatural conduct of Sir James, . . 281,282 

The King proposes to make an expedition in person to 

Kintyre, ...... 282 

Preparations for this expedition, . . . 282 

The King again declines to go to the Isles, and names 

the Duke of Lennox in his place, . . . 283 

Probable causes of the King's backwardness, . . 283 

The expedition seems to have totally failed, . . 283 

Renewal of the feud between the Macdonalds and Mac- 
leans, . . . . . .284,285 

Battle of Lochgruinart in Isla between Sir James Mac- 
donald (son of Angus) and Sir Lauchlan Mor Mac- 
lean, ....... 285 

Defeat and death of Maclean, . 285 

His son and successor invades and ravages Isla, encounter- 
ing and defeating the Macdonalds, . . . 285 
Lauchlan Mor Maclean seems to have been the aggres- 
sor in this feud, . . . . .286 

Commission of Lieutenandry over the whole Isles and 



Highlands of Inverness-shiro granted to Lennox and 
Real objection of this commission to assist the Lewis ad- 


venturers, . * 

"Hut it seems to have produced little effect, . 287 
Offers of Sir James Macdoiiald regarding Kintyrc and 

Ida, 288 

They are approved of by the Privy Council, . ; 

But lead to no satisfactory result, . . 288 

This failure the result of the intrigues of Argyle and 


Progress of the Lowland adventurers in the Lewis, . 290 
They are opposed by the natives, 

With whom at length they make an agreement, . . 291,292 

Confessions of one of the Lewismen, . . 292 
Mackenzie of Kintaill is apprehended in consequence, and 

committed to prison, ..... 292 
But escapes without a trial, through his influence with 

the Chancellor, . . . . .292 

The Kinga third time projects going to the Isles in person, 292 

And makes great preparations accordingly, . . 293 

But a third time abandons his intention,. . . 293 

Lennox made Lieutenant over the South Isles, . . 293 
And Huntly over the North Isles, . . . 293,294 
Instructions to the Lieutenants and powers conferred 

upon them, ...... 294 

These commissions produce no effect, . . . 294 
Feud between the Macdonalds and Macleods in Sky, . 295,296 

The Privy Council interfere, .... 296 

And a reconciliation is afterwards effected between the 

chiefs of Sleat and Harris, .... 297 

Progress of the adventurers of the Lewis, . . 297 

They quarrel with Xeill Macleod, . . . 297 

Who defeats a party of them, .... 298 

Tormod Macleod assumes the command of the island, . 298 
And, encouraged by the Mackenzies, attacks the colonists, 

and forces them to capitulate, . . 298 
Terms of the capitulation, . . . 399 
The colonists, after evacuating the Lewis, make prepara- 
tions to return, . . 299 



But are forced to delay the recovery of the island for a time, 299 
Eenewal of the feud between Glengarry and the Macken- 

zies, ....... 300 

Mutual ravages of these clans, . . . .300,303 

The eldest son of Glengarry is drowned in the Ivyles of 

Sky, ....... 301 

The Raid of Kilchrist and barbarity of the Glengarry men, 302 
These disputes are at length amicably settled, . . 303 

James VI. ascends the throne of Great Britain, . . 303 

His preparations for that event cause him to neglect the 

Highlands and Isles, . . . .303 

Immediate consequences of this neglect, . . . 303,304 

The expedition to the Lewis again delayed, . . . 304 

A.D. 1603-1610. 

Apprehension and imprisonment of Sir James Macdonald, 305 

Argyle presents him before the Privy Council, . . 306 

He is committed to the Castle of Blackness, . . 30G 

But, attempting to escape, is removed to Edinburgh Castle, 306 
Hector Maclean of Dowart promises to deliver up the 

Castle of Dowart, . . . . .306 

Lord Scone commissioned to proceed to Kinty re, to receive 

the submission of the Islanders, . . . 306 
Many of the chiefs summoned to meet him there, . 306,307 

They are threatened with forfeiture if they disobey, . 307 
Proclamations for supporting Lord Scone in the execution 

of his commission, ..... 306 

Offers made by Angus Macdonald of Isla, at Glasgow, ; 307 

Lord Scone holds a court in Kintyre, . . . 308 

His proceedings in that district, .... 308 

Further proceedings of the colonists of the Lewis, . 309 

Torrnod Macleod yields to the terms proposed by them, . 309 
But, on his going to court, the colonists become jealous 

of him, ...... 310 

And procure his imprisonment in Edinburgh Casfcle, . 310 

The colonists are still annoyed by Neill Macleod, . 310 



Lord Scone reports his proceedings, . 310 

The result is -unfavourable to Angus Macdonald, . 310 

Argyle seeks a grant of Kintyre, and confers with Lord 

Scone on the subject, . . . .310,311 

Sir James Macdonald again attempts to escape, and is 

again frustrated, ... . .311 

Angus Macdonald' s hostage escapes from Dumbarton 

Castle, .... .311 

Kintyre and Jura granted to the Earl of Argyle, . 311 

The Macdonalds of Kintyre and Isla rise in arms and 

threaten Galloway and Garrick, . . . 312 

Argyle is appointed Justiciar and Lieutenant over the 

South Isles, 312 

Limitations of his commission, .... 312 
The Castle of Dunyveg in Isla holds out against him, . 313 
It is proposed to employ the Marquis of Huntly against 

the North Isles, except Sky and Lewis, . . 313 

Discussions between the King, the Privy Council, and 

Huntly, on this subject, .... 
The extirpation of the North Islanders seriously pro- 
posed by the King, . . . . 314 
And agreed to by Huntly, . . . 314 
Rent offered by Huntly for the Isles proposed to be 

granted to him, ..... 

His offers submitted to the King, . . .314 

The proceedings of the Presbyterians against Huntly 

cause his commission against the North Isles to be 

suspended, . . ., . . .315 

The Lewis adventurers weary of their undertaking, 315 

And forsake the Island, . 
The Lord of Kintaill secretly procures a grant of the 

Lewis, . . . . . 31 G 

But is forced to resign it, on a complaint by the adven- 
turers, . . . . . .316 

The Lewis, by consent of the adventurers, granted anew 

to three individuals only, . . . .310 

Petitions of Sir James Macdonald to the Privy 

Council, . . . . . .316 

He attempts to open a correspondence with the King and 

the Duke of Lennox, . 317 



He joins Lord Maxwell in an attempt to escape from 

Edinburgh Castle, . . . . .317 

Maxwell escapes, but Sir James, after getting out of the 

Castle, is retaken, . . . . .317 

Instructions issued for his trial, . . . .317 

He is examined by the Privy Council, . . . 317 

His trial is postponed in the meantime, . . . 318 

Great preparations for a new expedition to the Isles, . 318 
Commission to Lord Ochiltree and the Bishop of the Isles, 

to confer with Macdonald of Isla and Maclean of 

Dowart, ...... 318 

Instructions to these Commissioners, . . . 319 
Angus Macdonald charged to deliver up the Castle of 

Dunyveg, ...... 319 

Further preparations for the expedition to the Isles, . 319,320 

The Bishop of the Isles sent to consult with the King, . 320 

Lord Ochiltree appointed Lieutenant over the Isles, . 321 
Counsellors appointed to assist him, . . .321 

The King's instructions as to Sir James Macdonald, . 321 

Lord Ochiltree proceeds to the Isles, . . . 322 

And is joined by forces from Ireland, . . . 322 

Proceedings of the Eoyal forces, .... 332 

Ochiltree holds a court at Aros in Mull, . . . 322 
"Where the principal Islanders meet him and make their 

submission, ...... 323 

He entraps and carries off most of these chiefs with him, 324 

They are confined in Dumbarton, Blackness, and Stirling, 324 

Ochiltree reports his proceedings to the Privy Council, . 324 

Humble petitions of the imprisoned Chiefs, . . 325 

Commissioners appointed for the improvement of the Isles, 325 

Instructions from the King to these Commissioners, . 325 
These measures the commencement of a real improvement 

in the Isles, ...... 326 

The Commissioners communicate with the different Chiefs, 326 

And report the result of their deliberations to the King, 326 
Sir James Macdonald is brought to trial and condemned 

to death, ...... 326,327 

But the execution of the sentence is suspended, . . 328 

Probable causes of this apparent lenity, . . . 328 

The King directs a survey of the Isles to be made, * 329 



The Commissioners for the Isles modify the King's plan, 329 
Directions given to the Bishop and the chiefs in conse- 
quence, . . . . . 329 
The Bishop holds a court at Icolmkill, . . . 330 
Which is attended by all the island chiefs, . . 330 
Who unanimously pass and bind themselves to observe 

nine important statutes, .... 330,333 
Details of the Statutes of Icolmkill, . . .333 

Effects of these Statutes on the descendants of those who 

enacted them, .' . . . . 333 

Report made by the Bishop to the Privy Council, . 333 

He is deputed to present the Report to the King, . 334 

Measures taken by the Privy Council in consequence of 

this report, . . . . . .334 

A proclamation interfering with the trade of the Isles 

is annulled, ...... 334 

Sir George Hay and Sir James Spens prepare for a new 

colonization of the Lewis, .... 334,335 
Bat, owing to the intrigues of Mackenzie of Kintaill, 

are unsuccessful, . . . . .335 

And forced to quit the Island, . . . . 335 

They sell the Lewis to Kintaill, . . . .335 

Who, having thus acquired a legal title to that island, 

speedily reduces it to obedience, . . . 336 

Fate of the survivors of the Siol Torquil, . 336-338 

The representation of this tribe devolves on Macleod of 

Rasay, ...... 338 


A.D. 1610-1615. 

The King approves of the Statutes of Icolmkill, . 339 

Proceedings of the Privy Council in consequence, . 339 

The Bishop of the Isles is appointed Steward and Justice 

of all the Hebrides, ..... 340 
And Constable of the Castle of Dunyveg, . . 340 

Temporary tranquillity of the West Highlands and Isles, 340,341 
The Siol Torquil and the Mackenzies, . . .341 



The Glanchameron and Clanranald of Lochaber, . 341 

Dissensions in the Clanchameron, . .' . 342 

Origin and progress of these dissensions, . .342-345 

Lochiel chastises his refractory clansmen, . . 345 

Lochiel and his followers proclaimed rebels, . . 345 

And a commission given to Huntly against them, . 345 

Dissensions in the Clanneill of Barra, . . .346 

Origin of these dissensions, and their suppression, . 340,347 

Death of Angus Macdonald of Isla, . . . 347 

Isla granted in lease to Sir Ranald MacSorley Buy, . 347 
He endeavours to introduce some Irish customs into 

Isla, ....... 347 

But is prohibited by the Privy Council, . . . 348 

The difference between the Irish and Hebridean customs 

at that time, caused by the greater progress of the 

feudal system in the Hebrides, . . . 348 

The principal Islanders continue in their obedience, . 348 
Fears of an insurrection of the Macleans, regarding the 

lands of Morvern, ..... 348 
The Castle of Dunyveg is taken from the Bishop's 

garrison by the Macdonalds, . . . 349 

And placed in the hands of Angus Oig Macdonald, . 349 
Who professes his readiness to restore it to the Bishop, 349 

Petition and offers of Sir James Macdonald to the Privy 

Council, . . . . . .350 

He is suspected of being privy to the seizure of Dunyveg, 350 
His papers are examined, but rather prove the reverse, 350, 351 
Angus Oig ordered to deliver up the Castle, . . 351 

And a commission given to the Bishop against him, in 

case he should refuse, . . . .351 

Angus Oig refuses to deliver up Dunyveg, . . 351 

The Bishop again visits Isla, carrying with him a con- 
ditional pardon for the Macdonalds, . . 351 
Who, however, not only retain the Castle, but make the 

Bishop and his followers prisoners, . . . 352 

The Bishop is compelled to treat with Angus Oig, 352, 353 

And to give hostages for performance of his part of the 

treaty, ...... 353 

The Bishop is set at liberty, and writes the Council 

regarding the late events, . . . .353 



Reasons for supposing that Angus Oig and his followers 

were secretly incited by Argyle, . . 354, 355 

The Privy Council prepare to recover Dunyveg by 

force, .....*. 355 

Commission to Campbell of Calcler against the Macdorialds 

oflsla, . . . . ' .355 

It is proposed to grant Isla to Calder, . . .356 

Discontent of the Macdonalds, . . . .356 

Opinion of the Bishop as to this project, . . . 356 

New offers made by Sir James Macdonald, . . 357 

Preparations for suppressing the rebels of Isla, . . 358 

Instructions to Calder regarding this service, . 358 

The Earl of Dunfermline, Chancellor, intrigues for relief 

of the Bishop's hostages, . . . .359 

His emissary, Graham, by deceiving the Macdonalds, 

procures the liberation of the hostages, . . 359 

And, at the same time, encourages Angus Oig to hold out, 360 
On the approach of the royal forces, Graham leaves the 

Macdonalds to their fate, . . . .361 

Isla is granted to Campbell of Calder, . . . 361 

Duny veg is summoned by the Irish division of the royal 

forces, ...... 362 

But Angus Oig refuses to surrender, pleading the Chan- 
cellor's instructions as received from Graham, 362, 363 
Junction of the Irish and Scottish forces, . . 363 
Dunyveg is besieged in form, .... 363 

And, after a short siege, Angus Oig submits uncondition- 
ally, 364 

But Coll MacGillespick and some of the garrison escape, 364 
Many of the rebels are condemned and executed, . 364 

Angus Oig and others reserved for examination by the 

Privy Council, .... 364, 365 

Investigation into Graham's proceedings, . . 365 

Feeling against Argyle and the Chancellor regarding this 

affair, . . . . . .365 

The investigation is smothered, .... 365 

The Chancellor was really implicated, . . . 366 

No credit given to the statements of Graham, . . 366 

Coll MacGillespick and others of the Clandonald become 

pirates, ...... 366 



Sir James Macdonald at length effects his escape from 

Edinburgh Castle, . .. . . 366,367 

His reasons for this step, . . . .367 

Details of his flight and of the pursuit, . . 367, 368 

He reaches the Isles in safety, .... 368 

And is joined by Coll MacGillespick, . . . 368 

Whose followers receive Sir James with enthusiasm, 368, 369 
Sir James sails in the direction of Isla, . . . 369 

Measures of the Privy Council in this emergency, 369, 370 

Instructions for defending the west coast against Sir 

James and his adherents, . . . .371 

Sir James Macdonald arrives in the Isle of Colonsay, . 372 
He proceeds thence to Isla, and recovers the Castle of 

Dunyveg from Calder's Garrison, . . . 372 

He dismisses his prisoners uninjured, . . .373 

Numbers of his adherents at this time, . . . 373 

Argyle is summoned from. Court in order to act as Lieu- 
tenant against the rebels, . . . . 373 

[Further preparations by the Privy Council, . 373, 374 

Auchinbreck appointed Lieutenant in the meantime, . 374 
Trial and execution of Angus Oig Macdonald and his 

followers, . . . . . .374 

General sympathy for their fate, .... 374 

Sir James addresses letters to many of the nobility 

explaining his conduct, . . . 374, 375 

His character, and implacable hostility to the Campbells, 375 
His letters, being intercepted, come into the hands of 

the Privy Council, ..... 375 

Who decline to hold any communication with him, . 375 
Sir James fortifies the Island of Lochgormc, . . 376 

He attempts to seize Macneill of Taynish, . . 376 

He is joined by the men of Colonsay and Jura, . . 376 

The men of Argyle and Lorn refuse to march against 

him, unless under a Royal Lieutenant, . . 376 

The Kintyre men prepare to join 3ir James, . . 377 

"Various reports in circulation, .... 377 

Further preparations by the Privy Council, . . 377 

Instructions from the King to the Earl of Argyle as 

Lieutenant, ..... 377, 378 

Sir James Macdonald proceeds to Kintyre, . . 378 


He sends the fiery cross through that district, and is 

joined by many of the inhabitants, . . . 379 

Auchinbreck, with a few troops, watches Sir James' 

motions, . . . . . . 379 

Report by Auchinbreck to the Privy Council, and mea- 
sures taken in consequence, .... 379 

Auchinbreck confines the rebels to Kintyre, . . 380 

Secretary Binning writes in severe terms to Argyle for 

his delay, ...... 380 

Argyle has an interview with Binning, . . . 380 

And then confers with the Privy Council, . . 381 

Arrangements made by the Council with Argyle, 381, 382 

Argyle assembles his forces at Duntroon, . . 382 

After reconnoitering the position of the rebels, Argyle 

divides his troops into two divisions, . 382, 383 

Intended to invade Kintyre both from the west and east, 383 
Movements of the rebels, .... 383 

Success of Argyle's tactics Flight of the rebels, . 384 

They are pursued by the royal forces, . . . 384 

And attempt to rally in Isla, .... 385 
Being closely pressed, they are forced to disperse, 385, 386 

And Sir James, with a few followers, escapes to Ireland, 386 
Dunyveg and the Fort of Lochgorme are surrendered by 

Coll MacGillespick, 386 

"Who receives a conditional pardon from Argyle, . 386 

Argyle executes nineteen of the principal inhabitants of 

Isla, 387 

He then returns to Kintyre, and executes many of the 

rebels in that district, .... 387 

He endeavours to ascertain the movements of Sir James, 

and the others who had escaped, . . 387, 388 

The Council dissatisfied at the escape of so many of the 

principal rebels, ..... 388 
Argyle reports his proceedings to the Privy Council, . 389 
By whom they are generally approved of, . 389, 390 



A.D. 1615-1625. 


Proceedings of the Privy Council against Macranald of 

Keppoch and his son, . . . .391 

And for the suppression of some of the other rebels who 

still infested the Isles, .... 392 

Commission to the Marquis of Huntly against Keppoch, 392 
Several of the Island chiefs make their annual appear- 
ance before the Privy Council, . . .392 
Conditions imposed upon them, by their own consent, 393-39G 
The exaction of calps abolished, .... 397 
Keppoch and Lochiel continue outlaws, . . .397 
State of affairs between Lochiel and Macintosh, . 397, 398 
Lochiel is forced to reconcile himself with Huntly, . 398 
And obtains the support of the latter against Macintosh, 398 
Keppoch and his second son escape to Spain, and join 

Sir James Macdonald, .... 398 

Argyle's second son, James, made Lord Kintyre, . 399 

Argyle becomes a Catholic, and, under pretence of bene- 
fiting his health, goes abroad, . . . 399 
And enters into correspondence with Sir James Macdonald 

and Keppoch in Spain, .... 399 

He is summoned before the Scottish Privy Council, 

under pain of treason, .... 400 

Arrangements made by the Privy Council for the good 

rule of the Earldom of Argyle, . . . 400 

Argyle, failing to appear, is declared a traitor, . . 401 

He enters into the military service of Spain, and dis- 
tinguishes himself, . . . . .401 
The fee of the Earldom having previously been conveyed 

to his eldest son, Lord Lorn, . . . 401 

Sir James Macdonald and Keppoch recalled from Spain, 401 
They receive pensions from the King, and pardons for 

all their offences, . . . . .401 

The Privy Council object to their being pardoned, . 401 

"Without sufficient security being found for their future 

good conduct, ..... 402 



Sir James Macdonald dies in London, . . . 402 

Keppocli visits Scotland, and, having satisfied the Council, 

is restored to his estate, .... 402 

Commissions to Lord Gordon against Lochiel, and 

Keppoch's eldest son, . . . . 402 

These commissions are not vigorously acted on, . . 403 

Macintosh obtains a commission against Lochiel, . 403 

The death of Macintosh opens a door for an amicable 
arrangement between the Clan Charneron and Clan 
Chattan, ...... 403 

Lochiel freed from his outlawry, .... 404 

Additional enactments, by consent of the chiefs, for the 

civilisation of the Isles, . . . 404, 405 

Insurrection of the Clan Ian of Ardnamurchan, . . 405 

Retrospect of the history of this tribe, showing the 

causes of their insurrection, . . . 405-409 

The Clan Ian rise in arms, and betake themselves to 

piracy, . . . . . .410 

Measures of Government for suppressing this insurrection, 410 
Lord Lorn and other chiefs are employed against the 

Clan Ian, . . . . . .410 

The insurrection is suppressed, and Lord Lorn reports 

his proceedings to the Privy Council, . . 411 

By whom his conduct is approved of, . . .411 

Ardnamurchan and Sunart granted to Mr. Donald 

Campbell, . . . . . .411 

"Who is afterwards created a Baronet, . . .411 

Fate of the survivors of the Clan Ian, . . .411 

Concluding notices of the different families treated of in 

this work, . . . . 412-427 

The house of Lochalsh, . . . .412 

The house of SI eat, . . . .412 

The Clan. Ian "Vor (comprehending) 

The Macdonalds of Colonsay, . . .413 

The Earls of Antrim, . . . .414 

The Macdonalds of Sanda, . . . 414 

The Macdonalds of Largie, . . . 414 

The Clan Ranald of Lochaber or Macdonalds of 

Keppocli, . . . . .415 

The Clan Ranald of Garmoran (comprehending) 416-418 



The Clan Ranald of Moydert, . . .416 

The Clan Ranald of Knoydert, . . .416 

The Clan Ranald of Morar, . . . 417 

The Clan Ranald of Glengarry, and the prin- 
cipal cadets of these families, . 417,418 
The Clan Ian of Glenco, . . . .418 
The Clan Ian of Ardnamurchan, . . . 418 
The Clan Allister of Kintyre, . . .418 
The Clan Gillean (comprehending) . 419, 420 
The Macleans of Dowart, . . . 419 
The Macleans of Lochbny, . . . 419 
The Macleans of Coll, .... 419 
The Macleans of Ardgour, . . .419 
And their principal cadets, . . - 420 
The Siol Torquil or Macleods of Lewis and their 

cadets, ..... 42,0 

The Siol Tormod or Macleods of Harris and their 

principal cadets, . . . 420, 421 

The Clan Chameron, . . . 421, 422 

The Clan Chattan, . . . .422 

The Clan Neill of Barra, .... 423 
The Clan Neill of Gigha, . . . 423, 424 

Cadets of the family of Gigha, . . . 424 

The Mackinnons, Macquarries, and Maceacherns, 424 
The Mackays in Kintyre, .... 425 
The Mackenzies, ..... 425 
The Macdougalls, .... 425, 426 

The Stewarts of Appin, . . . .426 

Tlie Campbells, . . . 426, 427 

Conclusion, ...... 427 


IT may naturally be asked by those who read only the 
title-page of the present work, why it should have 
been limited to the history of a portion merely of what 
are commonly called the Highlands of Scotland, as well 
as to a particular period of that history. I shall endea- 
vour to explain in a few words the reasons which have 
induced me thus to limit my subject. 

Various causes contributed, in former times, to divide 
the Scottish Highlands into two sections, between which 
there existed a well-defined line of demarcation. The 
West Highlands and Isles formed one of these sections: 
the Central Highlands, and all those districts in which 
the waters flowed to the East, formed the other. The 
great mountain-ridge, called, of old, Drwnalban, from 
which the waters flowed to either coast of Scotland, 
was the least of these causes of distinction. The 
numerical superiority of the Dalriads on the west, and 
of the Picts on the east side of Drumalban, and the 
frequent wars between these nations; the conquest, and 
occupation for nearly four hundred years, of the Hebrides, 
by the warlike Scandinavians; and, lastly, the union of 


the Isles and a great part of the adjacent coast, during 
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, under the sway 
of one powerful family, while the eastern clans had no 
similar community of interest, and owned no similar 
controlling power: these were the chief causes of the 
distinction which, in later times, was found to exist 
between the Western and Eastern Highlanders. The 
history of the latter cannot properly be blended with that 
of the former ; and, if introduced into the same work, 
would only serve to distract the attention of the reader. 
A perusal of the following pages will show that, during 
a great portion of the period I have endeavoured to 
illustrate, the Western Clans had a common object which 
frequently united them in hostility to the government. 
In this way, the measures employed at first for their 
coercion, and afterwards for their advancement in civili- 
sation, came naturally to be separate from those directed 
to the subjugation (if I may use the phrase) and im- 
provement of the Eastern tribes. In the public records 
of Scotland, with scarcely an exception., the distinction 
I have pointed out is acknowledged either directly or 
indirectly. So much for the reasons which induced me 
to select, for the subject of the present work, the history 
of the West Highlands and Isles. 

Having chosen this subject, I very soon perceived 
that the history of this portion of the Scottish High- 
lands might advantageously be divided into three por- 
tions. The first portion might embrace its early history, 
and the rise and fall of the great Lordship of the Isles; 


the second might trace the immediate effects of the 
forfeiture of that Lordship, and bring the history dowa 
to the time when, by the exertions of James VI., the 
Western Highlanders, from being frequently in rebel- 
lion against the royal authority, had begun to be dis- 
tinguished for their loyalty; and the third might 
record their exertions in support of the house of Stewart, 
increasing in energy in proportion as the hopes of that 
unfortunate family became more desperate. 

The great power and resources of the old Kings of 
the Isles, and of the more modern Lords of the Isles, 
have forced the history of the first of the periods above 
mentioned on the attention of many of our historians. 
Moreover, the national records, hitherto discovered, 
referring to this period, are comparatively scanty, and 
offer few materials for adding to what has already been 
written on this branch of the subject. Again, the 
numerous historical works which have appeared on the 
great civil war, and on all the later struggles of the 
house of Stewart, have made us tolerably familiar witk 
the conduct and relative position of the leading High- 
land clans during the third period. 

These considerations alone would have influenced me 
in choosing for my subject the history of the second 
period that, namely, from A.D. 1493 to A.D. 1025, whick 
was as nearly as possible a perfect blank; but when I 
discovered that our national records and other sources 
of authentic information were full of interesting and 
important matter bearing upon this portion of the 


history of the West Highlands and Isles, I no longer 

It is now six years since, desirous of procuring infor- 
mation from every quarter, I announced to the public 
the task I had imposed upon myself, and stated the 
leading objects of the present work. I am bound to 
acknowledge that I have received, in consequence, from 
many private sources, information which, but for that 
announcement, I never might have heard of, and of which 
it will be perceived that I have made considerable use. 

To the late Right Honourable Lord Macdonald; to 
the late Sir John Campbell of Ardnamurchan, Bart.; 
to the late Sir William Macleod Bannatyne, and the late 
John Norman Macleod of Macleod; to the Right Hon- 
ourable Lord Macdonald; Sir John Campbell of Ardna- 
murchan, Bart.; Sir Donald Campbell of Dunstaffnage, 
Bart.; Murdoch Maclaine of Lochbuy, Esq.; Hugh 
Maclean of Coll, Esq.; Alexander Maclean of Ard- 
gour, Esq.; Captain Macdougall of Macdougall, R.N. ; 
Dugald Campbell of Craignish, Esq.; Major Campbell 
of Melfort; Alexander Campbell of Ardchattan, Esq.; 
Lieut.-Colonel Macniel of Barra; Captain Stewart, 
Ardshiel; and John Stewart of Fasnacloich, Esq.; I 
am indebted for being permitted to examine their 
ancient family papers, from which I have derived much 
curious information. 

Cosmo Innes, Esq., gave me access to the valuable 
charter chest of Kilravock, from an inspection of which 
I added greatly to the information I had previously col- 


lected. Captain Alexander Macncill, younger, of Colon- 
say, allowed me to peruse some of the ancient charters 
and papers of the Gigba family, which have lately come 
into his possession. 

The late Sir William Macleod Bannatyne; Sir George 
S. Mackenzie of Coul, Bart.; Colonel Sir Evan J. M. 
Macgregor of Macgregor, Bart.; George Macpherson 
Grant, Esq., of Ballindalloch and Invercshie; John 
Gregorson of Ardtornish, Esq.; Colin Campbell, Esq., 
Jura; Lauchlan Mackinnon of Letterfearn, Esq. ; tire 
Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod, Glasgow; the Eev. Angus 
Maclaine, Ardnamurchan; the Eev. Alexander Mac- 
kenzie Downie; Charles Cameron, Esq., barrister-at-law; 
Lieut. -Colonel Cameron, Clunes; Captain Donald Ca- 
meron, Stone; Colin Macrae, Esq., Nairn Grove; Jo'hn 
Macdonnel, Esq., Keppoch; Angus Maedoimell, "E^q., 
Inch; Donald Macrae, Esq., Auchtertyre, Kintaill; Dr. 
Mackinnon, Kyle, Sky; Dr. Maclean, Isle of Rum; Dr. 
Maceachern, Arasaig; Mr. Lauchlan Maclean, Glasgow; 
and Mr. Hugh Macdonald, Dervaig, Mull have assisted 
me either by submitting to myinspection copies of various 
family histories, which have been of nurch service, by 
pointing out various useful sources of information, or 
by communicating authentic traditions; and I have 
everywhere found a disposition to forward as much as 
possible the inquiries in which I have been engaged. 

The use I have made of the public records will readily 
be perceived; and, in this department, my researches 
have been facilitated by the kindness of the learned 


Deputy Clerk Register, Mr. Thomas Thomson, and of 
Mr. Alexander Macdonakl, who have pointed out to me 
many curious original documents. 

To the Curators of the Advocates' Library, I, in 
common with many others engaged in historical pur- 
suits, feel much indebted for the ready access afforded 
to the valuable MS. collections of the Faculty of Ad- 

Frequent communications with my friends, Mr. Alex- 
ander Sinclair, Mr. Cosmo Innes, and Mr. William F. 
Skene, have assisted me to clear up several points 
hitherto doubtful; and Mr. Robert Pitcairn, editor of that 
curious work, the Criminal Trials, has enabled me to 
add considerably to my collections. I am likewise 
under great obligations to Mr. David Laing, the active 
secretary of the Bannatyne Club. 

I did not neglect to examine the Scottish MSS. in 
the British Museum, in which I received much assist- 
ance from Mr. Joseph Stevenson. Mr. Tytler commu- 
nicated to me some valuable documents (since publish- 
ed) connected with the history of the Isles, from the 
State Paper Office, London. Lastly, such information 
as I required from the Irish records and historical MSS. 
was communicated to me most readily by Mr. John 
D'Alton, barrister-at-law, Dublin, from his own valuable 
historical and genealogical collections. 

In order the better to arrange the information thus 
collected, and to make myself acquainted with such 
traditions as were not alluded to in the family histories, 


or, if alluded to, were without dates or otherwise defec- 
tive, I made frequent visits to the West Highlands and 
Isles; and succeeded in satisfying myself on many 
doubtful points. In these journeys I conversed with 
every individual supposed to be well informed that I had 
the good fortune to meet; and the information thus 
gained proved of essential service afterwards, when I 
came to prepare the following pages for press. 

Such have been the sources of my information. Of 
the use I have made of it, it does not become me to 
speak; but I may at least say, that I have striven to be 
impartial. The necessity for minute research implied 
in a work like the present, has a tendency to prevent 
the author from drawing those general conclusions 
which are so desirable in all historical works, and which 
may occur more readily to those who peruse the result 
of his labours without any previous knowledge of the 
subject. This defect seems to be almost inseparable 
from the pursuits of the antiquary, who, in fact, gene- 
rally acts as a pioneer to the historian. I shall be satis- 
fied, therefore, if this work prove of service to a future 
writer on the History of the Highlands, and assist him 
in forming those general views which give to history 
its chief value. 

It was my intention to have added a dissertation on 
the manners, customs, and laws of the Highlanders, in 
which I had made considerable progress. Want of 
space, however, has forced me to postpone, but by no 
means to abandon my design. When I resume it, I 

^ 7 m PREFACE. 

hope to be able to bring forward from my collections, 
which are increasing every day, many new illustrations 
of these subjects. 

The Introduction of the present Work embraces what 
I have called the first historical period of the West 
Highlands and Isles. Such an Introduction seemed 
indispensable; and, while it is necessarily brief, I have 
taken the opportunity of correcting some of the more 
glaring errors of former writers. 

April, 1836. 


THE object of the present work is to trace the history 
of the territories once owned by the great Lords of the 
Isles, from the time of the downfall of that princely race, 
in the reign of James IV. of Scotland, until the acces- 
sion of Charles L to the throne of Great Britain. But, 
for the better understanding of the subject, it appears 
absolutely necessary to give a brief sketch, first, of 
the early history of these territories ; and, secondly, of 
the rise, progress, and fall of the potent family of the 

To enter into any speculation regarding the early 
inhabitants of the country, would, in a work of this na- 
ture, be superfluous, and inconsistent with the necessary 
brevity of an Introduction. The facts bearing on the 
subject are, unfortunately, few in number. From the 
Roman authors, who afford the earliest accurate informa- 
tion regarding the tribes of North Britain, it appears 
A Di that, during the two centuries after the inva- 
80-300. gion of Agricola, A.D. 80, Scotland was in- 
habited by two nations only the Caledonii, and the 
Mceatac. Of these, the Caledonii alone inhabited the 
Highlands; and, indeed, all modern Scotland north of 
the Friths of Forth and Clyde. After the third century, 
the names of Caledonii and Mseatae disappear, and we 


find the Romans terming their northern opponents 
Picti and AUacotti. Historians seem now to have 
agreed that the Picts were, in fact, the Caledonians 
under a new name ; that they were a Celtic race ; and 
that, until the sixth century, they continued to be the 
sole nation north of the Friths being divided into two 
great branches the Dicaledones inhabiting the more 
mountainous and more rugged districts north and west 
of the Grampian range, and the Vecturiones inhabit- 
ing the more level districts between the Grampians and 
the German Ocean. Thus the former corresponded 
to the Highlanders of the present day, whilst the latter 
possessed the Lowlands, from the plains of Moray on 
the north to Fife and Strathearn on the south. In the 
beginning of the sixth century, a new people 
was added to the inhabitants of Scotland, north 
of Forth and Clyde for, at that period, the Irish Scots, 
frequently called the Dalriads, effected a settlement in 
the western districts of the Highlands. At this time, 
the country south of the Friths was occupied by the 
Strathclyde Britons; but the subsequent conquest of 
Northumberland and the Lothians, by the Angles, be- 
fore the close of the sixth century, added that nation to 
the inhabitants of the south of Scotland. During the 
sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries, the history of 
Scotland presents nothing but a succession of conflicts 
between these four nations, which produced but little 
permanent change in their relative situations. In the 
ninth century, however, a re volution took place, 
the nature of which it is almost impossible 
to determine, from the unfortunate silence of all the 
older authorities, whilst the fables of the later histo- 
rians are quite unworthy of credit. But it is certain, 


that the result of this revolution was the nominal union 
of most of the tribes under KENNETH MACALPIN, a 
King of the Scottish or Dalriadic race, and the conse- 
quent spread of the name of Scotland over the whole 
country. However this important event might affect 
the population of the rich and fertile Lowlands, it seems 
perfectly clear, that the Dicaledones, or Picts, who 
formed the bulk of the Highland population in these 
early times, were secured from any sweeping change, 
by the rugged nature of the country they inhabited. 
In these Dicaledones, therefore, we see the ancestors 
of the great mass of the modern Highlanders, excepting 
those of Argyleshire ; among whom, in all probability, 
the Dalriadic blood predominated. The name of 
Albanich., which, as far back as we can trace, is the 
proper appellation of the Scottish Highlanders, seems 
to prove their descent from that tribe which gave to 
Britain its earliest name of Albion, and which may, 
therefore, be considered as the first tribe that set foot 
in this island. 

The earliest inhabitants of the Western Isles or 
Ebudes (corruptly Hebrides), were probably a portion 
of the Albanich, Caledonians, or Picts. In some of the 
southern islands, particularly Isla, this race must have 
been displaced or overrun by the Dalriads on their first 
settlement; so that, at the date of the Scottish Conquest, 
the Isles, like the adjacent mainland, were divided 
between the Picts and Scots. The change produced in 
the original population of the Western Isles, by the 
influx of the Scots a cognate Celtic race was, how- 
ever, trifling, compared with that which followed the first 
settlements of the Scandinavians in the Isles, towards 
the end of the ninth century. 


From the chronicles both of England and Ireland, it 
appears that these northern pirates commenced their 
ravages in the British Isles a hundred years before this 
time, and many of them were thus well acquainted with 
the Western Isles prior to their effecting a permanent 
settlement in them. An important revolution in Norway 
led to this settlement. About the year 880, 

A D 83o 

the celebrated Harald Ilarfager established 
himself as the first King of all Norwa} r , after bringing 
into subjection a number of the petty kings of that 
country. Many of the most violent of Harald 's oppo- 
nents sought to escape his vengeance, by leaving their 
native land, and establishing themselves in the Scottish 
Isles, from the numerous harbours of which they after- 
wards issued in piratical fashion, to infest the coasts of 
Norway. King Harald was not of a nature to allow 
such insults to pass unpunished. He pursued 
" ^ the pirates to their insular fastnesses, and not 
only subdued them, but added the Isles to the crown of 
Norway. In the following year, the Vildngr of the Isles 
revolted and renewed their piratical expeditions; but 
were speedity reduced to obedience by Ketil, a Nor- 
wegian of rank, despatched by Harald to the 
Isles for that purpose. Ketil, however, having 
ingratiated himself with the principal Islanders, soon 
declared himself King of the Isles, independent of 
Norway, and held this rank for the rest of his life. 
According to the Norse Sagas, all the race of Ketil 
were either dead, or had left the Isles, about the year 
900; and, for nearly forty years after this date, the 
history of the Isles is very obscure. 

Aulaf MacSitric. son of the Danish King of North- 
umberland, and called by the historians, " Rex pluri- 


mar urn insnlarwn" fought at the great battle 

of Brunanhurg; and, on his death, he seems 

to have been succeeded by Maccus MacArailt Mac- 

Sitric, probably his nephew, who was contemporary with, 

and is said to have been brought under subjection by 

Edgar, the greatest of the Anglo-Saxon Kings. Gofra 

MacArailt, King of the Isles, died, according to the 

Irish annalists, in 989 ; and, in the following 

year, the Hebrides were conquered by Sigurd, 

the second of that name, Earl of Orkney, who placed as 

his deputy, or Jarl, over them, an individual named Gilli. 

Sigurd seems to have lost his Hebridean conquests after 

a time, as we read of a Eagnal MacGofra, King of the 

Isles, who died A.D. 1004. On his death, 

however, Sigurd had resumed possession of 

the Isles, which he held at the time of the celebrated 

battle of Clunatarf, in Ireland, in which he 

was killed. Twenty years later, the Hebrides 

were conquered by Earl Thorfin, the son of 

Sigurd, from which we may infer that, in the interval, 

they had been independent. Thorfin possessed the Isles 

till his death, after which they seem to have 

formed part of the dominions of Diarmed 

MacMaelnambo, a potent Irish prince, who died A.D. 


The next King of the Isles that we can trace, is God- 
red, the son of Sitric (supposed to have been one of 
the Irish Ostmen), who reigned in the Isle of Man. 
To him succeeded his son, Fingal, who, after a des- 
perate struggle, was dispossessed of his kingdom by 
cir. A. D. another Godred, the son of Harold the 
I077> Black. This Godred, surnamed Crovan, or 
the White Handed, is the undoubted ancestor of that 


dynasty of Kings of Man and the Isles which termi- 
nated by the death of Magnus, the son of Olave, 
A.D. 1265. Godred Crovan was first known as a 
leader of the Norwegians under Harald Hardrada, 
King of Norway, at the battle of Stainford Bridge., 
where the latter was defeated and slain by 
Harald, King of England. Escaping from 
England, Godred seems to have fled to the Isles, 
where he gradually formed a party strong enough to 
enable him to expel Fingal from the Isle of Man. 
But his conquests were not confined to the Isles ; he 
likewise subjugated Dublin (which had for nearly two 
centuries been the seat of a principality, formed by the 
Scandinavian Vikingr) and a great part of Leinster. 
He was, besides, very successful in war against the 
Scots, whose King, at this time, was Malcolm III., 
commonly called Malcolm Cannior. For a length 
of time the claims of Norway to the dominion of the 
Isles had been neglected ; but they were now revived, 
and triumphantly re-established by King Magnus Bare- 
foot, who, at the head of an imposing force, subjugated 
the Isles, and, expelling Godred Crovan, 
placed on the throne his own son, Sigurd. 
Godred died two years afterwards, in the island of Isla, 
leaving three sons, Lagman, Harald, and Olave. On 
the death of Magnus Barefoot, who fell in 
I0 ' an expedition against Ulster, Sigurd, becom- 
ing King of Norway, returned to his native dominions, 
when the Islanders, apparently with Sigurd's consent, 
took for their King, Lagman, the eldest son of Godred 
Crovan. This Prince, after a reign of seven years, the 
most important event of which was an unsuccessful 
rebellion against him by his brother Harald, abdicated 


his throne, and, assuming the cross, went on a pil- 
grimage to Jerusalem, where he died. On this, the 
nobility of the Isles applied to Murchard O'Brien, 
King of Ireland, to send them a Prince of his own blood 
to act as Eegent during the minority of Olave, the 
surviving son of Godred Crovan. In compliance with 
this request, the Irish King sent to the Isles a certain 
Donald MacTade, who ruled for two years, 
but made himself so obnoxious by his tyr- 
anny and oppression, that the insular chiefs rose against 
him with one accord, and forced him to fly 
IIj ' to Ireland, whence he never returned. Olave, 
son of Godred Crovan, soon afterwards ascended the 
throne, which he rilled for forty years. His reign was 
peaceful; but he conducted himself so as to preserve 
his kingdom from aggression. . This Olave is, by the 
Norse writers, surnamed Bitting or K lining, from his 
diminutive stature ; whilst, in the Highland traditions, 
he is called Olave the Red. He was the father of 
Godred the Black, who succeeded him ; and one of 
his daughters, Ragnhildis, was married to Somerled, 
Prince or Lord of Argyle, from which marriage sprung 
the dynasty so well known in Scottish history as the 
Lords of the Isles. 

\ From whatever race, whether Pictish or Scottish, the 
inhabitants of the Isles in the reign of Kenneth 
MacAlpin were derived, it is clear that the settlements 
and wars of the Scandinavians in the Hebrides, from 
the time of Harald Harfager to that of Olave the Red, 
a period of upwards of two centuries, must have produced 
a very considerable change in the population, As in all 
cases of conquest, this change must have been most 
perceptible in the higher ranks, owing to the natural 


tendency of invaders to secure their new possessions, 
where practicable, by matrimonial alliances with the 
natives. That, in the Hebrides, a mixture of the 
Celtic and Scandinavian blood was thus effected at an 
early period, seems highly probable, and by no means 
inconsistent with the ultimate prevalence of the Celtic 
language in the mixed race, as all history sufficiently 
demonstrates. These remarks regarding the population 
of the Isles, apply equally to that of the adjacent main- 
land districts, which, being so accessible by numerous 
arms of the sea, could hardly be expected to preserve 
the blood of their inhabitants unmixed. The extent to 
which this mixture was carried is a more difficult ques- 
tion, and one which must be left, in a great measure, to 
conjecture ; but, on the whole, the Celtic race appears 
to have predominated. It is of more importance to 
know which of the Scandinavian tribes it was that 
infused the greatest portion of northern blood into the 
population of the Isles. The Irish annalists divide the 
piratical bands, which, in the ninth and following cen- 
turies, infested Ireland, into two great tribes, styled by 
these writers, Fiongall, or white foreigners, and Diibh- 
gall, or black foreigners. These are believed to repre- 
sent, the former the Norwegians, the latter the Danes ; 
and the distinction in the names given to them, is 
supposed to have arisen from a diversity either in their 
clothing or in the sails of their vessels. These tribes 
had generally separate leaders ; but they were occa- 
sionally united under one king; and_, although both 
bent, first on ravaging the Irish shores, and afterwards 
on seizing portions of the Irish territories, they fre- 
quently turned their arms against each other. The 
Gaelic title of Eigli Fhiongall, or King of the Fion- 


gall, so frequently applied to the Lords of the Isle?, 
seenis to prove that Olave the Red, from whom they 
were descended in the female line, was so styled, and 
that, consequently, his subjects in the Isles, in so far as 
they were not Celtic, were Fiongall or Norwegians. 
It has been remarked by one writer, whose opinion is 
entitled to weight, 1 that the names of places in the 
exterior Hebrides, or the Long Island, derived from 
the Scandinavian tongue, resemble the names of places 
in Orkney, Shetland, and Caithness. On the other 
hand, the corresponding names in the interior Hebrides 
are in a different dialect, resembling that of \yhich the 
traces are to be found in the- topography of Sutherland; 
and appear to have been imposed at a later period than 
the first-mentioned names. The probability is, however, 
that the difference alluded to is not greater than might 
be expected in the language of two branches of the 
same race, after a certain interval; and that the Scan- 
dinavian population of the Hebrides was, therefore, 
derived from tw r o successive Norwegian colonies. This 
view is further confirmed by the fact that the Hebrides, 
although long subject to Norway, do not appear to have 
ever formed part of the possessions of the Danes. 

Having thus traced, as briefly as possible, the origin 
of the inhabitants of the Western Highlands and Isles, 
as we find them early in the twelfth century, it remains, 
in the second place, to trace the rise, progress, and fall 
of the great family of de Insulis, or Macdonald, Lords 
of the Isles. 

The origin of Somerled of Argyle, the undoubted 
founder of this noble race, is involved in considerable 

1 Chalmers' Caledonia, Vol. I., p. 2(50. 


obscurity. Of his father, Gillebrede, and his grand- 
father, Gilladomnan, we know little but the names. 
According to the seannachies or genealogists, both 
Irish and Highland, Gilladomnan was the sixth in 
descent from a certain Godfrey MacFergus, who is 
called, in an Irish Chronicle, Toshach of the Isles, and 
who lived in the reign of Kenneth MacAlpin. There 
is a tradition that this Godfrey, or one of his race, was 
expelled from the Isles by the Danes, 1 which, if cor- 
rect, may apply to the conquest of Harald Harfager, 
who, in all probability, dispossessed many of the native 
chiefs. But the Celtic genealogists do not stop short 
with Godfrey MacFergus. Through a long line of 
ancestors, they trace the descent of that chief from the 
celebrated Irish King, Conn Chead Cliaili, or Conn of 
the Hundred Battles. Such is the account of Somer- 
led's origin, given by those who maintain his Scoto-Irish 
descent. Others have asserted that he was undoubtedly 
a Scandinavian by descent in the male line. His name 
is certainly a Norse one; 2 but then, on the other hand, 
the names of his father and grandfather are purely Cel- 
tic; whilst the intermarriages that must have taken place 
between the two races in the Isles and adjacent coasts, 
make it impossible to found any argument on the Chris- 
tian name alone. Somerled is mentioned more than once 
in the Norse Sagas, but never in such a way as to enable 
us to affirm, with certainty, what the opinion of the Scan- 
dinavian writers was as to his origin. He appears to have 

1 MS. History of the Macdonalds, by Hugh. Macdonald, a Seannachie 
of the end of the 17th century. 

2 The Norse Somerlcd, and the Gaelic Somhairle, are both rendered 
into the English, Samuel. 


been known to them as Sumarlidi Haulldrj- and the 
impression produced by the passages in which he is 
mentioned, is rather against his being considered a 
Norseman. It is possible, however, as he was certainly 
descended from a noted individual of the name of God- 
frey, that his ancestor may have been that Gofra Mac- 
Arailt, King of the Isles, who died in 989. But, on the 
whole, the uniformity of the Highland and Irish tradi- 
tions, which can be traced back at least four hundred 
years, 2 leads to the conclusion that the account first 
given of the origin of Somerled is correct. 

It is from tradition alone, as it appears in some of the 
genealogical histories of the Macdonalds, that any par- 
ticulars of the early life of Somerled can be gathered ; 
and it is obvious, that information derived from a source 
so liable to error, must be received with very great cau- 
tion. We are told that Gillibrede, the father of Somer- 
led, was expelled from his possessions, and that, with his 
son, he was forced to conceal himself, for a time, in a 
cave in the district of Morvern, whence he is known in 
tradition as Gillibrede na?n Uaim/i, or Gillibrede of the 
Cave. From certain circumstances, obscurely hinted at, it 
would seem that Gillibrede, after the death of Malcolm 
Canmor, had, with the other Celtic inhabitants of Scot- 
land, supported Donald Bane, the brother of Malcolm, in 
his claim to the Scottish throne, to the exclusion of Ed- 

j in its strict sense, implies, that the person who bore the 
epithet was a cultivator of the soil, and not of noble birth. But it was 
very commonly applied as a nickname to kings and nobles, so that no 
inference as to the rank or status of Somerled can be drawn from the 
use of the word in the present instance. 

2 Genealogical MS. (in Gaelic) of the 15th century, printed in 
Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, Vol. I., p. 60. 


gar, Malcolm's son. Consequently, on the final triumph 
of the Anglo-Saxon party, Gillibrede would naturally be 
exposed to their vengeance in exact proportion to his 
power, and to the assistance he had given to the other 
party. Of this chief we hear no more; nor are we 
informed of the extent of his possessions, or where they 
lay, but they are believed to have been on the mainland 
of Argyle. Soinerled, when young, was, through an 
accident, which is minutely detailed by tradition, drawn 
from his obscurity, and placed at the head of the men 
of Morvern, collected at the time to resist a band of 
Norse pirates, who threatened to ravage the district. 
On this occasion Somerled, by his courage and skill, 
defeated these fierce marauders ; and, soon after, fol- 
lowing up this success, recovered his paternal inheritance, 
and made himself master of so large a portion of Argyle, 
that he thenceforth assumed the title of Lord or Ilegulus 
of Argyle, and became one of the most powerful chiefs 
in Scotland. There is every reason to believe that, by 
his talent and bravery, he had now raised himself to a 
higher rank than his father, or any of his immediate 
predecessors held. It appears by no means improbable, 
too, that Somerled, aware of his own power and resources, 
contemplated the conquest of a portion, at least, of the 
Isles, to which he may have laid claim through his 
remote ancestor, Godfrey. On these, or similar grounds, 
Olave the Reel, King of Man and the Isles, was natu- 
rally desirous to disarm the enmity, and to secure the 
support of the powerful Lord of Argyle, whose marriage 
cir. A.D. w ' l th Ragnhildis, the daughter of Olave the 
1140. rs au thentic event in the life of Somerled 
seems to have answered this purpose. Of this marriage, 
which is lamented bv the author of " The Chronicle of 


Man/' as the cause of the ruin of the whole kingdom of 
the Isles, the issue was three sons Diigall, Reginald, 
and Angus. 1 

Olave the Red, after a peaceful reign of forty years, 
was murdered in the Isle of Man, by his 
nephews, the sons of Harald, who had been 
brought up in Dublin, and had made a claim to half 
the kingdom of the Isles. God red the Black, who 
was in Norway at the time of his father's death, returnecl 
to the Isles without delay, and being received with joy 
by the Islanders as their King, apprehended and exe- 
cuted the murderers. Early in his reign, he was invited 
by the Ostmen of Dublin to rule over them, and was 
thus led into wars in Ireland, in which he was success- 
ful; but, on his return to Man, thinking that no one 
could resist his power, he conducted himself so tyranni- 
cally, that he speedily alienated the affections of many 
of the insular nobility; one of the most powerful of 
these, Thorfin, the son of Ottar, addressed himself to 
Somerled, and demanded from him his son, Dugall, then 
a child, the nephew of Godred, whom he proposed to 
make King of the Isles. The ambitious Lord of 
Argyle readily entered into the views of Thorfin, who, 
with his partisans, carrying Dugall through all the Isles, 
except apparently Man itself, forced the inhabitants to 
acknowledge him as their king, and took hostages from 
them for their obedience. One of the chief islanders, 
Paul by name, escaping secretly, fled to the court of 
Godred, and made him aware of what had just taken 
place. Roused by the emergency, the king collected 

1 I follow here the Orkneyinga Saga, p. -83, which is very 
explicit, and is a better authority than the Chronicle of Man. The 
latter adds a fourth son, Olave. 


a largo fleet, with which he proceeded against the 
rebels, who, under the guidance of Somerled, with a 
fleet of eighty galleys, did not decline the encounter. 
After a bloody but indecisive action, a treaty 
was entered into, by which Godred ceded to 
the sons of Somerled what were afterwards called, in 
Scottish geography, the South Isles, retaining for him- 
self the North Isles and Man. The point of Ardna- 
murchan formed the division between the North and 
South Isles, so that, by this treaty, Bute, Arran, Isla, 
Jura, Mull, and several smaller islands, as well as the 
district of Kintyre (which, singularly enough, has always 
been reckoned among the South Isles), 1 although 
nominally ceded to the sons of Somerled, were, in reality ^ 
added to the possessions of that warlike chief, who 
naturally acted as guardian for his children during their 
minority. From this time, says the chronicler, may be 
dated the ruin of the Kingdom of the Isles. The 
allegiance of all the Isles to Norway seems still to have 
been preserved. 

Two years after this treaty, Somerled invaded Man 
with a fleet of fifty-three ships, and laid the 

A D ii ^8 

whole island waste, after routing Godred in 
battle. Whether this invasion was in consequence of 

1 The origin of this was a stratagem of Magnus Barefoot. After 
that prince had invaded and conquered the Isles, he made an 
agreement with Malcolm Canmor, by which the latter was to 
leave Magnus and his successors in peaceable possession of all the 
Isles which could be circumnavigated. The King of Norway had 
himself drawn across the narrow isthmus between Kintyre and 
Knapdale, in a galley, by which he added the former district to the 
Isles. This anecdote has been doubted by some, but it appears in 
Magnus Berfaet's Saga, a contemporary work ; and it is certain that, 
as late as the commencement of the seventeenth century, Kintyre was 
classed by the Scottish government as one of the South Isles. 


any infringement of the treaty by Godred, or whether 
it arose from the insatiable ambition of Somerled, is 
uncertain; but the power of Godred was so much 
broken, that he was compelled to visit Norway to seek 
assistance against his rival ; nor did he return to the 
Isles till after Somerled's death, from which it may be 
inferred that the latter had succeeded in extending his 
sway over the whole Isles. 

Malcolm IV. was now King of Scotland. To 
this prince, Somerled had early made himself ob- 
noxious, by espousing the cause of his nephews, the 
sons of Wymund or Malcolm MacHeth, a claimant of 
the earldom of Murray, .whom it suited the Scottish 
government for the time to detain in prison as an im- 
postor, but whose claim now seems, on minute inquiry, 
to have been well founded. 1 Owing to the additional 
power which he acquired from the late events in the 
Isles, Somerled was enabled, on one occasion, to bring 
his contest with the Scottish King to a close by a treaty, 
which was considered so important as to form an epoch 
from which royal charters were dated. 2 From some 
cause, which our historians do not sufficiently explain, 
this ambitious lord was, ere long, induced again to 
declare war against Malcolm, and, assembling a numer- 
ous army from Argyle, Ireland, and the Isles, he sailed 
up the Clyde with one hundred and sixty galleys, and 
landed his forces near Kenfrew, threatening, as some of 
the chroniclers inform us, to make a conquest 
of the whole of Scotland. Here, according 

1 On the first appearance of Malcolm MacHeth, Somerled gave 
him his sister in marriage, which shows the opinion he entertained of 
the justice of Malcolm's claims. 

2 Sir James Dalrymple's Collections, p. 425. 


to the usual accounts, Somerled was slain, with one of 
his sons, 1 and his great armament dispersed, with much 
loss, by a very inferior force of the Scots. But, from 
the well-known character of this celebrated chief, there 
seems great reason to believe that tradition is correct, 
when it states that he was assassinated in his tent by 
an individual in whom he placed confidence, and that 
his troops, thus deprived of their leader, returned in 
haste to the Isles, In their retreat, they, probably, 
suffered much from the Scots, who, if not privy to the 
assassination, must have soon learned the disaster that 
had befallen the invaders, From the same traditionary 
source we learn that the King of Scotland sent a boat, 
with the corpse of Somerled, to Icolmkill, at his own 
charge; but modern inquiries rather lead to the con- 
clusion that he was interred at the Church of Sadale, 
in Kin tyre, where Reginald, his son, afterwards founded 
a monastery. Somerled, according to tradition, was 
" a well-tempered man, in body shapely, of a fair 
piercing eye, of middle stature, and of quick discern- 
ment." 2 

Besides the three sons of his marriage with the 
daughter of Olave the Red, Somerled had other sons, 
who seemed to have shared with their brothers, according 
to the then prevalent custom of gavel-kind, the main- 
land possessions held by the Lord of Argyll; whilst the 
sons, descended of the House of Man, divided amongst 
them, in addition, the South Isles, as ceded by Godred 
in 1156. The Isle of Man, and any other conquests 
made by Somerled in the Isles, from 1158 to his death 

1 The son's name was Gillecolane (Gillecallum or Malcolm). 
Hailes' Annals, ad annum 1164. 

2 Hugh Macdonald's MS. 


in 1164, did not remain with his family, but fell again 
under the authority of Godred the Black, their proper 
ruler, with whose descendants they remained till the 
final cession of the Isles to Scotland, a century later. 
In the division of the South Isles, Mull, Coll, Tiree, 
and Jura, seem to have fallen to the share of Dugall ; 
Isla and Kintyre to that of Reginald; and Bute (which, 
from its position, was peculiarly exposed to the aggres- 
sions of the Scots) to Angus. Arran was, perhaps, 
divided between the two latter, and may have been the 
cause of the deadly quarrel which, we know, existed 
between them ; for, in 1192, the Chronicle of Man 
mentions a battle between Reginald and Angus, in 
which the latter obtained the victory. Eighteen years 
later, we learn, on the same authority, that Angus was 
killed, with his three sons, by the men of Skye ; after 
which, it is probable, that Argyle and the South Isles 
were exclusively divided between Dugall and Reginald, 
the latter of whom bestowed Bute and part of Kintyre 
upon his son Roderick, or Ruarl, who became the 
founder of a distinct family, which afterwards became 
very powerful in the Isles. Both Dugall and Reginald 
were called Kings of the Isles at the same time that 
Reginald, the son of Godred the Black, was styled 
King of Man and the Isles ; and, in the next genera- 
tion, we find, in a Norse chronicle, mention of three 
Kings of the Isles, of the race of Soinerled, existing at 
one time. 1 It is evident, therefore, that the word king, 
as used by the Norwegians and their vassals in the 
Isles, was not confined, as in Scotland, to one supreme 

1 Anecdotes of Clave the Black, edited by Johnston. This chronicle 
informs us that the Sudureyan Kings, of the family of Somerled, were 
very untrue to King Haco. 



ruler, but that it had with them an additional meaning, 
corresponding either to prince of the blood-royal or to 
magnate. Many seannachies or genealogists, in later 
times, being ignorant of, or having overlooked this dis- 
tinction, have, by means of the expression King of the 
Isles, been led to represent those whom they style the 
direct heirs or successors of Somerled, through his son 
Reginald, and who alone, according to them, bore the 
royal title, as holding a rank very different from that 
which they actually held. 

It would occupy too much space here to enter mi- 
nutely into the history of the immediate descendants of 
Somerled prior to the great expedition of Haco, King 
of Norway ; suffice it to say, that from King Dugall 
sprung the great House of Argyle and Lorn, patro- 
nymically Macdugall, 1 which, at the time of Haco's 
expedition, was represented by DugalPs grandson, 
Ewin, commonly called King Ewin, and sometimes, 
erroneously, King John. From King Reginald, on the 
other hand, sprang two great families, that of Isla, 
descended from his son Donald, and therefore patro- 
nymically styled Macdonald; and that of Bute, de- 
scended from his son Ruari, already mentioned, and 
therefore patronymically styled Macruari. 2 At the 
date of Haco's expedition, we find that the family of 
Isla was represented by Angus, the son of Donald (the 
Angus Mor of the Seannachies); that of Bute by 
Ruari himself and his sons, Allan and Dugall. It 
appears that most, if not all of the descendants of So- 

1 This family used generally the territorial surname of " de Ergadia," 
or " of Argyle." 

2 Both the Macdonalds and Macruaries used the territorial surnames 
of " de Via? or " of Isla," and " de Insulis," or " of the Isles." 


merled, had, for a century after his death, a divided 
allegiance, holding part of their lands, those in the Isles, 
from the King of Norway; their mainland domains 
being, at the same time, held of the King of Scotland. 
The latter, whose power was now gradually increasing, 
could not be expected long to allow the Isles to remain 
dependent on Norway, without making an effort to 
conquer them. The first footing obtained by the Scots 
in the Isles was p apparently, soon after the death of 
Somerled, when the Steward of Scotland seized the 
Isle of Bute. That Island seems after this to have 
changed masters several times, and, along with Kin- 
tyre, to have been a subject of dispute between the 
Scots and Norwegians, whilst, in the course of these 
quarrels^ the family of the Steward strengthened their 
claims, by marriage, in the following manner. We 
have seen that Angus MacSomerled (who is supposed 
to have been Lord of Bute), and his three sons, were 
killed in 1210 ; nor does it appear that Angus had any 
other male issue. James, one of these sons, left a 
daughter and heiress, Jane, afterwards married to 
Alexander, the son and heir of Walter, the High 
Steward of Scotland, who, in her right, claimed the 
Isle of Bute, arid, perhaps, Arran also. 1 This claim 
was naturally resisted by Ruari, the son of Reginald, 
till the dispute was settled for a time by his expulsion, 

1 In the traditions of the Stewarts, this lady's grandfather is called 
Angus Mac/Zone, which, as I conceive, is an error for Angus MacSorlit 
the latter being the way in which MacSomerled (spelt MacSomhairle) 
is pronounced in Gaelic. That there was, about this time, a matrmionia: 
alliance between the house of Stewart and that of Isla, is probabl 
from a dispensation in 1342, for the - marriage of two individuals ol 
these families, as being within the forbidden degrees. Andrew 
Stewart's " Hist, of the Stewarts," p. 433. 


and the seizure of Bute and Arran by the Scots. 
Their success here encouraged the latter to further 
encroachments, and it is well known that Alexander 
II. died on the coast of Argyleshire, while leading 
an expedition against the Isles. Although this event 
suspended for a time the projects of the Scots, they 
were by no means forgotten, but, on the contrary, were 
resumed in the course of a few years. Early in the 
reign of Alexander III., Angus, the son of Donald, 
and Lord of Isla, was closely pursued by 
that King, because he would not consent to 
become a vassal of Scotland for the lands he held of 
Norway. The complaints of Huari of Bute, and the 
other Islanders, to the Norwegian court, of the aggres- 
sions of the Scots, led to Haco's celebrated expedition, 
in which, without difficulty, he made himself master of 
such of the Isles as had been conquered by 
the Scots, and restored Bute to Ruari, who 
had long been in Norway, seeking assistance from 
hirar, and had accompanied him on this expedition. 
These triumphs were, however, of short duration. The 
Norwegians, not content with re-establishing their au- 
thority in the Isles, proceeded to ravage the neighbour- 
ing districts of Scotland, and, while thus occupied, at a 
late season of the year, suffered severely from storms, 
which, joined to a check they received at Largs, in an 
attempt to make a descent on Ayrshire, caused them to 
retire to the Orkneys, where Haco soon after died. 
Alexander III. immediately took advantage of this 
circumstance, and resumed his projects against the 
Isles with such success, that, on the death of 
Magnus, King of Man (a descendant of God- 
red the Black), Magnus of Norway, the successor of 


Haco, was induced to cede all the Western Isles to 
Scotland. One of the articles of the important treaty 
by which this cession was made, provided that a certain 
annual sum. should be paid by Scotland to Norway, in 
consideration of the latter yielding up all claim to the 
Isles. Another declared that such of the subjects of 
Norway as were inclined to quit the Hebrides, should 
have full liberty to do so, with all their effects, whilst 
those who preferred remaining, were to become sub- 
jects of Scotland. To this latter class, the 
King of Norway, in fulfilment of his part 
of the treaty, addressed a mandate, enjoining them 
henceforth to serve and obey the King of Scotland, as 
their liege lord; and it was further arranged, that none 
of the Islanders were to be punished for their former 
adherence to the Norwegians. 1 

1 The preceding portion of this introductory sketch has been 
drawn up with great pains, from the best authorities to which I 
have had an opportunity of referring; and much has been done to 
rectify the chronology. Want of space has prevented my quoting 
these authorities more minutely. I may here mention, generally, 
the authorities I allude to: Caledonia, Vol. I., and the Roman 
authors there referred to ; the early Scottish Chronicles, printed 
in the Appendix to Innes's Critical Essay, and elsewhere ; the early 
Irish Chronicles, or Annals, printed in the Scriptores Rerum Hiber- 
nicarum; the Scriptores Rerum Danicarum; the Orkneyinga Saga; 
Magnus Berfaet's Saga ; Chronicle of Man ; Anecdotes of Olave 
the Black ; Expedition of King Haco in 1263 ; Rymer's Foedera 
Angliae ; the Saxon Chronicle ; Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis ; 
Dr. Macpherson's Dissertations ; Mr. Dillon's Observations on the 
Norse Account of Haco's Expedition, in the Archaeologia Scotica, 
Vol. II. ; Lord Hailes' (Sir David Dalrymple's) Annals ; Duncan 
Stewart's History of the Stewarts, &c., &c. I must here acknow- 
ledge the valuable assistance which I have received from my colleague 
and friend, William F. Skene, Esq., not only in the researches 
which were rendered necessary by my undertaking the present 


During these transactions, the position of the descend- 
ants of Somerled was rather singular. Ewin of Lorn, 
who, in 1249, had refused to join the Scots, attached 
himself, in 1263, to Alexander III. ; but, at the same 
time, honourably resigned into the hands of Haco all 
that he held of the crown of Norway. On the other 
hand, Angus of Isla, who had previously been made to 
give hostages to Alexander, was, on the arrival of Haco 
in the Isles, forced to join the Norwegians in person, 
liuari of Bute and his sons were devoted partisans of 
Haco. The treaty of cession seems to have been acted 
on, in a liberal manner, by the Scottish king. Ewin of 
Lorn was, of course, restored to the lands he had for- 
merly held of Norway, arid further rewarded for his 
services. Angus of Isla, having determined to remain 
in the Isles, became, according to the treaty, a vassal 
of Scotland for his lands there, and was allowed to 
retain, under a single king, all that he had formerly 
held under two. Lastly, the sons of Ruari, although 
forced to resign Bute> had lands assigned to them (on 
their agreeing to remain subjects of Scotland) in that 
portion of the Isles which, had belonged to the King of 
Man. Hence this family came to be styed Macruaries 
of the North Isles; and. on the death of Dugall, called 
Eex Hehidiim. one of the brothers, 1 Allan, 

A. D. 1268. . ' . . ' 

the survivor, united, in his person, the posses- 
sions of both, to which afterwards he appears to have 
added the Lordship of Garmoran, on the mainland. 
The Isles of Skye and Lewis were conferred upon the 

work, but in all the historical inquiries which I havo had occasion to 
make for several years past. 

1 Langebeck, Scriptores Reruin Danicarum, vol. III., p. 109. 



Earl of Ross, 1 no part of these islands, or of Man, 
Arran, and Bute, being granted by Alexander III. to 
the descendants of Somerled. Of these descendants, 
there were, in 1285, three great noblemen, all holding 
extensive possessions in the Isles, as well as on the 
mainland, who attended in that Scottish 
Parliament by which the crown was settled on 
the Maiden of Norway. Their names were, Alexander 
de Ergadia of Lorn (son of Ewin of Lorn), Angus, the 
son of Donald, arid Allan, the son of Ruari. 2 From the 
nature of the treaty in 1266, it is obvious that these 
individuals were vassals of the King of Scotland for all 
their possessions, and not merely for what they held on 
the mainland, as some have supposed. It is further 
clear, that, at this time, none of the three bore the title 
of Lord of the Isles, or could have been properly so 
considered; and it is equally certain, that the first 
individual whom we find assuming the style of Lord of 
the Isles, in its modern signification, possessed all those 
Isles, and very nearly all those mainland estates, which, 
in 1285, were divided among three powerful noblemen 
of the same blood. But of this hereafter. From the 
preceding remarks, it will readily be perceived that 
the boasted independence of the modern Lords of the 
Isles is without historical foundation. Prior to 1266, 
the Isles were subject to Norway; at that date, the 
treaty of cession transferred them to Scotland; and, 
ever since, they have remained subject to the latter 
crown, notwithstanding successive rebellions, instigated 
in every case by the government of England, in order 
to embarrass the Scots. 

1 Robertson's Index to Missing Scottish Charters, p. 124, No. 26. 

2 Rymer's Fcedera, II. 266. 


In the series of struggles for Scottish independence, 
which marked the close of the thirteenth and the open- 
ing of the fourteenth centuries, the Lords of Lorn, who 
were closely connected by marriage with the Comyn and 
Balliol party, naturally arrayed themselves in opposition 
to the claims of Bruce. On the other hand, the houses 
of Isla and of the North Isles supported, with all their 
power, the apparently desperate fortunes of King Hobert 
I.; 1 and thus, when he came to be firmly seated on the 
throne, had earned the gratitude of that Prince, in the 
same proportion as the family of Lorn ; by the inveteracy 
of their hostility, had provoked his resentment. On the 
forfeiture of Alexander, Lord of Lorn, and his son and 
heir John, their extensive territories were granted by 
Bruce to various of his supporters; and, amongst others, 
to Angus Oig, i.e., Junior, of Isla, and to Roderick or 
Ruari MacAlan, the bastard brother and leader of the 
vassals of Christina, the daughter and heiress of Alan 
MacRuari of the North Isles. 2 The Isles of Mull (the 
possession of which had, for some time past, been disputed 
betwixt the Lords of Isla and Lorn), Jura, Coll, and Tiree, 
with the districts of Duror and Glenco, fell, in this way, 
to the share of Angus Oig. Lorn Proper, or the greatest 
part of it, was bestowed on Roderick MacAlan, to whom 
his sister Christina gave, at the same time, a large por- 
tion of her inheritance in Garmoran and the North 
Isles. 3 The Lordship of Lochaber, forfeited by one of 
the powerful family of Comyn, seems to have been 
divided between Angus Oig and Roderick. The former 

1 Barbour's Bruce ; Fordun a Goodal, II., p. 234. Angus of Isla 
joined the party of Bruce as early as 1286 ; Ty tier's Scotland, I. 65. 

2 Robertson's Index, p. 2, No. 51, 52, 54 ; p. 26, No. 23. 

3 Charter in Haddington's MS. Collections, Adv. Library. 


likewise obtained, in this reign, the lands of Morvern 1 
and Ardnamurchan, which seem previously to have been 
in the hands of the crown. But while Bruce thus re- 
warded his faithful adherents, he was too sensible of the 
weakness of Scotland on the side of the Isles, not to 
take precautionary measures against the possible defec- 
tion of any of the great families on that coast, who 
might with ease admit an English force into the heart 
of the kingdom. He procured from Angus Oig, who was 
now, apparently, the principal crown vassal in Kintyre, 
the resignation of his lands in that district, which were 
immediately bestowed upon Robert, the son and heir of 
Walter the High Steward, and the Princess Marjory 
Bruce. 2 At Uhe same time, the fortifications of the 
Castle of Tarbert, between Kintyre and Knapdale, the 
most important position on the coast of Argyleshire, 
were greatly enlarged and strengthened, and the custody 
of this commanding post was committed to a royal 
garrison. 3 Following out the same policy in other 
places, the keeping of the Castle of Dunstaffnage, the 
principal messuage of Lorn, was given by Bruce, not to 
Roderick MacAlan, the "High Chief of Lorn," but to 
an individual of the name of Campbell, who was placed 
there as a royal constable. 4 

Towards the end of Bruce's reign, Roderick MacAlan, 
of Lorn and the North Isles, was forfeited of 

A. D. 1325. . . . 

all his possessions, for engaging in some of 
the plots which, at that period, occupied the attention 

1 The district now called Morvern was, in former times, it would 
appear, known as Eenalban, or the promontory of Alban or Scotland. 

2 Robertson's Index, p. 26, No. 32. 

3 High Treasurer's Accounts, temp. Rob. I. 

4 Robertson's Index, p. 14. 


and called forth the energies of that celebrated King. 1 
On. this occasion, it is probable that Angus Oig, whose 
loyalty never wavered, received further additions to his 
already extensive possessions; and before King Robert's 
death, the house of Isla was already the most powerful 
in Argyle and the Isles. Angus Oig and his munificent 
patron died about the same time ; but John of Isla, the 
son and heir of the former, was far from exhibiting the 
same devoted loyalty to the House of Bruce which had 
characterised his father. 

When the star of Edward Balliol was in the ascen- 
dant. John of the Isles was induced to join that party, 
owing, in some measure, to his prospect of losing many 
of the lands granted to his father by Robert Bruce, even 
if he should remain neuter in the struggle which was 
going on. To secure so important an adherent, Balliol, 
besides granting to him nearly the whole of 
the territories which Angus Oig had possessed 
at his death, gave, in addition, the lands of Kin tyre and 
Knapdale, and the Isles of Skye and Lewis, which the 
expected forfeiture of the High Steward and his rela- 
tions, and of the Earl of Ross, was to place at the 
disposal of the pseudo-King. 2 On the return of David 
II. . from France, after the final discomfiture 
of Balliol and his supporters, John of the 
Isles was naturally exposed to the hostility of the Stew- 
ard and the other nobles of the Scottish party, by whose' 
advice he seems to have been forfeited, when many of his 
lands were granted to one of his relations, Angus Mac- 
Ian, progenitor of the house of Ardnamurchan. 3 This 

1 Robertson's Index, p. 28. 

2 Rymer's Fcedera, IV., 711. 

3 Ch. in Haddington's Collections, Adv. Library. 


grant did not, however, take effect ; and such was the 
resistance offered by John and his kinsman, Reginald 
or Ranald, son of Roderick Mac Alan (who had been 
restored, in all probability, by Balliol, to the lands for- 
feited by his father), and so anxious was David at the 
time to bring the whole force of his kingdom together 
in his intended wars with England, that he 
at length pardoned both these powerful chiefs, 
and confirmed to them the following possessions : To 
John, he gave the Isles of Isla, Gigha, Jura, Scarba, 
Colonsay, Mull, Coll, Tiree, and Lewis, and the districts 
of Morvern, Lochaber, Duror, and Glenco ; to Ranald, 
the Isles of Uist, Barra, Egg, and Rum, and the Lord- 
ship of Garmoran, being the original possessions of his 
family in the north. 1 By this arrangement, Kintyre, 
Knapdale, and Skye, reverted to their former owners, 
and Lorn remained in the hands of the Crown, whilst it 
is probable that Ardnarnurchan was given as a compen- 
sation to Angus Maclan. 

Soon after this time, Ranald MacRuari 
was killed at Perth, in a quarrel between him 
and the Earl of Ross, from whom he held the lands of 
Kintail. As he left no issue, his sister, Amie, the wife 
of John of Isla, became, in terms of the above-men- 
tioned grant from David IL, his heir; and her husband, 
uniting her possessions to his own, assumed henceforth 
the style of Dominus Insularum, or Lord of the Isles. 2 

1 Robertson's Index, p. 100. The Lordship of Garraoran (also 
called Garbhchrioch) comprehends the districts of Moydert, Arasaig, 
Morar, and Knoydert. 

2 The first recorded instance of this style being used by John of 
Isla is in an indenture with the Lord of Lorn, 1354. Appendix to 
"Holies' Annals of Scotland," 2nd edition. This indenture, a very 
remarkable deed, does not appear either in the first or third edition of 
these annals. 


Thus was formed the modern Lordship of the Isles, 
comprehending the territories of the Macdonalds of Isla, 
and the Macruaries of the North Isles, and a great part 
of those of the Macdugalls of Lorn; and although 
the representative of the latter family was nominally 
restored to the estates of his ancestors on the occasion 
of his marriage with a niece of the King, 1 yet he was 
obliged to leave the Lord of the Isles in possession of 
such portion of the Lorn estates as had been granted to 
the latter by David in 1344. The daughter and heiress 
of John de Ergadia, or Macdugall, the restored Lord of 
Lorn, carried Lorn Proper to her husband, Robert 
Stewart, founder of the Hosyth family, by whom the 
Lordship was sold to his brother, John Stewart of Inner- 
ineath, ancestor of the Stewarts, Lords of Lorn. 2 

After the reconciliation of David II. and John of 
Isla in 1334, we can trace various attempts, on the part 
of the English government, to withdraw the latter from 
his allegiance, all of which seem to have failed. 3 In 
the later years of David's reign, the Lord of the Isles 
was again in rebellion; nor was he reduced to obedience 
without much difficulty. The records of the period, 
however, show that his turbulence at this time was not 
the result of English intrigue, but connected with a 
general resistance, on the part of the Highlanders, to some 
of the fiscal measures of the Scottish government. 4 The 
second reconciliation of the Lord of the Isles with David 
II. took place in 1369, a year before the death of that 
King; and, from this time till his death, in the reign of 
Robert II., he conducted himself as a loyal and obedient 

1 Robertson's Index, p. 30. 

2 Inventory of Argyle Writs, title Lorn. 

3 Rymer's Fcedera, V., 530, 849. Rotuli Scotise, I., 677. 

4 Ancient Book of Record, quoted by Mr. Tytler, Vol. II., p. 169. 


subject. Having thus given a brief sketch of the public 
history of John, first Lord of the Isles, under the reigns 
of David II. and Robert II., it now becomes necessary 
to allude to his private history during the same period. 
He married, as we have mentioned, Amie Macruari, 
heiress of that family ; l and his sons by this marriage 
were John, Godfrey, and Ranald. The eldest of these 
sons was dead before 1369, leaving issue, Angus, who 
did not long survive. Of the others we shall afterwards 
have occasion more particularly to speak. Notwith- 
standing that he had, in right of Amie his wife, succeeded 
to such extensive possessions, the Lord of the Isles 
divorced that lady, 2 and married, secondly, the Lady 
Margaret, daughter to Robert, High Steward of Scot- 
land. Of this marriage there were likewise three 
sons viz., Donald, John, and Alexander. We cannot 
fix precisely the date of this second marriage; but it 
must have taken place in the reign of David II., as 
Donald, the eldest son, was named as a hostage by his 
father in 1369. It is probable that the Lord of the 
Isles, and his father-in-law, the Steward, had come to a 
secret understanding before the marriage, on which they 
afterwards acted, when, at the death of David, the 
Steward ascended the throne by the title of 
Robert II. Certain it is, that, after that event, 
the destination of the Lordship of the Isles was altered, 
so as to cause it to descend to the grandchildren of the 

1 The dispensation for this marriage was dated in 1337 ; Andrew 
Stewart's History of the Stewarts, p. 446. 

2 It seems clear, from the unvarying tradition of the country, that 
the Lady Amie had given no grounds for this divorce. She dwelt 
on her own estates till her death ; and is said to have built the Castles 
of Elanterim in Moydert, and Borve in Benbecula. 


King. 1 Aware that his right to Garmoran and the 
North Isles was annulled by the divorce of his first wife, 
the Lord of the Isles, disregarding her claims, and trusting 
to his influence with the King, his father-in-law, procured 
a royal charter of the lands in question, in which her name 
was not even mentioned. Godfrey, the eldest son of the 
Lord of the Isles, by his first wife, resisted these unjust 
proceedings maintaining his mother's prior claims, and 
his own as her heir; but Ranald, his younger brother, 
being more pliant, was rewarded by a grant of the 
North Isles, Garmoran, and many other lands, 
I3;0 ' to hold of John, Lord of the Isles, and his 
heirs.' 2 ' Such was the state of affairs in the Lordship of 
the Isles at the death of the first Lord. He 
died at his own castle of Ardtornish, in Mor- 
vern, and was buried in lona, with great splendour, by 
the ecclesiastics of the Isles, 3 whose attachment he had 
obtained by liberal grants to the Church, and who 
evinced their gratitude, by bestowing on him the appel- 
lation, which tradition has handed down to our days, of 
" the good John of Isla." 4 

Donald, the eldest son of the second marriage, 
became, on his father's death, second Lord of the 
Isles, and in that capacity was, most undoubtedly, feudal 
superior and actual chief of his brothers, whether of 
the full or of the half blood. He married Mary Leslie, 

1 This appears from various charters in the public records, soon 
after the accession of Kobert II. 

2 Reg. of Great Seal, Rot. III., No. 18. 

3 Macvurich's MS. in Gaelic, commonly, but erroneously, called 
the Red Book of Clanranald. 

4 See Dean Mouro's Genealogies, written in the sixteenth cen- 


who afterwards became Countess of Ross, and his con- 
test with the Regent Duke of Albany, regarding that 
Earldom, in the course of which the battle 
of Harlaw was fought, is too well known to 
require' repetition here. It is only necessary to remark, 
that the whole array of the Lordship of the Isles 
followed him on that occasion, and that he was not 
weakened by any opposition, on the part of his elder 
brothers or their descendants, which certainly might 
have been looked for. Ranald, the youngest, but most 
favoured son of the first marriage of the good John, 
was, as the seannachies tell us, " old in the govern- 
ment of the Isles at his father's death." After that 
event, he acted as tutor or guardian to his younger 
brother, Donald, Lord of the Isles, to whom, on his 
attaining majority, he delivered over the Lordship, in 
presence of the vassals, " contrary to the opinion of 
the men of the Isles," l who, doubtless, considered God- 
frey as their proper Lord. On the death of Ranald, 
who did not long survive his father, his children, then 
young, were dispossessed by their uncle Godfrey, who 
assumed the style of Lord of Uist (which, with Gar- 
moran, he actually possessed), but never questioned 
the claims of Donald to the Lordship of the Isles. 2 
If the opinion of the Islanders was, at first, really in 
favour of Godfrey, the liberality of Donald seems soon 
to have reconciled them to the rule of the latter; at 
least, there is no trace, after this time, of any opposi- 
tion among them to Donald, or his descendants. As 

1 Macvurich's MS. 

2 Charter by Godfridus de Insula, Domimis de Uist, to the 
monastery of Inchaffray, in 1388; dated, u apud castrum nostrum 
de Elantyrim : " Chartulary of Inchaffray. 


the claim of " Donald of Harlaw," to the Earldom of 
Ross, in right of his wife, was, after his death, virtually 
admitted by King James I., and as Donald himself 
was actually in possession of that Earldom, and acknow- 
ledged by the vassals in 1411, he may, without impro- 
priety, be called the first Earl of Ross of his family. 
To his brothers of the full blood, he gave ample terri- 
tories, as his vassals; and each of them became the 
founder of a powerful family. The eldest, John Mor, 
or John the Tanister, as he was called, was the proge- 
nitor of a numerous tribe, called the Clandonald of the 
South, or the Clan Ian Mhor of Isla and Kintyre, 
where their hereditary possessions lay. Alexander, or 
Allaster Carrach, the youngest of the brothers, was 
styled Lord of Lochaber ; and from him descended the 
Macdonalds of Keppoch, or, as they are sometimes 
styled, the Clanranald of Lochaber. After the death 
of John, Lord of the Isles, we discover various indica- 
tions that the intrigues of the English court with the 
Scottish Islanders had been resumed; and it is not 
altogether improbable, that it was a suspicion of these 
treasonable practices which caused the Regent, Robert 
of Albany, to oppose the pretensions of Donald, Lord 
of the Isles, to the Earldom of Ross. 1 But, although 
English emissaries were, on various occasions, des- 
patched, not only to the Lord of the Isles himself, but 
to his brothers, Godfrey and John and two of the 
brothers even appear to have visited the English court 
we cannot, at this distance of time, ascertain how far 
these intrigues were carried. Donald, second Lord of 

i Rymer's Fcedcra, VIII., 146, 418, 527. Rotuli Scotise, IL, 94, 


the Isles, had issue, by the heiress of Boss, Alexander, 
cir. A. D. his successor, and Angus, afterwards Bishop 
1420. O f ^ e jsi es . an( j ? dying in Isla, he was 
interred at lona with the usual ceremonies. 1 

The history of Alexander, third Lord of the Isles, 
and second Earl of Ross, of his line, is given, with 
tolerable accuracy, by the writers of the period ; as his 
high rank, and his relationship to the sovereign, give 
him a prominent place in the annals of the reign of 
James I. The policy of this King was, in every respect, 
opposed to that of the family of Albany; and, conse- 
quently, when the Earldom of Ross, which had been 
procured by Duke Robert for his son, John, Earl of 
Buchan, fell to the crown, by the death of 
that nobleman, 2 King James at once restored 
it to the heiress of line, the mother of the Lord of the 
Isles. In the following year, Alexander, Lord of the 
Isles, and Master of the Earldom of Ross, 
sat upon the jury which condemned to death 
Murdoch, Duke of Albany, his sons, and the aged Earl 
of Lennox; 3 but he did not long retain the favour 
which, at this time, he seems to have enjoyed. To 
understand, however, the position in which the Lord of 
the Isles was placed when we first find him at variance 
with the King, it is necessary to turn, for a while, to the 
history of some of the branches of the family of the Isles, 

1 Macvurich's MS. 

2 John Stewart, Earl of Buchan and Ross, was killed at the battle of 
Verneuil in France, in 1424. 

3 Bower's Continuation of Fordun's Scotichronicon ; Edit. Hearne, 
IV., p. 1271. The historian styles him loosely Earl of Ross, in 1425.; 
but, from a charter granted by him two years later, we find that his 
proper style, at this time, was " Magister Comitatus Rossise." Reg. of 
Great Seal, XIII., 188. 



It has been mentioned that Godfrey, Lord of Uist, 
on the death of his younger brother, Ranald, asserted 
successfully his claim to the North Isles and Garmoran, 
from which he had been unjustly excluded by his father. 
Both Godfrey and Ranald left male issue, who must 
naturally have been opposed to each other, like their 
fathers; but the meagre notices which we possess of 
the domestic feuds in the Highlands and Isles at this 
period, do not enable us to trace the progress of these 
dissensions. We may readily conceive, however, that, 
where so rich a prize was in dispute, much blood would 
be shed, and many atrocities committed. The issue 
of Godfrey, or the Siol Gorrie, as they were called, 
must, for a time, have acquired a superiority over the 
Clanranald so the descendants of Ranald were styled ; 
at least, under the year 1427, we find mention made, 
by a contemporary historian, of Alexander MacGorrie 
of Garmoran, described as a leader of two thousand 
men. 1 But, in addition to the causes of disturbance 
arising from the rival claims of two families so closely 
connected with the Lord of the Isles, there were other 
circumstances which tended to involve that nobleman 
in feuds which his disposition led him to settle by the 
sword, rather than by an appeal to the laws. A certain 
John Macarthur, of the family of Campbell, and a leader 
of note in the Highlands, seems to have revived about 
this time a claim which one of his ancestors had 
acquired to a portion of Garmoran and the North 

1 He is generally called by our historians, "MacRuari," which sur- 
name he seems to have assumed from his father's maternal ancestors ; 
or, which is most probable, "MacRorie," as it is frequently written, 
may be an error for "MacGorrie." Hugh Macdonald states distinctly 
in his MS. that Gorrie had a son, Allaster. 


Isles; 1 and it is not difficult to conjecture what recep- 
tion such pretensions would meet with from the Lord 
of the Isles and his warlike vassals. The event, how- 
ever., that seems to have had most effect in throwing 
the Highlands and Isles into confusion, was the murder 
of John, Lord of Isla and Kin tyre, uncle to the Lord 
of the Isles, by an individual called James Campbell. 
The latter is said to have received a commission from 
the King to apprehend John of Isla ; but it is added, 
that he exceeded his powers in putting that chief to 
death. 2 When we consider the lawless state in which 
even the more accessible parts of Scotland were found 
by King James, owing to the weakness and incapacity 
of the Regent Murdoch, Duke of Albany, we can 
easily conceive how the circumstances above alluded 
to should have raised disturbances in the Highlands 
and Isles, which it might require ail the energy of the 
King to suppress. 

Determined to restore order, and to enforce 
the laws, James held a Parliament at Inver- 
ness, to which the Lord of the Isles, who is described 
as the principal disturber of the public peace, and the 
other great Highland chiefs, were summoned. On their 
arrival at Inverness, they were, to the number of forty, 
seized by a stratagem of the King, and committed to 
separate prisons. Some, whose crimes were most noto- 
rious, were immediately brought to trial, condemned, 
and executed; and of this number were Alexander 

1 Charter by Christina, daughter of Alan (MacRuari) to Arthur, 
son of Sir Arthur Campbell, knight, early in the fourteenth century, 
of the lands of Moydert, &c. This charter is quoted for the witnesses' 
names in a MS. History of the Macnaughtons in the Advocates' 

2 Hugh Macdonald's MS. 


MacGorrie of Garmoran, and John Macarthur. At 
the same time, James Campbell was hanged for the 
murder of John of Isla, as if to show the impartiality 
of the Sovereign. Others, whose guilt was not at first 
so apparent, were detained in prison for some time, 
and then executed; but the greater number, and among 
them the Lord of the Isles, were liberated without 
more severe punishment than was implied in their 
imprisonment for various periods, according to the mag- 
nitude of their offences. 1 The Lord of the Isles, by 
his conduct after his liberation, showed that he felt 
deeply the indignity he had suffered. The death of 
his mother 2 had now made hini Earl of Ross; and soon 
after his return from prison, he summoned together his 
vassals, both of Ross and the Isles; wasted 
the Crown lands near Inverness, at the head 
of a force of ten thousand men; and then burned the 
town of Inverness to the ground. No sooner had 
information of this inroad reached the King, than, with 
his characteristic promptitude, he prepared to vindicate 
his insulted authority. Leading in person some troops 

1 Bower a Hearne, IV., pp. 1283-4. Chronicle of the Earls of 
Ross, printed in the Miscellanea Scotica. Among the other chiefs 
mentioned* are, " Mak Makan" that is, MacMahon or Mathevvson of 
Lochalsh, leader of one thousand men ; and a certain " Kenneth Moire," 
whom I conjecture to have been the chief, for the time, of the Mac- 
kenzies, although omitted in the MS. histories of that family, probably 
from his leaving no issue. 

2 In 1429, the Countess of Ross, being charged with encouraging 
her son in his violent proceedings, was arrested and confined at Inch- 
colm, in the Frith of Forth, where she is said to have remained fourteen 
months a prisoner. Bower a Hearne, IV., p. 1226. This is hardly 
reconcilable with a charter, dated 24th October, 1429, in which her son 
styles himself Earl instead of Master of Ross. Sutherland additional 
case, cap. v., p. 30. 


hastily collected, he succeeded, by forced marches, in 
coming up with the rebels, who were then in Lochaber, 
at a time when he was least expected. On the appear- 
ance of the royal banner, the Clanchattan and Clan- 
chameron, two potent tribes that supported the Earl of 
Ross, went over to the King, who, following up his 
advantage, attacked arid routed the rebels, pursuing 
them so hotly that their leader was glad to sue for 
peace. James, however, sternly refused to enter into 
a negotiation with his rebellious subject; on any other 
footing than that of an unconditional surrender ; and 
returned to his capital, after giving strict orders to his 
officers, that every effort should be made to apprehend 
the fugitive Earl. The latter, at length, driven to 
despair by the activity of his pursuers, adopted the 
resolution of throwing himself on the mercy of his 
Sovereign. Upon the eve of a solemn festival, this 
haughty nobleman presented himself before the King, 
who, and the Queen and Court, were assembled in 
the church of Holyrood. He was clothed only in his 
shirt and drawers ; he held his naked sword by the 
point in his hand, and, with a countenance and manner 
in which destitution and misery were strongly exhibited, 
he fell upon his knees, and, surrendering his sword ^ 
implored the royal clemency. His life was spared, but 
he was committed to close ward in the Castle of Tan- 
tallon, under the charge of William Earl of Angus. 1 

While the Earl of Ross was still in prison, 

the Royal forces which, under the Earls of Mar 

and Caithness, occupied Lochaber, in order to overawe the 

clans of the west, were surprised and routed by a body of 

the latter, under a leader named Donald Balloch. This 

1 Bower a Hearnc, IV., p. 1286. Chronicle of the Earls of Ross. 


chief was the cousin-german of the Earl of Ross ; being 
the son of that John of Isla who, as formerly men- 
tioned, was murdered by James Campbell. The news 
of the battle of Inverlochy, in which the Earl of 
Caithness, and many of the royal troops, were killed, 
and the Earl of Mar was severely wounded, was re- 
ceived with great indignation by the King, who imme- 
diately prepared to punish the aggressors. Having 
procured from his Parliament a land tax, to defray the 
expenses of the expedition, he soon made his appear- 
ance at the Royal Castle of Dunstaffnage, in Lorn, 
with the avowed intention of proceeding to the Isles, 
to inflict exemplary punishment on Donald Balloch and 
his followers. That chief, after ravaging the lands 
of the Clanchattan and Clanchameron, had quitted 
Lochaber, and, on the approach of the King, fled to 
Ireland. 1 The other leaders of the insurgents, dread- 
ing the determined character of James, came to meet 
him. at Dunstaffnage, eager to make their submission, 
and to throw the whole blame of the insurrection upon 
Donald Balloch, whose power, as they affirmed, they 
had not dared to resist. By their means, a number of 
the most noted robbers in the West Highlands and 
Isles were seized and led to immediate execution ; and 
the peace of that part of the country secured 
for some time to come, by the activity and 
determination of the King. 2 On the return of James 
to Edinburgh, a head, said to be that of Donald Bal- 
loch, was sent to him by Hugh Buy O'Neill, an Irish 

1 It may be noticed here that Donald Balloch inherited, through 
his mother, Margery Bisset, the territory of the Glens in Antrim. 

2 Tytler's Scotland, III. 277-9. Buchanan, b. X., c. 33-36 ; Chronicle- 
of the Earls of Ross. Hugh Macdonald's MS. 


chief of Ulster; and it was generally believed at the 
Scottish Court that the ringleader of the late insurrec- 
tion was now no more. But, as Donald Balloch 
certainly survived King James many years, it is obvious 
that the sending of the head to Edinburgh was a 
stratagem devised by the crafty Islander, in order to 
check further pursuit. It is only necessary to mention 
further, in connection with this brief rebellion, that 
Alexander of Lochaber, uncle of the Earl of Eoss, 
seems to have been deprived of his lands for assisting 
Donald Balloch; and that Ross, as superior of the 
lands, was compelled by the King to bestow them upon 
the captain of the Clanchattan, Malcolm Macintosh. 

As Ross, after a captivity of about two years in the 
Castle of Tantallon, received in this year a free 
pardon in Parliament for all his crimes, 1 it is probable 
that he was not considered in any way answerable for 
the insurrection of Donald Balloqh and its conse- 
quences. From this time, to the death of James I., 
he seems to have continued loyal, duly appreciating, as 
we may suppose, the lenity shown to him by a prince 
celebrated for the unbending rigour of his government. 
In the minority of James II., the Earl of Ross held 
the important office of Justiciar of Scotland, 
north of the Forth; 2 an office which he probably 
obtained from Archibald, Earl of Douglas and Duke 
of Touraine, Lieutenant-General of the kingdom. In 
what manner Ross exercised this office is uncertain ; 
but it was, perhaps, under colour of it that he wreaked 

i Bower a Hearne, IV., p. 1288. 

Charters in the Ch. Chest of Innes, A.D. 1438; the Ch. Chest 
of Urquhart of Cromarty, 1439; and the Chartulary of Aberdeen, 


Ms vengeance on the chief of the Claiichameron, who 
had deserted him in 1427. The latter, in order to 
save his life, was now forced to fly to Ireland, where 
he remained for many years, whilst his forfeited lands 
were bestowed, by the Earl of Eoss, upon John Garve 
Maclean, founder of the family of Coll. 1 The Clan- 
chattan were more fortunate in making their peace with 
their offended superior, and most unaccountably suc- 
ceeded in retaining the lands formerly possessed by 
Alexander of Lochaber, from Angus his son. The 
Earl of Ross being the most powerful nobleman in the 
north of Scotland, was necessarily in frequent communi- 
cation with the Earl of Douglas and the other leading 
nobles of the realm, and thus became involved in their 
intrigues. His loyalty to the son of James I. yielded 
to the temptations held out to him; and, in 1445, he 
entered into a secret and treasonable league with the 
Earls of Douglas and Crawford. 2 The details of this 
instrument have not been preserved; but there is little 
doubt that the confederate nobles had agreed, as the 
first step in their designs, to the dethronement of James 
II. But, before any overt acts of treason were com- 
mitted in consequence of this conspiracy, the Earl of 
Eoss died at his castle of Dingwall. 3 By 
his countess, Elizabeth, daughter of Alex- 
ander Seton, Lord of Gordon and Huntly, Alexander, 
Earl of Eoss and Lord of the Isles, had issue, John 
his successor. He had likewise two other legitimate 

1 MS. Histories of the families of Lochiel and Coll. Hugh Mac- 
donald's MS. 

2 7th March, 1445, Sir James Balfour's Annals, I. 173. 

3 He was buried at the Chanonry of Koss, 8th May 1449. Chronicle 
of the Earls of Ross. 


sons (but whether by the same mother or not is uncer- 
tain), Celestine, Lord of Lochalche, and Hugh, Lord 
of Sleat ; of whom, and their descendants, we shall 
afterwards have occasion to speak. 1 

When John, Earl of Ross, succeeded to 
the titles and estates of his family, King 
James II. was actively employed in weakening the 
power and usurped authority of William, eighth Earl 
of Douglas, many of whose adherents, and, particularly, 
the Livingstons, with which family the young Earl of 
Ross was connected by marriage, 2 were seized and 
executed, for various treasonable acts committed by 

1 1 call these sons legitimate, notwithstanding that Celestine is 
called "filius naturalis" by Earl Alexander (Ch. in Ch. Chest of 
Macintosh, 1447), and "f rater carnalis" by Earl John (Reg. of Great 
Seal, VI, 116, 1463); and that Hugh is likewise called "f rater 
carnalis" by Earl John (Ch. in Westfield Writs, in the possession of 
Alex. D unbar, Esq., of Scrabster, 1470). They are, however, both 
called "frater," without any qualification, by Earl John (Keg. of 
Great Seal, VI. 116; XIII. 186). The history of Celestine and 
Hugh and their descendants, as given in the present work, sufficiently 
shows that they were considered legitimate, and that, consequently, 
the words "uaturalis" and "carnalis," taken by themselves, and 
without the adjunct u bostardutj* do not necessarily imply bastardy. 
It is probable that they were used to designate the issue of those 
handfast or left-handed marriages, which appear to have been so 
common in the Highlands and Isles. Both naturalis and carnalls are 
occasionally applied to individuals known to be legitimate in the 
strictest sense of the word. A contract of friendship between the 
Dunbars and Macintoshes, dated in 1492, contains this clause "The 
said Alexander D unbar of Westfield, and Duncan Macintosh, Captain 
of the Clanchattan, sail obserf and keip kyndes and brethirheid to 
uthers as carnale Irethire suld do, for all the dayis of thair lyffis." 
(Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 83). In this instance, carnal can 
have no meaning but one equivalent to german. 

' 2 Chronicle of the Reign of James II., commonly called the Auchin- 
leck Chronicle, pp. 42-44. 


them. It was found expedient to deal more mildly 
with the Earl of Douglas, the head of the party, on 
account of his great power and vassalage ; but the 
King, without absolutely depriving this nobleman of the 
high office of Lieutenant-General of the kingdom a 
measure which might, at this moment, have excited an 
extreme commotion silently withdrew from him his 
countenance and employment; surrounding himself, at 
the same time, by the ablest and most energetic counsel- 
lors of the opposite party, whom he promoted to the chief 
offices in the State. Douglas, sensible that his dominion 
was on the wane, determined to leave the country for a 
season, and repair to Rome, on a visit to the 
Pope. But, although he went abroad with 
the apparent intention of remaining several years, he 
left powerful friends at home, whose motions he directed, 
and by whose assistance he entertained the hope of 
once more possessing himself of the supreme power in 
the State; and there seems the strongest probability 
that he now secretly renewed that treasonable corre- 
spondence with the families of Ross and Crawford, 
which has been already mentioned. 1 

Douglas' return, however, was hastened 
by disturbances at home, arising out of the 
insolence and tyranny of his brother, Douglas of Bal- 
vany, to whom he had delegated his authority; which 
compelled the King to conduct in person an armed 
expedition into the lands of the delinquent. On this 
occasion the King made himself master of Lochmaben 
Castle, and razed to the ground that of Douglas, which 
had long been the centre of insubordination. The Earl, 

1 Tytler's Scotland, IV., pp. 70-86. 


alarmed at the news of this expedition, set out forth- 
with on his return home. In the meantime his friends 
and confederates were not idle in Scotland; and the 
Earl of Ross, in particular, broke out into open rebel- 
lion, and seized the Royal castles of Inverness, Urqu- 
hart, and Ruthven in Badenoch. 1 This last place was 
immediately demolished; Urquhart was committed to 
the custody of Sir James Livingston, father-in-law to 
the Earl of Ross, who, on the first news of the rebellion 
of the latter, had escaped from Court to the Highlands; 
whilst Inverness Castle was supplied with military stores 
and strongly garrisoned. The King, it may be supposed, 
was too much occupied in securing himself against the 
great power and ambition of the Douglas party in the 
southern counties, now rendered more confident by the 
return of their chief from abroad, to be able to take 
prompt measures against the Earl of Ross; at least, 
none such are recorded in the chronicles which have 
come down to us. But there can be no doubt that 
James contemplated proceeding to the north, to chastise 
the rebels there; for it was upon the refusal of Douglas 
to renounce the league offensive and defensive, into 
which he had entered with the Earls of Ross and 
Crawford, that the monarch, in a sudden fit of passion, 
assassinated, with his own hand, that nobleman, .whose 
inordinate ambition was considered the chief cause of 
all these commotions. William, Earl of Douglas, 
being thus cut off in the height of his power, was suc- 

1 It appears, from a contemporary chronicle, that Eoss had some 
private grievances to urge him into rebellion. Among other things, 
he complained that the King, who caused him to marry Sir James 
Livingston's daughter, had promised him, with that lady, a grant of 
lands, which promise had not been kept. Auchiiileck Chronicle, 
p. 44. 


ceeded by James, ninth Earl, his brother, who, after 
repeated rebellions, was finally encountered and defeated 
by the Earl of Angus, leader of the King's 
troops, at Arkinholme in Annandale. In this 
battle, Archibald, Earl of Moray, and Hugh, Earl of 
Ormond, brothers to the Earl of Douglas, were slain; 
whilst the Earl himself, with his only remaining brother, 
Sir John Douglas of Balvany, made his escape into the 
"West Highlands. Here he was received by the Earl 
of Ross, who still remained faithful to his engagements, 
having, it would appear, hitherto escaped, by reason of the 
remoteness and inaccessibility of his territories, the ven- 
geance which had fallen so heavily on his confederates, 
Douglas and Crawford. Ross immediately collected a 
fleet of one hundred galleys, with a force of five thousand 
men on board, and despatched this expedition, under the 
command of his kinsman, Donald Balloch of Isla, to 
attack the coast of Ayrshire, with the intention, proba- 
bly, of encouraging the Douglas party again to draw to- 
gether, should such a course appear expedient. Owing 
to the able measures of defence adopted by the King, 
this enterprise met with little success. Donald com- 
menced hostilities at Innerkip in Ayrshire ; but being 
unable to effect any object of importance, he proceeded 
to ravage the Cumrays and the Isle of Arran. Not 
above twenty persons, men, women, and children, were 
slain by the Islanders, although plunder to a consider- 
able amount including five or six hundred horses, ten 
thousand oxen and kine, and more than a thousand 
sheep and goats was carried off. The Castle of Bro- 
dick in Arran was stormed and levelled with the ground; 
whilst one hundred bolls of meal, one hundred marks, 1 

1 Cattle intended for winter consumption. 


and one hundred marks of silver, were exacted as tribute 
from the Isle of Bute. 1 The expedition was concluded 
by an attack upon Lauder, Bishop of Argyle or Lismore, 
a prelate who had made himself obnoxious by affixing 
his seal to the instrument of forfeiture of the Douglases; 
and who was now attacked by the fierce Admiral of the 
Isles, and, after the slaughter of the greater part of his 
attendants, forced to take refuge in a sanctuary, which 
seems scarcely to have protected him from the fury of 
his enemies. 2 

The Earl of Douglas returned to England after the 
failure of the expedition under Donald Balloch; and 
Ross, finding himself alone in rebellion, became alarmed 
for the consequences, and, by a submissive message, 
entreated the forgiveness of the King; offering, as far 
as it was still left to him, to repair the wrongs 
he had inflicted. James at first refused to 
listen to the application; but, after a time, consented to 
extend to the humbled chief a period of probation, 
within which, if he should evince the reality of his repent- 
ance by some notable exploit, he was to be absolved 
from all the consequences of his rebellion, and reinstated 
in the Royal favour. 3 The Earl of Ross was, in 1457, 
one of the Wardens of the Marches, 4 an office of great 
trust and importance, but obviously intended to weaken 
his influence in the Highlands and Isles, by forcing him 
frequently to resideat adistance from theseat of hispower; 

1 It would seem that the Castle of Rothsay was also besieged. 
Acts of Parliament, II. 109. 

2 Tytler's Scotland, IV., pp. 86-127; Auchinleck Chronicle, pp. 44, 
51, 55 ; Acts of Parliament, II. 190. 

s Ty tier's Scotland, IV., p. 156. 
4 Rymer's Fcedera, XI., p. 397. 


and as he was, at the same time, one of the nobles who 
guaranteed a truce with England, 1 it would seem that 
he had lost no time in effecting a reconciliation with the 
King. Previous to the siege of Roxburgh, at which 
James II. was unfortunately killed, the Earl 
of Ross joined the Royal army with a body of 
three thousand of his vassals, well armed, in their pecu- 
liar fashion. In order to prove his fidelity and loyalty, 
he offered, in case of an invasion of England, to precede 
the rest of the army, whilst in the enemy's country, by 
a thousand paces distance, so as to receive the first shock 
of the English. Ross was well received, and ordered to 
remain near the King's person; but, as there was at this 
time no invasion of England, the courage and devotion 
of himself and his troops were not put to the test pro- 
posed. 2 

Soon after the unfortunate death of James 
II., and the capture of Roxburgh Castle, a 
Parliament met at Edinburgh, which was attended by, 
amongst others, the Earl of Ross, and all the Island 
chiefs. 3 Of this Parliament, however, no records now 
exist. Apparently, Ross perceived that the new govern- 
ment was not strong enough to command his obedience, 
and thought this a favourable opportunity to pursue his 
schemes of personal aggrandisement, and for that pur- 
pose to renew his confederacy with the banished Doug- 
lases. This once powerful family now looked chiefly to 
the English King for their restoration to rank and power; 
and, therefore, used all their influence to draw the Earl 

1 Rymers Fcedera, XI., p. 397. 

2 Tytler's Scotland, IV., p. 176 ; Buchanan, b. XI. 

3 Tytler's Scotland, IV., p. 186 ; Auchinleck Chronicle, p. 59 
February 1461, new style. 


of Ross into a league with Edward IV. 1 On the 
19th of October, Ross, by the advice of his principal 
vassals and kinsmen, assembled in council at his castle 
of Ardtornish, granted a commission, in the style of an 
independent prince, to his trusty and well-beloved cousins, 
Ranald of the Isles, and Duncan, Archdean of the Isles, 
to confer with the deputies of the English King. 2 The 
Commissioners met at Westminster; and, after a 
negotiation, concluded a treaty, which embraced some 
extraordinary conditions. The basis of it was nothing 
less than the contemplated conquest of Scotland by the 
vassals of Ross and the auxiliaries to be furnished by 
Edward, with such assistance as the Earl of Douglas 
might be able to give. The Earl of Ross, Donald Balloch, 
and John, the son and heir of Donald, agreed, upon the 
payment to each of a stipulated sum of money, to become 
for ever the sworn vassals of England, along with all their 
retainers, and to assist Edward in his wars in Ireland 
as well as elsewhere. In the event of the entire sub- 
jugation of Scotland by the Earls of Ross and Douglas, 
the whole of the kingdom to the north of the Forth was 
to be divided equally between the two Earls and Donald 
Balloch; whilst Douglas was to be restored to the 
possession of those estates between the Forth and the 
Borders of England from which he was now excluded ; 
and, upon such partition and restoration being carried 

1 The King of England despatched the banished Earl of Douglas, 
and his brother, Sir John Douglas of Balvany, to meet the Earl of 
Ross or his ambassadors, by a writ dated 22nd June, 1461. Rotuli 
Scotise, II., p. 402. Tytler's Scotland, IV., p. 192. 

2 The English deputies were, Lawrence, liishop of Durham, the 
Earl of Worcester, the Prior of St. John's, Lord Wenlock, and Mr. 
Robert Stillington, Keeper of the Privy Seal. 


into effect, the salaries payable ( to Ross and his asso- 
ciates as the wages of their defection, were to cease. 
The stipulated salaries were, to the Earl, 200 sterling 
annually in time of war, and one hundred merks in time 
of peace; to Donald Balloch, 40, and to John, his 
son, 20 in time of war, and, in time of peace, half 
these sums respectively. This remarkable treaty is 
dated at London, on the 13th of February, 1462. 1 

While the negotiations which ended in the above 
treaty were still pending, the Earl of Ross raised the 
standard of rebellion. Ho assembled a large force, 
which was placed under the command of Angus, his 
bastard son, 2 assisted by the experience of the veteran 
Donald Balloch. Having made themselves masters of 
the Castle of Inverness, these leaders proceeded to issue 
proclamations, in the name of the Earl of Ross, to all 
the inhabitants of the sheriffdoms and burghs of Inver- 
ness and Nairn, couched in such a manner as to show 
that Ross, overrating the effects of his contemplated 
league with England, already assumed the powers of a 
king in the north. The sheriffdom of Inverness at this 
time comprehended not only the modern county of 
Inverness, but likewise those of Ross and Caithness f 
and it was, therefore, over the inhabitants of four of the 

1 Tytler's Scotland, IV., p. ]94. Rotuli Scotise, II., p. 407- 14G1, 
old style. 

2 This is distinctly mentioned in the Summons of Forfeiture 
against the Earl of Ross, in 1475. Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, 
II., p. 108. It does not appear, although generally asserted by our 
historians, that Ross took the field on this occasion in person ; and, 
indeed, the contrary may be inferred from the fact that his son acted 
as his lieutenant, with the highest powers of that office.' Acts of Parl., 
ut supra. 

3 Reg. of Great Seal, XV. No. 63. 


modern shires of Scotland that the Earl of Ross sought 
to exercise royal authority. His proclamations com- 
manded them to obey his bastard son, as his lieutenant, 
under the pain of death, which the latter was fully 
authorised to inflict upon the refractory; to pay to him 
all the taxes usually paid to the Crown ; and to refuse 
obedience to the officers of King James. 1 How this 
extraordinary rebellion was suppressed is uncertain. 
We know that Ross was summoned before Parliament 
for treason; and that, on his failing to appear, the pro- 
cess of forfeiture against him was suspended for a time. 
There is reason, also, to believe, that an army was actually 
in readiness to march against him; although, eventually, 
this course was rendered unnecessary, by submission on 
the part of Ross, or by some other measures, which, as 
yet, we have not been able to trace. It is certain, 
however, that the Earl did not, at this time, receive an 
unconditional pardon, although allowed to retain undis- 
turbed possession of all his vast estates for about fifteen 
years after this period. 

At length the treaty concluded between 
I475 ' Edward IV. and the Earl of Ross, in 1462, 
came to light, when it was determined at once by the 
Scottish Government to proceed against Ross as an 
avowed traitor and rebel. Accordingly, that noble- 
man was summoned, at his Castle of Dingwall, to appear 
before the Parliament to be held in Edinburgh in 
December, in order to answer to various charges of 
treason. 2 Commission was given to Colin, Earl of 

1 Auchinleck Chronicle, p. 60. 

2 Acts of Parliament, II. 108. All his acts of rebellion, both in 
1455 and 1461, were charged against him, as well as the league with 



Argyle, to prosecute a decree of forfeiture against him ;* 
and, on the appointed day, sentence was pronounced, 
Ross having failed to appear. 2 Nor was this an idle 
ceremony. As soon as the weather permitted, a for- 
midable armament, comprehending both a fleet and a 
land force, was prepared to carry the sentence of Par- 
liament into effect, and placed under the command of 
the Earls of Crawford and Athole. The extent of these 
preparations, and the persuasion of his friends, induced 
Ross to sue for pardon, .through the medium of the 
Earl of Huntly. The Queen and the States of Parlia- 
ment were likewise prevailed upon to intercede for the 
repentant noble, who appeared in person at Edinburgh, 
and, with much humility, and many expressions of con- 
trition, surrendered himself to the Royal mercy. The 
King, with wonderful moderation, consented to pardon 
the offender and, in the Parliament held at 
147 ' Edinburgh on the 1st of July, John of Isla 
was restored to his forfeited estates of the Earldom of 
Ross and Lordship of the Isles. He then came for- 
ward, and made a voluntary resignation to the Crown 
of the Earldom of Ross,, the lands of Kin tyre and 
Knapdale, and all the castles, &c., thereto belonging ; 
and, in return for this concession, was created, by the 
King, a Baron Banrent and Peer of Parliament, by the 
title of Lord of the Isles. The Earldom of Ross was 
now inalienably annexed to the Crown, and a great 
blow was thus struck at the power and grandeur of a 
family which had so repeatedly disturbed the tranquil- 
lity of Scotland. 3 

1 Argyle Writs. 

2 Acts of Parliament, ubi supra. 

3 Chronicle of the Earls of Ross. Ferrerius t (the continuator 


By the favour of the King, the succession to the 
new title and the estates connected with it, was secured 
in favour of Angus and John, the bastard sons of the 
Lord of the Isles ; * and Angus, the elder of them, was 
soon afterwards married to a daughter of the Earl of 
Argyle. This Angus was early accustomed to rebellion, 
having acted as lieutenant to his father in the great 
insurrection of 1461. Neither the favour now shown 
to him by the King, nor his alliance with the Earl of 
Argyle, were sufficient to keep the natural violence of his 
temper within bounds ; and circumstances soon enabled 
him to establish an ascendancy over his father. The 
sacrifices made by the latter in 1476, when he gave 
up the Earldom of Ross and the lands of Kintyre and 
Knapdale, were very unpopular among the chiefs de- 
scended of the family of the Isles, who further alleged 
that he had impaired his estate by improvident grants 
of land to the Macleans, Macleods, Macneills, and 
other tribes. Thus, the vassals of the Lordship of the 
Isles came to be divided into two factious one com- 
prehending the clans last mentioned, who adhered to 
the old lord the other consisting of the various branches 
of the Clandonald, who made common cause with the 
turbulent heir of the Lordship. 2 In these circumstances 

of Boece's History), p. 393 ; Acts of Parliament, II. p. 113 ; Tytler's 
Scotland, IV., p. 246. 

1 Acts of Parliament, II. 190, 15th July, 1476. John, the younger 
of the two sons, was dead before 16th December, 1478. Keg. of Great 
Seal, VIII. 120. 

2 Hugh Macdonald's MS. The proceedings of the Islanders in 
reference to Kintyre and Knapdale, caused the Lord of the Isles to 
be summoned again, on a charge of treason, in April, 1478 ; but he 
seems soon to have satisfied the Government of his innocence, and, 
at the same time, to have procured the pardon of his son. Acts of 


Angus not only [behaved with great violence to his 
father, but he involved himself in various feuds, parti- 
cularly withTthe Mackenzies. It appears that Kenneth 
After Mackenzie of Kintaill had repudiated his first 
A. D. 1480. w -f e ^ j, a( jy Margaret of the Isles, sister to 
Angus; and the latter, supported no doubt by his kins- 
men, determined to make his quarrel with Mackenzie 
a cover for attempting to regain possession of the Earl- 
dom of Ross, or a portion of it. 1 He invaded Ross, 
accordingly, with a body of his Island vassals ; and, 
encountering the Mackenzies and their supporters at a 
place called Lagebread, he defeated them with con- 
siderable loss. The Earl of Athole is said, by tradition, 
to have commanded the troops opposed to Angus of 
the Isles on this occasion. After this event Angus 
became so bold, and the insurrection appeared so for- 
midable, that the government is said to have emplo}^ed 
the Earls of Crawford, Huntly. Argyle, and Athole, to 
reduce him to obedience. He seems to have been 
expelled from Ross, and thence to have gone back to 
the Isles, where the Earls of Argyle and Athole pro- 
cured an interview between him and his father, the old 
Lord, thinking thereby to bring about a reconciliation. 
In this they were disappointed; and the breach was,, 
ere long, further widened, by the result of a sea-fight 
between the contending factions in the Isles, in which 
the adherents of John were routed with great loss by 
Angus and his followers. This conflict was fought in 
a bay in the Isle of Mull, near Tobermory, and is still 

Parliament, II. 115, 119. Reg. of Great Seal, VIII. 120. The son, 
however, did not long continue in obedience. 

1 MS. Histories of the Mackenzies. 


known in tradition as the battle of the Bloody Bay. 1 
Some time after this event, the Earl of Athole, who 
still remained in the west, crossed over privately to 
Isla, and carried off the infant son of 'Angus, called 
Donald Dubh, or the Black, whom he delivered into the 
hands of Argyle. The Islanders always maintained that 
this boy was the son of the young Lord of the Isles 
and of his wife, Argyle's daughter ; 2 but the legitimacy 
of the child was afterwards denied by the government, 
when, as we shall see, the Islanders brought him for- 
ward as heir to the Lordship. In the meantime, 
Donald Dubh was considered as a captive of great con- 
sequence, and was carefully guarded by Argyle in the 
Castle of Inchconnell in Lochow. The rage of Angus 
knew no bounds when he discovered by whom his child 
had been carried off. He summoned his adherents 
together, and sailing to the neighbourhood of Inver- 
lochy, there left his galleys, whilst, with a body of chosen 
warriors, he made a swift and secret march into the 
district of Athole, which he ravaged with fire and 
sword. His appearance was so unlocked for, that the 
inhabitants were unable to make effectual resistance to 
the Islesmen. The Earl of Athole and his Countess 
took refuge in the Chapel of St. Bride, to which sanc- 
tuary many of the country people likewise fled for refuge 
with their most valuable effects. The sanctuary, how- 
ever, was violated by the vindictive Islander, who 
returned to Lochaber, his followers loaded with plunder, 
and leading with him, as prisoners, the Earl and Countess 

1 Hugh Macdonald's MS; MS. Histories of the Macleods and 
Macleans ; Martin's Western Isles. 

2 Macvurich's MS., &c., &c. 


of Athole. 1 In the voyage from Lochaber to Isla, 
many of his war galleys were sunk, and much of his 
sacrilegious plunder lost, in a dreadful storm which he 
encountered. Such was the effect this circumstance 
produced upon the superstitious feelings of the turbu- 
lent heir of the Isles, that he soon liberated his prisoners, 
without even procuring, in return, the release of his son, 
which seems to have been originally his chief object in 
the expedition; and he, moreover, performed an igno- 
minious penance in the chapel which he had so lately 
desecrated. 2 His career was now drawing to a close. 
Happening to be at Inverness soon afterwards, on his 
Before wa j? as tradition bears, to attack his old enemy, 
A. D. 1490. Mackenzie, he was assassinated by an Irish 
harper. 3 Thus fell Angus, the son and heir of John, 
last Lord of the Isles. With all his violence, which 
appears to have verged upon insanity, he was a favour- 
ite with those of his own name, who, perhaps, flattered 
themselves that he was destined to regain all that had 
been lost by his father. The chronology of this por- 
tion of the history of the Isles is so very deficient, and 

1 Hugh Macdonald's MS. ; Ferrerius, p. 383 ; Bishop Lesley's 
History of Scotland, edit. 1830, p. 34 ; Tytler, IV., p. 195-6. The 
"Raid" of Athole has hitherto been, owing to an error of Ferrerius, 
dated in 1461, in place of about twenty years later. It has likewise 
been erroneously ascribed to John, Earl of Ross. Neither the 
Auchinleck Chronicle (a contemporary MS., embracing the year 
1461), nor the summons of treason against the Earl of Ross in 1475, 
make any allusion to this remarkable occurrence, which must, there- 
fore, have happened after the latter date. The Highland traditions 
uniformly ascribe it to Angus, and not to his father, in which they are 
undoubtedly correct. 

2 Ferrerius, Lesley, and Tytler, uli supra. 

3 Hugh Macdonald's and Macvurich's MS. 


the materials for supplying this deficiency are so scanty, 
that the author has not yet been able to assign a 
precise date to any of the events above narrated, from 
the quarrels of Angus with his father to his death at 
Inverness. The order in which they occurred has 
been adopted, after careful consideration of all the 
documents and traditions which bear upon this part of 
the history ; and it would appear that, whilst all these 
events happened after the year 1480, the latest of 
them (the death of Angus) must have occurred several 
years before 1490. 

The aged Lord of the Isles now resumed possession 
of his estates, from which he had been for some time ex- 
cluded by the unnatural violence of his eldest son, Angus; 
and as John, his remaining son, had died without issue, 
the rank of heir to the Lordship was now held by his 
nephew, Alexander of Lochalsh, son of his brother, 
Celestine. Some accounts say, that Lochalsh merely 
acted as guardian for the child Donald Dubh, who still 
remained a captive in Inchconnel; but this is hardly 
reconcilable with known facts. 1 He, apparently with 
the consent and approbation of his uncle, who seems 
now to have retired from active life, placed himself at 
the head of the vassals of the Isles, and, with their 
assistance, endeavoured, as it is said, to recover pos- 
session of the Earldom of Ross. As the districts of 
Lochalsh, Lochcarron, and Lochlproom, which Alexander 
inherited from his father, and which he now held as 

1 I allude particularly to a charter dated in 1492, and granted by 
John, Lord of the Isles, and Alexander de Insulis, Lord of Lochalsh, 
to John Maclean of Lochbuy, of the office of Bailliary of the south half 
of the Isle of Tiree; an office which formed no part of the patrimony of 
the house of Lochalsh. Lochbuy Ch. Chest. 


a Crown fief, lay in the Earldom of Ross, his influence 
there was greater than that of Angus of the Isles had 
been. Yet the only Crown vassal of the Earldom who 
joined him, was Hugh Rose, younger of Kilravock, 
whose father, at this time, was Keeper, under the Earl 
of Huntly, of the Castle of Ardmanach in Ross. 1 In 
the year 1491, a large body of Western Highlanders, 
composed of the Clanranald of Garmoran, the Clan- 
ranald of Lochaber, and the Clanchameron, under 
Alexander of Lochalsh, advanced from Lochaber into 
Badenoch, where they were joined by the Clanchattan. 
The latter tribe, which possessed lands both under the 
Lord of the Isles and the Earl of Huntly, was led by 
Farquhar Macintosh, the son and heir of the captain of 
the Clanchattan. From Badenoch the confederates 
marched to Inverness, where Farquhar Macintosh stormed 
and took the Royal Castle, in which he established a 
garrison ; and where the forces of the Highlanders 
were probably increased by the arrival of the young 
Baron of Kilravock and his followers. Proceeding 
to the north-east, the fertile lands belonging to Sir 
Alexander Urquhart, the Sheriff of Cromarty, were plun- 
dered, and a vast booty carried off by the Islanders and 
their associates. 2 It is probable that, at this time, Loch- 
alsh had divided his force into two parts, one being sent 
home with the booty already acquired, whilst with the 
other he proceeded to Strathconnan, for the purpose 
of ravaging the lands of the Mackenzies. The latter 
clan, under their chief, Kenneth, having assembled their 
forces, surprised and routed the invaders, who had en- 
camped near the river Connan, at a place called Park, 

1 Writs in Ch. Chest of Kilravock, ad tempus. 

2 Kilravock Writs and Acts of Lords of Council, ad tempus. 


whence the conflict has received the name of Blairne- 
park. Alexander of Lochalsh was wounded, and, as 
some say, taken prisoner in this battle, and his followers 
were expelled from Eoss. 1 The victors then proceeded 
to ravage the lands of Ardrnanach, and those belonging 
to William Munro of Foulis the former, because the 
young Baron of Kilravock, whose father was governor 
of that district, had assisted the other party ; the latter, 
probably because Munro, who joined neither party, was 
suspected of secretly favouring Lochalsh. So many ex- 
cesses were committed at this time by the Mackenzies, 
that the Earl of Huntly, Lieutenant of the North, was 
compelled (notwithstanding their services in repel- 
ling the invasion of the Macdonalds) to act against 
them as rebels and oppressors of the lieges. 2 Mean- 
while, the origin of these commotions did not escape 
the investigation of the government; and the result 
was, the final forfeiture of the Lordship of the Isles, 
and its annexation to the Crown. 

It does not appear, from the documents which we 
possess, how far the Lord of the Isles was himself impli- 
cated in the rebellious proceedings of his nephew. 3 It 
may be that his inability to keep the wild tribes of the 
West Highlands and Isles in proper subjection was his 
chief crime; and that the object of the government, in 
proceeding to his forfeiture, was, by breaking up the 
confederacy of the Islanders, to strengthen indirectly the 

1 MS. Histories of Mackenzies ; Sir Kobert Gordon's History 
of the family of Sutherland, p. 77 ; Hugh Macdonald's and Mac- 
vurich's MS. 

2 Kilravock Writs and Acts of Lords of Council, ad tempus. 

3 In 1481, the King of England appointed Commissioners to treat 
with " the Earl of Ross and Donald Gorme." Fcedera, XII. 140. 


Royal authority in these remote districts. The tenor of 
all the proceedings of Jarnes IV., connected with the 
final forfeiture of the Lordship of the Isles, leads to this 
conclusion. These proceedings will be considered at 
more length in their proper place. At present, we have 
only to record the fact, that, in the Parliament which 
sat in the month of May, 1493, John, fourth 
49j ' and last Lord of the Isles, was forfeited and 
deprived of his title and estates. 1 In the month of 
January following, he appeared in presence of the King, 
and went through the form of making a voluntary sur- 
render of his Lordship ; 2 after which he appears to have 
remained for some time in the King's household, in the 
receipt of a pension. 3 Finally, this aged nobleman 
retired to the Monastery of Paisley, a foundation which 
owed much to the pious liberality of himself and his 
ancestors. 4 Here he died, about the year 1498 ; and 
was interred, at his own request, in the tomb of his 
royal ancestor, King Robert II. 5 

Having thus traced the history of the great Lords of 
the Isles from their origin to the final forfeiture of their 
estates, it will be proper, before concluding this intro- 
ductory sketch, to notice briefly the vassal tribes that 
followed the banner of this powerful family. These 
may be divided into two classes. The first compre- 
hends those clans which boasted a male descent from 

1 The records of this Parliament are very defective, nor is the Act of 
Forfeiture preserved ; but some charters, granted soon afterwards, show 
that the forfeiture must have taken place at this time. 

2 Acts of Lords of Council. 

3 High Treasurer's Accounts, ad annum 1495. 

4 Chartulary of Paisley, pp. 125-6-7-8, 147, 156. 

5 Hugh Macdonald's MS. 


the family itself; the second includes the clans of other 
surnames. Most of the tribes alluded to became, by 
the policy of James IV., after the final forfeiture of their 
ancient line of Lords, independent of any superior but 
the Crown. It therefore becomes important, with refer- 
ence to the object of the present work, to trace the 
extent of the possessions of each clan, as well as its 
position, both geographically and politically, with 
respect to the others. 

In the first class are included, the house of Lochalsh, 
the house of Sleat, the Clan Ian Vor of Isla and Kin- 
tyre, the Clan Ranald of Lochaber, the Siol Gorrie, the 
Clan Ranald of Garmoran, the Clan Ian Abrach of 
Glenco, the Clan Ian of Ardnamurchan, and the Clan 
Allaster of Kintyre. 


Celestine, or, as he is called in tradition, Gillespick, 
of the Isles, second son of Alexander, Lord of the Isles 
and Earl of Ross, was the first of this family. He 
died in 1473, 1 and was succeeded by his only son, 
Alexander, whose insurrection, in 1491, led, as we have 
seen, to the forfeiture of the Lordship of the Isles. 
Besides the lands of Lochalsh, Lochcarron, and Loch- 
broom, in Ross, and those of Fernaoostrie, Creichmor, 
and others, in Sutherland, which they held of the Earl 
of Ross prior to 1476, and of the Crown afterwards, 
these chiefs were superiors, under the Lord of the 
Isles, of the lands of Lochiel in Lochaber. 2 In a 
charter of the year 1492, Alexander of Lochalsh styles 
himself likewise Lord of Lochiel. He was thus closely 

1 Macvurich's MS. 

2 Reg. of Great Seal, VI. 116 ; XIII. 203. 


connected with the Clanchaineron, to whose captain, 
Ewin Alanson, heritable keeper of his Castle of Strone 
in Lochcarron, he gave one of his sisters in marriage. l 
By his mother, Eyrivola, daughter of Lauchlan Bronach 
Maclean of Dowart, the Lord of Lochalsh was also nearly 
allied to the numerous and warlike Clan Gillean. 


This family, whose representative, Lord Macdonald, 
is now the undoubted heir-male of John, last Earl of 
Ross and Lord of the Isles, sprang from Hugh, third 
son of Alexander, Earl of Ross. In addition to Sleat 
in Sky, which he occupied, and from which he took his 
style, Hugh was nominal proprietor, under his brother, 
Earl John, of lands in Uist, Benbecula, and Garmoran, 2 
in the possession of which he was opposed by his rela- 
tions, the Clanranald of Garmoran. 3 His first wife 
was Fynvola, daughter of Alexander Macian of Ardna- 
murchan, by whom he had John, his heir, who died 
without issue. By his second wife, a lady of the Clan 
Gun, he had a son, Donald called Gallach, from being 
fostered by his mother's relations in Caithness who 
afterwards became the heir of the family, 4 and from 
whom the present Lord Macdonald is descended. 
Hugh of Sleat had several other sons, legitimate and 
illegitimate, whom we shall have occasion afterwards to 
notice. He appears to have survived the last forfeiture 

1 Hugh Macdonald's MS. 

2 Eeg. of Great Seal, XIII. 185, 336, 337 ; XIY. 141. 

3 Hugh Macdonald's MS. 

4 Ibid. In 1460, Hugh of Sleat, with William Macleod of Harris, 
and "the young gentlemen of the Isles," ravaged the Orkneys. 
Macvurich's and Hugh Macdonald's MS. I have nowhere else seen 


of his brother, the Lord of the Isles, and to have pro- 
cured a confirmation from the Crown of the 
lands which he previously held under his 
brother. The descendants of Hugh, who increased 
very rapidly in the sixteenth century, were known as 
the Clan Huistein, or children of Hugh, and sometimes 
as the Clandonald north. Their appellation of Clan- 
donald arose probably from this circumstance, that six 
successive chiefs of this clan, after John, the son of 
Hugh, bore the name of Donald; and the addition 
north, indicating their residence in Sky and North 
Uist, was adopted to distinguish them from the Clan 
Ian Vor of Isla and Kintyre, who were also called 
Clandonald. Since the extinction of the direct line of 
the family of the Isles in the middle of the sixteenth 
century, Macdonald of Sleat has always been styled in 
Gaelic, " MacDhonuill na'n Eilean," or, " Macdonald of 
the Isles." 1 


The founder of this powerful branch of the family 

of the Isles was John Mor, second son of "the 

"good John of Isla," and of Lady Margaret Stewart, 

daughter of King Robert II. John Mor received, 

from his brother, Donald, Lord of the Isles, large 

grants of land in Isla and Kintyre ; and he afterwards 

cir. A.D. increased his possessions, by his marriage 

HOO. Tflifa Marjory Bisset, heiress of the district 

of the Glens in the county of Antrim. 2 The footing 

any notice of this expedition, which seems to have been one of 
considerable importance. 

1 President Forbes' Memorial, 1745. 

2 Hugh Macdonald's and Macvurich's MS. 


which he thus obtained in Ulster was, in later times, 
improved by his successors. On the death of John, 
who, as above related, was murdered before 1427, 
by a certain James Campbell, he was succeeded by his 
eldest son, Donald, surnamed Ballock This is the 
chief who defeated the Earls of Mar and 
Caithness at Inverlochy; and who, having, 
by a stratagem, escaped the vengeance of King James 
I., took afterwards so prominent a part in the rebellions 
of John, Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles. His 
celebrity as a warrior, and the high rank he held, have 
led several historians into the error of calling him 
Donald, Lord of the Isles, a title which he never 
claimed. Donald Balloch, who had attained, before 
1475, the rank of knighthood, 1 survived the events of 
that and the following year. It is probable 
that, at this time, his lands in Kintyre being 
part of those resigned to the Crown were either 
retained in the King's hands, or bestowed upon a new 
vassal, unconnected with the family of the Isles. To 
Sir Donald succeeded his son, John, who did not long 
survive, and was succeeded by his son, another John, 
surnamed Cal7ianach 9 or warlike, 2 who was at the head 
of the Clan Ian Vor, when the Lordship of the Isles 
was finally forfeited by James IV. At this time the 
undisputed possessions of John Cathanach in Scotland, 
comprehended a great part of Isla, and some of the 
neighbouring Isles ; and he also maintained a claim 
of superiority over the remote district of Sunart, the 
origin of which has not been traced. 5 It is pro- 

1 Writ in Charter Chest of Cassilis, dated 8th October, 1475. 

2 Hugh Macdonald's and Macvurich's MS. 

3 Acts of Lords of Council, A.D. 1495. 


bable, too, that he and his clan possessed, by force, and 
without legal title, a portion of Kintyre. The matri- 
monial alliances of John Mor and his successors, down 
to John Cathanach, were all contracted in Ulster ; but, 
among those Scots who, during the fifteenth century, 
married daughters of the family, we find Roderick Mac- 
Alan of Moydert, chief of the Clanranald, Macdougall 
of Lorn, and Bannatyne of Kaimes. In addition to 
these notices of the Clan Ian Vor, it may be mentioned 
that, from Eanald Bane, a younger brother of Donald 
Balloch, sprang a race called the Clanranaldbane of 
Largie in Kintyre whose chieftain, or ceantigh, in 
1493, was Donald MacEanald Bane. This tribe, 
together with the Macallasters, Maceacherns, and 
Mackays, in Kintyre, and the Macneills of Gigha, 
became followers of the Clan Ian Vor, after the forfei- 
ture of the Lord of the Isles. The Clan Ian Vor was 
known also as Clandonald, from its celebrated chief, 
Donald Balloch ; whilst, to distinguish it from the race 
of Hugh of Sleat, the appellation Clandonald south 
was employed. The chiefs were usually styled Lords 
of Dunyveg (a castle in Isla) and the Glens. 1 


Alexander de Insulis, commonly called Allaster Car- 
rach, third son of John, Lord of the Isles, and Lady 
Margaret Stewart, was the first of this family. In an 
authentic deed of tho year 1398, he is styled " Magni- 
ficus vir et potens, Alexander de Insulis dominus de 

1 John Mor himself is so styled in a writ of the year 1400 ; Rotuli 
Scotise, II. 155. - He is frequently mentioned as an ally of the 
English, from 1389 to 1396; Fcedera, VII. 626, G39, 657, 716, 
777, 824. 


Lochaber." 1 He was forfeited for joining the insurrec- 
tion of the Islanders, under Donald Balloch, in 1431 ; 2 
and his lands, or a great part of them, were bestowed 
upon the Macintoshes, from whom his successors were 
never able to wrest the feudal possession. They con- 
tinued, however, to dwell in that part of Lochaber called, 
the Braes, sometimes as tenants of Macintosh, some- 
times by force, and without any legal right whatever. 
From Allaster MacAngus, the grandson of Allaster 
Carrach, this tribe received the appellation of Sliochd 
Allaster Vic Angus; 3 and from Ranald, the grandson 
of the second Allaster, it was afterwards named the 
Clanranald of Lochaber 4 an appellation which, in the 
course of the sixteenth century, nearly superseded the 
former. The chief, at the date of the forfeiture of the 
Lord of the Isles, was Donald, the elder brother of 
Allaster MacAngus. The later chiefs of this family 
were known as the Macranalds of Garragach and 
Keppoch. Their Gaelic title was "Mac Mhic Rao- 
nuill," i.e. } Mac Vic Ranald, or the son of Ranald's 
son. 5 


Of this tribe, whose ancestor was Godfrey, eldest son 
of John, Lord of the Isles, and Amie, the heiress of the 
Macruaries of Garmoran, little remains to be said. 

1 Chartulary of Moray, a record in which this chief is frequently 

2 Hugh Macdonald's MS. 

3 Supplication, Ewin Cameron of Lochiel to the Committee of 
Estates, 1650. 

4 Acts of Parliament, III. 467. 

5 President Forbes' Memorial, 1745. 


We have seen that Godfrey, under the style of Lord of 
Uist, dates a charter at his Castle of Elantirrim, in 
13S8; 1 and that, in 1427, his eldest son, Alexander or 
Allaster MacGorrie of Garmoran, was executed at In- 
verness by James I. 2 The latter had a son likewise 
named Allaster, who died in 1460, and who receives, 
from the seannachie that records his death, the title of 
Lord of North Uist. 3 From this time, although there 
were several descendants of Godfrey still in existence, 
the tribe fell into decay; the lands of Uist and Gar- 
moran being granted by John, Earl of Ross, to his 
brother, Hugh of Sleat, who, notwithstanding his charter, 
was kept out of possession by the Clanranald. 

the families of Moydert, Morar, Knoydert, and 

The history of Ranald, younger son of John, Lord 
of the Isles, and of the heiress of Macruari, has been 
already noticed, and need not here be repeated. 4 His 
descendants came, in time, to form the most numerous 
tribe of the Clandonald. During the whole of the 
fifteenth century, they seem to have been engaged in 
feuds regarding the lands which they occupied first 
with the Siol Gorrie, and, after the decay of that tribe, 
with Hugh of Sleat, from whose successor they suc- 
ceeded in acquiring a legal title to the disputed lands. 5 
Allan MacRuari, great-grandson of Ranald, and chief 
of the Clanranald, was one of the principal supporters 
of Angus, the young Lord of the Isles, at the battle of 

i Chartulary of Inchaffray. 2 Supra, p. 36. 

3 Macvurich's MS. 4 Supra, p. 29 to 31. 

5 Reg. of Great Seal, XIII. 336. 337 ; XIV. 337. 



the Bloody Bay; 1 and he likewise followed Alexander 
of Lochalsh. in his invasion of Ross and Cromarty, in 
1491, receiving a large share of the booty taken upon 
that occasion. 2 The Clanranald, being very prolific, 
were connected, by marriage, with almost every family 
of note in the Isles and adjacent Highlands. Contem- 
porary with Allan MacRuari, were John Macranald of 
Glengarry, Allan Macranald of Knoydert, and Angus 
JMacranald of Morar; being, next to himself, the leading 
men in the tribe. The possessions of the Clanranald 
seem, at this time, to have comprehended nearly the 
whole of Uist and Benbecula, the Lordship of Garmo- 
ran, and the north-west part of Lochaber; in addition 
to which, the district of Sunart was claimed by Allan 
MacRuari, as a tenant under John Cathanach of Isla. 3 
The style- usually borne by the chief of this clan was 
Macranald of Moydert, captain of the Clanranald; 
and, in Gaelic, "Mac Mhic Ailein/' i.e., Mac Vic 
Allan, or the son of Allan's son. Glengarry had the 
Gaelic style of " Mac Mhic Alasdair," i.e., Mac Vic 
Allaster, or the son of Alexander's son ; and Knoydert 
bore that of "Mac Ailein Mhic Ailein," i.e., Mac 
Allan Vic Allan, or, the son of Allan the son of Allan. 


The founder of this tribe was John, surnamed Fraoch, 
natural son of Angus Og of Isla, and brother of John, 
first Lord of the Isles. 4 His mother is said to have 
been a daughter of Dougall MacHenry, then the lead- 

1 Hugh Macdonald's MS. 

2 Acts of Lords of Council, A.D. 1494, et sequen. 

s Ibid, A. D. 1495. 4 Macvurich's MS. 


ing man in Glenco, 1 where John Fraoch afterwards 
settled as a vassal, under his brother, the Lord of the 
Isles, and where his descendants yet remain. The 
early history of this family is very obscure. One of 
them, probably from being fostered in Lochaber, 
acquired the surname of Abrach, which he transmitted 
to his posterity, who were known as the Clan Ian 
Abrach. 2 At the date of the last forfeiture of the 
Lord of the Isles, the head of this sept was an indivi- 
dual styled, in the records, " John of the Isles, alias 
Abrochson." 3 


The ancestor of this ancient branch of the Clan- 
donald was John, surnamed Sprangaich, or the Bold, 
younger son of Angus Mor of Isla. Angus the son of 
this John appears to have acquired Ardnamurchan in 
the reign of David II. In 1495 his descendant and 
representative, John Macian of Ardnamurchan, dis- 
puted the possession of the adjacent district of Sunart, 
with Allan Macruari of Moydert, who claimed it as 
tenant of John Cathanach of Isla. This John Macian 
likewise possessed some lands in Isla, Jura, and 
Mull. The chiefs of this family seem always to have 
held a high rank among the vassals of the Isles, prior 
to the forfeiture, and to have been connected, by mar- 
riage, with all the leading families. 4 

1 Hugh Macdonald's MS. 

2 Acts of Parliament, A.D. 1587 and 1594. 

3 Acts of Lords of Council. 

4 These particulars regarding the Macians of Ardnamurchan have 
been collected from the following sources : Genealogical MS. of 
the fifteenth century, printed in Collectanea de Kebus Albanicis, 
Vol. I. ; Dean Monro's Genealogies ; Ch. in Haddington's Collections, 




The Clan Allaster derived its descent from Alex- 
ander, or Allaster, son of Donald of Isla, the grandson 
of Somerled. 1 The possessions of this tribe appear to 
have been, from the first, in Kintyre, and were never 
very extensive. Its chieftain, in 1493, appears to have 
been John Dubh Macallaster; for, upwards of twenty 
years later, we find mention of Angus Macall aster of 
the Loupe, who is called " John Dubh's son." 2 After 
the forfeiture of the Lordship of the Isles, this family 
attached itself, for about a century, to the more power- 
ful Clan Ian Vor. Next to that of Loupe, the most 
important branch of the Macallasters, was the family of 
Tarbert, the head of which was Constable of the Castle 
of Tarbert on Loch Tyne side. 

The second class of the vassals of the Isles includes 
those clans not descended from the family in the male 
line, and bearing different surnames. Of these the 
most important are, the Clan Gillean, or Macleans, the 
Clan Leod, the Clan Chameron, the Clan Chattan, the 
Clan Neill, the Mackinnons, Macquarries, Macfies 
of Colonsay, Maceacherns of Killelan; and Mackays 
of Ugadale. 

At the date of the forfeiture of the Lordship of the 

cir. 1342 ; Acts of Lords of Council, 1495 ; Reg. of Great Seal, XIII. 
123 ; XIV. 307. 

1 Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 59. 

2 Reg. of the Privy Seal, A.D. 1515. A certain Charles Macallaster 
is mentioned as Stewart of Kintyre, A.D. 1481. Reg. of Great 
Seal, X. 9. 


Isles, this great clan was divided into four branches, 
independent of each other; by which is meant that 
each held of the Lord of the Isles, and that no one of 
them was feudal superior of the others. 

The first and most important branch, on account of 
the extent of its possessions, was that of Do wart. 
Lauchlan Maclean, surnamed Lubanach, the founder of 
the house of Dowart, married, in 1366, Margaret, 
daughter of the first marriage to John, first Lord of the 
Isles. 1 From John, and his successor, Donald, as Lords 
of the Isles, Lauchlan, and his son, Hector, received 
extensive possessions, both in the Isles and on the 
mainland. 2 The same Hector w r as a principal leader, 
under Donald of the Isles, at Harlaw, and lost his life 
in that battle. His great-grandson, another Hector, 
commanded the fleet of the Lord of the Isles at the 
battle of the Bloody Bay, where he was taken prisoner 
by the Clandonald. 3 He was the leader of his tribe at 
the time of the forfeiture in 1493, when his possessions 
appear to have comprehended a great part of the Isles 
of Mull and Tiree, with detached lands in the Isles of 
Isla, Jura, Scarba, &c., and in the districts of Morvern, 
Lochaber, and Knapdale. He was, moreover, heritable 
keeper of the following castles : Dowart, in Mull ; 
Carneburg, in the Treshinish Isles, off the north-west 
coast of Mull ; Dunconnell, in Scarba ; Dunkerd, in the 
Garveloch Isles, near Scarba ; and Isleborg, the locality 
of which is uncertain. Maclean of Dowart has generally 
been considered as the chief of all the Macleans. 

The second branch of the Macleans, in point of im- 
portance, was that of Lochbuy, sprung from Hector 

1 Dispens. quoted in A. Stewart's History of the Stewarts, p. 447. 

2 Keg. of Great Seal, XIII. 300. 3 Hugh Macdonald's MS. 


Reganach, brother of Lauchlan Lubanaeh. Hector 
was father of Murchard, whose great-grandson, John 
Maclean of Lochbuy, was at the head of this sept in 
1493. The nominal possessions of the family at that 
date comprehended lands in Mull, Tiree, Jura, Scarba, 
and Morvern, with the lands of Lochiel in Lochaber, 
and those of Duror and Glenco in Lorn. 1 The lands 
of Lochiel, originally possessed by the Clanchameron, 
had been granted, on the forfeiture of the chief of that 
clan, by Alexander, Earl of Ross, to John Maclean of 
Coll ; and were afterwards, for some reason which does 
not appear, conferred by John, Earl of Ross, upon 
Maclean of Lochbuy. 2 All the three families kept up 
their claims to the lands in question ; but the Clan- 
chameron were successful in retaining the prize ; and 
the Macleans, although they appealed to the sword, 
had little benefit from their charters to Lochiel. It is 
uncertain whether the Lord of Lochbuy was more suc- 
cessful in enforcing his claims to Duror and Glenco ; 
but, with these exceptions, he seems to have possessed 
the lands above-mentioned, free from interruption, up 
to the time of which we write. The house of Lochbuy 
has always maintained that, of the two brothers, Lauch- 
lan Lubanach and Hector Reganach, the latter was the 
senior ; but this is a point on which there is no certain 

The third branch of the Macleans was that of Coll, 
descended, like Dowart, from Lauchlan Lubanach, who 
was great-grandfather, it is said, of the fourth Laird of 
Dowart and the first Laird of Coll, they being bro- 

1 Reg. of Great Seal, XIII. 114, 115, 116. 
2 ArgyleWrits, A.D. 1461. 


thers. 1 John Maclean, surnamed Garve, the first of Coll, 
received that island and the lands of Quinish in Mull, 
from Alexander, Earl of Boss,, who afterwards, on the 
forfeiture of Cameron, gave to John Garve a charter of 
the lands of Lochiel. This led to feuds between the 
Macleans and the Camerons, which continued long, and 
in which much blood was shed ; but the Clanchameron 
in the end maintained their ground. At one time John, 
the son and successor of John Garve, occupied Lochiel 
by force, and was at last killed at Corpach by the 
Camerons. 2 His infant son, John, born in Lochaber, 
was saved by the good offices of the MacGillonies a 
tribe in Lochaber who generally followed the Clan- 
chameron and was afterwards known as John Abrach 
Maclean of Coll. 3 He was the representative of the 
family in 1493, and from him his successors adopted 
the patronymic, which is still applied to the Laird of 
Coll, of Maclan Abrach. 

The fourth branch of the Macleans, which held its 
lands direct from the Lord of the Isles, was that of 
Ardgour, descended from Donald, another son of 
Lauchlan, third Laird of Dowart. 4 Ardgour, which 
formerly belonged to a tribe named MacMaster, was 
conferred upon Donald, either by Alexander, Earl of 
Ross, or by his son, Earl John. Eugene, or Ewin, 
Donald's son, held the office of Seneschal of the House- 

1 It is disputed which brother was the senior. Without going into 
any details, I may state, that such evidence as I have seen tends to 
support the claim of the family of Coll to seniority, and to the conclu- 
sion, that the first Laird of Coll, whose mother was a Macleod of 
Harris, was disinherited, to make way for his half brother, Lauchlan 
Gig, whose mother was a daughter of the Earl of Mar. 

2 MS. Histories of Macleans and Camerons. 

3 Writ in Ch. Chest of Coll, A.D. 1529. 4 MS. Hist, of Macleans. 


hold to Earl John, in 1463 j 1 and the Laird of Ardgour, 
in 1493, was Lauchlan MacEwin Maclean. 

A tribe so numerous, and possessed of such extensive 
possessions as the Clan Gillean was, as might be ex- 
pected, allied by marriage to all the principal families 
of the Isles ; and its influence was, in this way, much 


This clan comprehended two leading tribes the Siol 
Torquil, or Macleods of Lewis, and the Siol Tormod, 
or Macleods of Harris. Although descended, accord- 
ing to tradition, from one common progenitor, Leod 
(whence their collective appellation of Clanleod), the 
Siol Torquil and Siol Tormod were, in fact, two power- 
ful clans, perfectly distinct and independent of each 
other. We commence with the Siol Torquil, as 
having been connected with the Lords of the Isles for 
a greater length of time than the other branch of the 

At the accession of David II., the islands of Lewis 
and Sky belonged to the Earl of Ross. 2 We have 
already noticed the first claim of John of Isla (after- 
wards Lord of the Isles) to these islands, founded on 
a grant by Edward Balliol ; and we have likewise seen 
that, when he made his peace with King David in 1344, 
this powerful chief had influence enough to retain Lewis, 
whilst Sky was restored to its former owner. From 
this time the Siol Torquil held Lewis as vassals of the 
house of Isla. In the same reign Torquil Macleod, 
chief of the tribe, had a royal grant of the lands of 

1 Reg. of Great Seal, VI. 67. 

2 Robertson's Index, p. 53, No. 20; p. 124, No. 26. 


Assint, in Sutherland. 1 These lands were, early in the 
fifteenth century, given in vassalage by Roderick Mac- 
leod of the Lewis, to his younger son, Tormod, ancestor 
of the Macleods of Assint. 2 The head of the Siol 
Torquil ^ in 1493, was another Roderick, grandson of 
the former, whose eldest son was mortally wounded 
fighting for the old Lord of the Isles, at the battle of 
the Bloody Bay, 3 and died without issue. Torquil, the 
second son, became heir of the Lewis, and married 
Katherine, daughter of Colin, Earl of Argyle, which 
shows that his family was then considered as one of 
great power and influence in the Isles. 4 The pos- 
sessions of the Siol Torquil were very extensive com- 
prehending the Isles of Lewis and Rasay, the district of 
Waterness, in Sky, and those of Assint, Cogeache, 
and Geiioch, on the mainland. 

Malcolm, son of Tormod Macleod, and head of the 
Siol Tormod, had, from David II., a charter of the 
lands of Glenelg, which he and his successors always 
held of the Crown. 5 But the principal possessions of 
these chiefs were, before the forfeiture in 1493, held 
under the Lord of the Isles, by whose predecessors they 
were acquired in the following manner. Harris, an 
island, or rather peninsula, adjacent to Lewis, belonged 
at an early period to the Macruaries of Garmoran and 
the North Isles, under whom the chief of the Siol Tor- 
mod appears to have possessed it. From this family 
the superiority of the North Isles passed, as we have 
already seen, to the house of Isla, by marriage; and 
thus Harris came to form a part of the Lordship of the 

1 Kobertson's Index, p. 100. 2 Latin Hist, of Macintoshes, MS. 
3 Hugh Macdonald's MS. * Eeg. of Great Seal, XIII. 377. 
5 Robertson's Index, p. 100. 


Isles. The Isle of Sky, in which the Siol Torrnod 
had large tracts of land, formed originally part of the 
Earldom of Ross, and likewise came to the family of 
the Isles by marriage, along with the Earldom. When, 
however, Ross was annexed to the Crown in 1476, Sky 
did not, as formerly, go along with that territory, but 
was left with the Lord of the Isles as an integral part 
of his Lordship. The districts in Sky held by the 
Siol Tormod under this nobleman, were, Dunvegan, 
Duirinish, Bracadale, Lyndale, Trouterness, and Minga- 
nish forming fully two-thirds of the island. 1 William 
Macleod of Harris, great-grandson of the above-men- 
tioned Malcolm, was one of the supporters of John, 
Lord of the Isles, in the disputes between the latter and 
Angus, his undutiful son; and was killed, fighting 
against Angus and the chiefs of the Clandonald,, at the 
battle of the Bloody Bay. 2 Alexander, commonly 
called Alias ter 'Or attach, or humpbacked, son of William, 
was at the head of the Siol Tormod in 1493. 

The Lords of Lewis and Harris held a high and 
equal rank among the vassals of the Isles,, and were 
allied by marriage to all the principal clans. In refer- 
ence to the tradition of their descent from a common 
ancestor, it deserves to be noticed that their armorial 
bearings were different that of Lewis being a burning 
Mount, that of Harris a Castle. 3 


This tribe, as far back as we can trace^ has had its seat 
in Lochaber, and appears to have been first connected 

1 Charter Chest of the family. 

2 Hugh Macdonald's MS. ; Hist, of Macleods of Harris, MS. 

3 Sir David Lindsay's Heraldry, Keg. Jac. V., and other Scottish 
Heraldic Works. 


with the house of Isla in the reign, of Robert Bruce, 
from whom Angus Og of Isla had a grant of Lochaber. 
There is reason to believe that the Clanchameron and 
Clanchattan had a common origin, and for some time 
followed one chief. 1 These tribes have, however, been 
separate ever since the middle of the fourteenth century, 
if not earlier. Tradition mentions Allan, surnamed 
MacOchtry, that is, the son of Uchtred, as the chief of 
the Camerons in the reign of Robert IL, at which time 
a deadly feud subsisted between them and the Clan- 
chattan, regarding the lands of Glenluy and Locharkaig, 
in Lochaber. From the same authority we learn that 
the Clanchameron and Clanchattan were the tribes 
between whom was fought the celebrated 
combat of thirty against thirty, in presence of 
King Robert III, at Perth. 2 Donald Dubh, probably 
grandson of Allan MacOchtry, led his clan at 
the battle of Harlaw. He and the captain 
of the Clanchattan, although they agreed in supporting 
James I., when that King was employed in reducing to 
obedience Alexander, Lord of the Isles, pur- 
sued their private quarrels without intermission. 
In the same year in which they deserted the Lord of the 
Isles and joined the Royal banner, these clans had a 
desperate encounter, in which both suffered great loss; 
but that of the Clanchameron was the most severe. 3 
Donald Dubh was present with the Royal forces 
at the battle of Inverlochy; after which his 
lands were ravaged by the victorious Islanders under 

1 John Major's History of Scotland, p. 302. 

2 MS. History of Camerons, introductory to the life of Sir Ewin 
Cameron of Lochiel. 

3 Bower, John Major, and other Scottish historians, ad tempus. 


Donald Balloch. On the liberation of Alexander, Lord 
of the Isles, that nobleman took the earliest opportunity 
of revenging himself upon the Clanchameron, for their 
desertion of him in 1429. Donald Dubh was forced 
to retire to Ireland, and his lands of Lochiel were 
afterwards bestowed on John Garve Maclean of Coll. 1 
We have seen that John, Earl of Ross, granted the 
same lands, at a later period, to John Maclean of 
Lochbuy, and again to Celestine, Lord of Lochalsh. 
It is natural to suppose that the Clanchameron, the 
actual occupants of Lochiel, would resist these various 
claims; and we know that John Maclean, the second 
Laird of Coll, having held the estate for a time by force, 
was at length killed by the Camerons, in Lochaber, 
which checked for a time the pretensions of the Clan 
Gillean. But, as the whole of that powerful tribe were 
now involved in the feud some from a desire to revenge 
the death of Coll, others from their obligations to sup- 
port the claim of Lochbuy the chief of the Camerons 
was forced to strengthen himself by acknowledging the 
claim of the Lord of Lochalsh. The latter immediately 
received Cameron as his vassal in Lochiel, and thus 
became bound to maintain him in possession against all 
who pretended to dispute his right to the estate. 2 We 
hear no more of the feud with the Macleans till after 
the final forfeiture of the Lord of the Isles, when cir- 
cumstances concurred to renew it with all its former 
violence. Allan, the son of the above-mentioned 
Donald Dublr, after becoming a vassal of Celestine of 
Lochalsh for his lands of Lochiel, was appointed herit- 
able Keeper of Celestine's Castle of Strone in Loch- 

1 Hugh Macdonald's MS., and MS. History of the Camerons. 
3 Reg. of Great Seal, XII. 203. 


carron. 1 By a lady of the family of Keppoch, 2 Allan had 
a son, Ewin, who was captain of the Clanchameron in 
1493, and became afterwards a chief of great note. 
Besides the lands of Lochiel, Glenluy, and Locharkaig, 
the Clanchameron occupied Glennevis, Mammore, and 
other lands in Lochaber. The most important followers 
of this tribe, at the end of the fifteenth century, were the 
Camerons or Macsoiiies of Glennevis, the Camerons or 
Macgillonies of Strone, and the Camerons or Mac- 
martins of Letterfinlay. These septs were all ancient 
families in Lochaber, and seem to have adopted the 
surname of Cameron, although not descended of the 
family. The Macgillonies had taken the part of the 
Macleans of Coll against the rest of the Clanchameron, 
and suffered severely in consequence, 3 but were after- 
wards reconciled to the latter. The chief of the Clan- 
chameron was generally known in the Highlands by his 
patronymical appellation of " Mac Dhonuill Duibh," i.e., 
MacConnel Duy, or the son of Black Donald. 


The original possessions of the Clan Chattan, who are 
said by some to have had a common origin with the 
Clanchameron, seem to have been in Lochaber. From 
this district, it is probable that the Clanchattan pro- 
ceeded to settle in Badenoch, on the forfeiture of the 
Comyns, in the reign of Eobert Bruce. Here the tribe 
became very numerous, and was divided into several 
branches; one of which, and the most important, the 

1 Reg. of Great Seal, XII. 203. 

2 Ibid. Her name was Mariot, daughter of Angus ; and her father 
was the son and heir of Allaster Carrach of Lochaber. 

3 MS. History of the Macleans of Coll. 


Macintoshes, kept up also a connection with Lochaber ; 
while the other branches were entirely confined to 
Badenoch. "William Macintosh the chief of this 
clan, received, in 1336, a grant of the lands 
of Glenluy and Locharkaig in Lochaber, from 
John of Isla, afterwards Lord of the Isles. 1 From 
this time a deadly feud prevailed between the Clan- 
chattan and Clanchameron regarding these lands, which 
lasted, with little intermission, for upwards of three 
hundred years. In the fifteenth century Malcolm 
Macintosh, then the chief, was involved in another 
feud with the descendants of Alexander of the Isles, 
Lord of Lochaber, the origin of which has been 
noticed in the account of the Clanranald of Lochaber, 
given above. This feud was kept up for more than 
two hundred years. Although this Malcolm had, 
along with the captain of the Clanchameron, deserted 
Alexander, Lord of the Isles, in 1429, he afterwards 
contrived to make his peace with that nobleman, from 
A. D. 1443- wnom h e received a confirmation of his lands 
1447- i n Lochaber, and a grant of the office of 
Bailliary of that district. Duncan, son of Malcolm, 
is styled, in 1467, Captain and Chief of the Clan- 
chattan. 2 He was in great favour with John, Earl of 
Ross, whose sister, Flora, he married; and his eldest son 
was Ferquhard, who engaged, during his father's life, in 
the insurrection of Alexander of Lochalsh in 1491, as 
has been already noticed. In addition to their lands 
in Lochaber, the captains of the Clanchattan had 
large possessions in Badenoch (in which district they 

1 Charter Chest of Macintosh, as quoted in the Latin MS. History 
of the family. 

2 Collectanea de Kebus Albanicis, Vol. I., p. 80. 


resided), which, from the middle of the fifteenth 
century, were held under the Lords of Gordon and 
Earls of Huntly ; so that their allegiance was divided 
between the latter and the Lords of the Isles. 


This tribe, like the Macleods, consisted of two inde- 
pendent branches, carrying different armorial bearings, 
and having but little connection with each other, yet 
said to be descended from brothers. These were the 
Clan Neill of Barra, and the Clan Neill of Gigha. 

Gilleonan, son of Roderick MacMurchard Macneill, 
had, from Alexander, Lord of the Isles, in 
427 ' 1427, a charter of the Isle of Barra, and of 
the lands of Boisdale in South Uist. 1 He was killed 
in Coll, by John Garve Maclean, with whom he disputed 
the possession of that island. 2 His son, or grandson, 
was at the battle of the Bloody Bay, and narrowly 
escaped falling into the hands of the victorious Clan- 
donald on that occasion. 3 Another Gilleonan, pro- 
bably grandson of the first, seems to have been chief 
of this sept in 1493. 4 

The first of the Macneills of Gigha of whom we have 
any certain account, is Hector MacTorquil Macneill, 
who was, in 1472, keeper of Castle Sweyn, in Knap- 
dale, under the Lord of the Isles. Malcolm Macneill of 
Gigha, probably his son, was chief of this sept in 149 3. 5 

It deserves to be noticed here, that, after the forfei- 
ture of the Lordship of the Isles, Macneill of Barra 

1 Reg. of Great Seal, XIII. 188. 

2 MS. History of Macleans of Coll. 3 Hugh Macdonald's MS. 

4 Gilleonan Macneill of Barra occurs in Record, A.D. 1515. 

5 Reg. of Great Seal, XIII. 203. Ch. in Ch. Chest of Lochbuy. 


followed Maclean of Dowart, while Macneill of Gigha 
followed Macdonald of Isla and Kintyre. When, there- 
fore, in the course of the sixteenth century, the Macleans 
and Macdonalds came to be at deadly feud,, and were 
constantly engaged in acts of hostility, the two septs of 
Macneills turned their swords against each other. This 
circumstance, joined to the difference in their armorial 
bearings, and to the fact that the Christian names used 
in the one family were, with a single exception (the 
name Neill), entirely unknown in the other, leads to the 
conclusion that the tradition of their common descent is 


The first authentic notice of this ancient 
tribe, is to be found in an indenture between 
the Lord of the Isles and the Lord of Lorn. The latter 
stipulates^, in surrendering to the Lord of the Isles the 
Island of Mull and other lands, that the keeping of the 
Castle of Kerneburg, in the Treshinish Isles, is not to 
be given to any of the race of Clan Finnon. 1 This 
proves that the Mackinnons were then connected with 
Mull. They originally possessed the district of Griban 
in that island, but exchanged it for the district of Mish- 
nish, being that part of Mull immediately to the north 
and west of Tobermory. They, likewise, possessed the 
lands of Strathordell in Sky, from which the chiefs 
usually took their style. Lauchlan Macfingon, or 
Mackinnon, chief of his clan, witnessed a charter by 
Donald, Lord of the Isles, in 1409. 2 The name of the 

1 Indenture printed in the Appendix to the second edition of 
Hailes' Annals of Scotland. 

2 Reg. of Great Seal, XILL 300. 


chief in 1493 is uncertain ; but Neil Mackinnon of 
Mishnish was at the head of the tribe in 1515. 1 After 
the forfeiture of the Lordship of the Isles, this family 
generally followed Maclean of Dowarfc ; but occasion- 
ally acted with the Macdonalds of Sky against the 


The first of this ancient tribe of whom we have any 
authentic notice, is John Macquarrie of Ulva, who died 
in 1473. 2 He had a son, Dunslaff Macquarrie of 
Ulva, who was chief of the Clan Guarie in 1493. 
This family possessed the island of Ulva and some 
adjacent lands in Mull, and followed Maclean of 
Dowart after the forfeiture of the Lordship of the 


Donald MacDuffie or Macfie of Colonsay witnessed 
a charter of John, Earl of Ross, in 1463. 3 The name 
of the chief of this sept in 1493 is uncertain. Murroch 
Macfie of Colonsay is mentioned in 1531. 4 The Clan 
Duffie, after the forfeiture of the Lordship of the Isles, 
followed the Macdonalds of Isla. 


This was an ancient tribe in Kintyre, which, after 
the forfeiture of the Lordship of the Isles, followed the 

1 Eeg of Privy Seal, A.D. 1515. 

2 Reg. of Great Seal, XXXI. 159. 

3 Reg. of Great Seal, VI. 17. 

4 Acts of Parliament, ad annum 1531. 


Macdonalds of Isla and Kintyre. Colin Maceachern 
of Killelan was head of this tribe in 1493. 1 


Gilchrist Maclniar Mackay had a grant of lands in 
Kintyre from King Eobert Bruce. 2 From him were 
descended the Mackays of Ugadale, who, after the 
forfeiture of the Lord of the Isles, attached themselves 
to the Macdonalds of Isla. They seem to have had no 
connection with the Mackays of Strathnaver. 3 

Such were the principal clans in the Lordship of the 
Isles at the date of the last forfeiture, in 1493, including 
those descended of the house of the Isles, and those of 
other surnames. They formed a large and attached 
body of vassals while the Lordship existed ; and they 
afterwards, as we shall presently see, made various 
unsuccessful attempts to procure the restoration of a title 
with which so many old recollections and traditions 
were connected. 

We have no space to notice in detail the MacJcenzies, 
Mwiroes, Rosses, Dingwalls, ITrquharts, and Eoses of 
KilravocJc, who, as vassals of the Earldom of Boss, 
were connected for about half a century with the Lord- 
ship of the Isles. The forfeiture of the Earldom in 
1476, made all these families independent of any supe- 
rior but the Crown ; and, after that time, the Clankenzie 
was the only one of them that exercised much influence 
in the Isles, which arose chiefly from the locality of its 

1 Reg. of Privy Seal, IV., p. 148. 

2 Ch. in Haddington's MS. Collections. 

3 See Genealogies printed in Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, Vol. I., 
p. 54, from a MS. of the fifteenth century. 


ancient possession of Kintaill, on the western coast of 
Ross, and adjacent to the Isle of Sky. Alexander 
Mackenzie of Kintaill received, in 1463, Strathgarve 
and many other lands, from John, Earl of Ross; 1 and 
he increased his possessions greatly by grants from the 
Crown, after the forfeiture of the Earldom. From this 
time the Clankenzie always opposed the Clandonald, 
and particularly such of the latter as possessed lands in 
Boss. 2 Kenneth, the son of Alexander, having divorced 
his wife, a daughter of the family of the Isles, was par- 
ticularly exposed to the resentment of her relations. 
It was he who routed Alexander of Lochalsh and his 
followers, at Blairnepark, in 1491 ; and he died soon 
after. Kenneth Oig, his son by the divorced wife, suc- 
ceeded him, and was chief of the clan in 1493. On his 
death, without issue, he was succeeded by his brother, 
John, whose mother was a daughter of the Lord Lovat. 
Of the other families in the West Highlands whose 
history in the sixteenth century is mixed up with that 
of the Islanders, the principal are, the Campbells, 
the Macdougalls, and the Stewarts of Appin. Of the 
two last, it is only necessary to say that they were,, in 
the end of the fifteenth century, vassals of the Earl of 
Argyle, in his Lordship of Lorn ; and that their respec- 
tive representatives, in 1493, were Alexander Mac- 
dougall of Dunolly, and Dougal Stewart of Appin. 
The former was descended from the old house of de 
Ergadia or Macdougall, Lords of Lorn ; and the latter 
was the natural son of the last Stewart, Lord of Lorn,, 
whose daughter carried that Lordship to the family of 

1 Dr. George Mackenzie's MS. History of the Mackenzie. 

2 All the genealogical histories agree in this. 


The ancient and distinguished family of ARGYLE, 
which was henceforth to exercise so great an influence 
over the West Highlands and Isles, owed much of its 
elevation to the same cause which first aggrandised the 
house of Isla. To the gratitude of Robert Bruce for 
his faithful services. Sir Neill Campbell of Lochawe was 
indebted for many grants out of the lands forfeited by 
the house of Lorn, the Comyns^ and other supporters of 
the Balliol party. The marriage of this baron with 
Lady Mary, the sister of his sovereign, attached the 
Campbells still more closely to the dynasty of Bruce ; 
and their fidelity was proved in the minority of David 
II. Early in the fifteenth century we find that Sir 
Duncan Campbell of Lochawe, afterwards first Lord 
Campbell, was accounted one of the most wealthy barons 
in Scotland. 1 Colin, first Earl of Argyle, Sir Duncan's 
grandson, acquired by marriage the extensive Lordship 
of Lorn, 2 and heldl for a long time the office of Chan- 
cellor of Scotland. In 1475 this nobleman was appointed 
to prosecute a decree of forfeiture against John, Earl of 
Ross, and Lord of the Isles ; 3 and, in 1481, he received 
a grant of many lands in Knap dale, along with the 
keeping of Castle Sweyn, which had formerly been held 
by the Lord of the Isles. 4 One of the daughters of 
Colin, Earl of Argyle, was married to Angus, the young 
Lord of the Isles, and was believed by the Islanders to 
have been the mother of Angus' son, Donald Dubh, 

1 Rymer's Fcedera, X. 302. 

2 There are some doubts as to the precise mode in which Argyle 
acquired Lorn ; for although he married one of the heiresses of line, 
the Lordship appears to have been entailed on heirs male. He soon, 
however, overcame all difficulties, and possessed the Lordship without 

3 Argyle Writs. 4 Reg. of Great Seal, IX. 


who, as we have seen, was imprisoned in the Castle of 
Inchconnell from his infancy. Another daughter of the 
Earl of Argyle was married to Torquil Macleod of the 
Lewis. Colin, first Earl, died in 1492, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son Archibald, second Earl. 1 It is 
obvious that the mode in which the forfeited lands of 
the Isles were disposed of by James IV. could not but 
be a matter of deep interest to this potent family;, 
which, by its talent and policy, soon acquired an in- 
fluence in the West nearly equal to what had been 
enjoyed by the Lords of the Isles in the height of their 
power. 2 

1 Histories of the family. 

2 The reader is requested to observe that, throughout this work, 
where a patronymic is printed thus " MacDonald" with a capital 
letter, it indicates that the individual mentioned was really the Son of 
Donald, or as the case may be. Where, on the other hand, a patro- 
nymic is printed without the capital letter, thus " Macdonald " it is 
merely a general surname, and does not indicate the precise parentage 
of the individual. 




IN the preceding introduction, the history of the West 
Highlands and Isles has been brought down to the period 
when, by the forfeiture of John, last Lord of the Isles, 
all the extensive possessions of that nobleman fell into 
the hands of the Crown. We now proceed to the proper 
object of the present work namely, the history of these 
districts during the reigns of James IV. and the three 
succeeding sovereigns of Scotland, This portion of 
Highland history has been selected for the following 
reasons : First, the Scottish historians of the sixteenth 
century, and their followers, have passed it over in a 
manner for which it is very difficult to account. Secondly, 
the national records, and other well-known sources of 
information, hitherto neglected as far as the Highlanders 
were concerned, supply ample materials for removing 
the obscurity which the negligence of former writers has, 
for such a length of time, thrown over the subject. 

The repeated rebellions of the Lords of the Isles, 
notwithstanding their propinquity to the Crown, and the 
pardons so frequently accorded to them, make it pro- 
bable that, on the occasion of the last for- 
493 ' feiture, it had been determined by the Govern- 


ment to take all necessary measures to prevent in future 
any single family acquiring an undue preponderance 
in the Isles. This desirable result was sought at first by 
means devised in a spirit of great moderation, and which 
showed the wisdom of the counsellors of the young King. 
The aged Lord of the Isles himself was, as we have 
seen, treated with great mildness, although deprived of 
his title and estates. 1 Immediately after the forfeiture 
of this powerful baron, James IV. proceeded in person 
to the West Highlands, to receive the submission of the 
vassals of the Lordship. 2 In this the King judged 
wisely; for experience had shown that the personal 
presence of the sovereign was nowhere attended with 
more marked effects than in the Highland portion of his 
dominions ; and that the inhabitants of these wild and 
almost inaccessible regions had so much respect for the 
royal dignity, that they would willingly render to the 
prince who should come in person to demand it, 
that obedience which the king's lieutenant, with a 
powerful army, might find himself unable to enforce. 
Alexander de Insulis of Lochalsh, John de Insulis 
of Isla, John Maclean of Lochbuy, and Duncan Mac- 
intosh, captain of the Clanchattan, were among 
the chiefs, formerly vassals of the Lord of the Isles, 
who came in this year to meet the King and make 
their submission to him. They appear to have re- 
ceived in return royal charters of all or most of the 
lands they had previously held under the Lord of the 
Isles, being thus made freeholders and independent of 

1 Introduction, p. 58. 

2 He granted a charter at Dunstaffnage, on the 18th August, and 
another at Mingarry, in Ardnamurchan, on the 25th October, 1-193. 
Keg. of Great Seal, XIII. 200, 104. 


any subject ; l and the two former were in such favour 
with the King that they received the honour of knight- 
hood. 2 Alexander of Lochalsh took the lead of the 
other Islanders, as having been the presumptive heir to 
the Lordship of the Isles previous to the forfeiture of 
his uncle ; and he received from the King a promise to 
secure all the free tenants of the Isles in their present 
holdings, 3 an engagement which at first seems to have 
been strictly adhered to. It must be allowed, that on 
this occasion the King displayed great lenity, particu- 
larly towards the knight of Lochalsh, who, as we have 
seen, was the principal leader of the insurrection which 
was the immediate cause of the forfeiture of the Lord- 
ship of the Isles. Matters having been thus arranged, 
the King took his departure for the Lowlands, resolving 
to return next year and complete what had been so 
well begun. 

As some of the more powerful vassals still delayed 

their submission, it became advisable that another 

expedition should be accompanied by such a display of 

military force as should effectually awe the disobedient. 

In the month of April the King was in the 

Isles, when he made preparations for a third 

visit, by repairing and garrisoning the Castle of Tarbert, 

one of the m-ost important points on the west coast. 

1 The Charters to Macintosh and Lochbuy are to be found in the 
Reg. of Great Seal, XIII. 96, 114, 115, 116. That the others had 
charters likewise (although not now extant), is inferred from the 
fact of their being knighted about this time, and from other circum- 

2 Acts of the Lords of Council, 5th July, 1494. Treasurer's Accounts, 
24th August, 1494. 

3 This promise is distinctly mentioned in several charters of the year 
1498. Eeg. of Great Seal, XIII. 336, 337. 


In the month of July he returned to Tarbert with a 
powerful force, so anxious was he to hasten the settle- 
ment of the Isles. 1 He then proceeded to seize the 
Castle of Dunaverty in South Kintyre, in which he 
placed a garrison, provided, like that at Tarbert, with 
artillery and skilful gunners. It will be recollected that 
the districts of Kin tyre and Knapdale were, in 1476, 
expressly resigned by the Lord of the Isles, along with 
the Earldom of Ross, to the Crown. A great portion 
of Kintyre had been held, under the Lord of the Isles, 
by Sir Donald de Insulis, surnamed Balloch of Isla, 
prior to this resignation, which deprived Sir Donald and 
his family of a very valuable possession. Whether Sir 
John of Isla, the grandson and representative of Sir 
Donald had, at the time he received knighthood, on 
the first visit of James IV. to the Isles, any hopes of 
the restoration of Kintyre, cannot now be ascertained. 
But it is certain that he was deeply offended at the step now 
taken, of placing a garrison in the Castle of Dunaverty; 
and he secretly collected his followers, determined to 
take the first opportunity of expelling the Eoyal garri- 
son and taking possession of the district of Kintyre. 
This opportunity was soon afforded to him. The King, 
not expecting opposition from this quarter, was prepar- 
ing to quit Kintyre, by sea, with his own personal atten- 
dants the bulk of his followers having previously been 
sent away on some other expedition when the chief of 
Isla, finding everything favourable for his attempt, 
stormed the castle, and hung the governor from the 
wall in the sight of the King and his fleet. 2 James, 

1 Treasurer's Accounts, April and July, 1494. 

2 The Treasurer's Accounts, under Angust, 1494, show that Sir John 
of the Isles was summoned, at that time, to answer for treason " in 


unable at the time to punish this daring rebel, took, 
nevertheless, such prompt measures for the vindication 
of his insulted authority, that ere long Sir John of 
Isla and four of his sons were apprehended in Isla by 
Macian of Ardnamurchan, and brought to Edinburgh. 
Here they were found guilty of high treason, and exe- 
cuted accordingly, on the Burrowmuir, their bodies 
being interred in the church of St. Anthony. Two 
surviving sons, who afterwards restored the fortunes of 
this family, fled to their Irish territory of the Glens, to 
escape the pursuit of Macian. 1 In the course of this 
year, likewise, two powerful chiefs, Roderick Macleod 
of the Lewis, and John Macian of Ardnamurchan, made 
their submission ; 2 and the activity displayed by the 
latter against the rebellious Islesmen soon procured him 
a large share of the Royal favour. 

In the following year, after extensive pre- 
parations for another expedition to the Isles, 
the King assembled -an army at Glasgow ; 3 and, on the 
18th of May, we find 'him at the Castle of Mingarry in 
Ardnamurchan, being the second time, within two years, 
that he had held his court in this remote castle. 4 John 
Huchonson ; or Hughson, of Sleat; Donald Angusson 
of Keppoch ; Allan MacRuari of Moydert, chief of the 

Kintyre." The precise act of treason is learned from a tradition well 
known in the Western Highlands. 

1 These particulars regarding the punishment inflicted on the chief 
of Isla and his sons, are derived from the MS. of Macvurich and 
Hugh Macdonald; corroborated by a charter from the King to Macian, 
dated 24th March, 1499, and preserved among the Argyle papers, reward- 
ing the latter for his services in apprehending Sir John, his sons, and 

2 Reg. of Great Seal, June, 1494, XIII. 128, 123. 

3 Treasurer's Accts., 1494-5. 4 Reg. of Great Seal, XIII. 179. 


Clanranald ; Hector Maclean of Dowart, Ewin Allanson 
of Lochiel, captain of the Clanchameron; and Gilleo- 
nan Macneill of Barra, seem to have made their sub- 
mission, in consequence of this expedition. 1 In this 
year, too, Kenneth Oig Mackenzie of Kintaill, and 
Farquhar Macintosh, son and heir of the captain of the 
Clanchattan, were imprisoned, by the King, in the Castle 
of Edinburgh. This may have been partly owing to 
their lawless conduct in 1491 ; but was, more probably, 
caused by a dread of their influence among the Islanders 
for the mothers of these powerful chiefs were each 
the daughters of an Earl of Ross, Lord of the Isles. 2 
The measures now taken by the King were, soon after, 
followed up by an important act of the Lords 
of Council, which merits particular notice. 
This act provided, in reference to civil actions against 
the Islanders of which a considerable number were 
then in preparation that the chief of every clan should 
be answerable for the due execution of summonses and 
other writs against those of his own tribe, under the 
penalty of being made liable himself to the party bring- 
ing the action. 3 This, although undoubtedly a strong 
measure, was, in all probability, rendered necessary by 
the disturbed state of the Isles after so many rebellions, 
and could hardly fail to produce a beneficial effect ; for, 
in these wild and remote districts, the officers of the law 
could not perform their necessary duties in safety, with- 
out the assistance of a large military force. At the 
same time that this important regulation was made, five 

1 Reg. of Great Seal, 1495, XIII. 150, 300, 203, 188. 

2 MS. Histories of Mackenzie and Macintoshes. See also Intro- 
duction to the present work, p. 83. 

8 Acts of the Lords of Council, VII., fo. 39. 


chiefs of rank viz.. Hector Maclean of Dowart, John 
Macian of Ardnamurchan, Allan MacRuari of Moydert, 
Ewin Allanson of Lochiel, and Donald Angusson of 
Keppoch appearing before the Lords of Council, bound 
themselves, " by the extension of their hands/' to the 
Earl of Argyle, on behalf of the King, to abstain from 
mutual injuries and molestation, each under a penalty 
of five hundred pounds. 1 Such were the steps taken 
by the King and Council to introduce, at this time, law 
and order into the remote Highlands and Isles. 

The active share taken by King James in 
supporting the pretensions of Perkin War- 
beck withdrew his attention, for a time, from the state 
of the "Western Isles, and seems to have given oppor- 
tunity for a new insurrection which, however, was 
suppressed without the necessity for another Royal 
expedition. Sir Alexander of Lochalsh whether with 
the intention of claiming the Earldom of Ross, or of 
revenging himself on the Mackenzies for his former 
defeat at Blairnepark, is uncertain invaded the more 
fertile districts of Ross in a hostile manner. He was 
encountered by the Mackenzies and Munroes, at a place 
called Drumchatt, where, after a sharp skirmish ,, he and 
his followers were again routed and driven out of Ross. 2 
After this event, the knight of Lochalsh proceeded 
southward among the Isles, endeavouring to rouse the 
Islanders to arms in his behalf, but without success 
owing, probably, to the terror produced by the execution 
of Sir John of Isla and his sons. Meantime, Macian 
of Ardnamurchan, judging this 1 a proper opportunity of 

1 Acts of the Lords of Council, VII., fo. 39. 

2 Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 77 ; Macvurich's MS. ; Hugh 
Macdonald's MS. 

1497.] HIS DEATH. 93 

doing an acceptable service to the King, surprised 
Lochalsh in the island of Oransay, whither he had 
retreated, and put him to death. In this Macian was 
assisted, according to tradition, by Alexander, the eldest 
surviving son of John of Isla, with whom he had con- 
trived to effect a reconciliation, and to whom he had 
given his daughter in marriage. 1 Sir Alexander of 
Lochalsh left both sons and daughters, who afterwards 
fell into the King's hands, and of whom we shall have 
occasion to speak in the sequel. About the same time 
as the unsuccessful insurrection of which we have just 
spoken, the chiefs of Mackenzie and Macintosh made 
their escape from Edinburgh Castle ; but, on their way 
to the Highlands, they were treacherously seized at the 
Torwood by the Laird of Buchanan. Mackenzie hav- 
ing offered resistance was slain, and his head, along 
with Macintosh, who was taken alive, was presented to 
the King, by Buchanan. The latter was rewarded, and 
Macintosh returned to his dungeon, where he remained 
till after the battle of Flodden. 2 

In the summer of 1498, King James, still intent upon 
preserving and extending his influence in the Isles^ held 
his court at a new castle he had caused to be erected 
in South Kintyre, at the head of Loch Kilkerran, 3 now 
called the Bay of Gampbellton. Alexander Macleod 
of Harris, or Dunvegan, and Torquil Macleod, now 
(by the death of his father Roderick) Lord of the Lewis, 
paid their homage to the King on this occasion ; and 

1 Macvurich's MS. ; Hugh Macdonald's MS. 

2 MS. Histories of Mackenzies and Macintoshes. 

s On the 15th June the King was at Stirling, and on the 28th of 
that month, and the 3d and 5th of August, he dated charters "apud 
novum castrum in Kintyre. " Reg. of Great Seal. 


some steps were taken to suppress the feud between 
the Clanhuistein of Sleat and the Clanranald of Moy- 
dert, regarding the lands of Garmoran and Uist. 1 The 
King soon afterwards returned to the Lowlands, leaving, 
as he imagined, the Isles and West Highlands in a state 
of tranquillity not likely soon to be disturbed. A few 
months, however, sufficed to produce a wonderful change 
in the relations between the King and his subjects in the 
Isles. The cause of this change remains involved in 
obscurity; but it must have been powerful, to induce so 
sudden and total a departure from the lenient measures 
hitherto pursued, and to cause the King to violate his 
solemn promise, by revoking all the charters granted by 
him to the vassals of the Isles during the last five years. 2 
The new line of policy was no sooner dertermined on than 
followed up with the wonted vigour of the Sovereign. 
We find him at Tarbert in the month of April, 
when he gave commission to Archibald, Earl 
of Argyle, and others, for letting on lease, for the term 
of three years, the entire Lordship of the Isles as pos- 
sessed by the last Lord, both in the Isles and on the 
mainland, excepting only the island of Isla, and the 
lands of North and South Kintyre. 3 Argyle received 
also a commission of Lieutenandry, with the fullest 
powers, over the Lordship of the Isles; and, some 
months later, was appointed Keeper of the Castle of 
Tarbert, and Bailie and Governor of the King's lands in 
Knapdale. 4 Argyle was not, however, the only indivi- 

1 Reg. of Great Seal, XIII. 305, 336, 337, 338, 377. 

2 The King's general parliamentary revocation of all charters granted 
in his minority could not affect those of the Islanders, which seem all 
to have been granted after his attaining majority. 

3 Reg. of Privy. Seal, I., fo. 3. 4 Ibid, fo. 122, 108. 


dual who benefited by this change of measures. Alex- 
ander, Lord of Gordon., eldest son of the Earl 
of Huntly, received a grant of numerous lands 
in Lochaber, formerly belonging to the Lordship of the 
Isles. 1 Upon Duncan Stewart of Appin, who was much 
employed in the Royal service, were bestowed the lands 
of Duror and Glenco during the King's pleasure. 2 
The important services of Macian of Ardnamurchan 
(who alone of all the Islanders seems to have retained 
the favour of his Sovereign), were likewise suitably 
acknowledged. 3 

About this time, the feud which had so long subsisted 
between the Macleans and Camerons, regarding the 
lands of Lochiel, 4 broke out with renewed violence. 
The Macleans carried off a large prey of cattle from the 
lands of the Clanchameron in Lochaber an injury which 
the latter, doubtless, did not suffer long to pass unre- 
quited. These broils were ended for the time, probably 
by the influence of Argyle; and the Macleans, who 
appear to have been the aggressors, received a temporary 
respite under the Privy Seal. 5 

Meantime, all the necessary legal steps 

A. D. 1501. i 4- 

were taken preparatory to the expulsion of 
many of the vassals of the old Lordship of the Isles 
from their possessions. 6 The imminent danger in 
which they now found themselves, joined to the escape 
from prison and appearance amongst them of Donald 
Dubh, whom they regarded as their hereditary Lord, 
forced the Islanders into a combination, which sooii 

1 Reg. of Great Seal, XII. 422. 2 Reg. of Privy Seal, I., fo. 99. 

3 Royal charter among the Argyle Writs, 29th March, 1499. 

4 Introduction, p. 70, 76. 5 Reg. of Privy Seal, I., fo. 114, 115. 
6 Acts of the Lords of Council, XL, fo. 13. 


became formidable. The claims of Donald Dubh 
to represent the family of the Isles have been already 
stated; 1 and, as they seem to have been, to a certain 
extent, acknowledged by those who had, from his birth, 
detained him in a rigorous confinement, it is not 
surprising that the feelings of the Islanders should 
have been enlisted in his favour. On his liberation 
from his dungeon in the Castle of Inchconnel, which 
he owed to the gallantry and fidelity of the men of 
Glenco, 2 Donald Dubh repaired to the Isle of Lewis, 
and put himself under the protection of its Lord, 
Torquil Macleod, by whom his cause was warmly 
embraced. This powerful chief having married Kathe- 
rine, daughter of the first Earl of Argyle, his opinion 
as to the legitimacy of Donald Dubh whose mother 
was, according to the universal belief of the Islanders, 
a sister of that lady must have had great weight with 
the other :llebridean chiefs and their followers. The 
adherents of Donald, therefore, increased daily. 

As the King was in constant communication with the 
Earl of Argyle, with Macian of Ardnamurchan, and 
Stewart of Appin, 3 he did not long remain in ignorance 
of the escape of Donald Dubh, and of its effect upon 
the discontented chiefs of the West Highlands and 
Isles. In order, probably, to check any insurrectionary 
movements in Lochaber and the neighbouring districts, 
the Earl of Huntly was sent to that quarter with in- 
structions to collect the Crown rents by force, if neces- 
sary. 4 Torquil Macleod was charged, under the 

1 Introduction, p. 53. 

2 Macvurich's MS. ; Hugh Macdonald's MS. 
s Treasurer's Accounts, ad tempus. 

4 Keg. of Privy Seal, II., fo. 61. 


penalty of treason, to deliver up the person of Donald, the 
bastard son of the late Angus of the Isles, who is de- 
scribed as being at Macleod's "rule and governance ;" 
and having failed to obey this mandate, he was formally 
denounced a rebel, his lands being at the same time 
forfeited. 1 A commission was afterwards 
given to the Earl of Huntly, the Lord Lovat, 
and William Munro of Fowlis, to proceed to Lochaber 
and let the King's lands of Lochaber and Mamore, for 
the space of five years, to true men. At the same time 
the commissioners had strict injunctions to expel all 
broken men from these districts, which, in the state of 
affairs at that time, was equivalent to an order to expel 
the whole population. Similar directions were given 
relative to the lands forfeited by Macleod of Lewis. 2 
The only ascertained result of this commission was a 
grant, during the King's pleasure, of the lands of 
Mamore to Duncan Stewart of Appin, who was then 
actively employed in the Isles. 3 Many efforts were 
made by the King to break up the confederacy of the 
Islanders. His exertions were principally directed to 
winning over Ewin Allanson of Lochiel, and Lauchlan 
Maclean of Dowart. But although these powerful 
chiefs entered into communication with their Sove- 
reign, and one or both of them came to Court to follow 
up their negotiations, 4 yet, on their return to the 
Highlands, they seem to have lost sight of every- 
thing except the duty by which they fancied themselves 
bound to support the claims of the alleged heir of 

1 Acts of the Lords of Council, XII., fo. 123. 

2 Reg. of Privy Seal, II., fo. 108. 3 Ibid, fo. 84. 

4 Treasurer's Accounts. Keg. of Privy Seal, II., fo. 96. 



At length the insurrection, which seems to 
have been for some time apprehended, broke 
out. It commenced by an irruption of the Islanders 
and western clans, under their new leader, Donald 
Dubh, into the district of Badenoch, which was plun- 
dered and wasted with fire and sword, about the time of 
the festival of Christmas, in 1503. 1 As Badenoch be- 
longed to the Earl of Huntly, and was inhabited chiefly 
by the Clanchattan, who followed that nobleman in his 
attempts to reduce Lochaber to obedience, we can easily 
understand how the attacks of the insurgents came first 
to be directed against this district. The rebellion thus 
begun, soon became so formidable that the attention of 
Parliament was necessarily drawn to the most effectual 
means of suppressing it; nor was this found to be an 
easy task. The array of the whole king- 
dom, north of Forth and Clyde, was called 
out; whilst the Earls of Argyle, Huntly, 2 Craw- 
ford, and Marischall, and the Lord .Lovat, with other 
powerful barons, were charged to lead this force against 
the Islanders. Huntly undertook to seize and garrison 
the castles of Strone in Lochcarron, and Elandonan in 
Kintaill, as being "rycht necessar for the danting of the 
His," provided the artillery and ammunition ' necessary 
for besieging them were sent, by sea, at his Majesty's 
charge. Letters were directed to be written to many of 
the principal chiefs in the Isles, enjoining them to con- 
cur with the other forces sent against the rebels, offering 

1 Acts of Parliament of Scotland, II. 263. 

2 Alexander, third Earl of Huntly, succeeded his father in 1502. 
He had, 14th August, 1503, a charter of the lands of Mamore in 
Lochaber, previously held by Stewart of Appin, during the King's 
pleasure. Eeg. of Privy Seal, II, fo. 84, 107. 


high rewards to such as should apprehend any of the 
insurgents, and denouncing the penalties of treason 
against such as should assist the latter. The state of 
the castles of Inverlochy, Dunaverty, and Lochkil- 
kerran the two first of which seem to have been 
ruinous, while the last was as yet unfinished occupied 
likewise the attention of Parliament; and measures 
were adopted for invading the disturbed districts by sea 
as well as by land. Lauchlan Maclean of Dowart, and 
Ewin Allanson of Lochiel, who were the foremost to 
join Macleod of the Lewis in proclaiming Donald Dubh 
Lord of the Isles, were forfeited as traitors ; but, in spite 
of all the efforts of Parliament, the insurrection con- 
tinued for a while to gather strength. John Maclean 
of Lochbuy, Dunslaff Macquarrie of Ulva, Gilleonan 
Macneill of Barra, and Donald Macranaldbane of 
Largie, were summoned to answer for their treasonable 
support given to the rebels, who appear also to have 
sought assistance both from England and Ireland. 1 

The Government, at the same time that these warlike 
preparations were made, occupied itself in introducing 
various important changes in the distribution of the 
Isles and remote Highlands, with reference to the ad- 
ministration of justice, which had, for many years, been 
so. little attended to, that the habits of the people had 
become very wild and disorderly. To remedy this evil, 
which had, in a great measure, arisen from the great 
extent of the ancient sheriffdoras, the following legal 
divisions of the Highlands and Isles were sanctioned by 
Act of Parliament. A Justiciar or Sheriff was to be 
appointed for the North Isles, and a similar functionary 

1 Acts of Parliament, II. 240, et sequen. commencing in March, 


for the South Isles. The court of the former was to 
be held at Inverness or Dingwall, and that of the latter 
at Tarbert or Lochkilkerran. 1 The inhabitants of 
Duror and Glenco, and all the Lordship of Lorn, were 
to attend the Justice Air or Circuit Court of Perth ; 
those of Mamore and Lochaber, the Justice Air of In- 
verness. The Justice Air of Argyle Proper was to be 
held at Perth, if the King should desire ; so that High- 
landers and Lowlanders might have equal facility in 
obtaining justice. It was further enacted, that that 
part of Cowal which was not comprehended within the 
Earl of Argyle's heritable jurisdiction, should be 
included in the Justice Air of Dunbarton; that the 
Justice Air of Bute, Arran, Knapdale, Kintyre, and 
Mekill Cumray, might, at the King's pleasure, be 
holden either at Rothsay or at the burgh of Ayr ; and 
that there should be appointed a Sheriff of Ross, whose 
courts were to be held, according to the exigency of the 
case, either at Tain or at Dingwall. 2 

Notwithstanding the labours of Parliament, and 
the great preparations made for suppressing the 
rebellion in the Isles, two years elapsed before it 
was finally quelled. Our information does not enable 
us to trace regularly the progress of the Royal forces ; 
but a few detached notices have been preserved, which 
possess considerable interest. From them we learn 
that the southern division of the Royal army had its 
rendezvous at Dunbarton, in April, 1504 ; and that, 
from this place, artillery and warlike stores of all kinds, 
including "gun stanes," or stone bullets, were despatched 

1 A Sheriffdom of Tarbert had been nominally established, at least 
as early as 1480. Reg. of Great Seal, IX. 47. 

2 Acts of Parliament, II. 241, 249. 


for the siege of Carneburg, a strong fort on a small 
isolated rock, near the west coast of Mull. In this year, 
likewise, the Earl of Arran had two commissions against 
the Isles ; and the Earl of Argyle, Macian of Ardna- 
murchan, and Macleod of Harris or Dunvegan, were in 
constant communication with the King, who did not 
himself proceed to the Isles with this expedition. The 
northern division of the army was commanded by Huntly, 
who probably besieged and took the castles of Strone 
and Elandonan. Owing, however, to the obstacles pre- 
sented by the great extent of country, both mainland 
and insular, which it was necessary to occupy for the 
effectual crushing of so formidable a rebellion, little 
progress could be made in one campaign. In the next 
year, the Isles were again invaded ; from the 
south by the King in person, and from the 
north by Huntly, who made several prisoners, but none 
of them of high rank. 1 These persevering efforts, on the 
part of Government, had, at length, the effect of dissolv- 
ing the confederacy of the Islanders, and procuring the 
submission of the chief leaders. Maclean of Dowart 
set this example ; which was followed, after a time, by 
Maclean of Lochbuy, and Donald Macranaldbane of 
Largie. 2 The submission of Dowart implied that of 
Macneill of Barra, and Macquarrie of Ulva, two chiefs 
who, since the fall of the Lord of the Isles, had followed 
the banner of their powerful neighbours, the Macleans; 

1 Treasurer's Accounts, A.D. 1504-5. In these various expedi- 
tions the Royal navy was much employed under Sir Andrew Wood 
and Robert Barton ; but we have no detail of the services of these 
distinguished officers in the Isles. 

3 Reg. of Privy Seal, III., fo. 1, 27 ; Treasurer's Accounts, ad 
tempus ; Acts of Parl., II. 263, et sequen. ; Acts of Lords of Council, 
XVIII., parti., fo. 40. 


so that the force of the insurgents was now completely 
broken. Ranald Allanson, also, the heir of the chief of 
Clanranald, was now in high favour at Court, and seems, 
at this time, to have brought the feud of his family with 
the Clanhuistein of Sleat to a successful issue. 1 Tor- 
quil Macleod of the Lewis, and others, who probably 
despaired of pardon, still held out, and a third 
campaign was thus rendered necessary. Mac- 
leod was solemnly forfeited in Parliament for not appear- 
ing to stand his trial for high treason ; 2 and, in order to 
execute this sentence, and to complete the dispersion of 
the rebels, the Earl of Huntly again proceeded to the 
North Isles. The Castle of Stornoway in Lewis was 
besieged and taken, and the whole island reduced to 
obedience ; but the fate of its Lord is uncertain. Y 
Mackay of Strathnaver, who, with his clan, was of much 
service in this expedition, was rewarded by a liferent 
grant of the lands of Assint and Cogeach, forfeited by 
the rebel Macleod. 3 But although this tedious rebellion 
was at length suppressed, it does not appear that the 
projects of the Government for expelling the old inhabi- 
tants from the Lordship of the Isles, and substituting 
"true men" in their room, had made any sensible 
progress. On the contrary, the clans of the Isles 
and adjacent coasts continued to occupy, many of 
them, perhaps, contrary to law, their ancient posses- 
sions. Donald Dubh, the alleged heir of the Isles, 
for whose sake the Hebridean chiefs had made such 
sacrifices, again became a prisoner, and was committed 

1 Keg. of Gr. Seal, XIV. 141 ; Reg. of Cr. Rentals, A.D. 1505. 

2 Acts of Parliament, II. 263. 

s Treasurer's Accounts, A.D. 1506. Reg. of Great Seal, XIV. 


to the Castle of Edinburgh/ where he remained 
until he made his escape a second time, nearly forty 
years after this period, under the Regency of the Earl 
of Arran. That event, as we shall see in the course of 
the present work, caused the faithful Islanders once 
more to rally round this unfortunate nobleman, the last 
male in the direct line of his ancient house. 
A.D. 1507- During the late rebellion the fury of the 
I ^- insurgents had been particularly directed 
against the lands of the Clanchattan as vassals of the 
Earl of Huntly, and of the Stewarts of Appin, who fol- 
lowed the Earl of Argyle. The former clan were more 
particularly obnoxious, as having, in order to save the 
life of their captive chief, 2 shaken off all connection 
with the other vassals of the Isles, anjd>* as still 
claiming extensive possessions in the heart of Lochaber. 
The Stewarts of Appin, under the protection of the 
Earl of Argyle, and by the favour of their Sovereign, 
daily encroached upon the Lordship of the Isles from 
the other side. It is not wonderful, then, that the 
Clanchattan, whose lands of Glenluy and Lochar- 
kaig in Lochaber had been for some years forcibly 
occupied by the Clanchameron without acknowledg- 
ment, 3 should have suffered severely from the plunder 
and devastation of the lands of Badenoch by the 
rebels; whilst Appin, and other lands possessed by -the 
Stewarts, likewise felt the effects of a Highland inroad. 
The feuds which, in former times, would have con- 
tinued for generations between the injured parties and 

1 Treasurer's Accounts, A.D. 1522-3. 

2 Farquhar Macintosh, captain of the Clanchattan, who had been 
a State prisoner since the year 1495. 

3 Since 1497 ; Acts of the Lords of Council, XVII., fo. 76. 


the aggressors were now, by the influence of the King 
and of the Earls of Huntly and Argyle, settled by 
decisions of the Lords of Council, or of arbiters chosen 
by the parties themselves. 1 

The King was not, however, content with merely 
causing the laws to be obeyed a result which might be 
produced more by a dread of the Royal arms, than by 
a sense of the benefits likely to flow from the introduc- 
tion of order. He laboured to introduce a knowledge 
of the laws of Scotland into the Highlands by means of 
Highlanders. There is yet extant a gift of Crown 
lands in the Isle of Sky, bestowed by James IV. upon 
an individual named Kenneth Williamson, to support 
him at the schools, with a view to his studying and 
making himself master of the laws of Scotland, and of after- 
wards practising as alawyer within thebounds of the Isles, 2 
Although during the remainder of this reign, justice 
seems to have been dispensed with impartiality in all 
parts of the kingdom, yet we have to regret that the 
unsettled state of Scotland, during the three long 
minorities which occurred between the death of James 
IV. and the close of the sixteenth century, afforded but 
too many opportunities to the turbulent clans of the 
Highlands to relapse into the same lawless state from 
which that monarch had so earnestly and so successfully 
endeavoured to reclaim them. 

The Royal authority was now so well established, and 
the King himself was so popular among the Islanders, 
that from the suppression of the insurrection in 1506, 
to the disastrous battle of Flodden in 1513, the West 

1 Acts of the Lords of Council, XIX., fo. 174 ; XX., fo. 104, 189, 
237 ; XXIV., fo. 152-7-9 ; Reg. of Great Seal, XVI. 1. 

2 Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I, p. 22. 


Highlands and Isles seem to have been free from any 
serious disturbance. The appointment of the Earl of 
Huntly, whose services had been of such importance, 
to the heritable Sheriffship of Inverness, did much to 
extend the Royal authority in the North and West High- 
lands. That extensive jurisdiction embraced the shires 
of Inverness, Ross, and Caithness ; and Huntly was now 
empowered to appoint deputies for certain specified 
divisions of his sheriffdoni. These deputies were to hold 
their courts respectively at Kingussie, for the district of 
Badenoch; at Inverlochy, for that of Lochaber; at 
Tain or Dingwall, for Ross; and at Wick, for Caith- 
ness. In addition to this important office, Huntly was 
appointed Governor of the Castle of Inverness, with 
a large grant of lands for the support of a garrison. 
Power was given to him to add to the fortifications; 
and he was at the same time bound, on his own 
expenses, to build upon the Castlehill of Inverness a 
hall of stone and lime upon vaults. This hall was to 
be one hundred feet in length, thirty feet in breadth, 
and the same in height ; it was to have a slated roof, 
and to it were to be attached a kitchen and a chapel 
of proper size. 1 The same nobleman had previously 
obtained a grant of the site of the Castle of Inverlochy, 
where he was bound to build a "tower and strength 
with a barmekyn," which, however, had not been done 
owing to the Earl's constant employment in the King's 
service so late as the year 1511. 2 From this period 

1 Reg. of Great Seal, XV. 63. The Sherriffship and Governorship 
were conferred upon Huntly by the same charter, dated 16th January, 

2 Reg. of Great Seal, XIV. 205 ; 22nd March, 1505-6. Reg. of Privy 
Seal, in., fo. 167 ; IV., fo. 134. As, at this time, the castle was un- 


the great power formerly enjoyed by the Earls of Ross, 
Lords of the Isles, was transferred to Argyle and 
Huntly; the former having the chief rule in the South 
Isles and adjacent coasts, whilst the influence of the 
latter prevailed in the North Isles and Highlands. 

The general effect of the vigorous government of 
James IV, was a decided improvement in the state of 
the Isles during the latter part of his reign, which was 
accompanied, however, by great changes in the relative 
position of many of the principal insular families. These 
changes we shall proceed briefly to notice. In the 
course of James' frequent expeditions to the West 
Highlands, the children of Sir Alexander de Insulis of 
Lochalsh, who were all young at their father's death, 
had fallen into his hands. It appears that they were 
brought up in the Royal household, and we may presume 
that their education was carefully attended to. Donald, 
the eldest son called by the Highlanders Donald 
Galda, or the Foreigner, from his early residence in 
the Lowlands speedily became a great favourite with 
the King. He was allowed to inherit his father's estates, 
or a great part of them, and was frequently permitted 
to visit the Isles. 1 This privilege he did not abuse 
during the life of James IV. ; and, but for the untimely 
death of that monarch, he would, no doubt, have 
received still greater marks of favour. 

The Clanhmstein, or family of Hugh of Sleat, 

doubtedly ruinous, and as it was afterwards rebuilt, and continued for 
a long time to hold a garrison under the Earls of Huntly the present 
ruins of Inverlochy Castle (as, indeed, might be inferred from the style 
of architecture employed) can lay claim to no higher antiquity than the 
earlier part of the sixteenth century. 

1 Treasurer's Accounts, A.D. 1507 to 1512. Acts of the Lords of 
Council, XXIV., fo. 186. 


was not so fortunate. John, the eldest son of Hugh, 
having no issue himself, and having probably quarrelled 
with his brothers, made over all his estates to the Clan- 
ranald, as well those estates which had been claimed 
and forcibly occupied by that clan, as those which had 
remained in his own hands. 1 The rest of the Clan- 
huistein, on John's death, were thus left without legal 
rights to any landed property in the Isles ; and being, 
moreover, viewed with jealousy by the Government, owing 
to their propinquity to the last Lord of the Isles, they 
were, in a manner, forced to become rebels. Donald 
Gallach (supra, p. 60), their leader, was, with another 
of the brothers, murdered by their own bastard brother, 
Archibald, or Gillespick Dubh, an unprincipled and ambi- 
tious man, whose atrocities seem to have been winked at 
by the Government, on the ground, probably, that his 
brothers were declared rebels, whom it was desirable to 
exterminate. This happened about the year 1506 ; 
and Archibald, the fratricide, having endeavoured to 
seize the lands of Sleat, was expelled from the North 
Isles by Ranald Allanson, the heir of Moydert, to whom 
Sleat had been made over by John Huehonson, the last 
legal possessor. Taking refuge in the South Isles, 
where he joined himself to a band of pirates, Archibald, 
after a time, procured his own pardon, by delivering up 
to justice some of his lawless associates. 2 He then 
returned to Sky, and, being a man of ability, seized 
the command of his tribe, and exercised the office of 
Bailie of the extensive district of Trouterness; his right 

1 Eeg. of Great Seal, XIII. 336-7; XIV. 141. Jolm Huchonson 
had no brothers- german. 

2 Hugh Macdonald's MS. ; Eeg. of Privy Seal, III., fo. 161. The 
pardon was granted at the intercession of Argyle. 


to which, however acquired, was recognised by the 
Government in 1510. 1 Such was the position of the 
Clanhuistein in the end of James IV.'s reign. 

The history of the principal house of the Clan Ian 
Vor, from the time of the execution of its chief, Sir 
John of Isla, and four of his sons, in or soon after the 
year 1494, until the accession of James V., is a perfect 
blank, as far as appears from the records. We know, 
indeed, that the surviving sons possessed, during this 
period, no heritage in Scotland; 2 and although tradition 
mentions that Alexander, the eldest, was reconciled to 
Macian of Ardnamurchan, and assisted that chief in 
putting to death Sir Alexander of Lochalsh, it seems 
probable that his general residence was on his Irish 
estate of the Glens, until after the battle of Flodden. 
A subordinate branch of this family, the Clanranald- 
~bane of Largie, was engaged, as we have seen, in sup- 
porting the pretensions of Donald Dubh; but they 
made their submission, and received a pardon under 
the Privy Seal in 1505. 3 

The private history of the Macdonalds of Lochaler, 
or house of Keppoch, during this reign, is not devoid 
of interest. Donald Angusson, grandson of Allaster 
Carrach, the founder, was chief of this tribe in 1496. 
Being killed in a battle with Dougal Stewart, first of 
Appin, about the year 1498, he was succeeded by his 
son John. The latter made himself obnoxious to his 
clan, by delivering up to Macintosh, as Steward of 
Lochaber, one of the tribe who, having committed 
some crime, had fled to his chief for protection. John of 

1 Keg. of Privy Seal, IV., fo. 70 ; Hugh Macdonald's MS. 

2 Acts of the Lords of Council, XXIX., fo. 128. 

3 Reg. of Privy Seal, III., fo. 51. 


Keppoch was, accordingly, deposed from the chiefship 
by the elders of his tribe, and a singular dispute arose 
as to his successor. The immediate descendants of 
Allaster Carrach supported the claims of Donald Glas 
MacAllaster, cousin-german and heir-male presumptive 
of John, the deposed chief. On the other hand, some 
of the subordinate, but long-established tribes in Loch- 
aber, who had hitherto followed the descendants of 
Allaster Carrach, proposed to set up an individual of 
another branch of the family of the Isles as chief of 
that district of Lochaber in which Keppoch lies. This 
was Godfrey or Gorrie, who was brought for the pur- 
pose from Uist, and who claimed his descent from 
Godfrey, Lord of Uist, the eldest son, as we have 
shown, of John, first Lord of the Isles. The adherents 
of Donald Glas eventually succeeded in procuring his 
elevation to the command of the tribe ; and it is not a 
little remarkable that from him sprung the later chiefs 
of Keppoch, who always numbered among their most 
attached vassals the descendants both of the deposed 
chief and of the unsuccessfnl competitor, Gorrie. 1 
During the reign of James IV., this tribe continued to 
hold their lands in Lochaber as occupants merely, and 
without a legal claim, to the heritage. 

Previous to the year 1509, the Clanranald of Moy- 
dert appear to have been in high favour with their 
Sovereign; and we have already seen the successful 

1 These facts are well known to the descendants of the Keppoch 
family who still remain in the Braes of Lochaber. The tribe most 
active in setting up Gorrie was called Sliochd Gillemfiantich, or the 
race of the Stutterer. The descendants of the deposed chief, some 
of whom still remain, are pointed out as Sliochd a Bliratliair shean, 
or the race of the elder brother. 


issue of their feud with the Clanhuistein of Sleat. 
But in that year their chief, Allan MacRuari, if we 
interpret rightly the studied obscurity of the Gaelic 
historian, was tried, convicted, and executed in presence 
of the King, at Blair in Athole, where his body lies 
interred. 1 His crime is not mentioned or even alluded 
to by the seannachie ; nor do the records give us any 
assistance in tracing it. He was succeeded by his 
eldest son, Ranald Allanson, who, in 1513, met with the 
same fate as his father ; and over the circumstances of 
his death a similar obscurity is thrown by the delicate 
hand of the Celtic narrator. The execution of Ranald 
took place afc Perth, and he seems, like his father, to 
have been tried in presence of the King. 2 As a chief 
this Ranald was much beloved by those under him; and 
he is highly praised for his good qualities by the family 

While the other branches of the family of the Isles 
were suffering more or less from the measures adopted 
by Government after the year 1493, the Clanian of 
Ardnamurchan, owing to the line of policy followed by 
their chief, John Macian, as formerly noticed, increased 
greatly in power, but became proportionably obnoxious 
to the other Islanders. The Clanian of Glenco seemed 
to share in the general misfortunes of their house. 
Leaving the family of the Isles, and turning to the other 
western clans, we find little to add to what has already 
been written of them in the present chapter. 

Towards the end of James IV.'s reign, the old 
quarrel between the Macleans and the Clanchameron, 
regarding the lands of Lochiel, which had once more 

1 Macvurich's MS. 2 Ibid. 


broken out, and another feud, carried on with much 
bitterness, between the Macleans of Do wart and Lochbuy, 
regarding their conterminous lands in Morvern and the 
Isle of Tiree, were checked or extinguished by the 
attentive care of the Sovereign. l The estate of Lewis 
;was, in 1511, restored to one of the old family Malcolm, 
the brother of the attainted rebel, Torquil Macleod; 
one among many proofs that the attempt to introduce a 
new class of tenants into the Lordship of the Isles had 
proved unsuccessful. 2 Hector Roy Mackenzie, pro- 
genitor of the house of Gerloch, had, since the death of 
Kenneth Oig Mackenzie of Kintaill, in 1497, and during 
the minority of John, the brother and heir of Kenneth, 
exercised the command of that clan, nominally as guar- 
dian to the young chief. Under his rule the Clankenzie 
became involved in feuds with the Munroes and other 
clans; and Hector Roy himself became obnoxious to 
Government, as a disturber of the public peace. His 
intentions towards the young Lord of Kintaill were con- 
sidered very dubious; and the apprehensions of the 
latter and his friends having been roused, Hector was 
compelled by law to yield up the estate and the com- 
mand of the tribe to the proper heir. 3 Hector Roy, 
after a long and bloody feud, acquired from the Siol 
Vic Gillichallum or Macleods of Rasay (a branch of 
the family of Lewis), a small portion of the lands of 

1 Acts of the Lords of Council, XIX., fo. 214 XX. fo., 105. 

2 Reg. of Great Seal, XVII. 16. This charter was granted to the 
exclusion of Malcolm Macleod's nephew, John, the son of Torquil. 
See infra, ad annum 1528. 

3 Acts of the Lords of Council, XXII., fo. 142; Eeg. of Great 
Seal, XV. 89 ; MS. History of Mackenzies, in the possession of 
Lauchlan Mackiimon, Esq., of Letterfearn. 

112 BATTLE OF FLODDEN. [1517. 

Gerloch, which his successors used so as to become in 
time masters of the whole of that district. l 

In spite of the apparent harshness of some of his 
measures, the bold and chivalrous character of the 
King had made, before the end of his reign, a deep 
impression upon his Highland subjects. So great, in- 
deed, was the attachment they felt for him, that when 
he summoned the array of his kingdom to attend him 
on his last and fatal expedition, the natives of the 
distant Highlands and Isles repaired to his standard 
with unwonted alacrity. The rashness of the Highland 
division of the Scottish army is said to have been one of 
the principal causes of the disastrous defeat at Flodden ; 
and it is certain that the Highlanders sustained a 
very severe loss in the conflict. No Hebridean chief 
of note appears to have fallen; but the Earl of 
Argyle, and many of his clan, were among the slain. 2 

Tradition has preserved a curious anecdote connected 
with the Mackenzies, whose young chief, John of Kin- 
taill, was taken prisoner at Flodden. It will be recol- 
lected that Kenneth Oig Mackenzie of Kintaill, while 
on his way to the Highlands, after making his escape 
from Edinburgh Castle, was killed in the Torwood, by 
the Laird of Buchanan. (Supra, p. 93). The foster- 
brother of Kenneth Oig was a man of the district of 
Kenlochew, named Donald Dubh Mac Gillecrist Vic 
Gillereoch, who, with the rest of the clan, was at Flod- 
den with his chief. In the retreat of the Scottish army, 
this Donald Dubh heard some one near him say 

1 Letterfearn MS. Applecross's MS. History of Mackenzies of 
Gerloch, Adv. Lib. Jac. V., 4, 15 ; Vol. I., p. 103. 

2 Archaelogia Scotica, III. 324. 

1513.] BATTLE OF FLODDEN. 113 

" Alas, Laird ! thou hast fallen ! " On inquiry he was 
told that it was the Laird of Buchanan who had sunk 
from wounds or exhaustion. The faithful Highlander, 
eager to revenge 'the death of his chief and foster- 
brother, drew his sword, and, saying, " If he hath not 
fallen, he shall fall," made straight to Buchanan, whom 
he killed on the spot. 1 

Soon after their return from this battle, the Islanders, 
taking advantage of the confusion occasioned by so great 
a calamity, hastened to stir up a new rebellion. They 
were led by Donald^ now Sir Donald, of Lochalsh, who 
seems to have been knighted under the Royal banner 
in the field of Flodden ; but the history of this insur- 
rection, as it belongs to the reign of James V., will be 
found in the next chapter. 

1 MS. History of Mackenzies, in the possession of L. Mackinnon, 
Esq., of Letterfearn. 





THE death of so active a monarch as James IV. in the 
prime of life, and the loss of so many of the chief 
nobility of the country as fell at the battle of Flodden 
Field, had the natural effect of throwing Scotland into 
a state of great confusion. This was aggravated by the 
evils usually attendant upon the minority of a sovereign 
in these rude times, and from which the nation, in the 
present instance, did not soon recover. 

The Highlands and Isles had their full 
I3 ' share of these evils. Scarcely had the High- 
land .chiefs returned, when a new plot was set on foot 
for proclaiming a Lord of the Isles, in the person of 
Sir Donald of Lochalsh. That chief himself, in the 
month of November, 1513, with a large force of High- 
landers, among whom were Alexander Macranald of 
Glengarry and Wiland Chisholm of Comer, expelled 
the garrison and seized the Castle of Urquhart on Loch 
Ness, plundering and laying waste, at the same time, 
the adjacent lands, which, with the castle, belonged to 
John the Grant of Freuchy. 1 About the same time, 

1 Laird of Grant. Acts of Lords of Council, XXX., fo. 205. 


Lauchlan Maclean of Dowart seized the royal Castle of 
Carneburgh, near Mull ; and afterwards, with the assist- 
ance of Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan, made him- 
self master of that of Dunskaich, in Sleat. Sir Donald 
was then proclaimed Lord of the Isles, and the numbers 
of his adherents increased daily. To resist this rebel- 
lion Colin, Earl of Argyle, 1 who, in anticipation of 
some outrages among the Islanders, had taken bonds 
of fidelity from his vassals and others who had attached 
themselves to the late Earl, was charged by the Council 
to convocate so many of the King's liege subjects as 
should be thought necessary, and to proceed against 
Maclean and his associates. 2 An act of 
Council was then passed, appointing certain 
individuals of influence in the north to take charge of 
particular divisions of the northern shires, in the cha- 
racter of Lieutenants, for the time. Among these, 
Mackenzie of Kintaill and Munro of Foulis had charge 
of Wester Ross. Ewin Allanson and William Lauch- 
lanson were the guardians of Lochaber. At the same 
time letters were written by the Council to all the 
chief men of the mainland adjacent to the Isles charg- 
ing them, in case the Islanders should land within their 
territories with hostile intentions, to resist with their 
utmost power ; and warning those who might refuse to 
obey these orders, that they should be held equally 
guilty with the insular rebels. 3 These measures were, 

1 Colin, third Earl, son and successor of Archibald, second Earl of 
Argyle, who fell at Flodden. 

2 Acts of Lords of Council, XXVI., fo. 25. Reg. of Privy Seal, V., 
fo. 12. Registers of Dun barton. Protocol Book of Robert Watson, 
Notary Public, fo. 23, 17th October, 1513. 

3 Acts of the Lords of Council, XXVI., fo. 29. 


however, but feebly seconded ; and, some time 
afterwards, it became necessary for John, 
Duke of Albany, Regent of the kingdom, to give com- 
mission to John Macian of Arduamurchan to treat with 
the less violent of the rebels, and to promise them the 
Royal favour, and remission for their crimes, provided 
they engaged to carry themselves in future as obedient 
subjects, and to make restitution to those who had 
suffered from their incursions. 1 This commission excepts 
the principal rebels, and shows the strength of the party, 
which was far from contemptible ; embracing the Mac- 
leans of Dowarfc, the Macleods of Lewis and Harris, and 
Alexander of Isla, besides the near relations and per- 
sonal adherents of Sir Donald of Lochalsh, and several 
of the smaller clans in the Isles, who could not safely 
refuse to take part with their more powerful neighbours. 
In the course of a short time, the powerful influence of 
Argyle prevailed upon the insurgents to submit to the 
Regent, and, upon assurance of protection, to come to 
Court, and arrange in person the terms upon which 
they were to be pardoned and restored to favour ; and 
considerable progress seems to have been made in a 
pacification of the Isles in consequence of this treaty .- 
Argyle and his followers took out a remission for 
ravages committed by them in the Isle of Bute in the 
course of the insurrection, and rendered necessary, it 
may be supposed, from some of the rebels having there 
found shelter and protection. 3 In the north, Mackenzie 

1 Reg. of Privy Seal, V., fo. 2. 

2 Reg. of Privy Seal, V., fo. 9, 12, 2G, 35. 

3 Ibid., fo. 31. Discharge by the inhabitants of Bute to the 
Earl of Argyle, dated 26th May, 1518. Charter Chest of Mount- 


of Kintaill, who had, without legal warrant, seized 
the royal Castle of Dingwall for his own purposes, now- 
professed his readiness to deliver it up to any one 
appointed by the Regent ; l and everything seemed to 
promise a speedy conclusion to these intestine disorders. 
Various disputes, which had arisen between 
Sir Donald of Lochalsh and Macian of Ard- 
namurchan, were submitted to the decision of the proper 
tribunals ; and, by the influence of Government, mutual 
obligations of redress were exchanged between these 
chiefs, for the injuries done by each to the lands and 
properties of the other in time past. 2 The reconcilia- 
tion of Sir Donald to the Regent was apparently so 
cordial, and so much power was still left to him in the 
Isles, that, on the 24th Sept., 1516, a summons was 
despatched to the Earl of Argyle, and to " Monsieur de 
Ylis," to join the Royal army, then about to proceed to 
the Borders. 3 Some months after this time, the latter 
appears to have been in Inverness with no good inten- 
tions ; for the Earl of Huntly was directed to watch his 
motions ; 4 and ere long he was again in open rebellion. 
Sir Donald and his followers had joined with Alexander, 
Lord Home, in the treasonable practices which brought 
that nobleman's head to the block; and, after his death, 
had given shelter to his proscribed followers. 5 This 

1 Acts of the Lords of Council, XXVII., fo. 60. 

2 Acts of the Lords of Council, XXVII., fo. 162-3, 171, 180, 192, 
205, 206, 207. Sir Donald appeared frequently before the Council at 
this time, relying on a safe conduct. He was likewise engaged in a 
lawsuit with Argyle. 

s Treas. Accounts, ad tempus. 4 Treas. Accounts, Jan. 19, 1516-17. 

5 Reg. of Privy Seal, V., fo. 101, XIII., fo. 46. Lord Home and his 
brother William were beheaded for treason, 8th October, 1516. Tytler's 
Scotland, V., 122. 


fact, regarding which all our historians are silent, 
would seem to imply that Sir Donald was first excited 
to rebellion by the intrigues of English agents, and 
serves to account for the inveteracy of the Scottish 
government against him after this time. 1 

Having given out to the Islesmen, that the 
Lieutenandry of the Isles, and various other 
offices belonging to the Crown, had been bestowed upon 
him by the Regent and Council, Sir Donald succeeded 
at first in raising a considerable body of men, with 
which he expelled Macian from Ardnamurchan, and 
took possession of the Castle of Mingarry. Although 
repeatedly charged, by order of the Council, to deliver 
up the castle and lands to the rightful owner, he not 
only refused, but, in defiance of the Government, he razed 
the Castle of Mingarry to the ground, and ravaged the 
whole district of Ardnamurchan with fire and sword. 
Meantime, his chief leaders found that he had deceived 
them, and that his intention was to lay waste, instead 
of protecting, the lands of which he professed to have 
received the control. They became disgusted, too, 
with his refusal to follow their advice, and with the 
reckless character of his proceedings (for the danger- 
ous consequences, either to himself or his followers, 
however obvious they might be, could not terrify him, 
or divert him from his insane projects), and, at length, 
taking the matter into their own hands, determined on 
apprehending him, and delivering him up to the Regent. 
Sir Donald, however, being made aware of their design, 
effected his escape ; but his two brothers were made 

1 Kegarding Home's intrigues with England, and the policy adopted 
by Lord Dacre, the English Minister, towards Scotland, see Tytler, V r 
108, et sequen. 


prisoners by Maclean of Dowart and Macleod of Dun- 
vegan, who hastened to offer their submission, and 
palliate their own conduct. Such is the account of 
these transactions which we derive from the statement 
of Maclean and Macleod themselves; 1 and it appears 
to be so far correct, and to be deficient only in omitting 
the services of the Earl of Argyle, which, from other 
sources, are known to have contributed mainly to bring 
the affairs of the Isles to the present pass. 2 

Early in 1517, Argyle, with the Macleans of Dowart 
and Lochbuy, and Macleod of Harris, presented to the 
Council certain petitions and offers relating to the affairs 
of the Isles. Although these petitions were each 
separate and distinct, the tenor of the whole was uni- 
form, and all advocated the suppression of Sir Donald's 
rebellion. The importance of these State papers is so 
great, and so much light is, by means of them, thrown 
upon the history and manners of the period, that they 
merit particular notice. 

The petition of the Earl of Argyle, which was pre- 
sented to the King and his Regent by the advice of 
the Lords of Council, demanded that the Earl should 
be invested with very high powers over the men of the 
Isles, "for the honour of the realm and the common- 
weal in time coming." First, he desired a commission 
of Lieutenandry over all the Isles and adjacent main- 
land, on the grounds of the vast expense he had pre- 
viously incurred, of his ability to do good service in 
future, and of his having broken up the confederacy of 

1 Petition of Lauchlan Maclean of Dowart, and Alexander Macleod 
of Dunvegan, to the Regent and Council, recorded in Books of Council, 
XXIX., fo. 211. 

2 Petition of Argyle to the Regent and Council. Ibid, fo. 210. 


the Islanders, which commission he obtained, with cer- 
tain exceptions. 1 Next, he claimed and obtained 
authority to receive into the King's favour all the 
men of the Isles who should make their submission to 
him, and become bound for future good behaviour to 
promise them remission for their former offences, and 
to engage for the restitution, not only of their heritage, 
but of such Crown lands as they previously held in lease, 
upon proper security being given for payment of the 
accustomed rents and duties, by the delivery of host- 
ages and otherwise; the last condition being made im- 
perative, " because the men of the Isles are fickle of 
mind, and set but little value upon their oaths and 
written obligations."'" Sir Donald of the Isles, his 
brothers, and the Clandonald, were, however^ specially 
excepted from the benefit of this article. The Earl 
likewise demanded and received express power to pur- 
sue and follow the rebels with fire and sword, to expel 
them from the Isles, and to use his best endeavours to 
possess himself of Sir Donald's Castle of Strone in 
Lochcarron. Particular instructions were given to him 
to demand hostages from the Clan Ian Vor, or Clan- 
donald of Isla, and their followers, who were now the 
principal supporters of Sir Donald; and, in the event of 
their refusal, to pursue them with the utmost severity ; 
while, on the other hand, if they should submit, their 
leaders, the surviving sons of the late Sir John Cathanach 

1 The exceptions were those parts of Lochaber belonging to the Earl 
of Huntly, the Clanchattan, and Ewin Allanson ; also the Isles of Bute 
and Arran. The duration of the commission was limited to three years, 
and further during the Regent's pleasure. 

2 This quotation is slightly but faithfully modernised, to make it 
more intelligible. 


of Isla, were to receive Crown lands, in the Isles, to the 
annual value of one hundred merks, to enable them to 
live without plundering the King's lieges, and to keep 
good rule in time to come they being now without 
heritage, owing to their father's forfeiture. 1 

The petition of Lauchlan Maclean of Do wart, con- 
tained the following demands: -First , a free remission 
of all offences to himself and his associates; and parti- 
cularly to his "kin, men, servants, and part-takers," fol- 
lowing viz., Donald Maclean, 2 Gilleouan Macneill of 
Barra, Neill Mackinnon of Mishnish, Dunslaf Mac- 
quarrie of Ulva, and Lauchlan MacEwin of Ardgour 
it being understood that Dowart was ready to make 
redress of all damages committed against the Earl of 
Argyle and Macian of Ardnarnurchan, according to the 
decision of certain mutual friends. This remission was 
authorised by the Council to be granted to Maclean, 
upon hostages being given for future obedience. His 
next demands are somewhat startling, when his own 
previous conduct, and the history of his predecessors, are 
taken into consideration, and might well justify the 
charge of fickleness of mind brought against the 
Islanders by the Earl of Argyle. He desired, in the 
second place, that Sir Donald of Lochalsh, with his 
associates, should be proceeded against as traitors, and 
their lands forfeited, according to law, for their treason 
and perseverance in rebellion. In the third place, he 
demanded that Sir Donald's two brothers, then in his 
custody, should be "justified," i.e., executed, according 

1 Acts of the Lords of Council, XXIX., fo. 128 ; Petition of Argyle, 
facing fo. 211 ; Reg. of Privy Seal, V., fo. 102. 

2 Uncle to Dowart, and his heir, failing issue male of Dowart's body. 
Reg. of Great Seal, XIII., 301. 


to law, "for pleasure and profit to the King and Kegent, 
and for stability of the country; " and further stated that 
he would act with double zeal in the King's service, as 
soon as he should perceive that the Government was 
serious in " destroying the wicked blood of the Isles ; 
for, as long as that blood reigns, the King shall never 
have the Isles in peace, zvhenever they find an oppor- 
tunity to break loose, as is evident from daily experi- 
ence." 1 For his good services done and to be done 
and particularly for collecting, which he now under- 
took to do, the King's duties, in all places "within the 
point of Ardnatnurchan" (except those belonging to 
Macian, who was to answer for himself), Maclean 
demanded an heritable grant of one hundred merk lands 
in Tiree and Mull, free from all duties. This^ how- 
ever, the Council would not give for a longer term than 
till the majority of the King, an arrangement with which 
he was obliged to rest satisfied in the meantime. He 
made various other dernands,chiefly regarding his lands 
and possessions in the Isles; and, with some trifling 
exceptions, these were all acceded to. 3 

John Maclean of Lochbuy, and Alexander Macleod 
of Harris, demanded and received remissions for them- 
selves, and their kinsmen and followers, upon giving 
hostages, as in the other cases. The latter likewise 
demanded an heritable grant of the lands of Trouter- 
ness, in Sky, which was refused; but he was continued 
King's tenant as formerly. 4 

1 This quotation is likewise slightly but faithfully modernised. 

2 "Within" here means " south of." 

3 Acts of the Lords of Council, XXIX., fo. 128, et sequen. Petition 
of Dowart, facing fo. 211 ; Reg. of Privy Seal, V., fo. 100, 101. 

4 Ibid. See onwards, under the year 1528. 


The Earl of Huntly having found some of the Clan- 
chattan rather unruly at this time, prevailed with the 
Council to give directions to Argyle, Dowart, and the 
others, to expel the Clanchattan from the bounds of 
Argyle's Lieutenahdry, in case they should fly in that 
direction ; and, likewise, to give their assistance in re- 
ducing them to obedience. On the other hand, Huntly 
became bound to act in the same manner towards Sir 
Donald of the Isles, or any other rebels who might be 
flying from the Earl of Argyle, into those Highland 
districts of which Huntly was Lieutenant. l 

In regard to the execution of the two brothers of Sir 
Donald, urged by Maclean of Dowarfc, the Council 
were divided in opinion; the majority being in favour of 
capital punishment, while the others wished the matter 
to be left entirely to the Regent; and, although it 
cannot positively be affirmed, there is reason to think 
that the opinion of the majority prevailed. 2 When the 
arrangements of the Council were finally concluded, 
Maclean of Do wart appeared before them, and gave 
his solemn oath of allegiance to the King and Regent ; 
binding himself, at the same time, to give his best assis- 
tance to Argyle, as Lieutenant in the Isles, for the 
good government of these districts, and as far as lay in 
his power to observe the public peace, and administer 
justice to all the King's lieges. 3 It seemed now scarcely 
possible that Sir Donald of the Isles, .the principal 
rebel, should escape death or imprisonment ; but he had 

1 Acts of the Lords of Council, XXVIIL, fo. 77. ; XXIX., fo. 128. 

2 Ibid, XXIX., fo. 128. The brothers of Sir Donald, whose names 
are not mentioned in the Record, certainly died without issue, as 
Sir Donald was succeeded by his sisters. 

3 Ibid, fo. 128. 


still some powerful friends, by whose assistance he kept 
himself for some time longer out of the power of his 
enemies, and was even enabled to revenge himself upon 
one whom he had some reason to look upon as his 
hereditary enemy, and as the instigator of many of the 
measures taken against him. 

John Macian of Ardnamurchan had, under James 
IV., distinguished himself, as we have seen, by the 
vigorous and unhesitating manner in which he supported 
Government; and, among his other services, he had 
apprehended Sir John of Isla, and put to death Sir 
Alexander of Lochalsh. His activity and talent pro- 
cured him much favour and many lucrative employments 
in the Isles from that King, which were continued to 
him by the present Government ; and, as he was well 
aware that his concern in the death of the two indi- 
viduals just mentioned would never be forgotten by 
their children and kinsmen, and that vengeance was 
only delayed till a favourable opportunity, he was one 
of the first to join the Earl of Argyle upon his return 
to the Isles after the battle of Flodden ; and he uni- 
formly opposed, to the best of his ability, Sir Donald 
of Lochalsh and his party. His lands and possessions 
suffered severely in consequence ; and his life was 
sought with the utmost eagerness, not only by Sir 
Donald himself, but by Alexander of Isla, 1 who, 
although Macian's son-in-law, had early joined the 
rebels, with all his followers, determined to revenge 
the death of his father and brethren. Some 
time after the submission of the Macleans 
and Macleod of Dunvegan, Sir Donald, assisted by 

1 At least, such is the tradition ; supported by Hugh Macdonald'.s 
and Macvurich's MS. 


the Macleods of Lewis and Rasay, came southwards 
to Ardnamurchan, where he met Alexander of Isla; 
and, having united their forces, these chiefs proceeded 
against Macian. They came upon the latter at a 
place called Craiganairgid, or the Silver Craig in 
Morvern, where he was defeated and slain,, along with 
two of his sons, John Sunoirtich and Angus, and a 
great number of his men; whilst the rumour of this 
success brought many to join the insurgents. x Measures 
had formerly been commenced to have Sir Donald 
forfeited in Parliament for high treason ; and, upon the 
Council being informed of the slaughter of the Macians, 
Argyle advised that sentence of forfeiture should be 
pronounced as soon as the necessary forms would 
admit. In this, however, he, met with some 
opposition., which caused him to take a 
solemn protest before Parliament, that neither he nor 
his heirs should be liable for any mischiefs that might 
in future arise from rebellions in the Isles ; as, although 
he held the office of Lieutenant, neither was his advice 
taken as to the management of the districts committed 
to his charge, nor had he received certain supplies of 
men and money, formerly promised to him by the 
Regent for carrying on the King's service in the Isles." 
This last statement fully accounts for the length of 
time Sir Donald had been allowed to remain at large 
after the defection of so many of his adherents ; and it 
is difficult to say how much longer this state of things 

1 Macvurich's and Hugh Macdonald's MS. Macian was dead 
some time before 18th August, 1519. Reg. of Privy Seal, V., fo. 
139. In February, 1517-18, the Earls of Huntly and Argyle were 
both directed to proceed against "Donald His, rebel and traitor, 
and his complices." Acts of Lords of Council, XXX., fo. 199. 

2 Acts of the Lords of Council, XXXII., fo. 122. 


might have continued, had not his death, which took 
place some weeks after his success in Morvern, brought 
the rebellion, which had lasted with little intermission 
during upwards of five years, to a sudden close. 1 Sir 
Donald was the last male of the family of Lochalsh, 
and died without issue. 

A. D. 1520- For some years after this time the Isles 
1527- remained in a state of comparative tran- 
quillity, owing partly to the continued imprisonment of 
Donald Dubh, which deprived the Islanders of their 
natural leader. This interval of peace was employed 
by Argyle in extending his influence among the chiefs, 
with whom his commission of Lieutenancy brought him 
in contact. He received from Alexander Macranald of 
Glengarry and North Morar, a bond of man-rent or 
service ; 2 and this, it may be presumed, was not a soli- 
tary instance among the vassals of the Isles. The 
principal coadjutors of Argyle in these plans for the 
aggrandisement of his family and clan were his brothers, 
Sir John Campbell of Calder, and Archibald Camp- 
bell of Skipnish. Calder, whose patrimony lay in 
the district 'of Lorn, was particularly active; and, 
having acquired from Maclean of Lochbuy certain 
claims, hitherto ineffectual, which that chief had to 
the lands of Lochiel, Duror, and Glenco, he did not 
fail to make use of his opportunities. At first, he 

1 Macvurich and Hugh Macdonald, in their MS., both agree 
as to the fact of Sir Donald's death very soon after the slaughter 
of Macian ; but they differ as to the place where he died ; the former 
making it Carneburg, near Mull, the latter the Inch of Teinlipeil in 

2 Crawford's MS. Collections, Advocates' Library, 5th February, 

1520-7.] AND THE CAMPBELLS. 127 

was violently resisted by the Camerons and Stewarts, 
the occupants of the lands in question, and suffered 
many injuries from them in the course of this dispute. 
But by transferring his title to these lands to his 
brother Argyle, and employing the influence of that 
nobleman, Calder succeeded in establishing a certain 
degree of authority over the unruly inhabitants, in a 
mode then of very frequent occurrence. Ewin Allanson 
of Lochiel, and Allan Stewart of Duror, were, by the 
arbitration of friends, ordered to pay to Calder a large 
sum of damages, and, likewise, to give to him, for 
themselves, their children, kin, and friends, their bond 
of man-rent and service against all manner of men, 
except the King and the Earl of Argyle. In con- 
sideration of these bonds of service, three-fourths of 
the damages awarded were remitted by Calder, who 
became bound also to give his bond of maintenance in 
return. Finally, if the said Ewin and Allan should do 
good service to Sir John in helping him to obtain and 
enjoy lands and possessions, they were to be rewarded 
by him therefor, at the discretion of the arbiters. 1 
By such means was the influence of the house of 
Argyle extended and confirmed in the West Highlands. 2 
The first symptoms of renewed disorders in the Isles 
arose out of an occurrence which is familiar to most 
readers, as having formed the groundwork of a cele- 
brated modern tragedy. Lauchlan Cattanach Maclean 

1 Acts of the Lords of Council, XXXVI., fo. 109 ; XXXVIII., 
fo. 190 ; Reg. of Privy Seal, VI., fo. 47 ; Reg. of Great Seal, 
XXII. 252. 

2 Argyle's commission of Lieutenandry over all the Isles and 
adjacent mainland (except Bute and Arran) was renewed 16th Nov., 
1524 ; Reg. of Privy Seal, VII., fo. 102. 


of Dowart had married Lady Elizabeth, daughter to 
Archibald, second Earl of Argyle; and, either from the 
circumstance of their union being unfruitful, or more 
probably owing to some domestic quarrels, he determined 
to get rid of his wife. Some accounts say that she had 
twice attempted her husband's life; but, whatever the 
cause may have been, Maclean, following the advice of 
two of his vassals, who exercised a considerable influence 
over him from the tie of fosterage, caused his lady to be 
exposed on a rock, which was only visible at low water, 
intending that she should be swept away by the return 
of the tide. This rock lies between the island of Lis- 
more and the coast of Mull, and is still known by the 
name of the " Lady's Rock." From this perilous situa- 
tion, the intended victim was rescued by a boat acciden- 
tally passing, and conveyed to her brothers house. 1 
Her relations, although much exasperated against Mac- 
lean, smothered their resentment for a time, but only to 
break out afterwards with greater violence; for the 
Laird of Dowart being in Edinburgh, was surprised, 
when in bed, and assassinated by Sir John Campbell of 
Calder, the lady's brother. 2 The Macleans instantly 
took arms to revenge the death of their chief, and the 
Campbells were not slow in preparing to follow up the 
feud; but the Government interfered, and, for the 
present, an appeal to arms was avoided. 3 

The young King, now in his seventeenth 
year, having made his escape from the thral- 

1 MS. History of Macleans. 

2 Diurnal of Occurrents in Scotland (printed by Bannatyne Club), 
p. 8, ad annum 1523 ; Letter, Commissioners of Lord of the Isles to 
Privy Council of England, August, 1545 quoted by Tytler, V. 233. 

3 Reg. of Privy Seal, VI., fo. 66. 


dom in which he had so long been held by the Earl of 
Angus and the Douglases, the policy of the Govern- 
ment seems to have undergone a considerable change. 1 
An important enactment regarding the Isles, one of the 
first passed by the new Privy Council, points out the 
means employed by Angus, during his usurpation, as it 
may be called, of the supreme power, to secure adher- 
ents in that quarter of the kingdom. This act bears, 
that certain persons in the Lordship of the Isles had 
obtained new titles to lands there, which might " turn 
to the great skaith of his Majesty, both in respect to 
his own proper lands and his casualties, without the same 
be wisely considered and foreseen to be for the good of 
his grace and realm." Indeed, it would appear that, 
during the frequent minorities of the Scottish Sovereigns 
the dilapidation of the Crown lands was the chief resource 
of a weak or unpopular Government, in order to main- 
tain itself longer in power, by the support of those who 
were thus permitted to prey upon the patrimonial 
revenues of the King. In the present instance all such 
grants were declared null; and it was provided that, in 
future, no lands should be bestowed in the West High- 
lands and Isles, but by the advice of the Privy Coun- 
cil and of the Earl of Argyle, the King's lieutenant 
in the Isles : " because it is understood by the King, 
that the said lands, or the most part thereof, are his own 
proper lands, or in his hands, through forfeiture, escheit, 
or non-entries." 2 

In this year, owing, perhaps, to the sudden change 
of government, serious broils occurred both in the north 

1 Tytler, V., p. 221. 

2 Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I., p. 155, 



and south Isles. The disturbances in the north arose 
out of a feud between the Macdonalds and Macleods 
of Harris, regarding the lands and office of Bailliary of 
the extensive district of Trouterness, in the Isle of Sky. 
To understand this feud properly, it will be necessary 
to trace, with some care, the history of the district in 
question. By a charter under the Great Seal, in August, 
1498, the office of Bailliary, with two unciates of the 
lands of Trouterness, was confirmed to Alexander 
Macleod of Dunvegan, as having been formerly held 
by him under the Lord of the Isles, and as being then 
in the hands of the Crown, by the last forfeiture of that 
nobleman. 1 Two months later, another charter passed 
the Great Seal, granting the same office, and eight 
merks of the lands, to Torquil Macleod of the Lewis, 
on precisely similar grounds. 2 Both of these charters 
seem to have been rendered null by the general revoca- 
tion in 1498, or 1499, already alluded to. (Supra, 
p. 94.) In 1505, the eighty merk lands of Trouterness 
were let, by the commissioners of the Crown, for three 
years, to Ranald Bane Allanson of Moydert, the Earl 
of Iluntly being surety for the payment of the rent by 
the latter. 3 In 1510, Archibald Dubh, the blood- 
stained captain of the Clanhuistein, was acting as 
Bailie of Trouterness, and a letter was directed under 
the Privy Seal to the tenants of Trouterness in his 
favour. 4 Ranald Bane of Moydert was executed at Perth 
in 1513; and Archibald Dubh soon afterwards met with 
the fate he deserved, being killed by his nephews, the 
sons of his murdered brothers. 5 Macleod of Dunvegan, 

i Reg. of Great Seal, XIII. 305. 2 Ibid, XIII. 377. 

3 Reg. of Crown Rentals, ad tempus. 

4 Reg. of Privy Seal, IV., fo. 70. 6 Huge Macdonald's MS. 


who seems to have been principal Crown tenant of Trou- 
terness some time before 1517, had his lease con- 
tinued from that year until the majority of James V. 
(Supra, p. 122.) Under the government of the Earl of 
Angus, Dunvegan appears to have obtained also an heri- 
table grant of the lands of Sleat and North Uist ; and 
thus became additionally exposed to the hostility of the 
Clanhuistein of Sleat, who were now under the com- 
mand of Donald Gruamach. 1 The latter chief sought 
the assistance of his uterine brother, John MacTorquil 
Macleod (son of Torquil Macleod of the Lewis, for- 
feited in 1506, and nephew of Malcolm, the present 
Lord of Lewis), a man like himself, without legal in- 
heritance of any kind, in order to expel Dunvegan and 
his clan from Trouterness. In this they were success- 
ful, as well as in preventing him putting in force his 
new charter to Sleat and North Uist. Trouterness was 
again occupied by the Clanhuistein, and John Mac- 
Torquil, taking advantage of the opportunity afforded 
by the death of his uncle, and the minority of the son 
of the latter, and aided by Donald Gruamach and his 
followers, seized the whole barony of Lewis, which, 
with the command of the Siol Torquil, he held during 
his life. 2 Having thus briefly traced the origin of the 
disturbances which, in this and the following years, 
occurred in the North Isles, we shall now turn to the 
commotions in the South Isles. 

1 Donald Gruamach (or grim-looking) was son of Donald Gallach, 
and grandson of Hugh, Lord of Sleat. His mother was first married 
to Torquil Macleod of the Lewis. Hugh Macdonald's MS. ; Dean 
Munro's Genealogies. 

2 Acts of the Lords of Council, XXXIX., fo. 159 ; XLL, fo. 79. 
Acts of Parliament, II. 333. Sir R. Gordon's History of the family of 
Sutherland, p. 263. 


The Clandonald of Isla, and their present chief, 
Alexander Maclan Cathanach, were probably among 
the number of those rewarded by the Earl of Angus 
with grants of the Crown lands. But the late Act of 
Council having declared all such grants null, the efforts 
of Argyle to enforce an act so favourable to himself, 
and a sense of the injustice with which they conceived 
themselves to have been treated, soon drove Alexander 
of Isla and his followers into insurrection. They were 
readily joined by the Macleans, who still 
panted for an opportunity to revenge the 
death of their late chief, and the combined clans made 
descents upon Roseneath, Craignish, and other lands 
belonging to the Campbells, which they ravaged with fire 
and sword, killing at the same time many of the inhabi- 
tants. 1 The partisans of Argyle retaliated, by laying 
waste great part of the Isles of Mull and Tyree, and 
the lands of Morvern. 2 The insurrection had pro- 
ceeded to a great height in August of this year, when 
Sir John Campbell of Calder, on behalf of his brother, 
the Earl of Argyle, demanded from the Council powers 
of an extraordinary nature, to enable him to restore the 
peace of the country. He requested among other 
things, that all the substantial householders in the shires 
of Dunbarton and Renfrew, and the bailliaries of Car- 
rick, Kyle, and Cunningham, might be commanded to 
meet Argyle at Lochransa, in Arran, with provisions for 
twenty days, and to assist him against the Islanders. 
The Council refused to issue this order at present, on 
account of the harvest ; but they gave directions for a 
cannon, with two falconets and three barrels of gun- 

1 Reg. of Privy Seal, IX., fo. 18. 2 Ibid, IX., fo. 179, 


powder, under the charge of two gunners, and as many 
carpenters, to be forwarded to D unbar ton, for the use of 
the Earl, in case he should find it necessary to besiege 
any of the " strengths " in the Isles. At the same time, 
they determined upon sending a herald, "of wisdom 
and discretion," to Alexander of Isla, with directions, 
in the first instance, to summon him and his followers 
to lay down their arms, under pain of treason ; and, if 
he found them disposed to be obedient, the hearld was 
then authorised to treat with that chief about his com- 
ing under protection, to wait upon the King and state 
his grievances in person, being prepared to give host- 
ages (Lowlanders) for his obedience, and for his pay- 
ment of the rents and duties of such lands as might be 
assigned to him by his Sovereign. 1 

This mission,, which indicated considerable doubt of 
Argyle, was entrusted to a pursuivant named Robert 
Hart, who, in the course of a month, reported to the 
Council the result of his conference with Alexander of 
Isla; which proved so unsatisfactory that directions were 
immediately given to the Earl to proceed against the 
rebels, and reduce the Isles to obedience without delay. 2 
Little progress was made, however, during the next six 
months; but in the spring of 1530, prepara- 
tions on a more extensive scale were commenced 
for concluding this service. The tenants of the Isles, 
according to a roll of them placed in Argyle's hands, 
were to be summoned to come to the King's presence, 
upon the 24th of May, " to commune with his Majesty 
for good rule of the Isles." They were likewise to be 
prohibited from giving any assistance to the rebels, or 

1 Acts of Lords of Council, XL., fo. 80. 2 Ibid, fo. 117- 


from convocating the King's lieges in arms, under the 
pain of treason ; whilst the men of Carrick, Kyle, and 
Cunningham, of Renfrew and Dunbartonshires, of 
Balquhidder, Braidalbane, Rannoch, Apnadull, Athole, 
Menteith, Bute, and Arran, were to be charged, under 
high penalties, to join the King's lieutenant at such 
places as he should appoint, and to continue with him 
in the service for a month; and the burghs of Ayr, 
Irvine, Glasgow, Renfrew, and Dunbarton, were to send 
their boats with provisions for the army, for which pay- 
ment was to be made. In case any of the Islesmen 
should be afraid to trust themselves in the low country, 
they were offered protections for their coming to the 
King, and for thirty days additional, to admit of their 
returning home safe. 1 

These preparations produced some effect. In the 
month of May, nine of the principal Islanders, 2 sent by 
the hands of Hector Maclean of Dowart, one of their 
number, offers of submission to the King, who imme- 
diately granted them a protection against the Earl of 
Argyle and any others, provided they would come to 
Edinburgh, or wherever the King should happen to be 
holding his court, before the 20th of June, and remain 
as long as his Majesty should require their attendance ; 
it being always understood that the protection was to last 
for twenty days after their departure for the Highlands. 
As an additional security for their safety in coming and 

1 Acts of Lords of Council, XLL, fo. 77. 

2 These were, Rector Maclean of Dowart; John Maclean of Lochbuy : 
John Moydertach, Captain of the Clanranald; Alexander Macian of 
Ardnamurchan ; Alexander Macleod of the Harris (or Dunvegan) ; the 
Laird of Coll (Maclean) ; John Macleod of the Lewis ; and Donald 
Gruamach of Dunskaich (a castle in Sleat). 


going ? the King promised to take two of the following 
hostages from the Earl of Argyle: Duncan Campbell of 
Glenurchy, Archibald Campbell of Auchinbreck ; Archi- 
bald Campbell of Skipnish, and Duncan Campbell of 
Ilangerig, who were to be confined in Edinburgh Castle. 1 
Colin, Earl of Argyle, dying in this year, was succeeded 
by his son Archibald, fourth Earl, who immediately took 
the oath of allegiance to the King, and was appointed 
to all the offices held by his father and grandfather. 2 
Meantime, owing to the sickness and death of the late 
Earl, the King's service in the Isles had remained sta- 
tionary ; and, in the month of November, it was resolved 
that the King should proceed in person against the 
rebels in the following April, which term was afterwards 
altered to the 1st of June ; and, in contemplation of the 
Royal expedition, various important arrangements were 
made. The array of Perth and Forfar, and of all 
Scotland south of these shires, was directed to meet the 
King at Ayr on the day appointed, with provisions for 
forty days, to accompany his Majesty to the Isles; 
whilst the array of the northern shires was ordered to 
meet James, Earl of Murray, natural brother to the 
King, and Lieutenant of the North, at Kintaill, or 
elsewhere, as he should appoint, and to proceed in the 
service according to his directions. Finally, a Parlia- 
ment was summoned to meet at Edinburgh on the 24th 
of April, to pass sentence of forfeiture against the 
Islesmen who should then continue disobedient. 5 

i Acts of Lords of Council, XLL, fo. 79. 2 Ibid, fo. 134. 

3 Ibid, fo. 118, 154 ; XLII., fo. 35, 40. It appears that a " grati- 
tude" of 5,000, to be levied on benefited clergy of upwards of 
100 a- year income, was voted by the Churchmen in Parliament for 
this expedition. Ibid, XLL, fo. 154, and Treasurer's Accounts, ad 


Alexander of Isla hastened to open a com- 
munication with the King, as soon as he 
became aware of the magnitude of the preparations 
made for the Royal expedition ; and, having received a 
protection and safeguard, he came to his Majesty at 
Stirling, made his submission, and was received into 
favour upon certain conditions, which shall be after- 
wards noticed. The same course was pursued by 
Hector Maclean of Dowart; and, as these chiefs had 
been the principal leaders of the insurgents, the rebel- 
lion might now be looked upon as nearly at an end j 1 at 
least the King's presence was no longer thought neces- 
sary the management of the expedition being com- 
mitted to the Earls of Argyle and Murray. Previous 
to their departure on this service, these noblemen gave 
in to the Council certain offers, of which the following 
is an abstract : Argyle offered to pay the King's duties 
as tenant of Kintyre, whether the land lay waste or not, 
and both in peace and war, as his predecessors had done. 
He then engaged to proceed to the borders of the 
South Isles, and endeavour to prevail upon the inhabi- 
tants, by fair means, to take their lands on lease from 
the King's commissioners, and to pay the rents yearly 
to his Majesty's comptroller ; and, in the event of their 
refusal, he pledged himself with his own kinsmen, 
friends, and followers, to compel them to obedience, or 
else to destroy them, root and branchy and quiet the 
Isles in that way, without creating any burden upon the 
rest of the country ; and, at the same time, he requested 
that two of the King's household should accompany him, 
to observe his behaviour, and to see that he did not 

1 Acts of Lords of Council, XLII., fo. 144, 185 ; Reg. of Privy Seal, 
X., fo. 50, 58. 


proceed to extremities, until all other means had failed. 
On the ground of the experience of himself, and his clan 
and friends, " in the dan ting of the His," he demanded, 
further, that the Council should be commanded to con- 
sult with him, and take his advice in their future pro- 
ceedings with reference to the Islanders, and particu- 
larly in the punishment of the disobedient, and the 
rewarding of those who should do the King good service. 
Lastly, he desired a commission of lieutenandry over 
the South Isles and Kintyre a request which would 
imply that James, when preparing to go in person to 
the Isles, had revoked all former commissions. Mur- 
ray made similar offers, and preferred nearly similar 
petitions regarding the North Isles, over which he had 
been appointed lieutenant ; but went a little further 
than Argyle, in declaring his readiness to find security 
for the regular payment of the King's rents, within the 
districts committed to his charge ; and he concluded by 
a statement, that he undertook this service upon his 
own expenses, from a desire to forward the King's 
service, and to pacify the country, and that he expected 
no remuneration unless his endeavours were successful. 1 
The two Earls then proceeded to their respective posts; 
and, in the course of this summer, the insurrection was 
totally suppressed not so much by their exertions as 
by the voluntary submission of the principal chiefs, who, 
finding that the King would gladly avoid measures of 
extreme severity, followed the example of Alexander of 
Isla and Maclean of Dowart, and made their personal 

1 Acts of the Lords of Council, XLIL, fo. 186. Argyle, at this time, 
at the King's request, resigned his heritable office of Chamberlain of 
Kintyre, fo. 185. 


submission to the Sovereign, by whom they were par- 
doned, upon giving security for their obedience in future. 
The terms given to Alexander of Isla, who was con- 
sidered the prime mover of this insurrection, will serve 
to show the line of policy pursued by the Government at 
this period for restoring order in the Isles. This chief 
having come to Stirling, and offered his service to the 
King in the most humble manner, by written offers, and 
having placed himself wholly at the King's disposal, 
was restored to favour, upon the following conditions: 
He became bound to assist the Royal chamberlains in 
collecting the rents and duties of the Crown lands in 
the South Isles and Kintyre, and to procure for them 
the assistance of all chieftains or heads of tribes in these 
districts over whom he had any control, in proof of 
their obedience to the Royal authority. He also pro- 
mised to set at liberty all prisoners whom he had in 
custody belonging to Argyle's party, and to abstain 
from meddling with the lands and possessions of others ; 
and, finally, he pledged himself to support and maintain 
the Church in all her privileges, and to cause the rents 
of ecclesiastical lands to be punctually paid. For these 
promised services, he received a new grant, during the 
King's pleasure, of certain lands in the South Isles and 
Kintyre, formerly allowed to him under the regency of 
Alexander, Duke of Albany, and a remission to himself 
and his followers for the offences committed by them 
during the late rebellion. 1 Such were the means adopted 
by James V. to win the Islanders to good government ; 
and, as he was now sensible of the beneficial effects 
attending a free personal intercourse between himself 
and these warlike chiefs, he soon acquired as much 

1 Acts of Lords of Council, XLII., fo. 186. 


influence in the Isles as had been enjoyed by his gallant 
and chivalrous sire. Of this, an instance occurred about 
this time which deserves particular attention, as throwing 
much light upon the conduct of the family of Argyle 
towards the clans in their vicinity. 

Colin, third Earl of Argyle, had, during all the 
eventful changes of government in the minority of 
James V., contrived to retain the important office 
of lieutenant over the whole Lordship of the Isles, 
and to make this, in fact, an heritable office in his 
family. But a jealousy of the increasing power of the 
Campbells seems early to have been entertained by 
some of the Privy Councillors, and from them transferred 
to the young King. Nor is this much to be wondered 
at. These councillors must have known that, in for- 
feiting the ancient Lords of the Isles, James IV. con- 
templated not a mere change of family, but an entire 
alteration of system, which would give the Crown an 
efficient control over these territories. They must 
have observed with alarm the office of lieutenant in 
the Isles which implied much more extensive powers 
than could legally be exercised by the feudal lord 
becoming hereditary in a family already distinguished 
for its wealth and extensive vassalage. These feelings 
seem gradually to have ripened into a suspicion that 
many of the disturbances in the Isles were secretly 
fomented by the Royal lieutenant, in the hope of bene- 
fiting by the forfeitures which were expected to follow. 
The first indication of distrust on the part of the King 
and Council, was their sending a herald direct to the 
chief of Isla in 1529; and when, two years afterwards., 
that individual endeavoured to open a communication 
with Government, he did so, not through Argyle, but 


by the instrumentality of a worthy burgess of Ayr. 
The Earl of Murray was now associated with Argyle, 
whose operations, as we have seen, were restricted to 
the South Isles, while the King used every means to 
encourage the Islanders to apply in person to himself. 
When Archibald, fourth Earl of Argyle, proceeded 
in 1531 to the Hebrides, he was much disappointed 
that the submission of Alexander of Isla and Maclean 
of Do wart, joined to their influence upon the lesser 
clans who followed them, had left him so little to do ; 
and, as the remissions obtained by these chiefs placed 
them beyond his power as long as they remained quiet, 
he seized every opportunity of irritating them, so as to 
cause them to break the peace, and enable him to 
proceed against them. Failing in these designs, he 
presented a complaint to the Council, alleging that 
Alexander of Isla had been guilty of various crimes 
against him and his followers, thinking in this way to 
bring the other into discredit. Alexander being sum- 
moned to answer the charges preferred by the Earl, 
made his appearance without hesitation, much to the 
surprise of his accuser ; whilst Argyle absented himself, 
and did not even attempt to prove his allegations ; and 
it was even reported that he to.ok this opportunity of 
proceeding, in concert with the Earl of Murray, again 
to the Isles, where his appearance was dreaded as the 
signal for new devastations. The chief of Isla, mean- 
while, after waiting long for the arrival of Argyle, 
gave into the Council a written statement of a very 
remarkable nature. He denied solemnly the crimes 
laid to his charge ; declaring that he had done nothing 
since his restoration to favour, but by the Royal autho- 
rity, and offering anew to exert all his influence to 


cause the King's rents in the South Isles and Kin- 
tyre to be paid to any person properly appointed to 
receive them. He expressed his apprehension of the 
reported invasion of the Isles in terms which led to 
the conclusion that, if such a measure was really in 
progress, the authority for it must have been obtained 
by false or exaggerated statements. He offered, i' 
commission were given to himself, or any other chief 
in whom the King reposed confidence, for calling out 
the array of the Isles, in the event of war with England, 
or in any part of the realm of Scotland, to bring more 
fighting men into the field than Argyle, with all his 
influence, could levy in the Isles. He offered, likewise, 
in case Argyle should be disposed at any time to resist 
the Royal authority, and provided the King's commands 
to that effect were issued to his lieges in the Isles, to 
cause the Earl to quit Argyle, and dwell in another part 
of Scotland, where " the King's grace might get reason 
of him." He then undertook that, if any person in the 
Isles offended the Earl, or any individual in the Low- 
lands, he should cause the culprit to appear before the 
King, and either stand his trial for the offence, or redress 
the wrong inflicted, in the same way that Lowlanders 
were bound to do; consideration being had for the 
disturbed state of the Isles, caused, as this statement 
distinctly asserts, by the late Earl of Argyle, and his 
brothers, Sir John Campbell of Calder and Archi- 
bald Campbell of Skipnish. Finally, he engaged 
to perform all his Sovereign's commands, "for the 
honour and weal of the realm, with all his power, 
with the utmost diligence, and without dissimulation." l 
The King, moved with the confidence reposed in him, 

1 Acts of Lords of Council, XLIII., fo. 64. 


made such an examination into the complaints of the 
Islanders as satisfied him that the family of Argyle had 
been acting more for its own benefit than for the welfare 
of the country. The Earl was summoned to appeal- 
before his Sovereign, to give an account of the duties 
and rental of the Isles received by him; 1 and James 
was so much displeased with the result of his inquiry 
into Argyle's proceedings, that he committed him to 
prison soon after his arrival at Court. The conduct of 
the Earl of Murray, too, seems to have given the King 
great dissatisfaction. The Earl of Argyle was soon 
liberated from prison ; but he was, at the same time, 
deprived of the offices he still held in the Isles ; some 
of which were bestowed on Alexander of Isla, who now 
rose rapidly in the Koyal favour.- Nor does Argyle 
appear again to have regained his authority over the 
Islanders till after the death of James V. Alexander 
of Isla, soon after he had obtained this triumph over 
Argyle, was sent to Ireland at the head of a 
body of seven or eight thousand men. This 
force was intended to create a diversion in favour of the 
Scots, who were engaged in a war with England ; and, 
as they committed great devastations in Ulster, 3 it is 
not improbable that their leader employed this favour- 
able opportunity to add to his hereditary possessions in 
that province. King James, at the same time, pro- 
vided for the education of the eldest son of the chief 

1 Treasurer's Accounts, 1st Nov., 1531. 

2 Original Letter in State Paper Office, dated Newcastle, 27th 
December, 1531, from the Earl of Northumberland to Henry VIIL, 
which alludes to " the sore imprisonment of the Earl of Argyle, and the 
little estimation of the Earl of Murray," by the King of Scots. 

3 Original Letter, Northumberland to Henry, 3rd September, 1532. 
Cotton. MS., Brit. Mus. Caligula, B. 1. 124. 


of Isla, who was placed under the special charge of 
William Henderson, Dean of Holy rood. 1 By this 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 improved and enlarged, whilst his presence 
in Edinburgh, under the eye of the sovereign,, secured 
the obedience of his father. 
A.D. 1532- But while he thus gained, by these and 

15394 similar favours, the attachment of this parti- 
cular family, James did not neglect the rest of the 
Islanders. He kept up his influence by a close corre- 
spondence with the different chiefs, and by frequent visits 
to the West Highlands; 2 so that, for several years, these 
districts were in a more complete state of obedience 
than at any former period. The petty feuds between 
the different clans were not yet entirely suppressed. 
We find traces, in the latter part of this reign, of the 
old quarrels between the Clanchameron and Clanchat- 
tan; between the former tribe and the Macleans; and 
between the two principal families of this last-mentioned 
clan, those of Dowart and Lochbuy. 3 But the general 
peace of the Western Highlands and Isles was not 
seriously disturbed till the year 1539, when a new 
attempt was made to restore the Lordship of the Isles 
and Earldom of Ross to one of the old family. 

Many of the Islanders still regarded Donald Dubb, 
for whose sake their fathers had risen in rebellion in 

1 Treasurer's Accounts, 1531-1535. 

2 The Treasurer's Accounts show that, in September, 1532, the King 
was in Argyle and at Inverary. He was again in Argyle in September 
and October, 1534. 

3 Acts of the Lords of Council and Session, Lib. X., fo. 83 ; XL, fo. 
181 ; XIL, fo. 188. 


1503, as the proper heir; but the lengthened captivity 
of this hapless chief, joined to the doubts of his legiti- 
macy, which were countenanced by the Government,, 
contributed to bring forward another claimant. This 
was Donald Gorme of Sleat, the son and successor of 
Donald Gruamach. The talents of the father had done 
much to raise the Clandonald or Clanhuistein of Sleat 
from the depressed state into which they had fallen, 
owing to confiscations and internal dissensions; and the 
power of the son was much increased by his marriage 
with the heiress of John MacTorquil Macleod. (Supra, 
p. 131). That chief, the representative of an elder, though 
forfeited branch of the family of Lewis, had, as we have 
seen, obtained possession of the estates and leading of 
his tribe; and although he did not hold these by any 
legal title, the claims of his daughter, after his death, 
were far from contemptible, especially when supported by 
the influence of the Clandonald. A compromise seems 
to have been entered into between Donald Gorme and 
Ruari Macleod, the legal heir of the Lewis. Ruari 
Macleod was allowed to enter into possession of the 
estate of Lewis, as formerly held by Malcolm Macleod, 
his father, and the last lawful possessor. In return for 
such an important concession on the part of the chief 
of Sleat, the other became bound to assist in putting 
Donald Gorme in possession of Trouterness, against all 
the efforts of the chief of Dunvegan and his tribe, the 
Siol Tormod, who had again contrived to seize that 
district. It is probable, too, that Macleod agreed to 
co-operate with him in his endeavours to obtain the 
Earldom of Ross and Lordship of the Isles, to which, 
indeed, on the supposition of the illegitimacy of Donald 
Dubh, and setting aside the forfeiture, Donald Gorme 


was heir-male. This was the foundation of a conspiracy 
which soon embraced a majority of the Island chiefs, 
and was only extinguished by the death of Donald 
Gorme, and the active measures adopted by the King. 
It is probable that Argyle's loss of influence may have 
led the Islanders to expect that their object was to be 
obtained by the favour of the Crown; but, if so, they 
were disappointed, and their disappointment caused 
them to attempt seizing by force, what they could not 
compass by other means. 

In the month of May this year, Trouter- 
ness was invaded and laid waste by Donald 
Gorme and his allies of the Siol Torquil. as we find from 
a complaint made against them by Alexander Macleod 
of Dunvegan. 1 From Sky, taking advantage of the 
absence of Mackenzie of Kintaill, who was opposed to 
his pretensions, Donald Gorme passed over into Ross- 
shire, where, after ravaging the district of Kinlochew, 
he proceeded to Kintaill, with the intention of surprising 
Mackenzie's Castle of Elandonan. This fortress was, 
at the time, almost destitute of a garrison, and, had the 
insurgents succeeded in their attempt, a formidable 
rebellion in the Isles would have been the consequence. 
But their leader, trusting to the weakness of the 
garrison, and exposing himself rashly under the walls 
of the castle, received a wound in the foot from an 
arrow shot by the constable of the castle, which 
speedily proved fatal; for, not observing that the 
arrow was barbed, the enraged chief pulled it hastily 
out of the wound, by which an artery was severed; and 
the medical skill of his followers could devise no means 
of checking the effusion of blood which necessarily fol- 

1 Books of Adjournal, 16th Dec., 1539. 



lowed. They conveyed him to an islet out of reach of 
the castle, where a temporary hut was constructed, in 
which this ill-fated representative of the Lords of the 
Isles closed his short career. The spot where he died 
is still pointed out, and receives from the natives the 
name of "Larach tigh Mhic Dhonuill;" or, "The 
site of Macdonald's house." Discouraged by this event, 
the insurgents returned to Sky, after burning all the 
boats belonging to the Kintaill men they could find. 1 

In the following year the King, who had, 
in all probability, been made aware of the 
intentions of the Islesmen, determined, although the 
insurrection was now apparently at an end, to take steps 
that would effectually put a stop to such schemes in 
future. Preparations, on a formidable scale, were made 
for a voyage by the King in person to the Isles. 
Twelve ships, well provided with artillery, were ordered 
to be ready by the 1 4th day of May, six of which were 
to be occupied by the Royal suite and the soldiers under 
the immediate command of the King. Of the remain- 
ing ships, three were appointed for the sole purpose of 
victualling the armament; whilst the others were 
assigned to Cardinal Beaton and the Earls of Huntly 
and Arran. The Cardinal commanded five hundred 
men of Fife and Angus; Huntly, besides gentlemen, 

1 Kemission to Archibald His, alias Archibald the Clerk, Alexander 
3IacConnell Gallich, and many others, for their treasonable fire-raising 
and burning of boats at Elandonan, and for the heirship of Kenlochew 
and Trouterness, dated 22nd March, 1540-41 (Reg. of Privy Seal, 
XV., fo. 47). MS. Genealogies of the Macdonalds of Sleat, of the 
Mackenzies, and of the Macras. The constable of Elandonan was of 
the last-mentioned tribe. Donald Gorme left an infant son, also named 
Donald, who fell under the guardianship of his grand-uncle, the above- 
named "Archibald His." 


and thirty of the Royal household, led five hundred 
men of the northern shires ; and Arran was followed by 
the like number of warriors of the western districts, 
exclusive of the gentlemen and twenty-four servants in 
his train. To complete the preparations, a skilful pilot, 
Alexander Lindsay, was appointed to attend the King, 
and report the nautical observations. 

It was not till the end of May that this powerful 
fleet quitted the Frith of Forth ; and James then sailed 
northwards, by the east coast of Scotland, until he came 
to the Orkney Isles, where he and his army landed, and 
were honourably entertained by Robert Maxwell, at that 
time Bishop of Orkney. Here, likewise, their stock of 
fresh provisions was renewed. From Orkney the expe- 
dition sailed to the coast of Sutherland, for the purpose 
of seizing Donald Mackay of Strathnaver, which was 
effected without difficulty. Thence the fleet proceeded 
to the Isle of Lewis, where Ruari Macleod, with his 
principal kinsmen, met the King, and were made to 
accompany him in his further progress. The west coast 
of the Isle of Sky was next visited ; and Alexander 
Macleod of Dunvegan, lord of that part of the island, 
was constrained to embark in the Royal fleet. Coast- 
ing round by the north of Sky, the King then came to 
the district of Trouterness, so lately desolated by the 
chief of Sleat. Here various chieftains, claiming their 
descent from the ancient Lords of the Isles, came to 
meet their Sovereign particularly John Moydertach, 
captain of the Claiiranald, Alexander of Glengarry, 
and others of " MacConeyllis kin/' These chieftains 
probably hoped to secure the Royal favour by coming 
to meet the King before the course of his voyage 
led him to their own districts. From Trouterness, 


James proceeded, by the coast of Ross, to Kintaill, 
where he was joined by the chief of the Mackenzies ; 
and then, sailing southwards by the Sound of Sleat, he 
visited, in succession, the Isles of Mull and Isla, and the 
districts of Kintyre and Knapdale, taking with him, on 
his departure, Hector Maclean of Dowart, and James 
Macdonald of Isla, the two principal leaders in the 
South Isles. He then landed himself at Dunbarton ; 
but sent the fleet, with the captive chiefs on board, back 
to Edinburgh, by the route followed in coming to the 
Isles. It is not the least remarkable circumstance 
connected with this important expedition, that the Earl 
of Argyle had no prominent command, if, indeed, he 
was employed at all, which is very doubtful. 

Having now all these chiefs in his power, James pro- 
ceeded to make the necessary regulations for retaining 
them and their successors in a more settled obedience ; 
and it need scarcely be observed that his projects were 
much facilitated by his having to deal with prisoners. 
The enactments made on this occasion have not been 
preserved ; but it is known that several of the chiefs 
were liberated, upon giving hostages for their obedience ; 
and the proceedings under the regency of Mary of 
Guise, prove that there must have been some general 
regulation made at this time for securing the peace of the 
Highlands and Isles, by means of taking hostages from 
the principal men. Some of the more turbulent chiefs 
were detained in confinement until some time after the 
King's death, and were then only liberated by a piece 
of State policy, on the part of the Regent Arran, as 
short-sighted as it proved futile. 1 

1 The most complete account of this expedition and its immediate 
results, is to be found in Lesley s History of Scotland, p. 156. It is 


The detaining some of the chiefs in prison, and the 
taking of hostages from the others, were not the only 
precautionary measures adopted by the King while the 
Highland chiefs were in his power. He placed garrisons, 
commanded by captains of his own appointment, in 
several of the most important fortresses. Of this branch 
of his policy, one marked instance has come down to us. 
Archibald Stewart, of the family of Bute, was made 
captain of the Castle of Dunyveg in Isla, belonging 
to James Macdonald, the son and successor of that 
Alexander of Isla who had formerly stood so high in the 
King's favour; and, shortly before the King's death, 
he received a commission as Governor and Sheriff of 
Isla. 1 As James Macdonald had been educated under 
the King's eye, it may be conceived that, when his 
castle was made a Royal garrison, those of many of the 
other chiefs did not remain in the powers of their owners. 
The annexation of the Lordship of the Isles, with North 
and South Kiutyre, inalienably to the Crown, 2 seemed to 
give the finishing blow to the hopes so long cherished 
by the Islanders ; and everything promised an assur- 
ance of a more lengthened period of repose than the 
Isles had hitherto enjoyed. 

singular that so important a measure is uniformly misdated, both 
by Lesley, Buchanan, Pitscottie, and all our early historians; some 
placing it in 1535, others in 1539. The extracts from the Treasurer's 
Accounts, printed in Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, I. 303*, give the 
true date, 1540, which has been adopted by Mr. Tytler. Pinkerton 
was the first to correct this error. 

1 Reg. of Privy Seal, XVI., fo. 1. Treasurer's Accounts, ad 
tempus. From the last source, it appears that the Castle of Duna- 
vertich in Kintyre, likewise belonging to James Macdonald, or at 
least commanding a territory occupied by him and his clan, was at this 
time held by a Royal garrison. 

2 Acts of Parliament, 3rd December, 1540 

150 DEATPI OF JAMES V. [1542. 

But this fair prospect was soon clouded by 

A D i 4.'' 

the untimely death of James V. in the flower 
of his age, and the succession of his infant daughter to 
the Crown. This event exposed the kingdom not only 
to foreign aggression, but to domestic feuds between the 
powerful factions that contended for the government of 
the young Queen. In the next chapter we shall see the 
effect of these struggles in retarding the civilisation of 
the Highlands and Isles. 




IT is not the province of a work like the present to trace 
minutely the proceedings of the great parties which 
divided Scotland during the minority of Queen Mary. 
A brief outline of these proceedings, and of the extra- 
ordinary changes which a very short time produced in the 
line of conduct pursued by some of the leading nobility, 
will serve to show the position in which the Islanders 
and Western Highlanders were placed at this time. 

The leading party in Scotland was that of 
the Catholic clergy, at the head of which 
was the able but unprincipled Cardinal Beaton. " Of 
this faction," says a recent author, " the guiding princi- 
ples were a determined opposition to the progress of the 
Reformation, and a devotion to the Papal see ; friend- 
ship with France; hostility to England; and a resolution, 
which all must applaud, of preserving the ancient inde- 
pendence of their country." 1 The ranks of the opposite 
faction included all the supporters of the Keformation ; 
and at their head was the Earl of Arran, whose assump- 
tion of this authority was owing more to his high rank, 
as next heir to the Crown, than to any natural energy 

1 Tytler's Scotland, V., p. 310. 


of character he possessed. This party was naturally dis- 
posed to a friendly intercourse with the English King ; 
and thus increased the influence which late events had 
given to that monarch over the affairs of Scotland. 

Immediately after the death of James V., King Henry 
formed the plan of uniting Scotland to England, by a 
marriage between the infant Queen and his own son, 
Edward, Prince of Wales. His influence with the Earl 
of Angus and the Douglases, who now, after a 
lengthened banishment, returned to their native land, 
and the opportunity afforded by the capture of so many 
Scottish prisoners of rank at Solway, seem to have 
offered a temptation too strong to be resisted by so 
ambitious a prince. The leading prisoners were allowed 
to visit Scotland, after coming under strict engagements 
to Henry., in reference to the proposed marriage, not 
only disgraceful to them, as men of honour and natives 
of Scotland, but calculated to subvert entirely the liber- 
ties of their country. The principal opposition to these 
schemes, which were conducted with great caution, 
proceeded from the Cardinal. This able statesman was 
not discouraged by the failure of an attempt to possess 
himself of the regency, although the immediate conse- 
quence was the ascendancy of the English faction, who 
had the Regent Arran completely under their influence. 
In order to work upon the fears of Arran, and 
make him subservient to his designs, Beaton 
had procured the return from abroad of Mathew, Earl 
of Lennox, whom he proposed to set up in opposition to 
Arran, as a claimant for the regency. The claims of 
Lennox, indeed, to this high office, were of such a 
nature as, in the hands of an opponent like the Cardinal, 
could hardly fail to alarm the present Governor. But 


the violence and impetuosity of the English King, by 
rousing the Scottish nation to a sense of its danger, and 
of the designs entertained against its independence, 
principally contributed to a coalition between Arran and 
the Cardinal, which put an end to the treaty for the 
marriage of the Queen of Scots. 1 

Having gained his object of a union with Arran, the 
Cardinal began to neglect Lennox, whom he had 
hitherto flattered with hopes of the regency and of 
the hand of Mary of Guise, the Queen-mother. That 
nobleman, who had lately been instrumental in pro- 
curing a promise from, the French King of assistance 
to the Cardinal's party, in the event of a war with Eng- 
land, was so deeply offended at Beaton's conduct that 
he at once threw himself into the arms of the English 
party. Just at this time, the Sieur de la Brosse, a French 
ambassador, accompanied by a small fleet, bearing mili- 
tary stores, fifty pieces of artillery, and ten thousand 
crowns, to be distributed among the friends of the Car- 
dinal, arrived in the Frith of Clyde. On hearing of 
his arrival, the Earls of Lennox and Glencairn hastened 
to receive from the ambassador the gold of which he 
was the bearer, which they secured in the Castle of 
Dunbarton, leaving De la Brosse, who was ignorant of 
the sudden change in the politics of Lennox, to find 
out his mistake when too late. 2 

The Earls of Arran and Lennox, one of whom held, 
and the other claimed to hold, the highest office in the 
realm to which a subject could aspire, had displayed, 
during late events, a disgraceful versatility ; and others 

1 Tytler's Scotland, V. 311-346. This remarkable coalition, which 
was very suddenly brought about, took place on 3rd Sept., 1543. 

2 Ibid, 348-9. 


of the Scottish nobility, having sold themselves to Eng- 
land, were now leagued to destroy the independence of 
their country. From such proofs of the want of public 
spirit and principle among so many of the great barons, 
we turn with pleasure to contemplate the dignified and 
patriotic conduct of the two most powerful noblemen in 
the Highlands, the Earls of Huntiy and Argyle, who, 
emulating the example of their gallant ancestors, never 
lost sight of their duty to Scotland. They acknowledged 
the advantages that might result from the proposed 
matrimonial alliance, if made on equal terms; but when 
the rashness and violence of Henry disclosed prema- 
turely his ambitious views, they did not hesitate to 
oppose, to the utmost of their power, the projects of 
the English party. 1 This conduct procured for Huntiy 
and Argyle the honour of the enmity, both of Henry 
and of his hired partisans in Scotland, but entitled 
them, on the other hand, to the respect and confidence 
of all their true-hearted countrymen. During the 
various struggles which preceded the union of the 
Regent and the Cardinal, and when a civil war seemed 
inevitable, it became of the greatest importance to 
deprive the Cardinal of the assistance of such power- 
ful adherents; and for the attainment of this object, 
the state of the West Highlands and Isles afforded, at 
this time, great facilities. Donald Dubh, the grand- 
son of John, last Lord of the Isles, was now once 
more at liberty. It will be in the recollection of the 
reader, that this unfortunate chief, who seems really 
to have been legitimate, was stigmatised as a bastard ; 
and that, with the exception of the short period of his 
rebellion against James IV., he had been a State pri- 

1 Tytler, ubi supra. 


soner from his infancy. In what manner Donald Dubh 
effected this, his second escape, is doubtful ; but it is 
certain that he owed his liberty to the grace of God, 
and not to the goodwill of the Government. 1 Having 
come to the Isles, he was received with enthusiasm by 
the same clans that had formerly supported his claims; 
and, with their assistance, he prepared to expel the Earls 
of Argyle and Huntly from their acquisitions in the 
Lordship of the Isles. As long, however, as the chiefs 
and hostages imprisoned by James V. in 1540, remained 
in the power of the Government, the Highlanders were 
compelled to proceed with great caution. A truce was 
agreed to between the Earl of Argyle and the self- 
styled Lord of the Isles, which was to last till May- 
day, 1543 ; and, in the meantime, both parties were 
active in preparing for war. 2 In June of the same 
year, we find that Argyle was occupied in the High- 
lands with the " Irishmen," who were rebelling against 
him; and, at the same time, the presence of Huntly 
was required in the north, probably from the same 
cause. 3 About this time, too, it was suggested to the 
Regent by the Earl of Glencairn one of the most 
active of the English party, and between whom and 
Argyle their existed a violent private feud that the 
Highland chiefs and hostages left in prison by the late 
King should be liberated, in order to enable the Lord 
of the Isles to act with vigour against Argyle and 
Huntly. 4 The suggestions of Glencairn were doubt- 
less enforced by the arguments of Sadler, the English 

1 This appears from a document in the State Paper Office, quoted by 
Mr. Tytler, V., p. 232, note. 

2 Sadler's State Papers. I. 192, 194. 

3 Ibid, 214. * Ibid) 073 


ambassador, as the attention of the King of England 
had been early drawn to the state of the Highlands and 
Isles. 1 Thus prompted, the feeble and short-sighted 
Arran liberated all the Highland prisoners, taking bonds 
from them, as we learn from Sadler's correspondence, 
" that they should not make any stir or breach in their 
country, but at such time as he should appoint them. 
But how they will observe these bonds," continues the 
ambassador, " now since they be at liberty, it is hard 
to say; for they be noted such perilous persons, as it is 
thought it shall not ly in the Earl of Argyle's power to 
daunt them, nor yet in the Governor's to set that coun- 
try in a stay and quietness a great while." 2 

Immediately upon the return of the liberated chiefs 
to their clans, Donald of the Isles assembled a force of 
eighteen hundred men, with which he invaded Argyle's 
territories, slew many of his vassals, and carried off a 
great quantity of cattle, with other plunder. This inroad 
had the desired effect of preventing the junction of 
Argyle with the Cardinal, by keeping the former at home 
in the month of August, when a collision between the 
Regent and the Cardinal, and their respective adher- 
ents, was daily expected. 3 The sudden conversion of 
Arran from a supporter to an opponent of the views of 
the English King, caused his ill-judged policy in libe- 
rating the Highland chiefs, and encouraging them to 
attack Argyle and Huntly, to recoil on himself. And 
although, in order to repair his fault, he afterwards 
made great offers to Donald of the Isles, with the view 

1 Letter of "John Elder, Clerk, a Redshank," to King Henry, 
in 1542, a most curious and interesting document, printed in the 
Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 23. 

2 Sadler, I. 267. 3 Sadler, I. 266-7, 275. 


of detaching him and his followers from the English 
party, his efforts totally failed of success. 1 Of all the 
vassals of the Isles, James Macdonald of Isla alone 
supported the Regent; and future events showed that 
the fidelity even of this chief could not altogether be 

relied on. 

The Earl of Huntly and his vassals proba- 
bly suffered, as well as Argyle, from the inroads 
of the western clans in 1543; but in the following 
year, a feud between the Clanranald of Moydert and 
the Erasers, still further interrupted the tranquillity of 
those districts of the Highlands placed under the con- 
trol of Huntly, as Lieutenant of the North. The 
circumstances connected with this feud are as follows : 
Allan MacEuari of Moydert, chief of the Clanranald 
from 1481 to 1509, was twice married; first, to a 
daughter of Macian of Ardnamurchan, by whom he 
had two sons, Ranald Bane and Alexander; secondly, 
and late in life, to a daughter of the Lord Lovat, 
by whom he had one son, likewise named Ranald, 
and known by the clan as Ranald Galda, or the 
stranger, from his being fostered by his mother's rela- 
tions, the Erasers, at a great distance from Moydert. 
Ranald Bane Allanson of Moydert, chief of the Clan- 
ranald, being executed, as we have seen, in 1513, was 
succeeded by his son, Dougal MacRanald, or Ranaldson. 
This chief, having made himself detested in the clan by 
his cruelties, was assassinated by them ; and the com- 
mand of the tribe, with the large family estates, was, 
by their consent, given to Alexander or Allaster Allan- 

1 Letter from Commissioners of the Lord of the Isles, to the 
English Privy Council, dated in August, 1545, and preserved in the 
State Paper Office. 


son, the uncle of Dougal, to the exclusion of the sons 
of the latter., who were then young. 1 On the death of 
Allaster, which took place before 1530, his bastard son, 
John Moydertach, a man of uncommon talent and 
ability, was acknowledged by the whole clan as their 
chief; and he even succeeded in procuring charters to 
the estates. These he possessed without interruption, 
till, with other chiefs, he was apprehended by James V. 
in the course of that King's voyage through the Isles in 
1540, and placed in prison. Lord Lovat and the Frasers 
then bestirred themselves for the interest of their kinsman 
Ranald Galda, and made such a representation on the 
subject, that the charters formerly granted to John Moy- 
dertach were revoked, and the lands granted to Ranald 
Galda, as the heir of his father, Allan MacRuari. 2 The 
existence of prior legal heirs (the sons of Dougal) seems 
to have been carefully concealed; and, by the assistance 
of the Frasers, Ranald was actually put in possession of 
the estate which he held only as long as John Moyder- 
tach remained in prison; for, immediately on the return 
of that chief to the Highlands, he was joined by the 
whole of the Clanranald, including the sons of Dougal, 
and again acknowledged as their chief. Ranald, who 
had lost favour with the clan by exhibiting a parsimonious 
disposition, was expelled from Moydert, and forced to 

1 Allan, the eldest son of Dougal, and the undoubted heir-male of 
the Clanranald, acquired the estate of Morar, which he transmitted 
to his descendants. He and his successors were always styled, in 
Gaelic, " MacDhughail Mhorair," i.e., Macdougal of Morar, from 
their ancestor, Dougal MacRanald. 

2 Macvurich's MS. and Hugh Macdonald's MS., compared with 
the traditions of the country. Reg. of the Great Seal, XXIV. 151 ; 
XXVII. 102. Acte of the Lords of Council, XLI. 79; Lesley's 
History of Scotland, 157: Treasurer's Accounts, A.D. 1542. 


take refuge with Lord Lovat, who once more prepared 
to assert the rights of his kinsman. The Clanranald, 
however, did not wait to be attacked, but, assisted 
by Ranald MacDonald Glas of Keppoch and his 
tribe, and by the Clanchameron, under their veteran 
leader, Ewin Allanson of Lochiel, they carried the war 
into the enemy's country. The districts of Abertarf 
and Stratherrick, belonging to Lovat, and the lands 
of Urquhart and Glenmoriston, the property of the 
Grants, were speedily overrun by the insurgents, who 
likewise possessed themselves of the Castle of Urquhart 
on Lochness. Not content with the usual system of 
indiscriminate plunder which characterised a Highland 
inroad, they seemed to aim at a permanent occupation, 
of the invaded territories; and such was their audacity 
that the Earl of Huntly was at length constrained to 
levy a numerous force in the northern counties, and 
proceed to crush this threatening insurrection before it 
should spread farther. Among those who 'attended 
Huntly on this expedition, were Lord Lovat and the 
Laird of Grant, at the head of their respective clans, 
and Eanald Galda, so lately expelled from Moydert, 
all of whom were deeply interested in the success of 
the enterprise. 

At the approach of Huntly, the Highlanders retreated 
to their mountain fastnesses, leaving the country open 
to the Eoyal forces; so that, without more delay than 
was rendered necessary by the rugged nature of the 
country, that nobleman penetrated as far as Inverlochy. 
Having, without opposition, put Ranald Galda in pos- 
session of Moydert, and restored to their proper owners 
the other lands that had been occupied by the rebels, 
Huntly set out on his return home, satisfied with what 


he had done, although it does not appear that he had 
succeeded in apprehending, at this time, any leader of 
the insurgents. On arriving at the mouth of Glenspean, 
in Lochaber, a separation of Huntly's forces took place. 
The Earl himself, the Laird of Grant, and the bulk of 
the army, proceeded to Strathspey by the Braes of Locha- 
ber and Badenoch, while Lovat, in spite of repeated re- 
monstrances on the rashness of his conduct, marched with 
his own vassals, amounting to four hundred men, by the 
line of the great glen, that being not only the shortest road, 
but passing, for a great part of the way, through his own 
lands of Abertarf and Stratherrick, He was likewise 
accompanied, out of compliment, by Ranald Galda, and 
a few followers of the latter. The fears of those who 
had remonstrated with Lovat were soon realised. The 
insurgent Highlanders, who had drawn together again, 
upon receiving intelligence of Huntly's intention to return 
home, and had kept a close watch upon the movements 
of the Royal army, no sooner perceived the separation 
of Lovat from the main body, than they determined to 
intercept and cut him off. Accordingly, Lovat, who 
marched by the south side of Loch Lochy, was hardly 
out of reach of assistance from Huntly, when he per- 
ceived a superior force of Highlanders marching up the 
north side, in seven companies, with displayed banners, 
and so far advanced as to leave no doubt of their in- 
tercepting him at the head of the lake. 1 On this, 

1 The Diurnal of Occurrents, printed by the Bannatyne Club, p, 
34, states that the Earl of BotJiwdl was riding to a "tryst," or ap- 
pointment, made by him with Lovat and the" captain of Clanranald, 
in order to settle the differences between these chiefs ; but that, 
before he arrived, the parties had encountered, and the battle was 
over. This is nowhere else alluded to, and it is difficult to under- 


Lovat, who perceived the danger of his position, de- 
tached a portion of his force, under a favourite vassal, 
named Bean Clerach, to occupy a pass in the hills at a 
little distance, by which, in the event of the day turning 
against him, he hoped to secure a retreat. With the 
rest of his followers, who now amounted to about three 
hundred, a great proportion of whom were gentlemen, 
and well armed, he moved forward to meet the enemy. 
The Clanranald and their supporters were superior in 
number, amounting probably to five hundred ; but of 
these many were of the inferior sort, and ill supplied 
with arms. Just after the commencement of the action, 
the Frasers were joined, to the great grief of their 
leader, by the Master of Lovat, a youth of great pro- 
mise, lately returned from abroad. He had been ex- 
pressly charged by his father not to join this expedition, 
and he accordingly remained at home for some time after 
its departure; but, roused by the taunts of his step- 
mother, who wished to get rid of him, the gallant youth 
chose twelve trusty followers, and set out in search of 
his father and clan, whom he met at the head of Loch 
Lochy, in time to join in the fray. 

The contest began with the discharge of arrows at a 
distance ; but when their shafts were spent both parties 
rushed to close combat, and, attacking each other 
furiously with their two-handed swords and axes, a dread- 
ful slaughter ensued. Such was the heat of the weather, 
it being the month of July, that the combatants threw 
off their coats and fought in their shirts; whence the 
battle received the named of " Blar-na-leine," or " The 

stand the interference of Bothwell in a matter under Huntly's 
immediate jurisdiction. Perhaps for Boihivell we should read 


162 DEATH OF LORD LOVAT. [1544. 

Field of Shirts." At length the Erasers, after fighting 
with the greatest bravery, were obliged to retire ; but, 
unfortunately, Bean Clerach and his detachment, having 
missed their way, were unable to render any assistance 
to their clansmen ; and the pass which they should have 
occupied being seized by the Clanranald, the Frasers, 
thus hemmed in, were, after a desperate and unavailing 
struggle, almost entirely cut to pieces. According to 
their own historians, one gentleman alone (James Fraser 
of Foyers, who was severely wounded and left for dead), 
and four common men of their party, survived this bloody 
field, which threatened the annihilation of the name of 
Fraser in the north. The loss of the victors is com- 
monly represented as much greater, in so far as only 
eight of their number are said to have survived the con- 
flict. But this is certainly one of those exaggerations 
in which traditionary historians are so apt to indulge ; 
for none of the leaders of the Clanranald and their 
allies fell in the action; and, indeed, in the following year 
they were all actively engaged in supporting the preten- 
sions of their new Lord, Donald of the Isles. This would 
have been impossible had they suffered so severe a loss 
as is alleged to have been inflicted on them in this action. 
The bodies of Lord Lovat, his son the Master, and 
Ranald Galda, who had all fought with the utmost 
bravery, and only yielded to superior numbers, were, a 
few days after the battle, removed by a train of mourn- 
ing relatives, and interred at the Priory of Beauly in 
the Aird. 1 Such was the famous clan battle of Blar- 

1 These particulars regarding the battle of Kinloch-lochy, and 
the events which preceded it, have been gathered from a careful 
examination of the following sources : Reg. of Privy Seal, XX. , fo. 
72 5 XXI., fo. 3 ; XXII., fo. 27 ; XX1IL, fo. 45. Reg. of Great Seal, 


na-leine, or Kinloch-lochy, by which the Clanranald 
maintained in possession of the chiefship and estates of 
their tribe an individual of their own choice, in oppo- 
sition to one supported by all the influence of the feudal 
law. It is not unworthy of notice that John Moydertach, 
himself an elected chief, afterwards transmitted to his 
descendants, without difficulty, the possessions that had 
been so hardly won. 

The news of the disaster that had happened to Lord 
Lovat and his followers being carried to the Earl of 
Huntly, that nobleman appears again to have pene- 
trated into Lochaber. 1 But, although he laid waste 
the lands of some of the rebels, and executed such of 
them as came into his power, he had no better success 
than formerly in apprehending any of the principal 
leaders, who evaded his pursuit by retiring to the most 
inaccessible districts. More important national con- 
cerns seem now to have occupied Huntly's attention ; 
and his withdrawal from Lochaber was the signal for 
new insurrections ; nor was it for nearly two years that 
he was enabled to check these disturbances, by the exe- 
cution of two of the principal chiefs, as will appear in 
the sequel. 

Among the other methods adopted by the King of 

XXX. 263, 314. Lesley's History of Scotland, p. 184. Diurnal of 
Occurrents, p. 34. Gordon's History of the Family of Sutherland, 
p. 109. MS. History of the Erasers, Adv. Lib. Jac. 5th, 7, 29. 
MS. History of the Camerons. Buchanan's History of Scotland, ad 
tempus. In the letter, formerly mentioned, as written by the Com- 
missioners of the Lord of the Isles, in August 1545, to the English 
Privy Council, it is stated that, " the last yeir, the capitane of Clan- 
ranald, in Ms defence, slew the Lord Lovat, his son-in-law, his three 
brethren, with thirteen scoir of men." Tytler, V. 233. 

1 Lesley, p. 185. 


England, in this year, to force the Scottish nation into 
a renewal of the marriage treaty, he did not neglect 
sending an expedition to harass Scotland on the side of 
the Isles. The rupture of the treaty, although solely 
caused by his own violent and ungovernable temper, had, 
nevertheless, irritated him highly against the Scots, and 
his wrath was marked by acts, such as the burning of 
Edinburgh and Leith, and the laying waste of a great 
portion of the southern counties, which only tended to 
widen the breach, and secured no solid advantage to 
England. The expedition against the west coast, which 
was under the command of the Earl of Lennox, had a 
similar result. In the month of August, a well-manned 
fleet of ten or twelve sail "left Bristol, having on board 
Lennox, accompanied by Sir Eise Mansell and Sir 
Peter Mewtas, Knights, and several other officers of 
experience, naval and military, with two hundred hack- 
butteers, two hundred archers, and two hundred pike- 
men. 1 

On his arrival off the coast of Scotland, Lennox first 
attacked and plundered the Isle of Arran, and razed 
the Castle of Brodick to the ground. He then pro- 
ceeded to Bute, of which island, with its Castle of 
Rothesay, he made himself master with little difficulty. 
These acquisitions, according to agreement, were 
delivered to Sir Rise Mansell and Richard Broke, who 
accompanied the expedition, and took formal possession 
of them in the name of the King of England. Lennox 
next sailed towards the Castle of Dunbarton, the seizure 
of which, and its delivery to the English, was the prin- 
cipal object of the expedition ; but here he met with 

i Tytler, V., p. 371 ; Dr. Patrick Anderson's MS. History of Scotland, 
Advocates' Library, II. 34. 


an unexpected disappointment. When some months 
earlier, upon an open rupture with the Regent, and the 
success of the latter at Glasgow Muir, the Earl of Glen- 
cairn was forced to seek safety in flight, he joined the 
Earl of Lennox, who had for some time been assem- 
bling his forces at Dumbarton. The nature of the in- 
trigues in which these noblemen were engaged, made it 
necessary for Lennox to proceed in person to England. 
On his departure, Glencairn, and several gentlemen of 
his train, were left in the Castle of Dumbarton, the 
governor of which was Stirling of Glorat, a retainer 
of Lennox. In the meantime, daring the absence of 
the latter nobleman, Glencairn was tampered with by 
the Queen Dowager, and the result was a plot to entrap 
Lennox and make him prisoner when he should appear 
to take possession of the fortress. Having landed in 
the immediate vicinity of the castle with three hundred 
men, Lennox proceeded with a small retinue into the 
castle itself in order to receive it from the governor. 
But before the preliminary arrangements were com- 
pleted, and just after the money was laid down, which 
was to bribe the governor to, betray his trust, by admit- 
ting an English garrison, Lennox became alarmed at 
certain symptoms of disaffection which he perceived, 
and, leaving the money behind him, hastily quitted the 
castle. Joining the English troops that were in waiting 
outside, he effected a hurried retreat to his ships, but 
not before such a step had become absolutely necessary; 
for shortly after Lennox had quitted the town of Dun- 
barton, a body of four thousand Scots, sent expressly to 
apprehend him, entered it under the command of Sir 
George Douglas this baron, and his brother, the 
Earl of Angus, so long the soul of the English faction 


in Scotland, being now, by the reckless proceedings of 
Henry, converted into enemies. 1 

The expedition now returned to Bute, their leader 
deeply mortified by his failure at Dunbarton, and still 
further irritated from his fleet being fired at in its pas- 
sage by the Earl of Argyle, who, with a large body of 
his vassals, and some pieces of artillery, had taken post 
at the Castle of Dunoon. Before leaving Dunbarton, 
Lennox had received an addition to his strength, con- 
sisting of seven score Highlanders, from the more 
remote districts of his own Earldom, under the com- 
mand of Walter Macfarlane of Tarbet. These troops, 
we are told, spoke both Irish and English. They were 
light footmen, well armed with coats of mail, with bows 
and arrows, and with two-handed swords, and were 
of much service in the future operations. Being arrived 
at Bute, Lennox and his officers, after holding a coun- 
cil of war, determined to attack the Earl of Argyle at 
Dunoon. The latter with seven hundred men attempted 
to oppose the landing of the English troops, which was, 
notwithstanding, effected under a heavy fire from the 
ships. Argyle was forced to retire after a skirmish in 
which he lost eighty men, many of them gentlemen; and 
the village of Dunoon was then burnt, and the church, 
into which the country people had removed their goods 
and ornaments, was plundered of everything it contained. 
At nightfall, the invaders returned safely to their ships, 
Argyle sustaining further loss in a fruitless effort to 
harass their retreat. Four or five days afterwards, 
Lennox with five hundred men landed in another part 
of Argyle, and remaining on shore for a day, laid waste 

1 Tytler, V. 372 ; Anderson, II. 34, 35. 


the surrounding country. Such were the dispositions 
made on this occasion by the skilful soldiers who accom- 
panied Lennox, that Argyle, although at the head of 
two thousand men, was obliged to witness these devas- 
tations without being able to bring the invaders to an 
encounter. After this, Lennox invaded Kintyre, belong- 
ing to James Macdonald of Isla (who, at this time, 
supported Argyle), and burnt many places in that dis- 
trict, carrying off, at the same time, great numbers of 
cattle and much property. As he was highly incensed 
against the Earl of Glencairn, he did not spare the 
lands of that nobleman, but gave them up to fire and 
sword. And so great was the terror which this arma- 
ment created in Kyle, Carrick, Cunningham, and Gal- 
loway, that many gentlemen of these districts, seeing 
no other mode of escape, placed themselves under Len- 
nox's protection. 1 

While engaged in this expedition, Lennox, following 
his instructions, had entered into communication with 
the Islanders, from several of whom he took bonds of 
service. 2 Their anxiety to destroy the power of the 
Earl of Argyle, and to procure for their Lord the resto- 
ration of the ancient possessions of his family, disposed 
them to enter readily into the views of Lennox and the 
English King. Nor did they neglect the present oppor- 
tunity of testifying their hostility to the Scots, by extend- 
ing their ravages on every side, particularly on the lands 

1 Tytler, Y. 373 ; Anderson, II. 35, 36. 

2 Reg. of Privy Seal, XX., fo. 86. According to Macvurich, 
" Donald Dubh, the true heir of Innisgall (the Isles) and Ross, 
came, after his release from captivity, to the Isles, and convened the 
men thereof, and he and the Earl of Lennox agreed to raise a great 
army for the purpose of taking possession." 


of those who supported Argyle and Huntly. Finding, 
however, that he could, at present, make no permanent 
impression, the Earl of Lennox, with his English troops, 
returned to Bristol. He then sent Sir Peter Mewtas, 
and Thomas Bishop, a Scottish gentleman, to inform 
the King, now occupied with the siege of Boulogne, of 
all his proceedings. In his despatches he expressed 
much indignation against the Earl of Glencairn and his 
son ; and the King was, no doubt, deeply chagrined at 
the failure of the attempt to secure the Castle of Dun- 
barton. 1 But, on the whole, the tidings sent to Bou- 
logne were well received, probably because the alliance 
with the Islesmen, of which Lennox had now laid the 
foundation, promised to afford unwonted facilities for a 
future invasion of Scotland. Accordingly, as soon 
as Henry returned to England, he sent for Lennox 
to Court, and the intrigues against Scotland were 
resumed. 2 

Early in the following year was fought the 
battle of Ancrum Muir, in which the English, 
under Sir Ralph Evre and Sir Brian Latoun, were 
defeated by the Scots, under the Earl of Angus. Neill 
Macneill of Gigha, one of the Island chiefs, was cer- 
tainly present, on the English side, at this battle; 3 but 
whether he was with the English as an ambassador 
from the Lord of the Isles, or fought in their ranks at the 
head of a body of auxiliaries, remains for the present 

Meantime, the Earl of Lennox through a confiden- 

1 Tytler, V. 373 ; Anderson, II. 36. 

2 Anderson, ubi supra. 

3 Reg. of Privy Seal, XXVII., fo. S6. 


tial vassal, Patrick Colquhoun, whose influence in the 
Isles was considerable, from his having held for many 
years the office of King's Chamberlain there 1 exerted 
himself successfully to confirm the Islanders in their 
intention of transferring their alliance from the Scottish 
to the English Crown. These treasonable practices, 
however secretly conducted^ did not escape the notice 
of the Scottish Government. In the month of June 
this year, a proclamation was issued by the Regent 
Arran and his Privy Council, against " Donald, alleg- 
ing himself of the Isles, and other Highlandmen, his 
part-takers." This document bears that the Council 
had been frequently informed of the " invasions" made 
by Donald and his supporters upon the Queen's lieges, 
both in the Isles and on the mainland; which invasions 
were not made by the power of the Islesmen alone, but 
by the assistance of the King of England, with whom 
they were leagued ; such proceedings showing their 
intention, as far as in them lay, to bring the whole Isles 
and a great part of the mainland, under the obedience 
of the King of England, in contempt of the authority of 
the Scottish Crown. Proclamation was therefore made, 
charging Donald of the Isles and his followers to 
desist in future from their rebellious and treasonable 
proceedings; and, in the event of their continuing 
obstinate, they were threatened with utter ruin and 
destruction, from an invasion by "the whole body of 
the realm of Scotland, with the succours lately come from 
France." 2 As no attention was paid to this proclama- 
tion by the Islesmen^ and as it served rather to throw 

1 Reg. of Privy Seal, IX., fo. 48. 

2 Reg. of Privy Council, ad tempnf?. 


them more decidedly into the arms of England, by 
showing that they had no time to lose, the Government 
was compelled to resort to measures of greater severity. 
Processes of treason were immediately commenced 
against the principal rebels, and followed up with as 
much rapidity as the forms and sessions of the Parlia- 
ment permitted. 1 While these were in progress, a 
commission was granted, on the 28th of July, by 
Donald, Lord of the Isles and Earl of Ross, with the 
advice and consent of his Barons and Council of the 
Isles, of whom seventeen are named, to two commis- 
sioners, or rather plenipotentiaries, for treating, under 
the directions of the Earl of Lennox, with the English 
King. 2 On the 5th of August, the Lords and Barons 
of the Isles were at Knockfergus in Ireland, with a force 
of four thousand men, and a hundred and eighty galleys; 
when, in presence of two commissioners, sent by the 
Earl of Lennox, and of the constable, mayor, and 
magistrates of that town, they took the oath of allegi- 
ance to the King of England, "at the command of the 
said Earl of Lennox." In all the documents illustra- 

1 Treasurer's Accounts, ad tempus; Acts of Parliament, II., 453. 

2 The original document is preserved in the State Paper Office, and 
is quoted in Tytler, V. 397. The Barons and Council of the Isles 
named were, Hector Maclean, Lord of Doward; John MacAllaster, 
captain of Clanranald ; Korie Macleod of Lewis ; Alexander Macleod, 
of Dunvegan ; Murdoch Maclean of Lochbuy ; Angus Macdonald, 
brother-german to James Macdonald; Allan Maclean of Torlusk, 
brother-german to the Lord Maclean ; Archibald Macdonald, captain 
of Clanhuistein ; Alexander Macian of Ardnamurchan ; John Maclean 
of Coll; Gilliganan Macneill of Barray; Ewin Mackinnon of Strag- 
huordill; John Macquarrie of Ulva; John Maclean of Ardgour ; 
Alexander Ranaldson of Glengarry, Angus Ranaldson of Knoydert; 
and Donald Maclean of Kengarloch. 


tive of these proceedings, we find that Lennox was 
acknowledged by the Islesmen as the true Regent and 
second person of the realm of Scotland ; and while, at 
his command, they gave their allegiance to the English 
King, they, at the same time, bound themselves, in 
particular, to forward Henry's views in regard to the 
marriage of the Princess of Scotland, and, in all other 
affairs, to act under the directions of Lennox. 1 The 
name of James Macdonald of Isla, whose lands of 
Kintyre had been so lately ravaged by Lennox, does not 
occur among the Barons of the Isles who accompanied 
their Lord to Knockfergus. It appears also that, in 
the month of April, he had even received a reward from 
Arran for his services against the English. 2 Yet now, 
his brother, Angus Macdonald, was one of the foremost 
in support of Lennox; and his own conduct, in the 
course of a few months, justifies the suspicion that 
already this powerful chief contemplated joining the rest 
of the Islanders. 

The troops that accompanied the Lord of the Isles 
to Ireland are described, in the original despatches from 
the Irish Privy Council, giving Henry notice of their 
arrival, as being " three thousand of them very tall men, 
clothed, for the most part, in habergeons of mail, armed 
with long swords and long bows, but with few guns; 
the other thousand, tall maryners, that rowed in the 
galleys." An equal number of warriors had been left 
behind, to keep in check the Earls of Huntly and 
Argyle, forming a total force of eight thousand men now 
in arms, under the command of a leader who had passed 

Documents preserved in State Paper Office, 
Keg. of Great Seal, XXIX. 118. 


most of his life in prison, deprived of all power and 
influence. It cannot be doubted that many of the 
Islanders acted on this occasion from a feeling of attach- 
ment to the representative of the family of the Isles, as 
well as from a deed-rooted hostility to the house of 
Argyle. But it is equally clear and unfortunately 
harmonises too well with the venal conduct of many of 
the Scottish nobility of the period, to admit of question 
that English gold must have had a great effect in pro- 
ducing unanimity among tribes so many of which were 
at deadly feud. 1 

From Knockfergus, the plenipotentiaries of the Island 
Lord proceeded to the English Court, bearing letters of 
recommendation from their master, both to the King 
and Privy Council. 2 By the last of these letters, it 
appears that the Lord of the Isles had already received 
from Henry the sum of one thousand crowns, and the 
promise of an annual pension of two thousand. After 
certain articles proposed by the Islesmen, together with 
their oath of allegiance, had been given in by the com- 
missioners to the Privy Council^ and the opinion of the 
Earl of Lennox had been taken as to the best mode of 
procedure, the following conditions were agreed to on 

1 Anderson, in his MS. History of Scotland, says that the Islesmen 
elected Donald for their Lord, as being the chief est and nearest of 
blood; and adds, that, besides a pension from the King of England, 
he was to receive "certairie rich apparel of cloth of gold and silver 
from the said Earl'-' of Lennox. II M p. 47. 

2 The plenipotentiaries were Ruari MacAllaster (brother to the 
captain of the Clanranald), Dean of Morvern, who was supported by 
the Islesmen, in opposition to Roderick Maclean, put forward by the 
Regent to the vacant Bishopric of the Isles (Keith's Bishops, p. 175) ; 
and Patrick Maclean (brother to Maclean of Dowart), Justiciar of the 
Isles, and Bailie of Icolmkill. 

1545.] THE KING OF ENGLAND. 173 

the 4th of September : The pension of two thousand 
crowns was confirmed to the Lord of the Isles by letters 
patent; and Henry engaged that that nobleman and 
his followers should be included in any treaty made 
between England and Scotland. On the other hand, 
the Lord of the Isles became bound, with all his adherents, 
to serve the King of England truly and faithfully, to 
the annoyance of the Regent of Scotland and his par- 
tisans. He engaged to make no agreement with the 
Earls of Huntly or Argyle, or with any of the Scots, to 
the prejudice of the King of England; but, on the 
contrary, to continue steadfast in his opposition to them 
and in his allegiance to Henry. It was arranged that 
the Earl of Lennox, with a body of two thousand Irish, 
under the Earl of Ormond and Ossory, should lead an 
expedition against Scotland from the west, in which he 
was to be assisted by the Lord of the Isles with eight 
thousand men. As long as Lennox should remain in 
the country of the Earl of Argyle, the whole eight 
thousand men were to be placed at his disposal ; but, 
in the event of his proceeding to another part of Scot- 
land and a march to Stirling was seriously contem- 
plated it was provided that only six thousand of the 
Islanders should follow him, while the remaining two 
thousand should be employed in occupying the attention 
of the Earl of Argyle. Lastly, three thousand of the 
Islesmen were to receive pay from the King of England 
for two months. 1 

In conformity with these arrangements, instructions 
were given to the Earl of Ormond to levy two thousand 
Irish foot for the expedition against Scotland ; and the 

1 Original in State Paper Office. 


other necessary preparations for an armament of such 
importance were actively carried on by the Irish Privy 
Council. But at this moment, the Earl of Hertford, 
who was about to invade Scotland from the Border, 
required the presence of Lennox in his camp ; and the 
western invasion was necessarily postponed till the ter- 
mination of the campaign. 1 This delay caused, in the 
end, the total failure of the expedition. The Lord of 
the Isles, after waiting for some time in vain, expecting 
the arrival of Lennox, and naturally anxious about the 
safety of the vassals he had left behind, returned with 
his forces to Scotland. Meantime, dissensions had 
arisen among his barons as to the division of the Eng- 
lish pay received for three thousand of their men ; 
and their quarrels ran so high that the army seems to 
have been broken up, whilst the chiefs retired each to 
his own castle. 2 At length, the Earl of Lennox arrived 
in Ireland, where he received this mortifying intelli- 
gence; but although now uncertain what support he 
might receive from the Islanders, he determined on 
proceeding to Scotland as soon as the Irish armament 
should be ready, in order that the great exertions of the 
Privy Council of Ireland might not be rendered alto- 
gether useless. Immediately after the arrival of Len- 
n ox in Dublin, Patrick Colquhoun had been despatched 

1 Tytler, V. 398. 

2 Macvurich. His words (translated) are "A ship came from Eng- 
land with a supply of money to carry on the war, which landed at 
Mull ; and the money was given to Maclean of Do wart to be distributed 
among the commanders of the army; which they not receiving in 
proportion as it should have been distributed amongst them, caused 
the army to disperse." That Maclean acted a very prominent part in 
the intrigues with England is corroborated by the documents in the 
State Paper Office. 


with some light vessels to the Isles. The object of his 
mission was to ascertain whether the Lord of the Isles 
still continued firm in his allegiance to Henry ; and, in 
the event of this point being satisfactorily ascertained, 
to assist in bringing the forces of the Isles together in 
time to co-operate with the expedition from Ireland. 1 
Having received information that a good opportunity 
now offered for possessing himself of Dunbarton Castle, 
which was still a favourite object with Henry, Lennox 
likewise despatched his brother, the ex-Bishop of Caith- 
ness, to practise on the fidelity of the Constable ; and 
soon afterwards followed himself, sailing from Dublin 
on the 17th of November, with a formidable squadron, 
carrying on board two thousand Irish soldiers, under 
the command of the Earl of Ormond, So complete an 
armament, according to the opinion expressed by the 
Irish Privy Council, had not left the shores of Ireland 
for the last two hundred years. 2 

Stirling of Glorat, the Constable of Dunbarton, re- 
ceived the Bishop of Caithness with distinction ; yet, as 
he had already refused to deliver the fortress to Lennox, 
he now declared that he would hold it out against all, 
till his mistress, the Queen, should be of age to demand 
it herself. He was closely besieged by Arran, Huntly, 
and Argyle, who had been alarmed by the admission of 
the Bishop into the castle ; but the strength of the place 
defied their utmost efforts. Finding that force would not 
succeed, Cardinal Beaton and Huntly began to tamper 
both with the Bishop and the Constable, and succeeded 

1 Letter from Irish Privy ' Council to the King, dated 19th 
November, 1545. Letter Anth. St. Leger to the English Privy 
Council, 10th October, 1545. State Paper Office, 

2 Tytler, V. 407. 


in corrupting them. Caithness, bribed by the promise 
of his restoration to the see he had lost, proved false to 
his brother; and Stirling, for a high reward, was induced 
to deliver the fortress, in that age deemed impregnable, 
into the hands of the Regent. Lennox and Ormond, 
probably informed on their passage both of this disas- 
trous event and of further dissensions among the Isles- 
men, do not seem even to have attempted a descent ; 
at least, their farther proceedings are wrapped in obscu- 
rity. 1 

Donald, Lord of the Isles, appears to have accom- 
panied Lennox on his return to Ireland, and to have 
died soon after, of a fever, at Drogheda. 2 "His fune- 
ral in Ireland," says an author, formerly quoted, " to 
the honour of the Earl of Lennox, stood the King of 
England in four hundred pounds sterling." 2 The 
honours paid to the remains of their departed chief were 
well calculated to gratify the prejudices of the Isles- 
men, who have always been, and to this day are, dis- 
tinguished by a passion for magnificent interments. 
Lennox, who was again projecting an invasion of Scot- 
land, lost no time in despatching messengers to the Isles 
with tidings of the death and burial of the late Lord ; 
but some difficulty appears to have existed regarding 
his successor. He had left one bastard son, whom, in 
his dying moments, he commended to the care of the 
King of England ; but it does not appear that any claim 

* Tytler, V. 407-8. 

2 ** Macdonald " (after the dispersion of his army and the failure 
of Lennox's expedition) " went to Ireland to raise men ; but he died 
on his way to Dublin, at Drogheda, of a fever, without issue, either 
sons or daughters." Macvurich's MS. The documents in the State 
Paper Office prove, however, that he left one son, a bastard. 

3 Anderson. II. 48. 


was made on behalf of this individual to the succession. 
The family of Sleat, in which the male representation 
of the Earls of Ross and Lords of the Isles now centred, 
was, at this time, almost deprived of power. Its chief 
was a minor, the son of that Donald Gorme killed before 
the Castle of Elandonan in 1539 ; and, in addition to 
this source of weakness, the title of the family to their 
estates was disputed by the Macleods of Harris, who 
found this a good opportunity for reviving their former 
claims. At length the Islanders chose for their leader 
James Macdonald of Isla, whose patriotism seems to 
have evaporated on his perceiving a possibility of obtain- 
ing the pension of two thousand crowns promised to his 
predecessor. His pretensions to the Lordship of the 
Isles were certainly inferior to those of the chief of 
Sleat; but his power, as an individual, was much greater. 
He was, however, from various causes, opposed by many 
who had been among the firmest supporters >of Donald 
Dubh ; particularly the numerous and powerful Clan- 
gillean (with the exception of one prominent individual 
of that tribe), the Macleods, both of Lewis and Harris, 
and the lesser clans of the Macneills of Barra, the Mac- 
kinnons, and Macquarries. All these now endeavoured, 
and with success, to effect their reconciliation with the 
Regent. 1 

On the 10th of February, the messengers 
of Lennox returned to Dublin bearing letters 
from James Macdonald " which now declareth himself 
Lord of the Isles, by the consent of the nobility of the 
Insulans 3 as the bearers affirm" to the Irish Privy Council. 
Along with the messengers came an accredited envoy 

1 Reg. of Privy Seal, XIX., fo. 27, 74. 



of the new Lord, who was despatched, at the special 
request of the latter, to submit certain proposals, on his 
part, to the King of England. 1 These proposals bore 
that the Earl of Lennox, or any other person properly 
authorised, should be sent with an army to the Isle of 
Sandy, beside Kintyre, on or about St. Patrick's Day. 
Here the Lord of the Isles engaged to join him with 
the utmost power of his kinsmen and allies namely, 
Allan Maclean of Gigha and Torlusk (brother to Mac- 
lean of Do wart, and celebrated in tradition, as a warrior, 
by the name of Akin na'n Sop), the Clanranald, Clan- 
chameron, Clankayn, 2 and his own surname, the Clan- 
donald north and south. But he required twenty days 
notice of the arrival of the expedition, and two or three 
ships to assist in bringing his forces together at the place 
of rendezvous. In return, he desired from the King a 
bond for a yearly pension of the same amount as that 
granted to his late " chief and maister, Donald, Lord of 
the Yllis, quhoin God assoilyie ; the quhilk deit in his 
said Grace's service.'' 3 To these offers it does not 
appear that Henry made any reply, his attention being 
probably engrossed by the events connected with the 

1 Letter, Privy Council of Ireland to that of England, 10th February, 
1545-46. State Paper Office. James had no claim whatever to the 
Earldom of Ross, nor does he seem to have preferred any. 

" Clankayn is an error for Clanayn or Clan Ian of Ardnamurchan. 

3 Letter, James Macdonald of Dunyveg and the Glens, and " ap- 
peirand ayr of the Ylis," dated at Ardnamurchan, 24th January, 1545-6, 
to the Lord Deputy and Privy Council of Ireland. State Paper Office. 
At the same time, Ewin Allanson of Lochiel wrote to the Lord Deputy, 
promising his services to the English King, and saying he had marched 
to the Lowlands and taken a prey both from Huntly and Argyle. He 
also required support, and recommended James, whom he styles 
kt narrest of ayr to the hous of the Yllis," as a brave young man, with 
great strength of kinsmen. Ibid. 


progress of the Reformation in Scotland, and the plots 
for getting rid of Cardinal Beaton, who was assassinated 
in the Castle of St. Andrew's, on the 28th of May. 1 

About this time the Earl of Huntly, by the instru- 
mentality of William Macintosh, captain of the Clan- 
chattan, apprehended two of the principal Highland 
chiefs Ewin Allanson of Lochiel, captain of the Clan- 
chameron, and Ranald MacDonald Glas of Keppoch. 
These chiefs were not only concerned in the slaughter 
of Lord Lovat and the Erasers at Kinloch-lochy, but 
had supported, to the utmost of their power, all the 
rebellions hatched by the Earl of Lennox. They were 
imprisoned, for a short time, in the Castle of Ruthven 
in Badenoch, and afterwards tried for high treason at 
Elgin. Being found guilty by a jury composed of 
landed gentlemen, they were beheaded; while several of 
their followers, who were apprehended along with them, 
were hanged. The heads of the two leaders were then 
set over the gates of the town. 2 This severity seems 
to have had a salutary effect in disposing the rest of the 
rebellious Highlanders to submission. In the course of 
this year the processes of treason, which, some time 
before, had been instituted against the Islesmen, t were 
dropped, and, by degrees, a general pacification of the 
remote Highlands and Isles seems to have been accom- 
plished, whilst the authority of the Government was 
once more nominally established in these districts. 3 

1 Tytler, V. 409, 427. 

2 Lesley, p. 185. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 110. MS. 
History of the Camerons. 

a Acts of Parl. II., 469, 4th August, 1546. Reg. of Privy Seal, XX,, 
fo. 86, 94 ; XXI., fo. 3, 8. Even John Moydertach succeeded, at length, 
in obtaining pardon in 1548. Ibid, XXII., fo. 27. 


James Macdonald of Isla, whose desertion of the 
party he had formerly acted with, and assumption of the 
title of Lord of the Isles, may be supposed to have made 
him particularly obnoxious to the Regent, was fortunate 
enough to escape the punishment he deserved. He had 
probably succeeded in concealing the full extent of his 
treasonable practices; but he had, nevertheless, com- 
mitted himself so far as to incur the hostility of the Earl 
of Argyle. Their disputes, however, were settled by 
the mediation of the Regent; 1 and Macdonald, dropping 
his title of Lord of the Isles, seems ever after to have 
acted the part of a patriotic Scotsman and obedient 
subject. After this time we find no trace in the records 
of any attempt on the part of the Islesmen to restore the 
ancient dynasty of the Isles. The different branches of 
the family of the Isles, and the other tribes inhabiting 
the Lordship, became gradually more estranged from 
each other, and more desirous each to extend its own 
power at the expense of its neighbours. So far, this was 
the result contemplated by James IV. and his counsel- 
lors in their proceedings after 1493 ; but it is not to be 
supposed that they desired, or would have encouraged, 
the great increase which was eventually made to the 
power of the Earls of Argyle, through the individual 
weakness and dissensions of the Islanders. 

In the Scottish army which assembled under 

the Regent Arran in 1547, to oppose the 

progress of the Protector Somerset, and which sustained 

so severe a defeat at Pinky, a considerable number of 

Highlanders and Islanders were present, many of them 

1 Record of Privy Council, 18th June, 1546. Treasurer's Accounts, 
ad tempus. 

1547.] BATTLE OF PINKY. 181 

being under the Earl of Argyle. 1 But although some 
of those who had formerly supported the English now 
fought on the other side, not a few of the western clans 
had failed, on this occasion, to obey the summons of the 
Regent. Of these, the most prominent were the tribes 
concerned in the slaughter of the Lord Lovat and the 
Erasers in 1544; who, being still considered as outlaws, 
did not venture to trust themselves out of their moun- 
tain fastnesses. The Macleods of Lewis were likewise 
absent; 2 but, indeed, it is matter of surprise, not that some 
of the Islanders failed to attend, but that any of them 
should have been trusted to fight against their recent 
allies and that, too, under leaders so obnoxious to them 
as the Earls of Huntly and Argyle. The necessity, 
after the disastrous result of the battle of Pinky, of pre- 
venting divisions among the Scots themselves, seems to 
have induced Arran, in the coarse of the year 1548, to 
pardon those Highlanders who still remained outlaws, 
on easier terms than they could otherwise have expected. 
Although the Regency of Arran continued till the 
year 1 554 when he resigned his office in favour of Mary 
of Guise, the Queen Dowager yet during the latter 
years of his government, he acted, in a great measure, 
under the advice of that able and energetic Princess. 
She soon perceived the necessity of restoring the con- 
trol which the possession of hostages, or the imprison- 
ment of the most turbulent of the chiefs themselves, as 
in the last years of the reign of James V., was calculated 
to give to the Government over the Highlands in general. 
All the late insurrections in the Isles, she was aware, 
had followed immediately upon the liberation of those 

1 Pitscottie's History, ad tempus. 

2 Reg. of Privy Seal, XXII., fo. 27 ; XXVII., fo. 125. 


hostages and chiefs, to which Arran, in his anxiety to 
harass his political opponents, had so unadvisedly 
consented. The efforts of the Queen Dowager were 
therefore directed to the re-establishment of the policy 
of James V. ; and, for this purpose, the Regent, by her 
advice, summoned all the chiefs of the Highland clans 
to meet him in Aberdeen, on the 17th of June, 
1552, where he proposed to hold Justice 
Courts, in the course of a progress through the kingdom, 
undertaken "rather," as Lesley says, "for staying of 
troubles in tymes to cum than for rigorous punishment 
of any offences bypast." 1 He held similar courts at 
Inverness in the month of July. Most of the clans 
appear to have submitted to the conditions imposed upon 
them; but the Clanranald, under John Moydertach, and 
the Clanchameron, under Ewin Beg Donaldson, held 
out. On this a commission was given to the Earls of 
Huntly and Argyle against these clans; and we find 
that, in the month of August, the latter nobleman was 
in the district of Lochaber, in pursuance of his instruc- 
tions. In the course of the following month. Argyle 
had entered into communication with John Moydertach, 
who contrived to excuse his disobedience in such a way 
as to procure a cessation of all proceedings against him 
till the following February. The Earl undertook that 
this chief should make his personal appearance in 
presence of the Privy Council before that time; and, in 
the event of his failure, was enjoined to make war upon 
him, according to his original instructions. 2 The pro- 
ceedings against the Clanchameron, which were entrusted 

1 Lesley's History, p. 243. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 17th October, 1552. Treasurer's- 
Accounts, July and September, 1552. 


to Huntly, are wrapped in obscurity. Their leader died 
about this time, and was succeeded by his brother, 
Donald Dubh; 1 but it is uncertain whether he was 
executed under Huntly's commission. 

The disputes between Arran and the Queen Dowager 
regarding the Regency, seem to have allowed the rebel- 
lious Highlanders to set the Government at defiance for 
some time longer. But, after the latter had assumed 
the government, in April 1554, no time was 
lost in taking steps to reduce them to obe- 
dience. In June of that year, the Earls of Huntly and 
Argyle were ordered to proceed, by sea and land, to the 
utter extermination of the Clanranald, of Donald 
Gormeson (the heir of Sleat), and of Macleod of 
Lewis, and their associates, who had failed to present 
hostages for their good conduct. 2 A ship and artillery 
were furnished by the Regent to the Earl of Argyle, for 
the service in the Isles; 3 and a large force, both of Low- 
landers and Highlanders, was assembled under Huntly 
with the intention of attacking the captain of the Clan- 
ranald. 4 Neither of these noblemen met with much 
success. The reasons for the failure of Argyle do not 
appear; but the cause of Huntly's want of success is 
not so obscure. When that nobleman desired his 
troops to march into the Highlands, the Lowlanders 
refused, unless they could proceed on horseback, which 
the nature of the country rendered impracticable. The 

1 Reg. of Privy Seal, XXVI., fo. 57. 

2 Notes of Reg. of Privy Council in Haddington's Collections, 
MS. Advocates' Library. Macleod and Donald Gormeson were, 
about this time, engaged in a feud with the Mackenzies, for the 
origin and history of which see Chapter IV. 

s Treasurer's Accounts, July, 1554. 
4 Lesley's History, p. 251. 


Highlanders, on the other hand, were so much exas- 
perated against Huntly, for his execution of William 
Macintosh, captain of the Clanchattan, 1 some years 
before, that the Earl declined to march with them alone, 
and was at length obliged to disband his forces and 
return home. The reasons assigned by Huntly for his 
failure did not prove satisfactory to the Regent and her 
council, by whom he was committed to prison till his 
conduct should be further inquired into. This inquiry 
terminated so unfavourably for Huntly, that he did not 
obtain his enlargement from prison without renouncing 
various lucrative grants he had lately acquired; and, 
particularly, the Earldoms of Man* and Moray, and 
the gift of the ward and marriage of Mary Macleod, 
the heiress of Harris, Dunvegan, and Glenelg. It was 
understood, too, that he should proceed to France, and 
remain there for five years; but he was relieved from 
this part of his sentence, on paying to the Regent the 
sum of five thousand pounds. 2 

Early in the year 1555, Mary of Guise re- 
newed her efforts to restore order in the Isles. 
A process of treason was, in the month of April, com- 

1 This chief, having been accused of conspiring against the life of 
the Earl of Huntly, then Lieutenant to the Queen over the North, was 
convicted by a jury, and sentenced to lose his life and lands, in a 
Court held at Aberdeen, by the Earl, 2nd August, 1550. Notwith- 
standing a pledge to the contrary, Macintosh was executed soon 
after by the Countess of Huntly; and, as was generally believed, 
at the instigation of the Earl. By an act of Parliament, 14th Dec., 
1557, the above sentence against Macintosh was reversed as illegal. 
Sir Lewis Stewart's MS. Collections, Advocates' Library, pp. 49, 
61. Anderson's MS. History, II., fo. 162. 

2 Lesley's History, pp. 251-2. Kecord of Privy Council, Hadd. 
Coll., MS. Adv. Lib. Anderson's MS. History, II., fo. 162, 174. 
Balfour's Annals, I. p. 302. 


inenced against Ruari Macleocl of the Lewis. 1 In June 
following, a commission was given to the Earls of 
Argyle and Athole over the Isles; and, soon afterwards, 
Macleod gave in to the Privy Council, through the Earl 
of Argyle, certain offers, of which, eventually, the 
Eegent approved so far as, in the month of September, 
to grant him a respite. 2 Meanwhile, the Earl of 
Athole, who had proceeded against John Moydertach, 
the captain of the Clanranald, succeeded so well that 
he prevailed upon that restless chief, with two of his 
sons, and certain of his kinsmen, to come before the 
Regent, and submit themselves to her clemency. Mary 
of Guise, pleased with their submission, pardoned them 
their past offences; but ordered them, in the meantime, 
to remain, some at Perth, and others at the Castle of 
Methven, till her will should be further declared to them. 
After remaining, however, in these places for a short 
time, the Highlanders made their escape to their native 
mountains; giving the Regent a lesson, as a Scottish 
annalist quaintly observes, "to hold the fox better by 
the ear while she had him in her hands." 3 This result 
of her mistaken lenity only roused the Regent to greater 
exertions, and determined her to proceed next year in 
person to the North, to hold Justice Courts for the 
punishment of the great offenders, and thus to prevent 
misrule in time coming. Accordingly, in the 
month of July, 1556, Mary of Guise arrived at 
Inverness, accompanied by the Earls of Huntly, Argyle, 

1 Treasurer's Accounts, ad tempus. The nature of the treason is not 

a Record of Privy Council, If add. Coll. ; Reg. of Privy Seal, XXVII., 
fo. 125. 

3 Balfour's Annals, I., p. 304; Lesley's History, pp. 253-4. 


Athole, and Marischall, and the Bishops of Ross and 
Orkney, with others of the Privy Council. Here 
courts were held, and offenders were visited with the 
most severe punishment the chiefs of clans being 
obliged to apprehend and present to justice the crimi- 
nals of their own tribes, according to the wise regulations 
laid down by James V., which, during the late wars, had 
fallen into desuetude. 1 As John Moydertach is not 
mentioned at all by Bishop Lesley in his account of 
this progress of the Queen Eegent to the north, it seems 
probable that this arch-rebel had escaped the punishment 
which awaited him, by flying to the more remote Isles. 
There can, however, be little doubt that the Eegent 
would soon have made her authority felt, even by those 
Islanders most removed from the seat of justice, had not 
her attention been, after this time, exclusively occupied by 
the progress of the Reformation in Scotland, and the 
measures which, unfortunately for herself, that princess 
was induced to pursue in opposition to the reformers. 

Although the Reformation was undoubtedly one of the 
most important events in Scottish history, yet its progress 
is to be traced almost exclusively in the history of the 
Lowlands; at least, the history of the Highlands and 
Isles presents little that is interesting on this subject. 
It is not to be supposed, however, that the great High- 
land barons were slow to follow the example of their 
Lowland neighbours in seizing the lands and revenues 
of the church. On the contrary, the deplorable state 
in which the Highlands and Isles were found to be, in a 
religious point of view, at the commencement of the 
seventeenth century, was evidently owing to this cause. 

1 Lesley's History, pp. 256-7. 


But in such proceedings the bulk of the Highland 
population, if we except the vassals of the Earl of 
Argyle, seem to have taken little interest; and many of 
them long continued to adhere, as a portion still do, 
to the worship of their fathers. On the death 
of Archibald, fourth Earl of Argyle, who 
had all along supported the measures of the Queen 
Regent, the weight of this great Highland family was 
thrown into the opposite scale, by his son and successor 
Archibald, the fifth Earl, who soon distinguished him- 
self as one of the most able among the Lords of the 
Congregation. To weaken the influence of this power- 
ful nobleman, the Regent endeavoured to sow dissen- 
sions between him and the Islanders, whose jealousy 
of the family of Argyle was well known. To embroil 
the Earl with James Macdonald of Isla at 
this time the most powerful of the Islanders, 
and who, some years before, had allied himself to the 
family of Argyle, by marrying Lady Agnes Campbell, 
sister to the late Earl became now a favourite object 
with the Queen Hegent. We have seen that Huntly, 
when punished by her for his negligence in the pursuit 
of John Moydertach, had been compelled to relinquish 
a grant he had obtained from the Earl of Arran of the 
wardship and marriage of Mary Macleod, the wealthy 
heiress of Dunvegan. Huntly had endeavoured, while 
in disgrace, to dispose of this grant to the Earl of 
Argyle; 1 but his plans were frustrated by the vigilance 
of the Queen Regent, who now bestowed the disposal of 
the heiress upon James Macdonald. 2 In his anxiety to 
possess himself of this prize, Macdonald did not hesitate 

1 Gen. Reg. of Deeds, I., fo. 231. * Ibid. IV., fo. 319. 


to take part against Argyle; but the latter speedily 
counteracted the influence of the Kegent; and we find 
that, in October, 1559, " James Macdonald, whom the 
Regent heretofore stirred against the Earl of Argyle," 
was actually on his way to join the Lords of the Con- 
gregation, with seven hundred foot soldiers. 1 

In the following year, the Queen Regent 
died in the Castle of Edinburgh, partly of an 
old complaint, and partly of grief at the opposition which 
she had latterly encountered, and which, on her death- 
bed, she had sagacity enough to attribute to the right 
cause namely, her following the counsels of foreigners, 
instead of ruling by the advice of the Privy Council of 
the realm. This princess was much regretted, and 
with reason; for we are informed by Bishop Lesley, 
that,, " in the time that she was Regent, she kept good 
justice, and was well obeyed over all the parts of Scot- 
land ; as also in Orkney and the Isles." 

1 Sir R. Sadler's State Papers, I., pp. 431, 517. 

2 Lesley's History, p. 289. 



SIXTH. 1561-1585. 

DURING the space of twenty-four years, which elapsed 
between the return of Queen Mary from France, in 
1561, and the actual assumption of the Government by 
her son, in the nineteenth year of his age, in 1585, the 
general history of the Highlands and Isles possesses little 
interest. Repeated failures seem to have made the 
western clans sensible of the impossibility of re-esta- 
blishing, in any shape, the old Lordship of the Isles ; 
and they gradually learned to prefer holding their lands 
under the sovereign directly, to being the vassals of any 
subject, however powerful. Having now no longer a 
common object, they became, by degrees, more estranged 
from each other, whilst each chief laboured either to 
extend his own possessions, or to defend himself from the 
aggressions of his more powerful neighbours. It thus 
happened that, without any insurrection of a general 
nature, there were yet, during the interval of which we 
speak, many serious disturbances in the Highlands and 
Isles, which called for the interference of Government. 
Taking these disturbances in chronological order, the 


first that calls for notice is a dispute between Maclean 
of Dowart and Maclean of Coll, which is chiefly remark- 
able as indicating the progress of the feudal system in 
the Isles. Dowart, who was generally acknowledged 
as chief of his clan, insisted that Coll should follow and 
serve him in all his private quarrels, like the other gen- 
tlemen of the tribe. Coll, however, who held all his 
lands direct from the Crown, declined to follow this 
haughty chief, claiming the privileges of a free baron, 
who owed no service but to the sovereign as his feudal 
superior. Irritated at the independent tone assumed 
by Coll, and determined to assert what he conceived to 
be his just claims, the Lord of Dowart, taking advan- 
tage of the other's temporary absence, caused 
his lands to be ravaged and his tenants to be 
imprisoned. Such, indeed, was the tyranny exercised 
by Dowart over his weaker neighbour, that the family 
of Coll, from being in a prosperous condition, was 
reduced, in a short time, to the brink of ruin. Nor 
was it till after the lapse of several years, that the suf- 
ferer by these violent and illegal proceedings succeeded 
in drawing the attention of the Privy Council to his 
situation ; so great was the power and influence of his 
oppressor. The decision of that tribunal was, as might 
have been expected, adverse to the claims of Dowart ; 
who was ordered to make reparation to Coll for the 
injuries done to the property and tenants of the latter ; 
and, likewise, to refrain from molesting him or his fol- 
lowers in future. 1 At a later period we shall find that 
the feud between these families was only suspended, not 
concluded, by this decision of the Privy Council. 

The next dispute worthy of notice which occurred in 

1 Record of Privy Council, 1563-1567, fo. 46. 


the Isles, was between the Macleans on the one part, 
and the Macdonalds of Isla and Kintvre on the other. 
This afiair demands our attention, not so much on 
account of its origin, which was merely a quarrel as to 
the right of occupancy of certain Crown lands in Isla, as 
because it was the commencement of a long and bloody 
feud between these tribes, in which both suffered severely, 
and which led eventually to the utter ruin of that power- 
ful branch of the Clandonald. Of the early details of 
this feud, which was aggravated by previous disputes 
regarding the island of Gigha, little is found in the usual 
Cin sources of information. The Isles of Mull, 
A. 0.1562. Tiree, and Coll, were invaded by the Clan- 
donald of Isla, assisted by its kindred tribe, the Clan- 
donald of Sleat ;* and it may be supposed that the Mac- 
leans and their allies were not backward in similar 
hostilities. It is uncertain which tribe was the original 
aggressor; but from the tenor of certain 
proceedings before the Privy Council, it 
appears probable that the Macleans were to blame a 
fact which, indeed, is distinctly asserted by a historian, 
himself a Privy Councillor in the reign of James VI. 
According to this writer, the Rinns of Isla (the lands in 
dispute) were actually occupied by the Macleans, who 
claimed to hold these lands as Crown tenants ; but the 
decision of the Privy Council established that James 
Macdonald of Isla was really the Crown tenant, and that 
the Macleans, if they continued to remain on the lands, 
must hold them of Macdonald, under the same condi- 
tions of personal and other services as the rest of Mac- 
donald' s vassals in Isla held their lands. 2 Such a 

1 Reg. of Privy Seal, XXXL, fo. 48. 

2 Sir R. Gordon, p. 188. Record of Privy Conncfl, April, 1564. 


decision must have been, no doubt, very galling to a 
powerful and high-spirited tribe like the Macleans ; and 
we can scarcely be surprised at the deep-rooted hostility 
which so long prevailed between them and the Clan- 
donald, when we consider the point of honour which was 
involved in their dispute. Such was the inveteracy with 
which the rival chiefs pursued their quarrel, even after 
the matter had been brought before the Privy 
Council, that, in 1565, they were compelled 
to find sureties each to the amount of ten thousand 
pounds, for their abstinence from mutual hostilities. 1 
It deserves to be remarked, that Archibald, fifth Earl 
of Argyle, was one of the sureties for each chief, he 
being connected, by marriage, with both ; as it proves 
that this nobleman did not contemplate extending his 
power and influence in the same unscrupulous manner 
that some of his successors afterwards did, at the expense 
both of the Macdonalds and Macleans. 

In this year, the Clandonald of Isla and Kintyre 
suffered a severe blow, by the loss of its chief, James 
Macdonald of Dunyveg and the Glens, under whose 
guidance the tribe had become the most powerful and 
prosperous of any in the Western Isles. As it was in 
Ireland that this leader lost his life, the present seems 
a proper opportunity for noticing the rise and progress 
of a powerful Hebridean colony in Ulster, connected 
with and dependent upon the Clandonald of Isla and 
Kintyre. It has been mentioned in the Introduction 
(supra, p. 61), that John Mor of Isla, founder of this 
branch of the family of the Isles, acquired a footing in 
Ulster, by his marriage with Mary or Marjory Bisset, 

1 Record of Privy Council, January and March, 1565. 


heiress of the Glens, in the county of Antrim, being the 
district comprehended between the rivers Inver and 
Boyse. The three immediate successors of John Mor 
strengthened themselves in their Irish inheritance by 
intermarriages with the families of O'Donnell, O'Neill 
of Claneboy, and -Savage of the Arde ; and also by set- 
tling several cadets of their own house as tenants in the 
territory of the Glens. 1 In their endeavours to main- 
tain and to extend their Irish possessions, the Clandonald 
were not only involved in frequent feuds with the Irish 
of Ulster, but were occasionally brought into hostile 
contact with the English forces. On St. Patrick's day, 
in the year 1501, the Irish historians inform us, that 
there was fought a battle between the O'Neills and 
certain Scots or Albani; in which conflict, the latter 
lost a son of the Laird of Aig, of the family of the 
MacDonnells, the three sons of Coll Mac Alexander, 
and about sixty common soldiers. 2 In 1521, while the 
Earl of Surrey was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Hugh 
O'Donnell, Lord of Tirconnell, in offering his submis- 
sion to that nobleman, engaged, amongst other services, 
to join the Lord Lieutenant with his own men of Tir- 
connell, and likewise to hire a great number of Scottish 
Islanders, or Redshanks, to act against the Irish rebels. 5 
On these conditions his submission was received ; but, 
when called upon soon after to fulfil his engagements, 
the Lord of Tirconnell broke his word, and preferred 
leading his followers to attack the territories of O'Neill, 

1 Irish Genealogies; Harleian MS., British Museum, No. -^ and 

103 ' 

2 Sir James Ware's Annals of Ireland ; Edit, (in English) Dublin, 
1705, p. 43. 

3 Ware's Annals, p. 70. 



then exposed by the absence of that chief, who. with a 
large body of men, was in the carnp of the Lord Lieu- 
tenant. 1 In the following year, the Earl of Ormond, 
who had succeeded Surrey as Viceroy, dreading the 
defection of many of the chiefs in the north of Ireland, 
and desirous at the same time to repress the rapine 
and piracies committed by the Scottish Islanders, 
applied to Cardinal Wolsey for five or six vessels to 
scour the channel between Scotland and Ireland, and 
so prove a check both to Scots and Irish. 2 Ten years 
later, when Alexander Macdonald of Isla was sent to 
Ulster, at the head of seven thousand men, by James 
Y., for the purpose of harassing the English in that 
province (supra, p. 142). he seems to have profited by his 
opportunities to add considerably to his Irish estates ; 
at least, by some genealogists this chief is styled 
Lord of the Glens and Route* the latter district lies 
between the rivers Boyse and Ban, being the ancient 
inheritance of the MacQuillans. In 1545, we have seen 
that the self-styled Lord of the Isles led four thousand 
of his vassals to Ireland, intended to act in concert with 
an English force under the Earl of Lennox, against 
the French party in Scotland. At this time, James 
Macdonald of Isla alone, of all the islanders, supported 
the French party ; but on the death of the Lord of the 
Isles, he assumed that title, and entered into friendly 
communication with the Irish Privy Council early in 
1546 (supra, pp. 157, 177). Three years afterwards, 
and when James Macdonald had made his peace with 
the Regent of Scotland, a body of Scots was sent into 

1 Ware's Annals, p. 170. 2 Ibid, p. 75. 

3 Said Irish Genealogies in Brit. Mus. 


Ulster, to aid the Irish rebels against the English. This 
rebellion was quelled by the good conduct of Andrew 
Brereton, leader of some English troops, who, with 
only thirty-five horse, attacked and cut to pieces two 
hundred of the Scots. 1 Notwithstanding this check, we 
find the Hebrideans again infesting Ulster, and assisting 
the Irish rebels, in the year 1551, under the Viceroyalty 
of Sir James Crofts. The Viceroy having arrived at 
Knockfergus, sent a detachment, commanded by an 
officer named Bagnall, against the Scots, who, under 
their leaders, James Macdonald and his brother Coll, 
had taken post in the Isle of Rachlin. Bagnall met 
with very bad success : one of his ships was wrecked, 
whilst many of his men were slain, and himself taken 
prisoner by the Macdonalds. He was afterwards liber- 
ated in exchange for another brother of the chief of 
Isk, who had, on a former occasion, fallen into the 
hands of the English. 2 

Soon after this, the Chancellor of Ireland, in a 
letter to the Duke of Northumberland, mentions that 
both Hugh Macneill Oig, Captain of Claneboy, and 
Shane O'Neill, son of the Earl of Tyrone, were in 
league with the Scots. He adds that, "When the 
Scots doe come, the most part of Clanneboy, Mac- 
Quillan's and O'Cahan's countries, must be at their 
commandeinent ; " and, when alluding to the Dufferin 
or White's country, he states that John White, the last 
proprietor, had been deceitfully murdered by " M'Ranill 
Boye, his son, a Scott," who had ever since kept 
possession of that territory by force. 3 In 1555, the 

1 Ware's Annals, p. 120. 2 Ware's Annals, p, 124. 

3 Harleian MS., Brit Mns., No. V- Letter dated 6th May, 


196 HISTORY OF THE [1565, 

Lord Anthony St. Leger being Viceroy, the Ilebridean 
Scots attempted to take the town of Knockfergus ; but 
their design having been detected, the garrison was 
enabled to frustrate it. 1 In the same year, in a dispute 
between Manus O'Donnell, Earl of Tirconnell, and 
his son Calvagh, the latter went to Scotland and pro- 
cured a body of troops from " Gillespick MacCalain " 
(Archibald, fourth Earl of Argyle). 2 Returning with 
these auxiliaries to Ulster, in November, he entered 
Tirconnell, and, seizing his father, placed him in prison, 
where the old chief lingered till his death, nor were 
the Scottish troops dismissed till the subsequent May. 
In the meantime, they appear to have had a skirmish 
with their former ally, the Captain of Claneboy, in 
which the latter, a man much esteemed among his 
own kindred, was slain. 8 Thomas Radcliff, Earl of 
Sussex, being appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 
landed at Dublin on Whitsunday, 1556. He was 
accompanied, among others, by Sir Henry Sidney, 
as Treasurer of Ireland, who carried with him from 
England the sum of twenty-five thousand pounds, des- 
tined to be applied towards the charges of an expedi- 
tion against the Scottish Islanders, who invaded the 
northern parts of Ulster, and against a few of the Irish 
rebels. Early in July, the Lord Lieutenant having 
mustered his forces, marched to the north against 
the Islanders; and, on the eighteenth of that month, 

1 Ware's Annals, p. 137. 

2 Ibid, p. 137. In the accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of 
Scotland for October, 1555, there occurs a payment to a messenger 
bearing a letter from the Queen Regent, " to charge the Erie of Ergile 
nocht to pas in Ireland." 

3 Ibid, p. 137. 


engaged and defeated them. Of the Scots, more than 
two thousand were slain, and a great many taken 
prisoners. 1 Notwithstanding this victory, Sussex was 
obliged, in the following year, owing to the continued 
incursions of the Scots, to procure an enactment mak- 
ing it high treason for any Scots to come into Ireland, 
or for any of the natives to receive them. It was 
also declared, that any intermarriage by a native 
of Ireland with a Scot, without the Lord Lieutenant's 
permission, should be punished as a felony. 2 In the 
month of August, 1557, Sussex again marched to the 
north against the Scots, who were under the command 
of James Macdonald of Isla. The Islanders, however, 
shunned an encounter with the English forces, who 
ravaged the country at their pleasure. In the course 
of this expedition, the Lord Lieutenant received under 
his protection Richard MacQuillan, who had been ex- 
pelled from his country of the Route by the Scots. At 
the same time, too, he knighted and adorned with a 
golden sword and silver gilt spurs, Alexander Mac- 
Ranald Buy, one of the Macdonalds, who had distin- 
guished himself by his services against his kinsmen. 3 
This individual was probably destined by the Viceroy 
to become exclusively a subject of England ; and then, 
by supplanting James Macdonald in the latter's inheri- 
ance of the Glens, to prevent the inconvenience that 
had arisen from a powerful Scottish subject having 
influence in a province already sufficiently disinclined 

1 Ware's Annals, p. 139. 2 ibid, p. 142. 

s Ibid, p. 142. Sir Alexander MacRanald Buy received also the 
more substantial favour of a grant of the greater part of the barony 
of Dunluce, with the monastery of Glenarm, and the lands belonging 
thereto, which, however, he seems to have been unable to retain for 
any length of time. 

198 HISTORY OF THE [1565. 

to the English yoke. In a State paper of some import- 
ance, titled, " Opinion touching Ireland," and addressed 
to the Lord Lieutenant by Dowdall, Archbishop of 
Armagh, in July, 1558, the Primate strongly urges the 
expulsion of the Hebridean Scots from Ulster, by pro- 
curing their Irish neighbours, ODonnell, O'Neill, 
O'Cahan, and others, to unite against them. He 
argues, also, that the power of the Scots in Ireland pro- 
ceeded chiefly from the Irish chiefs engaging them as 
auxiliaries in their private quarrels a practice to the 
suppression of which the Archbishop earnestly draws 
the attention of the Lord Lieutenant. 1 Sussex, how- 
ever, seems to have decided on a more direct method of 
checking the incursions of the Islanders. With this 
view, having received reinforcements from England, he 
sailed from Dundalk towards the Isle of Rachlin, where 
some of the Scots then were. Notwithstanding the loss 
of one of his vessels, with some of the citizens of Dublin 
on board, which was wrecked on the coast of Rachlin, he 
himself, with the rest of his troops, landed, and having 
killed all who offered resistance, laid the island waste. 
Thence he sailed to Kintyre, where he committed great 
ravages, as well as in Arran and the Cumbraes. It 
was his intention to have done more mischief to the 
Scots at this time, but a storm arising, he was forced 
to sail for Ireland, and landed at Knockfergus : before 
he returned from that place to Dublin, he plundered 
and burnt several villages inhabited by the Scots in the 
county of Antrim. 2 About this time a body of the 
Islanders went from Ulster into Connaught, to assist 
some families of the Bourkes against Richard, Earl 
of Clanricarde; but that noblemen encountered and 

1 Harleian MS., Brit. Mus., No. V- ~ Ware's Annals, p. 145. 


routed the confederates with great slaughter. 1 In 
spite of these reverses, the Macdonalds still maintained 
their footing in Ulster; and we find that in 1560 the 
Earl of Sussex entered into an indenture with Sorley 
Buy Macdonald, on behalf of his brother James, the 
head of the family. The Scot demanded to have, by 
lease from the Queen of England, not only the Glens, 
which he claimed as his ancient inheritance, but the Route, 
from which the MacQuillans had been expelled. Sorley 
Buy was offered as a resident substitute for his brother in 
these lands, and engaged to pay certain stipulated duties, 
as well as to furnish twenty-four horse and sixty foot to 
all hosts of the Lord Lieutenant. Sussex, on his part, 
undertook to bring these demands favourably under the 
notice of Queen Elizabeth. 2 The demands of the 
Scots regarding the possession of the Route having 
apparently been rejected, they soon relapsed into their 
former state of hostility against the Irish Government; 
and such of their own tribe as had submitted to the 
Lord Lieutenant, were encouraged to act against them/ 5 
After the recall of the Earl of Sussex, and while Sir 
Henry Sydney was Lord Deputy, Sorley Buy Mac- 
donald found himself so hard pressed by his enemies, 
that, leaving his men under the command of his brother, 
Alexander Oig, he proceeded to Scotland, to hasten 
the departure of succours from that country. In the 
end of 1565 he returned to Ireland, accompanied by 
his brother, James Macdonald of Isla, and a consider- 

1 Ware's Annals, p. 145. 

2 Cotton MS., Brit. Mus., Titus B., XIII. 19. State paper, signed 
" W. Cecill," dated 2nd April, 1560, and preserved among the Denmylne 
MS. Adv. Lib. 

3 See various letters proving this fact, and dated about the year 1562, 
among the Cotton MS., Brit. Mus., Vesp. F. XII. 


able body of men. Soon after landing, they were sur- 
prised by a party of the O'Neills, under the celebrated 
Shane O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone; and in the conflict 
which ensued, the Scots were defeated with considerable 
slaughter. James Macdonald was mortally wounded, 
and his brother Angus was slain; while Sorley Buy 
fell into the hands of the victor, with many of his fol- 
lowers. 1 O'Neill had recently, after repeated rebellions, 
made his submission to the English Government, and 
was thus induced to turn his arms against his former 
associates, the Scots of the Glens. But soon afterwards, 
becoming once more a rebel, and having sustained a 
defeat from the English forces, this powerful chief 
became alarmed at the extent of the preparations 
against him, and was compelled to take refuge with the 
very Islanders he had so lately attacked as enemies. 
By liberating Sorley Buy and his other prisoners, he 
hoped to secure their good offices with their kinsmen ; 
and he then proceeded to Claneboy, where Alexander 
Oig Macdonald, the brother of Sorley Buy, lay, at the 
head of six hundred Scots, and threw himself on the 
protection of that leader. At first O'Neill was well 
received, a great entertainment being prepared for him; 
but, in the middle of the feast, a dispute arose in con- 
sequence of some rash expressions of O'Neill's secretary, 
which were defended by O'Neill himself. Some of the 
Scots, eager to revenge the death of their late chief, 
took advantage of this circumstance, and, rushing into 

1 Ware's Annals (Reg. Elizab.), pp. 8, 10. Camden's Britannia, by 
Gough, in., p. 626. Leland's Ireland, II., p. 230. Crawford's MS. 
Collections, Adv. Lib., quoting a deed from the Dunstaffnage Papers, 
which shows that the Earl of Argyle proposed to intercede for the 
liberation of Sorley Buy. 


the tent with drawn dirks, despatched both O'Neill and 
his secretary; and the head of the former, being carried 
to Dublin by Captain Piers, an English officer, was set 
on the top of the castle, by order of the Lord Deputy. 1 
O'Neill was succeeded by one of his tribe ? named 
Torlogh Luineach, who made war upon the Scots, and 
killed Alexander Oig Macdonald in the year following 
the death of Shane O'Neill. 2 

From the above sketch of the history of the Clan- 
donald of Isla, with reference to its possessions in Ulster, 
it seems evident that the power of the tribe, as compared 
with that of the Macleans and other great clans in the 
Isles, must have been seriously weakend, owing to its 
late losses in Ireland. Indeed, after the death of Jarnes 
Macdonald, this family never regained its former power; 
and the son of that chief lived to see its almost total 

In the same year in which the chief of Isla made his 
last and fatal expedition to Ulster, the Earl of Argyle, 
and many of his vassals, were involved in the rebellion 
of the Duke of Chatelherault and the Earl of Murray, 
arising out of the opposition made by these noblemen to 
the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, with the Lord 
Darnley. Murray retired to Argyleshire in the month 
of August, where he was joined by the Earl of Argyle, 
and the men of Breadalbane, Lorn, and Argyle Proper. 
Commission was given to the Earl of Athole to proceed 
against the rebels; and the Royal forces were summoned 

1 Ware's Annals (Keg. Elizab.), p. 11. Cliffe's Irish Kebellions, p. 
XVII. ; Leland's Ireland, II., p. 243-4. Act of Attainder of O'Neill's 
memory by the Irish Parliament, llth Eliz. Sess. 3. Captain Piers is 
said, by Leland, to have incited the Scots to this assassination. 

2 Ware's Annals (Reg Elizab.), p. 11. Leland, II., p. 244. 


by proclamation, to meet the Commissioner in Lorn, on 
the 20th of September. Among other chiefs specially 
required to meet the Earl of Athole in Lorn, we find 
Kuari Macleod of the Lewis, Tormod Macleod of 
Harris, Donald Gormeson of Sleat, and Kenneth 
Mackenzie of Kintaill. The march of the rebels to the 
Lowlands, and the subsequent flight of their leaders to 
England, when they found the adherents of the King 
and Queen too strong for them, speedily put an end to 
this bloodless insurrection, without the necessity of an 
invasion of Lorn by the Royal forces. The country 
suffered for some time by that stoppage of communica- 
tion between the West Highlands and the Lowlands 
which was the inevitable consequence of a rebellion in 
Argyle. But the insurgent chiefs having made their 
peace with the Government early in 1566, a proclama- 
tion was soon afterwards issued, removing all restrictions 
on the trade in cattle and other commodities. 1 

Towards the end of Queen Mary's reign, a violent 
dispute broke out among the Cameron s, in which 
Donald Dubh (patronymically styled MacDonald Vic 
Ewin), the chief of that clan, was put to death by some 
of his own kinsmen. 2 He had for some time been at 
feud with the family of Glennevis; but the chief instru- 
ments of his death seem to have been his uncles, Ewin, 
founder of the house of Erracht, and John, founder of 
that of Kinlochiel, younger sons of Ewin Allanson, the 

1 Sir Walter Scott's History of Scotland, II., p. 99. Kecord of Privy 
Council, July, 1565, to April, 1566. Treasurer's Accounts, 27th August, 
1565. Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 151. 

2 Reg. of Privy Seal, XXXVI. 32. Record of Privy Council, 
November, 1564, February, 1576-7. Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, Vol. I., 
33. MS. History of Camerons. 


captain of the Clanchameron, who, along 
with Macdonald of Keppoch, was executed 
by the Earl of Huntly in 1547 (supra, p. 179). On 
the death of Donald Dubh, the estate of Lochiel seems 
to have devolved upon his infant nephew, Allan, son 
and heir of Donald's younger brother, John Dubh ; but 
Allan being a minor, his granduncles usurped the estate, 
under pretence of acting as his guardians. The friends 
of the young chief appear, however, to have considered 
his life in danger if he should remain in Lochaber; and, 
accordingly, provided for his safety by removing him 
to the care of his maternal relations, the Macleans of 
Dowart. 1 In the meantime, the government of the 
Clanchameron remained in the hands of Erracht and 
Kinlochiel, of whom we shall have further occasion to 
speak in a future part of this work. 

In this reign the Earl of Argyle contrived to extend 
his influence into the North Isles, and over two of the 
most powerful tribes in that quarter, the Clandonald of 
Sky and North Uist, and the Clanleod of Harris, Dun- 
vegan, and Glenelg. The mode in which this object was 
attained is so characteristic of the policy of the house of 
Argyle that it seems to merit some detail, in reference 
to the rapid increase of the power of that noble family. 

William Macleod of Harris, chief of the " Siol Tor- 
mod," was the undisputed proprietor of the estates of 
Harris, Dunvegan, and Glenelg, under a particular 
destination, which, on his death in 1553, caused these 

1 MS. History of the Camerons. This authority errs in calling Allan 
the son of Donald, for the contemporary records style him, in numerous 
instances, Maclanduy. Occasionally, no doubt, he appears as Mac- 
Conmllduy ; but this is evidently the well-known style of the chief of 
the Camerons, derived from a remote ancestor. 


extensive possessions to descend to his daughter and 
heiress, Mary. 1 He was, at the same time, nominal 
proprietor of Sleat, Trouterness, and North Uist, the 
possession of which, we have seen, the Siol Tormod 
had unsuccessfully disputed with the Clandonald. On 
the death of William Macleod, his claim to the last 
mentioned estates was inherited by his brother and heir 
male, Donald. 2 The Siol Tormod was now placed in 
a position which, though quite intelligible on the prin- 
ciples of feudal law, was totally opposed to the Celtic 
customs that still prevailed_, to a great extent, throughout 
the Highlands and Isles. A female and a minor was 
the legal proprietrix of the ancient possessions of the 
tribe, which, by her marriage, might be conveyed to 
another and a hostile family; whilst her uncle, the 
natural leader of the clan according to ancient custom, 
was left without any means to keep up the dignity of a 
chief, or to support the clan against its enemies. His 
claims on the estates possessed by the Clandonald were 
worse than nugatory, as they threatened to involve him 
in a feud with that powerful and warlike tribe, in case 
he should take any steps to enforce them. In these 
circumstances, Donald Macleod seized, apparently with 
the consent of his clan, the estates which legally be- 
longed to his niece, the heiress ; and thus, in practice, 
the feudal law was made to yield to ancient and inve- 
terate custom. Donald did not enjoy these estates long, 
being murdered in Trouterness by a relation of his 
own, John Oig Macleod, who, failing Tormod, the only 
remaining brother of Donald, would have become the 

1 Reg. of Great Seal, XIIL, No. 305; XXVI. 446. 

2 Collectanea de Eebus Albanicis, I. 445. 


heir male of the family. 1 John Oig next plotted the 
destruction of Tormod, who was at the time a student 
in the University of Glasgow; but in this he was foiled 
by the interposition of the Earl of Argyle. He con- 
trived, notwithstanding, to retain possession of the estates 
of the heiress, and of the command of the clan, till his 
death in 1559. 2 In the meantime, the feudal rights of 
the wardship, relief, and marriage of the heiress of Harris, 
were eagerly sought after by various powerful individuals. 
They were first bestowed, in 1553, by the Regent Arran, 
upon the Earl of Huntly, who afterwards proposed to sell 
his interest in the heiress and her property, to the fourth 
Earl of Argyle, for a large sum of money. 3 But Huntly, 
having fallen into disgrace with the Queen Regent, as 
formerly mentioned, was compelled to relinquish his 
bargain with Argyle, and to resign into her hands the 
claims he had acquired from Arran to the guardianship 
of Mary Macleod. 4 The Regent, while endeavouring, 
in 1559, to secure the assistance of James Macdonald 
of Isla against the Protestants, of whom the fifth Earl 
of Argyle was one of the principal leaders, committed 
the feudal guardianship of the young heiress to that 
chief. 5 In 1562, we find that the person of the young 
lady had, by some accident, come into the custody of 
Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintaill, who, having refused to 
give her up to her lawful guardian, James Macdonald, 
was at length compelled to deliver her to Queen Mary, 
with whom she remained for some years as a maid of 

r 1 MS. History of Macleods. " Ibid. 

3 Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 137, 138. 

4 Ibid, 141; Anderson's History of Scotland, MS. Adv. Lib., II. 

5 Sadler's State Papers, II. 431. 


honour, being, no doubt, one of the Queen's celebrated 
Maries. 1 Macdonald seems now to have made over 
his claims to Argyle, who finally exercised the right of 
guardianship, by giving Mary Macleod in marriage to 
his kinsman, Duncan Campbell, younger of Auchin- 
breck. 2 But, previous to the marriage, the Earl, sensi- 
ble of the difficulty which would attend any attempt to 
put an individual of his clan in possession of the territo- 
ries of the Siol Tormod, even although he had the law 
in his favour, entered into the following arrangements, 
the most judicious that could be devised for making 
the most of his position at the time. His first agree- 
ment was with Tormod Macleod, who had been for 
some years in actual possession of Harris and the other 
estates of the heiress, and had already given to the 
Earl (for the good offices of the latter) his bond of 
service for himself and. his clan. 3 It was arranged that 
Macleod should renounce, in favour of Argyle, all claim 
he had to the lands of the Clandonald; that he should 
likewise pay the sum of one thousand merks towards the 
dowery of his niece. Argyle, on the other hand, engaged 
to procure from Mary Macleod, and any husband she 
might marry, a complete surrender of her title to the 
lands of Harris., Dunvegan, and Glenelg; and to obtain 
for Tormod a Crown charter of that estate. 4 His 
next agreement was with Donald MacDonald Gorme 
of Sleat: and in consideration of that chief paying five 
hundred merks towards the dowery of Mary Macleod, 

1 Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 140-4. 

2 Ibid, p. 151, and Histories of both families. 

3 A contract to this effect, dated in 1559, will be found in the 
Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 91. 

4 Ibid, I. 145. The contract is dated 24th February, 1566-7. 


and of his likewise giving his bond of service for him- 
self and his clan to Argyle, the latter engaged to make 
him his vassal in the lands of Trouterness, Sleat, and 
North Uist, to which the Macdonalds had at present no 
legal claim. 1 Argyle's agreement with Tormod Macleod 
was actually carried into effect; 2 but circumstances 
seem to have interfered with the final completion of 
his contract with Macdonald. It is evident, however, 
that, although in the case of the Siol Tormod, at this 
time, ancient custom prevented the feudal law of suc- 
cession from being carried into effect in its full extent, 
yet the Earl of Argyle did not surrender his legal claims 
without indemnifying himself amply for the sacrifice. 

The important events which marked the close of the 
reign of Queen Mary and the commencement of that 
of her son, must, in a great measure, have withdrawn, 
the attention of the Scottish government from the 
administration of justice throughout the realm. This 
neglect was soon followed by its necessary consequence 
an increase in the number of private feuds as well as 
in the rancour with which these disputes were con- 
ducted. 3 As soon, however, as the Regent Murray 
found himself firmly seated in the government; he pro- 

1 Collectanea de Kebus Albanicis, I. 147. The contract is dated 
4th March, 1566-7. 

2 Reg. of Great Seal, XXXIII. 9. MS. History of Macleods, quoting 
a Royal charter to Tormod, dated 4th August, 1579. 

3 On 28th April, 1567, Queen Mary (then at the Castle of Dun- 
bar) granted a commission of Lieutenandry to the Earl of Argyle 
against Plector Maclean of Dowart and his clan, who had, since the 
death of James Macdonald of Dunyveg, ravaged with fire and sword 
the Isle of Gigha, being part of the jointure lands of Lady Agnes 
Campbell, Macdonald's widow. Analecta Scotica, p. 393. Reg. of 
Great Seal, XXXI. 47. 


ceeded to check all such disorders with that vigour 
which distinguished his character. 1 In June, 
1569, the Regent and his Privy Council sat 
at Inverness, and laboured to put an end to the feuds 
of the Highlanders. Among other feuds which attracted 
Murray's notice at this time, was one between the Clan- 
chattan and the Macdonalds of Keppoch, the origin of 
which has been traced in the Introduction, and which 
had been aggravated, in the early part of the last reign, 
by the apprehension and execution of Ranald Mac- 
Donald Glas of Keppoch. It will be recollected that 
this chief, having been concerned in the attack upon 
Lord Lovat, and the slaughter of the Frasers, was, along 
with Ewin Allanson of Lochiel, apprehended in 1547, 
by William Macintosh, captain of the Clanchattan, and 
delivered to the Earl of Huntly, by whom both these 
leaders were executed (supra, p. 179). Notwithstand- 
ing the great obstacle thus thrown in the way of an 
accommodation between the Clanchattan and the Mac- 
donalds, the Regent succeeded in procuring from Launch- 
Ian Macintosh, now the head of the former tribe, a 
promise that he would grant to Ranald MacRanald of 
Keppoch such titles to the lands occupied by the latter 
and his clan, as to the Regent should seem fair and 
equitable. 2 This long-protracted feud was now in a 
fair way of being brought to an amicable conclusion, 
but for the 'assassination of the Earl of Murray, which 

1 In a Parliament, held at Edinburgh, in 1516, the Lords of the 
Articles were required to report, "by what meane all Scotland be 
brocht to universal obedience, and how John Moydart and MacTcay 
may be dantonit." Vol. III. p. 43-4. The particulars of the rebel- 
lious conduct of these chiefs do not appear. 

2 Kecord of Privy Council, ad tempus. 


had the effect of throwing the country into still greater 
confusion than that from which he had already succeeded 
in rescuing it. 

In August of this year, Donald Gormeson or Mac- 
donald of Sky, and Colin Mackenzie of Kintaill, were 
forced, in the presence of the Regent and Privy Council 
at Perth, to settle, under Murray's mediation, certain 
quarrels in which they and their clans had been for some 
time involved. The principal argument used by the 
Regent to force these chiefs to an accommodation, was 
a threat that the whole influence of Government would 
instantly be employed to crush the party who should 
refuse his mediation, or, having accepted it, should fail 
to implement the conditions imposed upon him. 1 One 
cause of feud between the Clandonald of Sky and 
the Clankenzie, was the death of Donald Gormeson's 
father, in his abortive attempt to seize Mackenzie's 
Castle of Elandonan in Kintaill, in the latter part of the 
reign of James V. (supra, p. 146). But the dissen- 
sions of these powerful tribes had of late been aggra- 
vated by their connection in different ways with the 
Siol Torquil, or Macleods of Lewis. To understand 
the respective positions of the clans alluded to, it will 
be necessary to glance briefly at the later history of 
that last mentioned viz., the Siol Torquil. Roderick 
or Ruari Macleod, the Baron of Lewis, and heir 
male of his ancient house, was first married to Janet, 
daughter of John Mackenzie of Kintaill. The alleged 
issue of this marriage was a son, Torquil afterwards, 
from his residence among his mother's relations in 
Strathconnan, surnamed Connanach. The Lady of 

1 Record of Privy Council, ad tempus. 



Lewis, however, having eloped with John Macgille- 
challum of Rasay, chieftain of ,a powerful branch of the 
Siol Torquil, was divorced by her husband, who, at the 
same time, disowned and disinherited Torquil Connanach, 
alleging that the latter was not his son, but the son of the 
Breve or Celtic Judge of the Lewis. 1 Ruari Macleod 
married, secondly, in 1541, Barbara Stewart, daughter of 
Andrew, Lord Avandale ; and by this lady had a son, 
likewise named Torquil, and surnamed Oighre, or the 
Heir, to distinguish him from Torquil Connanach. 2 The 
latter being supported by the Mackenzies, a feud 
between the two clans was the result. Nor did the 
quarrel, thus begun, end but with the total destruction 
of the family of Lewis. Some time in or before the year 
1566, Torquil Oighre, a young chief of great promise, 
was, with many of his attendants, drowned in a tempest, 
when sailing from Lewis to Sky. As he left no male 
issue, this event gave fresh spirit to the supporters of 

1 MS. History of the Mackenzies, in the possession of L. Mackin- 
non of Letterfearn, Esq. Dr. George Mackenzie's MS. History of the 
Mackenzies. Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 267. That 
Ruari Macleod's wife, contrary to the MS. Histories above cited, 
was a daughter, instead of a sister, of John Mackenzie of Kintaill, is 
proved by a decreet arbitral in 1554, in which Torquil Connanach is 
called the oy of John Mackenzie. Acts and Decreets of Session, X., fo. 

2 Reg. of Privy Seal, XV., fo. 77. Sir R. Gordon, p. 267. MS. 
Histories above cited. As Barbara Stewart is found to have been 
alive and styled Lady Lewis, in 1566 and Torquil Connanach is 
mentioned as engaged in active life prior to 1554 (Acts and Decreets 
of Session, X., fo. 201), and had a son grown up in 1585 (Privy 
Seal, LIH., fo. 40) it is clear, contrary to the assertion of Sir 
Robert Gordon and the other writers above quoted, that Barbara 
Stewart must have been the second, and not the first wife of Ruari 

1569.] MACLEODS OF LEWIS. 211 

Torquil Connanach, and to that individual himself, who 
had now married a daughter of the Laird of Glen- 

A recent massacre of the Macleods of Rasay contri- 
buted, at this time, to weaken the Siol Torquil, and to 
irritate the Mackenzies more against them. The fol- 
lowing are the circumstances under which tradition 
states the massacre to have taken place. It has been 
mentioned that John Macgillechallum of Rasay, called 
" Ian na Tuaidh" or John with the Axe, carried off the 
first wife of his chief, Ruari Macleod of Lewis. By this 
lady, who was a daughter of John Mackenzie of Kin- 
taill (and whom, after her divorce from her first husband, 
he appears to have married), Rasay had issue several 
sons and a daughter. The latter was married to Allaster 
Roy, a grandson of Hector or Eachan Roy, the first of 
the Mackenzies of Gerloch. 1 On the death of his first 
wife, Rasay married a relation of his own, being the sister 
of Ruari MacAllan Macleod surnamed " Nimhneach," 
i.e., venomous, or bitterly hostile head of that portion 
of the Siol Vic Gillechallum which dwelt in Gerloch. Of 
this marriage there was likewise issue. Rasay had given 
offence to his clan by marrying his daughter to a Mac- 
kenzie of the house of Gerloch, with which the Siol Vic 
Gillechallum had been long at deadly feud. Taking 
advantage of the discontent of the tribe, Ruari MacAllan 
plotted the destruction of his ceantighe, and of the sons 
of the latter's first marriage; so that the lands of Rasay 
might come to the eldest son of the second marriage, 
who was his own nephew. Having contrived to assemble 
the Laird of Rasay, his sons by the first marriage, and 

1 MS. History of Mackenzies of Gerloch, and Letterfearn MS, 


several of his nearest relations, at the Island of Isay in 
Waterness, as if to consult on matters of importance, 
the relentless MacAllan proceeded to carry his blood- 
thirsty design into execution. After a feast, which 
concluded the business of the day, he left the apart- 
ment ; and, causing Rasay and the others to be sent for 
singly, he had each of them assassinated on coming to 
his presence. Not one of the party escaped; but 
although Ruari MacAllan's nephew was now nearest 
heir, he did not succeed in retaining possession of 
Rasay. That estate, by the assistance of the Mac- 
kenzies, became the property of Malcolm or Gillecallum 
Garve MacAllaster Macleod ? who was residing with his 
fosterfather at the time of the massacre of his relations; 
and was, during his minority, placed by that faithful 
guardian' under the protection of Campbell of Calder. 
Meantime, the Mackenzies of Gerloch pursued Ruari 
MacAllan, in revenge for the murder of the sons of 
Rasay 's first marriage, whose mother was a Mackenzie, 
and whose sister had married into that family, as above 
mentioned. 1 This occurred about the time that the 
disputes of Ruari Macleod of Lewis and Colin Mac- 
kenzie of Kintaill, who supported Torquil Connanach, 
had run very high, and must, of course, have had the 
effect of aggravating the feud. Ruari Macleod now 
sought the assistance of Donald Gormeson, a chief 
whose previous quarrel with the Mackenzies made 
him more ready to oppose them upon this occa- 
sion; and who appears, with the sanction of the 
chief of the Siol Torquil, to have taken steps to procure 

1 Letterfearn MS. I have nowhere else seen this massacre alluded 

1570-2.] MACLEODS OF LEWIS. 213 

his own recognition as heir of the line of Lewis. 1 In 
all these disputes, Neill Angusson Macleod of Assint, 
and the blood-stained Ruari MacAllan, were among the 
leading partisans of the chiefs of Lewis and Sleat; 
whilst Torquil Connanach Macleod, and John Mackenzie 
of Geiioch, were the most active on the other side. 2 Such 
was the feud which was now quelled by the influence of 
the Regent Murray so effectually as to prevent its 
renewal at any future time, so far as the Macdonalds of 
Sky and the Mackenzies were concerned. 
A. D. 1570- After the assassination of Murray, the Earls 
I572> of Lennox and Mar were successively Regents 
of Scotland. These noblemen, however, held the 
sovereign power for so short a space, and were so much 
occupied in defending themselves and their supporters 
against the Queen's party, which was still very strong, 
that neither of them had leisure or opportunity to 
follow out any particular system with regard to the 
administration of justice, or the maintenance of internal 
tranquillity. The Earl of Mar was succeeded by the 
celebrated James, Earl of Morton; who, although an 
unprincipled man, and avaricious to excess, ruled with 
much vigour and an appearance of justice. 

During the feud between the Clandonald and other 
supporters of Ruari Macleod, and the Clankenzie, as 
supporters of Torquil Connanach, which we have lately 
noticed, the old chief of Lewis had been seized by his 

1 Protest in Cli. Chest of Dunvegan, dated 22nd August, 1566, 
taken by Donald MacDonald Gorme, claiming to be heir of Lewis, 
on the ground of an alleged confession of Hucheoun, the Breve of 
the Lewis, that Torquil Connanach was son to the said Breve. 

2 Acts and Decreets of Session, X., fo. 201 ; Record of Privy Council, 
August, 1569. 

214 REGENCY OF MORTON. [1576. 

alleged son, who detained him four years in captivity. 
Being brought, while a prisoner, before the Earl of 
Mar, then Regent, and his Privy Council, he was com- 
pelled to resign his estate into the hands of the Crown, 
taking a new destination of it to himself in liferent, and, 
after his death, to Torquil Connanach, as his son and 
heir-apparent. On his liberation, the first act of Ruari 
Macleod was to revoke all that he had done when a 
captive, on the ground of coercion, and of the undutiful 
conduct of Torquil. 1 Fresh dissensions followed this 
revocation; and, at length, both father and son were 
summoned to Edinburgh, where, in presence 
of the Regent Morton and the Privy Council, 
they agreed to bury in oblivion their mutual animosities. 
Torquil Connanach was again recognised as heir- 
apparent of the Lewis; and, in that character, received 
from his father the district of Cogeache, and various 
other lands, for his support during the life of the latter.' 2 
It will afterwards appear that this reconciliation did not 
endure for any great length of time. 

About the same time, a petty quarrel arose between 
the Earls of Argyle and Athole, which might have been 
attended with very serious consequences, from the 
manner in which these noblemen took it up. The 
circumstances connected with this dispute were as 
follow. Colin, sixth Earl of Argyle, who had suc- 
ceeded his brother in 1575, claimed, in virtue of his 
heritable office of Justice- General, that a Commission 
of Justiciary, formerly given by Queen Mary to the 
Earl of Athole, over his own territory of Athole, 

1 Keg. of Great Seal, XXXIII. 32. Instrument of Eevocation by 
Ruari Macleod, dated 2nd June, 1572, in Ch. Chest of Dunvegan. 

2 Gen. Reg. of Deeds, XV., fo. 186. 


should be annulled. 1 This was opposed by the latter, 
who not only refused to give up for trial two of the 
Athole Stewarts, against whom Argyle alleged various 
crimes, but took an opportunity of seizing two of the 
Camerons, charged with the murder of the late chief of 
that clan. These men he committed to prison, and 
detained there, although claimed by Argyle as his 
dependants. 2 Disdaining to yield to each other, the 
rival Earls summoned together their vassals in arms, 
and prepared to decide this ignoble dispute by the 
sword. The Eegent, before the parties could come to 
blows, interfered; and, by a very judicious exercise of 
the Royal authority, compelled them to disband their 
forces. 3 But Argyle and Athole, having secret infor- 
mation that Morton meditated a charge of treason 
against them, so as to make their late discord profitable 
to himself, forgot their private animosities, and united 
against the common enemy. The Eegent, who feared 
their joint power, was forced unwillingly to abandon 
his project; and a blow was thus struck at his influence, 
which from this time gradually waned, until^ at length, 
he was deprived of the Regency. 4 The 
Government was now nominally assumed by 
the King, who was in the twelfth year of his age ; but, 
for the next seven years, the chief power of the State 
was engrossed by the profligate Captain James Stewart, 
upon whom, in 1581, the Earldom of Arran was con- 

1 Record of Privy Council, Feb., 1575-6. 

2 Ibid., 31st July, 1576 ; 2nd and 26th February, and 1st March, 

Ibid., 23rd June, 1576, to 20th January, 1576-7. 
4 Robertson's History of Scotland, II. 225 ; Historic of King James 
the Sext, p. 159-60. 


Early in 1578, \ve find the Earl of Argyle who, 
since his rupture with the Regent Morton, had avoided 
the Court, and dwelt in his own country accused of 
levying his vassals, nominally with a view to punish 
some disturbers of the public peace, but really, as was 
alleged, to wreak his vengeance upon the Laird of 
Glengarry. How the latter chief came to offend the 
powerful Earl of Argyle does not appear; but upon 
his petition to the Privy Council, proclamation was 
made, prohibiting the Earl from assembling any of the 
lieges in arms, and from attacking Glengarry, under 
the pain of treason. At the same time, the tutor of 
Lovat, Colin Mackenzie of Kintaill, and several other 
powerful chiefs, were directed to assist Glengarry with 
all their force against the Earl. A similar direction was 
given generally to the inhabitants of the Earldoms of 
Ross and Murray, and the Lordships of Badenoch and 
Balquhidder; and Maclean of Do wart and Mackinnon 
of Strathordell were prohibited from giving assistance 
to the Earl of Argyle. 1 These decided measures seem 
to have checked the Earl's proceedings, for the matter 
is not again alluded to in the record. 

About this time various other complaints were made 
against Argyle for oppressive and illegal conduct; par- 
ticularly by John, son and heir to James Macdonald of 
Castle Camus in Sky, and John Maclean, uncle to 
Lauchlan Maclean of Do wart, who were both kept 
prisoners in Argyle's Castle of Inchconnell in Lochow, 
without warrant; and by Lauchlan Maclean, the young 
chief of Dowart, whose Isle of Loyng was invaded and 
plundered by a party of Campbells sent by Argyle, 

1 Record of Privy Council, ad tempus. 


under the command of Dougal Macconachy of Inveraw. 1 
It is difficult to account for this Earl of Argyle pursuing 
a line of conduct so opposed to the policy of his prede- 
cessors. After his being made Lord High Chancellor 
of Scotland, in August, 1579, he seems to have paid 
more regard to the laws. 

The powerful family of the Macleans had now for 
their chief a young man of an active and energetic 
spirit, under whom this tribe exercised a great influence 
in the Isles. Circumstances had early familiarised 
Lauchlan Mor (as this young chief, from his great 
stature, was styled) with scenes of blood and rapine. 
During his minority, the family estates had been held 
by Hector Maclean, son of Alein na'n Sop (supra, 
p. 178), who pretended to administer them as guardian 
for his kinsman, Lauchlan, but, in reality, plotted the 
destruction of the latter, intending to seize the estates 
afterwards for himself. Even after Lauchlan Maclean, 
who is said to have received a good education in the 
Lowlands, had attained majority and taken possession 
of his estates, his quondam guardian was suspected of a 
design upon his life. This was, however, frustrated by 
the activity of Lauchlan, who apprehended Hector, and 
imprisoned him for a considerable time in the Castle of 
Dowart. Thence he transported him to the Isle of 
Coll (the Macleans of that island having, on a renewal 
of the old feud, been expelled by the young Lord of 
Dowart), where the unfortunate Hector was beheaded, 
by order of his nephew, without trial or warrant. 2 
Under a chief disposed to act in so violent and illegal 

1 Record of Privy Council, 1576 to 1579. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 10th and 12th April, 1579. 


a manner the Macleans could not long avoid a collision 
with the Macdonalds of Isla regarding the disputed 
district in that island. We find, accordingly, that the 
King and Council, upon information of mutual hostili- 
ties already committed by the followers of these chiefs, 
commanded Lauchlan Maclean of Dowart, 
and Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg, to sub- 
scribe, within a certain limited period, assurances of 
indemnity to each other, under, the penalty of treason. 1 
This led to a temporary suspension of hostilities between 
the two clans, and to the marriage of Macdonald with 
the sister of Maclean; but their friendship, although 
thus cemented, was not destined to be of long duration. 
Some time after these disturbances in the 
South Isles, a serious feud broke out between 
Donald MacAngus of Glengarry and Colin Mackenzie 
of Kintaill. The former chief had inherited one half 
of the districts of Lochalsh, Lochcarron, and Loch- 
broom, from his grandmother, Margaret, one of the 
sisters and co-heiresses of Sir Donald Macdonald of 
Lochalsh, who, as formerly mentioned, died about the 
year 1518. 2 The predecessors of Kintaill had acquired 
the other half of these districts by purchase, from Ding- 
wall of Kildun, the son of the other co-heiress of Sir 
Donald. 3 The vicinity of these lands to the other 
possessions of the Mackenzies had probably tempted 
some of that tribe to make aggressions upon Glengarry's 
portion. Their intrusion was fiercely resented by that 
chief, who, in order the better to maintain his rights, 

1 Kecord of Privy Council, 12th January, 1578-9. 

2 Supra, p. 126. Vindication of the Clanranald of Glengarry, pp. 

3 Reg. of Privy Seal, XVII., fo. 92. 


took up his residence, for a time, in Lochcarron, and 
placed a garrison of his followers in the Castle of Strone, 
in that district. The breach between the two clans 
gradually became wider; and, in the course of their 
dissensions. Glengarry himself, and many of his fol- 
lowers, fell into the hands of a party of the Mackenzies, 
headed by Ruari Mackenzie of Red castle, brother to 
the Lord of Kintaill. Glengarry's life was spared; 
but he was detained in captivity for a considerable time, 
and only procured his release by yielding the Castle of 
Lochcarron to the Mackenzies. The other prisoners, 
however, including several of Glengarry's near relations, 
were put to death, with many, circumstances 
of cruelty and indignity. After his liberation 
Glengarry complained to the Privy Council, who, in- 
vestigating the matter, caused the Castle of Strone to 
be placed under the temporary custody of the Earl of 
Argyle, and detained Mackenzie of Kintaill at Edin- 
burgh, in what was called open ward, to answer to such 
charges as might be brought against him. 1 

The dissensions among the Macleods of 
Lewis, which had been quieted under the 
Regency of Morton, were now again renewed with 
greater violence than before. The old chief had 
recently married, for his third wife, a sister of Lauchlan 1 
Maclean of Dowart, and, by that lady, was father of 
two sons the elder named Torqull Dubh, and the 
younger, Tormod. He had likewise five bastard sons, 

1 Record of Privy Council, 10th August and 2nd December, 1582 ; 
llth January and 8th March, 1582-3. In connection with this feud, 
Colin Mackenzie of Kintaill was confined in the Castle of Blackness 
in May, 1586. Ibid, ad tempus ; and Treasurer's Accounts in June, 


all come to man's estate; three of whom, Donald, Ruari 
Oig, and Neill, joined with their father when that chief 
once more disinherited Torquil Connanach, and named 
Torquil Dubh as his heir. The other bastards, Tor- 
mod Uigach and Murdoch, attached themselves to 
Torquil Connanach ; and these elements of discord in 
the tribe soon produced their natural results. Tormod 
Uigach was slain by his brother Donald, who, again, was 
seized by Murdoch, and delivered to Torquil Connanach 
with a view to his punishment. Donald, however, con- 
trived to escape his threatened doom, and, in his turn, 
seized Murdoch, who was then imprisoned by old Ruari 
in his Castle of Stornoway in the Lewis. Torquil Con- 
nanach took arms to relieve Murdoch from durance, 
and justified himself for his hostility to his father, by 
alleging that his own life was in danger from the latter. 
Having besieged the Castle of Stornoway, and taken it, 
after a short siege, he not only liberated his bastard 
brother, Murdoch, but again made his father a prisoner, 
after killing a number of his men. He likewise carried 
off all the charters and writings of the family, which, on 
a future occasion, he delivered to Mackenzie of Kintaill. 
Before leaving the Lewis, Torquil Connanach sent for 
his eldest son, John, a youth who had been brought 
up under the charge of the Earl of Huntly, and made 
him keeper of the Castle of Stornoway, in which the 
old chief, his grandfather, was left as a prisoner. John 
Macleod continued in possession of the castle and of 
the island for some time, until he was attacked and 
killed by his bastard uncle, Ruari Oig. The old man 
was once more liberated and restored to his estate, 
"which," says our authority, "he did possesse during 
the rest of his troublesome days."' On hearing of the 


death of his son, Torquil Connanach, by the advice of 
the Mackenzies, apprehended and executed, at Ding- 
wall, his bastard brother, Donald, who was believed to 
have been privy to the designs of Ruari Oig. 1 Thus 
was the Siol Torquil weakened by private dissensions, 
and exposed to fall a prey., as it did soon afterwards, to 
the growing power of the Mackenzies. 

As the Scottish Islanders still continued to exercise 
a considerable influence in the North of Ireland, it will 
be proper, before concluding the present chapter, to 
take a retrospective view of the events in Ulster in which 
they were chiefly concerned since the death of James 
Macdonald and Shane O'Neill. The children of James 
Macdonald being young at his death, the Irish estates 
of the family were seized by their uncle, Sorley Buy, 
who, during his brother's life, had merely been manager 
under the latter. Sorley Buy was a man of conduct 
and courage, and speedily extended his influence over 
the adjacent territories of the Route and Claneboy 
being generally successful in his enterprises, whether 
against the native Irish or the forces of the English 
Government. 2 In September, 1575, while Sir Henry 
Sidney, then Lord Deputy of Ireland, was at Drogheda, 
in the course of a progress from Dublin to the north, 
he received intelligence of a desperate attack made by 
Sorley Buy upon the garrison of Knockfergus. The 

1 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 268 ; Keg. of Privy Seal, 
LIII. 40 ; Letterfearn MS. 

3 A full and interesting account of Sorley Buy's wars with the Mac- 
Quillans and O'Neills in the year 1569, is given in an ancient MS., 
cited by the Kev. Dr. Drummond in the notes to his poem called "The 
Giant's Causeway." See also Hamilton's Letters on Antrim, for feuds 
between the Clandonald and the MacQuillans. 

222 POWER OF SORLEY BUY. [1585. 

principal object of this attempt was to carry off the 
cattle which had been collected there, to be under the 
protection of the garrison ; and although the Scot was 
repulsed without effecting his object, the garrison suffered 
severely in the conflict. In the following month Sidney 
set out on his journey towards Knockfergus. In his 
report of the state of Ulster, he describes the districts 
of Duffreyn and Claneboy as totally waste and void of 
inhabitants, whilst the Glens and Route, possessed by 
the Scots under Sorley Buy, were full of corn and 
cattle ; and that leader is represented as being then 
very haughty, owing to his late victories. The Lord 
Deputy not being in a condition to reduce Sorley Buy, 
at this time, by force of arms, arranged with him that 
he should abstain from hostilities until certain petitions 
given in by him should be considered by the English 
Queen. In these petitions, Sorley Buy not only claimed 
to be recognised as proprietor of the Glens, but also 
desired to be confirmed in his possession of the Route. 
As it was now evident that Sorley Buy totally disre- 
garded the claims of his nephew, Angus, the son of 
James Macdonald, 1 to the Glens, and was labouring 
exclusively for his own advancement, James' widow, 
who, since his death, had married the celebrated Torlogh 
Luineach O'Neill, afterwards Earl of Tyrone, addressed 
herself to the Lord Deputy, with a view to counteract 
the intrigues of Sorley Buy. This lady came to 

1 This Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg and the Glens, is first mentioned 
in a Scottish Chronicle, A.D. 1573, as under: " Upoun the 23d. day 
of Aprile, the great O'NEILL (Torlogh Luineach, step-father of Angus) 
come in to Edinburgh, and gave in ane complent aganis Angus MacConeill, 
becaus he wald not be subdewit to the Erie of Ergyle." Diurnal of 
Occurrents, printed by Ban. Club, p. 330. 


Armagh to wait upon Sir Henry Sidney, by whom she 
is described as " one very well spoken, of great modesty, 
good nurture, parentage, and disposition, being aunt to 
the Earl of Argyle." Knowing the aversion of the 
English Queen to have Scottish subjects as proprietors 
in Ireland, she passed over the claims of her eldest son, 
but desired to have the Glens granted to her second 
son, who would swear to be her Majesty's liegeman 
and a dutiful subject. She engaged, also, that her son 
would dwell upon the property himself, and yield what 
rent and service her Majesty could reasonably demand; 
and that he would defend it against Sorley Buy and 
his followers. Her offers, as well as those of Sorley Buy, 
were transmitted by Sidney to the English Privy Coun- 
cil ; and he, at the same time, expressed his opinion 
that the Route should be restored to its former proprie- 
tors, the MacQuillans. He recommended, also, that 
the Queen should write to the Regent of Scotland, 
effectually to keep the Scots at home; "who, from 
that region, and, namely, the oute Isles, dayly swarm 
hither, to the great annoyance of the north part of this 
realme." l 

In the following year Sidney received offers from Tor- 
logh Luineach, bearing, that if the Lord Deputy would 
make war upon the Scots, and do but one day's service 
upon them, Torlogh would repudiate his wife, and do 
his best to expel her countrymen out of Ireland. Being 
aware that O'Neill's principal strength consisted in the 
Scots, as he was hated by his Irish followers, Sidney 
distrusted the promises of this crafty chief, and con- 

1 Letters of Sir Henry Sidney to the English Government, 28th 
September, and 15th November, 1575. Cotton MS., Brit. Mus., 
Titus, B. X. 


tented himself with recommending a new application to 
the Scottish Regent, to check the incursions of the 
Islanders into Ireland. 1 In 1579, we find it reported 
that O'Neill had invited over great numbers of Scots, 
with evil intentions, on his part, against the Government. 2 
The English ministers were now forced to turn their 
serious attention to the progress of the Scots in Ulster; 
and, being informed that the Earl of Desmond, then in 
rebellion, had applied to O'Neill for assistance, they 
immediately despatched Captain Piers, an officer of 
experience, to treat with Torlogh Luineach and prevent 
his joining the rebels. The secret instructions given to 
this envoy, and signed by Burleigh and Walsingharn, 
two of the ablest ministers of the English Queen, afford 
the strongest proof of the power to which the intruding 
Islanders had attained. After conferring with O'Neill 
as to the rebellion of Desmond, Piers was instructed to 
ascertain, with caution, how far the former was inclined 
to break with the Scots, or, at least, to agree to their 
being both limited in number, and confined to their 
inheritance of the Glens. He was to pretend that his 
sole motive in this proposition was to benefit "the 
ancient lords and captains of the land of Ireland," 
several of whom were expelled from their possessions 
and deprived of their wealth by the Scots, who grew 
rich " by spoiling of the land of Ireland." The envoy 
was then directed to explain to the Irish families who 
suffered most from the Scots and were pressing for 
their expulsion, the reasons which prevented the Queen 
from following that course ; and he was charged, at the 

1 Letters of Sir Henry Sidney to the English Government, 17th 
March, 1576-7. 

= Harleian MS., '$&. 


same time, to obtain their approval of a limitation of 
the number of the Scots to four hundred. Finally , he 
was to sound the Scots themselves, to ascertain how 
they felt disposed towards the projected limitation of 
their numbers, and diminution of their territories. 1 
The effect of the mission of Captain Piers, in so far as 
regards the Scots, is uncertain. We find that, in 1585, 
Angus Macdonald, his brother Donald Gorme, and 
his mother, the Lady Tyrone, were engaged in a nego- 
tiation with Sir John Perrot, then Lord Deputy of 
Ireland, on the basis of certain conditions proposed by 
the latter. Before, however,, this treaty was concluded, 
Macdonald and his mother were summoned to the 
Scottish court ; 2 and the increasing difficulties in which 
this chief was soon after involved, threw his Irish estates 
entirely into the hands of Sorley Buy, from whom Angus 
never was able to recover them. 

The history of Sorley Buy and his sons who, from 
this time, became Irish subjects, and threw off, for many 
years, any connection with Scotland may here be 
summed up in a few words, as far as regards their pos- 
sessions in Ulster. In 1585, Sir John Perrot took 
Sorley Buy's fortress of Dunluce, and expelled him and 
his followers from the Route. In the following year, 
however, Sorley Buy recovered the castle, and slew the 
Governor, Gary, who made a gallant defence ; but the 
Lord Deputy having sent against him an officer of 

1 Instructions, dated at Westminster, 26th May, 1580. Harleian 
MS., %*. "Plot for the better inhabiting of Clandeboy, the Route, 
and the Glens, upon an offer made by certain inhabitants of the said 
countries." Ibid, 

2 Letter, Sir John Perrot to Lord Burghley, 24th April, 1585. 
Harleian MS.. 7 fff. 



experience, named Merryman ; the Scot was defeated with 
great loss two of his brothers and his son, Alexander, 
being among the slain. Merryman then plundered the 
lands possessed by Sorley Buy, from which he carried 
off no less than fifty thousand head of cattle, in which 
the wealth of that chief consisted. To such distress 
was Sorley Buy reduced by this blow, that he surren- 
dered Dunluce, went to Dublin, and made his public 
submission in the cathedral of that city, offering, at the 
same time, an humble petition for mercy. Being after- 
wards admitted into the Deputy's apartment, as soon 
as he saw the picture of Queen Elizabeth which hung 
there, the wily Scot threw away his sword, and more 
than once prostrated himself before it, and devoted 
himself to her Majesty's service. He was then received 
into favour, and obtained letters of naturalisation ; and, 
on his abjuring all allegiance to any foreign prince, was 
rewarded by considerable grants of land. He had a 
grant of four districts, called Tuoghes viz. : the dis- 
trict between the rivers Boyse and Ban, and the terri- 
tories of Dunseverig, Loghill, and Ballamonyn, with the 
government of Dunluce Castle, to be held by him and 
the heirs male of his body under the Kings of Eng- 
land. He was bound to restrain his followers from 
ravaging, and to furnish, in time of war, twelve horse- 
men and forty footmen to the Royal army; paying, also, a 
certain number of cattle and hawks annually to the King. 
His eldest son, Sir James MacSorley Buy or Maedon- 
nell of Dunluce, joined in the Earl of Tyrone's rebellion 
in the year 1597, and was present at the battle of the 
Blackwater. In the same year, by means of an ambus- 
cade, he took prisoner the Governor of Carrickfergus, 
whom he caused to be beheaded on a stone at the head 


of the glen. In 1599 he was still in rebellion, and 
had four hundred foot and a hundred horse under arms ; 
but on the accession of King James to the throne of 
England, he cheerfully submitted to and became a 
strenuous supporter of the government of that monarch. 
Sorley Buy's second son, Sir Ranald MacSorley, or 
Macdonnellj had considerable grants of land in the 
county of Antrim from James VI., after the year 1603. 
He is described as having been "a singular promoter 
and patron of civility in the north of Ireland." In 
1618 he was created Viscount of Dunluce, and after- 
wards advanced to the dignity of Earl of Antrim. 
Ranald, his son, succeeded as second Earl, and for 
his services against the Irish rebels in 1641, was 
created in 1643 Marquis of Antrim. 1 

To return to Angus Macdonald of Isla. Soon after 
his arrival in Scotland, an act of Privy Council was 
passed, bearing that he having declared himself the 
King's obedient subject, was on that account, and 
through some pretended quarrels, menaced with invasion 
by his neighbours. All the lieges, therefore, were, by 
proclamation, strictly charged to assist him against his 
enemies, under high penalties. At the same time, 
Lauchlan Maclean of Dowart, Donald Gormeson of 
Sleat, Ruari Macleod of the Lewis, and Tormod Mac- 
leod of Harris, were summoned to appear before the 
King and Council, to give their advice regarding the 
good rule and quietness of the Highlands and Isles. 2 
There is reason to believe that the quarrels alluded to 

1 Camden's Britannia (by Gough), III., pp. 626, 627 ; Playfair's Brit. 
Fam. Antiq., IV., p. 39; O'Sullivan, p. 147; Hamilton's Letters on 

2 Record of Privy Council, ad tempus. 


arose out of the old feud between the Macdonalds and 
Macleans, aggravated in all probability by some im- 
prudent grant conferred by the influence of Arran 
upon Angus Macdonald, of lands disputed between the 
two clans. The Privy Council might have succeeded, 
as on former occasions, in quelling this feud, but a 
concurrence of unfortunate events tended to plunge 
these clans and their supporters into scenes of blood 
and strife, which retarded for a length of time the 
civilisation and improvement of the Isles. 

About this time, Allan Maclan Duy, the young 
chief of the Camerons, who, on the murder of his uncle, 
had been carried for safety when an infant to the 
Isle of Mull (supra, p. 203), returned to take the com- 
mand of his tribe. During his minority and absence, 
the clan had been ruled by his granduncles, Ewin 
Cameron of Erracht, and John Cameron of Kinlochiel ; 
but they having made themselves obnoxious by their in- 
solence and tyranny, Donald MacEwin Beg, bastard son 
of a former chief, was brought forward by a party in the 
clan to oppose them. The Laird of Macintosh, taking 
advantage of these dissensions, invaded the lands of the 
Clanchameron, and forced Erracht and Kinlochiel to 
agree to a treaty regarding the disputed lands of Glen- 
luy and Locharkaig, which was considered very disad- 
vantageous to the Camerons. So strong was the feel- 
ing displayed by the clan when the terms of this treaty 
became known, that Erracht and Kinlochiel were forced 
to repudiate it, and to prepare for an immediate attack 
upon the Clanchattan. To strengthen themselves in 
the proposed expedition, they sought a reconciliation 
with the bastard, Donald MacEwin, with whom and his 
party they had a meeting at the Castle of Inverlochy. 


Here, Ewin of Erracht was barbarously murdered by 
some of his opponents, and John of Kinlochiel was 
forced to leave Lochaber. He was afterwards, at the 
instigation of the bastard, apprehended by the Earl of 
Argyle, and executed at the Castle of Dunstaffnage. 
Allan Maclan Duy was now recalled to Lochaber, 
where, by false reports of the evil intentions entertained 
against him by the bastard, he was induced to consent 
to the death of the latter. This was so much resented 
by the clan, with whom Donald MacEwin had been a 
great favourite, that Lochiel was under the necessity of 
quitting Lochaber for a time until the affair should be 
forgotten. Having, while resident in Appin, nearly 
lost his life through an unlucky broil, in which a son of 
Campbell of Glenurchy was killed, the Clanchameron 
became impatient for his return ; and, accordingly, about 
the year 1585, Allan Maclan Duy of Lochiel again 
entered upon the command of his clan. 1 

The fall of the odious favourite, the Earl of Arran 
brought about, at length, by the united efforts of the 
nobility opened a new era in the reign of James VI. 
That prince was now in his nineteenth year ; and from 
this time he took upon himself more of the cares of 
Government than could have been expected at his age. 
His mode of governing, and his efforts to improve the 
Highlands and Isles, will be fully illustrated in the 
succeeding chapters. 

1 MS. History of Camerons. 



CATHOLIC EARLS. 1585-1595. 

AFTER the young King had taken the govern- 
ment into his own hands, he was soon called 
upon to interfere in the feud between the Macdonalcls 
and Macleans, which owing to an unfortunate accident, 
now raged with greater fury than ever. The immediate 
cause of these renewed disorders, which speedily involved 
several other clans, was as follows. Donald Gorme 
Mor of Sleat, being on a voyage from Sky, with a retinue 
befitting his rank, to visit his kinsman, Angus Macdonald 
of Dunyveg, in the island of Isla, was forced by stress 
of weather to take shelter in that part of Jura belong- 
ing to Maclean of Dowart. At the same time, two 
gentlemen of Donald Gorme's clan, 1 with whom he had 
lately quarrelled, were by the same storm driven into 
a neighbouring harbour. On learning that their chief 

1 Their names were Huistein MacGillespick Clerach, and Macdonald 
Terreagh. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 187. Donald Gorme 
Mor was the son of Donald Gormeson, and the fifth in descent from 
Hugh of Sleat, 


lay so near them, these vassals secretly carried off by 
night a number of cattle from Maclean's lands, and 
took to sea, in the expectation that Donald Gorme and 
his party would be blamed by the Macleans for the 
robbery and suffer accordingly. Their malicious design, 
unfortunately, took effect, for in the course of the fol- 
lowing night the men of Sky were attacked by a superior 
body of the Macleans, and, as they apprehended no 
danger, fell an easy prey to the assailants. Sixty of 
the Macdonalds were slain, and their chief only escaped 
the same fate from the circumstance of his accidentally 
sleeping on board his galley on the night of the attack. 
He immediately returned to Sky, much exasperated at 
what he had every reason to believe such an unprovoked 
attack, and vowing vengeance against the Macleans; 
feelings which quickly spread amongst all the branches 
of the Macdonalds and their allies. Violent measures 
of retaliation were immediately resorted to, and carried 
to such an extent that, in the month of September, we 
find the King himself writing to Macleod of Harris, and 
earnestly requesting that chief to assist Maclean of 
Dowart against the Clandonald, who had already done 
much injury to Maclean and his followers, and threatened 
to do more. 1 Meantime, Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg, 
having gone to Sky to consult with Donald Gorme, 
determined on his return, against the advice of his 
followers, to visit Maclean at his Castle of Dowart, and 
endeavour to effect an amicable arrangement of all their 
disputes. In taking this step, Macdonald calculated on 
his private influence with Maclean, whose sister he had 
married some years before ; but he was doomed to be 

1 Original Letter in Charter Chest of Dunvegan, dated 18th 
September, 1585. 


disappointed. His brothers, Ranald and Coll, strongly 
dissuaded him from his purpose, and finding him 
obstinate, refused to accompany him. Their fears were 
justified by the result. Angus and his followers were 
at first well received by Maclean ; but the present was 
too good an opportunity of personal aggran- 
disement to be lost by the latter, whose violent 
character has already been noticed. On the day after 
their arrival, Macdonald and his train with the excep- 
tion of Ranald MacColl, Angus' cousin, who was left at 
liberty were perfidiously seized and thrown into prison 
by their host. 1 Here Macdonald was detained in close 
captivity, until, to preserve his life, he agreed to renounce, 
in favour of Maclean, the lands of the Rinns of Isla, so 
long disputed between the two families. For the per- 
formance of this agreement he was obliged to give his 
son James, then a boy, and his brother Ranald, as 
hostages; whereupon he was set at liberty with his 
attendants. He then returned to his own Castle of 
Dunyveg, more than ever exasperated against his 
brother-in-law, and determined to obtain full revenge for 
the injuries inflicted both on himself and on his kinsman, 
Donald Gorme. 

1 "Trew it is, that thir Ilandish men ar of nature verie prowd, 
suspicious, avaricious, full of decept and evill inventioun each aganis 
his nychtbour, be what way soever he may circumvin him. Besydis 
all this, thay ar sa ere wall in taking of revenge that nather have they 
regard to person, eage, tyme, or caus; sa ar they generallie all sa 
far addictit to thair awin tyrannicall opinions that, in all respects, 
they exceid in creweltie the maist barbarous people that ever hes 
bene sen the begynning of the warld." Historic of King James the 
Sext, p. 217. The author of the work in which the above severe 
reflections on the character and disposition of the Islanders occur, 
seems, from a passage in Sir K. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 188, 
to have been one " John Colwin." 


Some time afterwards, Maclean came to Isla to 
receive performance of the promises made by Mac- 
donald regarding the Rinns of Isla, bringing with him 
his nephew, James Macdonald, one of the hostages, the 
other being left behind in the Castle of Dowart. Mac- 
lean took post at the ruinous fort of Elan Loch Gorme 
in the Rinns of Isla, and had not been long in this 
place when he received an invitation from Macdonald 
to come to the latter's house at Mullintrea, which was 
more convenient and better stored with provisions than 
the fort of Loch Gorme. Such, however, was the dis- 
trust felt by Maclean of this invitation, that it was only 
after solemn and repeated protestations by Macdonald 
that no hostility was meditated, that he was at length 
prevailed upon to comply with the request. Maclean 
accordingly came to Mullintrea, with eighty-six of his 
clan and servants, in the month of July, 1586, and was 
sumptuously entertained on his arrival. In the mean- 
time, the Macdonalds being secretly collected together 
to the number of three or four hundred men, surrounded 
the houses in which Maclean and his followers were 
lodged, and made them all prisoners, with the exception 
of two, to whom they refused quarter. One of these 
was a Maclean of rank and influence in the tribe, 
renowned for his valour and manhood ; the other was 
Macdonald Terreagh, one of those vassals of Donald 
Gorme who were the original cause of the slaughter in 
Jura, and who, since that time, had attached himself to 
the Macleans. The house in which these two men 
were was burned to the ground, with its inmates, by the 

When the report of the seizure of Maclean and his 
followers came to Mull, Allan Maclean, a near relation 


of the chief, caused a false rumour to be spread abroad 
that Ranald MacJames, the hostage left behind at 
Dowart, had been put to death. His object in this was 
to induce Angus Macdonald to kill Maclean and his 
clansmen ; in which event, Allan would have succeeded 
to the management of the estate, as guardian to Mac- 
lean's children, who were then very young. And 
although this device did not succeed, as was intended,, 
in procuring the death of Maclean, yet it had this effect, 
that Coll MacJames, under the impression that his 
brother Ranald had really been executed, let loose his 
vengeance against the rest of the unfortunate prisoners. 
Two of these were executed every day, until at last 
Maclean himself alone survived of all those who had 
been seized by the Macdonalds at Mullintrea; and Mac- 
lean's life was only saved by an accident that happened 
to Angus Macdonald as he was mounting his horse to 
witness the execution of his rival. These atrocities at 
length reached the ears of the King, who employed the 
chiefs of the Campbells who governed the Earldom of 
Argyle during the minority of the seventh Earl, to 
mediate between the contending clans. By their in- 
fluence, Macdonald agreed on receiving a promise of 
pardon for his crimes, 1 and on eight hostages 
of rank 2 being placed in his hands by Mac- 
lean, for the performance of certain conditions, which 

1 A remission was granted to him accordingly. Record of Privy 
Council, 16th April, 1587. 

2 These hostages were Hector Maclean, Dowart's eldest son; 
Alexander, brother of William Macleod of Dunvegan ; Lauchlan and 
Neill, sons of Lauchlan Mackinnon of Strathordell ; John and Murdo, 
sons of Ruari MacNeill of Barra ; Allan, son of Ewin Maclean of 
Ardgour; and Donald, son of Hector Maclean, Constable of 
Carneburg. Record of Privy Council, 16th April, 1587. 


the latter was forced to subscribe to consent to the 
liberation of his opponent. After this, Macdonald went 
to Ireland to attend to his affairs in that country, when 
Dowart, regardless of the safety of his hostages and of 
his own promises, roused his clan to arms, and invaded 
Isla, a great part of which he wasted with fire and 
sword. On Macdonald's return to the Isles, he dis- 
dained to punish the hostages; but collected a large 
force of his vassals and friends, with which he invaded 
the Isles of Mull and Tiree, and put to death all the 
inhabitants that fell into his hands, as well as the 
domestic animals of every description. " Finally," says 
Sir Robert Gordon, "he came to the very Benmore in 
Mull, and there killed and chased the Clanlean at his 
pleasure, and so revenged himself fully of the injuries 
done to him and his tribe." While Macdonald was 
thus employed, Maclean ravaged and plundered a great 
part of Kintyre ; and "thus for a while they did con- 
tinually vex one another with slaughters and out- 
rages, to the destruction almost of their countries and 
people." 1 

It may conceived that the effects of this 
deadly feud were not confined to the Clandonald of Isla 
and the Clanlean. Besides the Macdonalds of Isla and 
Sky, who were more particularly involved, there were 
numbered, among the opponents of the Macleans, the 
Clanranald, the Clanian of Ardnamurchan, the Clanleod 
of Lewis, the Macneills of Gigha, the Macallasters of 

1 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 186, et sequen. 
Historie of King James the Sext (printed for the Bannatyne Club), p. 
221. The latter authority is more favourable to the Macleans than Sir 
R. Gordon, but is not so well supported by the evidence preserved in 
the records. 


Loup, the Macfies of Colonsay, and other tribes of 
lesser note. On the other hand, among the partisans 
of the Macleans we find the Clanleod of Harris, the 
Macneills of Barra, the Mackinnons, and Macquarries. 1 
The disastrous consequences of a dispute between two 
powerful clans in the South Isles came thus to be felt 
throughout the whole extent of the Hebrides ; and it 
became necessary for the Government to take immediate 
steps for the suppression of such alarming disorders. 
After having sanctioned the delivery of hostages by 
Maclean to Macdonald, and promised the latter a par- 
don for the atrocities of which he had been guilty, the 
King and Council now turned round and issued a 
proclamation, ordering the hostages to be given up to 
the young Earl of Argyle, or his guardians, to be con- 
veyed by them to his Majesty, and kept where he should 
appoint, till the final settlement of the matters in dispute 
between the Clandonald and Clanlean. The heads of 
both these tribes, and their principal supporters and 
allies, were charged to remain quiet, and abstain from 
all conventions or gathering in arms, and from all 
attacks upon each other ; so as not to hinder or disturb 
his Majesty in his attempts to bring about a settlement 
of their various disputes. 2 

The King, at the same time, wrote with his own hand 
a pressing letter to the Earl of Huntly, desiring that 
nobleman to exert himself to prevent the north Islanders 

1 Ibid, LVIL, fo. 75 ; LIX., fo. 87. Record of Privy Council, ad 
tempus. In May, 1587, Angus MacJames, Lord of Kintyre (Mac- 
donnld of Isla), and Donald Gorme of Sleat, entered into an alliance, 
offensive and defensive, with Lauchlan Macintosh, captain of the 
Clanchattan. Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I., p. 97. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 16th April, 1587. 

1587.] THE GENERAL BOND. 237 

from gathering in arms, or committing acts of hostility 
against each other; and stating that it was his Majesty's 
intention to take "some speciall paines" in the affairs 
of the Isles, as he had lately done in those of the Bor- 
ders. 1 In pursuance of this policy, a very important 
Act of Parliament was passed, for maintaining good 
order both on the Borders and in the Highlands and 
Isles. The plan on which this Act, commonly called 
the " General Band," or "Bond," chiefly proceeded, 
was, to make it imperative on all landlords, bailies, 
and chiefs of clans, to find sureties to a large amount, 
proportioned to their wealth and the number of their 
vassals or clansmen, for the peaceable and orderly be- 
haviour of those under them. It was provided that, if 
a superior, after having found the required sureties^ 
should fail to make immediate reparation of any injuries 
committed by persons for whom he was bound to answer, 
the injured party might proceed at law against the 
sureties for the amount of the damage sustained. 
Besides being compelled in such cases to reimburse his 
sureties, the superior was to incur a heavy fine to the 
Crown. This important statute likewise contained 
many useful provisions for facilitating the administra- 
tion of justice in these rude districts. 2 

To return to the disturbances in the South Isles. 
Macdonald having failed to liberate the hostages ac- 
cording to the proclamation above mentioned, was 
outlawed; whilst Maclean, having declared himself an 
obedient subject, was received into favour. 3 So innate, 

1 History of the Gordons, by W. R. (MS. Adv. Lib.), in which the 
letter, dated 20th April, 1587, is quoted verbatim, p. 229. 

2 Acts of Scottish Parliament, latest edition, III. 461-467. 

3 Keg of Privy Seal, LVL, fo. 75 ; LVII. 35. 


however, was the disposition of this chief to violence 
and rapine, that in a very short time he lost the advan- 
tages he had gained, and subjected himself to a process 
of forfeiture. It has been mentioned that the Clanian 
of Ardnamurehan supported their relations, the Clan- 
donald, in the feud with the Macleans, by which they 
naturally incurred the resentment of the chief of Do wart. 
An opportunity now presented itself to Mac- 
lean to be revenged on the Macians, of which 
he did not hesitate to avail himself. John Macian of 
Ardnamurchan, the chief of his tribe, had, before the 
breaking out of the late feud, been a suitor for the 
hand of Maclean's mother. This lady was a daughter 
of one of the Earls of Argyle, and her high birth and 
connections, together with a large jointure, made the 
alliance a very desirable one for Macian. Dowart, who 
had hitherto opposed the match, now changed his policy, 
and gave his consent to the proposed alliance, in order 
to get Macian into his power. That chief was easily 
persuaded to proceed to the Isle of Mull, with a retinue 
of the principal gentlemen of his tribe, in order that his 
marriage with the mother of Maclean might be cele- 
brated with becoming splendour. The ceremony having 
been performed at Torlusk, one of Maclean's houses in 
Mull, with the usual forms observed on like occasions 
in the Isles, Macian and his bride retired to their own 
chamber; whilst the gentlemen of the Clanian and 
their servants, after receiving all the rites of hospitality 
from the Macleans, were lodged by themselves in a 
barn near to the principal mansion. Here, in the dead 
of the night, they were assaulted by a large armed party 
of those who had so lately entertained them in friend- 
ship, and massacred without compassion. Not satisfied 


with this barbarity, the chief of Dowart, and some of 
his followers, proceeded to the nuptial chamber, in order 
to complete their bloody purpose, by the murder of the 
bridegroom. Macian having been roused by the shrieks 
and groans of his unfortunate kinsmen, stood upon his 
defence, but would inevitably have fallen a sacrifice 
to the fury of his enemies, had it not been for the 
lamentable cries and earnest entreaties of his wife, for 
whose sake his life was spared. He, and two of his 
clan, who, by some fortunate accident, had escaped the 
fate of their companions, were then thrown into a dun- 
geon, where, it is said, that Macian himself was put to 
daily torture by the Macleans. 1 

Soon after this occurrence, the Florida, one of the large 
vessels of the Spanish Armada, was driven by a storm into 
the harbour of Tobermory in Mull. 2 On hearing of the 
arrival of this vessel, Maclean of Dowart repaired to the 
spot, and, as the price of such assistance as the Spaniards 
required and he could give, in refitting and victualling 
the ship, he procured the temporary assistance of a hun- 
dred Spanish soldiers in his private feuds. With this 
force, and a number of his own clan, Dowart first pro- 
ceeded to ravage and plunder the Isles of Rum and 
Eig then occupied, particularly the latter, by the Clan- 
ranald and the Isles of Cauna and Muck, belonging to 
the Clanian. In this expedition he is said to have 
burned the whole inhabitants of these Isles, sparing 
neither sex nor age. He then, with his foreign auxili- 

1 Sir E. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 191 ; Kecord of Privy 
Council, 18th June, 1578. 

2 Here the Florida was afterwards blown up by a plot of Maclean ; 
for which offence he took out a remission, 20th March, 1588-9. Keg. 
of Privy Seal. 


aries, proceeded to the mainland, and laid close siege 
to Macian's Castle of Mingarry, in Ardnarnurchan, for 
three days, laying waste all the lands in the vicinity with 
fire and sword. At length he was forced to return to 
Mull, without obtaining possession of the castle, by the 
approach of a superior force, composed probably of 
some of the neighbouring clans, ordered by the Privy 
Council to proceed against him. 1 Meantime, the Mac- 
donalds, in the prosecution of this feud, ravaged the 
lands of the Macleans with fire and sword, being assisted, 
it is said, by a band of English mercenaries. 2 Tired 
at last of these fruitless barbarities, the hostile clans 
came to an agreement, by which the eight hostages for- 
merly placed by Maclean in the hands of the chief of 
Isla, were exchanged for Macian and the other prisoners 
taken by the Macleans. 3 

It seems now to have been determined on 
by the King and Council, to take effectual 
measures for reducing to obedience the unruly chiefs 
whose contentions had caused so much bloodshed in the 
Isles. Instead, however, of resorting to force, and thus 
compelling them and their followers to submission, a 
less manly course, although one, perhaps, more suited to 
the disposition of the sovereign, was followed on this 
occasion. Eemissions, under the Privy Seal, were 
granted to the Macleans and Macdonalds, and their prin- 
cipal adherents, for all the crimes committed by them 
during their late feud; 4 and, by these and similar means, 

1 Record of Privy Council, 3rd January, 1588-9 ; Pitcairn's Criminal 
Trials, I. 228-9. 

2 Criminal Trials, I. 226-7. 

s Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 192. 
4 Reg. of Privy Seal, LVII,, fo. 75; LIX., fo. 87. 


Lauchlan Maclean of Dowart, Angus Macdonald of 
Isla, and Donald Gorme Macdonald of Sleat, were at 
length induced to come to Edinburgh, on the pretence 
of consulting with the King and Council for the good 
rule of the country. While there, by a breach of faith 
on the part of the Government which no circumstances 
can excuse, and which only proves the weakness of the 
executive at this period, the three island chiefs were 
seized and imprisoned in the castle. After some time, 
Maclean and Angus Macdonald were brought 
to trial for the crimes already pardoned by 
the remissions under the Privy Seal; one of the princi- 
pal charges against them being their treasonable 
hiring of Spanish and English soldiers to fight in their 
private quarrels. Both these chiefs., however, refused 
to plead or to go to a jury; but submitted themselves 
absolutely to the King's mercy, placing their lives and 
lands at his disposal. 1 

In considering the measures pursued by the King, 
after this time, towards the chiefs who had been 
guilty of such barbarities, and were now so completely 
in his power, we must always keep in view the pecu- 
niary embarrassments of James VI., which were now, 
and continued afterwards to be, very great. The 
Crown revenues from land had been much impaired 
by the improvident grants made to grasping and avari- 
cious courtiers during the minorities of James and his 
mother; whilst the carelessness and extravagance of the 
young King, after he had assumed the government, 
soon involved him in the greatest difficulties. In such 

1 History of the Family of Sutherland, p. 192. Historic of King 
James the Sext, p. 222. Criminal Trials, I. 224, et sequen. 



circumstances the irregular payment, or rather the 
withholding altogether of the Crown rents in the Isles, 
the inevitable result of the desolating feuds which we 
have noticed, must have occupied much of the attention 
of the King and his advisers. The cupidity of the 
monarch seems also to have been excited by exagge- 
rated reports of the value of the fisheries on the west 
coast, and of the facility with which this branch of the 
national industry might be prosecuted. Hence, during 
the whole of his reign, the measures adopted for the 
improvement of the Highlands and Isles, although 
praiseworthy in themselves, and apparently well calcu- 
lated to attain the object in view, were impeded by the 
eagerness of the King to fill his coffers from the new 
sources of wealth which he persuaded himself he had 
discovered. In his anxiety to realise these golden 
visions he frequently overlooked the just claims of the 
natives of the Highlands, and was too eager to enforce 
against them the penalty of forfeiture, which, under 
various severe acts of Parliament, they frequently 
incurred. At other times he acted with more apparent 
lenity; but, in these cases, the offenders generally paid 
a large sum for pardon; so that they who by their 
crimes had justly deserved death, were frequently per- 
mitted to return to their own estates, with but feeble 
security for their future peaceable behaviour. 

Under such a system of Government, it cannot sur- 
prise us to find that Macdonald and Maclean were, 
upon paying each a fine to the King, and subscribing 
and finding surety for their performance of certain con- 
ditions imposed upon them, permitted to return home 
with new pardons for all their offences. These par- 
dons, however, were only to remain in force in the event 


of their fulfilling the stipulated conditions in every point; 
the King reserving to himself the power of pronouncing 
sentence of death and forfeiture in the event of their 
disobedience. The terms granted to Maclean were 
more favourable than those granted to his rival, a dif- 
ference arising, in all probability, from the influence of 
the Earl of Glencairn, whose daughter Maclean had 
married; for before Macdonald was liberated, he had 
to place in the hands of the Council his two sons and 
one of his nearest relations, as hostages for his appear- 
ance before the Council on a certain fixed day; and 
even if he should then appear his hostages were to be 
detained until Donald Gorme of Sleat (who was libe- 
rated at the same time) should give hostages from 
amongst his own kinsmen for the performance of the 
conditions prescribed to him. Maclean, on the other 
hand, was not burdened with giving hostages before his 
liberation, but merely promised to present them within 
a certain time after his release. In order to enable the 
Council better to ascertain their obedience, these three 
chiefs were further bound to return to their confinement 
in the Castle of Edinburgh whenever they should be 
summoned, upon twenty days' warning. 1 The amount 
of the fines imposed upon Macdonald of Isla and Mac- 
lean, in the shape of arrears of their feu-duties and 
Crown rents in the Isles, and for which they had to find 
security, cannot be easily ascertained. One author 
calls it "a small pecuniall sum," 2 whilst another main- 
tains that each of them was fined in the sum of twenty 
thousand pounds. 3 The fine imposed upon Mac- 

1 Record of Privy Council, 8th June, 1592. 

2 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 192. 

3 Johnston's Hist, of Scotland, MS., Advocates' Library, fo. 600. 


donald of Sleat, likewise under the denomination of 
arrears of Crown rents and feudal casualties for his 
lands, was four thousand pounds. 1 Finally, John Camp- 
bell of Calder, guardian to the young Earl of Argyle, 
bound himself as surety for the Macdonalds; and John 
Campbell of Ardkinlass promised to answer for the 
obedience of Maclean. These arrangements were 
concluded, and the Islanders liberated in consequence, 
in the summer of 1591. It deserves to be noticed 
that, before their liberation, the Macdonalds were 
compelled, on the application of Bowes, the English 
ambassador, to find sureties for their good behaviour 
towards the Government of Ireland; whilst Maclean 
offered, through Bowes, to the Queen of England his 
services in Ireland against the chiefs of Isla and Sleat, 
as well as against O'Rourk, an Irish rebel.' 2 

In the month of February following, the 
Earl of Murray, commonly called "The Bonny 
Earl," was murdered at his own house of Donibirsel, in 
Fife, by a party of the Gordons, under the command of 
his deadly foe, the Earl of Huntly, who had received a 
commission to apprehend Murray as being concerned 
in some of the numerous treasonable attempts of Francis 
Stuart, Earl of Bothwell, to seize the King's person. 
There is no doubt that, in putting this nobleman to 
death, Huntly exceeded the powers contained in his 
commission; and the lenity with which he was treated 
by the Government afterwards caused many complaints 
and murmurs all over Scotland, particularly among the 
relations of the murdered Earl, of whom Lord Ochil- 
tree and the Earl of Athole were the most active. 3 

1 Harleian MS., No. 4648, p. 37. - Ibid. 

3 Moysie's Memoirs, pp. 88-92. 


These murmurs gradually assumed the shape of suspi- 
cions that the Chancellor Maitland, and perhaps the 
King himself, 1 had plotted the death of "The Bonny 
Earl;" suspicions which were justified, in some measure, 
by their having employed, on such a delicate service, a 
declared enemy of Murray, instead of a neutral person 
who had no private revenge to gratify. In the same 
month John Campbell of Calder was assassinated in 
Lorn. 2 It has not hitherto been remarked by any of 
the historians of the period, that the murder of Calder 
was in any way connected with that of the Earl of 
Murray; but a late discovery has made it appear that 
both crimes were the result of the same conspiracy. It ' 
is now certain that the Chancellor Maitland did actu- 
ally join in this conspiracy, which likewise involved 
many of the barons and chiefs in the West Highlands. 
In order, however, to trace the origin and ramifications 
of this extraordinary plot, which was only partially 
carried into effect by the slaughter of Murray and 
Calder, it is necessary to glance at the history of the 
house of Argyle since the death of Colin, the sixth 
Earl, Chancellor and Justice-General of Scotland. 

This powerful nobleman died in the month of Sep- 
tember, 1584. By his last will and testament he com- 
mended his eldest son, Archibald, then a minor, with 
his whole kin and friends, to the maintenance and 
protection of the King, in consideration of the faithful 
services of his predecessors and of his own loyalty. 
The principal charge of the young Earl and his vast 

1 Moysie's Memoirs, p. 91; Anderson's MS. History of Scotland, 
Advocates' Library, III., fo. 246. 

2 Anderson's History of Scotland, III., fo. 246 ; Pitcairn's Criminal 
Trials, I. 391. 


estates was left to Ms mother, the Countess of Argyle, 
who was to have the advice and assistance of the 
six following persons viz., Duncan Campbell of 
Glenurchy; Dougal Campbell of Auchinbreck; John 
Campbell of Calder ; Sir James Campbell of Ardkinlass, 
Comptroller to the King ; Archibald Campbell of Loch- 
nell; and Neill Campbell, Bishop of Argyle. As the 
will provided that no matter of importance, such as the 
granting of leases, could be carried into effect without 
the signatures of Calder, Ardkinlass. and the Bishop, 
their influence in the affairs of tho Earldom speedily 
eclipsed that of the other counsellors. 1 Ardkinlass, 
too, procured, through his interest at Court, a grant of 
the valuable feudal right of the ward and marriage of 
the young Earl; 2 and the King having, in compliance 
with the request of the late Earl, promised to maintain 
and protect his family and clan, and signified his approval 
of the arrangements made for the management of the 
Earldom of Argyle, 3 the whole power of the Earldom 
was thrown into the hands of Ardkinlass and his asso- 
ciates, Calder and the Bishop. Lochnell, conceiving 
himself entitled to the principal guardianship as nearest 
heir, took offence at his exclusion from power ; and his 
hostile feelings against- those who had usurped the 
place he thought himself entitled to hold were secretly 
fostered by Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, a man 
whose ambition and grasping character would not 
allow him to be satisfied with anything less than 
the entire control of the clan during the minority 
of his chief. After a time, it became necessary that 

1 Commissary Register of Edinburgh, Lib. XV. Will, dated 5th 
and 8th September, 1584. 

2 Reg. of Privy Seal, LI., fo. 64. :J Ibid, LL, fo. 77. 


the young Earl, on attaining the age of pupilarity, 
should nominate his own guardians, when a new 
struggle took place between the two factions of 
the. Campbells. Lochnell and Glenurchy proposed to 
associate with themselves, as guardians, the Earl of 
Montrose, Campbell of Loudoun, heritable Sheriff of 
Ayr, and Mr. John Graham, advocate. Ardkinlass and 
Calder, on the other hand, proposed, and succeeded in 
procuring, their own appointment, together with the 
Earl of Mar, the Master of Glammis, and Mr. George 
Erskine, advocate, Mar's brother. Jealousies now 
arose between Ardkinlass and Calder, which led to 
each of these barons attempting, without success, to 
procure the assassination of the other; and upon the 
death of the former in 1591, his feelings of hostility to 
Calder were transmitted to his son and successor. John 
Campbell, the new laird of Ardkinlass, was a man of a 
weak and vacillating disposition, who was very soon 
deprived by Calder of the influence which, as heir to 
his father, he had hoped to exercise in the Earldom of 
Argyle a serious addition to the causes of enmity 
already subsisting between these barons. 1 All the 
real power of the Earldom now centred in the person 
of Calder, who was supported by many of the nobility 
connected with the family of Argyle, and particularly 
by the Earl of Murray. 

A feud had, for a considerable period, subsisted be- 
tween the families of Huntly and Murray, originating 
in their rival claims to the rich and fertile Earldom of 
Murray, of which one of the Earls of Huntly had been 

1 Confessions of Margaret Campbell, widow of John Oig Campbell 
of Cabrachan, dated 5tli October, 1595, corroborated by the Confes- 
sions of John Campbell of Ardkinlass, dated 21st May, 1594. 


deprived, when it was bestowed, by Queen Mary, upon 
her brother, the Lord James Stuart, afterwards Regent 
of Scotland. In these disputes the Earls of Argyle 
had uniformly supported the claims of the Regent 
Murray and his heirs, and had thus incurred the enmity 
of Huntly and the Gordons. 1 In the year 1590, 
various circumstances concurred to embitter this heredi- 
tary feud ; and it became an important object with the 
Earl of Huntly to deprive his adversary of the support 
which he received from John Campbell of Calder, the 
administrator of the Earldom of Argyle. 2 Huntly 
was thus drawn into communication with Lochnell 
and Glenurchy, whose animosity against Calder has 
been already noticed; and the result of this com- 
munication was a conspiracy, by which it was con- 
templated, through the most atrocious acts, to gratify 
the revenge both of Huntly and of the discontented 
barons of Argyle. The conspirators were bound, in the 
most solemn manner, to compass, by every means in 

1 Dame Annas Keyth, Countess of Murray, widow of the Regent, was 
second wife of Colin the sixth, and mother of Archibald the seventh 
Earl of Argyle. 

- On 1st November, 1590, the Earls of Athole and Murray, Lord 
Lovat, John Grant of Freuchie, John Campbell of Calder, Thomas 
Stewart of Grantullie, Patrick Grant of Rothiemurchus, 
Sutherland of Duff us, and Archibald Grant of Bellintone, entered 
into an alliance, offensive and defensive, evidently directed against 
the Earl of Huntly. Contract in Charter Chest of Grant of Mony- 
musk. On the other hand, Huntly, on Gth March, 1590-1, entered 
into an indenture with Allan Cameron of Lochiel, by which the 
latter became bound to assist Huntly against all his enemies, and 
particularly against the Clanchattan and the Grants ; whilst the 
Earl agreed to reward Lochiel to his entire satisfaction, and promised 
to make no agreement with his opponents without including Lochiel. 
MS. History of Camerons. 


their power, the destruction of James, Earl of Murray ; 
Archibald, Earl of Argyle ; Colin Campbell of Lundy, 
his only brother and heir apparent ; and John Campbell 
of Calder. In order to strengthen themselves against 
the enemies whom the execution of their criminal pro- 
jects would certainly raise in every part of the nation, 
they drew into the plot John, Lord Thirlestane, Chan- 
cellor of Scotland, at that time a great supporter of the 
Earl of Huntly ; and John, Lord Maxwell, who claimed 
the title of Earl of Morton. Lauchlan Maclean of 
Dowart whose ancestor had been assassinated by Cal- 
der's grandfather, and who was likewise hostile to Cal- 
der from the latter having taken up the cause of the 
Macdonalds of Isla was easily induced to join the con- 
spiracy; 1 as were likewise John Stewart of Appin, who 
was connected by marriage with the house of Lochnell, 
and Duncan Macdougall of Dunolly, with others of 
lesser note. The burden of putting to death the indi- 
viduals whose lives were aimed at, was laid upon the 
Highlanders ; and, in return for their services, Huntly, 
the Chancellor, and Maxwell, were to defend them from 
the consequences. Besides this, Huntly and the Low- 
land conspirators were to exert their utmost endeavours 
to procure for Lochnell the peaceable possession of the 
Earldom of Argyle ; which being accomplished, Loch- 
nell agreed to reward certain of his associates in the fol- 
lowing manner. To the Chancellor, he was to give the 
lands of Pincarton in Stirlingshire belonging to the 
Earl of Argyle ; to Glenurchy, the barony of Lochow 

1 It will be recollected that, in 1591, Ardkinlass became surety for 
the payment of the arrears due by Maclean to the Crown. Supra, 


and the lands of Benderaloch ; to Stewart of Appin, the 
Earl of Argyle's part of the Lordship of Lorn ; and to 
Macdougall, the lands of Loyng. 

The manner in which the Earl of Murray's death was 
brought about has been already noticed. It cannot 
now be doubted that the Chancellor and Huntly pro- 
cured the employment of the latter to apprehend Murray, 
with the express design of cutting off that unfortunate 
nobleman. This plan likewise afforded a greater chance 
of attaining the object in view, and with less risk than 
if the original device of employing Highland assassins 
to shoot him while hunting in his woods of Doune had 
been followed. It now remains to point out the pro- 
gress of the unhallowed conspiracy we have described, 
in another important point the death of Campbell of 
Calder. Glenurchy, knowing the feelings of personal 
animosity cherished by Ardkinlass against Calder, easily 
prevailed upon the former to agree to the assassination 
of their common enemy, with whom Glenurchy himself 
had now an additional cause of quarrel, arising from the 
protection given by Calder to some of the Clangregor, 
who were at feud with Glenurchy. But although him- 
self the principal mover in this branch of the plot, 
Glenurchy contrived to shift the execution of it on his 
associate, who was, as yet, ignorant of the intentions of 
the conspirators against the Earl of Argyle, and only 
sought to gratify his own revenge against Calder. 1 
After various unsuccessful attempts, Ardkinlass pro- 
cured, through the agency of John Oig Campbell of 
Cabrachan, a brother of Lochnell, the services of a man 
named MacEllar, by whom Calder was assassinated. 

1 Confessions of Margaret Campbell and of Ardkinlass, above cited 
copies of which are in the author's possession. 


The deed was committed with a hackbut supplied by 
Ardkinlass; and the fatal shot was fired at night, 
through one of the windows of the house of Knepoch 
in Lorn, at the unsuspecting Calder, who fell pierced 
through the heart with three bullets. 1 The assassin 
eluded pursuit for a season by the connivance of Mac- 
dougall of Dunolly, one of the conspirators. Although 
some time elapsed after the perpetration of this murder 
before the share which Ardkinlass had in it was cer- 
tainly known, yet he was generally suspected, owing 
to his hereditary feud with Calder ; and he was, in con- 
sequence, threatened with the vengeance of the young 
Earl of Argyle, who already began to display a spirit 
beyond his years. 2 In these circumstances Glenurchy 
ventured to communicate to Ardkinlass the plan for 
getting rid of the Earl and his brother, and for assisting 
Lochnell to seize the Earldom of Argyle. For his 
assistance in carrying into effect this part of the con- 
spiracy, there was promised to Ardkinlass, when the 
plot should be brought to a successful issue, a grant of 
the lands of Boquhan and part of Itoseneath. Be- 
coming terrified as to the consequences of the crime 
already committed, Ardkinlass refused, although re- 
peatedly urged, to become a party to any designs against 
the life of the Earl, proposing to make his peace with 
Argyle by disclosing the full extent of the plot. There 
is reason to believe that the conspirators, notwithstand- 
ing the refusal of Ardkinlass to join them, continued 
for some time their machinations for the murder of the 

1 Letters of Treason against Ardkinlass, dated 6th April; and Com- 
mission for his Trial, to the Bishop of Dunkeld and other special 
.Justices, dated 29th March, 1596. 

2 Record of Privy Seal, June 9, 1592. 


Earl j and that, during a severe illness with which he 
was attacked at Stirling, soon after his marriage, in the 
year 1594, some of his household were bribed to poison 
him if indeed the disease itself was not caused in the 
first instance by poison. Argyle, however, escaped all 
the attempts of his enemies, and lived to exercise, for 
many years, an overpowering influence in the affairs of 
the Highlands and Isles. As a curious specimen of 
the manners of the times, it deserves to be noticed, 
that Ardkinlass endeavoured, and seriously expected, 
to convert, by means of witchcraft, the hostility of his 
chief into friendship ; and that he seems to have been 
much disappointed when this miserable resource failed 
him. It does not appear by what accident or indis- 
cretion the discovery was first made ; but at length, 
John Gig Campbell and MacEllar, the subordinate 
instruments in the murder of Calder, being charged 
with the crime, were apprehended and thrown into 
prison. John Oig being put to the torture by the boots, 
confessed his own share and that of Ardkinlass and 
Macdou^all in the affair. These two chiefs 

A. D. 1593. . C 

were in consequence apprehended and de- 
tained in prison for some time ; but by the same power- 
ful agency which smothered inquiry into the Earl of 
Huntly's conduct with regard to the slaughter of Murray, 
they were at length liberated without punishment; 
although, at one time, a special commission had actually 
been issued for the trial of Ardkinlass. The inferior 
agents, John Oig Campbell and MacEllar, were both 
executed ; nor could all the influence of Calder's rela- 
tions or friends obtain the punishment of any of the 
higher parties. 1 In the month of May, 1594, Ardkin- 

1 Confessions above cited. MS. History of Campbells of Calder. 


lass, despairing otherwise of procuring a reconciliation 
with Argyle, and moved, as he affirmed, in conscience, 
made a confession of all that he knew, not only of the 
plots against Calder's life, but of the great contract, as 
it was called, which contemplated .the destruction like- 
wise of the Earls of Murray and Argyle. This confes- 
sion was afterwards corroborated by the evidence of 
Margaret Campbell (the widow of John Oig), through 
whom Ardkinlass had consulted the witches. The 
many minute particulars in the statements of Ardkinlass 
and this woman leave no doubt of the existence of that 
remarkable conspiracy, the history of which we have 
endeavoured to elucidate. The general impression, and 
the outcry against Lord Chancellor Thirlestane at the 
time, for his accession to the Earl of Murray's death, 
may serve as a corroboration of the statements made 
by Ardkinlass and others. Lastly, an additional proof 
of the undue influence used on this occasion to impede 
the course of justice, may be found in the fact, that 
. Glenurchy was allowed to clear himself of all concern, 
in the plots attributed to him by his own unsupported 
and extrajudicial denial. 1 It seems to have been, con- 
sidered proper to keep the Earl of Argyle in ignorance 
of the designs entertained against his life, in so far, at 
least, as Lochnell and Glenurchy were concerned. This 
concealment, as we shall presently see, gave Lochnell 

Moysie's Memoirs, p. 162. Criminal Trials, I., pp. 363, 391; II., p. 129. 
Historie of King James the Sext, p. 248. 

1 A copy of this singular writing, dated and signed at the Castle 
of Carrick, in Cowal, before the Earl of Mar, Hew Campbell of 
Loudoun, and Mr. George Erskine, 28th June, 1594, is in the author's 
possession. Glenurchy offered to abide his trial, which he well 
knew the Chancellor and Huntly were deeply interested in pre- 


another opportunity of attempting to advance himself 
to the Earldom. 

The murder of the Earl of Murray was the cause of 
serious commotions in many parts of the North Highlands, 
whilst that of Calder had a similar effect in the west. 
In the north, the Macintoshes and Grants, who were of 
Murray's faction, eagerly endeavoured to revenge his 
death by hostile inroads into various parts of Huntly's 
estates. Huntly retaliated, by causing the Clanchaineron 
to invade and plunder Badenoch, where the principal 
part of the Clanchattan's lands lay; and by sending the 
Clanranald of Lochaber, under Keppoch, their chief, 
to waste and spoil the lands of Strathspey belonging 
to the Grants. 1 In this way a great portion of the 
Highlands was thrown into confusion by the instigation 
of those who should have been the foremost to preserve 
order. Alexander MacRanald of Keppoch seized the 
Castle of Inverness for Huntly; but was afterwards 
forced by Macintosh to evacuate it for want of pro- 
visions before September, 1593, with the loss of one of 
his sons, and of an officer named Gothred or Gorrie 
Dubh, who were taken and hung ; and Macintosh then 
concluded an agreement with the Magistrates of Inver- 
ness for holding the town against Huntly. 2 He like- 
wise entered into a league with Argyle in this year ; 3 
and Huntly, fearful of losing all the influence which, as 
Lords of Badenoch, he and his predecessors exercised 
over the Clanchattan, began now to court the Mac- 
phersons, and to sow jealousies between them and the 

1 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 217 ; MS. History of 
Camerons ; Latin History of Macintoshes ; MS. History of Gordons, by 
W. E., p. 183. 

2 Latin History of Macintoshes. 3 Ibid. 


Macintoshes. The Macphersons readily entered into 
Huntly's views; and, under his protection, became in 
time powerful enough to disclaim any dependence upon 
Macintosh as captain and chief of the Clanchattan, 
and even to dispute, although without success, the right 
of that chief to the high station which his family had 
held for centuries. In Argyle, besides the dissensions 
in the clan Campbell, the assassination of Calder caused 
a feud between the Stewarts of Appin and the Camp- 
bells of Calder's house, the effects of which were long 
felt. Nor was it only on the mainland that the conse- 
quences of the events we have narrated were perceived. 
The three island chiefs who had been liberated on security 
for their performance of certain conditions, and for their 
future good behaviour, by the efforts of the Barons 
of Calder and Ardkinlass, felt themselves in a great 
measure freed by late events from the reponsibility under 
which they lay. They not only failed to perform the 
conditions imposed upon them; but, on the contrary, 
distinguished themselves by open and avowed dis- 
obedience to the Government. They were, therefore, 
summoned to appear before the Privy Council on the 
14th day of July, in order to fulfil these conditions: and, 
in the event of their non-appearance on that day, the 
pardons granted to them were to be declared null, and 
immediate steps threatened to be taken for the for- 
feiture of their lands and goods, and the execution of 
the hostages given by Angus Macdonald Maclean 
never having presented hostages, according to his 
promise. 1 These proceedings of the Privy Council 
were ratified by the Parliament held in June, 1592, 

1 Record of Privy Council, 8th June, 1592. 


when the three estates promised to assist his Majesty 
with their "bodies, counsel, and whole force to make 
his authority be obeyed by his subjects, and to cause 
the treasonable and barbarous rebels of the Hielandis 
and His to be punished and repressed, as they have 
worthily deserved." 1 In pursuance of this engage- 
ment, there were produced in Parliament, a year after- 
wards, summonses of treason duly executed against 
Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg and the Glens, Donald 
Gorme of Sleat, John Maclan of Ardnamurchan, and 
others their associates, for certain crimes of treason and 
lese-majesty committed by them. 2 For the present, 
however, the proceedings against the Earls of Huntly,, 
Angus, and ErrolL, and the other Catholics who were 
accused of plotting with Philip of Spain for the resto- 
ration of the Catholic religion in Scotland, prevented 
the King from prosecuting his plans for the improve- 
ment of the Isles with the necessary vigour. 

In June, 1594, the three Catholic Earls, 
along with Sir Patrick Gordon of Auchin- 
doun, were forfeited by Parliament; and a similar 
sentence was, at the same time, pronounced against 
Maclean of Dowart and Macdonald of Dunyveg, who 
still remained contumacious. 3 Huntly and his asso- 
ciates having drawn together in arms, and forcibly 
liberated some Catholics imprisoned by the magistrates 
of Aberdeen, commission was given by the King to the 

1 Acts of Pearl, of Scotland, III. 561. 

2 Ibid, IV. 4. 

a Johnston's MS. History of Scotland, fo. G20. Birrel's Diary. 
Moysie's Memoirs, p. 118. Historic of King James the Sext, p. 
330. The forfeiture of Macdonald of Sleat is asserted by some 
writers, whilst others are silent regarding it. 


young Earl of Argyle (now in his eighteenth year), the 
Earl of Athole, and the Lord Forbes, to march against 
the rebels, and reduce them to obedience. It may be 
remarked that both Argyle and Athole had Huntly at 
feud for the slaughter of the Earl of Murray, for which 
cause it is probable they were selected on this occasion. 
Argyle having raised an army of six or seven thousand 
men, partly among his own vassals, and partly among 
other clans particularly the Macleans, Macneills, Mac- 
gregors, Macintoshes, and Grants marched into Bade- 
noch, and laid siege to the Castle of Ruthven, which 
was gallantly held out for Huntly by the Macphersons. 
Failing in his endeavours to possess himself of this 
strength, he then proceeded through the hills towards 
Strathbogie, with the intention of carrying fire and 
sword through Huntly's lands in that quarter. On his 
arrival near Glenlivat, Argyle found that Huntly and 
Erroll were in the vicinity with fourteen or fifteen hun- 
dred men. 1 This force was principally cavalry; but 
there were also Highlanders in Huntly's army, particu- 
larly of the Clanchameron and Clanranald of Lochaber, 
and the Macphersons. Trusting to the superiority of 
his numbers, the Earl of Argyle did not avoid a combat, 
although advised to do so until joined by Lord Forbes, 
who was at no great distance with eleven hundred men. 
But he acted upon the defensive, and took up a strong 
position, which he thought his opponents would find it 
impracticable to force. Huntly and Erroll, however, 

1 Argyle himself "had in his company to the number of sax 
thowsand men, weill provided with muscatis, bowis, arrowis, and 
twa-handit swordis; of the quhilk nomber there ware fyftene hun- 
dreth muscateirs and hagbutters." Historie of King James the 
Sext, p. 338. 



were followed by a number of gallant gentlemen, well 
mounted and armed, and not to be deterred by the 
mere strength of a position from attacking even a 
superior force of comparatively undisciplined High- 
landers. They were further encouraged to make the 
attempt by a communication received from Archibald 
Campbell of Lochnell, commander of one of the divi- 
sions of Argyle's army. This ambitious baron whose 
previous machinations for the destruction of his chief 
and his own advancement to the Earldom had not yet 
come to the knowledge of Argyle thought the present 
an excellent opportunity of accomplishing his long- 
cherished views. He therefore sent a private message 
to Huntly, desiring him to attack the Highlanders, and 
promising, in the course of the engagement, to aid him 
with the division under his command. He likewise 
suggested that some pieces of artillery which accompanied 
Huntly's army should be fired at Argyle's banner; 
hoping thus both to get rid of that nobleman by an 
apparent chance shot, and to discourage the faithful 
Highlanders, who were many of them unacquainted with 
the use of artillery. 1 The advice of Lochnell was 
followed ; but the result was unexpected. As Huntly 
approached to the attack of the position occupied by 
the Highlanders, the guns were fired with fatal effect at 
the yellow standard of Argyle. The Earl himself 
escaped, in a miraculous manner, without hurt, whilst 
the deadly missiles struck down in their progress his 
treacherous kinsman Lochnell (who, by an extraordi- 
nary chance, thus fell a sacrifice to his own villanous 
stratagem), a brother of the latter, and a gallant war- 
rior of the Macneills, son of the chief of Barra. 

i Calderwood's MS. Church History, Advocates' Lib., XI. 422. \ 


During the confusion caused by this incident Huntly 
commenced the attack, and, after a severe conflict, and 
sustaining a heavy loss, succeeded in routing Argyle's 
forces, who, from the strength of their position, and the 
mountainous nature of the country, which impeded 
pursuit, escaped with a loss comparatively trifling. 
The conduct of Lauchlan Maclean of Dowart, who 
was one of Argyle's officers in this action, would, if 
imitated by the other leaders, have converted the defeat 
into a victory. That chief acted the part of a brave 
and skilful soldier, keeping his men in their ranks, and 
employing with good effect all the advantages of his 
position. It was his division which inflicted the prin- 
cipal loss on the rebels ; and, at the close of the action, 
he retired in good order with those under his com- 
mand. 1 It is said that, after the battle, he offered, if 
Argyle would give him five hundred men in addition 
to his own clan, to bring the Earl of Pluntly prisoner 
into Argyle's camp. This proposal was rejected; but 
having come to the ears of Huntly incensed him greatly 
against Maclean, whose son afterwards, according to 
tradition, lost a large estate in Lochaber through the 
animosity of that powerful nobleman. 2 

The triumph of the Popish Earls for their success at 
Glenlivat was but of short duration. The King, who 
was at Dundee when the Earl of Argyle himself brought 
intelligence of his discomfiture, lost no time in proceed- 
ing to the disturbed districts with a force sufficient to 

1 For various accounts of the battle of Glenlivat, and the cir- 
cumstances connected with it, see Sir R. Gordon's History of Suther- 
land, p. 226 ; Anderson's MS. History of Scotland, III., fo. 265 ; 
MS. History of Gordons, by W. E.; Moysie's Memoirs, pp. 119, 120; 
Historic of King James the Sext, p. 338 ; Calderwood, ubi supra. 

2 MS. History of Macleans. 


awe the malcontents, who did not venture to appear 
in the field against the Eoyal banner. The Castles of 
Strathbogie and Slaines, belonging to Huntly and 
Erroll, and other fortresses belonging to the insurgents, 
were demolished ; whilst the barons and gentlemen who 
followed the banners of these noblemen were forfeited, 
and their estates divided among the royalists. In order 
to escape the penalties of treason loudly 
denounced against them by the Presbyterians, 
who now formed the bulk of the nation, Huntly and 
Erroll were compelled to fly abroad, whilst Angus lurked 
as a fugitive in the wilds of Douglasdale. 1 Indeed, 
were it not that James wished to avoid irritating the 
English Catholics, and thus impeding his ascent to the 
throne of England on the death of Queen Elizabeth, 
the Scottish Catholic Earls would, in the excited state of 
the nation at that time, have been brought to the block. 
But the King was noways anxious himself to proceed 
to such extremities. In the meantime, the Duke of 
Lennox and the Earl of Argyle were employed to 
reduce Huntly's vassals to obedience; and, in pursuance 
of his commission, the latter sent deputies to Huntly's 
lands. These deputies were at the Castle of Auchin- 
doun in November, 1595, when, among others, Alex- 
ander MacRanald of Keppoch, an old vassal of the 
Earl of Huntly in Lochaber, gave his bond of service 
to the Earl of Argyle, and delivered to the deputies 
one of his sons as a hostage for his obedience ; in return 
for which he claimed protection and maintenance from 
Argyle in all the lands and possessions to which he 
laid claim. 2 It is probable that similar steps were taken 

1 Moysie's Memoirs, p. 120-122. 

2 Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I., p. 200. 


with Allan Cameron of Lochiel and the other western 
Highlanders who had assisted Huntly at the battle of 

During the brief rebellion we have just noticed, two 
powerful chiefs in the Isles, Donald Gorme Macdonald 
of Sleat, and Roderick Macleod of Harris (the well 
known Ruari Mor of tradition), employed themselves 
in another direction. They led, each of them, five 
hundred Hebridean warriors to the shores of Ulster, to 
assist Red Hugh O'Donnell, the chief of his ancient 
race, who was at this time in rebellion against the Queen 
of England. Landing in Lough Foyle, between Kinel 
Conel and Kinel Owen, and being informed that 
O'Donnell was then besieging Enniskillen, they sent a 
messenger to him to notify their arrival, and to announce 
that, if he did not come to meet them as he had promised, 
they would instantly return to their own country. On 
receiving this intelligence, O'Donnell immediately left 
Enniskillen with a few attendants, in order to welcome 
his allies, the bulk of his army being left to continue 
the siege. He met the Islanders accordingly, and 
entertained them for three days and three nights ; after 
which, Donald Gorme bade him farewell and returned 
to the Isles, leaving his brother in command of his clans- 
men. Macleod of Harris remained in person with his 
followers. 1 Before the Scots had been long in Ireland, 
we find Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, promising to the Lord 
Lieutenant to do his best to cause O'Donnell dismiss 
immediately the Scottish auxiliaries. 2 In the following 
year, however, Tyrone himself was joined with O'Don- 

x Life of Red Hugh O'Donnell, written in Irish, by Feregrine 
O'Clery, and translated by the late Edward O'Reilly, Esq. 
2 Harleain M.S., 7 T V ; Leland's Ireland, II. 329. 


nell ; and, on the application of the English ambassador 
in Scotland, Macdonald of Sleat and Macdonalcl of 
Dunyveg were charged by the Privy Council not to 
assist the Irish rebels. 1 

1 Kecord of Privy Council, 18th June, 1595. 



VI. FOR ENGLAND. 1595 1603. 

THE rebellion of the Catholic noblemen 

being now suppressed, the King found himself 

more at leisure to attend to the improvement of the Isles, 

and the expected increase to the Royal revenue from that 

portion of his dominions. Early in 1596, James 

Macdonald who had remained as a hostage 

for his father, Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg, during the 

last four years received a licence to visit his father and 

his clan, in the hope that he might prevail on the former 

to make his submission and fulfil the conditions formerly 

prescribed to him. 1 That chief, and others of similar 

rank in the Isles, still delayed to enter into the views 

of their sovereign and his councillors, although some of 

them were in treaty with the Lords of Exchequer. In 

order, therefore, to compel their submission, and avoid 

further delay in a matter of such importance to the 

revenue, the King, by the advice both of the Privy 

Council and of the Estates of Parliament then sitting, 

1 Notes from Exchequer Rolls, in Haddington's MS. Collections, 
Advocates' Library. 


resolved to proceed against the Islanders in person. 
A proclamation to this effect was accordingly issued 
in the month of May, by which all Earls, Lords, Barons, 
and freeholders, worth above three hundred rnerks of 
yearly rent, and the whole burgesses of the realm, were 
summoned to meet his Majesty at Dunbarton, on the 
first day of August, well armed, and with forty days' 
provisions, and likewise provided with vessels to carry 
them to the Isles. Disobedience to this summons was 
to infer loss of life, lands, and goods. 1 The effects of 
this proclamation were soon evident. Maclean and 
Macdonald of Sleat immediately repaired to Court, 
and, upon making their submission, and satisfying the 
demands of the Exchequer, by agreeing to augment their 
rents, and to make certain other concessions required of 
them, were received into favour, and restored against 
the acts of forfeiture under which they had lain for two 
years. 2 Roderick Macleod of Harris, and Donald 
(MacAngus) Macranald of Glengarry, made their sub- 
mission about the same time. 3 The Lewis was now 
held by Torquil Dubh Macleod, whose title was dis- 
puted by his elder brother, Torquil Connanach. The 
origin of this dispute has been traced in a former 
chapter ; and it seems about this time to have broken 

1 Record of Privy Council, 22nd May, 1596 ; Acts of Parliament, 
IV. 97. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 15th June, 1596 ; Reg. of Privy 
Seal, LXIX., f o. 17, 152 ; Original Papers in General Register 
House, connected with the submission of Donald Gorme. At this 
time the Lords of Exchequer recognised Donald Gorme as the heir 
of Hugh of Sleat, his grandfather's great-grandfather. Ibid, and MS. 
Advocates' Library, M. 6, 15. 

3 Balcarras Papers, Advocates' Library, Vol. VI., No. 70; Reg. of 
Privy Seal, LXVIII., fo. 127. 


out with renewed violence. As each of the claimants, 
however, professed his willingness to agree to the terms 
proposed by the Exchequer hoping thus to obtain a 
recognition of his right as heir of the estate the 
Siol Torquil was withdrawn from the list of disobedient 
clans. 1 Of all the great chiefs in the Isles, Angus 
Macdonald of Dunyveg alone remained contumacious. 
The displeasure of the King was marked, in the first 
instance, by his granting to Maclean a lease of the 
Binns of Isla, so long disputed between that chief and 
the Macdonalds. 2 At the same time preparations con- 
tinued to be made for the expedition to the Isles, which, 
through the submission of most of the other tribes, 
dwindled down into an expedition against the Clandonald 
of Kintyre and Isla. As the time for proceeding to the 
Isles drew near, the King found that it would be more 
convenient and less dangerous for him to remain at some 
place near the Highland coasts, until it should be reported 
by his Lieutenant and Commissioner, whether or not his 
Majesty's presence was necessary. The person chosen 
to lead the expedition on this occasion was Sir William 
Stewart of Houston, Knight, Commendator of Pitten- 
weein, who received, accordingly, in the month of June, 
a commission of lieutenandry and justiciary, with the 
fullest powers. 3 One of the principal points to which 
his attention was directed, was to obtain possession of 
and garrison the principal castles in the West Highlands 
and Isles ; 4 a step the necessity for which seems in most 
cases to have been obviated by the submission of the 
chiefs previous to the setting out of the expedition. A 

1 Balcarras Papers, ubi supra. 

2 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 237. 
a Record of Privy Council, 30th June, 1596. 

* Balcarras Papers, ubi supra. 


difficulty in procuring the necessary funds seems to have 
delayed the expedition much beyond the day originally 
fixed. Early in August, we find that the necessary 
forces for accompanying the Lieutenant were not yet 
raised. A proclamation was now issued, which, in 
consideration of the near approach of harvest, and other 
weighty causes, allowed those called out by the first 
proclamation to compound for their personal service in 
the following manner. Each county might escape the 
burden of personal service, by sending twenty horsemen 
and thirty footmen to meet the King at Dunbarton, on 
the 20th August, or else pay the King 24 for every 
horseman and 12 for every footman that might be 
wanting of these numbers. The whole burghs of the 
realm were allowed to compound, by sending 500 men, 
one-third armed with muskets, one-third with pikes and 
corselets, and the remaining third with hackbuts and 
headpieces ; or by paying 12 for every man of the 
500 that should fail to appear. The burghs were like- 
wise charged to furnish three ships of middling size, well 
supplied with ammunition. The inhabitants of the 
shires of Berwick, Roxburgh, and Selkirk, and the 
burghs in these shires, were specially exempted from this 
service against the Isles, so that they might attend to 
the peace of the Borders. The inhabitants of Inver- 
ness-shire, and the town of Inverness, were licensed to 
remain at home on this occasion ; but were directed to 
hold themselves in readiness for similar service in the 
spring of the following year. Finally, the whole inha- 
bitants of the sheriffdoms of Tarbert and Bute were 
peremptorily ordered to give their personal service, and 
were not permitted to compound either in men or money. 

1 Record of Privy Council, 2nd August, 1596. 


Another proclamation authorised the Commendator of 
Pittenween to levy soldiers for the service in the Isles 
to the amount of one thousand men, and to appoint 
officers over them. 1 A third proclamation charged the 
Islesmen to remain quiet at home ; assuring them, not- 
withstanding false reports to the contrary, that his 
Majesty did not intend to proceed to extremities against 
any of them, except such as continued in open and 
avowed rebellion. They were further assured that such 
sinister reports of his Majesty's intentions could only 
proceed from wicked persons, who envied their future 
" happie estate and felicitie, as the success " (of his 
Majesty's experiments), "with God's grace, sail evi- 
dentlie declare, in sic sorte, as, within few yeirs, they sail 
be able to compare their estate to the maist happie 
estate that has occurrit in man's memorie."" 2 

Want of money, however, and a growing dislike, on 
the part of the people, to these harassing raids, as they 
were called, to which every slight disturbance in the 
kingdom made them liable, and of which an unusual 
number had occurred during the present reign, still fur- 
ther delayed this long talked of expedition. Towards 
the end of September, among other measures for rais- 
ing money, it was proposed to borrow four thousand 
pounds from the Duke of Lennox. That nobleman 
was further requested to go in person to the Lennox, 
and cause two hundred of his vassals to accompany the 
Lieutenant to Kintyre. The Earl of Argyle likewise 
was earnestly required to give his concurrence to the 
Lieutenant, and to send two hundred men to Kintyre, 
under his kinsman, Campbell of Auchinbreck. A let- 

1 Record of Privy Council, 3rd August, 159G. - Ibid. 


ter was also written by the King to James Macdonald of 
Dunluce (son of Sorley Buy Macdonald, and conse- 
quently cousin of Angus Macdonald, against whom all 
these preparations were directed), promising him high 
reward if he gave such assistance to the Lieutenant in 
this service as should be required of him.i Early in 
October, Lord Blantyre, High Treasurer, was in the 
west, superintending the progress made by the Commen- 
dator of Pittenweem in the preparations for the expedi- 
tion to Kintyre ; and, from a letter addressed by the 
Treasurer to the Secretary of State, it appears that the 
sum of seven thousand merks was still wanting to ena- 
ble the expedition to sail. 2 On the 22nd of October, the 
Lieutenant was still in Glasgow, from which, however, 
he had despatched some of his forces to Kintyre, to 
ascertain whether Angus Macdonald meant to oppose 
the Royal troops. 3 In the meantime, James Macdonald 
had returned to Edinburgh ; and, appearing before the 
Privy Council, in the name and by the authority of his 
father, made submission both for his father and himself 
to the King's will, promising that they would fulfil what- 
ever conditions should be prescribed to them by his 
Majesty, to the uttermost of their power. For himself 
he likewise promised to remain with the King, and on 
no account to proceed to the Isles without licence. 4 
This submission came too late to prevent the Lieutenant, 
who had heard a report that the Clandonald were 
gathering in arms, from proceeding to Kintyre, where 
he held a court on the first of November. Here Angus 
Macdonald and his followers came to make their per- 

1 Balcarras Papers, No. . 2 Ibid, No. y. 

3 Ibid, No. 74. 

4 Record of Privy Council, 8th October, 1596. 


sonal submission to the King's representative. A roll 
was made of the tenants of Kintyre, of the lands occu- 
pied by them individually, and of the waste and unoc- 
cupied lands ; and, on his departure, the Lieutenant took 
with him hostages from the principal chieftains in the 
district. 1 These he presented to the Privy Council, by 
which all his proceedings were approved. 2 It appears, 
by a letter from James Macdonald of Dunluce to the 
King, that Angus Macdonald had made to him, before 
the Lieutenant's arrival in person, great promises if 
he would aid in expelling the King's troops from Kin- 
tyre. 8 All these offers were, however, refused by the 
wary Lord of Dunluce; and Angus Macdonald, de- 
prived of support, was obliged to submit as the other 
chiefs had done. While Macdonald of Isla thus found 
his life and fortunes once more at the disposal of the 
King, his former antagonist, Maclean of Dowart, was 
nearly losing the advantages he had gained by a more 
timely submission. Taking advantage of the death of 
Hector Maclean of Coll, and the minority of Lauchlan, 
the son and successor of that baron, he had renewed 
the ancient feud between the families of Dowart and 
Coll, by seizing, without any just cause, the castle and 
island of Coll, and the other estates of that family, from 
which he expelled all their adherents. Lauchlan Mac- 
lean of Coll having now reached majority, appealed to 
the Privy Council against this oppression and injustice 

1 Original Record of this Court, preserved in General Register 
House. From this document, it appears that, out of 139 merk lands 
in North Kintyre, 36 were waste ; and out of 205 merk lands in South 
Kintyre, 45 were waste. 

2 Record of Privy Council, llth November, 1596. 

3 Original Letter in Balcarras Papers, dated 26th October, 1596. 


on the part of Dowart ; and the result was an order on 
the latter to deliver up, not only the Castle of Brekach 
in Coll, but all his own castles and fortalices, to Sir 
William Stewart, King's Lieutenant of the Isles, or such 
as he should appoint to receive them, upon twenty-four 
hours' warning. He was further required to restore to 
Coll, within thirty days, all the lands of which he had 
so unjustly deprived him, and to abstain from molesting 
him or his tenants ; a penalty of ten thousand merks 
being imposed upon Dowart if he should fail in any of 
these particulars. 1 

In the North Isles, the Macleods of Lewis were once 
more involved in those dissensions which eventually 
ruined this ancient clan. The Isle of Lewis was still 
held by Torquil Dubh, while the mainland estates of 
the family remained with Torquil Connanach, whose 
claim to the whole, however,^ had been recently acknow- 
ledged by Government. 2 The latter had lost both his 
sons ; and, having married his eldest daughter to Ruari 
Mackenzie, brother of the Lord of Kintaill, now threw 
himself entirely into the hands of the Mackenzies, to 
whom, in the end, he conveyed the barony of Lewis, 
as far as writings could accomplish this object. 3 His 
competitor, Torquil Dubh, had married a sister of 
Macleod of Harris, and, strengthened by this alliance, 
proceeded to ravage the lands of Cogeache and Loch- 
broom ; and openly announced his intention of keeping 
by force what he had hitherto possessed. As this young 
chief was very popular with his clan, and was followed 
by seven or eight hundred men, he was enabled to set 

1 Record of Privy Council, llth November, 1596. 

2 Reg. of Privy Seal, LXVIIL, fo. 298. 

3 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 274. 


his rival for some time at defiance in spite of the 
power of the Mackenzies. At length his enemies, 
who seem to have been taken by surprise by the 
vigorous measures of Torquil Dubh, made 
597 ' a complaint against him to the Privy Council, 
of which body, unfortunately for him, the Lord of 
Kintaill was a member. In this complaint the " Usur- 
per of the Lewis" was represented as having been 
guilty of barbarous and unheard of cruelty, sparing 
neither man, woman,, nor child, in his destructive pro- 
gress, and recklessly slaying all the cattle he could 
find, so as to lay the lands in question absolutely waste. 1 
Being summoned to answer to this charge, Torquil 
Dubh naturally enough hesitated to trust himself in 
the power of a court where one of his enemies had so 
much influence. He was therefore denounced a rebel; 
and being soon afterwards treacherously seized, along 
with several of his followers, in the Lewis, by the Breve 
or Celtic judge of the island (who acted at the instigation 
of Mackenzie and Torquil Connanach), they were 
delivered into the hands of Mackenzie, by whom, without 
further ceremony, they were beheaded in the month of July, 
1597. Instead of benefiting the conspirators, by smooth- 
ing the way for the succession of Torquil Connanach 
to the Lewis, this severity only irritated the remaining 
adherents of Torquil Dubh, amongst whom the most 
conspicuous was his bastard brother Neill. As Tor- 
quil Dubh had left three young sons whose cause was 
supported not only by their uncle, Neill, who now took 

1 Record of Privy Council, llth February, 1596-7. Letter, Ken- 
neth Mackenzie of Kintaill to the King, dated 3rd January, 1596-7 ; 
copied by Dr. George Mackenzie into his MS. History of the 


the command of the Isle of Lewis, but by the Mac- 
leans and Macleods of Harris the final success of the 
Mackenzies, and of the competitor whose claims they 
supported, appeared nearly as distant as before. 1 At 
this time, too, the Mackenzies attempted to seize the 
whole lands of Gerloch, which led to a renewal of the 
ancient feud between them and the Siol Vic Gillechallum 
of Rasay and Gerloch. 2 The chief effect of these 
perpetual dissensions was to hurry the adoption of the 
crude but well meant plans of the King for the improve- 
ment of the Highlands and Isles. 

Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg, whose late submission 
to the King's Lieutenant has been noticed, came to 
Edinburgh early in this year to hear the King's will 
declared as to the particular terms on which he was to 
receive a pardon. Two plans seem to have been sug- 
gested for curbing the power of this restless chief. 
One was to deprive him, by his own consent, of all 
his possessions in Isla, and to confine him and his tribe 
within Kintyre, making provision at the same time for 
a Hoyal garrison, or some equivalent check, in the latter 
district. 3 The other proposal, which was that attempted 
to be carried into effect, was to deprive him of his 
lands in Kintyre and of any claim he might have to 
the Hinns of Isla, thus confining him and his clan to 
the other parts of Isla. 4 In order to test his sincerity, 
Macdonald was required, before anything could be 
done in his favour First, To find security for the 
arrears of his Crown rents, which had been allowed to 

1 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 270. 2 Ibid, p. 277. 

3 Balcarras Papers, No. 77. 

4 Letter, Mr. John Skene to Secretary Lindsay, 28th April, 1597. 
Balcarras Papers. 


accumulate to a serious amount; Next, To remove his 
clan and dependers from Kin tyre and the Rinns of 
Isla; and, Lastly, To deliver his Castle of Dunyveg in 
Isla, before the 20th of May, to the person whom the 
King should send to receive it. 1 These preliminary 
conditions he subscribed and promised to observe, and 
was thereupon liberated, to give him an opportunity of 
fulfilling them. 2 His son, Sir James Macdonald of 
Knockrinsay (who had lately received the honour of 
knighthood), remained at Court, as a sort of hostage 
for his father; soon after whose departure a claim of 
an unexpected nature was made by James Macdonald 
of Dunluce to all the estates formerly held by Angus 
Macdonald. In the letter which, as we have seen, the 
Lord of Dunluce addressed to the King at the time of 
Sir William Stewart's expedition to Kintyre, after 
magnifying his own services, and indulging in much 
of that fulsome flattery to the monarch which charac- 
terised this reign, he hinted at his own claims as heir 
to the lands of Kintyre and Isla, held by his cousin 
Angus, on the ground, as he alleged, of the illegitimacy 
of the latter (supra, p. 269). Having received from the 
King answers of a favourable tenor, Dunluce readily 
accepted an invitation to visit the Court of Scotland; 
and he and his train, on their arrival at Edinburgh, were 
received with great distinction. Dunluce himself is 
described by several Scottish writers of the period as a 
man of handsome appearance and dignified manners; and, 
although ignorant of the Lowland tongue, he speedily 
became a great favourite at the Scottish Court. While 

1 Balcarras Papers, VI., No. 77. 

2 Letter to Secretary Lindsay above quoted. Haddington's Col- 



in Edinburgh, his claim to the estates of Kintyre and 
Isla was formally brought before the Privy Council; 
but as it was founded on an erroneous allegation 
namely, the bastardy of Angus Macdonald it was 
speedily dismissed by the advisers of the Crown. At 
the very moment when Dunluce's claim was read in 
council, the Earl of Argyle,, who professed to espouse 
the cause of Angus Macdonald, happened to enter the 
council chamber and take his seat; and it was remarked 
that Dunluce made no sign of respect to that powerful 
nobleman. To make up in some measure for his dis- 
appointment, he received from the King the honour of 
knighthood, as an eques auratus, by the style of Sir 
James Macdonald of Dunluce, together with a grant 
of thirty merk lands in Kintyre; and on his departure 
from Edinburgh, he was saluted with a volley from the 
Castle guns. 1 

Towards the end of this year, Maclean of Dowart 
and Macdonald of Isla, having patched up a hollow 
truce, made preparations for proceeding together, with 
a force of two or three thousand of their vassals, into 
Ulster, under pretence of assisting the Queen of England 
against Hugh Earl of Tyrone, whose rebellion at this 
time presented a formidable appearance. The Irish 
Privy Council viewed this union between two chiefs of 
such power, whose enmity had so lately borne the most 
implacable character, as proceeding either from the 
intrigues of the Earl of Huntly, who, as a Catholic, 
bore no good will to Queen Elizabeth, or from a plot 

1 Said Letter to Secretary Lindsay. Reg. of Privy Seal, LXIX., 
fo. 101. Birrel's Diary, ad tempus. MS. History of Scotland, 
(Anon.), Advocates 1 Library. Anderson's MS. History of Scotland, 
III., fo. 282. 


laid by Tyrone himself, who, they conceived, calculated 
on the Islanders as his friends from the moment they 
should arrive in Ulster. 1 When we consider, however, 
the position in which Macdonald now stood at home, 
and that Dunluce, who had so lately attempted a grievous 
injury, and one not to be forgiven, against him, was one 
of Tyrone's supporters at this time while we may feel 
unable to account for the alliance between Macdonald 
and Maclean, we can have no difficulty in believing 
that the former was sincere in his intention of supporting 
the Queen in this struggle; for his services, if really 
useful, would not only conduce to forward his interests 
with King James, at whose mercy he now lay, but 
would also give him a title, on the suppression of Tyrone's 
rebellion, and the expected forfeiture of his adherents, 
to claim restoration to those Irish estates formerly 
wrested from, him by his uncle, Sorley Buy, the father 
of Sir James Macdonald of Dunluce. It is probable 
that the representations of the English ambassador at 
the Scottish Court caused the projected expedition of 
the Islanders to be given up; for we do not find, from 
the writers on Irish history, that the warriors whose 
arrival the Privy Council of Ireland seemed to expect 
with so much alarm, ever quitted their native shores. 

In the Parliament held at Edinburgh in December, 
1597, an act was passed of a most important nature, 
in reference to the Highlands and Isles; and the effects 
of it were soon apparent. The preamble of this act 
bears, that the inhabitants of the Highlands and Isles 
had not only neglected to pay the yearly rents, and to 
perform the services due from their lands to the Crown, 

1 Summary Report of the State of Ireland, 5th November, 1597. 
Cotton MS., Titus, B. XIII. 


but that they had likewise, through their " barbarous 
inhumanity," made the Highlands and Isles, naturally 
so valuable from the fertility of the soil and the rich- 
ness of the fisheries, altogether unprofitable either to 
themselves or to their fellow-countrymen. The natives 
of these districts are further described as neither culti- 
vating any "civil or honest society" among themselves, 
nor admitting others to traffic with them in safety. It 
was, therefore, by this act, made imperative upon all 
landlords, chieftains, leaders of clans, principal house- 
holders, heritors, and others possessing, or pretending 
right to, any lands in the Highlands and Isles, to pro- 
duce their various title-deeds before the Lords of Ex- 
chequer upon the 15th day of May, 1598. They were 
further enjoined, at the same time, to find security for 
the regular payment of their rents to the Crown, and 
for the peaceable and orderly behaviour of themselves 
and of those for whom, by the law, they were bound 
to answer, particularly in regard to those individuals 
desirous of trading in th'e Highlands and Isles. The 
penal part of this act, however, was the most important. 
Disobedience to any of the injunctions above detailed 
was made, by a very harsh exercise of the highest 
powers of Parliament, to infer absolute forfeiture of all 
the titles, real or pretended, which any of the recusants 
might possess to lands in the Highlands and Isles. 1 
Taking into consideration both the loss of title-deeds 
which, in the unsettled state of the country, must have 
been a very common occurrence and the difficulty 
which many even of the most powerful chiefs could not 
fail to experience in finding the requisite bail for their 
peaceable and orderly behaviour, as well as that of 

1 Acts of Parliament, IV. 138; Collect, de Rebus Albanicis, I. 158. 


their vassals and tenants it is evident that this act 
was prepared with a view to place at the disposal of 
the Crown., in a summary manner, many large tracts 
of land; affording thus an immediate opportunity to 
the King to commence his favourite plans for the 
improvement of the Highlands and Isles. It is not 
much to the credit of James that the State papers 
relating to these projects show clearly that they sprung, 
as has been already hinted at, not from the higher 
motives which have made some monarchs the bene- 
factors of mankind, but from the necessity of replen- 
ishing an exchequer which had been drained chiefly 
by his private extravagance, and by his excessive liber- 
ality to unworthy favourites. Another act of Parlia- 
ment for the erection of three Royal burghs one of 
them in Kintyre, the second in Lochaber, and the third 
in the Lewis received, at this time, the sanction of 
the legislature. 1 The state of the country for many 
years did not permit this design to be carried into full 
effect; but the suggestions now made seem eventually 
to have led to the erection of Campbellton, Fortwilliam, 
and Stornoway, the first only of which was made a 
Royal burgh. In order to secure good advice to the 
King, in regard to the establishment of these burghs 
and his other projected improvements, a council of ten, 
was appointed, whose special attention was to be directed 
to the affairs of the Highlands and Isles, and without 
the advice of five of whom nothing could be done 
therein. The chief of these counsellors were, Mr. John 
Lindsay of Balcarras, Secretary of State, and Sir William. 
Stewart, Commendator of Pittenweem. 2 Some mem- 

1 Acts of Parliament, IV. 139 ; Collect, de Rebus Albanicis, I. 159. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 4th May, 1598. 


bers of this council came soon to have a deep personal 
interest in the improvement of the Isles; but their 
united exertions failed, after a great loss both of men 
and means, to produce any permanent advantage. 

The first mentioned of these acts was not 
suffered to remain a dead letter. The record 
of the proceedings in Exchequer, on the 15th of May, 
1598, has not come down to us; so that it is by no means 
easy to ascertain how many chiefs or proprietors failed 
to appear. This much is certain, that the Isles of Lewis 
and Harris, and the lands of Dunvegan and Glenelg, 
were declared to be at the King's disposal. The three 
last estates belonged to Ruari Macleod of Harris by 
unexceptionable titles; but it is probable that he in- 
curred the penalties of the act, from thinking it unneces- 
sary to appear. The abilities of this chief enabled him, 
although with much difficulty, and after the lapse of 
many years, to ward off the effects of this summary pro- 
cess of forfeiture. The Macleods of Lewis were less 
fortunate. Their island, the largest of the Hebrides, 
and the district of Trouterness in Sky, in which Mac- 
donald of Sleat had but lately been received as King's 
tenant, were granted to a company of Lowland adven- 
turers the object of whose association was to colonise 
and improve their acquisitions in the Hebrides accord- 
ing to the plans suggested by the King. The principal 
adventurers were the Duke of Lennox; Patrick, Com- 
mendator of Lindores; William, Commendator of Pit- 
tenweein; Sir James Anstruther, younger, of that Ilk; 
Sir James Sandilands of Slamanno; James Leirmonth 
of Balcolmy; James Spens of Worniestoun; John For- 
ret of Fingask; David Home, younger, of Wedder- 
burne; and Captain William Murray. By the terms of 


a contract between these individuals and the Govern- 
ment, ratified by Parliament, they were, in consideration 
of the great expenses to be incurred by them, and the 
improvements which they were expected to make, freed 
from any payment of rent for seven years. At the end 
of this time, an annual grain-rent of one hundred and 
forty chalders of bear, for the lands and Isles of Lewis, 
Rona-Lewis, and Ilanshand, was to commence; whilst, 
for the lands of Trouterness, they were to pay yearly a 
money rent of four hundred merks, being twenty merks 
more than the rent stipulated to be paid by Macdonald 
of Sleat when he procured a lease of Trouterness in 
1596. 1 About the same time the lands of Harris, Dun- 
vegan, and Glenelg, were granted to the same parties; 2 
but as the efforts of the Lowlanders were first directed 
to the colonising of the Lewis, and were ultimately un- 
successful even in that island, all the other lands seem 
to have escaped the experiments to which the Lewis was 
subjected, and, on the final discomfiture of the adven- 
turers, to have returned to the old proprietors. 

The proceedings of the Government in this matter, 
it must be allowed, were too precipitate. Had the Lewis 
alone been granted to a Lowland company, the dissen- 
sions of the natives made success very probable; and 
the only serious opposition to be calculated upon was 
that which the Lord of Kintaill might be expected to 
offer. But when grants were likewise made to these 

1 Acts of Parliament, IV. 160. The contract was dated 28th June, 

2 Reg. of Privy Seal, LXXIX., fo. 252. Allan Cameron of 
Lochiel appears also to have incurred forfeiture" of his lands at this 
time, which afterwards gave him much trouble. MS. History of 


Lowlanders of the estates belonging to Macleod of Har- 
ris, and of a large district occupied, under a very recent 
lease, by Macdonald of Sleat, a powerful party was at 
once created in the North Isles, whose interest it clearly 
was to frustrate and discourage the adventurers by every 
means in their power. These chiefs could not fail to 
perceive that the success of the adventurers in the Lewis 
would enable the latter to seize, with greater facility, all 
the other lands to which Parliament had given them a 
claim. That they should deprecate such an event was 
perfectly natural; and it will appear, accordingly, that 
the enterprise of the Lowlanders at length failed, o wing- 
to the obstacles secretly but perseveringly thrown in their 
way by the three great northern chiefs, Macleod of Harris, 
Macdonald of Sleat, and Mackenzie of Kintaill. Mean- 
time, however, the preparations of the adventurers for 
their settlement in the Lewis were carried on with great 
spirit and at no small expense. 1 

Whilst such measures were in progress for the civili- 
sation of the North Isles, the state of the South Isles 
again called loudly for the interference of Government. 
Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg had been liberated 
early in 1597, as we have seen, in order to test his sin- 
cerity, by his performance of certain conditions (supra, 
p. 273). A considerable time having elapsed without 
the fulfilment of these conditions, his son, Sir James 
Macdonald, was permitted to go from Court to visit 
him in Kin tyre it being supposed that the influence 
of Sir James would insure his fathers obedience. 
The result of this step did not, however, answer the 
expectations of those who advised it. The reader will 

1 Anderson's MS. History of Scotland, III., fo. 295. 


remember that, when Sir William Stewart was preparing 
to invade Kintyre, in November, 1596, Angus Macdonald 
had sent his son to make his submission to the King 
and Council. At that time, under the impression that 
his son might obtain better terms than himself, Angus 
had made over to the latter all his estates, stipulating 
only for a proper maintenance for himself and his wife 
during their lives. 1 This, as being the act of a man 
already deprived by forfeiture of all his former rights, 
was of course not recognised by the Privy Council; 
and it is probable that Angus soon repented the facility 
with which he had stripped himself of his possessions, 
when he found that this act was productive of no direct 
benefit to himself or his tribe. The transaction, how- 
ever, was not forgot by Sir James, who, led away by 
evil advisers, as well as by the natural violence of his 
temper, and presuming on the favour with which he had 
been treated at Court, now endeavoured to take the 
estate into his own hands, and deprive his father of 
all influence. A quarrel among the Macallasters of 
Loupe favoured his designs, and seems to have suggested 
to him the idea of procuring his father's death, as if by 
accident. The young Laird of Loupe, Gorrie Mac- 
allaster, who had succeeded to the estate when a minor, 
had lately, since he was come of age, a serious dispute 
with his tutor or guardian, in the course of which he 
killed the latter. The sons of the tutor took refuge 
with their chief, Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg; whilst 
the Laird of Loupe, who eagerly sought their lives, pro- 
cured the support of Sir James Macdonald on the 
arrival of the latter in Kintyre. Understanding that the 

1 Record of Privy Council, 8th October, 1596, 


tutor's sons were with Angus Macdonald, at his house 
of Askomull in Kin tyre, Sir James and his associates, 
to the number of two or three hundred armed men, 
surrounded the house in the dead of night, and on the 
refusal of the Macallasters to surrender themselves 
prisoners, the house was immediately set on fire. 
Although perfectly aware that his father and mother 
were in the house, Sir James savagely refused to let 
the fire be extinguished ; and at length his father, 
endeavouring to make his escape, was made prisoner, 
after being severely burnt and suffering many indigni- 
ties from Sir James' servants. He was then carried 
to Smerbie in Kintyre, and confined there in irons for 
several months. The other inmates of the house like- 
wise fell into the hands of Sir James, and were treated 
with various degrees of severity; but he does not appear 
to have caused any of them to be put to death. 1 Sir 
James now took the command of his clan, and neglect- 
ing his promises to the King, conducted himself with 
such violence in his new capacity, that in the month of 
June, 1598, it became necessary to issue a proclamation 
for another Royal expedition or raid to Kintyre. The 
burden of this expedition was placed on the shires of 
Dunbarton, Bute, and Renfrew; the bailliaries of Carrick 
and Cunningham, the Lower Ward of Clydesdale, and 
the burghs of Dunbarton, Glasgow, Ayr, Irvine, Ren- 
frew, Rothesay, and Paisley. The King was to meet 
the array of these shires and burghs at Dunbarton on 
the 20th of August, and to proceed in person at their 
head to Kintyre. 2 Early in August, Sir James Mac- 
donald had contrived to procure from the King a letter 

1 Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, III., p. 5. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 30th June, 1598. 


approving of his late proceedings in Kintyre, and parti- 
cularly of his apprehension of his father; 1 but it was 
not, therefore, thought advisable to give up the expedi- 
tion to Kintyre. On the contrary, a new proclamation 
was issued at this time, the chief object of which was to 
remove the doubts generally entertained as to the King's 
intention of going in person on this expedition ; and his 
Majesty even went so far as to name the particular 
vessel in which he was to sail, and to give directions 
for its being properly manned and furnished for the 
voyage. 2 When the time came, however, for the 
departure of the expedition, the doubts of the lieges 
were justified, by the appointment of the Duke of 
Lennox as Lieutenant over the Isles. In the Duke's 
commission it was specially provided that it should not 
be in his power to show favour to any of the Islanders, 
unless by the advice of his Majesty, and of the coun- 
cillors formerly named for the affairs of the Isles. 3 This 
change in his Majesty's intentions seems to have been 
caused by news received, in the course of the month of 
August, of a conflict between the Macdonalds and Mac- 
leans, in which the chief of the latter was slain. Even 
after all the preparations which were made, and the nomi- 
nation of the Duke of Lennox to be Lieutenant of the 
Isles, it is doubtful if the expedition ever left Dunbarton ; 
and, indeed, the approach of harvest had probably pre- 
vented a sufficient force from assembling at that town. 
The immediate cause of the conflict between the Mac- 
donalds and Macleans was as follows. 

Sir Lauchlan Maclean of Dowart had succeeded in 

1 Criminal Trials, III., p. 9. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 5th and 6th August. 

3 Ibid, 25th August. 


procuring from the King a grant of part of the island 
of Isla, forfeited by his old rival Angus Macdonald. 
Taking advantage of the dissensions of the Clandonald, 
and calculating on the youth and inexperience of his 
nephew. Sir James, he levied his vassals and proceeded 
to Isla, in order to expel the Macdonalds, and put 
himself in possession of his new acquisitions in the 
island. Sir James Macdonald was not, however, dis- 
posed to yield to the pretensions of Maclean, and had 
already collected a number of his clan in Isla to oppose 
his uncle's proceedings. The mutual friends of both 
parties, desiring to spare the effusion of blood, laboured 
to effect a mediation between them. A meeting was 
accordingly agreed to be held at Lochgruinart, in Isla, 
to arrange their differences, to which place the rival 
chiefs repaired, each with a considerable number of 
their followers, but the Macdonalds were inferior in 
force. To the pressing entreaties of the mediators, Sir 
James Macdonald yielded so far as to offer his uncle 
the half of the island for his life (denying at the same 
time the validity of the title on which Maclean founded 
his pretensions), provided he would agree to hold it, 
as his predecessors had held the Rinns of Isla, for their 
personal service to the Clandonald. Moreover, Sir 
James offered to refer their disputes to the decision of 
any impartial persons Maclean might choose to name ; 
and, in case of their differing, to the decision of the 
King. But Maclean, much against the opinion of his 
friends, who advised him to accept these offers, would 
hear of nothing but an absolute surrender, on the part 
of Sir James, of all title or claim to the island. Upon 
this, both parties resolved to settle the dispute by the 
sword. They encountered at the head of Lochgruinart, 


and a desperate conflict ensued. Sir James in the 
beginning of the action caused his vanguard to make 
a detour, as if they intended a retreat, but really with 
the object of gaining the top of an eminence near at 
hand, which Sir Lauchlan was also desirous to possess. 
By this stratagem Sir James succeeded in gaining the 
height first, from which he charged the Macleans with 
great vigour, and, forcing their van back upon their 
main body, threw the whole into confusion, and finally 
routed them. Sir Lauchlan Maclean, with fourscore 
of his kinsmen and two hundred common soldiers, were 
killed ; and his son, Lauchlan Barrach Maclean, being 
dangerously wounded, made his escape with difficulty, 
with the survivors, to their boats. Sir James Macdonald 
was himself severely wounded, and, for a time, his 
recovery was doubtful- whilst thirty of his followers 
were killed and sixty wounded. 1 According to the 
family history of the Macleans, Hector, the son and 
successor of Sir Lauchlan, obtained a commission of 
fire and sword, as it was called, against Sir James 
Macdonald and his tribe. He and his clan then invaded 
Isla, accompanied by Macleod of Dunvegan, Cameron 
of Lochiel, Mackinnon and Macneill of Barra, with 
their followers. They encountered the Macdonalds 
at a place called Bern Bige, attacked and defeated 
them, and afterwards ravaged the whole island, in 

i Sir R. Gordon's History, of Sutherland, p. 237. The MS. His- 
tory of the Macleans gives a somewhat different account of this 
affair, throwing the chief blame upon the Macdonalds. Anderson's 
History of Scotland and Birrel's Diary agree in the censure of Sir 
James Macdonald ; but the information of Sir R. Gordon seems to 
have been more minute, and probably therefore more correct than 
that of the other authorities. The battle of Lochgruinart was fought 
on the 5th August, 1598. 


revenge for the slaughter of the Macleans at Loch- 
gruinart. As, however, no commission appears in any of 
the records of the time, it would rather seem that the 
revenge taken by the Clanlean and their confederates 
proceeded from their own private councils, and had not 
the sanction of the Government in any shape. 1 It is 
not a little remarkable that, a year after the battle of 
Lochgruinart, we find Sir James Macdonald treating 
with the King's Comptroller regarding the lands of Isla 
and Kintyrc, and making offers which were approved 
of by the Privy Council. When along with this, we 
consider the still more remarkable fact that the indict- 
ment on which Sir James was condemned to death in 
the year 1609, makes no allusion to the slaughter of Sir 
Lauchlan Maclean and his kinsmen, it is impossible to 
avoid the conclusion that Maclean was the aggressor, 
and that Macdonald was considered by the authorities 
as having fought in self-defence. 

A new commission of Lieutenandry over the whole 
Isles arid Highlands of Inverness-shire, was 
in July, 1599, granted to the Duke of 
Lennox and the Earl of Huntly, the latter of whom 
had lately been restored to favour. A special charge 
was given to both Lieutenants to assist, by every 
means, and with all their forces and power, the " gentle- 
men venturers and enterprisers of the conquest of the 
Lewis, towards the perfect settling and establishing 
of that island under their obedience/' The preamble 
of this commission gives a shocking picture of the 
state of the Islanders at this time, charging them with 
the grossest impiety and the most atrocious barbarities. 

1 This is corroborated by the MS. History of the Camerons. 


One clause, however, points out, although unintention- 
ally, the offence which appeared most heinous in the 
eyes of a needy monarch and his grasping courtiers, and 
leaves some room to suppose that the rest of the pre- 
amble may have been exaggerated, to give more colour 
to the harsh measures now in progress. The words of 
this clause are ""And besides all their other crimes, 
they rebelliously withhold from his Majesty a great part 
of the patrimony and proper rent of the Crown, deprive 
the country of the benefit which might redound thereto, 
by the trade of fishing, and of other commodities which 
these bounds render. And now, at last, a great part of 
them have banded, conspired, and daily practise, by 
force and policy, in their barbarous and rebellious form, 
to disappoint his Majesty's service in the Lewis." A 
council of northern Earls and Barons was appointed by 
the Commission, by whose advice the Lieutenants were 
to be guided in the execution of their office. This 
Commission was plainly intended to assist the Lowland 
adventurers in their enterprise against the Lewis; and 
it deserves to be noticed, that it gave express power to 
the Lieutenants to punish with military execution, not 
only the avowed opponents of the enterprise, but those 
who should be found to impede it indirectly. It is 
uncertain to what extent this Commission was acted 
upon. 1 

In the month of August, Sir James Macdonald 
appeared in presence of the King's Comptroller at 
Falkland, and made certain offers, embracing, as he 
affirmed, the most certain method of establishing the 
Royal authority within the bounds of Kintyre and Isla. 

1 Kecord of Privy Council, 9th July, 1599. 


He offered to cause his whole tribe and dependers eva- 
cuate Kintyre, leaving those lands wholly at the King's 
disposal ; and he, at the same time, engaged for him- 
self and his clan, not only to refrain from molesting the 
new tenants who should be placed in that district, but, 
on the contrary, to support and defend them to the 
utmost of his power. He also agreed that the Castle 
of Dunyveg in Isla should be placed in the hands of a 
governor and garrison appointed by the King, and that 
sixty merk lands in its vicinity (from which he offered 
to remove the present tenants) should be assigned for 
the maintenance of the garrison. Sir James then 
required the remaining lands of Isla (estimated to extend 
to three hundred merk lands) to be granted to him in 
heritage for the annual feu-duty of 2 for every merk 
land, or 600 in all, the title-deeds to contain the same 
clauses as those granted to the Islesmen by James IV. 
Besides this rent, he offered to pay to his father, where- 
ever the King should appoint the residence of the latter, 
a yearly pension of one thousand merks, or about six 
hundred and seventy pounds. For the performance 
of all these offers he proposed to give his brother as a 
hostage, and to support him in a becoming manner as 
long as he should .continue in captivity. These offers 
being submitted by the Comptroller to the Privy Coun- 
cil, received the approbation of that tribunal ; and the 
Comptroller was authorised to treat with Sir James 
Macdonald for his performance of them in every point, 
and regarding the heritable grant of the lands of Isla 
sought by the latter. 1 Much obscurity rests upon the 
causes which prevented this matter from being brought 

1 Record of Privy Council, 6th September, 1599. 


to a satisfactory conclusion. There is reason to believe 
that the influence of the Earl of Argyle and John Camp- 
bell of Calder was already, if not earlier, secretly used 
in thwarting the endeavours of Sir James Macdonald to 
reconcile himself and his clan to the Government. It 
is not to be supposed that this chief, unless under the in- 
fluence of interested advisers, would have abandoned, as 
he seems very soon to have done, the favourable position 
in which he was now placed. That Argyle and Calder 
were deeply interested will afterwards appear ; and the 
marriage of Sir James Macdonald to Calder's sister, which 
took place about this time, must have, at first, disposed 
him to receive with unsuspecting confidence the coun- 
sels of that crafty baron. It would appear that Argyle 
took the part of Angus Macdonald, Sir James's father, 
in order to embarrass Sir James as much as possible in 
his arrangements with the Government. Calder, on the 
other hand, by professing to support his brother-in-law, 
seems to have urged the young chief to acts of violence 
which led to his ruin. Certain it is, that, in after life, 
Sir James blamed Argyle and Calder as the prime 
movers of all the severities exercised against him and 
his clan. It was the opinion, too, of one of the con- 
temporary officers of state for Scotland a man of much 
sagacity and experience that the frequent insurrections 
in the South Isles which occurred in the first fifteen 
years of the seventeenth century were encouraged, if 
not originated, by Argyle and the Campbells for their 
own purposes. 1 In the following pages undoubted 
evidence will be found of such underhand proceedings, 

1 Letter, Sir Alexander Hay to Mr. John Murray of Lochmaben, then 
in London, dated 21st December, 1615 ; Denmylne MS., Advocates* 


on the part of the Earl of Argyle, in one of the most 
prominent of these insurrections. 

Leaving for a while the affairs of the South Isles, 
which gradually become more interesting, we proceed 
to trace the progress of the Lowland adventurers who 
proposed to colonise the Lewis. Their contract 
with Government was ratified, as we have seen, by 
Parliament in June, 1598, and their preparations were 
commenced without loss of time. It seems probable 
that they went no further in that year than merely 
preparing for their expedition ; but, in October of the 
following year, fortified, in some measure, by the com- 
mission granted in July to the Duke of Lennox and 
the Earl of Huntly, they actually proceeded to the 
Lewis with a force of five or six hundred hired soldiers, 
besides gentlemen volunteers, and artificers of all sorts. 
The late season of the year at which the adventurers 
arrived in the island was very injurious to them ; for 
the cold weather, and want of proper shelter and pro- 
visions, caused many, soon aft#r their arrival, to die of 
the flux. 1 None of the authorities of the period men- 
tion why the expedition should not have sailed at least 
six months earlier than it did ; and we are, therefore, 
led to conclude that the delay was caused either by actual 
opposition of a formidable nature being threatened, 
or by reports circulated by Mackenzie and the other 
hostile chiefs that such opposition was intended. 2 Under 
all these disadvantages the colonists commenced build- 
ing in a convenient place, and at length completed 
what Sir Robert Gordon calls "a pretty town," where 

1 Mo}'sie's Memoirs, p. 165. 

2 This is confirmed by a passage in Anderson's MS. History of Scot- 
land, III., fo. 295. 


they encamped. The natives of the island, under Neill 
and Murdoch, the two surviving bastard sons of Ruari 
Macleod, the last undisputed Lord of Lewis, made 
considerable opposition, to which they were probably 
incited by Mackenzie. Leirmonth of Balcolmy, being 
on his way from the Lewis to Fife with his own vessel, 
was intercepted near the Orkneys by Murdoch Macleod, 
who is said to have received his instructions from the 
Lord of Kintaill. Many of his crew were slain, and he 
himself was detained a prisoner in the Lewis for six 
months, after which he was liberated by his captor on 
promise of a ransom. This, however, the 
unfortunate Laird of Balcolmy never lived to 
pay, having died in the Orkneys on his way home of 
disease brought on by the harsh treatment he had 
suffered in his captivity. About this time, luckily for 
the adventurers, Neill Macleod quarrelled with his 
brother, who had not only a principal share in the exe- 
cution of Torquil Dubh Macleod a few years before, 
but continued to support the treacherous Breve and his 
kin, the Clan Vic Gilvore, as they were called, by whom 
Torquil Dubh had been apprehended and delivered to 
Mackenzie. In following up this dispute, Neill appre- 
hended his brother and several of the Breve's kindred^ 
and immediately put all his prisoners, his brother 
excepted, to death. The adventurers, hearing of this, 
offered to Neill Macleod that, if he would deliver his 
brother up to them, as one of the chief obstructors of 
their enterprise, they would both give to himself a por- 
tion of the island, and assist him further to revenge the 
death of Torquil Dubh. The Islander accepted these 
terms, delivered up his brother Murdoch to the colonists, 
and went with them to Edinburgh, taking along with 


him the heads, ten or twelve in number, of those of the 
Clan Vic Gilvore, whom he had lately put to death. 
On this occasion Neill received a pardon for his 
offences; and the colonists returned to the Lewis, their 
prospects much improved by their alliance with the most 
powerful man in the island. In the meantime, Murdoch 
Macleod was executed at St. Andrews; and, in conse- 
quence of some confessions made by him, and of com- 
plaints by the adventurers, the Lord of Kintaill was 
apprehended, and committed prisoner to Edinburgh 
Castle. This artful chief, however, contrived to escape 
without a trial by the help of his friend the Lord 
Chancellor ; nor did the risk he had run cause him at 
all to relax in his endeavours to frustrate the colonisa- 
tion of the Lewis, as we shall presently have occasion 
to see. 1 

The commission of lieutenandry lately granted to the 
Duke of Lennox and the Earl, now Marquis, of Huntly 
over the North Highlands and Isles, had failed to pro- 
duce any effect, owing, no doubt, to the difficulty of 
bringing a feudal army from the rest of Scotland together 
in the harvest months. It is evident, too, that the 
Lowland militia were becoming impatient of the fre- 
quent calls upon them to suppress petty insurrections 
in the Isles. These difficulties suggested to the King, 
for the third time, the project of going in person to the 
Isles, as experience had shown that this was the best 
way to overcome the growing dislike, on the part of the 
people, to so oppressive a feature of the feudal system. 
The fighting men of a great part of Scotland were 

i Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 270-1. Moysie's 
Memoirs, p, 165. Dr. George Mackenzie's History of the Mackenzies. 
Letterfearn MS. 


accordingly summoned, by proclamation, dated the 2nd 
of April, to meet his Majesty, part of them at Dunbar- 
ton, on the 10th of July, and the remainder at Kintyre, 
two days later. The boatmen of the Clyde and adja- 
cent coasts were ordered to have their vessels ready by 
that time, to convey the army, with its Royal leader, 
to the scene of operations. 1 In the course of two 
months, however, it was found out that the burghs 
already ordered to send their quotas to the expedition, 
could not furnish a sufficient number of ships or men 
to insure his Majesty's safety, and a new proclamation 
was issued affecting all the burghs of the realm. 2 Even 
this last summons failed either to bring together a suf- 
ficient force, or to overcome the natural timidity of the 
monarch; for a third proclamation, in the month of July, 
announced the total abandonment of the intended expe- 
dition, on the alleged ground of the inability of the 
lieges, from poverty, to equip themselves properly for 
the service. 3 The ridicule attending this renewed exhi- 
bition of his pusillanimity seems effectually to have 
deterred James from again proposing an expedition " in 
proper person " to the Isles. 

The next year witnessed another abortive 
attempt to reduce the Isles and adjacent 
Highlands to obedience by means of commissions of 
lieutenandry. The Lieutenants named were Lennox 
and Huntly. The commissions now granted to these 
noblemen differed materially from those they had re- 
ceived in 1599 ; for, besides that the South or Argyle- 
shire Isles were included and placed under the immediate 
charge of Lennox, whilst the North Isles (excepting 

1 Record of Privy Council, 2nd April, 1600. 

2 Ibid, 6th June, 1600. 3 Ibid, 14th July, 1600. 


the Lewis) were committed to the guardianship of 
Huntly, it was provided that the Lieutenants should try 
what their own private power and resources could effect 
in the first instance. Should it then become necessary 
to call out more than their own vassals, they were required, 
in doing so, to take the advice of the same counsellors 
nominated in their former commissions. The Lieutenants 
were also enjoined, as before, to assist the colonists, so 
that the latter might be the better able to pay their 
rent to the King, which would greatly augment his 
Majesty's rents. The powers given to the Lieutenants 
were very ample, enabling them to summon, and, in 
case of resistance, to take by force all such castles and 
fortalices as they should consider necessary to the suc- 
cess of their proceedings ; and to pursue the rebellious 
Islesmen, and the Highlanders of the mainland who 
should take part with them, with fire and sword. Par- 
dons were, at the same time, promised for all slaughters 
that might happen to be committed by them or their 
followers in carrying their commissions into effect. 
To encourage these powerful noblemen to enter with 
energy on the duties imposed upon them, it was declared 
that, if they accomplished the pacification of the Isles, 
taking proper security for the payment of his Majesty's 
rents, they should be deemed worthy of a great reward. 
And if all this were effected by their own power and 
resources, without any military service or other burden 
upon the country at large, an immediate recompense 
was promised to them. 1 Notwithstanding the induce- 
ments held out, there appears no trace of any active 
steps taken by Lennox or Huntly towards the subjec- 
tion of the rebellious Islesmen. 

1 Eecord of Privy Council, 16th June, 1601 . 

1601.] FEUD IN SKY. 295 

The attention of the Government was at this time 
occupied, apart from the civilisation of the Lewis and 
Kin tyre and the general measures proposed for the 
improvement of the Isles, by a sudden quarrel, followed 
by much bloodshed and various desolating inroads, 
between the two great chiefs in the Isle of Sky, Donald 
Gorme Macdonald of Sleat, and Ruari Macleod of 
Dunvegan. Donald Gorme had married Macleod's 
sister; but, owing to some jealousy, or other cause of 
displeasure conceived against her, he repudiated that 
lady. Macleod, being informed of this, was highly 
offended, and sent a message to Donald Gorme^ desir- 
ing him to take back his wife. This the latter refused; 
and, on the contrary, set about procuring a legal divorce, 
in which he succeeded, and immediately afterwards mar- 
ried a sister of Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintaill. Mac- 
leod, in the first transports of his resentment at this 
indignity, assembled his clan and carried fire and sword 
through Macdonald's district of Trouterness, in Sky. 
The Clandonald, in revenge, invaded Harris, which 
island they laid waste in a similar manner, killing many 
of the inhabitants, and carrying off the cattle. This 
retaliation roused the Macleods to make a foray upon 
Macdonald's estate of North Uist; and, accordingly, 
they sailed from Sky towards that Island ; and, on arriv- 
ing there, the chief sent his kinsman, Donald Glas 
Macleod, with forty men, to lay waste the island > and to 
bring off from the church of Kiltrynad the cattle and 
effects of the country people, which, on the alarm being 
given, had been placed there for safety. In the execu- 
tion of these orders Donald Glas was encountered by 
a celebrated warrior of the Clandonald, nearly related 
to their chief, called Donald Maclan Vic James, who 


had only twelve men with him. The Macdonalds 
behaved with so much gallantry on this occasion, that 
they routed their opponents, and rescued the cattle, 
Donald Glas and many of his men being killed. The 
chief of Dunvegan, seeing the ill success of this detach- 
ment, and suspecting that a larger force was at hand, 
returned home, meditating future vengeance. These 
spoliations and incursions were carried on with so much 
inveteracy, that both clans were brought to the brink of 
ruin; and many of the natives of the districts thus devas- 
tated were forced to sustain themselves by killing and 
eating their horses, dogs, and cats. 

At length, in the year 1601, while Ruari Macleod 
was absent, seeking assistance from the Earl of Argyle 
against his enemies, the Macdonalds invaded Macleod's 
lands in Sky in considerable numbers, wishing to force 
on a battle. The Macleods, under Alexander, the 
brother of their chief, took post on the shoulder of 
Benquhillin (a very high and rugged mountain or ridge 
of hills in Sky), and did not decline the contest. After 
a fierce and obstinate combat, in which both parties 
fought with great bravery, the Macleods were over- 
thrown. Their leader, with thirty of their choicest 
warriors, fell into the hands of the victors ; and two of 
the chief's immediate relations, and many others, were 
slain. 1 The Privy Council now interfered to prevent 
further mischief. The Marquis of Huntly, and the Earl 
of Argyle, and all others, were prohibited from giving 
assistance to either of the contending parties ; whilst 
the chiefs themselves were ordered to disband their 
forces and to quit the island in the meantime. Mac- 
leod was enjoined to give himself up to the Earl of 

1 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 244. 


, and Macdonald to surrender himself to Huntly; 
and both were strictly charged, under the penalty of 
treason, to remain with these noblemen till the contro- 
versy between them should be settled by the King and 
Council. 1 A reconciliation was at length effected 
between these chiefs, by the mediation of Angus Mac- 
donald of Isla, Maclean of Coll, and other friends; 
after which, the prisoners taken at the battle of Ben- 
quhillin were released, and ever after these clans re- 
frained from open hostility, and submitted their disputes 
to the decision of the law. 2 There is great reason to 
believe that this reconciliation was hastened by their 
dread of the progress of the colonists of the Lewis, 
after the latter had strengthened themselves by their 
alliance with Neill Macleod, the bastard. 

The settlement of the Lewis now met with a severe 
and unexpected check. The leaders of the adventurers 
who retyrned to the island with Neill Macleod, after 
procuring his pardon, and delivering up his brother 
Murdoch to justice, were the Commendator of Pitten- 
weem, the lairds of Wormestoun, Fingask, Balcolmy, and 
Airdrie. Their situation at this time was so promising, 
that they were induced to limit the exemption from rent, 
which by their contract was to last for seven years, to 
two years from the commencement of their undertak- 
ing. 3 Soon after their return, however, some injury 
done by Spens of Wormestoun to Neill Macleod em- 
broiled them once more with the latter. Wormestoun 
laid a plot to entrap Macleod, but that leader having 

1 Kecord of Privy Council, 29th June, llth and 22nd August, 

2 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 245. 

3 Record of Privy Council, 26th March, 1607. 


a similar design against Wormestoun, was upon his 
guard, and as soon as a party sent to apprehend him 
were at a sufficient distance from their camp, he at- 
tacked and routed them, with the loss of sixty of their 
number. 1 Mackenzie of Kintaill, who, since the agree- 
ment made between Neill Macleod and the colonists, 
had almost despaired of frustrating the enterprise, was 
no sooner informed of this quarrel than he hastened to 
profit by it. He had detained in captivity, for several 
years, Torinod, the younger brother of Torquil Dubh, 
and only surviving legitimate son of old Ruari Macleod 
of the Lewis. Although ordered by the Privy Council, 
in April, 1600, to produce his prisoner before them, he 
had evaded compliance, and still detained Tormod 
Macleod in custody without a warrant. Suddenly 
changing his plan, on hearing of the quarrel between 
Neill and the adventurers, Mackenzie restored this 
young man to liberty, and sent him into the Lewis, 
promising him, secretly, great assistance if he would 
attack the settlers in concert with his uncle. On his 
arrival in the island, Tormod was received with open 
arms by Neill Macleod and all the old followers of the 
lamily of Lewis, by whom he was at once acknowledged 
as their lord and master. Encouraged by the support 
he received from his clan and the other natives of 
Lewis, and guided by the advice and experience of 
Neill Macleod, who had so long been their leader, the 
young chief attacked the camp of the adventurers, 
forced it, burned the fort, killed many of their men, and 
at length forced the principal gentlemen to capitulate 
with him. on the following conditions: First, They were 

i Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 271 ; Letterfearn MS. 


to obtain from the King a remission to the Macleods for 
all their bypast offences; Secondly, They promised never 
to return to the Lewis, and agreed to give up their title 
to that island to Tormod Macleod; Lastly, For the per- 
formance of these conditions they were obliged to leave 
Sir James Spens, and his son-in-law, Thomas Mony- 
penny of Kinkell, as hostages. 1 In order to obtain the 
liberation of the hostages, who were detained 
for eight months by the Islanders, a remis- 
sion was readily granted, 2 and it is probable that the 
adventurers pretended to surrender their legal rights 
by a formal deed ; but when their object was attained 
by the release of these gentlemen, no further attention 
was paid to the capitulation. Notwithstanding their 
promise never to return, they seem only to have waited 
till their hostages were out of clanger before taking 
immediate steps for a reconquest of the island and its 
restless inhabitants. Accordingly, in the month of July 
proclamation was made, summoning the fighting men 
in most of the northern counties to meet a Royal lieu- 
tenant, probably the Marquis of Huntly, at Inverness, 
on the 20th of September, then to proceed against the 
rebels of the Lewis. 3 On the approach of harvest, 
however, this proclamation was recalled, and " the raid 
of the Lewis was delayed till the spring of the follow- 
ing year."* 

The feud between the Mackenzies and the Clan- 
ranald of Glengarry, regarding their lands in Wester 

1 Sir K. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 272; Dr. George 
Mackenzie's MS. History of the Mackenzies ; Letterf earn MS. 

2 Dr. George Mackenzie's MS. 

3 Record of Privy Council, 17th July, 1602. 
* Ibid, 15th September, 1602. 


Boss, was now renewed with great violence. On this 
occasion Glengarry appears to have been the aggressor; 
a position in which he was placed, partly by the craft of 
his opponents, partly by his own ignorance of the laws. 
The result was, that the Lord of Kintaill procured 
a commission of fire and sword against Glengarry and 
his men, by virtue of which he invaded the district of 
North Morar, belonging to Glengarry, which he devas- 
tated in the cruel manner then practised, and carried 
off all the cattle. 1 The Macdonalds did not fail to reta- 
liate by predatory excursions, in one of which they plun- 
dered the district of Applecross, which had always before 
been considered as a sanctuary. On another occasion, 
a large body of Macdonalds had landed on the coast 
of Lochalsh, vowing to burn and destroy all Mackenzie's 
lands as far as Easter Ross ; but their leader, Allaster 
MacGorrie, in whom they had great confidence, having 
separated himself with but few attendants from his main 
body, was surprised by some of Mackenzie's followers 
and killed. 

This loss so disheartened the Macdonalds that they 
returned home without performing any action of conse- 
quence. Meantime, the Lord of Kintaill went to Mull 
to visit Maclean, by whose means he hoped to prevent 
the Macdonalds of Isla from giving assistance to their 
relations in the north. In his absence, Angus Mac- 
donald, the young chief of Glengarry, desirous to 
revenge the death of his kinsman, MacGorrie, had col- 
lected all his followers, and proceeding northwards to 
Lochcarron (in which the Macdonalds now only held 
the Castle of Strone, with a small garrison), he loaded 

1 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 248 ; Record of Privy 
Council, 9th September, 1602. 


his boats with the plunder of that district, after burning 
all the houses within reach, and killing many of the 
inhabitants. The inhabitants of Kintaill and Loch- 
alsh having been drawn together in the absence of 
their chief, and encouraged by the example of his 
lady, posted themselves at the narrow strait or kyle 
which separates Sky from the mainland, intending to 
annoy the Macdonalds as much as possible on their 
^return. Night had fallen before the Macdonalds 
made their appearance; and some of Mackenzie's 
vassals, taking advantage of the darkness, rowed out 
in two boats towards a large galley of the enemy, 
which was then passing the kyle. Being allowed to 
approach within a very short distance, they suddenly 
attacked the Macdonalds with a volley of musketry 
and arrows. The latter, in their alarm crowding to 
one side of the galley, already heavily laden with their 
plunder, it overset, and the whole crew were precipitated 
into the water. Such of them as contrived to reach the 
shore were immediately despatched by the Kintaill men; 
and among the slain was the young chief of Glengarry 
himself, whose boat it was that the Mackenzies had 
happened to attack. The rest of the Macdonalds, 
hearing the alarm, and discovering their loss, returned 
on their own route as far as Strathordell in Sky, where 
they left their boats; and, proceeding on foot through 
the island to Sleat, they crossed from that district to 
Morar. Finding that Mackenzie was not yet returned 
from Mull, they sent a large party to take post in an 
island near which he must pass, so that they might 
have an opportunity of intercepting him, and thus re- 
venging the death of their young chief. This party 
was only one night in the island when the chief of 


Kintaill came past in Maclean's great galley, com- 
manded by the captain of Carneburg. At this time 
it was low ebb, and the boats of the Macdonalds were 
aground; but in order to detain them as long as pos- 
sible, the captain, suspecting whose vessels they were, 
pretended that he was going to land on the island. 
The stratagem took effect; for the Macdonalds, not to 
deter him from landing, retired from the shore and 
concealed themselves among the rocks; when suddenly 
he hoisted his sails, and bore away from the island, and 
was soon out of reach of pursuit. When Mackenzie 
came to Kintaill, he observed a number of dead bodies 
lying on the shore, and was soon informed of the suc- 
cess which his vassals 'had met with. He then collected 
his men, and laid siege to the Castle of Strone, which 
was in a short time surrendered to him, on which he 
caused it to be blown up, that it might no longer be ti 
stronghold against him and his successors. After this, 
the Clanranald of Glengarry, under Allan 
0<3 ' Macranald of Lundie, made an irruption into 
Brae Ross, and plundered the lands of Kilchrist and 
other adjacent lands belonging to the Mackenzies. 
This foray was signalised by the merciless burning of a 
whole congregation in the church of Kilchrist, while 
Glengarry's piper marched round the building, mocking 
the cries of the unfortunate inmates with the well-known 
pibroch, which has been known, ever since, under the 
name of Kilchrist, as the family tune of the Clanranald 
of Glengarry. 1 Some of the Macdonalds chiefly con- 
cerned in this outrage were afterwards killed by the 
Mackenzies; but it is somewhat startling to reflect that 

1 Letterfearn MS. ; Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 248 ; 
Reg. of Privy Seal, XCIV. 142. 

1603.] UNION OF THE CROWNS. ,303 

this terrible instance of private vengeance should have 
occurred in the commencement of the seventeenth 
century without, so far as we can trace, any public 
notice being taken of such an enormity. Eventually, 
the disputes between the chiefs of Glengarry and Kin- 
taill were amicably settled by an arrangement which 
gave the Koss-shire lands, so long the subject of dis- 
pute, entirely to Mackenzie; and the hard terms to 
which Glengarry was obliged to submit in this private 
quarrel, seem to have formed the only punishment in- 
flicted on this clan for the cold-blooded atrocity dis- 
played in the memorable raid of Kilchrist. 1 

We now approach the time when King James quitted 
his native country of Scotland to commence his reign as 
Sovereign of Great Britain. His attention was latterly 
so much occupied in preparing for his peaceable acces- 
sion to the throne of England, that the disorders in 
every part of the Highlands and Isles were allowed to 
increase to a serious height. This is evident from the 
number of complaints made to the Privy Council by the 
Lowlan.ders adjacent to the Highland line, who suffered 
severely from predatory bands of Highlanders. The 
necessity of quieting the districts nearest to the Low- 
lands must have contributed to withdraw the attention 
of the Government from the more remote clans. So 
feeble, however, were the measures pursued for this 
object, that it was not until the Clangregor, already 
under the ban of the law, had made an irruption into the 
Lennox, and, after defeating the Colquhouns and their 

1 Sir R. Gordon, ubi supra. The author of the Letterfearn MS. 
informs us that, in the discussions before the Privy Council, the Mac- 
keuzies proved Glengarry u to have been a worshipper of the C'oan, 
which image was afterwards brought to Edinburgh and burnt at the 


adherents at Glenfrune with great slaughter, had plun- 
dered and ravaged the whole district, and threatened 
to burn the town of Dunbarton, that the Government 
was roused to adequate exertions. This happened in 
February, 1603, two months before the King set out for 
London; and, as all the power of the Earl of Argyle 
and his clan, and of many other Highland chiefs, was 
required to carry into effect the proscription of the Clan- 
gregor, it is not surprising that the Islesmen should for 
some time have enjoyed a respite from Commissions of 
Lieutenandry, and similar acts of the Royal authority, 
indicating his Majesty's paternal anxiety for their refor- 
mation. 1 In particular, the expedition announced to 
proceed against the rebels of the Lewis, in order to put 
the adventurers again in possession of that island, was, 
owing to these causes, delayed for upwards of two years. 
James, however, was no sooner firmly seated on the 
English throne, than his projects for the improvement 
of the Isles, and at the same time, of his Scottish 
Crown rents, again occupied his attention, with a better 
prospect of success than formerly, from the increased 
resources now at his command. The progress which he 
made, after becoming King of Great Britain, in reducing 
the Isles and adjacent Highlands to peace and obedi- 
ence, will be detailed in the succeeding chapters. 

1 In the Vindication of the Clanranald of Glengarry, App., p. x. 
there is printed, from the Glengarry Ch. Chest, a warrant, dated llth 
May, 1602, to Donald Mac Angus of Glengarry, giving him power to 
press any Scottish vessels in the Isles, to assist him in passing "upon 
the malefactors and broken men of the Isles, perturbers of the 
quietness thairof for thair apprehension, &c.," he having previously 
received a commission for that purpose. The records, so far as the 
author's information extends, do not allude to this commission to 
Glengarry ; nor does it appear to have been carried into effect in any 



OF KINTAILL. 1603-1610. 

THE first event of consequence that occurred 
in the Isles after the departure of the King for 
England, was the apprehension and imprisonment of 
Sir James Macdonald. The proceedings of this restless 
young chief, from the year 1599 (when he made certain 
offers to the King's Comptroller,, which were approved of 
by the Privy Council) to 1603, are involved in obscurity. 
He had before that time liberated his father from the 
unnatural bondage in which the latter was held; but he 
seems to have been loath to surrender the power which 
for some time he had enjoyed in Kintyre and Isla, more 
particularly as he was popular with his clan on account of 
his victory over the Macleans at Lochgruinart. Some 
time in the year 1603, his father having received informa- 
tion that Sir James meditated another plot against 
him, caused the latter to be apprehended; and after 
detaining him some time as a prisoner, delivered him 
to Campbell of Auchinbreck, who placed him in the 
hands of the Earl of Argyle. Hitherto, the Government 

had, from the causes alluded to in the last chapter, 



neglected to interfere in this matter; but after Sir 
James had been in the private custody of Argyle for 
several months, the Earl was ordered to exhibit him 
before the Privy Council. This he did early 
in 1604, at Perth, when Macdonald was com- 
mitted prisoner to the Royal Castle of Blackness. From 
this prison, with the assistance of some of his clansmen, 
Sir James planned his escape, and would have succeeded 
but for the disclosure of his intention by some one in the 
secret, whereupon he was removed to Edinburgh Castle. 1 
Here we shall leave him for a while. About this time, 
Hector Maclean of Dowart, who, among other offences, 
had failed to pay the Crown rents for his possessions, 
was obliged to give security to the Privy Council that 
his Castle of Dowart should be delivered up to any 
person whom the King and Council should authorise to 
receive it, on twenty days' warning. 2 

In the following summer Lord Scone 
(formerly Sir David Murray), Comptroller of 
Scotland, was directed to repair to Kintyre to receive 
the obedience of the principal men of the clans in the 
South Isles, with surety for the payment of his Majesty's 
rents and duties. Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg, 
Hector Maclean of Dowart, and all the principal chiefs 
and gentlemen in the Isles, south of the point of Ardna- 
murchan together with Cameron of Lochiel, Mac- 
ranald of Keppoch, Macian of Ardnamurchan, Macian 

1 Deposition of Sir James Macdonald, 15th Jan., 1608, and in- 
dictment against him, 13th May, 1609, in Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, 
III., pp. 10, 7. Kental Books of Earldom of Argyle, and High 
Treasurer's Accounts, ad tempus. 

2 Record of Privy Council (old abstract in library of Skene, the 
original Record for the period being lost), 26th August, 1604. 


of Glenco, Stewart of Appin, Macdonald of Largie, 
and Macallaster of Loupe on the mainland were sum- 
moned to appear personally before Lord Scone at Loch- 
kilkerran (now Campbellton), in Kintyre, on the 20th 
day of July, to give their obedience, to find sureties 
for the payment of his Majesty's rents, and to bring with 
them and exhibit the title-deeds to all lands claimed by 
them in the Highlands and Isles. If any of them should 
fail to obey the proclamation, their title-deeds were at 
once to be declared null and void, and power was given 
to the Comptroller to pursue them with fire and sword 
as rebels to the King. That this might not be considered 
merely as an empty threat, the fighting men of the 
western shires and burghs were summoned to attend at 
Lochkilkerran, well armed, and with forty days' pro- 
visions, to support the authority of the Comptroller. 
Robert Hepburn, Lieutejaant of the King's Guard, was 
sent to the Isles to receive from their respective owners 
the Castles of Duny veg in Isla, and Dowart in Mull ; 
and in order to prevent the escape of the Islanders, the 
inhabitants of Kintyre and the West Isles were ordered, 
by proclamation, to deliver all their boats to this officer, 
being at the same time prohibited from using boats 
without his special licence. 1 

The Council sat at Glasgow while these acts were 
passed ; but the increasing unwillingness of the Low- 
landers to be burdened with such expeditions operated 
on this, as on former occasions, to retard, if not to frus- 
trate the plans of the Government. Angus Macdonald 
met the Comptroller in Glasgow, and presented to him 
certain offers (now lost) to be forwarded to the King ; 

1 Eecord of Privy Council (Skene Abstract), June, 1605. Had- 
dington's Collections. 


but nothing more was accomplished at this time. 1 A 
new commission, with most ample powers, was given to 
Lord Scone early in August, to enable him to carry 
his former commission into effect. 2 It was not, how- 
ever, till the month of September that this nobleman 
reached Kintyre, when he held a court similar to that 
held in the same place by the Commendator of Pitten- 
weem in 1596. This court, after all these preparations, 
was only attended by Angus Macdonald and his relations 
and vassals in Kintyre, particularly the Macallasters, 
Macneills, Mackays, and Maceacherns; nor does it 
appear that Lord Scone was able either to compel the 
attendance of the more distant chiefs or to punish 
them for their contumacy. He made a roll of the 
King's lands in Kintyre, and of the occupiers of such 
of the lands as were not waste; and it is worthy of 
remark, that, in the nine years which had elapsed 
since a like roll was made by the Commendator of Pit- 
tenweem, the waste lands had considerably increased. 3 
He succeeded also in procuring from Angus Macdonald 
payment of all the arrears of rent due by that chief, both 
for his lands in Kintyre and in Isla; and, on his departure, 
he took with him as a hostage for the future obedience of 
Angus, Archibald Macdonald of Gigha, a natural son of 
the latter, who was confined in the Castle of Dunbarton. 4 

1 Offers and Letter of Angus Macdonald in 1606, which mention 
the former offers alluded to in the text. See Pitcairn's Criminal 
Trials, III. 365-6. 

2 Record of Privy Council (Skene Abstract), 8th August, 1605. 

3 Out of one hundred and fifty-one and a half merk lands in 
North Kintyre, sixty-two were now waste ; and out of two hundred 
and three merk lands in South Kintyre, fifty-one were waste. See 
supra, p. 269. 

4 Original Eecord of Lord Scone's proceedings preserved in 


In the summer of this year, the Lewis adventurers, 
armed with commissions of fire and sword and other 
high powers, and assisted by some of his Majesty's 
ships, made another attempt to possess themselves of 
that island, from which they had been excluded by 
Tormod Macleod and his followers since the year 1601. 
The chiefs of the North Isles were ordered to deliver 
up their castles to such heralds or officers as should be 
sent to receive them, that they might be garrisoned in 
his Majesty's name; and in the event of their refusal, 
warrant was given to the colonists to besiege and take 
the castles by force. All proprietors of galleys and 
other vessels in the North Isles and adjacent mainland, 
were ordered to deliver them up at Lochbroom to the 
adventurers, who were empowered to seize the boats of 
such as should disobey. Lastly, the other Highlanders 
and Islanders were strictly forbidden to hold communi- 
cation of any kind with the rebels of the Lewis. 1 
Having in virtue of their commission summoned 
together a considerable force from the neighbouring 
districts, the adventurers landed in the Lewis, and im- 
mediately sent a message to Torinod Macleod, offering, 
if he would submit to them, to convey him to London, 
where they would not only obtain his pardon from the 
King, but suffer him, through his friends, to sue for his 
Majesty's favour, and for some means of subsistence. 
Much against the advice of his brother Neill, Tormod 
declined to risk a battle against the colonists and their 
forces, and yielded to the terms proposed. His brother, 
however, with those who adhered to him, still held out. 

Gen. Keg. House. Letter, Privy Council to the King, 16th March, 
1607 ; Denmylne MS., Advocates' Library. 
1 Record of Privy Council (Skene Abstract), July, 1605. 


According to their promise the adventurers sent Mac- 
leod to London, where, after a time, he made such 
progress in convincing his Majesty of the injustice of 
the grant to the Lowlanders of what was properly the 
inheritance of his nephews, that the colonists began to 
take alarm lest he should procure its recall. They there- 
fore used all their influence against him; and some of 
them being members of the Royal household, they pre- 
vailed so far that he was sent down to Edinburgh and 
imprisoned in the castle, where he lay for ten years. 
Meantime the colonists settled in the Lewis for a time, 
but were continually annoyed by the attacks of Neill 
Macleod and those who supported him. 1 

In July, 160 6, the Privy Council appointed a 
committee of its members to meet Lord Scone 
and hear the offers made through him by the Southern 
Islanders for their obedience, and for the more sure 
payment of his Majesty's rents. 2 The result of this 
conference seems to have been unfavourable to the 
Islanders; for we find that Angus Macdon aid could neither 
obtain from the Council any answers to his repeated 
petitions, nor was he permitted to go to Court to lay his 
case before the King. 5 It was undoubtedly the influ- 
ence of the Earl of Argyle that guided the Council in 
slighting these offers, and in the measures afterwards 
pursued with regard to the South Isles, as it had now 
been, for some time, his principal aim to procure for 
himself the King's lands of Kintyre. Accordingly, 
having proposed himself as a tenant for these lands, he 

1 Sir B. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 274. Letterfearn MS. 
History of Mackenzies. 

2 Record of Privy Council (Skene Abstract), 31st July, 1606. 

s Offers and Letter of Angus Macdonald, dated 8th Sept., 1606. 
Criminal Trials, III. 365-6. 




had various conferences with Lord Scone on the subject. 
In the month of November matters were so far ar- 
ranged between these noblemen, that Argyle agreed 
to take in feu, besides the lands of Kintyre, as many of 
the King's lands in the Isles as Lord Scone should 
require him to accept, paying the same yearly rent as 
was fixed in the reign of King James V.; and bound 
himself to let none of these lands to persons of the 
name of Macdonald or Maclean, without his Majesty's 
licence. 1 About this time, Sir James Macdonald, 
being informed of Argyle's proceedings, made an 
attempt to escape from Edinburgh Castle; but being un- 
successful, he was put in irons to prevent any future 
attempt of that kind. 2 Soon afterwards Archibald Mac- 
donald of Gigha, the hostage for the obedience of Angus 
Macdonald of Dunyveg, made his escape from Dun- 
barton, 3 an occurrence which was eagerly laid hold of 
by the enemies of the Clandonald of Kintyre and Isla 
to increase the general odium against that unfortunate 
tribe. The King having signified his appro- 
val of the agreement between the Comptroller 
and the Earl of Argyle, a charter was now granted to the 
latter of the lands in North and South Kintyre, and in 
the Isle of Jura, which had formerly belonged to, and 
were forfeited by, Angus Macdonald; 4 and thus did 

A. D. 1607. 

1 Original Conditions required of Argyle, with his Answers, dated 
in Nov., 1606, and preserved in the Gen. Reg. House. 

2 Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, III. 7. 

3 Letter, Privy Council to the King, 16th March, 1607 ; Denmylne 
MS., Advocates' Library. 

4 Reg. of Privy Seal, JLXXVL, fo. 88. The feu-duty, payable 
chiefly in kind, for this grant was very considerable ; but a large por- 
tion of it was permanently remitted to Argyle by Parliament in this 
year, for his services against the Clangregor. Acts of Par., IV. 379. 


the legal right to the lands of Kintyre pass from a tribe 
which had held them for many hundred years. The 
danger which was threatened to the Clandonald by the 
terms on which the Earl of Argyle had acquired their 
ancient inheritance, caused the tribe to draw together 
in arms under their chief, Angus Macdonald, who now 
began to despair of obtaining any favourable terms 
from the Government. Information was brought to the 
Council, in July, 1607, that the Clandonald and their 
rebellious associates had lately assembled a number of 
men in galleys, intending to "invade and pursue his 
Majesty's good subjects by sea and land, wherever they 
might find an advantage." If such an intention was 
really announced, the object was evidently to prevent 
the men of the western Lowland shires from leaving 
those districts to follow a Royal commissioner to the 
Isles; and this object was so far attained, that the 
inhabitants of Galloway and Carrick were ordered to 
keep themselves in readiness to defend their own shores 
from the Islanders; and the Earl of Argyle, who was 
soon after appointed Justiciar and Lieutenant over the 
South Isles, was only empowered to call out the militia 
of Argyle and Tarbert to assist him. 1 As the sheriff- 
clom of Tarbert, now merged in that of Argyle, was 
composed of Kintyre and the South Isles, the effect of 
this limitation was, that the Earl undertook this service 
with the assistance of his own vassals and friends on the 
mainland of Argyle alone, since he could not look for 
much assistance among the very people whom he was 
sent to reduce to obedience. As the governor, for the 
time, of the Castle of Dunyveg disobeyed a mandate 

1 Record of Privy Council, 31st July and 12th Aug., 1607. 


of the Privy Council, ordering him to deliver that fort- 
ress to Argyle, 1 it would appear that that nobleman was 
not prepared, with such slender means, to attempt a 
task so formidable as a siege of that place, more parti- 
cularly as his commission was only to endure for six 
months. This, therefore.; forms another to be added to 
the list of abortive attempts at the improvement of the 
Isles, which characterise so great a portion of the reign 
of James VI. 

At the same time that the Earl of Argyle received 
this commission over the South Isles, it was directed by 
the King that the Marquis of Huntly should be 
employed to reduce all the North Isles, except Sky and 
the Lewis ; and, in consequence, there ensued various 
conferences on the subject between that powerful noble- 
man and the Scottish Privy Council. The King's 
intention was that the Marquis on succeeding in the 
duty imposed upon him, should receive a grant of the 
Isles in question, to be held of the Crown in fee farm, 
for the payment of a certain rent. It was supposed, 
and justly^ that the service would be followed out with 
more alacrity on this principle, than if Huntly were 
employed as a mere officer of the Crown, with no pro- 
spect of individual advantage. At first, however, the 
Privy Council could not come to terms with the Mar- 
quis, but submitted his offers with their remarks to the 
consideration of his Majesty. In a short time the 
King's pleasure was signified to the Council, that certain 
conditions, sent direct from the Court, should be proposed 
for the Marquis' acceptance. It is scarcely credible that 
such conditions should have emanated from a King of 

1 Reg. of Privy Seal, LXXVIIL, fo. 31. 


Great Britain in the seventeenth century ; and yet there 
seems no reason to doubt that, if not originally suggested 
by James himself, they certainly received his approval. 
They were as follow: That the Marquis should under- 
take the service upon his own private means alone 
that he should conclude it within a year, and have no 
exemption from paying rent but for that space that 
he should end the service, not ly agreement with the 
country people, but l)y extirpating them that he 
should take all the North Isles, except Sky and the 
Lewis, in feu from the King, as being in his Majesty's 
hands by forfeiture of the present possession, or other- 
wise and that he should pay for these Isles such a 
rent as should be fixed by the Comptroller of Scotland, 
according to the principles observed in the rental of the 
South Isles. The Marquis of Huntly, to his shame be 
it recorded, accepted nearly all these conditions, under- 
taking to end the service, l>y extirpation of the bar- 
barous people of the Isles, within a year. He declined, 
however, to leave the fixing of the rent or feu-duty to 
the Comptroller, but offered to pay four hundred pounds 
a-year, of which three hundred were to be for Uist, and 
the remaining hundred for the other isles specified. 
This rent the Council refused to accept, as being " a 
very mean dewtie" for the isles which were to be 
granted to Huntly, but left this point to the decision of 
the King as the party chiefly concerned. 1 Before, 
however, this difference was finally settled, and the 
vassals of Huntly let loose to massacre the barbarous 

1 Record of Privy Council from 26th March to 30th April, 1607. 
Letter, Huntly to the King, dated 26th March ; and Letters, the Privy 
Council to the King, dated 26th March, 1st May, and 19th June, 1607 ; 
in Denmylne MS., Advocates' Library. 


Islesmen, the jealousy entertained by the Presbyterians 
of any increase to the power of the Marquis, who was 
an adherent of the Church of Rome, caused this enter- 
prise to be abandoned altogether. When Huntly 
appeared before the Privy Council on the 23rd of June, 
to hear the final determination of the King regarding 
the amount of rent to be paid for his grants in the 
Isles, he was, on a complaint by the more violent of the 
Presbyterians, ordered by the Council to confine himself 
within the burgh of Elgin, and a circuit of eighteen 
miles round it; and while in this durance he was enjoined 
to hear the sermons of certain Presbyterian divines, that 
so he might be reclaimed from his errors. 1 This acci- 
dent for it does not bear the appearance of a scheme 
concerted to save the Islanders seems alone to have 
prevented the reign of James VI. from being stained 
by a massacre which, for atrocity and the deliberation 
with which it was planned, would have left that of 
Glenco far in the shade. But whether the interference 
of the Presbyterians was accidental or intentional, the 
Islanders of that day owed nothing to their prince, 
whose character must for ever bear the stain of having, 
for the most sordid motives, consigned to destruction 
thousands of his subjects. 

About this time the Lewis adventurers, having sus- 
tained many annoyances from the persevering hostility 
of Neill Macleod, who seems to have been assisted by 
Macneill of Barra, the captain of Clanranald, and 
Macleod of Harris, 2 began to weary of their undertaking. 

1 Eecord of Privy Council, 23rd June, 1607. 

2 Kecord of Privy Council (Skene Abstract), loth March, Slst July 
(original), 30th Sept., 1606, and 13th August, 1607. Acts of Parlia- 
ment, IV. 278-281. 


Of the original partners., many had for some time 
withdrawn, some had died, others had spent all their 
property, and of the remainder, some had more impor- 
tant affairs to call them elsewhere. Thus reduced, and 
dispirited by the constant attacks made upon them, 
they forsook the island and returned to their homes. 
The Lord of Kintaill, who had all along wrought to this 
end, now began to stir in the matter. By means of his 
friend the Lord Chancellor, he passed under the great 
seal a gift of the Lewis to himself, in virtue of the 
resignation made formerly in his favour by Torquil 
Connanach Macleod. The surviving adventurers, how- 
ever, were not so unmindful of their own interests as 
to suffer this transaction to pass unchallenged. They 
complained to the King, who was highly incensed at 
the conduct of Mackenzie, and forced him to resign 
his right thus surreptitiously obtained. The island 
being once more, by this step and the consent of the 
adventurers, at the disposal of his Majesty, he granted 
it anew to three persons only viz., James, Lord Bai- 
rn erino, Sir George Hay of Netherliff, and Sir James 
Spens of Wormestoun. 1 We shall afterwards have 
occasion to see the result of an attempt made by these 
gentlemen to effect the settlement of the Lewis. 

After Sir James Macdonald had been put in irons, 
on his unsuccessful attempt to escape from the Castle 
of Edinburgh, he made many fruitless applications to 
the Privy Council for his enlargement. To these 
applications no answer was returned; nor would the 
Council even take them into consideration, unless by 
a special warrant from the King, which they well knew 

1 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 273-4 ; Letterfearn MS. ; 
History of Mackenzies. 


Sir James,, in his present situation, had no prospect of 
obtaining. Failing in making any impression on those 
at the head of affairs in Scotland, he attempted to open 
a correspondence with the Duke of Lennox and the 
King; but his letters were, in all probability, intercepted 
at least, no notice was taken of them. 1 In this state 
of uncertainty, and anxious to counteract as soon as 
possible the projects of the Earl of Argyle, Macdonald, 
in December, 1607, readily joined in a scheme set on 
foot by the Lord Maxwell, then his fellow prisoner, for 
escaping from their present durance. The plan was 
ably conceived and boldly executed. Maxwell made 
his escape ; but Sir James, having injured his ancle by 
leaping from the wall while encumbered with his fetters, 
was retaken near the West Port of Edinburgh, and 
consigned to his former dungeon. 2 The "treasonable 
breaking of ward," as this very natural attempt to escape 
was styled by the Crown lawyers, was represented in 
such a light to the King, that instructions were imme- 
diately issued for the trial of the unfortunate 

A. D. 1608. . J 

chief. As a preliminary step, rendered neces- 
sary by the forms of the Scottish criminal law, Sir James 
Macdonald was examined by the Lord Advocate regard- 
ing the crimes for which he was to be brought to trial. 
At this examination he justified his imprisonment of his 
father by producing a letter from the King approving of 
that act as good service ; but he denied that he had set 
fire to the house of Askomull. As to the breaking out 
of Edinburgh Castle, he avowed that he had done so ; 

1 The Letters are preserved among the Denmylne MS., Advocates' 

2 Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, III., pp. 7, 11. 

3 Kecord of Privy Council, llth Jan., 1608. 


but denied having hurt with his own hand any of the 
keepers, some of whom, were severely wounded. 1 For 
some reason which does not appear in any of the State 
papers of the time, the trial of Sir James Macdonald 
was now postponed until the month of May, 1609. 

The King, having experienced the inutility of trusting 
to the Scottish militia alone for the furtherance of his 
projects in the Isles, now determined to employ, in 
addition, some regular troops and ships of war from 
Ireland. In the month of March, 1608, this intention 
was announced to the lieges in Scotland by a proclama- 
tion, which (as a sufficient number of troops could not 
be spared from the Irish garrisons) summoned, to the 
aid of those intended to be sent, the militia of the shires 
of Dunbarton, Argyle, Tarbert, Ayr, Renfrew, and 
Galloway, directing them to meet at Isla, on the first 
of June, with the forces from Ireland. No lieu- 
tenant was yet named to have the chief authority over 
the expedition ; but it was contemplated, at this time, 
that there should be two of these officers one for the 
South, another for the North Isles. Another proclama- 
tion was made at the same time, forbidding the chiefs on 
the mainland opposite the Isles to harbour or give 
supplies to any of the Islesmen, under the highest 
penalties. The Scottish Privy Council seem to have 
neglected nothing which might tend to facilitate the 
execution of an enterprise implying so much cost 
and such lengthened preparations. They granted a 
commission to Andrew, Lord Stewart of Ochiltree, 
and Andrew Knox, Bishop of the Isles, to meet and 
confer with Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg and Hector 
Maclean of Dowart, and to receive offers from these 

1 Criminal Trials, III. 11. 


chiefs. A month later, this commission was renewed, 
with the addition of Sir James Hay of Beauly, 
Comptroller to the Commissioners, who were required 
to report the result of their conference on or before the 
20th of May. Very minute instructions were given by 
the Council as to the terms to be demanded from the 
Islanders by the Commissioners. These terms compre- 
hended Fir sty Security for his Majesty's rents; Secondly, 
Obedience to the laws by the chiefs and all their fol- 
lowers; Thirdly, Delivery by the chiefs of all "houses of 
defence, strongholds, and crannaJcs" to be placed at the 
King's disposal; Fourthly, Renunciation by the chiefs of 
all jurisdictions which they claimed, heritably or other- 
wise, and submission to the jurisdiction of sheriffs, 
bailies, justices, or other officers appointed by the 
Crown ; Fifthly, That they should be satisfied with such 
lands and possessions, and under such conditions as the 
King might appoint; Sixthly, That their whole birlings, 
lymphads, and galleys should be destroyed, save those 
required for carrying to the mainland his Majesty's rents 
paid in kind, and other necessary purposes ; Seventhly, 
That they, and such of their kinsmen as could afford it, 
should put their children to school, under the directions 
of the Privy Council ; Lastly, That they should abstain 
from using guns, bows, and two-handed swords, and 
should confine themselves to single-handed swords and 
targes. A mandate was issued ,to Angus Macdonald, 
his son, Angus Oig, and all others, keepers of the Castle 
of Dunyveg, charging them to surrender that fortress 
to the officer bearer of the mandate, within twenty-four 
hours after his arrival. At the same time, a new pro- 
clamation was made, adding to the militia formerly 
summoned to meet at Isla on the 1st of June the 


array of Edinburgh and the other southern counties, 
and of Stirling, Fife, Kinross, Perth, Clackmannan, 
and Forfarshires. This proclamation proceeded on 
the ground that the service in the Isles would be a 
great burden on those formerly charged to undertake 
it ; and that, as the whole country would benefit equally 
by the success of the enterprise, every county should 
bear its portion of the burden. This change having 
rendered delay necessary, the day of meeting at Isla 
was now postponed from the 1st of June to the 1st of 
July. 1 

The above proclamations of the Privy Council were, 
in the month of May, approved of by Parliament ; after 
an attempt, on the part of the Government, to procure a 
sum of money from the estates in lieu of their personal 
service had failed. The Parliament declared they 
were ready to serve his Majesty according to the 
proclamation; but refused to tax themselves. 2 The 
preparations for the service in the Isles seemed now 
to proceed with great vigour. Vessels were ordered to 
be in readiness to transport the Lowland militia to the 
Isles ; the enlisting of soldiers for foreign service was 
forbidden during the continuance of the present service ; 
and the burghers of the west were ordered to prepare a 
number of boats, well furnished with biscuit, ale, wine, 
beer, and other victuals, for the support of the army, to 
whom these provisions were to be sold at a reasonable 
rate for ready money. The Bishop of the Isles was sent by 
the Council to the King to ascertain finally his Majesty's 
resolutions on certain important points, and particu- 
larly in regard to a recommendation of the Council, 

1 Record of Privy Council, from 8th March to 14th April, 1608. 

2 Acts of Parliament, IV. 404. 


that only one lieutenant should be employed against 
all the Isles. A body of five hundred soldiers was 
ordered to be levied as a guard to the Lieutenant, and 
the sum of ten thousand merks was allotted for their 
monthly pay and transport. 1 

Upon the return of the Bishop from Court, it appeared 
that Lord Ochiltree was the person chosen by the King 
to act as Lieutenant over the Isles, as being a noble- 
man of whose ''fidelity, courage, and magnanimity," 
his Majesty had had sufficient proof. The King wrote 
very fully in answer to the queries proposed to him, 
enjoining particularly the appointment of a council to 
assist Lord Ochiltree, and that the Bishop should be at 
the head of this body; the other members of which, with 
one exception, were to be chosen from among the 
gentlemen summoned to attend the Lieutenant on the 
service. The remaining counsellor was to be named by 
the Comptroller, " the better to attend to all matters 
concerning the augmentation or more sure payment of 
the King's rents in the Isles." Full power was conferred 
upon Ochiltree to treat with all or any of the Islanders* 
and encourage them to obedience, according to certain, 
directions laid down, by which the King's opinion was 
to be taken in each case. Such castles and strengths 
in the Isles as the Lieutenant and his council should 
think fit, were to be garrisoned by him all the others 
were to be demolished. Provision was made for a body- 
guard of thirty men to the Bishop at the public cost, 
on account of the poverty of his see ; and while the 
King remitted to the consideration of the Privy Council 
the most proper course to be taken with regard to Sir 

1 Record of Privy Council, 21st May to 9th June, 1608; various 
Letters among Denmylne MS., Advocates' Library, ad tempus. 



James Macdonald, he gave at the same time strict in- 
junctions for the safe custody of this restless and daring 
chief. 1 The further preparations for this insular expe- 
dition were not completed till early in the month of 
August, when Lord Ochiltree, with the Scottish division 
of the forces, was joined off the island of Isla by some 
vessels and troops from Ireland under Sir William St. 
John, and the armament was, at a later period, still 
further increased by the arrival of an English galley 
and another vessel, the latter of which carried a batter- 
ing train with its necessary ammunition. The Castle 
of Dunyveg, in Isla, was delivered to the Lieutenant by 
Angus Macdonald without hesitation, along with the 
Fort of Lochgorme in the same island. The latter was 
instantly demolished ; but a garrison of twenty-four men 
was placed in the former. On the 14th of August the 
armament sailed from Isla, and on the 15th, after a 
very tempestuous voyage, reached the Castle of Dowart 
in the Sound of Mull. This fortress having been sum- 
moned in the regular manner, was surrendered by its 
proprietor, Hector Maclean of Dowart, to Lord Ochil- 
tree, by whom it was garrisoned and furnished on the 
17th. Ochiltree had previously proclaimed, that as 
Eoyal Lieutenant he would hold a court at the Castle 
of Aros in Mull, to which all the chiefs in the Isles were 
summoned, and at which he proposed, among other 
things, to carry into effect in Mull that part of his com- 
mission relating to the destruction of the lymphads, 
birlings, and Highland galleys. But in the meantime, 
having ascertained that this would be attended with great 
injustice to the Islanders, unless the galleys and other 

1 Record of Privy Council, 14th June to 9th July, 1608. 


vessels on the adjacent coasts of the mainland were 
likewise destroyed, so as to secure the Isles from moles- 
tation on the part of their neighbours, he wrote to the 
Council for further instructions on this point, requesting 
also permission to deal with the mainland castles as he 
should think proper. 1 The powers he requested were 
immediately granted to him, under a reservation which 
saved from destruction the boats and vessels belonging 
to "obedient subjects." 2 At Aros the following Isles- 
men assembled to attend the Lieutenant's court viz., 
Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg; Hector Maclean of 
Dowart; Lauchlan, his brother; Donald Gorme Mac- 
donald of Sleat; Donald Mac Allan, captain of the 
Clanranald; Ruari Macleod of Harris; Allaster, his 
brother; and Neill Macllduy, and Neill MacRuari, two 
gentlemen in Mull, followers of Maclean of Dowart; 
who all, if we may believe the report of Lord Ochiltree, 
placed themselves at his disposal without condition or 
promise. 3 It appears, however, from a contemporary 
author, that this report cannot altogether be depended 
on. According to this writer, Ochiltree conferred at 
length with the Islanders, " giving them fair words, 
promising to be their friend, and to deal with the King 
in their favour." Having taken very strict order with 
Angus Macdonald for his future obedience, he suffered 
that chief to depart home. But not finding the others 
so ready to accede to all his proposals, the Lieutenant, 
by the advice of his chief counsellor, the Bishop of the 

1 Letter from Lord Ochiltree to the Privy Council, dated at 
Dowart, in Mull, 18th August, 1608; Denmylne MS., Advocates' 

2 Record of Privy Council, 1st September, 1608. 

3 Ibid, 5th October, 1608. 


Isles, invited them to hear a sermon preached by that 
prelate on board the King's ship, called the Moon,, and 
afterwards prevailed upon them to dine with him on 
board. Ruari Macleod of Harris alone refused to enter 
the vessel, suspecting some sinister design. When 
dinner was ended, Ochiltree told the astonished chiefs 
that they were his prisoners by the King's order, and 
weighing anchor, he sailed direct to Ayr, whence he 
shortly proceeded with his prisoners to Edinburgh, and 
presented them before the Privy Council, 1 by whose 
orders they were placed in the several Castles of Dun- 
barton, Blackness, and Stirling. In the report of his 
proceedings which Ochiltree on this occasion gave in to 
the Privy Council, he assigned the lateness of the season 
as an excuse for his not having proceeded against Mac- 
neill of Barra and Macleod of Lewis, intimating at the 
same time that the former of these chiefs was a depender 
upon Maclean of Do wart, who would answer for his 
obedience. He stated, likewise, that he had, in com- 
pliance with a letter from the Comptroller, restored to 
Maclean the Castles of Dowart and Aros, upon the 
promise of that chief to surrender them when required ; 
that he had taken surety for the delivery of the Castle 
of Mingarry in Ardnamurchan and that he had broken 
and destroyed all the galleys and other vessels he could 
find in those parts of the Isles which he visited. 2 

The imprisonment of so many powerful chiefs at one 
time afforded to the King a fairer opportunity than he 
had yet enjoyed of improving the condition of the Isles, 
in conformity with his long cherished projects ; nor was 

1 Chronicle of the Kings of Scotland, printed by the Maitland 
Club, p. 176 ; Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 113, 114. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 5th October, 1608. 


he backward in availing himself of it. The Islanders, 
also, finding themselves in his power, presented most 
humble petitions, submitting themselves entirely to his 
pleasure, making many offers in order to procure their 
liberation, and taking credit for having come willingly 
with the Lieutenant to give their obedience before the 
Privy Council. 1 A number of Commissioners, selected 
from the nobility, the prelates, and the officers of state, 
were appointed to receive the offers of the Islesmen, 
and to consult and deliberate upon all matters connected 
with the civilisation of the Isles and the increase of his 
Majesty's rents. The chief of these Commissioners 
were, the Archbishop of Glasgow, the Bishop of the 
Isles, Lord Ochiltree, and Sir James Hay of Kingask, 
Comptroller; and they entered upon the discharge of 
their duties under 'very minute instructions from the 
King, which expressly provided that, in every case, the 
result of their deliberations should be submitted for the 
approval of his Majesty. From these instructions we 
find that, although James was actively engaged in expel- 
ling most of the Irish inhabitants from Ulster, and in 
granting their lands to settlers from England and Scot- 
land, yet he now hesitated to treat, with like severity, 
the same Scottish Islanders whom in the preceding year 
he had actually proposed to extirpate. His chief 
object now seems to have been to curtail the power of 
the great proprietors, by procuring from them the 
voluntary surrender of considerable portions of the 
estates which they claimed as their inheritance. 2 In 

1 Original Petition of Donald Gorme, Maclean of Dowart, and 
the captain of Clanranald (MS., Adv. Lib., A. 2, 4, No. 17), dated 
10th November, 1608. Record of Privy Council, February, 1609. 

2 Royal Commission and Instructions for settling the affairs of 


this, as in many of his projects, which sounded well in 
theory, James was disappointed; but other suggestions 
made by him at this time, favoured as they were by 
circumstances, and followed up with zeal by the Com- 
missioners, were productive of so much benefit, that 
from this time we may trace a gradual and permanent 
improvement of the Isles and adjacent Highlands. 

In the early part of the year 1609, many 
communications took place between the Com- 
missioners for the Isles and the chiefs of the Islanders, 
as well those who remained in prison as those who 
were still at large. The offers made by the chiefs were 
carefully considered by the Commissioners; and the 
result of the deliberations of the latter was submitted 
to the King by the Bishop of the Isles, who went to Court 
as their representative. In case of resistance on the 
part of any of the Islanders to such measures as might 
be finally determined on by the Government, the most 
effectual means were taken to deprive them of shelter or 
support from the proprietors on the mainland, by bind- 
ing the latter, under heavy penalties, to oppose the 
rebels. 1 At the same time, in order probably to strike 
terror into those chiefs who were supposed to meditate 
resistance, Sir James Macdonald, who had lain so long 
in prison, was brought to trial, and condemned to death. 
The crimes charged against him were, first, his setting 
fire to the house of Askomull, and making prisoner of 

the Isles, dated 6th December, 1608, and recorded in the Books of 
Privy Council, 6th February, 1609. 

1 Record of Privy Council, 6th February to 12th May, 1609. On 
the latter day, Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg, having presented 
himself before the Privy Council, was committed to ward in the 
Castle of Blackness. 


his father, which was alleged to be " maist high and 
manifest treasoun ; '' and, secondly, the treasonable 
attempts made by him, at different times, to " break 
ward/' or escape from prison. In regard to the first 
charge, he denied the fire-raising, and produced a war- 
rant from the King approving of his conduct in appre- 
hending his father. This warrant, however, Sir James 
afterwards withdrew, and declined to use. He then 
protested that no evidence taken against him by the 
Earl of Argyle should be admitted at this trial, on the 
ground that the Earl had seized his estate, and was 
his enemy, and the enemy of his clan. Nevertheless, 
Sir James was convicted, on the evidence of his father 
and mother, not delivered in court, but transmitted in 
writing to the Lord Advocate by the Earl of Argyle, 
himself the supreme criminal judge in Scotland, from 
whom the Justice Depute who tried the case held his 
commission. The second charge that of breaking 
ward Macdonald admitted, with the exception of the 
allegation, that, in his last attempt to escape, he had 
wounded severely some of his keepers ; but the evidence 
of the latter clearly established his guilt in this particu- 
lar. A verdict of guilty was returned, by a jury com- 
posed of Lowland gentlemen of landed property, 
through their chancellor or foreman, Lord Ochiltree ; 
and after an imprisonment of nearly six years, Sir 
James was sentenced to be beheaded as a traitor, and 
all his lands and possessions were declared forfeited to 
the Crown. 1 He was then conveyed back to his former 
dungeon in the Castle of Edinburgh, where, instead of 
suffering the penalty of his treason, he was allowed to 

1 Criminal Trials, III., p. 5-10. 


linger under sentence of death for six years longer, 
until, at length, his escape put it out of the power of 
the Government to bring him to execution. It is not 
difficult to account for the lenity thus shown towards an 
individual described in the indictment against him as 
a monster of barbarity from his youth upwards, and 
actually convicted of many treasonable crimes. Allu- 
sion has been made to a warrant or letter from the 
King, approving of Sir James Macdonald's conduct in 
regard to the apprehension and imprisonment of his 
father, Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg (supra, p. 282). 
That such a warrant existed, there can be no doubt; and 
that it would not have represented his Majesty in the 
most favourable point of view, is very probable ; but the 
-precise terms of it are" now unknown. It seems 
clear, however, that the King and his advisers dreaded 
the publication of it. Hence, in return for the com- 
plaisance of the prisoner in withholding from the jury 
a document of this delicate nature, Macdonald, in 
all probability, received an assurance that it was not 
intended to carry into effect the capital part of his 
sentence. Hopes of an ultimate pardon, too, may 
have been held out ; and, on the other hand, Sir 
James must have been well aware, that, to persist in 
exposing the King, would necessarily take away the 
only chance of life yet left to him, by preventing the 
exercise of the Royal prerogative of mercy. But in 
whatever manner we may account for the fact, certain 
it is that Macdonald was not executed according to his 
sentence, and that he lay in prison until he effected his 
escape in 1615, when he once more exerted, although 
for a short time, a powerful influence over the Islanders, 
as will appear more fully in the course of the present work. 


The Bishop of the Isles, who had. early in the present 
year, been sent by the Commissioners of the Isles to 
Court, in order to communicate the result of their 
deliberations to the King, returned in the end of June, 
bearing instructions as to the course which, after a 
review of the whole subject, his Majesty considered the 
most proper to be followed. This was, that the Bishop 
of the Isles and the Comptroller should, in the present 
summer, visit and survey the Isles, being accompanied, 
both in their voyage thither and in their return, by 
Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg and Hector Maclean 
of Dowart, who were to be liberated for this purpose. 
The other chiefs and gentlemen already in prison were 
to remain in prison till the return of the Commissioners 
from their survey ; and to procure the attendance of as 
many of the remaining chiefs as possible before the 
Privy Council, the Bishop and Comptroller were to be 
empowered to give letters of safe conduct to such as 
would promise to come to Edinburgh. The Commis- 
sioners for the Isles, however, availed themselves of a 
discretionary power given to them by the King, in 
regard to the proposed survey, so as to alter materially 
the plan suggested by his Majesty. The Bishop of the 
Isles was deputed to proceed as sole Commissioner on 
this service ; and all the chiefs and gentlemen now in 
prison were liberated, on finding security to a large 
amount, not only for their return to Edinburgh by a 
certain fixed day, but for their active concurrence, in 
the meantime, with the Bishop in making the projected 
survey. Three thousand pounds were allowed to the 
latter for his expenses ; and in case any of the Islanders 
should, after the offer of a safe conduct, still refuse to 
come before the Privy Council, the Bishop was armed 


with full power to compel their obedience by the assist- 
ance of the well-disposed chiefs and their followers. 1 
The Bishop set sail on his mission about the middle of 
July, and so complete were the arrangements made, 
that, before the end of that month, almost all the prin- 
cipal Islesmen met him in the celebrated Island of 
Icolmkill or lona, and submitted themselves to him, as 
the Royal representative, in the most unreserved manner. 2 
Determined to take advantage of this unanimity, the 
Bishop held a court, in which, with the consent of the 
assembled chiefs, nine statutes of the utmost importance 
for the improvement of the Isles were enacted ; and the 
obedience of the natives to these statutes insured, as far 
as this could be done, by the bonds and solemn oaths 
of their superiors. The " Statutes of Icolmkill " deserve 
the particular attention of the lover of Highland history. 
The first statute proceeded upon the narrative of the 
gross ignorance and barbarity of the Islanders, alleged 
to have arisen partly from the small number of their 
clergy, and partly from the contempt in which this small 
number of pastors was held. To remedy this state of 
things, it was agreed that proper obedience should be 
given to the clergy (whose number, much diminished 
by the Eeformation, it was proposed to increase) that 

1 Record of Privy Council, June, 1609. 

r 2 The chiefs and gentlemen who met the Bishop at this time 
were Angus Macdonald of Dunyveg ; Hector Maclean of Dowart ; 
Donald Gorme of Sleat ; Euari Macleod of Harris ; Donald MacAllan 
Vic Ian of Ilanteram (captain of the Clanranald) ; Lauchlan Maclean 
of Coll ; Lauchlan Mackinnon of that Ilk ; Hector Maclean of Loch- 
buy; Lauchlan and Allan Macleans, brothers-german to Dowart; 
Gillespick Macquarrie of Ulva ; and Donald Macfie in Colonsay. 
Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 119. Record of Privy Council, 
27th July, 1610. 


their stipends should be regularly paid that ruinous 
churches should be rebuilt that the Sabbaths should 
be solemnly kept ; and that in all respects they should 
observe the discipline of the Reformed Kirk, as esta- 
blished by Act of Parliament. By one of the clauses of 
this statute marriages contracted for certain years were 
declared illegal; a proof that the ancient practice of 
handfasting still prevailed to a certain extent. The 
second statute ordained the establishment of inns at the 
most convenient places in the several Isles ; and this 
not only for the convenience of travellers, but to relieve 
the tenants and labourers of the ground from the 
great burden and expense caused to them through the 
want of houses of public entertainment. The third 
statute was intended to diminish the number of idle 
persons, whether masterless vagabonds or belonging to 
the households of the chiefs and landlords; for experience 
had shown that the expense of supporting these idlers 
fell chiefly upon the tenantry in addition to their usual 
rents. It was therefore enacted that no man should 
be suffered to reside within the Isles who had not a 
sufficient revenue of his own ; or who, at least, did not 
follow some trade by which he might live. With 
regard to the great households hitherto kept by the 
chiefs, a limit was put to the number of individuals of 
which each household was to consist in future, according 
to the rank and estate of the master ; and it was further 
provided that each chief should support his household 
from his own means, not by a tax upon his tenantry. 
The fourth statute provided that all persons, not natives 
of the Isles, who should be found sorning, or living at 
free, quarters upon the poor inhabitants (an evil which 
seems to have reached a great height), should be tried 


and punished by the Judge Ordinary as thieves and 
oppressors. The fifth statute proceeded upon the nar- 
rative that one of the chief causes of the great poverty 
of the Isles, and of the cruelty and inhuman barbarity 
practised in their feuds, was their inordinate love of 
strong wines and aquavite, which they purchased partly 
from dealers among themselves, partly from merchants 
belonging to the mainland. Power was, therefore, 
given to any person whatever to seize, without payment, 
any wine or aquavite imported for sale by a native 
merchant ; and if an Islander should buy any of the 
prohibited articles from a mainland trader, he was to 
incur the penalty of forty pounds for the first offence 5 
one hundred pounds for the second ; and for the third, 
the loss of his whole possessions and movable goods. 
It was, however, declared to be lawful for an individual 
to brew as much aquavite as his own family might 
require ; and the barons and wealthy gentlemen were 
permitted to purchase in the Lowlands the wine and 
other liquors required for their private consumption. 
The sixth statute attributed the " ignorance and in- 
civilitie " of the Islanders to the neglect of good educa- 
tion among the youth; and to remedy this fault, enacted 
that every gentleman or yeoman possessed of sixty 
cattle should send his eldest son, or, if he had no male 
children, his eldest daughter, to school in the Lowlands, 
and maintain his child there till it had learned to speak, 
read, and write English. The seventh statute forbade 
the use of any description of fire arms, even for the 
destruction of game, under the penalties contained in 
an Act of Parliament passed in the present reign, which 
had never yet received obedience from the Islanders, 
"- owing to their monstrous deadly feuds." The eighth 


statute was directed against bards and other idlers of 
that class. The gentry were forbidden to encourage 
them ; and the bards themselves were threatened, first 
with the stocks and then with banishment. The ninth 
statute contained some necessary enactments for en- 
forcing obedience to the preceding acts. Such were the 
statutes of Icolnikill; for the better observance of which, 
and of the laws of the realm and Acts of Parliament 
in general, the Bishop took from the assembled chiefs 
a very strict bond. 1 This bond, moreover, contained 
a sort of confession of faith on the part of the sub- 
scribers, and an unconditional acknowledgment of his 
Majesty's supreme authority in all matters both spiritual 
and temporal, according to his "most lovable act of 
supremacy." It is a fact which may appear startling 
to many, but it is not the less evident on that account, 
that the first traces of that overflowing loyalty to the 
house of Stewart for which the Highlanders have been 
so highly lauded, are to be found in that generation of 
their chiefs whose education was conducted on the high 
church and state principles of the British Solomon. 
There is no room to doubt that the chiefs who followed 
Montrose in the great civil war were actuated by a very 
different spirit from their fathers ; and it is well worthy 
of notice that this difference was produced in the course 
of a single generation, by the operation of measures 
which first began to take effect after the year 1609. 

In the month of September the Bishop appeared 
before the Lords Commissioners for the Isles in Edin- 
burgh, and presented a report of his proceedings ; but, 

i Record of Privy Council, 27th July, 1610. The statutes and bond 
were dated the 23rd and 24th August, 1609. See also Collectanea de 
Rebus Albanicis, I., p. 115-120. 


as he proposed immediately going to Court to wait upon 
his Majesty, the Report was returned to him in order to 
be shown to the King. In the meantime, until his 
Majesty's pleasure should be signified, the necessary 
measures were taken by the Lords Commissioners for 
securing a general attendance of the Islanders before 
them in the month of February following. This term 
was afterwards prolonged till the end of June, on the 
ground that the King had not as yet resolved what course 
to take for settling the affairs of the Isles. At the time 
the Bishop of the Isles returned from his survey a 
complaint was made to the Lords Commissioners by 
Maclean of Dowart, Macdonald of Isla, and other chiefs, 
against an oppressive proclamation, by which the inhabit- 
ants of the mainland of Argyle were prohibited from 
purchasing cattle, horses, or other goods, within any of 
the Western Isles. It does not appear by whom this pro- 
clamation was issued; but as it was calculated to hurt 
his Majesty's revenue from the Isles, which the tenants 
could only pay by disposing of their produce to dealers 
from the mainland, it was immediately annulled by the 
Lords Commissioners as unlawful, and all the lieges 
were strictly prohibited from interfering with the trade 
of the Isles. 1 

We have seen that about the year 1608 the Isle of 
Lewis had been granted anew to three persons Lord 
Balmerino, Sir George Hay, and Sir James Spens. The 
trial and conviction of Balmerino for high treason in 
March, 1609, effectually precluded that nobleman from 
taking any active share in the enterprise of colonising 

1 Kecord of Privy Council, 28th September, 1609, to 15th March, 
1610. Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 153. 


the island; but Hay and Spens made very extensive 
preparations for availing themselves of the Royal grant. 
With their own forces, and assisted by many of the 
neighbouring Highlanders, they invaded the Lewis, not 
only to set on foot their colony, but to apprehend, if 
possible, Neill Macleod, who still held out and opposed 
their designs. Neill was secretly encouraged by Mac- 
kenzie of Kintaill; who, however, escaped suspicion by 
sending his brother (afterwards the Tutor of Kintaill) 
to aid the colonists. Having shipped some victuals 
in Ross for the supply of the colonists, Mackenzie 
secretly procured the vessel to be seized, on her 
passage to the Lewis, by Neill Macleod; expecting 
that the adventurers, trusting to these provisions 
and disappointed, would be forced to abandon the 
island. This expectation was fulfilled; for Sir George 
Hay and Sir James Spens being unsuccessful in appre- 
hending Neill, and lacking victuals for their followers, 
were forced to quit the island and disband their forces, 
leaving, however, a small garrison in the fort of Stor- 
noway, until they should send a supply of men and 
provisions. The fort was very soon after their departure 
surprised and burned by Neill Macleod, and the garrison 
taken prisoners. These he sent home safely to Fife : 
and thus ended the last attempt made by the Low- 
landers to colonise the Lewis. Disgusted 
with their want of success, Sir George Hay 
and Sir James Spens were easily prevailed on to sell 
their title to the Lord of Kintaill, who likewise suc- 
ceeded in obtaining from the King a grant of the share 
in the island forfeited by Lord Balrnerino. 1 Having 

i Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 274 ; Reg. of Privy Seal, 
LXXIX., fo. 91 ; Letterfearn MS. 


now at length acquired a legal right to the Lewis, 
Mackenzie lost no time in asserting his claims. He 
procured from the Government a commission of fire 
and sword against the Lewismen ; l and, landing in the 
island with a large force of his clan and followers, 
speedily reduced the Islanders to obedience, with the 
exception of Neill Macleod and a few of his followers. 
As the Siol Torquil never after this succeeded in 
making head in the Lewis, it may be proper here to 
notice briefly the fate of such of the leaders of that 
unfortunate tribe as still survived. 

Neill Macleod, the bastard, with his nephews, Mal- 
colm, William, and Ruari (sons of Ruari Oig), and 
about thirty others, retired to an insulated rock, called 
Berrisay, on the west coast of Lewis, where they main- 
tained themselves for nearly three years. 2 Being then 
forced to evacuate this strength by the Mackenzies, 
Neill retired to Harris, where he remained for a while 
in secret, but at length surrendered himself to Ruari 
Macleod of Harris, whom he entreated to take him to 
the King in England. This the chief of Harris under- 
took to do; but when at Glasgow with his prisoner, 
preparing to embark for England, he was charged, 
under pain of treason, to deliver Neill Macleod to the 
Privy Council at Edinburgh, which he accordingly did ; 
and, at the same time, gave up Neill's son, Donald. 
Neill was brought to trial, convicted, and executed, and 

1 Record of Privy Council, 19th July, 1610. 

2 While dwelling on this rock. Neill Macleod, hoping to make his 
peace with the Government, captured a pirate vessel, commanded by 
a Captain Love, who with his crew was afterwards hanged. Criminal 
Trials, III. 100. Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 48, 49. Letter- 
fearn MS. 


died "very christianlie " in April, 1613. Donald, his 
son, being banished out of Scotland, went to England 
and remained there three years, under the protection of 
Sir Robert Gordon, Tutor of Sutherland. From Eng- 
land he afterwards went to Holland, where he died. 
After the death of Neill Macleod, the Tutor of Kintaill 
apprehended and executed Ruari and William, two of 
the sons of Ruari Oig Macleod. Malcolm, the third 
son, was apprehended at the same time, but made his 
escape, and continued to harass the Mackenzies with 
frequent incursions, having allied himself to the Clan- 
donald of Isla and Kintyre, in whose rebellion under 
Sir James Macdonald, in 1615, Malcolm. MacRuari 
Macleod took a prominent part. On the suppression 
of this rebellion, he retired to Flanders, whence, in 1616, 
he made a visit to the Lewis, and there killed two 
gentlemen of the Clankenzie. He then joined Sir 
James Macdonald in Spain, and remained there till the 
return of that chief to Britain in 1620. On this occa- 
sion, Malcolm Macleod accompanied Sir James; and 
of his further history we only know that, in 1622 and 
in 1626, commissions of fire and sword were granted to 
Lord Kintaill and his clan, against "Malcolm Mac- 
Ruari Macleod." 1 Tormod Macleod, the last surviving 
legitimate son of old Ruari Macleod of the Lewis, was 
imprisoned, as we have seen, in Edinburgh Castle, in 
1605 (supra, p. 310). Here he remained for ten years, 
when the King gave him liberty to go to Holland, to the 
service of Maurice, Prince of Orange ; and he died in 
that country. His elder brother-german, Torquil Dubh, 
executed by the Mackenzies in 1597 (supra, p. 271), left 

1 Record of Privy Council, 14th November, 1622 ; 28th November, 



issue by his wife, a sister of Ruari Macleod of Harris, 
three sons, Ruari, William, and Torquil. The second of 
these seems to have died soon; and although the others 
are mentioned by Sir Robert Gordon as youths of great 
promise at the time he wrote his account of the Siol 
Torquil, they appear to have both died without lawful 
issue to inherit their claims to the Lewis, which has 
now remained for upwards of two centuries, without 
challenge, in the possession of the Mackenzies. 1 The 
representation of the ancient and powerful family of 
Macleod of Lewis devolved, on the extinction of the 
main stem, on Gillechallum Oig Macleod, or MacGille- 
challum of Rasay, whose father, Gillechallum Garve, is 
mentioned, in a charter dated 1572, as heir-male of the 
family of Lewis, failing issue male of the body of Ruari 
Macleod, then chief of the Siol Torquil. 2 

1 .Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, pp. 270-6. Criminal 
Trials, 111. 244-7. Record of Privy Council, 19th July, 1610, 2nd 
March, 1613, and 9th February, 1615. Letterfeara MS. 

2 Reg. of Great Seal, Lib. XXX1IL, No. 31. This Gillechallum 
Garve it was, who, when a child, escaped by accident, when many of 
his family were massacred. Supra, p. 212. 




THE King having signified to the Scottish 
Privy Council his approval of the Bishop's 
proceedings, and given certain general instructions for 
the furtherance of the work so well begun, six of the 
principal Islanders assembled in Edinburgh, on the 
28th of June, to hear his Majesty's pleasure declared 
to them. Maclean of Dowart, Macdonald of Sleat, 
Macdonald of Dunyveg, Macleod of Harris, the cap- 
tain of Clanranald, and Mackinnon of Strathordell, 
were those who now presented themselves before the 
Council ; and to them was joined Cameron of Lochiel, 
or (as he is styled in the record) Allan Cameron Mac- 
landuy of Lochaber. The first step taken by the 
Government was to compel these chiefs to give sureties 
to a large amount for their reappearance before the 
Council in May, 1611. The next, was to cause them 
to give their solemn promise that they should concur 
with and assist the King's Lieutenants, Justices, and 
Commissioners, in all matters connected with the Isles ; 
that they should all live together in future in peace, 
love, and amity ; and that they should follow out any 
questions that might arise among them according to 


the ordinary course of law and justice. At the same 
time a particular feud between the captain of Clan- 
ranald and Lochiel, 1 was composed by these chiefs 
" heartily embracing one another, and chopping hands 
together," in the presence of the Council, and promis- 
ing to submit their disputes to the decision of the law. 
A month later, in conformity with his Majesty's instruc- 
tions, the Bishop of the Isles received a commission for 
life, as Steward and Justice of all the North and West 
Isles of Scotland (except Orkney and Shetland), with 
the homage and service of the King's tenants in these 
bounds, and all fees and casualties pertaining to the 
offices conferred upon him. All former commissions 
of Lieutenandry over the Isles were recalled, and all 
heritable jurisdictions, real or pretended, which might 
interfere with the exercise of the Bishop's commission, 
were suspended. This prelate was likewise made con- 
stable of the Castle of Dunyveg in Isla, which it was 
arranged should be delivered over to him, or those 
having his warrant, on the 10th of August, by the gar- 
rison which Lord Ochiltree had placed in it two years 
before. 2 

The immediate result of all these pro- 
ceedings was, that, during the year 1611, the 
West Highlands and Isles were almost entirely free 
from disorders or rebellions. The struggle between the 
Mackenzies and Macleods for the Island of Lewis was 
not yet at an end ; but it was evident that the force of 
the latter clan was now broken, and that Huari Mac- 
kenzie of Cogeach, the Tutor of Kintaill (on whom, by 

1 This feud seems to have regarded the lands of Knoydert. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 8th May to 27th July, 1610; Reg. of 
Privy Seal, LXXIX., fo. 78. 


the death of his elder brother and the minority of his 
nephew, the command of the Mackenzies had lately 
devolved), had little difficulty in keeping the island 
under subjection. The ancient feud between the Mac- 
leods of Rasay and the Mackenzies of Gerloch, regard- 
ing the lands of Gerloch, which, in the last year, had 
displayed itself by mutual incursions, was brought to a 
sudden close by a skirmish, in which Gillechallum Oig, 
Laird of Rasay, and Murdoch Mackenzie, a younger 
son of the Laird of Gerloch, were slain, in the month 
of August, 1611. From this time the Mackenzies seem 
to have possessed Gerloch without interruption from 
the Macleods. 1 The Clanchameron and the Clan- 
ranald of Lochaber, under their respective chiefs, Allan 
Cameron of Lochiel and * Alexander MacRanald of 
Keppoch, instead of waging war with each other, or 
with the captain of the Clanchattan, were employed to 
assist the Earl of Argyle in suppressing a serious 
insurrection of the Clangregor. 2 Several gentlemen 
of the families of Lochiel and Keppoch refused, how- 
ever, to engage on this service; 3 which, indeed, if 
carried into effect with good will by the Highland clans 
employed, would have speedily ended in the utter ruin 
of the name of Macgregor. The year 1612 
was likewise a year of comparative tranquil- 

1 Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, pp. 276-278. Letter- 
f earn MS. 

2 Record of Privy Council, and Treasurer's Accounts, ad tempus. 
MS. History of Camerons, which narrates fully the means employed 
by Argyle to procure the assistance of Lochiel in this service. 

3 Record of Privy Council, 25th February, 1612. Many of the 
Clanchattan also, particularly the Macphersons, assisted to protect 
the Clangregor at this time. Ibid., 27th September, 1611. 


lity in the West Highlands; but the following year was 
marked by several commotions. 

The most important of these was caused 
by dissensions among the Camerons, which 
originated in the following manner. The Earl of 
Argyle, in examining, about the year 1608, his charter 
chest, discovered the title-deeds which, in the reign of 
James V., Colin, third Earl of Argyle, had acquired to 
the lands of Lochiel, through Sir John Campbell of 
Calder, who had purchased the claim which Maclean 
of Lochbuy possessed to these lands (supra, p. 126). 
The successors of the third Earl had hitherto allowed 
this claim to lie dormant, and it had in fact been for- 
gotten until the evidence of it was accidentally dis- 
covered as above-mentioned. The seventh Earl of 
Argyle, eager to extend the influence of his family, 
more particularly where this could be done at the 
expense of his rival, the Marquis of Huntly, to whose 
party the Clanchameron were attached, proceeded at 
once to avail himself of his recently discovered claim to 
the superiority of the lands of Lochiel. Having, in 
order to obviate any difficulties that might arise, pro- 
cured from Hector Maclean of Lochbuy, for a small 
sum of money, a surrender of any title that chief might 
be found to have to the lands in question, Argyle easily 
succeeded in obtaining a new charter from the King in 
his own favour. 1 He then instituted the usual legal 
process for removing Allan Cameron of Lochiel and 
his clan from that part of their possessions, much to 
the astonishment of Allan, who had never been led 
to suspect any defect in the title-deeds under which 

1 Eeg. of Privy Seal, LXXVIL, fo. 65. 


he and his immediate predecessors had occupied the 
lands. Hastening to Edinburgh to take advice touch- 
ing this unexpected suit, Lochiel there met with the 
Earl of Argyle, who prevailed on him to submit the 
question to the decision of the lawyers of both parties. 
That decision was in favour of the Earl, from whom 
by agreement Lochiel then took a charter of the lands 
in dispute, to be held by him as a vassal of Argyle. 
The Marquis of Huntly, who was then superior of a 
great part of Lochaber, and from whom Lochiel held 
Mamore and other lands, was highly offended that 
Argyle should so easily have obtained a footing in that 
district ; and he endeavoured, by all means, to prevail 
on Lochiel to violate the agreement he had lately 
entered into. To this demand, Lochiel would on no 
account consent; qualifying his refusal, however, by 
many protestations that, although he now held that por- 
tion of his estates under the Earl of Argyle, yet that his 
so doing should not affect his obedience and service to the 
Marquis of Huntly, but that he should continue as loyal 
to that nobleman's family as he and his predecessors 
had formerly been. This answer was far from satisfac- 
tory to the Marquis, who secretly resolved upon Lochiel's 
ruin; and as the easiest way to accomplish his object, 
he sought to renew the dissensions which had, in the 
minority of the present chief, caused so much bloodshed 
in the Clanchameron (supra, p. 228). The Camerons 
of Erracht, Kinlochiel, and Glennevis, and their sup- 
porters, were easily induced to embrace an offer of the 
Marquis to become his immediate vassals in those 
lands which Lochiel had hitherto held from the family 
of Huntly. Accordingly, the Marquis' eldest son, the 
Earl of Enzie, proceeding to Lochaber with a body of 


his vassals, put his adherents among the Clanchameron 
in possession of the lands of which, by the mere will of 
the Marquis, Lochiel was now deprived. On the de- 
parture of the Earl of Enzie, Lochiel appointed a 
meeting with his hostile kinsmen, at which he pretended 
that he was perfectly aware that they had been com- 
pelled by force to enter into the Marquis' plans; and 
he therefore requested them to restore the lands to him, 
when he doubted not he would be able to satisfy the 
Marquis. At first they made a verbal promise to agree 
to Lochiel's demands; but when he desired them to 
subscribe a writing to that effect, they declined, and 
pressed him to go with them to the Marquis, with whom 
they engaged to reconcile him; after which they were 
to restore his lands. "Lochiel," says our authority, 
" like ane auld subtile fox, perceiving their drift, and 
being as careful to preserve his head as they were to 
twine (separate) him from it/' promised to take the 
matter into consideration, and parted from his refrac- 
tory clansmen on apparently good terms. He then made 
another journey to Edinburgh, to consult with his legal 
advisers as to the most proper course he should pursue 
to recover his lands again. While in that town he 
received intelligence that his enemies in the clan had 
appointed a meeting, to resolve by what means they 
might have his life, and so secure themselves in their 
new possessions. Upon this he hastened to Lochaber, 
sending private notice to such as still adhered to him, 
to meet him at a certain place, on the day appointed 
for the assembling of the opposite faction, and within 
a short distance of the spot selected for the meeting of 
the latter. The chief supporters of Lochiel on this 
occasion seem to have been the Camerons of Callart, 


Strone, and Letterfinlay. Placing the most of his 
followers in ambush, Lochiel approached the rendezvous 
of his opponents with six attendants only, and sent to 
demand a conference with a like number of the other 
party. His enemies seeing Lochiel with so small a 
force, and thinking he had only just arrived in the 
country, and had had no time to collect his adherents, 
thought this a favourable opportunity for getting rid of 
him, and accordingly made towards their chief and his 
attendants,, resolving to take the lives of the whole 
party. The wary Lochiel retreated, so as to lead his 
pursuers past the wood where the ambush lay, and then, 
on a given signal, they were attacked both in front and 
rear, and routed, with the loss of twenty of their prin- 
cipal men killed (of whom Allaster Cameron of Glen- 
nevis was one), and eight taken prisoners. The rest 
were suffered to escape; and Lochiel then replaced 
himself in possession of the disputed lands, teaching, as 
our authority quaintly observes, "ane lessone to the 
rest of his kin that are aly ve, in what forme they shall 
carry e themselves to their chief hereafter." 1 On the 
news of this proceeding which even the historian of the 
family allows was more necessary than justifiable 
reaching the Privy Council, Lochiel and his followers 
were proclaimed rebels, a price was set upon the heads 
of the leaders, and a commission of fire and sword 
was given to the Marquis of Huntly and the Gordons 

1 Original State Paper in Gen. Eeg. House, titled " James 
Primrois' Information anent the His and Hielandis, Sept., 1613." 
(Primrose was then Clerk to the Privy Council.) Record of Privy 
Council, December, 1613 ; July, 1617. Reg. of Privy Seal, LXXXIL, 
fo. 285. 


for their pursuit and apprehension. 1 The Clancham- 
eron, or at least that division of it which had followed 
Lochiel in the late quarrel, continued for several years 
in a state of outlawry ; but through the influence of the 
Earl of Argyle, it seems to have suffered less than the 
Clangregor in circumstances nearly similar. 2 

The next commotion, in point of importance, which 
occurred in the west in this year, proceeded from a 
dispute among the Macneills of Barra. Ruari Mac- 
neill, the chief of that clan, had several sons by a lady 
of the family of Maclean, with whom, according to an 
ancient practice not then altogether disused in the Isles, 
he had handfasted, instead of marrying her. Having 
afterwards married a sister of the captain of the Clan- 
ranald, his nearest neighbour, his sons by that lady 
were generally considered as his only legitimate sons, to 
the exclusion of the senior family. The latter, how- 
ever maintained their prior claims, until forced, by the 
influence of the captain of the Clanranald, to yield to 
their younger brothers. The eldest son of the senior 
family having been concerned in an act of piracy com- 
mitted on a ship of Bourdeaux, was apprehended by 
Clanranald in the Isle of Barra and conveyed to Edin- 
burgh, where he died before being brought to trial. In 
revenge of this, his brothers-german, assisted by Maclean 
of Dowart, seized Neill Macneill, the eldest son of the 
junior family, and nephew of Clanranald, and sent him 
to Edinburgh to be tried as an actor in the piracy of 
the Bourdeaux ship above mentioned. Of this, however, 

* l Record of Privy Council, December, 1613 ; and Denmylne MS., 
Advocates' Library, ad tempus. 
2 MS. History of the Camerons. 


he was found innocent, and liberated through the influ- 
ence of his uncle. Meantime, the surviving sons of the 
first family, thinking that their father was too partial to 
their brothers, seized the old chief and placed him in irons. 
Being charged, by the usual legal process, to exhibit 
their father before the Privy Council, theyrefused, where- 
upon, being proclaimed rebels, commission was given 
to the captain of Clanranald against them. They are 
described as great " lymmars," who never professed his 
Majesty's obedience, which induced the Council the more 
readily to arm Clanranald (who, indeed, was the only chief 
who could conveniently undertake the service) with this 
commission. 1 Clanranald seems to have used the powers 
committed to him in such a way as to secure the peace- 
able succession of his nephew to the estate of Barra on 
the death of the old chief, which happened soon after. 2 

The South Isles still continued tranquil. Angus 
Macdonald of Dunyveg, the old chief of Isla, was now 
dead, and a lease of that island, or the greater part of 
it, had been granted to Sir Ranald Macdonald (after- 
wards first Earl of Antrim), son of the well-known 
Sorley Buy,, and brother of Sir James Macdonald of 
Dunluce. It is worthy of remark, that Sir Eanald, hav- 
ing endeavoured to introduce various Irish laws and 
customs among his tenants in Isla, met with such oppo- 
sition from the natives, on the ground of these laws 
being "foreign and strange," that he was at length 

1 "James Primrois' Information anent the His and Hielandis, 
September, 1613," above quoted. Record of Privy Council, 27th 
July, 1610, 5th December, 1611, 14th January, 1613. Gen. Reg. of 
Homings, Vol. LIIL, 15th July, 1629. 

2 Gen. Reg. of Deeds, Vol. CCCCXXVII., 1st June, 1630. Reg. 
of Privy Seal, LXXXL, fo. 233. Charter in Ch. Chest of Barra, 
dated 16th May, 1622. 


compelled, by an order of the Privy Council, to forego 
all such projects. 1 The difference existing at this 
period between the Irish customs and those of the 
Hebrides, while the language of the people was almost 
identical, must have arisen from the greater progress 
made by the feudal system in the Highlands and Isles 
than in Ireland. Some months later, Sir Ranald 
MacSorley (as he was generally styled) was in treaty 
with the Scottish Privy Council, 2 probably for an heri- 
table grant of Isla ; but the renewal of the disorders in 
that island, which we shall speedily have to narrate, cut 
short this negotiation. 

Donald Gorme of Sleat, Ruari (now Sir Ruari) 
Macleod of Harris, Hector Maclean of .Dowart, and 
Donald MacAllan, captain of the Clanranald, are 
mentioned as having settled with the Exchequer in this 
year, and as continuing in their obedience to the laws. 3 
It was feared, however, that a contemplated grant, by 
the King, to Sir James Campbell of Lawers, of the 
lands of Morvern, claimed by the Macleans, would force 
that clan into rebellion. But, in that event, provision 
was made that Lawers and his chief, the Earl of Argyle, 
should reduce the Macleans to obedience at their own 
charge, or else that the lands should be given up, to be 
again at the disposal of his Majesty. 4 This transac- 
tion appears never to have been completed. 

1 "James Primrois' Information," above quoted. Collectanea de 
Rebus Albanicis, I., p. 160. 

2 Denmylne MS., Advocates' Library, 8th June, 1613. 

3 " James Primrois' Information." Record of Privy Council, 
January to July, 1613. 

4 Orig. Memorial concerning the Highlands, in the handwriting of 
Sir Thomas Hamilton, preserved in the General Register House, and 
dated 13th April, 1613. 


In the spring of the year 1614, the Castle of 
Duny veg which, for upwards of three years, 
had been held by a small garrison placed in it by the 
Bishop of the Isles, and which, from over security, was 
carelessly guarded was surprised and taken by a bastard 
son of the late Angus Macdonald, named Ranald Oig, 
and three or four of his associates. The report of this 
event being carried to Angus Oig, the younger brother 
of Sir James Macdonald of Isla, who was then living 
within six miles of the castle, he immediately sent 
round the fiery cross to collect the country people to 
assist him to recover the castle for the King. He then 
gave it in charge to his kinsman, Coll MacGillespick, 
commonly called Coll Keitache, or Left-handed, to besiege 
Ranald Oig, who, with his party, evacuated the castle 
and escaped by sea, after a siege of six days, when the 
place was immediately occupied by Coll Macgille- 
spick. 1 Ranald was afterwards apprehended in Isla by 
Angus Oig ; and when pressed to say who had advised 
him to the enterprise of taking the castle from the 
Bishop's garrison, told a very improbable story, by 
which he endeavoured to lay the blame upon one Donald 
Gorme, a bastard son of Sir James Macdonald. But 
it was observed that he destroyed a letter which he had 
previously kept concealed in his sleeve, and which, 
although he declared it to be of no importance^ he yet 
at the same time admitted was a letter not to be seen. 
For some time the castle remained in the hands of 
Angus Oig, who professed his readiness to restore it to 
the Bishop on receiving a remission for any offences 

1 Information given to the Privy Council by Sir James Macdonald, 
29th April, 1614, compared with the declarations of Angus Oig and 
others ; Denmylne MS., Advocates' Library. 


'committed by him and his supporters. It was said that 
at this time he actually offered the castle to the former 
garrison, who refused to receive it. 1 

Sir James Macdonald of Isla now presented a 
petition to the Privy Council, showing the distress and 
misery he had endured for many years past, and desir- 
ing to be liberated, and to be allowed to reside in any 
place the King might appoint, until an opportunity 
should occur of employing him in his Majesty's service. 
He offered surety for his appearance before the Council 
whenever summoned, and for his not going to Kintyre 
or Isla without licence. As Sir James was still under 
sentence of death, never having received a pardon, the 
Privy Council declined interfering, until they had 
ascertained his Majesty's pleasure. 2 Before an answer 
could have been received from Court, circumstances 
occurred which must have influenced many of the Privy 
Counsellors in Sir James' favour. Information was 
received from the Bishop of the Isles, who had gone 
to Isla to procure the surrender of Dunyveg from the 
Clandonald, that Angus Oig not only refused to deliver 
up the castle, but had provided it for a siege. Suspi- 
cion was thus excited that both Angus and his brother, 
Sir James, were privy to the original design of surpris- 
ing the castle. All the papers of the latter were seized 
suddenly by a warrant from the Council, and Sir James 
himself placed in strict confinement ; but on examining 
these papers, it appeared that ever since the surprise of 
the castle, Sir James had been advising his brother to 
give it up. A letter from Angus Oig to the Council, 

1 " Information " above cited, Denmylne MS., Adv. Lib. 

2 Letter, Council to the King, 2nd June, 1614 ; Denmylne MS. 


which Sir James had not yet had time to forward, was also 
found, offering to restore Dunyveg to the Bishop, provided 
his own conduct in apprehending his bastard brother were 
approved of. On a consideration of all these circum- 
stances, the Privy Council, in order to test the loyalty of 
Angus Gig, issued a mandate for his immediate delivery 
of the castle to the Bishop. The latter was armed at 
the same time with a commission of fire and sword, 
and a proclamation for the concurrence of the lieges, if 
he should find it necessary to attempt the recovery of 
the place by force. 1 The Clandonald, however, still 
remained in possession of Dunyveg in the month of 
August, when the Bishop, who had come to Edinburgh 
to consult with the Council, set out on another journey 
to Isla, carrying with him a conditional pardon to Angus 
Oig and his adherents, provided they gave up the for- 
tress at once. Such was the backwardness of those 
appointed to assist the Bishop, owing to the fast 
approach of harvest, that he was not able to land in 
Isla till the 19th September. He had previously, while 
in Arran making his preparations, sent messengers to 
Tsla with the pardon ; but the Clandonald refused to 
surrender the castle, unless to himself personally, and 
upon receiving in writing a promise of his friendship 
to them in future. As the Bishop had formerly incurred 
much blame for keeping so insufficient a garrison in this 
important place, he was now anxious to redeem his fault, 
and, against his better judgment, he proceeded to Isla 
with a very insufficient force. He had with him only 
seventy men, of whom fifty were soldiers hired at his own 
expense, and the remaining twenty were vassals of Sir 

1 Minutes of Council Proceedings, Denmylne MS., Advocates 
Library, 9th June, 1614. 


Aulay MacAulay of Ardincaple. Of the great chiefs 
in the Isles, Donald Gorme of Sleat was the only one 
who gave the Bishop any support ; but as he was on his 
way home from Edinburgh, after transacting business 
with the Privy Council, he had with him only a small 
personal escort. It was thought, however, that his 
influence with the Clandonald of Isla would facilitate 
the surrender of Dunyveg, and prevent further incon- 
venience. Before leaving Arran, the Bishop despatched 
the chief of Sleat and Sir Aulay MacAulay to warn 
Angus Oig of his approach ; and, on his way to Isla, 
he was joined by many of the Clandonald, who professed 
their readiness to support him. On the morning of the 
21st of September, however, the Bishop was suddenly 
deserted by his new allies ; and at the same time the 
chiefs of Sleat and Ardincaple returned from Dunyveg, 
bearing an absolute refusal on the part of the garrison 
to surrender the place. The Bishop was now placed 
in a situation of peculiar difficulty. His force was too 
small to attempt anything against the Clandonald, who 
were hourly increasing in numbers ; and he dreaded 
the bad effects that might arise from his quitting the 
island without effecting his purpose, and as if driven 
from it. But his deliberations were cut short by the 
promptitude of his opponents, who contrived to seize 
and destroy his boats, four in number, and thus made 
it impossible for him to quit the island without their 
assistance. In these circumstances, the Bishop was 
compelled to enter into a treaty with Angus Oig, by 
which he promised to use his utmost endeavours to pro- 
cure for that individual a seven years' lease of the Crown 
lands of Isla (then possessed by Sir Ranald Mac- 
Sorley), for the rent of eight thousand merks. He 


also engaged to procure his Majesty's licence for trans- 
ferring the Castle of Dunyveg, in property, to Angus 
Oig; and to do his best to obtain a pardon to the 
Clandonald for all crimes committed prior to the date 
of this treaty. To secure the B performance of these 
conditions, the Bishop was forced to leave in the hands 
of Angus Oig his son, Mr. Thomas Knox, and his 
nephew, John Knox of Ranfurlie, as hostages. The 
Clandonald, on their part, promised to preserve the 
hostages from danger; and although the Bishop might 
happen to fail in procuring performance of the above 
conditions, yet if they should be satisfied that he had 
exerted himself to the utmost, they agreed to liberate 
the hostages on payment of a ransom. They likewise 
engaged to repay such sums of money as the Bishop 
should be found to have expended in procuring the 
above-mentioned lease and pardon, in the event of his 
ultimate success. 1 Matters being thus arranged for the 
time, the Bishop was left at liberty to depart; but, before 
doing so, he wrote to the Council, representing the 
danger his relatives were in, and how treacherously he 
had been deceived by the "pestiferous" Clandonald. 
He added, that he proposed remaining in Isla till some- 
thing could be done for the relief of his son and nephew. 
The conclusion of his letter deserves particular notice, 
as it serves to throw light on the secret history of the 
late events in Isla. "The Clandonald/' says the 

i Record of Privy Council, llth August and 26th October, 1614 ; 
Letters, Bishop of the Isles to Lord Binning, 4th August and 23rd 
September ; and Letters, Lord Binning to the Bishop and the Court, 
8th, 5th, and 28th September; also, Contract between the Bishop and 
the Clandonald, dated at Dunyveg, 22nd September, 1614 ; all preserved 
among the Denmylne MS., Advocates' Library. 



Bishop, " have built a new fort in a loch, which they 
have manned and victualled. Angus Oig, 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 Duny- 
veg." ! When Angus Oig was afterwards examined in 
Edinburgh, by the Lord Advocate and other officers of 
state, preparatory to his trial for high treason, he was 
asked, "upon his great oath, if he knew that any great 
man in the kingdom had anything to do with the busi- 
ness of Isla, in any shape?" To this question, Angus 
replied, that, soon after the taking of the castle, he had 
received a message from a gentleman named Malcolm 
Macneill, uncle to the Laird of Taynish, bearing that 
Macneill, being lately in company with the Earl of 
Argyle when the taking of Dunyveg was the subject 
of conversation, heard the Earl say, "that he was afraid 
Angus Oig and his friends would give up the castle ; 
and that, if they did so, it would turn to their utter wreck." 
Macneill then asked the Earl if he might acquaint Angus 
Oig with what had passed; to which Argyle replied, that 
he might do so without danger, and that he (the Earl) 
had spoken as he did on purpose that his words might 
be repeated to Angus. 2 A person of the name of 
Graham, who was afterwards employed by the Lord 
Chancellor to procure the liberation of the Bishop's 
hostages, stated that, in conversation with Angus Oig, 
the latter declared that he never meddled with the Castle 

1 Letter, the Bishop to Lord Binning, dated 23rd September, 1614. 
Denmylne MS. 

2 Third Declaration of Angus Oig, dated 23rd May, 1615. Denmylne 


of Dunyveg of his own accord, "but that he was induced 
thereto by the Earl of Argyle, and that he would justify 
this with his sword against the Earl/' l It would hence 
appear that Argyle, afraid of the Clandonald at last 
coming to terms with the Government and procuring a 
new grant of Isla, had, by various artful representations, 
induced that unfortunate tribe to rush into a new rebellion. 
This view of Argyle's policy is further corroborated by 
a passage in a letter written by an acute Scottish states- 
man to Court, in which he says, "By many it is thought 
that if good will did second the duty which they (Argyle 
and others employed in the Isles) 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 suit at 
Court for service done, how easy a matter it is to have 
some of these unhallowed people, with that unchristian 
tongue, ready to furnish fresh work for the tinker; and 
the matter so carryed as that it is impossible to depre- 
hend (detect) the plot." 2 

Far from assisting the Bishop of the Isles in obtain- 
ing performance of the conditions he had promised to 
the Clandonald, the Privy Council lost no time in pre- 
paring to reduce the rebels by force. Having received 
from John Campbell of Calder an offer of a feu-duty 
or perpetual rent for Isla, far beyond what any substan- 
tial person of his rank had ever offered before, they 
prevailed on him to accept of a commission against 
Angus Oig and his followers. This commission Calder 
undertook to prosecute at his own expense, provided 

1 Declaration of George Graham, 16th June, 1615. Denmylne MS. 

2 Letter, Sir Alexander Hay, Clerk Register, to Mr. John Murray, 
dated 21st December, 1615. Denmylne MS. 


the artillery and ammunition necessary for battering the 
Castle of Dunyveg were furnished at the public cost. 1 
The project of bestowing Isla on the Campbells was 
very ill received by the Clandonald, who began, in con- 
sequence, to treat the hostages with great severity. It 
was the opinion of the Bishop that the proposed grant, 
if carried into effect, would be the source of much 
trouble and great expense; more than all the Crown 
rents of the Isles, for many years, would suffice to pay. 
In the course of the Prelate's remonstrance against the 
grant to Calder, he observes "Neither can I, nor any 
man who knows the estate of that country (the South 
Isles), think it either good or profitable to his Majesty, 
or this 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." 
Instead of this, the Bishop advised a new plantation of 
honest men to be made in Isla, similar to what was then 
in progress in the forfeited lands of Ulster ; and recom- 
mended that this colony should be protected by a strong 
force, to be drawn from the North of Ireland and West 
of Scotland. In his anxiety to procure the liberation 
of his relatives, he openly counselled the employment of 
deceit in the dealings of the Government with the rebels 
of Isla, whom he characterised as a "false generation 
and bloody people;" and whom he appears to have 
thought it perfectly allowable to fight with their own 
weapons. 2 

1 Letter, the Privy Council to the King, dated 1st October, 1614. 
Dcnmylne MS. Archibald Campbell, brother to Lawers, and a confi- 
dential agent of the Earl of Argyle, was very active in pressing Calder 's 
suit for a grant of Isla. 

2 Letters from the Bishop to Court, llth and 23rd October, 1G14. 
Denrnylne MS. 


Roused by the intrigues of the Campbells, Sir James 
Macdonald once more sent from his prison in Edinburgh 
Castle to the Privy Council offers, for the performance of 
which he named as sureties (each under the penalty of five 
thousand merks) the Earl of Tullibardine, Lord Burley. 
Sir Ranald MacSorley, the Lairds of Macintosh and 
Grant, and John Campbell of Calder. The appearance of 
the latter as one of the proposed sureties is not a little 
singular ; but it is to be considered that lie was brother- 
in-law to Sir James Macdonald, and had probably 
succeeded up to this period in deceiving the latter as 
to his real views. Macdonald's offers were as follow: 
First, He offered a yearly rent of eight thousand merks 
for the Crown lands of Isla, and desired only a seven 
years' lease to try his obedience and that of his clan. 
But if the King should prefer keeping Isla in his own 
hands Sir James engaged, Secondly, To make the 
island worth ten thousand merks a-year ? and to transport 
himself, his brother, and his clan, to Ireland, or wherever 
the King should appoint, on receiving a year's rent of 
Isla to buy land with. He made other offers relative 
to the recovery of Dunyveg without expense, and the 
apprehension of those concerned in the taking of that 
place from the Bishop, which need not here be more 
particularly detailed. Lastly, He engaged, in the event 
of all his other offers being rejected, that if his Majesty 
would liberate him upon finding such sureties or giving 
such hostages as he might be able to do, he would 
remove himself, his brother, and all his clan out of 
the King's dominions^ seeking no conditions of lands 
or money; all that he required being a free par- 
don for past offences, a letter of recommendation to 
the States of Holland, and liberty to raise men in 


Scotland for the service of the States if employed by 
them. 1 

No attention was paid to these offers ; but, on the 
contrary, the preparations for despatching Campbell of 
Calder to the Isles were hastened. Towards the end 
of October he received, after many communications 
between the King and Council, a commission of Lieu- 
tenandry against Angus Oig Macdonald, Coll Mac- 
Gillespick, and the other rebels of Isla. At the same 
time arrangements were made for bringing from the 
north of Ireland two hundred veteran soldiers and six 
cannon to meet Calder and his forces at Isla, so as to 
insure the taking of the Castle of Dunyveg. Very 
minute instructions were given to the Royal Lieutenant, 
particularly for the proper victualling of his own men 
and the forces from Ireland ; but he was urged, if pos- 
sible, to complete the service before the arrival of the 
latter, so as to save expense. He was also instructed 
to use all possible care and dexterity to get the Bishop's 
hostages out of the hands of the rebels. The usual 
proclamations enjoining the lieges to assist the Lieu- 
tenant, and forbidding them to harbour or supply the 
rebels, were issued at the same time. A free pardon 
was offered to all of the Clandonald who were not con- 
cerned in the taking of the castle, on their quitting 
Angus Oig within twenty -four hours after the procla- 
mation being made. Pardon was also offered to any 
of the rebels who should either set. one or both of the 
hostages at liberty, or give up to the Lieutenant an 
associate of equal rank with himself. A remission was 
even offered to Angus Oig, provided he gave up the 

1 Original offers, cir. October, 1614. Denmylne MS. 


castle, the hostages, and two of his associates of his 
own rank. 1 

Whilst Calder was collecting his forces, and the 
troops of Ireland were preparing to embark, the Earl of 
Dunfermline, Chancellor of Scotland, set on foot an 
intrigue for procuring the release of the son and 
nephew of the Bishop of the Isles, who still remained 
in the hands of the Clandonald. This he did, by his 
own admission, without consulting with his colleagues of 
the Privy Council. The individual employed by the 
Chancellor was a Ross-shire man named George 
Graham of Eryne, familiar with the Gaelic language, 
and who had, besides, some acquaintance with the 
leader of the rebels. Having received his instructions, 
Graham set off for Isla; and on his arrival there in the 
month of November, had an interview with Angus Oig 
Macdonald, whom he prevailed on, by producing his 
instructions, and by making free use of the Chancellor's 
name, and giving many promises on his behalf to the 
rebels, to deliver up to him both the castle and the 
hostages. Angus Oig was by similar trickery induced 
to believe that if he obeyed the wishes of the Chan- 
cellor, Graham had power to stop all proceedings on 
the part of the King's Lieutenant, whose arrival in Isla 
was daily looked for. Having gained his object, the 
liberation of the hostages, Graham, by way of assurance 

1 Record of Privy Council and Denmylne MS., 21st to 26th October, 
1614. At this time Archibald Campbell, brother to Lawers, was 
appointed Preferrer of Suits to his Majesty from such rebels in the 
Isles and Highlands as were desirous to obtain remissions, but con- 
ceived themselves precluded by legal causes from doing so, in order 
that such persons might not be forced to continue in rebellion. Ibid. 
This Archibald Campbell was Prior of Strathfillan and Bailie, under 
Argyle, of the district of Kintyre. 


that the Chancellor would perform the promises made 
in his name, and in virtue of his alleged instructions 
redelivered the castle to Angus Oig, to be held by him 
as the regular constable until he should receive further 
orders from the Chancellor. Angus was very unwilling 
to have more to do with the castle, but was at last 
persuaded by the Chancellor's subtle emissary to un- 
dertake the charge. On his asking what course he 
should pursue if, contrary to Graham's assurances, he 
should be summoned by the Royal Lieutenant to sur- 
render the place, he received from Graham strict in- 
junctions to hold it out at all hazards, till he should 
hear from the Lord Chancellor. At this time a herald 
was expected to summon the castle in form, previous to 
the commencement of the Lieutenant's operations. So 
anxious was Graham (and we may therefore presume 
his employer also) that the rebels should commit them- 
selves by violent measures, that he advised them to put 
the herald to death rather than suffer him to approach 
the castle. This crime he well knew would have 
authorised the Lieutenant to put all the garrison to the 
sword. On the approach of the herald. Graham, de- 
sirous of preventing any conference between him and 
the Clandonald, tried to persuade that official to turn 
back; but failing in this, he returned to the castle 
before the herald could reach it, and prevailed upon 
Angus Oig to disobey the summons. Not content 
with this, he caused Coll MacGillespick to treat the 
herald very roughly, and conducted himself throughout 
in a very violent and abusive manner, particularly 
towards the herald and the Prior of Ardchattan, by whom 
the latter was accompanied. Graham then took his 
departure along with the hostages, leaving the deluded 


Islanders to their fate. Hearing, on his journey, of 
the near approach of Calder's forces, he sent a written 
order to Angus Oig, renewing, as if in the Chancellor's 
name, the injunctions formerly given to retain the castle 
at all hazards. These injunctions his dupes, prejudiced 
as they were at this time against the Campbells, too 
readily followed. 1 There can be no doubt whatever 
that the Chancellor was the author of this notable plan 
to procure the liberation of the hostages, and at the 
same time to deprive the Clandonald of the benefit of 
the pardon promised to them on this account. There 
are grounds for a suspicion that the Chancellor himself 
desired to obtain Tsla. 2 although it is probable that he 
wished to avoid the odium attendant on the more vio- 
lent measures required to render such an acquisition 
available. He therefore contrived so as to leave the 
punishment of the Clandonald to the Campbells, who 
were already sufficiently obnoxious to the western 
clans, whilst he himself had the credit of procuring the 
liberation of the hostages. 

About the end of November, 3 Campbell of Calder 

1 This account of Graham's proceedings is drawn from the origi- 
nal minutes of the evidence taken on the subject in the months of 
May and June, 1615 ;' from letters of the Chancellor to Court, dated 
9th December, 1614 ; 16th March and 30th April, 1615 ; all preserved 
among the Demnylne MS. 

1 Graham certainly talked in this Avay. See particularly the evi- 
dence taken regarding Graham's conduct, 14th and 15th June, 1615. 
Denmylne MS. 

s On the 21st of this month, a charter passed the Great Seal, 
granting to John Campbell of Calder, and his heirs male, heritably, 
in feu farm, "the yle and landis of Ylay and Rynnis, and middle 
waird of Ylay, llyntassan, as weill rentallit of befoir as unrentallit." 
This charter was ratified by Parliament in 1621. Acts of Parlia- 
ment, IV., p. 675. 


arrived with his forces in the neighbourhood of Duny veg, 
and remained for fourteen days encamped on two small 
islands, waiting for the arrival of the troops and cannon 
from Ireland. Finding his provisions considerably 
diminished, while nothing had as yet been done towards 
the reduction of the island, he returned to Duntroon 
on the mainland, to procure a further supply, and to be 
in readiness to join the armament from Ireland as soon 
as he should hear of its arrival. In the middle of 
December, two days after Calder had sailed for Dun- 
troon, Sir Oliver Lambert, commander of the Irish 
forces, accompanied by Archibald Campbell, bailie of 
Kintyre (who had gone to Ireland to expedite the 
sailing of the Irish division of the expedition), cast 
anchor in the Sound of Isla. He had with him his 
Majesty's ship called the Phoenix, a pinnace called 
the Moon, a hoy to carry the ordnance, and a Scottish 
bark with provisions ; and these vessels carried a con- 
siderable number of soldiers. It was not till the 16th 
of December that Sir Oliver Lambert heard where 
Calder was, and he then despatched a messenger to 
inform the latter of his arrival. Meantime, having 
heard something of Graham's proceedings, and being 
uncertain what Calder had done in consequence, Sir 
Oliver, by the advice of Archibald Campbell, sum- 
moned the Castle of Dunyveg. This being done, Sir 
Oliver received a letter from Angus Oig Macdonald, 
bearing that had he not received a warrant from the 
Lord Chancellor and Council of Scotland to keep the 
castle for them, he would have obeyed Sir Oliver's 
summons. He offered to show his warrant to any 
person authorised by the General, and protested that 
if he were attacked by the forces under Lambert's com- 


mand, he would complain to the Privy Council. To 
this Sir Oliver replied, that he could not believe that 
the King would have sent such an expedition at that 
season of the year to reduce a place already in his 
subjection; but in order to ascertain the truth of Mac- 
donald's assertions, he sent for a copy of the warrant 
referred to by the latter. In return he received a copy 
of Graham's alleged instructions, which seemed fully 
to authorise the detention of the castle; but being 
satisfied that Graham had no proper authority for what 
he had done, 1 Sir Oliver resolved to proceed with the 
siege as soon as he should be joined by Calder. This 
junction, however, was not effected, owing to violent 
tempests and contrary winds, until the 5th of January. 
On the 6th of that month, Calder landed 
in Isla with two hundred men, and the next 
day his force was augmented by one hundred and forty 
more. On the 9th and succeeding days, he proceeded 
to invest the castle and land the ordnance. The rebels 
now began to be alarmed, and several deserted from 
the castle, and were pardoned on condition of their doing 
service against those who still held out. Ranald Mac- 
James (uncle of Angus Oig), who commanded the fort 
and island of Lochgorme, surrendered his post to the 
Lieutenant on the 21st, and, along with his son, received 
a conditional assurance of his Majesty's favour. On 
the 27th of January the cannon were all landed, and 
the battery was prepared to open on the morning of the 
1st of February. During the landing of the cannon 
and erecting of the battery, the Royal forces were fired 

1 Graham's proceedings gave great offence both to Calder and 
Sir Oliver Lambert; particularly the former. Denmylne MS., ad 


upon several times by the rebels, but owing to the fire 
being ill directed, the loss inflicted was trifling. Captain 
Crawford, one of Sir Oliver Lambert's officers, was 
wounded in the leg, and died in consequence soon after- 
wards; and one of Calder's men was killed on the 
spot. Soon after the battery opened its fire on the 
castle, a perceptible effect was produced on the garrison. 
They sent, in the course of the day, various messages to 
the Lieutenant; but their propositions not being satis- 
factory, the firing was kept up all that day. On the 
next day, the battery still playing, Angus Oig had an 
interview with the Lieutenant, when it was explained to 
him that he had been deceived by Graham ; and he 
then promised to surrender with as many as chose to 
follow him. But he had no sooner returned to the 
castle than, persuaded, as there is reason to believe, by 
Coll MacGillespick, he again absolutely refused to 
surrender. The battery was again opened, and at 
length, after many fruitless attempts to procure better 
terms, Angus and a certain number of his principal 
followers surrendered without conditions. Coll Mac- 
Gillespick and others contrived to escape, by night, 
in a boat with some difficulty; but their vessel turning 
leaky, they were obliged to run ashore in Isla, where 
six of them were afterwards apprehended and executed, 
Coll himself making his escape. On the third of 
February, Calder, having taken possession of the castle, 
held a justice court, in which fourteen of the rebels 
were tried and condemned to death, execution follow- 
ing instantly upon the sentence. Six of those who had 
held the fort of Lochgorme were also condemned. 
Angus Oig himself, and a few who were supposed to 
be privy to all his proceedings since the first seizure of 


the castle, were reserved for -examination by the Privy 
Council. The forces of the rebels were entirely dis- 
persed ; and many images connected with the Catholic 
form of worship were destroyed by the zeal of Archi- 
bald Campbell, who describes the island, at this time, 
as having no religious instructors but one poor man 
that had been left by the Bishop. It appears that 
Calder received but little assistance from the country 
people, who should, in terms of the proclamation, have 
joined him; and that neither boat nor bark came from 
the western burghs with provisions, notwithstanding the 
directions of the Council on that head. 1 

The service being thus concluded, Angus Oig and 
the other prisoners were brought before the Privy Coun- 
cil to be examined, not only regarding the original pro- 
moter of the first seizure of the castle, but as to the 
treaty between them and Graham. On the first point, 
the declarations of the prisoners went, as has been for- 
merly noticed, to fix the blame upon Argyle; 2 whilst 
their evidence on the second created a strong feeling 
against the Chancellor. Both charges, however, seem 
to have been smothered. The Chancellor denied most 
solemnly having given Graham any other instructions 
than merely to procure the release of the hostages. He 

1 Report made to the Earl of Somerset, by Archibald Campbell, of 
the progress of this expedition. Denmylne MS., 8th February, 1615. 
Said MS., 14th and 16th December, 1614. 

2 Supra, p. 354. About this time, the King, writing to Secretary 
Binning regarding George Graham, who had been sent to England 
for examination, on a complaint against him by Campbell of Calder, 
says "Whereas the said Angus Oig hath promised to reveale an 
important secrete upon some great man, if he may have assurance of 
his life ; " and urges the Secretary to ascertain the secret, if possible, 
without giving any promise or condition to Angus Oig. 


denied also having authorised him to offer any condi- 
tions to the rebels ; but a careful perusal of all the doc- 
uments connected with this affair leaves no doubt that 
the Chancellor was much more deeply implicated in 
Graham's dishonourable practices than he chose to con- 
fess. As for Graham himself, he prevaricated so grossly, 
and his statements were so much at variance, not only 
with the evidence of the rebels, but with that of Camp- 
bell of Calder and many other gentlemen of honour 
and credit, that no belief was given to his account of 
what had taken place. 1 

During the months of February, March, April, and 
May, Coll MacGillespick and others of the Clandonald 
who had escaped from Isla, together with Malcolm Mac- 
Ruari Macleod, one of the last survivors of the Siol 
Torquil, infested the western coasts, and committed 
various acts of piracy. In April, a commission of fire 
and sword against Coll MacGillespick and his asso- 
ciates was given to eight of the principal chiefs in the 
Isles ; and one of his Majesty's ships, with a pinnace, 
seem to have been employed to assist in this service. 2 
But while the Lords of the Privy Council were occu- 
pied in giving directions for the suppression of these 
pirates, and in tracing the origin of the late rebellion in 
Isla, they were astounded by the intelligence that Sir 
James Macdonald had made his escape from prison, and 
was on his way to the Isles, where his appearance could 

1 Denmylne MS., May and June, 1615. Graham actually received 
from the Chancellor 1000 merks for his services; which sum was 
repaid to his Lordship by a Royal warrant, before the nature of the 
transaction had become public. 

2 Record of Privy Council, February to April, 1516. Denmylne 
MS., ad tempus. 


not fail to prove the signal for fresh disturbances. It 
was alleged, on this occasion, by the Council, that Sir 
James dreaded the result of the inquiry in which they 
were then engaged ; and that his flight proved that he 
was really the instigator of the late rebellion. 1 But 
Sir James, in various letters written about this time, 
denied the imputation, and gave, as a reason for his 
flight, that he had heard, from the best authority, that 
Calder, when at Court making a report of his proceed- 
ings in Isla, had obtained a secret warrant, charging the 
Council, on sight of it, to order Sir James to instant 
execution on his old sentence. Sir James also stated, 
that he learned this from relations and friends of the 
Laird of Calder, and he mentioned the names of his 
informants. Knowing, as he then did, the inveteracy 
of Calder, who had so lately executed many of the 
Clandonald, he resolved once more to attempt an escape, 
as the only chance for his life. 2 

In his escape, Sir James Macdonald was assisted by 
Allaster MacRanald of Keppoch, by the eldest son of the 
latter, and the eldest son of the captain of Clanranald. 
The enterprise appears to have been very skilfully con- 
ducted. The fugitives crossed the Frith of Forth in a 
small boat, from Newhaven to Burntisland, and directed 
their course 'thence to the Highlands of Perthshire. 
On the 24th of May, a commission was given to the 
Marquis of Huntly and the Earl of Tullibardine for the 
apprehension of Sir James and his companions; and 
letters were sent with great despatch to these noblemen, 
urging them to intercept the fugitives in their passage 
through Athole or Lochaber. A reward of two thousand 

1 Record of Privy Council, 23rd and 24th May, 1615. 

2 Numerous Letters preserved in Denmylne MS., ad tempus. 


pounds was, at the same time, offered for Sir James, 
dead or alive. 1 Archibald Campbell, whom we have 
seen exerting himself so much against the Clandonald 
in Isla, was ordered to track and pursue Sir James and 
his party ; and he followed them so closely, by the wood 
of Methven and by Murthlie, to Athole, that, had he 
been certain of their route, he might have intercepted 
them at the east end of Loch Rannoch. At this time, 
the Earls of Athole and Tullibardine, coming from 
another direction, were actually in sight of Sir James ; 
but that chief having been warned of their approach, 
escaped with the gentlemen of his party on foot to the 
woods, leaving their horses and clothes behind. Some 
of their servants were apprehended, but were after- 
wards liberated by Tullibardine. A company of Kep- 
poch's clan now met their chief and Sir James Mac- 
clonald, and conducted them from Rannoch through 
Lochaber free of all risk of immediate apprehension. 
From Lochaber, Sir James and Keppoch proceeded to 
Morar and Knoydert, and thence to Sleat in Sky, where 
they had a lengthened conference with Donald Gorme. 
This chief did not join them openly himself, but a number 
of his men of Sleat followed Sir James, who sailed to 
the south in a large boat which he procured in that 
district. At the Isle of Eigg he met with Coll Mac- 
Gillespick, and such of the Clandonald as followed that 
pirate leader. The reception given to Sir James by 
his clansmen 'was very enthusiastic. He and those 
who had come with him stood in a place by themselves, 

1 Record of Privy Council, 24th May, 1615. Caldenrood in his 
MS. Church History (Advocates' Library), says, " It was thought 
Sir James Macdonald escaped not without the privity of those who 
had credit." 


whilst Coll MacGillespick's men marched round them, 
firing volleys of small arms for half an hour ; and after- 
wards every individual came forward and shook hands 
with the chief. From Eigg, being now about three 
hundred strong. Sir James and his followers sailed in 
the direction of Ma, having previously slaughtered a 
great number of cattle in the former island, to insure 
themselves a good supply of provisions. About this 
time many of the Clanian of Ardnamurchan are said 
to have joined Sir James ; and the rebellion assumed 
every day a more formidable appearance. 1 

Meantime the Privy Council were not idle in taking 
steps to repress this insurrection, before the rebels could 
have time to do much mischief; but various causes 
contributed to thwart their intentions. Of these the 
most important was the absence of the Earl of Argyle, 
who, being much pressed by his numerous creditors, 
had lately gone to England without any prospect of an 
immediate return. His brother, Colin Campbell of 
Lundy, declined, without a special warrant from the 
Earl, to undertake the responsibility of keeping the 
Earldom of Argyle clear of the rebels, or of preventing 
such of the vassals as were friendly to the Macdonalds 
from joining Sir James. The Lairds of Calder and 
Auchinbreck, 2 two of the principal gentlemen of the 
name of Campbell, were so involved in the embarrass- 
ments of their chief, that at this time they dared not 

1 These particulars regarding the escape of Sir James Macdonald, 
and his progress towards Isla, have been drawn from letters of the 
Earl of Tullibardine, Sir Ruari Macleod, Archibald Campbell, and 
Sir James himself, all preserved in that valuable collection, the Dun- 
mylne MS., Advocates' Library. See also Criminal Trials, III., pp. 

2 Sir Dougal Campbell of Auchinbreck. 



repair to Argyleshire. Indeed, Auchinbreck was actually 
imprisoned in Edinburgh on account of his engage- 
ments for Argyle. In these circumstances, the Privy 
Council wrote to the King, requesting that his Majesty 
would either order the Earl of Argyle to return instantly 
to Scotland, to take the command of his clan and 
vassals, "as being the special person of power and 
friendship in the Highlands ;" or to authorise one of 
his principal kinsmen to act for him. Calder undertook 
to keep the island of Isla and the Castle of Dunyveg 
out of the hands of Sir James Macdonald and his fol- 
lowers; and in the event of their coming to Isla, 
engaged to use his own force against them, before 
applying to the King for assistance. A reward of five 
thousand pounds was now offered for the apprehension 
of Sir James ; whilst five thousand merks each were 
offered for Keppoch and his son, and Coll MacGillespick; 
and three thousand merks each for Malcolm Macleod 
and Ranald Oig, the bastard brother of Sir James. 
All harbouring of, or dealing with the rebels, or giving 
them information, was strictly prohibited. Having 
received an answer from Court to their application regard- 
ing the Earl of Argyle, the Privy Council conferred 
for several days with the principal gentlemen of the 
Campbells, who had been summoned to Edinburgh. * 
As they were still ignorant of Sir James Macdonald's 
motions since he quitted the Isle of Eigg, and never 
suspected that he would venture into Isla where there 
were a number of Calder's men, besides the garrison of 
Dunyveg the Council and their advisers were chiefly 

1 These were the Lairds of Lundy, Calder, Auchinbreck, and 
Lawers ; the captain of Craignish, and Colin Campbell (of Aber- 
ruchill), brother to Lawers. 


occupied by their efforts to place the whole of the Isles 
and adjacent mainland, from Sky southwards to Kintyre, 
in a posture of defence, so as to deter the rebels from 
landing. Instructions were accordingly given to the 
Lairds of Auchinbreck and Ardkinlass for the defence 
of Argyle Proper, Knapdale, and Kin tyre, with three 
hundred men; to the Laird of Lochnell and Mr. Don- 
ald Campbell of Barbreck-Lochow, for the defence of 
Lorn, with all Calder's vassals not employed in Isla, 
and one hundred and fifty men out of Lorn and Glen- 
urchy; to the Lairds of Dowart, Lochbuy, Coll, and 
Mackinnon,, for the defence of the coasts from Lorn to 
the point of Ardnamurchan, with two hundred men ; 
to the Earl of Enzie, for the defence of the coast of 
Lochaber, with one hundred men; and, finally, to the 
captain of the Clanranald, Macleod of Harris, and 
Macdonald of Sleat, for the defence of their own estates, 
each with two hundred men. The ship and pinnace 
formerly prepared to act against Coll MacGillespick, 
were now ordered to pursue the rebels by sea; and the 
chiefs above mentioned were ordered to communicate 
with the commander of these vessels as frequently as 
possible. All the forces called out were enjoined to be 
at their appointed stations by the 6th of July, furnished 
with forty days' provisions, and with a sufficient number 
of boats, to enable them to act by sea if necessary. 
The Marquis of Hamilton, and the Sheriff of Bute, 
were, at the same time, ordered to keep the Isles of 
Arran and Bute clear of the rebels, and to concur with 
the Argyleshire forces when required. 1 

Scarcely had these orders and instructions been 

1 Record of Privy Council, 8th to 22nd June, 1615. Denmylne 
MS., 20th to 22nd June. At this time, Colin Campbell of Lundy, 


issued, when intelligence arrived from Isla which dis- 
concerted all the arrangements that had been made. 
Sir James Macdonald and his followers, after leaving 
the Isle of Eigg, proceeded to the south, their destina- 
tion and intentions being equally unknown to the Privy 
Council. About the 18th of June, Sir James arrived 
at the Isle of Colonsay with several hundred men, and 
there killed a number of cattle for provisions. While 
here, he built a fort on a small island in a fresh-water 
loch. Four or five days later he landed in Isla, and 
having placed a body of men in ambush about the 
Castle of Dunyveg, he contrived, by the assistance of a 
crafty native of the island, to draw the constable of the 
castle, 1 with twelve of the garrison, out of the fortress, 
and into the ambuscade. Macdonald's men made their 
appearance sooner than was intended; and, upon seeing 
his danger, the constable attempted to gain the castle. 
About one-half of his escort succeeded in reaching the 
inner gate, and closing it against the Clandonald; but 
the constable and the rest were overtaken and slain, and 
Sir James established himself in the outer court. Hav- 
ing soon afterwards made himself master of the gar- 
rison's supply of water, and taken one of the interior 
fortifications, the place was surrendered to him next 
morning. 2 It does not appear that Sir James com- 

and Sir John Campbell of Colder, received a licence to go to Court, 
to consult with Argyle regarding his debts, and their liabilities for 
him; but they were bound, under a penalty of 1,000 each, to return 
to Scotland on or before the 25th of July. 

1 The Constable was Alexander Macdougall, brother to the Xaird 
of Raray. 

2 In a letter to the Earl of Crawford, dated 3rd July, Denmylne MS., 
Sir James states his loss in this affair to have been one man and a boy 
killed, and two men slightly wounded. 


raitted any excesses on this occasion. On the contrary 
he liberated the Prior of Ardchattan and his two sons, 
although near kinsmen of the Laird of Colder, who 
were in the castle when it was taken; and he seems to 
have been satisfied with causing all Calder's followers 
to quit the island and return to Lorn. After placing a 
garrison in Dunyveg, Sir James Macdonald divided his 
force into two bodies; one of which, under himself, was 
intended to proceed to the Isle of Jura^, and the other, 
under Coll MacGillespick, to Kintyre, for the purpose 
of encouraging the ancient followers of his family to 
rise in arms and assist him. At this time the rebels 
were about four hundred strong, chiefly North Islesmen. 1 
Immediately on receiving this intelligence, the Privy 
Council wrote to the King, strongly urging him to send 
the Earl of Argyle home with all haste, to act as 
Lieutenant against the rebels. It was argued that this 
was more particularly incumbent on Argyle and his 
clan, seeing that the principal cause of the present 
disturbances, as alleged by the Clandonald, was the 
giving of Kintyre and Isla to the Earl and his relation, 
Calder. Besides when they received these grants, it 
had been settled that they were to keep their new 
acquisitions in subjection without more expense to 
Government. As artillery could not be conveniently 
carried from Edinburgh to the Isles, the King was 
requested to give directions for cannon and ammunition 
to be shipped on board the vessels already destined to 
act against the rebels, and which were at present under 

1 Letter, Hector Macneill of Taynish to Lord Binning, 26th June, 
and Letter, Sir James Macdonald to the Earl of Crawford, 3rd July, 
1615; DenrnylneMS. 


the orders of the Deputy of Ireland. 1 All the lieges 
within the sheriffdoins of Argyle and Tarbert, were 
charged by proclamation to join the forces formerly 
appointed to be in readiness under Campbell of Auchin- 
breck. That baron being liberated from prison, received 
a commission as Lieutenant against the Clandonald, 
with the chief command over the other gentlemen 
employed; but the duration of his commission was 
limited to the arrival of Argyle, which was expected by 
the 6th of August. 2 Angus Oig Macdonald, and 
several of his followers, were tried and condemned for 
high treason on the 3rd of July, and executed on the 
8th of that month. Their fate excited great com- 
miseration, which was mingled with a feeling of indig- 
nation that no steps were taken to punish the villanous 
conduct of the Chancellor's emissary, Graham. 8 

Soon after his escape, Sir James Macdonald addressed 
a number of letters, exculpatory of himself, to various 
persons of rank, with whom, when at Court as a hostage 
for his father, and afterwards during his long imprison- 
ment at Edinburgh, he had formed an acquaintance.. 
Among his correspondents, with several of whom he 
appears to have been on intimate and even affectionate 
terms, we find the Marquis of Hamilton, the Earls of 
Crawford, Caithness, and Tullibardine, and the Bishop 
of the Isles. His letters are not those of a barbarian, 
such as his indictment describes him; but, on the con- 

1 Letter, the Council to the King, and Minutes of Council proceed- 
ings, 30th June, 1615 ; Denmylne MS. 

2 Kecord of Privy Council, 30th June, 1615, and Minutes of Council 
proceedings, same date, in Denmylne MS. 

3 Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, III. 364. Calderwood's MS. Church 
History, Advocates' Library. 


trary,, indicated a mind well cultivated for the period. 
He seems to have had very good natural abilities, and, 
during his long confinement, to have become somewhat 
of a student. Even in his flight to the Highlands, 
when his mind must have been occupied with matters of 
more pressing interest, Sir James Macdonald contrived 
to carry with him a small library ; the loss of which, 
when he was so nearly surprised in Athole, caused him 
great vexation. Most of his letters breathe a spirit of 
implacable hostility against the Campbells, whom he 
characterises as a race that "craves ever to fish in drumlie 
(muddy) waters;" and he repeatedly declares that he 
will die sooner than see them possess Isla. At the same 
time, he wrote an humble petition to the Council, soli- 
citing their favourable intercession on his behalf with 
the King offering all the duty of the most loyal sub- 
ject and beseeching them not to drive him to despe- 
ration by any hasty or violent measures. It appears 
that all Sir James' letters were sent by him to the Earl 
of Tullibardine, to be forwarded to their respective 
destinations. That nobleman, however, conceived him- 
self bound to forward the whole to the Privy Council, 
who declined, so long as Sir James continued in the 
Isles along with avowed rebels, to communicate his 
petitions to the King, or to hold any communication 
whatever with him. 1 This resolution was come to 
before the Council had heard of the taking of Dunyveg 
from Calder's garrison, and was, of course, persevered 
in after that event ; so that various letters, written by 
Sir James to explain his conduct in seizing the castle, 

1 Letter, Lord Binning to the Earl of Tullibardine, 13th June, 1615 ; 
Denmylne MS. 


failed to produce any relaxation of the severe measures 
in progress against him. l 

After the Castle of Dunyveg had fallen into the hands 
of the Clandonald, Sir James added to the fortifications 
of the island of Lochgorme a bawn of turf of great 
breadth, at which one hundred and twenty men laboured 
every day till it was completed. At this time the rebels 
made many unsuccessful attempts to seize Hector Mac- 
neill of Taynish, chief of the southern Clanneill ; who, 
although he and his ancestors followed the Macdonalds 
while the latter were Lords of Kintyre,had, since the year 
1607, become a vassal of the Earl of Argyle, to whom, 
on the present occasion, he faithfully adhered. Malcolm 
Macduphie or Macfie of Coionsa}^ who had likewise, of 
late years, been compelled to hold his lands of Argyle, 
followed a different course, and joined Sir James Mac- 
donald, as the individual to whom, from the old connec- 
tion between their families, his service was properly due. 
Donald Gigach Maclan, the principal man in Jura, like- 
wise joined the Clandonald ; and the accession of these 
two chieftains augmented the force of the rebels by sixty- 
four men. From communications made by the Prior of 
Ardchattan and Archibald Campbell, his son, to the 
Secretary of State, it appears that the people of Argyle 
and Lorn refused to proceed against the rebels till the 
arrival of a Eoyal lieutenant ; and that, in the middle of 
July, there were only forty men in arms for the protection 
of that part of the country against the Clandonald and 
their abettors. Sir James, deeming the Castle of Dunyveg 
untenable, was directing all his attention to the fortifi- 

1 The letters referred to in the text, written by Sir James Macdonald 
in June and July, 1615, are preserved in the Denmylne MS. See also 
Criminal Trials, III., pp. 12-21. 


cation of the isle of Lochgorme, and another strength 
called Dunand, whilst his forces were increasing every 
day, and the men of Kintyre were now rising in arms to 
join him. Various reports were in circulation, which, in 
the absence of their chief, tended much to diminish the 
zeal of Argyle's vassals. For instance, it was confidently 
said that Sir James Macdonald had entered into a 
special bond of friendship with Donald Gorme of Sleat, 
the captain of the Clanranald, and Ruari Macleod of 
Harris; and that Hector Maclean of Dowart, if not 
actually engaged in the rebellion, had announced that, 
if he was desired to proceed against the Clandonald, he 
would not be very earnest in the service. These dis- 
heartening reports were confirmed to a certain extent 
by Ardchattan's spies, who declared to him that vassals 
of the three first mentioned chiefs formed a considerable 
part of Sir James' force ; whilst Maclean's brother had 
already taken part with the rebels in expelling Calder's 
men from Isla. 1 

A proclamation was hereupon issued by the Council, 
calling out the militia of the shires of Ayr, Renfrew, 
Dunbarton, Bute, and Inverness, in addition to those of 
Argyle and Tarbert formerly summoned ; and commis- 
sion was given to the Marquis of Hamilton and Paul 
Hamilton, captain of Arran, for keeping the Clandonald 
out of that island. The King had now determined to 
send the Earl of Argyle down as Lieutenant, not only 
to suppress the insurrection of Sir James Macdonald, 
but also to take order for the final pacification of all the 
Western Isles. His Majesty, after giving various 

1 Letters, Hector Macneill of Taynish to Lord Binning, 4th and 29th 
July ; and Letters, the Prior of Ardchattan and his son to the same, 
15th, ICth, and 29th July, 1615 ; Denmylne MS. 


necessary directions, declared it to be his will that the 
forfeitures of all those in Argyle and Kintyre, who should 
he proved to have intercommuned with or assisted the 
rebels, should belong to the Earl. The number of men, 
and the amount of stores and money to be allowed to 
the Lieutenant, and the prices to be paid by the army 
for provisions, were left to the discretion of the Council. 
Four days later, the King wrote again to the Council, to 
say that the Earl of Argyle was on his way to undertake 
the service in the Isles, and directing them to require 
of him that, as far as possible, the spoiling of the 
country might be avoided ; and that, in the pursuit of 
the rebels, no cattle, or other goods, should be taken 
forcibly by the Earl or his forces, unless from those who 
had actually taken part with the Clandonald. Such of 
the rebels as might be taken alive were to be tried by a 
jury ; and such of the tenants of Isla as had fled for fear 
of the Clandonald were to be restored to their posses- 
sions. Generally, the Earl was to be instructed so to 
proceed, "that civil manners and customs might be 
established in these Isles, and all their old barbarous 
customs utterly abolished." 1 

Having finished his fortifications in Isla, and placed 
his bastard son, Donald Gorme, as keeper of Dunyveg 
in the meantime, and until a siege should be threatened, 
Sir James Macdonald and his followers proceeded to 
Kintyre, where the King's castle at Kinloch (Campbel- 
ton) had previously been taken possession of by a 
detachment of twenty-four men, sent from Isla for that 
purpose. The rebels landed in Kintyre. four hundred 
strong, including all the " special men " of Isla, Macfie 

1 Letters, the King to the Privy Council, dated 24th and 28th July r 
and recorded in the Books of Council, 4th August, 1615. 


of Colonsay, Donald Gigach of Jura, Allaster Mac- 
Ranald of Keppoch, and a body of North Islesmen. 
Sir James now sent the fiery cross through the district 
of Kintyre, summoning all Argyle's vassals to come 
and take new charters of their lands from him. He 
was " very gladly received " by many of the Kintyre 
men; and moving northwards, towards the end of July, 
took up a position within a few miles of Tarbert, 
announcing his determination to reach that place about 
the 30th of that month. Sir Dougal Campbell of 
Auchinbreck collected with difficulty three hundred 
men to oppose the rebels if they should venture out of 
Kintyre; but his numbers were too few to admit of his 
attacking them. He wrote to the Chancellor, repre- 
senting the state of the country in alarming terms, and 
requesting a renewal of his commission (which was now 
about to expire) until the arrival of Argyle, whose 
appearance was anxiously expected. He dwelt parti- 
cularly on the backwardness of the men of Argyle and 
Lorn in joining him. Auchinbreck's commission was 
renewed accordingly; and the Privy Council, after 
thanking him for his diligence, enjoined him to be 
wary in hazarding an action with the rebels, and to 
confine his attention, in the meantime, to preventing 
them from overrunning Argyleshire. The Council 
likewise ordered the Lairds of Ardkinlass and Lochnell 
to join Auchinbreck without delay, with the men of 
Cowal and Lorn; and the immediate concurrence of 
Maclean of Dowart and his clan was ordered, if it 
should appear necessary. 1 Such good use, however, 

1 Letters, Hector Macneill and the Prior of Ardchattan's son to 
Lord Binning, 29th July; Letter, Auchinbreck to the Chancellor, 


did Auchinbreck make of what forces he had, and so 
ill-concerted were the plans of his opponents, that, 
although unmolested, and allowed to strengthen them- 
selves in Kintyre, they were, in fact, cooped up in that 
district the whole of August, and until Argyle was 
ready to attack them, early in September. 

On the 5th of August, Secretary Binning wrote in 
strong terms to the Earl of Argyle, censuring the continued 
delays of that nobleman in a matter of such vital im- 
portance. In this letter, Binning stated that although 
the Council were well assured of Auchinbreck' s fidelity, 
yet they could not but be anxious regarding the charge 
committed to that baron, on account of his own sickness, 
of the disloyalty of many of the Highlanders, and also 
through the " boldness and subtlety of the rebels, too 
able to keep their advantage of him." 1 The King in 
his last letter to the Council had, by the advice of 
Argyle, named a certain number of the Council to be 
directors and advisers to his Lordship in the execution 
of his commission of Lieutenandry. The choice of these 
directors had been left to the Earl, in order, as his 
Majesty elegantly expressed it, that he and his advisers 
" might not draw the cat-harrow, and so either hinder 
or undoe our said service." Lord Binning disapproved 
of the appointment of directors at all; and Argyle 
afterwards found cause to regret that he had not followed 
the Secretary's advice. On the 16th of August, Argyle, 
on his way from the south, had an interview with Lord 
Binning at Innerwick, and thence proceeded to Edin- 

30th July ; and Letter, the Privy Council, to Auchinbreck, 4th August, 
1615; Denmylne MS. Record of Privy Council, 4th August; Crimi- 
nal Trials, III. 23. 
1 Denmylne MS. ; Criminal Trials, III. 24. 


burgh to consult with the Privy Council. After many 
conferences, the following arrangements were made, on 
the 22nd of August, for the suppression of the rebellion 
in the west. Four hundred hired soldiers were allowed 
to Argyle, at the rate of four thousand eight hundred 
pounds monthly pay for that force, including officers. 
The Earl engaged that these troops were to muster at 
Castle Sweyn, in Knapdale, on the 2nd of September, 
from which day their pay was to commence. The 
following were the prices fixed upon to be paid by the 
Royal forces for provisions : Twelve pounds Scots for 
an ox, two pounds for a stone of butter, one pound for 
a sheep,. and a like sum for a stone of cheese. It was 
also arranged that there should be a daily communica- 
tion between the Lieutenant and the Privy Council. 
Two hundred pounds weight of gunpowder, with the 
usual proportion of lead and lint, were to be furnished 
immediately to the soldiers by the Lord Treasurer, that 
the service might not suffer by any unforeseen delay in 
the arrival of the ships from Ireland. A letter was 
written to the Lord Deputy of Ireland, requesting him 
to give orders that none of the rebels should be allowed 
to land in that country. The great chiefs in the Isles 
were enjoined to give their hearty concurrence in the 
service, according as they should be required by the 
Lieutenant; and the commission of lieutenandry given to 
the Earl of Argyle extended over Argyle, Tarbert, 
and the whole West and North Isles, and elsewhere in 
Scotland, in pursuit of the rebels, if they should fly from 
these districts. Among other clauses, it contained one 
giving him power " to take some good and solid order 
how the whole West Isles of this kingdom may be 
retained and holden under obedience." Finally, the 


usual proclamations were issued, prohibiting any sort 
of intercourse with the rebels offering pardon, on 
certain conditions, to such as should immediately 
make their submission and charging all his Majesty's 
true lieges to concur with and assist the Lieutenant. 
Matters being thus arranged, Argyle set out from 
Edinburgh for his own country, satisfied by the Coun- 
cil in all he desired regarding the service he had 
undertaken. 1 

Having made his preparations, the Earl collected his 
forces early in September at Duntroon, on Loch 
Crinan, with his vessels in two divisions, one upon the 
west, the other upon the east side of the continent, and 
within a few miles of each other. He first caused the 
proclamation of pardon, to such as should desert the 
rebels, to be made; and whilst the time prescribed was 
passing, he, by his spies, examined Sir James Mac- 
donald's camp, which was on the west coast of Kintyre, 
near to the Isle of Cara. 2 The force of the rebels was 
found to be nearly one thousand men, with a number 
of vessels, most of which were at anchor in Cara. 
Having ascertained these points, and the time for com- 
mencing his operations being arrived, Argyle detached 
two companies of the hired soldiers, under John Mac- 
Dougal of Raray, and Mr. Donald Campbell of Bar- 
breck-Lochow, with Sir John Campbell of Calder, the 
Lairds of Lochnell and Macdougall, and their followers, 
making, in all, a force of seven or eight hundred men, 

1 Letters, Lord Binning and Earl of Argyle to tlie King, 16th 
August; and the Chancellor to Mr. John Murray of Lochmaben, 
31st August ; Denmylne MS. Record of Privy Council, 22nd August, 

2 This camp was within ten miles of Tarbert by land. 


whom lie sent by sea on the west coast, with directions 
to sail straight for the place where Sir James' vessels 
lay, and, if possible, surprise them by night. Should 
they fail in this, they were directed to encamp at the 
point of Ardrissak, to wait the Lieutenant's coming 
to the east side of Kintyre with the two other companies 
of hired soldiers, under Captain Boswell, and Robert 
Campbell, captain of Dunoon, with Colin Campbell of 
Kilmichael, the Lairds of Ardkinlass, Lamont, and Mac- 
Lauchlan, and their followers, forming in all a similar 
force of nearly eight hundred men. Argyle arrived at 
Tarbert in the evening of the same day he left Duntroon; 
and was then joined by Auchinbreck, with those under 
his command. 

Sir James Macdonald, at this time, uncertain of 
Argyle's movements, had sent his uncle, Ranald, with 
three or four hundred men, to stop the passage from 
Tarbert on the east; whilst Coll MacGillespick, with 
sixty men and three boats, was sent from Cara to West 
Tarbert, to reconnoitre. Upon learning the near ap- 
proach of the division commanded by Argyle himself, the 
rebels retreated as they had advanced ; Coll MacGille- 
spick carrying with him Colin Campbell of Kilberry, and 
three or four of his followers, whom he made prisoners, 
having found them at some distance from their camp. 1 
On his way to rejoin Keppoch and his son, and Sorley 
MacJames (bastard son of the late Sir James Mac- 
donald of Dunluce), who had been left in charge of 
the vessels at Cara, Coll MacGillespick was informed 
that the Laird of Calder and those with him had 

1 Kilberry and his followers seem to have been sent out to recon- 
noitre the rebels. 


arrived in the Isle of Gigha. Being incredulous on 
this point, he pursued his course so near to that island 
that it was with difficulty he made his escape, by landing 
on the coast of Kintyre, and abandoning his boats, still, 
however, carrying his prisoners with him. He was so 
hotly pursued, that fifteen or sixteen of his men were 
killed. In the meantime, another party of Calder's 
division set out to attack the rebels in Cara ; but some 
of the Laird of Largie's men having given the rebels 
warning, by beacons, of the approach of their enemies, 
they took to flight with precipitation. Keppoch fled 
towards Kintyre, whither he was pursued by Mr. Donald 
Campbell and Lochnell, to the very south end of that 
peninsula, and escaped very narrowly with the loss of 
his vessels and some of his men ; and Sorley Mac James 
towards Isla, who in his retreat was pursued by Calder 
to within shot of the Castle of Dunyveg. The opera- 
tions on the east side of Kintyre were not less success- 
ful ; and Sir James Macdonald perceiving his followers 
to be much disordered,, forsook his camp and took to 
flight. The Laird of Ardkinlass, with four hundred 
men, was now directed by Argyle to proceed by land 
to the south end of Kintyre, to assist Calder's 
division in the pursuit of the rebels, with strict 
injunctions to follow them to Isla if they had fled 
in that direction. Ardkinlass and his party encamped 
for a night on the spot previously occupied by Sir 
James; and while there received certain information 
that Sir James had gone to the Isle of Rachlin. 
This caused a change in Argyle's plans, who now, 
with his entire division, crossed over to Jura, and 
encamped on the coast of that island, where he was 
soon afterwards joined by the ships of war from Eng- 


land. 1 About the same time he received intelli- 
gence from his spies that Sir James had come over 
from Eachlin to Isla, and collected his scattered fol- 
lowers to the number of five hundred men, with whom 
he encamped in the Binns of Isla, near to a small 
Island, called Ouersay. "Upon this Argyle, with all 
possible diligence, transported his forces to Isla, where 
he was joined by the division under Calder, and landed 
them at the harbour called the Lodoms, being allowed 
to encamp himself strongly without molestation from 
the rebels. 

Sir James finding it impossible either to resist the 
Lieutenant's forces, or to escape with his galleys to the 
North Isles, which was then his principal object, sent a 
messenger to the Earl, desiring a truce for four days, 
promising, before the expiry of that time, to surrender 
himself without conditions. To this request, Argyle 
yielded conditionally, providing Sir James gave up the 
two forts he held within twenty-four hours ; otherwise, 
the proposal of a truce would be looked upon in no 
other light than a scheme for obtaining time,, in the 
hope of a south wind arising in the meantime, which 
would give the rebels an opportunity of escaping as 
they intended. Sir James, finding himself now much 
straitened, urged Coll MacGillespick, who at this 
time had the command of both the forts, to give them 
up to Argyle ; but this Coll flatly refused to do. 

The Earl having received Sir James' answer, that 
he could not give up the forts, and being, at the 
same time, secretly assured by Coll MacGillespick 

1 These consisted of two vessels under Captains Wood and Monk, 
and a hoy which carried a battering train. 



that the latter was willing to surrender them, sent 
Campbell of Calder, Captain Boswell, and other offi- 
cers, at night, with a force of one thousand men, by sea, 
with orders either to surprise Sir James in his camp, 
or to seize his vessels. Sir James, however, through 
beacons set by the natives on the of Isla, received 
intimation of the intended attack in time to make his 
escape, along with Keppoch, Sorley MacJames, and 
forty followers, to an island called Inchdaholl, on the 
coast of Ireland. It is said that, as the party were 
going into their boats, some of the principal tenants of 
Isla earnestly besought Sir James to remain, declaring 
that, as they had hazarded all for him, and knew there 
would be no mercy shown to them, they would all dieat his 
feet. Sir James was dissuaded from following this course, 
as was reported by Keppoch; and he nowleft the Hebrides 
and his devoted clansmen, never to return. Those of his 
men who did not escape with him fled to the hills during the 
night. The next day, Coll MacGillespick surrendered 
the two forts and his prisoners, upon assurance of his 
own life and the lives of some few of his followers ; 
conditions which Argyle did not hesitate to grant, con- 
sidering the lateness of the season, the sickness of 
many of the soldiers, and the scarcity of provisions. 
Coll, likewise, in order to testify his abhorrence of his 
former behaviour, became an active partisan against 
his former associates, and crowned his treachery by 
apprehending and delivering to Argyle Macfie of Col- 
onsay, one of the principal leaders of the rebels, and 
eighteen others. This conduct soon had many imi- 
tators. jVIacfie himself, and another leader, named 
John Maclan Vor, who had also been taken prisoner, 
received a temporary assurance of their lives during 


Argyle's stay in the country, on condition of their 
doing his Majesty service against the remaining rebels. 
But on his Lordship's departure, not daring to leave 
such " remarkable ringleaders '' behind him without 
good assurance of their loyalty, he caused them to be 
presented before the Privy Council. After receiving 
the Castle of Dunyveg and fort of Lochgorme, Argyle 
succeeded in apprehending ten of the principal inha- 
bitants of Isla who had taken part with Sir James. 
These were instantly brought to trial and executed, in 
virtue of his Lordship's commission. 

Having delivered the forts in Isla to Sir John Camp- 
bell of Calder and executed nine more of the principal 
rebels, Argyle proceeded to Kin tyre, where there were 
still a number of men in arms of those who had joined 
Sir James from this district. Some of the chief of these 
he apprehended soon after his arrival; and by the 
severity of his measures^ and the number of persons 
he executed, seemed determined effectually to prevent 
any chance of a future insurrection in Kintyre. He 
left Isla for Kintyre near the end of October, and was 
still in Kintyre on the 10th of November, at which time 
he dismissed two out of the three King's ships that had 
assisted him in his operations, retaining the vessel 
called the Bran, under the command of Captain Wood. 
In the meantime, he was employed in ascertaining the 
movements of such of the rebels as had escaped, and in 
sending parties after them. Sir James was ascertained 
to be with his son, Donald Gorme, and two followers, 
concealed by some Jesuits in Galway in Ireland, by 
whose means he effected his escape to Spain, in spite 
of parties sent after him both by Argyle and the Lord 
Deputy of Ireland. Sorley Mac James, with a small body 


of men among whom were Malcolm Macleod and 
Ranald Oig, Sir James Macdonald's bastard brother 
was sheltered by his relations in the Glens and Route in 
the county of Antrim. Keppoch and his sons were 
now in Lochaber, having been sent back to Scotland 
by Sir James, with some of the Macallasters and 
Mackays of Kintyre, who had accompanied him in his 
flight from Isla. The service was not concluded until 
the middle of December (at least, the hired soldiers 
were not dismissed till that time), having occupied 
upwards of three months. 1 

The escape of so many of the principal rebels seems 
to have given the Council great dissatisfaction. Lord 
Binning, writing to Archibald Campbell in the month 
of October says " Since Sir James and his son, with 
MacRanald (Keppoch) and his son, and Glengarry's son, 2 
and MacSorley are all escaped, and Coll pardoned, I 
know not what ringleaders these are whom ye write ye 

are to bring in So long as the heads are all to 

the fore, the rebellion will never be thought quenched. 
Wherefore, I know my Lord will have such care as 

1 The detail of the proceedings has been drawn from two reports 
to the Privy Council one by Argyle himself, the other by his con- 
fidential agent, Archibald Campbell recorded in the books of 
Council, 24th November, and 21st December, 1615. Also from 
letters, Argyle to Binning, 13th and 29th October, and 7th Novem- 
ber; Archibald Campbell to Binning, 20th October; and Captain 
Wood to Binning, 2nd November, 1615; Denmylne MS. See also 
Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, III. 26. 

2 This young man had been made prisoner by Sir James and 
Keppoch in their flight from Edinburgh; had been carried along 
with them as a hostage for his father, that the latter should do 
nothing against Sir James ; and latterly, being released, had taken open 
part with the rebels. 


agreeth with his own honour and his Majesty's expec- 
tation." 1 In the commencement of November, Argyle 
was directed by the Council to dismiss his hired soldiers, 
as they conceived he had now no further use for themr 
But being of a different opinion, he, at his own risk, 
retained them on service a month and a half longer 
his reasons for which he gave in a letter to Lord 
Binning, in which he expressed his assurance, that 
when he came to make a report of his proceedings, the 
Council would approve of what he had done. In this 
letter the following remarkable passage occurs: "My 
Lord, I thank God that the suppression of this rebel- 
lion was in time; for, on my credit, if it had been 
twenty days longer protracted, few of my countrymen, 
betwixt Tarbert and Inverary, had proven good subjects : 
much less could there have been any good expected 
of further remote places, where there was no true obe- 
dience to his Majesty at all." 3 

On the 24th of November, an interim report of 
Argyle's proceedings was given in by Archibald Camp- 
bell, in name of the Earl of Argyle, at which time 
Macfie of Colonsay was presented before the Council. 
About a month afterwards, Argyle in person made a 
full report to the Council. His conduct generally was 
approved of, except in the retaining of the hired soldiers 
after the commencement of November; and the Earl 
was thus obliged to pay from his own resources upwards 
of seven thousand pounds, being the pay of these troops 

1 Dated cir. 16th October; Denmylne MS.; Criminal Trials, 
III. 23. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 4th November; Letter, Binning to 
Argyle, 25th October, 1615. 

3 Dated 7th November, Denmylne MS. 


for a month and a half. In making his report, Argyle 
warmly recommended Captain Wood to the notice of 
the King and Council, for his services in the late 
expedition. 1 

. Thus terminated the last great struggle made by the 
once powerful Clandonald of Isla and Kintyre, to retain 
from the grasp of the Campbells these ancient posses- 
sions of their tribe. 

1 Eecord of Privy Council, 24tli Xovember, and 21st December, 




THE insurrection in the South Isles being 
now crushed in the manner above described, 
the attention of the Privy Council was directed to the 
apprehension of such of the leaders as had escaped, and 
were still lurking in the Highlands or Isles. The Mar- 
quis of Huntly, and Lauchlan Macintosh of Duimauch- 
tane, were summoned to give their advice to the Council 
regarding the steps necessary to be pursued. A com- 
mission was given in the month of January to Lord 
Gordon (Huntly's eldest son), for the seizure of Mac- 
Ranald of Keppoch and his son, now supposed to be in 
Lochaber; and proclamation was made, charging the 
inhabitants of Perthshire above Dunkeld, of BanfFshire 
above Carroun, of Inverness-shire (except the vassals 
of Lord Kintaill, who were employed in the Lewis), and 
of Mull, Morvern, and Tiree, to assist Lord Gordon in 
the service committed to his charge, At the same time, 
a reward of five thousand merks was offered for Keppoch 
or his son, alive or dead. 1 In March following, the 
Privy Council, in the absence of the Earl of Argyle, 

1 Record of Privy Council, 14th and 16th January, 1616. 


who had again gone to Court, ordered his brother, 
Campbell of Lundy, to appear before them in a few 
weeks, to receive instructions for the suppression of some 
of the rebels (led by Malcolm MacRuari Macleod, and 
the bastard son of the late Sir James Macdonald of 
Dunluce), who still infested the Isles. A commission 
to Lundy, Auchinbreck, and Ardkinlass, for this purpose 
was prepared ; but the former refused to undertake it, 
and in the month of June he received a licence to go to 
Court to confer with Argyle on the subject. It seems to 
have been considered by the Council that Lord Gordon was 
not very active in the service against Keppoch ; for a 
second commission against the latter was directed to the 
Marquis of Huntly, as well as to his son, accompanied 
by a charge, in the King's name, to these noblemen to 
undertake the execution of it. In the month of July 
Lundy returned from England, and still refused the duty 
attempted to be imposed upon him, stating that he had 
given, both to the King and to the Earl, satisfactory 
reasons for his conduct; and adding that his brother 
might be expected in Scotland in a short time to dis- 
charge the service himself. With this answer the 
Council were obliged to remain contented. 1 

At this time Macleod of Harris, the captain of Clan- 
ranald, the Macleans of Dowart, Coll, and Lochbuy, 
and the Laird of Mackinnon, made their appearance 
before the Privy Council. This formality had been 
interrupted by the rebellion in the last year; and very 
strict measures were now taken to insure the obedience 
of these chiefs in future. They were obliged to bind 

i Record of Privy Council, 29th March, 28th May, 13th June, and 
Oth July, 1616. 


themselves mutually, as sureties for each other, to the 
observance of the following conditions: First, That 
their clans should keep good order, and that they 
themselves should appear before the Council, annually, 
on the 10th of July, and oftener if required and on 
being legally summoned. Secondly ', That they should 
exhibit annually a certain number of their principal 
kinsmen, out of a larger number contained in a list given 
by them to the Council. Do wart was to exhibit four; 
Macleod, three; Clanranald, two; and Coll, Lochbuy, 
and Mackinnon, one of these chieftains, or heads of 
houses, in their clans respectively. 1 Thirdly., That they 
were not to maintain in household more than the following 
proportions of gentlemen, according to their rank: viz., 
Do wart, eight; Macleod and Clanranald, six; and the 
others three each. Fourthly, That they were to free 
their countries of sorners and idle men having no lawful 
occupation. Fifthly, That none of them were to carry 
hackbuts or pistols, unless when employed in the King's 
service; and that none but the chiefs and their house- 
hold gentlemen were to wear swords, or armour, or any 
weapons whatever. Sixthly, That the chiefs were to 
reside at the following places respectively: viz., Mac- 
leod at Dunvegan, Maclean of Dowart at that place, 
Clanranald at Elanterim, Maclean of Coll at Bistache, 
Lochbuy at Moy, and Mackinnon at Kilmorie. Such 
of them as had not convenient dwelling-houses corre- 
sponding to their rank at these places were to build 
without delay, "civil and comelie" houses, or repair 

1 At this time Clanranald gave up the names of his brothers, 
Ranald, John, and Ruari; and Mackinnon gave up those of five of 
his clan, as disobedient persons, for whom they disclaimed being 


those that were decayed. They were likewise to make 
"policie and planting" about their houses; and to take 
mains, or home-farms, into their own hands, which they 
were to cultivate, " to the effect they might be thereby 
exercised and eschew idleness.'' Clanranald, who had 
no mains about his Castle of Elanterim, chose for his 
home-farm the lands of Hobeg in Uist. Seventhly, 
That at the term of Martinmas next, they were to let 
the remainder of their lands to tenants, for a certain 
fixed rent, in lieu of all exactions. Eighthly, That no 
single chief should keep more than one birling, or galley, 
of sixteen or eighteen oars; and that in their voyages 
through the Isles they should not oppress the country 
people. Ninthly, That they should send all their 
children above nine years of age to school in the 
Lowlands, to be instructed in reading, writing, and 
speaking the English language; and that none of their 
children should be served heir to their fathers, or received 
as a tenant by the King, who had not received that 
education. This provision regarding education was 
confirmed by an act of Privy Council, which bore that 
" the chief and principal! caus quhilk hes procurit and 
procuris the continuance of barbaritie, impietie, and 
incivilitie within the Yllis of this kingdome, hes proceidit 
from the small cair that the chiftanes and principall 
clannitmen of the Yllis hes haid of the educatioun and 
upbringing of thair childrene in vertew and lerning; 
who, being cairles of thair dewties in that poynte, and 
keiping thair childrene still at home with thame, whair 
they see nothing in thair tendir yeiris bot the barbarous 
and incivile formes of the countrie, thay ar thairby maid 
to apprehend that thair is no uther formes of dewtie and 
civilitie keept in any uther pairt of the cuntrie ; sua 


that, when thay come to the yeiris of maturitie, hardlie 
can thay be reclamed from these barbarous, rude, and 
incivile formes, quhilk, for lack of instructioun, war bred 
and satled in tharne in their youthe: whairas, if thay 
had bene sent to the inland (the low country) in thair 
youthe, and trainit up in vertew, lerning, and the 
Inglische tongue, thay wald haif bene the bettir pre- 
pairit to reforme thair countreyis, and to reduce the 
same to godliness, obedience, and civilitie." Lastly, 
The chiefs were not to use in their houses more than 
the following quantities of wine respectively: viz.,Dowart 
and Macleod, four tun each; Clanranald, three tun; 
and Coll, Lochbuy, and Mackinnon, one tun each; and 
they were to take strict order throughout their whole 
estates that none of their tenants or vassals should buy 
or drink any wine. A very strict act of the Privy 
Council against excess of drinking accompanied this 
obligation of the chiefs. It proceeded on the narrative 
that "the great and extraordinary excesse in drinking 
of wyne, commonlie usit among the commonis and 
tenantis of the "Yllis, is not only ane occasioun of the 
beastlie and barbarous cruelties and inhumanities that 
fallis oute amangis thame, to the offens and displeasour 
of God, and contempt of law and justice; but with that 
it drawis nomberis of thame to miserable necessitie and 
povartie, sua that they are constraynit, quhen thay want 
from their awne, to tak from thair nichtbours." Maclean 
of Dowart, and his brother Lauchlan, having delayed to 
find the required sureties, were committed to ward in 
Edinburgh Castle, whence the former was liberated in 
a short time, and allowed to live with Acheson of Gos- 
furcl, his father-in-law, under his own recognisance of 
40,000, and his father-in-law's for 5000 merks, that 


he should remain there until permitted by the Council 
to return to the Isles. Dowart's brother was not liber- 
ated till the following year, when his own bond was 
taken for the conformity of himself and his son Hector 
to the obligations imposed upon the other Islanders in 
July, 1616. His dwelling-place was to be at Ardna- 
cross in Mull 5 and he was allowed to keep two gentle- 
men in his household. Donald Gorme of Sleat, having 
been prevented, by sickness, from attending the Council 
with the other chiefs, ratified all their proceedings, and 
found the required sureties, by a bond dated in the 
month of August. He named Duntullim, a castle of his 
family in Trouterness, as his residence ; and six house- 
hold gentlemen, and an annual consumption of four tun 
of wine, were allowed to him ; and he was annually to 
exhibit to the Council three of his principal kinsmen. 1 
These proceedings being communicated by the Council 
to the King, were approved of by his Majesty; who, at 
the suit of the Islanders, ordered that the chiefs, and 
some of their immediate relations, might have licence to 
use fire-arms for their own sport within a mile of their 
dwellings. 2 

In the following year, Sir Ruari Macleod 
of Harris, Sir Donald Gorme of Sleat 
(nephew and heir-male of the late Donald Gorme), 
Sir Donald MacAllan Vic Ian, captain of the Clan- 
ranald, Sir Lauchlan Mackinnon of Strathordell, 
Hector Maclean of Lochbuy, Lauchlan Maclean of 
Coll, and Lauchlan Maclean, brother to Dowart, made 
their appearance before the Council in the month of 

1 Record of Privy Council, llth, 17th, 26th July, 22nd August, 2nd 
September, 1616; 22nd March, 1617. 

2 Ibid., 18th September, 1616. 


July. 1 About this time, in consequence of great abuses 
and oppression, the practice of taking calps in the 
Highlands and Isles was abolished in the same way as 
it had been suppressed by James IV. in Galloway 
upwards of a century before. 2 The calp was an ac- 
knowledgment of vassalage or dependence on a chief; 
and consisted in the best horse, ox, or cow of a vassal, 
which, on his decease, was claimed by his superior. 
The conflicting claims of different chiefs and landlords 
caused, in many instances, great oppression four or 
five calps being sometimes taken from one family on the 
occasion of a single death. This led to the abolition of 
the practice. 

The chiefs of Keppoch and Lochiel still continued 
outlaws ; the former for his concern in the rebellion of 
Sir James Macdonald ; the latter for having, in addition 
to his former offences, lately interrupted Macintosh 
when the latter was going to hold courts at Inverlochy, 
as heritable Steward of Lochaber. 3 When Lochiel 
was forfeited for not producing his title-deeds in 1598, 
the disputed lands of Glenluy and Locharkaig were 
claimed by Macintosh ; and Lochiel had, to save him- 
self from the consequences, entered into a contract with 
the latter, by which he agreed to take from that chief 
one-half of the disputed lands in mortgage for the sum 
of six thousand merks; and to hold the other half 
under Macintosh, for the personal service of himself and 

1 Record of Privy Council, ad tempus. Macleod had been 
knighted in 1613. The dates of the knighthood of the other chiefs 
are more uncertain, although probably all were knighted after 

2 Acts of Parliament, IV. 548. 

3 Record of Privy Council, June 10, July 31, 1617. 

398 STATE OF LOCHABER. [1618. 

the tenants of the lands. This contract was to endure 
for nineteen years ; and very severe penalties were im- 
posed upon him who should infringe it. This it was 
which kept Macintosh from acting against Lochiel 
when the latter became an outlaw for the slaughter of 
his clansmen in 1613. Now, however, Macintosh 
maintained that Lochiel by his late lawless proceedings 
had forfeited all benefit from the above-mentioned con- 
tract ; and he accordingly prepared to carry into effect 
the acts of outlawry against the latter which were in 
force. 1 

Finding himself unable, in present circum- 
stances, to make head against the Clanchattan, 
Lochiel was forced to make up his quarrel with the 
Marquis of Huntly. This he did by surrendering to 
the Marquis' eldest son the superiority of many lands 
in Lochaber ; in which lands his own eldest son, John 
Cameron, and several of his clan were now received as 
vassals of the house of Huntly. By this sacrifice 
Lochiel obtained the support of Huntly against Macin- 
tosh, whom the Marquis cordially hated. 2 MacRanald 
of Keppoch and his sons still continued outlaws ; and, 
in the month of July a commission of fire and sword 
against them was granted to Macintosh. In the exe- 
cution of this service Macintosh gave offence to Lord 
Gordon, who procured the recall of the commission 
against Keppoch, and received authority himself to act 
against the latter's eldest son, Ranald Keppoch him- 
self, and his second son, Donald Glas, having by this 
time contrived to make their escape and join Sir James 

1 MS. History of Camerons. 

2 Ibid. Reg. of Great Seal, L. 144. 


Macdonald in Spain. 1 Here, strange to say, the fugi- 
tive Macdonalds were soon after joined by their arch 
enemy, the Earl of Argyle, whose personal history after 
the year 1615 is a striking instance of the mutability 
of human affairs. 

In 1616 Argyle had gone to Court to make his per- 
sonal report of the expedition led by him against Sir 
James Macdonald in the end of the preceding year. 
At that time he seems to have been in great favour ; 
for an Act of Parliament was soon after passed dissolv- 
ing from the Crown the Lordship of Kintyre, granted 
to him in 1607, and settling it on James Campbell, 
Argyle's son by Dame Anna Cornwallis, his. second 
wife. 2 This lady, whom Argyle married when at Lon- 
don in the year 1610, was a Catholic; and she gradu- 
ally drew her lord over to profess the same faith with 
herself although, for some years^ his conversion was 
kept secret. 3 On pretence of going to the Spa for the 
benefit of his health, Argyle received from the King 
permission to go abroad in 1618 ; his Majesty presum- 
ing that the Scottish Privy Council would, before his 
departure, have taken order for the good conduct of 
all the vassals and tenants of the Earldom of Argyle. 
This, however, had been neglected ; and, moreover, it 
was reported, and truly, that the Earl instead of going 
to the Spa had gone to Spain ; that he had there made 
open defection from the true religion ; and that he had 
entered into very suspicious dealings with the banished- 
rebels, Sir James Macdonald and Allaster MacEanald 
of Keppoch. The King upon this wrote to the Scottish 

1 .Record of Privy Council, 9th July, 21st October, 1618. 

2 Acts of Parliament, IV. 559. 

3 Douglas' Peerage (Edit, by Wood), I. 91 


Privy Council recalling the licence given to Argyle to 
go abroad ; and directing that nobleman to be sum- 
moned to appear before the Council in the month of 
February, 1619, under the pain of treason. 1 In the 
meantime various efforts were made to make the 
" barons and gentlemen of Argyle " answerable for the 
good rule of the Earldom. The result was, that in 
December, 1618, twenty of these barons and gentlemen 
appeared in presence of the Council, and made the 
following arrangement for effecting the desired object : 
Campbell of Lundy undertook the principal charge ; 
and under him, the Lairds of Lochnell, Auchinbreck, 
Ardkinlass, and Kilberry were to answer for the districts 
of Lorn, Argyle Proper, Cowal, and Kintyre, respec- 
tively. Lochnell, in his district, was to be assisted by 
the Macdougalls of Dunolly and Raray, Stewart of 
Appin, the captain of Dunstaffnage, Mr. Donald Camp- 
bell of Barbreck-Lochow, and Robert Campbell of 
Glenfalloch. Auchinbreck was to have the assistance 
of the Lairds of Duntroon, Barbreck-Craignish, and 
Craignish all Campbells. The Lairds of Elangreg 
and Otter (likewise Campbells) were to support Ard- 
kinlass; and Macdonald of Largie, the Macallasters 
of Loupe and Tarbert, Hector Macneili of Taynish, 
and Hector Macneili of Carskeay were to assist Kil- 
berry. The latter was to be put in possession of' 
Argyle's Castle of Kinloch (Kilkerran) in Kintyre, 
.to enable him the better to keep that district under 
obedience. 2 

1 Record of Privy Council, 7th November, 1618. Mem. of Council 
proceedings, Denmylne MS., ad tempus. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 17th December, 1618. 


The Earl of Argyle, having failed to make 

A. D. 1619. . . ,, . . .. , 

his appearance on the appointed day, was 
declared a traitor, by an act which inveighs bitterly 
against his hypocrisy and dissimulation. 1 He did not 
venture to return to Britain during the reign of James 
VI., nor, indeed, until the year 1638 ; and he died in 
London, soon after his return in that year. While 
abroad the Earl of Argyle distinguished himself in 
the military service of Philip III. of Spain against 
the States of Holland. 2 From the time of his going 
abroad, he never exercised any influence over his 
great estates in Scotland; the fee of which had, 
indeed, been previously conveyed by him to his eldest 
son, Archibald, Lord Lorn, afterwards eighth Earl of 
Argyle. 3 

The fall of Argyle necessarily produced a reaction 

in favour of the Macdonalds, whose estates had gone to 

benefit him and his clan. Sir James Macdonald and 

the chief of Keppoch were recalled from Spain by 

Kins; James ; and, on their arrival in London, 

A. D. 1620. . ; ' 

the former received a pension of one thousand 

merks sterling, and the latter a pension of two hundred 

merks of the same money. The King wrote 

to the Scottish Privy Council in favour of 

both these chiefs, sending, at the same time, ample 

remissions for all their offences, to be passed under the 

seals of Scotland. To this, however, the Council 

made many objections, urging the danger of permitting 

chiefs of such note to be at liberty to go to the Higb- 

1 Record of Privy Council, 4th February, 1619. 

2 Peerage, I. 94. 

3 Letter, Council to the King, 2nd February, 1619; Denmylne MS., 
Advocates' Library. 



lands before proper security had been found for their 
obedience. Sir James Macdonald's remission passed 
the seals, however, in the month of October ; but some 
arrangement seems to have been made by which he 
was debarred from visiting Scotland. He died at Lon- 
don in the year 1626, without issue to revenge his 
wrongs and those of his clan on the Campbells. At 
the same time that Sir James Macdonald received his 
pardon, Keppoch appeared before the Privy Council, 
trusting to a six months' protection he had obtained 
from the King. He proposed visiting Lochaber, but was 
directed by the Council to remain in Edinburgh until he 
found sufficient security for his obedience to the laws. 1 
He seems at length to have satisfied the Council and 
obtained his pardon ; for we find him afterwards settled 
in Lochaber, in peaceable possession of his estate. 

Early in this year, Allan Cameron of Lochiel, and 
John, his son, were outlawed for not appearing before 
the Council, to find security, as the Islanders had done, 
for their future obedience. In the month of July, com- 
mission was given to Lord Gordon against Lochiel and 
his clan, who are described as almost the only persons 
in the Highlands and Isles who now remained disobe- 
dient; and proclamation was made, charging all the men 
of Badenoch and Lochaber, between sixty and sixteen 
years of age (except only Sir Lauchlan Macintosh him- 
self), to concur with Lord Gordon in the execution of 
his commission. The same nobleman was commissioned 
to apprehend or slay Ranald Macranald, the eldest son 

i Sir R. Gordon's History of Sutherland, p. 238. Reg. of Privy 
Seal, XCVII. 109. Letters, Council to King, 7th June, 1621 ; 21st 
and 28th March, 1622; and Protection to Keppoch, 12th October, 
1621 all in Denmylne ISIS. 


of Keppoch, who had contrived to conceal himself in 
Lochaber ever since the year 1615. 1 It appears that 
these commissions were not vigorously acted upon; and, 
indeed, Lochiel and Keppoch being both vassals of Lord 
Gordon, it is probable he undertook the service in order 
to prevent the interference of Macintosh, or some other 
chief who, like him, was disposed to push matters to ex- 
tremities against both the Clanchameron and the Clan- 
ranald of Lochaber. In the following year, 
Macintosh went to Court, and, by his repre- 
sentations, procured, in the month of June, a commis- 
sion against Lochiel, directed to himself and twenty- 
two other chiefs and gentlemen of note throughout the 
whole Highlands and Isles. The imminent danger 
which now appeared to threaten Lochiel was averted 
by the sudden death of Macintosh, which gave an oppor- 
tunity to Lochiel's friends, particularly the Laird of 
Grant, to interest themselves on his behalf. 2 By their 
means Lochiel was induced to submit his disputes with 
the family of Macintosh, the chief cause of all his trou- 
bles, to the decision of mutual friends. The lands of 
Glenluy and Locharkaig were, by these arbiters, adjudged 
to belong to Macintosh, who was, however, to pay to 
Lochiel certain sums of money in compensation of the 
claims of the latter. Lochiel, although he pretended 
to acquiesce in this decision, yet delayed the completion 
of the transaction in such a way that the dispute was 
not finally settled till the time of his grandson, the cele- 
brated Sir Ewin Cameron of Lochiel. 3 Meantime, he 

1 Record of Privy Council, Jan., Feb., March, and July, 1621. 

2 Record of Privy Council, 18th June, 30th July, 17th December, 
1622. Douglas' Baronage, p. 352. 

3 MS. History of Caraerons. 


obtained a pardon for his offences, and his sentence of 
outlawry was recalled. l 

Since the year 1617, the Islanders had continued 
(with the exception of Hector Maclean of Dowart) to 
make their annual appearance before the Privy Council 
with tolerable regularity. In July, 1619, the time for 
their yearly appearance was, at their own request, 
altered from July to February ; but, in 1621, it was 
again altered to July, owing to the uncertainty of the 
weather in spring. 2 In the following year, Sir Ruari 
Macleod of Harris, Sir Donald Gorme of Sleat, John 
MacDonald, captain of the Clanranald (son of the late" 
Sir Donald Mac Allan), and the lairds of Coll, Lochbuy, 
and Mackinnon, made their obedience to the Privy 
Council, as usual, when several acts of importance 
relating to the Isles were passed. By the first of these 
they were bound to build and repair their parish 
churches to the satisfaction of the Bishop of the Isles ; 
and they promised to meet the Bishop at Icolmkill, 
whenever he should appoint, to make the necessary 
arrangements in this matter. The Bishop, at this 
time, promised to appoint a qualified Commissary for 
the Isles complaints having been made on this head. 
By another act, masters of vessels were prohibited, 
under the penalty of confiscation of the article, to cany 
more wine to the Isles than the quantity allowed to the 
chiefs and gentlemen by the act of 1617. The pre- 
amble of this act assumes, that one of the chief causes 
which retarded the civilisation of the Isles, was the 

1 MS. History of Camerons; and Original Bond of Caution for 
Lochiel, dated 21st September, 1623, and preserved in General Register 

2 Record of Privy Council, ad tempus. 


great quantity of wine imported yearly: "With the 
insatiable desyre quhairof the saidis Ilanderis ar so far 
possest, that, when thair arryvis ony schip or uther 
veschell there with wines, thay spend both dayes and 
nights in their excesse of drinking sa lang as thair is 
anie of the wyne left; sua that, being overcome with 
drink, thair fallis oute many inconvenientis amangis 
thame, to the breck of his Majestei's peace," &c. By 
a third act, Macleod, Sir Donald Gorme, Clanranald, 
and Mackinnon, were bound not to molest those en- 
gaged in the trade of fishing in the Isles, under heavy 
penalties. 1 

The last serious insurrection in the West 
Highlands and Isles which occurred in the 
reign of James VI., was that of the Clan Ian of Ard- 
namurchan, in the year 1625, arising out of the following 
circumstances. Archibald, fourth Earl of Argyle, had 
acquired the superiority of Ardnamurchan and Sunart, 
by resignation of Mariot, daughter and heiress of John 
Macian of Ardnamurchan. 2 The heirs-male of the 
family of Macian continued, however, to possess the 
estates, without acknowledging the Earl of Argyle as 
their superior for a considerable period. Allaster 
MacDonald Vic Ian of Ardnamurchan is mentioned in 
the minority of Queen Mary, and John Macian of 
Ardnamurchan occurs in the early part of the reign of 
her son (supra, pp. 170, 238). John Oig Macian, son of 
the last mentioned John, when on the point of marry- 
ing a daughter of the house of Lochiel, about the year 

1 Record of Privy Council, July, 1622. 

2 Inventory of Argyle Writs. Reg. of Privy Seal, XVII., fo. 38 ; 
XXIV., fo. 29. This lady had married Robert Robertson of Strowan, 
who consented to her resignation of Ardnamurchan. 


1596, was assassinated by his uncle, who was his next 
heir, and wished to obtain possession of the estate. 
The murderer did not long escape the punishment due 
to his crime; for, notwithstanding that he was supported 
by Sir Lauchlan Maclean of Dowart, he was soon after 
killed in a skirmish with the Camerons. This happened 
in the district of Morvern; and the grave of Mac Vic 
Ian, as tradition calls the murderer, who is said to have 
been a warrior of gigantic size and great prowess, is 
still shown in the churchyard of Keill in Morvern. 1 In 
1602, John MacAllaster Vic Ian of Ardnamurchan, 
now the heir of the family, entered into a contract with 
the Earl of Argyle. By this agreement, Macian be- 
came bound to exhibit to the Earl the title-deeds of 
Ardnamurchan, and to resign the lands to the Earl. 
On this being performed, Argyle engaged to receive 
Macian as his vassal in the lands, to be holden for 
payment of one merk of feu-duty. This shows that, 
hitherto, the Macians had possessed upon their old titles 
from the Crown, without regard to the conveyance of the 
superiority to the fourth Earl of Argyle by Mariot Macian, 
the heiress. Argyle likewise engaged to protect and 
defend Macian and his clan in the same way as his other 
vassals. 2 It does not appear that this contract, so favour- 
able to the Macians (for Argyle's claim to the superiority 
was legally good, independent of the proposed resigna- 
tion), was ever fulfilled, at least on the part of the Earl. 
It is clear that the title-deeds were delivered up ; but 

1 MS. History of Camerons. The author of this MS. calls the 
murdered chief erroneously Donald; but I find John Oig Macian of 
Ardnamurchan mentioned in an authentic document, A.D. 1595. 
Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, I. 200. 

2 Inventory of Argyle Writs. 


the history of the Macfans after this period, leads to the 
conclusion, either that Argyle had not acted in good 
faith, or that the Macians, by some insurrection or simi- 
lar lawless proceeding, had forfeited the benefit of the 
laws. Dying before 1611, this John Macian of Ard- 
namurchan left a son, Allaster, in whose minority the 
clan was led by a certain Donald Macian, probably 
uncle of the minor, styled Tutor of Ardnamurchan. 1 In 
1612, a commission was granted by Archibald Earl of 
Argyle, to Mr. Donald Campbell of Barbreck-Lochow, 
"to take and receive the castle and place of Mingarry 
(in Ardnamurchan), and, upon the Earl's expenses, to 
put keepers therein ; " with power to the Commissioner 
to summon before him all the tenants and inhabitants 
of Ardnamurchan, and generally to manage that terri- 
tory in fixing and collecting with regularity the rents to 
be paid to the Earl, and punishing, by expulsion or 
otherwise, the refractory tenants. 2 This Mr. Donald 
Campbell was a natural son of that Sir John Camp- 
bell of Calder, killed in 1592, by an assassin employed 
by Ardkinlass and others of the name of Campbell 
(supra, p. 251). He was originally bred to the Church, 
and became Dean of Lismore ; but he was of too rest- 
less a disposition to confine himself to his ecclesiastical 
duties. He first distinguished himself by the zeal with 
which he endeavoured to bring to justice all those con- 
cerned in his father's murder. 3 The talents and acti- 
vity of Mr. Donald Campbell recommended him to the 
notice of his chief, the Earl of Argyle, by whom he was 

1 Reg. of Privy Seal, LXXX. 162. 

2 Original in Charter Chest of Airds. 

3 This is proved by many documents in the Charter Chest of 


commissioned, as above, to reduce the district of Ard- 
namurchan to obedience. He afterwards received from 
the Earl a lease of Ardnamurchan, and made him- 
self very obnoxious to the natives by his severities. In 
the end of 1615, or very nearly in the following year, 
John Macdonald Vic Ian ? a son probably of the Tutor 
of Ardnamurchan, and a principal tenant in the district, 
went to Edinburgh to seek, on behalf of the Clan 
Ian, an audience of the Earl of Argyle, or his brother, 
Campbell of Lundy. Having failed in his object, 
through the absence of the Earl and his brother, he 
returned to the Highlands bearing with him a strong 
letter of recommendation from William Stirling of 
Auchyle, a confidential agent of Argyle, to Mr. Donald 
Campbell. In this letter, the following passage oc- 
curs: "It is not without reason and some foirknow- 
ledge in preventing further inconvenience, I have written 
to you ; which, I am assured, ye will consider out of 
your own wisdom. I hope ye will press to win the 
people (of Ardnamurchan) with [kyndness] rather nor 
extremitie, speciallie at the first." 1 In July, 1616, the 
Tutor of Ardnamurchan incurred the forfeiture of two 
thousand merks, for not appearing before the Privy 
Council at that time; 2 and it may be conjectured that Mr. 
Donald Campbell lost no time in enforcing the sentence 
against Macian. By some error or deceit on the part 
of Argyle or his agents, a lease of Ardnamurchan had 
been granted to Sir Donald MacAllan of Moydert, 
captain of the Clanranald, several years before the 
expiry of the lease granted to Campbell. In the month 
of May, 1618, John MacDonald, captain of the Clan- 

1 Original Letter in Ch. Chest of Airds, dated 16th January, 1616. 
- Record of Privy Council, ad tempus. 


ranald, son of the late Sir Donald, united with the Clan 
Ian, who acknowledged him as their chief, and expelled 
Campbell and his adherents from Ardnamurchan. This 
dispute was in the following year submitted to the 
decision of Sir George Hay (afterwards Earl of Kin- 
noull) and Sir George Erskine of Innerteil, who found 
that Campbell's lease was the best in law, and there- 
fore ordered him to be repossessed in the disputed 
lands; compensation being made to the captain of 
Clanranald for the grassum, or fine at granting of the 
lease, paid by his father. 1 In 1620, some of the princi- 
pal men of the Clan Ian with Macleod of Harris, the 
captain of the Clanranald, and Maclean of Coll as 
their sureties bound themselves to Mr. Donald Camp- 
bell for the dutiful obedience of the Clan Ian to the 
house of Argyle, and for their being peaceable tenants 
to Campbell, and paying him all rents and damages 
that might be found due to the latter. 2 Two years 
later we find Campbell stating to the Privy Council 
that Allaster Macian of Ardnamurchan had lately 
assembled his clan, and declared to them his intention 
of recovering the old possessions of his family, by law 
if possible ; and should that fail him, had expressed his 
determination to resort to force, in which he made his 
clan swear to assist him. Macian, however, making 
his appearance before the Privy Council, this accusa- 
tion was referred to his oath, when he distinctly denied 
the truth of it. 3 

1 Record of Privy Council, 10th November, 1618; 29th and 31st 
July, 1619. 

2 General Register of Deeds, Vol. CCCCXXV1., sub. 15th January, 

3 Record of Privy Council, 23rd July, 1622. 


It is probable, however, that this young chief, whether 
instigated by his clan, or provoked by the severities of 
the Campbells, did afterwards resort to force against 
the latter. In 1624 the Clan Ian were again in rebellion; 
and in September of that year Macleod of Harris, 
Clanranald, and Maclean of Coll, as having formerly 
become answerable for the Clan Ian, were charged to 
exhibit the leaders of that tribe before the Privy Council 
in January following. Having failed to do this, these 
chiefs were denounced rebels, according to the usual 
forms of Scottish law. At this time the Clan Ian had 
seized, manned, and armed an English vessel, and had 
betaken themselves, to the number of five or six score, 
to a piratical life. In April, 1625, the Archbishop of 
Glasgow and Sir William Livingston of Kilsyth were 
commissioned to go to the burgh of Ayr, to provide a 
ship and a pinnace, properly manned and victualled, for 
the pursuit of the Clan Ian. At the same time a com- 
mission of fire and sword and of justiciary against 
them was given to Lord Lorn and the Lairds of Calder, 
Auchinbreck, Lochnell, and Ardkinlass, or any three of 
them, Lord Lorn always being one. In the month of 
May a Scottish and a Flemish ship, which had been 
seized by the Clan Ian, were retaken by Captain John 
Osburne for the King. From various letters concerning 
this insurrection which are still preserved, it appears that 
the pirates of the Clan Ian were for a time the terror 
of the whole west coast of Scotland, from Isla north- 
wards. Being hotly pursued from Sky (whither they 
had probably gone in pursuit of some merchant vessels), 
by Sir Ruari Macleod of Harris and a body of his clan, 
they landed in Moydert, the captain of Clanranald's 
country, and hid themselves in the woods there. Soon 


afterwards Lord Lorn and his forces arrived at Ardna- 
murchan, and meeting with Macleod and other chiefs 
engaged in the service, speedily suppressed the insur- 
rection, and killed or banished the rebels. From 
this time we never meet with the Clan Ian of Ardna- 
murchan as a separate and independent tribe ; as any 
survivors of them seem, for security, to have identified 
themselves with the Clanranald. The services of Lord 
Lorn were approved of by the Privy Council, and he 
received the thanks of that body accordingly. 1 Mr. 
Donald Campbell, originally tenant of Ardnamurchan, 
became now heritable proprietor under Lorn of that 
district and Sunart, for which he paid an annual feu- 
duty of two thousand rnerks. Before the month of 
January, 1629, he had been created a Baronet, and 
during the reign of Charles I. was well known as Sir 
Donald Campbell of Ardnamurchan. He left no sur- 
viving male issue ; but his title is now enjoyed by the 
present Sir John Campbell of Airds and Ardnamurchan, 
the descendant and representative of George Campbell 
of Airds, nephew to Sir Donald. 2 Of the old Macians, 
the last trace I have found is a bond, dated at Edin- 
burgh, 22nd April, 1629, by Alexander Macian, son and 
heir of the late John Macian of Ardnamurchan, to 
Robert Innes, burgess of the Chanonry of Ross, for the 

1 This account of the proceedings against the Clan Ian is taken from 
the Record of Privy Council, 22nd September, 1624 ; 27th January, 
21st April, 31st May, and 28th July, 1625 ; and from Letters, Campbell 
of Calder, the Archbishop of Glasgow to Lord Melros (afterwards Earl 
of Haddington); from Macleod of Harris to Mr. Donald Campbell all 
preserved in the General Register House, Edinburgh ; and from the 
Council to the King, preserved in the Denmylne MS., dated in the 
months of April, May, and July, 1625. 

2 Documents in Charter Chest of Airds. 


sum of forty thousand pounds Scots. 1 From this it may 
be inferred that Macian had received, or was about to 
receive; compensation for his claims on Ardnamurchan. 

Having now brought the general history of the West 
Highlands and Isles down to the period proposed in the 
outset of the present work, I shall conclude by adding 
such particulars regarding the various tribes of whom I 
have treated, as may serve to illustrate their position 
with regard to each other during the reign of Charles I. 
and his successors. 

The House of Lochalsh had in 1625 been for about a 
century extinct in the male line; and while the represen- 
tation of this family, through a female, had devolved upon 
Donald MacAngus of Glengarry, its possessions, for the 
most part, were in the hands of the Mackenzies, whose 
chief, Colin, Lord Kintaill, was in 1623 dignified with 
the title of Earl of Seaforth. 

The House of Sleat which, for several generations 
after the last forfeiture of the Lord of the Isles, had to 
struggle with numerous difficulties, and barely succeeded 
in retaining its possessions from the grasp of the Siol 
Tormod, was in 1625 in a very prosperous condition. 
In that year Donald Gorme Oig of Sleat (nephew and 
heir of the last Donald Gorme, who died in 1616, 
being the son of the latter's brother, Archibald), after 
having concluded in an amicable manner all his dis- 
putes with the Siol Tormod, and another controversy 
in which he was engaged with the captain of Clan- 
ranald, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles 
I. The present Lord Macdonald, his heir-male and 

1 General Register of Deeds, Vol. CCCCXVII. 


representative, is the twelfth baronet of the family. In 
addition to Sleat, Trouterness, and North Uist, Lord 
Macdonald now possesses the estate formerly held by 
the Mackinnons in Sky (with the exception of one 
small property held by Mr. Macallaster of Strathaird), 
which was purchased in the reign of George III. by his 
Lordship's grandfather. 

We have seen in a preceding chapter the total ruin 
of the principal house of the Clan Ian Vor. It now 
only remains to glance at the position of the surviving 
cadets of that powerful tribe. The first of these we 
shall notice is the family of Colonsay. The grandfather 
of Coll Keitache MacGillespick Macdonald of Colon- 
say was Coll, a brother of James Macdonald of Duny veg 
and the Glens, and of Sorley Buy Macdonald, father 
of the first Earl of Antrim. Some years previous to 
the breaking out of the great civil war, Coll MacGil- 
lespick was expelled from Colonsay by the Campbells, 
with whom he had a quarrel. His family was dispersed, 
and one of his sons, the well-known Allaster MacColl 
Keitache, having gone to Ireland, returned to the 
Highlands in 1644 at the head of the Irish troops sent 
to assist the Scottish Royalists by the Marquis of 
Antrim. Allaster acted as Lieutenant- General to the 
celebrated Marquis of Montrose, and received from 
that leader the honour of knighthood. Although brave 
to a fault, and, therefore, well qualified to lead irregular 
troops like the Highlanders, Sir Allaster Macdonald 
allowed his desire of revenging the wrongs of his family 
upon the Campbells, to divert him from the proper 
objects of the war. He was thus a principal cause of 
the disaster which befel the Hoyal arms at Philiphaugh 
having previously withdrawn many of the Highlanders 


from Montrose's camp, to assist him in his private feuds 
in Argyleshire ; a service in which the western clans 
were all very ready to engage. Being driven from the 
Isles by General Leslie, and having lost all his followers, 
Sir Allaster went to join the Royalists in Ireland, and 
was soon afterwards killed in battle there. His father, 
old Coll MacGillespick, being left once more in charge 
of the Castle of Duny veg, was entrapped into a surren- 
der by Leslie, and was handed over to the Campbells, 
by whom this restless Islander was at length executed. 
He was hung from the mast of his own galley, placed 
over the cleft of a rock near the Castle of Dunstaffnage. 
Dr. Macdonnell, who resides at Belfast, is believed to 
be the representative of this branch of the Clan Ian 
Yor. Of the Earls of Antrim descended from Sorley 
Buy we have already spoken (supra, p. 227). This 
noble family is now extinct in the direct male line ; and 
the title of Antrim is enjoyed by the heir of line of the 
family. The next branch of the Clan Ian Vor we have 
to notice is that of Sanda in Kintyre, whose ancestor 
was Angus Hack, paternal uncle of James Macdonald 
of Dunyveg and the Glens, and of Sorley Buy. The 
representative of this family contrived to save his estate 
at the time of the forfeiture of Kintyre by James VI. 
From him descended in a direct line the late Sir John 
Macdonald Kinnear, whose eldest son is the present 
representative of the Macdonalds of Sanda. The origin 
of the Macdonalds or Clanranaldbane of Largie has 
already been noticed (supra, p. 63). The chieftain 
of this branch likewise succeeded in preserving his 
estate from forfeiture under James VI. In the direct 
male line this family has been for some time extinct 
the estate having gone by marriage to the family of 


Lockhart of Lee and Carnwath. The Macdonalds of 
Sanda and Largie were actively engaged in supporting 
both Montrose and Dundee. 

The Clanranald of Lochaber, or Macdonalds of Gar- 
ragach and Keppoch, were one of the most active clans 
on the Koyal side in the great civil war. Soon after 
the Restoration, the prosperity of this family received a 
severe check from the barbarous murder of the young 
chief of Keppoch, Alexander Macdonald Glas, and his 
brother, two young men who had received a liberal 
education, and were exerting themselves for the improve- 
ment of their estates. They fell under the daggers of 
some of their own discontented followers ; and although 
their murder was amply avenged by their kinsman, Sir 
James Macdonald of Sleat, yet the family did not soon 
recover from the blow. Coll Macdonald of Keppoch 
vanquished the Macintoshes, with whom he was at feud 
regarding the lands he occupied, in the last clan battle 
that was ever fought in the Highlands. The scene of 
this conflict was on a height called Mulroy, near the 
house of Keppoch (for the Macintoshes had invaded 
Lochaber in the prosecution of the quarrel), and it took 
place immediately before the Revolution in 1688. 
Keppoch afterwards joined Dundee, and fought at Kil- 
liecrankie ; and he likewise joined the banner of the 
Earl of Mar, and was present at the battle of Sheriff- 
muir in 1715. His son, Alexander Macdonald of 
Keppoch, entered eagerly into the rebellion of 1745, and 
fell gallantly leading on his clan, when the hopes of the 
Jacobites were finally extinguished at Culloden. There 
are still numerous cadets of this family in Lochaber ; 
but the principal house, if not yet extinct, has lost all 
influence in that district. 


During the seventeenth century, the Clanranald of 
Garmoran continued to prosper and increase. Donald 
MacAllan, captain of the Clanranald in the latter part 
of the reign of James VI., had several brothers. From 
Ranald, one of these, descended the family of Benbecula, 
which, on the failure of Donald's descendants, succeeded 
to the barony of Castletirrim and the captainship of 
the Clanranald, and is now represented by the present 
Ranald George Macdonald of Clanranald. The Mac- 
donalds of Boisdale are cadets of Benbecula, and Staff a 
is a cadet of Boisdale. From John, another of these 
brothers, descended the family of Kinlochmoidart, which 
is now extinct in the direct male line, the estate being 
possessed by Colonel Robertson Macdonald, in right of 
his wife, the heiress of this family. From John Oig, uncle 
of the above-mentioned Donald MacAllan, descended 
the Macdonalds of G-lenaladale. The head of this 
family, John Macdonald of Glenaladale, being obliged 
to quit Scotland about 1772, in consequence of family 
misfortunes arising out of the rebellion of 1745, sold his 
Scottish estates to his cousin (who is represented by 
the present Angus Macdonald of Glenaladale), and 
emigrating to Prince Edward's Island, with about two 
hundred followers, purchased a tract of forty thousand 
acres there, on which his heir-male now resides, while 
the two hundred Highlanders have increased to three 
thousand. In that remote colony, the language, man- 
ners, and customs of the Highlanders, as in several 
districts of Upper Canada, are preserved in greater 
purity than in the mother country. The family of 
Knoydart, mentioned in the Introduction (supra, p. 
66), fell into decay about 1611, the lands of Knoydart 
having previously come into the hands of Lochiel, by 


whom they were granted to Donald MacAngus of Glen- 
garry, to hold of Lochiel and his successors. The 
superiority of Knoydart was afterwards acquired from 
Lochiel by the Marquis of Argyle. The old family of 
Morar, mentioned in the Introduction (supra, p. 66), 
soon became extinct ; and the position of the more 
modern chieftains of Morar, as heirs-male of Allan Mac- 
Ruari, chief of the Clanranald in the reign of James 
IV., has already been noticed (supra, p. 158), and need 
not here be repeated. The estate of Morar has passed 
into other hands, but the family still exists in the male 
line. The family of Glengarry, notwithstanding its 
losses in Ross-shire, continued to prosper in other 
quarters. Angus, or tineas, the head of this family, 
was, at the Restoration, elevated to the Peerage by the 
title of Lord Macdonnell and Aros, for his services to the 
cause of the Stewarts. This nobleman, presuming on 
his Peerage, endeavoured to get himself recognised as 
chief of all the Macdonalds, in which, however, he 
failed. He left no male issue, and his title, being 
limited to heirs-male of his body, died with him. The 
late Alexander Ranaldson Macdonnell 1 of Glengarry, 

1 As some persons attach great importance to the mode of spelling 
the name " Macdonald, 1 ' it may be proper to observe here that, until 
of late, the spelling of Highland names was so lax as to deprive 
of all weight any argument resting on so uncertain a foundation. 
It could easily be shown that, on many occasions, the Glengarry 
and Keppoch families, who have now adopted Macdonnell, fre- 
quently used Macdonald. The most proper way of spelling the 
name, according to the pronunciation, was that formerly employed 
by the Macdonalds of Dunyveg and the Glens, who used Mac- 
connell. Sir James Macdonald, however, the last of this family in 
the direct male line, signed Makdonall. I have adopted Mac- 
donald throughout this work, as being the spelling most generally 



styling himself also of Clanranald, revived the claims of 
his predecessor to pre-eminence among the Macdonalds; 
but "with no better success as that honour, by the 
general opinion of the Highlanders, belongs to the chief 
who receives from them the title of MacDhomiill nctn 
Eilean, or Macdonald of the Isles ; in other words, to 
Lord Macdonald. The principal families descended of 
the house of Glengarry, were the Macdonnells of Barris- 
dale, Greenfield, and Lundie. Of these, the first still 
occupies its original seat of Barrisdale in Knoydart. It 
is needless to expatiate here on the devotion which all 
the branches of the Clanranald have uniformly displayed 
towards those whom they considered their rightful 
sovereigns. They engaged in every attempt for the 
restoration of the Stewarts, and suffered severely in con- 
sequence; but after all their sufferings and losses, they 
still form a numerous and gallant tribe, as attached to the 
house of Hanover as they ever were to the House of Stewart. 
Of the Clan Ian of G-lenco little remains to be said. 
The name recalls the dreadful massacre of Glenco, by 
which it was endeavoured to annihilate this tribe. In 
spite, however, of the massacre, and of their later suffer- 
ings as Jacobites, several families of Macdonalds still 
possess lands in the vale where their ancestors so long 
resided. The final ruin of the Clan Ian of Ardna- 
murchan has been detailed in the present chapter ; and 
the name of this ancient tribe is now only to be found 
in the fast fading traditions of the West Highlands. 
The Macallasters of Loupe continued to possess their 
lands in Kintyre, until the estate was sold by Colonel 
Somerville Macallaster, the present heir-male of the old 
family of Loupe. Many of the name are still to be 
found in Kintyre and the neighbouring districts. 


The family of Maclean of Dowart, which, in the 
reign of James VI, was the most powerful in the 
Hebrides, had before the end of the seventeenth cen- 
tury lost nearly all its great possessions, and was almost 
deprived of influence. The seeds of the decay of this 
important family were sown in the reign of Queen 
Mary, when the great feud between the Macleans and 
Macdonalds first broke out. In the reigns of James 
VI. and Charles I., many debts had accumulated against 
the barony of Dowart, which enabled the Marquis of 
Argyle and his successors to establish a claim to that 
estate ; and this claim the Macleans, owing to their 
exertions in favour of the Stewarts, never had an oppor- 
tunity of shaking off. Sir Lauchlan Maclean of Mor- 
vern, immediate younger brother of Hector Maclean of 
Dowart, and grandson of Lauchlan Mor (supra, p. 285), 
was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles I. 
On the death of his elder brother, Sir Lauchlan suc- 
ceeded to the estate of Dowart ; and, on the failure of 
the male issue of Sir Lauchlan, some generations later, 
the Baronetcy devolved on Allan Maclean of Brolos, 
descended from Donald, a younger brother of the first 
Baronet of Dowart. Sir Allan's heir-male, who now 
bears the title, is Lieut.-General Sir Fitzroy Maclean 
of Morvern, eighth Baronet. From Lauchlan Oig 
Maclean, a younger son of Lauchlan Mor of Dowart, 
sprung the family of Torlusk in Mull. The estate of 
Torlusk is now held by the heiress of line, Mrs. Clephane 
Maclean, and will eventually pass to that lady's grand- 
son, the second son of the present Marquis of North- 
ampton. During the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 
turies, the Macleans of Lochluy, Coll, and Ardgour, 
more fortunate than those of Dowart, contrived to pre- 


serve their estates nearly entire as regarded the pro- 
perty ; although compelled, by the power and policy of 
the Marquis of Argyle, to renounce their holdings from 
the Crown, and to become vassals of that powerful 
nobleman and his successors. There were numerous 
flourishing cadets of all the principal families of the 
Macleans, too numerous to be noticed in detail in the 
present brief sketch. The principal of these were 
the Macleans of Kinlochcdine, Ardtornish, and Drim- 
nin, descended from Dowart ; of Tapul, and Scallas- 
dale, descended from Lochbuy ; of Isle of MucJc, 
descended from Coll; and of Borrera in North Uist, 
and Tressinish, descended from Ardgour. All the 
Macleans were zealous partisans of the Stewarts, in 
whose cause they suffered severely ; more particularly at 
the battle of Inverkeithing, in 1652, when this clan lost 
several hundred men, and a large proportion of officers. 

Of the Siol Torquily or Macleods of Lewis, the 
principal surviving branches during the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries were the families of Easay and 
Assint. The latter property came into the hands of 
the Mackenzies, who expelled the Macleods towards 
the end of the seventeenth century ; but the family 
continued to exist, notwithstanding its misfortunes and 
losses, and was long represented by the late venerable 
Donald Macleod of Geanies, Sheriff of Koss-shire, 
whose grandson is now the head of this branch. The 
Macleods, formerly of Cambuscurry, now of Cadboll, 
are cadets of those of Assint. The present heir-male 
of the old Macleods of Lewis, and chief of the Siol 
Torquil, is John Macleod, now of Rasay. 

The Siol Tormod, or Macleods of Harris, Dunve- 
gan, and Glenelg, continued to possess these extensive 


estates until near the end of the eighteenth century ; 
but the estates of Harris and Glenelg have now passed 
into other hands. The principal cadets of this power- 
ful tribe were the families of Bernera, Talisker, Griser- 
nish, and Hamer, descended from Sir Norman, Sir 
Roderick, Donald, and William Macleods, younger 
sons of Sir Ruari Mor. Besides these, however, there 
were many other most respectable families of the name 
settled in Sky, and also in Harris and Glenelg, where 
some of them still remain. From the family of Bernera 
sprung that of Luskinder, of which the late Sir 
William Macleod Bannatyne, formerly one of the Sena- 
tors of the College of Justice, was a cadet. The author 
takes this opportunity of paying a tribute of respect to 
the memory of that lamented gentleman, who, during a 
public life of seventy years (for he died at the advanced 
age of ninety-one), was ever distinguished by his zeal 
in all matters tending to benefit the Highlands and 
Isles. He early turned his attention to the history of 
the principal Highland families, and to the peculiar 
manners and customs of the Highlanders ; in the eluci- 
dation of which his progress was so great, at a time 
when, from political causes, these subjects were gener- 
ally neglected, as to make it matter of regret that he 
never thought proper to communicate his knowledge to 
the world. To Sir William Macleod Bannatyne, the 
author of the present work was indebted for much curious 
information and many valuable suggestions. 

The Clanchameron, from the time of the submis- 
sion of Allan Cameron of Lochiel to the Government 
(supra, p. 403), continued to prosper ; and, with some 
trifling exceptions, the various branches of this tribe 
still enjoy their ancient possessions. The celebrated 


Sir Ewin Cameron, commonly Ewin Dubh of Lochiel, 
succeeded, about the year 16 64^ in making a satisfac- 
tory arrangement of the long standing feud with the 
Macintoshes, by which, in consideration of a sum of 
money paid by him, he was left at length in peaceable 
possession of the disputed lands of Glenluy and Loch- 
arkaig. This family, like many others,, was constrained 
to hold its lands from the Marquis of Argyle and his 
successors. The Clanchameron took an active part 
in all the rebellions in favour of the house of Stewart; 
and the chivalrous character of the <c gentle Lochiel," 
who led his clan in 1745-6, has left an impression which 
will not readily be forgotten. 

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the 
Clanchattan was a flourishing clan; and the present 
Alexander Macintosh, captain and chief of Clanchat- 
tan, besides his estates in Badenoch, still possesses the 
lands in Lochaber so long disputed between his ances- 
tors and the Macdonalds of Keppoch. The Macplier- 
sonSy or Clanvurich, have, during the same period, 
succeeded in establishing themselves as a separate clan 
from the Macintoshes, although not without a struggle. 
At the head of the Clanvurich is the present Ewen 
Macpherson of Cluny, commonly called Cluny Mac- 
pherson, who styles himself also chief of Clanchattan. 
It is, however, well known and easily proved that the 
title of captain and chief of Clanchattan has been en- 
joyed by the family of Macintosh for at least four hundred 
years. The Clanchattan (under which term I compre- 
hend the Macintoshes and their followers) and the 
Clanvurich have both distinguished themselves as 
zealous and gallant supporters of the claims of the 
house of Stewart. 


The history of the Clanneill of Barra, owing to its 
remote situation, offers little of interest during the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries; nor have there sprung 
from this ancient stock any branches of importance. 
Lieut.-Colonel Roderick Macniel, the present repre- 
sentative, possesses Barra and the adjacent Isles,, which 
can be distinctly traced to have been held by his ances- 
tors for upwards of four hundred years; and tradition 
carries their possession much farther back. 

The Clanneill of Gig ha multiplied much more 
rapidly. The direct line of the old family, who were 
certainly in possession of Gigha more than four hundred 
years ago, failed in the person of Neill MacNeill of 
Gigha, in the latter part of the reign of Queen Mary. 
Neill of Gigha, the father of this individual, and many 
gentlemen of the tribe, were killed in a feud with Allan 
Maclean of Torlusk, commonly called Akin na'n Sop, 
prior to the year 1542. Torlusk afterwards disputed, 
but without success, possession of Gigha with James 
Macdonald of Isla, to whom Neill, the son, had sold 
the property. On the extinction of the direct male line 
Neill MacNeill Vic Eachan of Taynish became heir- 
male of the family; and his descendant, Hector Mac- 
neill of Taynish, purchased from the Macdonalds the 
Isle of Gigha, in the end of the reign of James VI., or 
early in the reign of Charles I. Hector's descendants 
possessed the estates of Gigha and Taynish until the 
reign of George III., when they were sold. The family 
however, still exists in the male line, being represented 
by Daniel Hamilton Macneill of Raploch in Lanark- 
shire; and while the present work is passing through the 
press, the Island of Gigha has been purchased by Cap- 
tain Alexander Macneill, younger, of Colonsay. Next 


to the family of Taynish, the principal cadets of the 
old Macneills of Gigha were those of Gallochelly, 
Carskeay, and Tirfergns. From Malcolm Beg Mac- 
neill, a younger son of John Oig of Gallochelly, in the 
reign of James VI., sprung the Macneills of Arichonan, 
a younger son of which family acquired from the family 
of Argyle the Isle of Colonsay, which is now possessed 
by his descendant, the present John Macneill of Colon- 
say. Torquil, a younger son of Lauchlan MacNeill 
Buy of Tirfergus, acquired the estate of Ugadale by 
marriage with the heiress of the MacKays in the end 
of the seventeenth century. Many cadets of the Clan- 
neill of Gigha have settled in the North of Ireland, 
where several flourishing families of the name are still 
to be found. 

The Mackinnons, after engaging both in the rebel- 
lion of 1715 and in that of 1745, lost all their property, 
partly by forfeiture, partly by sale; and there is now no 
proprietor of the name holding any part of their ancient 
possessions either in Mull or Sky. There are still, 
however, many gentlemen of- the name resident in the 
Highlands, particularly in the last mentioned island. 
The honour of being heir-male of this ancient family is 
disputed between William Alexander Mackinnon, M.P. 
for Lymington, and Lauchlan Mackinnon of Letter- 
fearn; nor is the evidence relied on by either party 
conclusive on this head. 

The old Macquarries of Ulva appear to have been 
for some time extinct. The principal cadet of this 
house was Macquarrie of Ormaig, a family which is 
likewise believed to be now extinct. Some branches 
of the Maceaclicrns still remain in Kin tyre. The 
estate of Ugadale, the ancient inheritance of the 


Mackays in Kintyre, passed by marriage, as above 
mentioned, to a younger son of Macneill of Tirfergus, 
in the end of the seventeenth century. 

From the accession ef Charles I. to the death of 
Queen Anne, the power of the Mackenzie*) under the 
Earls of Seaforth and Cromarty, was, next to that of 
the Campbells, the greatest in the West Highlands. 
The forfeiture of the Earl of Seaforth in 1715, and of 
the Earl of Cromarty in 1745, weakened that power 
greatly ; yet the Mackenzies are still one of the most 
numerous and wealthy tribes in the Highlands. The 
estates of the noble families above mentioned are both, 
with some exceptions, now held by heiresses the 
Hon. Mrs. Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth, and the Hon. 
Mrs. Hay Mackenzie of Cromarty ; but neither of the 
titles have been restored. George Falconer Mackenzie 
of Allangrange appears to be heir-male of the Earls of 
Seaforth; and Sir Alexander Mackenzie of Tarbat, 
descended from Alexander Mackenzie of Ardloch, to be 
heir-male of the Earls of Cromarty. The principal 
branches of the house of Seaforth, after Allangrange, 
were those of Gruinard, Kilcoy, Applecross, Coul, Assint, 
Redcastle, Suddy, Achilty, Fairburn, Devachmaluak, 
Gerloch, and Hilton. The principal branches of the 
house of Cromarty, after Ardloch, were those of Pres- 
tonhall, Scatwell, Balone, and Kinnock. 

The Macdougalls of Dunolly suffered much in the 
great civil war, being stanch Royalists ; and, at a later 
period, their estate was forfeited for joining in the 
rebellion of 1715. Being restored on the eve of the 
rebellion of 1745, the Macdougalls were prevented from 
engaging in that unfortunate attempt ; and the estate 
of Dunolly is now held by Captain Macdougall of 


Macdougall, R.N., who appears to be the heir-male of 
Dugall, mentioned in the Introduction as the eldest 
son of Somerled. The principal families sprung from 
the house of Dunolly were those of Gallanach and 
Soraba. The history of the Macdougalls of Raray^ 
the earliest cadets of the house of Lorn, is very obscure 
during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is 
believed, however, that this family is now represented 
by Coll Macdougall of Ardincaple. 

The Steivarts of Appin engaged in all the attempts 
made by the Highlanders in favour of the house of 
Stewart. The principal family has been extinct for 
some time, and their estate has passed into other hands. 
But there are still many branches of this tribe remain- 
ing in Appin. The chief cadets of Appin were the 
families of Ardshiel, Invernahyle, Auchnacone, Fasna- 
cloich, and Balachulish. 

It now only remains to glance at the progress made 
by the Campbells during the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries. The Marquis of Argyle, commonly called 
Gillespick Gruamach, increased the influence of his 
family more than any of his predecessors. He suc- 
ceeded in establishing claims to a great part of the 
estate of Dowart, and he caused all the other Macleans, 
and also the Clanchameron, the Clanranald of Garmo- 
ran, the Clanneill of Gigha, and many other tribes, to 
become his vassals, although they previously held their 
lands of the Crown. His son, the ninth Earl of 
Argyle, consolidated the power thus acquired ; and, as 
the forfeitures of this Earl and his father were both 
rescinded, the family of Argyle, after the Revolution of 
1688, found itself possessed of more influence than any 
family in Scotland. This influence was, as formerly, 

Having now fulfilled the task which, on undertaking 
this work, he imposed upon himself, the author takes his 
leaye ; trusting that he will be found to have succeeded 
in clearing away some of the clouds which formerly 
obscured the history of the West Highlands and Isles. 


supported by the willing services of many powerful 
families of the name, whose distinguishing titles have 
been sufficiently indicated in the course of the present 
work, and do not require to be repeated here. 



Aberdeen, 182, 184, 256. 

Abertarf, 160. 

Acheson of Gosfurd, 395. 

Agricola, 1. 

Aig, son of the Laird of (seems error 

for Dunyveg), 193. 
Airdrie, Laird of, 297. 
Albanich, The, 3. 
Albany, John Duke of, .Regent to James 

V., 116, 117, 122, 123, 125, 138. 
Murdoch, Duke of, 33, 35. 
Robert, Duke of, Regent to James 

I., 31, 32, 33. 
Albion, 3. 
Alexander III., King of Scotland, 20, 

21, 22. 

Anne, Queen of Great Britain, 425. 
Angles, The, 2. 
Angus, Earls of, 44, 129, 131, 132, 

152, 168, 256, 260. 
Angus, William Earl of, 37. 
Angus, son of Somerled, 13, 14, 17, 19. 
Ancruni Muir, Battle of, 168. 
Antrim, County of, 61, 226. 
Antrim, Earls of, see Isles. 
Anstruther of that ilk, Sir James, 

younger, 278. 
Apnadull, 134. 
Appin, 103, 229, 426. See Stewarts 

of Appin. 

Arasaig in Garmoran, 27. 
Ardgour, 71. 
Ardmanach in Ross, Castle of, 56, 


Ardnacross in Mull, 396. 
Ardnamurchan, 25, 27, 67, 118, 125, 

239, 405, 406, 407, 408, 411, 412. 

For Macians of Ardamurchan, see 

Ardnamurchan, The Point of, separat- 

ing the Northern from the Southern 
Hebrides, 14, 122, 306, 371. 
Ardrissak, Point of, 383. 
Ardtornish, Castle of, in Morvern, 30, 


Argyle, Barons of, 400. 
Argyle, Bishops of, 

Neill Campbell, 246. 
Lauder, 45. 

Argyle, Countess of, Annas Keith, 

widow of Regent Murray, 246, 248. 

Argyle, Earldom of, 234, 246, 247, 

248, 249, 251, 258, 369, 399. 
Argyle, Campbells, Earls of, 83, 248. 
Archibald, 2nd Earl, 85, 92, 94, 
95, 96, 98, 100, 101, 103, 104, 
106, 107, 112, 115, 128. 
Archibald, 4th Earl, 135, 136, 
138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 145, 
154, 155, 156, 157, 166, 167, 
168, 171, 173, 175, 178, 180, 
181, 182, 183, 185, 187, 196, 
205, 405. 

Archibald, SthEarl, 187, 188, 192, 
200, 201, 203, 205, 206, 207, 

Archibald, 7th Earl, 234, 236, 
244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 
250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 257, 
258, 259, 260, 267, 274, 289, 
290, 296, 297, 304, 305, 306, 
310, 311, 312, 313, 317, 327, 
341, 342, 343, 346, 348, 354, 
355, 356, 359, 365, 369, 370, 
372, 373, 374, 376, 377, 378, 
379, 380, 381, 382, 383, 384, 
385, 386, 387, 388, 389, 390, 
391, 392, 399, 400, 401, 406, 
407, 408. 
Archibald, Lord Lorn, Marquis 



of, and 8th Earl, 401, 410, 411, 
419, 420, 422, 426. 
Archibald, 9th Earl, 426. 
Colin, 1st Earl, 49, 50, 51, 52, 

53, 73, 84, 85. 

Colin, 3rd Earl, 115, 116, 119, 

121, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 

129, 132, 133, 134, 135, 139, 

141, 342. 

Colin, 6th Earl, 214, 215, 216, 

217, 219, 223, 229, 245, 248. 
Argyle, Family of (Campbell), 83, 
84, 127, 139, 142, 172, 187, 203, 
409, 424, 426. 

Argyle, or de Ergadia, territorial sur- 
name of the Macdugalls, Lords of 
Lorn. See Lorn. 

Argyle Proper, district of, 201, 255, 
334, 371, 376, 378, 379, 400. 

Justice Air of, 100. 

Argyleshire, 141, 143, 201, 202, 293, 
312, 318, 370, 374, 377, 379, 381, 

Armada, The Spanish, 239. 
Aros in Mull, Castle of, 322, 323, 

Arran, Earl of, 101. 

James Hamilton, Earl of, Regent 
of Scotland, Duke of Chatelher- 
ault, 103, 146, 147, 148, 151, 
152, 153, 156, 157, 165, 169, 
171, 172, 175, 177, 180, 181, 
182, 183, 187, 205. 
Arran, Captain James Stewart, Earl 

of, 215, 229. 
Arran, Isle of, 14, 17, 19, 100, 127, 

132, 134, 164, 198, 351, 352, 371. 
Askomull in Kintyre, 282, 317, 326. 
Assint in Sutherland, 73, 102. See 

Macleod and Mackenzie. 
Attacotti, 2. 

Athole, 53, 214, 367, 368, 375. 
Athole, Countess of, 53, 54. 

Earls of, 50, 52, 53, 54, 185, 186, 
201, 202, 214, 215, 244, 257, 

Athole, The Eaid of, 53, 54. 
Auchindoun, Castle of, 260. 
Aulaf MacSitric, King of the Isles, 4. 
Avandale, Andrew, Lord, 210. 
Ayr, a Burgess of, 140. 
Ayr, Burgh of, 100, 134, 135, 282, 

324, 410. 
Ayr, Shire of, 318, 377. 

Badenoch, 43, 77, 78, 98, 103, 105, 
160, 216, 254, 257, 402, 422. 

Bagnall, an English officer in Ireland, 

Ballamonyn in Ulster, 226. 
Balliol, Edward, pseudo-Kingof Scot- 
land, 26. 

Balliol party in Scotland, The, 24, 84. 
Balmerino, James, 1st Lord, 316, 334, 


Balquhidder, 134, 216. 
Ban, a river in Ulster, 194, 226. 
Banffshire, above Carron, 391. 
Bannatyne of Kames, 63. 
Barra, Isle of, 27, 79, 346, 347, 418, 

423. See Macneill. 
Barrisdale in Knoydert, 418. 
Barton, Robert, 101. 
Beaton, Cardinal, 146, 151, 152, 153, 

154, 156, 175, 179. 
Beauly, Priory of, in the Aird, 162. 
Benbecula, Isle of, 29, 60, 66. 
Benderaloch in Lorn, 250. 
Benmore in Mull, 235. 
Benquhillinin Sky , Battle of, 296, 297. 
Bern-bige in Isla, Battle of, 285. 
Berrisay, near Lewis, Rock of, 336. 
Berwickshire, 266. 
Binning, Sir Thomas Hamilton, Lord, 

afterwards Earl of Melros and Had- 

dington, 348, 353, 354, 365, 373, 

375, 376, 377, 379, 380, 382, 388, 

389, 411. 

Bishop. Thomas, 168. 
Bisset, Margery or Mary, heiress of 

the Glens in Antrim, 38, 61, 192. 
Bistache in Coll, error for Brekache, 

which see. 

Blackness, Castle of, 219, 306, 324. 
Blackwater, Battle of, in Ireland, 226. 
Blair in Athole, 1 10. 
Blairnepark in Ross, Battle of, 92. 
Blantyre, Lord, 268. 
Blar-na-leine, Battle of. See Kinloch- 

Bloody Bay in Mull, Battle of, 52, 53, 

65. 69, 73, 74, 79. 
Boisdale in South Uist, 79. For 

Macdonalds of Boisdale, see Isles. 
Boquhan, Lands of, 251. 
Borders, 237, 266. 
Borve in Benbecula, Castle of, 29. 
Boswell, Captain, 383, 386. 
Bothwell, Earl of, 160, 161. Francis 

Stuart, Earl of, 244. 
Bourkes in Connaught, 198. 
Bowes, Mr. Thomas, ambassador from 

Queen Elizabeth to James VI., 244. 
Boyse, a river in Ulster, 193, 194, 226. 
Bracadale in Sky, 74. 
Braes of Lochaber, 160. 
Brae Ross, 302. 
Bran, ship of war, 387. 



Breadalbane, 134, 201. 

Brekache in Coll (Bistache), Castle 

of, 269, 270, 393. 
Brereton, Andrew, leader of English 

troops in Ireland, 194. 
Breve or Celtic Judge of the Lewis, 

The, 210, 213, 271, 291. 
Bristol, 164. 

Britons, The Strathclyde, 2. 
Brodick in Arran, Castle of, 44, 164. 
Broke, Richard, 164. 
Brosse, Sienr de la, 153. 
Bruce, Lady Mary, sister of Eobert 

I., 84. 

Bruce, Princess Marjory, 25. 
Buchanan, Laird of, 93, 112. 
Buchan and Ross, John Stewart, Earl 

of, 33. 

Burleigh, Cecil, Lord, 224, 225. 
Burley, Lord, in Scotland, 357. 
Burntisland, 367. 
Burro wmuir of Edinburgh, 90. 
Bute, Family of (Stewart), 149. 
Bute, Isle of, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 

45, 116, 127, 154, 164, 166, 371. 
Bute, Justice Air of, 100. 
Bute, Sheriff of, 371. 
Bute, Shire of, 266, 282, 377. 

Caithness, Bishop of, 175, 176. 
Caithness, County or Shire of, 48, 60, 

Caithness, Allan Stewart, Earl of, 

37, 38. 62. 

Caithness, Earl of, 374. 
Caledonii or Caledonians, 1, 2. 
Camerons of Callart, 344. 

of Erracht, 343. 

of Erracht, Ewin, 202, 203, 

228, 229. 
Camerons of Glennevis, or MacSorlies, 

77, 202. 

Cameron of Glennevis, Allaster, 343. 
Cameron of Kinlochiel, 343. 
Cameron of Kinlochiel, John, 202, 

203, 228, 229. 
Camerons of Letterfinlay, or MacMac- 

tins, 77, 345. 

Camerons of Lochiel, Captains of the 
Claochameron : 
Allan MacConnell Duy (Reg. Ja. 

III.), 76. 

Allan Mac Ian Duy (Reg. Ja. 
VI.), 203, 228, 229, 248, 261, 
279, 285, 306, 339, 340, 341, 
342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 397, 
402, 403, 416, 421. 
Allan MacOchtry (Reg. Rob. 
II.), 75. 

Donald Dubh (Reg. Ja. I.), 75, 


Donald Dubh MacDonald Vic 
Ewin (Reg. Maria), 183, 202, 

Ewin Allanson (Reg. Ja. IV. and 
Ja. V.), 77,91,92,97, 99, 115, 
127, 159, 178, 179,202, 203,208. 
Ewin Beg Donaldson (Reg. Ma- 
ria), 182. 
Sir Ewin Dubh (Reg. Car. II.), 

64, 403, 422. 

John (father of Sir Ewin), 398, 402. 
Camerons of Strone, or Macgillonies, 


Cameron, Donald, a bastard son of 
Ewin Beg of Lochiel, 228, 229. 
See Clanchameron. 
Campbells, Earls of Argyle. See 


Campbells, The, 83, 84, 85, 128, 132, 
136, 139, 216, 234, 247, 255, 289, 
356, 357, 361, 370, 375, 390, 402, 
410, 413, 414, 425, 426. 
Campbell, Lady Agnes, wife of James 
Macdonald of Dunyveg and the 
Glens, 187, 207, 225. 
Campbell, Archibald, son to the Prior 

of Ardchattan, 376, 377, 379. 
Campbell, Arthur, son of Sir Arthur, 


Campbell, Sir Arthur, 35. 
Campbell, Lady Elizabeth, wife of 
Lauchlan Cattanach Maclean of 
Do wart, 128. 

Campbell, James, 35, 36, 38, 62. 
Campbell, John MacArthur, 34, 36. 
Campbell, Lady Katherine, wife of 
TorquilMacleodofthe Lewis, 73, 96. 
Campbell, Margaret, widow of John 
Oig Campbell of Cabrachan, 247, 
250, 252, 253. 

Campbell, Neill, Bishop of Argyle, 246. 
Campbell of Aberuchill, Colin, 370. 
Campbell of Airds, George, 411. 
Campbell of Airds and Ardnamur- 

chan, Sir John, Baronet, 411. 
Campbell of Ardchattan, Alexander, 
called Prior of, 360, 372, 376, 377. 
Campbell of Ardkinlass, Sir James, 
246, 247. 

John (Reg. Ja, VI.), 244, 

247, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 255, 
371, 379, 383, 384, 392, 400, 407, 

Campbell of Ardnamurchan, Sir Do- 
nald, Baronet, formerly Mr. Don. 
Campbell of Barbreck-Lochow, 371, 
382, 384, 400, 407, 408, 409, 411. 



Campbell of Auchinbreck, Archibald, 


Duncan, younger, 206. 

Dougal, afterwards Sir Dou- 

gall, 246, 247, 305, 369, 370, 371, 

374, 379, 380, 392, 400, 410. 
Campbell of Barbreck-Craignish, 400. 
Campbell of Barbreck Lochow. See 

Campbell of Ardnamurchan. 
Campbell of Cabrachao, John Oig 

(Reg. Ja. VI.), 247, 250, 252, 253. 
Campbell of Calder, Sir John, 1st 

Laird (Reg. Ja. V.), 126, 127, 128, 

132, 141, 342. 
John, 3rd Laird (Reg. Ja. 

VI.), 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 

250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 257, 

Sir John, 4th Laird (Reg. 

Ja. VI.), 289, 355, 356, 357, 358, 

359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 

366, 367, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 

375, 377, 382, 383, 384, 385, 386, 
387, 410. 

Campbells of Calder, The, 212, 255. 
Campbell, Captain of Craignish, 370, 

Campbell, Robert, Captain of Dunoon, 

Campbell, Captain or Constable of 

Dunstaffnage, 25, 400. 
Campbell of Duntroon, 400. 
Campbell ofElangreg(Ilangerig), 400. 

Duncan, 135. 

Campbell of Glenfalloch, Robert, 400. 
Campbell of Glenurchy, Duncan 

(Reg. Ja. V.), 135. 
Duncan (Reg. Ja. VI.), 246, 

247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 253. 
Campbell, son of Glenurchy, 229. 
Campbell of Inveraw, Dougal Mac- 

conachy, 217. 
Campbell of Kilberry, Colin, 383, 

Campbell of Kilmichael, Colin, 383. 
Campbell, James, Lord Kintyre, 399. 
Campbell of Lawers, Sir James, 348, 

356, 359, 370. 
Campbell of Lochnell, Archibald 

(Reg. Ja. VI.), 246, 247, 248, 249, 

250, 251, 253, 258. 
, Alexander (Reg. Ja. VI.), 

371, 379, 382, 384, 460, 410. 
Campbells of Lochnell, The, 249. 
Campbell of Lochow, Sir Duncan, 

1st Lord Campbell, 84. 

,Sir Neill (Reg. Rob. I.), 84. 

Campbell of Loudoun, Sir Hew, 247, 


Campbell of Lundy, Colin, 249, 369, 
370, 371, 392, 400, 408. 

Campbell of Otter, 400. 

Campbell of Skipnish, 126, 135, 141. 

Campbell, Prior of Strathfillan, Ar- 
chibald, brother to Campbell of Law- 
ers, 356, 359, 362, 365, 368, 369, 388. 

Campbellton, Burgh of, 277. 

Campbellton, Castle of, in Kintyre, 
93, 99, 378, 400 

Canna, Isle of, 239. 

Cara, Isle of, 382, 383, 384. 

Carneburg (Kerneburg), a castle on 
one of the Treshinish Isles near 
Mull, 69, 80, 101, 115, 126. 

Carrick, Bailliary of, in Ayrshire, 132, 
134, 167, 226, 282, 312. 

Carrick, Castle of, in Cowal, 253. 

Carrickfergus. See Knockfergus. 

Gary, Governor of Dunluce, 225. 

Castle Sweyn in Knapdale, 79, 84, 381. 

Charles I., King of Great Britain, 411, 
412, 419, 423, 425. 

Chatelherault, Duke of. See Arran. 

Chisholm of Comer, Wiland, 114. 

Clackmannanshire, 320. 

Clan Allaster, or MacAllasters of 
Kintyre, 63, 68, 235, 281, 308, 388, 
418. See Mac Allaster. 

Clanchameron or Camerons, 37, 38, 
40, 56, 60, 68, 70, 71, 74, 75, 76, 77, 
78, 95, 103, 110, 127, 143, 178, 182, 
202, 203, 215, 228, 229, 254, 257, 
341, 342, 343, 344, 346, 402, 406, 

421, 422, 426. See Cameron. 
Clanchattan or Macintoshes, 37, 38, 

39, 40, 41, 56, 64, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 
75, 77, 78, 79, 103, 123, 143, 208, 
228, 254, 255, 257, 341, 398, 415, 

422. See Macintosh. 

Clandonald, North. See Clanhuistein. 

Clandonald, South. See Clan Ian Vor. 

Clandonald, all the Macdonalds or de- 
scendants of the House of the Isles, 
collectively, 69, 74, 79, 83, 311, 417. 
See Isles. 

Clandonald in Ulster, 192, 193, 195, 

196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 221, 

222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227. See 

Isles, and Clan Ian Vor. 
Clandume, or M acnes of Colonsay, 

68, 81, 235. See Macfie. 
Claneachern, or Maceacherns of Kil- 

lelan, 63, 68, 81, 308, 424. See 

Claneboy, a district in Ulster, 200, 

221, 222, 225. 
Clanfinnon, or Mackinnons, 80, 177, 

236, 413, 424. See Mackinnon. 



Clangillean, or Macleans, 51, 60, 68, 
69, 70, 71, 72, 76, 95, 110, 128, 132, 
143, 177, 191, 192, 201, 217, 218, 
228, 230, 231, 233, 234, 235, 236, 
238, 239, 240, 257, 274, 283, 284, 
285, 286, 301, 305, 348, 426. See 

of Coll, 70, 71, 77, 269. 
See Maclean of Coll. 

of Dowart, 69, 80, 81, 101, 

111, 143, 203, 269, 419. See Mac- 
lean of Dowart. 

of Lochbuy, 69, 70, 111, 

143. See Maclean of Lochbuy. 

Clangregor, or Macgregors, 250, 257, 
303, 304, 311, 344, 346. 

Clanguarie, or Macquarries, 81, 177, 
236, 424. See Macquarrie. 

Clangun, 60. 

Clanhuistein, or Macdonalds of Sleat, 
called also Clandonald North, and 
Clandonald of Sky and North Uist, 
61, 81, 94, 102, 106, 107, 108, 110, 
130, 131, 144, 146, 191, 203, 204, 
206, 209, 213, 230, 231, 235, 295, 
296. See Isles. 

59, 67, 110, 125, 178, 235, 238, 239, 
369, 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 410, 

411, 418. See Isles. 

Clan Ian Abrach,orMacians ofGlenco, 
59, 96, 110, 418. See Isles. 

Clan Ian Vor, or Macdonalds of Isla 
and Kintyre, called also Clandonald 
South, 32, 59, 61, 62, 63, 68, 80, 81, 
82, 108, 120, 132, 178, 191, 192, 
199, 200, 201, 218, 221, 222, 223, 
224, 228, 230, 232, 233, 234, 235, 
236, 238, 239, 240, 265, 268, 269, 
274, 283, 284, 285, 300, 311, 312, 
337, 351, 352, 353, 355, 356, 357, 
359, 360, 366, 367, 368, 369, 372, 
373, 374, 376, 377, 378, 390, 413, 
419. See Isles. 

Clankenzie or Mackenzies, 52, 56, 57, 
82, 83, 92, 111, 112, 146, 183, 209, 
210, 211, 212, 213, 299, 300, 301, 
302, 303, 336, 337, 338, 340, 341, 

412, 420, 425. See Mackenzie. 
Clanleod, or Macleods collectively, 51, 

68, 72. See Clanleod of Harris and 
Clanleod of Lewis. 

Clanleod, or Macleods of Harris, Dun- 
vegan, and Glenelg, called also Siol 
Tormod, 72, 73, 74, 81, 130, 144, 
177, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 236, 
272,295,296,412,420. SeeMacleod 
of Harris, Dun vegan, and Glenelg. 

Clanleod, or Macleods of Lewis, called 

also Siol Torquil, 72, 73, 74, 131, 
144, 145, 177, 181, 185, 210, 211, 
219, 220, 221, 235, 265, 278, 336, 
338, 340, 366, 420. See Macleods of 
Lewis, Rasay, and Assint. 

Clanneill, collectively, 51 , 68. See Clan- 
neill of Barra, and Clanueill of Gigha. 

Clanneill, or Macneills of Barra, 79, 

177, 236, 257, 346, 347, 423. See 
Macneill of Barra. 

Clanneill, or Macneills of Gigha, 63, 79, 
235, 308, 376, 423, 424, 426. See 
Macneill of Gigha. 

Clanranald, or Macranalds of Garmo- 
ran ; or of Moydert, Morar, Knoy- 
dert, and Glengarry, 34, 56, 59, 60, 
63, 65, 66, 94, 107, 109, 134, 147, 
157, 158, 159, f60, 161, 162, 163, 

178, 182, 183, 218, 235, 239, 299, 
300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 411, 416, 
417, 418, 426. See Isles. 

Clanranald of Lochaber, or Macranalds 
of Keppoch, called also Macdoualds, 
and Sliochd Allaster Vic Angus, 32, 
56, 59, 63, 64, 78, 108, 109, 208, 
254, 257, 341, 415, 422. See Isles. 

Clanranaldbane, or Macdonalds of Lar- 
gie, a branch of the Clan Ian Vor, 
63, 108. See Isles. 

Clanricarde, Richard Earl of, 198. 

Clanvurich, or Macphersons, 254, 255, 
257, 341, 422. 

Clan Vic Gilvore in Lewis, 291, 292. 

Clerache, Bean, a vassal of Lord Lovat, 
161, 162. 

Clyde, Frith of, 1, 153, 293. 

Clydesdale, Lower Ward of, 282. 

Coan, The (an image used in witch- 
craft), 303. 

Cogeache, District of, 73, 102, 214, 

Coll, Isle of, 17, 24, 70, 71, 79, 191, 
217, 269, 270. 

Colonsay, Isle of, 27, 372, 424. 

Colquhoun, Chamberlain of the Isles 
(Reg. Ja. V. and Maria), 169, 174. 

Colquhouns, The, 303. 

Colwin, John, an Historical Writer. 

Comyn, The Family of, 24, 77, 84. 

Congregation, Lords of the, 187, 188. 

Conn of the hundred battles, King of 
Ireland, 10. 

Connan, River in Ross-shire, 56. 

Connaught, 198. 

Cornwallis, Dame Anna, Countess of 
Argyle, 399. 

Corpach in Lochaber, 71. 

Cowal, 253. 




CTowal, District of, 100, 379, 400. 
Crawford, Earls of, 40, 42, 44, 50, 52, 

98, 372, 373, 374. 
Crawford, Captain, 364. 
Creichmor, Lands of, in Sutherland, 


Craiganairgid in Morvern, 125. 
Craignish in Argyle, 132. 
Crofts, Sir James, 195. 
Cromarty, Mackenzie Earl of, 425. 
Culloden, Battle of, 415. 
Cumrays (Cumbraes), 44, 198. 
Cunningham, Bailliary of, in Ayrshire, 

132, 134, 167, 282. 

Dalriads, The, 2, 3, 

Darnley, Henry Lord, 73. 

David II., King of Scotland, 26, 27, 
28, 29, 67, 72, 73, 84. 

De Ergadia, or of Argyle. Territorial 
surname of the descendants of Dugal 
son of Somerled. See MacDugall 
and Lorn. 

De Insulis, or of the Isles. Territorial 
surname of the descendants of Regi- 
nald son of Somerled. See Macdo- 
nald and Isles. 

Diarmed Mac Maelnambo (an Irish 
Prince), King of the Isles, 5. 

Dicaledones, The, 2, 3. 

Dingwall, 100, 105. 

Dingwalls, The, 82. 

Dingwall of Kildun, 218. 

Dingwall, Castle of, 40, 49, 117. 

Donald Bane, King of Scotland, 11. 

Donald Gorme (a vassal of the Lord 
of the Isles, 1481), 57. 

Donald MacTade (an Irishman), Re- 
gent of the Isles, 7. 

Donibirsel in Fife, 244. 

Douglas, Castle of, 42. 

Douglasdale, 260. 

Douglases, The, 45, 46, 129. 

Douglas, Sir George, brother of Earl 
of Angus, 165. 

Douglas, Archibald. Earl of and Duke 
of Touraine, 39, 40. 

Douglas, James, ninth Earl of, 44, 45, 

Douglas, Sir John, of Balvany, 42, 44, 

Douglas, William, eighth Earl of, 41, 
42, 43. 

Doune in Menteith, Woods of, 250. 

Dowart in Mull, Barony of, 419, 426. 

Dowart. Castle of, 69, 217, 231, 233, 
234, 306, 307, 322, 324, 393. 

Dowdall, Archbishop of Armagh, 

| Drogheda, 176, 221. 

I Drumchatt, in Ross, Skirmish of, 92. 

Dubhgall, The, or Danes, 8, 9. 

Dublin, 175, 177, 201, 221, 226. 

Dufferin (Duffreyn), or White's Coun- 
try in Ulster, 195, 222. 

Dugall, King of the Isles, son of So- 
merled, 13, 17, 18, 426. Ancestor 
of the Lords of Lorn and the Mac- 

Duirinish in Sky, 74. 

Dunand, a fort in Isla, 377. 

Dunaverty, Castle of, in south Kin- 
tyre, 89, 99, 149. 

Dunbar, Castle of, 207. 

Dunbars, The, 41. 


Dunbarton, Burgh of, 100, 133, 134, 
148, 165, 166, 264, 266, 282, 283, 
292, 304. 

Dunbarton, Castle of, 153, 164, 165, 
168, 175, 308, 311, 324. 

Dunbarton, Justice Air of, 100. 

Dunbarton, Shire of, 132, 282, 318, 377. 

Dunconnell, Castle of, iu Scarba, 69. 

Dundalk, 193. 

Dundee, Burgh of, 259. 

Dundee, Viscount of, 415. 

Dunfermline, Alexander Setou, Earl 
of, and Chancellor of Scotland (Reg. 
Ja. VI.), 354, 359, 360, 361, 362, 
365, 366, 379, 382. 

Dunkeld, Bishop of, 251. 

Dunkerd, Castle of, in Garveloch Isles, 

Dunluce, Barony of, 197. 

Dunluce, Castle of, 225, 226. 

Dunluce, Viscount of. See Isles. 

Dunolly, Lands of, 425. See Mac- 

Dunoon in Cowal, Castle of, 166. 

Dunoon, Village of, 166. 

Dunseverig in "Ulster, 226. 

Dunskaich in Sleat, Castle of, 115. 

Dunstaffnage in Lorn, Castle of, 25, 38, 
87, 229, 414. See Campbell. 

Duntroon in Argyle, Castle of, 362, 382. 

Dnntullim in Trouterness, Castle of, 

Dunvegan in Sky, Lands of, 74, 203, 
206, 278, 279. 

Dunyveg in Isla, Castle of, 63, 149, 
232, 273, 288, 307, 312, 313, 319, 
322, 340, 349, 350, 351, 352, 353, 
354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 
361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 370, 372, 
373, 375, 376, 378, 384, 385, 386, 
387, 414. 

Durham, Laurence, Bishop of, 47. 



Duror in Lorn, District of, 24, 27, 70, ; 
95, 100, 126. 

Earls, Scottish Catholic (Reg. Ja. | 

VI.), 256. 257, 258, 259, 260. 
Ed*, King of Scotland, 11, 12. 
Edinburgh Castle, 91, 93, 103, 112, 

135, 188, 243, 292, 306, 310, 311, 

316, 317, 327, ?37, 357, 395. 
Edinburgh, City, 90, 134, 135, 143, | 

148, 164, 214, 275, 291, 303, 310, I 

324, 329, 343, 344, 346, 354, 370, 

373, 374, 380, 402, 404. 
Edinburgh, Shire, 320. 
Edinburgh, West Port of, 317. 
Edward Balliol, pseudo-King of Scot- | 

land, 26. 72. 

Edward IV., King of England, 47, 49. 
Eicg, Isle of, 27, 239, 368, 369, 370, 

Elandonan in Kintaill, Castle of, 98, 

101, 145, 146, 177, 209. 
Elanlochgorme in Isla, Fort of, 233, 

322, 363, 364, 376, 377, 385, 386. 
Elanterim in Moydert, Castle of, 29, 

31, 65, 393, 394. 
Elder, John, a Highland Priest, author 

of a curious letter to Henry VIII., 


Elgin, 179, 315. 
Elizabeth. Queen of England, 222, 223, 

224, 226, 244, 261, 274, 275. 
England, Kings of, 226. 
English Catholics, 260. 
English mercenaries employed, "by 

Macdonald of Isla, 240, 241. 
English vessel seized by pirates of 

the Clan Ian, 410. 
Enniskillen, 261. 
Enzie, George Lord Gordon, Earl of, 

eldest son to the first Marquis of 

Huntly, 343, 344, 371, 391, 392, 

398, 402, 403. 

Erroll, Earl of, 256, 257, 259, 260. 
Erskine, M r. George, advocate,247,253. 
Erskine, Sir George, of Innerteil, 409. 
Evre, Sir Ralph, 168. 
Exchequer, Lords of, in Scotland ("Reg. 

Ja. VI.), 263, 264, 265, 276, 278/ 

Falkland in Fife, 287. 

Fernacostrie in Sutherland, Lands of, 

Fifeshire, 146, 244, 320, 335. 

Fiiiiral MacGodred, King of the Isles, 

Fiongall, The, or Norwegians, 8, 9. 

Fiongall, King of the (one of the ap- 
pellations ot the Lords of the Isles), 8. 

Flemish ship seized by pirates of the 

Clan Ian, 410. 
Flodden, Battle of, 93, 104, 108, 112, 

Florida, The, a vessel of the Spanish 

Armada, 239. 
Forbes, Lord, 257. 
Forfarshire, 135, 146, 320. 
Forret of Fingask, John, 278, 297. 
Forth, Frith of, 147, 367. 
Fort- William, 277. 
Francis I., King of France, 153. 
Fraser of Foyers, James, 162. 
Frasers, The, 161, 162, 179, 208. See 


Galloway, District of, 167, 312, 318, 


Gal way in Ireland, 387. 
Garbhchrioch. See Garmoran. 
Garmoran, or Garbhchrioch, Lordship 

of, comprehending Moydert, Ara- 

saig, Morar, and Knoydert, 24, 27, 

30, 34, 60, 65, 66, 94. See Clan- 

ranald of Garmorau. 
Garragach in Brae Lochaber, 64. 
General Bond, The (vulgar name for 

an Act of the Scottish Parliament, 

1587), 237. 
George III., King of Great Britain, 

413, 423. 
Gerloch in Ross, District of, 73, 111, 

112, 272, 341. See MacKenzieand 

Siol Vic Gillechallum. 
Gigha, Isle of, 27, 191, 207, 384, 423. 

SeeClanneill andMacneill of Gigha. 
Gilladomnau, grandfather of Somerled, 


Gillechallum. See Siol Vic Gille- 

Gillecolane, son of Somerled, 16. 
Gilli, Jarl of the Isles, 5. 
Gillibrede of the Cave, father of 

Somerled, 10, 11, 12. 
Glammis, Master of, 247. 
Glasgow, Archbishop of, 325, 410. 
Glasgow, City, 60, 134, 268, 307, 336. 
Glasgow Muir, Battle of, 165. 
Glasgow University, 205. 
Glenarm, Monastery of, in Antrim, 

Glencairn, Earl of (Reg. Maria), 153, 

155, 165, 167, 168 (Reg. Ja. VI.), 


Glenco, 24, 27, 67, 70, 95, 100, 126. 
Glenco, Massacre of, 315, 418. 
Glenelg, 73, 203, 206, 278, 279, 421. 
Glenfrune, Battle of, 304. 
Glenlivat, Battle of, 257, 258, 259, 261. 



Glenluy in Lochaber, 75, 77, 78, 103, 

227, 397, 403, 422. 
Glenmoriston, 159. 
Glennevis, 77. 
Glens in Antrim, The, 38, Gl, 63, 90, 

108, 193, 197, 199, 200, 222, 224, 

225, 388. See Isles. 
Glenspean in Lochaber, 160. 
Glenurchy in Lorn, 371. 
Godfrey, Lord of Uist. See Isles. 
Godfrey MacFergus, Toshach of the 

Isles, 10. 

Godred Crovan, King of the Isles, 5, 6. 
GodredMacSitric,King of the Isles, 5. 
Godred the Black, King of the Isles, 

7, 13, 14, 15, 17, 20. 
Gofra MacArailt, King of the Isles, 5, 


Gothred, or Gorrie Dubh, 254. 
Gorme, Gormeson. See Isles. 
Gorrie. See Siol Gorrie. 
Gordon. Alexander Seton, Lord of, 

and of Huntly, 40. 
Gordon, Alexander, Lord of, A.D. 1500, 

Gordon, George, Lord, son of the first 

Marquis of Huntly. See Enzie. 
Gordon, Lords of, 79. See Huntly. 
Gordon, Sir Patrick, of Auchindoun, 


Gordon, Sir Robert, Tutor of Suther- 
land, 337, 338. 
Gordons, The, 244, 248, 345. 
Graham of Eryne, George, 354, 355, 

359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 

366, 374. 

Graham, Mr. John, advocate, 247. 
Grant of Bellintone, Archibald, 248. 
Grant of Freuchy, Laird of Grant, 

John (Reg. Ja. V.), 114. 
Grant, Laird of (Reg. Maria), 159, 

160, 162. 
Grant of Freuchy, John (Reg. Ja. 

VI.), 248, 357, 403. 
Grant of Monymusk, 248. 
Grant of Rothiemurchus, Patrick, 248. 
Grants, The, 159, 248, 254, 257. 
Griban in Mull, 80. 

Haco, King of Norway, 17, 18, 26, | 


Haddington, Earl of. See Binning. 
Hamilton, Marquis of, 371, 374. 
Hamilton, Paul, Captain of Arran, 377. 
Hanover, House of, 418. 
Harald, King of England, 6. 
Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, 6. 
Harald Harfager, King of Norway, 4, 

7, 10. 

Harald, son of Godred Crovan, King 

of the Isles, 6 
Harald the Black, 5. 
Harlaw, Battle of, 69, 75. 
Hart, Robert, a Pursuivant (Reg. Jac. 

V.), 133. 
Harris, Isle of, 73, 203, 206, 278, 27i>, 

295, 336, 421. 
Hay, Sir Alexander, Clerk Register of 

Scotland, 289, 355. 
Hay, Sir George, afterwards Earl of 

Kinnoull, 409. 
Hay of Netherliff, Sir George, 316, 

334, 335. 

Hay of Beauly andKingask, Sir James, 
Comptroller to James VI., 314, 319, 
321, 325, 329. 
Hebrides, or Western Isles of Scotland. 

See Isles. 
Hebrides, The Northern. See North 

Hebrides, the Southern. See South 


Henderson, William, Dean of Holy- 
rood, 143. 

Henry VIII., King of England, 152, 
153, 154, 156, 164, 167, 168, 169, 
170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 178. 
Hepburn, Robert, Lieutenant of the 

King's Guard, 307. 
Hertford, Earl of, 174. 
Hobeg in Uist, 394. 
Holyrood, 'Church of, 37. 
Holland, States, 357, 358, 401. 
Home, Alexander, Lord, 117. 
Home, David, younger of Wedderburn, 

Home, William, brother to Alexander, 

Lord Home, 117. 
Huntly, Countess of, 184. 
Huntly, Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of 
and Lord of Gordon, 40. 

Alexander, 3rd Earl of, 97, 98, 101 , 
102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 117, 
123, 125, 130. 
George, 2nd Earl of, 50, 52, 56, 57, 


George, 4th Earl of, 146, 154, 155, 
156, 157, 159, 160, 161, 163, 
168, 171, 173, 175, 178, 179, 
181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 187 
203, 205, 208, 220. 
George, 6th Earl of and 1st Mar- 
quis, 236, 244, 248, 249, 250, 
252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 
258, 259, 260, 261, 274, 286, 
287, 290, 292, 294, 296, 297, 
299, 313, 314, 315, 342, 343, 
344, 345, 367, 391, 392, 398. 



Huutly, Earls of, 79, 247. See Gor- 
don and Enzie. 
Huntly, House of, 398. 

icolmkill or lona, Isle of, 16, 30, 330, 


Icolmkill, Statutes, 330,331, 332, 333. 
Ilanshand, or Shant Isles, near Lewis, 


Ilyntassan near Isla, 361. 
Inchconnell, Castle of, in Locliow, 53, 

55, 85, 96. 
Inchdaholl, an island near the coast of 

Ireland, 386. 

Innerkip in Ayrshire, 44. 
Innerwick. 380. 
limes, Robert, Burgess of the Chan- 

onry of Ross, 411. 
Insnlis. See De Insulis and Isles. 
loria. See Icolmkill. 
Inver, a river in Antrim, 193. 
Inverary, 143, 389. 
Inverkeithing, Battle of, 420. 
Inverlochy in Lochaber, Battle of, 

A.D. 1431, 38, 62, 75. 
Inverlochy in Lochaber, Castle of, 

53, 99, 105, 106, 228. 
Inverness, Burgh of, 35, 36, 48, 54, 

55, 56, 65. 
Inverness Castle, 43, 47, 56, 105, 


Inverness, Justice Air of, 100. 
Inverness, Sheriffship, 105. 
Inverness-shire, 48, 100, 105, 266, 286, 

377, 391. 

Ireland, Chancellor of, 195. 
Ireland, Deputy or Lord Lieutenant 

of, 261, 374, 381, 387. 
Irvine, Burgh of, 134, 282. 
Isay, Isle of, in Waterness, 212. 
Isla, Old House of, afterwards Lords 

of the Isles. See Isles. 
Isla, Modern House of, Lords of Duny- 

veg and the Glens. See Clan Ian 

Vor and Isles. 
Isla, Isle of, 6, 14, 17, 18, 27, 32, 53, 

54, 62, 67, 69, 90, 94, 148, 149, 191, 

230, 233, 238, 272, 273, 274, 284, 

286, 287, 288, 307, 308, 318, 319, 

320, 322, 347, 348, 349, 350, 351, 

352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 

359, 360, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 

368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 375, 

377, 378, 384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 


Isla, of, 386. 
Isla, Rinns of, 191, 232, 265, 272, 273, 

284, 361, 385. 
Isla, Sound of, 362. 

Islanders, Islesmen, or Hebrideans, 
75, 83, 84, 88, 90, 91, 92, 95, 96, 
97, 98, 101, 103, 104, 113, 115, 120, 
126, 132, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 
142, 143, 145, 146, 149, 171, 172, 
173, 174, 176, 177, 180, 181, 187, 
244, 261, 264, 267, 274, 275, 294, 
304, 307, 309, 312, 315, 319, 321, 
322, 323, 325, 326, 328, 329, 330, 
331, 332, 333, 334, 339, 396, 402, 
404, 405. 

Islanders, The South, 310. 
Isleborg, Castle of, 69. 
Isles, Barons and Council of the, 46, 170. 
Isles, Bishopric of the, 172. 
Isles, Bishops of the, 

Angus, son of Donald, second Lord 

of the Isles, 33. 

Andrew Knox, 318, 320, 321, 323, 
324, 325, 326, 329, 330, 333, 
334, 339, 340, 349, 350, 351, 
352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 
358, 359, 365, 374, 404. 
Isles, Family of the (the heads of which 
were, first, Lords of Isla, and after- 
wards Lords of the Isles and Earls of 
Ross), 1, 9, 18, 19,73, 74, 75,84, 172. 

Lords of Isla. 

Angus Mor, son of Donald Mac- 
Reginald, 18, 20, 22, 23, 67. 

Angus Oig, son of Angus Mor, 
24, 25, 26, 66, 75. 

Donald, son of Reginald Mae- 
Somerled, King of the Isles, 18. 

John Mac Angus Oig, 26, 27, called 
also the Good John of Isla. See 
John, first Lord of the Isles. 

Lords of the Isles and Earls of Ross. 

Alexander, third Lord, and second 
Earl of Ross, 33, 34, 35, 36, 
37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 59, 60, 70, 
75, 76, 78, 79. 

Angus (bastard son and heir of 
entail of John, last Lord, but 
died before his father), 48, 49, 
51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 65, 74, 
84, 97. 

Donald, second Lord, and first 
Earl of Ross of his family. 29, 
30, 31, 32, 61, 69, 80. 

Donald Dubh (son of Angus the 
bastard), pseudo-Lord of the 
Isles and Earl of Ross (Reg. Ja. 
IV., Ja. V. et Maria), 53, 54, 
55, 84, 85, 96, 97, 98, 99, 102, 



103, 108, 126, 143, 144, 154, 
155, 156, 162, 167, 168, 169, 
170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 
176, 177, 178. 

Sir Donald Galda of Lochalsh, 
pseudo-Lord of the Isles (Reg. 
Ja. V.), 115. See below, under 
House of Lochalsh. 

James Mac Alexander Macdonald 
of Dunyveg and the Glens, 
pseudo-Lord (Reg. Maria), 177, 
178. See below, under House 
of Isla and Kintyre. 

John of Isla, commonly called 
the Good John, first Lord, 20, 
27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 61, 63, 64, 
65, 66, 67, 69, 72, 78, SO, 109. 
See John Mac Angus Oig, Lord 
of Isla. 

John, fourth and last Lord, and 
third and last Earl of Ross, 
33,40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 
47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 
56, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65, 
67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, 
78, 83, 84, 86, 87, 89, 107, 130, 

Isles Family, Branches of the, as un- 

House of Ardnamurchan. or Maclans. 

Alexander, or Allaster of A. (Reg. 

Ja. III.), 60, 157. 
Alexander of A. (Reg. Maria), 

134, 170. 
Alexander MacDonald Vic Ian of 

A. (Reg. Ja. VI.), 405, 407, 

409, 410, 411, 412. 
Angus, son of John Macian of A. 

(Reg. Ja. V.), 125. 
Angus of A., son of John Spran- j 

gaich (Reg. Da. II.), 26, 27, 67. I 
Donald, Tutor of Ardnamurchan 

(cir. 1612), 407 ? 408. 
Fynvola, wife of Hugh, Lord of 

Sleat, 60. 
John of A. (Reg. Ja. IV. et V.) f 

67,90,92,95:96,101,108,110, i 

116, 117, 118, 121, 122, 124, i 

125, 405. 
John Sunoirtich. son of John Mac- j 

ianof A. (Reg. Ja, V.), 125. 
John of A. (Reg. Ja. VI., cir. ! 

1590), 238, 239, 240, 256, 405. 
John Oig of A. (Reg. Ja, VI.), 

John Mac Allaster Vic Ian of A. 

(1602-6), 306, 406. 

John MacDonald Vic Ian i)i A. 

(1615). 408. 
John Sprangaich, son of Angus 

Mor of Isla, and founder of the 

Clan Ian of Ardnamurchan, 67- 
Mariot, heiress (Reg. Ja. V. et 

Maria) of A., 405, 406. 
Mac Vic Ian, Usurper of A. , 406. 
See Clanian of Ardnamurchan. 

House of Garmoran and the North 
Isles; or, MacRuaries. 

Allan, son of Ruari MacRecjinald 
Vic Somerled, IS, 22, 23, 24, 
(Reg. Alex. III.) 

Amie, daughter, and eventually 
heiress of Roderick or Ruari, 
bastard son of the above Allan, 
and first wife of John, first Lord 
of the Isles (Re*. Da. II.), 31, 
64, 65. 

Christina, daughter and heiress of 
the above Allan, 24, 35. 

Duo-all MacRuari, King of the 
Isles, 18, 22. 

Family of MacRuari, 18, 22, 27, 
28, 73. 

Ranald MacRuari, brother of the 
above Amie (Reg. Da. II. ), 27. 

Roderick or Ruari Mac Allan, bas- 
tard brother of the above Chris- 
tina (Reg. Rob. I.), 24, 25. 

House of Glenco, or Maclans. 

John Abrochsoun (Recr. Ja. IV.), 

John Fraoch, founder of the Clan- 
ian of Glenco (Reg. Da. II.), 
66, 67. 

Macian of Glenco (1605), 306. 

See Clan Ian of Glenco. 

House of Glenrjarry, or Macranalds 
(now Macdonnells). 

Alexander Ranaldson of G. (Reg. 

Ja. V. et Maria), 114. 126, 147, 

Angus MacAllaster of G. (Reg. 

Ja. VI.), 211, 216. 
Angus, younger of Glengarry, son 

of Donald MacAngus, 300, 301. 
Angus or .ZEneas of G., Lord Mac- 

donnell and Aros, 417. 
Col. Alexander Ranaldson Mac- 

donnell of Glengarry and Clan- 

ranald, 417. 



Donald MacAngus of G. (Reg. ; 

Ja. VI.), 218, 219, 264, 300, ; 

302, 303, 304, 412. 
John Macranald of G. (Reg. Ja. | 

III. et Ja. LV.), 66. 
Family of Glengarry, 417, 418. 
Macdonnells of Barrisdale, Cadets 

of G., 418. 
Macdonnells of Greenfield, Cadets 

of G., 418. 
Macdonnells of Luudie, Cadets of 

G., 418. 
Allan Macranald of Lundie (A. ' 

D. 1603), 302. 
A son of Donald Mac Angus of 

G. (1615), 388. 
See Clanranald of Garmoran. 

House of Isla and Klntyre ; or, \ 
Macdonalds of Dunyveg and 
the Glens, and their Cadets. 

Alexander of Isla, son of Sir John 
Cathanach (Reg. Ja. V.), 93, 
108, 116, 124,^125, 132, 133, 
136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 
142, 143, 149, 194, 308, 311. 

Alexander Oig MacAlexander, 
brother of James of Isla (Ileg. 
Maria), 199, 200, 201. 

Sir Alexander, or Allaster Mac- 
Coll Keitache,son of Macdonald 
of Colonsay, and Lieutenant- 
General to the Marquis of Mon- 
trose (1645), 413. 

Alexander MacSorley Buy, 226. 

Angus MacAlexander, brother to i 
James and Alexander Oig, 170, 

171 ^ ? 99 

Angus Ilach, younger son of Sir 
John Cathanach, and first of 
the house of Sanda, 414. Fam- 
ily of Sanda, 415. 

Angus MacJames of Isla (Reg. 
Ja. VI.), 200. 218, 222, 225, j 
227, 228, 230, 231, 232, 233, ! 
234, 235, 236, 237, 241, 242, 
243, 244, 255, 256, 262, 263, 
265, 269, 272, 273, 274, 275, 
280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 288, 
289, 297, 305, 306, 307, 308, 
310. 311, 312, 318, 319, 322, 
326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 334, 
339, 347. 

Angus Oig MacAngus, son of the 
preceding, 319, 349, 350, 351, 
352, 353, 354, 355, 357, 358, 
359, 360, 361, 362, 363, 364, 
365, 374. 

Archibald MacAngus of Gigha 
(Reg. Ja. VI. ), natural son of 
Angus MacJames, 308, 311. 

Coll MacAlexander, brother of 
James of Isla, and progenitor 
of the Macdonalds of Colonsay 
(Reg. Maria), 195, 413. 

Coll Keitache MacGillespick Vic 
Coll of Colousay (Reg. Ja. VI. 
et Car. I.), 349, 358, 360, 364, 
366, 368, 369, 370, 371, 373, 

383, 385, 386, 388, 413, 414. 
Coll MacJames, brother of Angus 

of Isla (Reg. Ja. VI.), 234. 

Doctor Macdonnell, Belfast, de- 
scended from the family of Co- 
lonsay, 414. 

Sir Donald Balloch Maclan Vor 
of Isla (Reg. Ja. II. et Ja. 
III.), 37, 38, 39, 44, 45, 47, 
48, 62, 63, 64, 76, 88. 

Donald Gorme, bastard son of 
Sir James MacAngus of Isla 
(Reg. Ja. VI.), 349, 378, 387, 

Donald Gorme son of James Mac- 
Alexander of Isla (Reg. Ja. 
VI.), 225. 

Donald Ma? Ranald Bane of Lar- 
gie, 63, 99, 101. Family of 
Largie, 414, 415. 

James MacAlexander Vic Tan 
Cathanach of Isla (Reg. Ma- 
ria), 142, 143, 149, 157, 167, 
171, 177, 178, 180, 187, 191, 
192, 195, 197, 199, 200, 201, 
205, 206, 207, 221, 413, 414, 

Sir James MacAngus of Knock- 
rinsay, afterwardsof Isla,grand- 
son of the preceding, 232, 233, 
263, 268, 273, 280, 281, 282, 
283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 289, 
305, 306, 311, 316, 317, 318, 
322, 326, 327, 328, 337, 349, 
350, 351, 357, 366, 367, 368, 
369, 370, 372, 373, 374, 375, 
376, 377, 378, 379, 382, 383, 

384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 397, 
398, 399, 401, 402, 417. 

Sir James MacSorley Buy of Dun- 
luce in Antrim, 226, 227, 268, 
269, 273, 274, 275, 347, 383, 

Sir John Cathanach (Mac Ian 
Vic Donald Balloch) of Isla 
(Re*. Ja. IV.), 47, 48, 62, 63, 
66, 67, 87, 88, 89, 90, 92, 108, 
120, 124. 



John Mor of Isla, 2nd son of John 
first Lord of the Isles, by Lady 
Margaret Stewart, ancestor of 
the Clan Ian Vor of Isla and 
Kintyre (Reg. Rob. III. and 
Ja. I.), 29, 32, 35, 36, 38, 61, 
02, 63, 192, 193. 

Laird of Largie, (1605.) 307, 
(1615.) 384, (1618.) 400. 

Ranald Bane Maclan Vor, first 
of the family of Largie (Reg. 
Ja. II. etIII.), 47, 63. 

Ranald MacColl Vic Alexander 
(Reg. Ja. VI.), cousin-german 
of Angus of Isla, 232. 

Ranald MacJames Vic Alexan- 
der, brother of Angus of Isla 
(Reg. Ja. VI.), 232, 234, 363, 

Fir Ranald MacSorley Buy, Vis- 
count of Dunluce, and first 
Earl of Antrim, 226, 227, 347, 
348, 352, 357, 413. 

Ranald, second Earl and first 
Marquis of Antrim, 413, 414. 

Ranald Oig. bastard son of Angus 
of Isla " (Reg. Ja. VI.), 349, 
370, 388. 

Sorley Buy Mac Alexander Vic 
Ian Cathanach, father of first 
Earl of Antrim, 199, 200, 221, 
222, 223, 225, 226, 268, 275, 
347, 413, 414. 

Sorley MacJames, bastard son of 
Sir James MacSorley Buy of 
Dunluce. 383, 384, 386, 387, 392. 

See Clan Ian Vor. 

House of Keppoch and Garragach in 
Lochaber; or Macranalds (now 

Alexander or Allaster Carrach, 
Lord of Lochaber, 3rd son of 
John 1st Lord of the Isles and 
of Lady Margaret Stewart (Reg. 
Ja. I.), 29/32,39, 40, 63,64, 
78, 108. 

Alexander or Allaster MacAngus 
Vic Allaster Carrach of Kep- 
poch (Reg. Ja. III.), 64. 

Alexander MacColl, of Keppoch 
(killed 1746), 415. 

Alexander MacDonald Glas Vic 
Allaster of Keppoch, murdered 
(Reg. Car. II.), 415. 

Alexander or Allaster MacRanald 
Vic Ranald of Keppoch (Reg. 
Ja. VI.), 254, 260, 306, 341, 

367, 368, 370, 379, 383, 386, 
388, 391, 392, 397, 398, 399, 
401, 402. 

Angus MacAllaster Carrach of 
Keppoch (Reg. Ja. II.), 40, 77. 

Coll MacAllaster Buy of Kep- 
poch (Reg. Ja. VII. et Geo. 
I.), 415. 

Donald Glas MacAllaster Vic 
Angus of Keppoch (Reg. Ja. 
IV.), 109. 

Donald Glas of Keppoch, second 
son of Allaster MacRanald 
(Reg. Ja. VI.), 398. 

Donald MacAngus Vic Allaster, 
Carrach of Keppoch (Reg. 
Ja. III. et IV.), 64, 90, 92, 

Family of Keppoch, 32, 108, 417. 

John Mac Donald Vic Angus of 
Keppoch (Reg. Ja. IV.), 108, 

Mariot, daughter of Agnus Mac- 
Allaster Carrach, and wife of 
Allan Cameron of Lochiel, 77. 

Ranald MacAllaster Vic Ranald, 
younger of Keppoch (Reg. Ja. 
VI.), 367, 370, 383, 388, 391, 
398, 402. 

Ranald MacDonald Glas of Kep- 
poch (Reg. Maria), 64, 159, 
179, 203, 208. 

See Clanranald of Lochaber. 

House of Knoydert, or Macranalds. 

Allan Macranald of K. (Reg. Ja. 

IV.), 66. 
Angus Ranaldson of K. (Reg. 

Maria), 170. 

Family of Knoydert, 416. 
See Clanranald of Garmoran. 

House of Lochalsh, or Macdonalds. 

Sir Alexander of Lochalsh (Reg. 

Ja. IV.), son of Celestine, 55, 

56, 57, 59, 60, 66, 78, 87, 88, 

92, 93, 106, 108, 124. 
Celestine, Lord of Lochalsh, 

brother of John, last Lord of 

the Isles and Earl of Ross, 41, 

55, 56, 59, 76. 
Sir Donald Galda of Lochalsh, 

son of Alexander (Reg. Ja. 

V.), 106, 113, 114, 115, 116, 

117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 123, 

124, 125, 126, 218. 
Family of Lochalsh, 126, 412. 



Margaret, sister of Sir Donald of 
Lochalsh, 218. 

House of Loupe, or Macallasters. 

Alexander or Allaster, son of 

Donald MacReginald, Lord of 

Isla, and ancestor of the Clan 

Allaster, 68. 
Angus Mac Allaster of the Loupe, 

son of John Dubh (Keg. Ja. 

V.), 68. 
Charles Mac Allaster, Steward of 

Kintyre (Reg. Ja. III.), 68. 
John Dubh of Loupe (Res;. Ja. 

IV.), 68. 
Gorrie MacAllaster, of Loupe 

(Reg. Ja. VI.), 281, 307. 
Col. Somerville MacAllaster of 

Loupe, 418. 
Tutor of Loupe (Reg. Ja. VI.), 

and his sons, 281. 
MacAllaster of Loupe, 68, 400. 
MacAllaster of Tarbert, 68, 400. 
See Clanallaster. 

Old House of Morar, or Macranalds. 

Angus Macranald of Morar, 66. 

Family of Morar, 417. 

See Clanranald of Garmoran. 

Modern House of Morar, or Macro- 
nalds (now Macdonalds). 

Dougall MacRauald Bane Vic 
Allan, Ancestor of this family, 
157, 158. 

Family of Morar, 417- 
See Clanranald of Garmoran. 

House of Moydert or Clanranald ; 
Macranalds and Macallans (now 
Macdonalds) and its Cadets. 

Alexander or Allaster MacAllan , 
Vic Ruari, Captain of Clan- i 
ranald(Reg. Ja. V.), 157,158. 

Allan MacRuari Vic Allan, Cap- 
tain of Clanranald (Reg. Ja. 
III. et Ja. IV.), 65, 66, 67, 90, 
92, 110, 157, 158. 

Angus Macdonald of Genaladale, 

Sir Donald MacAllan Vic Ian 
Moydertach, Captain of Clan- 
ranald (Reg. Ja. VI.), 315, 
323, 325, 330, 339, 340, 346, 
347, 348, 349, 367, 371, 377, 

392, 393, 394, 396, 404, 408, 
409, 416. 

John MacAllan Vic Ian Moyder- 
tach, first of Kinlochinoydert, 

393, 416. 

John MacDonald Vic Allan, Cap- 
tain of Clanranald (Reg. Ja. 
VI. et Car. L), 404, 405, 408, 
409, 410, 412. 

John Moydertach MacAllaster, 
Captain of Clanranald, bastard 
son of Alexander MacAllan Vic 
Ruari (Reg. Ja. V. et Maria), 
134, 147, 158, 160, 163, 170, 
179, 182, 185, 186, 187, 208. 

John Macdonald of Glenaladale 
(Reg. Geo. III.), 416. 

John Gig Mac Ian Moydertach 
Vic Allaster, first of Glenala- 
dale, 416, 

Family of Benbecula, 416. 

Family of Boisdale, 416. 

Family of Glenaladale, 416. 

Macdonald of Staffa, 416. 

KanaldBane MacAllan Vic Ruari, 
Captain of Clanranald (Reg. 
Ja. IV.), 102, 107, 110, 130, 
157, 158. 

Ranald Galda MacAllan Vic Rua- 
ri, of Moydert, younger half 
brother of the above Ranald 
Bane, 157, 158, 159, 160, 162. 

Ranald, son of the first marriage 
of John first Lord of the Isles, 
and ancestor of the Clanranald 
of Garmoran, 29, 30, 31, 34, 65. 

Ranald MacAllan Vic Ian Moy- 
dertach, first of Benbecula, 
393, 416. 

Col. Robertson Macdonald of 
Kinlochmoydert. 416. 

Roderick or Ruari MacAllan Vic 
Ranald, Captain of Clanranald 
(Reg. Ja. II.), 63. 

Roderick or Ruari MacAllan Vic 
Ian Moydertach, 393. 

Roderick or Ruari MacAllaster, 
brother of John Moydertach, 
Dean of Morveru and Bishop 
elect of the Isles (Reg. Maria), 

See Clanranald of Garmoran. 

House of North Uist and Garmoran, 
or MacGorries. 

Allaster MacAllaster Vic Gorrie 

of Garmoran (Reg. Ja. II.), 65. 

Allaster or Alexander MacGorrie 



Vic Ian of Garinoran (Reg. Ja. 
I.), 34, 36, 65. 

Godfrey or Gorrie, Lord of North 
Uist and Garmoran, son of the 
first marriage of John first Lord j 
of the Isles, and ancestor of the ' 
Siol Gorrie, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, j 
64, 65. 

Gorrie, a descendant of the pre- 
ceding (Reg. Ja. IV.), 109. 

See Siol Gorrie. 

House ofSleat, or Hacdonalds. 

Alexander MacConnell Gallach, 
brother of Donald Gruainach 
of Sleat, 146. 

Archibald, or Gillespick the Clerk, 
sonof Donald Gallach, and Cap- 
tain of Clanhuistein, 146, 170. 

Archibald or Gillespick Dubb, 
bastard son of Hugh of Sleat, 
and Captain of Clauhuistein, 
107, 130. 

Archibald, son of Donald Gorme- 
son of Sleat, and father of Sir 
Donald Gorme Oijr of Sleat, 

Donald Gallach of Sleat (Reg. Ja. j 
IV.), son of Hugh, 60, 107, 131. ' 

Donald Gorme of Sleat (Reg. Ja. 
V.), son of Donald Gruainach, 
144, 145, 177. 

Donald Gorme Mor of Sleat (Reg. 
Ja. VI.), son of Donald Gorme- 
son, 227, 230, 231, 232, 233, 
236, 241, 243, 244, 256, 261, 
262, 264, 278, 279, 280, 295, 
296, 323, 325, 330, 339, 348, 
352, 368, 371, 377, 396, 412. 

SirDonald Gorme Oig of Sleat (son 
of Archibald),nephewand heirof 
Donald GormM or (Re^. Ja. VI. 
et Car. I.), 396, 404, 405, 412. 

Donald Gormeson of Sleat, son of 
Donald Gorme (Reg. Maria et 
Ja. VI.), 146, 177, 183, 202, 
206, 207, 209, 212, 213, 230. 

Donald Maclan Vic James (Reg. 
Ja. VI.), 295. 

Donald Gruamach of Sleat, son 
of Donald Gallach (Reg. Ja. I 
V.), 131, 134, 144. 

Family of Sleat, 177, 412. 

Hugh, Lord of Sleat, brother of j 
John last Lord of the Isles, 41, ! 
60, 61, 65, 106, 131, 230, 264. I 

Huistein MacGillespick Clerache 
(Reg. Ja. VI.), 230. 

Sir James Macdonald of Sleat 

(Reg. Car. II.), 415. 
James of Castle Games, son of 

Donald Gruamach, 216. 
John MacJames of Castle Games, 

John, eldest son of Hugh of 

Sleat (Reg. Ja. IV.), or John 

Huchonson of Sleat, 60, 61, 90, 


Lord Macdonald, 60,412,413,418. 
Macdonald Terreaghe (Reg. Ja. 

VI.), 230, 233. 
See Clanhuistein. 
Isles, Kings of the : 
Aulaf MacSitric, 4. 
Diarmed MacMaelnambo, 5. 
Dugall MacRuari Vic Reginald 

Vic Somerled, 18, 22. 
Dougall MacSomerled, 13, 17, 18. 
Ewin Mac Duncan Vic Dugall 

Vic Somerled, 18, 22. 
Fingal MacGodred, 5, 6. 
Godred Crovan, 5, 6. 
Godred the Black, 7, 13, 14, 15, 

17, 20. 

Godred MacSitric, 5. 
Gofra MacArailt, 5, 11. 
Ketil, 4. 
Lagman, 6. 

Maccus MacArailt MacSitric, 5. 
Magnus MacOlave, 6, 20. 
Olave the Red, or Olave Bitling, 

6, 7, 9, 12, 16. 
Ragnal MacGofra, 5. 
Reginald MacGodred, 17. 
Reginald MacSomerled, 13, 14, 

16, 17, 18. 

Sigurd (Earl of Orkney), 5. 
* ThorHn (Earl of Orkney), 5. 
Isles, Jarl of the, Gilli, 5. 
Isles, Ladies of the 

Elizabeth Seton, Countess of 

Ross, 40. 
Mary Leslie, Countess of Ross in 

her own right, 30, 31, 32, 33, 


Isles, Angus of the, son of John, who 
was a son of the first marriage of 
John, first Lord of the Isles, 29. 
John of the, father of the pre- 
ceding, 29. 
John of the, bastard son of John, 

last Lord of the Isles, 51. 
Flora of the, sister to John last 

Earl of Ross. 78. 
Margaret of the (Reg. Ja. III.), 

sister or daughter of the last 

Lord of the Isles, 52. 



Isles, Margaret of the, daughter of 
John, first Lord of the Isles, 69. 

Isles, Lords of the (generally), 79, 85, 
86, 139, 146, 147. For the indi- 
vidual Lord, see Isles, Family of the. 

Isles, Lords Commissioners for im- 
proving the (Reg. Ja. VI.), 325, 
326, 329, 333, 334. 

Isles, Lordship of the, 50, 51, 53, 55, 
57, 58, 74, 79, 81, 87, 88, 94, 95, 
103, 111, 129, 139, 143, 144, 149, 

Isles (Ylis), Monsieur de, 117. 

Isles, North, or the Hebrides north 
of the Point of Ardnamurchan, 14, 
22, 24, 28, 30, 34, 99, 102, 106, 107, 
129, 130, 131, 137, 203, 270, 280, 
292, 293, 309, 313, 314, 318, 385. 
See Barra, Benbecula, Canna, Eigg, 
Harris. Lewis, Muck, Rasay, Rum, 
Sky, Uist. 

Isles, North, Justiciar of the, 99. 

Isles, Regent of the, Donald Mac- 
Tade, 7. 

Islemen, North, 373, 379. . 

Isles, South, or the Hebrides south of 
the Point of Ardnamurchan, 14, 17, 
100, 106, 107, 130, 131, 136, 137, 
138, 140, 141, 148, 218, 236, 237, 
280, 290, 293, 306, 310, 312, 313, 
314, 318, 347, 356, 391. SeeArrau, 
Bute, Colonsay, Coll, Gigha, Isla, 
Jura, Kintyre, Man, Mull, Scarba, 

Isles, South, Justiciar of the, 100. 

Isles, Tenants of the, 88, 133. 

Isles, Toshach of the, Godfrey Mac- 
Fergus, 10. 

Isles, The Western, of Scotland,or He- 
brides. See Arran, Barra, Benbe- 
cula, Bute, Canna, Colonsay, Coll, 
Eigg, Gigha, Harris, Isla, Jura, 
Kintyre, Lewis, Man, Muck, Mull, 
Rasay, Rum, Scarba, Sky, Tiree, 

James I., Kincc of Scotland, 33, 35, 36, 
37, 38, 39, 40, 62, 65, 75. 

James II., King of Scotland, 39, 40, 
41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46. 

James III., King of Scotland, 49, 50, 

James IV., King of Scotland, 58, 59, 
62, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 
94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 100, 101, 104, 
106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 114, 
124, 139, 154, 180, 288, 397, 417. 

James V., King of Scotland, 108, 113, 
114, 122, 123, 125, 127, 128, 129, 

131, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 
139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 145, 146, 
147, 148, 149, 150, 152, 155, 158, 
181, 182, 186, 209, 311, 342. 

James VI., King of Scotland, 227, 229, 
230, 232, 234. 236, 240, 241, 242, 
243, 244, 245, 256, 259, 260, 263, 
265, 267, 268, 269, 272, 273, 274, 
275, 277, 278, 282, 283, 284, 287, 
288, 292, 293, 294, 299, 303, 304, 
305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 
313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 
320, 321, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 
328, 329, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 
339, 340, 342, 348, 350, 353, 356, 
357, 358, 359, 363, 365, 370, 373, 
374, 375, 377, 378, 380, 382, 387, 
389, 390, 392, 393, 394, 396, 399, 
401, 402, 405, 410, 411, 414, 416, 
419, 423, 424. 

James of Bute, son of Angus Mac- 
Rorie (MacSorlie?), 19. 

Jane, daughter and heiress of James 
of Bute, 19. 

Jura, Isle of, 14, 17, 24, 27, 67, 69, 
70, 230, 233, 311, 373, 370, 384. 

Keill in Morvern, 406. 

Kenalban or Morvern, 25. 

Kenlochew. See Kinlochew. 

Kenneth Moire (Qu. Chief of the 
Mackenzies, Reg. Ja. I.), 36. 

Keppoch in Lochaber, 415. 

Kilchrist in Ross, Pibroch of, 302. 

Kilchrist in Ross, Raid of. 302, 303. 

Killicrankie, Battle of, 415. 

Kilinorie in Strathaird, Sky, 393. 

Kiltrynad, Church of, in Uist, 295. 

Kinel Conel on Lough Foyle, in Ulster, 

Kiuel Owen on Lou ghFoyle, in Ulster, 

Kingussie in Badenoch, 105. 

Kinlochew (Kenlochcw), in Ross, 112, 
145, 146. 

Kinloch-lochy in Lochaber, Battle of 
(A.D. 1544), called also Battle of 
Blar-na-leine, 161, 162, 163, 179. 

Kinross-shire, 320. 

KintaillinRoss, 27, 83, 135, 145, 148, 
301, 302. 

Kintaill, Lords of. See Mackenzie. 

Kintaill, Men of, 146. 

Kintyre, District of, 14, 17, 25, 26, 27, 
32, 50, 51, 62, 63, 81, 82, 85, 94, 
100, 136, 137, 138, 141, 148, 167, 
178, 198, 235, 267, 268, 269, 272, 
273, 274, 277, 280, 281, 282, 283, 
286, 287, 288, 293, 295, 305, 306, 



307, 308, 310, 311, 312, 350, 359, 

371, 373, 376, 377, 378, 379, 380, 

382, 384, 387, 390, 400, 414, 418, 


Kintyre, Lordship of, 399. 
Kintyre, North, 149, 308, 311. 
Kintyre, South, 149, 308, 311. 
Kintyre, Waste lands of, 269, 308. 
Knapdale, District of, 14, 25, 26, 27, 

r>0, 51, 69, 79, 84, 88, 94, 100, 148, 

371, 381. 

Knepoch in Lorn, 251. 
Knockfergus, or Carrickfergus, in Ul- 
ster, 170, 171, 172, 195; 196, 198, 

221, 222. 
Ivnox of Ranfurlie, John (A.D. 1614), 

353, 354, 358, 359. 
Knox, Mr. Thomas, son to Andrew, 

Bishop of the Isles (A.D. 1614), 

353, 354, 358, 359. 
Knoydert in Garmoran, District of, 

27, 340, 368, 416, 417, 418. 
Kyle in Ayrshire. Bailliary of, 132, 

'134, 167. 
Kyle of Sky, 301. 

Lady's Rock, near Lismore and Mull, 

Lagebread in Ross, Battle of (Reg. 

Ja. III.), 52. 

Lagraau, King of the Isles, 6. 
Lambert, Sir Oliver, 362, 363. 
Lamont, The Laird of, A.D. 1615, 


Latoun, Sir Brian, 168. 
Larach tigh Mhic Dhonuill, 146. 
Lauder, Bishop of Argyle, 45. 
Leirmonth of Balcolmy, James, 278, 

291, 297. 
Leith, 164. 

Lennox, Duncan, Earl of (Reg. Ja. 
I.), 33. 

Lennox, Earldom, or District of, 166, 
267, 303. 

Lennox, Ludovick, Second Duke of 
(Reg. Ja. VI.), 260, 267, 278, 283, 
286, 287, 290, 292, 317. 

Lennox, Matthew, Earl of, Regent to 
James VI., 152, 153, 164, 165, 166, 
167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 
174, 176, 177, 178, 179, 194, 213. 

Leod, Progenitor of the Clanleod, 72. 

Leslie, General, 414. 

Lewis, Barony of, 131. 

Lewis, Estate of, 144. 

Lewis, Isle of, 22, 26, 27, 72, 73, 96, 
111, 147, 210, 220, 270, 272, 277, 
278, 279, 2SO, 286, 287, 290, 291, 

292, 294, 295, 297, 298, 299, 304, 

309, 310, 313, 314, 316, 334, 335, 

336, 337, 391. 

Lewis, Lowland Colonists or Adven- 
turers of (Reg. Ja. VI.), 278, 279, 

280, 286, 287, 290, 291, 292, 297, 

298, 304, 309, 310, 315. 
Lindores, Patrick, Commendator of, 

Lindsay, Alexander, a pilot (Reg. Ja. 

V.), 147. 
Lindsay of Balcarras, John, Secretary 

of State for Scotland to James VI., 

272, 273, 274, 277. 
Lismore, Isle of, 128. 
Livingston, Sir James (Reg. Ja. III.), 

43. ' 
Livingston of Kilsyth, Sir William, 


Livingstones, The, 41. 
Lochaber, Lordship or District of, 24, 

27, 32, 37, 38, 53, 54, 56, 64, 66, 

67, 70, 71, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 95, 

96, 97, 98, 100, 103, 105, 109, 115, 

163, 203, 229, 260, 277, 343, 344, 

367, 368, 371, 388, 391, 397, 398, 

402, 403, 415, 422. 
Lochaber, The Braes of, 70. 
Lochaber, Lord of. See Isles. 
Lochalsh in Ross, District of, 59, 218, 

300, 301. 
Locharkaig in Lochaber, Lands of, 75. 

77, 78, 103, 228, 397, 403, 422. 
Lochbroom in Ross, District and Loch 

of, 59, 218, 270, 309. 
Lochcarron in Ross, 59, 218, 219, 300. 
Lochcrinan in Argyle, 382. 
Lochoruinart in Isla, Battle of, 284, 

285, 286, 305. 
Lochiel in Lochaber, Lands of, 59, 70, 

76, 77, 95, 110, 126, 342. 
Lochkilkerran in Kintyre, 100, 307- 

See Campbellton. 
Lochkilkerran, Castle of, 93, 99. See 


Lochlochy in Lochaber, 160, 161. 
Lochmaben, Castle of, 42. 
Lochow, Barony of, 249. 
Lochrannoch, 368. 
Lochransa in Arran, 132. 
Lodorns, a harbour in Isla, 385. 
Loghill in Ulster, 226. 
London, 309, 310, 399, 401, 402. 
Long Island, 9. See Barra, Benbe- 

cula, Harris, Lewis, and Uist, which 

form the Long Island. 
Lorn, District or Lordship of, 24, 38, 

83, 84, 100, 126, 201, 202, 245, 250, 

251, 371, 373, 376, 379, 400. 
Lorn, Lords of, territorially surnamed 



de Eryadia or of Ar gyle; and patro- 

nymically MacDuf/all, from Dugall 

son of Somerled, 18, 24, 83, 84, 426. 

Alexander (Reg. Alex. III. et 

Rob. I.), 23, 24. 

Ewiii (erroneously John), called 

King Ewin, son of Duncan, son 

of Dugall, son of Somerled, 18, 


John, son of Alexander (Reg. 

Rob. I. ), 24. 

John or Ewin, son of John, son of 
Alexander (Reg. Da. II.), 28, 80. 
Lorn, Stewart, Lord of, 83. 
Lough Foyle in Ulster, 261. 
Lovat, Lords, 83, 97, 98, 157, 158, 159, 
160, 161, 162, 163, 179, 181, 208, 
216, 248. 
Lovat, Master of (A.D. 1544), 161, 


Loyng, Isle of, 216, 250. 
Lyndale in Sky, Lands of, 74. 

Mac Alexander, Coll, the three sons of, 

MacAllan of Moydert. See Isles. 

MacAllan Vic Allan, the peculiar 
patronymic of the Chieftains of 
Knoydert, 66. See Isles. 

MacAllaster of Loupe. See Isles. 

MacAllaster of Tarbert. See Isles. 

MacAlpin, Kenneth, King of Scot- 
land, 3, 7, 10. 

MacAulay of Ardincaple, Sir Aulay, 

MacConeyllis Kin (Macdonald'sKin), 
the chiefs of the family of the Isles, 
147. See Isles. 

MacConnel Duy, or MacDonald Dubh, 

the peculiar patronymic of Cameron 
ofLochiel. See Cameron and Clan - 

MacDhonuill na'n Eilean, or Mac- 
Donald of the Isles, the peculiar 
patronymic of the Chiefs of Sleat, 
and of their representative, Lord 
Macdonald, 61, 418. See Isles. 

Macdonald, a patronymical surname, 
generally used in modern times by 
all the branches of the family of 
the Isles. See Isles. 

Macdonald, Hugh, a Seannachie, or 
Genealogical Historian, 10. 

Macdonnell of Glengarry. See Isles. 

Macdonnell of Keppoch. See Isles. 

Macdougall of Dunolly, Alexander 
(A.D. 1493), 83. 

Macdougall of Ardincaple, Coll, 426. 
Duncan, 249, 250, 251, 252. 

Captain John, R. N., and of Mac- 
dougall, 425, 426. 
Macdougall, Laird of (Dunolly), 382, 

400. ^ 

Macdougalls, The, 83, 425, 426. 
Macdougall of Lorn ( Dunolly), 63. 
Macdougalls of Gallanach, 426. 
Macdougall of Morar. See Isles. 
Macdougall of Raray, John, 382, 400. 
Macdougall, Alexander, brother to 

John of Raray, 372. 
Macdougalls of Raray, 426. 
Macdougalls of Soraba, 426. 
Macdougalls of Argyle and Lorn, 18, 

28. See de Ergadia and Lorn. 
Macduffie. See Macfie. 
Maceachern of Killelan, Colin (A.D. 

1493), 82. 
MacEllar, the assassin of Campbell of 

Calder (A.D. 1592), 250, 252. 
Macfarlane of Tarbet, Walter, 166. 
Macfie (Macduffie) of Colonsay, Do- 
nald (A.D. 1463), 81. 
Donald (A.D. 1609), 330. 
Malcolm (A.D. 1615), 376, 378, 

379, 386, 387, 389. 
Murroch (A.D. 1531), 81. 
Mach'nnon or Macfingon. See Mac- 
MacGillecrist Vic Gillereoch, Donald 

Dubh, 112, 113. 
MacGillonies of Strone in Lochaber. 

See Cameron. 
MacGorrie, Allaster, 300. 
MacHenry in Glenco, Dougall, 66, 67. 
MacHeth, Malcolm or Wymund, Earl 

of Murray, 15. 

Maclan Abrach, the peculiar patrony- 
mic of Maclean of Coll, 71. 
Macian of Ardnamurchan. See Isles. 
Macian of Glenco. See Isles. 
Macian in Jura, Donald Gigach (A.D. 

1615), 376, 379. 
Mac Ian Vor, John (A.D. 1615), 386, 

Macilduy. Neill, a follower of Maclean 

of Dowart (A.D. 1609). 323. 
Macintosh, Captain and Chief of Clan- 

Alexander (Reg. Gul. IV.), 422. 
Duncan (Reg. Ja. III. et IV.), 

41, 56, 78, 87, 91. 
Ferquhard (Reg. Ja. IV.), 56, 

78, 91, 93, 103. 
Lauchlan (Reg. Ja. VI.), 208, 


Sir Lauchlan, grandson to the 
preceding (Reg. Ja. VI.), 357, 
391, 402, 403. 



Malcolm (Reg. Ja. II.), 39, 78. 
William (Reg. Da. II.), 78. 
William (Reg. Maria), 179, 184, 

William Lauchlanson (Reg. Ja. 

V.), 115. 
See Clanchattan. 
Macintosh, Laird of, Steward of Loch- 

aber, 108. 

Mackay of Strathnaver, 208. 
Donald (Reg. Ja. V.), 147. 
Y (Reg. Ja. IV.), 102. 
Mackays of Strathuaver, The, 82. 
Mackay of Ugadale in Kintyre, Gil- 
christ Mac Imar (Reg. Rob. I.), 
Mackays of Ugadale, G3, G8, 82, 308, 

388, 424, 425. 

Mackeuzies of Achilty, 425. 
Mackenzie of Allan grange, George 

Falconer, 425. 

Mackeuzies of Applecross, 425. 
Mackenzies of Assint, 425. 
Mackenzie of Ardloch, Alexander, 425. 
Mackenzies of Balone, 425. 
Mackenzies of Coul, 425. 
Mackenzie of Cogeache, Sir Ruari 
(Tutor of Kintaill), 270, 335, 337, 
Mackenzie of Cromarty, Hon. Mrs. 

Hay, 425. 

Mackenzies, Earls of Cromarty, 425. 
Mackenzies of Davachmaluak, 425. 
Mackenzies of Fairburn, 425. 
Mackenzie of Gerloch, 341. 
Alexander, 211. 

Eachan or Hector Roy, 111, 211. 
John, 213. 

Murdoch, son of Gerloch, 341. 
Mackenzies of Gerloch, 341, 425. 
Mackenzies of Gruinard, 425. 
Mackenzies of Hilton, 425. 
Mackenzies of Kilcoy, 425.^ 
Mackenzies of Kinnock, 425. 
Mackenzies of Kiutaill 

Alexander (Reg. Ja. Ill), S3. 
Colin (Reg. Ja. VI.), 209, 212, 

216, 218, 219, 220. 

Colin, 2nd Lord Kintaill and 1st 

Earl of Seaforth (Reg. Ja. VI. 

et Car. I.), 337, 391, 412, 425. 

Kenneth i'Vlaire (Reg. Ja. III. 

etIV.), 52, 54, 56, 83. 
Kenneth Oig, son of the preced- 
ing (Reg. Ja. IV.), 83, 91, 93, 
111, 112. 

Kenneth (Reg. Maria), 202, 205. 

Kenneth, 1st Lord Kintaill (Reg. 

Ja, VI.), 270, 271, 279, 280, 

290, 291, 292, 295, 298, 300, 

301, 302, 303, 316, 335, 336. 

John (Reg. Ja. IV. et V.), 83, 

III, 112, 116, 117, 145, 148, 
209, 210, 211. 

I Mackenzie, Janet, daughter of John 
Mackenzie of Kintaill, and first wife 
of Ruari Macleod of Lewis (Reg. 
Ja. V.), 209. 

i Mackenzies of Prestonhall, 425. 
i Mackenzie of Redcastle, Ruari, 219. 
Mackenzies of Redcastle, 425. 
Mackenzies of Scatwell, 425. 
Mackenzie of Seaforth, Hon. Mrs. 

Stewart, 425. 
Mackenzies of Suddy, 425. 
Mackenzie of Tarbat, Sir Alexander, 

425. See Clankenzie. 
Mackinnou of Strath ordell in Sky and 
Mishnish in Mull, Chief of his Clan. 
Ewin (Reg. Ja. V. et Maria), 170. 
Lauchlan^ A.D. 1585), 216, 234. 
Sir Lauchlan (Reg. Ja. VI.), 234, 
285, 330, 339, 371, 392, 393, 
394, 396, 404, 405. 
Lauchlan (Reg. Ja. I.), 80. 
Neill (Reg. Ja. V.), 81, 121. 
Mackinnon, Neill. son to Lauchlan M. 

of Strathordell (A.D. 1585), 234. 
Mackinnon, William Alexander, M.P., 

Mackinnon, Lauchlan, of Letterfearn, 

Maclauchlan, The Laird of (A.D. 

1615), 383. 
Maclean of Ardgour : 

Donald, son of Lauchlan Bronach 

of Dowart (Reg. Ja. II.), 71. 
Ewin, son of Donald (Reg. Ja. 

III.), 71. 

Ewin (Reg. Ja. VI.), 234. 
John (Reg. Maria), 170. 
Lauchlan MacEwin (Reg. Ja. 

IV. et V.), 72, 121. 
Macleans of Ardtornish, 420. 
Macleans of Borrera, 420. 
Maclean of Brolos, Allan, afterwards 

Sir Allan Maclean of Morvern or 
Dowart, 419. 

Donald, first Laird, 419. 
Maclean, Captain of Carneburg, 302. 

Hector, 234. 
Maclean of Coll : 

Hector, son of John Abrach (Reg. 

Maria), 190. 
Hector, grandson of John Abrach 

(Reg.'Ja. VI.), 269. 
John Abrach (Reg. Ja. V. et 
Maria), 71, 134, 170. 



John Garve, first Laird of Coll, 

son of Lauchlan Bronach of 

Dowart (Reg. Ja. II. et III.), 

40, 70, 71, 76, 79. 

John, son of John Garve (Reg. 

Ja. IV.), 71, 76. 

Lauchlan (Reg. Ja. VI.), 269, 
270, 297, 330, 371, 392, 393, 
394, 396, 404, 409. 
Macleans of Coll, 269, 419, 420. 
Maclean of Dowart : 

Hector, son of Lauchlan Luba- 

nach (Reg. Ja. I.), 69. 
Hector, son of Lauchlan Oig 
(Reg. Ja. III. et IV.), 69,91, 

Hector, son of Lauchlan Catta- 
nach (Reg. Maria), 134, 136, 
137, 140, 148, 170, 174, 190, 

Hector, son of Sir Lauchlan Mor 
(Reg. Ja. VI..), 234, 259, 285, 
300, 302, 306, 3 1 8, 322, 323, 
324, 325, 329, 330, 334, 339, 
346, 348, 371, 377, 379, 392, 
393, 394, 395, 396, 404. 
Hector, son of the preceding (Reg. 

Ja. VI. etCar. I.), 419. 
Lauchlan Lubanach, first of Dow- 
art (Reg. Da. II., Rob. II., 
Rob. III., et Ja. I.), 69,70. 
Lauchlan Bronach grandson of 
the preceding (Reg. Ja. I. et 
II.), 60, 71. 

Lauchlan Oig, son of Lauchlan 
Bronach (Reg. Ja. II. et HI.), 

Lauchlan Cattanach (Reg. Ja. 
IV. et V.), 97, 99, 101, 115, 
116, 119, 121, 122, 123, 124, 
127, 128. 

Sir Lauchlan Mor (Re<*. Ja. VI.), 

216, 217, 218, 219; 227, 230, 

231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 

237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 

243, 244, 249, 255, 256, 259, 

264, 265, 269, 270, 274, 275, 

283, 284, 285, 286, 405, 419. 

Macleans of Dowart, 269, 419. 

Macleans of Isle of Muck, 420. 

Maclean of Kengarloch, Donald (Reg. 

Maria), 170. 

Macleans of Kinlochaline, 420. 
Maclean of Lochbuy : 

Hector Reganach, first of the 
family (Reg. Rob. II. et III.), 
69, 70. 

Hector (Reg. Ja. VI.), 330, 342, 
371, 392, 393, 394, 396, 404. 

John (Reg. Ja. IV. etV.), great- 
grandson of Murchard, 55, 70, 
76, 87, 99, 101, 119, 122, 126, 
134, 342. 
Murchard, son of Hector Rega- 

iiach (Reg. Ja. I.), 70. 
Murdoch (Keg. Maria), 170. 
Macleans of Lochbuy, 419, 420. 
Maclean of Morvern, Sir Lauchlau, 
afterwards of Dowart, 419. 

Lieut. -Gen. Sir Fitzroy G. Mac- 
lean, eighth Baronet, 419. 
Macleans of Scallasdale, 420. 
Macleans of Tapul, 420. 
Maclean of Torlusk and Gigha, Alein 
na'n Sop, brother to Hector of Dow- 
art (Reg. Ja. V. et Maria), 170, 
178, 217, 423. 
Maclean of Torlusk : 

Lauchlan, younger son of Sir 
Lauchlan Mor, 323, 330, 395, 
396, 419. 

Mrs. Clephane, 419. 
Macleans of Tressinish, 420. 
Maclean, Allan, brother to Hector 
MacLauchlan Mor of Dowart (A, D. 
1609), 330. 

Allan, a near relation of Lauchlan 

Mor(A.D. 1585), 233, 234. 
Allan, son to Ewin of Ardgour 

(A.D. 1587), 234. 
Donald, son to Hector of Carne- 

burg (A.D. 1587), 234. 
Donald, uncle to Lauchlan Catta- 
nach of Dowart, 121. 
Fynvola, daughter of Dowart and 
wife of Celestiue of Lochalsh 
(Reg. Ja. III.), 60. 
Hector, son to Lauchlan of Tor- 
lusk (Reg. Ja. VI.), 396. 
Hector, son of Alein na'n Sop, 

John, uncle of Sir Lauchlan Mor, 

Lauchlan Barrach, a son of Sir 

Lauchlan Mor, 285. 
Patrick, Justiciar of the Isles, 
brother of Hector of Dowart 
(Reg. Maria), 172. 
See Clangillean. 

Macleod of Assint, Neil Angusson 
(Reg. Maria), 213. 
Tormod, first of Assint, 37. See 

Macleod of Geanies. 
Macleods of Assint, 73, 420. 
Macleod of Bernera, Sir Norman, first 

of, 421. 

Macleods of Cadboll, 420. 
Macleods of Cambuscurry, 420. 



Macleod of Cogeache, Torquil Conn a- 

nach, 316. See Macleod of Lewis. 

Macleod of Dun vegan. See Macleod 

of Harris. 
Macleod of Geanies, Donald, 420. See 

Macleod of Assint. 

Macleod of Gerloch, Ruari Mac Allan 
(Reg. Maria et Ja. VI.), 211, 212, 
Macleod of Glenelg. See Macleod of 


Macleod of Grisernish, Donald, 421. 
Macleod of Hamer, William, 421. 
Macleod of Harris, Dun vegan, and 
Glenelg : 

Alexander or Allaster Crottach 
(Reg. Ja. IV. et V.), 74, 93, 
101, 115, 116, 119,122, 124, 130, 
131, 134, 144, 145, 147, 170. 
Donald (Reg. Maria), 204, 207. 
John Oig (Reg. Maria), 204, 205. 
Malcolm, son of Tormod (Reg. 

Da. II.), 73, 74. 
Mary (Reg. Maria et Ja. VI.), 

184, 187, 204, 205, 206. 
Sir Ruari Mor (Reg. Ja. VI.), 
261, 264, 270, 278, 280, 285, 
295, 296, 315, 323, 324, 330, 
336, 338, 339, 369, 371, 377, 
392, 393, 394, 396, 397, 404, 
405, 409, 410, 411, 421. 
Tormod (Reg. Ja. VI.), 202,206. 

207, 227. 

William (Reg. Ja. III.), 60, 74. 
William, son of Allaster Crottach, 

(Reg. Maria), 203, 204. 
William, son of Tormod (Reg. Ja. 

VI.), 231, 234. 
Macleod of Lewis : 

John MacTorquil (Reg. Ja. V.), 

131, 134, 144. 
Malcolm, uncle of the preceding, 

111, 116, 125, 131, 144. 
Tormod,/0wr/A son of Ruari (Reg. 
Ja. VI.), 219, 298, 299, 309, 
310 337 

Torquil (Reg. Da. II.), 72. 
Torquil (Reg. Ja. IV.), 73, 85, 
93, 96, 97, 99, 102, 111, 130, 131. 
Torquil Counanach (also styled of 
Cogeache), eldest son of Ru- 
ari (Reg. Maria et Ja. VI.), 
209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 
220, 221, 264, 265, 270, 271, 

Torquil Oighre, younger of Lewis, 
second son of Ruari (Reg. 
Maria), 210. 
Torquil Dubh, third son of Ruari 

(Reg. Ja. VI.), 219, 264, 265, 
270; 271,291, 298, 337. 

Paiari or Roderick (Reg. Ja. I.), 

Ruari or Roderick (Reg. Ja. III. 
et IV.), 73, 90. 

Ruari or Roderick (Reg. Ja. V. 
Maria et Ja. VI. ), son of Mal- 
colm, 144, 147, 170, 183, 185, 
202, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 
214, 219, 220, 227, 291, 298, 
337, 338. 

Macleods of Luskinder, 421. 
Macleod of Rasay (Reg. Ja. V.), 125. 

John or Ian na Tuaidh (Reo-. Ja. 
V.),210, 211. 

John (Reg. Gul. IV.), 420. 

Malcolm or Gillechallum Garve 
MacAllaster (Reg. Maria et 
Ja. VI.), 212, 338. 

Malcolm or Gillechallum Oig, son 

of the preceding, 338, 341. 
Macleods of Rasay. 

See Siol Vic Gillechallum. 
Macleod of Talisker, Sir Roderick, 421. 
Macleod, Alexander or Allaster, bro- 
ther to William of Harris (A.D. 
1587), 234. 

Allaster, brother to Sir Ruari 
Mor of Harris, 296, 323. 

Donald, bastard son of Ruari of 
Lewis (Reg. Ja. VI.), 220, 221. 

Donald Glas, a near relation of 
Sir Ruari Mor of Harris, 295, 

Donald, son of Neill the Bastard 
(Reg. Ja. VI.), 336, 337. 

John, son of Torquil Connanach 
of the Lewis (Reg. Ja. VI.), 220. 

Malcolm, son of Ruari Oig, the 
bastard (Reg. Ja. VI.), 336, 
337, 366, 370, 388, 392. 

Murdoch, bastard son of Ruari 
of Lewis (Reg. Ja. VI.), 220, 
291, 292, 297. 

Neill, bastard son of Ruari of 
Lewis (Reg. Ja. VI.), 220, 271, 
291, 292, 297, 298, 309, 310, 
315, 324, 335, 336, 337. 

Ruari Oig, bastard son of Ruari 
of Lewis (Reg. Ja. VI.), 220, 
221, 336, 337. 

Ruari, son of Ruari Oig the bas- 
tard, 336, 337. 

Ruari, son of Torquil Dubh of 

Lewis, 338. 

Tormod Uigach, bastard son of 
Ruari of Lewis (Reg. Ja.'/VL), 



Torquil, son of Torquil Dubh of ; 

Lewis, 338. 
William, son of Ruari Oig the 

bastard, 336, 337. 
William, son of Torquil Dnbh of 

Lewis, 338. 
Macleod Bannatyne, Sir William, 421. 

See Clanleod. 
MacMakan (MacMahon or Matliew- 

son of Lochalsh), 36. 
MacMasters of Ardgour, The, 71. 
Macneill of Arichonan, Malcolm Beg, 

Macneill of Barra, 79. 

Gilleonan, son of Eoderick, son 

of Murchard (Reg. Ja. I.), 79. 

Gilleonan (Reg. Ja". IV. etV.), 

79, 91, 99, 1 .1. 

Gilleonan, Gilliganan (Reg. Ma- 
ria), 170. 
Neill, son to Ruari (Reg. Ja. VI. 

et Car. I. ), 346. 
Eoderick or Ruari (Reg. Ja. VI.), 

234, 285, 315, 346. 
Lieut. Col. Roderick, 423. 
Macneill of Carskeay, Hector (A.D. 

1618), 400. 

Macneills of Carskeay, 424. 
Macneil of Colonsay, Captain Alex- 
ander, younger, 423. 

John, 424^. 

Macneill of Gallochelly, John Oig, 424. 
Macneills of Galloche ly, 424. 
Macneill of Gigha, Constable of Castle 
Sweyn(Reg. Ja. III.), Hector Mac- 
Torquil, 79. 
Macneill of Gigha, 80. 

Neill (Reg. Ja. V.), 423. 

Neill, son to the preceding (Reg. 

Maria), 168, 423. 
Malcolm (Reg. Ja. IV.), 79. 
Captain Alexander, younger of 

Colonsay, 423. 

Macneill of Raploch, formerly of Tay- 


Macneill of Taynish, Neill Macueill 

Vic Eachen (Reg. Maria), 423. 
Macneill of Taynish and Gigha, Hec- 
tor (Reg. Ja. VI.), 354, 373, 376, 
377, 379, 400, 423. 
Macneills of Taynish, 424. 
Macaeill of Tirfergus, Lauchlan Mac- 

Neill Buy, 424,' 425. 
Macneills of Tirfergus, 425. 
Macneill of Ugadale. Torquil. 424,425. 
Macneill, a son of Ruari of Barra 
(Reg. Ja. VI.), 258. 
John, son of Ruari of Barra (Reg. 
Ja. VI.), 234. 

Malcolm, uncle to Hector of Tay- 
nish and Gigha (A.D. 1615), 

Murdo, son to Ruari of Barra 
(Reg. Ja. VI). See Clanneill. 

Macneill Oie, Hugh, Captain of Clane- 
boy, in Ulster, 195, 196. 

Macpherson of Cluny, Ewen (Reg. 
Gul. IV.), 422. 

Macranald of Glengarry. See Isles. 

Macranald of Keppoch. See Isles. 

Macranald of Knoydert. See Isles. 

Macranald of Moydert. See Isles. 

Macranald of Morar. See Is es. 

Mac Ranald Buy, Sir Alexander, of 
Dunluce, 195, 197 (MacRannil 
Boy's son). 

Macras in Kintaill, The, 146. 

Mac Ruari of Garmoran and the North 
Isles. See Isles. 

MacKuari, Neill, in Mull, 323. 

Macquarries of Ormaig, 424. 

Macquarrie of Ulva, Dunslaf (Reg. 
Ja. IV. et V.). 81, 99, 101, 121. 
Gillespick (Reg. Ja. VI.), 330. 
John (Reg. Maria), 170. 
John (Reg. Ja. III.), 81. 

Macquarries of Ulva, 424. 

MacQuillan, Richard, of the Route 
in Ulster, 197. 

MacQuillans in Ulster, 195, 199, 223. 

MacSorlie ofGlennevis. See Cameron. 

Mac Vic Allan, the peculiar patrony- 
mic of the later Captains of Clan- 
ranald, 66. 

Mac Vic Allaster, the peculiar patro- 
nymic of the Chieftains of Glen- 
garry, 66. 

Mac Vic Ranald, the peculiar patro- 
nymic of the Chiefs of Keppoch, 64, 

Mac Vu rich, genealogist of the Clan- 
ranald of Garmoran, 30. 

Maccus, King of the Isles, 5. 

Magnus Barefoot, King of Norway, 6, 

Magnus, King of Man and the Isles, 
6, 20. 

Magnus, King of Norway, 20, 21. 

M aitland, Chancellor. See Thirlstane. 

Malcolm Canmor, King of Scotland, 
6, 11, 14. 

Malcolm IV., King of Scotland, 15,16. 

Malcolm MacHeth, Earl of Murray, 

Mamorein Lochaber, Lands of, 77,97, 
98, 100, 343. 

Man, Isle of, 5, 6, 13, 14, 16, 17/20, 

Mansell, Sir Rise, 164. 




Mar, Earls of, 37, 38, 62, 71, 184, 

213, 214, 247, 253, 415. 
Maries, The Queen's, 206. 
Marischall, Earls, 98, 186. 

Mary Queen of Scots, 150, 151, 152, 
153, 171, 189, 201, 202, 205, 207, 
248, 405, 419. 

Mary of Guise, Queen of James V., 
and Regent to Mary Queen of Scots, 
148, 153, 165, 181, 182, 183, 184, 
185, 186, 187, 188, 205, 214. 

Maxwell, John, Lord (Earl of Mor- 
ton), 249. 

Maxwell, Lord, 317. 

Mseatoe, The, 1. 

Mekill Cumray, 100. 

Menteith, District of, 134. 

Merryman. an English officer in Ire- 
land, 226. 

Methven, Castle of, 185. 

Methven, Wood of, 368. 

Mewtas, Sir Peter, 164, 168. 

Minganish in Sky, Lands of, 74. 

Mingarry in Ardnamurchan, Castle 
of, 87, 90, 118, 240, 324, 407. 

Mishnish in Mull, 80. 

Monk, Captain, 385. 

Montrose, Earl of, 247. 
Chancellor, 292. 

Montrose, Marquis of, 333, 413,414,415. 

Monypenny of Kinkell, Thomas, 299. 

Moon, The, a Pinnace, 362 

Morar in Garmoran, District of, 27, 
301, 368, 417. 

Morar, North, 126. 300. 

Morton, The Kegent, Earl of, 213, 

214, 215, 216, L'19, 224. 
Morvern, or Kenalban, District of, 

12, 25, 27, 69, 70, 111, 125, 126, 

132, 348, 391, 406. 
Moy in Mull (Loch buy), 393. 
Moydert in Garmoran, District of, 

27, 35, 159, 410. 
Muck, Isle of, 239. 
Mull, Isle of, 14, 17, 24, 52, 67, 69, 

70,71, 80, 81, 101, 115,122, 128, 

132, 148, 174, 191, 228, 233, 235, 

23S, 239, 240, 300, 301, 304, 307, 

322, 323, 391, 419, 424. 
Mull, Sound of. :^22. 
Mullintrea in Isla, 233, 234. 
Mulroy in the Braes of Lochaber, 

Battle of, 415. 
Munro of Foulis, William (Reg. Ja. 

IV.), 57, 97, 115. 
Munroes, The, 82, 92, 111. 
Murchard O'Brien, King of Ireland, 7. 
Murray, Earls of : 

Archibald Douglas, 44. 

James, son of James IV., 135, 

136, 137, 140, 142. 
James, son of James V., and 
Recent to James VI., 201, 
207, 208, 209, 213, 248. 
James, Lord Doune, called the 
" Bonny Earl," 244, 245, 247, 
248, 249, 250, 252, 253, 254, 

Wyinund MacHeth, 15. 
Murray, Earldom of, 184, 216, 247. 
Murray, Captain William, 278. 
Murthlie in Perthshire, 368. 

Nairn, Burgh of, 48. 
Nairn, Shire of, 48. 
Northampton, Marquis of, 419. 
North Uist. See Uist. 
Northumberland, Duke of, 195. 
Northumberland, Earl of, 142. 
North Isles. See Isles. 
Norway, Kings of: 

Haco, 17, 18, 20, 22. 

Harald Hardrada, 6. 

Harald Harfager, 4, 7, 10. 

Magnus, 20, 21. 

Magnus Barefoot, 6, 14. 
Newhaven, near Edinburgh, 367. 
North Highlands, 254. 

O'Cahan, a Chief in Ulster, 198. 

O'Cahans, The, in Ulster, 195. 

Ochiltree, Andrew Stewart, Lord, 
244, 318, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 
327, 340. 

O'Donnell, Calvagh, 196. 

O'Donnell in Ulster, Family of, 193. 

O'Donnell, Hugh, Lord of Tirconnell, 
193, 198. 

O'Donnell, Red Hugh, 261, 262. 

O'Donnell, Manus, Earl of Tirconnell, 

Olave the Black, King of Man aud 
the Isles, 17. 

Olave the Red, or Olave Bitling or 
Klining, King of the Isles, son of 
Godred Crovan, 6, 7, 9, 12, 16. 

O'Neill, 198. 

O'Neill, Hugh Buy, Ancestor of the 
O'Neills of Claneboy, 38. 

O'Neill, Shane (styling himself O'- 
NEILL), son of Con, Earl of Tyrone 
(Reg. Elizab.), 195,221. 

O'Neill, Torlogh Lumeach, successor 
to Shane O'Neill, 201, 222, 223, 

O'Neills, The, 200. 

O'Neills of Claneboy, 193. See Ty- 



Orange, Maurice, Prince of, 337. 

Oransay, Isle of, 93. 

Orkney, Bishop of (Eobert Maxwell), 

147, 186. 

Orkney, Earls of 
Sigurd, 5. 
Thorfm, 5. 

Orkney, Isles of, 60, 147, 291, 340. 
Orrnond, Earl of (in Ireland), 194. 
Ormond and Ossory, Earl of, 173, 

175, 176. 
Ormond, Hugh Douglas, Earl of, in 

Scotland, 44. 

Osburne, Captain John, 410. 
Oversay, Isle of, 385. 

Paul, a Nobleman in the Isles, 13. 

Paisley, Burgh of, 282. 

Paisley Monastery, 58. 

Park, or Blairnepark, Battle of, 56, 

Perrot, Sir John, Deputy of Ireland, 

225, 226. 
Perth, City, 75, 110, 130, 185, 209, 


Perth, Justice Air of, 100. 
Perthshire, 135, 320, 367; above Dun- 

keld, 391 ; Highlands of, 367. 
Philip II., King of Spain, 256. 
Philip III., King of Spain, 401. 
Philiphaugh, Battle of, 413. 
Phoenix, a Man of War, 362. 
Picti, or Picts, 2, 3. 
Piers, Captain, an English officer in 

Ireland, 201, 224. 
Pincarton in Stirlingshire, Lands of, 


Pinky, Battle of, 180. 
Pittenween, Sir William Stewart, 

Commendator of, 265, 266, 267, 

268, 269, 270, 272, 273, 277, 278, 

281, 297, 308. 
Presbyterians, 260, 315. 
Primrose, James, Clerk of Scottish 

Privy Council, 345, 347, 348. 
Prince Edward's Island, 416. 
Quinish in Mull, District of, 71. 

Ragnhildis, Daughter of Olave the 
Red, King of the Isles, and wife of 
Somerled of Argyle, 7, 12. 

Rachlin, Isle of, 198, 384, 385. 

Ragnal MacGofra, King of the Isles, 5. 

Rannoch in Perthshire, 368. 

Rasay, Isle of, 73. 

Reginald MacGodred, King of Man 
and the Isles, 17. 

Reginald MacSomerled, Kino- o f the 
Isles, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18. 

Renfrew, Burgh of, 134, 282. 
Renfrewshire, 132, 134, 282, 318, 377. 
Robert Bruce, or Robert I., King of 

Scotland, 24, 25, 26, 75, 77, 82, 

Robert II., King of Scotland, 29, 30, 

58, 61, 75. 

Robert III. , King of Scotland, 75. 
Robertson of Strowan, Robert (Reg. 

Ja. V.), 405. 
Roderick or Ruari of Bute, son of 

Reginald MacSomerled, and ances- 
tor of the MacRuaries of the North 

Isles, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22. 
Rona- Lewis, Isle of, 279. 
Rose of Kilravock, Hugh, elder (Reg. 

Ja. IV.), 56, 57. 
Rose of Kilravock, Hugh, younger 

(Reg. Ja. IV.), 56, 57. 
Roses of Kilravock, The, 82. 
Roseneath, 132, 251. 
Ross, Bishop of, 186, 188. 
Ross, Countess of, Mary Leslie, Lady 

of the Isles, 30, 31, 33. 
Ross, Earl of, surnamed Ross, 26, 27. 
Ross, Earls of, Lords of the Isles, 

106. See Isles. 
Ross, Earldom of, 50, 51, 52, 55, 56, 

57, 74, 82, 83, 88, 92, 216. 
Ross, Easter, 300. 
Ross, Sheriff of, 100. 
Ross, Shire of, 48, 105, 145, 148, 303, 

335, 417. 

Ross, Wester, 115, 299, 300. 
Rosses, The, 82. 
Rothsay, Buhrh, 100, 282. 
Rothsay, Castle, 164. 
Route, The, a district in Antrim, 

199, 221, 222, 223, 225, 388. 
Roxburgh Castle, 46. 
Roxburghshire, 26o. 
Rum, Isle of, 27, 239. 
Ruthven in Badenoch, Castle of, 43, 

179, 257. 

Sadale, Monastery of, in Kin tyre, 16. 

Sadler, Sir Ralph, 155, 188. 

Sandy (Sanda), Isle of, near Kin- 
tyre, 178. 

Sandilands of Slamanno, Sir James, 

Ravage of the Arde in Ulster, 193. 

Scandinavians, 3. Their connection 
with the Isles, 4 to 21, both inclusive. 

Scarba, Isle of, 27, 69, 70. 

Scone, David, 1st Lord, 306, 307, 308, 
310, 311. 

Scotland, East Coast of, 147. 
Northern Shires, 135, 147. 



Southern Shires, 135, 320. 

West Coast of, 410. 

Western Shires, 147, 312. 
Scots, The Irish, or Dalriads, 2, 3. 
Scottish ship, A, taken by pirates of 

the Clan Ian, 410. 
Selkirkshire, 206. 
Sheriffmuir. Battle of, 415. 
Shetland, 340. 

Sidney, Sir Henry, Deputy of Ire- 
land, 196, 199, 201, 221, 222, 223. 
Sigurd, Earl of Orkney, 5. 
Sigurd, Kiug of the Isles, son of Mag- 

nus Barefoot, 6. 
Siol Gorrie, The, 34, 

), 64, 65. See 

Siol Vic Gillechallum of Rasay and 
Gerloch, 111,272, 341, 420. 

Sky, Isle of, 17, 22, 26, 27, 60, 61, 
72, 73, 74, 83, 104, 107, 130, 145, 

146, 147, 210, 230, 231, 235, 295, 
296, 301, 313, 314, 368, 371, 410, 
413, 421. 424. 

Slaines Castle, 260. 

Sleat, a district in Sky, 60, 107, 131, 

147, 204, 301, 368, 413. 
Sleat, Sound of, 148. 

Sliochd a Bhrathair Shean, 109. 

John (Reg. Ja. VI. ), 249, 250. 

Stewart of Ardshiel. 426. 
Stewarts of Athole, 215. 
Stewart of Auchnacone, 426. 
Stewarts of Appin, 83, 103, 127, 255, 


Stewart of Balachulish, 426. 
Stewart, Constable of Dunyvef (Re^. 

Ja. V.), Archibald, 149. 
Stewart of Duror, Allan (Reg. Ja. 

V.), 127. 

Stewart of Fasnacloich, 420. 
Stewart of Grantullie, Thomas, 248. 
Stewart of InnenneathandLorn, John, 


Stewart of Invernahyle, 426. 
Stewart of Uosyth and Lorn, Robert, 

Stewarts, Lords High Steward of 

Scotland : 
Alexander, 19. 
Robert, 25, 26, 29. See King 

Robert II. 
Walter, 19. 

Walter (Reg. Rob. I.), 25. 
Stewart. Lady Margaret (daughter of 

Robert II.), Lady of the Isles, 29, 

61, 63. 

Sliochd Allaster Vic Angus of Kep- j Stewart, Barbara, daughter of Lord 

poch, 6 

See Clanranald of Lochaber. 
Sliochd Gillemhantich, 109. 
Smerbie in Kintyre, 282. 
Solway, Battle of, 152. 
Somerled, Prince of Argyle, 7, 9, 10, 

11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 

22, 23, 6S, 426. 

Somerset, Earl of (Reg. Ja. VI.), 365. 
Somerset, Duke of, Protector of Eng- 
land, 180. 
Spa, The, 399. 
Spanish mercenaries employed by the 

Macleans, 239, 241. 
Spens of Wormestoun, Sir James 

(Reg. Jn. VI.), 278, 297, 298, 299, 

316, 334, 335. 
St Andrews Castle, 179. 

City, 292. 
St Anthony, Church of, in or near 

Edinburgh, 90. 

St Bride, Chapel of, in Athole, 53. 
St John, Sir William, 322. 
St Ledger, Lord Anthony, Viceroy of 

Ireland, 196. 
Stewart of Appin : 
Dougal, 83, 108. 
Duncan (Reg. Ja. IV.), 95, 96, 

Duncan (Reg. Ja. VI.), 307, 400, 

Avandale, and wife of Ruari Mac- 
j leod of Lewis (Reg. Maria), 210. 
Stewart, House of, 19. 
Stewart, Royal House of, .333, 417, 

418, 419, 420, 422, 420. 
Stillington, Mr. Robert, 47. 
Stirling Castle, 324. 
Stirlingshire, 320. 
Stirling, Town, 93, 136, 138, 173, 


Stirling of Auchyle, William, 408. 
Stirling of Glorat, 165, 175. 
Stornoway in Lewis, Burgh, 277. 
Stornoway Castle, 102, 220, 335. 
Strathbogie, 257. 
Strathbogie Castle, 260. 
Strathconnan in Ross, 56, 209. 
Stratherrick, Inverness-shire, 160. 
Strathordell (Mackinnon's country), 

in Sky, 80, 301. 
Strathspey, 160, 254. 
Strone Castle, in Lochcarron, Ross- 
shire, 60, 76, 98, 101, 120, 219, 

300, 302. 
Sunart, a district in Argyleshire, 62, 

66, 67, 405, 411. 
Surrey, Earl of, Lord Lieutenant of 

Ireland, 193, 194. 
Sussex, Earl of, Lord Lieutenant of 

Ireland, 196, 197, 198, 199. 



Sutherland of Duifus, 248. 
Sutherlandshire, 59, 147. 

Tain, Burgh of, 100, 105. 
Tantallon Castle, 37, 39. 
Tarbert, between Kintyre and Knap- 
dale, 25, 100, 379, 382, 383, 389. 
Tarbert, Castle of, 25, 68, 88, 89, 94. 
Tarbert, Sheriffdom of, 100, 266, 312, 

318, 374, 377, 381. 
Tarbert, West, 383. 
Taynish in Knapdale, 423. 
Thirlestane, Chancellor Maitland, 

Lord, 245, 249, 250, 253. 
Thorfin, Earl of Orkney, 5. 
Thorfin, son of Ottar, a Hebridean 

noble, temp. Somerled, 13, 14. 
Tiree, Isle of, 17, 24, 27, 111, 122, 

132, 191, 235, 391. 
Teinlipeil, Inch of, near Tiree, 126. 
Toberniory in Mull, 52, 80, 239. 
Torlusk, in Mull, 238, 419. 
Torwood, The, 93, 112. 
Touraine, Archibald Earl of Douglas 

and Duke of, 39, 40. 
Treshinish, Isles of, 80. 
Tronterness in Sky, 74, 107, 122, 130, 

131, 144, 145, 146, 147, 204, 207, 

278, 279, 295, 396, 413. 
Tullibardine, 1st Earl of (Reg. Ja. 

VI.), 357, 367, 368, 369, 374. 
Tyrone, Earls of, 200, 201, 226, 261, 

262, 274, 275. 

' Uist, Isle of, 27, 60, 65, 66, 94, 314. 
i Uist, North, 61, 131, 204, 207, 295, 

Ulster, 62, 63, 142, 192, 193, 194, 

195, 196, 198, 199, 201, 222, 224, 

225, 261, 274, 275, 325, 356. 
Ulva, Isle of, 81. 
Upper Canada, 416. 
Urquhart Castle, 43, 114, 159. 
Urquhart, Lands of, 159. 
Urquhart, Sheriff of Cromarty, Sir 

Alexander, 56. 
Urquharts, The, 82. 

Vecturiones, The, 2. 
| Vikingr of the Isles, The, 4. 

Wales, Edward, Prince of (afterwards 

Edward V.), 152. 
i Walsingham, Sir Francis, 224. 
i Warbeck, Perkin, 92. 
i Waterness in Sky, 73, 212. 
White of Dufferin in Ulster, John, 


Wick in Caithness, 105. 
Williamson, Kenneth, an Hebridean 

Student of Law (Keg. Ja. IV.), 


Wolsey, Cardinal, 194. 
Wood, Captain, 385, 387, 388, 390. 
Wymund MacHeth, Earl of Murray, 




DA Gregory, Donald 

784 The history of the 

G7A Western Highlands 2d ed,