Skip to main content

Full text of "The Macleods: a short sketch of their clan, history, folk-lore, tales, and biographical notices of some eminent clansmen"

See other formats






3 1833 01411 0792 

Glan MacLeod Publications. 

No. 1. 

THE MacLeods 






• Land of the beautiful and brave — 
The freeman's home — the martyr's grave — 
The nursery of giant men, 
Whose deeds have linked with every glen, 
And every hill, and every stream, 
The romance of some warrior dream ! 
Oh, never may a son of thine, 
Where'er his vi^andering steps incline. 
Forget the sky which bent above 
Ilis childhood like a dream of love." 

J. G. Whittier. 


Page 13, line 10 for "fifth" read "second." 

,, 30, ,, 21 ,, "prescribed" read "proscribed." 
,, 30, ,, 29 ,, "Sir Walter Scott's Visit to Dunvecjan 
was made in 1815, in the time of the XXI. 
Chief, not of the XX. as stated here." 
Page 81, line 1 for " Oubost " read " Orhost." 



Tills short sketch of the History and Traditions of 
the Clan MacLeod, for which we are indebted to the 
Eev, R. C. MacLeod of MacLeod, is the initial effort 
of the Society to give effect to one of the most 
important objects of its constitution, viz.: — "The 
collection and preservation of Records and Traditions," 
and "the publication of such Literature as may promote 
the interests of the Clan." The Rev. R. C. MacLeod 
probably knows more about the Clan history than 
any other man living. He has spent many years in a 
study of the subject and of the old manuscripts in 
which Dunvegan Castle is so rich. He has, at the 
present moment, a most voluminous typewritten volume 
compiled (which we hope he may see his way to 
publish at no very distant date) and from that volume 
the present sketch has been principally drawn ; its 
immediate production is mainly due to a suggestion 
made by Vice-Admiral Angus MacLeod, C.V.O., one 
of the most distinguished members of our Clan. It 
is intended to be followed by a series of publications 
dealing with subjects of interest to the MacLeods, 
and we hope the work, now so well begun, will meet 
with the cordial approval and support of the clan. 

The survival of Clan feeling and the founding of 
Clan Societies may seem strange in these prosaic and 

utilitarian times, but it is really no very remai'lvable 
phenomenon, when we remember that a Highlander 
never forgets his origin nor the ancient and honourable 
name which he bears. To those connected with the 
Clan, we feel sure this little book will appeal — we 
believe it will be welcomed by Clansmen in all parts 
of the world and, we hope, it may also do something 
to maintain and strengthen that mystic bond which 
binds Clansmen to one another. 

As the volume is published under the auspices of 
the Clan Society and the superintendence of the 
Secretary, who has devoted much time to its pro- 
duction and contributed to the matter, it is hoped a 
perusal of its pages will induce some, who are not 
already members, to join the Society, the objects of 
which are to further the interests of the Clan in 
every way possible. 

No pretension is made to literary style ; the writers 
have simply aimed at putting together a brief historical 
and traditional sketch. 

The promoters solicit communications from Clansmen, 
at home and abroad. "With a view to future publica- 
tions, they will gratefully acknowledge such information 
as any one may be able to give on history and traditions 
of the Clan, eminent Clansmen, etc. 

Supicd in name of the Society. 

1\. C. MacLeod, 

II 071. Secy. 
Edinburgh, 1006. 


'HE Origin _ of Leod, the undoubted 
progenitor of botli branches of the 
MacLeod family, has been much dis- 
puted, some claiming for him a Nor- 
wegian descent, others a Celtic. Tliis, however, is 
hardly the place to go into the details of a knotty 
point of genealogy, and it may suffice, tlierefore, 
if I express my own opinion, that the Norwegian 
origin is the correct one — that Leod w'as a son of 
Olave the Black, King of Man and the Isles, and 
that he was born towards the end of the twelfth 
century. Leod married the daughter of McCrailt 
Armuinn, who brought Dun vegan as her dowry, 
and it has remained in the possession of his 
descendants ever since. By her Leod had two 
sons — Tormod, the ancestor of the Harris MacLeods, 
and Torquil, the ancestor of the Lewes MacLeods — 
called the Siol (or race of) Tormod and the Siol 
Torquil respectively. 

For something like 200 years very little is 
known of the history of either branch. Each of 
them about 13-iO got grants of mainland estates 


from the Crown — the Harris MacLeods in Glenelg, 
and the Lewes MacLeods in Assynt, but both were 
Island Chieftains and held their lands in Skye, 
Harris, and the Lewes under the Lords of the 
Isles, so that their history is merged in that of 
those powerful potentates ; they were present at 
the Battle of Harlaw, 1411, where they occupied 
the post of honour (tlie right wing) of the Islander's 
army ; they were present at the Battle of the 
Bloody Bay in 1480 ; and we find their names 
occasionally, as witnesses to Charters, but, as 
already stated, little is known of them, and that 
little not of very great interest. After the final 
forfeiture of the Lords of the Isles, however, in 
1493, the public records have much more to 
relate. Then both families received grants of 
their Island Estates from the Crown and, thus, 
became tenants in cajyite having direct dealings 
with the King of Scotland and his Council. But 
at this time, it was clearly seen that the High- 
landers, if united, were most dangerous neighbours, 
and the Scottish Kings adopted the subtle policy 
of sowing dissention amongst the clans. No effort 
was spared to set them at loggerheads. The 
method commonly employed was to give grants 
of the lands belonging to one family to anotlier. 
For example tlie Bailliary of Trotternish was 
in 1498, granted to hotli branches of the MacLeods 
— the estates lield by the Macdonalds of Sleat 


were in 1542 given to MacLeod of Harris and 
many other instances might be cited. This policy 
was eminently successful in its object; feuds 
between the clans were continual, and effectively 
destroyed any power they might have possessed of 
injuring the rest of the kingdom. 

During the sixteenth century the most im- 
portant events affecting the MacLeods were — 

(1.) The ruin of the Lewes branch of the family. 
(2.) The succession nf Marie MacLeod to the estates 

of the Dun vegan MacLeods. 
(3.) The usurpation of Ian Dubh. 
(4.) The Eigg Massacre. 

The story of the extinction of the Lewes 
MacLeods is a very long and complicated one, 
of which the main points are as follows : — 

Rory MacLeod of the Lewes, Chief during the 
latter half of the sixteenth century, married a 
daughter of Mackenzie of Kintail, but believed, 
rightly or wrongly, that Torquil (his heir by her) 
was not really his son. (There is a notarial 
instrument in the Dunvegan charter chest, which 
contains an account of a confession made by 
Hutcheon, the judge of the Lewes, on his death- 
bed, and which bears out Rorie's contention that 
Hutcheon, and not Korie, was Torquil's father). 
Acting in this belief, Rorie disinherited Torquil, 
(who was known as Torquil Conanach) and named 


as his lieir a son by his third wife, a daughter of 
MacLean of Diiart. This son was also called 
Torquil, but distinguished by the appellation 
" Dubh." A great dispute arose in consequence 
and was carried on with extraordinary fury and 
cruelty for many years, during which the Lewes 
was reduced to a condition of extreme misery 
and wretchedness. In the year 1568, the old 
Chief of tlie Lewes was seized by his alleged son, 
Torquil Conanach, who detained him four years 
in captivity. In a deed of revocation, the old 
Chief gives a pitiable account of his sufferings. 
His son, he says, " held him in miserable captivitie 
in montanis and cavenus of craigis, far distant 
from ye societie of men, pereist thro' cauld and 
famine." This unnatural son brought his father 
before the Council, and extracted from him an 
appointment in his own favour as heir, and it 
is this appointment that Rorie revoked on the 
ground that he had been compelled to make it 
" by evill handilling, captivitie, fear of my lyfe, 
perell of hunger and cauld, and manifest cora- 

If ever house was divided against itself this 
unhappy family of the Lewes was so divided. 

Rory MacLeod had five illegitimate sons, three of 
whom sided with their father and two with their 
half-brother, Torquil Conanach. The ablest of 
these sons was Neil MacLeod who sided with 


the father and afterwards with his half-brother, 
Torquil Dubh, and it was mainly through the 
talents and address of Neil that Torquil Dubh 
maintained himself in the Lewes. Torquil Con- 
anach however, established himself in Coigeach, 
the mainland estates of the family, and was sup- 
ported in his claim to the Chieftainship by the 
Mackenzies. About the year 1595, Torquil Dubh 
attacked his brother (Conanach) in Strath Coigeach, 
and the Mackenzies in Loch Broom " in such bar- 
barous and cruel manner that neither man, wife, 
bairn, house, cover nor bigging had been spared 
but all barbarously slain, burnt and destroyed." 
For this Torquil Dubh was denounced as a rebel, 
and later, having been betrayed into the hands of 
Conanach, he, and many of his adherents, were 
put to death, 1597. His son Torquil, however, 
with the assistance of Neil, remained in possession 
of the Levv'es. 

Now, by this time, the two sons of Torquil 
Conanach were dead. — John, the eldest, having 
been murdered by his uncles, Rory Og and 
Donald, the latter of whom was, in turn, slain by 
Conanach. The daughter of Conanach thus 
became heiress to her father; she had married a 
brother of Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, and to 
Kintail, Conanach conveyed all his rights as far as 
writings could. In this way the ancient inheritance 
of the MacLeods of Lewes, ultimately passed to the 


Mackenzies, though they did not succeed in 
establishing their claims till some years later. 

In 1596, all the Highland Chiefs were ordered 
to show their title deeds on pain of forfeiture ; 
among those who failed to do so, were the heads 
of both branches of the MacLeods. The Lewes 
was, in consequence, granted to a number of 
persons who were called the Fife adventurers. 
The new owners duly invaded the Island and for 
some years a civil war, accompanied by every 
barbarity the mind of man can conceive, raged in 
this unhappy part of the King's dominions. Neil 
MacLeod opposed them on the spot with the 
utmost energy ; and Lord Mackenzie, for his own 
purposes intrigued against them in every way 
possible. Mackenzie even set at liberty Tormod, 
the surviving son of Torquil Dubh, whom he 
Lad made prisoner some time previously, and 
sent him to the Lewes to assist Neil in his efforts 
to defeat the Fife men. The result was that 
the Fife adventurers retired from the contest in 
disgust, and the estates were, in 1608, granted 
to three other persons, viz. : — Lord Balmerino, 
Sir Patrick Spens of Wormistoun, and Sir George 
Hay of Nethercliffe. (The same persons also 
obtained a grant of the estate belonging to the 
MacLeods of Harris.) In 1609, Lord Balmerino 
was convicted of high treason, but his partners 
invaded the island and endeavoured to enforce 


their rights. However, they succeeded no better 
than their predecessors and were eventually glad 
to sell their rights to Lord Mackenzie, who all 
along had been intriguing, so that he might 
eventually obtain possession of the Lewes, and 
in the year 1610, Sir Roderick Mackenzie, 
brother of Lord Mackenzie, went with a strong 
force to the Lewes. The MacLeods, greatly re- 
duced and wearied by the many recent conflicts 
they had been engaged in, were badly conditioned 
to meet this new and great danger, but the in- 
domitable Neil held out, and when all else failed 
entrenched himself on the island of Berneray, where 
he had accumulated large quantities of supplies ; 
here, for three years, he set all the eflbrts of Sir 
Roderick at defiance. At last Sir Roderick kid- 
napped a large number of the wives and children 
of the Berneray garrison and placing them at 
low tide on a rock in sight of the island, declared 
that he would leave them there to be drowned, 
unless Neil and his adherents surrendered. To 
save the lives of the women and children Neil 
agreed to do so, and thus was stamped out the 
last efforts of the MacLeods to maintain their 
rights in the Lewes. 

Neil MacLeod was given his liberty and sought 
refuge with Sir Rory MacLeod of Dunvegan. Sir 
Rory is here charged with having been guilty of 
an act of the blackest treachery. Neil, it is said, 


Wcis in possession of a large sutn of money, stolen 
from the captain of a pirate ship, which had put 
in to the Lewes some time previously, and Sir 
Rory, tempted by a desire to possess himself 
of this money, basely betrayed Neil to the 
government. I believe this story to be utterly 
false. It is true that Neil came to Sir Rory, that 
the latter undertook to arrange for his escape into 
England, and that Neil was arrested at' Glasgow 
when in Sir Rory's company, but there is no evi- 
dence whatever, that the Dunvegan Chief betrayed 
him and the high character of Rory Mor forbids 
us to accept any story of treachery on his part, 
unless it is based on irresistible evidence. It was 
the intention of Sir Rory to embark with his 
protege at Glasgow for England, but " he was 
charged, vnder pain of treason, to delyver Neill 
Macloyd to the privie councell." 

Neil MacLeod was executed at Edinburgh, in 
April 1613, and is said to have died " very 
christianlie " — liis son was banished. 

So terrible were the results of these fifty years 
of fratricidal strife that when the Mackenzies 
ultimately obtained possession of the Lewes in 
1610, they found Christianity had practically died 
out and Lord Mackenzie, to his honour be it 
said, sent over a missionary to the island, the 
Rev. Farquhar Macrae, a clergyman who appears 
to have been a man of very high character, and 


by him the islanders were again taught the 
rudiments of Christianity. 

Of all Rory MacLeod's numerous children, 
legitimate and illegitimate, not one in the main 
line remained, and the MacLeods of Raasay became 
the representatives of the Lewes family. They 
in their turn also died out, early in the sixteenth 
century, and MacLeod of Cadboll, (Invergordon 
Castle), as oldest cadet, (descended from the second 
son of Torquil fifth of Lewes,) is now head of 
that brancli of the family. 

The story of Marie MacLeod throws some light 
on the conditions prevailing in the Highlands in 
the sixteenth century. She was the daughter of 
William, the ninth Chief of Dunvegan, by his mar- 
riage with Agnes, daughter of Lord Lovat. 

A dispute had been going on for a long time, 
between Lord Lovat and MacLeod as to the 
ownership of a portion of Glenelg. It appears 
that, betw^een the years 1533 and 1536, the lands of 
Glenelg which belonged by possession to Alexander 
MacLeod of Dunvegan, were on two occasions given 
by the Ci'own to Lord Lovat, and his Lordship got 
a title to these lands in virtue of a Crown Charter 
under the Great Seal, yet Lord Lovat utterly failed 
in his efforts to enforce his rights by legal process, 
because, as one old paper naively remarks, " Mac- 
Leod lives in ye Highlands, where ye officers of ye 


law dar not pas for fear of their lyvis.' 
Ultimately Lord Lovat, probably despairing of 
obtaining possession of the land, negotiated a 
marriage between his daughter and William Mac- 
Leod then heir to his father, Alexander, and by 
the union of the two families the dispute over 
Glenelg was happily settled for a time. 

Alexander died in 1547, and was succeeded by 
William, who died in 1553, leaving an only 
child, Marie, who became the heiress of the 
estates. Huntly, Argyll, James MacDonald, Lord 
Kintail, all in turn became guardians of the 
young heiress, and each formed projects of 
marrying her to some clansman of his own. For 
two years she was attached to the Court of Mary, 
Queen of Scots. This is proved by entries in the 
books of the Lord High Treasurer as — "A.D., 
1562, the 14 day of December be the Queen's 
precept to Marie McCloyd ane elne 1 quarter of 
black velvot to be hude mufell and turet" . . . . 
" 1564, the 16 day of March to Marie McCloyd in 
her graces chalmer to be ane cloke and dewanter 
of scarlet staining 111 elnes." 

Though, legally speaking, the owner of all the 
MacLeod estates, Marie never succeeded in obtain- 
ing possession; her uncles successively seized the 
property and they were supported by the clan, 
so that Marie, who had meantime married Duncan 
Campbell of Castle Swinney, heir to Auchenbrech, 


found it advisable to resign all her claims in 
consideration of receiving a dowry of £1000 Scots, 
no very large sum even in those days, for the 
heii-ess of such a property to receive. Her uncles, 
however, did not find the position they held a 
bed of roses, for it was at this time the usui-pation 
of Ian Dubh took place. 

Ian Dubh was the second surviving son of 
Tormod MacLeod of Minginish, who claimed the 
chieftainship, maintaining that liis ancestor Tormod, 
son of John Borb MacLeod, sixth Cliief, and not 
William, who had succeeded, was the elder brother 
of two twins, and in any case failing the issue 
of Alastair Crottach, he was the male heir. 

Ian Dubh, who aimed at becoming chief himself, 
had, in order to attain his object, to clear out 
of the way the two surviving sons of Alastair 
Crottach (Donald and Tormod), his own elder 
brother, Donald, and to reckon with the Campbells 
who had claims in right of Mary, William Mac- 
Leod's only child and heir. He succeeded in 
murdering Donald, (Alastair Crottach's son) and 
six of his adherents at Kingsburgh, 1557; treacher- 
ously slew a number of Campbells at a banquet 
to which he had invited them at Dunvegan, and 
his own brother and nephews he killed at the 
same place later. He held the Castle for two 
years, at the end of which time Tormod, Alastair 
Crottach's third and only surviving son, returned 


home, and claimed the chieftainship as rightful 
heir. Ian Dubh, wlio, as we have seen, was a 
man of evil deeds, dreaded and hated by all who 
knew him, and could hope for no assistance from 
the clan, shut himself up in the Castle, but Torquil 
McSween, the warder, agreed to admit Tormod. 
The noise made by Tormod's followers in entering, 
however, gave the alarm and Ian with the assist- 
ance of his four foster-brothers, who alone were 
faithful to him, succeeded in escaping to Ireland. 
Here he lived for some time but at length was 
seized and put to death by one of the O'Donell 

Tormod who now became the head of the 
clan, was the Chief who entered into the agree- 
ment with Argyll by which he succeeded in 
compromising the claims of his niece, Marie, to 
the family estates. He is, probably, also respon- 
sible for the Eigg massacre. 

This terrible event took place in the year 1577. 
Tradition says that a party of MacLeods, in- 
cluding the Chief's son, had landed on Eigg and 
insulted some of the women of the island; in 
consequence of this they were seized, bound hand 
and foot, and turned adrift in a boat, which 
however, the wind and waves brought to Dun- 
vegan. The Chief enraged at this treatment 
resolved on revenge, and sailed with an over- 
whelming force for Eigg. The Islanders retreated 


to a secret cavern where they remained in safety, 
until MacLeod, having ravaged the island, was 
sailing away. Unfortunately, however, they sent 
a man to reconnoitre just too soon, for he was 
seen from the galleys of the retiring MacLeods, 
who at once returned, and through footprints in 
the snow, which covered the ground, were able 
to track him to the hiding place. The Islanders 
refused to surrender, so MacLeod had a stream 
which formed a natural waterfall over the entrance 
to the cavern, diverted from its course, and lit 
fires at the mouth of the cave, the smoke from 
which suffocated the miserable fugitives. It is 
said that MacLeod set his fires alight while the 
wind was blowing away from the mouth of the 
cave and that he left the matter by express 
invocation to the judgment of heaven. If the 
wind remained steadfast it was heaven's will, 
that tlie inhabitants of Eigg were to be spared 
and spared they should be ; if it changed the 
guilt was obvious and the judgment supernatural. 

There are other traditionary details which might 
serve to palliate the barbarity of such a massacre, 
while the age was both barbarous and superstitious, 
but it is unnecessary to enlarge on the story in 
this sketch. 

The bones of the unfortunate Islanders still 
remain to attest the truth of this terrible story. 

Tormod died about IS^S, and was succeeded 


by his son William, on whose death in 1590 
Tormod's second son, Rory Mor MacLeod, became 
tutor, and afterwards, on the death of his nephew, 
William, about 1596, Chief of the Clan. 

Rory Mor was an extremely able man and 
succeeded in extricating himself and his clan 
from difficulties of a very serious nature. As we 
have already seen his estates were forfeited in 
1597, and he was not admitted to the King's 
favour till 1611 at which date however, his 
lands were erected into a free Barony. He seems 
to have become a Royal favourite and had a 
standing invitation to visit the King at any time. 
In 1613 he went to England and was received into 
the good graces of the King who conferred upon 
him the honour of knighthood. 

For several years he was engaged in a violent 
dispute with Donald Gorm Macdonald of Sleat, 
a dispute which was not finally healed until the 
Island Chiefs all agreed to become friends under 
the Statute of Zona, subscribed by all of them in 

Sir Rory Mor was the first of his family who 
could write, the earlier Chiefs all signed their 
names " with my hand led at ye pene of the 
notar," and he is said to have been the last 
Highland Chief who continued to write in the 
language of his fathers. He left a numerous 
family of both sons and daughters. From the 


sons descend the MacLeods of Talisker, Bernera, 
Muiravonside, Hamer and Greshornish, while the 
daughters became wives of the most powerful 
chiefs in the islands. One married Clan Ranald 
receiving a dowry of " ane galley with 26 airis 
and sailing geir complete and nyne scair quick 
ky ; " another married MacLean of Duart ; a third 
MacLean of Coll, and a fourth MacLeod of 

Sir Rory died at Fortrose in 1626, comparatively 
speaking, a young man. 

It was in the time of Sir Rory Mors son, 
John, that what is perhaps the most interesting 
chapter in Highland history begins, that is — the 
relations between the Kings of the House of 
Stuart and the Highlanders. 

It has often been remarked as strange that 
the Highlanders should have been such troublesome 
subjects up to the middle of the seventeenth 
century and such devoted loyalists afterwards. 

The reason is a simple one. Where they seem 
inconsistent the Highlanders were really extremely 
consistent. They were steadily opposed to the 
central Government, and as long as the Kings of 
Scotland represented that central Government 
the Highlanders opposed them as vigorously as 
possible ; but as soon as the Princes of the House 
of Stuart, themselves, became its opponents, they 
found no more ardent backers than the clans 


which had been so ill affected in the past. Two 
other factors may have had something to do 
with their change of front. One was the religious 
question. — Large portions of the Highlanders were 
still Roman Catholic. (The MacLeods only became 
Protestants about the end of the seventeenth 
century. I believe "Lin Breac" sixteenth Chief 
(died 1693) was the first Protestant Chief.) The 
Stuarts were either Prelatists or Papists, therefore 
the sympathies of the Highlanders would, naturally, 
be with them against the Covenanters and Presby- 
terians. The other motive was — hatred of the 
House of Argyll. The Argylls supported the 
Kings in the earlier times, were Whigs, and 
supporters of William IIL, and of the Georges in 
later times, therefore, whatever the Earl of 
Argyll did, the instinct of the clansmen was to 
take the opposite side. 

John MacLeod of Dunvegan, was an ardent 
supporter of Charles I., and in 1639 received a 
letter of thanks from that monarch, dated at 
Durham, 2nd May 1639, which unfortunately is 

The clan did not join Montrose's forces in the 
brilliant campaign which shed so much lustre on 
the valour of the Highlanders, and a clansman, 
MacLeod of Assynt, has no doubt been for 
centuries credited with an act of the blackest 
treachery in betraying the great Marquis to his 


enemies. A full discussion of that regrettable 
episode in the annals of the elan would take far 
too much space here, but, I may say, there is 
good reason for stating that the charge of 
treachery is an unfounded one and that at all 
events Assynt's conduct was not nearly so black 
as it is painted. 

Assynt had not taken part with Montrose. He 
even sent out people to capture him, and when 
he succeeded, Graham we are told offered Assynt 
great rewards to send him to Orkney, which 
Assynt refused. The deed may have been un- 
popular, but it was not treachery. 

After John MacLeod's death, his brothers, Sir 
Rory of Talisker and Sir Norman of Bernera, 
acting as guardians to the youthful Chief, continued 
to espouse the cause of Charles. Sir Norman 
commanded a battalion of 700 MacLeods in the 
campaign which culminated in the disaster at 

The King himself fought at the head of the 
Highlanders with great bravery, and so animated 
the clansmen, that they became irresistable, drove 
back Cromwell's vanguard — captured their cannon, 
and had Leslie come up with liis cavalry then, the 
defeat of Cromwell was inevitable. Leslie, how- 
ever, did not come — Cromwell was able to bring 
up a large reserve of veterans he had kept in 
hand — the Highlanders weakened and unsupported 


were driven back with great slaughter, and 
Charles's chance was gone. 

No clan suffered so severely at Worcester as 
the MacLeods. Indeed so heavy were their losses, 
it was agreed by the other clans that the Mac- 
Leods should not be asked to take part in any 
further conflicts until they had had time to 

When all seemed lost after Worcester, (1651) 
and Loch Garry (1653) General Middleton found 
a refuge at Dunvegan. There also went Lochiel 
and many other Chiefs, and there was held the 
Council which decided that the Royalist clans 
should make such terms as they could with the 
usurper. Li 1665, MacLeod submitted to the 
Government paying a fine of £2,500 sterling, — a 
large sum in those days — and also finding a surety 
for a further sum of £6000 as a pledge of good 

Sir Norman's sword, which led the clan to 
gloiy, if not to victory on that fatal day, is now 
at Dunvegan. It was given to the late Chief by 
Captain MacLeod of Orbost, a descendant of Sir 

After the Restoration the Chief went to 
London, spending, as the tailors' bills at Dunvegan 
show, for his outfit to go to Court, something 
like £300 sterling. "The exquisite urbanity" 
(as Macaulay calls it) of Charles was for once 


at fault ; he never even referred to the services 
of the clan or to the losses they had sustained 
in his cause, and the Chief v^^ent home swearing 
that no clansman of his should ever again draw 
sword for the ungrateful Stuarts. 

The vow was well kept. Thirty years after- 
wards, James II., then in dire need, wrote from 
Dublin imploring MacLeod to join Dundee, and 
that great leader himself wrote more than once 
to the same effect, but MacLeod turned a deaf 
ear to their appeals. Yet, although the MacLeods 
had no share in the Earl of Mar's unfortunate 
campaign in 1715, the King conferred a peerage 
on the Chief 1716 ; an honour which he shared 
with many other Highland Chiefs. Perhaps this 
may have induced Norman, nineteenth Chief, 
known as "The Wicked Man," to engage freely 
in all the Jacobite plots by which Scotland was 
riddled in the early years of his Chieftainship. 
Certainly he was concerned in the abduction of 
Lady Grange, as the following story shows : — 

This unfortunate lady was wife of one of the 
Scots Lords of Session but, while her husband 
was a Jacobite she was a strong Hanoverian. 

At a Jacobite meeting held in Edinburgh, about 
the year 1725 she concealed herself under a sofa 
and overheard all that was said ; being unable 
to suppress a sneeze she was discovered and the 
conspirators, fearing she would reveal what she 


had heard, placed her in confinement, gave out 
that she was dead, and buried a coffin full of 
stones. She herself was conveyed by night out of 
Edinburgh and confined for a time at Heisker, 
an island belonging to MacDonald of Sleat; but, 
this not being considered sufficiently remote, she 
was taken to St. Kilda where she remained for 
eight years. She then succeeded in concealing a 
letter in a ball of wool which, with more, was 
being sent to Inverness for sale. The purchaser 
of the wool sent the letter to its address and on 
being opened it revealed the amazing fact that 
Lady Grange was still alive. 

A ship of war was sent to effect her release, 
but MacLeod learning what had happened, brought 
her over to Skye, where she was confined in a 
cave near the Maidens, for eighteen months — or 
until the hue and cry had blown over. She 
remained a prisoner in Skye until her death, 
which took place at Trumpan in 1745, as is 
shewn by a bill preserved at Dunvegan. 

MacLeod paid for her keep and defrayed her 
funeral expenses, and it is curious to note that 
her keep for a year and her funeral expenses 
cost the same sum — £30. 

The same Chief was one of those who invited 
Charles Edward to come to Scotland but he 
attached to the invitation the conditions that 
the young Prince should bring with him French 


troops and supplies of arms, ammunition and 
money. When Charles landed almost alone and 
threw himself upon the unaided support of the 
clans he, in common with many others — notably 
Sir Alexander MacDonald — considered himself 
released from the promises he had made and 
eventually joined the Hanoverian forces under 
Lord Loudon. But the sympathies of himself 
and his clansmen were, probably, enlisted far 
more on the side of their enemies than on that 
of their friends. I have always thought that 
the failure of these Highlanders to do anything 
to advance the interests of King George was due 
to their half-heartedness in his cause. 

It was when the MacLeods were leaving Dun- 
vegan to join Lord Loudon that M'Crimmon 
composed the exquisite lament which Scott has 
put into English verse. 

For centuries the M'Crimmons had been the 
hereditary pipers of the Clan. Boreraig, their 
dwelling place in Skye, was famous over all the 
Highlands of Scotland as a school for pipers, I 
have heard it said, but cannot learn on what 
authority, that the first piper of the name came 
from Cremona, in Italy, and that his name was 
derived from his birthplace. 

So famous were the M'Crimmons that tradi- 
tionary tales exist of fairy assistance having 
been bestowed upon them. 


Maccrimmon's lament. 

MacLeod's wizard flag from the gray castle sallies, 
The rowers are seated, unmoor'd are the galleys ; 
Gleam war-axe and broadsword, clang target and quiver, 
As Mackrimmon sings, "Farewell to Dunvegan for 

ever ! 
Farewell to each cliff, on which breakers are foaming ; 
Farewell each dark glen, in which red-deer are roaming ; 
Farewell, lonely Skye, to lake, mountain, and river ; 
MacLeod may return, but Mackrimmon shall never ! 

"Farewell the bright clouds that on Quillan are sleep- 

Farewell the bright eyes in the Dun that are weeping ; 

To each minstrel delusion, farewell ! — and for ever — 

Mackrimmon departs, to return to you never ! 

The Banshee's wild voice sings the death-dirge before me. 

The pall of the dead for a mantle hangs o'er me ; 

But my heart shall not flag, and my nerves shall not 

Though devoted I go — to return again never ! 

"Too oft shall the notes of Mackrimmon's bewailing 
Be heard when the Gael on their exile are sailing ; 
Dear land ! to the shores, whence unwilling we sever, 
Return— return— return shall we never ! 

Cha till, cha till, cha till sinn tuille ! 

Cha till, cha till, cha till sinn tuille, 

Cha till, cha till, cha till sinn tuille, 

Ged thilleas Macleod, cha till Mackrimmon ! " 

M'Crimnioii's premonition of death contained in 
the lament proved only too true ; he lost, and I 
believe was the only clansman who lost his life in 
this campaign. This happened at what is known 
as the " Rout of Moy." Lord Loudon, who had 


received information that Prince Charles, with bub 
a small attendance, had put up at Moy Castle, re- 
solved to attempt his capture, and marched during 
the night, with some 1500 men for that purpose. 
MacLeod with about 70 of his Clan formed the 
vanguard. At a part of the road they were fired 
on by a party of about a dozen men commanded 
by the Moy Smith, who, running about shouting- 
orders to imaginary bodies of men, deceived 
the MacLeods into the belief that they had fallen 
into the midst of the whole Jacobite army — 
or the MacLeods disliking the work before them 
pretended such — at any rate they fell back on the 
main body appareutlj^ in such panic that the 
latter fled in wild disorder. M'Crimmon was 
killed by the first shot tired. This evident half- 
heartedness is in itself enough to show that the 
MacLeod's (who, whatever their faults, were no 
cowards) were not very keen about the cause 
they had nominally adopted. It is well known, 
too, that though the Chief and the bulk of the 
clan did not join Prince Charlie, many MacLeods 
had a large share in his glorious if uniortunate 
enterprise. Donald MacLeod of Galtrigil was 
one of his most devoted companions, and the 
account of that clansman's exertions to secure 
the escape of the Koyal fugitive is full of interest ; 
while the story of their parting is singularly 
pathetic and touching. And in Kaasay, where 


the wanderer found a refuge for some days, 
the loyalty displayed to him by the Raasay 
MacLeods fills one with admiration for their 
devotion and self-sacrifice. 

" Donald MacLeod was taken prisoner a few days 
after parting with the Prince. He was put on board 
the " Furnace," and brought down to the cabin 
before General Campbell, who examined him most 
minutely. The General asked him if he had been 
along with the Pretender ? " Yes," said Donald, 
" I was along with that J^oung gentleman, and I 
winna deny it." " Do you know," said the General, 
" what was upon that gentleman's head ? — No less 
a sum than thirty thousand pounds sterling, which 
would have made you and your family happy for 
ever." "What then?" replied Donald, "what 
though I had gotten it ? I could not have enjoyed 
it for two days. Conscience would have gotten 
the better of me ; ami although I could have gotten 
all England and Scotland for my pains, I would 
not have allowed a hair of his body to be touched 
if I could hinder it, since he threw himself upon 
my care." Campbell observed that he could not 
much blame him. 

Donald was sent to London, but released on 
the 10th of June 1747. When he arrived in 
Leith from London, on his return to Skye, he 
had no money to carry him thither ; but his 
wants were supplied by the Rev. Robert (after- 


wards bishop) Forbes, an episcopal clergyman in 
Leith, who set a subscription on foot in that town, 
and in Edinburgh, "to make out," as the bishop 
says, " for honeist Palinurus, if possible, a pound 
sterling, for every week he had served the prince 
in distress ; and," continues the bishop, " I thank 
God I was so happy as to accomplish my design 
directly." In acknowledgment of his fidelity, 
Donald was presented by Mr. John Walkinshaw, of 
London, with a large silver snuff-box, handsomely 
chased and doubly gilt in the inside. Upon the lid 
of this box there was the representation of an 
eight-oared boat, with Donald at the helm, and the 
eight rowers making their way through a very 
rough and tempestuous sea. The Long island is 
seen in the distance upon one of the extremities of 
the lid, and the boat appears to be just steering 
into Rossinish, the point of Benbecula where 
Charles landed after leaving Lochnanuagh. On 
the other end of the lid there was a landscape of 
the end of the isle of Skye, as it appears opposite 
to the Long island, on which the sites of Dunvegau 
and Gualtergill are marked. The clouds were 
represented as heavy and lowering, and the rain 
descending ; and above the clouds, i. e., near the 
hinge, the following motto was engraved : — " Olim 
ha3C meminisse juvabit, Aprilis, 26to, 1746." Upon 
the bottom, and near the edge of the lid, was this 
inscription • — " Quid Neptune, paras ? Fatis agita- 


mur iniquis." The following words were engraved 
on the bottom of the box : — " Donald MacLeod of 
Gualtergill, in the Isle of Skye, the faithful 
Palinurus, set. 68, 1746." Below which there was a 
representation of a dove with an olive branch in its 
bill. Donald never put any snuff into this box, 
and when asked the cause by Mr. Forbes, he 
exclaimed, " Sneeshin in that box ! Na, the deil a 
pickle sneeshin shall ever get into it till the King 
be restored ; and then, I trust in God, I'll go to 
London, and then I will put sneeshin in the box, 
and go to the Prince, and say, ' Sir, will you take a 
sneeshin out o' my box ? '" * 

And now we approach the end. To the disastrous 
Field of Culloden may be ascribed the termination 
of the Clan system in Scotland. The government, 
thoroughly alarmed by the very great dangers 
they had just escaped, enacted the most severe 
measures against the Highlanders. The disarming 
act of 1715 was rigidly inforced ; the national 
garb prescribed ; the heritable jurisdiction of the 
Chiefs abolished — everything was done to destroy 
the organisation and power of the Clans, so that 
history now, practically becomes that of individ- 
uals. Many clansmen rather than suffer under 
these galling acts left the country altogether and 
entered the service of continental powers — parti- 
cularly the Netherlands. Many of them rose to 
important positions and their descendants of to-day 

* Jacobite Memorials. 


occupy distinguished places in the countries of 
their adoption. 

The Chief who had been elected M.P. for Inver- 
ness-shire 1741, continued to represent that con- 
stituency for some years ; he mixed with the 
leading men of the time, contracted extravagant 
habits unfortunately, and involved himself in a 
considerable amount of debt. He died about 1772. 

Of his son John, not much is known. His name 
appears in the list of officers, as Commander of a 
Company in Loudon's Highlanders, the second regi- 
ment raised in the Highlands for Government 
Service (1743), and again as commanding one of 
the seven Companies of MacLeods which were 
under the command of the Chief in the '45. He 
died about 1765, thus predeceasing his father. 

Not very long after the '45 William Pitt, 
afterwards Lord Chatham, with rare sagacity 
conceived the plan of enlisting the Highlanders, 
who had shown themselves to be such formidable 
foes to the Government, to fight the battles of 
the nation generally. Later, in 1766, while 
addressing the House of Commons he said — "I 
have sought for merit where it could be found. 
It is my boast that I was the first Minister who 
looked for it and found it in the mountains of 
the North. I called it forth and drew into 
your service a hardy and intrepid race of men ; 
who had irone nidi to have over-turned the 


State in the war before last. These men in the 
last war were brought to combat on our side ; 
they served with fidelity as they fought with 
valour and conquered for you in every quarter 
of the world." Many regiments were raised but \ 
none have been more distinguished than the ; 
42nd or Black Watch, the second battalion of | 
which was raised by General MacLeod, twentieth \ 
Chief. This regiment has covered itself with . 
glory in all parts of the world. 

The second battalion was embodied at Perth 
21st March 1780. In December it embarked at 
Queensferry for the Cape of Good Hope but 
ultimately landed in India; was there engaged 
in the wars against the famous Tippoo Sahib 
where it earned its first laurels, the conduct of 
the men being reported on as follows : — " The 
intrepidity with which the Highlanders repeatedly 
charged the enemy was most honourable to their 
character." MacLeod led them in this wearisome 
and trying war until promoted General in charge 
of the whole operations. 

On the conclusion of the war it was decided 
to disband the battalion and draft the men into 
other regiments. MacLeod opposed this vehe- 
mently ; in a letter to the Commander-in-Chief of 
India he says ..." My own compan}^ are all 
of my own name and clan and if I return to 
Europe without them I shall be effectually 


banished from my own home after having seduced 
them into a situation from which they thought 
themselves spared when they enlisted into the 
service ... I must entreat your Excellency 
to allow me to carry them home with me, that 
I may not forfeit my honour, credit and influence 
in the Highlands which have ever been exerted 
for His Majesty's Service. My connections and 
mode of entering into the army are not unknown 
to the King, and I ani certain the favour I 
solicit for myself and Clan from your Excellency 
will meet with his Royal approbation." 

This spirited communication saved the situation ; 
the battalion afterwards became the 73rd regiment, 
only however to revert to its original position 
as second battalion of the Black Watch on the 
introduction of the linked battalions system. 
The original colours of the battalion are preserved 
at Dunvegan among the Castles choicest treasures. 

Norman, XXth Chief succeeded his grandfather, 
the Wicked Man, and appears to have been a man 
of much character and ability. For some years 
previous to the death of his grandfather, he had 
devoted himself to an effort to retrieve the fortunes 
of his clan and house which his late grandfather 
had so seriously endangered. 

He took up his residence at Dunvegan and it 
was in his time that the Castle was visited by 
Pennant, Dr. Johnson, and Sir Walter Scott, all 



of whom seem to have been highly gratified by the 
excellence o£ their entertainment. Dr. Johnson, 
we are told, found that he " had tasted lotus and 
was in danger of forgetting that he was ever to 
depart." ..." Boswell," he said, " we came in 
at the wrong end of the island," and referring 
to the difficulties MacLeod had to contend with, 
Johnson said, " If he gets the better of all this he 
will be a hero ; and I hope he will." 

On the outbreak of the War of Independence in 
America, MacLeod raised a Company of his Clans- 
men for " Fraser's Highlanders " in which regiment 
six Chiefs, besides himself served. On the voyage 
to America the ship in which he sailed was captured 
by the enemy and he was detained a prisoner in 
that country for a time. He made the acquaint- 
ance of General Washington, for whom he seems 
to have formed a very considerable regard, and 
afterwards always spoke of him with great respect. 
About 1780 he returned to this country and was 
commissioned to raise the second battalion of the 
42nd Highlanders or Black Watch, mentioned 
above, which he speedily succeeded in doing. He 
accompanied the battalion to India and was so 
successful in his operations there, that later, on 
the removal of General Mathews, he was appointed 
General and Commander-in-Chief. He returned 
home in 1789, and shortly after was elected to 
represent his county in Parliament, a seat which 



he held until 1796. At the General Election of 
1796, he contested Sudbury with a member of the 
Paget family, but was defeated. His son Norman, 
was a victim of the Queen Charlotte disaster, and 
his death is particularly notable on account of 
the Braham Seers prophecy (noticed later). The 
General died in 1801, and was succeeded by his 
second son, John Norman. 

John Norman, 21st Chief, was born in 1788. 
He represented Parliament for Sudbury, from 1828 
to 1832. After the passing of the Reform Bill in 
1832, he contested the County of Inverness, but 
was unsuccessful by a few votes ; he died in 1835 
and was succeeded by his son Norman. 

Norman XXII. of MacLeod, was born in 1812. 
After the death of his father he resided for several 
years at Dunvegan. During the famine of 1847-48 
he remained constantly at home and made every 
effort to alleviate the distress of his tenants. The 
result of the famine was disastrous to them and 
to him. They were impoverished, and he was 
reduced to the verge of financial ruin. He was 
obliged to leave home and go to live where he 
could obtain employment. With a manliness much 
to be admired in a gentleman occupying his posi- 
tion, he resolved to work out a career for himself, 
and began life again in 1849, in the public service 
of his country, at the age of 37 years, as a junior 
clerk in the Prison Department of the Home Ofiice. 


Here he remained working bard for a mere pittance, 
until in 1852, he was appointed Registrar or Assis- 
tant Secretary in the Science and Art Department, 
under Mr. (afterwards Sir) Henry Cole, on whose 
retirement in 1874 MacLeod succeeded to his posi- 
tion and remained in charge at the head of the 
Department until 1881. 

In 1854 he was appointed by the Queen, 
Sergeant-at-Arms in Her Majesty's household. 

In 1860 he was appointed to Command a 
Volunteer Engineer Corps — the fii-st formed in the 
United Kingdom. He held this appointment for 
some years and until press of other duties forced 
him to resign when he became its Honorary 
Colonel. He died in Paris in 1895, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son Norman Magnus, the present 

Norman Magnus XXIII. of MacLeod — See 'page 

R, C. M. 


now turn from Histoiy to Tradition. 
Stories of great interest have been 
handed down from generation to 
generation, but I have refrained from 
inckiding any of these in the historical sketch, 
because tradition knows nothing of chronology. 
"Once upon a time," or "Hundreds of years" ago, is 
considered quite near enough for tradition, there- 
fore I have thought it better not to interrupt 
the thread of the history with traditional tales, the 
dates of which can never be fixed ; but I have 
put a few of these together to form part, and 
perhaps not the least interesting part, of this 

Probably there is nothing, at least in traditional 
lore, which appeals more to the Clansmen than 
the stories which surround the famous relics of 
Dunvegan, notably the Fairy Flag, the Horn of 
Sir Rory Mor, the Cup or Chalice, &c. These are 
tangible and visible evidence of things past — 
long, long past — of things unknown to us save 
in a few obscure traditional tales, indeed so obscure 
they do not even give themselves birth. 



Who can say what our forebears thought of 
their Fairy Flag or what mighty influence it 
may have held in the minds of those primitive, if 
warlike, men, for what a power is faith, and the 
clansmen had faith, full and strong in their wonder- 
ful banner as witness the confidence with which 
it was displayed at the battle of Waternish. 
" MacLeod thought the time had come to wave 
his magic banner and, feeling certain of victory 
detached a small party to take possession of the 
enemy's galleys." 

Did the flag, in its fairy might, actually magnify 
the numbers of the MacLeods or did the Mac- 
Donalds themselves know the legend, believe in 
it, and, in the superstitious spirit of the time, 
take fright at the very appearance of the flag ? 
Who shall say ? I fear in these rather degenerate 
times we can but poorly appreciate the feelings 
of our ancestors on such subjects. 

In my boyhood I heard two quite distinct 
legends as to how the MacLeods got the Fairy 
Flag. One relates that one of the Chiefs married a 
fairy who was only allowed to remain for twenty 
years with her mortal husband. Her summons to 
leave him came to her near " Fairy Bridge," which 
is about three miles from Dunveean and that. 


as she flew away, the flag, which formed part of 
her attire, was dropped by her, either accidentally 
or intentionally, and found and preserved by 
the bereaved Chieftain. The other tells how on 
the birth of an heir to one of the Chiefs, great 
rejoicings were held at Dunvegan, to celebrate 
the event; that, as the child was slumbering 
peacefully, the nurse, who was anxious to join 
the festivities, slipped away and left him alone, 
but being restless in his sleep the clothes in 
which he had been wrapped fell off and he lay 
exposed to the cold ; the fairies, however, were 
watching over him and wrapped him up in a 
flag. Meanwhile the clansmen had been clammer- 
ing to see the young heir and the nurse being 
sent for her charge, found him thus arrayed and 
brought him so into the hall. As she entered, a 
chorus of fairy voices was heard singing the 
magic powers of the flag, and thus the fact that 
it would have virtue to save the Clan three 
times, when in dire need, was communicated. 

The flag it is said, has been twice waved. On 
the first occasion the MacDonalds of Clan Ranald, 
during one of the awful feuds which raged 
between them and the MacLeods, landed in very 
great force at Trumpan, in Waternish. The Mac- 
Leods were surprised while at Divine Service, their 
enemies surrounding the church and setting it 
on tire. The whole congregation perished, either 


by the sword or the flames, except one woman 
Avho, grievously wounded, effected her escape and 
brought the news to Dunvegan. MacLeod, witli 
such forces as he could collect in a short time, 
sallied forth and found that the MacDonalds, 
having finished their work of destruction at 
Trumpan, had re-embarked, sailed up to the head 
of Loch Bay, landed there, and were marching on 
Dunvegan. MacLeod thought that the time had 
come to wave his magic banner, and feeling certain 
of victory, detached a small party to take posses- 
sion of the enemy's boats which they had left lying 
on the shore. Fighting desperately to check the 
enemy's advance MacLeod sent a messenger for the 
Flag, and when it arrived he at once waved it. 

On the moment the MacDonalds imagined that 
they saw large reinforcements coming up to 
join MacLeod and were seized by such a panic 
that they broke and fled to their boats but 
these they found had been removed by MacLeod's 
party and anchored out in the Loch. A handful 
of men swam out to a boat and succeeded in 
escaping, but the rest were cut to pieces ; their 
bodies were gathered in a long row under a 
wall, the wall was then thrown down upon 
them, and thus they were buried. The place has 
in consequence always been called "Milleadh 
(iaraidh" — the destruction of the wall. 

On the second occasion on which it was waved 


the magic power of the flag is said to have 
arrested a cattle plague which was devastating 
the island. 

It was brought to light for the third time 
under circumstances so remarkable that I give 
in full a letter written by Dr. Norman MacLeod 
the famous father of a still more famous son, 
describing what then happened. 

" In the summer 1799, tlie late General Norman 
MacLeod (grandfather to the present Chief), 
came to the manse of Morven on his way to 
the Isle of Skye. My father (the Rev. Norman 
MacLeod then Minister of Morven) had at one 
time been tutor to this brave and talented man, 
who had been a distinguished soldier in the 
American war and had afterwards obtained 
great renown in India during the conflicts with 
Tippoo Sahib and other rebellious chiefs. Mac- 
Leod insisted that my father should allow me 
to go along with him to Dun vegan, and I was 
delighted at the prospect of visiting the place 
of which I had heard so many traditionary 
legends. There were no steamers at that time 
and we took passage in a small wherry from 

MacLeod was accompanied by Mr. Hector 
MacDonald Buchanan, his man of business, and 
Mr. Campbell of Gombie, his commissioner. We 
arrived at Loch Bracadale next day after. 


leaving Morveii where we found horses and carts 
and crowds of people waiting us. On reaching 
the old Castle of Dunvegan we were met by 
many of the gentlemen, tacksmen of the Mac- 
Leod estates, and MacLeod was welcomed to the 
home of his fathers by Captain Donald Mac- 
Crimmon, (the representative of the celebrated 
MacCrimmon pipers who had for ages been 
connected with the family) who had gained his 
commission and no small share of renown with 
his Chief during the American war. 

I can never forget the impression which the 
whole scene made on my youthful mind, as 
MacCrimmon struck up " Failte Ruari Mor," the 
famous tune of the clan. 

Dinner was served in the great dining-room, 
the keys of the cellar were produced and a 
pipe of claret was broached also some Madeira, 
said to be of choice quality and brought by 
MacLeod from India — the wine was carried up 
to the dining-room in flaggons. 

I was put to sleep in a small closet off MacLeod's 
own bedroom, and I never shall forget the 
affectionate kindness which my beloved Chief 
showed me during the three months I was with 
him in his Castle. 

The number of visitors who came there was 
great. Among others I remember MacLean of 
Coll, Grant of Corriemoney, Mr. Grant the 


father of Lord Glenelg, Principal MacLeod of 
Aberdeen, Colonel Donald MacLeod, father of the 
present MacLeod of St. Kilda. I had a special 
regard for Major MacLeod of Ballymeanach, who 
had been a distinguished officer in the Dutch 
wars, and who kindly entertained me with many 
interesting anecdotes regarding the warfare in 
which he had been engaged. 

A circumstance took place at Dunvegan Castle 
at that time, which I think it worth recording, 
especially as I am the only person living who 
can attest the truth of it. There had been a 
traditionary prophecy written in Gaelic verse 
regarding the family of MacLeod which on this 
occasion received a most extraordinary fulfilment. 
This prophecy I have heard repeated by several 
persons and I now very much regret that I did 
not take a copy of it when I could easily have 
got it. My father had a very beautiful version 
of it, so had Mr. Campbell of Knock in Mull, 
and also, I think, the Rev. Dr. Campbell of 
Kilinver. There are few old families in the 
Highlands of whom such prophecies are not 
current. The family of Argyle are of the 
number, and there is a prophecy yet unfulfilled 
regarding the Breadalbane family which I hope 
may remain so. The present Marquis of Breadal- 
bane is full}^ aware of it, as are also many of the 
connections of the family. 


Of the MacLeod family it was prophesied at 
least a hundred years prior to the circumstances 
I am about to relate. That when Norman — the 
third Norman (Tormaid n'an tri Tormaidean), the 
son of the hard-boned English woman (Mac na 
maighdean caol Sassanaich) would perish by an 
accidental death — when the 'MacLeod Maidens' 
(certain well known rocks on the coast of the 
MacLeod country) would become the property of 
a Campbell, when a fox had her young ones in 
one of the turrets of the Castle, and particularly 
when the Fairy enchanted banner should be ex- 
hibited for the last time, that then the glory 
of the MacLeod's family should depart, a great 
part of the estate would be sold to others, so 
that a small Curach (a wicker boat) would be 
sufficient to carry all the gentlemen of the name 
of MacLeod across Loch Dunvegan, but in times 
far distant another John MacLeod should arise 
who would redeem those estates, and raise the 
power and honour of the name of MacLeod to a 
higher pitch than ever. Such, in general terms, 
was the propliecy. 

And now as to the curious coincidence of its 

There was at this time, an English smith at 
Dunvegan, with whom I became a favourite, and 
who told me in solemn secrecy that the iron 
chest which contained the Fairy Flag was to be 


forced open next morning, and that it was 
arranged by Sir Hector MacDonald Buchanan 
that he (the smith) was to be at the Castle with 
his tools for that purpose. I was most anxious 
to be present and asked permission of Mr. 
Buchanan, who granted me leave on condition 
that I should not inform anyone of the name 
of MacLeod that such a thing was to be done, 
and especially to keep it a profound secret from 
the Chief, this I promised to do and most faith- 
fully acted on. 

Next morning we proceeded to the chamber 
in the east turret where the iron chest containing 
the ' Fairy Flag ' was kept. The smith tore up 
the lid with great violence, but in doing so a 
key was found under part of the covering of 
the chest, which would have opened it, had it 
been discovered in time. There was an inner 
case in which the flag was found enclosed in a 
box of strongly scented wood. The flag consisted 
of a square piece of very rich silk with crosses 
wrought on it with gold thread, and several elf 
spots stitched with great care on different parts 
of it. After it was closely examined it was 
returned to its old case as before where for 
many years it had . been neglected, and when 
brought to light it soon went to tatters, pieces 
of it being carried away time after time, so 
that I fancy there is not a remnant left. (In this 


the writer is mistaken). At this time the news 
of the death of the young and promising heir 
of MacLeod reached the castle, this Norman 'the 
third Norman ' was a lieutenant on board of H.M. 
Ship the ' Queen Charlotte ' which was blown 
up at sea and he along with all the rest perished ; 
at the same time the rocks called ' The MacLeod 
Maidens' were, in the course of that week, sold 
to Campbell of Ensay, and are still in the 
possession of his grandson ; a fox in the possession 
of a Lieutenant MacLean residing in the west 
turret of the Castle, had cubs there which I saw 
and handled, and thus it happened that all that 
was said in the prophecy was literally fulfilled. 

I merely state the facts us they occurred 
without expressing any opinion whatever as to 
the nature of these traditionary legends with 
which they were connected. 

My father is known by his well deserved title 
of ' Caraid nan Caidheal ' for truly he was such." 


The Horn of vSir Rory Mor is a great ox 
horn tipped with silver, and holds about two 
English pints. The custom is that each Chief 
on attaining the age of manhood should drain 
at one draught, this horn, filled to the brim. 
What memories must cling around this old horn ! 


When was its test of manhood first instituted ? 
Was Sir Rory himself the first ? How many 
Chiefs have proved their metal in this deep, 
long mighty draught? What men of strength, 
deep of chest and power of lung, to drain that 
terrible Horn in one long breath. None such 
now; the greater part of the Horn is filled up 
and it is but a moderate drink the present day 
Chiefs have to quafi*. With what contempt, what 
mighty scorn would these stern warriors of the 
past look upon the puny performances of their 
descendants. Traditionary tales associated with 
the Horn are noticed in the account of the 
MacLeod Crest. 


The Cup or Chalice is made out of a solid block 
of oak. It stands about ten inches high and 
rests upon four short legs of silver. All over, 
the Cup is curiously wrought and embossed 
with silver, once studded with precious stones 
and still retaining bits of coral. 

It has the following inscription, engraved on 
a rim of silver, in very superior style : — 

" Katerina the daughter of King Neil, 
Wife of John M'Guiger, Prince of Fermanagh, 
Had me made in the year of God 1493,* 
The eyes of all hope in Thee, Oh Lord ! 
And Thou givest them their meat in due season." 

* See note page 119. 


The following legends relate to the history of 
the Gup : — 

In the time of Malcolm, the third Chief, the 
lands of Luskintyre were possessed by two brothers 
who were at mortal feud with one another. Their 
cattle were herded in common, in charge of a man 
named Lurran Casinreach or swift-footed. This 
man's mother had nursed one of the brothers — she 
was considered a witch, and lived with her son in 
a small cottage near her foster-son's house. Lurran 
folded the cows every night in Buaille Rossinish, 
where during the harvest season it was customary 
to have them watched. On the first night of the 
season it was Lurran's turn to watch, and as the 
place was considered to be a resort of fairies, 
Lurran's mother took the precaution to charm all 
her foster-son's cows, as well as her son Lurran 
on whom she uttered a spell, proof against the 
devil himself. About midnight Lurran saw the 
Bruthach (or mound) open, and an immense con- 
course of people issue from it. They proceeded 
towards the fold where they began to converse and 
examine the cattle. They found the cows of one 
brother all charmed, but those of the other not so 
fortunate. Of the latter they immediately killed 
two of the best and fattest and carried away the 
carcases, leaving the hides filled with froth and 
slime, resembling bad carrion. In the morning 
the two cows were found dead, and conjectured to 


have been killed by lightning. The same thing 
however occurred for several nights — the cows of 
the same brother always being selected. Watch 
was set but none possessed the power of seeing the 
fairies, while Lurran kept what he had seen a 
secret from all but his mother. When it again 
came to Lurran's turn to watch he saw the same 
thing happen, but this time he joined the crowd 
and entered the Bruthach unobserved, and found 
himself in a spacious hall where was prepared a 
feast of which all partook. Lurran took care to 
get a place next the door. After the feast wine 
was handed round in a beautiful cup, out of 
which each one drank and then handed it to his 
neighbour. At last it came to Lurran's turn, 
who, pitching out the contents, made a dash for 
the door and escaped, carrying the cup with 
him, before the company were aware of what 
he was about. He was hotly pursued but suc- 
ceeded in reaching his mother's hut, which she 
immediately charmed so as to prevent the ingress 
of any spirits, good or bad. Lurran, however, 
was eventually killed by the fairies for stealing 
their cup, which his mother then gave to her 
foster-son, Neil Glundubh. Neil was soon after 
murdered by his brother, who seized the cup 
with other property. 

When the Chief heard of this outrage he had 
the murderer arrested and put to death at Rowdell. 



The cup was then taken to Dunvegan, and there 
it has ever since remained. 

It may be mentioned that the cup is always 
called the cup of Neil Glundubh, and in the Dean 
of Lismore's book this Neil is said to have been 
the progenitor of the O'Neil family in Ireland who 
flourished in the tenth century. 

Another legend says that the son of one of these 
same brothers having been insulted at a feast by 
Magnus, (the Chief's fifth son) rose from the 
table to leave the room, muttering threats of 
vengeance. Magnus spi-ang up and opposed his 
exit, on which the offended vassal drew his dirk 
and stabbed Magnus to tlie heart. A rush was 
made by the assembled vassals to seize the 
murderer, who succeeded in escaping to the top 
of a rock, which is still shown, where he was 
brought to bay. He had twelve arrows in his 
quiver and with each of these he killed one of 
the Chief's followers. He was then captured and 
flayed alive; his kindred were outlawed or put 
to death and all their property con ti seated to 
the Chief who in this way became possessed of 
the cup. 


The following legend concerning the origin of 
the MacLeod Crest and Motto was given to me 
by a friend not very long ago : — 


Tormod, second Chief of MacLeod, was a 
great soldier. He married Marjory, daughter of 
John Bisset of Glenelg, by whom he had three 
sons — Malcohn, his heir, Leod and Godfrey. 
Malcolm the third Chief, although said by some 
to have married the daughter of Fraser, Lord 
Lovat, is believed to have married Christian the 
divorced wife of Hugh Fraser of Lovat, and a 
daughter of Sir Neil Campbell of Lochow, ancestor 
of the Duke of Argyll. He was a man of great 
courage and physical strength, and the story 
goes that while returning from a stolen interview 
with the young and beautiful wife of the Chief 
of the Frasers, who held the half of Glenelg, 
he encountered and killed a wild bull which 
infested the w^oods of Glenelg and was a terror 
to the inhabitants around. Malcolm, when he 
engaged the animal, was armed with his dirk 
only, but, seizing the bull by the horns, he, by 
sheer strength, threw it and then despatched it 
with his dirk. From this encounter the bull's 
head is said to have become the crest of the 
MacLeods with the motto " Hold Fast " added. 
The story adds that the horns were removed from 
the bull's head, one of them was mounted with 
silver and preserved as a trophy, and that the horn 
which every Chief has to drain when he comes of 
age, is the identical horn which adorned the head 
of the bull slain by Malcolm MacLeod. 


Another story about a bull tells how MacLeod 
once went on a visit to Argyll at Inveraray, and 
when he got there he learned that a clansman of 
his host had, for some oftencc, been condemned to 
be gored to death by a bull. An arena was pre- 
pared and the criminal placed therein with a bull 
of singular strength and ferocity. MacLeod, much 
struck with the appearance of the man, interceded 
for him with Argyll ; but Argyll declared it was 
now too late, that the man and the infuriated 
animal were in the ring, and no human power 
could save him. MacLeod was only armed with 
his dirk, but, on hearing this, sprang at once into 
the ring, attacked and killed the bull. He thus 
saved the man's life, and when he went back to 
Skye he took the man with him, and there is a 
family living at Dunvegan now who claim descent 
from the man whom MacLeod saved from such a 
terrible death. 


Of the simple tales, one of tlie most picturesque 
relates how a daughter of Dunvegan was engaged 
to be married to a young Harris man who was 
drowned on his way to Dunvegan. 

I wrote some verses on this story some years 
ago, and I venture to give it here in my own poor 
rhymes : — 

TALES. 53 


There is joy at Dunvegan — the glad bridal morn 
Of its daughter has come ; on the breezes are borne 
The sounds of rejoicing, of music and song, 
As troops of glad clansmen come singing along. 
The feast is all ready, all spread is the board, 
And the maid, ready decked, is awaiting her lord, 
Who is sailing from Harris to claim his fair bride, 
And to stand at the altar with her by his side. 

The glad sounds are hushed ; for a wild sudden gale 

Has risen, and faces are anxious and pale. 

'Gainst hope the maid hopes ; one so gallant and true, 

Who sails such a boat, with so gallant a crew, 

Can never have perished — he must come — he will — 

His promise to her he will surely fulfil. 

Alas ! for her love — she awaits him in vain. 

For he's lost in the Minch with the whole of his train. 

There is woe at Dunvegan ; for since that sad day 
Its daughter has slowly been pining away ; 
All shrunk is her form and all hollow her cheek. 
As she tells her last wishes in tones low and weak. 
" Oh grant that my body may rest in the deep, 
That I in the grave of my true love may sleep." 
They promised, with weeping, and soon all is o'er, 
Her voice on earth they may never hear more. 

Forgetting their promise, her body they lay 
In the galley to bear her to Eodell's calm bay, 
Where stands the old abbey, the last resting-place, 
In which lie the dead of her proud ancient race. 
They start in a calm, but soon springs up a gale. 
At which e'en the soul of the bravest may quail ; 
They know its a message that charges them keep 
The promise they gave e'er the maid fell asleep. 


"Heaven wills," said the Chief, "that my daughter be 
As she wished — in the sea, and she shall be obeyed." 
He tenderly takes in his strong arms her form, 
Casts her on the waves ; and amid the wild storm 
There rises a figure, majestic and grand, 
Clasps her to his heart and, with hand pressed in hand, 
Those two, whose fair lives had by stern death been 

Beneath the waves sink now in death re-united. 

E'en Nature herself will preserve such a tale. 
And men, to this day, who upon the Minch sail. 
Find, 'mid all the tumult of mountainous waves — 
To mark of this couple who loved well, — the graves 
One spot of still calm, which no winds can disturb ; 
Some mightier force on their strength jjuts a curb. 
And here sleep those lovers on great ocean's bed, 
Till the trumpet shall sound and the sea yield her dead. 


A curious story is that which relates how a man, 
at some unknown pei'iod, happened one night to be 
near the church-yard at Eynort. At midnight the 
ghosts of all who had been buried there arose, 
seized the man, and taking him with them visited 
in turn all the burying places in the MacLeod 
country, being joined at each by a large number of 
spirits. They llew across the Minch to North Uist. 
Here they met all the MacDonald ghosts, also 
having a living man with them. The two spirit 
armies formed a rintj, and the two livine: men 


fought in the middle. Neither, however, was 
victorious, and when the first sign of dawn 
appeared, each party of spirits took off their man 
and returned to their respective resting places. 
The man taken from Eynort was left exactly 
where he had been found. 


One of the Chiefs (Alaster Crottach probably), 
must have had a somewhat grim sense of humour. 
He had, rather rashly engaged himself to marry a 
daughter, whom he had never seen, of MacDonald 
of Sleat. I suppose the bride must have been 
thickly veiled during the ceremony, any how 
MacLeod did not discover, until he got her home 
to Dunvegan, that she had only one eye. Availing 
himself of the rights which, under the system of 
hand-fasting then in vogue, he considered he pos- 
sessed, he indignantly sent the lady back ; and, by 
way of making the insult a more cutting one, she 
was made to ride a one-eyed horse, was attended 
by a one-eyed man, and followed by a one-eyed 
dog. (This story, I believe, is sometimes told the 
other way about when the one-eyed lady becomes 
a MacLeod.) 

But, which ever is correct, this incident led to the 
great battle of Corry na Craich in the Cuchullins, 
where a great number of clansmen lost their lives. 



" In this battle of Corry na Craicli fought 
between the MacLeods and the MacDonalds, there 
were nine MacLeods of the name of Norman killed, 
one of them was an exceptionally big man — very 
clumsy and awkward in every way. When the 
battlefield was being cleared of the dead bodies, 
one of the MacDonalds came across the body of 
big Norman, and, in trying to lift it found he had 
a somewhat heavy and difficult task. At length, 
with a great effort he succeeded and heaving the 
body over a rock, exclaimed ' Bu Ghlagach beo's 
marbh thu ' (clumsy alive and clumsy dead.) " 

A good many traditions are preserved in the 
names of places — 


Cnoc an H'ip. — The following singular occurrence 
is related by some old people in Skye. One of the 
Chiefs of the Clan Nicol, called MacNicol Mor from 
his great size was one time engaged in a warm 
discussion with MacLeod of Raasay. MacLeod's 
servant entering the room and not understanding 
English, in which language the argument was 
being carried on, imagined the pair were quarrel- 
ling and drawing his sword struck MacNicol a 
deadly blow. 

CNOC AN h'ip. 57 

A council of Chiefs and comhairlichean, or elders, 
was forthwith called to determine in what manner 
so unhappy a deed could be satisfactorily arranged, 
and the shedding of blood avoided ; when it was 
agreed, upon some old precedent, that the meanest 
person in the Clan Nicol should behead the Laird 
of Raasay. 

It speaks highly for the respectability of the 
MacNicols at that time that the individual of least 
note who could be found among them was one 
Lomach, a maker of keisans, which are a sort of 
woven baskets that are slung on each side of a 
horse's back and are used for the conveyance of 
grain and like commodities. Raasay was accord- 
ingly executed at Snisort, and by this judicial 
decree a fued was prevented. The tradition informs 
us that so cleanly did Lonach sever the head from 
the body of the unfortunate Chief, who was at the 
moment in the act of speaking, as it rolled down 
the hill the half articulated sounds, " ip, ip " were 
said to have been distinctly heard, and hence the 
little eminence on which the execution took place 
has since been distinguished as " Cnoc an h'ip." 


Balla na Croiche is the place of the gallows, 
because here executions were carried out. It is 
said that the last man who was put to death here 


was not hanged but stripped, tied up, and left to 
perish slowly from attacks of midges, etc. This 
was in 1728. 


Not far from Trumpan there is a strip of land 
called Aird Mor, the highest point of which is 
known as " Cnoc a Chrochadh " (The Hanging Hill) 
because the son of Judge Morrison was hanged 
there on three of his own oai's. Morrison had been 
staying at Dunvegan Castle, but on his way re- 
turning home he started murdering the MacLeods 
of Isle Isay. He was caught near the top of this 
hill and sentenced to be hanged. He asked that he 
might be allowed to pray, and on receiving per- 
mission retired behind a rock for that purpose. 
Many years afterwards a large quantity of silver 
coins was found behind the very rock where 
Morrison had prayed, and which was supposed 
to have belone-ed to him. 


A point just below the castle, at Dunvegan, was 
called " Ard-nan-athan " (The point of the kilns). 
In these kilns a fermented liquor was made from 
barley — the barley was grown on the ground now 


occupied as a kitchen garden — and it is said Alaster 
Crottach used this liquor to slake the lime for 
mortar when building the Fairy Tower, about the 
end of the fifteenth century. 

On this point also, was the arena where all sorts 
of games and sports were held. On one occasion 
there was "A Great Athletic Meeting," Argyll, 
Glengarry, Raasay and many other Chiefs came to 
Dunvegan ; each of them bringing his strongest 
and best men to compete in the games. 

Raasay's man proved to be the best wrestler, 
while Argyll's man putted the stone further than 
any other. MacLeod had at that time, in his 
Clan a man named Paul Crupach, who, though 
deformed, possessed extraordinary strength. This 
man, MacLeod had dressed in very rough and 
ragged clothes, and when all the athletes had 
done their best, he laughed, and said " Is that 
all your men can do ? Why, the meanest of 
my clan can do better than that." He then 
called Paul and told him to show the gentlemen 
what the MacLeods could do. Paul knelt down 
on his knees, and from that position putted 
the stone much further than Argyll's man had 
done. He then wrestled with Raasay's man 
and threw him with such force that the poor 
man's back was broken. In regard to such 
feats I give a few more instances of remarkable 



Some years after the light of "Millaedh Garaidh, 
the MacDonalds sought revenge for their defeat. 
They, as was the custom, made a raid on the 
country of the MacLeods, and carried off a number 
of cattle. The MacLeods soon discovered their loss 
and started in pursuit of the thieving MacDonalds 
whom they overtook near Trumpan ; there a bloody 
fight took place and the MacDonalds were killed 
almost to a man. On each side a smith, in full 
armour, remained fighting. The MacLeod smith 
was feeling weak through loss of blood when 
his wife arrived on the scene of the conflict — 
striking the enemy with her distaff, she cried, 
"Turn to me." He turned his head involuntarily, 
and that moment was his last, as the MacLeod 
smith seized the opportunity and promptly run 
him through. 

The place is still called " Beinn a Ghobha," or 
the Blacksmith's Hill. 


At this same tight Roderick, son of Ian MacLeod 
of Unish, did great execution with his sword. At 
last a MacDonald rushed upon him and cut off 
his legs at the knees, but the doughty clans- 


man continued to stand on his stumps cutting 
down all comers. At last he fell — on the knoll 
named after him, Cnoc Mhic Iain ; " The knoll 
of the son of ' Ian ' and ' Crois Bhan,' the white 
cross from a wooden cross placed there to his 


There is a well not very far from the Castle 
called " tobar-nan-ceann " (the well of the heads) 
because here a clansman, who had killed three 
foreigners, and wished to take their heads to the 
Castle, as proof of his prowess, washed the heads 
after he had decapitated the men. 


. There is a rock on the Uighinish side of Skye 
called to this day " Paul's Rock," because Paul 
while fishing was caught on the rock by the tide, 
and saved himself by leaping ashore, a bound of 
extraordinary agility. 


Some years after the Eigg massacre, the clan 
Ranald and other MacDonalds decided to punish 
the MacLeods ; so one very foggy night they sailed 


for Skye. As they drew near Dunvegan Head 
they discovered Finlay MacLeod of Galtrigal and 
four others fishing, To prevent these men giving 
the alarm, the MacDonalds sent a sixteen oar boat 
to capture them. Finlay and his companions saw 
them coming and made for the shore. Finlay 
filone succeeded in escaping, the others being cut 
off and caught in a cave, where they had taken 
refuge, and cut to pieces. Finlay ran to the top 
of a hill and gave three mighty shouts which 
the watchman at Dunvegan heard — a distance of 
three miles. MacLeod at once sent out the Crann- 
tara with one end burned and dipped in blood, to 
inform the clansmen that an enemy was coming. 
No one seems to know the end of this story or 
which side was victorious. 

Finlay MacLeod of Galtrigal was celebrated for 
his great strength. He was named " Fionalaidh 
na Plaide Baine," meaning Finlay of the white 
blanket, because he was always dressed in white 
homespun. In his time MacLeod kept twelve 
powerful men called " Buannaichean," or con- 
querors. These men oppressed the tenants greatly, 
and no one dared to question them except Finlay, 
who reported their doings to the Chief. These 
men, it is proper to say, were chosen by tests of 
strength, such as tossing the caber, putting the 
stone, etc. ; then a large bull was killed, and they 
had with one hand to twist off its four legs at 


the knees before they were successful in being 
engaged as Buannaichean. On one occasion, after 
being reported to the Chief, these men came to 
Finlay's house while he was out, ordered the wife 
to prepare their dinner, and to pnnish Finlay for 
reporting them they killed his best cow. 

When Finlay returned he asked what they meant 
by killing his cow. They replied it was to please 
themselves, and that they would kill him too if he 
did not mind what he was about. Finlay then 
went to his byre and returned with a heavy cow- 
tail with which he attacked the Buannaichean, 
making their skin and hair fly all over the room. 
Those who were not killed were so terrified that 
they offered to pay the price of the cow and more 
if Finlay asked it ; but their offer was sternly 
refused. Next morning Finlay took them over to 
Dunvegan in a boat, (he had bound them with 
fishing lines). When MacLeod saw his twelve 
strong men so severely punished and bound by 
one man, he dismissed them and never more kept 
any Buannaichean at Dunvegan. 


It is related of one Donald MacLeod, a man of 
magnificent physique and longevity, who entered 
the service of King William and enjoyed for many 
3'('ars a pension from George III. ; that he fought 


various single combats both at home and abroad. 
On one occasion he cut off part of the calf of a 
German's leg, and wounded him in the sword arm, 
to show he had it in his power to take his life. In 
the rebellion of 1715, he accepted a challenge from 
a Captain MacDonald, a celebrated fencer in the 
Earl of Mar's service, who had openly defied the 
whole of the Royal army. In this trial of skill, 
MacLeod cut off the other's purse and asked him if 
he wanted anything else taken off, on which 
MacDonald gave up the contest, acknowledging 
his inferiority, and left the victor his purse as a 
trophy. The Earl of Mar, himself an excellent 
swordsman, also acknowledged MacLeod's victory, 
as did his own General, Argyle. 


It appears that at some early period there was 
a dispute between MacLeod and MacDonald, as to 
the ownership of St. Kilda, and it was decided that 
two boats manned by men of the respective Clans 
should race for the island, and that the one who 
first touched the shore should win its possession 
for his Chief. The race proved a very close one, 
but as the boats approached the island, the Mac- 
Donalds drew slightly ahead, whereupon one of the 
MacLeods seized an axe, cut off his hand and flung 
it on shore, thus touching St. Kilda first. 



A story of a quaint dispute is handed down by 
tradition. A cow fell over a cliff into a boat. 
The cow was killed and the boat destroyed. The 
owner of the boat claimed damages, while the 
owner of the cow made a counter-claim on the 
ground that if the boat had not been where it 
was, his cow would have fallen into deep water 
and probably have escaped with its life. MacLeod, 
to whom the matter was referred, found some 
difficulty in coming to a decision, and accompanied 
the men to consult a " wise " man who lived near. 
The sage asked who was the owner of the cow 
and who of the boat; and then asked who was 
the owner of the rock from which the cow had 
fallen — the last was MacLeod. Then said the sage 
" MacLeod must pay for both the cow and the 
boat. For, if MacLeod's rock had not been there 
the cow would not have fallen over it, and, of 
course, the boat would not have been injured." 
MacLeod good - humouredly assented and so the 
dispute was settled. 


An interesting and amusing story is told of 
the relations between the " Wicked Man " and 
the famous Rob Roy. 



MacLeod sent his fool (people still kept fools 
in those days) to Inverness to fetch a sum of 
money which he required. On his way the fool 
fell in with a gentleman riding a line horse. This 
gentleman made himself extremely agreeable, and 
to him the fool confided the mission he was 
engaged on. Naturally enough (seeing the gentle- 
man was no less a person than Rob Roy) on his 
return journey, MacLeod's messenger met his 
friend again. On this occasion Rob Roy was 
not quite so pleasant, he put a pistol to the poor 
fellow's head and demanded the money of which 
he was the bearer. Pretending great fear the 
fool threw a parcel on the ground, this rolled 
down a steep hill and Rob Roy, supposing it 
contained the money, sprang from his horse and 
rushed after it ; leaving the fool, who like most 
of his class was a very shrewd fellow, to mount 
his assailant's horse, a very superior one to his 
own, and make oiF with the money all safe. The 
parcel he had thrown away contained nothing 
of value, but in tlie saddlebags on Rob Roy's horse 
however, was found a large sum of money, which 
the fool triumphantly delivered to his master as 
well as that which his ready wit had preserved. 
MacLeod having some elementary notions of 
honesty, which I daresay the fool thought ex- 
tremely silly, insisted on sending him back to 
find Rob Roy and restore to him his horse and 


money, sending also an invitation to visit Dun- 
vegan ; the invitation was accepted and the 
famous outlaw and MacLeod became great friends. 
The portrait in the Castle, of this Chief, was 
painted by Allan Ramsay and curiously enough 
is clothed in the Rob Roy tartan. A tradition, 
however, exists that MacLeod was actually painted 
in the yellow and black tartan, and that for some 
reason he had altered it in the finished picture. 


Written by Donald MacLeod of Bernera, and 

Presented to each of his three mves. 

Now that the matron's curch proclaims thee mine, 
May health, without alloy, be ever thine, 
Long be thy clays and undisturbed thy peace. 
Still may thy virtues — still thy stores increase. 

Oft in that dress, in which thou'rt now arrayed. 
Have women's highest virtues been displayed. 
May thine be so. And, as thou hast begun, 
In life and gay spring — thy wedded course be run. 

To Heaven's High King do thou thy prayers address, 
And hope from Him all that thy days may bless ; 
Learn to be hospitable, not profuse ; 
True spirit show and yet due caution use. 

Talk not too much, yet be not always mute, 
Thy years not giddiness nor dullness suit ; 
From sudden friendship guard thyself with care. 
And yet of coldness and reserve beware. 


Speak ill of none ; and should it be thy lot 
To be reviled by others, show no hate. 
When fortune frowns, be to thy state resigned, 
And when she smiles, lift not too high thy mind. 
Regard not vice — let grace thy path adorn. 
Thus, thus I greet thee on thy bridal morn. 


The " Maidens " are three remarkable basaltic 
pillars rising vertically out of the sea, to a height 
of some 200 feet. Seen looming through the mists 
the rocks assume forms well justifying the name 
bestowed on them by the people, of "The Mac- 
Leod's Maidens " from their fanciful resemblance 
to gigantic women clad in cloaks and hoods. 


A waterfall close to the Castle is known as 
the " Nurse of Rory Mor." Sir Rory is said to 
have had a wonderful — almost affectionate — feel- 
ing for this waterfall and that he could not sleep 
well when away from tlie sound of its falling 

" I would old Torquil were to show 
His maidens with their breasts of snow, 
Or that my noble liege Avere nigh 
To hear his Nurse sing lullaby. 
(The maids — tall cliffs with breakers white. 
The Nurse — a torrents roaring might)." 




Rodel Cathedral in Harris — " the last resting 
place of her proud ancient race " — is one of twenty- 
eight monasteries established in Scotland by the 
Canons Regular of St. Augustine, and seems to 
have been the Ecclesiastical Superior of the various 
religious houses scattered over the Western Isles. 
This was the burial place of the MacLeods of 
Harris ; the tomb of Alaster Crottach is parti- 
cularly notable with its elaborate sculpturing, 
much of which, however, has become illegible 
but many interesting bits may still be traced 
and interpreted. 


Two mountains in the west of Duirinish rising 
to a height of about 1700 feet; they are remarkable 
for the verdure of their slopes, and the plateau-like 
form of their summits. A tradition exists that at 
one time MacLeod held his Courts and administered 
justice there. 

A beautiful view of them is obtained from the 
drawing-room window of the Castle ; and when 
covered with snow, as they frequently are for 
months, look like great tables covered with spotless 



Just opposite the " Maidens " is a bold headland 
called Idrigal Point, in which is a deep cave chiefly 
remarkable as the place where the unfortunate 
Lady Grange was for a time confined. 


The Arms of the Lewes MacLeods were — Or, a 
mountain azure, inflamed proper ; their Crest — 
a Rising Sun. The Arms of the Dunvegan family, 
as matriculated in 1752, are — Azure, a castle triple 
towered and embattled, masoned sable, windows 
and porch gules ; supporters — two lions regardent, 
each holding a dagger proper. Crest — a Bull's 
Head, cabossed between two flags. Motto — " Murus 
ahenevs." Device — " Hold Fast." But there is 
abundant evidence that in early times the family 
bore on their " coat " a galley — the arms of the Isle 
of Man during the Norse occupation of that island, 
and later they have borne the three legs of Man. 

The badge of Dunvegan is the Juniper. 


"That mighty stronghold of the west 
In lonely grandeur reigns supreme ; 
A monument of feudal power, 
And fitting haven for a king." 

M. G. MacLeod. 

No sketch of the history and traditions of our 
clan would be complete without some reference to 
the ancient Castle which for seven hundred years 
has been the home of our Chiefs — modernized as 
it may have been. The old Keep, which McCrailt 
Armian's daughter brought to Leod, still stands in 
all its majesty on the shores of Loch Follart, now 
known as Loch Dunvegan. In the thickness of 
its huge walls may still be seen the dungeons in 
which prisoners languished and died. It may still 
be approached by the old sea gate and narrow 
passage, which, defended by portcullis and huge 
doors, alone, in the old days, gave access to the 
Chief's friends or kept his enemies at bay ; and 
though portcullis and doors may have passed away, 
two sets of rusted hinges are still embedded in the 
solid masonry, and attest the extreme antiquity of 
the building. The tower which Alaster Crottach 
built in the latter days of the fifteenth century 
still shelters his descendants ; and men may still 
climb the winding stair he placed in the thickness 
of the wall, to the room which bears his name. In 
this chamber is still preserved the Charter he 


received from James the Fourth, and countless 
other documents bearing on the history of himself 
and his descendants. Within the Castle are still 
preserved the suits of chain-mail in which bygone 
Chiefs fought ; the huge broadsword, which in 
Rory Mors hands led the clan in many a stricken 
field ; the claymore which Sir Norman of Bernera 
weilded at Worcester, and many other ancient 
weapons. Men may still see here the old Drink- 
ing Cup, the Fairy Flag and the Horn, round 
which, as we have seen, cluster so many legends. 

Mingled with the old is much that is new — parts 
of the building are comparatively modern — the walls 
of the rooms are graced by the art of such men as 
Ramsay, Raeburn, Reynolds, and a host of other 
painters. Letters from such men as Dr. Johnson, 
Sir Walter Scott and others are preserved side by 
side with old documents in the Court hand. For the 
Castle is not a ruin but a home— not merely a relic 
of the past, but a dwelling-place of the present, and 
destined, we will hope, to shelter as many Chiefs in 
the future as have dwelt within its walls in the past. 

The " Fairy Room " — a room in the old Danish 
tower from which a view of marvellous beauty is 
obtained of open sea and surrounding country. 
Originally a bedroom, in it Dr. Johnson and Sir 
Walter Scott slept when they visited the Castle, 
the latter of whom, enchanted with the delightful 
pi-ospect, at once dubbed it the Fairy Room. 


F the many distinguished men who 
have home the name of MacLeod 
there is but little space to speak, 
but no work such as this could be 
complete without some reference to those who have 
brought us honour — " the brave and true of our 
kith and kin," who have carried the name into 
every sphere of life and into every part of the 
world with credit and honour to themselves, and 
clan and country. Church, Law, Science, Commerce, 
&c., &c., have all found celebrated exponents from 
our ranks, but the military profession has secured 
the largest share of all. The MacLeods, like all 
other Highlanders, have from the earliest times 
been a fighting race, and have been engaged in 
many exploits of no small note. They took their 
share in the stirring times of the " 45," — in con- 
nection with which the story of the gallant Donald 
of Galtrigal and his devotion to the unfortunate 
Prince Charlie must ever remain a cherished 
memory — and the country generally, certainly 
owes much to our clansmen. Away back in the 
Marlborough campaigns we find them distin- 
guishing themselves as we are told "Colonel 


^neas MacLeod served with great distinction in 
the campaigns and sieges of the Duke of Marl- 
borough." ... In 1780 the Chief raised the 
2nd battalion of the Black Watch, and accompanied 
it to India, where, subsequently, as commander-in- 
chief of the Malabar Army he rendered considerable 
service to his country, in successfully contend- 
ing with the famous Tippoo Sahib. ... In 1799, 
The MacLeod or Princess Charlotte of Wales 
Fencibles were raised by Colonel John MacLeod 
of Colbeck . . . Lieut. -General Sir John MacLeod 
organised the British Artillery, formed the first 
horse batteries (R.H.A.), and afterwards became 
(the first) Director- General of Artillery. . . . Major 
General Norman MacLeod raised the third battalion 
of the Rifle Brigade, 1809. . . . General Sir Alex. 
MacLeod, C.B., promoted the famous Laboratory 
School at Dum Dum, which is now associated in 
the public mind with the rifle buUc'fc of that name, 
while one, Lt.-Colonel Alex. MacLeod, C.B., of the 
59th Regiment, seems to have rendered signal 
service in India, as the regimental records tell us 
that " On the 29th of March, 1821, Colonel Alex. 
MacLeod died at Dinapore, a loss to the King's 
Service in India not to be repaired, and an 
event long and unfeignedly lamented by the 59th 
Regiment, at the head of which he liad so long 
served with distinction, and the " Calcutta Journal " 
expresses itself in the following verses : — 


Hark ! the deep muffled drum's low saddening sound, 
The soldiers' heavy footfall wends this way, 

With martial pomp they seek the sacred ground, 
Where they their honoured burden soon must lay. 

Halt ! Soldiers, halt ! Now the dull earth receives 
The cold remains of one beloved and brave, 

With tremulous hand and heart that inly grieves 
They fire the volley o'er the soldier's grave. 

What virtue graced not thy heroic mind ? 

In duty, just ; in friendship, most sincere ; 
Thy name shall leave a soothing charm behind 

To check the tears that friends shed o'er thy bier. 

" Son of the Valiant," though no more we view 
Thy manly form, yet shall thy honoured name 

Live in the memory of the brave and true. 
And dark Cornelis Fight record Thy fame. 

Glory shall bind a Avreath in days to come, 

And "Brave MacLeod" be sculptured on thy tomb. 

This short epitomised reference to the military- 
annals of the clan may well be concluded with the 
general statement, that in all the strenuous con- 
flicts in which this country has been engaged, the 
MacLeods have nobly borne their part. 

Surgery found one of its most famous exponents 
in the late Sir G. H. MacLeod, who was senior 
surgeon to the forces before Sebastopol, and after- 
wards Professor of Surgery in Glasgow University, 
and Surgeon-in-ordinary to the Queen, . . . The 
Navy has a distinguished member in Vice-Admiral 
Angus MacLeod, C.V.O. . . . Law found an 


ornament in Sir Bannatyne William Macleod, a 
distinguished advocate and Lord of Session. . . . 
Henry Dunning MacLeod is a noted authority 
on Banking, his publications on that subject being 
standard works. . . . Professor Roderick MacLeod 
filled the chair of Philosophy in King's College, 
Aberdeen, and we have another Professor MacLeod 
in M'Gill's College, Canada, now, while the Church 
has probably found its most celebrated men from 
our clans — the fame of the Macleods of Morven 
being world wide. . . . Some intrepid and enthusi- 
astic clansmen have planted the name pretty thickly 
in the far west of Canada. There is a Fort 
MacLeod in British Columbia ; another in Alberta ; 
a MacLeod Bay west of Hudson Bay ; a Dunvegan 
in Athabasca, and scattered round quite a number 
of Lewis's. In India there is a MacLeodganj. 
There is a distinguished branch of the family 
settled in the Netherlands who have risen to high 
positions in the service of that State. There are 
" MacLeods of Manilla," and in Australia and 
other places Clan names may be found on places 
of residence. 

In the succeeding pages and in future issues of 
this publication we hope to give more particular 
accounts of eminent clansmen, and we seek the 
help of our clan people everywhere to assist us in 
building up, preserving and recording the deeds of 
the great of our kith and kin. 


will. riiiF.F. 

F,;,„i a iiainlinii h>/ Sir ^Vo. Jteid, P. U.S.A. 



Norman XXIII. of MacLeod was born on the 
27th of July 1839. He was educated at Harrow, 
and, adopting the army as a profession, obtained 
his commission in the 74th Highlanders in 1858. 
In 1862 he received the appointment of aid-de- 
camp to General Sir Hope Grant, Commander-in- 
Chief of the Presidency of Madras, which position 
he held for three years. Returning home in 1865, 
he rejoined his regiment, accompanying it to 
Gibraltar in 1869 and to Malta in 1872, where he 
acted sometime as Brigade Major. Later in the 
same year, he sold out and retired from the army 
with the rank of Captain. 

It is related that, while lying at Gibraltar, 
the 74th, under the command of the Chief, was 
relieving the 83rd on the main guard, when sud- 
denly the 83rd sentry fired a shot into the crowd 
of civilians. There was a market going on and 
a crowd of people, who, of course fled in every 
direction. The shot killed one man and wounded 
another, who fled down the street pursued by the 
sentry with fixed bayonet. The Chief followed 
with a sergeant and two men. The wounded man 
had got into a house and shut the door, and when 
MacLeod came up the sentry was smashing at the 


door with his bayonet. The sentry who had gone 
off his head, refused to give up his rifle and bayonet, 
and as he had ten rounds of ball ammunition in 
his possession, he was an ugly customer to tackle. 
MacLeod walked quietly up to the poor fellow and 
in quite careless fashion asked him for his rifle. 
The man handed it over quietly enough and was 
immediately secured. The poor fellow died be- 
fore he could be tried. 

In 1873 MacLeod went out to Natal, whence he 
accompanied the British expedition sent to crown 
Cetewayo King of the Zulus. In the following 
year he was sent by the Government of Natal on 
a special mission to India to arrange for the re- 
opening of coolie emigration to the colony. On 
his return he was appointed Protector of Immi- 
grants with a seat in the Legislative and Executive 
Council. This position he resigned in 1875, de- 
clining also the post of Acting Colonial Secretary, 
in order to accompany an expedition into the 
interior of the country ; in the course of which he 
visited the Victoria Falls and spent some months 
among the Barotse people. This expedition oc- 
cupied some fifteen months, and a short time after 
its completion he made another visit to the home 
country. The outbreak of the Zulu war, however, 
found him once more en route for Africa. There 
he was appointed by Sir Bartle Frere political 
asrent on the Transvaal border attached to Sir 


Evelyn Wood's forces and with a special mission to 
the Swazies to prevent them joining the Zulus, in 
which he was wholly successful. 

On the completion of the Zulu war it was found 
necessary to bring the Basuto Chief, Sekukuni, 
to his senses and a force commanded by Sir Garnet 
Wolsey was despatched against him. MacLeod 
raised an army of 8000 of his Swazies to assist 
Sir Garnet and led them in the attack on 
Sekukuni's stronghold in which there was severe 
lighting, the Swazies losing some 800 men. For 
his services MacLeod received the Zulu war medal 
and the honour of C.M.G. 

At the close of the war, in 1880, he resigned, 
having spent sixteen months of hard and strenuous 
work on the Trausvaal, Swazie and Zulu borders. 
He returned home and in 1881 married Emily 
Caroline, daughter of Sir Charles Islam, Baronet 
of Lamport Hall, Northampton. He has two 

MacLeod succeeded to the Chieftainship on 5th 
February 1895, he takes a great interest in all 
that concerns the Clan ; he frequently presides at 
the Society meetings, and no meetings are happier 
or a greater success than when he is present. 
He is a J.P. and D.L. for Inverness-shire, and a 
member of the Congested District Board. 



Sir Reginald MacLeod was born at Dnnvegan in 
1847, being the only member of the late MacLeod's 
family who enjoyed the privilege of first seeing 
the light in the ancient house of his race. The 
disastrous famine which so shortly followed his 
birth compelled his father to leave Dunvegan and 
earn a livelihood in England, and Sir Reginald's 
childhood and boyhood were passed far from his 
Highland home. In 1863, however, MacLeod was 
enabled to take Dunvegan into his own hand3>^ 
and from that time forward, the young man's 
holidays and vacations were largely spent at 
Dunvegan. After spending some time at a pri- 
vate school at Blackheath he went to Harrow, 
which school he left early, and passed a couple 
of years between a private tutor at home and 
the study of languages abroad. In 1866 he 
went up to Trinity, Cambridge, where he spent 
three happy years : at this period he made a. 
rather adventurous voyage in a Rob Roy canoe, 
accompanied by Mr. Balfour, the late Prime 
Minister, and the present Lord Kinnaird. The 
party started from Dunvegan and sailed or paddled 
round Dunvegan Head past the Maidens and Loch 
Bracadale to Scavaig and Cornisk, then across to 
Rum, where they enjoyed the hospitality of Captain 



MacLeod of Oubost. From Rum they made an 
expedition to Eigg, and slept in the cave where the 
MacDonalds of Eigg met with so terrible a fate. 
On the way back they encountered a violent gale, 
and reached Eum again with great difficulty. 
Finally they returned to Skye, and rounding the 
point of Sleat they made their way up the Sound 
of Skye as far as Portree. These canoes were the 
first canoes seen in Skye and caused much astonish- 
ment to the people. 

Sir Reginald was, I imagine, the first man to 
ride a bicycle in Skye. He was in Paris in 1869, 
and learnt there to ride the newly invented " bone 
shakers," one of which he brought to Dunvegan in 
that year. 

His first public employment was as one of H.M. 
Inspectors of Factories, and he served in that 
capacity for eleven years. In 1883 he became the 
principal agent for the Conservative Party in 
Scotland and took an active share in the work 
of organisation, which contributed to the success 
of the Unionist party in 1886 and subsequent 

In 1885 he contested his native County of 
Inverness-shire against Sir Kenneth MacKenzie 
of Gairloch, and Mr. Charles Eraser Macintosh. 
The last named gained the seat. Sir Reginald 
being second at the poll. 

In 1889 he became Queen's Remembrancer for 


Scotland, receiving in recognition of his ser- 
vices the Companionship of the Bath, not from 
his own political friends, but from Lord Rosebery. 
During his sojourn in Scotland the Clan Society- 
was formed ; he became its first president and took 
the warmest interest in all its proceedings. He 
was never so happy as when attending its meetings 
or extending hospitality to its members in his home 
at Granton, and his interest in Clan matters was 
warmly shared by his wife and daughters. 

In 1900 Sir Reginald became Registrar General 
for England, which involved leaving Edinburgh, 
and taking up his residence in London. He was 
there responsible for the direction of the census 
of 190L In 1902 he became Under Secretary 
for Scotland, the duties of which post once again 
brought him in intimate touch with Scottish 
affairs, and w^ith Scotsmen in all parts of Scotland. 
— Long may he continue to discharge these re- 
sponsible duties. He became a K.C.B. in 1905 ; 
an honour which all who have worked with him 
felt was most thoroughly deserved. 

Meanwhile in 1877 he had married Lady Agnes, 
daughter of the first Earl of Iddesleigh, better 
known as Sir Stafford Northcote. He has two 
daughters. Flora and Olive Miranda, the eldest of 
whom has married Mr. Hubert Walter, one of the 
distinguished family which made the " Times " the 
first newspaper in the world. 

Captain K. \V. MACLEoD <)F CADUOLL. 



The representation of the " ancient and powerful 
family of MacLeod of the Lewes," who, as Douglas 
tells us " made a great figure in Scotland for several 
centuries and were possessed of an immense estate, 
viz. — The Baronies of Lewes, Assynt, Coigach, Castle 
Leod, Strathpapher, Rasay, Edrachills, Garloch, 
easter side of Troterness, Waterness, Strathannan, 
&c., &c.," now rests in Macleod of Cadboll. 

The Macleods of Cadboll have registered arms 
at various periods, and in their declaration always 
claim descent from a second son of Torquil Mac- 
Leod, second Baron of the Lewes. MacKenzie in 
his history of the MacLeods deduces the descent 
through the Assynt branch of the Lewes family, 
and remarks, somewhat strongly, on the alleged 
betrayal of Montrose by a member of that branch. 
This charge, it has already been pointed out, (page 
20) is entirely without foundation. The following 
extract from Douglas' Baronage may be worthy of 
note here : — After the Restoration, " His Majesty 
.sensible of the service of Sir Norman MacLeod 
of Bernera, furnished him with an order to put 
him in possession of Assynt's estate, which, 'twas 
thought, would have been forfeited for his having 
corresponded with the King's enemies, betrayed 


Montrose, &c., but Assynt compeared, stood his trial, 
and having proved his innocence, he was acquitted, 
so that Sir Norman reaped no benefit." Be that 
as it may, however, the Macleods of Cadboll are 
entirely free of the taint. Neil XL of Assynt, the 
alleged betrayer, died without issue, and the line, 
after the decease of a brother who succeeded Neil, 
went back to Donald Ban Mor VIII. of Assynt, for 
a fresh start. — From him both Neil and Cadboll 
were descended, but by different mothers, Donald 
Ban having been twice married. The descent is as 

Donald Ban VIII. of Assynt, married : — 

First — Marion Mackay, daughter of Donald, Lord 
Reay, and had issue, a son, Neil, afte wards 
X. of Assynt. Neil X. married Florence, a 
daughter of Torquil Conanach MacLeod, of 
Lewes, and had issue, a son, Neil, afterwards 
XL of Assynt and the alleged betrayer of 

Second — Christian, daughter of Nicolas Koss, of 
Potcalnie, by her he had issue, (1) Donald, 
(died without issue), and (2) Hugh, of Cam- 
busbury, the progenitor of the Macleods of 
Cadboll. As has been already shown, on 
the extinction of the Assynt family, that of 
Cadboll succeeded to the chieftainship of the 
Lewes MacLeod. 


^NEAS MACLEOD, tirst of Cadboll and Cambus- 
BURY, early in life went to Edinburgh, where he 
studied law, and subsequently became Town Clerk 
of the City — a position of much importance at that 
time. He purchased from the Earl of Cromarty, the 
estate of Cadboll, and founded his family there. For 
some years (1703-07) he represented the County of 
Cromarty in the Scottish Parliament, and was one 
of those who signed the Treaty of Union with 
England, in 1707. He was succeeded by his son 
Roderick II. of Cadboll, who was a warm sup- 
porter of the Stuart cause and greatly imperilled 
his estates by taking part in the Rising of 1745. 
Through the influence of the Earl of Sutherland, 
however, the estates were preserved to him, but 
only on condition that he should live abroad for 
some time. Being of a literary bent of mind, he, 
while abroad, accumulated a large number of valu- 
able books. When he at length returned home 
he brought these books to Cadboll, where he had 
four rooms constructed of solid masonry for their 
reception. He registered Arms in 1730. Died in 

Robert III. of Cadboll, was a minor when his 
father died, being only some six years of age, the 
estate therefor was vested in trustees, who about 
1780 acquired Invergordon Castle as a family seat 
for the Macleods of Cadboll. The famous library 
was removed from Cadboll to Invergordon, unfor- 


tunately, as it proved, for, in 1805, the Castle took 
fire and was burned to the ground, the library and 
many other priceless relics, including a large collec- 
tion of Indian curiosities and a valuable collection 
of silver-plate, which Roderick had inherited from 
a relative, being completely destroyed. 

Robert III. of Cadboll, seems to have been a 
man of much ability. In 1826 he obtained an Act 
of Parliament in his favour, empowering him to 
" make, build and construct, a safe and commodious 
harbour and other works connected therewith," at 
or near the village of Invergordon. A work he 
carried out at his own expense, and which has since 
proved of immense value to the district. He con- 
tested the County of Sutherland in 1790, sat for 
Cromarty from 1807-181 2, and was Lord Lieutenant 
of the latter County from 1794 to 1833. On his 
death he was succeeded by his son. 

Roderick IV. of Cadboll, who practised for 
some years as an Advocate at the Scottish Bar, 
was M.P. for Cromarty from 1818 to 1820, for 
Sutherlandshire from 1831-37, and for Inverness 
Burghs, until 1840, when he resigned. He also 
held the appointments of Deputy Lieutenant of 
Ross-shire, and Lord Lieutenant of his County of 
Cromarty, from 1833 until his death. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Robert Bruce 

(A second son, Henry Dunning Macleod, M.A., 


Barrister-at-Law, was a most distinguished member 
of this family, he devoted himself to a study of 
the science of political economy, particularly in its 
relation to Banking, and was the author of quite 
a number of books on the subject, most of which 
have become standard works. In 1867, after a 
keen competition among leading members of the 
Bar, he had the honour of being selected by a 
Royal Commission to prepare a Digest of the Law, 
as to Bills of Exchange. His works have obtained 
for him a world wide reputation, and have been 
translated into several European languages.) 

Robert Bruce ^neas Macleod, V. of Cadboll, 
succeeded to the estates in March 1853, on the death 
of his father, Roderick IV. He served for some 
years in the Navy, in which he attained the rank 
of Commander, when he retired and settled down 
to a quiet country life on his estate. He took 
much interest in local affairs, and spent a large sum 
of money in improving the facilities of the harbour 
— building a new jetty and giving it deeper water, 
&c. He was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Ross- 
shire and Vice-Lieutenant of Cromarty. On his 
death in 1888, he was succeeded by his eldest son, 
Roderick Willoughby VL and present Macleod 
of Cadboll, was educated at Eton and Cambridge, 
he joined the Inverness Militia in 1879. In the fol- 
lowing year he was gazetted to the 79th (Cameron) 
Highlanders, and served with that regiment in 


Egypt, from 1882-87 ; * when he was promoted 
Captain. He retired from the army in November of 
1892, and in the following year made a tour round 
the world, — a trip he enjoyed so well, that he 
repeated it in 1894. In January 1897 he married 
Alice Olivia, daughter of Mr. Edward Tierney 
Darell, and grand-daughter of the late Sir Lionel 
Darell, Bart., of Fretherne Court, Gloucestershire. 

Since his marriage Cadboll has devoted himself 
to estate work and to local affairs ; he has recently 
carried through, at considerable expense, great im- 
provements on the Harbour of Invergordon, which, 
it is anticipated, will place the Harbour in a posi- 
tion superior to anything north of the Forth. Since 
1900 he has acted as Brigade Major to the High- 
land Volunteer Brigade (Seaforth and Cameron), is 
an enthusiastic Freemason, and has occupied many 
high offices in the craft. He takes a good deal of 
interest in politics and is President of the Constitu- 
tional Association of the County. 

He has four children — (1) Robert Bruce Darell, 
his heir, a bright little fellow who is just entering 
on his first school course at Ardvreck, Crieff"; (2) 
Torquil Harry Lionel ; (3) Hector Roderick ^neas, 
and (4) Beryl May. 

* Egyptian Medal and Clasp — Tel-el-Kebir ; and Khedive Star. 



In modern times many of the most distinguished 
members of our Clan have belonged to the family- 
known as the Morven MacLeods. The early origin 
of this family, whose fame is world-wide, is not 
known. The first, of whom any clear trace can 
be found, was Donald MacLeod of Swordale (or 
Sworldland), Armourer to the XlXth Chief. (A 
brother, Neil, was Chaplain to MacLeod's forces 
in 1745). Donald's son, Norman, was the first 
of Morven, having been presented to that parish by 
the Duke of Argyll in 1775. He was succeeded in 
Morven by his second son. Dr. John MacLeod, his 
eldest son, Dr. Norman, having accepted a charge 
in Campbeltown in 1808 whence he was translated 
in 1825 to Campsie, Stirlingshire, while, in 1836 
he was appointed Minister of the Gaelic Church of 
St. Columba, Glasgow, where he laboured until his 
death. 1836 was an eventful year for Dr. Norman 
as, in addition to his appointment to St. Columba's 
he had the honour of D.D. conferred upon him and 
was chosen Moderator of the General Assembly. 
Subsequent honours were those of Dean of the 
Cliapel Royal and Chaplain to Her Majesty, in 
which capacity he preached before the late Queen 
and the Prince Consort in 1842. 

Possessing a fine knowledge of Gaelic he devoted 


much time to its language and literature and was 
himself the author of a number of important works 
in Gaelic. He was joint editor of " MacLeod & 
Dewar's Gaelic Dictionary " and compiled a metri- 
cal version of the Psalms of David in Irish Gaelic, 
which was, by special permission, dedicated to H.M. 
King William IV. and was extensively used in the 
Churches of Ireland. 

During the famines of 1836-7 and 1847 he 
worked both hard and successfully for his famish- 
ing country, earning the heartfelt thanks of all 
concerned. His zeal for the Highlands, people, and 
language won for him the title of Caraid nan 
Gaidheal (The Highlanders' friend), " and," as his 
son remarks, " truly he was that." It is this Dr. 
MacLeod who tells the tale of the strange fulfil- 
ment of the prophecy of Coinneach Odhar which 
took place while he was staying at Dun vegan. He 
died in 1862 at the age of 80, and was succeeded as 
head of the family by his son, the Eev. Norman 
MacLeod, D.D., of the Barony Church, Glasgow, 
who became even more famous than his father ; 
the following account of his life is taken from 
Blackie's Popular Encyclopaedia : — * 

" MacLeod, Norman, a minister of the Church 
of Scotland, born at Campbeltown, in Argyllshire, 
3rd June 1812 ; died at Glasgow, 16th June 1872. 

* Kindly revised and corrected in some details by the Rev. 
Dr. Donald MacLeod. 


He was educated partly at the University of 
Glasgow, after leaving which he spent some time 
in Germany, and finally completed his course 
at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, 
In Edinburgh he came under the influence of 
the foremost man then in Scotland, Dr. Chalmers. 
Almost immediately after being licensed, he was 
presented to the parish of Loudon, where he was 
ordained by the Presbytery of Irvine in 1838. 
Here he continued to perform the duties of pastor 
for about five years, when the secession of the 
Free Church from the Establishment took place, 
and in the many changes consequent thereupon, 
Noi-man MacLeod was presented by the Duke 
of Buccleuch to the charge of Dalkeith. In 1845 
he was intrusted by the General Assembly with 
a mission to Canada on the affairs of the Church, 
which he fulfilled with success. In 1849 he 
became editor of the " Edinburgh Christian Mag- 
azine," which he conducted for ten years. When 
the Barony parish, Glasgow, in the gift of the 
Crown, became vacant in 1851, he was, with the 
unanimous consent of the people, inducted into 
that charge, one of the most influential in Scot- 
land. From this time his fame as a preacher 
gradually increased, and the Barony Church was 
every Sundaj'' filled to overflowing by crowds 
eager to hear him speak. About this time he 
made his first adventure in literature by the 


publication in 1854 of Memorials of his friend 
John Macintosh, under the title of " The Earnest 
Student." In October of the same year, he 
preached before the Queen by her special command 
in the Parish Church of Crathie. Further marks 
of royal favour soon flowed in upon him ; he 
was appointed one of the Deans of the Chapel 
Royal, Holyrood, and became one of the Queen's 
chaplains for Scotland, and Dean of the Order 
of the Thistle. In 1858 he received the honor- 
ary degree of D.D. Henceforth his life seems 
to have been one continous series of labours. 
Not content with the arduous duties of his large 
and populous parish, which he performed with an 
efficiency and zeal that has been seldom equalled, 
he threw his whole soul also into the general 
work of the Church. Not that he took any lead- 
ing position in party politics in the Church ; for he 
was, by inclination, altogether unsuited for that. 
But in all her schemes of public usefulness, all 
her efforts to elevate and Christianise the masses 
at home or the heathen abroad, he ever took the 
warmest interest. Especially as convener of the 
Foreign Mission Scheme he showed immense 
zeal in labouring for this truly noble object. 
Year after year he travelled through the country, 
everywhere addressing meetings, and seeking to 
infuse into others some of the enthusiasm that 
burned within himself. On all matters pertaining 


to Christian life, every scheme that aimed at 
improving the social or moral condition of the 
working poor, no one could speak with more 
eloquence than he, and no one was ever listened 
to with more rapt attention. Nor all this time 
was his pen idle, as is shown by the large number 
of works piiblished under his name, including 
sermons, lectures, addresses, devotional works, 
treatises on practical subjects, tales, travels, chil- 
dren's songs and stories, all bearing the impress 
of his warm heart and enthusiastic nature. In 
1860 " Good Words " was began, a magazine which 
he continued to edit till his death ; and every 
volume of it was enriched with many articles 
from his own pen. But it is to his tales that he 
chiefly owes his position in literature : " The Old 
Lieutenant and His Son ; " " The Starling," a 
Scotch story ; " Wee Davie," a charming little 
study of humble life ; and the " Reminiscences of 
a Highland Parish," in which he gives a picture 
of life in the parish of Morven, in the Presbytery of 
Mull, where his grandfather was minister. These, 
which appeared originally in the pages of " Good 
Words," were afterwards printed separately in 
London. In 1867 he was commissioned by the 
General Assembly, along with his friend. Rev. 
Dr. Watson, of Dundee, to visit the mission-field 
of the Church in India. His " Peeps at the Far 
East " are a memorial of this visit ; but from the 


shock which his system received from the fatigues 
of the journey and the climate he never quite 
recovered. In May 1869, was conferred upon 
him by acclamation the last honour which he 
lived to receive, that of being elected to the 
Moderator's chair in the General Assembly." * 

He died in 1872, and it is safe to say no man 
was ever more mourned for than Dr. Norman 
MacLeod of the Barony Church. The late Queen on 
hearing of his death sent a letter to his brother, 
Dr. Donald MacLeod, of which the following is a 
part : — 

Balmoral, June 17ih, 1872. 

" The Queen hardly knows how to begin a letter 
to Mr. Donald MacLeod, so deep and strong are her 
feelings on this most sad and most painful occasion 
— for words are all to weak to say what she feels, 
and what all must feel who ever knew his beloved, 
excellent, and highly gifted brother, Dr. Norman 
MacLeod ! 

First of all, to his family — his venerable, loved, 
and honoured mother, his wife and large family of 
children — the loss of this good man is irreparable 
and overwhelming ! But it is an irreparable public 
loss, and the Queen feels this deeply. To herself 
personally, the loss of dear Dr. MacLeod is a very 

* A memoir of Dr. Norman MacLeod, was published in 1876, by 
his brother, the Rev. Donald MacLeod, D.D. 


great one ; he was so kind, and on all occasions 
showed her such warm sympathy, and in the early 
days of her great sorrow, gave the Queen so much 
comfort whenever she saw him, that she always 
looked forward eagerly to those occasions when 
she saw him here ; and she cannot realise the idea 
that in this world she is never to see his kind face, 
and listen to those admirable discourses which did 
every one good, and to his charming conversation 




Admiral MacLeod of the Royal Navy of the 
Netherlands, whose portrait is given on the op- 
posite page, is the head of a notable branch of 
the Harris MacLeods, one of whom entered the 
Dutch service some 200 years ago. 

The Netherland MacLeods trace their descent 
through the Gesto MacLeods to Murdo the third 
son of Malcolm III., Chief of Harris and Dunve- 
gan. The space available in this little book 
prevents the family history being traced in detail, 
but the first member to cross over to the Nether- 
lands was Norman, son of Donald MacLeod, third 
son of John VI. of Gesto. He was appointed, in 
1706, an ensign, first in Hepburn's regiment, and 
afterwards in Douglas' regiment, in the Dutch 
Scots Brigade, and served with his regiment until 
it was disbanded ; subsequently he obtained an 
appointment in England and died in London in 
1729. He married Gertrude Schrassert, and had 
one son — 

John, born in 1727, who also took service in 
the Dutch Scots Brigade (Colyer's regiment) and 
rose to the rank of colonel. In 1782, the Scottish 

* A more detailed account of this distinguished family will be 
found in the " Brave Sons of Skye." 

AbMlkAL MA(Li;()l 



regiments lost their nationality and were trans- 
formed into Dutch corps. Colonel MacLeod ob- 
tained his discharge the following year and returned 
to this country, where he lived for some time. 
He then went back to Holland for a little, but 
again returned to England, where he died, at 
Chelsea, in 1804. He had married Margaretha 
Arnolda van Brienen and had one son — 

Norman, who was born in 1755, became like 
his ancestors an officer in the Dutch service and 
rose to the rank of colonel : he returned to this 
country in 1795, on account of the revolution 
in Holland and the exile of the Prince of Orange ; 
and in December of 1797 entered the British 
service, having been presented by the Duke of 
York with a commission in the 60th regiment. 
The following year, however, he transferred back 
to the Dutch service as Lieut.-Colonel of Bentink's 
regiment. He continued in the Dutch service 
for some years, and attained to the rank of 

Major-General General MacLeod took 

part in the campaign of 1794, but unfortunately 
his work was of short duration, as he was taken 
prisoner in November of the same year at the 
siege of Nimeguen ; on the occupation of that 
fortress by the French troops. He also partici- 
pated in the blockade of the Helder in 1814. 
In June, 1809, he married a Welsh lady, Sarah 
Evans, by whom he had three sons : — 



1. Norman, born in Wales in 1811, became an 
officer in the Dutch service, in which he served 
with much distinction. He was actively employed 
during the insurrection in Belgium, 1830-34 — in 
1830 with the mobilised army, in 1831 in the 
Tiendaag campaign, and in 1832-33-34 in the 
fortress Gorinchem. He was appointed A.D.C. in 
extra ordinary service, and was the recipient of a 
large number of honours and decorations. In 
1878, he retired with the rank of Lieut.-General, 
and " was pensioned with thanks for the good 
and true services rendered by him during the 
period of his long-continued military career." He 
died at the Hague on the 3rd April, 1896. 

2. Wiliam Pasco, also born in Wales, entered 
the Dutch service and, as a lieutenant, served with 
the mobilised army during the Belgian rising, 
1830-4, receiving for services the honour of the 
" Metal Cross." He died at Kedong-Kebo in the 
Dutch East Indies in September, 1846 — unmarried. 

3. John van Brienen, who was born at Kampen, 
Overyssel, in 1825. He, too, entered the Dutch 
service, and had attained to the rank of captain 
when he died in camp at Milligen in 1868. In 
1860, Captain MacLeod was awarded the " Honour 
Badge" for long service. 

Admiral Norman MacLeod, the present head of 
the family, and a son of the above-mentioned 
General. Norman MacLeod was born at Bergen- 


op-Zoom on the 18th September. 1837, and has had 
a most distinguished career in the navy of the 
Netherlands. He has seen much service and held 
many important posts, including those of Chief 
of the Department of Material, Superintendent 
of Yards, and Director and Commandant of the 
IVIarine, with the command of the mouths of the 
Maas and other rivers, and finally Director and 
Commandant of the Marine at Amsterdam. Like 
his father, the General, Admiral MacLeod is the 
possessor of a long list of honours and decorations. 
He retired from active service in August, 1894, 
receiving a pension and the thanks of the State 
for the many good and important services he had 
rendered it. 

It is gratifying to MacLeods to know that 
though settled in the Netherlands for such a long 
time, the gallant Admiral and his family have 
never forgotten their origin, and are as keen 
clansmen as any in the old country. Some time 
ago, in reply to a letter the Admiral had received 
from a distant relative in Skye, he replied : — " I 
cannot tell you how glad I am with this kind 
token of interest from a relative, however un- 
known, in the dear little island which I have 
always considered as my fatherland, although it 
is more than 150 years ago that my great-great- 
grandfather left it. If anything can prove that 
'blood is thicker than water,' I think this does." 


And again, in reply to a letter from the Secretary 
of our Clan Society, he says : — " I was much 
pleased with your letter, which shows again how 
clanship is always kept up by Scots, and how 
they are never tired of keeping the clan-people 
together." The Admiral is now in his 69th year, 
but we trust he may be spared for very many 
more to do honour to our name and race. He 
married Johanna van Voss, with whom he has had 
four daughters, one of whom i-ecently married her 
cousin, Lieut. Y. A. MacLeod Manuel, of the Neth, 
East India Lifantry. 

Major-General Edward Donald Henry MacLeod, 
second son of General Norman MacLeod, was born 
September, 1842, at Maastricht, Province of Lim- 
burg. He joined an instructional battalion at the 
age of 16 years, and for over 40 years has been 
actively employed in the military affairs of the 
State, earning credit and distinction as the list of 
honours and decorations which he possesses amply 
proves. He married Anne van Bochove, with 
issue : — Donald John Edward, a medical officer in 
the army — he volunteered, and was accepted for 
service with the Red Cross in the late S.A. war. 




Vice- Admiral Angus MacLeod, C.V.O., who lately 
relinquished the command of tlie Irish Coast, on 
promotion, has seen considerable service and filled 
numerous important offices at home and abroad ; 
sometimes involved in dangerous and delicate 
situations, but, having been endowed with courage 
and tact, he has always succeeded in emerging 
from them with honour to his country and credit 
to himself. 

Born in 1847, some of the first thrilling stories 
of adventures at sea were gleaned at the knees of 
that distinguished old Arctic navigator. Captain 
Sir John Ross, and, growing up in a nautical 
environment, he developed such an evident desire 
to serve his country in the Royal Navy, that a 
nomination was obtained, and, in due course, he 
was entered as a naval cadet, when thirteen and 
a-half years of age. 

Upon completion of his training, he commenced 
his career in 1862 on board the Magicienne, under 
Captain H. S. H. Prince Leiningen, and as Mid- 
shipman, served in that ship for nearly four 
years on the Mediterranean station. In addition 
to many interesting but ordinary duties, the Magi- 
cienne was frequently employed in conveying or 
escorting Royalties and diplomatic officials, includ- 


ing His Majesty the King — then Prince of Wales — 
and other members of our Royal Family. Among 
events of some historic importance in which the 
officers of the Magicienne participated, were Sir 
Moses Montefiore's Mission to the Sultan of Mo- 
rocco, on behalf of persecuted Jews ; Garibaldian 
skirmishes and arrests in Naples ; the salvage of a 
derelict barque ; watching French operations, (in- 
cluding the bombardment of Sfax) on the coast of 
Tunis; our cession of the Ionian Isles after de- 
molition of the Vido fortifications and withdrawal 
of all our troops ; the liberation, after three months' 
negotiations with a notorious Italian brigand, of 
Mr. Moens, an English captive, taken near Salerno; 
and the accession of King George to the Greek 

Returning to England, young MacLeod next 
served in the Pallas, a new and experimental 
armour-clad, attached to the Channel Squadron, in 
which vessel, towards the end of 1866, patrol duty 
was carried out on the West Coast of Ireland, on 
account of the Fenian disturbances and movements 
of the leaders. 

Having passed the usual examinations he joined 
the Rodney battleship, early in 1867, as Sub- 
Lieutenant, and proceeded in her to the China 
station, where she flew the flag of that most 
gallant and beloved officer, the late Admiral Sir 
Henry Keppel. In 1868 he was given a death 


vacancy as Lieutenant, an old naval privilege, (im- 
proved away some years since), which rendered 
service on unhealthy stations popular ! 

Between the coming and going of our Hong- 
Kong gunboats on pirate haunts, usually attended 
by success ; the hardly veiled desire for the removal 
of our unwelcome presence from among the Chinese ; 
and the unmistakable awakening and activity of 
the Japanese, times were by no means dull. A 
good deal of the fighting between both the naval 
and the military forces of the Mikado and of the 
Tycoon, was actually witnessed from the Rodney 
or her consorts, and the opening to trade of Hiago 
and Kobi was an event of great importance, graced 
by the presence of the ships. 

Owing to a gross attack upon missionaries, 
the Rodney, with a small squadron, went up the 
Yangtse to Nanking, whence a strong naval brigade 
was despatched to Yang-Chow, and three weeks' 
residence in the Temple of the Ten Thousand Genii, 
(greatly enjoyed by the una wed blue jackets and 
marines) brought about reparation and the pay- 
ment of a solid silver indemnity, with a prompt- 
ness which suggested discretion having proved 
stronger than Chinese valour. Another occasion 
for the display of naval brigade force, but with 
the result of considerable loss of life among the 
Chinese, was the attack upon, and destruction of 
three pirate villages near Swatow. 


Once more in England, Mr. MacLeod qualified as 
a Gunnery Lieutenant, and was immediately after- 
wards, in 1872, appointed to the frigate Aurora, 
a sea-going training ship for young seamen and 
boys. Early in 1873 he was unexpectedly called 
home as a junior staff officer of the principal 
gunnery ship Excellent, at Portsmouth where he 
remained until the following autumn, when an 
opening came for more active service. 

He volunteered for, and was accepted as, first 
lieutenant of the Barracouta, then employed in 
the earlier phase of the Asliantee war, joined her 
OJi the Gold Coast and in January 1874 was sent 
up country with a detachment for the Naval 
Brigade, which latter had instructions to co-operate 
with the land forces under Sir Garnet Wolseley. 
A little later in command of a company of Royal 
Marines, he took part in the fight at Amoaful, 
he was slightly wounded, but continued in the 
advance and after the skirmish for possession of 
the crossing of the river Ardah entered Coomassie 
with the main body. 

The bivouac of the Naval Brigade that night 
was unpleasantly close to the veritable Golgotha 
which contained the remains of countless sacrifi^ced 
slaves, and a further element of interest was 
furnished by the palace buildings getting on fire, 
which was only subdued by the exertions of the 
blue jackets and a few soldiers. 


King Coffee had escaped to the royal tombs, so 
Sir Garnet decided to destroy Coomassie and 
return to the coast as, if they continued, the heavy 
rains threatened to decimate the force by fever 
and dysentry. Lieutenant MacLeod was made 
prize agent for the navy, and associated with 
two military officers (one of whom is now Sir 
Redvers Buller) looted the palace during the night, 
and in the morni])g tlie palace was blown up, the 
British force commenced the homeward march, and 
the Ashantee war of 1873-4 was over. 

On the way to Cape Coast Castle, fever claimed 
the Naval prize agent and he was stranded in a 
somewhat crude field hospital, only mentioned 
because the principal medical Officer was Sir 
William Mackinnon, whose tender care and natural 
kindliness were intensified when he discovered a 
MacLeod and a distant kinsman in tlie ward. 
It need hardly be said that Skye proved the 
strongest bond that could be produced between 
these two Highlanders, met under such un- 
expected circumstances in the equatorial juiigle,* 

After rejoining the Barracouta that vessel 
proceeded to England to be refitted for a tour 
on the Australian station, to which, in due time, 
she was despatched, and until 1877, cruised almost 
continuously, and included nearly a year spent 

* For this little campaign he was mentioned in dispatches and 
received a medal with clasp. 


among the Fijian and Samoan Islands at that 
interesting period when King Thackamban took 
British protection and cannibalism was just dying 

In Samoa the Barracouta became involved in 
troubles through the course of island political 
affairs leading to a civil war, and when escorting 
the deposed King, Malietoa, to a council meeting 
one day, with a body-guard of blue jackets and 
marines. Lieutenant MacLeod's little force had a 
severe conflict with the natives in the bush, 
resulting in loss of life on both sides, and a narrow 
escape of capture, as the Samoans got in between 
the naval party and the distant beach. 

Invalided from this ship, a few months after- 
wards, MacLeod's next employment was on the 
coast guard, in Ireland, follow^ed by three years as 
first lieutenant of the Channel troop ship. Assist- 
ance, and promotion to Commander, in October 

The Commander was not long left idle. Early 
in 1882 he was appointed to the Bondicea, flagship 
of Rear- Admiral No well Salmon, on the Cape of 
Good Hope and West Coast of Africa station. 
In 1844 he was temporarily given command of the 
Algerine, gun vessel, and as senior Naval Officer 
watched events along the coast from the Congo 
to the Gaboon, where matters had reached an acute 
stacfe between France and Portugal owing to M. de 


Brazza's activity in that region, which led nearly 
to a breach of the peace. Upon the conclusion of 
this cruise and return to the flagship, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief commended Commander MacLeod 
" for the very able and judicious manner in which 
the orders were carried out, and for the valuable 
reports made." 

March 1885 witnessed his resumption of duty 
in the Excellent, and three years of most interesting 
gunnery experimental work, as Commander, led 
to his promotion to Captain. One of the events 
in which he was closely concerned, was the burst- 
ing of a 43 ton, 12 inch B.L. gun in one of the 
barbettes of the Gollingwood, at Spithead, when 
testing the armament preparatory to commission- 
ing that vessel ; he was stationed on a look-out 
place almost over the gun, when nine feet of the 
muzzle was blown off and went hurtling up in 
tlie air, to fall in the water, a couple of hundred 
yards away. 

After the Excellent came a long time of waiting 
for employment, as there were fewer appointments 
for junior captains in those days than now, but in 
June 1891, Captain MacLeod commissioned the new 
Pallas, cruiser, for China, and served three years 
in far Eastern waters. Numerous diplomatic 
missions were carried out by him, in addition to 
the ordinary routine of " showing the flag," and he 
was senior Officer in tlie Gulf of Siam, tlirouo-hout 


the Franco-Siamese difficulty of 1873, when, owing 
to the forcing of the entrance to the Menain River 
by the French, our own relations with our present 
great friends were critical in the extreme, but, 
happily, peace was preserved and when everything 
ha<l resumed normal conditions, the Lords of the 
Admiralty were pleased to inform Captain MacLeod 
that " recognising the extreme difficulty and deli- 
cacy of the position," they " appreciated the efforts 
made to maintain an attitude of strict impartiality 
under very trying circumstances." 

Owing to the part Captain MacLeod (who was 
entirely left by our Government without a hint to 
guide him) had to play, and the steps he felt it 
incumbent upon him to take, he encountered con- 
siderable disapproval and resentment from the 
French Officers. This made it all the more plea- 
sant, when, shortly after the Siamese trouble was 
over, he had the good fortune to get the chance of 
" heaping coals of fire " upon his somewhat belli- 
gerent friends. Getting information of the strand- 
ing of the Messageries Maritimes steamer Godavery, 
on a reef in Rhio Straits, near Singapore, he at once 
proceeded to the scene of the disaster and after 
two days' effort successfully floated her. For this 
service the British Admiralty expressed approval, 
and the French Republic presented him with a 
handsome silver epergne, as a token of gratitude. 

The Pallas returned to England in 1894, and 


was paid off, but her Captain was quickly again 
in harness, and ordered to North China, in the 
cruiser Gibraltar, to strengthen Sir Edmund 
Fremantle's squadron, in view of the probable 
rupture between Japan and China, which might 
lead to wide complications, and involve other 
nations. The rupture took place and though no 
other combatants were drawn in, the Gibraltar was 
fully occupied in watching j)rogress and witnessed 
the daily lighting iij the vicinity of Wei-hai-wei, 
at sea and on shore, until the crowning act, a very 
sad one, took place, in the surrender of that fortress 
and the suicide of its three principal officials, the 
Admiral, Commander and General. Peace was 
declared almost immediately, the Gibraltar's bow 
was turned homewards, and in June 1895 she was 
paid off. 

While studying at Greenwich College, Captain 
MacLeod was directed in December of that same 
year, to commission tlie battleship Empress of 
India, for service in the Channel squadron, then 
commanded by the Vice -Admiral, Lord Walter 
Kerr, and to take part in the grand Diamond 
Jubilee Naval Review : turned over with officers 
and crew, to the new battleship Jupiter, in June 

1897, in which ship he remained until October 

1898, when he was given command of the Chatham 
Naval Depdt and Fleet Reserve, with his pendant 
flying on board the Pembroke. 


In the Jupiter he was selected to carry out some 
important gunnery experiment, including problems 
connected with night attacks upon Gibraltar, — 
the first practical test of firing under battle condi- 
tions. While in the Pembroke, Captain MacLeod 
enjoyed the honour of being made an A.D.C., to 
Her late Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, and in 
that capacity accompanied her memorable funeral 
cortege. Upon the accession of the King, the office 
was confirmed and held, until promoted to flag 

Before completing the usual term in the Naval 
Depot, Captain MacLeod was appointed Director of 
Naval Ordnance, at the Admiralty, as adviser to 
their Lordships, in all matters concerning the 
supply of guns, small arms and ammunition, to the 
Fleet, a highly responsible and arduous position. 
During the time of his being thus employed, he 
was promoted to Rear-Admiral in July 1901. , 

Having served at the Admiralty for nearly three 
years, his flag was hoisted at Queenstown in Feb- 
ruary 1904, as senior Officer, Coast of Ireland, and 
soon after succeeding to that position. His Majesty 
visited Ireland and was so pleased with the Naval 
arrangements — that upon departure he conferred 
the honour of Commander of the Royal Victorian 
Order upon Rear- Admiral MacLeod. 

The Admiral's tenure of office in Ireland, has 
just been prematurely brought to a close by an 


unexpectedly rapid run of vacancies, chiefly caused 
by retirements, which led to his being advanced to 
Vice- Admiral in December last. 

In wandering often over pretty well all the 
eastern hemisphere, Admiral MacLeod has naturally 
met with many strange and amusing experiences, 
but none have proved of more interest to himself 
than those of coming unexpectedly into touch with 
brother clansmen — " cousins," as he calls them 
usually, recognising not only the far-reaching 
nature of such Highland relationships, but (in so 
many cases) the great convenience of it. 

At a recent meeting of the Clan Society, the 
Admiral related some incidents which happened to 
him on foreign service, exemplifying very practi- 
cally the advantages he had derived from having a 
strong clannish spirit. He said, that in Australia 
some thirty years ago, when availing himself of 
the hospitality of the principal club, he noticed 
that the steward seemed to take him particularly 
on the matter of choice viands under his wing, and 
put it down to mere civility to a strange officer ; 
but one night, leaning confidentially over as he 
removed a cover, the worthy steward said proudly — 
" Sir, I am a MacLeod," and the mystery was 
solved. Very pleasant were the remaining days 
spent at the club under the guardian angelship of 
his kindly clansman, and the best of everything 
was at his disposal. 


Another happy reminiscence carried his mind 
back to days in the Phillipine Islands, some years 
before the American-Spanish wai", when upon 
arrival of the Pallas at Manilla, a steam launch 
called the Hold Fast, of unmistakable ownership 
dashed alongside, and at the seldom visited island 
of Ils-ils a few days were spent, and, owing to 
the discovery of a certain genial and most hos- 
pitable MacLeod residing there, the vessel's stay 
was made a round of festivity and enthusiasm, 
heartily participated in by the British and Spanish 
alike. The population soon realised what it meant 
when two MacLeods met in their midst. 

Again, having obtained permission to go to 
Blehleh in Northern Sumatra (where none of our 
ships had been for nine years) to see anything the 
Dutch officials might allow, of the progress of the 
interminable war between the Dutch and the 
Acheenese, which began in 1872 (and is still in 
progress) the Governor gave him a most hearty 
reception and welcome, and made elaborate arrange- 
ments for a visit round the stockade-outposts, in 
the armour-clad train. Two aides-de-camp were 
placed at his disposal, one naval, the other military, 
and his pleasure may be imagined when the latter 
proved to be a very distinguished Captain Rudolph 
MacLeod (the Dutch spelling being a little different 
but the pronunciation very nearly the same as our 
own) of the Gesto Netherland's branch. Some. 


pleasant days were spent under the guidance of 
this fine representative clansman, whose ancestors 
have supplied so many naval and military officers 
of high rank to the Dutch nation. 





K.C.V.O., F.S.A., F.R.G.S., F.Z.S. 

Lieut.-General Sir Arthur Lyttelton-Anneslej^', 
late of Camolin Park and Airley Castle, Stafford- 
shire, eldest son of Captain Arthur Lyttelton 
MacLeod of the 42nd Highlanders, and grandson 
of General Norman MacLeod, C.B., of Gillen, 
Waternish, Skye, was born, September 1837, and 
bore the surname of MacLeod till 1844, when his 
father took that of Annesley (his mother being 
heiress of the senior branch of that family). 

General Lyttelton Annesley was educated at 
Harrow, and entered the army in July 1854. 
He was appointed to the 11th Prince Albert's 
Own Hussars, and served with that regiment 
during the Crimean War, including the siege and 
fall of Sebastopol and the battle of Tchernaya, 
for which he received the British medal and 
clasp, and the Turkish medal. 

Returning home in 1856, he remained with his 
regiment in England and Ireland till 1866, when 
he embarked in command of it, and arrived in 
Bombay on the 25th of October of the same 
year — the last regiment that went to India by 
way of the Cape of Good Hope in a sailing 



Colonel Lyttelfcon-Annesley was in India with 
his regiment for over ten years, only returning 
home on leave twice during that period, coming 
to England the second time with His Majesty 
the King (then Prince of Wales), who had taken 
him on his staff after the Delhi camps. 

In 1877, Colonel Lyttelton-Annesley brought 
his regiment back to England by way of the 
Suez Canal. Soon after his arrival in England, 
he retired from the command of the 11th 
Hussars, under the new rules, and was appointed 
A.D.C. to H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, whom 
he accompanied to Malta when the Duke went 
to inspect the Indian contingent. Not long 
afterwards, Colonel Lyttelton-Annesley was ap- 
pointed Assistant- Adjutant-General of the Horse 
Guards, which appointment he held for several 
years and then went to Bombay as Adjutant- 
General of the Bombay army, holding that im- 
portant post for over five years, with the ap- 
probation of the three Commanders - in - Chief 
under whom he served. 

He returned to England in 1881, and, after a 
short time, was selected to command the North 
British District (which embraces the whole of 
Scotland) for a period of five years, with the 
rank of Major-General. His term of service on 
the Scottish station having expired, he received 
the rank of Lieut.-General. In the following 


year, he was offered the important command at 
Portsmouth, which, for private reasons, he was 
obhged to decline. He remained unemployed 
from that time. Under the new regulations, he 
was compulsorily retired on the 23rd of Febru- 
ary 1898. At the time of his retirement, General 
Lyttelton-Annesley was in the enjoyment of the 
annuity for distinguished and meritorious services. 

In 1903, he was created a Knight Commander of 
the Victorian Order. He is a Knight Commander 
of the Order of Christ, of Portugal ; he holds 
the Kaiser-i-Hind medal, commemorating the late 
Queen Victoria becoming Empress of India ; he 
is a Fellow of the Society of Arts, the Royal 
Geographical Society, and of the Zoological 

General Lyttelton-Annesley is representative, in 
the female line, of the Annesleys, Earls of Anglesey, 
Earls of Mount Norris, and Viscounts Valentia; 
and of George, first Lord Lyttelton. 




The MacLeod Loyal Fencible Highlanders. 

There is, in the possession of Mr. M. C. MacLeod, 
Edinburgh, a Presentation Sword, bearing the fol- 
lowing inscription : — 

" Presented to Col. John MacLeod of Colbeck, late Col. 
Commandant of the Princess Charlotte of Wales 
Loyal Fencible Highlanders,— 7th Jan. 1809." 

As this is an eloquent appreciation of a probably 
distinguished clansman, of whom not much is 
known now, it may be well to give here such 
particulars as we have been able to gather, others 
perhaps may be able to supplement these. 

His grandfather, first of the family of whom any 
trace can be found is described as one of the " Old 
MacLeods of the Lewes," he married Janet, daughter 
of Malcolm MacLeod VIII. of Raasay, and had 
issue, a son John, afterwards described as of Col- 
beck, in the Island of Jamaica, where he had been 
an eminent planter. Colbeck registered arms in 
1762, and in his declaration claimed to be heir-at- 
law of Roderick, last Baron of the Lewes. He 
married his cousin Jane, daughter of John IX. of 
Raasay, and had issue, s son, also described as of 
Colbeck, the raiser of the MacLeod Fencibles and 
recipient of the sword mentioned. 


The Princess Charlotte of Wales or MacLeod 
Loyal Fencible Highlanders, as they were called, 
were raised by John MacLeod of Col beck, who was 
appointed Colonel, in 1799. Few details unfortun- 
ately, are known of this clan regiment, which was 
the last Fencible regiment raised in the Highlands, 
It was inspected and embodied at Elgin, by Major 
General Leith Hay, in June 1799, and was sent at 
once to Ireland for active service there. After 
three years in that country the regiment embarked 
for England and was reduced at Tynemouth Bar- 
racks in June 1802. This does not mean that the 
regiment was disbanded ; it probably existed for 
some years longer, and it is most probable that the 
sword was presented when it was finally disbanded. 
Such is all we know, yet the sword is sufficient 
evidence that the regiment and its Commander had 
borne themselves well. 

Colonel MacLeod married and had issue, one son, 
Barlow, and five daughters, (Barlow and the four 
elder daughters died unmarried, the fifth, Susan, 
married Mr. Andrews and had two sons, Hastings 
(buried at Canterbury) and Greville). He died in 
1823, as the following notice from Blackwood's 
Magazine of that year shows — "In Bury Street, 
St. James', London, Colonel John MacLeod of 
Colbeck. With him expired the last of a branch 
of an ancient and distinguished clan." 


Though the date in the inscription on the silver rim 
is 1493, experts hold that the Cup itself is a remarkably 
fine specimen of early Irish work, probably of the IX. 
or X. Century. Certainly it has always been called the 
Cup of Neil Grluin Dubh, who was King of Ulster about 
the year 993 A.D. {He was the great hero of his race.) 
The inscription shews that the Cup belonged in 1493 
to a lady descendant of that family, and it may very 
well be a relic actually handed down from Neil. On 
the top of the Cup is a silver rim, bearing the inscrip- 
tion given on page 47. This rim may have been added 
in 1493 and the inscription of that date may refer to 
the rim only. The engraving is in the Court hand of 
the period and many contractions are used. Scott gives 
a version of it in the notes to the Lord of the Isles, 
which is certainly a mistaken one. 

It seems probable that this Cup passed into the 
possession of the MacLeods about the middle of the 
XVI. Century, when a large force of Highlanders, the 
MacLeods among them, was engaged in military opera- 
tions in the North of Ireland. 

Nothing has been said of the tartans, but the tartan 
of the Chief is that known as MacLeod and MacKenzie, 
the latter wear the same pattern as the MacLeod and 
there is a dispute between the two clans as to the 
rightful ownership. 

The clansmen objecting to be taken for MacKenzie's, 
have appealed to the Chief to introduce some distinguish- 
ing mark, which it is hoped he may see his way to do. 

Macleod of Cadboll's tartan is the well-known yellow 
and black Raasay tartan, sometimes, but wrongly, called 
the dress tartan. 

6984 I