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(Ann Macleod of Gesto) 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

National Library of Scotland 



This volume completes my fifth Clan History, written and 
published during the last ten years, making altogether 
some two thousand two hundred and fifty pages of a class 
of literary work which, in every line, requires the most 
scrupulous and careful verification. This is in addition to 
about the same number, dealing with the traditions^ 
superstitions, general history, and social condition of the 
Highlands, and mostly prepared after business hours in 
the course of an active private and public life, including 
my editorial labours in connection with the Celtic Maga- 
zine and the Scottish Highlander. 

This is far more than has ever been written by any author 
born north of the Grampians ; and whatever may be said 
about the quality of these productions, two agreeable facts 
may be stated regarding them. They have all sold well, 
most of them at unusually high prices, and they have 
remunerated both author and publisher. These are, 
perhaps, after all, not the worst tests which might be 
applied to Highland literature. 

In the preparation of this volume I have received valuable 
assistance in the genealogical portion of it from several 
ladies and gentlemen, to all of whom I beg to tender 
my warmest acknowledgments. I am specially indebted 
to Miss Macleod of Macleod, Miss Martin of Glendale, 
and Mrs. Hugh Munro Mackenzie of Distington ; to 
Lachlan Macdonald of Skaebost; the Hon. Donald Grant 
Macleod, Judge of Maulmain, Burmah ; General Macleod 


Innes, V.C., London ; and, last but not least, to my good 
friend, Mr. Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P. for the county 
of Inverness. 

The Index, printed at the end of the volume, has been 
prepared by my son, Mr. Hector Rose Mackenzie, solicitor, 

For some time I thought that this would be my last Clan 
History, but no sooner is it completed than I find myself, 
almost involuntarily, engaged on a History of the Frasers. 
When that is finished, I hope to be able to fulfil the 
ambition of years and fill in a blank in the History of 
the Highlands, by the publication of an exhaustive work 
on the social condition of my countrymen, and the various 
important changes — social, political, and ecclesiastical — 
which have taken place in the North, from the Battle of 
Culloden to the present time ; more particularly during the 
present century. 


Inverness. April, 1889, 


Title .... 








List of Subscribers . 



Origin of the Family ...... i 

I. Leod . 


The Chiefship of the Cl/ 





III. Malcolm 


IV. John ... 


V. William 


VI. John . 


VII. William 


VIII. Alexander 


IX. William 

2 6 

X. Donald 


XI. Tormod • . 


XII. William 


XIII. Sir Roderick 


XIV. John . 


XV. Roderick 


XVI. John . 


XVII. Roderick 


XVIII. Norman 


XIX. Norman 


XX. Norman— The General 


XXI. John Norman 


XXII. Norman 



gf.sto, macleods of . 

Netherlands, Macleods of the . 

Meidle, Glendale, and Luskintyre, Macleods of 












I. Leod 


III. Norman 

IV. Torquil 
V. Roderick 

VI. Torquil 
VII. Roderick 
VIII. Torquil 
IX. Malcolm 
X Roderick 


I. Malcolm Garbh MacGillechallum 
II. Alexander MacGillechallum 

III. Malcolm Garbh 

IV. Alexander 
V. Alexander 

VI. John Garbh 
VII. Alexander 
VIII. Malcolm . 

IX. John 
X. James 

XL John 



Eyre, Macleods of 
assynt, macleods of . 
geanies, macleods of 
cadboll, macleods of 


Index . 




Aitken, Dr., F.S.A. Scot., District Asylum, Inverness 

Balderston, W. H. , Esq. , county assessor, Inverness 

Baldwin, Mrs. W. A. Canada (Large Paper) 

Barron, James, Esq., F.S.A. Scot., Editor of the Courier, Inverness 

Bartlett, Mrs. T. H. M. , Santa Cruz Co. , California 

Binning-Home, Mrs. Monro, Argaty, Doune 

Blair, Sheriff, Inverness 

Boston Public Library, U.S.A. 

Brereton, Major-General, Ramsey, Isle of Man 

Brunton, George, Esq., Leeds (Large Paper) 

Buccleuch, His Grace the Duke of (Large Paper) 

Burns, William, Esq., solicitor, Inverness 

Cameron, D. M. , Esq., merchant, Inverness 

Cameron, Jarnes A., Esq , M.D., Bawtry, Yorkshire 

Cameron, John, Esq., bookseller, Inverness 

Cameron, Sir Roderick W. , New York (6 Copies) 

Campbell, J. L., Esq., Broughty-Ferry 

Campbell, Rev. D. , Vicar of Eye, Suffolk 

Chisholm, *\rchibald A., Esq., Procurator- Fiscal, Lochmaddy 

Chisholm, Captain A. M. , of Glassburn 

Chisholm, Colin, Esq., Namur Cottage, Inverness 

Chisholm, The, Tavistock Square, London (Large Paper) 

Clarke, James, Esq., solicitor, Inverness 

Cook, James, Esq., merchant, Inverness 

Cran, John, Esq., Kirkton, F.S.A. Scot., Bunchrew 

Crum, Mrs. William, Broxton Old Hall, Chester 

Davidson, John, Esq., merchant, Inverness 

Douglas & Foulis, Messrs, booksellers, Edinburgh (2 Copies) 

Fraser-Mackintosh, Charles, Esq., M.P., F.S.A. Scot. (Large Paper) 

Fraser, ex-Provost, Inverness 

Fraser, Henry W. , Esq., Commercial Bank House, Inverness 

Fraser, John, Esq., bookseller, Nairn 

Fraser, Sir William, K.C.B., Deputy Keeper of the Records of Scotland 


Gall, J. H., Esq., architect, Inverness 

Gillespie, Chailes Gordon, Esq., Dunain House, Inverness 

Gillespie, Mrs. (late of Ardochy), Isle of Man 

Gordon, J. Lewis, Esq., West Park, Elgin (2 Copies) 

Grant, F. W., Esq., Maryhill, Inverness 

Head, Mrs., of Newberries, St. Albans 

Innes, Lieutenant-General Macleod, V.C., London 

Jardine, George E., Esq., New York 

Jeffrey, A. R. Macdonald, Esq., London 

Jenkins, R. P., Esq., solicitor, Inverness 

Kemp, D. W. , Esq., Trinity, Edinburgh 

Kennedy, Rev. John, Arran 

King, D. J., Esq., Glasgow (2 Copies) 

Library of the Corporation of the City of London (Large Paper) 

Lyon-Mackenzie, Captain Colin, of Braelangwell 

Lyon-Mackenzie, Miss, Sunnyside, Inverness 

Macandrew, Sir Henry Cockburn, Provost of Inverness 

Macbain, Alex., Esq., M.A., F,S,A. Scot., Inverness 

Macbean, W. Charles, Esq., solicitor, Inverness 

MacCallum, H. V., Esq., Inverness 

Macdonald, Alexander, Esq. of Balranald and Edenwood 

Macdonald, Allan, Esq., M.A. , solicitor, Inverness 

Macdonald, Andrew, Esq., solicitor, Inverness 

Macdonald, Colonel Alexander, Portree (Large Paper) 

Macdonald, Donald, Esq., of Tormore, Park, Nairn 

Macdonald, Ewen, Esq., Inverness 

Macdonald, Harry, Esq. of Viewfield, Portree 

Macdonald, John, Esq., Dunphail 

Macdonald, John, Esq., merchant, Inverness 

Macdonald, John, Esq., superintendent of police, Inverness 

Macdonald, Kenneth, Esq., Town Clerk, Inverness (Large Paper) 

Macdonald, K. N., Esq , M.D., Bridge of Allan 

Macdonald, Lachlan, Esq. of Skaebost (12 Copies and 1 Large Paper) 

Macewen, A., Esq., Sumapore, India (Large Paper) 

Macewen, Dr. F. A., Poolewe 

Maciver, Alexander, Esq., Jetwarpore, India 

Maciver, Miss Alexandra, Primrose Cottage, Uig, Skye 

Maciver, Mrs., Primrose Cottage, Uig, Skye 

Macintyre, Angus, Esq., Hampstead, London 

Mackay, John, Esq., C.E., Hereford (1 Copy and 1 Large Paper) 

Mackay, William, Esq., bookseller, Inverness (3 Copies) 

Mackay, William, Esq., solicitor, Inverness 

Mackenzie, A. C, Esq., Maryburgh 

Mackenzie, Bailie, Silverwells, Inverness 

Mackenzie, D. H., Esq., Auckland, New Zealand (3 Copies) 

Mackenzie, Dr. F. M. , Inverness 

Mackenzie, Hector Rose, Esq., solicitor, Park House, Inverness 

Mackenzie, J. A., Esq., burgh surveyor, Inverness 


Mackenzie, John A., Esq., Forest Gate, London 

Mackenzie, John, Esq., Ardlair, Edinburgh 

Mackenzie, Major Colin, Pall Mall, London 

Mackenzie, Mrs. H. Munro, Distington, Whitehaven (Large Paper) 

Mackenzie, M. T., Esq., M.D., Salpeg House, North Uist 

Mackenzie, Roderick, Esq., London 

Mackenzie, Sir Arthur G. R., of Coul, Baronet 

Mackenzie, William, Esq., Ardgowan, Inverness 

Mackenzie, William, Esq., Cabarfeidh House, Inverness 

Mackinnon, Farquhar, Esq., Kyle House. Skye 

Mackinnon, Mrs. , Ealing, London 

Mackintosh, Hugh, Esq., merchant, Inverness 

Mackintosh, Mrs., of Daviot, Inverness 

Mackintosh, Mrs., of Mackintosh, Dunachton 

Maclean, Major Roderick, factor for Ardross, Inverness 

Macleod, Alexander, Esq., Sauchiehall Street. Glasgow (Large paper) 

Macleod, Angus, Esq., manager, Gairloch Hotel 

Macleod, C. C, Esq., Calcutta, India (2 copies) 

Macleod, Captain N., of Dalvey, Forres (2 Large Paper Copies) 

Macleod, Captain N. M., yr. of Macleod, Chownes, Sussex (2 Copies) 

Macleod, Donald A., Esq., Prince Edward Island 

Macleod, Dr. S. B. W., New York 

Macleod, H. A. F., Esq,, C.E., Canada 

Macleod, Henry Dunning, Esq., Gloucester Walk, London 

Macleod, Hon. D. G-, LL.D., Maulmain, Burmah (1 Copy and 1 Large 

Macleod, Hugh, Esq., writer, Glasgow 
Macleod, J., Esq., H.M. Inspector of Schools, Elgin 
Macleod, John M., Park Circus, Glasgow 
Macleod, Kenneth, Esq., M.D., F.R.C.S.E., Brigade Surgeon, Indian 

Macleod, Lieutenant-General Norman, A.D.C. to the King of the 

Macleod, L. W., Esq., Lincoln's Inn, London 
Macleod of Macleod, Dunvegan Castle, Skye 
Macleod, M., Esq., barrister, Prince Edward Island 
Macleod, M. D., Esq., M.B., Beverley, Yorkshire 
Macleod, Miss Liebe, Gloucester Walk, London 
Macleod, Miss, of Macleod, Dunvegan Castle (2 Copies) 
Macleod, Miss, of Dalvey, Forres 
Macleod, Mrs. H. B. , Fettes Row, Edinburgh 
Macleod, Mrs., West Kensington, London (2 Copies) 
Macleod, Murdo, Esq.. Crosshill, Glasgow (Large Paper) 
Macleod, Murdo, Esq., Edinburgh 
Macleod, Neil, Esq., Gaelic Poet, Edinburgh 
Macleod, Norman, Esq., bookseller, Edinburgh 
Macleod, Peter, Esq., St. Vincent Street, Glasgow 
Macleod, Philip, Esq., Highland Neivs, Inverness 


Macleod, Pipe-Major, A.R,, Ayr 

Macleod, R., Esq., B.C.S. , Karia, India 

Macleod, Rev. D. T. F.. Shrewsbury (Large Paper) 

Macleod, Rev. Ewan, F.C. Manse, Carr Bridge 

Macleod, Rev. Norman, D.D., Edinburgh 

Macleod, Rev. R. C, Bolney Vicarage, Hay ward's Heath 

Macleod, R. H., Esq., B.C.S., Moradabad, India 

Macleod, Roderick, Esq., tea merchant, Edinburgh 

Macleod, Sir George, M.D , F R.S.E., Glasgow 

Macleod, Wm. Bowman, Esq.. Edinburgh 

Macleod, Wm., British Linen Bank, Edinburgh 

Maclachlan & Stewart, Messrs. , Edinburgh 

Macnabb, J, W., Esq., Arthurstone, Bracknell 

Macnabb, Sir D. C. , K.C.I.E. , C.S.I. , Chester Square, London 

Macnee, James, Esq., M.D., Inverness 

Macpherson, John, Esq., M. D., Mayfair, London 

Macpherson, Hugh, Esq., merchant, Inverness 

Macpherson, Sir Arthur, K.C.I.E., Hyde Park, London 

Macrae, John, Esq. (42nd Highlanders), Kames Castle, Rothesay (Large 

Macrae, Miss Forbes, Heathmount, Inverness 
Macritchie, Andrew, Esq., solicitor, Inverness 
Macsween, Miss, Upper Norwood, London (2 Copies) 
Mactavish, Alex., Esq., merchant, Inverness 
Malcolm, George, Esq., Invergarry 
Matheson, Hugh M,, Esq., Hampstead, London 
Matheson, Sir Kenneth J., Bart, of Lochalsh (Large Paper) 
Martin, D. M. , Esq., Belmaduthy House, Munlochy 
Martin, Miss, of Glendale, Skye 

Martin, Rev. Donald J., Free Church Manse, Stornoway 
Melven Bros., Messrs., booksellers, Inverness (3 Copies) 
Miller, William, Esq., auctioneer, Inverness 
Mitchell Library, Glasgow 
Mitchell, W., Esq., S.S.C., Edinburgh 
Montgomery, Mrs., Great Pulteney Street, Bath 
Munro, David, Esq., Inverness 
Munro, Henry, Esq., Ness Mount, Inverness 
Napier and Ettrick, Right Hon. Lord, K.T. Thirlestane, Selkirk 
Noble, John, Esq., bookseller, Inverness (2 Copies) 
Ogilvie, Mrs. Gordon, Roxburghshire (2 Copies) 
Reid, Hugh G, Esq., of Warley Hall, Birmingham 
Reid, Louis D., Esq., New Kelso, Strathcarron 
Reid, Mrs., New Kelso, Strathcarron 
Ross, Alex., Esq., architect. Inverness (Large Paper) 
Ross, Alex., Esq., Chronicle Office, Inverness 
Ross, James, Esq., Broadford Hotel, Skye 
Ross, James, Esq., solicitor, Inverness 
Shaw, Duncan, Esq., W.S., Thornhill, Inverness 


Shaw, Mrs., Thornhill, Inverness 

Sinclair, James Augustus, Esq., C.A., Aberdeen 

Sinclair, Rev. A. Maclean, Prince Edward Island 

Skues, Wm. Mackenzie, Esq., M.D. , Nunhead, London 

Stewart, James, Esq., Dalkeith House, Dalkeith 

Stewart, John, Esq. of Ensay, Harris 

Thomson, James, Esq., gas-manager, Inverness. 

Tweedmouth, Right Hon. Lord, Guisachan (Large Paper) 

Wilson, Mrs., of Seacroft Hall, Leeds 

Wright, Mrs., Keston Rectory, Kent 

Wyllie, Messrs. D., & Son, booksellers, Aberdeen 





The theory hitherto generally accepted as to the origin of 
the Macleods, as in that of most of the other Highland 
clans, is that they are of foreign origin — descended from 
the early Norwegian kings of Man. This descent, said to 
be based on an alleged account in the Chronicle of Man, 
was universally acknowledged, until Dr. Skene, in his 
Highlanders of Scotland, declared against it, stating that 
though few origins have been more strenuously supported 
than the Norwegian theory of the origin of the Macleods, 
there is "not the vestige of authority" for it. The Chronicle 
of Man, so persistently quoted by genealogists in support 
of the assertion that the Macleods are descended from the 
Norwegian Kings of Man, is absolutely silent on the point, 
and no evidence whatever is available from that source, 
though it is so often quoted as an authority on the subject. 
Skene points out the singular circumstance that that record 
is entirely " destitute of the slightest hint of any such 
origin, or even of any passage which could be assumed as a 
ground for such an idea." He also says that the tradition 
of Norwegian descent does not "appear to be very old, 
for in a manuscript genealogy of the family, written in the 
latter part of the sixteenth century, there is not a trace of 
such a descent," but, on the contrary, he maintains that 



the Macleods are deduced from one common ancestor 
with the Campbells, and that they " were certainly a part 
of the ancient inhabitants of the earldom of Garmoran."* 
Leod, the eponymus of the Clan, he says, cannot be placed 
earlier than the middle of the thirteenth century, f 

While there will be a very general disposition among 
those who are acquainted with his works to accept the 
learned Dr. Skene as the very highest authority on a 
question like this, it is proper that in a history of the 
family we should give at some length the Norwegian 
origin claimed by the Macleods themselves, and universally 
acknowledged by all the family genealogists until within 
the last half century. It is to the following effect : — A 
certain Godred Crovan, son of Harold the Black, of the 
Royal Family of Denmark, was appointed King of Man 
and the Western Isles of Scotland by Harold the 
Imperious, and, accompanied by a fleet and an army, he 
came and took possession of his Island Kingdom in 1066, 
the superiority still remaining with the reigning Norwegian 
Kings. This Godred, who reigned for sixteen years, died 
in Islay, leaving three sons, the eldest of whom, Lagman, 
in 1 103, succeeded his father. The second son, Harold, 
raised a rebellion against Lagman. Harold was defeated 
and taken prisoner, his eyes were put out, and he was 
otherwise treated in the most barbarous manner. Lagman, 
for this cruel conduct to his brother, was seized with 
remorse. He then renounced his Kingdom, and went on 
a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he died, having only 
ruled for seven years. His brother, Harold, also died 
without issue, when the Island Kingdom fell to Godred's 
third son, Olave or Olaus, then a minor. 

The government of the Kingdom, during the minority 
of Olaus, was entrusted to Donald Mac-Tade, an Irish 
nobleman who had been sent over to the people by 
Murchad O'Brien, King of Ireland, at their request, but 
he behaved in such a tyrannical fashion, by oppressing his 

* Highlanders of Scotland, Vol. II. , pp. 273. 
t Celtic Scotland, Vol. III., p. 340. 


subjects, that after two years he was expelled from the 
Isles, when he fled to Ireland ; and Olaus, having then 
come of age, took charge of the government himself. 

He married Elfrica, daughter of Fergus Lord of Galloway, 
at the time one of the most powerful nobles in Scotland. 
By his wife, Olave or Olaus the Red had one son, Godred 
the Black, his heir. He also had three natural sons. Of 
several daughters, one, Ragnhildis, about 1 140, married 
Somerled, Thane of Argyle and of the Isles, and became 
the progenitrix of all the Macdonalds, of the Macdougalls, 
and of several other important families in the Western 
Highlands and Isles. 

The following curious account of how this marriage was 
brought about is given in the Macdonald MS. : — " Olay 
encamped at Loch Stoma ; Sommerled came to the other 
side of the loch, and cried out if Olay was there, and how 
he fared ? Olay replied that he was well. Then said 
Sommerled, I come from Sommerled, Thane of Argyle, 
who promises to assist you conditionally in your expedition, 
provided you bestow your daughter on him. Olay answered 
that he would not give him his daughter, and that he knew 
he himself was the man ; but that he and his men should 
follow him in his expedition. So Sommerled resolved 
to follow Olay. There was at that time a foster-brother 
of Olay's, one Maurice MacNeill, in Olay's company, 
who was a near friend of Sommerled ; and when Som- 
merled brought his two galleys near the place where Olay's 
ship lay, this Maurice aforesaid came where he was, and 
said that he would find means by which he might come 
to get Olay's daughter. So, in the night time, he bored 
Olay's ship under water with many holes, and made a pin 
for each hole, overlaying them with tallow and butter. 
When they were up in the morning and set out to sea, after 
passing the point of Ardnamurchan, Olay's ship sprung 
a leak, casting the tallow and butter out of the holes by 
the ship tossing on the waves, and beginning to sink, Olay 
and his men cried for help to Sommerled. Maurice replied 
that Sommerled would not save him unless he bestowed 


his daughter upon him. At last, Olay being in danger of 
his life, confirmed by an oath, that he would give his 
daughter to Sommerled, who received him immediately 
into his galley. Maurice went into Olay's galley and fixed 
the pins in the holes which he had formerly prepared for 
them, and by these means they landed in safety. From 
that time the posterity of Maurice are called Maclntyres 
(or wright's sons) to this day. On this expedition Olay 
and Sommerled killed MacLier, who possessed Strath, 
within the Isle of Skye. They killed Godfrey Du, or the 
Black, by putting out his eyes, which was done by the 
hermit MacPoke, because Godfrey Du had killed his father 
formerly. Olay, surnamed the Red, killed MacNicoll in 
North Uist likewise. Now Sommerled marrying Olay's 
daughter, and becoming great after Olay's death, which 
death, with the relation and circumstances thereof, if you 
be curious to know, you may get a long account of it in 

According to the Chronicle of Man, the marriage of 
Ragnhildis to Somerled was the cause of the final fall 
of the Norwegian Kingdom of the Isles, and was the 
foundation of the title of Kings and Lords of the Isles, 
which was afterwards assumed, and long maintained, by 
Somerled's descendants. Olave the Red is said to have 
been a good Prince, and to have entered into friendly 
leagues with the Kings of Scotland and Ireland. After 
reigning in comparative peace for about forty years, he was, 
in 1 1 54, assassinated by his nephews, the sons of his 
illegitimate brother Harold, who claimed half his kingdom 
of the Isles. His son, Godred the Black, was at the time 
in Norway, but, hearing of his father's death, he hastened 
to the Isles, where he was received by the people with 
great rejoicings as their lawful King. Having put to death 
the murderers of his father, he proceeded to Ireland to 
take part in the wars then going on in that Kingdom. 
Returning to the Isle of Man, he acted so tyrannically 
that the nobles rebelled against his rule, and by the instru- 
mentality of one of them (Thorfinn), Dougall, the son of 


Somerled of the Isles, and Godred's nephew, was pro- 
claimed King of the Isles. After a fierce engagement 
between Godred and Somerled, the Southern Isles (south 
of Ardnamurchan and Kintyre) were ceded to the latter ; 
Godred retaining the Isle of Man and the Northern Isles 
for himself.* Two years later Godred was driven out of 
Man, when he fled to Norway and never returned. He 
died about n 87, leaving an only lawful son (Olave the 
Black), then but ten years old. The nobles of Man 
appointed Godred's natural son, Reginald, a very brave 
man as their governor during Olave's minority, but he 
soon usurped the crown and kept possession of it for thirty- 
eight years, giving his brother, 

Olave the Black, the legitimate heir to the whole 
Kingdom of the Isles, the Island of Lewis for his mainten- 
ance. Olave, however, about 1226 succeeded, by aid of 
Paul, Sheriff of Skye, in regaining possession of the Nor 
wegian Kingdom of Man and the Isles. He died about 
1237, having been thrice married ; first, to a daughter of one 
of the leading families of Kintyre, by whom he had three 
sons — Harold, Reginald, and Magnus, all of whom success- 
ively reigned as Kings of Man. But Magnus of Norway, 
and Superior of the Isles, having surrendered the Island 
Kingdom to Alexander II. of Scotland, and Magnus of 
Man having died at the Castle of Ross, in 1266, without 
issue, the Island Kingdom came to an end. Olave the Red 
had no issue by his second marriage ; but having married 
as his third wife, Christina, daughter of Farquhar, Earl of 
Ross, he had, by her, three sons — 

1. Leod, or Loyd, progenitor of the Macleods. 

2. Guin, from whom come the Clan Gunn of Sutherland 
and Caithness, and 

3. Leandruis, from whom are descended the Clan Lean- 
druis, or Gillanders. 

When Olave the Red, last King of Man, died, his eldest 

* For a full account of these proceedings see Mackenzie's History of the 
Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles,, pp> 17^34. 



Who was' the fifth representative of the Royal line of the 
Norwegian Kings of Man in direct descent, was a minor. 
The youth was fostered in the house of Paul, son of Boke, 
Sheriff of Skye, otherwise designated as "Paul Balkason, 
Lord of Skye," a man "of the greatest power and authority 
of any in those parts, who had been a constant friend of his 
father's in all his dangers and distresses," and by whose 
assistance his father, as already said, recovered his Kingdom. 
Leod "flourished in the reign of King Alexander III., and 
got from said Paul the lands of the Herries, etc. ; and from 
his grandfather, the Earl of Ross, a part of the Barony of 
Glenelg, and he and his posterity have ever since been 
promiscuously designed by the title of Herries [Harris], 
Glenelg, Dunvegan, and of that Ilk."* 

Leod married a daughter of MacRaild Armuinn, a Danish 
knight, whose seat was where now stands the Castle of 
Dunvegan, and with his wife he received the lands of Dun- 
vegan, Minginish, Bracadale, Duirinish, Lyndale, and part 
of Troternish, in the Isle of Skye. 

There are some families of the name of MacRaild still 
living on the Macleod estates, and we know of one or two 
elsewhere who came originally from that district. 

Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh, the famous Macleod poetess, 
refers to the traditional Norwegian and Royal origin of the 
race in her famous " Cronaii" where she says, describing the 
recovery of the young heir of Macleod from a serious illness — 

" Sliochd Ollaghair nan lann, 
Thogadh sroilltean ri crann, 
Nuair a thoisich iad ann, 
Cha bu lionsgaradh gann, 
Fir a b' fhirinneach bann, 
Priseil an dream. 
Rioghal gun chall c6rach."f 

* Douglas's Baronage, p. 375. "Among the documents found in the 
King's Treasury, at Edinburgh, in 1282, there was one entitled, ' Charter of 
Glenhelk,' which belonged to the Isle of Man. In 1292 the lands of Glenelg 
appear to have been included in the Sheriffdom of Skye, erected by King 
John Balliol." — Originer Parochiales Scotiae. 

t John Mackenzie's Beauties of Gaelic Poetry. 


In the Lord of the Isles, Sir Walter Scott refers to the 
same origin, where some of the qualities of "Stout Dun- 
vegan's knight" and his Norse descent are thus described — 

" Torquil's rude thought and stubborn will 
Smack of the wild Norwegian still. " 

By his wife, MacRaild's daughter, and the heiress of 
Dunvegan, Leod had issue — 

i. Tormod, ancestor of the Macleods of Harris and 
Glenelg, represented by the Macleods of Dunvegan, and 
known among the Highlanders to this day as " Slot 
Thormoid" — the descendants of Tormod or Norman. 

2. Torquil, progenitor of the Macleods of Lewis ; Water- 
nish in Skye; Assynt and Gairloch on the mainland; and 
of Raasay. The Macleods of Lewis are still spoken of in 
Gaelic as " Siol Thorcuil" — the descendants of Torquil ; 
while the cadet family of Raasay is designated " Clann 
Mhie GilleChalluim" to indicate their descent from Malcolm 
Garve, son of Malcolm, eighth Baron of Lewis. 

Each of the sons, Tormod and Torquil, was a Mac Leod, 
or son of Leod, whence the family name. 


Before proceeding with the history of either of the two 
leading families of this great House, it may be well to 
dispose, so far as can now be done, of their respective 
claims to be the head of the Clan ; for the seniority and 
the Chiefship have at different times been claimed by the 
descendants of TORMOD and TORQUIL respectively, and 
it may now be difficult to prove who of the two was 
Leod's eldest son ; though it is very generally admitted 
that Tormod was the elder of the two brothers, and that, 
therefore, his male representative, the present head of the 
Macleods of Dunvegan, is correctly designated Macleod 
OF Macleod, and Chief of the Clan. 

It has always been claimed by the Macleods of Harris, 
Glenelg, and Dunvegan — (i), that Tormod got the greater 
portion of his father's estates ; (2), that in several royal 
charters, and other authentic documents, where the heads 


of the families are mentioned, the representatives of 
Tormod, usually styled Macleods of Harris, are always 
named and inserted before the representatives of the 
Macleods of Lewis ; and (3), that although the representa- 
tives of Tormod have changed their armorial bearings, there 
is sufficient proof that they formerly carried the paternal 
arms of the family. 

The representatives of the family of Lewis have, on the 
other hand, maintained — (1), that the descendants of their 
progenitor, Torquil, succeeded Leod in the Island of 
Lewis, which, they assert, was the paternal estate of the 
Clan ; (2), that the representatives of Torquil always carried 
in their armorial bearings the arms of the Kings of Man 
and the Isles, their paternal ancestors ; (3), that it has 
been the unvaried tradition of the Lewis Macleods, that 
Torquil was the eldest son, and that his having been so 
is confirmed by Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, Lord 
Lyon King at Arms, and by Buchanan's History of the 
Origin of the Clans, published in 1723. 

Dr. Skene, referring to these counter claims, says 
that "from the earliest period in which the Macleods are 
mentioned in history, they have been divided into the 
great families of Macleod of Glenelg, or Harris, and 
Macleod of Lewis, and these families have for a long time 
disputed as to which of them the rights of Chief belong. 
As occurs in the somewhat parallel case of the Macneils, 
this dispute appears to have arisen from the possessions 
of the Macleods having necessarily been so little connected 
together, and from both families being nearly of equal 
power and consequence ; but, from the few data which 
have remained to guide us on this point, there seems 
every reason to think that Macleod of Glenelg, or Harris, 
was of old the proper Chief of the Clan. Macleod of 
Harris," Skene continues, "was originally invariably desig- 
nated 'de Glenelg,' and Glenelg was certainly the first and 
chief possession of the Clan. In various charters of the 
fifteenth century, to which the heads of both families happen 
to be witnesses, Macleod de Glenelg always appears before 


that of Macleod of Lewis, and, finally, the possessions of the 
Lewis family formed no part of the original possessions of 
the Clan ; for the first charter of the family of Lewis is 
one by King David II. to Torquil Macleod, of the barony 
of Assynt. And it is certain," this learned authority con- 
cludes, "that Torquil obtained this barony by marriage with 
Margaret Macnicol, the heiress of the lands, and in that 
Charter he is not designated 'de Lewis,' nor has he any 
designation whatever. These facts," he declares, "seem 
conclusive, that the claim of Macleod of Harris to be Chief 
of the Clan is well founded, and that the marriage of a 
younger son to the heiress of Assynt and Lewis, gave rise 
to the family of Lewis, who were the oldest cadets of the 
Clan, and who soon came to rival the family of the Chief 
in power and extent of territory." 

The first charter of any lands to the family was granted 
by David II. to Malcolm, son of Tormod Macleod, son 
of Leod, about 1343, and the obligation contained in it 
is to the effect that Macleod is to keep a twenty-six-oared 
galley at all times for the use of the King.* 

Referring to the lands acquired by the family in the 
Isle of Skye, now the only estates possessed by the 
Macleods of Harris and Dunvegan, Skene says that they 
acquired these lands by marriage with the daughter of 
MacRaild, one of the Norwegian nobles of the Isles, and 
he believes that it is from this connection, and from the 
succession secured by it, that probably first arose the 
tradition of the Macleods having been originally descended 
from the Norwegian Kings of the Isles. He firmly holds, 
as already stated, that they were originally of pure native 
descent, and belonged to the ancient inhabitants of the 
Celtic Earldom of Garmoran. 

The original possessions of the Macleods of Harris and 
Glenelg were always held direct from the Crown, while 

* "About the year 1343, King David II. granted to Malcolm, the son 
of Turmode Maclode, two-thirds of the tenement of Glenelg, namely, eight 
davachs and five pennylands, for the service of a ship of 26 oars when 
required." — Origines Parochiales Scotiae. 


those of the Lewis were held by their owners as vassals 
of the Earl of Ross and Lords of the Isles. At first the 
Harris Macleods held that island under the MacRuaries 
of Garmoran ; and, later on, when the North Isles passed 
to the house of Islay, they held Harris, as their neigh- 
bours and namesakes held Lewis, as vassals of the Lords 
of the Isles, as they also held their lands in Skye, com- 
prising at that time fully two-thirds of the Island. 

The armorial bearings of the two families were quite 
different, from an early period — that of Harris being a 
castle, and that of Lewis a burning mountain. 


Eldest son and male representative of Leod, son of Olave 
the Black, King of Man, succeeded to two-thirds of the 
lands of Glenelg (the other third being the property of 
Hugh Fraser, Lord of Lovat), and afterwards to Harris, 
with the lands, already described, in the Isle of Skye. 
The lands of Glenelg were held of the Crown, while his 
Hebridean possessions were held of the Earls of Ross and 
Lords of the Isles before the forfeiture of that family. 
This appears from a charter in which these facts are 
narrated, and by which the lands are granted by James 
IV. to Alexander Macleod, on condition of his holding 
in readiness, for the King's service, one ship of twenty-six 
oars and two galleys of sixteen. The Macleods of Harris 
and of Lewis must have occupied a prominent position 
long before this date, for a charter, granted by Donald 
of the Isles, grandson of the great Somerled, in which 
he styles himself King of the Isles, to Lord John Bisset, 
and dated at his Castle of Dingwall on the 19th of 
January, 1245, is witnessed by his "most beloved cousines 
and counsellors," Macleod of Lewis and Macleod of Harris. 
The lands of Glenelg were granted between 1307 and 
13 14 by Robert the Bruce to Thomas Randolph, as part 
of the Earldom of Moray, from which it may be inferred, 
notwithstanding that Douglas says he was "a faithful and 
loyal subject," that Macleod of Macleod was opposed to 


Bruce in his efforts against the attempts of the English, 
under the Edwards, to subdue Scotland until the prowess 
of the great Scottish King culminated so brilliantly for 
the Scottish nation on the glorious field of Bannockburn. 
And in this connection it is instructive to find that the 
Macleods are not mentioned by the earlier historians 
among the clans said to have been present at the Battle 
of Bannockburn. 

We are informed in the " Anecdotes of Olave the Black, 
King of Man," that Olave went to Norway to complain 
to Haco, the King, of the great hostilities carried on at 
the time by the Scotch in the Western Isles, and that he 
was supplied with a fleet of twenty ships. " When Ottar 
Snackoll, Paul Bolka, and Ungi, Paul's son, heard this, 
then sailed they southward before Skye, and found 
in Westerford (said to be Loch Bracadale), Thorkel 
Thormodson. And they fought with him, and Thorkel 
fell there, and two of his sons. But his son, Tormod, 
came off in this manner ; he leapt into a boat, which 
floated there by its ship, and it with him was wrecked 
on Skotland." 

Tormod Macleod married Finguala MacCrotan, the 
daughter of a famous Irish Chief, with issue — a son and 


Of Glenelg and Harris. We have already seen that in 
or about 1343 David Bruce granted Malcolm a charter 
of the greater portion of the lands of Glenelg,* which he 
and his successors always held of the Crown, f This 
charter is from King David II., Dilecto et fideli nostro 
Malcolmo, filio Tormodi Macleod, pro homagio et servitio 
suo, duas partes tenementi de Glenelg, viz., octo davatas, et 
quinque denariatas terra, cum pertinentiis, infra vicecomi- 
tatum de Inverness. Faciendo nobis et hceredibus nostris 
prcedictus Malcolmus, et haeredes sui, servitium itnius navis 

* Robertson 's Index, and Origines Parochiales Scotiae. 
t Gregory's Western Isles, p. 37. 


triginta et sex remorum, quoties super hoc per nos fuerint 
requisiti, prout facere tenebantur tempore patris nostri, etc. 
The charter is not dated, but all the authorities agree 
that it was granted in or about 1343. 

Malcolm married Martha, daughter of Donald, Earl of 
Mar, nephew of King Robert the Bruce, with issue — three 
sons — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Tormod, progenitor of several families in Harris, one 
of whom possessed the Island of Bernera, in the Sound, 
"before Sir Norman got it from the family as his patri- 

3. Murdo, ancestor of the Macleods of Gesto, of whom 

4. A daughter, Finguala, who married Murdo Mackenzie, 
6th of Kintail.f 

Malcolm, on his death, was succeeded by his eldest son 
and heir, 


Designed both of Glenelg and Harris. He was head 
of the Clan in the reign of Robert II. — 1370-1390 — and 
died shortly after the accession of Robert III., who 
ascended the throne in the last-named year. 

John married and had issue, two sons and one daughter — 

1. Malcolm, who died before his father, unmarried ; and 

2. William, who, on the death of his brother, Malcolm, 
became his father's heir, and afterwards succeeded to the 

3. A daughter, who married Lachlan Maclean of Duart. 
John was succeeded at his death by his only surviving 



Who, having been educated for the Church, was known 
as Uilleam Cleireaeh, or William the Clerk. When a youth, 
he appears to have received some lasting insult in the 

* Douglas's Baronage, p. 375. 

f History of the Clan Mackenzie, p. 44. 


Fraser country, and soon after he had succeeded to the 
Macleod estates he made a raid into the Aird, upon which 
occasion he carried away a great number of cattle, with 
which he proceeded to Skye, where he had them all 
slaughtered in Harlosh, at a place to this day called " Bun 
a Sgeamhaidh," or the place of offals. 

On another occasion, when his lands were invaded by 
the Macdonalds, Lords of the Isles, who carried away a 
great spoil, Macleod followed them, and, by a clever 
stratagem, came upon them unawares, close to Loch 
Sligachan, where he completely routed the raiders, and 
got possession of the stolen cattle, which were divided 
among his followers at a rock still called Craggan an 
Fheannaidh, or the Rock of the Skinning, to indicate where 
the cattle were afterwards slaughtered. 

William married a daughter of John Maclean, second of 
Lochbuy, Mull, and by her had issue — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Tormod, from whom a branch of the Clan called 
Clann Mae-Mhic Uilleam, the Macleods of Borline, and 
Clann Mac-Mhic-Alastair Ruaid/i, from whom the Mac- 
leods of Balliemore, St. Kilda, and several minor branch 
families were descended. 

3. George, who went to France, and settled in the 
Province of Lorraine, where many of his descendants 
acquired property, and where, we are informed, a number 
of them are living at the present day. 

William did not inherit the property long, he having 
died a few years after the death of his father, when he 
was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Known as " John Borb," and whose name is mentioned in 
a charter granted to his grandson, William Macleod, by 
James IV., in 1498. In this charter the grantee is described 
as Alexander Macleod, " the son and heir of William John 
Maklodesoun of Dunbeggane" — the son and heir of William, 
John Macleod's son of Dunvegan. John was a man of 


great strength and stature, undaunted courage and resolu- 
tion. He was among the Western chiefs who accompanied 
Donald of the Isles to the Battle of Harlaw in 141 1, and 
fought with him there in the main body of the Highland 
army. Hugh Macdonald, the Sleat " Seannachaidh," says 
that "Macdonald set his men in order as follows: — He 
commanded himself the main battle, where he kept most 
of the Islanders, and with the Macleods John of Harris 
and John of the Isles."* John married Margaret, a 
grand-daughter of the Earl of Douglas, by whom he 
had issue — 

1. William, his heir and successor. 

2. Tormod, progenitor of the Macleods of Meidle, extinct 
in the direct male line. From this Tormod descended also 
the Macleods of Drynoch and Balmeanach ; a branch known 
as " Sliochd Ian Mhic Leoid ;" and several others, of whom 
in their proper place. 

3; Margaret, who married Roderick Macleod, VII. of the 
Lewis, with issue. 

4. A daughter, who married, as his first wife, Lachlan 
Bronach Maclean, seventh of Duart, with issue, among 
others — John Garbh Maclean, first of the family of Coll. 

John Macleod died in the Island of Pabbay, in Harris, 
early in the reign of James II., when he was succeeded 
by his eldest son, 


Whose name appears, with Roderick of the Lewis, as 
witness to a charter granted by John, Earl of Ross, to his 
brother Hugh, dated the 28th of June, 1449. The two 
Chiefs are described as Gulielmus Macleod de Glenelg, 
et Rodericus Macleod de Lewes. He fought at the head 
of his followers, with this John, Earl of Ross, against 
the Earl's bastard son, Angus Og, and was killed in a 
naval engagement which took place between John and 
Angus at the Bloody Bay, in the Sound of Mull, near 

* Quoted in Mackenzie's History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles, 
p. 68, from the Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis. 


Tobermory, where Angus defeated his father, and in conse- 
quence managed to fully establish himself in possession 
of the leadership and territories of the Clan. The heir 
of Roderick Macleod of the Lewis was mortally wounded 
at this engagement, and he soon afterwards died, without 
issue, of his wounds, on his way north, at Dunvegan 

In a charter by John of Isla, Lord of the Isles, dated 
the 22nd of December, 1478, in favour of Alexandro Leslie 
de Wardes, among the witnesses, along with Colin, Earl of 
Argyle, Lachlan Maclean of Duart, and Hector Maclean 
of Lochbuy, are found the names of William Macleod 
of Glenelg and Harris, and of Torquil Macleod of Lewis ; 
and in both the charters William's name is first in order. 
This Chief was a renowned and brave warrior, and when 
killed at the battle of the Bloody Bay, in 1480, he was 
a very old man. 

In 1460, William Macleod of Harris accompanied Hugh 
of Sleat and "the young gentlemen of the Isles" in a 
raid to Orkney, described at length in Mackenzie's History 
of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles, pp. 151- 15 2. 
Troternish was at this date held of the Lords of the 
Isles by the Macleods of Harris, but in 1498 " King 
James IV. granted in heritage to Alexander M'Cloide, 
the son and heir of the deceased William John Maklodesone 
of Dunbeggane, two unciates of the lands of Trouternes, 
together with the bailiary of the whole lands of Trouternes, 
lying in Skye in the Lordship of the Isles, which had 
been forfeited by Lord John of the Isles, for service of 
ward, relief, and marriage, with the maintenance of a ship 
of twenty-six oars, and two ships of sixteen oars, both 
in peace and in war, for the use of the King or his 
lieutenants, reserving to the King the nests of falcons 
within the lands, and all the other usual services."f 

William married his cousin, a daughter of John Maclean, 

* Hugh Macdonald's Manuscript History of the Macdonalds. See also 
Gregory's Western Isles, p. 7 $• 

t Origines Parochiales Scotiae, p. 351. Vol. II., Part I. 


third of Lochbuy, by his wife, Elizabeth Mackay, daughter 
of Lord Reay, with issue — 

1. Alexander, his heir and successor, and 

2. A daughter, who married as his third wife, Lachlan 
Maclean, X. of Duart, with issue — Eachainn Mor, who 
carried on the succession ; and Ailein nan Sop. 

He married, secondly, Anne, daughter of Ranald Ban 
Allanson Macdonald of Moidart, with issue — 

3. A daughter, who married Rory Mor Mackenzie of 
Acha-Ghluineachan, who by her became the progenitor of 
the Mackenzies of Fairburn and Achilty. Anne Macdonald, 
widow of William Dubh Macleod, married, secondly, Hector 
Roy Mackenzie, first of Gairloch, and by him became the 
mother of John Glassich Mackenzie, who carried on the 
succession of that family. 

He was succeeded by his only son, 


Known among the Highlanders as " Alastair Crotach," or 
the Humpbacked. In 1498, he, along with Torquil 
Macleod of the Lewis, made his homage to James IV. 
at the Royal Castle of Campbelton, Kintyre, when the 
King granted him a charter as " Alexander Makloid, the 
son and heir of William John Maklodesoun of Dunbegane," 
of six unciates of Duirinish and other lands, forfeited by 
John, Lord of the Isles, of whom these lands were held 
by his father, William Macleod, for the same service as 
the lands of Troternish.* 

Another charter is quoted in Douglas's Baronage, dated 
15th of June in the same year, in the following terms: — 
Dilecto et fideli nostro Alexandro Macleod, filio et haeredi 
quondam Gulielmi, Johannis Macleod soun de Dunvegan, 
ierrarum de Ardmannach in Her age de Lewes] et cum 
omnibus minntis insulis ad dictum Ardma?inach pertinen. 
terrarum de Dunynys, tetrarum de Megynis, terrarum de 

* Register of the Great Seal, Book xiii., No. 305. 

t Ardmanach of Lewis is the older name for what we now call Harris. 
The date of this charter is also given in the Origines Parochiales Scotiae. 


Brakadale, terrcs de Lindall, terrarum de Trottemess, cum 
officio balivatus totarum et integrarum prcedict. terrarum de 
Trottemess in Skye, que fuerent quond. Gulielmi Macleod 
hcereditarie, etc., etc., "which lands," says Douglas, "were 
held of the Earls of Ross and Lords of the Isles before 
their forfeiture, but afterwards of the Crown ward, for 
holding in readiness one ship of 26 oars, and two of 16, 
for the King's service, when required, reserving also to 
the King and his successors the airies or nests of falcons 
within the same bounds." 

Hugh Fraser, Lord Lovat, obtained two decreets of 
appraising of the Barony of Glenelg against Alexander 
Macleod of Dunvegan, one of which was dated the 31st 
of March, 1532, and the other on the 13th February, 

1539, and his lordship was infeft on these appraisings in 
virtue of a charter under the Great Seal. On the 13th 
February, 1539, Alexander Macleod, on Lord Lovat 's 
resignation on the same date, obtained a charter of the 
Barony from James V. to Alexandro Macleod de Dun- 
vegane terrarum baronies de Glenelg cum molendinis, etc., 
in Inverness-shire. The year at that date ended in April, 
so that this is probably the charter referred to in the 
Origines Parochiales Scotiae as having been granted in 

1540. This grant for some reason or other was soon 
afterwards revoked. 

In 1504, Alexander Macleod of Harris was in constant 
communication and strict friendly alliance with the King 
for the good government of the Isles, and Macvicar, an 
envoy from Macleod to His Majesty, remained at Court 
arranging matters for three weeks at that period. When 
nearly all the Western Chiefs joined Donald Dubh of the 
Isles in his efforts to gain the Island lordship, powerfully 
aided, among others, by Torquil Macleod of the Lewis, 
who was, in 1506, solemnly forfeited in Parliament — he 
having refused to surrender and take his trial for high 
treason for his share in that rebellion, and of which he 
is described by Tytler as "the great head" — Macleod of 
Harris remained loyal to the Crown ; but when Sir 



Donald of Lochalsh led an open rebellion later on after 
the Battle of Flodden, assisted by the Western Chiefs, 
Macleod was one of the number, and we find him, along 
with Lachlan Maclean of Duart, who had shortly before 
possessed himself of the Royal Castle of Cairnburgh, seizing 
the Castle of Dunskaich in Sleat ; and, immediately after- 
wards, Sir Donald Gallda of Lochalsh was proclaimed 
Lord of the Isles. 

In 1 5 14, both Macleod of Harris and Macleod of Lewis 
were exempted from the remission and terms of surrender 
offered to the less prominent and violent followers of Sir 
Donald of Lochalsh. Alexander is again on record in 
15 15-16. In 15 17 he, with the Earl of Argyll and several 
other Chiefs, presented petitions to the Privy Council, 
making certain offers and suggestions in connection with 
the affairs of Sir Donald Gallda, the principal of which 
was to advocate a scheme for the suppression of Sir 
Donald and his rebellious followers, of whom Macleod 
himself was one of the most prominent only a few years 
before. Macleod of Harris and Maclean of Duart, finding 
Sir Donald of Lochalsh had disappointed them in every 
respect and had refused to follow their advice, became dis- 
gusted, and resolved to apprehend him and deliver him up 
to the Regent. Donald, however, discovered the plot and 
managed to escape, but they made two of his brothers 
prisoners, and offered to give them up to the Crown to 
palliate their own rebellious proceedings. This appears 
from petitions by Macleod and Maclean to the Regent 
and the Privy Council, and recorded in the Books of 
Council, xxix., folio 211, at the time. 

In the same year Macleod, with about a hundred others, 
received permission under the Privy Seal of King James 
V., to pass to any place within the Kingdom of Scotland 
during the period between the 6th of January and the 
15th of March. On the last-named day, in this year (15 17), 
he and his friends obtained a remission for the part they 
had taken in assisting Sir Donald of Lochalsh in certain 
treasonable proposals made by him to Alexander Lord 


Hume, on giving - hostages for their good and loyal 
behaviour in future ; but Macleod demanded, in addition, 
a heritable grant of the lands of Troternish. This was 
refused, but he was permitted to continue in these lands 
on the footing of a King's tenant as formerly, for a lease 
of eleven years, and afterwards during the will of the Regent 

In 1528 serious disturbances broke out in the Isles in 
consequence of certain titles granted by the Earl of Angus, 
who had possession of James V. in his youth, having been 
declared null and void by the King on gaining his freedom 
from the Earl ; and it was at the same time provided that 
in future no lands should be bestowed in the West High- 
lands and Isles without the advice of the Privy Council 
and of the Earl of Argyll, then the King's Lieutenant in 
the West. It was considered a suitable opportunity during 
this disturbance to open up an old feud which existed 
between the Macleods of Dunvegan and the Macdonalds 
of Sleat respecting the lands and Bailliary of Troternish, 
in the north end of the Isle of Skye. 

To understand this feud it is necessary to go back a little 
on what has been already stated. Gregory puts the facts 
very clearly, and we cannot perhaps do better than give 
the substance of what he writes : — By a charter under the 
Great Seal, in August, 1498, he says, the office of Bailliary, 
with two unoiates of the lands of Troternish, was confirmed 
to Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan, as formerly held by 
him under the Lord of the Isles, and then in the hands 
of the Crown, by the forfeiture of that nobleman. Two 
months later, another charter passed under the Great Seal, 
granting the same office and eight merks of the lands to 
Torquil Macleod of the Lewis, on precisely similar grounds. 
Both charters seemed to have been rendered null by the 
general revocation in 1498 or 1499. ^ n I 5°5 the eighty 
merk lands of Troternish were let by the Commissioners 
of the Crown, for three years, to Ranald Bane Allanson 
of Moydert. In 15 10, Archibald Dubh, Captain of the 
Macdonalds of Sleat, was acting as Baillie of Troternish, 


and a letter was directed, under the Privy Seal, to the 
tenants in his favour. Ranald Bane of Moydert was 
executed at Perth in 15 13 ; and Archibald Dubh was 
very soon afterwards killed by his nephews, the sons of 
his murdered brothers. Macleod of Dunvegan, who was 
principal Crown tenant of Troternish for some time before 
15 17,* had his lease continued from that year until the 
majority of James V. Under the government of the Earl 
of Angus, Dunvegan obtained also an heritable grant of 
the lands of Sleat and North Uist ; and thus became 
additionally exposed to the hostility of Macdonald of Sleat. 
The latter Chief sought the assistance of his uterine brother, 
John MacTorquil Macleod (son of Torquil Macleod of the 
Lewis, forfeited in 1 506, and nephew of Malcolm, the then 
Lord of Lewis), a man like himself without legal inheri- 
tance of any kind, to expel Macleod of Dunvegan and his 
clan from Troternish. In this they were successful, and 
also in preventing Macleod from putting in force his 
charter to the lands of Sleat and North Uist. Troternish 
was again occupied by the Macdonalds of Sleat ; and John 
MacTorquil of the Lewis taking advantage of the oppor- 
tunity afforded him by the death of his uncle, and the 
minority of the son of the latter, and aided by Donald 
Gruamach and his followers, seized the whole Barony of 
Lewis, which, with the command of the Siol Torquil, he 
held during his life.f 

On the nth of March, 1528, in consequence of these 
quarrels, summonses were issued at the instance of Alex- 
ander Crotach Macleod of Dunvegan, Alexander Macleod 
of Minginish (the Talisker of that day, and a cousin of 
the Chief), Donald Roy, Farquhar Liath, and Donald 
Glas, against John MacTorquil Macleod of Lewis, and 
Donald Gruamach, "Mac Dhomhnuill Ghallaich " of Sleat, 
for the spoliation and ejection of the said Macleods out of 
their possessions in Troternish. The Lords of Council 
and Session decerned the said John Macleod of Lewis 

* He received a tack of the whole of Troternish on the 8th of March, 15 16. 
t Highlands and Isles, pp. 130-131. 


and Donald Gruamach Macdonald of Sleat to pay the 
said Macleods of Skye for the "spulzie": — to the Laird of 
Dunvegan, "4 score merks and a 100 cows, price per 
head xxx. shillings ; to Talisker, 300 cows, 100 horses, 
price each 6 merks, 2000 sheep, ewes, and wedders at 4s. 
each, 2000 goats at 4s. ; to Donald Roy for his share of 
loss in Carbost, 200 cows, 80 horses, 500 sheep, and 500 
goats ; to Farquhar Liath, 100 cows, 60 horses, 200 sheep, 
and 400 goats; to John MacAngus, Borroraig, 120 cows, 
100 sheep, and 100 goats ; and to Donald Glas, 80 cows, 
100 sheep, 100 goats, and 40 horses," all of the same value 
as those decerned in favour of Macleod and Minginish. 

In 1 53 1, Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan was re- 
peatedly summoned before Parliament, but he refused 
to appear. In 1538, he and John Macleod of Lewis are 
found among nine of the Island Chiefs who had sent in 
offers of submission in connection with a new rebellion 
headed by Alexander Macdonald of Isla. They were 
promised protection against Argyll, who led a strong force 
against them, on condition that they should go to Edin- 
burgh and meet the King there, or anywhere else where 
he might be holding his Court, before the 20th of the 
following June, and remain there as long as they were 
required to do so. When they left Court for their homes 
they were to have protection for twenty-one days, that 
they might return to their respective residences without 
molestation from any quarter. Argyll, however, died 
during this year, and nothing was done. After various 
negotiations, the Western Chiefs were reinstated in their 

In May, 1539, Troternish was again invaded and laid 
waste by Donald Gorm of Sleat and his allies. Macleod 
of Lewis and Macleod of Dunvegan complained to the 
Privy Council of the conduct of the Macdonalds. Donald 
Gorm was killed shortly after in Kintail, and in 1541 several 
of his accomplices received remissions for their raid into 
Troternish and for other offences. Tradition has it that the 
allies followed the Macleods of Lewis to Skaebost, where a 


battle was fought between the parties at a place called Aeh- 
nafala (the field of blood). Several of the heads cut off in 
the fray were floated down by the River Snizort into the 
yair at the mouth of the river, in consequence of which it is 
still called Coire-nan-Ceann, or the yair of the heads. On 
this occasion Mackenzie of Kintail aided the Macleods 
against the Macdonalds of Sleat in Troternish, and hence 
the raid of the latter to Kintail, where their Chief was killed 
by an arrow shot from the walls while laying siege to 
Eileandonain Castle. 

In 1540 the King headed an expedition in person by sea 
to the Western Isles. After visiting Sutherland, and other 
parts of the Northern coasts of Scotland, he proceeded to 
the Lewis, where Roderick Macleod, with his leading kins- 
men, were compelled to join the Royal fleet and accompany 
the King in his further progress. On their arrival on the 
West Coast of Skye, Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan and 
several of the principal men of his Clan were seized, obliged 
to go on board, and to accompany His Majesty in the 
fleet. Nearly all the Western Chiefs were similarly treated, 
but several of them were soon after set at liberty, on their 
giving hostages for good behaviour in the future ; while 
some of the more turbulent were kept in confinement until 
after the death of James V. in 1542. In 1540, Alex- 
ander Macleod and twenty-three others received a remission 
from the Crown, for the assistance which they had given 
to David Hume, Sir Donald Gallda of Lochalsh, and their 
accomplices, who are described as "the King's rebels." In 
1 541 Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan resigned the lands 
of Easter and Wester Lyndale in the Lordship of Duirinish, 
and James V. granted them to William Macleod, Alex- 
ander's apparent heir, and to Agnes Fraser, his wife. On 
the 30th of November, 1542, Alexander obtained from King 
James V. a charter to himself in life-rent, and to William 
Macleod, his eldest son, in fee of the lands of Troternish and 
Sleat in Skye, and of the lands of North Uist, in which they 
were both infeft on the 8th of February, 1543. In the 
same year the same King granted to Alexander Macleod 


in life-rent, and to his son and apparent heir William, and 
his heirs male, with remainder to his second son Donald, 
and his heirs male, to his third son Tormod, to John 
Macleod in Minginish, to William Macleod's heirs whom- 
soever, and to the eldest of his female heirs without 
division, the lands of Troternish of the old extent of 80 
merks, and extending in the King's rental to 360 merks 
Scots for the yearly payment of ^"246 13s. 4.6* These 
lands then belonged to Donald Gormeson Macdonald of 
Sleat, who, after the return of the King from his tour to the 
West Highlands and Isles in 1540 did not appear before the 
Council and produce his titles as required of him. 

In 1545, Macleod of Dunvegan and Roderick Macleod of 
Lewis were members of the Council of Donald Dubh, who 
had, in that year been proclaimed Lord of the Isles for the 
second time. In the same year, after the death of Donald 
Dubh, the Macleods of Dunvegan disputed the title of the 
Macdonalds of Sleat to the Macleod lands. The Macleods 
of Dunvegan and of the Lewis, along with the Macleans and 
some of the lesser clans, opposed the claims of James Mac- 
donald of Isla, on the death of Donald Dubh, in 1545, to the 
Lordship of the Isles, and they soon afterwards effected a 
reconciliation with the Regent. In the same year Alex- 
ander Macleod of Dunvegan, with Roderick Macleod of the 
Lewis, and forty other persons, received permission, under 
the Privy Seal of Queen Mary, to go to the Regent and 
Lords of Council on business, during the period from the 
17th of August to the 1st of November. 

Alexander is repeatedly on record in connection with his 
lands of Glenelg, which, as appears from a charter referred 
to below, he granted, on his marriage, to his eldest son. 
In 1533, one-third of the two-thirds of the lands of Glenelg, 
which belonged in heritage to Alexander Macleod of Dun- 
vegan, were apprised to Hugh Lord Fraser of Lovat, for 
the sum of .£800 Scots recovered by him, and in defect of 
movable goods. In 1535 the other two-thirds of the same 
lands were apprised in favour of the same Hugh for the 

* Register of the Privy Seal, Vol. XVI., fol. 83. 


sum of 2400 merks Scots as part payment of £4085 
10s. 8d. contained in letters of the King, under reversion 
to Alexander Macleod, on payment of these sums and 
expenses within seven years. In 1536, King James V. 
granted to the same Hugh, Lord Fraser of Lovat, the 
dues of the lands of Glenelg, which were in the King's 
hands by reason of the non-entry of the heir of the deceased 
William Macleod. In 1540, the lands and barony of 
Glenelg, with the castle, mills, and fishings, were resigned 
by Lord Fraser, and were then granted by King James 
V. to Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan. In 1541 the same 
king granted to William Macleod, the son and apparent 
heir of Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan, and to Agnes 
Fraser, his wife, the lands of Arrocardich, Scallasaigbeg, 
Scallasaigmore, Knockfin, Pitalman, Easter Mill, Wester 
Mill, Lusaw, Nachtane, Wester Corrary, and Inchkennell, 
in the Lordship of Glenelg, which Alexander Macleod had 
resigned. In the same year the lands of Easter and Wester 
Lyndale were resigned in the same way, and granted to 
the same parties, as were also extensive lands in Bracadale, 
extending in all to ^20.* In 1547, Queen Mary granted 
Archibald, Earl of Argyll, the ward of all the lands that 
belonged to the deceased Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan. 

Macleod was a man of great force of character and activity 
in peace and war. He built one of the towers, still standing, 
of Dunvegan Castle, and repaired the old Cathedral Church 
of Rodel, in South Harris, where he was himself afterwards 
buried, on his death, at a very advanced age, in 1547. His 
tomb, which we recently examined, during a visit to the 
old Church of St. Clements, now called Rodel Cathedral, 
is in excellent preservation. It is elaborately sculptured 
with curious devices, and bears the following Latin inscrip- 
tion : — 

" Hie locutar Alexander ftlius Vilmi MacClod duo de. 
Dunvegan, anno dni. M.CCCCC.XXVIII." 

Mr. Seton, in a foot-note to St. Kilda, Past and Present, 
1878, p. 36, says, "Sir Walter Scott makes the date of 

* Origines Parochiales Scotiae, 


the inscription a hundred years older than it really is — 
viz., M.CCCC.XXVIIL, instead of M.CCCCC.XXVIII. In 
a heel-ball rubbing- which I took at Rodel last July five C's 
are quite apparent." When the writer visited the Cathedral 
in May, 1885, five C's were quite legible, without any 
markings, but the date on the tomb must in other respects 
be incorrect; for it is quite certain that Alexander lived 
until 1547. We are disposed to think that the second 
X in the inscription was originally an L, and that it 
should read M.CCCCC.XLVIII. Or it may be that the 
sculpture is of a later date, and that the figures were cut 
at a time when the actual year of Alexander's death was 
not accurately known to those who erected it. 

Alexander has always been charged with the cruel 
massacre of the Macdonalds in the Cave of Eigg, but 
it will be conclusively shown later on that the horrible deed 
did not take place for at least ten years after his death. 

He married a daughter of Allan Cameron, XII. of 
Lochiel, with issue — 

1. William, his heir and successor. 

2. Donald, who, after many difficuties and long negotia- 
tions with the guardians of his niece, William's only 
daughter, Mary, which will be fully detailed in the proper 
place, succeeded his brother in the family estates, and as 
head of the Clan. 

3. Tormod, who ultimately succeeded his brother Donald. 

4. A daughter, who married James, second son of 
Donald Macdonald, IV. of Sleat, with issue — John, pro- 
genitor of the Macdonalds of Kingsburgh, and another 
son, Donald. She married, secondly, Allan Macdonald, 
XV. of Clanranald, with issue, one of whom, Donald, 
carried on the representation of that family. Allan's ill- 
treatment of this lady was the cause of a fierce feud 
between his family and that of Dunvegan, which was 
carried on for many years, and of which an account will 
appear in its proper place. On the death of Clanranald, 
she married, as her third husband, another Macdonald 
Chief, of the family of Keppoch, also with issue. 


5. Another daughter, who married Hector Maclean, 
fourth of Lochbuy, with issue. 

Alexander Crotach Macleod died at an advanced age, 
in 1547, and was buried in the Cathedral Church of Rodel. 
In the arms upon his tomb, which are still to be seen, is 
a lymphad or galley, the ancient armorial bearings of his 
predecessors.* He was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Of Harris and Dunvegan. We have already seen that, in 
1 541, on the resignation of his father, certain lands were 
granted to William as heir-apparent upon the occasion of 
his marriage with Agnes Fraser, daughter of Hugh Fraser, 
fourth Lord of Lovat. He was duly served heir in special 
to his father ; and, in virtue of a precept from Chancery, 
was, on the 15th of May, 1548, infeft in the whole of the 
family estates, except Troternish, Sleat, and North Uist, 
in which three places he had been infeft during his father's 
life. The ancient hereditary estates of the family — Harris, 
Dunvegan, Minginish, Bracadale, Duirinish, Lyndale, and 
Glenelg — had descended to William under a destination to 
the heirs whomsoever of his father, making this extensive 
property a female fief, while at the same time he was a vassal 
of the Crown, under a different destination, which made them 
a male fief, for the lands of Troternish, Sleat, and North Uist. 

At this time, Troternish, the ownership of which was 
constantly in dispute, frequently changed hands, and though 
the legal rights to Sleat and North Uist were at that date 
undoubtedly vested in William Macleod, these lands were 
occupied by the Macdonalds. When William Macleod died 
in 1552-3 without male issue, the two properties which had 
been vested in him by different destinations became separ- 
ated ; that which was a female fief going to his only child, 

Mary Macleod, then an infant; the lands of Troternish, 
Sleat, and North Uist, being a male fief, going to his 
brother and heir male, Donald, second son of Alastair 
Crotach, who at the same time seized the other portions 

* Douglas's Baronage, p. 377. 


of the family estates to the prejudice of his niece, Mary 
Macleod, whose life and history will appear at considerable 
length as we proceed. In 1552-3, James, Earl of Arran, 
Regent of Scotland, made a gift to George, Earl of Huntly, 
of the ward, non-entry, relief, and marriage of this wealthy 
heiress, in the following terms, the only change which we 
make being to modernise the orthography : — 

" A letter made to George, Earl of Huntly, Lord Gordon 
and Badenoch, etc., Chancellor to our Sovereign Lady, his 
heirs, and assigns, one or more, the gift of the ward and 
non-entries, maills, ferms, profits, and duties of all and 
sundry the lands underwritten. That is to say, the lands 
of Harris, Dunvegan, Troternish ; the lands of Sleat and 
North Uist ; the lands of Duirinish, the lands of Bracadale, 
the lands of Minginish, the lands of Glenelg, and all other 
lands and annual rents which pertained to umquhile William 
Macleod of Dunvegan, with the castles, towers, fortalices, 
mills, multures, woods, fishings, 'annexis connexis,' both 
property and tenantry, with tenants, tenantries, service of 
free-tenants, advocation, donation, and gift of patronage of 
the kirks, benefices, and chaplainaries of all and sundry the 
fore-named lands and their pertinents, if any be, of all years 
and terms bygone, and that the same has been in our 
Sovereign Lady's hands or her predecessors thereof by 
reason of non-entries or ward since the decease of the said 
umquhile William, or any others his predecessor's last lawful 
possessors thereof, immediate tenants to our Sovereign 
Lady, or her predecessors of the same, and such-like of 
all years and terms to come ; aye and while the lawful 
entry of the righteous heir or heirs thereto, being of lawful 
age, with the relief thereof, when it shall happen, together 
with the marriage of [Mary] Macleod [daughter] and heir 
of the said umquhile William, and failing of [her], by 
decease, unmarried, the marriage of any other heir or heirs, 
male or female, that shall happen to succeed to the said 
umquhile William, or to any others his predecessors in 
the lands and heritage aforesaid, with all profits of the said 
marriage, with power, etc. At Edinburgh, the nth day 
of February the year of God 1552 years. — Per signaturam.' * 

The Queen Regent, among the other punishments which 
she inflicted on the Earl of Huntly for his negligence in 
the pursuit of John Moydertach of Clanranald, after the 
* Register of the Privy Seal, Vol. XXV., fol. 27. 


battle of Blar-nan-leine, compelled him to relinguish the 
foregoing grant of the wardship and marriage of Mary 
Macleod ; but Huntly attempted, while in disfavour in 
1555, to sell the grant to the Earl of Argyll, who agreed 
to pay him for it twelve hundred merks, five hundred 
merks of which were to be paid at the following 
Michaelmas, within Saint Anthony's Aisle in the Kirk 
of St. Giles, Edinburgh, and the remainder on Saint 
Andrew's day, good security having to be provided 
in the meantime for the due implement of the bargain. 
The agreement was witnessed by Gilbert, Earl of Cassillis ; 
John, Earl of Sutherland, and several others, and subscribed 
by the Earls of Argyll and Huntly.* The transaction was, 
however, never carried into effect, for the Queen Regent, 
who disapproved of the support given by Argyll to the 
Protestants at that time, compelled Huntly to divest himself 
of his interest in the heiress of Macleod by a special deed 
of assignation in favour of the Queen Regent herself. She 
afterwards' bestowed the coveted prize upon James Mac- 
donald of Isla, who, though he was married to Agnes 
Campbell, the Earl of Argyll's sister, took part against his 
brother-in-law for the purpose of securing possession of 
the wealthy heiress of Dunvegan. The document handing 
over the young lady's rights to the Chief of Isla is dated 
the 27th day of June, 1559, and declares that the assigna- 
tion is made to James Macdonald of Dunyveg and the 
Glens, his heirs and assigns, " and that for certane greit 
soumes of money" paid and delivered by him for the valu- 
able favour conferred upon him. 

William Macleod, who died in 1552-53 without male 
issue, was succeeded, as Chief of his Clan, and as the 
nominal proprietor of the lands of Troternish, Sleat, and 
North Uist, by his next brother, 

Who at once seized, apparently with the full approval of 

* General Register of Deeds, Vol. I., p. 230. Recorded on the 18th of 
November, 1555. 


the Clan, all the lands of Dunvegan, Glenelg, and others 
which legally belonged to his niece, Mary Macleod. He 
was not, however, permitted to remain long in possession, 
for in 1557 he was assassinated at Kingsburgh by John 
Og Macleod of Minginish. His murderer, John Og, failing 
Donald's only remaining brother, Tormod, would himself 
succeed as next heir to the Chiefship and the family estates 
legally vested in Donald. To clear all obstacles out of the 
way of this succession was undoubtedly the object of the 
assassin ; for at the same time that he killed Donald he tried 
by every means in his power to get at Tormod, who was 
then attending the University of Glasgow, with the view of 
assassinating him also, and clearing the way for his own 
succession to the Chiefship and estates of the Clan. It 
would appear that John Og was able to keep possession 
of the estates of the heiress and of Dunvegan Castle until his 
death. On the death of Donald, his next surviving brother, 


Succeeded him in all his legal rights, and, as head of the 
Clan, but he appears to have been absent from the country 
for two years after — until 1559. 

The traditional account of the history of this period 
of family feuds and assassinations, from which we glean the 
following narrative, has been supplied by one of the present 
representatives of " Sliochd Ian Mhic Leoid " the designa- 
tion of the descendants of Tormod, one of the two sons of 
John Borb, 6th Chief of Macleod, by his wife Margaret, 
grand-daughter of the Earl of Douglas. This branch of the 
family long contended that Tormod, the second son of 
John Borb, VI. of Macleod, their ancestor, was the elder 
of the two brothers, who are said to have been twins. 
During his lifetime they say Tormod was treated as the 
first-born, and it is true that the claims of his race were 
kept up without intermission, and were, according to their 
account, at length asserted for a short time with success. 

This Tormod, during his father's lifetime, joined Alexander, 
Lord of the Isles, and fought under him against James I. 


at the battle fought in Lochaber in 1429, where, according 
to family tradition, Tormod commanded the Clan Macleod, 
and was killed. He had married a daughter of Chisholm of 
Strathglass, who, on hearing of his death, gave birth to a 
seven-months' child, named JOHN MACLEOD, the first of 
this family, afterwards known as the " Sliochd Ian Mhic 
Leoid." Young John was taken to Roderick Macleod of 
Lewis, who had married his father's sister, Margaret, of 
Dunvegan. Roderick reared the boy, and afterwards gave 
him Waternish in Skye, for his maintenance, and his own 
niece in marriage. By this lady he had issue — Tormod 
Macleod of Waternish, who married a daughter of Fraser of 
Glenelg, with issue — JOHN MACLEOD of Waternish, called 
"Ian a Chuail Bhain," or "Fair-haired John." 

On the death of William, 9th Chief of Macleod, in 1552-3, 
and in the absence from the island of his two brothers — 
Donald and Tormod — it became the duty of the next of kin 
to act as chief mourner, and to preside at the funeral-feast. 
This position was unanimously accorded by the assembled 
Clan to "Ian a Chuail Bhain," who, it is maintained by his 
descendants, was at the same time hailed as the rightful 
Chief. About this period, Donald, the second brother of 
William, the 9th Chief, landed in Skye from Ireland, and, 
having heard of his brother William's death, and of the 
assumption of the Chiefship by his cousin John Macleod — 
" Ian a Chuail Bhain " — he endeavoured to assert his own 
claim to that dignity. The Macleods, on hearing of 
Donald's arrival and of his claim to the Chiefship, held a 
meeting at Lyndale to consider the rights of the several 
claimants, including that of the Campbells, who had 
secured the guardianship of Mary, only child of the 9th 
Chief. No voice, it is said, was raised at the Lyndale 
meeting in favour of Donald or Tormod, the brothers of 
the late Chief, while all present rejected with scorn the 
claim of the Campbells, who claimed the right of succession 
for a female. The result of the meeting was that, for the 
second time, " Ian a Chuail Bhain," who was then advanced 
in years, was declared Chief of the Clan. 


He married Sheila, daughter of Archibald Macdonald, of 
Knock, in Sleat, with issue, two sons, one of whom, " Ian 
Dubh," assassinated his Chief Donald, X. of Macleod, 
all the members of his own family, and ultimately waded 
to the temporary possession of Dunvegan Castle and the 
estates through rivers of his kindred's blood. 

Ian Dubh is described as a man of evil deeds, and as 
being dreaded and hated by all who knew him ; for there 
were no means, however atrocious, which he would scruple 
to use in order to carry his vile purposes, once decided 
upon, into effect. 

While the meeting at which his father, " Ian a Chuail 
Bhain," was elected Chief, was being held at Lyndale, Ian 
Dubh, with six of his followers, went secretly to Kjngs- 
burgh, where Donald, the second son of Alastair Crotach, 
and eldest surviving brother of the last Chief, was 
encamped, awaiting the decision of the Clan, not wishing 
to put himself in the power of Ian a Chuail Bhain and 
his family. On his arrival in the district, Ian Dubh sent 
a message to Donald, falsely telling him that he had been 
declared Chief, and that he, Ian Dubh himself, in order 
to show his goodwill towards him, had come to be the 
first to communicate the good news, adding that he must 
know that he, John, had not been a favourite either with 
his own father or his elder brother ; that he could not 
expect any good from their success ; and that he would 
have gone in person to wait upon Donald, but for fear 
of his followers. He therefore proposed by his messenger 
that Donald should visit him, accompanied by six men, 
being the same number as he himself had along with him, 
and that they would then together concert the necessary 
measures on behalf of Donald, whose affairs, he was careful 
to urge, required secrecy and despatch. Donald foolishly 
believed all that Ian Dubh's messenger had said, and went 
to meet Ian at midnight, when, as pre-arranged, he and 
his followers selected each one of Donald's companions, 
shot an arrow at his man, and then despatched him with 
a thrust of his sword. 


Having - thus accomplished the murder of Donald and 
his six companions, Ian Dubh returned to Lyndale, and 
was present at his own father's installation, which took 
place without any news having been received of the 
dreadful deed which had just been committed at Kings- 
burgh. But when Ian a Chuail Bhain heard of the death 
of his relative and competitor, Donald Macleod, and was 
satisfied that Ian Dubh was the author of it, he immediately 
ordered him to be placed under arrest. Ian Dubh, how- 
ever, realising what was in store for him, made his escape 
before those entrusted with his father's commands could 
carry them into effect, and joined his uncle, the notorious 
Uistean MacGhilleaspuig Chleirich, under whose protection 
he remained until the death of his father a few months 
after Donald's assassination at Kingsburgh. 

On the death of Ian a Chuail Bhain, his grandson, Tormod 
Macleod, by the eldest son, who had died some time before, 
was too young to assume the Chiefship of the Clan, and a 
tutor or guardian fell to be appointed. This was done 
at Rodel by the assembled clansmen on the day of Ian 
a Chuail Bhain's funeral, when the choice of all the 
members of the Clan present fell on Donald Breac, the 
third son of the deceased Ian a Chuail Bhain, to the 
exclusion of Ian Dubh, who, as the eldest surviving son, 
would naturally be chosen to this important and responsible 
office were he not so universally detested by all his father's 
followers. Ian Dubh, however, who was at this time living 
in a stronghold belonging to Uistean MacGhilleaspuig 
Chleirich, in the absence of the Clan at his father's funeral, 
collected a body of desperate men like himself, surprised, 
and took the Castle of Dunvegan, after putting the warders 
and all who opposed him therein to death, and taking 
prisoner the widow of his own eldest brother, Tormod, 
who predeceased his father. 

When Donald Breac and his three nephews, Tormod's 
sons, returned to Dunvegan after the funeral of Ian a 
Chuail Bhain, the gates of the Castle, after they had passed 
in, were closed behind them, and their followers were 


refused admittance. Donald Breac was first made acquainted 
with the situation by the appearance before him of his 
brother, Ian Dubh, in full armour, and surrounded by- 
several armed strangers. The two brothers rushed furiously 
at each other, when Donald was slain, and Tormod's three 
innocent boys, the eldest of whom was Ian a Chuail Bhain's 
direct heir, were put to death in cold blood by Ian Dubh's 
own hands. 

Ian Dubh now determined to exact by force the obedi- 
ence which he could not command by the attachment of 
the people. He seized the wives and children of several of 
the leading men of the Clan as hostages for their husbands' 
behaviour, and for a time confined all his own brothers in 
Dunvegan Castle, only releasing them on swearing allegi- 
ance to himself as their Chief. 

The distrust and suspicion created in the minds of the 
Clan gave rise to the hopes and pretensions of the 
Campbells of Argyle, which had for a time been laid aside ; 
and this was considered a favourable opportunity for making 
an attempt to secure the large possessions of the Macleods, 
which they claimed as the guardians of Mary, only child of 
William, the 9th Chief. With this view a large force of 
Campbells proceeded to the Isle of Skye, and landed at 
Roag, where they were well received by MacSween, who 
was closely related to their leader. A message was sent to 
Ian Dubh at Dunvegan Castle, explaining the cause of their 
visit, and offering him handsome terms if he would resign 
his usurped authority and position without any dispute, but 
threatening dire vengeance if he should continue to resist. 
Ian Dubh at once agreed to meet the Campbells and to 
enter into negotiation with them at the Church of Kilmuir, 
situated between Roag, where they landed, and Dunvegan. 
Here it was arranged that the Castle of Pabbay, in Harris, 
should be at once given up to the Campbells and that the 
rest of the estates should be handed over to them on the 
death of Ian Dubh. When all was thus settled, Ian Dubh 
invited eleven of the chief men from Argyleshire to a feast 
at Dunvegan Castle, whither they went, accompanied by 



only a few followers. At table each Campbell was placed 
between two of Ian Dubh's friends. After the feast was 
over a cup full of blood instead of wine was ominously 
placed before each of the strangers, who at the same 
moment received his death-thrust from the dirk of one 
of the Macleods who sat next to him, Ian Dubh stabbing 
the leader to the heart with his own hands. A few of 
the servants of the murdered Campbells escaped, and 
gave the alarm to their friends, who, being panic-struck, 
made for their galleys, and sailed from Skye, never again 
to return to claim the ancient inheritance of the Macleods. 
Shortly after this, in 1559, Tormod Macleod, the third 
son of Alastair Crotach, VIII. of Macleod, escaped from 
the French, who had a few years before taken him 
captive, and returned to Scotland, and, assisted by the 
Earl of Argyll, Maclean of Duart, and the Frasers of 
Lovat, proceeded to Skye to claim the Chiefship as the 
rightful heir and legal successor of his late brother and 
father. None of the Clan having come to the assistance 
of Ian Dubh, he was obliged to shut himself up in 
Dunvegan Castle, depending solely on the aid he should 
receive from Uistean MacGhilleaspuig Chleirich, but before 
help from that quarter could arrive, Torquil MacSween, 
the warder, agreed to give up the castle to Tormod 
Macleod. MacSween secured all the gates and passages 
except one which led to the landing-rock and communi- 
cated directly with Ian Dubh's sleeping apartment. This 
passage was guarded by Ian's four foster-brothers, who 
could neither be bribed by Tormod Macleod nor displaced 
by Torquil MacSween. The noise made by Tormod and 
his followers in entering the castle alarmed Ian Dubh's 
guards, who at once roused their master from his sleep, 
and managed to secure his escape to his galley, which 
was moored close at hand below the castle walls. He 
immediately set sail for Pabbay, in Harris, where, on his 
arrival, he was refused admittance to the castle. Fully 
alive to his danger, he then sailed for Ireland, where he 
lived for some time a wretched wanderer, but was at 


length seized by order of one of the O'Donell Chiefs, 
and put to death by having a red-hot iron forced through 
his bowels. He was married, but died without issue. 

Ian a Chuail Bhain had, in addition to Tormod and 
Ian Dubh already mentioned, a family of ten sons and 
four daughters. All the surviving sons and their families 
are said to have been massacred by order of Tormod 
Macleod, XI. of Macleod, when he succeeded to the 
Chiefship, except one boy, Tormod, whose escape, through 
the affection of his foster-father, shall be described under 
the families of " Sliochd Ian Mhic Leoid," of which he 
became the sole connecting link with the present day.* 

The preceding account, made up from manuscripts in 
possession of Ian Dubh's descendants, is corroborated by 
authentic documents. The "John Og" of Minginish and 
the "Ian Dubh" of Meidle seem to be one and the same 
person, and his family appear for a time to have possessed 
both Minginish and Waternish — the former as the paternal 
inheritance of his ancestors, and the latter through the 
marriage of Ian Dubh's grandfather, Tormod, to the niece 
of Roderick Macleod of Lewis, who gave him these lands 
in Skye for his maintenance after he had been brought up 
by Roderick in the Lewis and married his relative, as already 
described. That John Og of Minginish, otherwise " Ian 
Dubh," assassinated his cousin and Chief, with so many of 
his other relations, and obtained possession of and con- 
tinued for some time to reside in Dunvegan Castle, is 
placed beyond question by the following State document, 
directed to Hugh Rose, "the Black Baron" of Kilravock, 
by the Queen Regent, in 1557 : - 

" Trusty friend, after hearty commendation. Forasmuch 
as it is not unknown to you how John Og Macleod of 
Minginish in the month of March last bypast cruelly 
murdered and slew umquhile [Donald] Macleod brother 
german to umquhile William Macleod of Dunvegan, and 
took the house of Dunvegan and witholds the same in 
contrary to our dearest daughter's authority. For repressing 

* From a manuscript in possession of Donald Grant Macleod, one of the 
representatives of this family, and Judge of Maulmain, in Burmah. 


the which attempt and recovering of the said house we 
intend, God willing, to send certain men-of-war by sea, with 
an army by land, who will be carried in boats and galleys 
which we have ordained to be prepared to that effect, how 
soon he may goodly get the same prepared. Wherefore, 
we pray you effectuously that ye, with your kin, friends, and 
all that will do for you, fail not to be in readiness upon six 
hours' warning, with forty days' victual, to pass forward at 
such day and place as ye shall be advertised shortly here- 
after, as ye favour the service of our dearest daughter, and 
will do us acceptable pleasure in that behalf. At Edinburgh 
the 1 2th day of May, 1557. (Signed) Marie R."* 

It will be remembered that in 1542, only fifteen years 
before this date, Alexander, VIII. of Macleod, obtained a 
charter from James V. to himself in life-rent, to William 
his eldest son, to Donald his second son, to Tormod his 
third son and their heirs male, in fee, of the lands of 
Troternish, and failing them to John Macleod of Minginish 
[see pp. 22-23]. This last-named John Macleod was 
apparently John Og's father, so that in the event of the 
latter having succeeded in murdering his uncle Tormod, 
he would then have legally succeeded to these lands and 
to the Chiefship of the Clan. 

Gregory so well describes the relative position of parties 
at this period that we shall quote him at length, and 
afterwards give the documents on which he founds his 
remarks, but does not print. In this reign (Queen Mary's), 
the Earl of Argyll, he says, contrived to extend his influence 
to the North Isles, and over two of the most powerful 
tribes in that quarter, the Clan-Donald of Skye and North 
Uist, and the Clan-Leod of Harris, Dunvegan and Glenelg. 
The mode in which this object was attained is so 
characteristic of the policy of the house of Argyll that 
it seems to merit some detail in reference to the rapid 
increase of the power of that noble family. 

William Macleod of Harris, chief of the " Siol Tormoid," 
was the undisputed proprietor of the estates of Harris, 
Dunvegan, and Glenelg, under a particular destination, 
which, on his death in 1553, caused these extensive 

* The Family of Rose of Kilravock, pp. 122- 123. 


possessions to descend to his daughter and heiress, Mary. 
He was, at the same time, nominal proprietor of Sleat, 
Troternish, and North Uist, the possession of which, we 
have seen, the Siol Tormoid had unsuccessfully disputed 
with the Clan-Donald. On the death of William Macleod, 
his claim to the last-mentioned was inherited by his 
brother and heir male, Donald. The Siol Tormoid was 
now placed in a position which, though quite intelligible 
on the principle of feudal law, was totally opposed to 
the Celtic customs that still prevailed, to a great extent, 
throughout the Highlands and Isles. A female and a 
minor was the legal proprietrix of the ancient possessions 
of the tribe, which, by her marriage, might be conveyed 
to another and a hostile family ; while her uncle, the 
natural leader of the Clan, according to ancient custom, 
was left without any means to keep up the dignity of a 
Chief, or to support the Clan against its enemies. His 
claims on the estates possessed by the Clan-Donald were 
worse than nugatory, as they threatened to involve him 
in a feud with that powerful and warlike tribe, in case 
he should take any steps to enforce them. In these 
circumstances, Donald Macleod seized, apparently with the 
consent of his Clan, the estates which legally belonged 
to his niece, the heiress ; and thus, in practice, the feudal 
law was made to yield to ancient and inveterate custom. 
Donald did not enjoy these estates long, being murdered 
in Troternish by a relation of his own, John Og Macleod, 
who, failing Tormod, the only remaining brother of Donald, 
would have become the heir male of the family. John 
Og next plotted the destruction of Tormod, who was at 
the time a student in the University of Glasgow; but in 
this he was foiled by the interposition of the Earl of 
Argyll. He contrived, notwithstanding, to retain posses- 
sion of the estates of the heiress, and of the command of 
the Clan, till his death in 1559. In the meantime, the 
feudal rights of the wardship, relief, and marriage of the 
heiress of Harris, were eagerly sought after by various 
powerful individuals. They were first bestowed, in .1553, 


by the Regent Arran, upon the Earl of Huntly, who 
afterwards proposed to sell his interest in the heiress and 
her property, to the fourth Earl of Argyll, for a large 
sum of money. But Huntly, having fallen into disgrace 
with the Queen Regent, was compelled to relinquish his 
bargain with Argyll, and to resign into her hands the 
claims he had acquired from Arran to the guardianship 
of Mary Macleod. The Regent, while endeavouring in 
1559, to secure the assistance of James Macdonald of 
Isla against the Protestants, of whom the fifth Earl of 
Argyll was one of the principal leaders, committed the 
feudal guardianship of the young heiress to that Chief. 
In 1562, we find that the person of the young lady had, 
by some accident, come into the custody of Kenneth 
Mackenzie of Kintail, who, having refused to give her up 
to her lawful guardian, James Macdonald, was at length 
compelled to deliver her to Queen Mary, with whom she 
remained for some years as a maid of honour, being no 
doubt one of the Queen's celebrated Maries. Macdonald 
seems now to have made over his claims to Argyll, who 
finally exercised the right of guardianship, by giving Mary 
Macleod in marriage to his kinsman, Duncan Campbell, 
younger of Auchinbreck. But previous to the marriage, 
the Earl, sensible of the difficulty which would attend 
any attempt to put an individual of his Clan in possession 
of the territories of the Siol Tormoid, even although he 
had the law in his favour, entered into the following 
arrangements, the most judicious that could be devised 
for making the most of his position at the time. His 
first agreement was with Tormod Macleod, who had been 
for some years in actual possession of Harris and the 
other estates of the heiress, and had already given to the 
Earl (for the good offices of the latter) his bond of 
service for himself and his Clan. It was arranged that 
Macleod should renounce, in favour of Argyll, all claim 
he had to the lands of Clan-Donald ; that he should like- 
wise pay the sum of one thousand merks towards the 
dowry of his niece. Argyll, on the other hand, engaged 


to procure from Mary Macleod, and any husband she 
might marry, a complete surrender of her title to the 
lands of Harris, Dunvegan, and Glenelg ; and to obtain 
for Tormod a Crown charter of that estate. His next 
agreement was with Donald Gorm Macdonald of Sleat ; 
and in consideration of that Chief paying five hundred 
merles towards the dowry of Mary Macleod, and of his 
likewise giving his bond of service for himself and his 
Clan to Argyll, the latter engaged to make him his vassal 
in the lands of Troternish, Sleat, and North Uist, to which 
the Macdonalds had at present no legal claim. Argyll's 
agreement with Tormod Macleod was actually carried into 
effect ; but circumstances seemed to have interfered with 
the final completion of his contract with Macdonald. It 
is evident, however, that, although in the case of the Siol 
Tormoid at this time, ancient custom prevented the feudal 
law of succession from being carried into effect in its full 
extent, yet the Earl of Argyll did not surrender his legal 
claims without indemnifying himself amply for the 

The following is the contract entered into, in 1559-60, 
between the Earl of Argyll and Norman Macleod, with 
consent of his guardian and sister's husband, Hector 
Maclean of Duart, and mentioned by Gregory : — 

"At Dunoon, the first day of March, the year of God 
1 559 years: It is accorded, agreed, and finally accorded, 
betwixt a noble and potent Lord Archibald, Earl of Argyll, 
on the one part, and Tormod Macleod, son to [umquhile] 
Alexander Macleod of the Harris, as principal in this 
contract, and Hector Maclean of Duart as principal favourer 
and tutor to the said Tormod, on the other part, in manner, 
form, and effect, as after follows, that is to say : — Forasmuch 
as the said Earl has redeemed and obtained the said Tormod 
out of the captivity and enemies' hands, wherein he was 
with the Frenchmen ; yet the said Earl obliges him to 
fortify, help, and set forward the said Tormod to win and 
enjoy the heritage and rooms that pertained to his father 
and brother of Harris, with the pertinents Tewedes [?] and 
Glenelg, and all other bounds whereof they have old title 

* Western Highlands and Isles, pp. 203-207. 


of heritage in special, and shall be a good lord and master 
to the said Tormod in all his actions and just causes ; and 
to the effect that the same may come the better forward, 
has delivered the said Tormod to the said Hector to be 
helped and fortified ; for the which cause the said Tormod, 
by these presents, gives and grants his bond of manrent, 
his faithful and true service, with all his kin and friends, 
and his heirs and successors of the Harris, to the said Earl, 
his heirs and successors, of Argyll, perpetually ; also shall 
not marry but with the advice of the said Earl, whose 
counsel he shall take in marrying a wife ; and being estab- 
lished in his rooms of the Harris and Tewedess, shall pay 
the value or estimation of the avail of the ward and marriage 
of the Harris and the labours and travels of the said Earl 
to him and to the said Hector, to be divided as the said 
Earl thinks cause betwixt him and the said Hector Maclean ; 
and in case the said Tormod fail in any part of the premises, 
he is content to be counted unworthy to enjoy the room of 
a gentleman for ever in Scotland, but to be perpetually 
defamed ; and also the said Hector to be perpetual enemy 
to him, dissolving the bond of kindness that is betwixt their 
houses, in all times to come ; and also the said Tormod not 
to pass to the North Isles, but with the advice and licence 
of the said Earl at his passage there ; and in case his friends 
come to him, that they ratify and approve this bond, before 
his departing to the North."* 

The reference to Tormod having been a captive in the 
hands of Frenchmen would be explained by the probability 
of his having been captured by some of the French Auxili- 
aries, who, during the Regency of Queen Mary of Guise, 
were employed in maintaining the internal peace of the 
Kingdom of Scotland. 

On the 2 ist May, 1562, at Edinburgh, in presence of 
the Queen and the Lords of the Privy Council, appeared 
Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail, " who being commanded 
by letters and also by writings direct from the Queen's 
Grace, to exhibit, produce, and present before Her High- 
ness, Mary Macleod, daughter and heir of umquhile William 

*This contract is given at length at pp. 91-92 of the Collectanea de Rebus 
Albanicis, and is taken by the editor of that valuable collection from the 
original document in the Dunvegan Charter Chest, by permission of the late 
John Norman Macleod of Macleod. 


Macleod of Harris, conform to the letters and charges direct 
thereupon ; and declared that James Macdonald had an 
action depending before the Lords of Session against him 
for deliverance of the said Mary to him, and that therefore 
he could not goodly deliver her ; notwithstanding the which 
the Queen's Majesty ordained the said Kenneth to deliver 
the said Mary to Her Highness, and granted that he should 
incur no skaith therethrough at the hands of the said James, 
or any others, notwithstanding any title or action they had 
against him therefor. And the said Kenneth, knowing his 
dutiful obedience to the Queen's Majesty, and that the 
Queen had ordained him to deliver the said Mary to Her 
Highness in manner foresaid, he on no wise could disobey ; 
and therefore delivered the said Mary to the Queen's 
Majesty, conform to her ordinance foresaid."* For a few 
years after this, Mary Macleod was a member of the 
Queen's household. This is conclusively proved by several 
entries in the accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of 
Scotland during 1562, and again in 1564-5. 

The following contract, between Argyll and Tormod 
Macleod, is apparently supplementary to the one dated 
in 1559-60, already quoted: — 

"At Edinburgh, the twenty-fourth day of February, the 
year of God, 1566, it is appointed, agreed, and finally 
ended, betwixt one right noble and mighty Lord Archibald, 
Earl of Argyll, for himself, and having the right of the 
ward and relief of all lands which pertained to umquhile 
William Macleod of Dunvegan, with the marriage of Mary 
Macleod, only daughter and apparent heir to the said 
umquhile William, and also accepting the burden upon him 
for her on that one part : And Tormod Macleod, brother 
and heir male and of tailzie to the said umquhile William, 
and also heir male to umquhile Alexander Macleod of 
Dunvegan, his father, of the lands of Troternish, Sleat, and 
North Uist, on the other part, in manner following, that 
is to say : — Forasmuch as the said noble Lord, having the 
right to the gift of the ward, relief, and marriage foresaid, 
shall do his diligence to obtain the said Mary Macleod to 
be heritably infeft as heir to the said umquhile William, her 
father, and failing thereof, as heir to the said umquhile 
* Register of the Privy Council. 


Alexander, his goodsir, of all lands untailzied contained in 
the charter made to the said umquhile Alexander by our 
Sovereign Lord that last deceased, viz. : — the Lands of 
Glenelg, Minginish, Bracadale, Lyndale, Duirinish, Harris, 
and Hirta [St. Kilda], if the old charter and seisins may be 
had, and failing thereof shall do diligence to get to the 
said Mary, of our said Sovereign and her successors, a new 
infeftment, with charter and precept of seisin, with supplying 
of all faults, of lands untailzied specified in the charter 
granted by our said Sovereign's umquhile father to the 
said umquhile Alexander of before, and the said Mary being 
heritably infeft therein [he] shall cause her, with consent of 
her curators or spouse, if she any shall happen to have for 
the time, infeft again in the most sure manner the said 
Tormod and his heirs heritable in the said whole untailzied 
lands to be holden of our said Sovereign and her successors 
either by resignation or confirmation, as he shall think most 
expedient and please to devise after the form of her said 
infeftment ; and also the said noble Lord, as having the 
right to the ward, relief, and marriage foresaid, shall provide 
the said Mary Macleod of a husband and party agreeable 
to her estate ; and so being married, [he] shall cause her, 
with consent and assent of her said future spouse, ratify and 
approve the said infeftment to be given to the said Tormod 
of the said untailzied lands ; and also the said Earl shall at 
the time of the said ratification discharge the said Tormod 
and his heirs of all maills, ferms, profits, and duties of the 
said untailzied lands of all years and terms byegone 
intromitted with by him during the time of the said 
ward ; which infeftment being past and ended upon the 
said Earl's expenses, in manner foresaid, the said Tormod 
shall incontinent thereafter make himself to be heritably 
infeft in all lands and annual rents contained in the charter 
tailzie of his said umquhile father as heir of tailzie to him ; 
and immediately thereafter shall infeft the said noble Lord 
and his heirs therein heritably to be holden of our said 
Sovereign and her successors either by resignation or con- 
firmation at the option of the said Earl as freely as the 
said umquhile Alexander, his father, held the same of 
before, the said Earl obtaining our Sovereign or her 
successor's consent thereto ; and also the said Tormod shall 
content, pay, and deliver to the said Mary and her said 
spouse future, the sum of one thousand pounds money 
in contentation of his part of the tocher ; and, further, the 
said Tormod shall renounce all right, kindness, title, interest 


and possession, together with the by-run profits, maills and 
duties which he had, has, or may claim to the said tailzied 
lands or bailliary thereof, for him, his heirs, and successors 
forever, and shall pretend no right thereto in times coming 
for any cause by-gone ; and also the said Tormod, being 
infeft as said is, shall deliver to the said noble Lord all 
old evidents which he has or may have of any of the lands 
tailzied above written made to any of his predecessors of 
before." [Then follows the usual clause agreeing to the 
registration of the deed, etc.] 

By another contract, dated the third day of March, 
1566-7, Archibald, fifth Earl of Argyll, undertakes to 
obtain for Donald Macdonald of Sleat heritable infeftment 
in the lands of Troternish, Sleat, and North Uist, to be 
held of Argyll himself on payment by Macdonald to him 
of one thousand merks Scots, and five hundred merks 
towards the dowry of Mary Macleod, and on his giving 
in addition his bond of manrent to Argyll himself "in 
the best and straitest form that the said Earl will devise." 
Macdonald was also " to fortify and assist " Tormod 
Macleod "in his causes and defenses lawful and honest 
in time coming when he shall be required thereto by the 
said noble Earl."* 

On the 15th of September, 1572, James VI. granted 
to Mary Macleod a charter of all the paternal estates of 
the family, including part of the lands and the bailliary 
of Troternish, f but the inclusion of the latter is supposed 
to be a clerical error. 

In 1573, the heiress of Macleod married Duncan 
Campbell of Castleswynie, younger of Auchinbreck, a 
kinsman of the Earl of Argyll, when it was agreed to 
convey all the lands described in the charter of 1572 
to her uncle, Tormod Macleod, by a Charter of Sale, 
as appears from an unsigned and undated Charter of 
Sale preserved in the Dunvegan Charter Chest, and 
quoted in the Transactions of the Iona Club. This 
arrangement was found to be surrounded by several 

* General Register of Deeds, Vol. IX., fol. 20. Recorded 5th of March, 

f Register of the Great Seal, Vol. 33, No. 9. 


legal difficulties and it was departed from. Tormod was, 
however, finally infeft and seized in all the lands named 
in the Royal Charter of 1572, in favour of his niece, upon 
a Charter of Resignation under the Great Seal, dated 4th 
of February, 1579-80, proceeding upon the resignation of 
Mary Macleod, with consent of her husband, Duncan 
Campbell, heir-apparent of Auchinbreck, in favour of her 
uncle, Tormod Macleod, who was duly infeft in the whole 
family estates in the month of July, 1580.* 

It was in 1577, towards the close of Tormod's rule, that 
the massacre of the Macdonalds of Eigg, the most cold- 
blooded and atrocious recorded in Highland history, 
was perpetrated by the Macleods. Dr. Skene prints a 
paper in the appendix to his third volume of Celtic 
Scotland, by which the date of this massacre has been 
positively fixed. This document is entitled a " Description 
of the Isles of Scotland," and Skene shows that it must 
have been written between the years 1577 and 1595. 
The former year is mentioned in it in connection with 
the slaughter of the people of Eigg by the Macleods, 
while John Stewart of Appin, who died in 1595, is 
mentioned as having been alive at the date when the 
Description was written. The document, Dr. Skene 
says, " has all the appearance of an official report, and 
was probably intended for the use of James the Sixth, 
who was then preparing to attempt the improvement of 
the Isles, and increase the Royal revenue from them." 
This sufficiently fixes the date of both the document and 
the massacre of the Macdonalds of Eigg, to which it refers 
in the following terms : — 

" Eg is an He verie fertile and commodious for all kind 
of bestiall and corns, speciallie aittis, for eftir everie boll of 
aittis sawing in the same ony yeir will grow 10 or 12 bollis 
agane. It is 30 merk land, and it pertains to the Clan 

* Mary Macleod, on the death of her first husband, Duncan Campbell of 
Auchinbreck — by whom she had issue, a son and heir and a daughter who 
married Sir James Stewart of Bute — married, secondly, Macneill of Barra, 
and by that marriage became the progenitrix of the subsequent Chiefs of that 


Rannald, and will raise 60 men to the weiris. It is five mile 
lang and three mile braid. Thair is mony coves under the 
earth in this He, quhilk the cuntrie folks uses as strengthis, 
hiding thame and thair geir thairintill ; quhairthrow it hapenit 
that in March, anno 1577, weiris and inmitie betwix the said 
Clan Renald and McCloyd Herreik, the people, with ane 
callit Angus John McMudzartsonne,* their capitaine, fled to 
ane of the saidis coves, taking with thame thair wives, bairnis, 
and geir, quhairof McCloyd Herreik being advertisit landed 
with ane great armie in the said He, and came to the cove, 
and pat fire thairto, and smorit [smothered] the haill people 
thairin, to the number of 395 persones, men, wyfe, and 

This should finally settle the date as well as who were the 
authors of this unparalleled atrocity, hitherto charged to the 
discredit of Alastar Crotach VIII. of Macleod, who has to 
account for quite sufficient crimes of his own, without 
having to bear the burden of those of others. It will be 
remembered that it was in this same month of March, 
1577, that, according to the Queen Regent's summons to 
the Baron of Kilravock to eject Ian Dubh, or Ian Og of 
Minginish, from the Castle of Dunvegan, that the latter 
took possession of that stronghold. At that period, 
Norman, the legal heir of Macleod, was absent from the 
country. It would thus seem to be clearly established 
that Ian Dubh or Ian Og — for the two descriptions appear 
to apply to the same person — was the author of the 
massacre of Eigg, as he was of the assassination of his 
own Chief, Donald Macleod, X. of Macleod, and several 
others of his own most intimate and nearest relatives. 

The following description of this atrocious massacre is 
given by Professor Jameson : — 

" A party of the Macleods having landed upon the small 
island of Eilean Chastel, behaved so outrageously to the 
women who were there tending cattle, that their friends 
instantly pursued and put several of them to death. This 
so enraged the Clan of Macleod, that they determined to 
take revenge, by ravaging the Isle and putting to death the 

*This Angus was fourth son of the brave John Moydertach, Chief of 
Clanranald. — See Mackenzie's History of the Macdonalds, p. 402. 


murderers of their brothers. The Islanders, sensible of their 
weakness, prepared to shelter themselves upon the first 
appearance of an enemy. Soon afterwards a number of 
boats were seen approaching the Isle, when the trembling- 
inhabitants retired in despair to this cave, their only refuge. 
The Macleods soon landed and traversed the whole Island ; 
but as they could discover no human being they concluded 
that the Macdonalds had made their escape to the Mainland, 
or to some of the adjacent Islands. Disappointed and 
enraged they were about to leave Eigg to return to Skye, 
when, unfortunately, one of the horde observed the mark 
of footsteps on the snow, and thus they were enabled to 
discover the cave where the wretched inhabitants had taken 
refuge. Shrieks of despair were interrupted for a little by 
a proposal of the Macleods that, if the murderers were given 
up to punishment, the other lives should be spared. This 
was only a cruel aggravation of their sufferings, as the 
Macleods were the aggressors. Connected, as the Mac- 
donalds were, by the dearest ties, they were determined to 
perish together rather than to give up one of their number. 
The Macleods, with the most savage barbarity, instantly 
kindled great fires at the mouth of the cave, which soon 
suffocated the whole of the miserable inhabitants. One 
often listens even to such a tale, as to the description 
of a battle, without much interest ; but the view of the 
scene never fails to awaken a keener sympathy — the circum- 
stances are brought nearer to the mind, and seem to be 
passing before us. We stood on the very ground where 
this tragedy was acted, and felt our sensibility increased by 
the sequestered and dreary place in which the deed was 
done. But even this interest was faint when compared to 
that we felt when, after creeping a considerable way through 
a low and narrow entrance, half-covered with brushwood, we 
found ourselves at last within a large and gloomy cave, the 
extent and height of which we could not distinguish, and 
perceived the gleams of the lights we carried reflected from 
the bones and skulls of the unhappy Macdonalds. The 
force with which the truth and all the circumstances of 


this dreadful tale struck at this moment upon our minds, 
and the strange variety of sensations excited by an event 
so extraordinary, it is not easy to find words to express. 
The entrance of the cave is low and narrow for about 12 
feet, the breadth 14 feet, and in length it extends inwards 
nearly 213 feet. The air was damp and raw. Our lights 
struck faintly on the black sides of the cave, without 
dispelling that deep and solemn gloom which harmonized 
so well with the melancholy story. The projecting masses 
of rock were dimly illuminated, while the skulls and scattered 
bones catched a strong light. Our figures, too, touched 
with the paley flame, showed the features, or an outstretched 
arm, while the parts of the body removed from the light 
were lost in the gloom. The whole scene was admirably 
adapted for the canvas ; but it would require a very rare 
talent in the painter who should attempt it."* 

According to the traditional account of the massacre 
current in the Isle of Skye, the Macleods, having miscon- 
ducted themselves towards the women of Eigg, were 
seized by the Macdonalds, bound hand and foot, and set 
adrift in the boat which carried them to the Island. In 
this helpless condition they were carried by wind and tide 
to the entrance of Loch Dunvegan, where they were 
picked up by Macleod himself, as he was returning in 
his galley from the Orkneys. Then followed the expedition 
to Eigg, with the shocking results already told. 

The sanguinary engagement at Waternish between the 
Macdonalds and the Macleods, is said to have taken place 
a few years after the Eigg massacre, but it is impossible to 
fix the date quite accurately. A number of Macleods were 
assembled in the Church of Trumpan, when a party of 
Macdonalds suddenly surrounded and set fire to the 
building, destroying all the unfortunate inmates except 
one young woman, who escaped with the loss of one of 
her breasts. The arrival of the boats of the enemy had, 
however, been observed by the people in other parts of 

* Quoted in the New Statistical Account for Inverness- shire under " Parish 
of Small Isles " pp. 146-148. 


the district, and the Macdonalds were attacked by a body 
of infuriated Macleods, who exacted a terrible revenge for 
the burning of their church and kinsfolk. The victorious 
Macleods ranged the bodies of the slain Macdonalds in 
line beneath a stone wall near the battle field, and then 
overturned it upon them. Hence the battle was and is 
to this day called Blar-milleadh-garaidh, — the battle of 
the destruction of the wall. 

The author of the Statistical Account says that there 
are indistinct accounts preserved of another battle fought 
by these hostile clans, known as Blar Bhaternish, or the 
Battle of Waternish. The Macleods were about to give 
up the contest when the celebrated Fairy Flag was 
unfurled, which immediately caused the enemy to see 
three times as many Macleods as were really opposed to 
them. The Macdonalds, on observing so sudden and 
mysterious an augmentation of their foes, at once became 
panic-stricken, and they were completely routed. 

We are indebted for the following interesting account 
of these sanguinary engagements, as narrated in Waternish, 
to Major Neil Macleod, R.A., himself a native of the 
district. This battle — Blar Milleadh Garaidh — he says, was 
fought on a low beach at the head of a strip of land called 
Airdmor, which runs out from the high coast of Trumpan 
for about a mile, and is bound at the inner end by a high 
ridge upon which the ruins of the old church stands 
in the centre of the district cemetery. The township 
of Trumpan is half-a-mile from this ridge, and on the 
same elevation ; but Airdmor is not seen from Trumpan, 
being on too low a level. The highest part of the ridge 
is called " Cnoc a Chrochaidh," or the Hanging Hillock, 
because the son of Judge Morrison of the Lewis was 
hanged on the top of it, on three of his own oars. Young 
Morrison had been visiting Macleod at Dunvegan Castle, 
and he killed all the Macleods of Isle Isay (on the west 
coast of Waternish) on his way back. Pursued by sea, he 
tried to escape by land, and was caught near the top of 
the ridge, and sentenced to be hanged. Before his execu- 


tion he asked to be allowed to go aside for prayer, which 
permission was granted to him. Anne Maclnnes of 
Trumpan, whom, our informant says, he knew well when 
a boy, found a large quantity of old silver coins in a deep 
crevice of the very rock on which Morrison prayed, and it 
is believed that he deposited all the money he had in the 
rock while saying his prayers. The part on which the 
church stood is still called " Druim na Croise," or the 
Ridge of the Cross, on account of a large ancient cross 
that stood near it. 

About the year 1580, three years after the Eigg massacre, 
the Clanranalds of Uist, and other Macdonalds, resolved 
to punish the Macleods by fire and sword, in retaliation 
for previous invasions by the Macleods ; and, beginning at 
Dunvegan Head, and, taking advantage of a heavy fog, 
they sailed on a Saturday for Skye. The first they met 
was Finlay Macleod of Galtrigil, who was ling-fishing at 
Dunvegan Head, with four companions, and the Mac- 
donalds at once despatched a swift sixteen-oar boat to 
capture and destroy them, to prevent alarm. On observing 
the boat full of armed men, Finlay cut away the lines 
and made for the shore, which he gained amid a shower 
of arrows from the enemy's long boat. His men, being 
unarmed, rushed into a cave, where they were cut to 
pieces. Finlay took to the steep and high brae, leaving 
his pursuers far behind ; and, on reaching the top, he gave 
the alarm by three shouts, which the watchman on Dun- 
vegan tower heard, a distance of five miles. Macleod at 
once despatched the " Crann Taire," with one end burnt 
and dipped in blood, to intimate that his people were 
being slaughtered and their houses burned. 

As Finlay was a man of renown in strength and 
prowess, a passing notice of him will not be out of place. 
He was commonly called " Fionnlaidh na Plaide Baine," 
or Finlay of the White Blanket, because he never wore 
anything in bonnet, jacket, shirt, kilt, or hose, but home- 
made white blanket. In his time might was right, and 
all claims were exacted and maintained by physical force. 



Macleod, the Chief at the time, kept twelve powerful men 
called " Buanaichean," or conquerors, who, being a law 
unto themselves, oppressed the tenants by extortion and 
by billetting themselves upon the people, none daring to 
question their conduct except Finlay, who reported their 
conduct to the Chief. These men were chosen by tests 
of strength — lifts, throwing the stone, hammer, and caber, 
or a young tree with roots and branches. Then a bull 
would be killed, when they had to twist off his four legs 
at the knees by mere strength of arm, a feat known as 
" Toirt a mach dorn bhuar," or Taking off cows' feet, after 
which, if successful, they were engaged as Buanaichean. 

These twelve men on one occasion came to Finlay's 
house when he was out fishing, and asked his wife to 
prepare puddings for their dinner ; and to punish Finlay 
for reporting them to Macleod, they killed his best 
cow to feast themselves on for a month. When Finlay 
returned home he at once divined their intentions, and 
on being told what they had done, he demanded the 
reason why they had killed his cow. They replied that 
it was merely to please themselves, and warned him that 
the less he said about it the better, or they would kill 
another. " Then," said Finlay, " if that is your game, 
gentlemen, I must play my best trump," and calling his 
wife and children out of the room, he proceeded to the 
barn and soon returned with a heavy ash flail supple, with 
which he made a murderous onset on the Buanaichean, 
making their blood, skin, and hair fly in all directions, 
and laying low all who attempted to move or escape. 
Several, to avoid his dreadful blows, threw themselves on 
the floor where they lay bleeding, groaning, and trembling. 
They offered to pay the value of the cow if allowed 
to get away, but this was scornfully refused. Finlay 
requested his wife to dress their wounds, and afterwards 
bind the men with the long lines, which she did, while he 
watched over them with his dreaded supple. Next morning 
he took them in a boat to Dunvegan. When Macleod 
saw his twelve champions bound and so severely punished 


by one man he indignantly dismissed them, and never after 
kept any Buanaichean in Dunvegan. 

But to return to the Macdonald invasion. The Macleods 
were soon under arms, and the Chief went out with his 
boats and moved about Loch Follart sword in hand until 
break of day, but could find no enemy. He landed at 
the Island of Isay, when he observed a large fleet of boats 
at the head of Airdmor ; for when the Macdonalds found 
it dangerous to land on the Duirinish side they sailed across 
the loch and collected, during the night, all the sheep and 
cattle they could find in Waternish below the high ridge 
on which the church stood, at the inner end of Airdmor, 
intending to embark them there, where the water was 
deeper and where the place was covered from view by the 
ridge. When the Macleods of the district went to church 
according to custom, at sunrise, the Macdonalds surrounded 
it, barricaded the door, and, being a thatched building, they 
easily managed to set it on fire. The Macleods forced the 
barricade but were cut to pieces as they came out. And 
not one escaped alive except a woman who was left for 
dead among the slain, with one of her breasts cut clean 
off. She died from loss of blood two miles from the 
church, and the place is still called after her name, which 
was " Mararat Macleod." It is related erroneously that the 
unfortunate woman came out through one of the windows. 
That was impossible, for the openings are only four inches 
wide by two feet high. Besides, she had no better chance 
of escaping alive through the window than by the door. 

But swift retribution was at hand for this cruel butchery ; 
for Macleod sent a strong party to Waternish at daybreak 
to warn the people, who quickly assembled, and on seeing 
their church in flames and surrounded by the enemy, they 
rushed upon the Macdonalds with terrible fury, following 
the Fairy Flag of Macleod. The Clanranald became 
panic-stricken, and ran for their boats, followed by the 
Macleods, who cut to pieces every one they could overtake ; 
but, on reaching the beach, the Macdonalds were in utter 
despair, for Macleod had previously removed their boats. 


Finding themselves in this terrible dilemma, they formed 
under cover of a high loose stone wall, built above the 
beach to shelter the crops. The Macleods charged the wall 
in line and threw it down, when a savage struggle ensued, 
in which all the Macdonalds were slain. Their bodies 
were covered over with the stones of the dyke where they 
fell, " and my father," says Major Macleod, " saw several 
of their bones, in his day, on the beach." The place is 
called "Milleadh Garaidh" to this day; which means "The 
destruction of the wall." 

The battle of Water nish was fought between the Mac- 
donalds and Macleods in the braes of Trumpan a few 
years after the battle of Milleadh Garaidh. Another body 
of the Macdonalds came at night through the hills to 
Waternish, to surprise the Macleods and avenge the 
slaughter of Milleadh Garaidh, but finding the Macleods 
prepared and on the look-out for them, they changed their 
purpose, gathered all the sheep and cattle they could find, 
and moved away with them ; but the Macleods, having been 
apprised of their conduct, followed them, came up to them 
at daybreak, two miles from the township, and a bloody 
battle was fought, in which the second party of the 
Macdonalds were nearly all killed. 

The last survivors in this skirmish were two black- 
smiths in full armour. They fought desperately for some 
time without apparent advantage on either side ; but at 
last the Macleod blacksmith was badly wounded, and 
began, from loss of blood, to show signs of weakness, 
when his wife, who came to look for his body, appeared on 
the scene, and observing her husband alive but in danger, 
went behind Macdonald and struck him a tremendous 
blow on the head with her distaff, saying loudly, "Turn 
to me," which, in the confusion, he did, when Macleod 
took the opportunity of running him through between the 
joints of his armour. The place is still known as " Beinn 
a Ghobha," or The blacksmith's hill. 

Two of the leaders of the Macleods fell this day. One 
was John, son of Alexander Macleod of Trumpan, who 


was in full armour, and did great execution, but a body 
of the Macdonalds closed round him, as they could not 
stand before him, and ran their daggers through him in 
several places at the joints of his armour. A large cross 
was erected to his memory at the spot where he fell, 
and the place is called Crois mhic Alasiau (cross of 
Alexander's son) to this day. The other was Roderick Mac- 
leod of Unish, a place situated at the point of Waternish. 
He was a powerful warrior, commonly called " Ruairidh 
Mac Iain Bhatornish" or Roderick son of John of Water- 
nish. His name is still continued in Major Macleod's 
family. He also was in full armour, and did terrible 
execution, no one being able to resist the heavy sweep 
of his sword and powerful arm. But the Macdonalds 
rushed upon him in a body as their only chance, just as 
they did on his nephew, John Macleod, and in savage 
despair managed to cut both his legs at the bend of the 
knees ; yet even then, standing on the remaining stumps, 
he continued to cut down his assailants until he died 
from loss of blood in their midst. The knoll on which 
this hero fell is called by two names to this day, viz., 
" Crocan Mhic Iain," or The knoll of John's son, and 
Crois Bhan, or the White Cross, from a high wooden 
cross which was erected to Roderick's memory, and which 
was painted white, or was of white wood. 

Tormod Macleod is described as "a man of remarkable 
fortitude and resolution, of great integrity and honour," and 
as one who always adhered to the interest of Queen Mary. 

He married, first, Giles, daughter of Hector Og Maclean, 
XII. of Duart by his first wife, Lady Janet Campbell, 
daughter of Archibald, fourth Earl of Argyll, with issue — 

1. William, his heir and successor. 

2. Roderick, who succeeded his brother William, who 
was afterwards known as the famous Rory Mor, and who 
was knighted by James VI. 

3. Alexander of Minginish, of whom the families of 
Ferinlea, Oze, and several other minor branches were 
descended. The old Macleods of Minginish having become 


extinct on the death of John Og, alias "Ian Dubh" with- 
out issue in 1559, the lands of Minginish were, it would 
appear, given to this Alexander, third son of the Chief, 
a man of considerable consequence in his day. 

4. Margaret, who married as his second wife Donald 
Gorm Macdonald of Sleat, without issue. 

5. A daughter, who married Torquil Dubh Macleod, son 
of Roderick Macleod, X. of Lewis, by his third marriage 
to a daughter of Maclean of Duart, and whom his father 
declared to be his legal heir to the exclusion of Torquil 
Cononach, his son by his first wife, Janet Mackenzie of 
Kintail. Torquil's widow married, secondly, Ranald Mac- 
donald, first of Benbecula, whose descendants, on the failure 
in 1725 of the direct line in the person of Ranald, XIII. 
Chief of Clanranald, succeeded as heads of that family. 

Tormod Macleod married, secondly, a daughter of the 
Earl of Argyll, by whom he had issue — 

6. Florence, who married Lachlan Maclean, IV. of Coll. 
He died in March, 1585,* when James VI. granted to 
Colin, Earl of Argyll, the nonentry and other dues of all 
the property that belonged to him.f He was succeeded 
by his eldest son, 


Who was served heir to his father, Tormod, on the 31st 
of July, 1585, and in November of the same year, was 

* News did not travel fast in those days, and we find that in the month 
of April, after his death, Tormod, with three others of the Island Chiefs, 
is charged to appear before the Privy Council to answer touching the 
good rule of the Isles and Highlands generally under pain of rebellion. 
The following extract explains itself: — Holyrood House, 23rd April, 1585. 
— " Order to charge Lauchlane McClayne of Dowart, Donald Gormsoun 
of Slait, Rory McCloyd of the Lewis, and Tormet McCloyd of Harrych, 
' personalie gif thai can be apprehendit,' or otherwise by open proclamation 
at the market crosses of Invernes, Dunbartane, Inveraray, and other places, 
to appear before the Council upon the fifteenth day after the charge, to 
answer ' tuicheing the gude reull and quieting of the His and Hielandis, ' 
under the pain of rebellion." — Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, Vol. 
III. p. 739- 

t Register of the Privy Seal, Vol. I., p. 120. 


on a precept from Chancery infeft in all the ancient 
estates of the family. In September he was requested 
by James VI. to go to the assistance of Lachlan Maclean 
of Duart, whose territories had been invaded by Angus 
Macdonald of Islay. The Macleans, on this occasion, were 
also assisted by the Macneills of Barra, the Mackinnons 
of Skye, and the MacQuarries ; while the Macdonalds were 
supported by the Macleods of Lewis, the Macdonalds of 
Clanranald, the Clan Ian of Ardnamurchan, the Macneills 
of Gigha, the Macallisters of Iona, and Macfies of Colonsay. 
The King at last interfered — using the Chiefs of the Clan 
Campbell, who had charge of the seventh Earl during his 
minority, as intermediatories — with the result that Angus 
Macdonald of Islay agreed to liberate Maclean, who had 
become his prisoner, on being promised a remission for his 
own crimes, and on eight hostages of high rank being 
placed in his hands by Maclean for the performance of 
conditions which the Chief of Duart had been obliged to 
sign to secure his release. The hostages were given, and 
among them we find Alexander Macleod of Minginish, 
youngest brother of William Macleod of Dunvegan, and 
of his more distinguished successor, Rorie Mor. These 
hostages were afterwards ordered to be given up to the 
young Earl of Argyll or his guardians, for conveyance to 
the King, to be kept where His Majesty should appoint, 
until a final settlement was arranged of all the matters in 
dispute between the Macdonalds of Islay and the Macleans 
of Duart* These Chiefs and their followers and principal 
supporters were charged to keep the peace and abstain from 

* Holyrood House, 16th April, 1587. — "His Majesty, 'upoun gude and 
necessar considerationis moving him for eschewing of extremiteis and incon- 
venientis and reduceing of his haill subjectis to his obedience,' had remitted 
the great crimes of Angus McConeill of Dunnyveg and Glennis and his 
accomplices, ' and causit satisfie all thingis that mycht stay thair intendit 
rigour aganis Lauchlane McClayne of Dowart, then detainit in maist strait 
captivitie,' especially by 'delivering in the handis and pouer of the said 
Angus, for the libertie and releiff of the said Lauchlane, Hector McClayne 
his sone and appeirand air, Alexander McCloyd, brother to Williame 
McCloyd of Dunnyvegane, Lauchlane McKynnoun and Neill McKynnoun, 
sones to Lauchlane McKynnoun of Strathoradell, Johnne and Murdo, sones 


all gathering's and conventions, so as not to hinder or disturb 
the King in his efforts to bring about a settlement of the 
disputes between them. 

On the 30th of November, 1586, we find Macleod of 
Harris, Donald Gorm of Sleat, Colin Mackenzie of Kintail, 
Torquil Macleod of Coigeach, Robert Munro of Fowlis, 
John Mackinnon of Lochslappan, Rory MacAllan of Gair- 
loch, Macleod of Raasay, Roderick Macleod of Lewis, and 
about a dozen less known leaders, with "certane utheris 
cuntreymen adgacent and duelling in they pairties," ordained 
rebels by the Privy Council for failing to answer to a 
complaint made against them by the united burghs of the 
realm for obstructing the fisheries in the northern parts, 
and making extortionate exactions from the fishers.* 

The Earl of Huntly, then His Majesty's lieutenant in 
the North, was addressed by the King in a letter written 
with his own hand, dated Edinburgh, 20th of April, 1587, 
in which His Majesty says — " We have no doubt but the 
cruelties and disorders in the Isles these years bygone have 
greatly moved you, whereanent we intend, God willing, to 
take some special pains ourself, as well there as in the 
Borders, where we have been lately occupied." After 
reminding Huntly that he had communicated with him 
in the preceding October on the same subject, the King 
proceeded — " Always fearing that the Islesmen within the 
bounds of your Lieutenancy shall press to make some rising 
and gathering, before conveniently we may put order to 
the matters standing in controversy in the West Isles, we 
desire you effectuously that with all goodly diligence you 

to Rory McKneill of Barray, Allane McClayne, son to Ewin McClayne of 
Ardgowir, and Donald McClayne, sone to Hector McClayne, constable of 
Camyburgh.'" But of this date His Majesty issued a charge to the said 
Angus McConeill and others " that thay deliver the saidis aucht personis, 
now being in their handis and pouer, to Archibald, Erll of Ergyll, Lord 
Campbell and Lome, or to any of his speciall friendis and tutouris that sail 
cum to ressave thame at , upoun the day of , saulflie 

and surelie convoyed to his Majesty, and kepit quhair he sail appoint quhill 
the finale ordouring and setling of the mataris in contravorsie betuix him 
and his saidis nychtbouris." — Register of the Privy Council, Vol. IV., p. 159-61. 
* Register of the Privy Council, Vol. IV., p. 121-3. 


send to Donald Gorm's son, Macleod of the Lewis, Macleod 
of the Harris, the Clan-Ranald, and others, being of power 
in these parts, willing and commanding them to contain 
themselves in quietness, and that they forbear to make any 
convention or gatherings, to the hinder and disturbance of 
our good deliberation, for we have written effectuously to 
Angus Macdonald, and have spoken with Maclean, being 
here, for the same effect. And so, not doubting but you 
will do what in you lies, that all things remain quiet and 
in good order within the bounds of your charge, as you 
will do us special acceptable service, commit you in the 
protection of Almighty God."* 

Shortly after this an Act was passed by which all land- 
lords and Chiefs of Clans were bound to find securities for 
large amounts, proportionate to their wealth and the number 
of their followers, for the good behaviour of their vassals. 
If, after having found the stipulated sureties, any of these 
Chiefs failed in making immediate reparation for all injuries 
inflicted by any of their subordinates, for whom they were 
made to answer, the aggrieved persons might proceed at 
law against the securities for the amount of the damage. 
The Superior in that case had not only to reimburse his 
cautioner, but had, in addition, to pay a large fine to the 
Crown. At the same time, many other excellent provisions 
were made by this Act, usually known as the " General 
Band," for the more regular and easy administration of 
justice in the Western Isles. 

In 1588 William Macleod entered into a bond of manrent 
with Lachlan Mackintosh of Mackintosh, whose daughter he 
had married. It is in the following terms : — 

" Be it kenned to all, me, William Macleod of Dunvegan, 
to become bound and obliged. Like as by the tenor hereof, 
I bind and oblige me, my heirs, leally and truly, by the 
faith and truth in my body, to take, efauld, and true part, 
assist, maintain, and defend, and concur with Lachlan 
Mackintosh of Dunachton, Captain and Chief of the Clan 
Chattan, and his heirs, in all and sundrie their actions, 
causes, quarrels, debates, and invasion of any person or 
* Invemessiana, by Charles Fraser- Mackintosh, M. P. , pp. 245-6. 


persons whatever, indirectly used or intended contrary to 
the said Lachlan and his heirs in all time coming, from the 
day and date hereof, so that I, the said William Macleod, 
and my heirs, shall be sufficiently and duly premonished 
and advertised by the said Lachlan Mackintosh and his 
foresaids, to the effect foresaid, and shall give faithful and 
true counsel to him and his heirs, by and attour concurrence, 
and take efauld part with him and his heirs (as said is) in all 
their just causes and actions as said is. And sicklike I shall 
not hide, obscure, nor conceal, by any colour or engine, 
directly or indirectly, any skaith, displeasure, nor harm, 
meant or concert, in contrar the said Lachlan Mackintosh 
and his foresaids by any whatsomever person or persons, 
the same coming to the knowledge and ears of me, the said 
William Macleod and my heirs, but immediately after trial 
thereof in all our best manner, with all expedition and haste, 
shall advertize, report, and make foreseen the said Lachlan 
Mackintosh and his heirs thereof. As also to concur, assist, 
maintain, defend, and take faithful part with them against all 
mortals (the King's Majesty excepted allenarly). And this 
my bond to stand firm and stable in all time coming after 
the day and date hereof. In witness of the whilk, I have 
subscribed these presents with my hand, in manner under 
written, at Culloden, the 15th day of January, 1588, before 

(Signed) "William M'Leoyd offe Dunvegane." 

Under date of 6th March, 1589, Donald Macleod of 
Harris is named in the Records of the Scottish Privj 
Council as one of the Commissioners in the Isles for 
executing the Acts against the Jesuits and Seminary 
Priests. The name in this entry must be an error — 
Donald instead of William — for there was no Donald 
Macleod of Harris in 1589. 

William Macleod married Janet, daughter of Lachlan 
Mackintosh, XVI. of Mackintosh, by his wife Agnes, 
daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie, X. of Kintail. Although 
no trace can be found of any issue of this marriage it 
would seem that William left a son who died a few years 
after his father's death, a minor. Rory Mor, who after- 
wards succeeded to the Chiefship and estates, is described 
for several years after his brother William's death, down 
at least to 1593, as "Tutor" of Macleod. He certainly 


would not have been so designated had the previous Chief 
left no male issue. Although not of equal importance it 
is also to be noted that Sir Roderick was not served heir 
until September, 1596, six years after the death of his 

William died in October, 1590, when he was succeeded as 
Tutor and ultimately as Chief by his brother, the famous 


Known as " Ruaridh Mor," so called, " not so much from 
his size, or stature of his body — which was not remarkably 
large — as from the strength of his parts," and who was 
perhaps the most distinguished Highland Chief of his 
time. For the greater part of Roderick's reign he was at 
feud and fought several engagements with the Macdonalds 
of Sleat. He was not infeft in the whole of the family 
estates until September, 1596, on a precept from Chancery, 
though his brother, William, died, as already stated, in 

Under date of 16th December, 1592, we find Sir 
Roderick, who is described as " Rory MakCloyd, tutor 
of Harrich," charged with a number of other Chiefs to 
find caution in 10,000 merks for good rule in his district 
under the Act of July, 1587.* On the 16th of March, 
1592-93, the King, with advice of his Council, ordains 
letters to be issued to relax a number of persons from the 
horn for any cause bygone, to receive them to the King's 
peace, " and gif thame the wand thairof." Among the 
leaders so relieved we find Roderick " McCloyd, tutor of 
Harrich. "f 

In 1594, Roderick accompanied Donald Gorm Mor 
Macdonald of Sleat to the North of Ireland to assist 
Red Hugh O'Donnell, at that time engaged in active 
rebellion against the Government of Queen Elizabeth. 
The two Skye Chiefs had each 500 of their clansmen 
under their command on this occasion. They crossed 

* Register of the Privy Council, Vol. III., pp. 802-3. 
t Ibid., Vol. V., pp. 53-4. 


the Channel in their own galleys, and on their arrival 
at Loch-Foyle, they were there met by O'Donnell, and 
entertained by him for three days and three nights. 
Macleod then led his men forward in person to the 
assistance of his friend, the Chief of the Irish branch of 
the Siol Cuinn, but Donald Gorm returned home, leaving 
his clansmen under the command of his brother. 

Roderick Macleod got into trouble with the Scottish 
Court in connection with this raid to Ireland against the 
English Government, and other acts ; for next year he 
is charged by the Privy Council, on the application of 
Elizabeth's ambassador in Scotland, to desist from rendering 
any aid to the Irish under Red Hugh; and Gregory informs 
us that about 1596 he and Donald Macdonell of Glengarry, 
usually styled Donald " MacAngus," made their submission 
and were again received into favour. 

On the 2 1 st of March, 1596, Roderick Macleod "of 
Dunveggane" — no longer be it remarked described as 
"tutor," but as of Dunvegan — appears before the Council 
and becomes bound in 10,000 merks " be the faith and 
treuth of his body" to acknowledge his Highness, the 
King, as his only Sovereign Lord, to make his men obey 
the King's lieutenants in "repressing of the insolence" 
of the inhabitants of the Highlands and Isles ; also " that 
Donald McCleud, son of Johnne McCleud of Rosok " 
(? Raasay), appointed to remain in Edinburgh as pledge 
for the obedience of Rory, shall remain there till the 
return and entry of the said Rory upon the 30th of 
November next. The obligation was subscribed for 
Roderick by the Clerk of the Council.* It would appear, 
however, that the obligation was not implemented, for we 
find under date, Holyrood House, 22nd November, 1599, 
that Alexander, Master of Elphinstone, treasurer, repre- 
sented that, although Rory became bound as above, on 21st 
March, 1596, "yet, not only had the said Donald departed 
before 1st November, but the said Rory had not appeared 
upon the said day or since. He has, therefore, plainly con- 

* Register of the Privy Council, Vol. V., pp. 677-8. 


travened his said bond, and thereby incurred the said pain. 
The pursuer appearing personally, but Rory not appearing-, 
the Lords decerned as prayed, and ordained letters to issue 
against Rory."* 

The subject is brought up on the 15th May, 1600, at the 
instance of Roderick himself, but he again fails to appear, 
and decree goes against him the second time. Alex- 
ander, Master of Elphinstone, treasurer, and Mr. Thomas 
Hamilton of Drumcairne, King's Advocate, appear and 
give in a copy of the letters raised by Rory Macleod of 
Dunvegan, charging them to produce before the King and 
Council this day the letters raised by the said treasurer 
whereby the said Rory was charged to pay to the said 
treasurer the sum of 10,000 merks, in which Rory had 
been adjudged by a decree of contravention pronounced 
against him, in order to the suspension of the same 
simpliciter for certain reasons specified in the said letters. 
And now, the said Rory failing to appear, the treasurer 
and advocate protest that they shall not be held to answer 
farther till they be warned of new, and that the said letters 
against Rory shall be put to farther execution in all points. 
The Lords admitted the protest and ordained accordingly.! 

In the year 1596 Macleod received, on the 18th of 
September, a charge from the King, commanding him to 
be at Islay, with all his followers on the 20th of the same 
month — only two days after receipt of the Royal commands 
— under pain of treason and forfeiture. This was of course 
impossible, and " Rodericus Macloid of the Herrie," as he 
styles himself, sent a characteristic reply to James VI. 
Macleod addressed his letter : — 

" To his Hynes Maiestie Soverane Lord, King and 
Maister," from Marvak, Harris, on the 22nd of September, 
1596, and referring to the King's charge that he should 
be at Islay on the 20th, he says (the orthography being 
modernised) — " I take God and your grace to witness if it 
was possible for me to have done the same ; although my 
force had been together, and wind and weather had served 

* Register of the Privy Council, Vol. VI., p. 50. 
t Ibid., Vol. VI., pp. 109-10. 


me at every airt of the broken seas in the countries, and 
my men lie far asunder ; and although the charge had been 
given to me the first of August, it had been little enough 
to have been at the day appointed, with my force. Sir, 
I beseech your Grace think not this to be an excuse. I 
will lay all this aside ; and although I should be borne in 
a horse litter, I shall do my exact diligence to be at my 
Lord Crowner, where your Grace has commanded me, in 
all possible haste, as I shall answer to God and your Grace 
both, and whom your Grace or my Lord Crowner will 
command me in your Highness's name to pass on, either 
by sword or fire, I shall do the same, or any your Grace 
will command me to fight hand in hand in your Grace's 
sight, I shall prove my pith on him. Beseeching your 
Grace favourably to let not use me with letters of treason 
or traitory, I being in mind to serve your Grace under 
God as my native King and Master to the uttermost of 
my life. This voyage being ended, I will rejoice to be 
at your Grace, and to have your Grace's presence, and to 
serve and know your Grace as my only sovereign, king, 
lord, and master : looking for your Grace's answer, if need 
be, again with this bearer, to have your Grace's presents, 
and God bless your Grace." 

In 1597, an Act of Parliament was passed, in terms of 
which it was made imperative on all claiming rights to 
any lands in the Isles to produce their title deeds before 
the Lords of Exchequer, upon the 15th of May, 1598, 
because "they neglected to pay their yearly rents" and 
" to perform the services due from their lands to the 
Crown," and in consequence of their having " made the 
Highlands and Isles, naturally so valuable from the fertility 
of the soil, and the richness of the fisheries, altogether 
unprofitable either to themselves or to their fellow- 
countrymen." They were further enjoined to find security 
for the regular payment of their rents to the Crown, and 
for the peaceable and orderly behaviour of themselves, 
and of those for whom, by law, they were bound to 
answer, particularly in regard to those desirous of trading 
in the Isles. Disobedience to any of the injunctions 
contained in the Act was to infer absolute forfeiture of 
all titles, real or pretended, which any of the rescusants 


might possess or claim to any lands in the Highlands 
and Isles. Taking into consideration the loss of title 
deeds, which, in the unsettled state of the country, must 
have been of very common occurrence — and the difficulty 
which many even of the most powerful chiefs could not 
fail to experience in finding the requisite bail for their 
own peaceable and orderly behaviour, and that of their 
vassals and tenants — it is evident, according to Gregory, 
that this Act was prepared with a view to place at the 
disposal of the Crown, in a summary manner, many large 
tracts of land ; affording thus an opportunity to the King 
to commence his favourite plans for the improvement of 
the Highlands and Isles. 

No record exists of the names of those who produced 
their titles on this occasion, but it is known that the lands of 
Harris, Dunvegan, and Glenelg, and those of Macleod of 
Lewis, were declared to be at the disposal of the Crown, 
though it is undoubted that at that time Macleod of Dun- 
vegan and Harris held unexceptional titles to the first three 
named estates. A company of Lowland adventurers, the 
principal of whom were the Duke of Lennox; Patrick, 
Commendator of Lindores ; William, Commendator of 
Pittenweem ; Sir James Anstruther, younger of that Ilk; 
Sir James Sandilands of Slamanno ; James Leirmonth of 
Balcolmly ; James Spens of Wormestoun ; John Forret of 
Fingask ; David Home, younger of Wedderburn ; and 
Captain William Murray, received a grant of all the lands 
belonging to Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan and Harris, 
including those of Glenelg ; but they were never able 
even to occupy them. 

Roderick having for some unknown reason failed to 
present his titles in terms of the Act of Parliament, the 
forfeiture of his lands duly followed. At the same time, 
in consequence of his having assisted Roderick Macleod 
of Lewis against his son Torquil Conanach and the 
Mackenzies,* he was on bad terms with Sir Roderick 

* Full particulars of these feuds will be given under the Macleods of Lewis 
and Assynt. 


Mackenzie of Coigeach, Tutor of Kintail, progenitor of 
the Mackenzies of Cromarty, then a member of the 
Scottish Privy Council, and possessing great power and 
influence. Macleod, it would appear, presented himself 
in person before the Council about this time, and Sir 
Roderick Mackenzie, knowing his haughty and proud 
temper, purposely insulted him by certain offensive remarks 
addressed to him in presence of the other members, when 
Macleod immediately struck the Tutor of Kintail and 
knocked him down in the Privy Council Chamber, an 
offence which, committed against any member, was at 
the' time punishable by death. Roderick, however, managed 
to effect his escape, and soon after found his way safely to 
the Isles. 

On the 2ist of June, 1599, Roderick Macleod complained 
that Duncane McGrymmen, and Donald McGrymmen, his 
brother, haunting in Glenurchy and Tullibardine, had 
lately, " be some sinister moyane and wrangous informa- 
tioun," procured a commission from his Majesty for 
arresting and intromitting with the goods of the corn- 
plainer or any others of his clan or men, under colour 
whereof they had committed divers reifs and robberies 
upon sundry of his kin and friends, and other good 
subjects repairing to open markets and fairs. Thus, 
in October last, they violently " reft from Duncane 
McEan McGillichallum and Donald McHucheon VcConeil 
VcFerquhair 24 fat kye in Glammis market, and ,£120 
from Johnne McFinla Doway ; and they intend. to commit 
farther reiffs upon the complainer and his men." The 
pursuers appeared by Johnne Bogy, their procurator, but 
neither Duncan or Donald MacGrymmen having appeared, 
the Lords declared the said letters or commission to have 
been wrongously procured, and therefore null.* 

In 1 60 1 an inveterate quarrel broke out between Sir 

Roderick and Donald Gorm Mor Macdonald of Sleat, who 

had previously married Margaret Macleod, Sir Roderick's 

eldest sister, and who now, through jealousy or other 

* Register of the Privy Council, Vol. VI., pp. 5-6. 


cause, ill-treated her, repudiated her, and sent her away. 
Sir Roderick, having - learned this, sent Macdonald a polite 
message asking him to take the lady back, or the conse- 
quences, it was hinted, might be unpleasant. Instead of 
acceding to this request, Donald Gorm, on the contrary, 
set about procuring a legal divorce from Macleod's sister, 
in which he succeeded ; when, without any delay, he 
married Mary, daughter of Colin Cam Mackenzie, XI. of 
Kintail, and the sister of Macleod's greatest enemy, Sir 
Roderick Mackenzie, Tutor of Kintail. This added insult 
to injury, and Roderick at once determined to be revenged 
for the injustice done to his sister, and for the insult offered 
to himself, his family, and clan, in her person, by Donald 
Gorm. He at once assembled his vassals and carried fire 
and sword into Macdonald's lands of Troternish, venting 
his resentment upon every living thing that he there came 
across. The Macdonalds, in revenge, invaded Harris, which 
they laid waste, killing many of the inhabitants and carrying 
off their cattle. This determined the Macleods to make 
a foray upon Macdonald's estate of North Uist, and, 
accordingly, they sailed from Skye, their Chief at their 
head, towards that Island. On their arrival there, Rory 
Mor sent his kinsman, Donald Glas Macleod of Drynoch 
with forty men to lay waste the land, and to bring 
off from the church of Kiltrynad the cattle and effects 
of the country people, which, on the alarm being given 
had been placed there by them for safety. In the 
execution of these orders, Donald Glas was encountered 
by a celebrated warrior of the Clandonald, nearly related 
to their Chief, Donald Maclan Mhic Sheumais, of the 
family of Kingsburgh, who had only twelve men in his 
party. The Macdonalds behaved with so much gallantry 
that they routed their opponents and rescued the cattle, 
Donald Glas and many of his men being killed. 

Sir Roderick Macleod, seeing the ill success of this 
detachment, and suspecting that a larger force was at 
hand, returned home meditating future vengeance. These 
incursions were carried on with so much inveteracy that 



both clans were brought to the brink of ruin ; and many 
of the natives of the district thus devastated were forced 
to sustain themselves by killing- and eating their horses, 
dogs, and cats. 

At length, in 1601, while Macleod was absent seeking 
assistance from the Earl of Argyll, the Macdonalds invaded 
his lands in Skye, in considerable numbers, determined 
to force on a battle. The Macleods, under Alexander 
of Minginish, brother of their Chief, took post on the 
shoulder of the Coolin Hills. After a fierce and obstinate 
combat, in which both parties fought with great bravery, 
the Macleods were overthrown. Their leader, with thirty 
of their choicest warriors, fell into the hands of the 
victors ; and two of the Chief's immediate relations and 
many others were slain. 

The Privy Council now interfered to prevent further 
mischief. The Marquis of Huntly and the Earl of Argyll, 
and all others, were prohibited from giving assistance to 
either of the contending parties ; while the Chiefs them- 
selves were ordered to disband their forces and to quit 
the island in the meantime. Macleod was enjoined to 
give himself up to the Earl of Argyll, and Macdonald 
to surrender to Huntly, and both were strictly charged, 
under the penalty of treason, to remain with these noble- 
men till the controversy between them should be settled 
by the King and Council. A reconciliation was at length 
effected between them by the mediation of Angus Mac- 
donald of Isla, Maclean of Coll, and other friends ; after 
which the prisoners taken at "the battle of Benquhillin" 
were released ; and ever after this event these rival clans 
refrained from open hostility, and submitted all their 
disputes to the decision of the law.* 

On the 16th of June, in the same year, there is an 
entry dated Holyrood House, from which we find that 
a commission of justiciary and lieutenancy within the 
North West Isles had been granted to George, Marquis 
of Huntly, but that nobleman, " appearing before the 

* Highlands and Isles, pp. 295-297. 


King and Council, promises not to use the said commission 
against Rory McLeud of Dunvegane, alias McCleud of 
Hereis, or any of his friends, till ioth August next, and 
farther till he receive special direction from his Majesty." 
On the same day, an order was issued to charge the said 
Macleod to appear before the King and Council at Falkland 
or where else they shall happen to be, upon ioth August 
next, to render his obedience to his Majesty, and find 
surety for his future behaviour, and for payment of the 
King's rents due by him for his lands.* 

The following extracts from the public records will 
throw additional light upon the proceedings of this year. 
On account of the " variance " lately fallen out between 
Donald Gorm of Sleat and Roderick Macleod of Dun- 
vegan, there is an order dated the 29th of June, 1601, 
to charge both parties to subscribe and deliver to one 
another, within six hours after the charge, under pain of 
rebellion, such form of assurance as shall be presented to 
them, to endure till 1st July, i602.f 

There is an entry dated Falkland, nth of August, 1601, 
where it is declared that Roderick " having failed to ■ 
appear for rendering his obedience to his Majesty and 
for finding surety to pay the rents due to his Highness 
furth of his lands, conform to the charge given to him, 
is to be denounced rebel. "% 

Alexander Cameron, in his Traditions of the Isle of 
Skye, gives the local version of the raid to Uist. He 
has it that it was the Macleods, after having succeeded 
in raising the creach of the island, who had gathered their 
booty into the Church or Monastery of the Trinity at 
Carinish, and that they were feasting themselves there 
on some of the plunder, " when Donald Maclain Mhic 
Sheumais arrived with his twelve warriors, who fought 
with their bows, and arrows, and swords with such effect, 
that only two of the Macleods escaped to convey the 

* Register of the Privy Council, Vol. VI., p. 256, 
\Ibid., Vol. VI., p. 263. 
%lbid., Vol. VI., p. 278. 


news of their discomfiture to their Chief, who was 
with his galleys at Port-na-long." Donald Maclain Mhic 
Sheumais received a severe arrow wound in the action, 
from which he, however, soon recovered, and continued 
to distinguish himself as before. The leader of the 
Macleods was slain by a man Macdougall, named Donald 
Mor Mac Neill Mhic Iain, at the sands named from that 
circumstance Oitir Mhic Dhomhnuil GJilais. The slain of 
the party were buried at the scene of the action, known 
as Feithe-na-fola, or the morass of blood, and their skulls 
were placed in the windows of the Church of the Trinity, 
where they were to be seen until a recent date. 

Rory Mor, seeing the bad success of his clansmen, and 
suspecting that there were more fighting men in the island, 
retired home, intending to return shortly with a greater 
force to avenge his loss. Mr. Cameron continues — " In 
about three weeks Donald Maclain Mhic Sheumais was 
sufficiently recovered to proceed to Skye to report the 
affair at Cairinish personally to his Chief, Donald Gorm 
Mor. He accordingly set sail in his galley with a befitting 
retinue, but when about half-way across the Minch, which 
separates North Uist and the other islands of the Outer 
Hebrides from Skye, a violent snowstorm with a contrary 
wind arose, so that Donald was driven back, and had no 
resourse but to make for Rodil, in Harris, one of the 
seats of his enemy, Rory Mor. It was dark when Donald 
and his company landed, and their arrival was known to 
no one at Rodil, with the exception of Macleod's page, 
MacCrimmon, a native of Skye, to whom Donald stood in 
the relation of goistidh, or godfather. Rory Mor, as usual, 
had a number of the gentlemen of his clan waiting on 
and feasting with him at Rodil House. The severity of 
the storm made the Chief uneasy. He paced to and fro 
in his dining-hall, and, removing the panel from one of 
the apertures that served as windows, he peered into the 
darkness without, and shuddered as the blast blew in 
through the window a shower of snow. Hastily closing 
the aperture, he exclaimed, ' I could not refuse shelter to 


my greatest enemy, even Donald Maclain Mhic Sheumais, 
on such a night' MacCrimmon immediately answers, ' I 
take you at your word, Donald Maclain Mhic Sheumais 
is here.' Rory Mor was rather taken aback by the 
unexpected announcement, but, yielding to no man in 
hospitality, he at once requested that Donald and his 
company be shown in. The Macdonalds entered, and, 
after a formal salutation, were requested to sit down to 
dinner with their host and his kinsmen. The long table 
groaned under its burden of beef, venison, and salmon. 
The Macleods were seated on one side, and the Mac- 
donalds ranged themselves on the other side of the table, 
the dunevassals of either clan being seated above and 
the vassals below the salt. Abundance of good old wine 
was quaffed, and as it took effect, the Macleods, who did 
not appear to relish the presence of the strangers, cast 
furtive glances across the table. At length the murmured 
and listless conversation was interrupted by the words, 
' Remember, this day three weeks was fought the battle 
of Cairinish,' spoken by one of the Macleods, in a loud 
and emphatic tone. The Chief gave a frowning look to 
the speaker, but that did not deter him from repeating the 
unfortunate words, which acted as a live spark on the 
combustible nature of the Macleods, and in an instant 
they displayed a score of daggers. A bloody scene would 
have inevitably followed had not the Chief at once inter- 
fered, and with a voice of authority commanded his hasty 
clansmen to sheath their weapons, and not to disgrace his 
hospitality and their own gallantry by such an ill-timed 
act. They at once obeyed, and he apologised to Donald 
for his clansmen's rashness, and good humouredly inquired 
of him why he had unsheathed his sword. Donald replied 
that he did not mean to act on the offensive, but that if 
any of his men had been struck he intended to have 
secured first the highest bird in the air, an t-eun as airde 
tha 'san ealtninn. When the hour for retiring came, the 
Macdonalds were shown to an outer house to sleep, but 
Donald, as being of higher rank, was about being shown 


to a bedroom in the house, when he declined to go, 
preferring to accompany his men, which he did. They 
retired to rest, but had scarcely slept when MacCrimmon 
came to the door and called for Donald Maclain Mhic 
Sheumais, saying- that there was now fair wind for Skye. 
The Macdonalds at once got up, and, finding that the 
gale had subsided and that the wind was favourable, they 
embarked in their galley for Skye. They had scarcely 
reached the entrance of the Bay of Rodil when, on looking 
back, they observed the dormitory they had left in flames, 
some of the Macleods having treacherously set it on fire, 
suspecting that the Macdonalds were within. The piper 
of the Macdonalds struck up the piobaireachd, Tha an 
dubhthuil air Macleod, i.e., 'the Macleods are disgraced,' 
which galled the Macleods on perceiving that they were 
outwitted. The Macdonalds were soon borne by the 
breeze to their destination, Duntulm, in Troternish." 

In the absence of Rory Mor in Argyle, seeking the aid 
and advice of the Earl of Argyll against the Macdonalds, 
Donald Gorm Mor assembled his men, and made an 
invasion into Macleod's lands, determined to force on a 
battle. Alexander Macleod of Minginish, the brother of 
Rory Mor, collected all the fighting men of the Siol 
Tormoid, and some of the Siol Torquil from the Lewis, 
and encamped by Ben-a-Chuilinn. Next day they and 
the Macdonalds engaged in battle, which continued all 
the day, " both contending for the victory with incredible 
obstinacy." The leader of the Macleods (who was cased 
in armour), together with Neil MacAllister Roy, and thirty 
of the leading men of the Macleods of Dunvegan were 
wounded and taken prisoners, and the Macdonalds gained 
the day. John MacTormoid and Tormod MacTormoid, 
two near kinsmen of Rory Mor, and several other Macleods, 
were slain. Donald Maclain Mhic Sheumais fought with 
great bravery in the action under Donald Gorm Mor. The 
ravine where the battle was fought is hence named Coire 
na ereieh, or the ravine of the spoil.* 

* The Conflicts of the Clans by a contemporary writer. 


The Privy Council now interfered, and requested the 
Chiefs to disband their forces and quit Skye. We find 
an entry dated Stirling, 22nd of August, 1601, in which 
it is recorded that Rory Macleod of Dunvegan and his 
kin and friends, on the one side, and Donald Mac- 
Donald Gorm of Sleat and his dependers, on the other, 
" continewing in thair wicked and evill dispositioun to 
prosequute thair particular revengeis," intended to " mass 
togidder grit nowmeris and forceis of thair kin and freind- 
schip," and pursue each other "with fyre and sword and 
other hostilitie be say and land." Then follows an order 
to charge both parties to dissolve their forces and to observe 
the King's peace. Macleod is commanded to repair to 
Archibald, Earl of Argyll, and Macdonald to George, 
Marquis of Huntly, within six days after being charged, 
and to remain in the company of the said noblemen till 
the King and Council take order anent the present 
"trouble," under pain of treason. Both parties are 
required to release peacefully all prisoners on either side 
within forty-eight hours after being charged under the 
said pain of treason. They are also commanded to execute 
mutual assurances till 1st August, 1602, within six hours 
after the charge, under pain of rebellion.* Through the 
mediation of Angus Macdonald of Kintyre, the Laird of 
Coll, and other friends, a reconciliation was ultimately 
effected between them, whereupon Donald Gorm Mac- 
donald delivered up to Rory Mor the prisoners taken 
at Ben-a-Chuilinn, including his brother, Alexander of 
Minginish. After this they refrained from open hostility, 
though they had several actions at law against each other. 

On this reconciliation being effected, Donald Gorm was 
invited by Rory Mor to a banquet in Dunvegan Castle. 
When Donald appeared in sight of the Dun he was 
met by Macleod's famous piper, Donald Mor MacCrimmon, 
who welcomed the Chief of the Macdonalds by playing 
"The Macdonald's Salute," which piobaireaehd he composed 
for the occasion. It was in connection with the same 
* Register of the Privy Council, Vol. VI. , p. 282. 


banquet that he composed and at it that he played for 
the first time, Failte nan Leodach, or Macleod's Salute. 

There is a charge dated Edinburgh, 18th of July, 1605, 
to " Rory Macleod of Dunvegan and all others, havers, 
keepers, and detainers of the castle, tower, and fortalice 
of Dunvegan, and of all others — his castles, towers, and 
fortalices — to render and deliver the same to the heralds 
or officers executors of the said letters, and such other as 
shall be appointed for receiving and keeping thereof, to 
be kept by them in His Majesty's name and to his 
Highness's behoof as pledges of their obedience," and 
to remove themselves and their servants furth thereof 
within twenty-four hours, under pain of treason.* 

From this it would appear that at this time Macleod 
was in great difficulty with the Court. By the assistance of 
the Earl of Argyll, however, — with whom he shortly after- 
wards entered into a contract, dated 7th of July, 1606, to 
resign his Barony of Glenelg to the King, in favour of his 
Lordship, who, in turn, became bound to re-grant the 
same to Macleod and his heirs-male, to be held of Argyll 
and his heirs, by service of ward, marriage, and relief, — 
he managed to make terms with the King, and all 
his enemies, especially with Sir Roderick Mackenzie of 
Coigeach, Tutor of Kintail, and Macdonald of Sleat, with 
the latter of whom he ultimately entered into a bond of 
friendship, as he also did with Macdonald of Clanranald 
and Mackinnon of Strath. 

At Edinburgh on the 23rd of June, 1607, the Privy 
Council resolves that, in order to the " weill and quietnes" 
of the North Isles, the Lords ordain " charge to be given 
to Archibald, Earl of Argyle, to present Rory Macleod 
of Harris before them on next, conform to the 

act of caution in ,£10,000 by Campbell of Lundy, to that 
effect."f At the same place, on the 13th ;©£ August, in 
the same year, it is recorded that the Castle of Stornoway 
and other fortalices in the Lewis which belong to the 

* Register of the Privy Council, Vol. VII., p. 87. 
\Ibid„ Vol. VII., p. 397. 


gentlemen portioners thereof, have been surprised by 
Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan, who will not deliver 
the same to their said owners, and there is an order 
charging him to surrender the said houses to the Com- 
missioners nominated by the said portioners for receiving 
thereof, within six hours after the charge, under pain of 

At this period the Macleods of Harris, Macneills of 
Barra, and Macdonalds of Clanranald, assisted Neil Mac- 
leod of Lewis against the Fife Adventurers, whose appear- 
ance in that island, their proceedings there, and their final 
discomfiture, will be described under The MACLEODS OF 

Great preparations were now made for an expedition 
against the Island Chiefs. In 1608 proclamations were 
issued summoning the militia of the shires of Dumbarton, 
Argyle, Tarbert, Ayr, Renfrew, and Galloway, to join the 
Royal forces, and to rendezvous at Islay on the first of 
June, where the forces then engaged in Ireland assisting 
those of Queen Elizabeth were to meet them. Another 
proclamation was issued at the same time forbidding any 
of the mainland Chiefs, under the severest penalties, to 
render assistance or give shelter to any of the Islesmen. 
Extraordinary precautions were taken, and everything 
possible seems to have been done by the Privy Council 
to secure the success and facilitate the execution of their 
enterprise against the Islanders. Andrew Stewart, Lord 
Ochiltree, with Sir James Hay, was sent to the Isles, 
with powers to confer and come to terms with the Chiefs. 
He met the principal men at Maclean's Castle of Aros, 
in Mull. Roderick Macleod and his brother Alexander 
were present on this occasion, and with the others 
agreed to the following conditions : — First, security for 
His Majesty's rents ; secondly, obedience to the laws 
by the Chiefs and all their followers ; thirdly, delivery 
by them of all houses of defence, strongholds, and 
crannags ) to be placed at the King's disposal ; fourthly, 

* Register of the Privy Council, Vol. VII., p. 430. 


renunciation of all jurisdictions which they claimed, heri- 
tably or otherwise, and submission to the jurisdiction of 
Sheriffs, Bailies, Justices, or other officers appointed by 
the Crown ; fifthly, that they should be satisfied with such 
lands and possessions, and under such conditions as the 
King" might appoint ; sixthly, that their whole birlings, 
lymphads, and galleys should be destroyed, save those 
required for carrying to the mainland His Majesty's rents 
paid in kind, and other necessary purposes ; seventhly, 
that they, and such of their kinsmen as could afford it, 
should put their children to school, under the directions 
of the Privy Council ; and lastly, that they should abstain 
from using guns, bows, and two-handed swords, and should 
confine themselves to single-handed swords and targes. 

The Chiefs, however, soon found out that Ochiltree 
was not to be trusted. Angus Macdonald of Isla, having 
agreed to everything required of him, was permitted to 
go home, but finding the others not quite so pliant to 
do Ochiltree's bidding in all things, he invited them on 
board the King's ship Moon, on the pretence of hearing 
a sermon preached by his chief counsellor, Bishop Knox 
of the Isles, after which they were to dine together. Rory 
Mor, suspecting some sinister design, refused to go on 
board, and his suspicion proved only too well founded, 
for immediately after dinner Ochiltree informed his guests 
that they were all prisoners by the King's orders. He 
then weighed anchor, at once set sail with his interesting 
cargo to Ayr, and thence marched them to Edinburgh, 
where, by order of the Privy Council, they were confined 
in the Castles of Dumbarton, Blackness, and Stirling. The 
imprisonment of these haughty Chiefs induced many of 
their followers at once to submit to the King's representa- 
tives, and the arrangements which were soon afterwards 
made became the starting point for a gradual but permanent 
improvement in the Highlands and Western Isles. 

In 1609 the famous Statutes of Icolmkill were agreed to 
between the island lords (who had meanwhile been set at 
liberty), and the Bishop of the Isles, and among the rest 


we find on this occasion Rory Mor of Dunvegan. The 
statutes are summarised by Gregory as follows : — The first 
proceeded upon the narrative of the gross ignorance and 
barbarity of the Islanders, alleged to have arisen partly 
from the small number of their clergy, and partly from the 
contempt in which this small number of pastors was held. 
To remedy this state of things, it was agreed that proper 
obedience should be given to the clergy (whose number, 
much diminished by the Reformation, it was proposed to 
increase) ; that their stipends should be regularly paid ; that 
ruinous churches should be re-built ; that the Sabbaths 
should be solemnly kept; and that, in all respects, they 
should observe the discipline of the Reformed Kirk as 
established by Act of Parliament. By one of the clauses 
of this statute, marriages contracted for certain years were 
declared illegal ; a proof that the ancient practice of hand- 
fasting still prevailed to a certain extent. The second 
statute ordained the establishment of inns at the most 
convenient places in the several Isles ; and this not only 
for the convenience of travellers, but to relieve the tenants 
and labourers of the ground from the great burden and 
expense caused to them through the want of houses of 
public entertainment. The third was intended to diminish 
the number of idle persons, whether masterless vagabonds, 
or belonging to the households of Chiefs and landlords ; 
for experience had shown that the expense of supporting 
these idlers fell chiefly upon the tenantry in addition to 
their usual rents. It was, therefore, enacted that no man 
should be allowed to reside within the Isles who had not 
a sufficient revenue of his own ; or who, at least, did not 
follow some trade by which he might live. With regard 
to the great households hitherto kept by the Chiefs, a 
limit was put to the number of individuals of which each 
household was to consist in future, according to the rank 
and estate of the master ; and it was further provided that 
each Chief should support his household from his own 
means, and not by a tax upon his tenantry. The fourth 
provided that all persons, not natives of the Isles, who 


should be found sorning, or living- at free quarters upon the 
poor inhabitants (an evil which seems to have reached a 
great height), should be tried and punished by the judge 
ordinary as thieves and oppressors. The fifth statute 
proceeded upon the narrative that one of the chief causes 
of the great poverty of the Isles, and of the cruelty and 
inhuman barbarity practised in their local feuds, was their 
inordinate love of strong wines and aquavite, which they 
purchased partly from dealers among themselves, partly 
from merchants belonging to the mainland. Power was, 
therefore, given to any person whatever to seize, without 
payment, any wine or aquavite imported for sale by a 
native merchant ; and if an Islander should buy any of 
the prohibited articles from a mainland trader, he was to 
incur the penalty of forty pounds for the first offence, one 
hundred for the second, and for the third, the loss of his 
whole possessions and moveable goods. It was, however, 
declared to be lawful for an individual to brew as much 
aquavite as his own family might require ; and the barons 
and wealthy gentlemen were permitted to purchase in the 
lowlands the wine and other liquors required for their 
private consumption. The sixth statute attributed the 
"ignorance and incivilitee" of the Islanders to the neglect 
of good education among the youth ; and to remedy this 
fault it enacted that every gentleman or yeoman possessed 
of sixty cattle should send his eldest son, or, if he had no 
male children, his eldest daughter to school in the Lowlands, 
and maintain his child there till it learned to speak, read, 
and write English. The seventh statute forbade the use of 
any description of firearms, even for the destruction of 
game, under the penalties contained in an Act of Parlia- 
ment passed in the (then) present reign, which had never 
yet received obedience from the Islanders "owing to their 
monstrous deadly feuds." The eighth statute was directed 
against bards and other idlers of that class. The gentry 
were forbidden to encourage them ; and the bards them- 
selves were threatened, first with the stocks, and then with 
banishment. The ninth statute contained some necessary 


enactments for enforcing obedience to the preceding- 

Such were the Statutes of Icolmkill, for the better observ- 
ance of which, and of the Laws of the Realm and Acts of 
Parliament in general, the Bishop took from the assembled 
Chiefs a very strict bond. This bond, moreover, contained 
a sort of confession of faith on the part of the subscribers, 
and an unconditional acknowledgment of His Majesty's 
supreme authority in all matters both spiritual and temporal, 
according to his " most loveable Act of Supremacy." 

The first of these Statutes agreed to by the Island 
Chiefs is an instructive document and deserves to be 
given at length. It is in the following terms : — 

" For remedy whereof [the ignorance, etc., of the 
people], they have all agreed in one voice, Like as it is 
presently concluded and enacted, That the ministers, as 
well planted as to be planted within the parishes of the 
said Isles, shall be reverently obeyed ; their stipends 
dutifully paid them ; the ruinous kirks with reasonable 
diligence repaired ; the Sabbaths solemnly kept ; adulteries, 
fornications, incest, and such other vile slanders severely 
punished ; marriages contracted for certain years, simpliciter 
discharged, and the committers thereof repute and punished 
as fornicators — and that conform to the loveable acts of 
Parliament of this realm and discipline of the Reformed 
Kirk ; the which the foresaids persons and every one of 
them within their own bounds faithfully promise to see 
put to due execution." 

The Bond which the Bishop took from the nine Hebridean 
Lairds on this occasion, Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan's 
being the fifth signature to it, is an extraordinary confession. 
It is as follows : — 

" We, and every one of us, principal gentlemen, indwellers 
within the West and North Isles of Scotland, under-sub- 
cribers, acknowledging, and now by experience finding, 
that the special cause of the great misery, barbarity, and 
poverty, unto the which for the present our barren country 
is subject, has proceeded of the unnatural deadly feuds 
which have been fostered among us in this last age : in 
respect that thereby not only the fear of God and all 
religion, but also the care of keeping any duty and giving 


obedience unto our gracious sovereign the King's Majesty 
and his Highness's laws, for the most part was decayed : 
and now seeing it has pleased God in His mercy to remove 
these unhappy distractions, with the causes of them, all 
from among us ; and understanding that the recovery of the 
peace of our conscience, our prosperity, weal, and quiet- 
ness, consist in the acknowledging of our duty towards 
our God and His true worship, and of our humble 
obedience to our dread sovereign and his Highness's laws 
of this his Majesty's kingdom : and also being persuaded 
of mercy and forgiveness of all our bypast offences of his 
Majesty's accustomed clemency ; bind and oblige our- 
selves by the faith and truth in our bodies, under the 
pain of perjury and defamation for ever, — and further 
under such other civil penalties as it shall please his 
Majesty and his honourable Council to subject us unto 
at our next compearance before their Lordships ; that as 
we presently profess the true religion publicly taught, 
preached, and professed within this realm of Scotland, and 
embraced by his Majesty and his Estates of this realm as 
the only and undoubted truth of God ; so by his Grace 
we shall continue in the profession of the same without 
hypocrisy to our lives' end ; and shall dutifully serve his 
Majesty in the maintenance of that truth, liberty of the 
same, and of all the laws and privileges of any part of 
his Highness's dominions, with our bodies and goods, 
without excuse or wearying to our last breath : likeas also 
we and every one of us protest, in the sight of the ever- 
living God, that we acknowledge and reverence our sovereign 
lord his sacred Majesty allenarly supreme judge under the 
eternal God in all causes and above all persons, both 
spiritual and temporal, avowing our loyalty and obedience 
to his Highness only, conform to his Majesty's most 
loveable Act of Supremacy, which we embrace and sub- 
scribe unto with our hearts ; and, further, under the same 
oath and pains, we faithfully promise dutiful obedience to 
the whole laws, Acts of Parliament, and constitutions of 
this his Highness's Kingdom of Scotland, and to observe 
and keep every point and ordinance of the same as they 
are observed by the rest of his Majesty's most loyal 
subjects of the realm ; and to be answerable to his Majesty 
and to his Highness's Council as we shall be required upon 
our obedience thereto ; and, further, as shall be more parti- 
cularly enjoined unto us for our weal and reformation of 
this our poor country by his Majesty and Council having 


consideration what it may be and we are able to perform ; 
and also, as more specially we have agreed unto, set down 
and established as necessary laws to be kept among our- 
selves in our particular Courts, holden by his Majesty's 
Commissioner, Andrew, Bishop of the Isles, and subscribed 
with all our hands in his presence. And, finally, we bind 
and oblige ourselves, under the oath and pains foresaid, 
that in case any of us and our friends, dependers, or 
servants, upon any evil or turbulent motion (as God forbid 
they do), disobey any of the foresaid ordinances, or be 
found remiss or negligent in observing of the special points 
of our obligation above written, and being convicted thereof 
by the Judge Ordinary of the country, spiritual or temporal ; 
that then, and in that case, we shall assuredly concur 
together, conjunctly and severally, as we shall be employed 
by his Highness or the said Judge Ordinary or Sheriff; and 
shall concur with the said Sheriff or Judge whatsoever, 
having warrant of his Majesty, to pursue, take, apprehend, 
and present to justice the said disobedient person ; intromit 
with his lands, goods, and gear, and dispone thereupon as 
we shall have commission of his Majesty ; and hereto we 
and every one of us faithfully promise, bind, and oblige us 
by our great oaths, as we shall be saved and condemned 
upon the great day of the Great Judge of the world, to 
observe, keep, and fulfil the premises ; and for the more 
security, if need be, we are content, and consent that these 
presents be inserted and registered in his Highness s Books 
of Secret Council of this realm, and the same to have the 
strength of an Act and Decreet of the Lords thereof 
interponed hereto with executorials to be direct hereupon 
in form as effeirs ; And to that effect makes and constitutes 
[blank] our Procurators, conjunctly and severally, in itberiori 
forma, promitten. derato ; In witness whereof," etc.* 

This remarkable bond is dated the 23d of August, 1609. 
On the following day, the 24th of August in the same 
year, Roderick Macleod entered into a separate bond of 
friendship and mutual forgiveness with Donald Gorm Mac- 
donald of Sleat, in the following terms : — 

" At Icolmkill, the twenty-fourth day of August, the year 
of God, 1609 years : It is appointed, concorded, contracted, 
and finally agreed and ended betwixt the right honourable 

* Registrum Secreti Concilia, Acta penes Marchiarum et Insularum ordinem, 
Vol. from 1608 to 1623, recorded on the 27th of July, 16 10. 


persons [the] parties underwritten, to wit, Donald Gorm 
Macdonald of Sleat, on the one part, and Rory Macleod of 
Harris, on the other part, in manner, form, and effect, as 
after follows : — That is to say, forasmuch as the foresaid 
persons, [the] parties above-named, being certainly persuaded 
of their dread Sovereign His Majesty's clemency and mercy 
towards them, and willing of their reformation, and their 
living hereafter in peace, as His Highness's quiet, modest, 
and peaceable subjects, and that by His Majesty's and Loids 
of his Secret Council's will and directions committed to one 
reverend father, Andrew, Bishop of the Isles ; and the said 
parties, considering the Godless and unhappy turns done by 
either of them, their friends, servants, tenants, dependants, 
and part-takers, to others, which from their hearts they and 
each one of them now repents : therefore the said Donald 
Gorm Macdonald and Rory Macleod, [the] parties above- 
rehearsed, taking the burden on them, each one of them for 
their own kin, friends, servants, tenants, dependants, and 
allies, to have remitted, freely discharged, and forgiven, like 
as, by the tenor hereof, they from their hearts freely remit, 
discharge, and forgive each one of them, the other and their 
foresaids, for all and whatsoever slaughters, murders, heir- 
schips, spulzies of goods, and raising of fire committed by 
either of them against the other, their friends, servants, 
tenants, and dependants, at any time preceding the date 
hereof ; renouncing all actions or pursuit whatsoever, 
criminal or civil, that can or may be competent in either 
of their persons or their foresaids against the other for the 
same, pise lite et causa for ever ; without prejudice to either 
of the foresaid parties to set whatsoever lands alleged to 
pertain to either of them, lying within the other's bounds, 
as law will ; and for their further security, bind and oblige 
them, taking the burden on them, as said is, each one to 
make, subscribe, and deliver letters of slains to the other 
for whatsoever slaughters [were] committed by either of 
them on [the] other's friends, servants, and tenants in due 
and competent form, if need be, so that the said parties and 
each one of them by their own moyens and diligence may 
deal and travel with His Majesty and Council for His High- 
ness's remission for the same ; and hereto both the parties 
bind and oblige them by the faith and truth in their bodies 
to observe, keep, and fulfil the promises each one to [the] 
other, and never to come in the contrar hereof, directly or 
indirectly, under the pain of perjury and defamation for 
ever : and, further, faithfully promise, bind, and oblige them 


to live hereafter in Christian society and peace, and each 
one of them to assist and maintain [the] other in their 
honest and lesome affairs and business. And for the more 
security, if need be, they are content, and consent that these 
presents be inserted and registered in the Books of Council 
and Session, and the same to have the strength of an Act 
and Decreet of the Lords thereof, interponed hereto with 
execution to direct hereupon in form as effeirs," etc., etc.* 

The document is signed by both the parties, duly tested 
and witnessed in proper form, Lachlan Mackinnon of 
Strath, signing as one of the witnessess in the Gaelic 

On the 4th of May, 1610, Roderick Macleod obtained 
a remission from the King for all his past crimes. On 
the 1 8th of the same month, James VI. wrote him a letter, 
requiring his assistance in an affair, the nature of which 
the King communicated to him through the Earl of 
Dunbar, and regarding which, His Majesty said, " We 
shall not fail to remember when any occasion fit for your 
good shall be offered." 

On the 28th of June he presented himself before the King 
in Edinburgh, with Macdonald of Sleat, Mackinnon of 
Strath, and three others of the leading Island Chiefs, to hear 
the Royal pleasure declared to them, when they were taken 
bound to give securities in a large amount to appear before 
the Privy Council in May, 161 1, and to aid the King's 
lieutenants, justices, and commissioners in all matters 
connected with the Isles. They pledged themselves that 
they should ever after live together in "peace, love, and 
amity," and that any questions of difference arising between 
them should be settled in the ordinary course of law. In 
consequence, there were scarcely any disturbances in the 
Isles during that year. 

On the 18th of July, 161 1, Macleod acquired from 
Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, the five unciate 
lands of Waternish, which his Lordship had previously pur- 
chased from Sir George Hay and others, who got possession 

* Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, pp. 204-205, from the original in the 
Dunvegan Charter Chest. 



of them on the forfeiture of the Macleods of Lewis, to 
whom these lands until then belonged. In part payment 
of Waternish, Roderick disponed to Mackenzie of Kintail 
the two unciates of land in Troternish, which belonged to 
himself, with the bailliary of the old extent of eight merks 
which had been united to the Barony of the Lewis, and 
in which William Macleod, XII. of Macleod, had been 
served heir to his father, Tormod, in 1585. On the 
following day, the 19th of July, Roderick obtained from 
Sir George Hay, who had now become Viscount Duplin, 
and from the other Fife Adventurers — to whom all Mac- 
leods estates were granted when Roderick Macleod was 
forfeited, in 1597, for declining to produce his titles in 
terms of the Act of Parliament of that year — a disposition 
of all his lands, except Troternish, Sleat, and North Uist ; 
and on these titles, and his own resignation to the Crown, 
he obtained, on the 4th of August, 161 1, a new charter, 
under the Great Seal, of the lands of Dunvegan, Glenelg, 
Waternish, etc., containing a novodamus, taxing the ward 
and erecting the whole into the Barony of Dunvegan, in 
favour of himself and the heirs-male of his body, with 
remainder to Alexander Macleod of Minginish, his brother- 
german, and the heirs-male of his body, with remainder 
to William, alias MacWilliam Macleod of Meidle, heir-male 
of Tormod, second son of John Borb, VI. of Macleod, 
and the heirs-male of his body, whom all failing to his 
own nearest lawful male-heirs whatsoever. He was 
infeft on this charter on the 22nd of October in the 
same year. 

By a letter dated at Whitehall, 5th of November, 161 1, 
the King granted to Andrew, Bishop of the Isles, "all 
and whatsoever sums of money shall be resting, owing 
to His Majesty," by Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan, and 
several other Island and Highland Chiefs, therein men- 
tioned, for their share of whatsoever taxation had been 
granted to His Majesty, within his kingdom, at any time 
preceding the first day of July, 1606. 

Early in 1613, Roderick received from James I. the honour 


of knighthood. In June of that year, His Majesty wrote 
three separate letters, dated Greenwich, recommending' Sir 
Roderick and his affairs, in the strongest terms, to the 
favourable consideration of the Privy Council. In the 
same year, Sir Roderick Macleod of Harris, Donald Gorm 
of Sleat, Hector Maclean of Duart, and Donald Mac- 
Allan Macdonald of Clanranald, are mentioned in "James 
Primrois' Information," and in the Records of the Privy 
Council from January to July, as having settled with the 
Exchequer, and as continuing in their obedience to the 

It was in the same year that Sir Roderick found himself 
in the somewhat awkward possession of the person of Neil 
Macleod the Bastard, who had stood out so long against 
the Mackenzies in the Lewis, and had finally to abandon 
the Rock of Berrisay, where he held out for three years 
after all the Macleods of Lewis had been driven from the 
mainland of the Island. Being forced to evacuate this 
rock by Sir Roderick Mackenzie, tutor of Kintail, Neil 
escaped to Harris, " where he remained for a while in 
secret, but at length surrendered himself to Ruari Macleod 
of Harris, whom he entreated to take him to the King 
of England. This, the Chief of Harris undertook to do ; 
but, when at Glasgow with his prisoner, preparing to 
embark for England, he was charged, under pain of 
treason, to deliver Neil Macleod to the Privy Council at 
Edinburgh, which he accordingly did ; and, at the same 
time, gave up Neil's son, Donald. Neil was brought to 
trial, convicted and executed, and died 'very christianlie,' 
in April, 161 3." 

In the Mackenzie family manuscripts it is said that it 
was Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Coigeach who was instru- 
mental in getting Macleod of Harris charged to give up 
Neil to the Privy Council, and Rory Mor, according to 
the same authorities, prevailed upon Neil and his son to 
accompany him to Edinburgh "to seek forgiveness" from 
the King in person, upon which pretence Roderick induced 
Neil and his son to go. On their arrival in Edinburgh, he 


at once delivered them to the Privy Council, when, as 
we have seen, Neil was executed, and his son was banished 
to England, where he remained for three years, under the 
protection of Sir Robert Gordon, tutor of Sutherland, 
and afterwards went to Holland, where he died, without 

On the 1 6th of September, 1613, Sir Roderick was served 
heir in special to his uncle, William Macleod, IX. of Mac- 
leod, in the lands of Troternish, Sleat, and North Uist, 
and, on the nth of February, 1614, he was infeft in the 
same lands on a precept from Chancery. 

In 161 5 Sir James Macdonald of Islay having escaped 
from prison, and having broken out with his followers into 
open rebellion, Sir Roderick Macleod, the Captain of 
Clanranald, and Macdonald of Sleat, received instructions 
to defend their estates against an old pirate, Coll Mac- 
Gillespick, who assisted Macdonald, with two hundred 
men each. These three Chiefs, it was afterwards alleged, 
entered into a special bond of friendship with Sir James 
Macdonald of Islay, and other arrangements had to be 

In 1616 Sir Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan, Macdonald 
of Clanranald, the Chiefs of Duart, Lochbuy, and Coll, and 
Mackinnon of Strath, appeared before the Privy Council, 
when strict measures were adopted to secure their future 
obedience and good conduct. They bound themselves 
mutually as sureties for each other, undertaking to observe 
the following conditions : — 

First, that their clans should keep good order, and that 
they themselves should appear before the Council, annually, 
on the ioth of July, and oftener if required, on being 
legally summoned. 

Secondly, that they should exhibit annually a certain 
number of their principal kinsmen, out of a larger number 
contained in a list given by them to the Council. Duart 
was to exhibit four ; Macleod, three ; Clanranald, two ; and 
Coll, Lochbuy, and Mackinnon, one of these chieftains 
or heads of houses, in their clans, respectively. 


Thirdly, that they were not to maintain in their house- 
holds more than the following- proportions of gentlemen, 
according- to their rank — viz., Duart, eight ; Macleod and 
Clanranald, six ; and the others three each. 

Fourthly, that they were to free their countries of 
" sorners " and idle men having no lawful occupation. 

Fifthly, that none of them were to carry hackbuts or 
pistols, unless when employed in the King's service ; and 
that none but the Chiefs and their household gentlemen 
were to wear swords, or armour, or any other weapons 

Sixthly, that the Chiefs were to reside at the following 
places, respectively — viz., Macleod at Dunvegan ; Maclean 
of Duart at that place ; Clanranald at Elantirim ; Maclean 
of Coll at Bistache ; Lochbuy at Moy ; and Mackinnon at 
Kilmorie. Such of them as had not convenient dwelling- 
houses corresponding to their rank at these places were 
to build, without delay, "civil and comelie" houses, or 
repair those that were decayed. They were likewise to 
make " policie and planting " about their houses, and to 
take " mains," or home-farms, into their own hands, which 
they were to cultivate, " to the effect they might be 
thereby exercised, and eschew idleness." Clanranald, who 
had no "mains" about his Castle of Elantirim, chose for 
his home-farm the lands of Howbeg, in Uist. 

Seventhly, that, at the term of Martinmas next, they were 
to let the remainder of their lands to tenants, for a certain 
fixed rent, in lieu of all exactions. 

Eighthly, that no single Chief should keep more than one 
birlinn, or galley, of sixteen or eighteen oars ; and that, in 
their voyages through the Isles, they should not oppress 
the country people. 

Ninthly, that they should send all their children, above 
nine years of age, to school in the Lowlands, to be instructed 
in reading, writing, and speaking the English language ; 
and that none of their children should be served heir to 
their fathers, or received as a tenant by the King, who had 
not received that education. This provision regarding 


education was confirmed by an Act of Privy Council, which 
bore that " the chief and principal cause which has procured 
and procures the continuance of barbarity, impiety, and 
incivility, within the Isles of this kingdom, has proceeded 
from the small care that the Chiefs and principal Clansmen 
of the Isles have had of the education and upbringing of 
their children in virtue and learning, who being careless of 
their duties in that point, and keeping their children still at 
home with them, where they see nothing in their tender 
years but the barbarous and uncivil form of the country, 
they are thereby made to apprehend that there is no other 
form of duty and civility kept in any other part of the 
country ; so that, when they come to the years of maturity, 
hardly can they be reclaimed from these barbarous, rude, 
and uncivil forms, which, for lack of instruction, were bred 
and settled in them in their youth ; whereas, if they had 
been sent to the Inland (the low country) in their youth, 
and trained up in virtue, learning, and the English tongue, 
they would have been the better prepared to reform their 
countries, and to reduce the same to Godliness, obedience, 
and civility." 

Lastly, the Chiefs were not to use in their houses more 
than the following quantities of wine respectively, viz. : — 
Duart and Macleod, four tuns each ; Clanranald, three tuns ; 
and Coll, Lochbuy, and Mackinnon, one tun each ; and 
they were to take strict order throughout their whole estates 
that none of their tenants or vassals should buy or drink any 

A very strict Act of the Privy Council against excess of 
drinking accompanied this obligation of the Chiefs. It 
proceeded on the narrative that " the great and extra- 
ordinary excess in drinking of wine, commonly used among 
the commons and tenants of the Isles, is not only an 
occasion of the beastly and barbarous cruelties and inhu- 
manities that fall out among them, to the offence and 
displeasure of God, and contempt of law and justice, 
but, with that, it draws numbers of them to miserable 
necessity and poverty, so that they are constrained, 


when they want from their own, to take from their 

On the 16th of June, 1616, the King granted Sir 
Roderick a licence, under his own hand and seal, by which 
he was permitted to travel out of Scotland, and go to the 
English Court whenever he should find it convenient to do 
so, without anyone having the right to challenge or pursue 

In terms of their engagements the previous year, Sir 
Roderick Macleod, and the other Island Chiefs, presented 
themselves and their kinsmen, of whom Macleod had to 
produce three, before the Council, in July, 1617, and 
continued to do so with fair regularity until 1619, when the 
date of the visit was, at their own request, changed from 
July to February. In 162 1, however, the date was again 
altered from February to July, owing to the roughness of 
the weather in the early spring months of the year. 

In 1616 he disponed the lands of Troternish, Sleat, and 
North Uist, so long in dispute between the families of Sleat 
and Dunvegan, to Sir Donald Gorm Og Macdonald. There 
had been an action at law going on in connection with 
these lands between Macleod and Donald Gorm Mor, who 
died in December, 1616. This action had been continued 
by Macdonald's nephew and successor, Sir Donald Gorm 
Og, and in this year an agreement by arbitration was arrived 
at under which a certain sum of money was awarded to Sir 
Roderick Macleod for his claim on these lands ; and in 
order to secure payment of the award it was agreed that he 
should keep possession of the lands for so many years, and 
pay himself with the rents, when, at the date named in the 
decree arbitral, they should finally pass to Sir Donald Gorm 
Og and his heirs. 

In 1622, Sir Roderick presented himself, with several 
other Highland Chiefs, when several important Acts, 
relating to the Isles, were enacted by the Privy Council. 
By the first of these Acts they were taken bound to 
build and repair their parish churches to the satisfaction 
of the Bishop of the Isles, whom they promised to meet 


at Icolmkill, to make the necessary arrangements as to 
the form, manner, and time, in which this Act was to be 
carried out.* 

By another Act, masters of vessels were prohibited from 
carrying more wine to the Hebrides than the quantity 
granted to the Chiefs and gentlemen of the Isles by the 
Act of 1617, the quantity allowed Sir Roderick Macleod 
being four tuns per annum. According to the preamble 
of the Act of 1622, the chief cause which retarded the 
civilisation of the Isles was the great quantity of wine 
imported yearly. It is there stated that " with the insatiable 
desire whereof the said Islanders are so far possessed, when 
there arrives any ship or other vessel there with wines, 
they spend both days and nights in their excess of drinking 
so long as there is any of the wine left ; so that, being 
overcome with drink, there falls out many inconveniences 
among them, to the break of His Majesty's peace." 

By a third Act, Sir Roderick Macleod, Sir Donald Gorm 
Macdonald of Sleat, Macdonald of Clanranald, and Mac- 
kinnon of Strath, were bound not to molest those engaged 
in fishing in the Isles, under very severe and heavy penalties. 

Sir Roderick Macleod of Harris is with a number of 
others mentioned in a commission by James VI. dated 
the 18th of June, 1622, to pursue the Clan Cameron with 
fire and sword for refusing to render their obedience to 
the King, and for associating with " ane nomber of otheris 
theivis, traytouries, and lymmaries." 

In a contract between Sir John Grant of Freuchie, and 
Allan Cameron of Lochiel and others, dated 21st September 
and 10th December, 1623, and 20th April and 1st May, 

* The agreement is as follows: — "At Edinburgh, 23rd July, 1622, the 
whilk day Sir Donald Gorme, Sir Rorie Macleud, and the Lairds of Mac- 
kynnoun, Coill, and Lochbuy compeir, and personallie befoir the Lordis of 
Secrete Counsell, they acted and oblist thame to builde and repaire their 
Paroche Kirkis at the sicht of the Bishope of the His ; and that thay shall 
convene and meit with the Bishope at Icolmekill upoun suche daye and dayis 
as with mutuall concert sail be aggreit upoun, and thair confer, ressoun, 
resolve, and conclude upoun the forme and maner and upoun the tyme quhen 
and in what forme the said kirkis sail be biggit. " 


1624, Sir Roderick Macleod becomes bound, with others, 
that Allan Cameron should compear personally before 
the Lords of Secret Council on the 10th of July following-, 
and find sufficient sureties, acted in the Books of Secret 
Council, to the satisfaction of their Lordships, in such 
sums as they should appoint, for his good behaviour and 
for his obedience to law and justice in all time coming - . 
Among the witnesses to Sir Roderick's signature in this 
contract is " Mr. William McCleod, sister's son to the 
said Sir Rorie," whose father was Torquil Dubh, son of 
Roderick Macleod, X. of the Lewis. 

In 1624, Macleod, with other Highland Chiefs who had 
previously become answerable for the good conduct of the 
Maclans of Ardnamurchan, was called upon to exhibit 
the leaders of that tribe before the Privy Council in 
January, 1625, they having broken out in rebellion during 
the year. Failing to comply with this order, Sir Roderick 
was, along with the other sureties, denounced a rebel, 
according to law. 

The Clan Ian had for a time become the terror of the 
whole west coast of Scotland and the Isles, and we 
find them being chased out of Skye, in 1625, by Macleod 
and a body of his clan, by whom they were pursued to 
Clanranald's lands, where they hid themselves in the woods. 
Soon after this Macleod was joined by Lord Lorn, who, 
with his forces arrived at Ardnamurchan, where, meeting 
Macleod and others, they joined together, engaged against 
the Clan Ian, speedily suppressed the insurrection, and 
killed or banished the leaders. After that date the warlike 
Clan Ian of Ardnamurchan are never again met with as a 
separate and independent tribe, the survivors it would seem 
having joined and identified themselves with their neigh- 
bours, the Macdonalds of Clanranald. 

Sir Roderick is described as a man of noble spirit, 
celebrated for great military prowess and resource. His 
hospitality was ' unbounded, and he was in all respects 
well entitled to be called " Mor," or great in all the 
good qualities that went to constitute a great Highland 


Chief and leader of men in his day. The Gaelic 
bards were enthusiastic in their praises of his great 
qualities of head and heart. No wonder, says a recent 
writer,* that his piper, Patrick Mor MacCrimmon, should 
have taken his death very much to heart. He could no 
longer wait at Dunvegan Castle, but, shouldering his great 
pipe, he made for his house at Borreraig, and composed 
and struck up, as he went along, " Cumha Ruairidh Mhoir " 
— Rory Mor's Lament — which is considered the most 
melodious, feeling, and melancholy " Piobaireachd " known. 
The writer then gives some of the Gaelic words to this 
air, with an English translation by D. Mackintosh, as 
follows : — 

Tog orm mo phiob 'us theid mi dhachaidh, 
'S duilich learn fhein, mo leir mar thachair ; 
Tog orm mo phiob 'us mi air mo chradh, 
Mu Ruairidh Mor, mu Ruairidh Mor. 

Tog orm mo phiob — tha mi sgith ; 
'S mur faigh mi i theid mi dhachaidh ; 
Tog orm mo phiob — tha mi sgith, 
'S mi air mo chradh mu Ruairidh Mor. 

Tog orm mo phiob— tha mi sgith, 
'S mur faigh mi i theid mi dhachaidh, 
Clarsach no piob cha tog mo chridh, 
Cha bheo fear mo ghraidh, Ruairidh Mor. 

My pipe hand me, and home I'll go, 
This sad event fills me with woe ; 
My pipe hand me, my heart is sore, 
My Rory Mor, my Rory Mor. 

My pipe hand me — I'm worn with woe, 
For if you don't then home I'll go ; 
My pipe hand me — I'm weary, sore, 
My heart is grieved for Rory Mor. 

My pipe hand me — I'm worn with woe, 
For if you don't then home I'll go, 
Nor harp nor pipe shall cheer me more, 
For gone's my friend, my Rory Mor. 

This note, bearing on the hospitality of Sir Rory Mor, is 
appended to one of the editions of Scott's Lord of the 

* Cameron's History and Traditions of the Isle of Sky e, p. 69. 


Isles — "There is in the Leabhar Dearg a song intimating 
the overflowing gratitude of a bard of Clan Ronald, after 
the exuberance of a Hebridean festival at the patriarchal 
fortress of Macleod. The translation, being obviously very 
literal, has greatly flattered, as I am informed, the enthusi- 
astic gratitude of the ancient bard ; and it must be owned 
that the works of Homer and Virgil, to say nothing of 
MacMhuirich, might have suffered by their transfusion 
through such a medium. It is pretty plain that when the 
tribute of poetical praise was bestowed the horn of Rorie 
More had not been inactive — 

"Upon Sir Roderic Mor Macleod, by Niall Mor MacMhuirich. 

"The six nights I remained in the Dunvegan, it was not a show of 
hospitality I met with there, but a plentiful feast in thy fair hall, among thy 
numerous host of heroes. 

" The family placed all around under the protection of their great Chief, 
raised by his prosperity and respect for his warlike feats, now enjoying the 
company of his friends at the feast. Amidst the sound of harps, overflowing 
cups, and happy youth unaccustomed to guile or feud, partaking of the 
generous fare by a flaming fire. 

" Mighty Chief, liberal to all in your princely mansion filled with your 
numerous warlike host, whose generous wine would overcome the hardiest 
heroes, yet we continued to enjoy the feast, so happy our host, so generous 
our fare." 

Sir Roderick Mor Macleod married Isabel, daughter of 
Donald Macdonald, VIII. of Glengarry, with issue, five 
sons and six daughters — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Sir Roderick Macleod of Talisker, tutor of Macleod, 
of whom and his descendants hereafter. 

3. Sir Norman Macleod of Bernera, who was Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel of the Macleod Regiment at the battle of 
Worcester, and became one of the most distinguished of 
the name. Most of the famous Mary Macleod's composi- 
tions, supposed hitherto to have been composed to the 
Chiefs of the Clan, were composed to him, and hence 
the reason why she was transported to the Island of Mull 
by the Chief, who became envious of her laudations of 
his distinguished relative. This subject will be dealt with 
under The Macleods of Bernera and Muiravon- 


SIDE, descended from this distinguished soldier and diplo- 

4. William Macleod of Hamer, from whom the Macleods 
of Waterstein and others, of whom hereafter. 

5. Donald Macleod, progenitor of the Macleods of 
Greshornish, of whom in their proper place. 

6. Margaret, who married Hector Mor Maclean, eldest 
son and heir of Hector Og Maclean XIV. of Duart, 
but who died before his father in 1614, without issue. 
She married secondly, as his second wife, ./Eneas Mac- 
donell, VII. of Glengarry, with issue — a daughter, 
Margaret, who married Cuthbert, of Castlehill, Inver- 
ness. She thus became the progenitrix of the famous 
Charles Colbert, Marquis of Seignelay, Minister of Louis 
XIV. of France.* 

7. Mary, who married Sir Lachlan Maclean of Duart and 
Morvern, first Baronet, created on the 13th of February, 
1632, with issue — two sons, Sir Hector and Sir Allan, and 
two daughters — Isabel, who married Sir Ewen Cameron of 
Lochiel, and Mary, who married Lachlan Mackinnon of 

8. Moire or Marion, called " Moire Mhor," who married 
John Macdonald, tenth of Clanranald, with issue. 

9. Janet, who married John Garbh Macleod, of Raasay, 
without issue. 

10. Florence, who married Donald MacSween. 

11. A daughter, who married Lachlan Maclean, of Coll, 
with issue — three sons and two daughters. 

Sir Roderick Mor Macleod died in 1626, when he was 
succeeded by his eldest son, 


Who, on the 9th of November, 1626, was served heir to 
his father, Sir Roderick, in the lands forming the Barony 
of Dunvegan, including the castle of that name, and the 
five unciate lands of Waternish of the old extent of £18 
13s. 4d. He was on the same date infeft in the whole 

* History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles, p. 303. 


family estates, on a precept from Chancery. He was 
afterwards, on a decreet of the Privy Council of Scotland, 
proceeding on the contract entered into by his father, Sir 
Roderick, with the Earl of Argyll, and already referred to, 
obliged to resign the lands of Glenelg into the King's hands, 
in favour of the Earl's son and successor, and to take a 
charter of it, holding it of Argyll, while he had to pay 
his Lordship 20,000 merks for taxing the ward, marriage, 
and relief, by which tenure it was in future to be held by 
the Macleods of Dunvegan. 

On the 19th of September, 1628, John Macleod of 
Dunvegan entered into a contract with the Earl of Sea- 
forth, Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, John Macdonald 
of Clanranald, Sir Lachlan Mackinnon of Strath, and 
Alexander Macleod of Raasay, for the preservation of 
deer and other game on their respective estates, and for 
the punishment of any person trespassing in pursuit of 
game. The agreement is, in several respects, so similar to 
the game laws of our own times, including the provision 
that one witness shall be sufficient to procure a conviction, 
that we give the document nearly entire, simply modern- 
ising the orthography. After giving the names of the 
contracting parties by whom " it is condescended, con- 
tracted, finally and mutually agreed and ended " between 
them, the document proceeds — 

" That is to say, for as much as there has been diverse 
and sundry good Acts of Parliament made by His Majesty's 
predecessors, Kings of Scotland of worthy memory, wherein 
shooting with guns, bows and hounds, are absolutely 
forbidden for slaying and shooting of deer and roe and 
other beasts pasturing within His Majesty's bounds of 
Scotland as, at more length is contained in the said Acts 
of Parliament ; for keeping and fulfilling whereof and for 
preserving and keeping the deer and roes within everyone 
of the honourable parties' forests, Isles and bounds, alive, 
and for keeping good society and neighbourhood among 
them ; wit ye that the said honorable parties are hereby 
become bound and obliged, like as by the tenor hereof 
they faithfully bind and oblige them each one of them for 
their own parts and taking the full burden in and upon 


them respectively for their whole kin, men-tenants, and 
countrymen within every one of their bounds and isles, 
that they nor either of them, their kin, friends, men-tenants 
nor countrymen, shall nowise hereafter in time coming", 
presume nor take upon hand to hunt with dogs, to slay 
with hagbut or bow, any hart, hind, deer, roe, or doe, or 
any other beasts, either of the said honorable parties' forests, 
either on the continent, main, or isles, pertaining to either 
of the said honorable parties, without special license had 
and obtained in writing of the superior of the forest to the 
forester of the forest ; and whatsoever person, gentleman- 
tenant, or common countryman that presumes hereafter to 
hunt with dogs, shoot with guns or bow, any deer or roe 
in either of the foresaid honorable parties' forests, without 
the said license, purchased at the said superior's hands, 
the offender gentle [man] breaker of this contract and 
condescending shall hereby be bound and obliged to pay 
and deliver to the honorable party, owner of the forest, 
for the first fault, the sum of one hundred merks money 
of this realm, and the hagbut or bow to be taken from 
him and to be delivered to the superior of the forest in 
whose bounds, forest, or isles, the same wrong and contempt 
[may] be committed and done, and toties quoties for every 
breach of this present contract and condescending ; the 
tenant to be hereby such-like bound and obliged to pay 
and deliver to the party, owner of the forest, for the first 
fault, the sum of forty pounds money, and the hagbut to 
the superior of the forest, and toties quoties for every breach 
of this present contract ; and whatsoever common man or 
any other straggling person that [may] be found carrying 
a hagbut or bow through any of the said honorable parties' 
forests for slaying deer or roe, and that he be not solvendo, 
nor worthy the unlaw to be imposed upon him for his 
contempt, the hagbut or bow [is] to be delivered to the 
superior of the forest where he shall happen to be found 
and his body [is] to be punished according as pleases the 
superior of the forest : Like as it is condescended by the 
said honorable parties in respect that many witnesses do 
not haunt nor travel through the said forests by reason 
the same is far distant and spacious from them, that one 
witness shall be sufficient probation against whatsoever person 
that [may] be found in manner foresaid in either of the 
said honorable parties' forests with hagbut, bow, or hound, 
and the party challenging and delaying to have for his 
pains and reward the third of the offender's fine, and the 


hagbut to the superior : Such-like the foresaid honorable 
parties are hereby become bound and obliged, like as they 
by the tenor hereof bind and oblige themselves, to deliver 
the transgressor and offender to the effect the party wronged 
and offended may censure and fine him according to the 
gravity of his contempt and fault, after trial thereof by 
famous and honest men ; and [that] the party offending 
be presented to the said superior offended within fifteen 
days after the wrong is committed, under the pain of one 
hundred pounds money foresaid to be paid to the party 
wronged and offended, by the superior of him who commits 
the wrong and contempt of this present contract ; and what 
the said famous and honest men after trial decerns [against] 
the transgressor for his fine and contempt, his superior shall 
be hereby bound and obliged to deliver to the honorable 
party wronged and offended his readiest goods and gear ; 
aye, and until the honorable party wronged and offended 
be completely paid of the offender's fine, under the like 
pains of one hundred pounds toties quoties : And, finally, 
it is hereby specially condescended with consent of the said 
honorable parties above written that none or either of their 
countrymen or people shall take their course by boats, 
either to the lochs or harbours within the forests of Lewis 
and Harris, excepting the Lochs of Herisole in Lewis, 
pertaining to the said noble earl ; the Loch of Tarbert in 
Harris, pertaining to the said John Macleod ; Lochmaddy, 
Lochefort, Loch-Mhic-Phail, and Kilrona in Uist, pertaining 
to the said Sir Donald Macdonald, in case they be not 
driven and distressed by stress of weather ; and in case 
they be driven and distressed by stress of weather in any 
other lochs within the Islands of Lewis and Harris, it is 
hereby condescended that the keepage of every boat that 
shall happen to come in with their boats to any of the lochs 
above-written (except before excepted) with hagbuts, bows, 
or dog, shall not pass nor travel from their boats one pair 
of 'buttis'; and if any be found with gun, bow, or dog, 
to exceed the same bounds, hereby [he] shall be holden 
as an offender and ' contempnar ' of this present contract 
and condescending, and to be punished and fined as is 
above-written ; and ordains this present minute of contract 
and condescending to be put in more ample form if need 

It is agreed that the document shall be registered in 
the Books of Council, that it shall have the strength of a 


Decree of their Lordships, and that Letters of execution, 
poinding-, and horning may follow thereon, "on a charge 
of ten days," in the usual form. It is subscribed by all 
the parties thereto, and witnessed by John Mackenzie of 
Lochslinn ; William Macleod of Talisker ; John Mackenzie 
of Fairburn ; and John Nicolson and John Ross, Notars.* 

During John's reign serious difficulty arose between the 
Island Chiefs and the Council in connection with the 
fishings on the West Coast. The landowners were charged 
with exacting sundry duties from the King's subjects, to 
their great prejudice when fishing near the Isles ; and, 
also, with " bringing in strangers and loading the vessels 
with fish and other native commodities, contrary to our 
laws." Charles the First wrote a letter to the Privy Council, 
dated 26th May, 1634, requesting their Lordships to call 
before them at once " the landlords of the Isles where the 
fishing is, and taking account of them by knowing upon 
what warrant they take these duties. The Council appointed 
the Lord of Lorn and the Bishop of the Isles to make the 
necessary inquiry. These gentlemen appeared personally 
before the Lords of the Privy Council at Edinburgh, on the 
20th of November following, and handed in a report dated 
at Inveraray the previous 29th of August. 

At the latter place, in response to the summonses calling 
upon them to appear, the following landlords and heritors 
presented themselves for examination : — Sir Donald Mac- 
donald of Sleat ; John Macleod of Dunvegan ; John 
Macdonald, Captain of Clanranald ; Neil Macneil of Barra ; 
Sir Lauchlan Maclean of Morvern ; Murdoch Maclean of 
Lochbuy ; Lauchlan Maclean of Coll ; and Lauchlan, son 
of Charles Mackinnon, for Mackinnon of Strath. They 
were asked in turn by the Commissioners what duties they 
exacted from people for fishing on their respective coasts, 
when Sir Donald Macdonald ; John Macleod of Dunvegan ; 
the Captain of Clanranald ; and Neil Macneil of Barra, 
declared, viva voce — "That it was the ancient custom, 

* General Record of Deeds, Vol. 408. Recorded on the 3rd of November, 


before the date of the contract after-specified (which they 
think to be about fourteen years since or thereby), for 
everyone of them in whose bounds the herring fishing fell 
out, to exact of every bark and ship resorting thereto, for 
anchorage or ground lease, one barrell of ale or meal, in the 
owner's option ; and, for each anchor laid on shore, six 
shillings and eightpenee ; and, out of every last of herring 
slain there, three pounds of money ; together with the benefit 
of evety Saturday s fishing ; and that now they exact only 
from His Majesty's subjects of the Association for each 
ship and bark that comes to the herring fishing, thirty-six 
shillings Scots money ; and for each ship that comes to 
the gray and white fishing, twenty merks ; and this for 
anchorage and ground lease, conform to a contract passed 
between the said Sir Donald, John Macranald [of Clan- 
ranald] and [the] umquhile Sir Rorie Macleod, and some 
others of the Islanders, on the one part, and certain of the 
Burghs in the East country on the other part, in 1620 
or thereby." In answer to questions put to them, they 
maintained that they were entitled to make the charges 
complained of, in terms of the previous contract referred 
to ; that they uplifted the duties, being heritors of the 
adjoining lands and therefore entitled to do so, it being 
an ancient custom past memory of man. The other Chiefs 
summoned declared that there were no fishings within their 
bounds, but, if there were, " they would be content to 
exact no more than the said North Islanders do." The 
document is signed by all those whose names are mentioned 
in the body of it, by Lord Lorn and by the Bishop of the 
Isles — Macneill, Maclean of Coll, and Lauchlan Mackinnon, 
declaring that their names were written " at our commands, 
because we cannot write ourselves."* 

On the 7th of August, 1635, a Proclamation was issued 
in which it is stated that "great insolencies" had been com- 
mitted upon His Majesty's subjects fishing in the Isles, 
by the Islanders coming in troops and companies to the 
lochs where the fish were taken, and there violently spoiling 

* Register of the Secret Council of same date. 


the King's subjects of their fish, " and sometimes of their 
victuals and other furniture ; pursues them of their lives, 
breaks the shoals of the herring, and commits more 
insolencies upon them, to the great hinder and disap- 
pointing of the fishing, hurt of His Majesty's subjects, to 
the contempt of His Majesty's authority and laws;" for the 
preventing of which disorders John Macleod of Dunvegan 
and the others named on this occasion, including the Earl 
of Seaforth and Sir Donald Campbell of Ardnamurchan, 
in addition to those named in the previously quoted 
document, are charged " that none of them presume 
nor take upon hands to give warrant to any persons 
whatsoever under them, but to such for whose good rule 
they will be answerable."* These documents are instructive 
as showing the nature of the claims made by the land- 
owners of those days, even to the herring that frequented 
their coasts. 

John Macleod, on account of his great strength and size, 
was known among his countrymen as " Ian Mor," or Big 
John. He has a charter, under the Great Seal, of the 
lands and barony of Dunvegan, Glenelg, and others, dated 
the nth of June, 1634. 

He was a great loyalist, strongly attached to the interests 
of Charles I., who wrote him a very friendly letter, dated 
Durham, 2nd of May, 1639, thanking him for his 
services and promising him his constant favour. He 
continued in his loyalty all his life, though he appears to 
have refused to join Montrose, which may be accounted 
for from the fact that Alexander Macdonald, Montrose's 
lieutenant, devasted the lands of the Earl of Argyll, who, 
as we have already seen, was Macleod's superior in most 
of his estates. 

John is said to have been a most benevolent man, 
remarkable for his piety, and to have been at great pains 
to improve the morals of his countrymen, who seem to 
have been much in need of it ; for he secured for himself 
the designation of " Lot in Sodom," clearly indicating the 

* Register of the Secret Council of same date. 


contrast between his own manner of life and that of those 
by whom he was surrounded in the Isles. 

In the Valuation Roll for the County of Inverness, in 
1644, he appears as " Sir John Macleod of Dunvegan," 
his rental in Skye being, in that year, .£7000 Scots, the 
highest rented proprietor appearing in the county at that 
time. His four brothers appear on the same roll — Roderick 
(of Talisker), in Eynort and Bracadale, at £1200; Norman 
(afterwards Sir Norman of Bernera), in the Parish of 
Kilbride, at .£533 6s. 8d. ; William (of Hamer), in Kilmuir, 
at the same sum ; and Donald, of Greshornish, at £666 
13s. 4d., all Scots money. Macleod of Raasay's rental, at 
that date, was exactly the same as Donald Macleod's of 

In a communication from George Stirling, at Tullibardine, 
to the Laird of Grant, under date 20th December, 1648, 
Macleod is mentioned as one of the " greatt men " likely 
to be cited before the Parliament on the 4th of January 
following, along with Seaforth, Sir James Macdonald of 
Sleat, and others, to find caution for their good behaviour. 

John of Dunvegan married Sibella, daughter of Kenneth, 
first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, by his second wife, Isobel, 
daughter of Sir Gilbert Ogilvie of Powrie. She was thus 
half-sister of Colin, first, and full sister of George, second 
Earl of Seaforth. By her (who, as her second husband, 
married Alexander Fraser, Tutor of Lovat ; and, as her 
third husband, Patrick Grant of Cluny Mor and Cluny Beg, 
second son of Sir John Grant of Freuchie, and Tutor of 
Grant) Macleod had issue, two sons and five daughters — 

1. Roderick, his heir and successor. 

2. John, who succeeded his brother, Roderick. 

3. Mary, who married, first, as his second wife, her 
cousin, Sir James Macdonald IX. of Sleat, with issue, 
John Macdonald of Backney. She married, secondly, 
Muir of Rowallson. 

4. Marion, who married her cousin, Donald Macdonald 
XI. of Clanranald, with issue, among others, Allan and 
Ranald, twelfth and thirteenth Chiefs of the family in 


succession. Her husband died at Canna in 1686, and her 
son, Allan, was killed at Sheriffmuir. 

5. Giles, or Julian, who married, first, Sir Alan Maclean, 
third Baronet of Morvern and Duart, with surviving issue — 
Sir John Maclean, fourth Baronet, who fought when quite 
a young man under Dundee at Killiecrankie and after- 
wards led his Clan to Sheriffmuir, where he fought at 
their head under the Earl of Mar. She married, secondly, 
Campbell of Glendaruel. 

6. Sibella, who in 1665 married Thomas Fraser of 
Beaufort, tenth Lord Lovat, with issue, among others, 
Simon, Lord Lovat, beheaded in 1746 for his part in the 
Rising of 1745 ; and Alexander, from whom John Fraser 
of Wales, the present claimant to the Lovat honours and 
estates, traces his descent. 

7. Margaret, who married Sir James Campbell of Lawers, 
without issue. 

John Macleod died early in September, 1649, when he 
was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Commonly called "Rory the Witty." He was a minor at the 
date of his father's death. Sir Roderick Macleod of Talisker, 
his uncle and Tutor, took charge of the Clan, and supported 
Charles II. against Cromwell. When the King arrived in 
Scotland in 1650, he issued a Proclamation requesting all 
his Scottish subjects to gather to his standard, when Sir 
Roderick Macleod raised a regiment of 700 men, nearly 
all composed of Macleods, his nephew's clansmen. The 
Lieutenant-Colonelcy of this fine body he gave to his 
brother, Norman Macleod of Bernera, who was ordered 
to raise an additional three hundred men to bring his 
regiment up to a thousand. This splendid corps, with the 
two gallant brothers at its head, accompanied Charles II., 
in 165 1, to the Battle of Worcester, where most of 
them fell. The Clan was almost ruined. So great 
was the slaughter among them that it was agreed to by 
the other Clans that the Macleods should not take part 


in another conflict until they had had time to multiply and 
recover their losses. Talisker managed to effect his escape, 
and, in disguise, to find his way back to the Highlands ; 
but his brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Norman, was taken 
prisoner, kept in confinement for eighteen months, at the 
end of which he was tried for his life. Through a flaw in 
the indictment, procedure was sisted ; he was sent back to 
prison, and finally escaped. For full particulars of his 
career the reader is referred to The MACLEODS OF 
BERNERA, an account of which will be found under a 
separate heading. 

After the defeat of General Middleton's army at Loch- 
garry, by General Morgan, it was decided at a Council of 
War that no more could be done for the Royal cause, under 
existing conditions. General Middleton, accompanied by 
Dalziel, Drummond, and several other officers, retired to 
Dunvegan, under the protection of the Macleods, while 
others took up their quarters in Lochaber, under the roof 
of the famous Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel. During the 
winter Sir Ewen accompanied his guests to Dunvegan 
Castle, where several other Highland Chiefs came to 
meet him. A Council was held, and, after much and 
serious deliberation, it was decided that they should all 
submit, before they were completely ruined, and make the 
best terms they could with Cromwell's lieutenants ; for 
Charles was now quite unable to support them with any 
money, men, or arms. It had previously been intimated, 
on behalf of the Usurper, through secret sources, to the 
Highland Chiefs, that, if they laid down their arms, they 
would be restored to their fortunes and estates ; and, with 
this knowledge, they acted the wiser part by agreeing to 
submit. The Royalist commanders were well received and 
hospitably entertained at Dunvegan Castle. The Tutor's 
loyalty, activity, and sufferings in the Royal cause were well 
known to them, and, before leaving, they thought it right 
to acknowledge his conduct and the fidelity of his family 
and Clan, by recording their services, and recommending 
him to the King in a document given at length under 

HRARY '■». 

x v -^ ■' 


The MACLEODS of Talisker, where a full account of 
his services will be found. 

After this, Sir Roderick of Talisker lived quietly at home 
in the Isle of Skye, until after the Restoration of Charles 
II., when he proceeded to pay his respects to His Majesty 
in London. He was most graciously received, as his 
services so justly merited, and the King conferred upon 
him the honour of knighthood. 

Roderick Macleod of Macleod having become of age, 
succeeded in getting the sequestration of his estate removed, 
and getting himself under the protection of Oliver Crom- 
well, through the influence of General Monk, upon 
finding security for his future peaceable behaviour to 
the amount of .£6000, and paying a fine of ^2500 
sterling. From this agreement, following on his capitula- 
tion, and which is dated the 30th of May, 1655, both 
his uncles — Roderick Macleod of Talisker, and Norman 
Macleod of Bernera — are expressly excluded. On the 
22nd of November following he was served heir in special 
to his father, and, on the 24th of February, 1656, he 
was duly infeft in the family estates by a precept from 
Chancery, except the lands of Glenelg, in which he was 
infeft on the 19th of October, 1657, in virtue of a precept 
of Clare Constat and charter of Novodamus from the 
subject superior. 

After the Restoration of Charles II., in 1660, Roderick 
proceeded to London to pay his homage to the King, 
and was very kindly received by His Majesty. He 
was, however, so much cut up because Charles made no 
reference to the ruin of his family and the Clan Macleod 
at the battle of Worcester, and its mournful results in 
Skye, that he at once returned home. He had taken his 
piper, Patrick Mor MacCrimmon, who had also been at 
the battle of Worcester, along with him to Court, on which 
occasion he was allowed " to kiss hands," as a very special 
honour. MacCrimmon appears to have thought a great 
deal more about this incident than of the slaughter of 
his clansmen at the battle of Worcester, and he com- 


memorated the honour conferred upon him, and the other 
polite attentions paid to him by the King, by composing 
the famous Piobaireachd — " Thug mi pog do laimh an 
Righ" — (I kissed the King's hand) — one of the verses of 
which is as follows : — 

Thug mi pog 'us pog 'us pog, 
Gun d' thug mi pog do laimh an Righ ; 
'S cha d' chuir gaoth an craicionn caorach, 
Fear a fhuair an fhaoilt ach mi. 

It was to this Chief that Mary Macleod — " Mairi Nighean 
Alastair Ruaidh" — the famous Skye poetess, composed the 
well-known elegy — " Cumha do Mhac-Leoid." From this 
poem it would appear that Roderick died away from his 
native land, certainly not at home ; for she says — 

Ge goirt leam an naigheachd, 
Tha mi faighinn air Ruairidh, 
Gun a chorp bhi 'san duthaich, 
Anns an tuama bu dual da. 

It would also appear from the same poem that Roderick 
had a son Norman, who predeceased his father, for the 
poetess says, in another stanza — 

Ach a Ruairidh Mhic Iain, 

'S goirt leam fhaighinn an sgeul-s' ort, 

Se mo chreach-sa mac t' athar, 

Bhi na laidhe gun eiridh ; 

Agus Tor mod a mkac-sa, 

A thasgaidh mo cheille ! 

Gur e aobhar mo ghearain, 

Gun chailleadh le cheiV iad. 

He had also a daughter, who married Stewart of Appin, 
and whose husband claimed the estate, on the death of 
her father without surviving male heirs. Mary resents this 
claim in a burst of patriotic fervour, and exclaims — 

Mhic Iain Stiubhairt na h-Apunn, 
Ged a's gasd' an duin' og thu, 
Ged tha Stiubhartaich beachdail, 
'S iad tapaidh 'n am foirneart, 
Na gabhsa meanmadh, no aiteas, 
A's an staid ud nach coir dhut ; 
Cha toir thu i dh'aindeoin, 
'S cha'n fhaigh thu le deoin i. 


C'uim an tigeadh fear coigreach, 
A thagradh ur n'oighreachd ; 
Ged nach eil e ro-dhearbhta, 
Gur searbh e ri eisdeachd ; 
Ged tha sinn' air ar creachadh 
Mu chloinn mhac an fhir f heillidh, 
Sliochd Ruairidh Mhoir allail, 
'S gur airidh iad fhein oirr'. 

This Chief, whose death the poetess so bitterly mourns, 
and whose career she so highly extols, would seem to be 
the same Macleod who had banished her to the Island of 
Mull, where she still appears to have been at the time of 
his death, and where, apparently, she composed his elegy. 

In Douglas' Baronage it is stated that Roderick died 
without issue. It is, however, clear, from " Cumha Mhic- 
Leoid," that he had both male and female issue ; though 
his son, Norman, predeceased him. John Mackenzie, of 
The Beauties of Gaelic Poetry, in a foot-note to the 
above-quoted poem, says that " Stewart of Appin was 
married to a daughter of Macleod of Dunvegan, which 
made the Macleods afraid that he should claim a right 
to the estate, on account of Macleod having left no 

Roderick married Margaret, eldest daughter of Sir John 
Mackenzie of Tarbat (eldest son of Sir Roderick Mackenzie, 
Tutor of Kintail, and progenitor of the Earls of Cromarty), 
by Margaret, daughter of Sir George Erskine of Innerteil, 
a Lord of Session, without, as we have seen, surviving 
male issue. She married, as her second husband, Sir 
George Campbell of Lawers, in the County of Perth. 

Roderick Macleod died in January, 1664, when he was 
succeeded by his only brother, 


Known among his own countrymen as " Ian Breac," or 
Speckled John, who was served heir in special to his 
brother, Roderick, on the nth of August, 1664, and infeft 
in the estates of the family held of the Crown, on a 
precept from Chancery, and in Glenelg, at the same time, 


on a precept of Clare Constat, from the subject superior. 
John Breac, one of the most popular of the Macleods, 
was, according to his contemporaries, a model Highland 
Chief. His good qualities of head and heart are com- 
memorated in the songs of his country. He kept a 
bard, harper, piper, and fool at Dunvegan Castle, all of 
whom were most liberally provided for, and treated with 
all the respect and consideration due in those days to 
their respective callings. His bard was the famous " Mairi 
Nighean Alastair Ruaidh," whom he had recalled from 
her banishment in Mull. To his second son Norman, 
who afterwards succeeded John's brother, Roderick, as 
Chief of the Clan, she composed her famous " Cronan," 
one of the best and most remarkable poems in the Gaelic 
language. In another of her compositions Mary says 
that she nursed five Chiefs of the Macleods and two 
Lairds of Applecross. She is said to have died in 1693, 
at the great age of 105, in the same year in which died 
her favourite Chief, John Breac Macleod, of whom we 
now write.* 

John's harper, was the famous " Clarsair Dall," Roderick 
Morrison, the son of an Episcopalian minister in the 
Island of Lewis, born, brought up, and educated as a 
gentleman ; and Macleod always treated him as such. He 
is said to have been the last man in the Highlands who 
possessed the combined talents of poet and harper and 
composer of music in an eminent degree. Of his musical 
attainments no specimens have been preserved from which 
w T e can, in the present day, judge of his merits, but several 
of his poems have been preserved, and they conclusively 
prove that he possessed poetical talents of a very high order. 

John Mackenzie explains how Rory the Harper became 

* John Mackenzie, in the " Beauties," says that she was born as early as 
1569, but this is impossible, from what is known of her after-life. Mackenzie 
is inaccurate in almost everything he says regarding her and those to whom 
she composed her famous poems. There was no "Sir Tormod " Chief in 
her day. There was not in fact any Macleod Chief at any time who was 
entitled to be styled " Sir Tormod " or Sir Norman. 


acquainted with Macleod, and the manner in which he 
was afterwards treated by that genuine Highland Chief. 
Morrison's superiority as a musician, Mackenzie says, and 
his respectable connexions, served him as a pass-word to 
the best circles in the North. He was caressed and 
idolized by all who could appreciate his minstrelsy. 
Induced by the fame of his fellow-harpers in Ireland, he 
visited that country. On his return to Scotland he called 
at all the baronial residences in his way. The nobility and 
gentry of Scotland were at the time paying court to King 
James at Holyrood Palace. The harper wended his way 
thither, and during his visit to the Scottish Capital " he 
met with that sterling model of a Highland Chieftain, 
John Breac Macleod of Harris," who at once eagerly 
engaged him as his family harper. During the harper's 
stay in Dunvegan Castle, he composed several beautiful 
tunes and songs, and among the rest that fascinating 
melody known as " Feill nan Crann," which originated out 
of the following incident: Roderick, sitting one day by 
the kitchen fire, chanced to let drop the key of his harp 
in the ashes, and he began to rake among the cinders 
with his fingers to pick it up, when Macleod's wife, a 
daughter of Sir James Macdonald of Sleat, entered the 
room and asked one of the servants " Ciod e tha dhith 
air Ruairidh " ? (What is it that Rory seeks ?) The maid 
replied, "Tha a chrann ; chaill e' san luath e" — (His key; 
he lost it in the ashes.) " Ma ta feumair crann eile 
'cheannach do Ruairidh." (Then another key must be 
bought for Rory), replied the lady : when the gifted 
minstrel, availing himself of the more extended meaning 
of the word " crann," forthwith composed the tune, " cloth- 
ing it in the words of side-splitting humour," and at the 
same time representing all the kitchen maids as ransacking 
all the shops in the kingdom to procure for him his lost 
"crann," or key. 

Soon after this the celebrated harper must have left 
Dunvegan, for in a short time we find him occupying the 
farm of Totamor, in Glenelg, which his patron, whose 


property Glenelg then was, granted to him rent-free. He 
remained there until he was removed by John Breac's 
successor ; and many of his best musical and poetical pieces 
were there composed. 

The harper "was fondly attached to his patron, whose 
fame he commemorated in strains of unrivalled beauty and 
excellence. The chieftains of the Clan Macleod possessed, 
perhaps, greater nobleness of soul than any other of the 
Highland gentry ; but it must be observed that they were 
peculiarly successful in enlisting the immortalising strains 
of the first poets in their favour — our author (the harper) 
and their own immortal Mary. Rory's elegy on John 
Breac Macleod, styled ' Creach na Ciadain,' is one of the 
most pathetic, plaintive, and heart-touching productions 
we have read during a life half-spent amid the flowery 
meadows of our Highland Parnassus. After deploring the 
transition of Macleod's virtues, manliness, and hospitality 
from the earth, he breaks forth in sombre forebodings as 
to the degeneracy of his heir, and again luxuriates in the 
highest ingredients of a Lament. ' Oran Mor Mhic-Leoid,' 
in which the imaginative powers of the minstrel conjure 
up scenes of other days with the vividness of reality, is a 
masterpiece of the kind. It comes before us in the form 
of a duet, in which Echo (the sound of music), now 
excluded, like himself, from the festive hall of Macleod, 
indulges in responsive strains of lamentation that finely 
harmonise with the poignancy of our poet's grief."* This 
last-named song was composed after the Harper was ejected 
from his farm in Glenelg by John Breac's successor, and 
while he was on his way back to take up his residence in 
his native Island of Lewis. 

During Macleod's life, Morrison praised his excellent 
qualities in splendid verse. In " Oran Mor Mhic-Leoid," 
already referred to, the " Echo," answering the harper, 
draws the following contrast between the inhospitable and 
degenerate days which followed on the death of John Breac 

* The Beauties of Gaelic Poetry and Lives of the Highland Bards. By 
John Mackenzie, pp. 85, 86. 


and the splendid Highland style kept up during his life. 
The " Echo " says- — 

" Tha Mac-talla fo ghruaim. 
Anns an talla 'm biodh fuaim a cheoil ; 
'S ionad taghaich nan cliar, 
Gun aighear, gun mhiagh, gun phoit ; 
Gun mhire, gun mhuirn, 
Gun iomracha dlu nan corn ; 
Gun chuirm, gun phailteas ri daimh, 
Gun mhacnus, gun mhanran beoil. 

" 'S mi Mac-talla bha uair 

'G eisdeachd fathrum nan duan gu tiugh j 

Far 'm bu mhuirneach am beus, 

'N am cromadh do'n ghrein 'san t-sruth ; 

Far am b' fhoirmeal na seoid, 

'S iad gu h-oranach, ceolmhor, cluth ; 

Ged nach faicle mo ghnuis, 

Chluinnt' aca 's an Dun mo ghuth. 

" 'N am eiridh gu moch, 

Ann san teaghlaich, gun sproc, gun ghruaim ; 

Chluinnte gleadhraich nan dos, 

'S an ceile na cois o'n t-suain ; 

'Nuair a ghabhadh i Ian, 

'S gun cuireadh os n-aird na f huair, 

Le meoir f hileanta, bhinn, 

'S lad gu ruith-leumach, dionach luath." 

John Breac Macleod had set about repairing and adding 
to his ancient castle of Dunvegan, but he was not able to 
execute his plans. Thinking, however, when he began, 
that he should live long enough to finish his designs, he 
had a Latin inscription, composed by the parish minister, 
cut on a stone in the building, of which the following is an 
English translation : — 

"John Macleod, Lord of Dunvegan, Harris, and Water- 
nish, etc., united in marriage to Flora Macdonald, restored 
in the year of the vulgar era, 1686, his Tower of Dunvegan, 
long the very ancient abode of his ancestors, which had 
fallen utterly into decay." 

He appears to have been expected to join Dundee and 
the other leaders of the Highland Clans in 1689, when 
they met in convention in Lochaber before marching 
South to meet General Mackay at the battle of Killie- 


crankie ; but John Macleod kept out of that movement, 
as his successors afterwards kept out of the Risings of 
171 5 and 1745 on behalf of the Stuarts. That he was 
believed to be favourably disposed in 1689 to James II. 
is clear from the following- letter addressed to him by 
Viscount Dundee, from Moy, in Lochaber, on the date 
which it bears — 

" For the Laird of Macleod. 

" Moy, Jun. 23, 1689. 

'" Sir, — Glengarry gave me an account of the substance 
of a letter he received from you ; I shall only tell you that, 
if you hasten not to land your men, I am of opinion you 
will have little occasion to do the King great service ; for, 
if he land in the West of Scotland, you will come too late, 
as I believe you will think yourself by the news I have 
to tell you. The Prince of Orange has written to the 
Scottish Council not to fatigue his troops any more by 
following us in the hills, but to draw them together in a 
body to the West ; and, accordingly, several of the forces 
that were in Perthshire and Angus are drawn to Edinburgh, 
and some of Mackay's regiments are marched that way 

from him Some of the French fleet has 

been seen amongst the islands, and hath taken the Glasgow 
frigates. The King being thus master of sea and land, hath 
nothing to do but bring over his army, which many people 
fancy is landed already in the West. He will have little 
to oppose him there, and will probably march towards 
England, so that we who are in the greatest readiness will 
have [enough] ado to join him. I have received by Mr. 
Hay a commission of Lieutenant-General, which miscarried 
by Breidy. I have also received a double of a letter mis- 
carried by Breidy to me, and a new letter, dated the 18th 
of May ; both of which are so kind that I am ashamed to 
tell. He counts for great services, which I am conscious 
to myself that I have hardly done my duty. He promises 
not only to me, but to all that will join, such ranks of favour, 
as after ages shall see what honour and advantage there 
is in being loyal. He says, in express terms, that his 
favours shall vie with our loyalty. He hath, by the same 
letters, given full power of Council to such Councillors 
here as shall be joined in the King's service, and given us 
power, with the rest of his friends, to meet in a Convention, 
by his authority, to counteract the mock Convention at 
Edinburgh, whom he hath declared traitors, and com- 


manded all his loyal subjects to make war against them, 
in obedience to which I have called all the Clans. Captain 
of Clanranald is near us these several days ; the Laird of 
Barra is there with his men. I am persuaded Sir Donald 
[of Sleat] is there by' this. Maclean lands in Morven 
to-morrow, certain. Appin, Glencoe, Lochiel, Gleng"any, 
Keppoch, are all ready. Sir Alexander [Maclean of Otter] 
and Largie have been here with their men all this while 
with me, so that I hope we will go out of Lochaber about 
three thousand. You may guess what we will get in 
Stratherrick, Badenoch, Athole, Mar, and the Duke of 
Gordon's lands, besides the loyal shires of Banff, Aberdeen, 
Mearns, Angus, Perth, and Stirling. I hope we will be 
masters of the North, as the King's army will be of the 
South. I had almost forgot to tell you of my Lord 
Breadalbane, who, I suppose, will now come to the fields. 
Dunbeath, with two hundred horse and eight hundred foot, 
are said to be endeavouring to join us. My Lord Seaforth 
will be in a few days from Ireland to raise his men for 
the King's service. Now, I have laid the whole business 
before you ; you will easily know what is fit for you to 
do. All I shall say further is, to repeat and renew the 
desire of my former letter, and assure you that I am, Sir 
your most obedient humble Servant, 

(Signed) " DuNDlE." 

" You will receive the King's letter to you." 

Macleod, however, did not join Dundee at this time in 
Lochaber, or afterwards at the battle of Killiecrankie, 
fought on the 27th of July following. Though Macleod 
did not follow Dundee in 1689, King James continued 
to hope that he might still join the Royalists, and in May 
of the following year addressed a letter to him in the 
following terms : — 

"James R. 
" Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. Our 
former letters to you show the entire confidence we had 
in you, and we are glad to find by the resolutions, Sir 
Donald Macdonald assures us, you had taken of joining 
our forces when we ourselves or our entirely beloved natural 
son, the Duke of Berwick, came there, that we were not 
mistaken in the judgment we made of you. But, consider- 
ing that our affairs are already so far advanced that our 
enemies are not in a condition to undertake anything 


considerable against us, or hurt any of our friends, especially 
such as are at that distance that you are from them, we 
do expect that, having as great security as any other, you 
should join the rest of the Clans with all the men you 
can raise, whenever the officer commanding-in-chief our 
forces shall there require it. This is not a time for any 
man to make conditions for himself, or consult barely his 
own private interest, and for our part, as we never did 
not press any of our subjects to expose themselves in 
vain, so we shall reckon on no man's loyalty that will 
run no hazard for the Common Good, when so fair a 
prospect of success presents itself, with so little danger. 
We are sure you wish your country and posterity too well 
not to contribute all you can to its liberty, and if you all 
unanimously join, we cannot see how you can fail of being 
the glorious instrument of it, which we wish you may be, 
and so wish you heartily farewell. Given at our Court, 
at Dublin Castle, the 29th day of May, 1690, and in the 
sixth year of our reign." 

" To our trusty and well-beloved Macleod." 

[Signeted with the Royal Seal.] 

James despatched several letters to the Highland Chiefs 
from Ireland during this year, mostly through Sir Donald 
Macdonald of Sleat, who had taken the lead among those 
who determined to hold out in the King's interest. The 
letter to Macleod was found among the Macdonald 
papers, and it is supposed Sir Donald knew that it was 
quite useless to forward it to Macleod. Its imperious tone 
was not calculated to make a favourable impression on 
the Chief of a Clan who felt how little its services and 
terrible its losses at the battle of Worcester, little more 
than a generation before, had been appreciated or acknow- 
ledged after the Restoration. Indeed this strong feeling 
of disappointment is sufficient to account for the fact that 
the Macleods never after fought, under their Chief, in 
any of the Stuart Risings. 

In the Appendix to the Memoir of Norman Macleod, 
D.D., there is a curious, and, in the light of present circum- 
stances, a most interesting reference to. a prophecy by a 
Highland Seer bearing on the position of the Macleods of 
Dunvegan after the death of this Chief, John Breac Macleod, 


and foretelling their future fate as a Highland family. Among 
various other autobiographical reminiscences, dictated to 
one of his daughters, by the first famous Dr. Norman 
Macleod, popularly known by Highlanders all over the 
world as " Caraide nan Gaidheal," father of the late Dr. 
Norman, of the Barony, and editor of Good Words, we 
find the following circumstantial account of this remarkable 
prediction, confirmed by his own testimony, based on 
personal knowledge and observation, as to its partial fulfil- 
ment. The reverend gentleman visited Dunvegan Castle, 
the residence of his Chief, in the summer of 1799, more 
than a century after the circumstances which he relates 
had been foretold by the Highland seer. We give the 
narrative of what the reverend gentleman knew, saw, and 
heard, in his own words. He says : — 

"One circumstance took place at the Castle on this 
occasion which J think worth recording, especially as I 
am the only person now living who can attest the truth 
of it. There had been a traditionary prophecy, couched 
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 most deeply do I regret that I did not take a copy 
of it when I could have got it. The worthy Mr Campbell 
of Knock, in Mull, had a very beautiful version of it, as 
also had my father, and so, I think, had likewise Dr 
Campbell of Kilninver. Such prophecies were current 
regarding almost all old families in the Highlands ; the 
Argyll family were of the number ; and there is a prophecy 
regarding the Breadalbane family, as yet unfulfilled, which 
I hope may remain so. The present Marquis of Bread- 
albane is fully aware of it, as are many of the connections 
of the family. Of the Macleod family, it was prophesied 
at least a hundred years prior to the circumstance which I 
am about to relate. 

" In the prophecy to which I allude, it was foretold that 
when Norman, the Third Norman ('Tormad nan tri 
Tormaid '), the son of the hard-boned English lady (' Mac 
na mnatha caoile cruaidh Shassunaich ') would perish by 
an accidental death ; that when the ' Maidens' of Macleod 
(certain well-known rocks on the coast of Macleod's 
country) became the property of a Campbell ; when a fox 


had young ones in one of the turrets of the Castle, and 
particularly when the Fairy enchanted banner should be 
for the last time exhibited, then the glory of the Macleod 
family should depart — a great part of the estate should be 
sold to others ; so that a small ' curragh,' a boat, would 
carry all gentlemen of the name of Macleod across Loch 
Dunvegan ; but that in times far distant another John 
Breac should arise, who should redeem those estates, and 
raise the powers and honour of the house to a higher pitch 
than ever. Such in general terms was the prophecy. 
And now as to the curious coincidence of its fulfilment. 

"There, was, at that time, at Dunvegan, an English smith, 
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 ; that he 
had arranged with Mr. Hector Macdonald Buchanan to be 
there with his tools for that purpose. I was most anxious 
to be present, and I asked permission to that effect of 
Mr Buchanan (Macleod's man of business), who granted 
me leave on condition that I should not inform anyone 
of the name of Macleod that such was intended, and 
should keep it a profound secret from the Chief. This 
I promised and most faithfully acted on. Next morning 
we proceeded to the chamber in the East Turret, where 
was the iron chest that contained the famous flag, about 
which there is an interesting tradition. With great violence 
the smith tore open the lid of this iron chest; but in 
doing so, a key was found under part of the covering, 
which would have opened the chest, had it been found 
in time. There was an inner case, in which was found 
the flag, enclosed in a wooden box of strongly-scented 
wood. The flag consisted of a square piece of very rich 
silk, with crosses wrought with gold thread, and several 
elf-spots stitched with great care on different parts of it. 
On this occasion the melancholy news of the death of 
the young and promising heir of Macleod reached the 
Castle. ' Norman, the third Norman,' was a lieutenant of 
H.M.S., the Queen Charlotte, which was blown up at sea, 
and he and the rest perished. At the same time, the 
rocks called 'Macleod's Maidens' were sold, in the course 
of that very week, to Angus Campbell of Ensay, and 
they are still in possession of his grandson. A fox in 
possession of a Lieutenant Maclean, residing in the West 
Turret of the Castle, had young ones, which I handled, 
and thus all that was said in the prophecy alluded to was 


so far fulfilled, although I am glad the family of my Chief 
still enjoy their ancestral possessions, and the worst part 
of the prophecy accordingly remains unverified. I merely 
state the facts of the case as they occurred, without 
expressing any opinion whatever as to the nature of these 
traditionary legends with which they were connected." 

It may here be stated that this curious family prediction 
has been further verified and fulfilled since the Rev. Dr. 
Norman's visit in 1799 to the stronghold of the Macleods. 
At that date the Macleod country, in the Isle of Skye, 
had a large number of gentlemen of the Clan residing in 
it, scores of whom had distinguished themselves and risen 
to the highest positions in the army, in the Civil Service 
of their country, and elsewhere. That this was the case 
cannot fail to strike the reader who peruses this work, 
especially the portion of it devoted to an account of the 
various branches of the Clan, who occupied as proprietors 
or principal tenants such places as Gesto, Drynoch, Glen- 
dale, Talisker, Greshornish, Ulinish, Bernisdale, Orbost, 
Hamer, Lochbay, Unish, and several others, the 
names of which are so well-known, far away from the 
Isle of Skye, in consequence of the prominent positions 
attained, and the valour displayed, by so many members of 
the families that occupied them as distinguished officers 
of the army and in other high places in the service 
of the nation. But what do we now find where these 
gentlemen of the Macleods were so numerous and influ- 
ential even as late as the Rev. Dr. Norman's visit? A literal 
fulfilment of the family prophecy ! The smallest " curragh," 
or boat, in the island could carry all the gentlemen of 
the name of Macleod in the Isle of Skye across Loch 
Dunvegan without the slightest danger to its occupants. 
In fact, with a single exception, there is not a gentleman 
of the whole stock, now in the island, outside the 
residence of the Chief; and the Chief himself only resides 
for a part of the year in the ancient stronghold of his race. 
Thus, the Dunvegan Macleod prophecy is in a fair way of 
being literally fulfilled in every detail. Let us hope that 
the John Breac, who is to restore the family estates and 


"raise the powers and honour of the house to a higher 
pitch than ever" will soon make his appearance. There 
is, however, no sign of him as yet ; nor do we find his 
advent being hastened by the present members of the 
Chief's family, not one of them, copying the example of 
their father, having named any of their sons after the 
most popular head of the house of Dunvegan, and whose 
namesake, according to this extraordinary prediction, 
is to do such great things to restore the ancient position 
and honours of the Macleods. 

John married Florence, second daughter of Sir James 
Macdonald, IX. of Sleat, with issue — 

1. Roderick, his heir and successor. 

2. Norman, who succeeded his brother Roderick as Chief 
of the Clan. 

3. William, who died at Glasgow, unmarried. 

4. Isabel, who married Robert Stewart of Appin. 

5. Janet, who married Sir James Campbell of Auchin- 
breck, with issue. 

John Breac Macleod died on Wednesday of Easter 
week,* in 1693, when he was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Whose character seems to have realised all the gloomy 
forebodings of the bards, harpers, and others who had the 
interests and continued reputation of the family for ancient 
hospitality and warlike renown at heart. In " Oran Mor 
Mhic-Leoid," already quoted, his degeneracy from these 
high qualities, in this and other respects, are severely 
animadverted upon by Roderick Morrison, his father's 
family harper and bard, many of the verses being of so 
uncomplimentary a character, and so unsuitable for ears 
polite, that John Mackenzie did not print them in The 
Beauties of Gaelic Poetry ; but after stating that John Breac 
Macleod, Roderick's father, was one of the last Chiefs 
who had in his retinue a bard, a piper, and a fool — all 
excellently and most liberally provided for, he says that 

* See " Creach-na-Ciadain, 12th stanza, Beauties of Gaelic Poetry, p. 21. 


" after his death Dunvegan Castle was neglected by his son 
Roderick, and the services of these functionaries dispensed 
with to make room for grooms, gamekeepers, factors, dogs, 
and the various etceteras of a fashionable English establish- 
ment. We here beg the reader to note," he continues, 
" that we have not said Rory was an English gentleman, 
but only hinted that he aped the manners of one. Eight 
stanzas of this song are omitted, as we think their insertion 
would be an outrage on the reader's sense of propriety."* 
We have not come across anything which, as a Highland 
Chief, can be recorded to his credit. 

He married, in February, 1694, Lady Isabel Mackenzie, 
third daughter of Kenneth, third Earl of Seaforth by Isabel, 
daughter of Sir John Mackenzie of Tarbat, and sister of 
George, first Earl of Cromarty, with issue — an only daughter, 
Anne, who, as his first wife, married the famous Donald 
Macleod of Bernera, with issue, twenty children. Roderick's 
widow married, as her second husband, Sir Duncan 
Campbell of Lochnell, with issue. 

Roderick died in August, 1699, without male issue, when 
he was succeeded by his next brother, 


In 1703, a few years after Norman succeeded, Martin pub- 
lished his Description of the Western Isles. Writing of the 
people of Skye he says that "they are generally a very 
sagacious people, and even the vulgar exceed all those of 

* Some of the omitted verses, and several in addition, have since been pub- 
lished in the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness for 1886, in a 
paper contributed by Mr Colin Chisholm. Mackenzie only published 
thirteen verses, while Mr Chisholm supplies not less than twenty-seven. 
Mackenzie appends the following note: — -"This song was a favourite with 
Sir Alexander Mackenzie of Gairloch, who paid a person to sing it to him 
every Christmas night. One of Sir Alexander's tenants went to him one day 
to seek a lease of a certain farm. The laird desired him to sit down and sing 
' Oran Mor Mhic-Leoid ' till he should write the document. The tenant 
remarked that he (Sir Alexander) certainly set great value on that song. 
' Yes,' was the reply, ' and I am sorry that every Highland laird has not the 
same regard for it.'" They might do worse than occasionally peruse it — 
those of them who can, at the present day. 


their rank and education I ever yet saw in any other country. 
They have a great genius for music and mechanics. I have 
observed that several of their children, before they could 
speak, were capable to distinguish and make choice of one 
tune before another ; for they appeared always uneasy until 
the tune they fancied best was played, and then they 
expressed their satisfaction by the motions of their heads 
and hands. There are several of them who invent tunes 
very taking in the south of Scotland and elsewhere." He 
then goes on to say that Lowland musicians tried to palm 
themselves off in many instances as the authors of these 
tunes, changing their names and adopting other means of 
disguise, but in this they usually failed, for, our author 
continues, " whatever language gives the modern name, 
the tune still continues to speak its true original." Some 
of the natives " were very dexterous in engraving trees, 
birds, dogs, etc., upon bone and horn, or wood, without any 
other tool than a sharp pointed knife." Both sexes had " a 
quick vein of poesy," and they composed pieces which 
"powerfully affect the fancy," and "with as great force as 
that of any ancient and modern poet " he ever read ; but the 
" unhappiness of their education, and their want of converse 
with foreign nations deprive them of the opportunity to 
cultivate and beautify their genius, which seems to have 
been formed by nature for great attainments." They were 
" happily ignorant of many vices that are practised in the 
learned and polite worlds," of several of which they did not 
even know the name, or had the slightest knowledge. 

The diet of the Highlanders of that day consisted of fresh 
food, and they seldom tasted anything salted, except butter. 
They ate but little flesh, only persons of distinction eating 
it every day and having three meals, the common people 
eating only two meals a day. " Their ordinary diet is 
butter, cheese, milk, colworts, brochan, i.e., oatmeal and 
water boiled. The latter, taken with some bread, is the 
constant food of several thousands of both sexes in this and 
other Isles during the winter and spring ; yet they undergo 
many fatigues both by sea and land, and are very healthful." 


There was " no place so well stored with such great quantity 
of good beef and mutton, where so little is consumed by 
eating." The people had plenty of exercise and air, preserv- 
ing " their bodies and minds in a regular frame, free from 
the various convulsions that ordinarily attend luxury. 
There is not one of them too corpulent or too meagre" 
and they took " no fine sauces to entice a false appetite, 
nor brandy or tea for digestion, the purest water" serving 
them in such cases. 

The same author gives the following interesting account 
of the dress worn by the inhabitants of the Isles at this 
period : — The first habit worn by persons of distinction 
was the leni-croich, from the Irish [Gaelic] leni, which 
signifies a shirt, and croach saffron, because their shirt 
was dyed with that herb. The ordinary number of ells 
used to make this robe was twenty-four. It was the 
upper garb, reaching below the knees, and was tied with 
a belt round the middle ; but the Islanders have laid it 
aside about a hundred years ago. They now generally 
use coat, waistcoat, and breeches, as elsewhere ; and on 
their heads wear bonnets made of thick cloth — some blue, 
some black, and some grey. Many of the people wear 
trews. Some have them very fine woven like stockings 
of those made of cloth. Some are coloured and others 
striped. The latter are as well shaped as the former, 
lying close to the body from the middle downwards, and 
tied round with a belt above the haunches. There is a 
square piece of cloth which hangs down before. The 
measure for shaping the trews is a stick of wood, whose 
length is a cubit, and that divided into the length of a 
finger and half a finger, so that it requires more skill to 
make it than the ordinary habit. The shoes anciently 
worn were a piece of the hide of a deer, cow, or horse, 
with the hair on, being tied behind and before with a 
point of leather. The generality now wear shoes, having 
one thin sole only, and shaped after the right and left 
foot, so that what is for one foot will not serve the other. 
But persons of distinction wear the garb in fashion in 


the south of Scotland. The plaid wore only by the men 
is made of fine wool, the thread as fine as can be made 
of that kind. It consists of divers colours ; and there is 
a great deal of ingenuity required in sorting the colours 
so as to be agreeable to the nicest fancy. For this reason 
the women are at great pains, first to give an exact pattern 
of the plaid upon a piece of wood, having the number of 
every thread of the stripe on it. The length of it is 
commonly seven double ells. The one end hangs by 
the middle over the left arm, the other, going round the 
body, hangs by the end over the left arm also — the right 
hand above it is to be at liberty to do anything upon 
occasion. Every isle differs from each other in their 
fancy of making plaids as to the stripes in breadth and 
colours. This humour is as different through the mainland 
of the Highlands, in so far that they who have seen those 
places are able at the first view of a man's plaid to guess 
the place of his residence. When they travel a-foot, the 
plaid is tied on the breast with a bodkin of bone or wood 
(just as the spina worn by the Germans, according to 
the description of C. Tacitus). The plaid is tied round 
the middle with a leather belt. It is plaited from the 
belt to the knee very nicely. This dress for footmen is 
found much easier and lighter than breeches or trews. 
The ancient dress wore by the women, and which is yet 
wore by some of the vulgar, called arisad, is a white 
plaid, having a few small stripes of black, blue, and red. 
It reached from the neck to the heels, and was tied before 
on the breast with a buckle of silver or brass, according 
to the quality of the person. I have seen some of the 
former of a hundred marks value. It was broad as any 
ordinary pewter plate, the whole curiously engraved with 
various animals, etc. There was a lesser buckle, which 
was wore in the middle of the larger, and above two 
ounces weight. It had in the centre a large piece of 
crystal, or some finer stone, and this was set all round 
with several finer stones of a lesser size. The plaid being 
plaited all round, was tied with a belt below the breast. 


The belt was of leather, and several pieces of silver inter- 
mixed with the leather like a chain. The lower end of 
the belt has a piece of plate about eight inches long and 
three in breadth, curiously engraven, the end of which 
was adorned with fine stones or pieces of red coral. The 
cone sleeves of scarlet cloth, closed at the end as men's 
vests, with gold lace round them, having plate buttons 
set with fine stones. The head dress was a fine linen 
kerchief strait about the head, hanging down the back 
taper-wise. A large lock of hair hangs down their cheeks 
above their breast, the lower end tied with a knot of 
ribbands. The Islanders have a great respect for their 
Chiefs and heads of tribes, and they conclude grace after 
every meal with a petition to God for their welfare and 
prosperity. Neither will they, as far as in them lies, 
suffer them to sink under any misfortune, but in case 
of a decay of estate, make a voluntary contribution on 
their behalf, as a common duty to support the credit of 
their families.* 

Simon Lord Lovat, in 1699, erected a monument in the 
church-yard of Kilmuir, Duirinish, to his father, Thomas 
Fraser of Beaufort, who died at Dunvegan while on a visit 
to his wife's relations, in May of that year, only three 
months before the death of Roderick Macleod, XVII. of 
Macleod. The monument which is of freestone, is still 
standing, but thirty-five or forty years ago the white marble 
which contained the inscription fell out and was broken in 
fragments. The inscription was as follows : — 

"This pyramid was erected by Simon Lord Fraser 
of Lovat in honour of Lord Thomas, his father, a peer of 
Scotland, and Chief of the great and ancient Clan of the 
Frasers. Being attacked for his birthright by the family of 
Athole, then in power and favour with King William, yet, 
by the valour and fidelity of his clan, and the assistance of 
the Campbells, the old friends and allies of his family, he 
defended his birthright with such greatness and firmity of 
soul, and such valour and activity, that he was an honour to 

* A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland, by Martin Martin, 
gentleman, pp. 199-210. 


his name, and a good pattern to all brave Chiefs of Clans. 
He died in the month of May, 1699, in the 63rd year of 
his age, in Dunvegan, the house of the Laird of Macleod, 
whose sister he had married ; by whom he had the above 
Simon Lord Fraser, and several other children. And, for 
the great love he bore the family of Macleod, he desired to 
be buried near his wife's relations, in the place where two 
of her uncles lay. And his son, Lord Simon, to show to 
posterity his great affection for his mother's kindred, the brave 
Macleods, chooses rather to leave his father's bones with them 
than carry them to his own burial place near Lovat." 

About this time there lived in Skye, about two miles 
south of the village of Portree, a celebrated man known 
as Aodh or Hugh Macqueen. From his great stature and 
intellectual superiority, he was known in Gaelic as Aodh 
Mor MacCuinn. He was distinguished for his integrity 
and sound judgment, and, generally speaking, when any 
questions of difficulty arose between the tenants and their 
proprietors, or among themselves, he was always resorted 
to as arbitrator, when his decisions were usually accepted 
as final. On one occasion two of Macleod's tenants came 
to him that he might decide a dispute which had arisen 
between them. One of them had a cow, which, slipping 
over a precipice overhanging the sea, fell into the other 
man's boat, which was moored at the foot of the rock, stove a 
hole in it, and was itself killed. The owner of the boat 
claimed damages for the injury to his property, while the 
owner of the cow denied liability, and pleaded that if the boat 
had not been there, his cow might not have been killed, for 
it would have fallen into the sea. Macleod himself, to whom 
the case was first referred, had some difficulty in deciding 
it, so he advised them to consult Aodh, to whose house he 
accompanied them. The dispute being laid fully before the 
arbiter, he asked whose property the cow was, to which the 
owner replied that it was his. Aodh then asked whose was 
the boat, and received a similar reply from the other. 
"And whose was the rock ?" continued Aodh. " Macleod's," 
was the answer. "Then," said the arbiter, "it appears to me 
that the accident would not have happened were it not 


for the rock, and I therefore decide that Macleod shall 
pay the owners the price of both the boat and the cow." 
Macleod, who was better able to pay than either of his 
tenants, at once complied with Aodh's decision, and paid 
the loss incurred by each of them. 

On another occasion, two men were fishing from a rock 
near Portree. It was a very stormy day. An extra high 
wave carried one of the men off his seat into the sea, and 
the other was only able to reach his dro'wning companion 
with his fishing line, the hook of which fixed in his eye. 
By this means the drowning man was hauled ashore, but 
he lost the use of his eye in consequence. Happening 
some time after to quarrel with his deliverer, he demanded 
damages from him for the loss of his eye. The novel 
dispute was referred to Aodh, who promptly ruled that 
on the first occasion on which there was a storm equal to 
the one during which the accident took place, the pursuer 
should again go into the sea at the same place, and if he 
gained the shore without any assistance, his companion, 
who rescued him, would then be found liable in damages 
for the loss of the eye. The pursuer did not quite see the 
propriety of this course, and nothing more was heard of 
his claim against the man who had saved him from a 
watery grave. 

Macleod married in September, 1703, Anne Fraser, 
second daughter of Hugh, eleventh Lord Lovat, by Lady 
Amelia Murray, daughter of John, first Marquis of Athole. 
She married, secondly, Peter Fotheringham of Powrie, with 
issue ; and, thirdly, John, second Earl of Cromarty, also 
with issue. By her Norman Macleod had issue — one son, 
Norman, born after his father's death, and by whom he 
was succeeded in the estates. 


Was born in 1706. The estates were managed by his 
guardians until he came of age, when, in addition to 
the family heritage, he succeeded to a fortune, accumulated 
during his minority, of about .£60,000. In an Account 


of the Highland Clans, written in 1725, he is described 
as "a gentleman of the greatest estate of any of our 
Highland clans," and we are informed, by the same 
authority, that in Skye, " in which place the most part 0* 
his numerous clan reside," "there are a great number of 
gentlemen of good account " among Macleod's followers. 

He was infeft in the family estates, as heir to his father 
and grandfather, in November, 173 1, and in May, 1732, 
when he must have been twenty-five to twenty-six years of 
age. In 1732 he unsuccessfully contested the County of 
Inverness for a seat in Parliament against Sir James 
Grant of Grant. A reference to this contest is found in 
a letter from Lord Lovat to Ludcvick Grant, about the 
middle of October of that year, in which his lordshp, 
says, that Lord Islay had declared himself against the two 
brothers, John and Duncan Forbes, but that the two 
were resolved to carry Inverness, Ross, and Nairn : — 
" Ross they think themselves very sure of, and they have 
hook'd Macleod to get the shire of Inverness by him."* 

A letter from Norman Macleod to the Laird of Culloden, 
dated at Dunvegan, the 19th of December, 1732, shows 
that a regular correspondence had been passing between 
the two, and that they were on the most friendly terms. 
After stating his intention of making barons who could 
vote for him in the pending election, and expressing his 
contempt " for everyone of our shyre that won't on this 
occasion exert himself," Macleod proceeds — " I won't repeat 
what I spoke to you last harvest about getting the Custom 
House of Hornwa (Stornoway), brought to Glenelg ; but 
I tell you that, in spite of me, a great deal of brandy is 
run over this island and neighbourhood, which I assure 
you vexes me ; and to show my good inclination for the 
quick sale of Ferintosh, procure in the meantime (which 
I am informed can be got) a warrant from the Commis- 
sioners of the Customs to me and whom I appoint to 
seize vessels with contraband goods anywhere about Skye 
or Glenelg ; and I'll warrant you an effectual stop shall 

* The Chiefs of Grant, Vol. I., p. 377. 


be put to that mischievous trade ; and without I can do 
little." The people to be employed by Macleod, he said, 
would expect the same rewards for any seizures made by 
them as were allowed to the regularly appointed commis- 
sioned officers of Excise. 

Lord Lovat, writing to Culloden ten days later, says 
that " Duncan (President Forbes) has directed me how 
to write my answer to my cousin, Macleod, which (advice) 
I will follow and send you the letter with a flying" seal." 
On the subject of his suit against Mackenzie-Fraser of 
Fraserdale for restitution of the Lovat estates, then 
going on, his lordship says, in the same letter, " If my 
cousin, Macleod, designs to interpose to make use of his 
interest, I think this is the time." That Lovat thought 
highly of Norman appears from a letter addressed by his 
lordship to Culloden, dated, Edinburgh, 30th of January, 
1733, in which he says, " My cousin, the Laird of Macleod, 
is mighty kind in his letter to me ; it is most certainly to 
you that I owe his good intentions to serve me, and live 
in great friendship with me ; but he desires that nobody 
but you and your brother should know it ; otherwise, that 
it will put him out of condition to serve me, because of 
the weakness and jealousies of those he has to do with. 
Macleod," his lordship continues, " is really a sweet-blooded 
young fellow, and has good sense and writes prettily. I 
wish with all my soul that this great affair were ended, 
that we might live in an affectionate and strict friendship 
together since I am the nearest relation he has of his 
father and mother's kindreds."* 

In a letter from Simon, Lord Lovat, to Sir James Grant 
of Grant, on electoral business (postmark, 22nd and 28th 
May, 1733), the writer, referring to Inverness-shire, says — 
" McLeod is here ; I saw him, and I am contriving how to 
perswad him not to medle, and I do not want hopes to 

In a letter from Lord Simon to Ludovick Colquhoun 
of Luss, dated 26th April, 1734, his lordship, after stating 

* The Culloden Papers, pp. 129-30. f Chiefs of Grant, Vol. II., p. 318. 


that he had had a call from Fraser of Achnagairn, Culloden's 
brother-in-law, humorously says — " As he found my wine 
better than any he had in Cullodin this year, and that I 
knew he lov'd his bottle, and ope'nd his breast when erie, 
I ramm'd down 3 bottles of wine in his belly, which 
made him open his budget. He told me that he actually 
disspair'd of Culodin's recovery, and that McLeod was 
to be the man against your father, and would beat him 
out of sight."* 

It would appear that the "cousins" were not only on 
friendly terms, but even thus early the crafty Lord Simon 
succeeded in corrupting Macleod by inducing him to join 
his lordship, Lord Grange, Sir Alexander Macdonald of 
Sleat, and others, in abducting and cruelly treating the 
unfortunate Lady Grange. The origin of this inhuman 
transaction is sufficiently well known. The principal in- 
struments in carrying it out were John Macleod, advocate, 
Edinburgh, one of the Macleods of Bernera and Muiravon- 
side, and Macdonald of Morar. The leading facts in connec- 
tion with the abduction are as follows : — A secret association 
to promote the interests of the Chevalier existed in Scotland 
in 173 1. Lord Grange, a brother of the Earl of Mar, who 
had been made a Lord of Session in 1707, became Lord 
Justice-Clerk in the latter years of Queen Anne's reign, 
and in 171 5 he had aided his brother both by his counsel 
and his wealth. His house was a frequent rendezvous 
for the disaffected gentry and nobility ; and his wife, 
who was not privy to the conspiracy, soon became sus- 
picious regarding the object of so many meetings in her 
house. With natural curiosity, she resolved to find out 
the secret, and she accomplished her object by hiding 
herself under a sofa during one of the conferences. She 
was warmly attached to the ruling family ; while her 
affection for her husband, who always treated her with 
great harshness, was neither deep nor cordial. A quarrel 
— no rare occurrence — took place between her ladyship 
and Lord Grange, when she threatened to be revenged 

* Chiefs of Grant, Vol. II., pp. 326-7. 


upon him by disclosing his traitorous proceedings against 
the Government. He was too well acquainted with her 
violence and resolution to doubt for an instant that she 
would fulfil her promise ; and, seeing that his own safety 
and that of all his friends were thus at stake, he called 
them together for the purpose of devising a remedy 
against the danger to which they were now exposed. 

It was at once agreed by the conspirators that Lady 
Grange should be locked up ; that a report of her death 
should be circulated ; and that Macleod of Dunvegan 
and Macdonald of Sleat should be asked to receive her 
into their territories, and to place her in some remote 
secluded spot where she would be no more heard of. 
The plan was at once carried into execution ; a mock 
funeral took place ; and the lady was, by an out-of-the-way 
and devious route, carried off to the West, where she was 
at first confined in the Castle of Island Tyrim, and after- 
wards in a small hut on the Macleod estates. Subsequently, 
when her discovery in Skye was feared, she was sent to 
the Island of Heiskar, on the West Coast of North Uist, 
the property of Sir Alexander Macdonald of Sleat, where 
she was detained for nearly two years. From there she 
was removed to the remote Island of St Kilda, where 
she was kept in captivity for seven years, absolutely unable 
to hold any communication whatever with the outer world. 
She was afterwards removed to Assynt, from there back to 
Uist, and subsequently to Skye. 

While in the Isle of Skye a second time, according to 
The New Statistical Account for the Parish of Duirinish, 
from which are taken the main facts here given, " she 
fell on a very ingenious expedient for communicating 
with her friends. The poor people among whom she 
lived were accustomed to manufacture their wool into 
yarn, which they annually sent in large clues to the 
Inverness market for sale. Lady Grange acquired the 
art of spinning, and, having possessed herself of writing 
material, she wrote a letter to one of her relatives, which 
she secretly enclosed in a clue of her own thread that 


was sent to the market along - with others. The purchaser 
of the yarn forwarded the letter to its destination." Her 
friends were filled with indignation, and instantly applied 
to the authorities for her liberation. A Government 
sloop of war was sent to Skye in search of her. Her 
persecutors, learning this, sent her away to the cave of 
Idrigill, in Waternish. From there she was again banished 
to Uist, "the person who had the management of the 
boat having beside him a rope, with a running noose at 
one end, and a heavy stone at the other, to fix the noose 
round the prisoner's neck, and to consign her immediately 
to the deep, should the sloop of war come in sight during 
the passage," which was accomplished without such a 
terrible crime. The lady was kept in Uist for a con- 
siderable time, and when all danger disappeared from the 
Government search, she was again brought back to 
Waternish, on the Macleod estates ; for a time re-immured 
in the cave of Idrigill ; and afterwards allowed to go at 
large among the people. By this time her reason gave 
way, and she roamed about among the natives as an 
idiot, living on the charity of the people, until at length 
she was overcome with misery and disease, and closed 
her chequered life at Idrigill, in Waternish, in the month 
of May, 1745. She was secretly buried in the Church- 
yard of Trumpan.* 

Extraordinary precautions were taken in connection with 
her funeral. While her remains were thus secretly buried 
at Trumpan, a public funeral took place in the Church- 
yard of Duirinish of a coffin filled with sods, with great 
formality, accompanied by the usual crowd of people, 
specially invited on this occasion, attending interments in 
the Highlands. The grave itself would never thus, it was 
thought, bear witness against her cruel and inhuman per- 
secutors, among whom, it must be recorded, the Chief of 
Macleod was one of the principal. 

Macleod was at this time preparing for a second Parlia- 
mentary election contest for Inverness-shire, in which he was 

* Cameron's History and Traditions of the Isle of Skye, 


ultimately successful. In a letter from Simon, Lord Lovat 
to Ludovick Grant, younger of Grant, dated Beaufort, nth 
June, 1739, his lordship says : — " My cousin, the Laird of 
Macleod, has made me two very kind visits within these three 
weeks, who. never was before in this house in his life. He 
was very civil and kind, and you may be sure I was nothing 
behind in kindness and civility. The town of Inverness and 
country about it will have it that he is setting - up to be 
member of Parliament for this shire next elections, but he 
did not say a syllable of it to me ; but my cousin, Doctor 
Fraser of Auchnagern, made me strong insinuations how 
much he desired and thought it our mutual interest that 
I should be great with his uncle the President, and with 
the Laird of Macleod. I gave him thanks, and told him 
that I was sure that what he said had proceeded from his 
great love and affection towards me, but I took care not 
to descend to nor enter on any particulars that he men- 
tioned. Macleod told me that he was about farming 
Kilcoy's house, with his parks and gardens, and that he 
is to stay some months every year in this country. I 
own that gave me a suspicion that he has some design ; 
but, if it is so, he has kept it very close from me. He 
went from this and lay all night at the Chisholm's. They 
give him already nine sure votes, five in this country and 
four in the Highlands. The five in this country are the 
Lairds of Culoden, Macintosh, Inches, Relick, and the 
Chisholm ; and in the Highlands, Sir Alexander Mac- 
donald, the Laird of Glengerry, the Laird of Macinnon, 
and himself, besides his own new barrons, and the young 
Laird of Culloden and the young Laird of Chisholm, 
whom they say are to be made barrons."* 

In 1 741 Norman again contested the County of Inver- 
ness, with Sir James Grant of Grant, and on this occasion 
he was successful, and he continued to represent his native 
county in Parliament for fourteen years, thereafter from 
1741 to 1754. He undodbtedly encouraged Prince Charles 
to come across from France in 1745, though he afterwards, 
* Chiefs of Grant, Vol. II., p. 39c. 


mainly by the influence of Sir Alexander Macdonald of 
Sleat, refused to join in the Rising, and ultimately fought 
on the other side. Miss Macleod of Macleod, Dunvegan 
Castle, remembers having seen in the family charter-chest 
an interesting correspondence between His Royal Highness 
and Macleod, in which Norman invited the Prince " to 
come over several months before he arrived," but the 
letters have since disappeared, and the family knows 
nothing as to where they have gone to. Keeping this 
correspondence in mind, it is not surprising that Macleod, 
who was in the confidence of the Prince, should have been 
able to convey the earliest intelligence of his arrival in 
the Western Isles to the representatives of the Government. 
Immediately after landing at Lochnanuagh His Royal 
Highness sent young Clanranald, and Allan Macdonald, 
brother of Kinloch-Moidart, to request Macleod and Mac- 
donald of Sleat to join him with their followers. They 
found both Chiefs at Dunvegan Castle. Macleod excused 
himself from joining on the ground that the Prince did 
not bring along with him the auxiliaries which he led 
the island Chiefs to believe would have accompanied him 
from France. Norman was not, however, satisfied with 
this breach of faith and his refusal to join the Prince. 
Immediately on the departure of the messengers he 
forwarded the following letter, printed in The Culloden 
Papers, to Duncan Forbes of Culloden, Lord President 
of the Court of Session, which was, as already stated, the 
first intimation which the Government received of the 
arrival of Prince Charles in the Highlands — 

My dearest Lord, — To my no small surprise, it is certain 
that the pretended Prince of Wales is come into the coast 
of South Uist and Barra, and has since been hovering on 
parts of the coast of the Mainland ; that is, between the point 
of Ardnamurchan and Glenelg. He has but one ship 
of which he is aboard ; she mounts about 16 or 18 guns. 
He has about thirty Irish or French officers with him, 
and one Sheridan, who is called his governor. The Duke 
of Athole's brother is the only man of any sort of note 
(that once belonged to this country) that I can hear of 


that is along" with him. His view, I need not tell you, 
was to raise the Highlands to assist him, etc. Sir Alex. 
Macdonald and I not only gave no sort of countenance to 
these people, but we used all the interest we had with 
our neighbours to follow the same prudent method ; and 
I am persuaded we have done it with such success, that 
not one man of any consequence north of the Grampians 
will give any sort of assistance to this mad rebellious 
attempt. How far you think we acted properly, I shall 
long to know ; but this is certain, we did it as our duty 
and for the best, for in the present situation of affairs in 
Europe, I should have been sorry to see anything like 
disaffection to the Government appear, though ever so 
trivial ; or that there was occasion to march a single 
company to quell it, which now I hope and daresay there 
is not. 

As it can be of no use to the public to know whence 
you have this information, it is, I fancy, needless to mention 
either of us, but this we leave in your own breast, as you 
are a much better judge of what is or is not proper to be 
done. I have written to no one else ; and as our friend- 
ship and confidence in you is without reserve, so we doubt 
not of your supplying our defects properly. Sir Alex, is 
here, and has seen this scrawl. — I ever am, most faithfully 

(Signed) Normand Macleod. 

Dunvegan, 3rd August, 1745. 

The Lord President, etc. 

P.S. — Last night I had the pleasure of yours of the 
25th. A thousand thanks for your advice ; but I am in 
good health by the very means you mention, moderate 
exercise and regularity, without starving. Young Clan- 
ranald has been here with us, and has given us all possible 
assurances of his prudence, etc. 

Sir Alexander Macdonald of Sleat followed this letter 
from Macleod by one from himself, dated at Talisker, 
eight days later, on the nth of August, in which he refers 
to the foregoing letter from Macleod, and concludes by 
declaring — " I pledge Macleod in writing for him and 
myself;" that is, to the Government. In a letter from 
Alexander Brodie, Lyon-King-at-Arms, to Ludovick Grant, 
younger of Grant, dated " Fort-George, Thursday, after 


dinner," (indorsed 15th August, 1745) the writer says — 
" Lord Lovat is this day at Culloden, and is to assist us. 
Seafort is to be there to-morrow, and will do the same, as 
will Macleod."* On the 19th of the same month the 
Lord President answered Sir Alexander's letter, saying 
that his own and Macleod's conduct gave him "very great 
satisfaction." And so it should, for it saved the Hanoverian 
dynasty. On the 17th of August, Macleod writes to the 
Lord President a letter from Sconsar, in which he acknow- 
ledges receipt, at that place, of the reply from President 
Forbes to his former letter, while on his way " armless 
and alone, to prevent his people in Glenelg from being 
prevailed upon by their neighbours, the Macdonalds of 
Knoydart, to join the Prince." He then details the number 
of arms, officers, and men that His Royal Highness has 
along with him, and intimates that the Prince is to raise 
his standard at Glenfinnan on the following Monday, "and," 
Macleod says, " as I am pretty sure of information from 
thence you shall know it." He knew "from Lord Lovat's 
forwardness to serve the Government " that he would not 
join in the Rising, though he afterwards lost his head for 
doing so. " Sir Alexa. Macdonald and I," he continues, 
"can easily raise from 1500 to 2000 men for the King's 
service if they are wanted ; and I am sure we are willing ; 
but then some of our ships would require to land that 
number of arms here ; else 1800 staves, with about 200 
guns and swords would make but a foolish figure." In a 
letter from John Grant, factor for Urquhart, to Ludovick 
Grant of Grant, dated 12th September, 1745, the factor 
mentioned the preparations made by Lord Lovat, the 
Chisholm, and other Chiefs, for joining Prince Charles, 
and stated that the Highland army had intercepted a letter 
from Sir Alexander Macdonald, in which the latter declared 
his resolution to adhere to the Government, and that, when 
this letter came to Prince Charles' hands, he was displeased, 
and said publicly that he did not expect such duplicity, 
Sir Alexander Macdonald and Macleod having been among 

* The Chiefs of Grant, Vol. II., p. 145. 


the first in Scotland to advise his coming - , as their letters 
would show.* 

Notwithstanding the position taken up by their Chief, 
many of Macleod's men, who were indignant at his conduct, 
joined Prince Charles and proferred their services, some 
of their leaders offering to return to Skye and raise as 
many of the Clan as they could. Macleod of Swordale 
undertook to take the fort of Bernera, in Glenelg, and 
to raise a hundred men, but the influence of his Chief 
proved too strong for him, and he did not succeed in 
either undertaking. 

There is no doubt that Macleod's conduct was at first 
largely governed by Lord Lovat, as well as by Sir Alex- 
ander Macdonald. On the 7th of October, 1745, Lovat 
writes to the Lord President, inclosing " a letter from my 
dear cousin, and your real friend, the Laird of Macleod," 
and on the same day President Forbes acknowledges 
receipt, saying " that both letters breathe what I should 
expect to meet with from both, stark love and kindness," 
and using other expressions which go to prove that 
he and Macleod were on very friendly and confidential 

After the victory of the Highland army at Prestonpans, 
the Prince, on the 24th of September, sent Alexander 
Macleod of Muiravonside to Skye to urge upon Norman 
and Sir Alexander to join him, with their clansmen, and 
to inform them that their previous conduct would be 
imputed, not to any disloyalty, but to the private manner 
in which he came to Scotland, without any of the promised 
aid in men and money which they expected from France. 
Sir Alexander again refused to move, but it appears that 
Macleod wavered under the argumentative eloquence and 
solicitations of his relative, and, while on a visit shortly 
afterwards to Lord Lovat, he agreed to meet the Frasers, 
under the Master of Lovat, at Corryarrick on the 15th of 
October, at the head of his men. On Norman's return 
to Skye, he was, however, prevailed upon by Sir Alexander 
* The Chiefs of Grant, Vol. I., p. 404, and Vol. II., p. 156. 


Macdonald to remain at home. It would appear that 
Macleod was taking lessons in duplicity from Simon, 
whose son, the Master, his Lordship craftily resolved, 
should join the Prince, while the old fox himself should 
still pretend to be loyal to the Government. From the 
following letter it will be seen that Lovat not only advised 
Macleod to follow this example, but that young Macleod, 
at the head of his clansmen, had actually gone as far on 
his way as Beaufort to join Prince Charles. Macleod writes 
to the Lord-President, from Dunvegan, on the 23rd of 
October, 1745, a letter, in which he says — 

" By the end of next week Talisker, who has just got 
a son, will be ready to move, and I will by that time 
have a body of 300 men so disposed here that they can 
move on a day's notice. Sir Alexander has sent to Uist 
for his Captain, and I am very hopeful he will be ready 
as soon as Talisker, or very quickly after. The behaviour 
of my son's men vexes me to the soul ; they were entering 
an outhouse of Lovat's and sent to the Master's rendez- 
vous. Sandy Macleod [of Muiravonside] is still here, 
waiting to see his uncle [Donald Macleod of Bernera] 
from Harris ; he has made some attempts to raise rebellion 
against the knight and me here, but with very bad success." 

Only a week before the date of this letter, Lovat wrote 
to the President, intimating that his son, the Master 
of Lovat, marched at the head of his men tc join 
the Prince, and it would have been seen that Macleod 
was with Lovat on the 15th, only two days previously, 
and that between that date and the 23rd of the same 
month, young Macleod had reached Lovat's country, on 
his way to the " Master's rendezvous" on the march to 
join the Highland army under Prince Charles. Whether 
or not young Macleod joined the Frasers, with his men, 
we have not ascertained, but they do not appear to have 
joined the Highlanders. 

President Forbes, on the 24th of October, 1745, wrote 
to Sir Alexander Macdonald of Sleat, urging that either 
he or Macleod of Macleod should march forthwith, at 
the head of the largest body of men that they could 


get together, to the town of Inverness, while the other 
should remain in the island "to give the people directions, 
and to keep the proper countenance in that country." 

In a letter from John Grant, factor for Urquhart, to 
Ludovick Grant of Grant, dated four days later, on 28th 
of the same month, the writer says that Lord Lovat had 
assured " Dell" that Sir Alexander Macdonald and Macleod 
would not join the Prince, and Dell told him that Lord 
Lovat had sworn revenge against Macleod, saying he was 
but a perjured villain, as he swore, when last at Castle 
Dounie, that he would be there in a few days with all 
his men, to march with the Master of Lovat to join the 
Highland army.* 

The people were very unwilling to join their Chiefs to 
fight against Prince Charles ; and it is well known had 
they been told before they left home that they were going 
in support of the Hanoverian dynasty, and against the 
Stuarts, they would never have left Skye. Even after 
their arrival in the South they expressed their decided 
unwillingness to fight against the Prince, and there is no 
doubt that they only did so in a very half-hearted manner. 
Donald Macleod of Bernera refused to follow his Chief. 
Being requested to join him at Dunvegan, with his 
followers, he promptly replied, " I place at your disposal 
the twenty men of your tribe who are under my immediate 
command, and in any other quarrel would not fail to be 
at their head, but in the present I must go where a 
higher and more imperious duty calls me." He then 
joined Prince Charles and fought manfully against his 

President Forbes, writing to Mr. (afterwards Sir Andrew) 
Mitchell on the 13th of November, 1745, says, that he 
found himself " almost alone, without troops, without arms, 
without money or credit ; provided with no means to 
prevent extreme folly, except pen and ink, a tongue and 
some reputation ; and if you will except Macleod, whom 
I sent for from the Isle of Skye, supported by nobody 
* The Chiefs of Grant, Vol. I., p. 413, and Vol. II., p. 181. 


of common sense or courage." Macleod had been with 
the President for some time before the date of this letter; 
for we find the latter writing" to Sir John Cope, from 
Culloden, on the 12th of September, a letter in which 
he says — " Monday night Captain Sutherland, with 54 men 
and Tuesday night Captain Macleod, with his company 
complete, arrived at Inverness," and he continues — " I 
have great assistance at present from Macleod, who at 
my desire came from the Isle of Skye, alongst with his 
son" (who commanded the Macleod company), "and is 
now my fellow labourer." It would appear that the son 
and his men were not very robust in their loyalty, for, 
six weeks after the date of this letter, we find Macleod, 
on the 23rd of October, during a visit to Dunvegan, 
writing a letter in which he said — -" The behaviour of my 
son's men vexes me to the soul. They were entering 
an outhouse of Lovat's, and sent to the Master's rendez- 
vous." The Master, it will be remembered, was at this 
time on his way to Corryarrick, at the head of the Frasers, 
to join Prince Charles. Young Macleod seems, however, 
to have reconsidered his position, and to have followed 
the advice of his father by adhering to the Government. 

The Lord President and the Earl of Loudon, writing 
to General Wade, at this time commanding in the North, 
on the 1 6th of November, 1745, says that 160 Mackenzies, 
seduced by the Earl of Cromarty, marched in the beginning 
of the week up the north side of Loch-Ness, depending 
upon being followed by five or six hundred Frasers, under 
the Master of Lovat. The Mackenzies had not then, 
however, passed the mountains ; the Frasers had not 
left their own country ; and their Lordships had hopes 
they would not do so, for at the time there were seven 
hundred Highlanders in pay at Inverness, and they looked 
hourly for more, with whom they were going to endeavour 
to persuade the Frasers to stay at home. " Last Friday," 
the writer of the letter continues, " Macleod with 400 
of his kindred, joined us ; which gives us hopes that we 
shall prevent the march of the Frasers, who are not yet 


gone." From this it will appear that it was on the 15th 
of November that the four Macleod companies mustered 
at Inverness, and that their officers received their com- 
missions. The Captains who commanded the several 
companies were — John Macleod, younger of Macleod ; 
Norman Macleod, of Waterstein ; Norman Macleod, of 
Bernera ; and Donald Macdonald. The Lieutenants were 
— Alexander Macleod, Donald Macleod, John Campbell, 
and William Macleod ; and the Ensigns, John MacCaskill, 
John Macleod, another John Macleod, and Donald 

The four companies from Skye were joined by a 
company of one hundred men raised in Assynt by Captain 
Macleod of Geanies, and on the 10th of December they 
marched towards Elgin, under command of Norman Mac- 
leod of Macleod, to oppose Lewis Gordon's operations in 
the counties of Banff and Aberdeen. On the 13th, the 
President writes to Macleod at Elgin, informing him " that 
Lord Lovat is come into town (Inverness) after abundance 
of shillie shallie stuff," and that " he has at last agreed 
that all the arms belonging to his people shall be carried 
into Inverness by Sunday night." This undertaking by 
Lovat, whether, as the President says, it be " jest or ernest," 
detained Lord Loudon from proceeding to the east to 
support Macleod, but Munro of Culcairn's and William 
Mackintosh's companies were sent after him, so as to 
enable him to redeem engagements entered into by the 
Lord President and those in superior command, with 
the Duke of Gordon and others in Banffshire. On the 
same day President Forbes wrote Macleod a second letter, 
in which he says — " As zeal for his Majesty's service, 
and for the support of our happy Constitution, is the sole 
motive of your march, with so many of your kinsmen, to 
a country so distant from your own, I presume you will 
not scruple to take directions from me, who, though I 
have no military command or authority, am actuated by 
the same principles that direct you." The first object of 
the expedition was, he said, to be " to deliver the Duke 


of Gordon's vassals and tenants and their neighbours in 
Banffshire from the oppression of the rebels, in the illegal 
and treasonable levies of men and money which they 
presume by force to make." 

On the 14th December, Macleod wrote to Ludovick Grant 
of Grant from Elgin : — " It was no small joy to me to see 
your letter of this evening to Sir Harry [Innes of Innes]. 
I cannot doubt but your march with so considerable a 
body of men will protect your friends in Banffshire, but 
also be of great avail for his Majesty's service at this time. 
I was ordered to march Monday with 500 men that are 
here to attempt to pass Spey, in order to assist in pro- 
tecting all these places, and to dissipate any body of rebels 
that might be assembled in those parts. I hear the passage 
is to be disputed, and they have gone so far as to gather 
all the boats at Bog to the east side, and plant a guard 
on them. I am persuaded your moving that way will 
disperse them, and open that passage, which otherwise 
might be hazardous. I have on that account ordered my 
march for to-morrow morning to Spey-side to attempt it, 
and will most cheerfully act in conjunction with you in 
everything thought proper for the good of the country 
and his Majesty's service. All other matters I must refer 
to Sir Harry, who knows all my views and orders." In a 
letter, indorsed two days later, from Sir Harry Innes, 
at Gordon Castle, to Grant, the writer says that Grants- 
field and he were greatly surprised to see Macleod's men 
passing Spey when they themselves were about a mile 
and a half from the boat. Had Grant's men marched 
down, he says, the party guarding the boats might all 
have been made prisoners, if they had not got off by 
speed of foot. In a postscript he adds that Macleod in 
the meantime wished to consort with Grant for their mutual, 
and for the public, safety. On 17th December Macleod 
wrote again to Ludovick Grant, a letter in which he says 
that he had written Culcairn to join Grant at Keith early 
next morning. He was quite convinced that, after that 
junction, or even without it, no party of rebels at Strath- 


bogie dare look them in the face. He intended to go to 
Banff next day, thence to Turriff, and to Old Meldrum on 
the third day, when Grant was to march from Strathbogie 
to Kintore and Inverury, so that they would then be within 
three miles of each other, " which is near enough for the 
convenience of quarters and to join in an hour." These 
marches he thought would secure all Banffshire and part 
of Aberdeenshire " from further insults and oppressions 
from the rebels," and they could in the interim have certain 
information of the latter's strength at Aberdeen, and also 
orders from Lord Loudon whether to proceed there or 
not. Towards the end of the letter he says — " I with 
my soul wish you all well, and drink your healths and 
unbounded success."* 

On the same day President Forbes wrote Macleod saying 
— " The complaints of the City and County of Aberdeen 
of the oppression they suffer from the rebels are so 
clamorous, and the injury they suffer so violent, that it 
is no longer possible to endure them. You are, therefore, 
without loss of time, unless some accident insuperable 
detain you, to march alongst with Captain Munro of 
Culcairn and the company under his command, to Aber- 
deen, to secure that City and its neighbourhood from the 
hardships it has already felt, and is further threatened 
with." The Lord President wrote also on the same date 
to James Morison, ex-Lord Provost of Aberdeen, intimating 
that "the Laird of Macleod goes a volunteer, at the head 
of a considerable body of his own kindred, to deliver you 
from harm." On the 19th of December, Macleod wrote 
Grant expressing his regret that the latter was not to 
join him at Inverury, on the expedition to Aberdeen, 
but was to return to Keith. "However," he says, "you 
know best what is proper for you to do, and what Loudon 
has wrote you, but I own I am sorry we do not move 
together, because I think the lads of both clans must have 
been in high spirits. "f In this expedition the Chief of 
Dunvegan had seven companies under his command. He 

* The Chiefs of Grant, Vol. II., pp. 193, 197, 199. \ Ibid., Vol. II., p. 200. 


seems, however, not only to have failed in his object, 
but to have secured no laurels of any kind for himself 
and his followers during the expedition. 

At Inverury Macleod was met on the 23rd October, and 
narrowly escaped being taken by surprise after dark by a 
superior force, under Lord Lewis Gordon. He managed to 
get his men hurriedly under arms, and to take possession of 
a few points of vantage in the town, where he made a 
brief stand, but after a short skirmish, in which he lost 
about forty men, most of whom were taken prisoners, he 
made a hasty retreat across the Spey, on to Elgin and 
Forres, where many of the men, who had no sympathy 
whatever with the cause in which they were engaged, 
deserted their Chief and went back to Skye as fast as 
their feet could carry them. He, however, managed to 
muster the remainder of his followers, and remained in 
Forres until after Prince Charles had marched from Stirling" 
Macleod was then ordered to Inverness, where he was joined 
by two companies of Sir Alexander Macdonald's men, 
under Captain James Macdonald of Airds, Troternish, 
Skye, and Captain John Macdonald of Kirkibost, North 
Uist, the whole island bod}' forming part of a force of 
about two thousand men, under the supreme command 
of the Earl of Loudon. 

At Inverness Macleod received a letter from Lord Lewis 
Gordon in reply to inquiries which he had made of his 
Lordship regarding the prisoners taken by the latter at 
Inverury. In the course of this letter, dated "Aberdeen, 
December 27th, 1745," Lord Gordon says — "I received 
your letter by express last night, dated from Gordon Castle, 
the 24th. All the care in our power has and shall be taken 
of your wounded men ; and all the prisoners that were 
taken under their arms shall meet with all the civility in 
our power. I shall take care to order supplies to be given 
to all the prisoners who want them, and the wounded men 
are as well taken care of as our own. I shall send you a 
list of the prisoners and wounded, with any useless papers 
and letters, as soon as possible ; and any other thing we 


can reasonably agree to, shall be done with pleasure." In 
a letter from John Grant to Ludovick Grant of Grant, 
dated 3rd February, 1746, the writer says : — " Macleod 
of Talisker is come to Inverness, with one hundred and 
fifty of Macleod's deserters, and Norman Macleod of Ber- 
nera is on the road with more."* This would be after 
their defeat at Inverury. 

The next expedition in which we find Macleod of Mac- 
leod engaged is in that ludicrous scare known as the 
" Rout of Moy," in which Lord Loudon, who commanded, 
and his followers, among whom were the Macleods and 
their Chief, cut such a sorry figure. The following is the 
best version of the facts known to us : — " On the 16th 
of February, Prince Charles arrived at Moy Hall, the seat 
of the Mackintosh, who himself was away from home 
fighting for the Government. His lady was, however, a 
strong Jacobite, and, in the absence of her husband, she 
raised the Clan to join the Prince, under Alexander Mac- 
gillivray of Dunmaglass, who led them to Perth. He 
afterwards joined Prince Charles, on his return from 
England, and was there appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of 
the battalion, then raised from five to eight hundred 
by the addition to it of three hundred Farquharsons. 
They afterwards, on the 17th of January, 1746, took part 
in the battle of Falkirk, after which the Prince and his 
whole army retired to the North, arriving, as already 
stated, at Moy hall, on Sunday, the 16th February, within 
twelve miles of Inverness, where Lord Loudon was 
stationed at the head of some two thousand Government 
troops. The Commander at Inverness soon learnt that 
the Prince was in his vicinity, and determined to take 
him dead or alive. For this purpose he placed a cordon 
of sentinels round the town to prevent anyone getting 
out of it to give the alarm at Moyhall, and on Sunday 
evening he marched out for that place at the head of 
fifteen hundred men, the advance guard commanded by 
Norman Macleod of Macleod. Notwithstanding Loudon's 

* The Chiefs of Grant, Vol II., p. 220. 


sentinels, messengers were dispatched from Inverness to 

Moyhall in advance of Loudon's troops intimating - the 

danger of the Prince. Mrs. Mackintosh, on the arrival of 

his Royal Highness at her house, had sent out five or six 

men, under Donald Fraser, the smith of Moy, to watch 

the road from Inverness, which crossed the Nairn at the 

Bridge of Faillie. About midnight the blacksmith and 

his scouts discovered the approach of troops — Loudon's 

advanced guard — under Macleod, who, according to the 

Jacobite Memoirs, had been for some time "lying in a 

hollow, not knowing what to do by reason of the flashes 

of lightning from the heavens that confounded all their 

designs." On perceiving them, the blacksmith, with great 

presence of mind, drew back his men to a pass near 

Creag-an-Eoin, and after instructing them as to how they 

were to act, posted them on each side of the road, and 

then coolly awaited the approach of Loudon's army. There 

were a number of peat stacks about, and the enemy's forces 

are supposed to have mistaken them in the dark for bodies 

of men. As soon as the first of Loudon's army came in 

sight, Fraser fired his piece amongst them, his companions 

making a great noise, and running from place to place 

in different directions, following his example. The smith 

at the same time was, at the height of his voice, ordering 

imaginary Macdonalds and Camerons to advance on the 

right and on the left, and to give no quarter to the enemy, 

who wanted to murder their lawful prince, thus leading 

Loudon's followers to think that they were confronted by 

a large body of the Prince's army. Macleod's famous piper, 

Donald Ban MacCrimmon, was killed by the blacksmith's 

first shot, standing close to the side of his Chief. The 

Government troops, thinking they had a whole army in 

front of them, made a hasty retreat to Inverness, the 

Macleods carrying the piper's body, who was the only 

person killed, all the way to the Highland Capital, where 

he is said to have been buried. The author of The History 

of Clanchattan says that " the advanced guard, already 

dazzled by the lightning, fell into a panic, and rushed back 


on their main body, throwing that also into confusion. 
None doubted that the whole Jacobite force was upon 
them ; and the entire army, inspired by an indescribable 
terror, turned their faces towards Inverness, and made 
their way to a place of safety with all the speed of which 
they were capable." Home, in his History of the Rebellion, 
says : — " The panic, fear, and flight continued till they got 
near Inverness, without being in any danger but that of 
being trampled to death, which many of them, when they 
were lying upon the ground and trod upon by such 
numbers, thought they could not possibly escape." The 
Master of Ross, who was present, and from whom Home 
got his account of the rout, said " he had been in many 
perils, but had never found himself in a condition so 
grievous as that in which he was at the Rout of Moy." 
The Prince, in the meantime, on learning his danger, 
was up and out of bed at an early hour on Monday 
morning, and, after dressing hurriedly and seeing his 
brave hostess in the court-yard, was conducted to Moybeg, 
where the Camerons of Lochiel were encamped. With 
them he had resolved to make a stand in the event of 
his being attacked. Shortly after his arrival, however, a 
messenger reached him conveying the gratifying intelli- 
gence of the blacksmith's extraordinary victory, whereupon 
the Prince at once returned to Moyhall, and almost 
immediately with his force, now greatly augmented, 
marched upon Inverness, which he entered, at the head of 
his troops, on the 18th of February. Loudon, thinking the 
whole of the Highland army was at his heels, and believing 
that, in his retreat, he was only saved from annihilation by 
the darkness of the night, did not remain at Inverness 
for a moment, but left Kessock Ferry behind him as 
quickly as he could get his troops across it on the 17th 
and 1 8th, pursued by a considerable force under the Earl 
of Cromarty. He was afterwards followed into Sutherland- 
shire and his forces broken up, after which Loudon himself 
made for the sea coast. He then took passage with Mac- 
leod and his followers to Skye, where, at Dunvegan, he 


and Lord President Forbes remained in safe quarters until 
after the battle of Culloden. 

Donald Ban MacCrimmon, killed at the Rout of Moy, 
was reputed the best piper of his day in the Highlands. 
The author of The History and Traditions of the Isle of 
Skye says that when leaving Dunvegan on that occasion 
Donald had a presentiment that he would never return, 
and it was then that he composed that plaintive air, ' Cha 
till mi tuilleadh,' or MacCrimmon's Lament, which he 
played on the pipes as the Independent Companies of 
the Macleods were leaving Dunvegan Castle, and while their 
wives and sweethearts were waving a sorrowful farewell 
to them. To this air MacCrimmon composed a feeling 
Gaelic song, the sentiments in which are brought out in 
the English imitation by Sir Walter Scott, which is in 
the following terms : — 

" Macleod's wizard flag from the grey castle sallies, 
The rowers are seated, unmoored are the galleys ; 
Gleam war-axe and broadsword, clang target and quiver, 
As MacCrimmon plays ' 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 MacCrimmon shall never. 

" Farewell the bright clouds that on Culen are sleeping, 
Farewell the bright eyes in the fort that are weeping ; 
To each minstrel delusion farewell ! and for ever — 
MacCrimmon departs to return to you never. 

" The Banshee's wild voice sings the death-dirge before me, 
And the pall of the dead for a mantle hangs o'er me ; 
But my heart shall not fly, and my nerve shall not quiver, 
Though devoted I go — to return again, never! 

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

MacCrimmon had a sweetheart at Dunvegan, who, on 
hearing him play his " Lament," is said to have composed 
a touching song in response, which was first published in 


Mackay's work on pipe music, and afterwards in Cuairtear 
nan Gleann. It is as follows : — 

Dh' iadh ceo nan stuc mu aodann Chuilinn, 
Is sheinn a' bhean-shith a torman mulaid, 
Tha suilean gorm ciuin 's an Dun a' sileadh 
O'n thriall thu bhuainn 's nach till thu tuilleadh. 

Cha till, cha till, cha till MacCruimein, 
An cogadh no sith cha till e tuilleadh, 
Le airgiod no ni cha till MacCruimein ; 
Cha till gu brath gu la na cruinne. 

Tha osag nan gleann gu fann ag imeachd ; 
Gach sruthan 's gach allt gu mall le bruthach ; 
Tha ialt' nan speur feadh gheugan dubhach, 
A' caoidh gun d' f halbh 's nach till thu tuilleadh. 
Cha till, cha till, etc. 

Tha'n fhairge fadheoidh Ian broin is mulaid, 
Tha 'm bata fo sheol, ach dhiult i siubhal ; 
Tha gair nan tonn le fuaim neo-shubhach, 
Ag radh gun d' fhalbh 's nach till thu tuilleadh. 
Cha till, cha till, etc. 

Cha chluinnear do cheol 's an Dun mu f heasgar, 
'S mac-talla nam mur le muirn 'g a fhreagairt ; 
Gach fleasgach is oigh, gun cheol, gun bheadradh, 
O'n thriall thu bhuainn 's nach till thu tuilleadh. 

Cha till, cha till, cha till MacCruimein, 
An cogadh no sith cha till e tuilleadh, 
Le airgiod no ni cha till MacCruimein ; 
Cha till gu brath gu la na cruinne. 

Norman Macleod and the Lord President always con- 
tinued on the most friendly terms ; and we find them 
repeatedly referring to each other in letters to their 
friends in London. The Lord Lyon, Alexander Brodie 
of Brodie, whose only daughter afterwards married Mac- 
leod's eldest son, writing" to President Forbes from London, 
on the ist of July, 1746, discloses the fact that Macleod 
was against the Act which made it penal for a Highlander 
to wear his native dress. In this letter the Lord Lyon 
states, after having consulted the Duke of Newcastle and 
the Chancellor, that the Government did not propose to 
bring in any bills relative to Scotland during that session, 
" except the Meeting-house Bill, and that for Discharging 


the Highland dress " ; which, he says, was to be brought 
into the House of Commons in a day or two. " For my 
own part," Brodie continues, " I am yet, in my private 
opinion, for the Bill, not being convinced against it ; but 
as I understand that your Lordship and my friend Macleod 
were against it, I have objected to it, and asked the Duke 

of H what crimes had the Campbells, Sutherlands, 

Macleods, Munros, Mackays, etc., been guilty of, that 
they should be punished by the Legislature, whilst they 
were in arms for the Government ? which did puzzle ; and 
was answered, the Whig clans might be excepted, which, 
I said, would not do ; the thing must be general or could 
have no effect." It also appears from the same letter 
that Lord Stair " opposes the Dress Bill," but, as every 
one knows, the obnoxious measure was ultimately passed 
into law. 

In a letter from Lachlan Grant, writer in Edinburgh, 
to Ludovick Grant of Grant, dated 10th July, 1746, the 
writer says — " I see Macleod is come to town dressed in 
his Highland clothes. I suppose he will be an exception, 
for his late good services, from the Acts now depending."* 

On the 1 8th of December following, Macleod writes to 
the Lord President requesting his influence in favour of 
the appointment of the Rev. Neil Macleod as minister 
of Laggan. " You may remember," he writes, " he was 
of the Church Militant, and attended me in my expedition 
eastward, and stayed with the men constantly till they 
were sent home, and preached sound doctrine, and really 
was zealous and serviceable. The Duke (of Gordon) agrees 
that anyone you recommend have his interest ; and as Mr. 
Clark is gone to Hornway, I hope you will recommend 
Mr. Neil ; and writing to Mr. Gordon, the Curator, will 
be sufficient and what the Duke desires. The Curator 
likewise told me he would be very willing to serve him 
on my account." In the same letter Macleod refers to 
Simon, Lord Lovat, then a prisoner in London. He says 
— " I saw unhappy Lovat to-day. Except for the feeble- 

* The Chiefs of Grant, Vol. II. p. 263. 


ness of his limbs, his looks are good. He asked me 
several questions, and particularly about you ; said he was 
resigned and ready to meet his fate, since it was God's 
will ; asked after his children, etc. I did not stay till he 
was dismissed from the bar of the House of Peers ; so I 
know not what they have done with the petition he was 
to present ; nor if a day is appointed for his trial." On 
the 13th January, 1747, Macleod writes a long letter to 
the President about his old friend, Lovat, who was that 
day again brought to the bar of the House of Lords to 
answer the articles of impeachment exhibited against him, 
which the old man did by a denial that " seemed to be 
well drawn up and properly worded." Sir Arthur Forbes, 
writing President Forbes on the 9th April following, says 
— " It's astonishing with what resolution and sang froid 
Lovat died to-day !" Having referred to the manner and 
incidents of his death, and his excellent spirits on that 
and the preceding day, Sir Arthur adds in a postscript — 
" Though Macleod could write you many more things (at 
least as I suppose), he desires to be excused till Saturday." 
In a letter from Brodie to Forbes, dated on the nth, two 
days later, he says — "As Sir Arthur and Macleod write 
you so frequently the occurrences here, I need not trouble 
you with a repetition of them, especially as, since Tuesday 
last, there has nothing remarkable happened, except Lovat's 
dying with courage and decency, forgiving all mankind. 
He, I am told, blamed your lordship and Macleod for 
somewhat," and said that Fraser of Gorthlick was a pupil 
and a spy of the Lord President's and Macleod's. 

It will be remembered that Macleod of Macleod was a 
member of Parliament during these years — from 1741 to 
1754 — for the county of Inverness. He mixed with the 
leading men of his time, and became extravagant in his 
habits, gambled, and finally spent the splendid fortune of 
about ;£6o,ooo which he inherited on his coming of age, 
along with the ancient family inheritance, quite unimpaired 
and entirely free of debt. And it is largely in consequence 
of his great extravagance — for he died ^50,000 in debt — 


that his successors had to part with the most valuable 
portions of the estates, including Glenelg, Harris, and 

Norman Macleod was on the most intimate terms with 
the famous Rob Roy Macgregor, and it is curious that 
the Chief's portrait, painted by Allan Ramsay, preserved 
in Dunvegan Castle, is set off, dressed in Rob Roy tartan. 
In this connection the following story is told — Macleod 
on a certain occasion wanted some money brought from 
Inverness to Dunvegan. He requested one of his most 
trusted servants to go for it. The man was afraid that 
he might be met by Macgregor, who was then known to 
be prowling about in the hills on the mainland, between 
Skye and Inverness. Though the regular institution of a 
fool in the family retinue had long been given up by the 
Macleods, one was at this time among the hangers-on 
about the castle, and the servant who had been asked to 
proceed to Inverness took the fool into his confidence. 
He expressed his fear of meeting the famous outlaw on 
his way to or from the Highland Capital, and he was 
afraid lest he might rob him of the money, and perhaps 
get killed himself in protecting and defending his master's 
property. The fool only laughed at the man's fears, and, 
without stating the reason why, he went straight to Mac- 
leod, and offered to go for the money himself. To this, 
knowing that he was not such a fool as some people took 
him to be, his master at once agreed. 

While on his way, but still some distance from Inverness, 
the fool, on the steep side of a hill met a man who very 
politely asked him where he came from and where he 
was going to. Being promptly informed of his destination, 
the stranger asked him what he was going to do in 
Inverness. He was going for money for his master, 
Macleod. "Your master must be very rich," says the 
stranger. " Pretty well," replied the fool. " How much 
money are you to take home ?" "Oh, may be a thousand 
pounds," was the proud reply. " Be sure you take care 
of it," said the stranger. " I hope we shall meet again.'' 


" I hope so, too," replied the fool. He then went on 
his way to Inverness, got the money ; and on his return 
journey sat down to rest near the spot where he had 
met the strange man while on his way to Inverness a few 
days before, a little higher up in the face of the hill, 
above the path. Presently who should he observe coming 
along, riding on a beautiful steed, but his old friend, who 
at once called out to him, from the path below, that he 
was very glad to see him, and desiring to know if he 
had succeeded in doing his master's business in Inverness 
in a satisfactory manner. "Oh, yes, sir," replied the fool, 
in the most respectful tones ; for he thought, from the 
magnificence of the horse and the style of his accoutre- 
ments, that its owner must be a great and important 
personage. "I hope," the stranger answered, "you have 
the thousand pounds all safe, for you must give it to me." 
The messenger was taken aback, but replied, " I can't give 
you my master's money." " Oh, but you must," answered 
the other, "I am Rob Roy." "I can't," insisted the fool, 
who had now got into an excited state of terror, " it would 
be ruin to me." " I'll shoot you dead if you don't," said 
Macgregor, with great and determined emphasis. " Oh, 
have mercy, have mercy, I'm only a poor fool." " Give 
me the money," imperatively cried Rob Roy. " Well, if 
I must — rather than death," gasped the other, and taking 
a parcel from his breast, he threw it past Rob Roy. The 
parcel rolled down the hill-side. Macgregor jumped off 
his horse, and ran after the supposed treasure to the 
bottom of the hill. In a moment the fool was in Rob 
Roy's saddle, driving the horse away as fast as he could 
run, now quite at ease and happy in his mind ; for the 
treasure he threw away contained only a pair of stockings, 
while Macleod's thousand pounds were still perfectly safe 
in his breast ; and Roy Roy was left helpless to muse 
upon the clever stratagem by which the Dunvegan fool 
had outwitted him. 

As the rider approached the Castle, he was noticed by 
the " Fear-Faire " — the watchman, who, in those days, sat 


on the look-out at all times. He could not understand 
who the strange visitor, riding such a splendid charger, 
could be, and he ran to Macleod to tell of his approach, 
and to ask if he should be admitted. Macleod said, 
"Certainly; one man cannot hurt us." The fool rode up 
very proudly, and every one looked at him with astonish- 
ment. "Where did you get that horse?" inquired his master, 
who, when he heard the fool's story, laughed outright, and 
complimented him on being a very fine fellow. This pleased 
him very much ; but when Macleod examined the saddle- 
bags, he found that there was much more money in them 
than his own, and he at once turned round and told the 
fool that he must at once go back to Rob Roy and return 
to him his money and his horse. He was terribly 
frightened, but he went, and restored to the outlaw both 
his charger and his cash ; and the fool, Rob Roy, and 
Macleod are said to have been the best of friends ever after. 

In 1760 Macleod raised a company of men on his 
property in Skye, and gave the command to his nephew, 
Captain Fotheringham of Powrie, The company was 
afterwards embraced in Keith and Campbell's Highlanders, 
and served with distinction in Germany, under Prince 
Ferdinand. A good number of men from Macleod's 
estates joined the Scottish Brigade in Holland, of which 
Macleod of Talisker was Colonel, and Macleod of Bal- 
meanach Major. 

Norman was known in his time, and is still spoken of in 
the traditional history of the family as " An Droch Dhuine " 
or " The Wicked Man." This was no doubt owing to 
his gambling, extravagant, and reckless habits of life, by 
which he so seriously impaired the fortunes of the family, 
and especially for his cruel treatment of his first wife 
and Lady Grange. 

His grandson, General Macleod, who succeeded as Chief 
of the Clan on Norman's death, in 1772, wrote regarding 
him in 1785, in a manuscript fragment of Memoirs of His 
Own Life, in the following terms ; — 

" My grandfather, Norman, was an only and posthumous 


son ; by the frugality of his ancestors, and the savings 
of his minority, he found our ancient inheritance in the 
most prosperous condition. I knew him in his advanced 
age ; and from himself, and many other friends, have heard 
much of the transactions of his life. With a body singularly 
well made and active, he possessed very lively parts. The 
circumstances of the times introduced him to the public 
with great advantage ; and, till the unfortunate 1745, he 
was much considered. An attachment to the race of 
Stuart then prevailed in Scotland ; and many of the leading 
men in England still favoured it. His independent fortune 
and promising character early obtained him the repre- 
sentation in Parliament of Inverness-shire, his native 
county. The numbers and fidelity of his Clan, and his 
influence with his neighbours, were known ; and I have 
many reasons to believe that many allurements were held 
out to seduce him to engagements which were then 
considered only as dangerous, but neither guilty nor 
dishonourable. It would be neither pleasing nor useful 
to inquire how deeply he was concerned in the preludes 
to the rebellion ; nor, indeed, have I been able to learn. 
It is certain that in the year 1746 he raised a company 
of his vassals to serve under my father, his only son, in 
Lord Loudon's regiment, and afterwards appeared, with 
six hundred of his Clan, in defence of the present Royal 
Family. From this period he was unfortunate ; the 
Jacobites treated him as an apostate, and the successful 
party did not reward his loyalty. The former course of 
his life had been expensive ; his temper was convivial 
and hospitable ; and he continued to impair his fortune 
till his death in 1772. He was the first of our family 
who was led, by the change of manners, to leave the 
patriarchal Government of his Clan, and to mix in the 
pursuits and ambition of the world. It was not then 
common to see the representatives of the Highland tribes 
endeavouring to raise themselves to eminence in the 
nation by arts of eloquence, or regular military gradation ; 
they were contented with private opulence and local dignity, 
or trusted their rank in the State to the antiquity of their 
families, or their provincial influence. Had Norman felt 
in his youth the necessity of professional or Parliamentary 
exertions, and had he received a suitable education, he would 
not have left his family in distress ; but the excellence 
of his parts, and the vigour of his mind would have attained 
a station more advantageous for the flight of his successors." 


Having- described his own early youth and education, 
General Macleod proceeds — 

"In the year 1771 a strange passion for emigrating to 
America seized many of the middling and poorer sort of 
Highlanders. The change of manners in their chieftains, 
since 1745, produced effects which were evidently the 
proximate cause of this unnatural dereliction of their own, 
and appetite for a foreign country. The laws which 
deprived the Highlanders of their arms and garb would 
certainly have destroyed the feudal military powers of the 
chieftains ; but the fond attachment of the people to their 
patriarchs would have yielded to no laws. They were 
themselves the destroyers of that pleasing influence. Sucked 
into the vortex of the nation, and allured to the capitals, 
they degenerated from patriarchs and chieftains to land- 
lords ; and they became as anxious for increase of rent 
as the new-made lairds — the novi-homines — the mercantile 
purchasers of the Lowlands. Many tenants whose fathers 
for generations had enjoyed their little spots, were removed 
for higher bidders. Those who agreed, at any price, for 
their ancient lares, were forced to pay an increase, without 
being taught any new method to increase their produce. 
In the Hebrides, especially, this change was not gradual 
but sudden, and baleful were its effects. The people, freed 
by the laws from the power of the chieftains, and loosened 
by the chieftains themselves from the bonds of affection, 
turned their eyes and their hearts to new scenes. America 
seemed to open its arms to receive every discontented Briton. 
To those possessed of very small sums of money, it offered 
large possessions of uncultivated but excellent land, in a 
preferable climate — to the poor it held out large wages for 
labour ; to all it promised property and independence. 
Many artful emissaries, who had an interest in the trans- 
portation or settlement of emigrants, industriously displayed 
these temptations ; and the desire of leaving their own 
country for the new land of promise became furious and 
epidemic. Like all the other popular furies, it infected 
not only those who had reason to complain of their 
situation or injuries, but those who were most favoured 
and most comfortably settled. In the beginning of 1772, 
my grandfather, who had always been a most beneficent 
and beloved chieftain, but whose necessities had lately 
induced him to raise his rents, became much alarmed by 
this new spirit which had reached his Clan. Aged and 
infirm, he was unable to apply the remedy in person ; he 

152 The history of the macleods. 

devolved the task on me ; and gave me for an assistant 
our nearest male relation, Colonel Macleod of Talisker. 
The duty imposed on us was difficult ; the estate was 
loaded with debt, encumbered with a numerous issue from 
himself and my father, and charged with some jointures. 
His tenants had lost, in that severe winter, above a third 
of their cattle, which constituted their substance ; their 
spirits were soured by their losses and the late augmenta- 
tions of rent ; and their ideas of America were inflamed 
by the strongest representations, and the example of their 
neighbouring clans. My friend and I were empowered 
to grant such reductions in the rents as might seem 
necessary and reasonable ; but we found it terrible to 
decide between the justice to creditors, the necessities of 
an ancient family which we ourselves represented, and 
the claims and distresses of an impoverished tenantry. To 
God I owe, and I trust will ever pay, the most fervent 
thanks that this terrible task enabled us to lay the 
foundation of circumstances (though then unlooked for) 
that I hope will prove the means not only of the rescue, 
but the aggrandisement of our family. I was young, and 
had the warmth of the liberal passions natural to that 
age. I called the people of the different districts of our 
estate together ; I laid before them the situation of our 
family — its debts, its burthens, its distresses ; I acknow- 
ledged the hardships under which they laboured ; I 
described and reminded them of the manner in which 
they and their ancestors lived with mine ; I combated 
their passion for America by a real account of the dangers 
and hardships they might encounter there ; I besought 
them to love their young chieftain, and to renew with 
him their ancient manners ; I promised to live among 
them ; I threw myself upon them ; I recalled to remem- 
brance an ancestor who had also found his estate in ruin, 
and whose memory was held in the highest veneration ; 
I desired every district to point out some of their oldest 
and most respected men to settle with me every claim ; 
and I promised to do everything for their relief which 
in reason I could. My worthy relation ably seconded 
me, and our labour was not in vain. We gave considerable 
abatements in the rents ; few emigrated ; and the clan 
conceived the most cordial attachment to me, which they 
most effectively manifested." 

While the future General Macleod was thus patriotically 


engaged trying to save the family inheritance and his 
Clan, his grandfather died. 

Norman married first, about 1726, Janet, youngest 
daughter of Sir Donald Macdonald, fourth Baronet of 
Sleat, with issue — 

1. John, who commanded a company of the Macleods 
at Inverness in 1745, and married in 1753, Emilia, only 
daughter of Alexander Brodie of Brodie, Lyon-King-at- 
Arms, with issue — one son and five daughters, (1) Norman, 
born on the 4th of March, 1754, at Brodie House, who 
succeeded his grandfather in the family estates, and as Chief 
of the Clan. (2) Alexandra, who married Charles Mackinnon 
of Mackinnon, who sold Strathaird in 1786 to MacAlister 
of Loup. She left issue — John Mackinnon, who died 
unmarried at Leith in 1808. After the death of her 
husband, she went to Italy, became a Roman Catholic, 
and died in a convent. She had an only surviving 
daughter, Penelope, who married Alexander Mackinnon 
of Naples and Buenos Ayres, with issue — Charles Mac- 
kinnon, Montevideo, who, a few years ago, came back to 
London as Brazilian Consul. (3) Mary, who married 
Captain Ramsay, R.N., with issue — Colonel Norman Ram- 
say, who fell at Waterloo, and had married his cousin, 
Mary, daughter of General Macleod of Macleod by his 
first wife Mary Mackenzie of Suddie. (4) Isabella, who 
married Mr. Spence, without issue. (5) Anne, who died 
unmarried in 1826. (6) Another, of whom nothing is 
known. In 1765, John went to reside at Beverley, in 
Yorkshire, where he died on the 7th of January, 1766, 
predeceasing his father by six years, and was buried in 
the Minster. His widow (who died in 1803), and his 
five daughters, removed to Hampshire, while his son, 
Norman, proceeded to Edinburgh, where he studied in 
the University of that city, under Professor George Stuart. 

2. Emilia, who married Captain Augustus Moore, of 
Salston, in Ireland. 

Norman was separated from his wife, Janet Macdonald, 
of Sleat, for several years, during which time, we are 


informed, " he took a fancy to a pretty girl " named Ann 
Martin. He is said to have sent his wife a kind letter, after 
many years of separation, inviting- her back to Dunvegan. 
She returned, and soon after was reported dead. He then 
married, as his second wife, this Ann, daughter of William 
Martin, of Inchfure, described as " Mrs. Ann Martin," and 
by her he had issue — 

3. Elizabeth, who married Sir James Pringle, fourth 
Baronet of Stitchill, with issue (among others)— Sir John 
Pringle, fifth Baronet, born in 1784, and married, first, 
in 1809, his cousin, Amelia Anne, daughter of Lieutenant- 
General Macleod of Macleod, with issue — his heir, James ; 
and secondly, on the 19th of October, 1831, Lady Elizabeth 
Maitland Campbell, daughter of the first Marquis of Bread- 
albane, with issue — two daughters — -Mary Gavin, who, on 
the 1 8th of July, 1861, married Major Robert, second son 
of George, 10th Earl of Haddington ; and Magdalene 
Breadalbane, who on the 9th of July, 1863, married 
Alexander Anderson of Newstead, Australia. 

4. Anne, who married Professor Hill, of St. Andrews, 
with issue. 

5. Rich Mary, who, on the 1st September, 1777, married 
Thomas Shairp of Houston, with issue — (1), Thomas Shairp, 
Major, 96th Regiment, born 10th September, 1778, and 
died, without issue, before his father in 1807 ; (2), Norman 
Shairp, who became his father's heir and successor, Major 
H.E.I.C.S. The latter was born 26th October, 1779, and 
married on the 6th of March, 1808, Elizabeth Bining, 
fourth daughter of John Campbell of Kildalloig, Argyle- 
shire, with issue — (a) Thomas Shairp, now of Houston, 
and (b) Norman Shairp, R.N., who died, unmarried, in 
September, 1844; (c) the late John Campbell Shairp, 
Principal of the United Colleges of St. Salvator and St. 
Leonards, in the University of St. Andrews, Professor of 
Poetry at Oxford, and Professor of Humanity in St. 
Andrews. Principal Shairp married, on the 23rd of June, 
1853, Eliza, eldest daughter of Alexander Henry Douglas, 
younger brother of the Marquis of Queensferry, with issue 


— Norman, deceased, and John Campbell, advocate. 
Thomas Shairp of Houston had also by Rich Mary 
Macleod of Dunvegan, Anne Macleod, who married, in 
1804, Thomas Innes, R.N., and Christian, who, in 1820, 
married William Mitchell Innes, of Parson's Green and 
Ay ton. 

Macleod had also two natural sons, Major Alexander 
Macleod of Lochbay, who fought in the American War 
of Independence, and afterwards distinguished himself in 
the European Wars. He married Anne, eldest daughter 
of the famous Flora Macdonald, with issue — one son, 
Norman, killed in a duel by Glengarry at Fort-George. 
Major Alexander for a time occupied Dunvegan Castle 
during General Norman Macleod's absence in India. 

Macleod's other natural son was known as Captain 
Macleod "of Cyprus," being so called in consequence 
of his having spent a part of his time doing duty in that 
island. He married, first, a daughter of Macleod of 
Drynoch, who was drowned by the upsetting of a boat 
in Talisker Bay on the day of her marriage. He married, 
secondly, a niece of Flora Macdonald, with issue- — three 
or four daughters, one of whom married the Rev. Roderick 
Maclean, minister of South Uist. 

Norman Macleod died in 1772, and was buried in St. 
Andrews, when he was succeeded by his grandson, 


Who, as already stated, was born at his maternal grand- 
father's residence, Brodie House, Nairnshire, on the 4th 
of March, 1754. In the fragment of his Autobiography 
already quoted, this Chief informs us that, when he was 
only eleven years old, his father, John Macleod, went to 
reside with the family at Beverley, in Yorkshire, where 
the latter died in the following year. Of his mother, 
at this time, General Macleod says — " The abilities, care, 
and maternal love of my surviving parent left me no 
other reason to regret my father than that which nature 
dictates for a brave, worthy, and so near a relation." His 


grandfather at that time resided near Edinburgh, and young 
Norman was placed under the tutorial care of Professor 
George Stuart. Of this period he writes — " Under Mr. 
Stuart, and in the sight of my grandfather, who lived 
near Edinburgh, I continued to pursue an excellent and 
classical education for near five years ; in this time I 
obtained a competent knowledge of Latin and French ; and 
I acquired a taste for reading and a desire of general know- 
ledge which has never left me. I was permitted to pay a 
visit to my mother, who had settled in Hampshire for the 
education of her daughters ; after which I was summoned 
to the University of St. Andrews by my grandfather, 
who had taken a house in the neighbourhood. Here, 
for one year, I attended the lectures of Dr. Watson (author 
of the History of PJiihp the Second) on logic, rhetoric, 
and belles lettres, and those of Dr Wilkie, author of 
The Epigoniad, on natural philosophy ; I also read Italian. 
Next summer I again visited my mother ; and was sent in 
the winter to the University College, in Oxford. My tutor, 
Mr. George Strahan, zealously endeavoured to supply my 
deficiency in Greek, and I made some progress ; but, 
approaching now to manhood, having got a tincture of 
more entertaining and pleasing knowledge, and a taste 
for the Latin, French and English classics, I could never 
sufficiently labour again as a schoolboy, which I now and 
will for ever lament." This was written in 1785, when 
General Macleod was thirty-one years of age, and after 
he had acquired considerable experience of life at home, 
and in the Indian army. Of his early education he says 
that though " a scholar would very justly call it superficial," 
it contributed much to his happiness in life. The fragment 
of his Autobiography, and his Indian correspondence, from 
which a few of his letters will be given, show that he was a 
man of extensive reading and culture, and that he could 
wield a graceful pen with telling effect and literary skill. 

The efforts which he made, during his grandfather's 
life, to place the relations of Chief and Clan on a more 
satisfactory footing have already been told in his own 


words. His description of what he had done, and the 
sentiments and spirit which at the time moved him to 
action, deserve to be written in letters of gold. When 
Norman was engaged in his patriotic attempts to retrieve 
the position of his family and people, his grandfather 
suddenly died, and he succeeded to the Chiefship and 
estates. He at once proceeded to Hampshire, and, as 
he tells us himself, easily prevailed upon his excellent 
mother and sisters to repair, in performance of his promise 
to his Clan, to Dunvegan, where they soon after arrived 
and, with the young, warm-hearted, well-meaning Chief, 
took up their residence in the ancient stronghold of his 

Pennant, who had visited Skye the year before Dr. 
Johnson, called at Dunvegan on the 20th of July, 1772, 
and refers to its young Chief as a gentleman of the most 
ancient and honourable descent, but whose personal 
character does him infinitely higher honour than this 
fortuitous distinction. " To all the milkiness of human 
nature," he says, " usually concomitant on youthful years, 
is added the sense and firmness of more advanced life. 
He feels for the distresses of his people, and insensible 
of his own, instead of the trash of gold, is laying up the 
treasure of warm affection, and heart-felt gratitude." 

In 1773, Dr. Johnson and his friend Boswell, then on 
their famous tour to the Hebrides, visited Dunvegan Castle, 
and were entertained within its walls for several days. On 
their way they met the young Chief at Raasay. Boswell 
informs us that " Dr. Johnson was much pleased with 
the Laird of Macleod, who is, indeed, a most promising 
youth, and with a noble spirit struggles with difficulties, 
and endeavours to preserve his people. He has been 
left with an encumbrance of forty thousand pounds debt, 
and annuities to the amount of thirteen hundred pounds 
a year. Dr. Johnson said of him, ' If he gets the better 
of all this, he'll be a hero ; and I hope he will. I have 
not met a young man who had more desire to learn, 
or who has learnt more. I have seen nobody that I wish 


more to do a kindness to than Macleod.' Such was the 
honourable eulogium on this young- Chieftain, pronounced 
by an accurate observer, whose praise was not lightly 
bestowed." On the 13th of September, 1773, in the 
afternoon, Johnson and Boswell arrived at Dunvegan, 
having spent the previous night with Flora Macdonald 
in Kingsburgh House, where Dr. Johnson slept in the 
bed which was occupied by Prince Charles in 1746. Bos- 
well describes the stronghold of the Macleods at the period 
of his visit in the following terms : — 

" The great size of the castle, which is partly old and 
partly new, and is built upon a rock close to the sea, 
while the land around it presents nothing but wild, moorish, 
hilly, and craggy appearances, gave a rude magnificence 
to the scene. Having dismounted, we ascended a flight 
of steps which was made by the late Macleod for the 
accommodation of persons coming to him by land, there 
formerly being, for security, no other access to the castle 
but from the sea ; so that visitors who came by the land 
were under the necessity of getting into a boat, and sailed 
round to the only place where it could be approached. 
We were introduced into a stately dining-room, and received 
by Lady Macleod, mother of the laird, who, with his friend 
Talisker, having been detained on the road, did not arrive 
till some time after us. We found the lady of the house 
a very polite and sensible woman, who had lived for some 
time in London, and had there been in Dr. Johnson's 
company. After we had dined, we repaired to the drawing- 
room, where some of the young ladies of the family, with 
their mother, were at tea. This room had formerly been 
the bed-chamber of Sir Roderick Macleod, one of the old 
lairds ; and he chose it because behind it there was a 
considerable cascade, the sound of which disposed him to 
sleep. Above his head was this inscription : ' Sir Rorie 
Macleod of Dunvegan, Knight. God send good rest.' 
Our entertainment here was in so elegant a 
style, and reminded my fellow-traveller so much of England 
that he became quite joyous. He laughed, and said, 
' Boswell, we came in at the wrong end of this island.' 
'Sir,' said I, 'it is best to keep this for the last!' He 
answered, ' I would have it both first and last.' Dr. John- 
son said in the morning (14th September), ' Is not this 
a fine lady ?' There was not a word now of his 'impatience 


to be in civilized life;' though, indeed, I should beg pardon 
— he found it here. We had slept well, and lain long. 
After breakfast we surveyed the castle and the garden. 
Mr. Bethune, the parish minister, Magnus Macleod of 
Claggan, brother of Talisker, and Macleod of Bay, two 
substantial gentlemen of the clan, dined with us. We 
had admirable venison, generous wine ; in a word, all that 
a good table has. This was really the hall of a Chief." 

Boswell then describes in interesting detail the conversa- 
tion which took place after dinner, and again after supper. 
Lady Macleod shows to great advantage, while Dr. 
Johnson enforces in characteristic fashion his strong 
common-sense views of men and things. Sheriff Macleod 
of Ulinish was one of the supper party, at which the 
young laird, surrounded by so many of the leading men 
of his Clan, is described by Boswell as a very pleasing 

On his arrival at Dunvegan, Dr. Johnson was suffering 
from a cold, which had recently become worse in conse- 
quence of his travels in such wet weather. Boswell writes, 
under date of 16th September — " Last night much care 
was taken of Dr. Johnson, who was still distressed by his 
cold. He had hitherto most strangely slept without a 
nightcap. Miss Macleod made him a large flannel one, 
and he was prevailed with to drink a little brandy when 
he was going to bed. He has great virtue in not drinking 
wine or any fermented liquor, because, as he acknowledged 
to us, he could not do it in moderation. Lady Macleod 
would hardly believe him, and said, ' I am sure, sir, you 
would not carry it too far.' Johnson — 'Nay, madam, it 
carried me. I took the opportunity of a long illness to 
leave it off. It was prescribed me not to drink wine ; 
and having broken off, I never returned to it.'" Miss 
Macleod, now of Macleod, remembers her great-aunt, one 
of General Macleod's sisters, who was present on the 
occasion of Dr. Johnson's visit, quite well, and she has 
been good enough to supply us with the following inter- 
esting reminiscence : — '• I have often heard," she says, " my 
great-aunt, who lived until I was nearly grown up, speak 


of the visit of Dr. Johnson. Neither she, nor the other 
girls, seem to have appreciated his conversation as their 
mother and brother did. She used to say that he spoke 
crossly to the servants ; and on one occasion, when the 
peats for his bedroom fire did not please him, he quite 
lost his temper, and insisted on going- out himself to the 
peat stack in the court. As it was raining, and he went 
out without his hat, he caught a worse cold, and remained 
in bed for some hours in the morning. Lady Macleod 
thought it her duty to go up to inquire whether he had 
all he wanted. She presently returned to her daughters 
laughing, and told them that he had his wig on turned 
inside out, with the back to the front, to keep his head 
warm. ' I have often,' she said, ' seen very plain men, 
but anyone so ugly as Dr. Johnson lying in bed in that 
wig, I have not seen, and never expect to see again.'" 
It was no doubt this incident that led one of the Misses 
Macleod to make for Dr. Johnson the flannel nightcap 
mentioned by Boswell. 

On Saturday the 18th, a discussion arose between Lady 
Macleod, Dr. Johnson, and Boswell on the advantages and 
disadvantages of the Castle and its situation. Mrs. Macleod 
expressed herself in favour of building a house on a farm 
she had taken about five miles away, where she could have 
a garden and other improvements which could not be 
had at Dunvegan. Boswell insisted that, whatever might 
be done in the way of building a house elsewhere, the 
seat of the family should always be upon the old rock, 
while Dr. Johnson said that the new house must not be 
such as to tempt the Laird of Macleod to go to reside in 
it. Mrs. Macleod argued that the Castle was very incon- 
venient ; no good garden could ever be made near it ; it 
must always be a rude place ; it was a herculean task 
even to make a dinner in it. Boswell protested — " No, 
no, keep to the rock : it is the very jewel of the estate. 
It looks as if it had been let down from heaven by 
the four corners to be the residence of a Chief. Have 
all the comforts and conveniences upon it, but never 


leave Rorie Mores cascade." But Mrs. Macleod persisted 
in her opinions. " Is it not enough," she said, " if we 
keep it ? Must we never have more convenience than 
Rorie More had ? He had his beef brought to dinner in 
one basket and his bread in another. Why not as well 
be Rorie More all over, as live upon this rock ? And 
should not we tire, in looking perpetually on this rock ? 
It is all very well for you, who have a fine place, and 
everything easy, to talk thus, and think of chaining honest 
folks to a rock. You would not live upon it yourself." 
" Yes, madam," replied Boswell, " I would live upon it, 
were I Laird of Macleod, and should be unhappy were I 
not upon it;" upon which Dr. Johnson, in a stentorian 
tone and determined manner, burst in with the remark, 
" Madam, rather than quit the old rock, Boswell would 
live in the pit ; he would make his bed in the dungeon." 
The lady continued to argue in favour of her pretty farm, 
rich soil, and fine garden, but Johnson replied that, if the 
Castle were his, he would not, upon any conditions, leave it. 
Referring afterwards to this conversation, Sir Walter 
Scott says — " Dunvegan well deserves the stand which 
was made by Dr. Johnson in its defence. Its great 
inconvenience was that of access. This had been originally 
obtained from the sea by a subterranean staircase, partly 
arched, partly cut in the rock, which, winding up through 
the cliff, opened into the court of the Castle. This passage, 
at all times very inconvenient, had been abandoned, and 
was ruinous. A very indifferent substitute had been made 
by a road, which, rising from the harbour, reached the 
bottom of the moat, and then ascended to the gate by a 
very long stair. The present Chief, whom I am happy to 
call my friend, has made a perfectly convenient and 
characteristic access, which gives a direct approach to the 
further side of the moat in front of the Castle gate, and 
surmounts the chasm by a drawbridge, which would have 
delighted Rorie More himself." The surroundings of the 
castle have been much improved even since the time of 
Scott, and it now combines the comforts and convenience 



of a modern residence, with the strength and halo of 
remote antiquity. 

Johnson found himself so comfortable and so well 
attended to at Dunvegan that he became unwilling to 
leave it. On Saturday, after a stay of six days, Boswell 
proposed that they should take their departure on the 
following Monday ; to which Johnson gruffly replied — 
" No, sir. I will not go before Wednesday. I will have 
more of this good." They, however, departed on Tuesday, 
2ist of September, the ninth day of their visit, and went 
to Ulinish, where they arrived at six o'clock in the evening, 
and were entertained by the tenant, William Macleod, 
Sheriff-Substitute of the Island, " a plain, honest, gentle- 
man, a good deal like an English justice of the peace ; 
not much given to talk, but sufficiently sagacious, and 
somewhat droll," says Boswell. Here they remained until 
Thursday morning, when they set out for the residence of 
Colonel Macleod of Talisker, who, " having been bred to 
physic, had a tincture of scholarship in his conversation, 
which pleased Dr. Johnson, and he had some very good 
books ; and being a Colonel in the Dutch Service, he 
and his lady, in consequence of having lived abroad, 
had introduced the ease and politeness of the Continent 
into this rude region " of the Isle of Skye. Macleod 
had supplied Dr. Johnson and his companion with excel- 
lent horses to carry them through the island. Before 
leaving it, Johnson sent the following letter to Macleod 
from Ostaig, the residence of the Rev. Martin Macpherson, 
then Minister of Sleat : — 

"Ostaig, 28th Sept., 1773. 

" Dear Sir, — We are now on the margin of the sea, waiting for a boat and 
a wind. Boswell grows impatient ; but the kind treatment which I find 
wherever I go, makes me leave, with some heaviness of heart, an island 
which I am not likely to see again. Having now gone as far as horses can 
carry us, we thankfully return them. My steed will, I hope, be received with 
kindness ; he has borne me, heavy as I am, over ground both rough and 
steep, with great fidelity ; and for the use of him, as for other favours, I hope 
you will believe me thankful, and willing, at whatever distance we may be 
placed, to show my sense of your kindness, by any offices of friendship that 
may fall within my power. 

" Lady Macleod and the young ladies have, by their hospitality and polite- 


ness, made an impression on my mind which will not easily be effaced. Be 
pleased to tell them that I remember them with great tenderness, and great 

"I am, Sir, your most obliged and most humble servant, 

(Signed) "Sam. Johnson." 

" P.S. — We passed two days at Talisker very happily, both by the 
pleasantness of the place and the elegance of our reception." 

In his Journey to the Western Isles, Johnson himself 
describes his arrival at Macleod's residence and its occu- 
pants in the following terms : — " To Dunvegan we came, 
very willing to be at rest, and found our fatigue amply- 
recompensed by our reception. Lady Macleod, who had 
lived many years in England, was newly come hither with 
her son and four daughters, who knew all the arts of 
southern elegance, and all the modes of English economy. 
Here, therefore, we settled, and did not spoil the present 
hour with thoughts of departure." After describing the 
stronghold, some interesting incidents in its history, its 
situation, antiquarian contents, and some more or less 
striking characteristics of the visitors he met within it, 
Johnson adds : — " At Dunvegan I had tasted lotus, and 
was in danger of forgetting that I was ever to depart, till 
Mr. Boswell sagely reproached me with my sluggishness 
and softness." Having referred to his visits to Ulinish 
and Talisker, he concludes his references to the Macleods 
and their treatment of him in the following eulogistic 
terms : — " Whatever is imagined in the wildest tale, if 
giants, dragons, and enchantment be excepted, would be 
felt by him, who, wandering in the mountains without a 
guide, or upon the sea without a pilot, should be carried 
amidst his terror and uncertainty to the hospitality of 
Raasay or Dunvegan." This was a great compliment from 
one who was never known to flatter. 

General Macleod refers to the visits of these distinguished 
travellers with pardonable pride in the autobiographical 
notes already quoted, where he says that Dr. Johnson's 
principal object in visiting Skye was "to find proof of the 
inauthenticity of Ossian's Poems ; and in his inquiries it 
became very soon evident that he did not wish to find 


them genuine." " I was present," says General Macleod, 
" in a part of his search ; his decision is now well-known ; 
and I will very freely relate what I know of them. Dr. 
Macqueen, a very learned minister in Skye, attended him ; 
and was the person whom he most questioned, and through 
whom he proposed his questions to others. The first 
question he insisted on was, Whether any person had ever 
seen the Poems of Ossian in manuscript, as the translator 
had found them ; how and where these manuscripts had 
been preserved ; and whether faith was given to them by 
the Highlanders ? 1 must avow that, from the answers 
given to these questions, he had no right to believe the 
manuscripts genuine. In this he exulted much, and formed 
an unjust conclusion, that, because the translator had been 
guilty of an imposition, the whole poems were impositions. 
Dr. Macqueen brought him, in my opinion, very full proofs 
of his error. He produced several gentlemen who had 
heard repeated in Erse [Gaelic] long passages of these 
poems, which they averred did coincide with the transla- 
tion ; and he even produced a person who recited some 
lines himself. Had Dr. Johnson's time permitted, many 
proofs of the same nature would have been adduced ; but 
he did not wish for them. My opinion of this controversy," 
continues General Macleod, " is that the poems certainly 
did exist in detached pieces and fragments ; that few of 
them had been committed to paper before the time of 
the translator ; that he collected most of them from persons 
who could recite them, or parts of them ; that he arranged 
and connected the parts, and perhaps made imitative 
additions for the sake of connexion ; that these additions 
cannot be large or numerous ; and that the foundations 
and genuine remains of the poems are sufficiently authentic 
for every purpose of taste or criticism. It might be wished, 
for the sake of squeamish critics, that the translator had 
given them to the world as he found them ; though, as a 
reader," says the General, " I own myself delighted with 
Fingal and Temora in their present appearance." This 
is the opinion of an educated Gaelic-speaking man, born 


in 1754, a contemporary of Macpherson and his great 
opponent Dr. Johnson. 

General Macleod points out with great effect that while 
the Doctor applied the laws of evidence in the strictest 
manner when enquiring into the authenticity of Gssian's 
Poems, he at the same time believed in the second-sight, 
and listened to all the fables of that nature which abounded 
in the Highlands, without any further evidence than that 
the number of alleged facts regarding it formed a presump- 
tion in its favour. Referring to this peculiar weakness of Dr. 
Johnson's otherwise masculine mind, Macleod pointedly 
remarks that, " no human being is perfect in any thing : the 
mind which is filled with just devotion is apt to sink into 
superstition ; and, on the other hand, the genius which 
detects holy imposition frequently slides into presumptuous 
infidelity." Nothing could more appropriately describe Dr. 
Johnson's opinion of the authenticity of the Poems of 
Ossian, and his belief in the gift of second-sight claimed by 
the Highland Seers. 

With all his efforts to improve and his affection for the 
Clan, General Macleod soon became tired of his surround- 
ings and responsibilities at Dunvegan. His feelings and 
disappointments must be described in his own words : — 
" I remained at home," he says, " with my family and 
clan till the end of 1774 ; but I confess that I consider 
this as the most gloomy period of my life. Educated in a 
liberal manner, fired with ambition, fond of society, I 
found myself in confinement in a remote corner of the 
world ; without any hope of extinguishing the debts of 
my family, or of ever emerging from poverty and ob- 
scurity. A long life of painful economy seemed my only 
method to perform the duty I owed my ancestors and 
posterity ; and the burden was so heavy, that only partial 
relief could be hoped even from that melancholy sacrifice. 
I had also the torment of seeing my mother and sisters, 
who were fitted for better scenes, immured with me ; and 
their affectionate patience only added to my sufferings." 

At the period to which this passage refers he was still 


under age, having" just entered on the last year of his 
minority. In that year (1774), he finally determined to 
enter the army. His relative, the Hon. Colonel Simon 
Fraser of Lovat in 1757 raised a regiment of 1460 
men, who had greatly distinguished themselves in the 
Canadian Wars, and he had the family estates restored to 
him in 1772. In 1775, he received Letters of Service for 
raising another regiment of two battalions in the High- 
lands. Having very soon completed his task, he in April, 
1776, marched with a fine body of 2340 men to Stirling, 
and thence to Glasgow. From Glasgow they proceeded to 
Greenock, whence they sailed in a large fleet for America, ac- 
companied by the 42nd Highlanders and other troops. For 
this new 71st regiment, designated the Fraser Highlanders, 
Norman Macleod of Macleod raised a company, and joined 
the First Brigade, with the rank of Captain, at their head. 

When the regiment was being raised, Norman, who 
was at the time in the neighbourhood of Inverness, was 
accidentally thrown from his horse and badly hurt. He 
was carried by his friends to the house of Kenneth 
Mackenzie, III. of Suddie, where he was tenderly nursed 
by Mackenzie's eldest daughter, Mary, until he recovered 
from the effects of his accident. The Chief of Dun- 
vegan and his nurse were soon afterwards married, and 
when he embarked for America, at the head of his 
clansmen, he was accompanied by his young wife. Both 
were taken prisoners on the passage out, and were sub- 
sequently very kindly treated by General Washington, of 
whom Macleod, according to his son, often afterwards spoke 
"in terms of the warmest affection." In a few years he 
returned to Britain, and was in 1780 made Lieutenant- 
Colonel of the second battalion of the 42nd Highlanders, 
raised by himself. He was appointed to this high rank 
on the 2 1 st of March, 1780, and continued at the head 
of the battalion until, in 1786, it was formed into a separate 
regiment, designated the 73rd, when he became its Lieu- 

In December, 1780, the newly raised regiment embarked 


at Oueensferry, to join an expedition then fitting out at 
Portsmouth, bound for the Cape of Good Hope, under 
command of Major-General William Meadows and Com- 
modore Johnstone. This expedition left Portsmouth on 
the 1 2th March, 178 1, arriving at Bombay on the 5th of 
March in the following year, having taken within a week of 
twelve months on the voyage out. The men suffered most 
severely from scurvy and fever, no fewer than 5 officers 
and 116 non-commissioned officers and privates having 
died during the passage. The transport " Myrtle," with 
Lieutenant-Colonel Macleod and the other officers on 
board, separated from the rest of the fleet in a gale off 
the Cape of Good Hope. The vessel had neither chart 
nor map ; the master was an ignorant seaman ; and it was 
only through the assistance of Captain Dalziel, one of the 
officers on board, that, after many months, they arrived 
at Madagascar, the appointed rendezvous. They found 
no trace there of the rest of the fleet. Colonel Macleod 
and his companions made their way back to St. Helena, 
procured charts, and at length reached Madras on the 
23rd of May, 1782. 

In the absence of Colonel Macleod, the command of the 
troops intended for actual service devolved on Lieutenant- 
Colonel Mackenzie Humberston of Seaforth, of the 100th 
Regiment. He started with an expedition to attack 
Palacatcherry, taking several forts on his way ; but, on his 
arrival, he found the place much stronger than he expected. 
Hyder Ali had sent his son, Tipoo Sahib, for its relief, 
and Colonel Humberston deemed it prudent to withdraw 
to Mangaracotah, one of the small forts which he took on 
his forward march, but, learning that Tipoo was advancing, 
he continued his retreat, closely pressed by the enemy in 
great force, to Paniane, where he arrived in the morning 
of the 20th of November, 1782, and found Colonel Mac- 
leod awaiting him. 

Colonel Macleod, who had arrived there from Madras on 
the previous night, the 19th, as the senior officer at once 
assumed command of the united forces. Here he found 


himself surrounded by an enemy mustering 10,000 cavalry 
and 14,000 infantry, including two corps of Europeans 
under the French General Lally, while his own force had 
been reduced by sickness to 380 Europeans and 2200 
Sepoys fit for duty. Writing to the Select Committee 
at Bombay, under date of 29th November, 1782, Macleod 
describes the position in which he found himself. "This 
being the situation, it was a most hazardous attempt to 
force us. Just before the dawn of the 28th, I was raised 
from sleep by a smart firing at Major Campbell's post. I 
immediately flew thither and found a very heavy firing 
at the Old Fort. Major Campbell had got there before 
me, and was charging large columns of the enemy with 
his bayonet. He had with him the Light Company and 
Grenadiers of the 42nd, the ninth, and some who flocked 
to him from the piquets. In passing out I found the 42nd 
Regiment, under Captain Campbell, ready under arms. 
I took him with me, and at the end of the lane we met 
a thick column of the enemy, who had passed the horse, 
and were pushing into the town. We rushed up on them, 
wounded and took a French officer, their leader. Large 
bodies were seen moving along our front. Major Campbell, 
with the troops attending him, ran at them wherever he 
could perceive them. Captain Campbell, with the 42nd, 
gallantly followed me in the same work ; our soldiers in 
the fort fired warmly still, and there was much cannonading 
and musketry on the left of Major Shaw's. Day now 
broke, and we perceived that the enemy had almost cleared 
the field. They retreated as fast as they could, and my 
knowledge of their having such large bodies of horse alone 
prevented my pursuing." He cannot, he says, express the 
ardour of the troops, and the behaviour of officers and men 
was all he could wish. The attack was made in the dark, 
" by a number prodigiously superior " to his, but the 
moment the outposts were attacked the enemy were met, 
furiously assailed and defeated, by the brave band under 
his command. In his general orders, he says that this 
little army " had nothing to depend on but their native 


valour, their discipline, and the conduct of the officers." 
These were " nobly exerted," and " the intrepidity with 
which Major Campbell and the Highlanders repeatedly 
charged the enemy was most honourable to their character." 
After this brilliant victory by the troops under Macleod, 
Tipoo retreated towards Seringapatam, leaving about 2000 
dead and wounded on the field or taken prisoners, while 
Colonel Macleod's loss was 8 officers and 8$ men killed 
and wounded, native and British, of whom belonged to 
the 42nd Regiment, 3 sergeants and 19 rank and file killed ; 
and Major John Campbell, Surgeon Thomas Farquharson, 
2 sergeants, and 31 rank and file wounded. 

Macleod was now ordered to Bombay, to join the army 
under Brigadier-General Mathews, with whom he formed 
a junction at Cundapore on the 8th of January, 1783. 
On the 23rd he moved forward to attack Bednore. During 
the march, the troops were much harassed by flying parties 
of the enemy, and seriously impeded by the nature of the 
country, rendered much more difficult by a succession of 
field-works constructed on the face of the mountains, which 
the invading British force had to ascend. 

These field-works were, however, soon taken possession 
of by the intrepid Macleod, at the head of the 42nd and 
his Sepoys. On the 26th of February, 1783, according 
to the official despatches, " the 42nd, led by Colonel Mac- 
leod, and followed by a corps of Sepoys, attacked these 
positions with the bayonet, and, pursuing like Highlanders, 
were in the breastwork before the enemy were aware of it. 
Four hundred were bayoneted, and the rest pursued to the 
wall of the fort." In this manner, General Stewart of Garth 
says, " seven forts were attacked and taken in succession, 
when the formidable appearance of the principal redoubt, 
Hyder Gurr, rendered it necessary to proceed with caution." 
It was situated on the highest precipice of the mountains, 
with a dry ditch in front, and mounted with twenty cannon, 
while, on the face of the mountain, seven batteries were 
on intervening terraces, one above the other, with internal 
lines of communication, and the outward approaches ob- 


structed by trees placed transversely, so as to prevent 
ascent at any point except that exposed to the full effect 
of the cannon. These formidable obstructions proved of 
no avail against the undaunted bravery of the Highlanders. 
Their advance struck terror into the minds of the enemy, 
and the stronghold of Bednore was taken possession of 
by Macleod on the 27th of January, 1783. 

Hyder Gurr, so called from its pre-eminent strength 
above all the other forts, was found to contain 8000 stand 
of new arms, with a large quantity of powder, shot, and 
other military stores. A vast amount of treasure, amounting 
to ^800,000, was found in the city of Bednore, besides a 
large quantity of jewels. But though the army was in the 
greatest distress for money, not having received any pay 
for a year or more, General Mathews positively refused to 
divide any of the spoil among the officers or men. The 
most vehement complaints and remonstrances ensued. 
Refractory proceedings were severely, if not arbitrarily, 
punished ; three of the leading officers, Colonel Macleod, 
Colonel Humberston, and Major Shaw, left the army, and 
proceeded to Bombay to make representations to the 
Governor and Council. So flagrant did the conduct of 
General Mathews appear to the Governor and Council, 
that they superseded him, and appointed Colonel Mac- 
leod, the next officer in rank, to take his place at the head 
of the army. Colonel Macleod, now Brigadier-General and 
Commander-in-Chief, returning to the army with the two 
other officers, in the Ranger, fell in, off Geriah, with a 
Mahratta fleet of five vessels on the 7th of April, 1783. 
This fleet was not, it appears, apprised of the peace which 
had been previously arranged ; and Macleod, " full of 
impatience, temerity, and presumption," instead of attempt- 
ing an explanation, or submitting to be detained at Geriah 
for a few days, gave orders to resist the enemy. The 
Ranger was taken, but only after nearly every man on 
board was either killed or wounded. Major Shaw was 
slain, and Brigadier-General Macleod and Colonel Hum- 
berston wounded, the latter mortally. The latter died in 


a few days at Geriah, in the twenty-eighth year of his 
age ; and was lamented as an officer of the most exalted 
promise ; a man who nourished his spirit with the con- 
templation of ancient heroes, and devoted his spare hours 
to the study of the most abstruse sciences connected with 
his profession.* 

During Colonel Macleod's absence, the army was dis- 
persed in small detachments all over the country, and 
nothing was dreamt of by those in charge of it but the 
accumulation of riches ; while intelligence, fortifications, 
and provisioning for the army were entirely neglected. 
Tipoo soon took advantage of this unfortunate state of 
affairs; suddenly appeared on the 9th of April, 1783 ; seized 
Bednore and laid siege to the fort ; occupied the Ghauts ; 
cut off the garrison from all possibility of retreat ; and, on 
the 30th of April, its defenders capitulated, honourable 
terms being promised them ; but, instead of the conditions 
being implemented, officers and men were placed in 
irons, and marched off like felons to a dreadful imprison- 
ment in the fortresses of Mysore. 

General Macleod, shortly before this, in March, 1783, 
addressed a letter to his relative, Mr. John Macpherson, 
of the Supreme Council of Bengal, in which he relates 
the more important proceedings in which he had taken 
part since his arrival in India, and in the same communi- 
cation he complains in the severest terms of the conduct 
of General Mathews, the Commander-in-Chief, to whose 
position he himself soon after, in consequence, succeeded. 
This letter is sufficiently interesting, though somewhat long, 
to justify its reproduction in full. General Macleod says : — 

Sir, — Though I have not had the pleasure of hearing from you for some 
time, I will not stand on the ceremony of a letter with you, as I imagine you 
will like to hear of my transactions more fully than by the public accounts. 
You know that I had the good fortune, immediately on my arrival, to defeat a 
very bold attempt of Tippo Sahib to crush the little army which, till that 
time, had acted under Humberston. He had been forced to make a very 
rapid retreat before Tippo, and I had just time to make a disposition in a very 
strong post. Lally led on the enemy in heavy columns ; our Sepoys behaved 
very well, and committed great slaughter by their fire, but I owed the chief 
* History of India, by James Mill, 1820, Vol. IV., pp. 231-2. 


success to a charge I made at the head of the 42nd into the thickest of them. 
Tippo's attack was as bold, and the disposition of it as fine, as anything I 
recollect in the military way, but his troops were inferior to ours. He did not, 
however, abandon his design ; he remained 14 days afterwards in our neigh- 
bourhood, and I had every reason to expect another attempt, but he was 
called away by his father's illness. 

I was then left to do as I thought best. I found I had no proper carriage 
or equipment to follow him to Palakacherry, and, besides, there was no 
concert established to meet at a fixed time with Colonel Lang's army, which 
alone would have made it proper to have moved that way. I had heard of a 
surmise of an intended expedition against Mangalore, which I should be 
probably ordered to join. I therefore, on Tippo's departure, which happened 
on the 1 2th December, employed myself in stripping all my heavy stores, 
collecting craft, and putting the army in a capacity to move anywhere. 

My intention was, if not in the meantime forbid from Bombay, to go and 
take Cochin, from which I was but six days' easy march. For this purpose I 
entered into a negotiation with the King of Travancore, who offered to join 
me in that enterprise with his whole army. This design was stopped by an 
order to join General Mathews with my whole force on the coast above Mang- 
alore, which I instantly obeyed. 

I know General Mathews is a friend and a favourite of yours. I will trust 
also to my having a share of your affection and good opinion, and shall be 
very free and candid in what I say of him to you. I was shocked to find he 
had been only a Captain when I was a King's Lieutenant-Colonel, that he came 
to Bombay only a Lieutenant-Colonel, and had been slapdash appointed a 
Brigadier-General, seemingly on purpose to get the command over us. 

I know the reasoning adopted by the Company's servants in India to justify 
their preference of their own officers to his Majesty's, but you will excuse me 
if I did not think them satisfactory in general, but particularly weak in this. 
They say it is fair to show a preference to their own officers ; perhaps I think 
so too, but not so great a preference as to give a man four steps at once over 
the head of others, who have not only committed no fault, but who have been 
victorious and warmly approved of. They allege the necessity of local know- 
ledge ! How far scampering over Carnatic, at the head of a fe>v horse, can 
give a man local knowledge of the Malabar Coast, I don't know ; certain it 
is General Mathews had no topographical knowledge of the coast ; of the 
language he had not a syllable ; and seemed to be totally stranger to and 
indifferent about the manners of the people. 

It might also be unfair to suppose me totally destitute of local knowledge. 
A soldier properly bred and eager to distinguish himself makes local enquiry 
his first object on his arrival in a strange country. I had followed Sir Eyre 
Coote in a very marching campaign. I had studied his arrangement ; I had 
lived with a finer army of Sepoys than ever Mathews saw ; I knew as much of 
the language as he did, so that in truth I did not think the want of local 
knowledge, comparatively speaking, could be fairly urged to justify his com- 
manding me. But I was more shocked to find him no soldier ; ignorant to the 
greatest degree in the very first rudiments of the profession ; totally incapable 
of arranging, equipping, or subsisting an army ; unversed in the arts of obtain- 


ing intelligence, or of policy ; rash and injudicious in his temper ; disgusting 
in his manners. 

Notwithstanding all this, Humberston and I determined, as we were on 
active service, to postpone the consideration of the injury done us, and con- 
tribute our utmost to his success. If he has done us justice in the account of 
the conquest of Bedinore you will know that we kept our resolution. I com- 
manded in the only action which happened, the army being several miles behind 
me. I found the enemy to the number of 5000. I had about 900 excellent 
Sepoys and 300 Europeans. The enemy were posted in strong entrenchments, 
which we carried sword in hand, killed the Geneial, several hundred of his 
men, and routed and dispersed the rest. This discouraged them so much that 
that Gauts were taken almost without opposition. 

Notwithstanding of this success, accident alone got us the conquest, for 
had resistance been continued, he had taken no means to enable us to 
overcome Hyat Sahib's treachery and desire to obtain command, and his 
dread of Tippo made him surrender at once what we should never have 
taken. This unexpected good fortune quite intoxicated our noble General. 
He now quarrelled with everybody ; broke with Hyat Sahib, who in conse- 
quence sent away the family of the Killidar of Mangalore, which has 
encouraged that man to make an obstinate defence ; then suddenly reconciled 
himself with Hyat Sahib, by giving him back all or part of his treasures 
which were taken by the army, for which they are going to prosecute 
him in your Supreme Court. Then he obliged his whole staff, Quarter- 
master-General, Commissary-General, Adjutant-General, Brigade-Major, etc., 
etc., to resign ; dispersed the army over the face of the earth, starved the 
troops, insulted the officers, and played the very devil. 

I had thoughts of quitting the army before, and he quickened that motion 
both in Humberston and me, by refusing to insert us in public orders as 
Colonels in India, on the pretence of having no official information, though 
we showed him undoubted private intelligence of the King having given 
us the rank. I had also a dispute with him about victualling the King's 
troops, whom he starved in a most unnecessary and most barbarous manner. 
This brought on a correspondence which you will one day see, which ended 
in Colonel Humberston and me leaving the army. You are not to imagine, 
however, that we contributed in the least to the discontent of the army. 
Till he drove us away, we were his only support against the most general 
discontent and disposition to mutiny I ever saw. 

Upon arriving here I found orders from England, transmitted by Sir Eyre 
Coote, to draft our regiment and send home the officers The Governor 
and Select Committee, in the letter which accompanied these orders, made 
me a very handsome compliment on my services, and a strong request to 
remain myself in the Presidency during this critical period. I of course 
consented, and offered to serve in any capacity wherein I could be thought 
of use. So much for myself. I will now amuse you with my ideas of the 
war on this coast, as far as my local knowledge enables me to form any, 
submitting most emphatically to your better judgment and superior in- 

The great object has been to force the enemy to abandon the Carnatic, 


by carrying the war into his own country, and by all means if possible to 
penetrate to Syringapatam. The death of Hyder happened most oppor- 
tuneably for the execution of this plan, but for want of a large enough 
combination, and by the disobedience and incapacity of Brigadier-General 
Mathews, this opportunity is likely to be lost ; for if an attempt is now 
made to push into the heart of the Mysore kingdom, it is likely to prove one 
of the most fatal measures that ever was adopted. I must first establish, 
as a principle, that the army which penetrates must be strong enough to 
contend with Tippo's whole force, and cover and obtain subsistence for 
itself, because the advantage of the measure implies his withdrawing from 
the Carnatic and collecting his force at Lonu. General Mathews' army was 
never strong enough for this, else how can we account for a much stronger 
one, under a much abler General, Sir Eyre Coote, not being able to crush 

By a well-concerted junction with Colonel Lang's army at Palakacherry , 
they, together, would have been strong enough to effect this grand object. 
The Government of Bombay instructed him to come to me at Paniane, and 
do this very thing, but he disobeyed. Providence, kind to him beyond 
measure, gave him another opportunity of striking the noble stroke — win 
with his single army. By the treachery of Hyat Sahib, Bedinore fell into 
our hands in a moment ; the army had marched from Cundapore totally 
unequipped; he had abridged every department so effectually, by way of 
economy, that we could never carry two days' provisions, and not ammunition 
enough for two actions, not a single battery gun, very few field pieces, and no 
carriage for sick or wounded. Had he come properly equipped, the business 
was easy, nay, after the blunder of coming so unprovided, a remedy presented 
itself which he lost. By means of Hyat Sahib we might have got the car- 
riages we wanted, and no hindrance would have been given to our movements. 
This man offered to oblige Mangalore to surrender to us, and also the other forts 
between Gop and Tellicherry. He offered to join us with all his adherents, to 
ensure his fidelity by giving us possession of the family, and to furnish us with 
horses, elephants, bullocks, money, and provisions. But the General chose 
to quarrel with him, and in his first rage Hyder sent away his troops to a 
distance, dismissed the families of the Killidars, particularly of Mangalore, 
and hid his cattle so that we could find none. 

The General then behaved so strangely to his army that they lost all con- 
fidence in him ; this Hyat saw, and I believe from that time cast about to 
secure himself in case of accidents, by giving us as little assistance as possible. 
The General could not then proceed against Syringapatam ; he could not 
leave Mangalore and the other places in the rear ; he was obliged to besiege 
them, which will occupy the whole season, and give Tippo time to save his 
capital. Had we been properly equipped from Cundapore, or had ve made 
the proper use of Hyat Sahib, we might have boldly marched in ten days to 
Syringapatam ; it is but a weak place by the description I got from some of 
Lord Macleod's Regiment, taken with Baillie. Tippo was at a distance, his 
people were unfixed, his Government not established. We should have taken 
the place, and by a proper motion to the south-east, and communication with 
Lang, we might have formed a junction with him. This required genius, 


military skill, policy, vigour, and disinterestedness, address to manage and 
divide the enemy, and to conciliate and unite his own army, but was infinitely 
above the contracted ideas of ignorant, improvident, and selfish Mathews. I 
am at this moment in very great apprehension for the army ; they are dis- 
persed in a most unmilitary manner, and in a way which will render their 
assembly more dangerous and impracticable than that of the army in the 
Carnatic at the beginning of the war. In short, Mathews' success hitherto has 
been because he has had no enemy ; if Tippo comes against him he will 

I don't know whether I have done right or not, in being so free about a 
man you profess a regard for ; but my character is to be open and above 
board. I have acted toward him with the most perfect honour and integrity, 
and will continue to do so. 

I must now take the liberty of telling you that I expect to hear directly 
from yourself, and that if you don't write to me, I shall think you wish to 
throw off a troublesome correspondent. 

I have a most affecting letter from Ullinish. His eldest son, my lieutenant, 
was killed in America ; he beseeches and implores one of his sons to go home 
to him. 

Believe me, with great affection and respect, 
My dear sir, 
Your most obt. humble sert. , 


Bombay, March 14th, 1783. 

Macleod, promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General in 
1783, was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Malabar 
army in place of General Mathews, who, as the result of 
the representations made by Macleod, Humberston, and 
Shaw, was suspended. Shortly before this a resolution 
had been arrived at by the military authorities to draft the 
men of the second battalion of the 42nd Highlanders to 
other regiments, and to send the officers and non-commis- 
sioned officers home to Great Britain. Macleod was at 
the same time specially requested by the Governor of the 
East India Company and the Special Committee to 
remain, as the authorities were of opinion that his services 
were absolutely necessary where he was. While quite 
willing to serve personally, he strongly urged that his 
men should not be drafted into any other corps, and 
successfully pleaded his case in a letter, addressed to the 
Indian Commander-in-Chief, only four days after the date 
of the letter to John Macpherson, a member of the 
Supreme Council of India, already given at length. On 


the same subject of drafting his men, Macleod writes — 

To His Excellency Sir Eyre Coote, K.B. , 
Commander-in-Chief of India. 

Bombay, 1 8th March, 1783. 

Sir, — General Carnac promises to do me the honour of delivering this letter 
to your Excellency, and I most sincerely hope he will find you in health and 
vigour once more at the head of your army. 

The Select Committee have showed me instructions from the Governor- 
General and Supreme Council of Bengal to grant a passage home to the 
officers and non-commissioned officers of the 2nd Batt. of the 42nd Regt. in 
consequence of an order sent to your Excellency by Lord Hillsborough to 
draft the men. I also received a letter from Major Graitan, Agt. -General, to 
hold them in readiness to be drafted accordingly. I have to observe to your 
Excellency that it is the first time ever that this regiment was drafted, and that 
we were raised upon the idea of being exempted from that misfortune. My 
own Company 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 siiuation from which they thought themselves spared 
when they enlisted into the service. They are now much reduced, and being 
on a brisk actual service, will be still more so before they can be drafted ; 
their numbers will then not exceed 30 or 40 men. I must entreat your Excel- 
lency 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 am certain the favour I solicit for 
myself and Clan from your Excellency will meet with his Royal approbation. 

I did myself the honour of writing to you by Captain Hallem, soliciting 
your permission to be allowed to serve on this coast sometime longer. Since 
that time the Governor and Select Committee have written me a most obliging 
letter, of which the following is an extract : — " We have advice from the 
Honble. Governor and Council that you and the other officers of the 42nd 
Regt. are ordered to Europe, and the men to be incorporated in the other 
corps, but being of opinion that your services are absolutely requisite on this 
coast at this critical period, our duty to the Company, and to the trust reposed 
in us, impels to make it our request to you that you will continue to serve." 

In return, I told them that as my life and time were my country's, if they 
thought my services of such consequence, I was at their command in any way, 
with your Excellency's permission. 

Major Grattan's letter having mentioned that some mode would be con- 
certed with the Admiral, to carry the men round when drafted, I have yet 
heard of no such mode ; the Regt. is now in the interior part of the country. 
When I am honoured with your particular commands as to the time and mode 
of drafting it, I shall immediately and implicitly follow them. 
I have the honour to be, with the most perfect respect, 
Your Excellency's most obt. and most humble servt, 

(Signed) Norman Macleod. 

This spirited communication not only saved Macleod's 


clansmen from being" drafted into another corps, but saved 
the battalion, which afterwards became the 73rd Regiment, 
from being broken up. 

In the following May, Tipoo besieged a small force of 
British troops in Mangalore, with an overwhelming army 
of 60,000 horse and 30,000 disciplined Sepoys, and a body 
of 600 French infantry, under Colonel Cossigny, Lally's 
corps of Europeans and natives, a troop of dismounted 
French cavalry from the Mauritius, and irregular troops 
to the number of many thousands, supported by 90 pieces 
of artillery. The British garrison only consisted of 459 
Europeans, of whom 231 were Highlanders, and 1,500 
natives, fit for duty. This small force successfully defended 
Mangalore against the enormous army arrayed against it, 
until the 30th of January, 1784, against repeated attacks, 
the continued bombardment having at length made such 
breaches in the walls of the fort, and reduced them in 
many parts to such a ruinous condition that its brave 
defenders could not venture to fire their cannon from their 
position. Tipoo's force, however, suffered most severely 
in several attacks, and, on the 20th of July, it was agreed 
on both sides to cease hostilities. But the enemy repeatedly 
broke faith, on the 23rd actually firing a mine at the very 
moment a flag of truce was flying, and only three days 
after the agreement to cease hostilities was entered upon. 
Proposals for a regular armistice were again made on 
the 29th July, and it was concluded on the 2nd of 

General Macleod, with a small convoy carrying provisions 
and a small reinforcement of troops, anchored in the bay 
on the 17th of August, but, "influenced by an honourable 
regard to the terms of the armistice," he ordered his ships 
back to Tillycherry, though the enemy were daily com- 
mitting acts of treachery. The General reappeared in the 
bay on the 22nd of November with a considerable army. 
But instead of landing, he, through his secretary, entered 
upon a tedious negotiation with Tipoo, and having stipulated 
that one month's provisions should be admitted into the 



besieged garrison, he again set sail and left the bay on 
the 1st of December. Of the beef and pork sent in, in 
terms of the stipulation made, "not one in twenty pieces 
could be eaten by the dogs." Macleod came back once 
more on the 31st of December, but again departed, still 
keeping " faith with the enemy, who showed no disposition 
to imitate his example." General Stewart informs us that 
the misery and privation of the troops, thus tantalized, 
had risen to a height almost insupportable. They were 
reduced to nearly half their original number, and half 
the remainder were in hospital. Tormented and tantalized 
with so many expectations of relief, the sick, who had 
been temporarily invigorated by hope, became dispirited, 
and relapsed into a state of despondency that proved fatal 
to numbers of them. Many of the Sepoys became totally 
blind, and others were so weak that they dropped down 
where they stood shouldering their firelocks. Their pro- 
visions were almost consumed ; their patience entirely 
exhausted ; they had no hope of relief, nor the least 
knowledge as to what part of the coast General Macleod 
had gone to. The troops were eating horse flesh, snakes, 
dogs, ravenous birds, kites, black game, rats, and mice, 
and in the utmost distress for every necessary of life. 
In these circumstances, it was decided, by a Council of 
War, to surrender the garrison on terms which were highly 
honourable to its gallant defenders, after having held out 
for nearly nine months against such enormous odds. The 
terms offered were at once accepted by the enemy ; the 
garrison marched out with arms, accoutrements, and the 
honours of war, and embarked for Tillycherry, where they 
landed on the 4th of February, 1784, after "a defence 
that has seldom been equalled and never surpassed." The 
brave band consisted of the second battalion of the 42nd 
Highlanders, General Macleod's own regiment, a few men 
of the 100th, a detachment of European infantry and 
artillery, and the 1st and 8th battalions of Bombay 
Sepoys, afterwards formed into a Grenadier corps, for 
their conspicuous gallantry during a siege, in the course 


of which Tipoo lost nearly half of his enormous army. 

This was the last active service in which this regiment 
as the second battalion of the 42nd, was actively engaged. 
At the conclusion of the war it was intimated to both 
battalions that instead of placing all their officers on half- 
pay, the juniors were to be reduced in each of them ; 
whereupon strong representations were made, and the 
excellent services of their officers in distant regions pointed 
out. The matter was reconsidered by the authorities, and 
the second battalion being now complete in numbers by 
new recruits from the Highlands, it was ordered by the 
King to be formed into a separate corps, with green facings, 
under the command of Sir George Osborne, and to be 
designated the 73rd Highlanders. This arrangement was 
carried into effect on the 18th of April, 1786, at Dinapore, 
in Bengal, when General Macleod rejoined his old regiment 
as one of its Lieutenant-Colonels. 

In one of his despatches to the Sultan about this time, 
General Macleod pens the following spirited passage, 
which explains itself. He says : — " You, or your in- 
terpreter, have said, in your letter to me, that I have 
lied, or made a mensonge. Permit me to inform you, 
Prince, that this language is not good for you to give or 
me to receive ; and if I were alone with you in the desert 
you would not dare to say these words to me. An Eng- 
lishman scorns to lie ; an English General who would 
dare to lie would be crushed to pieces by the just rage 
of our magnanimous King. You have said that I lied, 
or made a mensonge. This is an irreparable affront to 
an English warrior. I tell you our customs ; if you have 
courage enough to meet me, take a hundred of your 
bravest men on foot, meet me on the seashore, I will 
fight you, and a hundred men of mine will fight yours." 
What this bold challenge ended in we have not ascertained. 

In a continuation by his son and successor of the 
General's autobiography, already quoted, and referring to 
his father's career in India, he says : — " I know at this 
moment but little of the public history of my father at 


that period. From subsequent misfortunes that befel him 
my mother has never willingly talked of his career in 
India ; all I know is, that he, a very young Lieutenant- 
Colonel in the King's service, commanded the army on 
the Malabar Coast, taking rank according to the regulation 
of those days of all Company's officers of the same rank, 
though of older standing ; he served with great success, 
and made a good deal of money, about £ 100,000 ; but I 
believe, although not addicted to play, he suffered himself 
to comply with the custom of his associates, and lost all, 
or nearly all of his earnings. In consequence of a new 
order, that Company's officers should hold rank according 
to the dates of their commissions, my father found himself 
under the necessity of resigning his command to those who 
had formerly obeyed him ; and remaining in this situation 
not being consistent with his ideas of military propriety, 
he returned to England in the year 1789. My mother, 
with his children, followed him to Britain in 1790, and he 
was shortly afterwards [in the same year] unanimously re- 
turned at the General Election for the county of Inverness, 
which he continued to represent until the General Election 
of 1796.* Having stated that in consequence of some mis- 

* In a letter from Mr. Henry Mackenzie, Edinburgh, to Sir James Grant 
of Grant, dated 25th May, 1789, the writer says, referring to the proposed 
political arrangements in the north : — " I received on Saturday yours of the 
1 8th, with its enclosures. Macleod's letter is very well written, a good deal 
after the manner of the late General Fraser, on whose model his epistolary 
style was formed. I cannot say quite as much for our friend Bannatyne's, tho> 
I am persuaded it is much the most sincere of the two ; but in point of writing 
it is so confused and mystical, that I own I am not quite certain if I under- 
stand it. It seems, however, on the whole, to mean, that tho' Macleod's 
friends would not chose to go the length of solliciting for him, yet, were he put 
in nomination by any respectable person, and supported by a few respectable 
proprietors, they would risk his standing, tho' without any prospect of success 

at present You know, I suppose, that Macleod Bannatyne is 

himself a keen opposition man." — The Chiefs of Grant, Vol. II., pp. 305-6. 
In another letter from the same gentleman to Sir James Grant, regarding 
political matters, dated 22nd February, 1790, the writer says, regarding 
Inverness-shire: — "I understand there is now an idea of a compromise 
between the Frasers and Macleod, that Macleod shall sit the first half, and 
Lovat or his son the last half of the Parliament, which may suit both very 
well." — The Chiefs of Grant, Vol. II., p. 507. 


understanding with Henry Dundas, afterwards Lord Melville, 
General Macleod joined the Opposition and became one of 
the most strenuous opponents of Mr. Pitt's administration, 
his biographer continues — " His military prospects were 
now closed for ever, and from the early age of thirty-five to 
forty-seven, when he died, was to him a constant scene 
of disappointment, misfortune, and remorse. His income 
was far from being competent to his rank in life. I suspect 
it did not amount to more than two thousand a year ; 
and while he was in America and India his Commissioners 
had sold large tracts of his estate (Harris and Loch Snizort 
Side) for less than half their value. As he was the first 
of his family who parted with his inheritance, he was 
doubly grieved to find that he had impoverished his heirs, 
without materially benefitting himself." He increased the 
family debt from £50,000, at which amount he succeeded 
to it, to £70,000 at his death, notwithstanding that he sold 
the greater portion of the ancient Macleod inheritance. 
Harris and St. Kilda were sold in 1779 to Alexander 
Macleod, one of the Macleods of Bernera, late Captain 
of the Mansfield Indiaman, for the small sum of £15,000. 
St. Kilda has, however, since returned to the family. 
Alexander Hume, Captain Macleod's son, on the 26th 
of April, 1804, sold it and the adjoining islands to Colonel 
Donald Macleod of Achnagoyle for the sum of £1350, 
whose son, the late Sir John Macpherson-Macleod of 
Glendale, K.C.S.I., in 1871, resold it to the present 
Macleod of Macleod for £3000. 

At the General Election of 1796, General Macleod 
contested the burgh of Milbourne Port, against one of the 
Paget family, when he was defeated after an expenditure 
of £15,000. To meet this expense, he was obliged to 
sell the Waternish portion of his Isle of Skye estates, 
which only realised a sum sufficient to meet his election 
expenses, though a few years after the same lands were 
sold for £30,000. 

Shortly after his defeat, General Macleod removed to 
Edinburgh, and in 1801 he took up his residence in a small 


country house, which he rented at Newhaven. His health, 
which had for some time been giving way, was now getting 
much worse, and in the last named year he accepted an 
invitation from a friend, Captain Murray of the Prince 
of Wales Excise yacht, to accompany him on a voyage 
to Guernsey, expecting that the trip and consequent change 
of air might produce an improvement in the state of his 
health. He had, however, scarcely arrived in the island 
when his family received intimation of his death. 

General Macleod married, first, Mary, eldest daughter 
of Kenneth Mackenzie, third of Suddie, with issue — 

1. Norman, who died young, having gone down in the 
Queen Charlotte, in which he served as Lieutenant. 

2. Mary, who married Colonel Norman Ramsay, who 
fell at Waterloo. She died soon after her marriage, 
without issue. 

Mrs. Macleod died in 1784 in France, whither she had 
gone with her two children during her husband's absence 
in India. 

He married, secondly, in the same year, Sarah, daughter 
of N. Stackhouse, Second Member of Council at Bombay, 
then in her seventeenth year, with surviving issue — 

3. John Norman, his heir and successor. 

4. Sarah, who married her cousin, Robert Pringle of 
Stitchill, without issue. Both died soon after the marriage. 

5. Amelia Anne, who married her cousin and brother- 
in-law, Sir John Pringle, Baronet, of Stitchill, with issue — 
James, his heir and successor. 

6. Anne Eliza, who married, on the 3rd of July, 1821, 
Spencer Perceval, eldest son of the Right Hon. Spencer 
Perceval, Prime Minister of Great Britain. She still 
survives at the ripe old age of 92 years. 

General Macleod died at Guernsey in August, 1801, 
when he was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Born in 1788. He represented Sudbury in Parliament 
from 1828 to 1832. After the passing of the Reform Bill 


of 1832 he contested the County of Inverness against 
Charles Grant, afterwards Lord Glenelg, but was unsuc- 
cessful by a few votes. 

He married, on the 16th November, 1809, Anne, daughter 
of John Stephenson of Merstham, Kent, with issue — 

1. Norman, his heir, now of Macleod. 

2. Torquil James, who, on the 28th April, 182 1, died young. 

3. Harold John Leod, who, in 1846, died unmarried. 

4. Emily Sarah, now residing at Dunvegan Castle. 

5. Anna Eliza, who, on the 2nd of June, 1840, married 
James Ogilvie Fairlie of Williamfield, Ayrshire, with issue 
— (1) Henry James, born on the 9th of March, 1841 ; 
and (2) a daughter, who, in 1867, married Archibald 
Campbell, younger of Achandarrach, who died in Septem- 
ber, 1885. Mrs. Fairlie died on the 9th of September, 1843. 

6. Harriette Maria, who married John Campbell, of 
Glensaddel, Argyleshire, with issue — (1) Charles, who, born 
in February, 1847, married, in 1873, Esther, daughter of 
Colonel Fairlie, by his second wife ; (2) Walter Frederick, 
born in 1850, and died in 1882; (3) John Norman, born 
in 1852; (4) Eleanor Ann; and (5) Harriette Roma, who, 
in 1870, died unmarried. Mrs. Campbell died on the 
14th of January, 1877. 

7. Eleanor Anne, who died, aged thirteen years, on 
the 3rd of December, 1830. 

8. Mary Lowther, who, in 1846, married Robert Fergus- 
son, M.D., F.R.S., Physician to the Queen, with issue — (1) 
Robert Ronald ; (2) Harold Stuart ; (3) Robert Bruce ; 
(4) Mary Roma, who married Major Farrant of the 81st 
Regiment ; and (5) Marian Cecil. 

9. Elizabeth Roma, who, on the 9th of March, 1845, 
died unmarried. 

John Norman Macleod died on 25th March, 1835, when 
he was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Now of Macleod, who was born on the 18th of July, 
18 1 2. He was educated at Harrow, and afterwards spent 


some time in France and Germany, for the purpose of 
acquiring a knowledge of the languages of these countries, 
In 1834 he became a member of the Inner Temple, but 
was not called to the Bar. After the death of his father, 
in 1835, he resided for several years chiefly at Dunvegan 
Castle. During the famine of 1847-48, he remained con- 
stantly 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 position, 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 Prisons' Department of the Home 
Office. Here he remained, working hard for a mere 
pittance, until, in 1852, he was appointed Registrar or 
Assistant Secretary in the Science and Art Department, 
under Mr. (afterwards Sir) Henry Cole, on whose retire- 
ment in 1874 Macleod succeeded to his position, and re- 
mained in charge at the head of the Department until, in 
188 1, he retired on a pension. 

In i860 it was resolved to form a Volunteer Engineer 
Corps of the Science and Art Department employes — the 
first Engineer Corps formed in the United Kingdom. It 
consisted originally of 200 men, but rapidly increased to 
three, four, five, and six companies. Macleod was chosen 
as Commanding Officer, and from Captain soon rose to 
be successively Major and Lieutenant-Colonel. The latter 
post he held for eleven years, until, in consequence of the 
press of other duties, he found himself obliged to resign 
it, when he became Honorary Colonel of the regiment, a 
position which he still occupies. 

In 1854 the Queen appointed him Sergeant-at-Arms 
in Her Majesty's household, an appointment which he con- 
tinues to hold. 

He married on the 15th of July, 1837, the Hon. Louisa 


Barbara St. John, only daughter of St. Andrew, 13th 
Lord St. John of Bletsoe, with issue — 

1. Norman Magnus, late Captain 74th Highlanders. 
He was born on the 27th of July, 1839, and joined his 
regiment in 1858. He served as Aide-de-Camp to General 
Sir Hope Grant, Commander-in-Chief in the Presidency 
of Madras, from 1862 to 1865. Retiring from the army 
in 1872, he went to Natal in the following year, and in 
1874 was employed by the Government of that Colony on 
a special mission to the Government of India to make 
arrangements for the re-opening of coolie emigration to 
Natal. On his return from this mission he was appointed 
Protector of Immigrants in Natal, with a seat in the 
Legislative and Executive Councils. In 1875 he resigned 
this post for the purpose of making a trip into the interior 
of Africa, in the course of which he visited the Victoria 
Falls on the Zambesi River. This trip occupied him fifteen 
months. On the break out of the Zulu War in 1878, he 
was appointed by Sir Bartle Frere, Political Agent on the 
Transvaal border, chiefly with the view of preventing the 
Swazie tribes from joining the Zulus. He commanded 
the Zulu army, numbering 8000 men, in the attack on 
Sekukuni, under General Sir Garnet Wolseley in 1879, and 
for his services on this occasion he received the Zulu War 
medal, and was created a C.M.G. He returned home in 
1880, and on the 27th of April, 1881, married Emily 
Caroline, second daughter of Sir Charles Isham, Baronet 
of Lamport Hall, Northampton, with issue — (1) Emily 
Pauline ; and (2) Margaret Louisa. 

2. Torquil Olave, born on the 10th of August, 1841, and 
died on the 3rd September, 1857. 

3. Reginald, born on the 1st February, 1847, and married 
on the 17th of April, 1877, Lady Agnes Mary Cecilia, 
eldest daughter of the late Right Hon. Earl of Iddesleigh, 
with issue — (1) Flora Louisa Cecilia; and (2) Olive Susan 

4. Roderick Charles, a clergyman of the Church of 
England, vicar of Bolney, in Sussex. Born on the 18th 


of April, 1852, he married, in 1885, Katharine, daughter 
of Rev. W. Jelf, of Coerdem, Dolgelly, with issue — a 
daughter, Brenda Katharine. 

5. Louisa Cecilia, who, on the 18th of December, i860, 
married John Moyer Heathcote of Conington Castle, 
County of Huntingdon, with issue — (1) John Norman, born 
on the 21st of June, 1863 ; (2) Arthur Ridley, born 14th 
of February, 1877 ; (3) Emily Louisa, who died unmarried, 
in her nineteenth year, on the 25th of May, 1880 ; (4) 
Evelyn May. 

Macleod's first wife died in 1880, and he married 
secondly on the 14th of July, 188 1, the Baroness Hanna, 
eldest daughter of Baron d' Ettingshausen of Graz, Vienna, 
without issue. 

The Dunvegan Family Arms — Azure, a castle triple-towered and em- 
battled argent, masoned sable, windows and porch gules. Supporters — Two 
lions, reguardant gules, each holding a dagger proper. Crest — A bull's 
head cabossed sable, between two flags gules, staves of the first. Motto — 
" Murus aheneus." Device — " Hold fast." 


The family of Gesto is the first that branched off from 
the main stem of the Macleods of Dunvegan and Harris 
whose genealogy can at the present day be traced. The 
patronymic of the Macleods of Gesto is " Mac Mhic 
Thormoid," the first of the family being Murdo, son of 
Malcolm, son of Tormod II. of Macleod, son of Leod, 
progenitor of the race. The first of the Macleods of 
Gesto was thus literally Mac Mhic Thormoid, or son of the 
son of Tormod or Norman, and hence the family patrony- 
mic. The first of the family of Gesto was 

I. MURDO MACLEOD, third son of Malcolm III. of 
Macleod, and grandson of Leod, progenitor of the race, 
by his wife, Martha, daughter of Donald, Earl of Mar, 
nephew of King Robert the Bruce. The Macleods of 
Gesto are often referred to in the history of the 
principal family — the Macleods of Dunvegan. Several dis- 
tinguished men have descended from this branch, and 
there are many men and women in good position, now 
living, who can trace their descent through the heads of 
the family of Gesto to Robert the Bruce and to the 
Kings of Norway and Man. 

The lands of Gesto extended on the one side from 
a place called " Leabaidh an Tuirc " and " Allt Coire 
Uisg," in Drynoch, to the Water of Scallisaig, in Struan 
on the other side. It is said that this cadet family had at 
one time under charter from the Chief one-half of the lands 
of Glenelg, and that his successors continued to possess 
these until, early in the seventeenth century, during the 
reign of Sir Rory Mor at Dunvegan, they lost them in 
consequence of the then head of the family, John VI. 


of Gesto, having murdered his brother-in-law, MacCaskill 
of Ebost. 

Murdo, the first of the family of Gesto, is said to have 
married a daughter of Gillies, a great Chief at that time 
in the Isle of Skye, and to have received with her as 
tocher or marriage-portion the extensive lands above 
described. Their successors were always distinguished 
from the other branches of the Clan Macleod by their 
family patronymic of " Mac Mhic Thormoid." By his 
wife, the daughter of Gillies, Murdo Macleod, first of Gesto, 
had issue — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Margaret, who married John Bethune, from whom 
were descended the family of local physicians so long 
famous in Skye, and all over the Western Isles. 

Murdo was succeeded by his son, 

II. John Macleod, second of Gesto, of whom nothing 
is known, except that he married a daughter of Chisholm 
of Strathglass, with issue — 

i. Norman, his heir and successor. 

2. Neil, who succeeded his brother Norman. 

3. Flora, who married her cousin, Angus Bethune of 

Donald was succeeded by his son, 

III. Norman Macleod, third of Gesto. He died 
unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother, 

IV. Neil Macleod, fourth of Gesto, who was twice 
married — first, to a daughter of the Chief of the Mac- 
Caskills, with issue — 

1. Murdo, who succeeded his father ; and several other 
sons and daughters. Some of the sons went to France 
and Germany, and settled there. 

Neil Macleod married, secondly, a daughter of Mac- 
kinnon of Strath, also with issue, but his descendants by 
the second marriage are long extinct. He was succeeded 
by his eldest son by the first marriage, 

V. Murdo Macleod, fifth of Gesto, who married Flora, 
daughter of Donald Macdonald, VIII. of Glengarry, with 


issue, among' others, several of whom went to France 
and Germany — 

1. John, who succeeded him. 

2. A daughter, who married Macleod of Balmeanach. 

3. A daughter, who married MacCaskill of Ebost. 
Murdo was succeeded by his eldest son, 

VI. John Macleod, sixth of Gesto. He married 
Mary, daughter of Donald Macdonald, third of Kingsburgh, 
better known as " Domhnull Mac Ian 'ic Sheumais," the 
famous Skye warrior. Donald in his latter days devoted 
himself to more peaceful pursuits. He is said to have 
been the first man who ever took a drove of cows from 
the Isle of Skye to the southern markets, and to have, 
during the remainder of his life, carried on an extensive 
and lucrative business as a cattle-dealer. John Macleod 
of Gesto on occasions used to chaff his wife on the nature 
of her father's business. At that time, as now, it would 
seem that cattle-droving was not considered the most 
suitable profession for a gentleman. 

Macleod, a proud and high-tempered but kind-hearted 
man, good-naturedly dubbed his father-in-law, " Aireach 
Hath nam do," or the Grey-haired cow-feeder. Gesto's 
sister was married to MacCaskill of Ebost, and, on the 
occasion of the birth of a son to his sister, Macleod pro- 
ceeded to Ebost to congratulate the mother and his 
brother-in-law on the happy event. The result is thus 
told by the late Alexander Cameron : — " Over their punch 
at night the brothers-in-law disputed. From high words 
they came to use their weapons ; MacCaskill raised his 
sword to cleave Macleod's skull, but the point of the 
sword stuck in the rafter or wooden beam above him, and 
Macleod seeing the sword raised above his head, plunged 
his dagger into MacCaskill's breast, making a mortal wound. 
Macleod at once returned home, told his wife what had 
occurred, and asked her advice as to what he should do, 
as he was quite sure the MacCaskills of Rhundunan would 
be on his track to take vengeance upon him for Ebost's 
death. She advised him to go to her father, "Aireach 


Hath nam bo," for protection. Though this step was some- 
what humiliating- after the abuse he was in the habit of 
heaping on the cattle-dealer, he at once set out for 
Cuidrach, where Donald then resided, and was well received 
by him. Next morning a party of MacCaskills were 
observed on a height above Cuidrach House. Macleod 
remained within, but Donald Mac Ian Mhic Sheumais, 
with his great broadsword, walked to and fro in front of 
the house on guard. The MacCaskills despatched a boy, 
whom they had with them as guide, to the house, to 
ask that the murderer of their relative should be sent 
out. The boy was terrified at the appearance of Donald 
Maclan Mhic Sheumais, who asked him his business and 
his name. The messenger replied that he was a Mac- 
donald. Mac Ian 'ic Sheumais at once gruffly informed him 
it was a good thing for him that he was so, otherwise he 
had forfeited his life ; that Macleod would not be delivered 
up ; and that, if the MacCaskills had any value for their 
lives, they had better not attempt to secure him. The boy 
returned with this message, and informed the MacCaskills 
how frightened he was at the grey-haired, giant-looking 
man who met him, and who was using his large sword 
as a walking-stick. Upon this the MacCaskills prudently 
determined that, as their deceased kinsman and Macleod 
were related, there was no call on them to risk their lives 
to revenge his death, and they consequently returned to 
their homes.* 

In consequence of the murder of his brother-in-law, Sir 
Rory Mor, XIII. of Dunvegan, deprived John of Gesto of 
the lands which had been held by his ancestors for genera- 
tions under the Chiefs of Macleod in Glenelg, and of other 
lands occupied by the family on both sides of the original 
possessions of Mac Mhic Thormoid. 

The family tradition in connection with the death of 
MacCaskill is, that the head of the family was outlawed 
for his brother-in-law's death, and that consequently he 
was afraid to appear before the Lords of Exchequer in 

* The History and Traditions of the Isle of Sky e. 


terms of the Act of 1597, which required all Chiefs and 
owners of land in the Highlands to produce their titles. 
Gesto in the circumstances trusted to his Chief, Rory 
Mor of Dunvegan, who was also connected with him by 
marriage, for Rory Mors wife was John of Gesto's aunt. 
John, therefore, though unable to appear before the Lords 
of Exchequer personally, trusted that his Chief would 
secure for him his rights to the lands of Gesto when 
getting his own titles established. But Rory Mor, accord- 
ing to this tradition, knowing that John could not appear, 
managed to get the lands of Gesto included in the new 
charter of the lands of Dunvegan, which he obtained for 
himself from the Crown in 161 1. This version cannot, 
however, possibly be accurate ; for Rory Mor did not go 
forward to present his own titles. All his own lands were 
for that reason forfeited to the Crown, and he was in 
consequence for several years after 1597 in constant trouble 
with his neighbours, with the Court, and with the Privy 
Council. It was not until the fourth of May, 1610, that 
he succeeded in obtaining remission for his own crimes 
against the peace of the realm ; and it was only in the 
following year, after purchasing the rights of others who 
had secured legal titles to his own forfeited lands, and 
after much difficult and delicate negotiation, that he 
obtained the charter of 161 1 in his own favour. 

Mr Lachlan Macdonald of Skaebost, an excellent gene- 
alogist, and himself a grandson through his mother of 
Neil Macleod, the last representative of his house who 
occupied Gesto, does not believe in the family tradition, 
and he considers it open to doubt whether the Macleods 
of Gesto were ever independent of the Chiefs of Dunvegan, 
to the extent claimed by his ancestors. " Probably," he 
says, " the Mac Mhic Thormoids held the land granted 
to Malcolm, the 3rd Baron, in Glenelg and also Gesto 
rent free. John Macleod, tenth of Gesto, in a letter 
written to his cousin, Major John Macleod, in the Scots 
Brigade of the Dutch Army, alluding to the incident of 
the manslaughter which resulted in forfeiture, says — ' Our 


great-great-grandfather, zvho forfeited ye lands we had of 
ye family' which implies," Mr Macdonald says, "that 
the Mac Mhic Thormoids held their lands from the Mac- 
leods of that Ilk." 

John, as already stated, married Mary, daughter of 
Donald Macdonald, III. of Kingsburgh, with issue — 

1. Murdo, his heir and successor. 

2. John, who succeeded his brother. 

3. Donald, who married Isabel, daughter of the Rev. 
Allan Maclennan, minister of Glenelg, with issue. This 
Donald appears to have had possession as tenant of the 
lands for a time, for he is on record there in 1664. From 
him descended a family of Macleods settled in Holland, 
and now represented by Lieutenant-General Norman Mac- 
leod, Aide-de-Camp to the King of the Netherlands, and 
by his son, who is Comptroller of the Netherlands Navy. 

John was succeeded by his eldest son, 

VII. MURDO MACLEOD, seventh of Gesto. He married 
a daughter of Macleod of Ferinlea, with issue — several sons 
and daughters. The sons appear to have predeceased their 
father, who was succeeded by his next brother, 

VIII. John Macleod, eighth of Gesto, commonly 
called " Ian Mor." He married Margaret, daughter of 
John Macleod, II. of Drynoch, with issue — 

1. Roderick, his heir and successor, and four other sons, 
two only of whom arrived at maturity. These two were 
married and had issue, but their descendants are long 

John had also five daughters, one of whom married 
Macleod of Oze, with issue — a son, William Macleod of 
Oze. A second daughter of Gesto's married John Og 
Bethune, while a third married Macleod of Ferinlea. All 
the daughters left issue, but they cannot now be traced. 

John was succeeded by his eldest son, 

IX. Roderick Macleod, ninth of Gesto. He was 
the first of the family who took a lease of the ancient 
possessions of his house, which he did, in 1728, from 
Norman Macleod, XIX. of Dunvegan. Roderick married 


Margaret, daughter of the Rev. Angus Macqueen, son of 
the Rev. Archibald MacQueen of Rigg, with issue — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Norman Macleod of Summerdale. 

Roderick, who was alive in 1745, was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 

X. John Macleod, tenth of Gesto. He was a Major 
in Gordon's Regiment, and married Annabella, daughter 
of Neil Mackinnon of Boreraig, Strath, son of Lachlan 
Mackinnon of Corry, Isle of Skye. 

By this lady John had issue — 

1. Neil, who succeeded him. 

2. A son who served in the Royal Artillery, attained 
the rank of General, and afterwards resided and died at 

3. Flora, who married Captain William Macleod, VI. 
of Hamer, with issue. 

John was succeeded by his eldest son, 

XI. NEIL MACLEOD, a Captain in the army, and the 
last of the family who occupied the house and lands 
of Gesto. For many years he was engaged in a law suit 
with his Chief, John Norman Macleod, XXI. of Dun vegan, 
regarding the boundaries of the farm, which he ultimately 
won. In consequence of this, and his independent spirit 
generally, Macleod determined to get rid of him on the 
termination of the lease, which expired in 1825, when the 
farm of Gesto was joined to that of Drynoch, and ever 
since disappeared as a separate residence. 

Captain Neil Macleod was a great authority on pipe 
music, and although he could not play the bagpipes him- 
self, he knew almost all the " piobaireachds " ever composed, 
as well as their origin and history. In 1828 he published a 
small book containing twenty " piobaireachds," to illustrate 
the MacCrimmon system of pipe music notation, known as 
" Canntaireachd." This curious book is now very rare, 
but there is a copy of it in the library of the Gaelic 
Society of Inverness, presented by the late Rev. Alex- 
ander Macgregor, himself an excellent piper, and personally 



acquainted for many years with the author of the book. 
Curiously enough it was only in 1880 that the late J. 
F. Campbell of Islay came to know for the first time 
about the MacCrimmon notation and Gesto's book, though 
the Rev. Mr. Macgregor delivered a paper in which he 
gave specimens from it eight years before, on 24th October, 
1872, before the Gaelic Society of Inverness ; and this 
paper was afterwards published in the Society's Trans- 
actions for that year. The existence of Gesto's " Canntair- 
eachd," was well known among the best informed High- 
landers, but Mr. Campbell was so struck with the system, 
and so pleased with what he thought to be his own 
discovery of it, that he wrote a pamphlet, in which he 
treated it as a new and most important revelation in 
connection with Highland pipe music. Knowing Mr 
Macgregor to be intimately acquainted with the "Cann- 
tairearchd " notation, the booklet and its author, we called 
his attention to Mr. Campbell's pamphlet, requesting at 
the same time that he should supply us with a brief 
statement of what he knew of the whole subject. Mr. 
Macgregor's reply is of special interest to all connected 
with the Macleods of Gesto, and deserves to be given in 
a sketch of that family. This is now done exactly as it 
reached us. The reverend gentleman writes — 

My Dear Ceilteach, — I was in Edinburgh during 
the winters of 1831, 1832, 1834, and 1835, and almost all 
these years old Captain Neil Macleod of Gesto, in Skye, 
resided in Edinburgh, and thus spent more of his time 
there than he did with his family at home. During the 
day he was seldom or never absent from the Advocates' 
Library, and I have heard it said that he had even passed 
several nights there, having more than once been accident- 
ally shut in at the close of the day. He amused himself 
there searching out for old books, writing letters, and 
attending to law papers, for he was at law with his pro- 
prietor, Macleod of Macleod, for many years, about the 
boundaries of Gesto. He lost his case, [in this Mr. Mac- 
gregor seems to have been in error] was ruined, lost his 
farm, and resided ultimately in a rented cottage, with his 
wife and daughters, in the village of Stein. He was a 


tall, gaunt, thin-faced man, with long- nose, grey hair, white 
hat, tartan trousers, and plaid. He was known as the 
" Parliament House Ghost," and at times the " Advocates' 
Library Ghost," as he frequented these places day and night. 

I saw him daily, or almost so, and saw him oftener than 
I wished, as he made me write hundreds of pages of his 
law papers, to save expenses to him. He was crazy about 
" Piobaireachd," but did not play himself. He knew, 1 
believe, almost every " piobaireachd " in existence — their 
names, their composers, their origin, and the causes for 
composing them. When strolling to and from the Advo- 
cates' Library, he very frequently called on and sat for 
hours with old John Macdonald, the father of Donald 
Macdonald, pipe-major to the Highland Society, whose 
portrait I recently saw in your possession. He would 
make Donald (then about 80 years old, while his father, 
then also alive, was upwards of 100), play " piobaireachds " 
to him, all of which he himself could articulate with his 
pliant lips in the MacCrimmon noting style. He had a 
large manuscript collection of the MacCrimmon "piobair- 
eachds," as noted by themselves, and part of it was 
apparently very old and yellow in the paper from age, 
with some of the writing getting dim. Other parts were 
evidently more modern, and on different paper. Donald 
Ban MacCrimmon, who was killed at the rout of Moy 
the day before the battle of Culloden was (Gesto said) 
one of the best of the MacCrimmon performers ; but the 
best of them all was Padruig Mor MacCruimein. For many 
ages these pipers noted down their " piobaireachds," and 
Padruig Mor had a daughter who was very expert at noting, 
and could also play herself when asked as a favour to do 
so. I should think that the manuscript I saw with him 
would contain upwards of two hundred " piobaireachds," 
from the bulk of it ; and out of that manuscript he selected 
twenty or so, which he published as specimens. The 
MacArthurs, pipers to the Clan Macdonald of the Isles, 
noted their "piobaireachds" also, but with different vocables. 
Gesto had one very old-looking leaf of their noting, on 
which the vocables appeared very faint, but I did not look 
much at it. 

Gesto told me that the vowels a e i u were the roots of 
the syllabic notes. The vowel i (pronounced as in Gaelic 
and Latin — ee) was the root or index of the highest note 
on the chanter, and u the lowest, and the next lowest, 
and then a and e represented the middle notes in the 


chanter. It was thus the case that such vocables as hi, tri, 
ti, represented the high notes, and ho, hu, the lowest. 
These they combined by rules of their own, as hio, hiao, 
hiiw, hi dro to hacJiin, hidrototatiti, hidrototutati, hidro- 
totutnti, hiodrotohachin. I could easily fancy that it would 
be a very simple matter to fix on syllables, or vocables 
to represent every bar in pipe music, as it is such regular 
music in its construction. Any piper of any knowledge 
who can play the " urlar " of the tune, and also the first 
" siubhal," can easily play the " taobhluth " and the " crunn- 
luth." If you give myself the noting of the first "siubhal" 
of any " piobaireachd," I could easily note down all the 
other variations, should I have never heard nor seen the 
" piobaireachd " before. This regularity in pipe music 
renders it an easy matter to frame syllables for the " urlar" 
and for the first " siubhal," or variation ; and if you have 
that on some fixed principle, it is easy to add the rest. 

This is all I have to say on the subject of the " Brochan 
Ileach," and it is enough ; my dear Ceilteaeh, yours, gu 
dileas. (Signed) Alasdair Ruadh. 

1st September, \\ 

Neil Macleod married Flora, daughter of Charles Mac- 
kinnon, younger of Corry, with issue — six sons and six 
daughters — 

1. John, who was drowned at sea. 

2. Norman, also supposed to have been drowned at sea. 

3. Charles, who went to America, married a Mrs. Mac - 
gillivray in the West Indies, and afterwards returned to 
this country. In 1849 he was appointed manager on 
the Gairloch estate by the then factor, the late Dr. John 
Mackenzie of Eileanach. He died at Flowerdale, without 
issue, in 185 1. 

4. Kenneth, an Indian planter, who ultimately became 
the representative of the family. 

5. Donald, who went to America, and married Isabella, 
daughter of Mr. Murray, once of Greshornish, with issue — 
a son, Neil Macleod, who is the present male representative 
of the family, and a daughter, Norma, who is married to 
the Rev. Adam Macqueen. 

6. Roderick, who died young. 

7. Ann, who married Charles Macdonald of Ord, Isle 


of Skye, fifth son of Dr. Alexander MacEachainn or 
Macdonald of the Glengarry Fencibles, with issue — (1) 
Alexander R. Macdonald, now of Ord, who married Maria 
Macdonell of Keppoch, with issue. (2) Lachlan Mac- 
donald, now of Skaebost, who married Wilhelmina, daughter 
of the late John Mackenzie of Bengal, with issue. (3) 
Keith Macdonald, a doctor of medicine, now at Cupar, 
and the compiler of an excellent collection of Highland 
music, published in 1887. He married Eliza Niblett, 
Edinburgh, with issue. (4) Neil Macdonald, late of Dun- 
ach, Argyleshire, who married Madeline, daughter of the 
Rev. Mr. Brown, of the north of England, with issue. 
(5) Charles Macdonald, a retired Indian planter, late of 
Clayton, Fifeshire, now residing at Muirton House, Inver- 
ness. He married Anne Mary, daughter of Thomas 
Williamson, Glasgow, with issue. (6) Flora Macdonald, 
who married the late Alexander Smith, the poet and 
well-known author of A Summer in Skye, with issue. (7) 
Isabella Macdonald, who married John Robertson, of 
Greshornish, with issue, among others, Kenneth Robertson 
Macleod, to whom, as his grand-nephew, Kenneth Mac- 
leod, XII. of Gesto, left the estates of Greshornish 
and Orbost. (8) Margaret Macdonald, who married 
Godfrey Mackinnon, of North Goonambil, Australia, with 

8. Janet, who died at Caroline Hill, Skaebost, unmarried, 
in 1882. 

9. Mary, who married the Rev. John Macdonald, a 
minister belonging to Inverness. He never occupied a 
charge in this country, but emigrated to Australia im- 
mediately after his marriage. They had issue — a son, 
John ; and a daughter, Flora, who married, in Australia, 
Kenneth, fourth son of Alexander Mackenzie, second son 
of Alexander Mackenzie, XI. of Hilton. Mary died in 

10. Flora, who went to America, where she married, 
with issue, and died in 1883. 

11. Margaret, who, as his second wife, married Angus 


Nicolson, merchant, Portree, with issue — four sons, all 
unmarried ; and four daughters. All the family emigrated, 
except Christina, who married Mr. Macewen, a schoolmaster 
in Assynt. Anabella, another of the daughters, married 
a Mr. Macdonald, in Australia, by whom she had a large 
and prosperous family. 

12. Barbara, who died young. 

Neil Macleod of Gesto, who died in 1836, was succeeded 
as representative of the family by his fourth son, 

XII. KENNETH MACLEOD, an indigo planter in India, 
where he resided for about thirty years and made a fortune. 
He afterwards returned home, took up his residence in 
the Isle of Skye, and purchased the estates of Greshornish 
and Orbost. The name of the ancestral abode of his 
family having disappeared in that of Drynoch, Kenneth 
determined to commemorate it in the name of the Gesto 
Hospital at Edinbane, which he built and endowed with 
,£30,000 for the benefit of natives of the Isle of Skye. He 
died unmarried in 1869, and left the estates of Greshornish 
and Orbost to his grand-nephew, born in 1864, Kenneth 
Robertson Macleod, now of Greshornish. 

Kenneth was succeeded as representative of the family 
by his nephew, 

XIII. Neil Kenneth Macleod, the present "Mac 
Mhic Thormoid," residing in Canada. 

He married, first, Miss Stirling, without issue. He 
married, secondly, Miss Shaw, with issue — two sons. 


Donald Macleod, third son of John VI. of Gesto, 
who appears to have had possession of the ancestral home 
about 1664, married Isabel, daughter of the Rev. Allan 
Maclennan, minister of Glenelg, with issue — (1) Murdo, of 
whose posterity nothing is known ; (2) Donald, whose 
descendants we have not been able to trace ; (3) Norman, 
the youngest son. This 

Norman Macleod was an officer in the Dutch Scots 


Brigade. He married Gertrude Schrassert, and died in 
London in 1729, leaving" issue — a son, 

JOHN MACLEOD, who was born in 1727, and became 
an officer in the same Brigade (in Colyer's regiment), 
retiring as a Colonel in 1783. He died in 1800, having 
married M. A. van Brienen, with issue — a son, 

Norman Macleod, born in 1755, also an officer in the 
Dutch Service. He followed William, Prince of Orange, 
to England in 1795. In 1810 he married Sarah Evans, 
a Welsh lady, and returned to Holland when it regained 
its independence in 18 13. He rose to the rank of Major- 
General, and died in 1837, leaving issue — three sons, 

1. Norman Macleod, born in 181 1, an officer in the 
Dutch Army, now a retired Lieutenant-General, and Aide- 
de-Camp to the King of the Netherlands. 

2. William Pasco Macleod, born in 18 13, and died, 
unmarried, in 1848. He was a Captain in the Dutch 

3. John van Brienen Macleod, born in 1825. He was a 
Captain in the Infantry, and died in 1868, leaving a son, 
Rudolph Macleod, now a Lieutenant in the Dutch Indian 

Major-General Norman Macleod was succeeded, as repre- 
sentative of this family, by his eldest son, 

Norman Macleod, Lieutenant-General, and Aide-de- 
Camp to the King of the Netherlands. He has the following 
decorations : — Commander of the Lion of the Netherlands ; 
Grand Cross of the Golden Lion of Nassau ; Commander 
of the Order of the Oaken Crown ; Grand Cross of the 
Order of the Red Eagle of Prussia ; Grand Cross of the 
Order of Frederic of Wurtemberg ; Commander of the 
Order of the Legion of Honour ; and a bronze Cross for 
the war in Belgium. He married Joanna Jacomina Esser, 
with issue — two sons, 

1. Norman, at present a Captain in the Royal Navy of 
the Netherlands, who married Johanna van Ross, with issue 
— four daughters. He is Comptroller of the Dutch Navy ; 
a Knight of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands ; and 


a Knight of the Order of the Oaken Crown ; and has 
two medals for the war against Atchin. 

2. Edward Donald Henry, a captain in the Regiment 
of Grenadiers and Chasseurs of the Netherlands, who 
married Anna van Bochore, with issue — Donald John 
Edward, a student in the University of Leyden. Edward 
is also an Officer of the Oaken Crown. 

Captain Norman Macleod, being in command of a Dutch 
training-ship in 1881, in that year visited the east coast 
of Scotland, and, finding himself so near the land which 
his great great-grandfather left in the seventeenth century, 
he took a short leave of absence, and proceeded to the 
Isle of Skye to see his distant cousin, the late Miss Jessie 
Macleod, who was then alive and resided at Caroline Hill, 
Skaebost. He remained several days with her, and during 
his visit went to see the burying-place of his ancestors 
in the churchyard of Bracadale, which is marked by a 
plain granite pedestal, erected by the late Kenneth 
Macleod of Greshornish, bearing the following simple 
inscription : — 

Sacred to the Memory of the 
macleods of gesto. 



The branch of the Macleods, of which the families of 
Meidle and Glendale formed a part, was known among 
their countrymen as " Sliochd Ian 'ic Leoid," or the 
descendants of John Macleod. From the same ancestor 
are also descended the Macleods of Drynoch [which see], 
Balmeanach, Vatten, and several others which cannot now 
be traced. John Borb, VI. of Macleod, had, by his wife, 
Margaret, grand -daughter of the Earl of Douglas, two 
sons — William, VII. of Macleod ; and Tormod, progenitor 
of this family. They are said to have been twins, and for 
many years this branch contended that Tormod, their 
ancestor, was the first-born, and that his successors were 
the rightful heirs to the estates and Chiefship of the Clan. 
At one time, they succeeded in asserting this claim for a 
brief period, one of the family having been acknowledged 
as Chief, in which capacity he actually obtained possession 
of Dunvegan Castle. The descent of the " Sliochd Ian 
'ic Leoid " is derived as follows — 

John Borb Macleod, VI. of Macleod, married Mar- 
garet, grand-daughter of the Earl of Douglas, with issue — 
twin sons, William, his heir and successor, and 

TORMOD MACLEOD, progenitor of this family. Tormod 
had also a sister Margaret, who married Roderick Macleod, 
VII. of Lewis ; and another, who married Lachlan Bron- 
nach Maclean, VII. of Duart. This Tormod commanded 
the Macleods at the battle fought in Lochaber in 1429 
between Alexander, Lord of the Isles, whom he supported, 
and James I., on which occasion he was killed at the head 
of the Clan. He was married to a daughter of Chisholm 


of Strathglass, who, on hearing of his death, gave birth 
to a seven-months' child, 

JOHN MACLEOD, the immediate progenitor of this family, 
and from whom their patronymic of "Sliochd Ian 'ic Leoid." 
He was brought up by his grandfather, John Borb, sixth 
Chief of Macleod, at Pabbay in Harris, on the footing of 
the future heir to the estates, but, being quite young when 
his grandfather died, and his father having been killed 
before John was born, his uncle William had no difficulty 
in setting his claims aside, and successfully asserting his 
own to the Chiefship and estates of the Clan. For the 
safety of young John it was found necessary, in the 
circumstances, to remove him to the protection of Roderick 
Macleod, VI T. of Lewis, who was married to his aunt, 
Margaret, daughter of his grandfather, John Borb, VI. 
of Harris and Dunvegan. Roderick of the Lewis kept 
the boy with himself until he came of age, when he married 
his protector's niece, and received along with her as her 
dowry the lands of Waternish, in the Isle of Skye, at 
that time the property of the Macleods of Lewis. By 
his wife, John Macleod, now proprietor of Waternish, had 
a son, 

TORMOD MACLEOD of Waternish, a man described as 
of great ability and consequence among his Clansmen. 
He married a daughter of Fraser of Glenelg, a cadet of 
the house of Lovat, with issue — a son, 

JOHN MACLEOD of Waternish, better known in the 
history and traditions of his own country as " Ian a 
Chuail Bhain," or John of the Fair Hair. On the death 
of William, IX. of Macleod, and in the absence of his 
brothers, Donald and Tormod, the claims of Ian a Chuail 
Bhain's family to the Chiefship are said to have been 
acknowledged by the Clan on two distinct occasions [see 
p. 30]. John supported Queen Mary, and that fact con- 
tributed largely to the subsequent ruin of his family, and 
gave the final blow to his claim to the estates and Chief- 
ship of the Clan. 

He married Sheila, daughter of Archibald Macdonald 


of Knock, Sleat, Isle of Skye, with issue, ten sons and 
four daughters — 

1. Tormod Macleod, who married a daughter of Mac- 
donald of Kintyre, with issue — three sons. He died before 
his father, Ian a Chuail Bhain ; and his sons, Tormod, 
Donald, and John, were quite young at the date of his 
death. They were afterwards assassinated, while mere 
boys, by their blood-thirsty uncle, Ian Dubh, who slew 
them in the Castle of Dunvegan with his own hands. 

2. John Macleod, the famous " Ian Dubh," otherwise 
" Ian Og," of Minginish, who waded through the blood 
of his relatives to take possession of Dunvegan Castle, 
putting those in charge of it, and all who opposed him, 
to the sword. He treacherously assassinated his cousin and 
Chief, Donald, X. of Macleod, with all his body-guard, 
and made an unsuccessful attempt on the life of Donald's 
brother, Tormod, XI. of Macleod. He also murdered his 
own brother, Donald Breac. When Tormod, XI. of Mac- 
leod, returned home to obtain possession of the family 
estates, Ian Dubh shut himself up in the Castle of Dun- 
vegan. The warder, however, agreed to surrender the 
stronghold to its rightful owner, and it was only with the 
greatest difficulty that the usurper, by the assistance of 
his four foster-brothers, effected his escape through a 
passage which led from his sleeping apartment to the 
landing-rock, where his galley lay moored close to the 
Castle walls. He at once set sail for Pabbay in Harris, 
but was refused admittance to the Castle there. He then 
sailed for Ireland, where, after wandering about in a 
destitute condition for some time, he was captured by 
one of the O'Donell Chiefs, who had him put to death 
in 1559 by driving a red-hot iron bar through his bowels. 
The monster was married, but he died without any sur- 
viving issue. An account of his life, and of the more 
outrageous crimes and assassinations committed by him, 
will be found recorded in greater detail in the history of 
the MACLEODS OF DUNVEGAN, at pp. 29-36 of this work. 

3. Donald Breac Macleod, who had been tutor to his 


young nephew, Tormod, son of Tormod Macleod, eldest 
son and heir of Ian a Chuail Bhain ; his eldest brother, 
Ian Dubh, being passed over in consequence of his bad 
character. Donald Breac married a daughter of Mackinnon 
of Mackinnon, with issue — several sons and daughters, all 
of whom were put to death by order of Tormod, XI. of 
Macleod, who ordered the massacre of every member of 
the family of Meidle and Minginish, out of resentment 
for the crimes and assassinations committed by Ian Dubh, 
and in order once and for ever to settle their claim to the 
Chiefship of the Macleods and to the family estates. Donald 
Breac himself was killed, as we have already seen, by his 
brother, Ian Dubh, in Dunvegan Castle, at the same 
time that he assassinated his nephews, the three young 
sons of his eldest brother Tormod. 

4. Alexander, who had charge of the Castle of Pabbay 
during the lifetime of his father. He married Marsaline, 
daughter of Torquil MacGilliemhuire or Morrison, Brieve 
of the Lewis, with issue — several sons and daughters, who, 
with himself, were all massacred by order of Tormod 
Macleod, XL of Macleod, except the youngest son, Tor- 
mod, who escaped, as shall be hereafter described, and 
who carried on the representation of the family. 

5. William, who resided at Greshornish, and married 
with issue — all of whom suffered, with their father, the 
same fate as their relatives at the hands of their Chief. 

6. Magnus, who lived at Hamer. He was also married 
with issue. He and they were massacred on the same 
night as all the rest of his race by order of Tormod, XL 
of Macleod, when he succeeded to the Chiefship of the Clan. 

7. Allan, who resided at Skellibost in Harris, where he 
and all his family were put to death by a pre-arranged 
plan the same night that the other members of his house 
were massacred in the Isle of Skye. 

The other sons, the 8th, 9th, and 10th, whose names 
are not known, were similarly put to death, none of them 
leaving issue. 

n. A daughter, who married Campbell of Strond, in 


Harris, with issue, among others — Ian Liath Mac Mhic 
Kenneth, from whom are descended a well-known family 
of Campbells, some of whom were in Strond as late as 1850. 

12. A daughter, married Mackenzie in Lochalsh, and 
escaped the massacre. 

13. A daughter, who married one of the Macdonalds of 
Benbecula, and escaped the fate of her kindred. 

14. Another daughter was a nun at Rodel, where she 
also was massacred. Tormod, XI. of Macleod, who denied 
that he had any knowledge of or participation in the foul 
deed, and pretended to be very much horrified at what 
had occurred, had the person who killed her cruelly put 
to death. 

Ian a Chuail Bhain was succeeded as representative of 
the family by his grandson, 

Tormod Macleod, the youngest son of his fourth 
son, Alexander Macleod, and who alone of the Sliochd 
Ian Mhic Leoid escaped the massacre of his race. He 
had been sent to Wia, in the Island of Taransay, on the 
west coast of Harris, to be nursed by one " Bethag Nighean 
Choinnich Mac Sheumais Mhic-Gillemhuire," who, as well 
as her husband, Finlay MacGillemhuire, was nearly related 
to the child's mother. This Finlay was among those who 
took the oath to Tormod XI. of Macleod to extirpate the 
Sliochd Ian Mhic Leoid, but he was in his heart a friend 
to the doomed race ; for, according to the ideas of every 
Highlander, he considered his foster son had a better 
right to his love and protection than his own offspring. 
When the day arrived on which he was instructed to kill 
the boy, he was greatly depressed in spirit, and, when 
his dalt or foster-child climbed on his knee and kissed 
him, Finlay, in an agony of grief, gave vent to his feelings 
in convulsive sobs. The only reply he could make to the 
enquiries of his wife as to the cause of his agitation was, 
" Fly and save him." She at once understood this to 
refer to her dalt, so she got her two sons to launch a small 
boat, and, taking young Tormod Macleod in her arms, 
she ordered them to land her on the opposite coast at 


a place called Aird Husabost. From thence she proceeded 
across Harris, and, on reaching- Stockinish, on the east 
side of that Island, she got a man, who had just returned 
from murdering the family of the doomed race who resided 
at Skellibost, to take her across in a boat to Skye, offering 
as his reward a large silver brooch, which, however, he 
refused, and which was long preserved among the Morrisons 
descended from her. 

Bethag, with the child, landed in Troternish, and, after 
being nearly captured by Tormod Macleod's followers, 
made her way to Duntulm Castle, where the boy's relative, 
Donald Gorm Macdonald then resided, and, entering the 
hall where the Chief was sitting, she placed the orphan 
at his feet, saying, " There is all that remains of Sliochd 
Ian Mhic Leoid ; to your protection I resign him." Donald 
Gorm most humanely and generously protected and edu- 
cated young Tormod, and gave him the lands of Kings- 
burgh, which continued in his family until he and his 
offspring returned to the Macleod country, when the 
property of Kingsburgh went to Maclan Mhic-Sheumais 

Tormod Macleod joined Donald Gorm Macdonald and 
his race in all their feuds, at one of which he was ultimately 
killed at Inverknockurich, Mull, in an engagement fought 
with the Macleans. 

He married Catherine, daughter of James Macdonald, 
second son of Domhnull Gruamach MacDhomhnuill Ghal- 
laich Macdonald, IV. of Sleat, the founder of the family 
of Kingsburgh, by whom he carried on the Sliochd Ian 
Mhic Leod, having, besides several daughters, three sons — 

I. William Macleod, who returned to the Macleod 
country on the accession of Rory M6r to the Chiefship, 
where he soon after died, having married and had a son, 
William Macleod of Meidle, a man of great abilities, and 
a particular friend of Rory Mor of Dunvegan, who did all 
in his power to repair the injury done to the race of 
Ian a Chuail Bhain ; for, when he executed a deed of 
settlement, he named his own brother Alexander as his heir, 


and, failing him and his heirs, he settled his property 
upon this William Macleod of Meidle and his heirs male. 
William, however, died without issue. 

2. Donald Macleod, who also returned to the Macleod 
country, and resided at Fasach in Waternish, where his 
descendants continued to reside until about 1850, when 
the last of them died. One of them was William Ban 
Macleod, who was a great genealogist. He died at the 
house of William Macleod, of Luskintyre, about 1800. 

3. Alexander Macleod, called Alastair Mor, who also 
returned to the Macleod country, and resided at Leisal, in 
Bhreatal. He married Mary, daughter of Mackinnon of 
Strath, and had three sons — (1) William Macleod, who 
was killed at the battle of Worcester, leaving several sons 
whose descendants are now extinct, the last having been 
Donald Macleod, of Canna, whom Dr. Johnson met when 
in Skye, during his tour to the Hebrides. (2) Alexander 
Macleod, called Alastair Og of Glendale, who was mor- 
tally wounded at the battle of Worcester, where he was 
made prisoner, and died a few days after of his wounds. 
This Alexander became the progenitor of the Macleods 
of Glendale, of whom presently. (3) Donald Macleod, 
known in the history and traditions of the country as 
Donald Glas of Drynoch, progenitor of the family of that 
name, and of whom in their order. The representation 
of all the elder branches descended from Ian a Chuail 
Bhain having become extinct, the male representation of 
his branch devolved on 


The first of whom was — 

I. Alexander Macleod, second son of Alexander 
Macleod of Leisal, the latter of whom was third son 
of Tormod Macleod — the only one of Ian a Chuail 
Bhain's ten sons who escaped the massacre of his race 
on the succession, and at the instance of Tormod, XI. 
of Macleod, as already described. Alexander Og Macleod, 
first of Glendale, married Marsaline, daughter of Macneil 


of Barra, with issue — (i) Alexander, his heir and successor, 
and several younger sons, from whom descended the Mac- 
leods of Feorlig", Vatten, and several minor branches of 
the Clan. 

Alexander, first of Glendale, was succeeded by his eldest 

II. Alexander Macleod, also, like his father, known 
as Alastair Og. When a mere youth, he fought at the 
battle of Worcester, where, along with his father, he was 
taken prisoner. He, however, managed to effect his 
escape on the same day on which his father died. He 
married Flora, daughter of Mackenzie of Gairloch, with 
issue — 

i. Tormod, his heir and successor ; (2) William ; and 
(3) Murdoch. Of both the two younger sons, there are 
many descendants in North Carolina, whither they emi- 

Alexander was succeeded by his eldest son, 

III. Tormod Macleod, who supported James II. with 
several others of the Clan, and was killed at the Battle of 
the Boyne. He married Moire or Marion, daughter of 
Kenneth Campbell of Strond, with issue — 

1. Norman, his successor. 

2. Alexander, who left no issue. 

3. Donald, from whom were descended the Macleods of 
Balmeanach, of whom was Major John Macleod, of the 
Scots Brigade in Holland, who met Dr. Johnson in Skye 
in 1773. 

4. Kenneth, from whom descended the Macleods of 
Arnisdale, Ratagan, etc., and of whom were William 
Macleod, who was alive in 1772, and Donald, who was 
living about 1800. 

Tormod was succeeded by his eldest son — 

IV. Norman MACLEOD, who in early life entered the 
service of the King of Spain, where he attained the rank 
of Colonel. He returned to Scotland with Allan Mac- 
donald of Clanranald, and joined in the Stuart Rising 
in 1715. He was wounded at the battle of Sheriffmuir, 


but afterwards made his escape to France, where he 
resided for several years. He then returned to Scotland, 
but, being detected in another Jacobite plot, was again 
obliged to fly to France, where he died at Sedan. He 
married Rachel, daughter of Allan Macdonald of Ben- 
becula, with issue — 

V. John MACLEOD, who returned to Scotland after 
his father's death, but again left it, and entered the service 
of the Elector of Hesse-Cassel, and died there, having 
attained the rank of Colonel. He married Effrica, daughter 
of Malcolm Macqueen of Flodigarry, with issue — 

1. John Macleod, called "Ian Ban Maclan Mhic Thor- 
moid," who was a Captain in the Scots Brigade in Holland, 
and was killed at the battle of Fontenoy, leaving a son, 
John, who died without issue. 

2. Alexander, who became representative of the family. 

3. Malcolm, who lived at Skirinish, in Skye, where 
he died. His family emigrated to North Carolina. 

4. William, a Captain in the Black Watch, killed in 
Glasgow, in a duel, by Colonel Beresford, without issue. 

John was succeeded as representative of the family by 
his second son, 

VI. Alexander Macleod, who lived in his youth in 
France, where he was much noticed and respected by 
the exiled Stuart family. He afterwards returned to 
Scotland, and settled for a time in Skye, but, having 
engaged in one of the plots to restore the Stuarts, he 
was obliged to return to France. He, however, again 
returned to his native island, and died at a great age at 
Ebost, Isle of Skye. He married, first, in Paris, a Miss 
Humberston, without issue ; and, secondly, Christina, 
daughter of John Macleod, V. of Drynoch, with issue — 

1. John Macleod, his heir. 

2. Alexander, who lived at Bhreatal, in Skye, and whose 
descendants emigrated to America. 

3. Roderick, who was killed at Falkirk in 1745. 

He was succeeded as representative of the family by 

VII. John Macleod, who was brought up at the 



Court of Saint Germains, and was page to the Chevalier 
de St. George. In 1745 he was appointed Aide-de-Camp 
to Prince Charles Edward, when he sailed with him for 
Scotland, and followed him through all his fortunes. He 
was wounded at the battle of Culloden, and was outlawed, 
but he returned by stealth to Skye, where he stayed some 
time. He again went back to France, where he remained 
until he received a Royal pardon. He then returned, with 
broken fortunes and ruined constitution, to his native land, 
and lived on a farm which the Chief of Mackinnon lent 
him; but he emigrated in 1770 to America, where Govern- 
ment gave him a grant of land, and died at the age of 
75 in North Carolina. He married Margaret, daughter 
of Lachlan Macqueen of Totterome, Isle of Skye, with 
issue — 

1. yEneas, who married a Miss Cathcart, and had a son, 
Donald, who died without issue. 

2. William, who became the representative of the family. 

3. Kenneth, who was a Captain in the Royal Army, and 
was killed in America during the War of Independence. 

John was succeeded as representative of the family by 
his second and only surviving son, 

VIII. William MACLEOD, who was attending the 
University of Edinburgh when his father emigrated to 
America, whither he declined to accompany him. He took 
the degree of M.D., and resided in Harris, and died at Bor- 
line, in Skye, on the 10th August, 181 1, aged sixty-one. 
A letter of his, dated 7th June, 1799, and addressed to 
Mr. Campbell Mackintosh, solicitor, Inverness, is doquet- 
ed " Captain Macleod of Glendale." In this letter he says — 
" You wrote me that I could not get a tack without going 
to law. I wrote you in return to give them up Mr. 
Campbell's letter, which I thought would settle all. I love 
peace, yet I must be at law. I observe by the Advertiser 
that the sale of this part is put off. My children are in 
the small pock, which prevents my going south." In 
another letter, dated the same day and addressed to the 
same party, he says — "I am happy to observe you settled 


the rents on the old footing of the old tack. I have no 
idea of ever soliciting another tack, and I dare say I never 
will be offered one." In another letter of the same date 
he forwards a draft for £120 sterling, "to be given William 
Inglis, Provost of Inverness, for his draft on the British 
Linen Company in favour of Mansfield, Ramsay, and 
Company, Bankers, Edinburgh, to be placed to the credit 
of my account." 

He married Isabella, eldest daughter of Alexander Mac- 
leod of Luskintyre, and through her, who had had the lease 
of the farm made over to her by her brother Captain John 
Macleod, he was styled "of Luskintyre." By Isabella 
Macleod he had issue — 

1. Alexander Macleod, who married Eliza, daughter of 
Major Macdonald of Kishorn, and died without issue. 

2. John Macleod, who, at the early age of 21, was 
Physician to the Forces in Spain, and died at Portsmouth 
in 18 14, on his way home, without issue. 

3. Bannatyne William Macleod, M.D., who carried on 
the representation of the family. 

4. Donald Macleod, who entered the 1st Royal Scots 
Regiment of Foot, and was killed in 18 17 while leading 
the Grenadier Company at the battle of Mahidpore, where 
on account of his great height (6 feet 7 inches), his head 
was shot off by a cannon-ball. He married Mary, daughter 
of John Stuart, with issue — Donald Macleod, who was born 
in 18 16. He was educated at Pimlico Grammar School, and 
practised as an Advocate with much success in the Courts 
of Bengal, and especially in Burmah, where he was 
appointed Legal Adviser to the Government. He returned 
to Britain as one of the suite of the Nepaulese Ambassador, 
Jung Bahadur, in 1850. He was a man of great size. In 
1840 he married Caroline, daughter of Richard Millbanke 
Tilghman, of the Bengal Civil Service, and died at Ran- 
goon in 1869, leaving issue — (1) Donald Grant Mac- 
leod, his present representative, who was born in 1842, 
and educated at Cheltenham College, and at Trinity College, 
Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. and LL.B. in 1865, 


M.A. and LL.M. in 1882, and was made LL.D. in 1887. 
He was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of 
the Inner Temple in 1865, and is now Judge of Maulmain, 
Burmah. He married, first, in July, 1873, Julia Gordon, 
younger daughter of the late Walter Snadden, of Maul- 
main, with issue — (a) Marion, who died in 1875 ; (b) 
Morna ; (c) Sheila ; and (d) Fiona, who died in 1884. 
His first wife having died in April, 1884, he married, 
secondly, in November, 1885, Alice May, eldest daughter 
of Francis Limouzin, of Maulmain, with issue — (e) a 
daughter, Muriel. (2) Norman, born in 1844, died in 
1845. (3) Adela Caroline Eliza, who in 1867 married 
John MacNeale Donnelly, of the Indian Medical Service, 
and who is now a Deputy Surgeon-General and C.B. (4) 
Hugh Tilghman, who was born in 1847. He was educated 
at Harrow, afterwards served in the 79th Queen's Own 
Cameron Highlanders, and now resides at Kimberley, 
South Africa. In 1873 he married Mary (who died in 
1887), daughter of John Knight, with issue — (a) Constance 
Mary Hyacinth, who died in 1874 ; (b) Norman Ross, 
born in 1876; and (c) Isabel Mary, who died in 1882. 
(5) Louisa Cary, who died in 1853. (6) Norman Charles, 
who was born in 1850, and educated at Christ's Hospital 
and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar 
by the Inner Temple in 1873, and went out to practice 
his profession in Burmah, where he died the same year. 
(7) Constance Mary Caroline, who in 1871 married Luther 
Marsden, with issue. 

5. Evan Macleod, who entered the H.E.I.C.S., and died 
in India. 

6. Margaret, who married, first, the Rev. Alexander 
Campbell, with issue, and, secondly, Alexander Macleod, 
with issue — a daughter, who married Colonel Richard 
Horsford, with issue. 

William Macleod of Glendale and Luskintyre, was 
succeeded as representative of the family by 

IX. Bannatyne William Macleod, M.D., who 
entered the Indian Medical Service, and rose to be 


Inspector-General of Army Hospitals in Bengal. He 
married, with issue — 

1. Caroline, who married E. H. Morland, of the Bengal 
Civil Service. 

He married, secondly, Louisa, daughter of Harry Taylor, 
of the Bengal Civil Service, with issue — 

2. Harry John Bannatyne, born in 1824. 

3. Frances, who married Colonel Stuart F. Graham, of 
the Bengal Staff Corps, with issue. 

Dr. Bannatyne Macleod died in 1857, when he was 
succeeded, as representative of the family, by his only son, 

X. Harry John Bannatyne Macleod, born in 1824. 
He entered the Royal Artillery, in which he rose to the 
rank of Colonel. He married Christian, daughter of Edward 
Cox, of New South Wales, with issue — 

1. Bannatyne Macleod. 

2. Harry John Macleod, a Lieutenant in the 24th regi- 
ment, South Wales Borderers. 

3. William Bernera Macleod. 

4. Christiana ; and 5, Jane. 

Harry John Bannatyne Macleod died in 1877, when 
he was succeeded, as the present representative of the 
Macleods of Glendale and Luskintyre, by his eldest son, 

XI. Bannatyne Macleod, who was born in i860, 
and entered the Madras Civil Service in 1881. In July, 
1882, he married Morgiana Lilian, daughter of Colonel 
W. N. Wroughton, Madras Staff Corps, with issue — 

1. William Bannatyne Macleod. 

2. Margarita Chamier. 


This family is descended from John Borb, VI. of Macleod, 
by his wife, Margaret, grand-daughter of the Earl of 
Douglas. Malcolm had two sons (twins), first, William, 
who succeeded him, and, second, Tormod or Norman, 
from whom the Macleods of Meidle or Meodle, Glendale, 
Drynoch, Balmeanach, and others. Tormod married a 
daughter of Chisholm of Strathglass, with issue — 

JOHN MACLEOD, progenitor of the families of Meidle 
or Meodle, and of Glendale. He married a niece of 
Roderick Macleod, VII. of the Lewis, with issue — 

Tormod Macleod of Waternish. who married a 
daughter of Fraser of Glenelg, a cadet of the Lovat 
family, with issue — 

John Macleod, known as " Ian a Chuail Bhain'" who 
married Sheila, daughter of Archibald Macdonald of Knock, 
in Sleat, with issue — (i) Tormod, who married a daughter 
of Macdonald of Kintyre, but died before his father, leaving 
issue — three sons, all murdered in their youth by their 
uncle " Ian Dubh." (2) Ian Dubh Macleod of Minginish, 
who afterwards died without issue, in Ireland, a fugitive 
from justice for his many atrocious crimes, many of them 
against his own family and relations. Ian a Chuail Bhain 
had several other sons and daughters, all of whom and 
their families were massacred by order of Norman Mac- 
leod, XI. of Macleod, except the youngest, 

Tormod Macleod, son of Alexander, fourth son of 
Ian a Chuail Bhain, who escaped the massacre of his 
relations and carried on the representation of the family. 
[See Macleods of Meidle and Glendale.] He was 
killed at Inverknockurich, in Mull, in an engagement 


there fought between Donald Gorm Macdonald of Sleat 
and the Macleans. Having- married Katharine, daughter 
of James Macdonald, second son of Domhnull Gruamach 
MacDhomhnuill Ghallaich Macdonald, IV. of Sleat and 
progenitor of the Macdonalds of Kingsburgh, he had 
issue — (1) William Macleod of Meidle. (2) Donald Mac- 
leod, who, and his descendants, resided at Fasach, in 
Waternish, where the last of his representatives died in 
1850. (3) Alexander Macleod, called Alastair Mor, who 
resided at Leisal, in Bhreatal, and married Mary, daughter 
of Mackinnon of Strath, with issue — (1) William Macleod, 
killed at the battle of Worcester, in 1651. (2) Alexander 
Macleod, called "Alastair Og," to distinguish him from 
his father, mortally wounded at the battle of Worcester, 
progenitor of the Macleods of Glendale ; and (3) Donald 
Macleod, known in the history of the country as 

I. Donald Glas Macleod, first of the family of 
Drynoch, one of the most distinguished warriors of his 
day. He was killed at a comparatively early age, at 
Carinish, North Uist, in Rory Mors time, in a feud 
between the Macleods of Harris and Dunvegan and the 
Macdonalds of Sleat. Donald married, with issue, and 
was succeeded by his son, 

II. John Macleod, known among the Highlanders as 
" Ian MacDhomh'uill Ghlais." He married Catherine 
Campbell, with issue — 

1. Alexander, his heir and successor. 

2. A daughter, who married Alexander Macleod, IV. 
of Raasay, with^ issue — Alexander, who carried on the 
representation of that family. 

3. A daughter, who married Ranald or Reginald, X. of 
Glengarry (on record in 1695), with issue, among others, 
the famous warrior, Alastair Dubh, who during his father's 
life fought so bravely at the head of his Clan at the battle 
of Killiecrankie, and afterwards distinguished himself at 
Sheriffmuir, where he was attacked by two English horse- 
men and would have been killed by them were it not for 
the opportune arrival of young Alastair of Drynoch, when 


the two horsemen were quickly disposed of by the two 
Highlanders. Glengarry knew from his dress that his 
deliverer was a Skyeman. He asked his name. The 
reply was an old Gaelic adage. Glengarry was answered 
by an equally quaint old proverb, also in Gaelic, when the 
two recognised each other as relations. Alastair Dubh of 
Glengarry died in 1724, leaving issue, John, who became 
XII. of Glengarry and carried on the representation of that 

4. Margaret, who married John Macleod, VIII. of Gesto, 
with issue. 

5. Catherine, who married William Macleod of Oze and 
Waterstein, who succeeded as II. of Hamer. 

6. Anne, who married Roderick " Mac Ian," of Camus- 
cross, second son of John Macdonald, II. of Castleton, 
from whom the Macdonalds of Tormore are descended. 

John, according to an inscription on a grave-stone in 
the old burying-ground at Drynoch, died in 1688,* when 
he was succeeded by his son, 

III. Alexander Macleod, third of Drynoch. He 
married Margaret Macleod, with issue — 

IV. Norman Macleod, fourth of Drynoch, known 

* The following is a copy of this inscription: — "Here lies the corpse of 
John Macleod of Drynoch, who deceased August, 1688, and of his spouse 
C Campbell. He was the son of Donald Glass Macleod killed at Garnish ; 
also John's son Alexander and his spouse M. Macleod are interred under this 
stone, whose son Norman died in Glenelg, is burried there, as are also 
Norman's son Donald and grandson Norman, all of the farm of Drynoch." 

There is also the following inscription on a gravestone in the same church- 
yard: — " Underneath are the remains of Donald Macdonald Macleod, Lieu- 
tenant, 50th Regiment, Madras I., who died in Drynoch 1837, seventh son 
of Norman Macleod of Drynoch and Alexandrina Macleod of Bernera, whose 
oldest son Donald died in Gravesend, 1824, Captain 78th Regiment and 
Major in the Army. Norman died in Java, 1814, a Captain in the same corps. 
Alexander died in Forres, 1828, a Major in the 12th Regiment B.N.I. John 
died a Captain in 78 Regiment on passage home from Ceylon. Roderick 
William Keir died in Killegray from a hurt received on board the " Belvidera" 
Frigate, on N.A. Station, in which he was midshipman. 

Forbes Brodie died in Madras a Lieut: 12th Regiment N.I. This stone 
is dedicated to the memory of the above named by their sorrowing mother 
and her surviving sons, Martin, late of 27th, 19th, and 25th Regiments, now of 
Drynoch, and Charles, now of Glendulochan. 1839." 


among his countrymen as " Tormod Mor." He removed 
to the farm of Ellanriach, Glenelg, about the end of the 
seventeenth or the beginning of the eighteenth century, 
he having been sent there by his Chief, Macleod of 
Macleod, to keep order on that portion of his estates, 
which was exposed to the raids of the Lochaber cattle-lifters 
of those days, and often "spoiled" by them. In consequence 
of his position here he became known as " Tormod nam 
Mart," or Norman of the Cows. He built a good house 
at Ellanriach, where his family afterwards resided, and the 
old house at Drynoch was allowed to fall into decay. 
Norman married a Miss Ross, with issue — 

1. Norman Og, who was killed in the wars of Germany. 
He died before his father, unmarried. 

2. John, who succeeded his father. 

3. Alexander, who married Penelope, daughter of Mac- 
kinnon of Mackinnon, with issue, Norman, who died young 
and unmarried, and a daughter, Penelope, who married 
the Rev. Kenneth Macaulay, grand-uncle to the celebrated 
Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay. Alexander died before 
his brother John. 

4. Anne, who married John Stewart, Inverness, from 
whom was descended Lieutenant-General Sir John Stewart, 
who in 1806 commanded at the battle of Maida, and his 
more distinguished namesake, Major-General Sir Donald 
Stewart, Commander-in-Chief in India during the late 
Abyssinian War. 

Norman married, secondly, a Miss M. Mackenzie, with 
issue — 

5. Donald, who succeeded his brother John in the lands 
of Drynoch. 

6. Roderick, D.D., who was born in 1755, and died in 
1846. He took Holy Orders in the Church of England, 
and was for forty years rector of St. Anne's Church, 
Soho, London. He married a sister of Admiral Middle- 
ton, a cadet of the family of the old Earls of Middleton 
and Gainsborough, with issue — (1) George Macleod, who 
died unmarried. (2) The Rev. Charles Macleod, who 


also died unmarried. (3) Norman Macleod, of the Bengal 
Civil Service, who, born in 1784, married in 1809 Eleanora- 
Sophia, daughter of George Dennis, and sister of the late 
General George Dennis of the Bengal Horse Artillery, 
with issue, in addition to several children who died young, 
(a) Norman Chester Macleod, of the Bengal Engineers, 
who served under Durand in Cabul, where he took the 
leading part in blowing up the gates of Guznee in 1839. 
He married with issue — a daughter, Marie, who married 
Mr. Pugh, of Wales. Norman Chester Macleod died in 
1875. (b) George Macleod, who was Field Engineer of 
the Scinde Force. He died in 1839. (c) William Emond- 
stone Macleod, now a retired Major-General of the Bombay 
Army, married, with issue, George Macleod, who died in 
1883. (d) Helen Macleod, who married Mr. Hodgson ; 
and (e) Alexandra, who died in 1854. (4) Arthur, in the 
Royal Navy. (5) Jessie. (6) Wilhelmina. (7) Margaret 
Gambier, who married her cousin, Roderick Macleod, 
M.D., of London, a member of the Talisker family. 

7. Flora, who married Archibald Macdonell, son of the 
famous Colla Ban Macdonell of Barisdale, while he was 
in hiding after the battle of Culloden. She afterwards 
lived with him for several years in prison in Edinburgh, 
and had issue — one son, Coll, who became fourth of Baris- 
dale, and two daughters, Flora, who married Donald 
Macleod, of Ratagan, and Catherine, who married Mr. 
Robertson, a Glasgow merchant, with issue — General 
Robertson, and one daughter, unmarried. The widow, 
Flora Macleod of Drynoch, survived her husband, Archibald 
Macdonell, who died before 1790, upwards of twenty-five 
years, dying at an advanced age, at Achtertyre, Lochalsh, 
in the beginning of February, 18 15. 

8. Penelope, who married Olaus Macleod, Scallisaig, 
Glenelg, with issue, Olaus, who married without issue ; 
and several daughters, some of whose descendants are still 

Tormod Mor died in 1748 and was buried, as were also 
his son Donald and his grandson Norman, in Glenelg, 


where in the churchyard the following inscription is cut 
on his tomb : — 

Normano Macleod de Drynoch, 
viro inter suos primario ; inter alienos laudalissimo ; spectate 
fidei ; hospitalitatis exemplo ; inopum atque infelicium asylo ; 
homini ad amicitiam nato, parenti dulcissimo ; de omnibus 
bene ; de liberis optime merito ; Donaldus filius lubentissime 
posuit anno aerae vulgaris, 


He was succeeded by his second and eldest surviving son, 
V. JOHN MACLEOD, fifth of Drynoch and second of 
Ellanriach, a most accomplished man, and an excellent 
poet. He was on the most intimate terms with Sir 
Alexander Macdonald of Sleat, who died in 1746. On 
that occasion John Macleod composed the following to 
Sir Alexander's memory — 

He said, who dwells in uncreated light, 

Let Art and Nature by their skill and might 

To form a model for the human kind, 

A body faultless and a faultless mind. 

Obedient Nature summoned all her force, 

And Art, indulgent, opened every source, 

The rival Sisters all their gifts prepare, 

And grant their hero more than mortal share ; 

My dear Macdonald was that very man ; 

Let Malice point one blemish if she can. 

Great, good, and regular his every part, 

His form majestic, God-like was his heart, 

No sordid passion harboured in his breast, 

A place too sacred for so mean a guest. 

His honour spotless ; sacred was his word — 

His friend was master of his purse and sword, 

His acts of goodness envious tongues must tell 

Were such as few can equal, none excel. 

In all things just, with knowledge most refined, 

Polite his manner, easy, unconfined 

He's gone in bloom of youth, O, sad decree, 

Lost to the world, Alas ! and lost to me. 

Drynoch married, with issue — 

1. Marion, who married Charles Og Mackinnon, first of 

2. Christina, who, as his second wife, married Alexander, 
VI. of Glendale, with issue. 


John was succeeded, at his death, by his next surviving 

VI. Donald Macleod, sixth of Drynoch and third of 
Ellanriach, who, in 1745, then a youth, was left in charge 
of the Glenelg Militia. It is said that the first intimation 
he had of the battle of Culloden having been fought and 
lost was the arrival of his brother John during the night, 
mounted on the fully accoutred charger of an English 
dragoon, which was before morning, sent off in charge 
of a faithful retainer, and put into the morass of Gleannan, 
to avoid detection. 

Donald married Catherine, sister of the Rev. Hugh 
Munro, minister of Uig, Lewis, and representative of the 
Munros of Eriboll, Sutherlandshire, with issue — 

1. Norman, his heir and successor. 

2. Jessie, who married Captain Macleod of Stein, a 
natural son of Norman Macleod, XIX. of Macleod, and 
was drowned shortly after her marriage in the Bay of 

3. Anne, who married the Rev. Colin Maciver, minister 
of Glenelg, with issue. 

4. Marion, who married Angus Shaw, with issue. 
Donald was succeeded by his only son, 

VII. Norman Macleod, seventh of Drynoch and last 
of Ellanriach. When Macleod of Macleod sold the estate 
of Glenelg to Mr. Bruce, a London merchant, Norman 
foreseeing the rise in rents, and the changes which must 
take place in the circumstances of the people owing to 
the rage, which was then daily increasing, for the creation 
of -large sheep-farms, advised the small tenants to emigrate 
in a body to Canada, while they could do so comfortably 
and in fairly good circumstances, in consequence of the 
high prices they could at that time obtain for their cattle. 
Most of the people took his advice. He had resolved to 
accompany them, but by the persuasion of friends he was 
led to change his mind, and remained at home. He after- 
wards took the farm of Knock, in Sleat, Isle of Skye, where 
he died in 1828, and was buried in the churchyard of Glenelg. 


He married Alexandrina, eldest daughter of the famous 
Donald Macleod of Bernera, by his third marriage, with 
issue, nine sons and six daughters — 

i. Donald Macleod, his heir and successor. He was a 
Captain in the 78th Highlanders, and Major in the 
army ; was present at Assaye ; commanded the Grenadier 
Company at the storming of Fort-Cornelius and Terquarta 
in Java. He was favourably mentioned in Sir S. Auch- 
murty's dispatches. He married a daughter of Sir Berners 
Plaistow, of London, with issue — Norman Berners, married, 
with issue ; and Alexander Nixon, both of whom died in 
America. He died at Gravesend in 1824. 

2. Norman Macleod, a Captain in the 78th Highlanders. 
He was present at the taking of Cape of Good Hope, 
at several actions in India, and at the taking of Java, 
where he died unmarried in 18 14. 

3. Alexander Macleod, a Major in the 12th Regiment, 
Bengal Native Infantry. He commanded the Cuttac 
Legion, 10,000 strong of all arms, and saw much active 
service in Bengal. He volunteered and was present at 
the capture of Java and was for several years Resident 
at Souraheya and Bangi Wangi. He married Louisa, 
daughter of Henry Brown, of the Indian Civil Service, 
a cadet of the family of Oranmore and Brown, with issue 
— (1) Eneas Henry, who died young ; (2) Alexandrina 
Eliza, who married her cousin, Henry William White of 
Monar and Lentran, with issue — (a) Henry Lewis White, 
who, on the death of his cousin, William Henry Langford 
Brooke, of Mere Hall, Cheshire, succeeded to his property, 
and assumed the name of Langford Brooke. He married 
Leslie, daughter of F. Hanbury Williams, of Coldbrook, 
Monmouthshire, with issue, one daughter. (b) Norman. 
(c) Montague, (d) Charles Reelster. (e) William Princep. 
(/) Christina, who married James Princep, of the Indian 
Civil Service, with issue, one son and four daughters, (g) 
Catherine, who married James Grant Peterkin, of Grange 
Hall, Morayshire, with issue, three sons and one daughter. 
(h) Edith. (3) Catherine Mary, who married, first, Thomas 


Langford Brook, of Mere Hall, Cheshire, with issue — one 
son, William Henry Lang-ford, who died at the age of 
thirty two, unmarried, leaving his estate, on his mother's 
death, to his cousin, Henry Lewis White, son of Henry 
William White of Monar and Lentran. She married, 
secondly, the Hon. George Keane, Admiral, R.N., without 
issue. (4) Louisa Fanny Sybella, who, as his second wife, 
married ./Eneas Mackintosh, younger of Mackintosh, late 
of Daviot, with issue — Alexander, who married Annie, 
daughter of S. Barkley, of the Indian Civil Service, with 
issue, four sons and one daughter ; JEneas Henry, acci- 
dentally shot in 1872, at the age of nineteen ; Lewis, who 
died young ; Duncan Houston ; Mary Marion, who married 
Charles Granville, eldest son of Sir Arthur Kekewich, a 
judge in Chancery, with issue ; Louisa Caroline Campbell, 
who died young in 1872; Charlotte Eva; and Alexandra 
Graham, who married Robert Charles, son of John Graham- 
Campbell of Shirvan, Argyleshire, with issue. (5) Chris- 
tina Rebecca. Major Alexander Macleod died at Forres 
in 1828. 

4. John Macleod, a Captain in the 78th Highlanders, 
with whom he served in Java, Bengal, and Ceylon. He 
also served with the Royals at Flushing. He died on 
his way home from Ceylon. 

5. Martin Donald Macleod, who served in Moira's 
Regiment, the 27th, in Spain and the south of France, for 
which he received a medal and four clasps — Nive, Nivelle, 
Orthes, and Toulouse; in Canada in 18 14; and in the 
north of France in 18 15. He also served in the 79th 
Cameron Highlanders, in the Army of Occupation, and 
was with the 25th Regiment in the West Indies.' He 
married Jane, youngest daughter of H. Fry of Frybrook, 
County Roscommon, Ireland, with issue — (1) Norman 
Torquil, who married in 1857 his cousin, Margaret Baker, 
daughter of Henry Fry of Frybrook, with issue — (a) 
Martin Donald Macleod, born in 1861, and now in the 
north-west of Canada. He married in December, 1888, 
Mary, daughter of Dr. Hillary, Aurora, Ontario, Canada. 


(b) Norman Torquil ; (c) William Baldwin ; (d) Henry Fry ; 
(e) Robert Roe ; (/) James Farquharson ; (g) Elizabeth 
Jane Muriella, who, in 1887, married Walter Dick ; (k) Mar- 
garet Jane Anne, who married Christopher Conway, son of 
J. Beverley Robinson, late Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, 
with issue; and (i) Alexa. Mackenzie. Norman Torquil died 
in October, 1885. (2) Henry Augustine Fitzgerald, Civil 
Engineer in Canada, who married Emily, daughter of 
E. Murney of Belville, Canada, with issue, a daughter, who 
died young. (3) James Farquharson, Lieutenant-Colonel, 
and late Commissioner of the Mounted Police of Canada ; 
and was created a C.M.G. for services rendered at the Red 
River Expedition. He is now a judge in the North-west 
Territory of the Canadian Dominion. He married Mary 
Drever, Winnipeg, with issue — one son and four daughters 
— Norman Torquil, Helen Rothery, Mary and Roma 
(twins), and Jane. (4) The Rev. Donald John Forbes, 
Rector of Hope-in-Worthen, Shropshire, who married 
Mary, daughter of Thomas Fuller, D.D., Bishop of Niagara, 
with issue — Mary Elizabeth, who married John, son of the 
late Hon. John Ross of Devonport, Toronto ; Alexa. Mac- 
kenzie, Margaret Baldwin, and Flora Abigail. (5) Elizabeth 
Alexandrina, who married, first, the Rev. W. Greig, and, 
secondly, the Rev. T. H. M. Bartlett, without issue. (6) 
Alexandrina Barbara, who married the late Hugh Munro 
Mackenzie of Distington, Whitehaven, son of the late John 
Mackenzie, a cadet of the family of Letterewe, sometime 
Sheriff of the Lewis, with issue — Martin Edward, born 
1863; Hugh Munro Macleod ; Christina Elizabeth; Jane 
Macleod ; and Catherine Marion Munro. (7) Catherine 
Munro, who married the Rev. J. Digges Latouche, with 
issue — William Martin, born 1854, and married Lucy, 
daughter of Canon Hockin of Phillack ; James Norman ; 
Thomas; Mary Alexa.; and Grace. (8) Margaret Fry, 
who married the late W. A. Baldwin of Mashquoteh, 
Ontario, with issue — Martin Donald, born in i860, and died 
unmarried in 1884 ; Lawrence Heyden ; Norman Mac- 
leod ; Charles Macleod ; John Macleod ; Jane Macleod, 


who married Martin Grahame ; Elizabeth Alexandrina 
Macleod ; Anna Maria Macleod ; and Margaret Macleod. 
Martin Donald Macleod emigrated to Canada in 1845, 
where he died at Drynoch, Ontario, in 1863. His widow 
died in 1887. 

6. Roderick William Keir Macleod, a midshipman on 
board the frigate Belvidera, commanded by Captain Byron, 
when she was attacked on the North American Station 
by the Americans in 18 12, on which occasion Roderick 
Macleod received a contusion from the falling rigging, 
from the effects of which he soon afterwards died at 

7. Donald Macdonald Macleod, a Lieutenant in the 
50th Regiment, Madras Native Infantry. He died, un- 
married, at Drynoch, in 1837. 

8. Charles Macleod, of Glendulochan, who married Anna- 
bella, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Downie, minister of 
Lochalsh, with issue — one son, Alexander, who died 
unmarried, in 1869. Charles Macleod married, secondly, 
Margaret Cowie, with issue — one son, Norman Charles, 
now in Canada, and three daughters. 

9. Forbes Brodie Macleod, a Lieutenant in the 12th 
Regiment, Madras Native Infantry. He died, unmarried, 
in Madras, in 1828. 

10. Kate, who married Daniel Reid, Commander of the 
Prince Ernest Augustus Royal cruiser. He had the farm 
of Holm, near Stornoway. Afterwards, when he retired 
from sea, he took a lease of the farm of Ellanriach, Glenelg. 
Commander Reid had issue — (1) David, who married Jane, 
daughter of Major Macqueen, with issue — four children, 
of whom one survives. (2) John Alexander, who married 
Jessie, a daughter of Adam Scott, of Tullich, with issue — 
four sons and one daughter. He died at New Kelso, 
Lochcarron, in 1863. (3) Norman, who died unmarried. 
(4) Donald Hugh, tacksman of Knoydart, who married 
Kate, eldest daughter of Captain D. Macdonald of Ostaig, 
Isle of Skye, and of the 42nd Highlanders (Black Watch), 
without issue. (5) Alexa, who married her cousin, Dr. 


James Mackenzie, of Liverpool, youngest son of John 
Mackenzie, Stornoway, and III. of Lochend, without issue. 
She died at Homburg in 1887. (6) Barbara Margaret, 
who, in 1 84 1, married, as his second wife, Alexander Mac- 
kinnon of Corrie, Isle of Skye, with issue — of whom three 
sons and three daughters survive. (7) Charlotte Isabella, 
who married Dr. Alexander Macrae, of the Indian Medical 
Service, a cadet of the family of Inverinate, with issue — 
three children, of whom one son and one daughter survive. 
(8) Louisa Marion, who married Colonel Campbell, with 
issue — two children, of whom one daughter survives. 

n. Christina, who married Charles Gordon, of Greeshop 
(son of W. Gordon of Edintore and Greeshop), with issue 
— (1) Alexander Norman, of Bromley, Secretary to Sir 
Anthony Oliphant, Chief Justice of Ceylon. He died 
unmarried. (2) John Lewis, of Wavendon, Ceylon, who 
married Georgina, daughter of Rev. Charles Grant, Kin- 
gussie, with issue — Charles, Norman George, John Lewis 
Randolph, Cosmo Moray, Ronald Stewart, Torquil Mac- 
Leod, Christina Eliza, Georgina Mary, and Fanny. (3) 
Elizabeth Anne, who married W. Grieve of Branxholme 
Park, with issue — William James, who died unmarried ; 
Charles, of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, married, with issue ; 
Thomas, late of the Dragoon Guards (Carabineers) ; and 
Christina, who married Colonel Wheatley Robertson, of the 
Madras Civil Service, with issue. (4) Hannah, who married 
Captain T. H. Hull, of the Madras Fusiliers, son of William 
Hull of Marpool Hall, Devonshire, without issue. (5) 
Alexandrina Jane, who married, first, David Hay of Wester- 
ton, Morayshire, Captain, 6th Madras Cavalry, without issue. 
She married, secondly, James Wilkinson Gordon of Cairness, 
Aberdeenshire, with issue — Charles Thomas Gordon, now 
of Cairness, who married his cousin, Flora Emmeline Mary 
Hanmer ; Randolph, Norman Lismoir Gordon, Theodore 
James Gordon, Alexandrina Mary, and Hilda Marion. 
(6) Marion Louisa, who died in childhood. (7) Mary Anne 
Catherine, who married, first, Colonel Charles Campbell, 
of the 39th Regiment, without issue, and, secondly, 



Colonel F. H. Hanmer, of the Bengal army, Cantonment 
Magistrate of Allahabad, with issue — Walden Henry John 
Hanmer ; Norman Gordon Whichcote Hanmer ; and Flora 
Emmeline Mary. (8) Christina Jessie, who married 
Alexander Ogilvie, of the Madras Civil Service, son of 
William Ogilvie of Chesters, Roxburghshire. (9) Thomas 
Charlotte, who died in infancy. 

12. Jessie, who married Thomas Gillespie, of Ardachy, 
with issue — (1) Thomas, an officer in the Madras Army, 
who died unmarried. (2) John, a Colonel in the Bengal 
Army, who also died unmarried. (3) Norman John ; and 
(4) Charles Gordon, both of whom survive. (5) Sophia 
Catherine, who married Archibald Adam, Glasgow, with 
issue — Thomas Gillespie ; Frederick Archibald, Captain, 
40th Regiment, who married Florence, daughter of Colonel 
Watson, of the Bengal Cavalry ; and Sophia Alexandra. 
(6) Alexa Marion Macleod, who, in 1857,- as his second wife, 
married Duncan Cameron, of Inverailort, Adjutant of the 
42nd Highlanders (Black Watch), with issue — Christian 
Helen Jane, who, in 1888, married James Head of New- 
berries ; and Frances Alexandra. (7) Christina Mary. 
(8) Marion Isabella Jessie, who married General John 
Alfred Brereton, of the Bengal Staff, with issue — Randall 
Archange, John Gillespie, Charles Macleod, Frances 
Marion Emma, Rosalin Nina, Mary Lloyd, and Amy 

13. Sibella, unmarried. 

14. Marion, who died young. 

15. Jamesina Fraser, who married the Rev. John Mac- 
rae, minister of Glenelg, with issue — two sons and four 
daughters, (1) John, Deputy Commissioner at Rangoon, 
Burmah, who married Elizabeth Fraser, daughter of John 
Dunbar, a Glasgow and Valparaiso merchant, with issue. 

(2) Norman James, a missionary at Madras, who married 
Jessie, fourth daughter of John Junor, M.D., Peebles. 

(3) Alexa, who married Hugh Bogle, W.S., Glasgow, with 
issue. (4) Madeline Charlotte, who married the Rev. Colin 
Campbell, minister of Lyne, Peebleshire. (5) Forbes ; and 


(6) Catherine Christina Sibella ; both residing at Heath- 
mount, Inverness. 

Norman, as already stated, died in 1828, at Knock, 
Isle of Skye, when — his eldest son, Donald, having pre- 
deceased him in 1824 — he was succeeded as representative 
of the family by his grandson, 

VIII. Norman Berners Macleod. He emigrated 
to America, where he married and left issue, but we have 
not been able to trace any of his children. His eldest 
son, if alive, would now be the male representative of 
the Macleods of Drynoch. Failing surviving male issue 
of Norman Berners, the representation of the family would 
devolve upon Norman Torquil, eldest son of Martin 
Donald, fifth son of Norman Mor Macleod, VII. of 


I. Sir Roderick Macleod, the first of this family, 
was the second son of the famous Sir Roderick Mor 
Macleod, XIII. of Macleod, by his wife Isabel, daughter 
of Donald Macdonald, VIII. of Glengarry. On the death 
of his brother John, XIV. of Macleod, Roderick of Talisker 
became Tutor to John's son, Roderick the Witty, then a 
minor. In this capacity he was for many years de facto 
Chief of the Clan, and at their head took a prominent 
part in the struggle between King Charles and Oliver 
Cromwell. It has been already seen in the account of 
the MACLEODS OF DUNVEGAN, that when Charles came 
to Scotland in 1650, he issued a proclamation calling the 
Scottish people to his standard. In response to this call, 
Roderick of Talisker raised a regiment numbering seven 
hundred men, nearly all of his own name and clan. With 
these, he soon joined the King's army, and afterwards sent 
his brother t Lieutenant-Colonel Norman of Bernera, back 
to the Isles to raise another three hundred men, so as to 
bring the regiment up to a thousand. Norman found 
little difficulty in raising the men, but he had no arms to 
give them, and Talisker had to grant his personal bond 
to John Bunkle, then Commissary, before the necessary 
weapons could be obtained. This obligation afterwards 
brought Talisker into trouble, for, during the Common- 
wealth, the bond was assigned to a William MacCulloch, 
who did everything in his power to enforce it against 
Talisker by legal diligence. The proceedings were, how- 
ever, ultimately suspended, but it was only in 1661, after 
the Restoration, that Colonel Macleod was relieved of it 
by Act of Parliament. 

Roderick Macleod of Talisker and his brother, Norman 


of Bernera, accompanied Charles II. at the head of their 
regiment to the disastrous battle of Worcester in 165 1, 
where the Macleods were almost to a man cut to pieces ; 
and the few of them who escaped alive were taken prisoners 
and afterwards transported, as white slaves, to the South 
Carolina plantations. Talisker managed to effect his escape, 
and after concealing himself for a short time in England, 
he, in various disguises, succeeded in finding his way to 
the Isle of Skye, leaving his brother Norman a prisoner 
of war behind him, awaiting trial for his life. How the 
latter ultimately escaped will be told in our account of 
the MACLEODS OF Bernera. In 1653, Norman was 
sent as a special envoy from the Highland Chiefs to 
King Charles, and he brought back a message from His 
Majesty to his faithful Highlanders, which was addressed 
to Macleod of Talisker. This document, dated Chantilly 
the 31st of August, 1653, contained the most kindly ex- 
pressions and grateful acknowledgments for the services 
rendered to the Royal cause by Roderick Macleod of 
Talisker and his brother Highlanders. Charles expressed 
his determination to reward him for these services, and 
for his cheerfulness in concurring in and conducting that 
good work upon which the King's interest, and the honour 
and liberty of the country and the preservation of the 
whole nobility and gentry at the time so much depended. 

When General Middleton's army was defeated by General 
Morgan at Lochgarry, a Council of War was held at which 
it was decided that no more could then be done for the 
Royal cause, whereupon the Highland army was dissolved, 
and General Middleton, accompanied by Dalziel, Drum- 
mond, and several other officers, retired to Dunvegan, 
under the protection of the Macleods, while others followed 
Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel to Lochaber. During the 
winter, Sir Ewen accompanied his guests to Dunvegan 
Castle, where several of the leading Highland Chiefs 
attended to meet him. A Council was held, when it was 
decided that they should submit, before they were com- 
pletely ruined, and make the best terms they could with 


Cromwell's lieutenants ; for Charles was now quite unable 
to support them with any money, men, or arms. It had 
been previously intimated to the Highland leaders through 
secret sources, that if they laid down their arms, they 
would be restored to their fortunes and estates, and, with 
this knowledge, they agreed to submit. 

The Royalist commanders were well received and hospi- 
tably entertained at Dunvegan Castle. Talisker's loyalty 
and sufferings were well known to them, and before leaving, 
they decided to acknowledge his services and the fidelity 
of his family and Clan, by placing them formally on record, 
and by recommending him to the King, in the following 
terms : — 

" Seeing it is incumbent on us to do whatsoever may 
tend to the honour, safety, and advantage of those whose 
signally loyal and faithful adherence to His Majesty's service 
have deserved, we do hereby testify and declare, that this 
noble gentleman, Colonel Roderick Macleod, hath not 
only given singular proof of his fidelity, prudence, con- 
duct, valour, and industry in His Majesty's service, and 
suffered much for it in former times, as is no less known 
to His Majesty than to us ; but having been at expense, 
charges, and pains, and chiefly instrumental and active in 
the enlivening and promoting this late undertaking, hath 
in the progress of it behaved himself with such clear 
honour, integrity, discretion, constancy, and gallant resolu- 
tion on all occasions, as became a person of eminent 
worth, dignity and virtue ; having not only transcended 
others in the common duty of a loyal subject and a good 
commander, but also performed many particular and im- 
portant offices, in order to the continuance of His Majesty's 
service, and advantage of his affairs, which are hardly to 
be paralleled ; and whatever may have been the miscarriages 
of any person or persons to the prejudice of His Majesty's 
service, and those that are concerned in it, we do, upon 
our certain knowledge likewise declare, that the said Colonel 
Roderick Macleod is not only absolutely freed from any 
accession to it, and untainted with it, but also hath been 
principally instrumental in frustrating all designs and 
attempts undertaken to our prejudice, and author of our 
preservation ; by all which he hath not only deserved that 
his deportment should by us be duly represented to His 
Majesty, but that they should be suitably rewarded, and 


his honour and merit made manifest to the world ; and 
we do hereby likewise not only allow and authorize, but 
do most earnestly desire him to apply himself to such 
courses as may be most expedient for his safety and 
preservation, by private address, capitulation or otherwise. 
In testimony whereof we have signed and sealed these 
presents at Dunvegan, the last day of March, 1655. 
(Signed), John Middleton ; Dalyell ; W. Drummond." 

From this date until the Restoration, Roderick Macleod 
of Talisker lived quietly at home. When Charles II. 
returned to London, Roderick proceeded there to meet 
him, when he was most graciously received and had, along 
with his brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Norman, who accom- 
panied him, the honour of knighthood conferred upon 
him, in acknowledgment of his splendid services to the 
Royal cause during the Commonwealth. This was all the 
reward he ever received, notwithstanding the promises which 
had been so freely made to him during the King's exile. 

Sir Roderick married first, a daughter of Donald Mac- 
kay, first Lord Reay, with issue — an only daughter, who 
died young. 

He married, secondly, Mary, eldest daughter of Sir 
Lachlan Mackinnon of Mackinnon, with issue — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Magnus, who died before his father, unmarried. 

3. Isabel, who, as his first wife, married Donald Mac- 
lean, X. of Coll, with issue — Hector Maclean, who carried 
on the representation of the family. 

Roderick died at a very advanced age in 1675, when 
he was succeeded by his eldest and only surviving son, 

II. John Macleod, second of Talisker, who married 
Janet, the only child of Alexander Macleod, younger of 
Greshornish (who died before his father), with issue — 

1. Donald, his heir and successor. 

2. Margaret, who married Roderick Macleod, first of 
Ulinish, with issue. 

3. Another daughter. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

III. Donald Macleod, third of Talisker, who married 


Christiana, daughter of John Macleod, II. of Contullich, 
with issue — 

i. John, his heir and successor, born in 1718. 

2. Magnus, Lieutenant-Colonel in Colonel Campbell's 
regiment of Highlanders, who succeeded his brother John 
as representative of the family. 

3. Roderick Macleod, who was born in 1727, was in 
1749 appointed Professor of Philosophy at, and afterwards 
Principal of King's College, Aberdeen. He married 
Isabella, daughter of Dr. Christie, of Baberton, and died 
in November, 18 15, leaving issue — (1) Archibald Macleod, 
who died in infancy. (2) Donald Macleod, a Captain in 
the Bengal Artillery, who died at sea off the Mauritius, 
on his way home for his health, unmarried. (3) John 
Macleod, a Captain in the Bombay Engineers, A.D.C., 
and Persian Interpreter to the Hon. Mount-Stuart Elphin- 
stone, when he was Governor of Bombay. He afterwards 
appointed Captain Macleod to be Resident and Political 
Agent at Bushire, where he died, unmarried, in 1824. (4) 
Roderick Macleod, M.D., a celebrated London physician, 
who married Margaret Gambier, daughter of the Rev. 
Roderick Macleod, D.D., of the family of Drynoch, and 
for forty years rector of St. Anne's Church, Soho, London, 
with issue — (a) Major-General Roderick Bannatyne Mac- 
leod. He was born in 1823 and died in 1S81. He was 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the 21st Hussars for many years 
in India, and married Amelia, daughter of Colonel William 
Benson of the Indian Army, with issue — Roderick William 
Macleod, a Captain in the Bengal Staff Corps, and now 
in the 29th Punjaub Native infantry ; Norman Redmond 
Macleod, who died young ; Jessie Macleod, who also died 
young ; and Alice < Macleod, who married Major Evan 
Bruce-Gardyne, of the Indian army, younger son of Mr. 
Bruce-Gardyne, of Middleton, Forfarshire,, with issue — one 
son and two daughters, Florence Anne Macleod and Esther 
Isabel Macleod. (b) The Rev. John George Macleod, at 
present a priest at Wigan. (e) Jessie Macleod, who married 
James Augustus Sinclair, C.A., and agent for the Bank 


of Scotland in Aberdeen, male representative of the Sin- 
clairs of Durran, Caithness, with issue — four sons and four 
daughters. (5) Christina, who married Dr. Hugh Mac- 
pherson, Sub-Principal and Professor of Greek in King's 
College, Aberdeen, with issue — six sons and seven daughters, 
(a) William, a barrister, who married Diana Johnston, 
with issue — three sons and five daughters; (b) John, M.D., 
Inspector-General of Army Hospitals, who married C. 
M. Staples, daughter of Sir N. Staples, Baronet, with 
issue — two sons; {c) Hugh Martin, Inspector-General of 
Army Hospitals, unmarried ; (d) Major-General Roderick 
Donald, who married L. Chapman, with issue — two sons 
and two daughters ; (e) Norman, Sheriff of Roxburghshire 
and ex-Professor of Scots Law, Edinburgh, who married 
G. G. Thomson ; (f) Sir Arthur George, K.C.S.I., Secretary 
of the Judicial Department of the Council of India, who 
married Frances Martin, with issue — four sons and two 
daughters ; (g) Isabella, unmarried ; (h) Anne Maria, un- 
married ; (2) Elizabeth, who died unmarried; (J) Christina, 
who married M. P. Edgworth, of the Bengal Civil Service, 
with issue — one daughter ; (k) Jessie, who married Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel James Young, with issue — five daughters ; 
(/) Margaret, unmarried ; (m) Lucy Jane, who married 
Lieutenant-General J. J. Macleod Innes, V.C., with 
issue — three sons and three daughters. (6) Isabella, 
who married Colonel Arthur Forbes, youngest son of 
Sir Arthur Forbes of Craigievar, with issue — one son 
and three daughters. (7) Anne, who died unmarried. 
(8) Jessie, who died young. (9) Margaret, who married 
Colonel George Thomas Gordon, of the H.E.I.C.S., with 
issue — four daughters, Isabella Anne, who married Assis- 
tant-Surgeon Charles Lumsden, of the 8th Hussars. He 
died in India at an early age, leaving issue — three daughters. 
Colonel Gordon's second daughter, Margaret Sarah, is 
unmarried. His third, Matilda Christina, married Horace 
Powell Cotton of Queen Park, Isle of Thanet ; and the 
fourth, Georgina Jessie, married James Nicol Macadam, 
grandson of Sir James Macadam. 


4. Norman Macleod, Captain-Lieutenant in the regiment 
of light-armed Infantry in North America, and one of the 
Superintendents of the American Indians. 

5. Janet, who married Hugh Maclean, XIII. of Coll, 
with issue — several other sons and daughters. 

6. Isabel, who married Hector Maclean of the Isle of 

Donald Macleod, third of Talisker, was succeeded by 
his eldest son, 

IV. John Macleod, fourth of Talisker, who was an 
officer in the Dutch Army. He was brought up to the 
medical profession, but in 1745 he joined one of the 
Independent Companies raised in that year by his Chief, 
Norman Macleod, XIX. of Macleod ; and it was he who, 
in the following year, arrested Flora Macdonald for the 
noble part she had taken in securing the escape of Prince 
Charles from the Western Isles, after the battle of Cul- 
loden. He took an active part on the same side as his 
Chief. In a letter written by Macleod of Macleod, from 
Dunvegan Castle, to Lord President Forbes, under date 
23rd October, 1745, he says — "By the end of next week, 
Talisker, who has just got a son, will be ready to move, 
and I will by that time have a body of 300 men so dis- 
posed here that they can move on a day's notice." He 
afterwards joined the Scots Brigade in Holland, and in 
the army of that country rose to the rank of Lieutenant- 
Colonel, after which he returned to the Isle of Skye, and 
settled for the remainder of his life at Talisker. 

Thomas Pqnnant, during his tour in 1772, accompanied 
by the Rev. John Lightfoot, author of the Flora Scotica, 
and the Rev. John Stewart of Killin, called at Talisker, 
where they were received "with the utmost hospitality." 
Colonel Macleod showed them a claymore, " or great two- 
handed sword," having a blade three feet seven inches 
long, with a handle fourteen inches, and weighing six and 
a half pounds. During this visit, Talisker presented Peri- 
nant with a brazen sword found in Skye, of a kind common 
to the Romans, Scandinavians, and ancient Britons, and 


probably used by the early Danish inhabitants of the 
island. Pennant and his companions found no less than 
fifteen different waterfalls within a quarter of a mile of the 
house, and they also saw Cuchullin's well, "said to have 
been the favourite spring- of that ancient hero ;" drank 
out of it, and found the water admirable. 

Dr. Johnson, who met Talisker at Raasay, in 1773, de- 
scribes him as "a very genteel man," and belonging to "a 
faithful branch of the family " of Macleod. When leaving 
Raasay, on Sunday, 12th of September, 1773, Colonel 
Macleod, accompanied by his Chief, preceded Dr. 
Johnson in a boat for Sconser on their way to Dun- 
vegan, whither he followed them next day, after spending 
the night at Kingsburgh House and sleeping in the same 
bed in which Prince Charles Edward slept during his 
wanderings, after Culloden, in the Isle of Skye. On his 
arrival, Dr. Johnson was received by the wife of the Chief, 
who, with Talisker, had been detained on his way from 
Sconser, and only arrived some time after the doctor and 
his companion, Mr. Boswell. Here they were joined by 
Talisker's brother, Magnus Macleod of Cleigan, and by 
Alexander Macleod of Bay, when all dined generously 
together on wine and venison. Macleod of Ulinish joined 
them at supper. During Wednesday, Boswell says of 
Colonel Macleod of Talisker that, "instead of being all 
life and gaiety, as I have seen him, he was at present 
grave, and somewhat depressed by his anxious concern 
about Macleod's affairs, and by finding some gentlemen 
of the Clan by no means disposed to act a generous or 
affectionate part to their Chief in his distress, but bargaining 
with him as with a stranger. However, he was agreeable 
and polite, and Dr. Johnson said he was a very pleasing 
man." The affairs of the Chief had become embarrassed, 
and in the previous year (1772) he appointed his grandson, 
afterwards General Macleod, and his relative, Colonel Mac- 
leod of Talisker, to place matters on a better footing. This 
was the cause of the depression and anxious concern on 
the part of Talisker to which Boswell refers. 


General Macleod afterwards wrote a short memoir of 
his own life, in which he describes the position into which 
his grandfather's affairs had drifted, the causes which had 
led up to that unfortunate result, and the steps which 
were taken by himself and Colonel Macleod of Talisker 
to amend matters. [See pp. 149-152 and 163-165.] 

On Thursday, the 23rd September, 1773, Dr. Johnson 
and his companions arrived at Talisker, after having spent 
two nights with Sheriff-Substitute Alexander Macleod, at 
Ulinish. He was accompanied on his journey by Macleod 
of Macleod and by Talisker himself. Boswell describes 
the place thus — " Talisker is a better place than one com- 
monly finds in Skye. It is situated in a rich bottom ; 
before it is a wide expanse of sea, on each hand of which 
are immense rocks ; and, at some distance in the sea, there 
are three columnal rocks rising to sharp points. The billows 
break with prodigious force and noise on the coast of 
Talisker. There are a good many well-grown trees. 
Talisker is an extensive farm. The possessor of it has, 
for several generations, been the next heir to Macleod, 
as there has been but one son always in the family. The 
Court before the house is most injudiciously paved with 
the round bluish-gray pebbles which are found upon the 
sea-shore ; so that you walk as if upon cannon-balls driven 
into the ground." 

On Saturday the 25th, Dr. Johnson and his friend 
Boswell took leave of Macleod of Macleod and Talisker, 
from whom they parted with regret. " Talisker," Bos- 
well says, " having been bred to physic, had a tincture 
of scholarship in his conversation, which pleased Dr. 
Johnson, and he had some very good books ; and being 
a Colonel in the Dutch Service, he and his lady, in con- 
sequence of having lived abroad, had introduced the ease 
and politeness of the Continent into this rude region." 
Writing to Macleod of Macleod from Ostaig on the 28th 
of September, a few days before he left the island, Dr. 
Johnson adds a postscript in which he says — " We passed 
two days at Talisker very happily, both by the pleasant- 


ness of the place and the elegance of our reception." 

Colonel Macleod of Talisker, who was, along with many 
of his fellow islesmen, an officer in the Scots Brigade, 
served with distinction in Keith and Campbell's High- 
landers, under Prince Ferdinand in Germany, and it was 
remarked of him and the gentlemen who accompanied 
him from Skye to join the Scots Brigade in Holland 
that they " were particularly successful," and " that they 
always found a ready supply of young soldiers " from their 
native island. 

John Knox, the traveller, during his tour to the Western 
Isles, in 1786, paid a visit to Talisker. Going by boat, 
accompanied by Sheriff Macleod of Ulinish, he was met 
by the Colonel, who, Mr. Knox says, " though extremely 
corpulent, had, with his usual politeness, reached the 
beach, from whence we were conducted, through a small 
but rich valley, to the seat of plenty, hospitality and good 
nature." The mountains in the neighbourhood abounded 
in "deer, hare, and wild fowl; the fields in grain, hay, 
pasturage ; the gardens in fruits and vegetables ; the 
rivers in trout and salmon ; the sea in herrings and white 
fish. Such, with the additional circumstance of a well- 
stocked cellar, are the felicities of this very remote and 
almost inaccessable corner. While these furnish many of 
the choicest luxuries of life, Talisker and his lady," con- 
tinues Mr. Knox, " enjoy the good will of the people 
around." Next day, Colonel Macleod accompanied his 
guest to Dunvegan Castle, at the time, in the absence of 
General Macleod in India, inhabited by Major Alexander 
Macleod of Loch-Bay, and his wife, Anne, a daughter of 
the celebrated Flora Macdonald. 

Colonel Macleod married first, Florence, daughter of 
Hector Maclean, XI. of Coll, with issue — a son born in 
1745, who died young. 

He married secondly, Christian, daughter of John Mac- 
kay, merchant, Inverness, without issue. 

He died in July, 1800, without surviving issue, when he 
was succeeded as representative of the family by his brother, 


V. MAGNUS Macleod of Cleigan, Lieutenant-Colonel 
in Colonel Campbell's Regiment of Highlanders. He was 
one of the principal gentlemen of the Clan who met Dr. 
Johnson at Dunvegan Castle during his tour to the 
Hebrides in 1773. He married Margaret Isabella, daughter 
of Macdonald of Skirinish, with issue — 

1. Donald Macleod, his heir and successor. 

2. Alexander Macleod, who died after having attained 
the rank of Colonel in the Madras Army. 

Magnus was succeeded as representative of the family 
by his eldest son, 

VI. Major Donald Macleod, who sold the remainder 
of the lease of Talisker, emigrated to Van Diemen's Land, 
now known as Tasmania, about 1821, and settled in that 
country. We have a letter written by him, dated " Dun- 
vegan, 10th June, 181 1." He married Catherine, third 
daughter of Alastair Ruadh Maclean, XIV. of Coll, by 
his wife Catherine, daughter of Cameron of Glendessaray, 
with issue — 

1. Magnus, who died unmarried. 

2. Alexander, who died unmarried. 

3. Norman, who married Catherine, daughter of Alex- 
ander Paterson, of Sydney, New South Wales, with issue — 
Alexander, Donald, Wallace, Catherine, Norma, Constance, 
and Jessie. 

4. Hugh, who married Miss Hines, with issue — Donald, 
Hugh, Percy, Norman, Margaret, Catherine, Lillian, Ger- 
trude, and Mary. Hugh is the only one of Major Donald 
Macleod's sons who now survives. 

5. Donald, who married, without issue. 

6. Hector, who married Marion, eldest daughter of 
John Lord, a Sydney merchant, with issue — Roderick, 
John, Allan, Marion, and Catherine. 

7. Roderick, who died young. 

8. Catherine, who married Dr. Salmon, Tasmania, with- 
out issue. She still survives, in her 80th year. 

9. Isabella, who, as his second wife, married Alexander 
Paterson, of Sydney, New South Wales, with issue — 


Alexander, Donald, Magnus, Catherine, Isabella, Marion, 
and Sibella. She is still alive. 

10. Margaret, who survives, unmarried. 

11. Marion, who married Mordaunt, eldest son of Captain 
John Maclean, of Sydney, and Military Knight of Windsor, 
with issue — Leyburn, Roderick, Norman, and Allan. 

12. Jessie, who married Charles Marsh, of Salisbury, 
New England, New South Wales, younger brother of the 
late Matthew Henry Marsh, M.P. for Salisbury, Wilts, 
England, with issue — George, Henry, Harold, Macleod, 
Catherine, Marion, Fanny, and Lucy. 

In 1857 Major Donald Macleod's widow, at an advanced 
age, visited Britain, where she remained for a few years, 
and then returned to Australia, where she died soon after- 

All the members of this family settled in New South 
Wales and Victoria, where the sons were known as " The 
Big Macleods." 


I. Sir Norman Macleod, the first of this family, was 
the 3rd son of Sir Roderick Mor Macleod, XIII. of Dun- 
vegan. He was born in the Island of Bernera, about 1600, 
as appears from the following inscription cut upon the old 
Chapel wall now in ruins : — " Hie natus est illustris ille 
Normannus Macleod de Berneray, eques auratus" — "Here 
was born the illustrious Norman Macleod of Berneray, a 
distinguished cavalier." The date of his birth is not stated 
in this inscription, but it is said to be seen on a tomb-stone 
inside the Chapel. Norman is described as " a man of 
singular honour and integrity, a sincere and steady loyalist." 
It will have been already seen (pp. 228-229) how, during 
the minority of his nephew, Roderick, XV. of Macleod, 
his Tutor, Sir Roderick Macleod, first of Talisker, managed 
the affairs of the Clan and supported Charles II. against 
Cromwell during the Commonwealth, and how when, in 
1650, the King arrived in Scotland, he issued a procla- 
mation requesting all his Scottish subjects to repair to 
his standard, Sir Roderick Macleod of Talisker responded 
to the Royal demands by raising a regiment of 700 High- 
landers, nearly all composed of his nephew's clansmen. 
The Lieutenant-Colonelcy of this body Sir Roderick con- 
ferred upon his immediate younger brother, Norman 
Macleod of Bernera, who afterwards, at their head, proved 
that he possessed all the qualities that go to make a 
gallant and distinguished soldier. 

Having joined the Royal Army at the head of his men, 
and having remained there for a short time, Colonel 
Norman was ordered to raise an additional body of three 


hundred men, so as to bring his regiment up to the full 
strength of a thousand, a task which he willingly under- 
took and very soon performed. The only obstacle he had 
any serious difficulty in surmounting was in providing such 
a large number of men with arms, but that was soon 
managed by his brother, Sir Roderick of Talisker, as 
already told. 

The two valiant brothers accompanied King Charles 
at the head of their Clan to the battle of Worcester. 
Nearly all their followers were slain, and those who 
escaped with their lives were afterwards transported to the 
South Carolina plantations and sold into slavery. Scarcely 
any of them ever returned to Skye. The Clan was almost 
left without an able-bodied man. So great was the slaughter 
of the Macleod regiment on this occasion that it was agreed 
by the other Highland clans that the Macleods of Dun- 
vegan should not be asked to take part in any military 
operation until they should have ample time to multiply 
and recover their unprecedented losses on this fatal field. 
Sir Roderick of Talisker managed to effect his escape, 
and, in disguise, after great difficulties and various disguises, 
to find his way back to the Highlands ; but his brother, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Norman, was taken prisoner, and kept 
in confinement for eighteen months, at the end of which 
he was tried for his life. Through a flaw in the indict- 
ment procedure was sisted ; he was sent back to prison, 
and finally escaped, after which he succeeded in making 
his way to the Isle of Skye, where he continued in his 
loyalty to the King, by whom, after the Restoration, he 
and his brother, Roderick of Talisker, were knighted. 

Sir Robert Douglas informs us that Sir Norman "was 
taken prisoner and carried to England, where he was 
detained about eighteen months, during which time he 
underwent a trial for his life by the English law upon 
the supposition of his being a Welshman, from the affinity 
of the surnames App-Loid and Macleod, but he being 
well-known to the principal officers in the Scotch army 
was easily proven to be a Scotchman, upon which there 



was a sist of the procedure, and he was remanded back 
to prison. He then had an offer of his liberty, if he 
would take an oath of fidelity to the Usurper, etc., but 
that he would by no means comply with. However, being 
a man of fine address, and greatly esteemed, he got his 
escape made and with much difficulty got back to his 
own country, where he contributed all in his power for 
disposing the people to exert themselves for bringing 
about a restoration of the Royal Family."* 

At a general meeting of the Chiefs who still continued 
loyal to King Charles, held at Glenelg on the 21st of 
April, 1653, it was agreed to raise a body of two thousand 
Highlanders for His Majesty's service ; and, at the same 
time, it was resolved to send a messenger, with proper 
credentials, signed by the principal heads of clans who 
attended this Council, to King Charles at Paris, to the 
King of Denmark, to the Princess Royal, and to the 
States of Holland, to advise them fully as to the condi- 
tion, resolution, and desires of the Highland Chiefs there 
assembled. To carry out this important and dangerous 
embassy, Lieutenant-Colonel Norman Macleod, who had 
so recently escaped from an English prison, after under- 
going trial for his life, was fixed upon and he cheerfully 
undertook the duty. He succeeded in his journey, delivered 
his message into the King's own hands, and was received 
as graciously as the importance of his message and the 
faithful and successful manner in which it was carried out 
so fully deserved. He brought back a message from the 
King to his faithful Highlanders, addressed to his brother, 
Roderick Macleod of Talisker, full of the most kindly 
expressions and grateful acknowledgments, dated at Chan- 
tilly, the 31st of October, 1653. In this letter, His Majesty 
expressed the strongest resolution of rewarding Talisker 
for his services and for the cheerfulness with which he 
concurred in and conducted that good work upon which 
the King's interest and " the honour and liberty of the 
country, and the preservation of the whole nobility and 
* Douglas's Baronage, p. 381. 


gentry so much depended." Sir Norman performed many 
other important services to Charles during the remainder 
of his life, before and after the Restoration. 

On receiving- his audience of leave from the King, 
Colonel Norman was entrusted with letters from His 
Majesty to the leaders of the loyalists in Scotland, and 
was at the same time requested to return home through 
Holland, where General Middleton was then residing. 
From this place he took charge of, conveyed to Scotland, 
and faithfully delivered a supply of arms and ammunition 
provided by the Dutch Government for the Highlanders. 
When, in 1655, Generals Dalzell, Middleton, and Drum- 
mond retired to Dunvegan Castle, under the protection 
of Sir Roderick Macleod of Talisker, Colonel Norman did 
everything in his power to get them safely across to 
Skye, provided them with all necessaries for their journey, 
and got them escorted in safety to their destination in the 
ancient stronghold of the Macleods. He afterwards con- 
veyed General Middleton and his companions for greater 
safety to his own residence in the Island of Bernera, 
from whence they managed to escape to the Continent. 

Towards the end of 1659, Charles II. employed Colonel 
Norman on a special mission to Frederick III., King of 
Denmark, the object of which was to ask His Majesty to 
furnish Charles with a sufficient number of troops to 
regain his kingdom. In this mission Norman was so far 
successful that His Danish Majesty agreed on his urgent 
representations to furnish ten thousand men, with experi- 
enced officers ; and this large force was actually preparing 
to embark for Scotland when news reached Denmark of 
the restoration of Charles II. to the throne of his ancestors. 

In 1660, immediately after the Restoration, Colonel 
Norman proceeded to London and had an audience of 
the King, who received him most graciously, and conferred 
upon him and upon his brother, Roderick of Talisker, 
the honour of knighthood — a comparatively barren reward 
for the great sufferings, losses, and faithful services which 
had been for so many years rendered by themselves and 


their Clan. He again went to Court in 1662, and presented 
to the King with his own hands a memorial detailing all 
his own and his people's services, losses, and sufferings. 
His Majesty was much impressed with the narrative and 
gave a favourable deliverance on the memorial. At 
the same time he gave Sir Norman an order putting him 
in possession of Macleod of Assynt's estate, which Charles 
thought was forfeited on account of the support which 
Assynt had given to His Majesty's enemies, and especially 
on account of his having betrayed Montrose. Assynt, 
however, afterwards stood his trial and was acquitted on 
the ground that he was included in the general amnesty 
issued by the King on his Restoration, so that Sir Norman 
of Bernera reaped neither immediate nor ultimate advantage 
from his second visit to the King in London and the empty 
promises of reward so solemnly made to him by that un- 
grateful monarch. 

It was to this distinguished member of the Clan that 
the famous family poetess, " Mairi Nighean Alastair 
Ruaidh," composed all her Macleod poems given in Mac- 
kenzie's Beauties of Gaelic Poetry, except her " Cumha do 
MhacLeoid," composed to Roderick, XV. of Macleod, 
grandson of Sir Rory Mor ; her " Marbhrann do Dh' Iain 
Garbh MacGillechallum Rarsaidh ;" "An Cronan ;" and 
her " Oran do dh'Iain Mac Shir Tormod MhicLeoid," 
John of Contullich, Sir Norman's eldest son. It is quite 
clear from internal evidence that her " Fuaim an t-Saimh;" 
"An Talla 'm bu ghnath le Macleoid;" "Cumha Mhic- 
Leoid ;" and " Luinneag MhicLeoid," were all composed to 
her favourite hero and benefactor, Sir Norman Macleod of 
Bernera. And this will fully account for what has hitherto 
been a puzzle — the banishment of the celebrated poetess by 
her Chief to the Island of Mull, for composing, it has 
always hitherto been erroneously alleged, such splendid 
Gaelic poems in his own praise. 

The real reason for " Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh's'' 
banishment to Mull was, on the contrary, the jealousy 
and annoyance of her Chief because nearly all her eulogies 


and her best poems were composed in praise not of 
himself but of his relative Sir Norman of Bernera, and 
his eldest son, John of Contullich. 

There never was a Chief of the Macleods called Sir 
Norman, and in the five poems mentioned, " Sir Tormod," 
"The warrior son of Rory Mor," and "The husband of Sir 
James Macdonald's daughter" — all the three designations 
referring to one and the same person — is in each case 
directly addressed as the subject of the poems. 

Sir Norman Macleod married, first, Margaret, only 
daughter of John Mackenzie, first of Lochslinn (second 
son of Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, and 
brother of Colin, first Earl of Seaforth), by his wife Isabel, 
eldest daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, V. of Gairloch. 
By Margaret of Lochslinn Sir Norman had issue — 

1. John Macleod of Contullich, his heir and successor. 
Sir Norman married, secondly, Catherine, eldest daughter 

of Sir James Macdonald, IX. of Sleat, by his wife Margaret, 
only daughter of Sir Roderick Mackenzie, Tutor of Kintail 
and progenitor of the Earls of Cromarty. Catherine's 
sister, Florence, married John Macleod, XV. of Dunvegan. 
By his second wife Norman had issue — 

2. William Macleod, I. of Luskintyre, who was born in 
1661, and died on the 8th of February, 1738, in the 
seventy-seventh year of his age.* He married Margaret, 
eldest daughter of Captain Kenneth Mackenzie, II. of 
Suddie, killed in Lochaber in 1688, with issue, several 
children, four only of whom survived him — (1) Alexander 
Macleod, II. of Luskintyre, who married Margaret Morri- 
son, with issue — nineteen children, most of whom died 
young. Alexander's eldest son was Captain John Macleod, 

* While on a visit to Harris in May, 1885, the author visited Rodel 
Cathedral and a small roofless chapel in the Churchyard, from a tablet on 
the wall of which he copied the following inscription : — 

" Here lyeth Wm. Macleod, eldest son to Sir N. Macleod of Berneray by 
K. Macdonald, daughter to Sir J. Macdonald of Slate, who died upon ye 
18th of February 1738, in the 77th yr. of his age. He was married to 
M. Mackenzie, eldest daughtr. to Capt. K. Mackenzie of Suddie, and by 
her had sev. children, 4 of which survived him, viz., A , his 1st 


Aide-de-Camp to General Humberston. His youngest 
son, born on the 9th of January, 1766, was Sir Alexander 
Macleod, K.C.B., of the Bengal Artillery. Isabella, the 
eldest daughter of Alexander, II. of Luskintyre, married 
Dr. William Macleod, VIII. of Glendale, of the " Sliochd 
Ian Mhic Leoid," who died at Borline, in Skye, on the 
10th of August, 181 1, with issue, for which see the MAC- 
LEODS OF GLENDALE (pp. 21 1-212). (2) Roderick Macleod, 
a Writer to the Signet, who married, first, Isabel, daughter 
of Hector Bannatyne of Kaimes, in Buteshire, with issue — 
{a) Bannatyne William Macleod, a distinguished advocate, 
born in 174&, and four daughters. Roderick married, 
secondly, Marjory, daughter of John Taylor, solicitor, 
Inveraray. In 1799 Bannatyne William Macleod became 
one of the Lords of the Court of Session in Scotland. 
He was knighted in 1823, and died unmarried in 1833. 

(3) Margaret, eldest daughter of William, I. of Luskintyre, 
married Ranald Macdonald, XXV. of Clanranald, with issue. 

(4) Alice, the second daughter, married Roderick Macneil 
of Barra, with issue — Roderick, who was killed at Quebec, 
leaving another Roderick, who succeeded to Barra. William, 
I. of Luskintyre had two other daughters, of whom nothing 
is known. 

3. Sir Alexander Macleod, advocate, who attained great 
eminence at the Scottish bar, became Lord Advocate, 
and was knighted. He died without issue. 

4. Isabel, who married Roderick Macneil of Barra, with 

5. Marian, who, as his second wife, married Donald 
Maclean, X. of Coll, with issue — Hugh Maclean, XII. of 

son, ; R. Macleod, writer to the Signet, his 2nd son, married to a 

daughtr. of Bannatyne of Keimes, in Bute ; Marg. married to the Capt. of 
Clanranald; and Alice to M'Neil of Barray. He was a good husband, a 
kind parent and master, and a sincere friend, remarkable for charity, piety, 
and integrity of life, which made his death much regretted by all his friends 
and dependents. This chapel was built by ye said A. M'L. , and this stone 
placed therein by the said A. M'L., in honour of his father." That is 
Alexander Macleod, William's eldest son, whose name, all but the initial 
letter A, was illegible on the tablet. 


Coll, Neil, and a daughter, Catherine, who married Hector 
Maclean of Erray. 

6. Catherine, who married, first, Alexander Macleod, 
VII. of Raasay, with issue — a son and successor. She 
married, secondly, Angus Macdonell of Scotus, brother 
of Alastair Dubh, XI. of Glengarry, with issue, from whom, 
since the extinction of the direct line in 1868, the present 
head of that house is descended. 

7. Margaret, who died unmarried. 

Sir Norman, the poetess informs us in the following 
lines, died on the 3rd of March, though she does not 
mention the year : — 

An treas la de'n Mhairt, 

Dh' f halbh m' aighear gu brath, 

Bi sud saighead mo chraidh 

Bhi 'g amharc do bhais 

A ghnuis f hlathasach ailt ; 

A dheagh mhic rathail 

An armuinn euchdaich. 
Mac Ruairidh reachdmhoir, 
Uaibhrich, bheachdail, 
Bu bhuaidh leatsa, 
Dualchas farsuinn, 
Snuadh-ghlaine pearsa ; 

Cruadal is smachd gun eucoir. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

II. JOHN MACLEOD, second of Bernera and first of 
Contullich, known among his own countrymen as " Ian 
Taoitear," he having been Tutor or Guardian to Norman 
XIX. of Macleod. He was an advocate at the Scottish 
Bar, and to him it was that " Mairi Nighean Alastair 
Ruaidh," the Skye poetess, composed that beautiful poem, 
entitled " Oran do dh'Ian, Mac Sir Tormod Mhic-Leoid." 
In this song she says of John — 

Fior Leodach ur gasda, 

Foinnidh, beachdail, glic, fialaidh thu, 

De shliochd nam fear flathail, 

Bu mhath an ceann chliaranach. 

Ach a mhic ud Shir Tormod, 
Gu'n soirbhich gach bliadhna dhut, 
Chuir buaidh air do shliochd-sa, 
Agus piseach air t-iarmadan ; 


'S do'n chuid eile chloinn t-athar, 
Anns gach rathad a thriallas iad, 
Gun robh toradh mo dhurachd 
Dol nan run mar bu mhiannach leam. 

Nuair theid thu do'n f hireach, 

'S ro mhath chinneas an fhiadhach leat, 

Le d' lothain chon ghleusda 

Ann a d' dheigh nuair a thrialladh tu, 

Sin a's cuilbhear caol cinnteach, 

Cruaidh, direach, gun fhiaradh ann ; 

Bu tu sealgair na h-eilid, 

A choilich, 's na liath-chirce. 

Slan iomradh dhut Iain, 

Gu ma rathail a dh' eireas dut, 

'S tu mac an deagh athar, 

Bha gu mathasach, meaghrachail, 

Bha gu furbhailteach, daonnachdach, 

Faoilteachail, deirceachail ; 

Sar cheannard air trup thu 

Nuair chuirte leat feum orra. 

John married Isabel, eldest daughter of Kenneth Mac- 
kenzie, I. of Scatwell (second son of Sir Roderick 
Mackenzie, Tutor of Kintail), by his second wife, Janet, 
daughter of Walter Ross of Invercharron. By this lady 
John had issue — 

1. Alexander, who died without issue. 

2. Roderick, who also died without issue. 

3. William Macleod, an officer in the Dutch service, who 
married, with issue — one son, who died without issue. 

s 4. John Macleod, of Muiravonside, who carried on the 
representation of the family. 

5. Donald Macleod, who next occupied Bernera, and of 
whom hereafter. Donald's eldest son, Norman, ultimately 
succeeded as representative of the family. 

6. Margaret, who married William Macleod, III. of 

7. Christiana, who married Donald Macleod III. of 

8. Janet, who married Lachlan Maclean, second of Gru- 
line, (son of Allan, first of Gruline, who was third son 
of Charles Maclean, second of Ardnacross and first of 


Drimnin) with issue — Hector, a medical doctor. This Dr. 
Hector Maclean resided at Erray, near Tobermory, Mull, 
where he composed a large number of excellent Gaelic 
poems which he preserved in a valuable M.S. collection. 
He married his cousin Catherine, only daughter of Donald 
Maclean, X. of Coll, by his second wife, Marion, second 
daughter of Sir Norman Macleod, I. of Bernera, by whom 
he had issue — several daughters, one of whom, Mary, Dr. 
Johnson, who visited Dr. Maclean in 1773, describes as 
the most accomplished lady he met during his tour to the 
Hebrides. Dr. Maclean died about 1785. 

John Macleod, of Bernera and Contullich, was succeeded 
as representative of the family by his fourth and eldest 
surviving son, 

III. JOHN MACLEOD of Muiravonside, who practised as 

an advocate at the Scottish Bar from about *£8$ to 1732. \^to. 
He registered arms on the 10th of April, 173 1, as "fourth 
but only surviving son " of his father. He is the same 
who has been already mentioned, (pp. 125-127), as having 
had a share with Norman Macleod, XIX. of Macleod, 
and others, in the abduction of the unfortunate Lady 
Grange, on the 22nd of January, 1732. 

He married first, Elizabeth, daughter of Captain Alex- 
ander Straiton, with issue — 

1. Alexander, his heir and successor. 

2. Elizabeth, who married John Macdonald of Largie, 
with issue — an only daughter, Elizabeth, who married 
Charles Lockhart, second son of George Lockhart of 
Carnwath, with issue. 

John married secondly, Miss Hume, daughter of Alex- 
ander Hume, a Glasgow merchant, without issue. 

He was succeeded as representative of the family by 
his only son, 

IV. Alexander of Muiravonside, who joined Prince 
Charles and was despatched by him to Skye with the 
view of persuading Macleod of Macleod and Sir James 
Macdonald of Sleat to join in the Rising of 1745, but 
his efforts proved unavailing. He afterwards, to escape 


capture, led a wanderer's life for a long- time through 
the most inaccessible parts of the Western Highlands 
and Isles. He met Dr. Johnson, who mentions him in 
his Tour to the Hebrides in 1773, in Raasay. On the 
nth of July, 1778, he received a free pardon. He had 
married in 17 10 a daughter of William Montgomery, of 
UL Macbeth Hill, and died, without issue, on the 30th of 
December, 1784. We now revert to his uncle, the famous 
Donald Macleod of Bernera. He was born in 1693, 
and was a loyal adherent of the Stuarts both in 17 15 
and 1745, having fought for them at Sheriffmuir, Falkirk, 
and Culloden. Donald on being required by his Chief, 
Norman, XIX of Macleod, to attend at Dunvegan with 
the men of Bernera, to proceed against Prince Charles, 
wrote — " I place at your disposal the twenty men of your 
tribe who are under my immediate command, and in any 
other quarrel would not fail to be at their head, but in 
the present I must go where a more imperious duty 
calls me." Norman, Donald's eldest son, however, joined 
his Chief, commanded one of the Independent Companies 
who took part against the Prince during the Rising, and 
was afterwards the most active in the many attempts to 
capture his own father, in which, however, he fortunately 
failed. After the passing of the Act of Indemnity, Donald 
returned to Bernera, lived to the ripe old age of 90, and 
died there in 1783. Amongst his descendants — the 
" Bernera tribe," as they were called in consequence of 
their great number — from his sturdy character and numer- 
ous progeny, Donald was generally spoken of as "The 
Old Trojan." He was married three times, having wedded 
his third wife, a young lady of sixteen years, in his 
75th year, and by her, after this age, he had nine 
children — three sons and six daughters. 

Donald married, first, when only 18 years of age, Anne, 
daughter of Roderick Macleod, XVII. of Macleod, by his 
wife Isabel, daughter of Kenneth, third Earl of Seaforth, 
by his wife, also Isabel, sister of George, first Earl of 
Cromarty. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. 


Aulay Macaulay, great-grandfather of the celebrated 
Thomas Babington Lord Macaulay. By this marriage 
Donald had issue — 

1. Norman Macleod of Unish, his heir. 

2. Alexander, Captain of the East Indiaman Mansfield, 
who in 1779, after he retired from sea, became proprietor 
of Harris and the adjacent Isles, including St. Kilda, by 
purchase for £ 15,000 from the trustees of General Mac- 
leod, XX. of Macleod. 

3. Roderick Macleod. 

4. William Macleod. 

5. John Macleod. 

6. A Janet, who married the Rev. John Macpherson, 
D.D., minister of Sleat, who died in 1765, author of the 
Dissertations on the Origin and Antiquities of the Cale- 
donians, with issue — (1) Sir John Macpherson, Baronet, 
born in 1744, Governor-General of India in 1785-86. Sir 
John was groomsman at his grandfather, Donald Macleod 
of Bernera's third marriage, in 1768, to Margaret Macleod 
of Greshornish. He died unmarried in 1821, when the 
male representation of the family devolved upon his cousin, 
Dr. Hugh Macpherson, sub-Principal and Professor of 
Greek, Aberdeen (see p. 237). (2) The Rev. Martin 
Macpherson, who succeeded his father as minister of 
Sleat, and entertained Dr. Johnson and Boswell in 1773. 
He married Mary, daughter of Lachlan Mackinnon of 
Corrie, without issue, and died in 1812. (3) Isabel, who 
married Mr. Macpherson, from Badenoch, with issue — one 
son, Martin, who died unmarried. 

7. Isabella, who married the Rev. William Macleod, third 
son of Roderick Macleod, first of Ulinish, minister success- 
ively of Bracadale and Campbelton, with issue — seven sons, 
Roderick, Norman, John, Donald, William, Roderick, and 
a third Roderick. Three of these were officers in the 
army and were killed in the Indian wars. Another of 
the sons commanded an East Indiaman, and died at an 
early age, unmarried. He had also ten daughters, 
of whom, Anne, married the Rev. Angus Macneil of 


Vatersay, a cadet of the Macneils of Barra, and Tutor 
to young- Roderick Macneil of Barra, son and successor of 
Roderick, who was killed at Quebec in 1759. By Anne 
Macleod the Rev. Angus Macneil had issue — (1) Donald 
Macneil, Deputy-Inspector-General of Army Hospitals 
from 1794 to 1820. He was born in 1769 and died at 
Jersey in 1824; (2) Marion, who married John Murray, 
of Greshornish ; (3) Isabella, who died unmarried ; (4) Flora, 
who died unmarried ; and (5) Anne, who married John 
Maclntyre of the Inland Revenue, a native of Argyleshire, 
and died in 1852, leaving issue — (a) Angus Maclntyre, 
who died in Demerara, unmarried ; (b) Neil Maclntyre, 
born in 1804, and married Emilia, daughter of William 
Hay, Postmaster, Inverness, without issue. He died at 
Glenferness in 1873. (c) Donald Macintyre, born in Skye 
on the 23rd of October, 1806, and died at Greenwich on 
the 2 1st of August, 1876. He married first on the 27th 
of June, 1838, Eliza, daughter of John, eldest son of the 
Rev. William Miller, Edinburgh, with issue — John Donald 
Maclntyre, born on the nth of March, 1840, and died 
unmarried on the 15th of January, 1867; Angus Neil 
Tate Maclntyre, born on the 20th of February, 1845, 
and married on the 1st of October, 1887, Alice, daughter 
of the late Thomas Thomson, of Kelso, a cadet of Thomson 
of Attonburn ; and Eliza Anne Maclntyre. Donald Mac- 
lntyre married, secondly, in March, 1869, Maria, daughter 
of the late George Canham, London, and widow of the 
late William Hay, junior, brother of Alexander Penrose 
Hay, Town Chamberlain of Inverness, without issue. She 
still survives, (d) Margaret, who, on the 31st December, 
1879, died unmarried ; and (e) Jamesina Fraser, who still 

8. Christian, who married Macleod of Oze, with issue — 
Roderick, William, Alexander, Anne, Helen, Marion, Janet, 
Christian, Margaret, Sibella, Jessie, Lexy, and Isabella. 

9. A daughter, who married Macleod of Ferrinlea, with- 
out issue. 

10. Sibella, who married Allan Macdonald of Knock, 


Isle of Skye, with issue — General Donald Macdonald, of 
the 55th Regiment; Forbes Macdonald; Donald Mac- 
donald ; Nathaniel Macdonald ; and three daughters, who 
died unmarried. 

11. Flora, who married Campbell of Ensay, with issue — 
John Campbell ; Colonel William Campbell ; Angus Camp- 
bell ; and two daughters, Anne and Janet. 

12. A daughter who married Maclean of Trean. 

13. A daughter who married Major Macdonald of Acha- 

Donald had seven other children by this marriage. 

He married, secondly, Margaret Macdonald, described 
as "a daughter of John Macdonald Gorm Macdonald of 
Sleat." They lived together for nineteen years, without 

Donald Macleod of Bernera married, thirdly, in the 75th 
year of his age, Margaret, daughter of the Rev. Donald 
Macleod, III. of Greshornish, and minister of Duirinish. 
She was then only sixteen years of age. By this marriage 
Donald had issue, in his old age — three sons and six 
daughters — 

21. Lieutenant-General Sir John Macleod, K.C.B., and 
K.C.H., of Unish, Colonel of the 78th Highlanders. He 
was born on the 9th of January, 1766; was knighted tor 
distinguished services; and died in 185 1. He married a 
daughter of Colonel Finlayson with issue — Major Donald J. 
Macleod, of the Scots Greys, who died, unmarried, in 1852 ; 
Elizabeth, who married Henry Collins, of Aldsworth, with- 
out issue ; and Margaret, who married Major George 
Cumberland (who died in 1865) of the 42nd Regiment, 
Royal Highlanders (Black Watch), with issue — several 

22. Captain Donald Macleod, who commanded an East 
Indiaman. He married Miss Gigurnet, daughter of an 
Attorney in Cheltenham, with issue — an only son, who 
died young. 

23. Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Macleod, K.C.B., an 
officer of the Madras Army ; afterwards of Gloucester 


Place, Portman Square, London. He registered Arms on 
the 15th March, 1853. In the pedigree which he supplied 
to the Lyon Office on that occasion, he describes himself 
as " the youngest son " of Donald of Bernera, " and last 
surviving nephew of John of Muiravonside." He married 
Mary Chinnery, daughter of an artist of that name, without 

24. Alexandrina, who married Norman Macleod, VII. 
of Drynoch and last of Ellanriach, with issue — nine sons 
and six daughters. [See MACLEODS OF Drynoch]. 

25. Anne, who married Kenneth Campbell, of Strond, 
with issue — John, Donald, John Archibald, Alexander, 
Charles, Norman, Isabella, who died unmarried in Novem- 
ber, 1888; Marion, who married William Taylor Rule, 
solicitor, Inverness ; Alexandrina, who married the Rev. 
Alexander Maciver, minister of Dornoch, with issue ; 
Mary, who married Dr. Alexander Macleod of Kilpheder, 
North Uist, better known as the " Doitear Ban," with issue ; 
and Margaret. 

26. Marion, who married Major Alexander Macleod, I. 
of Dalvey, with issue. [See MACLEODS OF DALVEY.] 

27. Jessie, who married Donald Maclean, of Boreray, and 
Drimnin, Morvern, with issue — Donald Maclean of the Com- 
missariat Department, Cape of Good Hope, who married his 
cousin Margaret, daughter of Alexander Macleod, I. of 
Dalvey, without issue ; General Archibald Maclean, of the 
Bombay Army; Dr. William Maclean, C.B., LL.D., Pro- 
fessor of Military Medicine at Netley Hospital, who married 
Louisa, daughter of John Macpherson, factor in Skye for 
Lord Macdonald, with issue — several sons and daughters ; 
John Maclean ; Roderick Maclean ; Allan Maclean ; 
Alexandrina, who married General Macpherson of Burgie, 
with issue; Marion, unmarried; Helen, who married 
Captain Donald Macleod, with issue ; Margaret, who 
married the late Rev. Dr. John Macleod, D.D., minister of 
Morvern, and Dean of the Most Ancient Order of the 
Thistle and of the Chapel-Royal, with issue — among others, 
the Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod, minister of St. Stephen's, 


Edinburgh, and the Rev. Dr. John Macleod, minister of 

28. Christina, who married Major Macdonald of Asker- 
nish, with issue — Alexander, Donald, Jane, and Margaret. 

29. Another daughter, who died in infancy. 

In Rodel churchyard there is a monumental tablet, which 
was erected to Donald's memory by his second son, Captain 
Alexander of the Mansfield East Indiaman, who, after 
giving up a seafaring life, purchased, in 1779, the estate 
of Harris, as already stated. During a visit to Harris in 
May, 1885, we took a copy of this inscription, which is in 
the following terms : — 

" To the memory of Donald Macleod of Berneray, son 
of John, Tutor of Macleod, who in vigour of body and 
mind, and firm adherence to the principles of his ancestors, 
resembled the men of former times. His grandfather and 
grand-uncle were knighted by King Charles II. for their 
loyalty and distinguished valour in the battle of Worcester. 
When the standard of the House of Stuart, to which he 
was attached, was displayed anno A.D. 1745, though past 
the prime of life, he took up arms, had a share in the 
actions of that period, and in the battle of Falkirk van- 
quished a dragoon hand tc hand. From this time he 
lived at his house of Berneray, universally beloved and 
respected. In his 75th year he married his 3rd wife, 
by whom he had nine children, and died in his 90th 
year, the 16th December 1783. This monument was 
erected by his son, Alexander Macleod of Herris, Esq." 

Donald having died in 1783, a year before his. cousin, 
Alexander Macleod of Muiravonside, who died in 1784, 
he never attained to the position of head of his house. 

Alexander, IV. of Bernera and Muiravonside was suc- 
ceeded in the last-named year as male representative of 
the family by Donald's eldest son, 

V. Norman Macleod of Bernera, designated of Unish 
during his father's life-time. In 1739 he was the leader 
of a party who kidnapped and carried on board ship a 
great many persons of both sexes in Skye and Harris, 
with the intention of transporting them to the Southern 
States of America and selling them into slavery. The 


ship called at several places on the coast of the Western 
Islands, where several persons were captured and carried 
on board, after which Norman proceeded on his heartless 
journey. The ship was, however, caught in a storm on 
the north coast of Ireland and wrecked, but all the 
passengers were rescued. Most of them were, however, 
unable to find their way home and they settled in the 
North of Ireland. Others, after great difficulties and trials, 
managed to return to the Isles. Norman remained for 
several years in concealment on the other side of the Irish 
channel, but in 1745 he made his appearance on this side, 
joined the Government forces and secured, through the in- 
fluence of Macleod of Dunvegan, the captaincy of one of 
the Independent Companies raised by Macleod during the 
Rising of that year. He was quite as keen a partisan 
on the one side as his father on the other, and when the 
Government forces, after Culloden, were searching for his 
father, they had no one more active in the fruitless attempt 
than this unnatural and heartless son. 

It would appear from the following letter, addressed by 
Lady Margaret Macdonald of Sleat to Lord Justice-Clerk 
Milton, and printed in the Culloden Papers, that her 
husband, Sir Alexander, was suspected of having had some 
connection with Norman Macleod's kidnapping expedition. 
Her ladyship writes — 

Skye, January 1st 1740. 
Dear Justice, — Being informed by different hands from 
Edinburgh, that there is a current report of a ship having 
gone from this country with a great many people designed 
for America, and that Sir Alexander is thought to have 
concurred in forcing these people away. As I am positive 
of the falsehood of this, and quite acquainted with the 
danger of a report of this kind, I beg leave to inform 
your Lordship of the real matter of fact. In harvest last 
we were pretty much alarmed with accounts from different 
corners of this and some neighbouring islands, of persons 
being seized and carried aboard of a ship which put in 
to different places on this coast. Sir Alexander was both 
angry and concerned at that time to hear that some of 
his own people were taken in this manner ; but could not 


learn who were the actors in this wicked scrape till the 
ship was gone. One Norman Macleod, with a number of 
fellows that he had picked up to execute his intentions, 
were the real actors of this affair. Sir Alexander never 
made much noise about the thing- in hopes that this 
Norman Macleod might some time or other cast up ; but 
he has never yet appeared in this part of the world, and 
probably never will, as the thing - has made so much noise. 
His accomplices have betaken themselves to the hills, and 
lately robbed a servant of ours coming from Edinburgh 
out of pique to his master ; and one of them knocked 
him down and cut him over the head terribly. Sir 
Alexander is just now busy endeavouring to detect any of 
these rogues that may be yet in Skye, and hopes soon to 
apprehend some of those who have left it. Though this 
is the real matter of fact, Sir Alexander cannot help being 
concerned that he should be any ways mentioned in the 
story, though quite innocent. This affair has made so 
much noise with you, because of the way it has been 
represented from Ireland, that possibly there may be an 
intention of prosecuting Sir Alexander. If that should go 
on, though it cannot be dangerous to him, yet it cannot 
fail of being both troublesome and expensive. And there- 
fore let me beg of your Lordship to write to the people of 
power above to prevent this impending evil, because a little 
time may bring the real actors to a trial, which I daresay 
your Lordship would rather see in a panel than imaginary 
persons that had no hand in the matter. Though I have 
no reason to believe your Lordship will be remiss in any 
affair of such consequence to us both, my anxiety obliges 
me to intreat you will take this affair so much into con- 
sideration that you will delay no time in making applications 
when you judge it proper ; and trust me, dear Justice, this 
favour shall make me with more gratitude than ever, your 
most obedient and ever devoted servant, 

(Signed) Margaret Macdonald. 

On the death of his father, in 1783, Norman succeeded 
as tacksman of Bernera, where he introduced many im- 
provements in the system of farming then prevalent, began 
the manufacture of kelp on a large scale, imported stock 
of a superior kind and was considered one of the most 
enlightened and respected farmers of his day in the 
Western Isles. He is said to have been kind and con- 


► All these died without issue. 


siderate to his tenants and to all those who, in his latter 
years were dependent upon him. He lived at Roosgarry 
at one end of the island " in ample style and had the 
finest cattle and the best sheep and horses," and he had 
several tenants whose crofts he induced them by his own 
example to cultivate right up to the hill-tops. He was so 
much ashamed of his kidnapping escapade in his earlier 
years that he strongly and angrily resented any reference 
to " Soitheach nan Daoine," the designation by which his 
old slave ship was commemorated among his countrymen. 
Norman married Margaret, daughter of Macneil of Barra, 
with issue — 

1. John Macleod. 

2. Roderick Macleod. 

3. William Macleod. 

4. Donald Macleod. 

5. Isabella, who died at Orbost, unmarried, in 1839, 
and was succeeded there by her nephew, William Macleod 
of Orbost, father of the late Norman Alexander Macleod 
of tJiginish, who died in 1888. 

6. Anne, who married Captain Norman Macleod of 
Bernisdale (who died in 1804), grandson of Roderick 
Macleod, first of Ulinish, with issue — Donald Macleod, 
Inspector-General of Army Hospitals in Bengal, who, born 
in 1778, died in 1840; and others. She died at Peninduin, 
Isle of Skye, in 1830. 

7. Margaret, who married Angus Campbell of Ensay, 
with issue — a daughter, Margaret, who married William, 
son of Captain Norman Macleod of Bernisdale, and who 
succeeded to the property of Orbost on the death of her 
aunt Isabella. [See Orbost Macleods.] 

8. Janet ; 9, Christian ; and five others, who died young. 
Having died without male issue, Norman was succeeded 

as representative of the family by his next brother, 

VI. Captain Alexander Macleod of the Mansfield 
East Indiaman. In 1779 he purchased from the Com- 
missioners of General Macleod, XX. of Macleod, the estate 
of Harris, the Islands of Bernera, St. Kilda, and other 


small isles adjoining them for the sum of £15,000. 
When he obtained possession of the ancient inheritance 
of his Chief, he went to reside at Rodel in Harris, and 
proceeded to make improvements on the property and 
introduce new industries among the people. In 1787 he 
rebuilt the old Cathedral at Rodel, as appears from the 
following Latin inscription on a large tablet in the wall 
inside the Church : — 

' ' Aedes has sacras atavorum suorum pietate Deo et S. Clementi olim 
dicatas postquam mutatae religionis furor, omnia undique miscens et vastans, 
adjuncta fratrum et sororum coenobia solo aequasset, ipsisque his muris, jam 
plus c.c. annos nudis et neglectis vix pepercisset, restituit, et ornavit, et 
postea igne fortuito haustas iterum restauravit, Alexander Macleod de Herries, 


The following is a translation : — 

" This sacred edifice, dedicated by the piety of his forefathers in former 
times to God and St. Clement, after the fury of the Reformation, overturning 
and devastating everything everywhere, had levelled with the ground the 
adjoining convent of friars and nuns, and scarcely spared these very walls, 
now for over 200 years bare and neglected, Alexander Macleod of Harris 
restored and decorated, and, after its accidental destruction by fire, rebuilt a 
second time, A.D. 1787." 

Captain Macleod was a most enterprising man. He 
constructed an excellent harbour at Rodel, and built a 
storehouse for salt, casks, and meal, and a manufactory 
for spinning woollen and linen thread, and twine for 
herring-nets. He also introduced some East-country 
fishermen, with Orkney yawls, with the view of teaching 
the inhabitants how to fish. He erected a school and an 
inn in the district, and did a good deal of plantation, 
which vastly improved the appearance of the place. He 
also introduced the models of press, corn, and fulling-mills. 

In 1786 he proposed to try fishing on the coast of 
Harris, near his own house, but was ridiculed by his 
tenants, who maintained that no fish could be got there, 
but Captain Macleod persisted in his experiment, and got, 
between the 10th of March and the 15th of April, no 
less than 4400 large cod and ling ; between 400 and 500 
skate; and immense quantities of dog-fish, large eels, and 


boat-loads of cuddies. He gave the people every encour- 
agement to engage in fishing, placing men in every loch, 
bay, or creek, providing them with boats, allowing them 
cottages and potato-ground rent-free, furnishing them with 
all necessaries at cost price, and taking their fish at full 
market value in payment of all he advanced to them. 

Mr. Knox, who made a tour of the Highlands in 1786, 
and spent some time with the Captain at Rodel, says 
that Captain Macleod's conduct " ought to be a model 
for some proprietors in the Highlands, who, blinded by 
the representations of factors, and misled by their influence, 
have never permitted their tenantry to raise their heads, 
and are continually crushing them by new impositions 
upon their industry and upon every appearance of im- 
provement ; by which they are stripped of the fruits of 
their labour, to which the improver, and not the master, 
has, in common justice, the best right. The consequence 
of this squeezing system has invariably proved a fictitious, 
instead of a real rent-roll well paid ; and thus each party 
impoverishes and distresses the other." 

Captain Macleod did not meet with that encouragement 
for his efforts which they deserved, and they resulted in 
failure. He was one of the founders of the Gaelic Society 
of London and also an active member of the Highland 

He married his cousin, Helen Maclean of Boreray, with 
issue — 

1. Alexander Norman Hume Macleod, his heir. 

2. Donald Hume Macleod, who married, with issue — 
Frances Anne Mackenzie, who, on the 9th of April, 1877, 
married John D. Dundas. 

3. Sophia. 

4. Elizabeth, who, in 1784, married Robert Bruce 
^Eneas Macleod of Cadboll, with issue. 

Alexander was succeeded by his eldest son, 
VII. Alexander Norman Hume Macleod. On the 
26th of April, 1804, he sold the Island of St. Kilda for 
£1350 to Colonel Donald Macleod of Achagoyle, father 


of the late Sir John Macpherson Macleod, K.C.S.I., of 
Glendale, who, in 1871, resold it to the present Macleod 
of Macleod for £3000. 
He married with issue — 

1. Alexander Macleod. 

2. Charles Macleod. 

3. and 4., two other sons. 

5. Louisa ; and three other daughters. 

He was succeeded as representative of the family by 
his eldest son, 

VIII. Alexander Macleod, who married and had 
issue — two sons, both of whom were killed in the Indian 
Mutiny, without issue, when the Macleods of Bernera 
became extinct in the male line. 


I. WILLIAM MACLEOD, first of the family of Hamer, was 
the fourth son of Sir Roderick Mor Macleod, XIII. of 
Dunvegan. He married a daughter of Munro of Inverawe, 
with issue — 

i. Roderick, who died without surviving male issue. 

2. William, designated of Oze and Waterstein. 

He was succeeded as representative of the family by 
his second son, 

II. WILLIAM MACLEOD, who married Catherine, daughter 
of John "Mac Dhomh'uill Ghlais" Macleod, II. of Drynoch, 
the famous warrior of Sir Rory Mors time, with issue — an 
only son and successor, 

III. William Macleod, who, in 1763, published a 
curious treatise on " Second Sight," under the nom de plume 
of "Theophilus Insulanus." On the 9th of May, 1763, the 
Rev. Norman Morrison, minister of Uig, Lewis, received a 
letter from Macleod, dated 30th March previously, asking 
him to take a copy of the book. Mr. Morrison replied, 
saying that he would take one, but at the same time assured 
Hamer that no one in the parish of Uig would read it but 

William married Margaret, eldest daughter of John Mac- 
leod, II. of Bernera and Contullich, eldest son of Sir Norman 
Macleod, first of Bernera, by his first wife Margaret, only 
child of John Mackenzie of Lochslinn, second son of 
Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie, and brother of Colin, first 
Earl of Seaforth. By his wife, Margaret of Contullich, 
William Macleod had issue — 

1. Norman, of Waterstein, who appears to have died 
without issue. 

2. Alexander, who died young. 


3. John, a Lieutenant in the army, who died unmarried. 

4. Roderick Macleod of Lyndale, who carried on the 
representation of the family. 

5. Isabella, who married Donald Macdonald, III. of 
Castleton, with issue. 

6. Margaret, who married Macleod of Arnisdale, in 
Glenelg, from whom descended the late Donald Macleod, 
of Kingsburgh, and afterwards of Coulmore; General Coll 
Macleod, and others. 

William Macleod, who died about 1770, was succeeded 
as representative of the family by his eldest son, 

IV. Norman Macleod, who commanded one of the 
Independent Companies raised by Norman, XIX. of 
Macleod, in 1745. He died unmarried at a very advanced 
age (he being alive in 1798), when he was succeeded as 
representative of the family by his youngest and only 
surviving brother, 

V. Roderick Macleod, a pronounced anti-Jacobite 
and a loyal supporter of the Hanoverian dynasty. After 
Culloden, he was appointed by the Forfeited Estates Com- 
missioners as factor to collect the rents of the forfeited estates 
in Skye and Uist, a duty which he performed with pru- 
dence and compassion towards those who had been placed 
at his mercy. Captain Thomas records the following 
regarding him : — " Hamer was travelling to Inverness 
with the King's rent, and had but one servant with him, 
who was very strong, but not very wise. Hamer was 
surprised by three robbers, as he was resting in a wood, 
and his servant was sleeping a little distance off. Resist- 
ance was useless, so he gave up the money. The robbers 
returned a crown to Hamer to pay his lodgings for a day 
and a night, but he declined it, and said that he would 
be obliged to them if they would give a good slap to 
wake up his lazy servant. The robbers treated the kilted 
Highlander very rudely, but he sprung up so suddenly 
that he wrested a gun from one of them in a moment, 
and killed two of them. The third fled ; but Hamer, 
who had by this time got his gun, brought him down. 


By the clever stratagem of getting- the violent temper of 
his man aroused, he regained all his money. After this 
adventure, Hamer always got some soldiers to be a guard 
to him when taking the King's money to Inverness."* 

Roderick married Janet, daughter of John Macleod of 
Bay, with issue — 

1. William, a Captain in the army. 

2. Alexander, who went to the West Indies, and died 

He was succeeded as representative of the family by 
his eldest son, 

VI. Captain William Macleod, who married Flora, 
daughter of John Macleod, X. of Gesto, with issue. 

1. Donald, who was drowned at sea, unmarried. 

2. Roderick, a Doctor of Medicine, who emigrated to 
Canada in 1820, and died there. 

3. William, who was drowned. 

4. Alexander, who died in Canada. 

5. Olaus, who died in India. 

6. Margaret, who, in 1820, married Duncan Cameron, 
Lochiel County, Glengarry, Canada, with issue — Sir 
Roderick Cameron, of Staten Island, New York, who, 
in 1883, was knighted by the Queen on her sixty-fourth 

7. Kate, who died unmarried. 

* Traditions of the Morrisons, by Captain F. W. L. Thomas, R. N. 


I. Donald Macleod, first of this family, was the fifth and 
youngest son of Sir Roderick Mor Macleod of Dunvegan, 
who died in 1626. He married, first, a daughter of Mac- 
donald of Clanranald, with issue — 

1. Alexander, his heir, who died before his father. This 
Alexander married and had issue — a daughter, Janet, who 
married, first, John Macleod, II. of Talisker, with issue. 
She married, secondly, Sir James Macdonald, XIII. of 
Sleat, with issue — Sir Alexander, his successor ; Margaret, 
who married Sir Robert Douglas of Glenbervie, Baronet, 
author of the Baronage ; Isabella, who died young ; and 
Janet, who married Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Baronet, V. 
of Coul, with issue. 

Donald Macleod of Greshornish married, secondly, a 
daughter of Fraser of Foyers, with issue — 

2. Norman, who, on the death of his eldest brother, 
Alexander, became his father's heir, and afterwards suc- 
ceeded as male representative of the family. 

3. William Macleod of Cleigan, who married Julia, 
daughter of John, second son of Alexander Macleod, 
VII. of Raasay, with issue — Donald Macleod, who 
married Margaret, daughter of Sween Macsween of 
Roag, with issue — (1) John Macleod, a Captain in the 
army, who died without issue ; (2) Donald Macleod, 
a Colonel in the Bengal Army, who married Miss Mac- 
kenzie, with issue — a daughter ; (3) Olaus Macleod of 
Varkisaig, who married a daughter of John Macleod, IX. 
of Raasay, with issue — four daughters — (a) Flora, who 
married Dr. George Baillie, Edinburgh, with issue — one 
son ; (b) Jane, who married Colonel Farrington, of the 


Madras Artillery, with issue — eight sons and one daughter ; 
(c) Margaret, who married her cousin, Charles Macsween, 
Chief-Justice of Agra, in India, with issue — a daughter, 
who married Mr. Home, of the Indian Civil Service, and 
Jessie, residing at Norwood, unmarried ; (d) Mary, who 
married Dr. Donald Martin of Moidart, and afterwards of 
Monkstadt, Skye, with issue — the Rev. Donald John Martin, 
at present Free Church Minister of Stornoway ; and three 
daughters, Julia Macleod ; Mary Anne ; and Flora Hastings, 
all three of whom died unmarried. 

4. Roderick Macleod, progenitor of the Macleods of 
Ulinish and Dalvey, which see. 

Donald, first of Greshornish, was succeeded by his eldest 
son by the second marriage, 

II. Norman Macleod, who married Catherine, daughter 
of Lachlan Maclean, IX. of Coll, with issue — 

1. Donald, his heir and successor. 

2. Alexander, who married, with issue — a son, Donald. 

3. Magnus, who died without issue. 

4. A daughter, who married Donald Macneil, of Vater- 
say, son of Macneil of Barra, with issue. 

Norman was succeeded by his eldest son, 

III. The Rev. Donald Macleod, third of Greshornish. 
He was educated for the Church, and was afterwards 
appointed parish minister of Duirinish, in the Isle of Skye. 
He was a very cultured man ; and that he possessed high 
poetical gifts is undoubted, from the high merit of the "Bean- 
nachadh Baird " which he composed to his bride on the first 
morning of her married life. In the olden times it was 
the custom in the Highlands for some one to meet the 
bride as she came out from her chamber accompanied 
by her maidens on the morning after her marriage, and 
to salute her with a poetical welcome called " Am Bean- 
nachadh Baird," or the Poet's Blessing. When the Rev. 
Donald Macleod of Greshornish, and minister of Duirinish 
married, no one was prepared to meet his bride with the 
usual salutation, the practice having by that time fallen 
into dissuetude. The reverend gentleman, however, de- 


termined that the time-honoured custom should not be 
dispensed with on the occasion of his marriage. He 
then composed the following pretty lines, full of wisdom 
and sage counsel, and saluted his bride himself as she 
came forth from her bridal chamber on the first morning 
of her wedded life : — 

Mile failte dhut le d' bhreid, 

Fad du re gu'n robh thu slan ; 

Moran laithean dhut le sith, 

Le d' mhaitheas 'us le d' ni 'bhi fas. 

A chulaidh cheutach a chaidh suas, 

'S trie a tarruing buaidh air mnaoi ; 

Bi-sa gu subhailceach, ceutach, 

A thionnsgainn thu fein 's an stri. 

An tus do chomhradh 'us tu bg, 

An tus gach 16 iarr Righ nan dul, 

'S cha 'n eagal nach dean thu gu ceart, 

Gach dearbh bheachd a bhios na d' rim. 

Bi-sa fialaidh, ach bi glic, 

Bi misneachail, ach bi stold' ; 

Na bi bruidhneach, 's na bi balbh, 

Na bi mear no marbh 's tu bg ; 

Bi gleidhteach air do dheagh run, 

Ach na bi duinte, 's na bi fuar, 

Na labhair air neach gu h ole, 

'S ge d' labhrair ort na taisbean fuath ; 

Na bi gearanach fo chrois, 

Falbh socair le ciipa Ian, 

'Chaoidh do'n ole na tabhair speis, 

'S le do bhreid ort mile failt. 

We give a good translation of these beautiful lines, 
by the Rev. James Sutor, one of Macleod's successors 
in the same parish : — 

Oh, now that matron curch proclaims thee mine 

May health without alloy be ever thine ! 

Long be thy days, and undisturbed thy peace ; 

Still may thy virtues, still thy stores increase. 

Oft, in that dress in which thou'rt now arrayed, 

Have woman's brightest virtues been displayed. 

May thine be so ; and as thou hast begun 

In life's gay spring, thy wedded course to run 

To Heaven's High King each morn thy prayers address, 

And hope from Him all that thy days can 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, nor giddiness, nor dullness suit ; 
From sudden friendships, guard thyself with care, 
And yet of coldness and reserve beware. 
Speak ill of none, and should it be thy fate 
To be reviled, never give place to hate. 
When fortune frowns, be to thy lot resigned, 
And when she smiles, lift not too high thy mind, 
So every virtue shall thy path adorn, 
Thus, thus, I hail thee on the bridal morn. 

The following notice of the reverend gentleman's death 
appears in the Scots Magazine volume for 1760 : — 

January 12th, 1760 — Died at Durinish, in the Isle of 
Skye, Mr. Donald Macleod, minister of that parish, a 
gentleman who adorned his profession, not so much by 
a literary merit, of which he possessed a considerable 
share, as by the constant practice of the most useful and 
exalted virtues. To do good was the ruling passion of 
his heart. In compounding differences, in diffusing the 
spirit of peace and friendship, in relieving the distressed, 
in promoting the happiness of the widow and orphan, 
his zeal was almost unexampled, his activity unwearied, 
his success remarkably great. It is almost unnecessary 
to mention that he lived with a most amiable character 
and died universally regretted. 

He married, with issue — 

1. Norman, his heir. 

2. Alexander, a Colonel in the Madras army, who died 
in 1805. 

3. Catherine, who married Macdonald of Griminish. 

4. Mary, who married Hugh Maclean of Trumpan. 

5. Alexandrina, who married, first, William Bethune, 
and secondly, a Mr. Watson. 

6. Margaret, who, at the age of sixteen, married, as his 
third wife, the famous Donald Macleod of Bernera, who 
was at the date of this marriage seventy-five years of 
age, with issue — three sons and six daughters. 

The Rev. Donald Macleod was succeeded as representa- 
tive of the family by his eldest son, 

IV. Norman Macleod, fourth of Greshornish, who 


married his cousin Margaret, daughter of Alexander Mac- 
leod, of Ulinish, Sheriff of Skye. Boswell, who with Dr. 
Johnson, met her at her father's house in Skye, during 
the famous tour to the Hebrides in 1773, says of her 
that " though she was never out of Skye, she was a very 
well-bred woman." By her Norman had issue — a daughter, 
Nora Macleod, who married Donald Murray. Norman 
was alive in 1798. 


I. Roderick Macleod, first of Ulinish, was the fourth 
son of Donald Macleod, I. of Greshornish, fifth and 
youngest son of Sir Roderick Mor Macleod, XIII. of 
Dunvegan. He married Margaret, daughter of John 
Macleod, II. of Talisker, with issue — 

1. Donald Macleod, his heir. 

2. Alexander Macleod, Sheriff of Skye in 1773, from 
whom the Macleods of Dalvey, which see. 

3. The Rev. William Macleod, minister successively of 
Bracadale and Campbelton. He married Isabella, daughter 
of Donald Macleod of Bernera, with issue. 

4. John, who, by his wife, Isabella Macdonald of Sleat 
(they having eloped from a public school in Inverness at 
the ages respectively of sixteen and fourteen years), had a 
son, Donald Macleod. This Donald was a most remark- 
able man, a gallant soldier, and a skilled swordsman. In 
a memoir of him published in 1791, he is said to have 
been then 103 years of age, having been "born at Ulinish- 
more on the 20th of June, 1688, as appears from the parish 
register of Bracadill." John, Donald's father, had two other 
sons, Alexander and Roderick ; and one daughter, Agnes, 
at whose birth, in 1694, her mother died ; when he entered 
upon a military life, became a Captain of Marines in a 
ship of war, and was killed at Belleisle in 1761. His 
children, in his absence, were brought up by their grand- 
father, Roderick Macleod of Ulinish, whose own children 
and grandchildren at the time are said to have numbered 
twenty-three. The times were hard, and the old man 
found it difficult to provide for such a large family. The 


following- description of how even the sons of gentlemen 
were clad and fed in those days is worth preserving : — 

" They were clothed with a woollen shirt, a kilt, or 
short petticoat, and a short coat, or rather a waistcoat with 
sleeves, reaching down and buttoned at the wrist. This 
was the whole of their clothing. No hats, nor bonnets, 
no stockings, nor yet shoes, either in summer or winter! 
in sunshine, rain, frost, or snow ! If the elder boys had 
one pair of brogues, or coarse shoes, formed rudely by 
leathern thongs out of raw and undressed hides, it was 
rather for ornament than use ; for particular solemnities 
than for constant wear. For the most part, their heads, 
necks, legs and feet were quite bare. It was only when 
the youth approached to manhood, and became, as we 
would say, beaus, that they were indulged with either shoes 
or bonnets. How, thus slightly attired, they could endure 
the rigour of an hyperboreal winter, appears to be astonish- 
ing and scarcely credible. But mark what I am going 
to relate. In the mornings, the moment they came out 
of bed, they washed themselves all over in large tubs of 
cold water, which seasoned them to the weather, whatever 
it was, and gave them the temperature of the day. In 
the evening again, they washed with cold water before 
their going to bed. This second ablution was necessary 
to clear away the dirt occasioned by going without shoes 
and stockings. This application of water was the more 
necessary, that the use of linen was then but little known, 
or in fashion." 

At nine years of age, Donald was sent to Inverness, 
and bound as an apprentice mason and stonecutter. Soon 
after, however, he absconded, and, after many difficulties 
and much fatigue, he found his way on foot to Perth, 
where shortly afterwards, he enlisted, at the age of thirteen, 
as a private in the Royal Scots, then commanded by the 
Earl of Orkney. There was a Captain Macdonald in the 
regiment, who turned out to be a relation of Donald, and 
he naturally took much interest in him. Donald fought 
through the whole of the famous campaign of 1704-13, 
under the Duke of Marlborough, and took an active part 
in all the leading battles fought under that distinguished 
General between that year and the Peace of Utrecht in 
1713, including Blenheim and Ramillies. He was, as we 


have said, an expert swordsman, and fought several suc- 
cessful duels during" his long- period of service in the 
army. He was in the Hanoverian army in 171 5, and 
distinguished himself at Sheriffmuir. He was early raised 
to the rank of Sergeant. In 1720 he left the Royal Scots, 
and became recruiting and afterwards drill-sergeant to 
Simon, Lord Lovat, in the raising of one of the Inde- 
pendent companies subsequently formed into the 43rd, now 
the 42nd Regiment, Royal Highlanders (the Black Watch). 
He afterwards fought at Fontenoy; at Louisburg, in America; 
and at the Siege of Quebec, under General Wolfe, though 
then in his seventy-first year. In this last engagement he 
was severely wounded and was invalided home, having the 
honour of forming one of the escort in charge of the body 
of General Wolfe on the passage to Britain in November, 
1759. Donald's life was altogether a stirring and most 
interesting one. When the memoir, from which we take 
these facts, came to an end, he was then in the enjoyment 
of good health and spirits, though then in the 103rd year 
of his age. He had been married three times, and had 
a very numerous family. He could not himself tell the 
exact number of his children by his different wives, as 
he had lost sight of many of them for years before. His 
eldest son, however, was living at the age of eighty-three, 
when his father's biography was published, while his young- 
est child was only nine years old. Twelve of his sons 
were in the King's service, either as soldiers or sailors, 
and several of his daughters had married well. A full 
account of Donald's career appeared in the Scottish High- 
lander of 19th January to 23rd February, 1888. 

5, A daughter who married John, son of John Dubh 
Mackinnon of Mackinnon. He died in 1737 before his 
father, without male issue. There were, however, four 
daughters of this marriage, the third of whom, Florence, 
married Ranald, XXIII. of Clanranald, with issue — his heir 
and successor. 

Roderick was succeeded by his eldest son, 
II. Donald Macleod, who had two sons — 


1. Alexander Macleod of London, of whose descendants, 
if any, nothing - is known. 

2. Norman Macleod of Bernisdale, who was a Captain 
in the army. He married Anne (who died in 1830), 
second daughter of Norman Macleod of Bernera, and 
died at Peninduin in 1804, leaving issue — (1) Donald, 
Macleod (born in 1778), Inspector-General of Army 
Hospitals in Bengal. He died at Calcutta on the 12th 
of November, 1840, leaving issue — a daughter, Anne, 
who married William Comperus Macleod of the ancient 
family of Borline, who was born about 18 15. This William 
entered the Madras Army, and was afterwards employed 
in the Civil Service in Burmah as Assistant to the Com- 
missioner of Tenasserim, in which capacity he travelled 
much into the interior of the country. He subsequently, 
in 1858, commanded the 30th Madras Native Infantry at 
Maulmain, and afterwards, in 1864, the Burmah Division 
at Rangoon. Having retired as Major-General, he died 
in 1 88 1. By his wife, Anne Macleod, he had issue, 
besides Arthur John, Duncan Roderick, and Catherine 
Jane, who died young in Maulmain — (a) William Sim 
Macleod, who, born in 1842, served in the 1st Madras 
Cavalry, and became a Lieutenant-Colonel, in the Madras 
Staff Corps. For several years he was Superintendent of 
the Vellore prison, and died on the 7th of March, 1888. 
He was married to a daughter of Dr. Porteous, with issue. 
(b) Donald James Sim Macleod, who served in the 1st 
Madras Cavalry, and afterwards in the Quarter-Master 
General's Department in Madras. He is now a Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, wearing the Distinguished Service Order. 
He married, in 1878, Camilla, daughter of Colonel Nicolas 
of the Madras Staff Corps, with issue. (c) Norman 
Frederick Macleod, now in the Department of Public 
Works in India. (d) Charles Eldred Macleod, B.A. of 
Trinity Hall, Cambridge, now a solicitor, residing at 
Hampstead, London. (e) Reginald George Macqueen 
Macleod, a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery. (2) Alex- 
ander Macleod, second son of Norman Macleod, of 



Bernisdale, was drowned in the West Indies. (3) William 
Macleod, third son of Norman Macleod of Bernisdale, was 
the first of the MACLEODS OF Orbost, which see. (4) 
Lieutenant Roderick Macleod, killed at the siege of St. 
Sebastian. (5) Archibald Macleod of Mary Vale, New 
South Wales ; and (6) Margaret, who married the late 
Rev. Coll Macdonald, Portree. 

Donald Macleod, second of Ulinish, was succeeded as 
representative of the family by 

III. Alexander Macleod, described by Douglas as 
"of London," but his history, or descendants, if any, we 
have been unable to trace. 


The Macleods of Dalvey are descended from the 
family of Greshornish, the first of whom was Donald, 
fifth and youngest son of Sir Roderick Mor Macleod, 
XIII. of Dunvegan. Donald Macleod was twice married, 
and by his second wife, a daughter of Fraser of Foyers, 
he had three sons, the youngest of whom, 

Roderick Macleod, became first of the Macleods of 
Ulinish. This Roderick, who married Margaret, daughter 
of John Macleod, II. of Talisker, had issue — several sons, 
the second of whom was 

Alexander Macleod, Sheriff of Skye, who entertained 
Dr. Johnson at Ulinish during his tour to the Hebrides 
in 1773. In a memoir of Donald Macleod, his nephew, 
published in 1791, it is said, "Alexander Macleod, Esq. 
of Ulinish, Sheriff of a district of Inverness-shire, his uncle, 
is now in the 100th year of his age." Boswell says that 
"Mr. Macleod of Ulinish, the Sheriff-substitute of the 
island, was a plain honest gentleman, a good deal like 
an English justice of peace ; not much given to talk, but 
sufficiently sagacious and somewhat droll. His daughter 
[Margaret] though she was never out of Skye, was a very 
well-bred woman." He also informs us that " there is a 
plentiful garden at Ulinish (a great rarity in Skye), and 
several trees ; and near the house is a hill, which has an 
Erse name signifying ' the hill of strife,' where Mr. Mac- 
queen informed us, justice was of old administered. It is 
like the mons plaeiti of Scone, or those hills which are 
called laws, such as Kelly Law, North Berwick Law, and 


several others. It is singular that this spot should happen 
now to be the Sheriff's residence." 

Sheriff Macleod married, with issue — 

1. Roderick Macleod, a Lieutenant in the British Army, 
killed in America. On the second day of Dr. John- 
son's visit to Ulinish heg ot into a controversy with this 
Roderick as to the authenticity of Macpherson's Ossian. 
Boswell gives the following account of the discussion : — 
" I took Fingal down to the parlour in the morning, and 
tried a test proposed by Mr. Roderick Macleod, son of 
Ulinish. Mr. Macqueen had said he had some of the 
poem in the original. I desired him to mention any 
passage in the printed book, of which he could repeat 
the original. He pointed out one in page 50 of the 
quarto edition, and read the Erse, while Mr. Roderick 
Macleod and I looked on the English ; and Mr. Macleod 
said it was pretty like what Mr. Macqueen had recited. 
But when Mr. Macqueen read a description of Cuchullin's 
sword in Erse, together with a translation of it in English 
verse by Sir James Foulis, Mr Macleod said that was 
much more like than Mr. Macpherson's translation of the 
former passage. Mr. Macqueen then repeated in Erse a 
description of one of the horses in Cuchullin's car. Mr. 
Macleod said Mr. Macpherson's English was nothing like 
it. When Dr. Johnson came down I told him that I 
had now obtained some evidence concerning Fingal ; for 
that Mr. Macqueen had repeated a passage in the original 
Erse, which Mr. Macpherson's translation was pretty like ; 
and reminded him that he himself had once said he did 
not require Mr. Macpherson's Ossian to be more like the 
original than Pope's Homer. JOHNSON — 'Well, sir, this 
is just what I always maintained. He had found names, 
and stories, and phrases, nay passages in old songs, and 
with them has blended his own compositions, and so made 
what he gives to the world as the translation of an ancient 
poem.' If this was the case, I observed, it was wrong to 
publish it as a poem in six books. JOHNSON — 'Yes, sir; 
and to ascribe it to a time too when the Highlanders 


knew nothing- of books, and nothing of six ; or perhaps 
got the length of counting six. We have been told, by 
Condamine, of a nation that could count no more than 
four. This should be told to Monboddo ; it would help 
him. There is as much charity in helping a man down- 
hill, as in helping him up-hill.' BOSWELL — ' I don't think 
there is as much charity.' JOHNSON — 'Yes, sir, if his 
tendency be downwards. Till he is at the bottom, he 
flounders ; get him once there, and he is quiet. Swift 
tells that Stella had a trick, which she learned from 
Addison, of encouraging a man in absurdity, instead of 
endeavouring to extricate him.' Mr. Macqueen's answers 
to the enquiries concerning Ossian were so unsatisfactory 
that I could not help observing that, were he examined 
in a court of justice, he would find himself under a necessity 
of being more explicit. JOHNSON — 'Sir, he has told Blair 
a little too much, which is published ; and he sticks to it. 
He is so much at the heads of things here, that he has 
never been accustomed to be closely examined ; and so 
he goes on quite smoothly ? BOSWELL — ' He has never 
had any body to work him!' JOHNSON — 'No, sir, and 
a man is seldom disposed to work himself, though he 
ought to work himself to be sure.' Mr. Macqueen made 
no reply." We shall now revert to the other members 
of Sheriff Macleod's family. 

2. Norman Macleod, a Major in the Army of Bengal, 
killed at Rohilcund. 

3. Alexander Macleod, I. of Dalvey. 

4. Margaret, who married Norman Macleod, IV. of 
Greshornish, with issue — a daughter, Nora, who married 
Donald Murray. 

I. Alexander Macleod, first of Dalvey, a Major in 
the Army, married Marion, fourth daughter of Donald 
Macleod of Bernera (by his third wife, Margaret, daughter 
of Donald Macleod, III. of Greshornish), with issue — 

1. Norman William Cowper Macleod, his heir and 

2. Roderick N. Macleod, born at Forres, 17th July, 


1798, an officer in the army. He died abroad, unmarried. 

3. Donald Alexander Macleod, who was a surgeon in 
the H.E.I.C.S. He married in 1854, Charlotte, eldest 
daughter of Edward Humphrey Woodcock, H.E.I.C.S. 
He was born in 1801, and died in 1872, leaving issue — 
(1) Norman Macleod, who, on the death of his uncle 
Norman in 1876, succeeded to Dalvey. (2) Alexander 
Edward Macleod, born in 1858, of Druim, Virginia, 
U.S.A. (3) Roderick Mackintosh Macleod, born in i860, 
now with his brother in Virginia. (4) Donald John Mac- 
leod, a solicitor in Great Malvern, born in 1863. (5) 
Harold Hay Brodie Macleod, born in 1865, a medical 
student at King's College Hospital, London. (6) Charlotte 
Marion ; and (7) Anna Mary, both residing at Dalvey. 

4. John Charles Macleod, born in 1807. He died 

5. Marion Macleod, who married Colonel Hay of Wester- 
ton, with issue. 

6. Margaret Macleod, who married her cousin, Donald 
Maclean of Boreray, North Uist, without issue. 

7. Flora Macleod, who died young. 

8. Isabella Macleod, who married Andrew Robertson, 
H.E.I.C.S., with issue. 

9. Mary Macleod, who, as his first wife, married the 
late JEneas Mackintosh of Daviot, without issue. 

10. Charlotte, who, as his second wife, married Alex- 
ander Mackintosh, XXVI. of Mackintosh, with issue — (1) 
Alexander ^Eneas, late of Mackintosh, born in 1847, and 
died, without male issue, in December, 1875. (2) Alfred 
Donald, now of Mackintosh. (3) ^Eneas Norman, born 
in 1854. (4) Marion Charlotte, who died young. (5) 
Mary Archange. (6) Isabella Ann, who, in 1873, married 
Charles Thomas Part, barrister-at-law, of Aldenham Lodge, 
Hertfordshire, with issue. 

Alexander Macleod, first of Dalvey, died in 1822, when 
he was succeeded by his eldest son, 

11. Norman William Cowper Macleod. He was 
born at Waternish, Isle of Skye, in 1795, and died 


unmarried in 1876, when he was succeeded by his nephew, 
III. Norman Macleod, now of Dalvey, a Captain in 
the 42nd Regiment, Royal Highlanders (Black Watch). 
He was born in 1857, and in 1875 joined the 42nd as 
sub-Lieutenant. He was promoted as Lieutenant imme- 
diately afterwards, and became Captain in 1886. He was 
with his regiment in Egypt and the Soudan from 1882 
to 1884; and was wounded both at El Teb and Tamai. 
He was mentioned in Lord Wolseley's dispatches for his 
services in these campaigns. 


The MACLEODS OF Orbost are descended from Donald 
Macleod, I. of Greshornish, youngest son of Roderick Mor 
Macleod, XIII. of Dunvegan. Donald was twice married, 
and by his second wife, a daughter of Fraser of Foyers, 
he had three sons. Roderick, the youngest, succeeded to 
Ulinish, and married Margaret, daughter of John Macleod, 
II. of Talisker, with issue — three sons, the eldest of whom, 
Donald, had two sons — (i) Alexander ; and (2) 

Norman Macleod of Bernisdale, a Captain in the 
Army, who married Anne, youngest daughter of Norman 
Macleod of Unish and V. of Bernera, with issue — (1) 
Donald Macleod, Inspector-General of Army Hospitals in 
Bengal. (2) Alexander Macleod, drowned in the West 
Indies. (3) William Macleod, who succeeded to Orbost. 
(4) Roderick Macleod, a Lieutenant in the Army, killed 
at the Siege of St. Sebastian. (5) Archibald Macleod of 
Maryvale, New South Wales ; and (6) Margaret, who 
married the late Rev. Coll Macdonald, parish minister of 

Norman Macleod, V. of Bernera (eldest son of Donald 
Macleod of the 'Forty-five, by his first wife, Anne, daughter 
of Roderick Macleod, XVII. of Dunvegan, by his wife, 
Isabel, daughter of Kenneth, third Earl of Seaforth), had, 
by his wife, Margaret Macneil of Barra, three daughters — 
(1) Isabel, who possessed Orbost in her own right. (2) 
Margaret, who married Campbell of Ensay, with issue — a 


daughter, Margaret, who married her cousin William, son 
of Captain Norman Macleod of Bernisdale ; and (3) Anne, 
who married Captain Norman Macleod of Bernisdale, 
who died in 1804. By Anne of Bernera, who died at 
Peninduin, Isle of Skye, in 1830, Captain Norman Mac- 
leod of Bernisdale had issue — 

I. William Macleod, first of Orbost, who married his 
cousin Margaret, daughter of Campbell of Ensay. On 
the death of their maternal aunt, Isabel Macleod of Orbost, 
unmarried, in 1839, William and his wife succeeded to her 
property as joint heirs, being respectively Miss Macleod's 
nephew and niece. 

By his wife, Margaret Campbell of Ensay, William of 
Orbost had issue — 

1. Norman Alexander, his heir. 

2. Angus Campbell, who died unmarried in Australia. 

3. William Campbell, a Lieutenant in the Merchant 
Navy, who died unmarried, at Cronstadt. 

4. Donald, drowned in his youth. 

5. Margaret, who married the late Rev. Hector Mac- 
kenzie, minister of Moy, Inverness-shire, with issue — one 
son, William, now in Canada. 

6. Isabella, who married John Mackinnon, Kyle, Isle 
of Skye, with issue — four sons and five daughters. 

7. Anne, who married the late Major Colin Lyon-Mac- 
kenzie of St. Martins, for many years Provost of Inverness, 
with issue — (1) Captain Colin Lyon-Mackenzie, now of 
St. Martins and Braelangwell. (2) Margaret Campbell, 
who, as his second wife, married Alexander Macdonald, 
now of Balranald, North Uist, and of Edenwood, Fifeshire, 
with issue. (3) Florance ; (4) Helen ; (5) Mary Anne ; 
and (6) Annie Isabella. 

William Macleod, first of Orbost, was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 

II. Captain Norman Alexander Macleod, who also 
had a tack of the Island of Rum. Orbost was sold several 
years ago, to the late Kenneth Macleod, XII. of Gesto, 
who left it to the present proprietor, his grand-nephew, 


Kenneth Robertson-Macleod of Greshornish and Orbost. 
Captain Norman Macleod was tacksman of the farm of 
Uiginish, on the estate of Macleod of Macleod until his 
death in 1888. He married, in 1874, Maria, second 
daughter of the late Major Ewen Macpherson of Glentruim, 
with issue — 

1. William Colin, born in 1877. 

2. Helen Maria ; 3. Margaret Campbell ; and 4. Louisa 


THE origin of the Macleods and the respective claims of 
the two leading families of Harris and Lewis to seniority 
of descent and to the Chiefship of the Clan, are discussed 
at the commencement of the work [pp. 1-5]; it is 
therefore unnecessary to reproduce that discussion here. 
It is admitted by both families that 

OLAVE THE Black, son of Godfred the Black, King 
of Man, who died about 1187, received from his brother 
Reginald the Island of Lewis for his heritage at the age of 
ten years, and that he subsequently succeeded, about 1226, 
by the aid of Paul, Sheriff of Skye, in repossessing himself 
of the then Sovereign Kingdom of Man and the Isles. 
Olave died about 1237, leaving, by his first wife, a lady 
belonging to one of the leading families of Kintyre, three 
sons — Harold, Reginald, and Magnus, all of whom ruled 
in succession as Kings of Man and the Isles. Magnus 
died at the Castle of Ross in 1266, without issue, and the 
Island Kingdom came to an end in the same year, Man 
and the Isles having been surrendered by the King of 
Norway to Alexander the Third of Scotland, in terms of 
a treaty dated 1266. 

Olave the Black had no issue by his second marriage, 


but by his third wife, Christina, daughter of Farquhar, Earl 
of Ross, he had three sons. The eldest was 


From whom descended the Macleods of Harris and Lewis. 
Being a minor when his father died, he was brought up 
and fostered in the family of Paul, son of Boke, Sheriff 
of Skye, who had always been a supporter of Leod's father, 
Olave the Black, and who was one of the most powerful 
men of his day in the Western Isles. Leod, already 
possessed of what is known in modern times as the Island 
of Lewis, was presented by his foster-father, Paul, Sheriff 
of Skye, with the lands of Harris, while his grandfather, 
the Earl of Ross, made over to him a part of the Barony 
of Glenelg. Both these extensive estates afterwards became 
the heritage of Leod's eldest son Norman, progenitor of 
the Macleods of Harris and Dunvegan. 

Leod, who flourished in the reign of Alexander III. 
[1249-1285], acquired also other vast possessions, by his 
marriage with the only daughter and heiress of MacRaild 
Armuinn, a Danish knight, who owned, and left to his 
daughter and son-in-law, Leod, the extensive lands of 
Dunvegan, Minginish, Bracadale, Duirinish, Lyndale, and 
part of Troternish, in the Isle of Skye. 

By this marriage with MacRaild Armuinn's only daughter 
and the heiress of Dunvegan, Leod had issue — 

1. Tormod, progenitor of the Macleods of Harris, 
Glenelg, and Dunvegan. 

2. Torquil, progenitor of the Macleods of Lewis, Water- 
nish, Assynt, Coigeach, Gairloch, Raasay, and their offshoots. 

There appears to be no doubt that the name " Lewis " is 
simply the modern form of the original name " Leodus " — 
in Gaelic " Leodhas" — which at first included Harris. And 
this corroborates the unbroken tradition that this earlier 
and larger Lewis was the earliest heritage of Leod or 
Leodus, the common progenitor of the whole Clan. The 
fact, therefore, that the Lewis of modern times was 
given by Leod in patrimony to Torquil, progenitor of 


the Macleods of Lewis, in no way supports the contention of 
the latter that they are the oldest family, and that the head 
of their house was consequently the head and Chief of the 
whole Clan. 

It is, however, but fair that the reasons given by the 
Macleods of Lewis in support of their claim to the Chief- 
ship should be stated, so that the reader may judge for 
himself as to their cogency. They maintain, first, that 
their progenitor, Torquil, succeeded his father, Leod, in 
the Island of Lewis, the original patrimony of the family ; 
secondly, that the descendants of Torquil always carried 
in their armorial bearings the arms of the Kings of Man 
and the Isles, their paternal ancestors ; and, thirdly, that 
it has been the unvaried tradition in the family that Torquil 
was the eldest brother, and this they say is confirmed by 
Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, Lord Lyon King-at- 
Arms, and by Buchanan's History of the Origin of the 
Clans, published in 1723. Leod did not, however, at 
first possess all the Lewis of that date, which as has been 
already shown, included Harris, and which portion of it 
was only presented to him by the Sheriff of Skye, who then 
owned it, long after he received what we now call Lewis. 

The Island of Lewis, which with Harris formed the 
" Llodthus " of the Sagas, and the residence of whose 
lords was the Castle of Stornoway, appears on record in 
1263, when Haco, King of Norway, visited it. He after- 
wards touched at it on his expedition in the same year 
against Scotland. In 1292 the lands of " Lodoux" (Lewis) 
are included in the Sheriffdom of Skye, erected by King 
John Balliol. In 1335 Edward Balliol granted in heritage 
to John, first Lord of the Isles, for his allegiance, the 
Isle of "Lewethy" (Lewis), and other lands; and in 1336 
Edward III. of England confirmed this grant. In 1344 
David II. of Scotland granted the same lands to the 
same John of the Isles, and they are found in his pos- 
sessions in 1367. In 1382 or 1383 King Robert II. 
granted to his own son, Alexander Stewart, Earl of 
Buchan, and to Lady Euphemia, Countess of Ross, the 


baronies and lordship of Skye and the Lewis, which 
Lady Euphemia had just previously resigned. Lewis and 
the other Isles named were forfeited by John, fourth Lord 
of the Isles, in 1475. They were, however, restored to 
him in 1476, and again confirmed to him by James III. 
in 1478. In 1493 they were again forfeited by the same 
Lord of the Isles.* 

From this it appears conclusive that the Lewis was 
held for many generations under the Lords of the Isles, 
who were the immediate superiors under the Crown. 
According to Skene, the first charter in favour of the 
Macleods of Lewis from the Crown on record is one by 
David II., of the barony of Assynt, to Torquil Macleod, 
and in that charter he is not designated "of the Lewis" 
or indeed of any place whatever. But a charter by Donald 
of the Isles, grandson of Somerled, Thane of Argyle, in 
which he styles himself King of the Isles, in favour of 
Lord John Bisset, dated at Donald's Castle of Dingwall, 
on the 19th of January, 1245, is witnessed by his "beloved 
cousines and councillors," Macleod of Lewis and Macleod 
of Harris. 

It will be seen that Harris was a portion of the 
" Llodthus," or Lewis, of those days, as indeed it has 
always been geographically, for they both comprise but 
one Island, without any channel between them ; and it 
appears to have been divided between the two sons of 
Leod, Norman and Torquil. This fact goes far to upset 
the argument on which the descendants of Torquil base 
their claim to the Chiefship — upon his having succeeded 
to what is known in modern times as the Lewis, but which 
only formed a portion of what was known as the Llodthus, 
Leodhas, or Lewis of that period. 

Leod was succeeded in his part of the Lewis of that 
day by his second son, 


Second of Lewis, of whose history nothing is known. 

* Origines Parochiales Scotia, p. 382. 


From him the Macleods of Lewis derive their Gaelic 
patronymic of Siol Thorcuil, or Torquil's descendants. 
Born in the reign of Alexander III., he died in that of 
King- Robert the Bruce. — [1306- 1329]. He married 
Dorothea, daughter of William, Earl of Ross, his superior 
in the lands of Lewis, with issue — 

1. Norman, his heir and successor. 

2. Finguala, who married Kenneth Mackenzie, III. of 
Kintail, with issue — Murdoch, who carried on the succession, 
and died in 1375. 

Torquil was succeeded by his only son, 


Third of Lewis, who did not long survive his father. He 
married, with issue, one son, who succeeded him — 


Fourth of Lewis. Douglas, giving as his authority the 
" Index to King David's Book of Charters in the Public 
Archives," says that this Torquil was granted a charter 
by King David II. — Torquilo Macleod de Lewis, terrarum 
bavonie da Assynt cum fortalicio, etc. Skene, however, 
points out [Highlanders of Scotland, Vol. II., p. 274] 
that Torquil is not designated " de Lewis" in this 
charter, " nor has he any designation whatever " in it. 
Gregory informs us that from 1344 "the Siol Torquil 
held Lewis as vassals of the house of Isla," and that in 
the same reign [David the Second's] Torquil Macleod, 
Chief of the tribe, had a royal grant of the lands of 
Assint in Sutherland."* This extensive barony Torquil 
obtained by marriage with Margaret MacNicol, heiress 
of the lands in question. These were afterwards, early in 
the fifteenth century, given in vassalage by Roderick 
Macleod, V. of Lewis, to his own younger son, Tormod, 
progenitor of the later Macleods of Assynt, Geanies, and 

Torquil Macleod died in the reign of Robert II. — 

* History of the Western Highlands and Isles of Scotland, pp. 72-73. 


[i 371-1390] — when he was succeeded by his only son by 
Margaret MacNicol of Assynt, 


Fifth of Lewis. "In 1449 a charter of John of Yle is 
witnessed by Roderick Macleoid of Leoghuis."* He 
married Margaret, daughter of the Lord of the Isles, with 
issue — 

1. Torquil, his heir and successor. 

2. Tormod, to whom he gave the Barony of Assynt, 
and from whom are descended the Macleod families of 
Assynt, Geanies, and Cadboll, an account of which will 
be given in their proper order. 

3. Margaret, who, as his second wife, married William 
Mackintosh, VII. of Mackintosh, with issue ; among others, 
Malcolm Beg, who succeeded his nephew, Ferquhard, as 
X. of Mackintosh, and carried on the succession, though 
his uncle Ferquhard left three sons, the eldest of whom 
was the legal heir.j 

Roderick died at an advanced age, when he was suc- 
ceeded by his eldest son, 


Sixth of Lewis. He is said to have made "a great 
figure" in the reign of James II. [1437-1460.] A charter 
by the same John of Yle, whose charter was witnessed 
by this man's father, Roderick Macleod, in 1449, was "wit- 

* Origines Parochiales Scotia, p. 382 ; and Register of the Great Seal, 
XIII., No. 186. 

f According to the History of the Mackintoshes and Clanchattan by Alex- 
ander Mackintosh Shaw, 1880, Ferquhard the IXth chief " gave up a position 
which he had neither the ability to fill, nor the wish to retain," his three sons 
at the same time being cut off from the succession. It would thus appear that 
the subsequent de facto heads of the Mackintoshes are not the legitimate Chiefs 
of their own clan, to say nothing of their claim to be the Chiefs of Clanchattan. 
All Ferquhard's sons had issue, and they are said to have several descendants 
now living. 


nessed by Torquil Macleoid of Leoghos,"* in 1461. He 
married, with issue — his heir and successor, 


Seventh of Lewis, who is on record in 1476, in 1478, 
1493, and 1494. In the latter year, Roderick of the 
Lewis and John Maclan of Ardnamurchan made their 
submission to James IV. f Gregory says that this Roderick 
was grandson of a former Chief also named Roderick. In 
a Latin charter, under the Great Seal, dated 10th November, 
1495, in favour of Hugh Macdonald, first of Sleat, he is 
designated " Roderico Macleod de Leoghys," and Gregory 
says that he was "the head of the Siol Torquil" in 1493. 
He married, first, Margaret, daughter of John Macleod, 
VI. of Harris and Dunvegan, with issue — 

1. A son who was mortally wounded at the Battle of 
the Bloody Bay near Tobermory, while fighting for John, 
Lord of the Isles, against his bastard son, Angus Og. He 
died shortly afterwards on his way home, at Dunvegan 
Castle, without issue4 

Roderick married secondly, Agnes, eldest daughter of 
Kenneth Mackenzie — "Coinneach a Bhlair" — IX. of Kin- 
tail, by Agnes Fraser, daughter of Hugh Fraser, third 
Lord Lovat, with issue — 

2. Torquil, who, on the death of his eldest brother, 
became his father's heir. 

3. Malcolm, who, in 15 11, succeeded his brother Torquil 
who had been forfeited in his estates in 1506. 

4. A daughter, who, as his second wife, married Allan 
Macleod of Gairloch, with issue — Ruairidh MacAilein, 
otherwise known as " Ruairidh Nimhneach," author of the 
massacre of the Macleods of Raasay and Gairloch at Island 

* Argyll Charters. 

^Register of the Great Seal, June, 1494, VIII., 128, 123. 

% The Sleat Seanachaidh says in his description of the engagement that 
"the galley of the heir of Torkill [should be Roderick] of the Lewis, with all 
his men, was taken, and himself mortally wounded with two arrows, whereof 
he died soon after at Dunvegan." — Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 317. 



He died in 1498, when he was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Eight of Lewis, who has a charter under the Great Seal — 
" Torquilo Maeleod de Lewes, de officio balivatus omnium 
terrarum regi in Troternish, jacen. infra insulam de Skye, 
in forisfaetaram Johannis, olim domini msularum, tenend. 
dieto Torquilo et hceredibus fuis inter ipsum et Catharinam 
Campbell, fororem Arehibaldi comitis de Argyll, legitime 
procreand quibus deficientibus, regi et hceredibus fuis re- 
vertend, datum apud novum castrum de Kilkerran in Kintyre. 
28vo. Junii, 1498." Torquil now, by the death of his 
father, Lord of Lewis, accompanied by Alexander Crotach 
Maeleod of Dunvegan, in the summer of 1498 paid 
homage to James IV. at the head of Loch Kilkerran, 
where His Majesty held a Court at a castle then recently 
erected by him. In October of the same year Torquil 
has a charter under the Great Seal granting him the 
office of Bailliary of Troternish, with eight merks of the 
land, described as being then in the hands of the Crown 
by the forfeiture of the Lord of the Isles, though only 
in August, two months before, a grant of the same Bail- 
liary, with two unciates of the land now given to Maeleod 
of Lewis, was made by a similar charter to Alexander 
Maeleod, VIII. of Dunvegan.* 

On the liberation of Donald Dubh of the Isles from 
his imprisonment in the Castle of Inchconnel, he at once 
repaired to Torquil Maeleod of the Lewis, who was 
married to Catharine, daughter of Colin, first Earl of Argyll, 
and sister of Donald's mother. Maeleod took him under 
his protection, warmly espoused his cause, and at once 
set about securing for him the support of the other West 
Island Chiefs in his efforts to establish himself as Lord of 
the Isles. Through the Earl of Argyll, Macian of Ardna- 
murchan, and Stewart of Appin, all of whom were at 
the time in regular communication with the Court, the 
King very soon heard of Donald's escape and Torquil's 
* Reg. of the Great Seal, XIII., 305 and 377. 



support of his claims. The King- and Council determined, 
if possible, at once to put a stop to the movement, charged 
Torquil, under the penalty of high treason, immediately to 
deliver up the person of Donald Dubh, who was described 
in the charge as then at Macleod's "rule and governance." 
Torquil paid no attention to the Royal demands, and he 
was formally denounced a rebel, and all his possessions were 
forfeited to the Crown. In 1502 directions were given, in 
a Commission granted to the Earl of Huntly, Lord Lovat, 
and William Munro of Fowlis, to expel all "broken men" 
from the Lewis, which really meant, in the disturbed state 
of affairs at the time, the expulsion of the whole population 
from the island. Macleod answered by at once proclaiming 
Donald Dubh as Lord of the Isles. In the meantime he 
prevailed upon the Highland Chiefs to join him in the 
insurrection, among others being Maclean of Duart, and 
Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, who, in 1504, were declared 
traitors, and had their estates forfeited. 

In 1505 most of the leaders of the insurrection made 
submission to an expedition to the Western Isles con- 
ducted by the King in person, and the confederacy of 
the Island Chiefs was dissolved. Torquil Macleod, however, 
with a few others, who had no hope of the Royal pardon 
being extended to them, still held out, and in 1506 another 
expedition to reduce them was rendered necessary. The 
Lord of Lewis was solemnly forfeited in his life and 
property by Parliament, and for the purpose of carrying 
the sentence into execution the Earl of Huntly, in 1506, 
proceeded at the head of a considerable force to the 
Lewis. The Castle of Stornoway was besieged and finally 
taken, and the whole island was subdued. Whether Torquil 
himself was killed or effected his escape it is impossible 
to say ; for no further trace of him is found. His lands 
of Assynt and Coigeach were granted in life-rent to 
Y Mackay of Strathnaver, who took a prominent part 
in the expedition sent against him. 

On the 29th of April, 1508, James VI. commanded 
the Bishop of Caithness, Ranald Alansoun of Clanranald, 


and Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan, to let for five 
years to sufficient tenants the lands of Lewis and 
Waternish in Skye, forfeited by Torquil Macleod, and on 
the 7th of June they received further instructions to pro- 
ceed to Lewis on the same business, taking- their directions 
from Alexander, Earl of Huntly. 

Torquil married, first, Catherine Campbell, daughter of 
the first Earl of Argyll, apparently without issue. 

He married, secondly, a daughter of John Cathanach 
Macdonald of Islay and the Glynns, widow of Donald 
Gallach, third, and mother of Donald Gruamach, fourth 
of Sleat, with issue — 

1. John Mac Torquil,* who was excluded from the 
succession on his father's forfeiture and again when the 
estates were, in 15 11, restored to Malcolm, Torquil's brother. 
John succeeded, however, on the death of his uncle, in 
getting possession, which he held, as will be seen here- 
after, during the remainder of his life. 

Lewis and the other estates of the family were, in 15 n, 
given, to the exclusion of Torquil's son and direct male 
heir, by charter under the Great Seal, to 


Brother of the forfeited Torquil, who is described in the 
document as Malcolmo Makloid jilio et liceredi quondam 
Roderieo M'Cloid. He is granted " the lands and castle 
of Lewis, and Waternish in the Lordship of the Isles, 
with other lands, erected in his favour into the barony 
and lordship of Lewis, the place and castle of Stornochway 
to be the chief messuage."! In 15 15, when the Regent 

* Gregory, p. 131, speaks of Donald Gruanach as uterine brother of John 
Mac Torquil, son of Torquil Macleod of the Lewis, forfeited in 1506, and 
nephew of Malcolm, the present [1528] Lord of Lewis. In a footnote he 
adds that Donald Gallach 's "mother was first married to Torquil Macleod 
of the Lewis." She must, however, have been his second wife, and Donald 
Gallach's widow, for Donald was killed in 1506, and Catherine of Argyll is 
named as Macleod's wife in the charter of 1498. She lived after 1506, the 
date of Donald Gallach's death. 

'[Register of the Great Seal, XVII., No. 16; and Register of the Privy 
Council, IV., p. 126. 


Duke of Albany commissioned John Maclan of Ard- 
namurchan to reduce to obedience the inhabitants of 
parts of the Isles who had supported Sir Donald of 
Lochalsh in his attempts to gain the Lordship of the 
Isles, and to promise the less violent of them the favour 
of the Crown, with remission for their past crimes, pro- 
vided they made their submission, promised obedience 
in future, and made restitution to those who had suffered 
by their conduct, Malcolm was one of the Chiefs specially 
exempted from the Royal clemency. He is again on 
record in 15 17. 

In 1 5 18-19 Sir Donald Gallda Macdonald of Lochalsh, 
accompanied by the Macleods of Lewis and Raasay, 
invaded Ardnamurchan, where, by pre-arrangement, they 
met Alexander Macdonald of Islay ; and having united 
their forces, they attacked Maclan, whom they overtook 
at Craig-an-Airgid, in Morvern, defeated and slew him 
there with two of his sons, John Suaineartach and Angus, 
and many more of his followers. Sir Donald of Lochalsh 
died soon after this raid, and nothing more is heard of 
Malcolm Macleod, who appears to have died about 1528. 

From the date of the raid to Ardnamurchan till about 
1532 the lands and barony of Lewis were taken possession 
of and held by John, son and direct male heir of Torquil 
Macleod forfeited in 1 506, and the nephew of Malcolm, to 
whom the estates had then been granted by the Crown. 
On the death of Malcolm, whose son Roderick was a 
minor, John Mac Torquil, aided by Donald Gruamach 
of Sleat and his followers, seized the whole Island. All 
the vassals of the barony followed his banner, and, though 
excluded from the legal succession by his father's for- 
feiture, every one of them acknowledged him as their 
natural leader by right of birth ; and he was able to keep 
possession of the estates and the command of the Siol 
Torquil during the remainder of his life. In 1530 his 
name appears with nine others of the Highland Chiefs 
who made offers of submission to the King through the 
instrumentality of Hector Maclean of Duart. 


John Mac Torquil was married, without male issue. But 
he had one daughter, Margaret, who married Donald Gorm, 
fifth of Sleat, and after her father's death her claims to the 
estates were supported by his whole kindred, and by the 
Macdonalds of Sleat. An amicable arrangement was, how- 
ever, ultimately arrived at. 

Writing under date of 1532-39, Gregory says, of John 
Mac Torquil — " that Chief, the representative of an elder, 
though forfeited branch of the family of Lewis, had obtained 
possession of the estates and leading of his tribe ; and, 
although he did not hold these by any legal title, the claims 
of his daughter after his death were far from contemptible, 
especially when supported by the influence of the Clan- 
donald. A compromise seems to have been entered into 
between Donald Gorme and Ruari Macleod, the legal heir 
of the Lewis, as formerly held by Malcolm Macleod, his 
father, and the last lawful possessor."* 

Malcolm Macleod married Christian, daughter of Thomas 
Urquhart of Cromarty, with issue — 

1. Roderick, his heir and successor. 

2. Malcolm Garbh, from whom the Macleods of Raasay. 

3. Norman, ancestor of the Macleods of Eddrachilles. 

In 1532, on the death of John Mac Torquil, Malcolm's 
nephew, who had been in undisturbed possession since 
Malcolm's death, f 


Succeeded to the lands and command of the Macleods of 
Lewis, in terms of an arrangement arrived at between him 
and Donald Gorm Macdonald of Sleat, who had married 
Margaret, daughter of John Mac Torquil. In terms of 
this agreement, Roderick undertook to assist Donald Gorm 
in driving the Macleods of Dunvegan, who regained pos- 

* Highlands and Isles, p. 144. 

f Malcolm was buried in the Churchyard of Ui, in the immediate vicinity 
of Stornoway, where many of the Lewis Chiefs are interred, " and particularly 
Malcolm, son of Roderick Macleod, Lord of Lewis, who died in the reign of 
James V. His tomb is still visible, and the inscription is entire, with the 
exception of the date." — Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. 4. 


session of Troternish, from that contested district. It is 
also stated that Roderick bound himself to aid in establish- 
ing Donald Gorm in the Lordship of the Isles and Earldom 
of Ross. 

In May, 1539, Donald Gorm, accompanied by Macleod 
and his followers, invaded the lands of Troternish and 
laid them waste, after which, taking advantage of Mackenzie 
of Kintail's absence from home, they, with a large body 
of followers, made a raid upon Kinlochewe and Kintail, 
and attempted to take the Castle of Eilean Donain, on 
which occasion Donald Gorm was killed by an arrow shot 
from the walls. 

On the 2nd of April, 1538, James V. had granted to 
Roderick Macleod, the son and heir of the deceased 
Malcolm Macleod of the Lewis, the nonentry and othe 
dues of the lands and barony of the Lewis, from the 
30th of June, 1511, till a year after the date of the 
grant.* When the King, in course of his visit to the Isles in 
1540, visited the Lewis, Roderick Macleod and his principal 
kinsmen met him, when they were commanded to accom- 
pany His Majesty in his progress southward. In 1541 
James V. granted Roderick Macleod and Barbara Stewart, 
his affianced spouse, the lands, island, and barony of Lewis, 
with the castle and other lands, resigned by Roderick for 
that purpose; whereupon the whole was erected anew into 
the free barony of the Lewis. 

Roderick's name is found on the 28th of July, 1545, 
among the seventeen barons and members of the Council 
of the Isles appointed as plenipotentiaries for treating, 
under the directions of the Earl of Lennox, with the 
English King, to whom, at this time, they had been 
arranging to transfer their allegiance, in consequence of 
which they had, shortly before, been charged by the 
Regent Arran with rebellious and treasonable proceedings. 
They were threatened with utter ruin and destruction, 
from an invasion by "the whole body of the realm of 
Scotland, with the succours lately come from France," for 

* Register of the Privy Council, Vol. XL, p. 66. 


their attempts to bring- the whole Isles and a great part 
of the mainland under the obedience of the King of 
England, in contempt of the authority of the Crown of 

On the 5th of August following these rebellious barons 
were at Knockfergus, in Ireland, with a force of four 
thousand men and one hundred and eighty galleys, where, 
in presence of the Commissioners sent by the Earl of 
Lennox, and of the leading officials of that town, they 
took the oath of allegiance to the King of England, at 
the command of the Earl of Lennox, who was at the 
same time acknowledged by them all as the true Regent 
and second person of the Realm of Scotland, in which 
capacity they agreed to act under his directions in their 
treasonable and unpatriotic action on this and other occa- 
sions. On the 17th of August, the same year, Roderick 
received, with Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan and forty 
others, a remission, from that date to the 1st of November 
following, that they might go to the Regent and Lords 
of the Privy Council to arrange as to their affairs. 

On the death of Donald Dubh, without lawful male 
issue, many of the Island Chiefs recognised and adopted 
as their legitimate leader James Macdonald of Islay, though 
his pretentions to the Lordship of the Isles were far inferior 
to those of Donald Gorm Og of Sleat, who was then a 
minor. Among those who opposed Islay and who soon 
afterwards succeeded in effecting a reconciliation with the 
Scottish Regent, were Roderick Macleod of Lewis, Macleod 
Of Harris, Macneil of Barra, Mackinnon of Strath, and 
Macquarrie of Ulva. Roderick is absent, however, in 1547 
from the battle of Pinkie, though several of the other 
Island lords responded to the call made upon them to join 
the Regent Arran on that disastrous occasion. Macleod 
appears, however, to have been forgiven, in 1548, on easy 
terms, with several others outlawed along with him in 
the previous year for refusing to join the Regent's forces 
when commanded to do so. But he is again in trouble 
within a very short time. In 155 1 Archibald Earl of 


Argyll was commissioned to pursue, with his men, Roderick 
Macleod of Lewis for "obteening" certain persons out 
of his lands. 

In 1552 Arran determined, on the advice of Mary of 
Guise, the Queen Dowager, to establish order among the 
Highlanders. With this object he summoned all the Chiefs 
to meet him at Aberdeen on the 17th of June. Most of 
them submitted, either there or in the following July at 
Inverness, to the conditions imposed by him, but in 
consequence of disputes which at this time occurred 
between Arran and the Queen Dowager regarding the 
Regency, the Highlanders again rebelled. Mary of Guise 
assumed the Government in June, 1554, when she at 
once ordered the Earls of Huntly and Argyll to proceed 
by land and sea to the utter extermination of the Mac- 
donalds of Clanranald and Sleat, and the Macleods of 
Lewis and their associates, who failed to present the 
hostages demanded of them for their good conduct and 
loyalty in the future. The expedition, from various causes, 
turned out a complete failure. The Queen Dowager deter- 
mined, however, to secure order among the Highlanders, 
and in April, 1555, she made a beginning by ordering 
the institution of a process of treason against Roderick 
Macleod of Lewis. In the following June a commission 
was granted to the Earls of Argyll and Athole against 
the islanders, but soon after Macleod submitted and made 
offers to the Privy Council through Argyll, in consequence 
of which the Queen Regent granted him a remission 
for " his treasonable intercommuning with various rebels, 
and for other crimes." 

After this he appears for several years to have led a 
more peaceful life, for we do not again find trace of him 
in the public records until the 20th of September, 1565, 
when he is summoned, with several others, by proclamation, 
to join the Earl of Athole in Lorn to put down the Earl 
of Murray's rebellion, arising out of his opposition to the 
marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to Lord Darnley. This 
rising, however, collapsed, and there was no necessity to 


send the Royal forces to Lorn after all. In 1572, during 
Roderick's life, James VI. granted to Torquil Conanach 
Macleod, described in the charter making the grant as 
" the son and apparent heir of Roderick Macleod of Lewis," 
and to the heirs male of his body, with remainder to Gille- 
callum Garbh Macleod of Raasay, and his male heirs, and 
to Torquil's male heirs whomsoever, bearing the Macleod 
surname and arms, the lands and barony of Lewis, which 
Roderick had resigned, reserving the life-rent to himself 
on condition that he and Torquil should not again commit 
any crime against the King.* 

Roderick's rule turned out disastrous to the Siol Torquil 
in the Lewis, and terminated the supremacy of his house 
in that island principality. How this came about must 
now be considered. In doing so, we shall have to wade 
through one of the most barbarous, sanguinary, and fratri- 
cidal conflicts recorded in Clan history. Though the sources 
of authentic information are scant, we hope to give a more 
complete account of this period of the history of the Lewis 
and its inhabitants than has ever yet been written. 

The feud between the Macdonalds of Sleat and the 
Mackenzies of Kintail, already noticeed, were aggravated 
by Donald Gorm's raid on Kinlochewe and Eilean Donain 
Castle — where the Chief of Sleat was killed — and was after- 
wards greatly intensified by the relations which at a later 
date existed between these two powerful families and the 
respective claimants for ascendancy in the Lewis. It will 
be better first to give an account of the position of the 
Macleod leaders in the island and of their supporters 
from an independent historical source. 

Gregory says that Roderick Macleod married, as his 
first wife, Janet, daughter of John Mackenzie of Kintail. 
In all other accounts this lady is said to have been Mac- 
leod's second wife, but Gregory conclusively proves 
that Barbara Stewart, said by other authorities to have 
been Roderick's first wife, was alive, and styled Lady 
Lewis, in 1566, while Torquil Conanach, Macleod's son 

* Register of the Privy Seal, Vol. XL p., 65. 


by Janet Mackenzie, is found engaged in active life as a 
man of full age in 1554, twelve years before 1566, and 
Torquil had a grown-up son in 1585, only nineteen years 
after Barbara Stewart is found mentioned in the public 
records as being then alive. It is thus established beyond 
question that Janet Mackenzie, Torquil Conanach's mother, 
was Roderick Macleod's first wife. She was an illegitimate 
daughter of John Mackenzie of Killin, IX. of Kintail, and 
was married, as her first husband, to Mackay of Reay. 
Her mother appears to have belonged to Strathconon, 
where, among her relations, the son, Torquil Conanach, 
was fostered, a fact which accounts for this sobriquet, by 
which he is ever afterwards known. This is stated in 
several of the Mackenzie family manuscripts ; and it is quite 
certain that Torquil was not a son of any of Mackenzie's 
daughters by his lawful wife, whom we know to have 
been Elizabeth, daughter of John, tenth Laird of Grant, 
a family that never had any connection whatever with 

The only issue of Macleod's marriage with Janet Mac- 
kenzie, widow of Mackay of Reay, was this Torquil, 
" afterwards, from his residence among his mother's 
relations in Strathconon, surnamed Connanach." Janet, 
according to Gregory, subsequently eloped with John 
MacGillechallum, of Raasay, and was divorced by Macleod, 
who at the same time disowned and disinherited her son, 
Torquil Conanach, alleging that he was not his lawful son 
but the adulterous offspring of his wife by Hucheon Mor- 
rison, the Breitheamh, or hereditary Celtic Judge of the 

Having thus got rid of his first wife, Macleod, in 1541, 
married Barbara Stewart, daughter of Andrew, Lord Avan- 
dale, by whom he had a second son, also named Torquil, 

* It appears from the Treasurer's Accounts that on the 23rd of July, 1551, 
Patrick Davidson is paid the sum of ^10 by the King's Treasurer that he may 
go to the Lewis to charge " M'Cleude of the Lewis and Hucheon of the Lewis 
to come to my Lord Governor [Arran] at the aire of Inverness." Hucheon, 
it is thus clear, was Roderick's contemporary, and we otherwise know that he 
Was indirectly the cause of the final ruin of the Lewis Macleods. 


and surnamed Oighre, or the heir, to distinguish him from 
his alleged illegitimate eldest brother, Torquil Conanach, 
Torquil Oighre, described as " a young Chief of great 
promise," was in or about 1566, with sixty of his 
attendants, drowned in a great storm while sailing in his 
galley from the Lewis to Waternish, in the Isle of Skye. 
This must be the Torquil, and not Torquil Conanach, as 
suggested by the editor of The Origines Parochiales 
Scotiae, to whom, in 1563, Queen Mary addressed the 
following letter : — " Torquil Macleod : We greet you well- 
We are informed that some of the Isles are desirous to 
have you allied to them by marriage ; and because you 
have that honour to be of the Stewart blood, we thought 
expedient to give you advertisement that it is our will 
and pleasure that you ally yourself to no party in marriage 
without our advice, and until we declare our opinion to 
yourself therein. Subscribed with our hand at Inveraray, 
the 23rd of July, 1563."* It was never suggested by any 
authority that Torquil Conanach had any immediate Stewart 
blood in his veins. 

Torquil Oighre, Roderick's son by Barbara Stewart, left 
no male issue. His death, without male heirs, gave fresh 
spirit and hope to Torquil Conanach's supporters, the most 
powerful of whom were his mother's relations, the Mac- 
kenzies of Kintail. He also had the aid of the Macdonalds 
of Glengarry, he having married a daughter of their Chief, 
Angus VII. of Glengarry, by Margaret, daughter of Mac- 
leod of Harris. She afterwards, in 1590, had six davachs 
of land in the Lordship of the Lewis and other lands, on 
the mainland, granted to her in life-rent by her husband, 
and the grant was in the same year confirmed by 
James VI. She is described in the charter as " Margaret 
Nyne Angus Makalexander," or Margaret, daughter of 
Angus, son of Alexander of Glengarry. Either before or 
after her marriage to Torquil Macleod, she was married to 
one of the Cuthberts of Castle Hill, Inverness, by whom 
she became the progenitrix of Charles Colbert, Marquis of 
* Miscellany of the Spalding Clttb^ Vol. V., p. 396. 


Seignelay, the famous Minister of Louis XIV. of France. 

Various events occurred at this period which intensified 
the feud between the contending- claimants. In or about 
1568, Roderick Macleod of the Lewis was seized by Torquil 
Conanach, and detained by him in prison for four years. 
Being brought while in captivity before the Earl of Mar, 
then Regent, and the Privy Council, he was compelled to 
resign all his estates to the Crown, and, in 1572, to take 
a new destination of them to himself in life-rent, and 
after his death to Torquil Conanach, who is designed in 
the charter as his lawful son and heir. Immediately on 
his release, however, Roderick revoked all that he had 
agreed to when in prison — on the ground of coercion and 
the undutiful conduct of Torquil — by an instrument of 
revocation, dated 2nd of June in the same year, and which 
is preserved in the Dunvegan charter chest. Fresh 
dissensions naturally followed, and "at length father and 
son were summoned to Edinburgh, where, in presence of 
the Regent Morton and the Privy Council, they agreed 
to bury in oblivion their mutual animosities. Torquil 
Conanach was again recognised as heir-apparent of the 
Lewis ; and, in that character, received from his father 
the district of Coigeach and various other lands for his 
support during the life of the latter." This second recon- 
ciliation was, however, only of short duration. 

On the 26th of April, 1573, Roderick comes under an 
obligation to John Campbell, Bishop of the Isles, to bring 
in the Bishop's fruits, rents, and emoluments, and cause 
all over whom he has authority to do likewise. He is to 
make to his lordship and his Commissioners and factors 
thankful payment of all things owing within his country, 
and to be obedient " anent all good ordinances, laws, 
and constitutions and corrections concerning the Kirk, as 
the acts and constitution of the Reformed Kirk of Scotland 
bears and was used in the last Bishop's time." The obli- 
gation is subscribed on his behalf by Ranald Anguson, 
parson of Uig, "at the command of ane honourable man 
Roderick McCloid of the Lewis, because he culd not 


writt himself, his hand led on the pen."* He appears 
about the same time to have got into trouble for his 
treatment of the fishermen from other parts of the country 
who visited the Lewis, and in 1576 he and Torquil 
Conanach bind themselves as follows : — 

Edinburgh, 26th of June, 1576. — The which day Rory 
Macleod of the Lewis and Torquil Macleod, his son and 
apparent heir, become acted and obliged that they by 
themselves, and taking burden upon them for their kin, 
friends, servants, tenants, assistants, and partakers, shall 
behave themselves as dutiful and obedient subjects to our 
Sovereign Lord and his authority ; that they shall observe 
and keep His Highness's peace and good order in the 
country in time coming ; and on no wise molest, stop, 
trouble, or make impediment to any [of] His Majesty's 
subjects in their lawful trade of fishing in the lochs of 
the Lewis, or others in the North Isles of this realm ; 
nor otherwise raise any " towist," or imposition upon them, 
but to use them as our Sovereign Lord's good subjects, 
causing them [to] be assured of meat and drink, and other 
their necessaries upon their reasonable expenses in all 
times hereafter, as they will answer upon their obedience 
and under all highest pain, etc. 

In 1585 the dispute between Roderick and Torquil was 
renewed with greater violence than ever. The old Chief 
had recently married, as his third wife, a sister of Lachlan 
Mor Maclean and daughter of Hector Og Maclean, XII. of 
Duart, by whom he became the father of two sons, 
Torquil Dubh and Tormod. He also had in the mean- 
time five bastard sons, all of whom had arrived at man's 
estate. Three of these bastards supported their father, . 
who now once more disinherited Torquil Conanach and 
named Torquil Dubh, his eldest son by Hector Maclean 
of Duart's daughter, as his heir. The other two bastards 
— Tormod Uigeach and Murdoch — supported the claims 
of Torquil Conanach. Tormod Uigeach was soon after 
slain by his brother Donald, who was in turn seized by 
Murdoch and delivered up to Torquil Conanach for punish- 

* The document is printed at length in the Transactions of the Zona Club, 
pp. 6-8. 


ment. Donald, however, managed to escape, and shortly 
after he captured Murdoch, who was at once imprisoned 
by Old Rory in the Castle of Stornoway. Torquil 
Conanach thereupon took up arms for Murdoch's relief, 
surrounded the castle, took it after a short siege, liberated 
his brother, again made his father, Old Rory, prisoner, 
and killed a large number of his followers. Torquil, at 
the same time, secured and carried away with him all 
the writs and charters belonging to the family, and ulti- 
mately gave them over to his relative, Colin Mackenzie XI. 
of Kintail. Before leaving the island, he sent a messenger 
for his eldest son John, then being brought up under 
the Earl of Huntly, and, on his arrival in the Lewis, 
appointed him keeper of Stornoway Castle, in which his 
grandfather, Old Rory, was confined under his charge. 
John continued in possession for some time, but was 
ultimately killed by his bastard uncle, Rory Og, when 
Old Rory once more regained his liberty, and obtained 
possession of his estates, which he retained for the rest 
of his life. 

Torquil Conanach, on hearing of the death of John, 
his son and heir, immediately apprehended and executed 
at Dingwall, his bastard brother, Donald, who, it was 
alleged, was privately a party to the doings of Rory Og, 
and had a hand in the death of Torquil Conanach's son. 

Soon after this Roderick of the Lewis, with Lachlan 
Maclean of Duart, Donald Gormeson of Sleat, and Tor- 
mod Macleod of Harris are summoned before the King 
and Council to give advice regarding the good rule and 
quietness of the Highlands and Isles. From this it would 
seem that he was at the time on good terms with the 
Government, though that uncommon and happy relation- 
ship does not appear to have long continued. 

On the nth of November, 1586, a complaint by the 
Burghs of the Realm against several of the Highland 
and Island Chiefs for molesting burgesses engaged in 
the fisheries in the North Isles and mainland, is brought 
before the Privy Council. Among those mentioned in 


the complaint are Roderick Macleod of the Lewis and 
his eldest son, Torquil Conanach, now designated Torquil 
Macleod of Coigeach, who, with all the others, not one of 
whom answered the summons charging them to appear, 
were denounced rebels and put to the horn. 

In May, 1596, a Royal proclamation was issued com- 
manding all the earls, lords, barons, and freeholders worth 
three hundred merks and upwards of yearly rent, and all 
the burgesses of the realm, to meet the King at Dum- 
barton, on the 1st of August following, well armed, with 
forty days' provisions, and with vessels to carry them to 
the Isles on an expedition to reduce the Island lords to 
obedience. Maclean of Duart and Macdonald of Sleat at 
once repaired to Court and made their submission. Roderick 
Macleod of Harris and Donald Macdonald of Glengarry 
surrendered themselves about the same time and secured 
favourable terms. 

Torquil Dubh Macleod, Roderick's eldest son by his 
third wife, at this time held possession of the Lewis, 
but his right to do so was disputed by Torquil Conanach 
and his friends more violently than ever. Both, however, 
agreed to abide by the terms of an arbitration proposed 
by the Lords of Exchequer, each hoping to have his own 
title recognised as heir to the estates ; and they were in 
consequence excluded from the list of disobedient clans 
to be proceeded against. 

During this period of suspense the mainland estates re- 
mained with Torquil Conanach ; and the result of the 
reference to the Lords of Exchequer was that he was recog- 
nised by the Government as the legal heir to all the lands 
belonging to the family in the Lewis as well as on the 
mainland. Both Torquil's sons were now dead, and his 
eldest daughter and co-heiress, Margaret, married Roderick 
Mackenzie, brother and Tutor of Kenneth, afterwards first 
Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, into whose arms he now threw 
himself, and to whom he ultimately conveyed the whole 
barony of Lewis, so far as charters could do so. 

Torquil Conanach's brother and competitor, Torquil 


Dubh married a sister of Rory Mor Macleod, XIII. of 
Harris and Dunvegan ; and, strengthened by his powerful 
alliance, he ravaged the lands of Coigeach and Lochbroom, 
on the mainland, belonging to Torquil Conanach and 
Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail, who, in 1594, succeeded 
his father, Colin. Torquil Dubh at the same time openly 
intimated his full determination to retain by force what 
he had thus acquired. He became very popular with 
the Clan, and in this raid was joined by seven or eight 
hundred followers, who enabled him, in spite of the 
great power of the Mackenzies, to set his rival, Torquil 
Conanach, at defiance. Soon after, however, Kenneth 
Mackenzie of Kintail made a formal complaint to the 
Privy Council, dated at the Chanonry of Ross, on the 
3rd of January, 1596-7, in which he makes a charge 
against Torquil Dubh of prosecuting with fire and sword, 
on the 25th of the previous December, "the Strath 
Coigeach, pertaining to Macleod, his eldest brother ; 
likewise my Strath of Lochbroom," to the King's great 
dishonour, without fear of God, and " in such barbarous 
and cruel manner, that neither man, wife, bairn, horse, 
corns, nor bigging has been spared, but all barbarously 
slain, burnt and destroyed," by the aid of his neighbour- 
ing Islemen. As the immediate result of this complaint, 
Torquil Dubh was summoned to appear before the Privy 
Council to answer the serious charges made against him ; 
but he naturally hesitated to present himself before a 
tribunal, of which his accuser, Mackenzie, who also had 
great influence with his brother members, formed one. 
Torquil Dubh was therefore in his absence formally de- 
nounced a rebel ; and, having been seized shortly after, 
with many of his principal followers, at the instigation 
of Mackenzie and Torquil Conanach, by Hucheon Morri- 
son, the Celtic Judge of the Lewis, they were delivered 
over to Torquil Conanach, by whom, in July, 1597, they 
were all executed at Coigeach without further ceremony. 
This severity naturally irritated Torquil's surviving ad- 
herents, amongst whom the most conspicuous and able 



was his bastard brother, Neil, who, supported by the 
Macleans of Duart and the Macleods of Harris, at once 
determined to maintain what he considered the legitimate 
rights of his nephews, Torquil Dubh's three young sons. 
In their name and interest Neil assumed command of 
the Lewis, and by his prowess and determination, Torquil 
Conanach's ultimate success, though he was stoutly sup- 
ported by the Mackenzies, seemed as far off as ever. 

In this year, 1597, an Act of Parliament was passed, 
by which all claiming lands in the Highlands and Isles 
had to produce their titles on or before the 15th of May 
following, at Edinburgh, or wherever the Lords of the 
Exchequer might be sitting, or suffer the penalty of 
forfeiture. Torquil Dubh was one of those who did not 
put in an appearance ; for he had no written titles to 
produce, the Lewis charters having some time before been 
removed by his rival, Torquil Conanach, and given for 
safe keeping to Mackenzie of Kintail. The island was 
in consequence of Torquil's non-appearance declared to 
be at the King's disposal. 

On the 1 6th of December in the same year, an Act 
was passed for the erection of three royal burghs in the 
Highlands, one of which was to be in the Lewis. This 
Act, modernised, is in the following terms : — 

Our Sovereign Lord, with advice of the Estates of this 
present Parliament, for the better entertaining and con- 
tinuing of civility and policy within the Highlands and 
Isles, has statute and ordained, that there be erected and 
built within the bounds thereof three burghs and burgh 
towns, in the most convenient and commodious parts meet 
for the same ; to wit, one in Kintyre, another in Lochaber, 
and the third in the Lewis : to the which burghs and the 
inhabitants thereof our Sovereign Lord and the Estates fore- 
said, shall grant, and by these presents grant, all privileges 
which His Highness and his predecessors have granted to 
any other burghs or inhabitants thereof within the realm : 
And that it shall be lawful to our Sovereign Lord, by the 
advice of the Lords of His Majesty's Exchequer, to give, 
grant, and dispone to every one of the said burghs so 
much land and ground furth of His Highness's annexed 


property, as may serve to build the said towns upon the 
same, with so much land and fishings next adjacent thereto, 
in Common Good, to every one of the said three towns 
as may sustain the common charges thereof, to be held 
in free burgage of His Highness, in such form and 
manner as His Majesty's most noble progenitors of worthy 
memories have granted of old for the erection of other 
burghs of this Realm. 

This Act was not carried into effect; but it eventually 
led to the erection of the three towns of Campbeltown, 
Fort-William, and Stornoway. Only the first-named, how- 
ever, secured the privileges of a Royal Burgh. 

The lands of Lewis having been forfeited to the 
Crown by Torquil Dubh's refusal or inability to produce 
his family titles to them in 1597, and he himself 
having later on in that year been put to death by 
Torquil Conanach, the estates were, in 1598, granted 
to a number of Lowland gentlemen for the purpose 
of colonising and improving them on a plan suggested 
by the King. In addition to the Lewis, these gentle- 
men had also granted to them the district of Troter- 
nish, in Skye, then occupied under lease by Macdonald 
of Sleat, and also the lands of Harris, Dunvegan, and 
Glenelg, belonging to Sir Rory Mor Macleod of Macleod. 
The leading adventurers among the colonists were the 
Duke of Lennox ; Patrick, Commendator of Lindores ; 
William, Commendator of Pittenweem ; Sir James An- 
struther, younger of that ilk ; Sir James Sandilands of 
Slamanno ; James Leirmonth of Balcolmly ; James Spens 
of Wormistoun ; John Ferrel of Fingask ; David Home, 
younger of Wedderburn ; and Captain William Murray. 
By contract, dated 28th of June, 1598, between them and 
the Government, ratified by Parliament, they were, to 
make up for the expense and trouble incurred by them 
and for the improvements which they undertook to make, 
relieved for seven years from the payment of any rent. 
They further entered into an agreement to pay, on the 
expiration of that period, an annual grain-rent of forty 
chalders of bere for the lands of Lewis, Rona of Lewis, 


and the Island of Handa ; and for the lands of Troter- 
nish, in Skye, a money rent of four hundred merks per 
annum — twenty merks more than that agreed to be paid 
by Macdonald of Sleat for the lease of the same lands 
when secured by him in 1596, two years before. 

The colonists having failed to carry out their intentions 
in the Lewis, do not appear to have interfered with the 
lands granted to them in Harris and Skye, so that the 
old proprietors were not disturbed in their possession of 
them ; and they finally succeeded in securing titles anew 
from the Crown. The mere fact, however, that lands 
belonging to Macleod of Harris and Macdonald of Sleat 
were granted to the Lowlanders at this time made it 
scarcely possible that the adventurers should be permitted 
by these gentlemen to succeed in the Lewis, and this 
might have been foreseen by any wise Government. 

Mr. Gregory, on this point, says that had the Lewis 
alone been granted the dissensions of the natives among 
themselves would have made success highly probable, the 
only serious opposition to be reckoned upon being that 
which Mackenzie of Kintail might be expected to make. 
" But when grants were likewise made to these Lowlanders 
of the estates belonging to Macleod of Harris, and of a 
large district occupied, under a recent lease, by Macdonald 
of Sleat, a powerful party was at once created in the 
North Isles, whose interest it clearly was to frustrate and 
discourage the adventurers by every means in their power. 
These Chiefs could not fail to perceive that the success 
of the adventurers in the Lewis would enable the latter 
to seize, with great facility, all the other lands to which 
Parliament had given them a claim. That they should 
deprecate such an event was perfectly natural ; and it will 
appear, accordingly, that the enterprise of the Lowlanders 
at length failed, owing to the obstacles secretly but perse- 
veringly thrown in their way by the three great northern 
Chiefs, Macleod of Harris, Macdonald of Sleat, and 
Mackenzie of Kintail." This result was so natural, the 
wonder is that neither the Government nor the colonists 


themselves realised what it involved, and acted accordingly. 
In July, 1599, a Commission of Lieutenandry, was 
granted to the Duke of Lennox and to the Earl of 
Huntly over the whole of Inverness-shire and the Isles, 
and a special charge given them, by every means in their 
power, and with all their forces, to assist " the gentlemen 
venturers and enterprisers of the conquest of the Lewis, 
towards the perfect settling and establishing of that Island 
under their obedience." In the preamble to this Com- 
mission a picture is drawn of the natives, in which they 
are charged with being guilty of " the grossest impiety 
and the most atrocious barbarities," though the most 
heinous offence in the King's eyes among those enumer- 
ated seems to be the non-payment of his rents ; for one 
of the clauses declares that, " besides all other crimes, 
they rebelliously withhold from His Majesty a great part 
of the patrimony and proper rent of the Crown." Express 
power was given to the Commissioners to punish, with 
military execution, not only the open and avowed op- 
ponents of the Lowland adventurers, but any others who 
might be found opposing them by indirect means. 

The colonists had meantime been preparing for the 
actual commencement of their enterprise, and, fortified 
by this Commission, they, in October, 1599, proceeded to 
the Lewis with a force of between five and six hundred 
hired soldiers, accompanied by several gentlemen volun- 
teers and artificers of all kinds considered necessary for 
their purpose. That they should have started so late in 
the season is attributed to the reports of hostility circulated 
by Mackenzie of Kintail and other northern Chiefs, to 
the effect that the enterprise would be strenuously opposed 
by a formidable force. In any case, the late arrival of 
the adventurers in the Island proved so injurious, from 
the cold and want of shelter and provisions, that a great 
many of them died of the flux, soon after their arrival, 
and of other complaints brought on by their situation 
and circumstances there. " They began apace," according 
to Sir Robert Gordon, " to build and erect houses in a 


proper and convenient place fit for the purpose ; in end 
they made up a pretty town," where they encamped. 
The Lewismen, led by Roderick's two surviving bastard 
sons, Neil and Murdoch, opposed the Fifers, incited 
thereto, no doubt, by the Mackenzies. James Leirmonth 
of Balcolmly in the meantime left the Lewis for Fife 
in his own vessel. He was intercepted near the Orkneys 
by Murdoch Macleod, instigated by Kintail, when most 
of the crew and his companions were killed, and he was 
himself taken back to the Lewis, where he was kept in 
prison for six months, after which he was liberated on 
his promising to pay the bastards a heavy ransom. He, 
however, died on his way home, in the Orkneys, from a 
disease contracted in consequence of the treatment he 
received during - his imprisonment in the Island of Lewis, 
and the ransom, owing to his death, was never paid. 

This occurred in 1600. At this time Neil Macleod had 
a dispute with his brother Murdoch, who in 1597 had 
the principal share in the exection of Torquil Dubh. 
He also aided the Brieve and his tribe, the Clann Mhic 
Gillemhuire, by whom Torquil Dubh had been apprehended 
and delivered into the hands of Mackenzie of Kintail, 
who had put him to death. In the course of this new 
quarrel, Neil captured his brother Murdoch and several 
of the Morrisons, every one of whom, except his own 
brother, he immediately executed. 

The colonists from Fife, learning what had occurred, 
offered Neil, if he delivered Murdoch up to them, as the 
most prominent of their opponents, a portion of the 
Island for himself, and to render him all the aid in their 
power to avenge himself on the Mackenzies for the death 
of Torquil Dubh. Neil accepted the terms offered to 
him, delivered his brother Murdoch over to the adven- 
turers, accompanied them to Edinburgh, and carried along 
with him the heads of the Morrisons, ten or twelve of 
whom he had recently slain. Having received pardon 
from the Crown, he, along with the colonists, returned 
to the Lewis. Murdoch was soon after, in the same 


year, executed at St. Andrews. Before his death he 
made certain disclosures, in consequence of which and of 
complaints by the colonists, Mackenzie of Kintail was 
apprehended and lodged in Edinburgh Castle, but he 
soon after managed to escape by the assistance of his 
friend, the Earl of Dunfermline, Lord Chancellor of Scot- 
land, without standing his trial. Nor did he in the 
slightest degree relax his efforts to gain possession of 
the Lewis, notwithstanding the risk which he had incurred 
and from the consequences of which he so narrowly 

In 1601 new Commissions were granted to Lennox 
and Huntly for reducing to obedience the Isles and 
adjacent Highlands. The North Isles were given in 
charge of Huntly, but the Lewis was exempted from 
his Commission, probably because the Government ex- 
pected that the adventurers would be able to cope with 
the difficulties of the situation without any extraneous 
aid. If such were their expectations, they soon discovered 
their error. The colonists were almost immediately em- 
broiled in another quarrel with Neil Macleod, the leader 
of the Island natives. 

Gregory says that "the leaders of the adventurers who 
returned to the Island with Neil Macleod, after procuring 
his pardon and delivering up his brother Murdoch to 
justice, were the Commendator of Pittenweem, the lairds 
of Wormistoun, Fingask, Balcolmly and Airdrie. Their 
situation at this time was so promising that they were- 
induced to limit the exemption from rent, which, by 
their contract, was to last for seven years, to two years 
from the commencement of their undertaking. Soon after 
their return, however, some injury done by Spens of Wor- 
mistoun to Neil Macleod, embroiled them once more with 
the latter. Wormistoun laid a plot to entrap Macleod ; 
but that leader, having a similar design against Wormis- 
toun, was upon his guard; and, as soon as a party sent 
to apprehend him were at a sufficient distance from their 
camp, he attacked and routed them, with the loss of sixty 


of their number. Mackenzie of Kintail, who, since the 
agreement made between Neil Macleod and the colonists, 
had almost despaired of frustrating- the enterprise, was no 
sooner informed of this quarrel than he hastened to profit 
by it. He had detained in captivity, for several years, 
Tormod, the younger brother of Torquil Dubh, and only 
surviving legitimate son of old Ruari Macleod of Lewis. 
Although ordered by the Privy Council, in April, 1600, 
to produce his prisoner before them, he had evaded com- 
pliance, and still detained Tormod Macleod in custody 
without a warrant. Suddenly changing his plan, on 
hearing of the quarrel between Neil and the adventurers, 
Mackenzie restored this young man to liberty, and sent 
him into the Lewis, promising him, secretly, great assist- 
ance if he would attack the settlers in concert with his 
uncle [? brother.] On his arrival in the Island, Tormod 
was received with open arms by Neil Macleod and all 
the old followers of the family of Lewis, by whom he was 
at once acknowledged as lord and master. Encouraged 
by the support he received from his Clan and the other 
natives of Lewis, and guided by the advice and experi- 
ence of Neil Macleod, who had so long been their leader, 
the young Chief attacked the camp of the adventurers, 
forced it, burned the fort, killed many of their men, and 
at length forced the principal gentlemen to capitulate 
with him on the following conditions : — First, they were 
to obtain from the king a remission to the Macleods for 
all their bypast offences ; secondly, they promised never 
to return to the Lewis, and agreed to give up their title 
to that Island to Tormod Macleod ; lastly, for the per- 
formance of these conditions, they were obliged to leave 
Sir James Spens and his son-in-law, Thomas Monypenny 
of Kinkell, as hostages. In order to obtain the liberation 
of the hostages, who were detained for eight months by 
the islanders, a remission was readily granted ; and it is 
probable that the adventurers pretended to surrender their 
legal rights by a formal deed ; but, when their object 
was attained by the release of these gentlemen, no further 


attention was paid to the capitulation. Notwithstanding 
their promise never to return, they seem only to have 
waited till their hostages were out of danger before taking 
immediate steps for a reconquest of the Island and its 
restless inhabitants. Accordingly, in the month of July 
[1602] proclamation was made, summoning the fighting 
men in most of the northern counties to meet a Royal 
lieutenant, probably the Marquis of Huntly, at Inverness, 
on the 20th of September, then to proceed against the 
rebels of the Lewis. On the approach of harvest, how- 
ever, this proclamation was recalled, and ' the raid of the 
Lewis ' was delayed till the spring of the following year." 

This delay to 1603 appears from the Records of the 
Privy Council to have been arranged on the 15th of 
September, 1602, but it would seem that nothing further 
was done until the summer of 1605, when the adventurers, 
armed with Commissions of fire and sword, and assisted 
by some of the King's ships, made another attempt to 
gain possession of the Lewis, out of which they had been 
kept by Tormod Macleod and his supporters since 1601. 

It was now ordered by the Government that all the 
castles and other strongholds in the North Isles should 
be delivered up to any heralds or officers sent to receive 
possession of them, and, failing delivery by the Chiefs, 
the colonists were empowered by warrant to besiege and 
take all the castles by force. All the vessels and galleys 
owned in the North Isles and the adjacent mainland 
were to be delivered up by their proprietors at Loch- 
broom to the Fife adventurers, who were at the same 
time empowered to seize all vessels and boats belonging 
to any who should continue disobedient. All other 
Highlanders were enjoined, under severe penalties, to 
hold no communication whatever with the inhabitants of 
the Lewis, who were described as rebels against the King. 
The colonists, in virtue of the powers conferred upon 
them, having gathered together a considerable force from 
the adjoining districts, proceeded to the Lewis, and on 
their arrival despatched a messenger to Tormod Macleod, 


intimating - to him that if he submitted to them they 
would send him safely to London, where they would not 
only secure for him His Majesty's pardon for all past 
offences, but allow him to sue through his friends for 
the King's favour, and for some such provision as would 
enable him to live in comfort afterwards. His brother 
Neil was much against the proposal, and urged upon 
Tormod to gather his followers and fight the adventurers, 
as on previous occasions, rather than submit to the terms 
they proposed. This Tormod, unfortunately for himself, 
would not agree to. He submitted to the conditions 
imposed by the colonists, was sent to London as promised 
by them, and, after a time, he made such progress in 
impressing upon the King the great wrong which had 
been inflicted upon his family by granting the lawful 
inheritance of his house to the Fife adventurers, that 
these gentlemen, some of whom were at the time members 
of His Majesty's household, began to fear that the King 
might recall his grant of the Lewis to themselves. Their 
alarm in this respect led them to use all their influence 
against Tormod, and they succeeded so far that, by order 
of His Majesty, the islander was sent back to Scotland 
and confined in the Castle of Edinburgh, where he 
remained a prisoner for the next ten years. Neil, who 
still held out, was supported all along by the natives of 
the island, and continued a source of great annoyance 
and trouble to the adventurers, who now secured a firm 
settlement in the Lewis, where they remained until they 
were finally driven out of it by Kenneth Mackenzie of 
Kintail in 1609. 

From a Commission granted to the Marquis of Huntly 
in 1607 for the reduction of the North Isles, the Isle of 
Skye and the Lewis were excluded. The reduction of the 
other islands on this occasion was to be by "extirpation 
of the barbarous people of the Isles within a year." 
Huntly, however, got into trouble himself, and the reign 
of James VI. was, in consequence, saved " from being 
stained by a massacre which, for atrocity and the delibera- 


tion with which it was planned would have left that of 
Glencoe far in the shade." The islanders were thus only 
saved by a mere accident, and they owed nothing- what- 
ever to their King - , " whose character must forever bear 
the stain of having, for the most sordid motives, consigned 
to destruction thousands of his subjects " in the Western 

In the same year the colonists, who had been incessantly 
annoyed by Neil Macleod, assisted by the Macneils of 
Barra, the Macdonalds of Clanranald, and the Macleods 
of Harris, began to give up all hope of maintaining their 
hold in the Lewis. "Of the original partners, many had 
for some time withdrawn, some had died, others had 
spent all their property, and of the remainder, some 
had more important affairs to call them elsewhere. Thus 
reduced and dispirited by the constant attacks made upon 
them, they forsook the Island and returned to their 
homes. The Lord of Kintail, who had all along wrought 
to this end, now began to stir in the matter. By means 
of his friend, the Lord Chancellor, he passed under the 
Great Seal a gift of the Lewis to himself, in virtue of the 
resignation made formerly in his favour by Torquil Con- 
anach Macleod. The surviving adventurers, however, were 
not so unmindful of their own interest as to suffer this 
transaction to pass unchallenged. They complained to 
the King, who was highly incensed at the conduct of 
Mackenzie, and forced him to resign his right thus sur- 
reptitiously obtained. The Island being once more, by 
this step, and the consent of the adventurers, at the 
disposal of His Majesty, he granted it anew to three 
persons only, viz. — James, Lord Balmerino ; Sir George 
Hay of Nethercliff; and Sir James Spens of Wormis- 
toun." On the occasion of Lord Ochiltree's famous 
expedition, in 1608, when he entrapped the Island Chiefs 
aboard the King's ship Moon, at Aros, in Mull, and 
carried them prisoners to Edinburgh, his Lordship, in 
his report of the proceeding to the Privy Council, 
assigned the lateness of the season as his reason for not 


having proceeded against Macleod of Lewis and Macneil 
of Barra, stating at the same time that the latter was a 
depender upon Maclean of Duart, who had come to 
terms, and who was prepared to answer for Macneil's 

In March, 1609, Lord Balmerino was convicted of high 
treason. This effectually debarred him from taking any 
active part with Sir George Hay and Sir James Spens in 
colonising the Lewis, neither of whom spared trouble nor 
expense to carry into effect the terms of the Royal grant 
recently made to them. They were most active, made 
great preparations, and, assisted by the neighbouring tribes, 
invaded the Lewis for the double purpose of planting a 
colony in it, and of subduing and apprehending Neil Mac- 
leod, who now alone defended it. Kenneth Mackenzie of 
Kintail despatched his brother, Roderick, afterwards his 
son's Tutor, and Alexander Mackenzie of Coul, with a 
party of followers numbering 400, ostensibly to aid the 
colonists, now acting under the King's commission, to 
whom Kintail promised his active support. At the same 
time he despatched a vessel from Ross loaded with pro- 
visions, while he privately sent word to Neil Macleod to 
intercept her on the way, so that the settlers, disappointed 
of the supply of provisions to which they looked for 
maintenance, should be obliged to abandon the Island for 
want of the necessaries of life. 

Matters turned out just as Kintail anticipated ; Sir George 
Hay and Sir James Spens abandoned the Lewis, leaving 
a party behind them to hold the fort, and intending to 
send a fresh supply of men and provisions back to the 
Island as soon as they arrived in Fife. But in the mean- 
time Neil Macleod and his followers captured and burned 
the fort, apprehended the garrison, and sent them safely 
to their homes, on giving their oath that they would 
never come back again on that pretence ; and they never 
did. After this the Fife adventurers gave up all hope 
of establishing themselves in the Island ; and they sold 
their rights therein, and their share of the forfeited 


districts of Troternish and Waternish in Skye, to Kenneth 
Mackenzie of Kintail, who at the same time obtained a 
grant from the King of Balmerino's forfeited share of the 
Lewis, thus acquiring in a legal fashion what he had so 
long desired. 

In addition to a fixed sum of money, Mackenzie gave 
the adventurers in exchange a lease of the woods of 
Letterewe in the parish of Gairloch, where there was 
an iron mine, which, for many years, they wrought by 
English miners, casting guns and other implements, until 
the wood which they used for fuel was exhausted, and 
their lease expired. The King confirmed this agreement ; 
and " to encourage Kintail and his brother, Roderick, in 
their work of civilising the people of the Lewis," he raised 
the former to the peerage on November 19, 1609, as Lord 
Mackenzie of Kintail, and shortly after, on the 19th 
of November, in the same year, conferred the honour 
of knighthood on his brother, Roderick Mackenzie of 

In 1610 Lord Kenneth returned to the Lewis at 
the head of 700 men, and finally brought the island 
to submission, with the exception of Neil Macleod and 
a few of his followers, who had retired the previous year 
to the rock of Berrisay, and taken possession of it. At 
this period religion appears to have been at a very low 
ebb — almost extinct — among the inhabitants of the island ; 
and to revive Christianity among them, Lord Mackenzie 
selected and took along with him the Rev. Farquhar 
Macrae, a native of Kintail, then minister of Gairloch, 
who had been recommended to that charge by the Bishop 
of Ross. Mr. Macrae found much to do on his arrival, 
but he appears to have been very successful among the 
uncivilized natives. He reports having gained many over 
to Christianity, having baptised a large number in the 
fortieth year of their age, and in order to legitimise their 
children, he married many more to the women with whom 
they had been for years openly cohabiting. Leaving 
the reverend gentleman in the prosecution of his mission 


in the island, Lord Kintail, having established good order, 
returned home, promising to come back the following year ; 
but he died in 1611 and never again visited the Lewis. 

Sir Roderick Mackenzie, as Tutor for his nephew, Lord 
Colin, was determined to bring the remainder of the 
Macleods under subjection. Neil Macleod, as already- 
stated, on Lord Mackenzie's arrival in 1609 retired to 
the impregnable rock of Berrisay, at the back of the 
island, to which, as a measure of prudence, he had for 
some years previously been sending a stock of provisions 
and other necessaries, to be available in the event of his 
having to retire to the rock, as he was now obliged to 
do, as a last resort. He was accompanied thither by 
his three nephews — the sons of Rory Og — Malcolm, 
William, and Roderick ; the four sons of Torquil Blair, 
and thirty of their more determined followers. In this 
impregnable position they held out for three years, during 
which they were a constant source of annoyance and 
insecurity to the Tutor and his followers. Sir Roderick 
at last, in 161 2, found his opportunity, and, by a desperate 
stratagem, he succeeded in bringing about the surrender 
of Neil and of all his companions. 

While one of the Tutor's followers, Donald Mac- 
Dhonnachaidh Mhic Ian Ghlais, was stationed on a small 
rock within shot of Berrisay, he was killed by Neil, who at 
the same time, wounded another of Sir Roderick's men, 
Tearlach MacDhomh'uill Ruaidh Mhic Fhionnlaidh Ghlais. 
This exasperated the Tutor so much, that after all other 
means had failed him to oust Neil Macleod from his 
position, he conceived the inhuman scheme of gathering 
together all the wives and children of the whole of those 
who were on Berrisay, and all the people on the island 
who were in any way related to them by blood or 
marriage affinity ; and having placed them at low water 
on a sunken rock in the sea, so near Berrisay that Neil 
and his companions could see and hear them, Sir Roderick 
declared that he would leave all these women and children 
on the rock until every soul of them was overwhelmed 


by the sea and drowned, on the return of the flood tide, 
should Neil and his companions not instantly surrender 
and leave the rock of Berrisay. 

Neil knew by stern experience that the promise of the 
Tutor, once given, for good or evil, was as good as his 
bond, and he yielded up the rock at once, on condition 
that he and his followers should be allowed to leave 
the Lewis. After he gave up the rock Neil proceeded 
privately, during the night, to Macleod of Harris. The 
Tutor hearing of this caused Macleod to be charged, 
under pain of treason and forfeiture, to deliver Neil up 
to the Privy Council. Sir Roderick Macleod thereupon 
prevailed upon Neil to accompany him, and to take his 
son along with him to Edinburgh, to seek forgiveness 
from the King ; but under pretence of this he delivered 
them both up on arriving in that city, where Neil, in 
April, 161 3, was at once executed, and his son banished 
out of the kingdom. 

Neil himself was only a short time before guilty of a 
a similar act of treachery towards another. He met with 
the captain of a pirate vessel named the Priam while on 
Berrisay, and he entered into a mutual bond with him 
that they should help each other, both being at the time 
outlaws. It was agreed between them that the captain 
should defend the rock from the seaward side, while Neil 
should make incursions on shore, and they promised faith- 
fully to live and die together. To make this agreement 
more secure, the captain undertook to marry a daughter 
of Torquil Blair. The day fixed for the marriage having 
arrived, and Neil having discovered that the captain 
possessed several articles of value on board his ship, he 
and his adherents — the captain being naturally off his 
guard — treacherously seized the ship and all the crew, and 
sent off captain and men to Edinburgh, thus hoping to 
secure his own peace as well as whatever was in the 
ship. They were all tried and executed at Leith, by 
order of the Council. Much of the silver and gold Neil, 
it is said, carried to Harris, where probably it may have 


helped to tempt Macleod, as it had already tempted 
himself to break faith with the captain of the Priam. 

The following- extract from a letter, dated Edinburgh, 
3rd September, 1610, from Sir Alexander Hay, Clerk 
Register of Scotland, to a friend in London, gives a 
somewhat different version of the seizure of the pirate. 
Sir Alexander writes to his friend : — 

"You have heard no doubt of the pirate ship taken 
by Neil Macleod of the Lewis. The case is altered when 
the broken Highlanders become the persecutors of pirates. 
Yet they still observe our form, albeit it carries not much 
honesty, yet it is with not less hazard. This English 
captain, wanting men, desired some supply from Neil, 
and he willingly yielded to it. Neil is feasted aboard of 
him, and will not be so unthankful but will repay him 
with a banquet on land. The captain and his company 
for most part being all invited, whatever their fare was, 
their dessert was sure. Whether it was that they refused 
to pay their reckoning, or that Neil held them to be 
heretics, and so thought them not worthy to be kept 
promise to, for Neil is thought to be of the Romish 
faith, or that now by their delivery he thought to get his 
pardon, he detains them, has put [some] of his own men 
in the ship, and hath sent advertisement to the Council, 
whereupon my Lord Dunbar hath directed Patrick Grieve 
with a ship to bring her about. By the report of the 
messenger who came from Neil it is affirmed that the pirate 
had that same intention against Neil, but the other has 
taken the first start. It was right, 'sick lippes sick lattuce?' 
I think the Clan Gregor could wish Bishop and Wairde and 
all the rest of the pirates in Breadalbane, that so they might 
find means of a pardon. It is reported that the ship hath 
some cochineal, sugar, and Barbary hides, and 26 pieces 
of iron, and many muskets. If His Majesty would be 
pleased, in regard of the service done, to direct Neil to 
the parts of Virginia, and to direct a state of inheritance 
to be given to him there, I think our country here should 
be best rid of him. There should be no such danger 
there as of his being in Ireland, for albeit both the speeches 
be barbarous, yet I hope he shall need an interpreter 
betwixt him and the savages." 

On the arrival of Grieve, Neil at once gave up his 
prisoners, and, at the same time, addressed a letter to 


the Privy Council, in which he gives a different account 
of the capture to that given by Sir Alexander Hay, 
and also to the one given in the text from a con- 
temporary manuscript. The following is Neil's own letter 
to the Privy Council : — 

" Lewis, the 16th of October, 1610. 
" My Lords of Council, — My duty [and] service being 
remembered, I received your letter from this bearer, Patrick 
Grieve, desiring me to deliver him the English pirate which 
was taken by my men, with all her equipage and apparell- 
ing. Surely, my Lords, I was not at the taking thereof, 
for had I been there, I should have sent the pirate, as 
she was taken, to His Majesty and Council ; for surely I 
delivered her to the said Patrick, with all her munition, 
as I received her myself; to wit, with all her sails, tows, 
and two anchors, with XIV. 'peel of grite cairte peeleis,' 
with her captain and nine of his [men]. As for the rest, 
they were slain at the taking of the said pirate ; and four 
Dutchmen that were taken by the captain, eight days 
before the hulk, passed to the mainland, for I would not 
hold them as prisoners, in respect they were taken by 
force by the captain, with two that deceased, and I did 
keep one Scotchman in my own company till further 
advice. So I rest, (Signed) NEILL M'CLOUD." 

It is not very likely that Neil would have communicated 
too much to the Privy Council, and his letter is not at 
all inconsistent with the information in Sir Alexander 
Hay's letter, or with the other version given in the text. 
If his object was to secure a pardon for past crimes, 
Neil did not succeed ; for he was afterwards condemned 
to death and executed at Edinburgh, in the month of 
March, 161 3, for murder, fire-raising, and other crimes, 
committed chiefly against the Fife adventurers in the 
Lewis. His trial is recorded in Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, 
Vol. III., p. 244. Sir Thomas Hamilton, the Lord 
Advocate of the day, writes to the King, under date 
7th April, 1613, that " Neill Makcloyde died at his execu- 
tion verie Christianlie." And why not ? He only acted 
against the law in defending what he believed to be the 
hereditary rights and property of his family. 



In 1614, Lord Colin Mackenzie of Kintail, then a minor, 
was excused from accompanying the Earl of Huntly and 
the other Highland Chiefs to suppress a violent feud 
which in that year broke out among the Camerons in 
Lochaber. His uncle, the Tutor, pleaded the difficulties 
the Mackenzies had and the services they had rendered 
in the Lewis in previous years as a reason why they 
should be exempted from service on this occasion, and in 
response King James issued a proclamation, dated 14th 
of September, 1614, in the course of which he says — 

"There rests none of the Isles rebellious, but only the 
Lewis, which being inhabited by a number of godless 
and lawless people, trained up from their youth in all 
kinds of ungodliness, they can hardly be reclaimed 
from their impurities and barbarities, and induced to 
embrace a quiet and peaceable form of living ; so that 
we have been constrained from time to time to employ 
our cousin, the Lord Kintail, who rests with God, and 
since his decease the Tutor of Kintail, his brother, and 
other friends of that house, in our service against the 
rebels of the Lewis, with ample commission and authority 
to suppress their insolence and to reduce that island to our 
obedience, which service has been prosecuted and followed 
these divers years by the power, friendship, and proper 
service of the House of Kintail, without any kind of trouble 
and charge or expense to us, or any support or relief from 
their neighbours ; and in the prosecution of that service 
they have had such good and happy success as divers of 
the rebels have been apprehended and executed by justice. 
But, seeing our said service is not yet fully accomplished, 
nor the Isle of the Lewis settled in a solid and perfect 
obedience, we have of late renewed our former commission 
to our cousin Colin, now Lord of Kintail, and to his Tutor 
and some other friends of his house, and they are to employ 
their hale power and service in the execution of the said 
commission, which being a service importing highly our 
honour, and being so necessary and expedient for the 
peace and quiet of the whole islands, and for the good of 
our subjects, haunting the trade of fishing in the Isles, 
the same ought not to be interrupted upon any other 
intervening occasion, and our commissioners and their 
friends ought not to be distracted therefrom for giving of 
their concurrence in our services. Therefore, we, with 


advice of the Lords of our Privy Council, have given and 
granted our licence to our said cousin Colin, Lord of 
Kintail, and to his friends, men, tenants, and servants, to 
remain and bide at home from all osts, raids, wars, 
assemblings, and gatherings to be made by George, 
Marquis of Huntly, the Earl of Enzie, his son, or any 
other our lieutenants, justices, or commissioners, by sea 
or land, either for the pursuit of Allan Cameron of Lochiel 
and his rebellious complices, or for any other cause or 
occasion whatsoever, during or within the time of our com- 
mission foresaid granted against the Lewis, without pain or 
danger to be incurred by our said cousin the Lord of 
Kintail and his friends in their persons, lands or goods." 

In consequence of this proclamation the Mackenzies 
were able to devote their whole attention to the pacification 
of the Lewis, and to strengthening their position among 
its people. How they succeeded, and continued in pos- 
session of this island principality for two centuries and a 
half — until Mrs. Stewart Mackenzie sold it in 1844 for 
£190,000 to the late Sir James Matheson — is already 
matter of history, and to deal with it in detail does not 
properly come within the scope of a history of the Mac- 
leods and their family Chiefs. 

Gregory's account of the end of the long dispute 
between the Mackenzies and the Macleods of Lewis, and of 
the ultimate extinction of Roderick's heirs male, deserves to 
be given at length. Being ultimately forced by the 
Mackenzies to evacuate the stronghold of Berrisay, Neil, 
according to this author, " retired to Harris, where he 
remained for a while in secret, but at length surrendered 
himself to Ruari Macleod of Harris, whom he entreated to 
take him to the King of England. This the Chief of Harris 
undertook to do ; but when at Glasgow with his prisoner, 
preparing to embark for England, he was charged, under 
the pain of treason, to deliver Neil Macleod to the Privy 
Council at Edinburgh, which he accordingly did ; and, 
along with him, Neil's son Donald. Neil was brought to 
trial, convicted, and executed, and died ' verie christianlie ' 
in April, 161 3. Donald, his son, having been banished 
out of Scotland, by order of the Privy Council, went to 


England and remained there three years, under the pro- 
tection of Sir Robert Gordon, Tutor of Sutherland. From 
England he afterwards went to Holland, where he died. 
After the death of Neil Macleod, the Tutor of Kintail 
apprehended and executed Ruari and William, two 
of the sons of Ruari Og Macleod. Malcolm, the 
third son, was apprehended at the same time, but made 
his escape, and continued to harass the Mackenzies with 
frequent incursions, having allied himself to the Clan- 
donald of Isla and Kintyre, in whose rebellion, under Sir 
James Macdonald, in 1615, Malcolm MacRuari Macleod 
took a prominent part. On the suppression of this 
rebellion, he retired to Flanders, whence, in 1616, he 
made a visit to the Lewis, and there killed two gentle- 
men of the Clankenzie. He then joined Sir James 
Macdonald in Spain, and remained there till the return 
of that Chief to Britain in 1620. On this occasion 
Malcolm Macleod accompanied Sir James ; and of his 
further history we only know that, in 1622, commissions 
of fire and sword were granted to Lord Kintail and his 
Clan against Malcolm MacRuari Macleod."* 

Tormot Macleod, the last surviving legitimate son of 
Ruari Macleod of the Lewis, was imprisoned, as we have 
seen, at Edinburgh Castle, in 1605. Here he remained 
for ten years, when the King gave him liberty to go to 
Holland, to the service of Maurice, Prince of Orange ; 
and he died in that country. His elder brother-german, 
Torquil Dubh, executed by the Mackenzies in 1579, left 
issue by his wife, a sister of Ruari Macleod of Harris, 
three sons, Ruari, William, and Torquil. The second of 
these seems to have died young ; and although the others 
are mentioned by Sir Robert Gordon as young men of 
great promise when he wrote his account of the Siol 
Torquil, they appear to have both died without lawful 
issue to inherit their claims to the Lewis, which has now 
remained for upwards of two centuries, without challenge, 
in possession of the Mackenzies. 

* Record of Privy Council, 14th November, 1622, and 28th November, 1626. 


The representation of the ancient and powerful family 
of Macleod of Lewis devolved, on the extinction of the 
main stem, on Gillecallum Og Macleod, or MacGille- 
challum of Raasay, whose father, MacGillechallum Garbh, 
is mentioned in a charter, dated 1572, as heir male of 
the family of Lewis, failing- issue male of the body of 
Ruari Macleod, then Chief of the Siol Torquil.* 

For several months during the earlier part of 161 5, 
Malcolm, the only surviving son of Ruari Og Macleod, 
one of the bastards, was actively engaged in various acts 
of piracy on the West Coast Highlands and in the Isles, 
along with Coll MacGillespick, and others of the Clan- 
donald of Islay ; and, in April of the same year, he is 
included in a commission of fire and sword issued in 
favour of eight of the principal Western Isles Chiefs 
against Malcolm and his associates. Malcolm, however, 
managed to escape, though one of the King's ships, with 
a pinnace, was engaged to support the Island Chiefs 
in their attempts to capture him, and notwithstanding that 
a reward of three thousand merks was offered for his 
apprehension, that he might be duly punished for his 
share in these piracies and for the active part which, 
during the latter half of 1615, he took in Sir James 
Macdonald of Isla's rebellion. Sir James himself, how- 
ever, having made his escape to Antrim, in the North 
of Ireland, afterwards crossed to Spain, and succeeded 
in getting clear of his pursuers, while Malcolm Macleod 
and others of his supporters found shelter on the Glynns 
and Route estates of the Macdonalds in the same Irish 

In March, 1616, the Privy Council ordered Campbell 
of Lundy, brother of the Earl of Argyll, to appear 
before them, that he might receive instructions for putting 
down certain rebels who continued to infest the Western 
Isles under the leadership of Malcolm MacRuari Oig 
Macleod of the Lewis. Campbell, however, refused to 
take any action under the commission, in consequence 

* Highlands and Isles, pp. 336-338. 


of which Malcolm again escaped, and retired to Flanders. 
He subsequently returned for a short time to the Lewis, 
where he killed two leading Mackenzies, and a third 
time he managed to escape. He then proceeded to Spain, 
where he joined Sir James Macdonald of Isla, and in 1620 
returned with that Chief to Scotland. What was the 
outcome of the commission of fire and sword granted 
to the Mackenzies against him in 1622 has not been 
ascertained, but he is said to have on this occasion again 
escaped to Ireland, where he soon after died. 

Sir Robert Gordon, Tutor of Sutherland, with whom 
Donald, Neil Macleod's eldest son, lived for three years 
in London, after he was banished from Scotland in 161 3, 
gives the following details regarding other members of 
Old Rory's descendants who were living when Gordon 
wrote his History of the Earldom of Sutherland. "Rory 
Macleod, the eldest son of Torquil Dubh," he says, " is 
at the University of Glasgow. Torquil Macleod, the third 
son of Torquil Dubh, was bred with his uncle, Sir Rory 
Macleod of Harris, and is a youth of great expectations." 
Sir Robert concludes his account of the Macleods of 
Lewis and their misfortunes, after detailing these at con- 
siderable length, as follows : — " The Tutor of Kintail did 
repent himself of his proceedings against the Siol Torquil ; 
his aim was always to have gotten the Lewis unto himself 
from his nephew, the Lord of Kintail, now Earl of Sea- 
forth, in exchange for the Coigeach, and the rest of the 
lands that he purchased in Ross and Moray; which 
exchange was refused by his nephew, who was ready 
to fall by the ears with his uncle, when he died the year 
of God, 1626. Thus have I run over the lamentable 
history of Macleod of Lewis, together with the tribe of 
the Siol Torquil ; which punishment was justly inflicted 
upon them for killing and destroying one another with 
intestine and civil war."* Lord Kintail was created Earl 
of Seaforth in 1623, and Sir Robert Gordon's work, 
from which we quote, is dated in 1639. From these 
* Earldom of Sutherland, p. 276. 


dates it will be seen that Roderick and Torquil, two sons 
of Torquil Dubh Macleod, and grandsons of Old Rory of 
the Lewis, lived far down into the seventeenth century ; 
but we can find no further trace of them. 

Next we shall give an account of these wild proceedings 
as recorded in the " Ancient " manuscript history of the 
Mackenzies. It is remarkable to find how nearly this 
record corresponds with what we have already written 
from more authentic historical sources. After giving a full 
description of Lord Kenneth Mackenzie's long-continued 
quarrels with the family of Glengarry, in connection 
with the lands of Lochcarron and Castle of Strome, and 
his lordship's victory over them, the author of this, the 
oldest manuscript history of the Mackenzies in existence, 
says — " This Lord Kenneth was no sooner free of Glen- 
garry's troubles, but he fell in the next in conquesting 
the Lewis. But, for the reader's better understanding 
how the Lewis came to this Lord Kintail and his successors 
(whose rights thereto are always misrepresented by such 
as are alive of Macleod of Lewis's race, commonly called 
Siol Torquil, and the envious neighbouring clans), there- 
fore I resolved to set down here all the circumstances 
of it and all the mischances that befel that family, as I 
was certainly informed, not only by some of that clan, 
but by several others who were eye-witnesses to their fatal 
fortune" The author — after describing the elopement of 
Old Rory's first wife, Janet Mackenzie, with John Mac- 
Gillechallum of Raasay ; the massacre of the Macleods of 
Gairloch and Raasay at Island Isay by Rory Nimhneach 
Macleod ; and the sea battle, in front of Raasay House, in 
which Alexander Mackenzie, younger of Gairloch, Macleod 
of Raasay, and many of their followers were killed — pro- 
ceeds with a narrative of what occurred afterwards in the 
Lewis. The only change we make is to modernise the 
spelling. The writer says — 

Rory Macleod of Lewis after that Mackenzie's daughter 
was ravished from him by his kinsman (as I told) he 
took to wife Maclean's daughter. She was mother to 


Torquil Dubh Macleod and to Norman Macleod ; he had 
also several bastards, such as Norman Uigeach, Murdo, 
Donald, Neil, and Rory Og", and he and they became 
such outlaws and oppressors that there were few or no 
ships in the Lewis but they seized on and took them 
all as free gear to themselves. This wronged so many 
of the inhabitants of the coast side of Fife that they 
used diligence of law against him and his. His eldest 
son, Torquil Oighre, gotten with the Lord Methven's 
daughter, sailing from the Lewis to Troternish, with three 
score young men in company, were all drowned.* After 
his death, his (Roderick's) second son, Torquil Conanach* 
gotten with Mackenzie's daughter in marriage, who was 
during his brother's lifetime Laird of Coigeach, sought 
to be heir, but his father would not, but must needs have 
Torquil Dubh, gotten with Maclean's daughter, to be his 
heir, so that there fell out many debates betwixt them, 
and after debates there were several skirmishes betwixt 
the father and the son, two of the bastards, Norman 
Uigeach and Murdo, taking part with Torquil Conanach. 
Donald, Rory, and Neil took part with their father. 

Shortly after, it fell out that Donald killed Norman 
Uigeach, which occasioned Torquil Conanach, being 
assisted by his brother Murdo, to take Donald pri- 
soner with him to Coigeach, which incensed his father 
more against him. Donald, making his escape from 
Coigeach, came to his father Rory, who caused Donald 
presently apprehend his brother Murdo, which he did, 
and carried him prisoner to Stornoway, where his father 
was. They moved Torquil Conanach to go to the Lewis, 
where he invaded the castle of Stornoway, and, after a 
short siege, took it and relieved his brother Murdo. 
Withal he apprehended his father, and killed several of 
his followers. He took also all the writs and evidents 

* Sir Robert Gordon states that he was accompanied by " two hundred" 
men. In his Earldom of Sutherland, p. 268, he says — "Torkuill-Ire, 
sailing from the Lewes towards Tronternesse in the Skye, with two hundred 
men, perished with all his men by ane extraordinarie great storme and 


they had of the Lewis, sent for his son, John Macleod 
(a brave young gentleman who was in the Marquis of 
Huntly's Court, all this time shunning his father's and 
grandfather's debates), gave him the Castle of Stornoway, 
and the command of all the Lewis. 

This John humoured his grandfather so well that they 
lived together, and being in peaceable possession of all 
the Lewis, and acknowledged as master, he went 
about to banish his bastard uncles, Donald and Rory, 
from possessing any part thereof, which they under- 
standing, plotted his death, and to that effect connived 
with one ill race of people who lived there, called 
Clan Illoyhenan. When Rory, Donald, and this Clan 
had agreed, they came to a water loch, a little towards 
the hill of Stornoway, where they saw seven ambushes 
betwixt the loch and the town, and sent one of their 
company to the castle to tell John that there were seven 
swans on that loch under a good advantage. The innocent 
gentleman, being desirous of sport (notwithstanding that 
his grandfather dissuaded him, and still told him that there 
was never a swan seen on that loch, and told him that 
he feared a plot), his destiny drawing near, he would not 
stay but went his way, accompanied with two Kinlochewe 
men only, whom he kept still in his company, and the 
traitor that led him by all the ambushes to the loch side. 
No sooner was he come there but the first ambush broke 
out, which he perceiving took to his heels, and runs back 
towards the castle. The second raised the third, fourth, 
fifth, and all of them (as he ran by) still shooting arrows. 
They killed his two men, but for all they could do he 
won the castle, and several arrows in him, whereof he 
immediately died, to the great misfortune of all his friends, 
and the utter ruin of that whole family. 

We may remark here the fruits of fornication and 
adultery which was (as they say) the predominant sin of 
that family, and how Providence ordered these fruits to 
be their only ruin (and not the hand of man), and 
brought upon them all the disasters, distractions, and all 


the murders that ever was amongst them, notwithstanding 
of the fabulous and envious reports which is still pretended, 
yea confirmed, by ill-set neighbours. But I will not insist 
on this shame, which was ever in that family (as the report 
goes), though the judgment fell in this unfortunate man's 
time ; but I pray God it may not follow these who have 
in any manner of way descended of them. 

Shortly after this his (John's) father, Torquil Conanach, 
apprehends one of the murderers, his (own) bastard 
brother, Donald, and caused execute him at Dingwall, 
in Ross. The writs and evidents that this Torquil brought 
out of the Lewis he gave the custody of them to Mac- 
kenzie, and withal tailzied the estate to him in case of no 
heirs male. 

After the foresaid John's death, old Rory, by the per- 
suasion of others (as was said), fell in his old disaffection, 
and would not acknowledge Torquil Conanach to be his 
heir ; but would give the estate to Torquil Dubh, gotten 
with Maclean's daughter, who was now come to perfect 
age, and began to rule the estate with his father. But 
Torquil Conanach daily skirmished with them, being 
assisted by as many as pleased to follow him from the 
in-countries. My Lord Kintail, of whom he expected 
help (as was said), was at that time at war with Glengarry. 
In the meantime there fell out a discord betwixt Torquil 
Dubh and Rory Og the Bastard (the other of John's 
murderers). He (Torquil) apprehends him and sends him 
prisoner to his uncle Maclean ; but making his escape 
(being in winter) he perished in a snow storm, leaving 
behind him three sons, Malcolm that [in 1616] killed John 
Mac Mhurchaidh Mhic Uilleam — a gentleman of the Clan 
Mhurchaidh that lived in Rainish, in the Lewis ; and 
after that he killed John Mac Dhomh'uill Phiopaire, my 
Lord Kintail's piper. Afterwards he went to Germany, 
but, hearing Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine w r as there, 
he returned to Ireland, where he died. His two other 
brothers, William and Rory, were taken afterwards by the 
Tutor of Kintail, and were executed as rebels. 


Torquil Conanach and Torquil Dubh had their several 
factions, the one plotting the other's destruction, so that 
it fell out that the Brieve (that is to say Judge) in the 
Lewis, who was Chief of the Clan 'Illemhoire there, being 
sailing from the Isle of Lewis to the Isle of Rona, in a 
great galley, met with a Dutch ship, loaded with wine, 
which he took, and advising with his friends (who were 
all with him there) what he would do with the ship, lest 
Torquil Dubh should take her from him, they resolved 
to return to Stornoway and call for Torquil Dubh to 
receive the wine, and if he came to the ship, to sail away 
with him where Torquil Conanach was, and then they 
might be sure of the ship and the wine to be their own ; 
and, besides, he (Torquil Conanach) would grant them 
tacks in the best "roums" in Lewis ; which accordingly they 
did, and called for Torquil to come and receive the 
wine. Torquil Dubh, nowise mistrusting them that were 
formerly so obedient, entered the ship, with seven others 
in his company, when he was welcomed ; and he com- 
mended them as good fellows that brought him such a 
prize. They invited him to the cabin to take his pleasure 
of the toast of their wine ; he goes, but instead of wine 
they brought cords to tie him, telling him he had best 
render himself and his wrongly possessed estate to his 
older brother ; that they resolved to put him in his mercy, 
which he was forced to yield to ; so they presently sailed 
for Coigeach and delivered him to his brother, whom he 
had no sooner got but he made him short by the head, 
in the month of July, 1597. Immediately, as he was 
beheaded, there arose a great earthquake which astonished 
the actors and all the inhabitants about them, as a sign 
of God's judgment. 

When the rumour of this unnatural murder was divulged 
everywhere, all the chief heads of the neighbouring clans 
(that were anyways related to Torquil Dubh, such as 
Macleod of Harris, Maclean, Macdonald, the Captain of 
Clanranald, and Mac Dhomh'uill Duibh), met in the Isle 
of Skye to consult about the affair, where it was thought 


that Torquil Conanach would not take away his brother's 
head were it not my Lord Kintail's persuasion ; where- 
upon they resolved to join unanimously together, and 
ruin them both, and to begin on my Lord Kintail ; but 
he, hearing this resolution of theirs, being a man of 
undaunted spirit, did not value much their brag, but being 
advised by his friends and some well-wishers, he caused 
apprehend Norman Macleod, brother to Torquil Dubh, 
and kept him honourably as a pledge and as an overband 
against his friends' resolution. Withal he sent out a strong 
watch to guard the borders of his countries privately, who 
met with twenty men — the connivers sent for a heirschip 
to breed the quarrel. The watch having met them in 
Strathloynie put them* all to the sword. The connivers 
finding this to be the first fruits of their undertaking, 
and that he had apprehended Norman, thought there was 
no dealing with him, and that he would ruin them all 
with diligence and power. But some were of thought 
(as was said) they had followed their project, but that 
Maclean, though he was nearest related to Torquil Dubh, 
had a reluctancy to enter in blood with him (Mackenzie) ; 
whereupon fearing the worst they broke their unity. 

In the meantime the Brieve and his followers were 
hated of all men by reason of his treachery and breach 
of faith to Torquil Dubh. He, finding himself thus hated, 
took himself to the parish of Ness, in the Lewis, which 
he was forced to leave also by reason of Neil Macleod's 
pursuit, who killed several of his followers and leaders. 
At last John Mac Dhomh'uill Mhic Uistean met with 
him in the country of Assynt, killed himself and six of 
his followers. In revenge hereof, one Gillecallum Mor 
went in search of John Mac Dhomh'uill Mhic Uistean, 
but John, by good fortune, takes him in Coigeach, and 
brought him to the Lewis, where they made him short 
by the head. 

About this time the barons and gentlemen in Fife, 
hearing of the troubles and miseries which were in the 
Lewis, were enticed by persuasion of some who had come 


from there of late, who gave them a full account thereof. 
They being- desirous to take any opportunity whereby 
they might redress their losses, besides the account they 
had of the fertility of the island, so, having the laws 
against Rory Macleod of Lewis and all his followers, they 
went where the King was and got a right of the Lewis 
from him, in the year 1598, being then at the King's 
disposal, all of them (the people of Lewis) being denounced 
rebels, and they undertook to His Majesty (a hard task 
in those days) to civilise the island and to plant a colony 
there, which proved a loss to them, for instead of that 
they broke themselves and their interests, as you shall see. 

The adventurers (for so must we call them) having met 
in Fife, where they gathered a company of soldiers and 
officers of all sorts, and such other things as they thought 
necessary for a plantation, so, transporting themselves to 
the Lewis, they built houses and "skonses" about Storno- 
way. In end they made a bonny village of it. 

Neil Macleod and Murdo Macleod (the Bastards) now 
only remain in that island, of the family of Clan Torquil, 
which two gainstood the undertakers. Murdo Macleod 
apprehended the laird of Balcolmly together with his ship, 
killed all his men, and detained himself prisoner for four 
months ; but, on promise of a ransom, he released him. 
Balcolmly dying in his return homewards to Fife, Murdo 
was disappointed of the ransom. 

About the same time Neil fell out with his brother 
Murdo for owning the Clan Tllemhoire (the Morrisons), 
so that Neil apprehended Murdo, with divers of this clan, 
whom he put to death, and kept his own brother Murdo 

The adventurers hearing that Neil apprehended Murdo, 
sent him a message that if he would deliver them his 
brother Murdo, they would agree with himself, and give 
him a portion in the Lewis, and also assist him in revenging 
his brother, Torquil Dubh's murder ; whereunto he hear- 
kened and gave them his brother Murdo, whom they 
presently sent to St. Andrews, and beheaded him. 


After this, Neil went with them to Edinburgh, got his 
pardon, and went back with them to the Lewis ; but shortly- 
after he fell at variance with them for some injury Sir 
James Spence of Ormistoun offered to him, whereupon 
he left them. Then they began to lay snares for him, 
the laird of Ormistoun having sent a party on a dark 
night to apprehend him. Neil being guarded thereof, 
sees them coming, falls upon them unexpectedly, kills 
three score of them, and chased the rest till they were 
rescued from the town. 

The Lord Kintail, considering that the Lewis was like 
to pass from Torquil Conanach, and altogether from the 
right line, commiserating the Clan Torquil's condition, he 
sets Norman Macleod (after he kept him at school), 
Torquil Dubh's brother, gotten (by Old Rory) with Mac- 
lean's daughter, at liberty, to do for himself. No sooner 
was Norman arrived in Lewis, but Neil Macleod, Donald 
Dubh MacRory, and their adherents, with the inhabitants, 
came to him and acknowledged him as their lord and 
master. So Norman invades the adventurers, burns their 
fort, kills the most of their men, took their commanders 
prisoners, and keeps them four months ; but upon promise 
they should never come again to the Lewis, and that they 
would procure him and his followers a pardon from His 
Majesty of all their by-gone offences, he inconsiderately 
lets them all go. 

Thus Norman for a while possessed the Lewis, during 
which time John MacDhomh'uill Mhic Uistean that killed 
the Brieve apprehended Torquil Conanach, carried him 
prisoner to his younger brother, Norman, to the Lewis, 
who desired him to give up the writs and evidents he 
took from his father, Rory. Torquil said that he had 
given them in custody to my Lord Kintail. Norman, 
considering that these evidents were in Mackenzie's hands, 
released his brother on conditions he would never claim 
any right to the Lewis, but to have Coigeach to himself 
and successors as his proportion of his father's estate. 
The releasing of Torquil was far against Neil and his 


adherents' advice, who would have him to be executed, 
as he did his former brother ; but Norman said he would 
not enter in his own blood, nor had he will to disoblige 
the Mackenzies, who had their rights in their hands, and 
that he knew they were not well pleased with him (Tor- 
quil) for that unnatural murder (whose revenge he would 
refer to God), and although he was (himself) a prisoner 
with them on several occasions, that they gave him 
breeding as one of their own, and when they (his family) 
were all like to lose their interest through their own 
miscarriage, they let him go to act for himself in their 
greatest straits. 

In the meantime, my Lord Kintail (by the grievances 
of the adventurers) was put in question by the King, His 
Majesty being informed by them that the Lord Kintail 
was their only crosser, and to that effect he let Norman 
loose to undo their designs, for which my Lord Kintail 
was put in prison at Edinburgh, and thereafter to his trial, 
from which he escaped, the King being informed that it 
was the undertakers' own negligence and mismanagement 
that wronged them, and nothing else. 

Whereupon the adventurers (contrary to their promise) 
turn again to the Lewis, and, by virtue of the King's 
commission, were assisted with forces from the neigh- 
bouring countries against Norman and his followers. How 
soon the adjoining forces, with the adventurers, were landed 
in the Lewis they sent a message to Norman that if he 
would yield to them, in the King's name, that they would 
(on their own charges) freely transport him to London, 
where the King was, and obtain him his pardon ; and, 
not only that, but deal for the King's favour, and procure 
some livelihood for him whereupon he might live in peace. 
Norman condescends hereto against the opinion of Neil 
and all his well-wishers, who stood out, and would not 
yield. So the adventurers sent Norman to London, 
where he caused His Majesty to be informed how the 
Lewis was the inheritance of his predecessors, that His 
Majesty was sinisterously informed by the adventurers, 


who made His Majesty believe that he might legally 
dispose of it, whereupon proceeded much unnecessary 
trouble and bloodship ; therefore he humbly begged His 
Majesty to do him justice in restoring him to his own 
peace, which the King was like to do ; but the adven- 
turers, understanding that the King began to give hearing 
to Norman's complaints, used all their " moyan " and 
industry to cross him. In end, some of them being the 
King's domestic servants, they prevailed so far as to cause 
apprehend him and send him a prisoner to Scotland, 
where he remained, at Edinburgh, till the year 1608, 
when the King gave him liberty to pass to Holland, to 
Maurice, Prince of Orange, where he ended his days. 

The adventurers having got Norman out of their way, 
settled again in the Lewis ; but they had not stayed long 
there when divers of them began to weary. Some of 
them drawing back from the enterprise, others were not 
able, for lack of money, to hold out, having both broken 
their credit and interest ; many of them also dying in 
that plantation ; some having other business to abstract 
them, and always daily vexed by Neil's skirmishes ; in 
end all of them gave over, left the Lewis, and retired to 

My Lord Kintail, finding that the right line male of 
the Siol Torquil were now all gone, and that the adven- 
turers also failed in their enterprise to the Lewis, he, by 
virtue of the fore-mentioned tailzie granted to him by 
Torquil Conanach, passed a gift of it to his lady, under 
the King's seal. But how soon the undertakers under- 
stood this, some of them went and complained to the 
King (though they were not able to manage it for 
themselves) ; they incensed him against my Lord Kintail, 
and made him resign that right into His Majesty's hand, 
by means of my Lord Balmerino, then Secretary for 
Scotland, and President of the Session, which right, being 
now at His Majesty's disposal, he gave the same to three 
persons, to wit, this Lord Balmerino, Sir George Hay 
(afterwards Chancellor of Scotland) and to Sir James 


Spence of Ormistoun, who, having- now the right of the 
Lewis in their persons, undertook the planting of it, where- 
unto they made great preparations, being, by order of 
His Majesty, assisted by all the neighbouring Clans, the 
order being especially for the Mackenzies (they being the 
marrers of the former adventurers), so that my Lord 
Kintail was forced to send 400 men to their assistance, 
under the command of Sir Rory Mackenzie, afterwards 
Tutor of Kintail, and Alexander Mackenzie of Coul, to 
plant a garrison there, and apprehend Neil if possible. 
But Neil, seeing such preparations, withdrew himself and 
kept him secret till a better opportunity. The undertakers, 
being fallen short of provision for so great an army, in 
end they were forced to dismiss the neighbouring Clans. 
Sir George Hay and Ormistoun returned to Fife, 
leaving a garrison in Stornoway to keep the fort till 
they would send a supply of men and victuals. But no 
sooner were they gone but Neil, and Gillecallum Mor 
(Malcolm) MacRory, his nephew, with some others of the 
inhabitants, burnt the fort, killed several of them, and 
apprehended the rest, whom they let go upon their oath 
that they would never come on that pretence again, which 
they never did ; nor could the adventurers get any there- 
after on any account ever to come and conquer the Lewis. 
So the Lord Balmerino, Sir George Hay, and Sir James 
Spence, finding they were not able to manage the affair, 
and could not get men to follow them, they sent for my 
Lord Kintail, and (as God would have it, whom they put 
from his former right) sold to him their own right and 
title thereof, with the forfeitry of Troternish and Water- 
nish, for a sum of money, wherein they took the woods 
of Letterewe in part payment, so that Providence ordered 
the Lewis this way, contrary to all such as did strive to 
cross him, so that notwithstanding of his neighbours' 
malicious and various reports, this is the whole progress 
of his attaining to the Lewis.* 

*From the "Ancient" Manuscript History of the Mackenzies, written 
about the middle of the seventeenth century. 



Roderick Macleod, X. of the Lewis, married, first, Janet, 
an illegitimate daughter of John Mackenzie, IX. of Kintail, 
and widow of Mackay of Reay. By this marriage he had 
issue — 

1. Torquil " Conanach," so-called from his having been 
brought up by his mother's relations in Strathconan. 
Torquil married Margaret, daughter of Angus Macdonald, 
VII. of Glengarry, widow of Cuthbert of Castlehill, Inver- 
ness, by whom she became progenitrix of the famous 
Charles Colbert, Marquis of Seignelay, Minister of Louis 
XVI. of France. By her Torquil had issue — (i) John, 
who died before his father, having been killed near Storno- 
way by his bastard uncle, Rory Og ; (2) another son, who 
also died before his father ; (3) Margaret, who, on the 
death of her brothers, became her father's heir. She 
married Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Tarbat (second son 
of Colin Cam, XI. of Kintail), afterwards known as the 
famous Tutor of Kintail, progenitor of the Mackenzie Earls 
of Cromarty ; (4) Elizabeth, who married Duncan Bain of 
Tulloch ; (5) Catherine, who married Colin Mackenzie, 
third son of George, second Earl of Seaforth, with issue ; 
(6) Janet, who married Roderick Mackenzie, III. of Fair- 
burn, with issue — four daughters ; and (7) Florence, who 
married Neil Macleod, IX. of Assynt, eldest son, by the first 
marriage, of Donald Ban Mor, X. of Assynt, with issue. 
It will thus be seen that Torquil Conanach, Roderick's 
only son by the first marriage, left no surviving male 
issue. His mother, Janet Mackenzie, eloped with John 
MacGillechallum, brother of Alexander Macleod, II. of 
Raasay, whereupon she was, soon afterwards, divorced by 
Roderick Macleod of the Lewis. 

Old Rory married secondly, in 1541, Barbara Stewart, 
daughter of Andrew, Lord Avandale, with issue — 

2. Torquil " Oighre," so called to distinguish him from 
his elder brother, disinherited by Roderick, on the ground 
of his mother's alleged infidelity with Morrison, the 
Breithedmh, or Celtic Judge of the Lewis. Torquil 
Oighre, after attaining manhood, predeceased his father, 


having been drowned, with sixty — some authorities say 
two hundred — followers, while on a voyage in his birlinn 
from the Lewis to the Isle of Skye. He left no male 

Roderick married, thirdly, a sister of Lachlan Maclean 
of Duart, with issue, two sons — 

3. Torquil Dubh, whom his father declared his heir 
and successor, and who, for a time, maintained possession 
of the Lewis. He married a sister of Sir Rory Mor 
Macleod, XIII. of Harris and Dunvegan, with issue, 
three sons — Roderick, William, and Torquil, all three of 
whom are said to have died without legitimate issue. 
Torquil Dubh himself, as we have seen, was killed by 
his eldest brother, Torquil Conanach, in July, 1597, before 
the death of his father, Old Rory. 

4. Tormod, who, in 1608, entered the service of Maurice, 
Prince of Orange, where he died, without legitimate male 
issue, when, and in consequence of which, the representa- 
tion of the Macleods of Lewis develved upon the family 
of Raasay, of which presently. 

It will have been observed that Old Roderick, the 
date of whose death we are unable positively to fix, had 
also five bastard sons — Torquil Uigeach, Murdoch, Neil, 
Donald, and Rory Og, all of whom, and their sons, took 
a leading part in the final struggle of the Macleods to 
maintain their ancient rights to the great Island prin- 
cipality of the Lewis. 


The first notice we find of Raasay is in the account of 
King - Haco of Norway's expedition to Scotland in 1262. 
Here the island is mentioned as a point in his Majesty's 
route on his way south to meet the Scots at Largs, where 
he was completely defeated, and his power in Scotland 
finally crushed, on the 3rd of October in that year. At 
a very early period in their history the " Siol Torquil" 
had, in addition to the Lewis, very extensive possessions, 
comprehending- not only the islands of Raasay and Rona, 
but also Waternish in Skye, and the wide districts of 
Assynt, Coigeach and Gairloch, on the mainland. It is 
thought that the same branch of the Clan, descended from 
the House of Lewis, inherited both Gairloch and Raasay 
long before Malcolm Garbh MacGillechallum received the 
latter as his patrimony from his father, Malcolm Macleod, 
IX. of the Lewis, early in the sixteenth century. It is 
quite clear that both the lands of Gairloch on the main- 
land, and the Islands of Raasay and Rona, were held by 
Macleod offshoots from the Lewis stem long before this 
time, though scarcely any record — beyond mere tradition — 
remains to throw light on their first settlement, or on their 
history in Gairloch during the fifteenth century. The 
only fact we can find on record regarding this early 
period is that, in 1430, James I. of Scotland granted "to 


Nele Nelesoun [Neil, son of Neil Macleod] for his hom- 
age and service in the capture of his deceased brother 
Thomas Nelesoun, a rebel, the lands of Gerloch and 
others in the Earldom of Ross and Sutherland and 
Sheriffdom of Innernys." This Neil is supposed to have 
conquered and driven out most of the Macbeaths, the 
original possessors of the district, having captured their 
strongholds of Island Ghrudaidh, on Loch Maree ; the 
small island, then occupied, on Loch Tolly ; and the Dun, 
at the east end of the Big Sand, on an elevated and easily 
defended rock near the present Established Church, and of 
which the foundation can still be traced. This latter strong- 
hold must have been somewhat imposing in those days, 
for the circumference of what yet remains of it measures 
about 200 feet. Later on, the Macleods, during the six- 
teenth century, held places of strength at " Uamh nam 
Freiceadan," between Opinan and Porthenderson, on the 
south side of the Loch, almost opposite Rona, and another 
on Eilean Ruairidh Bhig, on Loch Maree, afterwards one 
of the residences of John Roy Mackenzie, IV. of Gairloch. 
The walls of the house and garden can still be traced, 
and one of the gooseberry bushes which adorned John 
Roy's garden remained when we last visited the island 
some ten years ago. These are said to be the last places 
in Gairloch occupied by the Macleods. 

Neil Macleod would seem to have been succeeded by 
a Roderick Macleod, for about 1480 we find that the 
head of the Gairloch Macleods was named Allan " Mac 
Ruairidh " — Allan the son of Roderick — who was suffici- 
ently important and powerful to have obtained, as his 
first wife, a daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, VI. of 
Kintail, and sister of Hector Roy, the last-named ulti- 
mately securing two-thirds of Allan's lands, and becoming 
the founder of the present Gairloch family. Allan married, 
secondly, a daughter of Roderick Macleod, VII. of Lewis, 
by whom he had one son, Roderick, afterwards known as 
Ruairidh Mac Ailean, alias Ruairidh " Nimhneach," author 
of the atrocious massacre of the Macleods of Raasay and 



Gairloch at Island Islay, near Waternish, in the Isle of 
Skye, and of which in its proper place. Allan was also 
related to the family of his Chief in the Lewis, but what 
the actual relationship was it is impossible now to say. 
Two of his brothers are said, according- to tradition, to 
have resided with their relatives in the Lewis ; and to have 
resolved that no Mackenzie blood should flow in the veins 
of the future Chiefs of the Gairloch family. Allan Mac 
Ruairidh, who was himself a peacefully disposed man, lived 
at the " Crannag," of which traces are still to be found on 
a small island in Loch Tolly, with his second wife, his 
two sons by his first wife, and a daughter. His brothers 
determined to murder Allan and his three boys by Mac- 
kenzie of Kintail's daughter, so that the estate should 
revert to themselves and their relations. For this purpose 
they sailed across the Minch to Gairloch, and took up 
their abode at the old Tigh Dige, a wattled house sur- 
rounded by a ditch, the site of which is still pointed out 
in one of the Flowerdale parks, a few hundred yards 
above the stone bridge which crosses the Ceann-an-t-Sail 
river in front of the Post-office at the head of Gairloch 
Bay. Next day the murderous villains proceeded to Loch 
Tolly. On their way they learnt that Allan was not then 
on the island, but had gone a-fishing on the river Ewe. 
They at once proceeded in that direction, found him 
sound asleep on the banks of the river, at " Cnoc na 
mi-chomhairle," and, without any warning, there and then 
,, made him short by the head.'' They then retraced 
their steps, and crossing to the island where Allan's wife, 
with two of her three step-children resided, they, in the 
most cold-blooded manner, informed her of her husband's 
fate, tore the two boys — the third being fortunately absent 
— from her knees, took them ashore, and carried them 
along to a small glen through which the Poolewe 
road passes about a mile to the south of the loch, and 
there, at a place still called " Creag Bhadan an Aisc," or 
the " Rock at the place of Burial," stabbed them to the 
heart with their daggers, and carried their blood-stained 


shirts or tunics along- with them to the Tigh Dige. These 
shirts the stepmother ultimately secured by the strategy 
of one of her husband's retainers, who at once proceeded 
with them to the boys' grandfather, Alexander Mackenzie 
of Kin tail, at Brahan Castle. Hector Roy immediately 
started, carrying the blood-stained shirts along with him 
as evidence of the atrocious deed, to report the murder 
to the King at Edinburgh. His Majesty, on hearing 
of the crime, at once granted Hector a commission of 
fire and sword against the murderers of his nephews, and 
gave him a grant of the lands of Gairloch in his own 
favour, by charter, dated 1494, from the Crown. The 
assassins were soon afterwards slain at a hollow still pointed 
out between South Erradale and Point, almost opposite 
the Island of Raasay, where their graves are yet to be 
seen, quite fresh and green, among the surrounding heather. 

This much of the early history of the Macleods 
of Gairloch is necessary to clear up their after relations 
with the Macleods of Raasay, who so stoutly aided their 
namesakes on the mainland for more than a century in 
their struggles to retain the small portion still left to them, 
and in their futile attempts to recover the two-thirds of 
Gairloch, granted to Hector Roy by Crown charter, until 
they were finally driven from the district altogether, about 

Torquil Macleod of the Lewis, who had a charter under 
the Great Seal, dated 28th of June, 1498, had a son, 
Torquil, who, on his father's forfeiture in 1506, was ex- 
cluded from the succession. Malcolm, Torquil's brother, 
had the estates restored to him in 15 II, to the exclusion 
of Torquil's son, known as John Mac Torquil. This John, 
however, died in 1532 without male issue, so that his 
cousin, Malcolm's son Roderick, became the head of the 
family by right of birth, as well as proprietor of the lands 
in terms of the Royal charter. Malcolm, or Gillecallum 
Macleod, IX. of Lewis, had married Christian, daughter of 
Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty, with issue — first, Roderick, 
his heir, who succeeded him in the Lewis, and second, 


Malcolm Garbh MacGillechallum, the first of the Mac- 
leods of Raasay known in history. The first of the historic 
Macleods of Raasay was thus — 


Second son of Malcolm Macleod, IX. of Lewis, by his 
wife, Christian, daughter of Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty. 
He succeeded to Raasay early in the sixteenth century. 
The earliest glimpse which we get of the Macleods of 
Raasay as an independent sept is when, in 15 18-19, a l° n g 
with the Macleods of Lewis, they accompanied Sir Donald 
Gallda of Lochalsh in an invasion of Ardnamurchan, on 
which occasion they defeated the Macdonalds and slew 
their Chief, Maclan, with two of his sons. For some time 
prior to this, as already seen, a branch of the Macleods 
of Lewis held possession of the lands of Gairloch 
on the mainland, and they seem to have been intimately 
related to those who occupied Raasay before Malcolm 
Garbh became possessor of it. From what has been said, 
it will appear that the island was occupied by Macleods 
long before the progenitor of the house of Raasay, whose 
history we are now dealing with, obtained it in patrimony 
from his father, Malcolm Macleod, IX. of the Lewis. 

Farquhar, Bishop of the Isles, has an action in 1532-33 
against Macneil of Barra, and " MacGillechallum callit of 
Raasay."* At that time, and for two hundred years later, 
the Islands of Raasay, Rona, and Flodda, formed part of 
the parish of Snizort, of which Archdeacon Monro, author 
of the well-known Description of the Western Islands of 
Scotland, written in 1549, was at one time Vicar. The 
parish of Portree in those days had no existence; for it 
was only in 1726 that the old parish of Snizort was dis- 
joined, when a portion of it, along with Raasay and the 
adjacent islands — in the olden times a parish by them- 
selves — was erected into the modern parish of Portree. 

In 1 501 James IV. presented Sir Nichol Berchame 
* Acta Dominornm Concilii ct Sessionis; 14 March, 1532-33. 


to the vicarage of Kilmolowok, in Raasay, one of the 
" annexis of Snesfurd." In 1526 James V. presented Sir 
Donald Monro, afterwards the well-known Archdeacon and 
High Dean of the Isles, to the vicarage of " Sneisport 
and Rairsay," vacant by the decease of Sir Tormot Mac- 
Farsane. In 1 561 the parsonage of Snizort belonged to 
the Bishop of the Isles. A considerable part of the 
Skye portion of the parish, at that time and long after, 
belonged to the Macleods of Raasay, who continued to 
possess that island by the sword, notwithstanding that by 
heritage it belonged to the Bishop. 

Dean Monro, who had such good opportunities of know- 
ing it, describes Raasay as an island " with part of 
birch woods, many deer, part of profitable lands, in- 
habited and manured." Raasay had two castles, the 
castle of Kilmorocht or Kilmaluag, and the castle of 
Brolokit or Brochel, with " two fair orchards at the said 
two castles, with one parish kirk, called Killmolowocke, 
a rough country, but full of freestones and good quarries. 
It is excellent for fishing, pertaining to MacGillechallum 
of Raasay by the sword, and to the bishop of the Isles 
by heritage." Rona, which he describes as " half a mile 
of sea from Raasay," is " more than a mile in length, full 
of wood and heather, with one haven for Highland galleys 
in the middle of it ; and the same haven is good for 
fostering of thieves, riggers, and rievers, ' till a nail upon 
the peilling' and spuilying of poor people." 

The present mansion-house of Raasay stands on the 
site of the old castle of Kilmaluag, which was taken down 
in 1746. The position of Castle Brochel, situated near 
the north end of the island, on a rock of conglomerate, 
accessible only on the side next the sea, is well known. 
It consisted of two small towers of two storeys each, built 
on two different ledges of the rock. Traces of these 
towers still remain. 

Malcolm Garbh married and had issue, at least two sons, 

1. Alexander, his heir and successor. 

2. John, known as " Ian na Tuaighe," erroneously said 


to have been one of the heads of the family. It was he 
who carried off, and afterwards married, Janet Mackenzie, 
the wife of his uncle, Roderick Macleod, X. of Lewis, by 
whom she was in consequence divorced. This wicked act 
of John Na Tuaighe resulted in the ultimate ruin of 
the family of Lewis, and was the cause of the massacre 
at Island Islay, where the direct male heir of the Mac- 
leods of Gairloch and all the male children of Alexander 
second of Raasay were cut off, with the exception of one 
boy, another MacGillechallum Garbh, who ultimately suc- 
ceeded to the estates. 

MacGillechallum Garbh died in the reign of Queen 
Mary (i 542-1 567), when he was succeeded by his eldest 


Of his life, marriage, or death, scarcely anything is known. 
He is said in Douglass Baronage to have died in the 
reign of James VI. (1 567-1603) ; and he is probably the 
same MacGillechallum referred to, in 1549, by Dean Monro 
of the Isles. 

From a retour of service in favour of Janet and Giles 
Macleod, heirs of line of the family of Raasay in 1688, 
it is clear that this Alexander MacGillechallum — son of 
Malcolm — succeeded his father, and that Ian na Tuaighe 
was never one of the Chiefs or heads of the house. In the 
retour the ladies, as heirs of line, conquest, and provision, 
are described as the daughters of their father, Alexander 
Macleod, alias Mac Alastair Mhic Gillechallum. This 
Alastair is declared to be the grandfather of the ladies, 
and he is also described as " the son and heir of Malcolm 
Macleod, alias Mac Gillechallum of Raasay, the great- 
grandfather of the said Janet and Gilles," and is himself 
named as " Mac Alastair, Mhic Gillechallum of Raasay." 
This exhausts the genealogy of the family backwards from 
1688, to its source, and corresponds exactly with that 
given in Douglass Baronage, which, in this case, happens 


to be correct. It is therefore certain that the notorious 
Ian na Tuaighe, the author of so much family mis- 
fortune, was not himself Chief but the Chief's brother. 
The object of the massacre of Island Islay thus becomes 
apparent. Its author, Ruairi Nimhneach Macleod of 
Gairloch, not only determined to get rid of John's 
children by his first wife, Janet Mackenzie, but also to 
remove the direct line of the Macleods of Raasay, so 
that John na Tuaighe's son by his second wife, Rory 
Nimhneach's sister, or his own son Allan, should succeed 
to the lands of Raasay, and help Ruairi himself afterwards 
to regain possession of the lands of Gairloch. 

Roderick's name appears as " Rory Mac Allan, alias 
Nevynnauch," in a decree-arbitral by the Regent Earl of 
Murray between Donald Macdonald, fifth of Sleat, and Colin 
Mackenzie, XI. of Kintail, dated at Perth, 1st of August, 
1569. Macdonald of Sleat becomes responsible for him, 
and undertakes that he and his kin shall " desist and cease 
from all troubling, molesting, harming, or invasion of the 
said Laird of Gairloch's lands, rowmes, possessions, tenants, 
servants, and goods, while Mackenzie, on the other hand, 
is to see to it that Torquil Conanach shall cease to do 
the same in all respects to Macdonald's lands."* We also 
find Rory Nimhneach's name mentioned in a document 
dated nth November, 1586, as one against whom an 
action had been raised, with several others, including 
" Rawsay of that Ilk," for molesting those burgesses 
engaged in the fisheries in the North Isles and adjacent 
mainland. In this action he is described as Rory Mac 
Allan "of Lochgair." We also find " M'Leud, heretour 
of the landis of Lochgair," mentioned in the same act 
of Council. These facts prove that Rory was not then 
the lawful heritor of the Macleod portion of the Gairloch 

It was about this period that the massacre of the Mac- 
leods of Raasay by Rory Nimhneach Macleod — a son of 

* For this Decree-arbitral at length, see Mackenzie's History of the Mac- 
donalds and Lords of the Isles, pp. 185-188. 


Allan Macleod of Gairloch, by his second wife — a daughter 
of Roderick Macleod, VII. of Lewis — took place. This 
massacre has been erroneously attributed to Rory Mac- 
Allan's grandfather, Roderick Macleod VII. of Lewis, 
and by some writers confused with another Macleod 
massacre of a very similar character, both in its cold- 
blooded atrocity and aims, which was perpetrated at Loch 
Tolly, in Gairloch, and already referred to. Rory Nimh- 
neach, it appears, was not the eldest son and lawful 
successor of Macleod of Gairloch ; for he seems to have 
determined not only upon opening up the succession of 
Raasay but also that of Gairloch to his own son, by 
cutting off the only child of his own father by his first 
marriage with Mackenzie's daughter who survived the 
previous massacre at Loch Tolly Island. He did not, 
however, succeed in either object. 

The monster having once determined upon his murder- 
ous object — to assassinate all the direct male representa- 
tives of Alexander Macleod, II. of Raasay, and the 
children of Ian na Tuaighe by his first wife, Janet 
Mackenzie, as well as the lawful heirs of the Gairloch 
Macleods — his own brother's children — he, in the most 
atrocious manner, set about it by inviting all the 
members of both families to a great feast at the Island 
of Isay, in Waternish, professing to each of them that he 
had matters of importance to communicate to him. They 
were thus led into the trap prepared for them, all accept- 
ing the invitation except a boy, then only nine years of 
age, who was being fostered from home. Roderick feasted 
his visitors sumptuously at a great banquet. In the middle 
of the festivities he communicated to them his desire to 
have each man's advice separately, at the same time stating 
that he would afterwards make known to them the 
business for which he called them together, and which 
concerned each of them closely. He then retired into a 
separate apartment, and called them in one by one, when 
they were each, as they entered, stabbed with dirks through 
the body by a set of murderous villains whom he had 


engaged and posted inside the room for that purpose. Not 
one of the family of Raasay was left alive, except the boy, 
already mentioned, whom his foster-father sent privately, 
when the massacre became known, to the Laird of Calder, 
who kept him in safety during his minority. He after- 
wards, by the assistance of the Mackenzies, obtained 
possession of his estates, and became Gillechallum Garbh 
MacGillechallum, III. of Raasay. In the meantime, Rory 
Nimhneach's son, Allan, took possession of Raasay, 
Roderick himself, apparently, appropriating the Macleod 
lands in Gairloch. 

Allan, Roderick's son, after the massacre took up his 
residence at Castle Brochel, the then residence of the 
Macleods of Raasay. But Donald MacNeill, who had 
previously saved young Malcolm's life by sending him to 
the Laird of Calder, now brought him back, and kept 
him in hiding until, as the rightful heir, he could obtain 
possession of the stronghold in which the usurper resided. 
This he managed by arrangement with the keeper of the 
castle, who preferred the native heir to the representative 
of the Macleods of Gairloch. An agreement was entered 
into that, when Donald MacNeill presented himself with 
young Malcolm he should receive access to the castle. 
The commander honourably kept his word ; and the future 
MacGillechallum Garbh was in due course proclaimed, 
and, by the assistance of the Mackenzies of Gairloch, 
maintained in possession against all his enemies, as Laird 
of Raasay. 

Alexander Macleod, second of Raasay married, with 
issue, among others, his heir and successor, 


He is mentioned in a charter under the Great Seal, by 
James VI., dated 14th of February, 1571-72, in favour 
of Torquil Conanach Macleod, son and heir of Roderick 
Macleod, X. of the Lewis — Torquilo Macleod filio et hceredi 
Roderiei Macleod de Lewes, et Jiceredibus mas mils de cor pore 


suo legitime procreat, sen procreand. Suibus deficiens Gilli- 
ealmo Vic Gillicallum Garve Macleod de Rasay, hceredibus 
suis, etc. terrarum baronie de Assynt, etc. infra vicecomitat. 
de Ross, et terras de insula de Lewes in vicecomitat. de 
Lnverness, super resignatiotie diet, quondam Roderici sui 
patris, in libera baronia de Lewes, unit. etc. From this 
charter it is perfectly clear that on the failure of the heirs 
male of Roderick Macleod, X. of the Lewis, this MacGille- 
challum Garbh of Raasay and his descendants became 
the nearest male representatives of that ancient family. 

In an Act of the Lords of Session and Council, dated 
3rd December, 1580, in an action by the Bishop of the 
Isles against several of the Island Chiefs, Malcolm Garbh 
is mentioned as " Gilleschallum M'Gilleschallum of Rasay" 
immediately before Roderick Macleod of Lewis, John 
Maclan of Ardnamurchan, Lachlan Maclean of Duart, 
Tormot Macleod of Harris, and Donald Macdonald Gorm 
of Sleat. The action is " to have it found and decreed 
that the said persons and each one of them, has intro- 
mitted with the mails, ' fermis,' teinds, and duties pertaining 
and belonging to the lands and kirks pertaining to the 
said reverend father within the Bishopric of the Isles 
and Abbey of Icolmkill, each one of them for their own 
parts of the crops and years of God 1572-73, and divers 
other years ; extending to divers avail, quantity and prices 
like as at more length is contained in the said summons, 
acts, and letters made thereupon before." The Bishop 
appeared by his procurator, but the Chiefs, among whom 
are many others besides those whose names we give, 
" being lawfully summoned to this action, oftimes called 
and not compearing," the Lords of Council continued it, 
without prejudice of parties, to the 12th of April following, 
when all the witnesses, who are ordered to be summoned 
anew, had to appear under more severe penalties.* On 
the 8th of December, 1580, Lachlan Maclean of Duart 

* Act of the Lords of Council and Session in causa Bishop of the Isles 
against the Islesmen, 1580, quoted at length at pp. 13 and 14 Collectanea 
de Rebus Albanicis. 


enters into a contract with the Bishop on the subject of 
his claims, but on the 26th of July, 1 58 1, his Lord- 
ship receives the escheat of Duart's goods " moveable 
and unmoveable" which may fall into the King's hands, 
and those of several others of the western Chiefs, who 
had been declared rebels and put to the horn, at the 
instance of the Bishop for nonpayment of their formes, 
mails, teinds, and duties, pertaining to the Bishopric of 
the Isles and the Abbacy of Icolmkill for the crops of 
1 575, 1576, 1577, and 1578.* There is, however, no 
further trace, so far as we know, of the action against 
MacGillechallum Garbh and the other island Chiefs for the 
Bishop's dues in connection with the crops of 1572-73. 

Malcolm's name appears as " Makgillichallum of Raarsay" 
in the roll of landlords appended to the Act of Parliament, 
known as the " General Band," passed in 1587 for quieting 
and keeping in obedience the disorderly subjects of the 
portions of the Borders, Highlands, and Isles, "quhair 
brokin men hes duelt and presentlie duellis." It is worthy 
of note that while in the roll of broken clans named in 
an Act of Parliament, passed in 1594, "for punishment 
of thift, reiff, oppressioun, and soirning," the Macleods of 
Lewis and Harris are each separately mentioned, the 
Macleods of Raasay are not. 

In February, 1588, a strong force, under the Chiefs of 
Mackintosh, Mackay, Munro, Macleod of Assynt, and 
" Gilcalme " Macleod of Raasay, joined the Earl of Suther- 
land in an expedition to Caithness, to enforce a commission 
of fire and sword which his lordship had obtained against 
the Earl of Caithness, with the view of punishing him for 
killing George Gordon of Marie, who had, some time 
before, insulted the Earl of Caithness by cutting off the 
tails of his Lordship's horses. On the approach of this 
strong force, under the Earl of Sutherland, the people of 
Caithness became much alarmed and fled in all directions. 
Many were killed, and a great spoil of goods and cattle 

* The Contract is recorded on the 26th of December in the General Register 
of Deeds, Vol. 19, and in the Register of the Privy Council, Vol. 48, p. 29. 


was carried away, in consequence of which the event has 
since been known in local chronology as " Latha na 
Creach Mhor" or The Day of the Great Spoil. Sir 
Robert Gordon names Gillechallum and John Mac- 
Gillechallum as being- both personally present on the 
occasion. Sir Robert says that the ruthless invaders 
"burnt and wasted the town of Wick, but they saved 
the Church, where the last Earl of Caithness's heart was 
found in a case of lead ; the ashes of which heart was 
thrown with the wind by John MacGillechallum, Raasay," 
who was, no doubt, the notorious Ian na Tuaighe, 
or a son of his bearing the same name. 

It would appear that there was always a wild, 
mischief-making "John MacGillechallum " among the 
most immediate connections of this family in its earlier 
history, but no one of the name of John was among its 
earlier Chiefs. When and how Ian na Tuaighe ended 
his days we have not been able to ascertain, but 
there is no doubt that he was succeeded by a son or 
near relative of the same name, who inherited his blood- 
thirsty and worst qualities. What the exact relationship 
his successor in evil — this second John — had to the 
head of the house at this period it is impossible to say. 
But that he was in no respect better than his name- 
sake of the Tuagh is clear from the picture presented 
in the following extracts : — 

On the 1 6th of March, 1592-93, "MacGillechallum of 
Raarsay's " name appears among those of several other 
Chiefs, Lowland and Highland, in the Register of the 
Privy Council, on which occasion the King, with the 
advice of his Council, ordained letters to be issued to 
relax the persons named therein from the horn for any 
cause bygone, to receive them to the King's peace, " and 
gif them the wand thereof." In 1594-95 there is an entry, 
on the 6th of February denouncing Macleod of Raasay, 
and others for not appearing to answer a charge of reif. 
The complaint is at the instance of Alexander Bane of 
Tulloch, and it sets forth that " Upon 7th September last 


Gillichallum Rasa, Laird of Rasa ; John MacGillichallum, 
his son ; Alexander Ley, Andro Ley, Angus Pyper, 
Hucheon Maclnglas, Alexander McEan McRory, John 
McWilliame Dow, with their accomplices, broken men 
and sorners, came to the complainers lands of Auchna- 
glerauch and reft and awaytuke furth thairof tuelff scoir 
ky, fyve hundreth sheep, tua hundreth gait, and tuentie 
horse and meiris;" and that they had often before com- 
mitted sundry acts of oppression and degradation upon 
him. The pursuer was represented by Duncan Bane, 
apparent heir of Tulloch and Mr. Ranald Bane, his heirs 
and procurators. The defenders did not appear, and were 
ordered to be denounced as rebels. 

On the 25th of December, 1595, there is a complaint 
at the instance of Tulloch and Alexander Bane, Fiar of 
Loggie, against the Rev. John Mackenzie, minister of 
Urray, who, " forgetful of that calling and profession 
whereunto he is received, and of the good example which, 
by his good life and conversation, he should give to 
others," has been guilty of many "insolencies and open 
and manifest oppressions" against the complainers, "as 
namely by reset and herding within his house of John 
MacGillichallum Rasa, a common and notorious thief, and 
limmer, and denounced rebel, for open and avowed theft 
in the month of May last," and who had come to the 
said Mr. John's house " upon set purpose and provision 
to lie derne and quiet there " till he might find the 
opportunity to murder Mr. Hucheon McConeill Bane and 
Duncan Bane, son of the said Alexander Bane, younger 
of Tulloch. After he had remained with the Rev. Mr. 
John the space of 48 hours, "upon sure knowledge had 
by the said Mr. John of his barbarous and wicked inten- 
tion," he had come out of the said house at night to the 
dwelling-place of the said Hucheon of set purpose to slay 
him, which he would have done if Hucheon, getting 
information of his intention, "had not convoyed himselff 
and the said barne away." Since that time the said Mr. 
John had come to the complainers lands of Urray, "cut 



his ploughs and 'rigwiddeis,' and thereby, and by others 
the like open and manifest oppressions, has laid and holds 
the said lands waste." The Rev. Mr. John did not appear, 
and was denounced a rebel. 

It would seem that a Mr. John " Irwing of Kynnock" 
became cautioner on the 29th December, 1595, for this 
Rev. John Mackenzie, of Urray, to the amount of 300 
merks, that he would appear on the 3rd of February 
following to answer the complaint made against him 
by the Banes respecting "the reset" and protection of 
this John MacGillechallum, Raasay. The bond is deleted 
by warrant, subscribed by the King's hand, at Edinburgh 
on the 17th of January, 1595-96.* 

There is another complaint by the same parties in con- 
nection with this matter, on the 6th of February, 1595-96, 
from which it appears that John MacGillechallum, Raasay, 
had been put to the horn on the 7th of March, 1594, 
but, notwithstanding this, " he not only remains unreleased 
from the horn, but continues in his wicked and accustomed 
trade of reif, theft, sorning, and oppression, seeking all 
indirect and shameful means to wreck and destroy him 
(Bane of Tulloch) and his bairns. Thus, lately he sent 
to the complainer, desiring him to give over to him his 
old heritage called Torrertane [Torridon], with assurance, 
if he do not the same, to burn his whole corns and 
goods." In these insolencies he is " encouraged and set 
forward by the consort, reset, and supply which he 
receives of Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail and his friends, 
he being near kinsman to the said Kenneth, viz., his 
father's sister's son, who, in that respect, shows him all 
good offices of friendship and courtesy, indirectly assisting 
him with his men and moyan in all his enterprises 
against the said complainer and his bairns, without whose 
oversight and allowance, and protection it were not able 
to have a reset in any part of the country." The com- 
plainer, Bane of Tulloch, is then described as a decrepit 
aged man, past eighty years of age ; and being blind for 
* Register of the Privy Council, p. 316. 


several years, " he mon meane himself to his Majestie 
for remeid." He is represented by Alexander Bane, Fiar 
of Loggie, and Mr. Ranald Bane. Kenneth Mackenzie 
of Kintail appears personally, and the King and Council 
remit the matter before the judges competent to deal 
with it. 

In 1597 a fierce feud broke out between the Mackenzies 
and the Munros. John MacGillechallum, a son of Ian 
na Tuaighe, brother of Alexander, Laird of Raasay, by 
his first wife, annoyed the people of Torridon, which place 
then belonged to the Baynes of Tulloch. He maintained 
that Tulloch, in whose house he was fostered, had promised 
him these lands as a gift of fosterage ; but Tulloch, whether 
he had made a previous promise to John MacGillechallum 
or not, left the lands of Torridon to his own second son, 
Alexander Mor MacDhonnchaidh Mhic Alastair, alias 
Bayne. Tulloch afterwards obtained a decree against 
MacGillechallum for interfering with his lands, and molest- 
ing the inhabitants, and, on a Candlemas market, he came 
with a large following of armed men, composed of most 
of the Baynes, and a large number of Munros, to the 
market stance, at that time held at Logie. John Mac- 
Gillechallum, entirely ignorant of Tulloch having got "the 
laws against him," and in no fear of his life or liberty, 
came to that market as usual, and, while standing buying 
some articles at a chapman's stall, Alastair Mor, with some 
of his followers, came up behind him unperceived, and, 
without any warning, struck John MacGillechallum on the 
head with a two-edged sword — instantly killing him. A 
gentleman of the Clann Mhurchaidh Riabhaich Mackenzies, 
Ian Mac Mhurchaidh Mhic Uilleam, a very active and 
powerful man, was standing beside MacGillechallum when 
he fell, and he asked who dared to have spilt Mackenzie 
blood in that dastardly manner ? He had no sooner said 
the words than he was run through the body with one of 
the swords of the enemy ; and thus, without any oppor- 
tunity of drawing their weapons, fell two of the best 
swordsmen in the Highlands of Scotland. 


The alarm and the news of their death immediately 
spread through the market. " Tulloch Ard," the war cry 
of the Mackenzies, was instantly raised ; whereupon the 
Baynes and the Munros took to their heels — the Munros 
eastward to the Ferry of Fowlis, and the Baynes north- 
ward to the hills, both followed by a band of the infuriated 
Mackenzies, who slaughtered every one they overtook. 
Iain Dubh MacChoinnich Mhic Mhurchaidh of the Clann 
Mhurchaidh Riabhaich, and Ian Gallda Mac Fhionnla 
Dhuibh, two gentlemen of the Mackenzies, the latter a 
Kintail man, were on their way from Chanonry to the 
market, when they met in with a batch of the Munros 
flying in great confusion, and, learning the cause to be 
the murder of their friends at Logie market, the two 
instantly pursued the fugitives, killing no less than thirteen 
of them between Logie and the wood of Millechaich. All 
the townships in the neighbourhood of the market joined 
the Mackenzies in the pursuit, and Alastair Mor Bayne 
of Tulloch only saved himself, after all his men were killed, 
by taking shelter and hiding for a time in a kiln-logie. 

Two of his followers, who escaped from the market 
people, met with some Lewismen on their way to the fair, 
who, noticing the Baynes flying half naked, immedi- 
ately stopped them, insisting upon, their giving a proper 
account of themselves. The reply proving unsatisfactory, 
the party came to high words, and from words to blows, 
when the Lewismen attacked and killed their opponents 
at Ach-an-eilich, near Contin. 

The Baynes and the Munros had good cause to regret 
the conduct of their leaders that day at Logie market ; 
for they lost no less than fifty able-bodied men in return 
for the two whom they had so basely murdered at the fair. 

When night came on, Alastair Mor Bayne escaped from 
the kiln, and proceeded to his uncle, Lord Lovat, who 
at once despatched James Fraser of Phopachy south with 
all speed, to prevent information from the other side 
reaching the King before Bayne had an opportunity of 
relating his version of the quarrel. His Majesty was at 


the time at Falkland, and a messenger from Mackenzie 
of Kintail reached him before Alasstair Mors arrival, 
pursuing for the slaughter of Mackenzie's kinsmen. Kintail 
secured the ear of the King, and would have been suc- 
cessful had not John Dubh Mac Choinnich Mhic Mhur- 
chaidh meanwhile taken the law into his own hands by 
burning, in revenge, all Bayne's corn-yard and barns at 
Lemlair, thus giving Tulloch an opportunity of presenting 
another and counter claim ; but the matter was ultimately 
arranged by the King and Council obliging both mutually 
to subscribe a contract of agreement and peaceful behaviour 
towards each other in all time coming.* 

John Mac Gillechallum, alias Ian na Tuaighe, as we 
have already seen, first carried away Janet Mackenzie, 
daughter of John Mackenzie, IX. of Kintail, the first wife of 
Roderick Macleod, X. of the Lewis, and subsequently, after 
she had been divorced by her first husband, married her. 
By her Ian na Tuaigh had issue, several sons, and 
one daughter who married Alastair Roy, eldest son of 
Hector Cam, son of Hector Roy Mackenzie, first of the 
family of Gairloch, with issue. John married, secondly, 
a daughter of Allan MacRory of Gairloch and sister of 
Ruairi Nimhneach, by whom also he had issue — several 

In 1596 Malcolm has a charter on his own assignation 
under the Great Seal, dated 10th of July, in which he 
is described as " Macgillicallum filio et h&redi A lister Vic- 
Gillicalliim de Rasay, hceredibus maseulis et assignatis 
quibiisainque, terrarum de Rasay, Ire. etc., in Inverness- 
shire." The lands are described as having been held 
formerly of the Bishop of the Isles, but now of the 
King by the Act of Annexation. 

We find another charter mentioned in an " Inventory 
of writs and evidents delivered by Alexander MacGilli- 
challum of Raasay to one noble Lord, Colin Earl of 
Seaforth, on the 27th of April, 1617." This charter is 
dated at Falkland, on the 20th of July, 1596, and is 

* Mackenzie's History of the Mackcnzies, pp. 138-140. 



granted by " James, by the Grace of God King of Scot- 
land of most worthy memory, after his lawful and perfect 
age and general revocation made in Parliament and Act 
of Annexation of all kirk lands within this realm to the 
Crown thereof" by which he "gave and set in feu 
to the umquhile (late) Malcolm MacGillichallum father 
to the said Alexander his heirs and assignees heritably 
all and whole the lands of Raasay contained therein, 
the particular lands after subscribed " [then follows the 
names of the various townships in Raasay] " extending 
to eight merklands of old extent, and such like all and 
whole the lands of Ire in Troternish, Tottua, Carrabost, 
Wure, Sallader, and Vinsinort called in the infeftment 
Winsinsem, extending to three merk lands, and in the 
whole to eleven merk lands of old extent, with all and 
sundry the fortalices" etc. [in the usual form, but including 
in this case "the donation and right of patronage of the 
Kirks and Chaplainaries of all and sundry the Kirk lands of 
Kilmaluag in Raasay, and Snizort in Troternish, with all 
and sundry their parts, pendicles and pertinents, lying 
within the Bishoprick of the Isles and Sheriffdom of 
Inverness,"] " holden of our said Sovereign Lord and 
his successors in feu and heritage for a yearly payment 
of twenty-four merks of old duty and augmentation, use 
and wont, to be paid to the Bishop of the Isles, together 
with thirty shillings and four pennies of new augmenta- 
tion, and the said umquhile Malcolm and his heirs attending 
and expecting upon his Majesty, his lieutenants, and 
successors whensoever they should happen to repair to 
the Isles in such sort as they were wont and ' astricket ' 
to do to the Bishops of the Isles above specified, conform 
to their old infeftments granted by the said Bishops to 
them of the forenamed lands." 

It will be remembered that, in 1572, Torquil Conanach, 
eldest son of Roderick Macleod, X. of the Lewis, received 
a charter of all his father's possessions, in terms of which, 
failing heirs male of Old Roderick, MacGillechallum Garbh 
of Raasay should succeed. Torquil Conanach having 


made over all his rights to Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, 
it was probably found necessary for Macleod of Raasay 
to acknowledge Mackenzie's superiority over his lands. 
Malcolm Garbh was greatly indebted to the Mackenzies 
for having aided in reinstating him in the family estates 
after the massacre of Island Isay, and for maintaining him 
in possession against the Gairloch Macleods, until he was 
able to take care of himself. The fact that the Mackenzies 
were superiors of Raasay at this period, is corroborated 
by Thomas Knox, Bishop of the Isles, who, writing of 
the state and revenues of his diocese in 1626, says that 
" Rasa, belonging to the Abbot of Icolmikill, is possessit 
be the Erie of Seafort. He hes na tak nor acknawlegeis 
anie rent."* This, it will be observed, was written in 
the time by Bishop Knox of Malcolm Garbs's successor. 

The Laird of Raasay, in 1608, signs himself " Gillicallum 
Mak Gillicallum off Rasay." 

Towards the end of the sixteenth and during the first 
few years of the seventeenth century, Kenneth, first Lord 
Mackenzie of Kintail, acquired great power in the Western 
Isles, through the ability and influence of his brother, 
Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Coigeach, afterwards Tutor 
of Colin, first Earl of Seaforth. He acquired for the 
family of Kintail the superiority of Troternish, and the 
heritable stewartry of the Isle of Skye, with the superiority 
of Raasay and the neighbouring islands. Referring to 
this, Douglas says that " this Malcolm, in consequence 
of a transaction with Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail, re- 
signed his lands of Raasay, etc., in his favour, took them 
holden of him, and accordingly got a charter from the 
said Kenneth, then created Lord Kintail, dated anno, 1610." 

In the Inventory of Raasay writs, dated 1617, already 
quoted, we have this charter mentioned as dated at Eilean- 
donain on the 21st August, 1610, and given by the umquhile 
Kenneth Lord of Kintail as superior of the lands underwritten 
to the said umquhile Malcolm MacGillechallum MacAllister 
of Raasay, of all and whole the forenamed lands of Raasay 
* Demmylne MSS. in the Advocates' Library. 


containing- the particular lands above-written and extending 
to eight merk lands of old extent and of the three merk 
lands in Troternish, with their towns, fortalices, teinds 
therewith included, mills, multures, woods, fishings, yards, 
orchards, house Diggings, tenants, tenandries, and service 
of free tenants thereof, parts, pendicles, and pertinents of 
the same, as the said umquhile Malcolm possessed them, 
lying as is within written ; holden of the said umquhile Lord 
Kenneth of Kintail and his successors Lords of Kintail, in 
feu and heritage for the yearly payment of twenty-six 
merks, three shillings, four pennies, for old ferme and 
augumentation used of before to be paid to the Bishops 
of the Isles, and the said umquhile Malcolm attending and 
expected upon his said superior and his lieutenants when 
they shall happen to repair to the Isles, with one birlinn 
of twelve oars, and likewise compearing and answering in 
whatever the said superior's weighty affairs with the Isles 
when they shall be required thereto in time coming ; and 
suchlike ye are doubling the silver duty at his entries ; 
with this irritant clause that, if lawful payment be not 
made of the yearly duty so that three yearly duties run 
in one unpaid, the infeftment to be null." An instrument 
of sasine, of the lands above-named, dated the 4th of 
November in the same year follows. 

In this year (1610) a severe skirmish was fought at 
Lochan-an-fheidh, above Glen Torridon, between the Mac- 
kenzies of Gairloch — led by Alastair Breac, eldest surviving 
son and apparent heir of John Roy — and the Macleods, 
under John Mac Allan Mhic Rory, then the only surviving 
direct male representative of Allan Macleod of Gairloch, 
and grandson, probably, of Rory Nimhneach. John 
Tolmach MacRuairidh, John's uncle, was also present, 
but he managed to effect his escape. John Mac Allan 
and seventeen or eighteen of his followers were taken 
prisoners. Many more were killed ; and the few who 
escaped alive along with John Tolmach, were pursued 
out of the district. The slain were buried where they 
fell, and the graves can still be seen, the nettles which 


continue to grow over them at the present day indicating 
the position of the last resting place, on the field of 
battle, of these Macleod warriors on the west side of the 
Sgura-Dubh, above Glen Torridon, a little beyond the 
Gairloch march. 

Shortly after this skirmish another attempt was made 
by the Macleods to regain the lands of Gairloch, the 
history of which is still a prominent and interesting 
feature in the local traditions of the parish. The affair 
is called " Latha Leac-na-Saighead." Mr. John H. Dixon 
gives a capital version of it, as related to him by Roderick 
Mackenzie, locally known as Ruairidh 'n Torra — an intelli- 
gent old man of about ninety years of age, still alive — 
in his interesting book on the history and traditions of 
the parish of Gairloch. According to Roderick's version, 
as given by Mr. Dixon, many of the Macleods, after they 
had been driven from Gairloch, settled in Skye. A con- 
siderable number of the younger men were invited by 
their Chief to pass Hogmanay night in the Castle at 
Dunvegan. In the kitchen there was an old woman, 
known as Mor Bhan, who was usually occupied in carding 
wool, and who was supposed to be a witch. After dinner 
the men began to drink, and when they had passed some 
time in this occupation, they sent to the kitchen for Mor 
Bhan. She at once joined them in the hall, and having 
drank one or two glasses along with them, she remarked 
that it was a very poor thing for the Macleods to be 
deprived of their own lands in Gairloch, and to have to 
live in comparative poverty in Raasay and the Isles of 
Skye. "But," says she, addressing them, "prepare your- 
selves and start to-morrow for Gairloch, sail in the black 
birlinn, and you shall regain Gairloch. I shall be a witness 
of your success when you return." 

The men trusted her, believing she had the power of 
divination. In the morning they set sail for Gairloch — 
the black galley was full of the Macleods. It was evening 
when they entered the loch. They were afraid to land on 
the mainland, for they remembered that the descendants 


of Domhnull Greannach (a celebrated Macrae) were still 
there, and they knew the prowess of these men only too 
well. The Macleods therefore turned to the south side 
of the loch, and fastened their birlinn to the Fraoch 
Eilean, in the well-sheltered bay opposite Leac-nan-Saigh- 
ead, between Shieldaig and Badachro. Here they decided 
to wait until morning-, then disembark, and walk round 
the head of the loch. 

But all the movements of the Macleods had been well 
watched. Domhnull Odhar Mac Iain Leith and his brother 
Ian, the celebrated Macrae archers, recognised the birlinn 
of the Macleods, and determined to oppose their landing 
They walked round the head of the loch by Shieldaig 
and posted themselves before daylight at the back of the 
Leac, a projecting rock overlooking the Fraoch Eilean. 
The steps on which they stood at the back of the rock 
are still pointed out. Donald Odhar, being of small 
stature, took the higher of the two steps, and Iain took 
the other. Standing on these they crouched down behind 
the rock, completely sheltered from the enemy, but com- 
manding a full view of the island, while they were quite 
invisible to the Macleods who lay down on the island. 
As soon as the day dawned the two Macraes directed their 
weapons on the Macleods, of whom a number were killed 
before their comrades were even aware of the direction from 
which the fatal messengers of death came. The Macleods 
endeavoured to answer their arrows, but not being able to 
see the foe, their efforts were of no effect. In the heat 
of the fight one of the Macleods climbed the mast of 
the birlinn to discover the position of the enemy. Ian 
Odhar observing him, took deadly aim at him when near 
the top of the mast. " Oh," says Donald to his brother 
John, "you have sent a pin through his broth." The 
slaughter continued, and the remnant of the Macleods 
hurried aboard their birlinn. Cutting the rope, they turned 
her head seawards. By this time only two of them were 
left alive. In their hurry to escape they left all the 
bodies of their slain companions unburied on the island. 


A rumour of the arrival of the Macleods had spread 
through the district during the night, and other warriors, 
such as Fionnla Dubh na Saighead, and Fear Shieldaig, 
were soon at the scene of action, but all they had to do 
on their arrival was to assist in the burial of the dead 
Macleods. Pits were dug, into each of which a number 
of the dead bodies were thrown, and mounds were raised 
over them which remain to this day, as any one may 

In 161 1, Murdoch Mackenzie, second surviving son of 
John Roy Mackenzie, IV. of Gairloch, accompanied by 
Alexander Bayne, heir apparent of Tulloch, and several 
brave men from Gairloch, sailed to the Isle of Skye in 
a vessel loaded with wine and provisions. It is said by 
some that Murdoch's intention was to apprehend John 
Tolmach, while others maintain that his object was to 
secure in marriage the daughter and heir of line of Donald 
Dubh MacRory. This latter theory is far the most prob- 
able, and it is the unbroken tradition in Gairloch. John 
Macleod was a prisoner in Gairloch, was unmarried, and 
likely to be secured where he was, in the event of this 
marriage taking place. By such a union, failing issue by 
John, then in the power of John Roy, the ancient rights 
of the Macleods would revert to the Gairloch family, and a 
troublesome dispute would be for ever settled, if John 
Tolmach were at the same time captured or put to death. 

It may easily be conceived how both objects would 
become combined ; but whatever was the real object of 
the trip to Skye, it proved disastrous. The ship found 
its way — intentionally on the part of the crew, or forced 
by a great storm — to the sheltered bay of Kirkton of 
Raasay, opposite the present mansion house, where young 
MacGillechallum at the time resided. Anchor was cast ; 
and young Raasay, hearing that Murdoch Mackenzie was on 
board, discussed the situation with his friend, MacGille- 
challum Mor MacDhomhnuill Mhic Neill, who persuaded 

* Gairloch, its Records, Traditions, and Natural History; By John H. 
Dixon, F.S.A., Scot, 1886. 


him to visit the ship as a friend, and secure Mackenzie's 
person by stratagem, with the view of getting him after- 
wards exchanged for his own relative, John MacAllan 
Mhic Rory, then a prisoner in Gairloch. Acting on this 
advice, young Raasay, with Gillechallum Mor and twelve 
of their men, started for the ship* leaving word with his 
bastard brother, Murdoch, to get all the men he could 
ready to go to their assistance in small boats as soon as 
the alarm was given. 

Mackenzie received his visitors in the most hospitable 
and unsuspecting manner, supplying them with as much 
wine and other viands as they could consume. Four of 
his men, however, feeling somewhat suspicious, and fearing 
the worst, abstained from drink. Alexander Bayne of 
Tulloch, and the remainder of Murdoch's men partook of 
the good cheer to excess, and ultimately became so drunk 
that they all had to retire below deck. Mackenzie, who 
sat between Raasay and MacGillechallum Mor, had not 
the slightest suspicion ; but Macleod, seeing Murdoch alone, 
started up, turned suddenly round, and told the latter 
that he must become his prisoner. Mackenzie instantly 
started to his feet, in a violent passion, laid hold of Raasay 
by the waist, and threw him down, exclaiming, " I would 
scorn to be your prisoner." One of Raasay's followers, 
seeing his young Chief treated thus, stabbed Murdoch 
with his dirk through the body. Mackenzie, finding himself 
wounded, stepped back to draw his sword, and, his foot 
coming against some obstruction, he stumbled over it and 
fell into the sea. 

Those on shore observing the row, came out in their 
small boats, and seeing Mackenzie, who was a dexterous 
swimmer, manfully making for Sconsar, on the opposite 
shore, in Skye, they pelted him with stones, smashed in 
his brains and drowned him. The few of his men who 
kept sober, seeing their leader thus perish, resolved to 
sell their lives dearly ; and fighting like heroes, they killed 
the young laird of Raasay, along with MacGillichallum 
Mor, author of all the mischief, and his two sons. Young 


Bayne of Tulloch and his six inebriated companions, who 
had followed him below, hearing - the uproar overhead, 
attempted to come on deck, but they were all killed by the 
Macleods as each of them presented themselves through 
the hold. Not a soul of the Raasay men escaped alive 
from the swords of the four who had kept sober, and 
who were ably supported by the ship's crew. 

The small boats now began to gather round the vessel 
and the Raasay men attempted to get on board ; but 
they were thrown back, slain, and pitched into the sea 
without mercy. The shot and amunition having become 
exhausted, all the pots and pans, and other articles of 
furniture on board, were hurled at the Macleods, while 
the four abstainers plied their warlike weapons with deadly 
effect. Having procured a lull from the attempts of the 
enemy, they began to pull in their anchor, when a shot 
from one of the boats killed one of them — Hector Mac- 
Kenneth, " a pretty young gentleman." The other three 
seeing him slain, and being themselves more or less 
seriously wounded, cut their cable, hoisted sail, and 
proceeded before a fresh breeze, with all the dead bodies 
still lying about the deck. As soon as they got out of 
danger, they threw the bodies of young Raasay and his 
men into the sea, that they might receive the same 
interment which their own leader had received, and 
whose body they were not able to search for. 

It is said that none of the bodies were ever found, 
except that of MacGillechallum Mor, which afterwards 
came ashore, and was buried in Raasay. The Gairloch 
men carried the bodies of Bayne of Tulloch and his 
companions to Lochcarron, where they were decently 

The only three survivors of the fight were John Mac- 
Eachainn Chaoil, John MacKenneth Mhic Eachainn, and 
Kenneth MacSheumais. The first named lived for thirty 
years after, dying in 1641 ; the second died in 1662 ; and 
the third in 1663 — all very old men. Amongst the slain 
was a son of Mackenzie of Badachro, a cadet of the House 


of Gairloch, who is said to have signally distinguished 
himself.* The conduct of the Mackenzies of Gairloch 
was such on this and previous occasions that they deemed 
it prudent to obtain a remission from the Crown, which 
was duly granted them in 1614, by James VI. f 

Douglas says that " this Malcolm was a man of parts 
and spirit, but finding the family of Lewis, of whom he 
was descended, upon the decline, he thought proper to 
cultivate a friendship with his nearest and most powerful 
neighbour ; he therefore entered into a bond of manrent 
and friendship, offensive and defensive, with Donald Mac- 
donald of Slate, etc., etc., which hath continued inviolate 
to this day."J He appears to have been alive in August, 
161 1, when his eldest son and heir, Gillecallum Og, was 
killed by the Mackenzies of Gairloch opposite his house, 
in the Bay of Clachan, but he must have been frail 
and unable to lead his men in person, and he is believed 
to have died before the end of that year. 

Malcolm Garbh was married, with issue — 

1. Malcolm, or Gillecallum Og, who died before his 
father, without issue — killed by the Mackenzies of Gairloch 
in a sea fight at Raasay, in August, 161 1. 

2. Alexander, who succeeded his father. 

He had also an illegitimate son, Murdoch, prominent 
in the fight in which his eldest brother, Malcolm, was 

On the 2 1st of March, 1596-97, there is an entry in 
the Register of the Privy Council to the effect that 
Roderick Mor Macleod of Dunvegan appeared, and became 
bound in 10,000 (? merks), " be the faith and treuth of 
his body," to acknowledge his Highness as his only Sove- 
reign Lord, to make his men obey the King's lieutenants 
"in repressing of the insolence" of the inhabitants of the 

* Allangratige, Ardintoul, and Letter fearn MSS., and Sir Robert Gordon's 
Earldom of Sutherland. 

t For this document in full see pp. 321-2 — Mackenzie's History and 
Genealogies of the Mackenzies. 

% Barotiagc of Scotland, p. 386. 


Isles and Highlands ; also that Donald Macleud, son of 
Johnne Macleud of Rosok (? Raasay), appointed to remain 
in Edinburgh as pledge for the odedience of Rory Mor, 
shall remain there till the return of and entry of the said 
Roderick upon the 30th of November following. The 
Clerk of Council subscribed this obligation on Rory Mor's 

Malcolm Garbh MacGillechallum, on his death, in 161 1, 
was succeeded by his second and eldest surviving son, 


Of Raasay, then apparently a minor; for he was not 
served heir to his father until the 18th of February, 161 7. 
It is certain that he succeeded to the Chiefship in 161 1, 
from a letter of King James, dated at Whitehall, on the 
5th of November in that year, whereby his Majesty 
granted to Andrew, Bishop of the Isles, "all and what- 
somever sums of money shall be found resting and owing 
to his Majesty by Donald Gorm of Sleat, Rory Macleod 
of Harris, Lachlan Mackinnon of Strathardle, Alexander 
MacGillechallum of Raasay," and several other Highland 
Chiefs named in the document, for any taxes due to 
the King by these Chiefs or their predecessors, prior to 
the 1st of July, 1606. 

In 1626 Thomas Knox, Bishop of the Isles, makes a 
report of his diocese, its lands, incumbents, ministers, and 
rents. Having described the Isle of Skye, he proceeds : — 
" Near this country lies the Island of Scalpa, and to the 
north of Scalpa lieth Rasa, belonging to the Abbot of 
Icolmkill ; it is possessed by the Earl of Seaforth. He 
has no tack nor acknowledges any rent " for it. According 
to the Laird of Applecross' manuscript History of the 
Mackenzies, Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Coigeach, Tutor 
to Colin, first Earl of Seaforth, employed himself in 
settling his pupil's estate, " which he did to that advantage 
that ere his minority passed he freed his estate, leaving 
him master of an opulent fortune and of great superiorities, 
for he acquired the superiority of Troternish, with the 


heritable Stewartry of the Isle of Skye, the superiority 
of Raasay," and several other islands.* 

On the 19th of September, 1628, Macleod entered into 
an agreement, at the Castle of Duntulm, with Colin Earl 
of Seaforth, Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, John Mac- 
leod of Dunvegan, John Macranald of Islandtirrim, and 
Sir Lachlan Mackinnon of Strath, for the preservation of 
deer and roe on their respective properties, and the punish- 
ment of trespassers in pursuit of game on any part of their 
estates. This curious and interesting document is given 
in full at pp. 93-96.1 In the body of it Macleod is 
described as " Alexander MacGillechallum of Rasa." 

By an instrument of sasine, dated 15th and 16th April, 
1631, it appears that Alexander Maclean "of Davach- 
garrioch " had been served and retoured heir " to the 
deceased Donald Maclean, son of Ferquhard, son of 
Hector, his father," in the lands of Raasay, which are 
detailed as extending to eight merks, and also in the 
lands of Eyre in Troternish, Tueche (? Tote), Carbost 
and Uigishader, extending to three merks ; all held of 
the superior for a payment of twenty-four merks Scots 
per annum. The Instrument proceeded upon a precept 
of sasine from John, Bishop of Sodor or the Isles, and 
perpetual Commendator of the monastery of St. Columba, 
in Iona, superior of the lands above mentioned, with 
consent of the Archdean and other canons of the diocese ; 
which precept set forth " that the late Donald Maclean, 
son of Ferquhard, son of Hector, father of our beloved 
Alexander Maclean, bearer of these presents, died last 
vest as of fee " in the said lands ; and that the said 
Alexander Maclean was the nearest lawful heir of his 
father Donald. Among the witnesses to the giving of 
sasine is "John MacGillichallum in Raasay. "| 

* Mackenzie's History of the Mackenzies, pp. 168-69. 

t The Contract is recorded in the General Register of Deeds, Vol. 408, on the 
3rd of November, 1628. 

\ -Particular Register of Sasines for the County of Inverness, Vol. IV., p. 302. 


Alexander married a daughter of John Macleod, II. of 
Drynoch, with issue — 

1. Alexander, his heir and successor. 

2. John, whose son, Alexander, ultimately succeeded to 
the Chiefship, and carried on the representation of the 

She married, secondly, Thomas Graham of Drynie, and 
thirdly, Alexander Mackenzie, VI. of Hilton. 

He died before 1643, when he was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 


Served heir to his father, and described as " Alexander 
MacGillechallum Mhic Gillechallum," on the 20th of 
August, 1643. The rental of Raasay, as entered in the 
valuation roll of the county of Inverness in 1644, was 
£666 13s. 4d., Scots. 

Alexander married Sibella, eldest daughter of Roderick 
Mackenzie, I. of Applecross, by his wife, Florence, daughter 
of Murdoch Mackenzie, II. of Redcastle, with issue — 

1. John Garbh, his heir and successor. 

2. Janet, who married Duncan Macrae of Inverinate, 
with issue. 

3. Giles, who died unmarried. 

These two ladies, on the death of their brother John 
Garbh, without issue, in 1688, were served heirs of line, 
conquest, and provision to their father. 

Alexander died before 1648, and was succeeded by 
his only son, 


Who was served heir to his father on the 22nd ot 
September, 1648. This Chief was distinguished for his 
great strength. He was universally admitted to be the 
most powerful and best built Highlander of his day; and 
the gallantry of his personal exploits was a household 
word among his contemporaries. He met his death at 
the early age of twenty-one, while returning from the 



Lewis, where he had been on a visit to his relative, 
George, second Earl of Seaforth. The vessel in which 
he was on his way home went down in a great storm 
on the north coast of Skye, when John Garbh and all 
on board perished. He was very highly esteemed, and 
his untimely fate was deeply mourned, not only by his 
young wife and family connexions, but by all who knew 
him. The famous Skye poetess, Mairi Nighean Alastair 
Ruaidh, composed a touching lament to his memory, 
which is given at length in Mackenzie's Beauties of Gaelic 
Poetry. His sister also composed an elegy of considerable 
merit, in which his praises and personal prowess are set 
forth. The celebrated Patrick Mor MacCrimmon, Mac- 
leod of Dunvegan's family piper, commemorated the sad 
event by composing the famous Piobaireachd, " John 
Garbh Macleod of Raasay's Lament," one of the most 
pathetic and greatest favourites among crack pipers to 
the present day. 

He married, shortly before his death, Janet, fourth 
daughter of Sir Roderick Mor Macleod, XIII. of Dun- 
vegan, and, dying without issue, the male representation 
of the family devolved upon his cousin-german, 


Son of John, second son of Alexander, fourth, and brother 
of Alexander, fifth Chief of the family. He seems to have 
been quite young when he succeeded, and for a time 
the estates did not follow the Chiefship. " In 1688 Janet 
and Giles Macleods, alias McAlaster Vic Gillechallum 
were served heirs of line, conquest, and provision to their 
father, Alexander McLeod alias McAlaster Vic Gillechallum 
of Raasay, who was the son and heir of the deceased 
Alexander McLeod, alias McGillechallum, the grandfather 
of the said Janet and Giles McLeods alias McAlaster Vic 
Gillechallum, who was the son and heir of Malcolm McLeod 
alias McGillicallum of Rasay, the great-grandfather of the 
said Janet and Giles McLeods, alias McAlaster Vic Gilli- 
callum of Rasay, in the lands of Rasay, including the 


towns, lands, islands, lie grazings of Kilmaluack, Ausach, 
Balliechurne, Balliemeanoch, Inveruig, Glam, Moisnes, 
Brochill, with the pertinents of Sciepadeall, Hallag, 
Leaghk, Kamiorick, Lieboast, Slagandine, Slachro, Fearne, 
Stair, Ire, Shuashnesmore, Shuasnesbeg, Inneraross, Bora- 
dell, Glen, and Kylehan, and the two islands commonly 
called Rona and Fladda."* 

On the 25th of September, 1663, Robert, Bishop of 
the Isles, to whose Bishopric was now attached the Abbacy 
of Icolmkill and the Priory of Ardchattan, granted with 
consent of some of the Chapter a nineteen years' lease 
of the Bishop's third of the teind sheaves of Raasay. 

Alexander obtained a resignation of the whole estate 
from his cousins, Janet and Giles, the heirs of line, and 
secured a charter of the lands of Raasay in his own 
favour, dated the 19th of August, 1692, whereupon he 
was duly infeft in all the family estates. 

He married Catherine, third daughter of Sir Norman 
Macleod, first of Bernera (third son of Sir Roderick Mor 
Macleod of Dunvegan) by his second wife, Catherine, 
eldest daughter of Sir James Macdonald, second baronet 
of Sleat, with issue — 

1. Malcolm, his heir and successor. 

2. John, who was father of Captain Malcolm Macleod, 
who joined his uncle, Malcolm, VIII. of Raasay, for Prince 
Charles in 1745, and of Norman Macleod of Rigg. 

His widow married, secondly, Angus Macdonald of 
Scotus, brother of the celebrated warrior, Alastair Dubh, 
XI. of Glengarry, whose direct male representatives died 
out in 1868, when the descendant of Alexander Macleod 
of Raasay 's widow, by her second marriage, became Chief 
of Glengarry. 

Alexander was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Eighth of Raasay. Though the Chief of Dunvegan 
finally resolved not to join Prince Charles in 1745, this 

* Origines Parochialcs Scotiae, Vol. II., Part I., p. 34S. 


Malcolm accompanied by his second son, Dr. Murdoch 
Macleod of Eyre, and Captain Malcolm Macleod, his 
nephew, joined the Prince at the head of a hundred of 
the Macleods of Raasay. Like many other Highland 
proprietors of that stirring period, Malcolm kept his eldest 
son out of the Rising, and before he joined the Prince 
himself he took the precaution to convey the estate to 
John, his heir and successor, so that, whatever might 
happen, the property should be safe. In the Account 
of Charge and Discharge by Mr. Murray of Broughton, 
published in an appendix to Chambers' History of the 
Rebellion of 1745-6, there is an entry of .£20, which had 
been forwarded to Macleod of Raasay, and another sum 
of £\0, "sent from the wood on the side of Locharkik, 
by Macleod of Bernera to Macleod of Raza, upon receipt 
of a letter from him complaining that the former was 
too small." It would appear, from a note appended to 
this account, that the complaint was somewhat pointed, 
for Macleod " wrote with a little too much warmth." So 
warm was his protest that Mr. Alexander Macleod, younger 
of Neuck, afterwards of Muiravonside, made an apology 
to Mr. Murray on Raasay's behalf " and begged that it 
might not prevent from sending a [second] supply." 
After the battle of Culloden, old Malcolm found his way 
back in safety to Raasay, where for a time he continued 
in hiding. The Government search was, however, getting 
so close, and the danger of capture by the enemy so 
much greater every day, that he determined upon removing 
for better security to a more inaccessible place on the 
mainland. For this purpose he escaped to the wilds of 
Knoydart, the property of his friend, John Macdonell of 
Glengarry, whose second son, Angus, was " out," though 
he remained at home himself, on the same principle upon 
which Raasay kept his own eldest son out of personal 
participation in the struggle — to protect the estate. 

Malcolm married Mary, daughter of Alexander Mac- 
kenzie, III. of Applecross, by his first wife, Anne, daughter 
of Alexander Fraser, Tutor of Lovat, by his wife, Sibella, 


daughter of Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, 
and widow of John Macleod, XIV. of Harris and Dun- 
vegan. By this lady Raasay had issue — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. Dr. Murdoch Macleod of Eyre, who married Anne, 
daughter of Alexander Macdonald of Boisdale, by his 
wife, Margaret, daughter of John Macdonald, II. of 
Castleton, with issue — (i) Captain Malcolm Macleod of 
Eyre, so well known in connection with the 'Forty-five and 
the wanderings of Prince Charles in the Western Isles. 
He died unmarried. (2) John Macleod, who married his 
cousin, Catherine, daughter of John Macleod, IX. of 
Raasay, without issue ; (3) Norman Macleod, who died 
unmarried ; (4) Anne, who died unmarried ; and (5) 
Margaret, who married Kenneth Macleod, with issue — 
Murdoch, Norman, Donald, Anne, who married Mr. 
Shaw, with issue ; and Christian, Lexy, Margaret, Flora, 
and Anne. 

3. Norman, an officer in the service of the States 
General. He met Dr. Johnson at Eyre, in Dr. Macleod's 
house, in 1773. He died unmarried. 

4. Janet, who married, first, John Macleod, of the old 
Macleods of Lewis, with issue — John Macleod of Colbecks, 
with issue. She married, secondly, in 1743, as his second 
wife, John Mackinnon of Mackinnon, attainted in 1745, 
with issue — Charles, who, born in 1753, afterwards became 
Chief of Mackinnon ; Lauchlan, who died unmarried in 
Jamaica ; and a daughter Margaret. 

Malcolm formed an irregular union with Janet Macleod, 
a crofter tenant's daughter on the island, by whom he 
had issue — 

5. Alexander Macleod, who married Elizabeth Mac- 
donald, with issue — (1) Malcolm, who married Miss 
Macdonald, with issue — a son, who died young ; (2) 
Charles Roderick, who married Elizabeth Vanreney, with 
issue, among others, Sarah, who married Henry Mac- 
kenzie ; (3) James, who married Catherine Vanreney, with 
issue — Francis, Harry, Alexander, George, Malcolm, Ed- 


ward, Adriana, Jessie, Catherine, and Flora ; (4) Alex- 
ander ; (5) John ; (6) Elizabeth, who married a Mr. 
MacHardy, with issue — Malcolm and others ; (7) Christiana, 
who married Brian Hodgson, with issue — Isabella, who 
married Mr. Gowan ; (8) Jessie, who married Mr. Alexander, 
with issue ; and (9) Mary Anne, who married Mr. Cuthbert. 
6. The Rev. Malcolm Macleod, minister of Snizort. 
He died in 1832, having married Mary Macleod, daughter 
of Donald Macleod, tacksman of Swordale, Isle of Skye, 
and ancestor of the Macleods of Morvern, with issue — 
(1) Malcolm, who entered the military service, and died 
at an early age in the West Indies. (2) John, a Captain 
in the army. He served in the 27th Regiment of Foot 
(Lord Loudon's) and was afterwards a Police Magistrate 
in Ireland, where he died, at Garradice, on the 29th of 
January, 1845. He married Anne Nyinsi, with issue — 
several daughters. (3) Christian, who died unmarried. 

(4) Donald, an officer in the Navy, who perished at sea. 

(5) Charles, who was bred to the medical profession, 
and entered the H.E.I.C.S. He had a sunstroke in India, 
which incapacitated bim from duty, when he returned 
home, and died unmarried, a few years after, at Snizort, 
Isle of Skye. (6) The Rev. Roderick Macleod. He was 
born in 1794, and was presented to the parish of Bracadale 
in 1823 by Macleod of Macleod. Here he ministered for 
fifteen years. In 1838 he was appointed by the Crown 
to the parish of Snizort, in succession to the Rev. Simon 
Maclachlan, who had previously succeeded Macleod's father, 
and had now been translated to Cawdor. The Rev. Mr. 
Roderick was elected Moderator of the Free Church 
General Assembly in 1863, and he died in 1867. He 
married Anne Robertson Macdonald, daughter of Donald 
Macdonald of Skaebost, then residing at Kingsburgh 
House, Isle of Skye, with issue — Donald, Malcolm, 
Lillingston, Roderick, James John, John, Mary, Margaret, 
Anne, Susan, Christina, Jessie, and another. The Rev. 
Mr. Roderick's wife predeceased her husband by ten 
years, having died at the Free Manse of Snizort in 1857. 


(7) Anne, who married M. Cordonniere, a Frenchman. 
He went to Russia in the character of a teacher, and 
became the head of a famous Academy, which was 
attended by the sons of the nobility, and conducted by 
him with a high reputation for many years, at Odessa, 
where his widow, Anne Macleod, survived him and con- 
tinued to live, highly respected in Russian society. (8) 
Isabella, who married the Rev. John Finlayson, Free 
Church minister of Bracadale. (9 and 10), two other 
daughters, who died young. 

7. Roderick, who died unmarried. 

8. Charles, who died unmarried. 

9. Margaret ; and 10. Janet, who died unmarried. 
Malcolm was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Of Raasay, who acquired his greatest distinction for his 
entertainment of Dr. Johnson, during the famous tour to 
the Western Isles in 1773. It will be remembered that 
his father, Malcolm, joined Prince Charles in 1745 with 
a hundred of his followers (all of whom except fourteen 
returned to Raasay), leaving John at home, after having 
conveyed the estates to him, so that whatever might be 
the result of the Rising the property might remain in 
possession of the family. John was, however, a thorough 
Jacobite at heart, and he afterwards took an active part 
in securing the escape of the Prince, whom he entertained 
in Raasay after his father, Malcolm, had left the island 
and gone to Knoydart, then belonging to Alexander Mac- 
donald of Glengarry, whose brother, Angus of Scotus, 
Catherine of Bernera, Malcolm's mother, married as her 
second husband. Prince Charles, after leaving Kings- 
burgh, accompanied by Captain Roy Macdonald, met 
"Rona," — young Macleod's designation during his father's 
life time — at Portree. John at once volunteered to conduct 
the Prince to Raasay, where he would have him concealed, 
while he sent a messenger to his father, whom, he said, 
he was quite sure would be glad to run any risk, and 


would welcome any opportunity to serve His Royal 
Highness in his distress. Murdoch Macleod, who was at 
the time residing - with his sister at Totterome, was com- 
municated with. He entered with alacrity into his 
brother's proposals to get the Prince across to Raasay, 
declaring that he would once more risk his life to serve 
him. A small boat was soon got ready, and rowed by 
the two brothers across to the island, where they found 
their cousin, Malcolm, who had been out with them in 
the recent Rising. Malcolm strongly urged upon young 
Raasay to keep clear of the Prince, as he had done 
hitherto, and that he and Murdoch, both of whom had 
already publicly drawn the sword in the Jacobite cause, 
should take charge of the Royal fugitive and secure his 
escape. John, however, insisted upon rendering all the 
assistance in his power, should it, he said, even cost him 
his head. 

The party then re-crossed, and landing about half a mile 
from Portree, Malcolm and another went in search of the 
Prince, and soon found him. Captain Roy Macdonald, 
who was along with him, introduced Malcolm as one who 
had served and held the rank of Captain in the Jacobite 
army. Proceeding to the boat, John and his brother 
Murdoch were introduced, whereupon His Royal High- 
ness would not permit the usual ceremonies of respect, 
but saluted them as his equals. They soon re-crossed the 
channel between Skye and Raasay, and landed at a place 
called Glam, opposite the village of Portree. They led 
the Prince to a shepherd's hut, where he was regaled on 
roast kid, butter, cream, and oat cake, after which he slept 
soundly on a bed of heather specially prepared for him 
in old Highland fashion — the stalks being placed upright 
with the bloom uppermost. 

The party remained here for two days and a half, 
during which time two men were always kept on the 
watch, while John, Murdoch, and Malcolm made matters as 
pleasant for the Royal fugitive as it was possible for them 
in the circumstances to do. The party again crossed, on 


the third day, to Skye, where young - Raasay and his brother 
parted with Charles. Murdoch, who was still suffering 
from a wound by a musket ball, which had passed under 
the skin from one shoulder to the other at Culloden, did 
not proceed any further with the Prince, but his cousin, 
Malcolm, accompanied His Royal Highness to Strath, 
disguised on the route as Macleod's servant. From 
Strath, where he parted with Captain Malcolm, the Prince 
crossed to Knoydart, and there we, for the present, 
part with him, his after history being too well known to 
need recapitulation here. A few days after parting com- 
pany with His Royal Highness, Malcolm was apprehended 
in Raasay, taken to Portree and conveyed to Applecross, 
where he was placed on board the " Furnace " sloop of 
war. He was ultimately, on the 1st of November, 1746, 
conveyed to London, where he was detained, along with 
Donald Macleod of Gualtrigill, in the custody of William 
Dick, a messenger, until July, 1747. He was in the end 
able to show that he had surrendered, with his men, 
in terms of the Duke of Cumberland's proclamation after 
the battle of Culloden, and he was then permitted to 
return home, in the same post-chaise as Flora Macdonald 
and Neil MacEachainn. 

On the death of his father, John Macleod succeeded 
to the estates and became head of his house. In 1773, 
during the famous tour to the Hebrides, Raasay was 
visited by Dr. Johnson and his friend Boswell. Leaving 
Mackinnon's house at Corriechatachan, they were met by 
the Rev. Donald Macqueen, minister of Kilmuir, and 
our old friend Captain Malcolm Macleod, with " Mac- 
Gillechallum's carriage" — a good, strong Norwegian-built 
open boat, manned by four stout rowers, who soon landed 
them in Raasay. Boswell describes Malcolm as, " now 
sixty -two years of age, hale and well proportioned — with 
a manly countenance, tanned by the weather, yet having 
a ruddiness in his cheeks, over a great part of which 
his beard extended. His eye was quick and lively, yet 
his look was not fierce, but he appeared at once firm 


and good humoured. He wore a pair of brogues ; tartan 
hose which came up nearly to his knees and left them 
bare ; a purple camblet kilt ; a black waistcoat ; a short 
green cloth coat bound with gold cord ; a yellowish bushy 
wig; a large blue bonnet with a gold thread button. I 
never " he continues, " saw a figure that gave a more 
perfect representation of a Highland gentleman. I wished 
much to have a picture of him just as he was. I found 
him frank and polite, in the true sense of the word." 
To this excellent pen picture, Boswell adds that while 
he and Dr. Johnson rode to the boat Malcolm walked 
with graceful agility. On the journey several Gaelic songs 
were sung, Malcolm singing " Tha tighinn fodham eirigh," 
the Rev. Mr. Macqueen and the whole crew joining in 
the chorus. The boatmen also sang with great spirit, 
and, when they landed, the singing of the rowers was 
taken up by the reapers on shore, who were working 
with a bounding activity. Dr. Johnson was struck with 
the beauty of the Bay, by the appearance "of a good 
family mansion," which was built soon after 1746, and by its 
surroundings. They were met, as they walked up to the 
house, by Raasay himself, his brother Dr. Murdoch Mac- 
leod, Norman (afterwards General) Macleod of Macleod, 
Colonel Macleod of Talisker, Alexander Macleod of Muir- 
avonside, and several other persons of quality. 

Boswell, describing the reception, says — " We were 
welcomed upon the green, and conducted into the house, 
where we were introduced to Lady Raasay, who was 
surrounded by a numerous family, consisting of three sons 
and ten daughters. The Laird of Raasay is a sensible, 
polite, and most hospitable gentleman. I was told that 
his Island of Raasay, and that of Rona (from which the 
eldest son of the family has his title), and a considerable 
extent of land which he has in Skye, do not altogether 
yield him a very large revenue ; and yet he lives in great 
splendour; and so far is he from distressing his people, 
that in the present rage for emigration, not a man has 
left his estate." Immediately on their arrival, Johnson, 


his friend, and the company were served with brandy, 
" according to the custom of the Highlands, where a dram 
is generally taken every day." They were then provided 
with a substantial dinner and a variety of wines, finishing 
up with tea and coffee. A ball followed, at which Raasay 
danced with great spirit, and Malcolm bounded like a 
roe ; while Macleod of Muiravonside exhibited an excessive 
flow of spirits. The Doctor was delighted with the whole 
scene. Thirty-six persons sat down to supper, at which 
" all was good humour and gaiety, without intemperance." 
Boswell describes Raasay as having the true spirit of a 
Chief, and as being, without exaggeration, a father to his 

Raasay's eldest daughter, who married Colonel Muir 
Campbell, afterwards Earl of Loudon, Boswell describes 
as "the queen of our ball," and as "an elegant, well-bred 
woman, celebrated for her beauty over all those regions 
by the name of Miss Flory Raasay." 

The island, at the time of Dr. Johnson's visit, had 
abundance of black cattle, and a good many horses 
which were used for ploughing and other works of 
husbandry. There were no roads ; most of the houses 
were on the shore ; the people had small boats and caught 
fish, and there were plenty of potatoes. Blackcock were 
in " extraordinary abundance," as also grouse, plover, and 
wild pigeons. There were no hares or rabbits. " It is 
a place where one may live in plenty, and even luxury. 
There are no deer ;" but Macleod was to import some. 

A curious arrangement existed between the Macleods 
of Raasay and the Macdonalds of Sleat for generations, 
by which, when the head of either house died, his sword 
went to the head of the other family. John Macleod of 
Raasay had the sword which belonged to Sir James Mac- 
donald when Dr. Johnson was in the island. The two 
families were always on the most friendly terms. 

John Macleod of Raasay was appointed by the Court 
of Session, tutor-dative to his nephews, Charles and 
Lachlan Mackinnon, and succeeded in securing the resti- 


tution of Mishnish in Mull and Strathaird in Skye from 
the heir of provision, for young Charles, eldest son and 
heir of John Mackinnon, attainted for his share in the 
Rising of 171 5 and 1745. Strath had been sold privately 
by Mackinnon of Mishnish to Sir James Macdonald in 
17 1 5. Raasay attempted to get this sale set aside, but 
failed ; and the principal estate of Mackinnon went out of 
the family. The inventory taken by Macleod, on assuming 
his tutory, is dated 1757. 

The great Dr. Johnson himself, with all his philosophy, 
was completely carried away by the generous and elegant 
hospitality which he experienced at Raasay House, and 
he describes it in the following glowing terms : — 

Our reception exceeded our expectation. We found 
nothing but civility, elegance, and plenty. After the usual 
refreshments, and the usual conversation, the evening came 
upon us. The carpet was then rolled off the floor, the 
musician was called in, and the whole company was invited 
to dance ; nor did ever fairies trip it with greater alacrity. 
The general air of festivity which predominated in this 
place, so far remote from all those regions which the mind 
has been used to contemplate as the mansions of pleasure, 
struck the imagination with a delightful surprise, analogous 
to that which is felt at an unexpected emersion from 
darkness into light. When it was time to sup, the dance 
ceased, and six-and-thirty persons sat down to two tables 
in the same room. After supper the ladies sung Erse 
[Gaelic] songs, to which I listened as an English audience 
to an Italian opera, delighted with the sound of words 
which I did not understand. The family of Raasay con- 
sists of the laird, the lady, three sons, and ten daughters. 
More gentleness of manners, or a more pleasing appearance 
of domestic society, is not found in the most polished 

The following correspondence, which passed between 
Raasay, Boswell, and Dr. Johnson, on the rival claims of 
the two leading families of the Macleods to the Chiefship 
of the Clan, will be found interesting. The letters require 
no remarks to explain them. Raasay writes to Boswell — 

To James Boswell, Esq. 

Rasay, April ioth, 1775. 

Dear Sir, — I take this occasion of returning you my most hearty thanks for 


the civilities shown to my daughter by you and Mrs. Boswell. Yet, though 
she has informed me that I am under this obligation, I should very probably 
have deferred troubling you with making my acknowledgments at present if 
I had not seen Dr. Johnson's "Journey to the Western Isles," in which he has 
been pleased to make a very friendly mention of my family, for which I am 
surely obliged to him, as being more than an equivalent for the reception you 
and he met with. Yet there is one paragraph I should have been glad had 
he omitted, which I am sure was owing to misinformation ; that is that I had 
acknowledged Macleod as being Chief, though my ancestors disputed the 
pre-eminence for a long tract of time. I never had occasion to enter seriously 
on this argument with the present laird or his grandfather, nor could I have 
any temptation to such a renunciation from either of them. I acknowledge 
the benefit of being Chief of a clan is in our day of very little significancy, 
and to trace out the progress of this honour to the founder of a family of any 
standing would perhaps be a matter of some difficulty. The true state of the 
present case is this : the Macleod family consists of two different branches, the 
Macieods of Lewis, of which I am descended, and the Macleods of Harris. 
And though the former have lost a very extensive estate by forfeiture in King 
James the Sixth's time, there are still several respectable families of it existing 
who would justly blame me for such an unmeaning cession, when they all 
acknowledge me head of that family ; which, though in fact it be but an ideal 
point of honour, is not hitherto so far disregarded in our country, but it would 
determine some of my friends to look on me as a much smaller man than 
either they or myself judge me at present to be. I will therefore ask it as a 
favour of you to acquaint the Doctor with the difficulty he has brought me to. 
In travelling among rival clans such a silly tale as this might easily be 
whispered into the ear of a passing stranger, but as it has no foundation in 
fact, I hope the Doctor will be so good as to take his own way in undeceiving 
the public. I principally mean my friends and connections, who will be first 
angry at me, and next sorry to find such an instance of my littleness recorded 
in a book which has a very fair chance of being much read. I expect you 
will let me know what he will write you in return ; and we here beg to make 
offer to you and Mrs. Boswell of our most respectful compliments. — I am, 
dear sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

John Macleod. 

To the Laird of Raasay. 

London, May 8th, 1775. 

Dear Sir, — The day before yesterday I had the honour to receive your 
letter. I immediately communicated it to Dr. Johnson. He said he loved 
your spirit, and was exceedingly sorry he had been the cause of the smallest 
uneasiness to you. There is not a more candid man than he is when properly 
addressed, as you will see from his letter to you which I now enclose. He 
has allowed me to take a copy of it, and he says you may read it to your 
clan or publish it if you please. Be assured, sir, that I shall take care of 
what he has entrusted to me, which is to have an acknowledgment of his 
error inserted in the Edinburgh newspapers. You will I daresay be fully 
satisfied with Dr. Johnson's behaviour. He is desirous to know that you 


are, and therefore, when you read his acknowledgment in the papers, I 
beg you may write to me, and if you choose it I am persuaded a letter from 
you to the Doctor will also be taken kind. I shall be in Edinburgh the 
week after next. Any civilities which my wife and I had in our power to 
show your daughter, Miss Macleod, were due to her own merit and were 
well repaid by her agreeable company. But I am sure I should be a very 
unworthy man if I did not wish to show a grateful sense of the hospitable 
and genteel manner in which you were pleased to treat me. Be assured, 
my dear sir, that I shall never forget your goodness, and the happy hours 
which I spent in Raasay. You and Dr. Macleod were both so obliging as to 
promise me an account in writing of all the particulars, which each of you 
remember concerning the transactions of 1745-6. I beg to present my best 
respects to Lady Raasay. My compliments to your young family, and to 
Dr. Macleod. Hearty good wishes to Malcolm, with whom I hope again 
to shake hands cordially. 

I have the honour to be, dear sir, 

Your obliged ond faithful humble servant, 

James Boswell. 

Dr. Johnson's letter enclosed in Mr. Boswell's for 
Macleod is as follows — 

To the Laird of Rasay. 

Dear Sir, — Mr. Boswell has this day shewn me a letter in which you 
complain of a passage in the "Journey to the Hebrides." My meaning is 
mistaken. I did not intend to say that you had personally made any cession 
of the rights of your house or any acknowledgment of the superiority of 
Macleod of Dunvegan. I only designed to express what I thonght generally 
admitted, that the house of Rasay allowed the superiority of Macleod of Dun- 
vegan. Even this I now find to be erroneous, and will therefore omit or 
retract it in the next edition. Though what I said had been true, if it had 
been disagreeable to you, I should have wished it unsaid ; for it is not my 
business to adjust precedence As it is mistaken, I find myself disposed to 
correct, both by my respect for you, and my reverence for truth. As I know 
not when the book will be reprinted, I have desired Mr. Boswell to anticipate 
the correction in the Edinburgh papers. This is all that can be done. I hope 
I may now venture to desire that my compliments may be made, and my 
gratitude expressed to Lady Rasay, Mr. Malcolm Macleod, Mr. Donald 
Macqueen, and all the ladies and gentlemen whom I saw in the Island of 
Rasay ; a place which I remember with too much kindness and too much 
pleasure not to be sorry that my ignorance or hasty persuasion should for a 
single moment have violated its tranquility. I beg you all to forgive an 
undersigned involuntary injury and to consider me as, sir, 
Your most obliged and most humble servant, 

Samuel Johnson. 

London, May 6th, 1775. 

The following is the advertisement written by Dr. 
Johnson and inserted by his desire in the Edinburgh 


newspapers, and referred to in the foregoing- letter : — 

The author of the " Journey to the Western Islands" having related that 
the Macleods of Raasay acknowledged the chieftainship, or superiority of 
the Macleods of Skye, finds that he has been misinformed or mistaken. He 
means in a future edition to correct his error and wishes to be told of more, 
if more have been discovered. 

John Macleod, during a visit to London, afterwards 
called upon Dr. Johnson, who gave a fashionable enter- 
tainment in his honour. 

He married Jane, daughter of Macqueen of Rigg, Isle 
of Skye, with issue — 

1. James, his heir and successor. 

2. John, who died young. 

3. Malcolm, a Captain in the Indian Army, who died 

4. Flora, who, in 1777, married Colonel James Muir 
Campbell of Lawers, afterwards fifth Earl of Loudon, 
with issue — an only daughter, Flora Muir, who, on his 
death, on the 26th of April, 1786, succeeded her father 
as Countess of Loudon in her own right. She was born 
in August, 1780, and on the 12th of July, 1804, married 
Francis, Earl of Moira. On 7th December, 18 16, he was 
created first Marquis of Hastings, and was afterwards 
Governor-General of India. She died on 8th January, 1840, 
leaving issue — (1) George Augustus Francis, second Mar- 
quis of Hastings, born in 1808. (2) Flora Elizabeth, lady 
of the bed-chamber to the Duchess of Kent, who died on 
the 5th of July, 1839, unmarried. (3) Sophia Frederica 
Christina, who, on the 10th of April, 1845, married the 
late John, second Marquis of Bute, who died on the 
28th of December, 1859, leaving issue — John Patrick, 
the present and third Marquis, who was born on the 
1 2th of September, 1847. He succeeded to the title 
on the death of his father on the 18th of March, 1848, 
and on the 16th of April, 1872, married the Hon. Gwen- 
doline Mary Anne Fitz-Alan Howard, eldest daughter of 
Lord Howard of Glossop, with issue. (4) Selina Con- 
stance, who, on the 25th of June, 1838, married Captain 
C. J. Henry, and died in November, 1867. ($) Adelaide 


Augusta Lavinia, who, on the 8th of July, 1854, married 
Sir William Keith Murray, 7th Baronet of Ochtertyre, 
and died on the 6th of December, i860, without issue. 

5. Margaret, who married Martin Martin, of Bealach, 
one of the ancient Martins of Duntulm. He was one 
of the handsomest men in the Isle of Skye in his day, 
and was remarkable for his great personal strength, and 
for his fine appearance. Many of his extraordinary 
feats are still spoken of with admiration by the 
people of Skye. He was grand-uncle to Sir Donald 
Martin Stewart, late Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's 
Forces in India ; and uncle to the late celebrated physician, 
Sir James Ranald Martin, London. By Martin Martin, 
Margaret Macleod of Raasay had issue — (1) Jane, who 
married Count Antoine, Baron Maurin, one of Napoleon's 
General Officers, with issue — one daughter, Stephanie, 
who married General Wigton Pant Jania, with issue — 
Jenny, who married Raymond, Conte de Matharde, with 
issue — Guillaume, Christian, Jeanne, and another daughter. 
(2) Isabella, who married her cousin, Martin Martin of 
Duntulm, and afterwards of Tote, Isle of Skye, brother 
to the late Dr. Nicol Martin of Glendale, without issue. 

6. Janet, who married Archibald Macra, Ardintoul, 
with issue — three sons and six daughters — (1) Sir John 
Macra, K.C.H., Lieutenant-Colonel of the 79th Cameron 
Highlanders. He served through the Peninsular War 
and eventually became Military Secretary to his relative, 
the Marquis of Hastings, when Governor-General of 
India. (2) The late Alexander Macra of Hushinish, who 
married Margaret Macrae, with issue. (3) James, a surgeon 
in the army ; died without issue. (4) Isabella, who married 
Major Colin Macrae of the 78th Highlanders, with issue 
— John ; Colin ; Archibald, who married Fanny Taylor, 
with issue ; Duncan, who married Grace Stewart, with 
issue — Stuart John, Lieutenant, 42nd Royal Highlanders ; 
Colin ; Sophia ; Annie ; and Cecilia. (5) Jane, who married 
John Macrae of Achtertyre, with issue — James, John, Archi- 
bald ; and Jessie, who married John Stewart, with issue. 


(6) Anne, who married Captain Valentine Chisholm, with 
issue. (7) Mary, who married Dr. Stewart Chisholm, of 
the Royal Artillery, who died at Inverness, in 1862, having 
attained the rank of Deputy Inspector-General of Army 
Hospitals, with issue. He was present at Waterloo, at 
the capture of Paris, and took part in the suppression of 
the Canadian Rebellion in 1838-39. Dr. Chisholm had 
issue — five sons and six daughters — (a) Captain Archibald 
Macra Chisholm, of Glassburn, late Captain 42nd Royal 
Highlanders (Black Watch), who married Maria Frances, 
only daughter of William Dominic Lynch, Devonshire Place, 
London, and grand-daughter of the late Lewis Farquhar- 
son Innes of Balmoral and Ballogie, Aberdeenshire, (b) 
Loudon, in the 43rd Regiment, H.E.I.C.S. He was 
killed on active service in the Burmese War in 1853. 
(c) Mary Stuart, who married Philip Skene, of Rubislaw, 
without issue ; and (d) Jessie Macleod, who married 
Charles O. Rolland of Ste. Marie de Monnoir, near 
Montreal, Canada, with issue. Dr. Chisholm's other three 
sons and three daughters died young. (8) Flora Macra, 
of Ardintoul ; and (9) Christina ; both of whom died 

7. Catherine, who married her first cousin, John Mac- 
leod of Eyre, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, second 
son of Dr. Murdoch Macleod, of the 'Forty-five, without 

8. Isabella, who married Major Thomas Ross, R.A., 
with issue — John, who died young, and two daughters, 
the eldest of whom, Elizabeth ]ane, married, as his second 
wife, Sir Charles D'Oyly, Baronet, the celebrated amateur 
artist, and died, without issue, on the 1st of June, 1875. 
Lady D'Oyly was brought up in Raasay, and afterwards 
accompanied her cousin, the Marchioness of Hastings, 
to India, where she made the acquaintance of her future 
husband and there married him. While in India, she 
had an elegant set of pipes, " of peculiar workmanship," 
made for Mackay, the famous Raasay piper. These she 
presented to him, and, in acknowledgment, he composed 



in her honour, " Lady D'Oyly's Salute," so well known 
to the best pipers of our own day. Isabella Rosa, the 
second daughter of Major Ross, married Sir Walter 
Raleigh Gilbert, Baronet, of the H.E.I.C.S., with issue 
— Sir Hastings Gilbert ; and two other daughters, one 
of whom, Flora Anne, married, first, Roderick Maclean, 
and, secondly, General Schubrick, with issue — Richard ; 
Mary, who died young ; Flora, Rose, and Rachel. The 
other, Geraldine, married Charles Colt, with issue — two 
sons, Walter Raleigh Gilbert, Charles, and four daughters, 
Elizabeth, Rhoda, Ethel, and Beatrice. 

9. Julia, who married Olaus Macleod of Bharkasaig, with 
issue — four daughters, (1) Flora, who married Dr. George 
Baillie, Edinburgh, with issue — six sons and one daughter. 
(2) Jane, who married General Farrington, of the Bengal 
Artillery, with issue — nine sons and one daughter. (3) 
Margaret, who married her cousin, Charles Macsween, 
Chief Justice of Agra, India, with issue. (4) Mary, who 
married Dr. Donald Martin of Moidart, and afterwards 
of Monkstadt, Isle of Skye (brother of Martin Martin 
of Duntulm and Tote, and of Dr. Nicol Martin of 
Glendale), with issue — The Rev. Donald John Martin, 
now Free Church minister of Stornoway ; and three 
daughters, Julia Macleod, Mary Anne, and Flora Hastings, 
all three of whom died unmarried. 

10. Jane, who married her cousin, Colonel John Mac- 
leod of Colbecks, son of an eminent Jamaica planter, 
who was also named John of Colbecks, and died on the 
1 2th of May, 1775. Colonel John, who is described as 
" married, with several children," registered arms in the 
Lyon Office in 1783. In 1809, Barlow, only surviving 
son of Colonel John Macleod of Colbecks, died. Colonel 
John had also five daughters, the youngest of whom, 
Susan, married Mr. Andrews, with issue — two sons, 
Hastings, who died and is buried at Canterbury ; and 
Grenville. The other daughters, Julia, Flora, Margaret, 
and Charlotte, died unmarried. 

11. Anne, who married Donald Mackenzie of Hartfield, 


a Captain in the 100th Regiment of Foot, fourth son of 
Thomas Mackenzie, VI. of Applecross and IV. of High- 
field, with issue — John, Thomas, and Elizabeth, who died 
unmarried ; Flora Loudon, who married General Sir 
Alexander Lindsay, H.E.I.C.S.; Jane, who married James 
Macdonald of Balranald, with issue — Alexander Macdonald, 
now of Balranald, and of Edenwood, Fifeshire, and five 
daughters ; Anne, who married Colonel Christopher Webb 
Smith, B.C.S., with issue, a daughter, Helen, who married 
Admiral Codrington, with issue — Anne, and Ellen ; Isabella 
Mary, who married Dr. Lachlan Maclean, with issue — five 
sons and five daughters ; and Maria, who married the late 
famous piper, John Mackenzie, the " Piobaire Ban," with 
issue. She died only a few years ago at her son's resi- 
dence in Liverpool. 

12. Mary, who married the Rev. Donald Campbell, 
D.D., minister of Kilninver, Argyllshire. The late Dr. 
Norman Macleod of the Barony, in a biographical sketch of 
his father, the Rev. Dr. Norman of St. Columba, says 
that in 1806 the latter was appointed "assistant at Kil- 
brandon, where he lived in the contiguous parish with 
his cousin, Dr. Campbell of Kilninver (the father of the 
Rev. John Macleod Campbell, late minister of Row), for 
whose memory and worth he retained a grateful recollec- 
tion to the day of his death. All who ever knew the 
good old man loved and revered him as the loyal friend 
and the Christian gentleman. The Rev. J. M. Campbell, 
his son, still remains the beloved friend of our family." 
It would seem that " Caraid nan Gaidheal " lodged at 
that time with his cousin at Kilninver, for his son informs 
us in a footnote that " Dr. Campbell insisted that my father 
should pay him board, which he rigidly exacted every 
quarter from him, but every penny of which was returned 
to him when furnishing the manse Of Campbelton, his 
kind friend then remarking, with a smile, ' I thought it 
would be safer, Norman, in my keeping than in yours.' " 
By his marriage with Mary Macleod of Raasay, Dr. Camp- 
bell had issue — (1) the Rev. John Macleod Campbell, D.D., 


so well known in ecclesiastical circles as the hero of the 
famous Row Heresy Case, in connection with which he 
was deprived of his parish by the General Assembly. In 
the later years of his life he was best known as the 
author of a work called The Nature of the Atonement, 
which has been pronounced to be "a theological treatise 
of great value, and has had considerable influence on 
religious thought in Scotland." "Long before his death he 
had come to be looked up to as one of the intellectual 
leaders of the time."* He was born in 1800, and 
died in 1872. He married Mary, daughter of John Camp- 
bell, Kilninver, with issue — (a) the Rev. Donald Campbell, 
Vicar of Eye, Suffolk, and Rural Dean, who married 
Louisa, eldest daughter of Sir John Anson, Baronet, with 
issue — two sons and two daughters. (b) John Macleod 
Campbell, of the Bombay Civil Service, who married Isa- 
bella Campbell, daughter of John Macleod of Saddell, 
with issue — John, and Anne. He died, on his way 
home from Bombay, on the 18th of November, 1888, 
having filled many important offices, such as Collector of 
Bombay, with the highest credit. (e) James Macnabb 
Campbell, CLE., LL.D., editor of the Bombay Gazetteer, 
an important work in thirty volumes, which Mr. Campbell 
edited for the Bombay Government, and upon which he 
was engaged for ten years — from 1876 to 1886. He is 
unmarried, (d) Robert Story Campbell, unmarried. (e) 
Margaret Duncan Campbell, who married the Rev. C. H. 
Wright, of Keston, Beckenham, Kent, with issue — one son 
and one daughter, (f) Jean Mary Campbell, who married 
William G. Crum, of Thornliebank, Renfrewshire, with 
issue — three sons and three daughters. (2) Donald Camp- 
bell, H.E.I.C.S., born in 1802, died in 1858. He married 
Mary Donellon, without issue. (3) Jean Mary Campbell, 
who married James Munro Macnabb, late of the Bengal 
Civil Service, with issue — (a) James William Macnabb, of 
the Bengal Civil Service, who married, first, Amy, daughter 
of Sir James Weir Hogg, Baronet, with issue — two sons 

* Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. VIII., p. 389. 


and four daughters ; and, secondly, Alice, daughter of W. B. 
Corrie of Cheltenham, with issue — two sons and two 
daughters, (b) Sir Donald Campbell Macnabb, K.C.I.E., 
and C.S.I, (c) John Campbell Erskine Macnabb, of the 
3rd Bengal Cavalry, who was killed at Meerut, during 
the Indian Mutiny, in 1857. (d) Roderick Macnabb, 
who died young, (e) Mary Jane Macnabb, who married 
James Erskine, of Linlathen, Forfarshire, with issue — two 
sons and five daughters. (f) Charlotte Elizabeth Dick 
Macnabb, who married William Fuller Maitland of 
Stanstead, Essex, with issue — one daughter, Margaret, (g) 
Flora Macnabb, who married John Walter, of Bearwood, 
principal proprietor of The Times newspaper, with issue — 
five sons, and one daughter — who, in 1888, married 
Frederick, eldest son of Sir Frederick Heygate, Baronet, 
of Southend, Essex, (h) Sophia Adelaide Macnabb, who 
married Henry Hugh MacNeile, of Parkmount, Belfast, 
with issue — three sons and four daughters. 

13. Christiana, who married Alexander Macsween, an 
Indian judge, with issue — an only son, Charles, also an 
Indian judge, who married his cousin, Margaret, daughter 
of Olaus Macleod of Bharkasaig, with issue — Henry David- 
son, an officer in the Bengal Artillery, who died unmarried 
in 1849; Hastings, an officer in the Bengal Engineers, 
who died unmarried in 1864; Jessie Anne, now residing 
at Upper Norwood, Surrey ; Flora, who married Charles 
Home, of the Bengal Civil Service (who died in 1872), 
with issue — three sons and three daughters ; and six others, 
who died young. 

John Macleod registered arms on the 16th of July, 1779. 
He was succeeded by his eldest son, 


Who made several improvements on the estate and rebuilt 
the mansion house in its present extensive and elegant 
proportions. He was Lieutenant-Colonel of the First Isle 
of Skye Regiment of Volunteers, one of two regiments 


raised in the island in 1803, and numbering 517 men. 
He married Flora Maclean, with issue — 

1. John, his heir and successor. 

2. James, who married, with issue — one son and two 

3. Loudon, married with issue — one daughter, Charlotte, 
who married Duncan Macrae, Faracabad, New South 
Wales, with issue — one son and two daughters. 

4. Francis, who married, with issue — two sons, in 

5. Hannah Elizabeth, who, on the 21st of November, 
1833, married Sir John Campbell of Ardnamurchan (who 
died on the 18th of January, 1835), with issue — Sir John 
William Campbell, the present Baronet. He had also 
a daughter Hannah, who married Captain R. B. Clarke 
of Cluston ; and several others. Hannah Elizabeth married, 
secondly, Henry Maule of Twickenham, and died on the 
4th of November, 1873. 

James died in 1824, when he was succeeded by his 
eldest son, 


An officer in the 78th Highlanders. He married Mary, 
daughter of Sir Donald Macleod, a distinguished military 
officer in the Indian Army, and son of Macleod of 
Bharkasaig, with issue — an only daughter who died young. 
Having got into difficulties, the estate was in 1846 sold 
by his creditors to George Rainy, when he emigrated to 

Arms, as registered by John Macleod, IX. of Raasay, on the 16th of 
July, 1779 — Or, a burning mountain proper, in the dexter and sinister chief 
point, two crosses patee fitched gules. Crest — The sun in his splendour, 
proper. Motto— Luceo non uro. Supporters — Two savages, with flames of 
fire on their heads and hands, each issuing out of a burning hillock, all 


THIS family is a branch of the Macleods of Raasay, and, 
so far as we can make out, the first of them who settled 
in Rigg, now swallowed up in the huge farm of Scorry- 
breck, near Portree, Isle of Skye, was 

I. John Macleod, of Rigg, second son of Alexander, 
VII. of Raasay, by his wife, Catherine, third daughter 
of Sir Norman Macleod, I. of Bernera (third son of Sir 
Roderick Mor Macleod, XIII. of Dunvegan), by his second 
wife, Catherine, eldest daughter of Sir James Macdonald, 
ninth Baron and second Baronet of Sleat. John Macleod 
of Rigg married, with issue — 

i. Malcolm, a Captain in Prince Charles' Army during 
the 'Forty-five, whose history and services in securing the 
escape of His Royal Highness from Skye and Raasay 
afterwards, are already known to the reader. He met 
Dr. Johnson during his visit to the Western Isles in 1773 
and Boswell gives an excellent description of his person 
and dress at the time, when Malcolm was, he informs us, 
" sixty-two years of age." From this it will appear that 
Malcolm was born in 171 1, and that he was in the prime 
of life, full of youth and vigour, when he fought with 
Prince Charles at the battle of Culloden. He died 

2. Norman, who succeeded his father at Rigg, and 
carried on the representation of the family. 
John Macleod was succeeded by his second son, 
II. Norman Macleod, who married, with issue — 
1. Norman Macleod, a Captain in the British Army. 
He served in the American War of Independence, and 
afterwards settled at Camustinavaig, in the Isle of Skye. 


He married Mary, daughter of Campbell of Scalpa, Harris, 
with issue — two daughters, Anne and Catherine, both of 
whom died unmarried. 

2. John Macleod, of Ollach, also a Captain in the army, 
who, like his eldest brother, served in the American War. 

3. Dr. Murdoch Macleod of Kilpheder, North Uist, who 
married Mary, daughter of Maclean of Borreray, in that 
island, with issue, five sons and two daughters — (1) Murdoch 
Macleod, M.D., who went to the West Indies and practised 
his profession there for many years. He married Marion, 
daughter of the Rev. Edmund Macqueen, minister of Barra 
(who was settled there in 1774, and died in 18 12), with 
issue — one daughter. Dr. Macleod returned to his native 
island of North Uist, where he died at a good old age. 
(2) Archibald ; (3) Norman ; (4) John ; and (5) Dr. Alex- 
ander Macleod, so well and popularly known in the Western 
Isles as "An Doitair Ban." He was for many years 
chamberlain for Lord Macdonald in Skye, and North Uist, 
and afterwards for Clanranald in South Uist and Benbecula, 
and was probably the most popular man who ever acted 
in that capacity in the Highlands. He is still affectionately 
remembered by many of the oldest people in the Long 
Island, and there are many evidences of his good work 
yet to be seen in the Outer Hebrides. His attainments 
as a scholar are said to have been very high ; as a medical 
man his skill was highly appreciated. He was always at 
the service of the people, generally without fee or reward 
of any kind, except the pleasure he derived from doing 
good. It is therefore not surprising that he gained the 
affection and confidence of the population, in all his pro- 
fessional and business relations with them, in a manner 
not attained by any other factor in modern times. Neither 
trouble nor distance deterred him from giving the poorest 
of the people the benefit of his skill, whenever and where- 
ever within his reach they might be required, until he 
lost his life, while engaged in this work of mercy, at Loch 
Hourn, on the mainland, when he fell over a precipice 
returning from visiting a poor shepherd's family during a 


dark night in that wild and rocky region. He married 
Mary, daughter of Kenneth Campbell of Strond, Harris 
(by his wife, Anne, daughter of Donald Macleod of Bernera, 
by his third wife, Margaret Macleod of Greshornish), with 
issue— (1) Donald Macleod, L.R.C.S.E., Hawick, Rox- 
burghshire, who married Jessie Dinwiddie, with issue — 
Donald and Myra. (2) Murdoch Macleod, Melbourne, 
who married, first, Lissy Robertson, Australia, with issue — 
a son and daughter. He married, secondly, Adelaide, 
daughter of the Rev. Mr. Grills, with issue — one son, 
Charles Campbell. (3) Julia, who married the Rev. 
Norman Macleod, late Free Church minister of North 
Uist, son of Kenneth Macleod, of Ebost, fourth son of 
Donald Macleod, of Swordale, progenitor of the Macleods 
of Morven, with issue — (a) Kenneth Macleod, M.D., 
F.R.C.S.E., Brigade-Surgeon in the Indian Army, and 
Professor of Surgery in Calcutta, who married, first, 
Jemima, youngest daughter of James Macdonald, X. of 
Balranald, with issue — Julia, Jeanie, and Alice Maud ; and 
secondly, Janet, daughter of John Aitken, Australia, also 
with issue ; (b) Alexander ; (c) Malcolm ; (d) Murdoch, a 
physician in Beverley, Yorkshire, who married Daisy 
Marjoribanks, with issue ; (e) Donald ; (/) Charles ; (g) 
Norman ; and five daughters. 4. Johanna Campbell, who 
married Harry Macdonald of Treaslane, banker, Portree, 
Isle of Skye, with issue — (a) Alexander Macdonald, banker, 
and Colonel of Volunteers, Portree, who married Jessie, 
daughter of Norman Macleod of Scalpa. (b) Harry Mac- 
donald of Viewfield, an Indian planter, who married Flora, 
daughter of John Mackinnon, of Kyle, Isle of Skye, with 
issue — Alexander, Isabel, Mary, and Una. (e) John Mac- 
donald, also an Indian planter, who married Anne Marjory, 
daughter of Alexander Walker of Fyndinate, Perthshire, 
with issue — Harry, Anne Mary, and Gladys Marion, (d) 
Thomas Rankin Macdonald, a surgeon in the Indian Army 
and Deputy Inspector-General of Prisons, Rangoon, (e) 
George Rainy Macdonald, a Writer to the Signet, 
now in India. (/) Alexandrina, Mary, who married 


William Armstrong of Kershope, Liddlesdale, with issue — 
two daughters. (g) Margaret, who married James Mac- 
laren, M.D., of Larbert, Stirlingshire, with issue — two 
daughters. (h) Mary Anne, who married James Simson, 
of the Bengal Civil Service, with issue — Harry, John, Mary, 
and Joan, (i) Mary Henderson, married Walter Mackenzie 
of Jeetworpore, Tirhoot, India, with issue — Alastair, and 
Johanna ; and (j) Johanna Campbell, who, in 1888, married 
Lewis Reid, New Kelso, Lochcarron ; and two other 
children. (5) Jane, who married the Rev. John Maciver, 
minister of Kilmuir, Isle of Skye, with issue — (a) Anne, 
who married Allan Andrews, H.M. Inspector of Schools, 
Keith ; (b) Colin ; (e) Alexander Maciver of Jeetworpore, 
Tirhoot, India, who married Lucy, daughter of Captain 
Agnew of Glasgow ; (d) Somerled ; (e) Fergus ; (/) Ewen ; 
(g) Donald; (h) Margaret; (2) Mary; (j) Jessie; (k) Anna 
Jane ; and (/) Alexandra. (6) Mary Anne, who, in 1887, 
died unmarried. 

Dr. Murdoch Macleod of Kilpheder's eldest daughter, 
and sister of the Doctor Ban, was (6) Flora, who returned 
from America in the same ship in which her famous 
namesake, the deliverer of Prince Charles, returned from 
that country. While crossing the Atlantic the ship was 
attacked by a French privateer, and Flora Macdonald, 
remaining on deck to inspirit the sailors until success 
was assured, was knocked down and had one of her 
arms broken in the scrimmage. Flora Macleod after- 
wards married the Rev. William Arbuckle, minister of 
North Uist, with issue. Her sister (7) Julia, died 

Norman Macleod, second of Rigg, was succeeded, as 
representative of the family, by his second son, 

III. Captain John Macleod, of Ollach, who married 
Janet Macdonald, of Dunskellar, North Uist, with issue — 

1. Norman Macleod of Scalpa. 

2. Dr. Archibald Macleod, North Uist, who married 
Flora, daughter of Donald Macleod of Arnisdale, with 
issue — one son, Donald Archibald Macleod, who married 


Margaret, daughter of the Rev. Lewis Rose, minister of 
Tain, with issue — three sons and a daughter. Donald 
Archibald died in Australia in 1885. 

3. Alexandrina, who, as his first wife, married Angus 
Nicolson, merchant, Portree, without issue. 

Captain Macleod, of Ollach, was succeeded as representa- 
tive of the family by his eldest son, 

IV. Norman Macleod, of Scalpa, who married Jessie, 
daughter of Kenneth Macleod, of Swordale, afterwards of 
Ebost, Isle of Skye, with issue — two daughters, 

1. Jessie, who married her cousin, Colonel Alexander 
Macdonald of Treaslane, and banker, Portree. 

2. Margaret Anne Christina, who, as his first wife, 
married Alexander Macdonald, now of Balranald, North 
Uist, and of Edenwood, Fifeshire, without issue. She 
died in 1864. 


The first of this family was Dr. Murdoch Macleod, second 
son of Malcolm Macleod, VIII. of Raasay, by his wife, 
Mary, daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, III. of Apple- 
cross. He followed Prince Charles and was wounded at 
Culloden. After the 'Forty-five he settled on the farm 
of Eyre, in the north of Skye, where he began the practice 
of his profession. Here he had a visit, during the famous 
tour to the Hebrides, from Dr. Johnson and his friend 
Boswell. They were quite taken with the agreeable 
manners and lady-like accomplishments of Mrs. Macleod, 
who, we are informed, was educated in Dublin. Boswell, 
describing the visit, says — " We had a dish of tea at Dr. 
Macleod's, who had a pretty good house, where was his 
brother [Norman], a half-pay officer. His lady was a 
polite, agreeable woman. Dr. Johnson said he was glad to 
see that he was so well married, for he had an esteem for 
physicians. The Doctor accompanied us to Kingsburgh." 
Dr. Macleod married Anne, daughter of Alexander Mac- 
donald of Boisdale, by his wife, Margaret, daughter of 
John Macdonald, II." of Castleton, with issue — 

1. Malcolm, who died, unmarried, in the West Indies. 

2. John, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, who married 
his cousin, Catherine, daughter of John Macleod, IX. of 
Raasay, without issue. 

3. Norman, a Lieutenant in the 92nd Gordon High- 
landers, of which his uncle, Donald Macdonald of Boisdale, 
was Major. Norman fought under Sir Ralph Abercromby 
at the battle of Aboukir in Egypt, on the 13th of March, 
1801, where he received a severe wound, from the effects 
of which he died, unmarried, in the following April. 


4. Margaret, who married Kenneth Macleod, of Swordale, 
afterwards of Ebost, with issue — (1) Murdoch Macleod, 
M.D., of the nth Native Infantry, India, who died 
unmarried. (2) Donald Macleod, a planter in Demerara. 
(3) The Rev. Norman Macleod, late of Payble, North Uist, 
who married Julia, daughter of Dr. Alexander Macleod, of 
North Uist, with issue, for which see The MACLEODS 
OF RlGG. (4) Anne, who married Duncan, eldest son of 
William Shaw of Dalnaglar, Perthshire, with surviving" 
issue — Charles Shaw, W.S., Sheriff-Substitute of Inverness- 
shire at Lochmaddy, and late of Thornhill, Inverness. He 
married Anne Margaret, eldest daughter of James Thomas 
Macdonald, X. of Balranald (by his wife, Jane, daughter 
of Captain Donald Mackenzie, fourth son of Thomas Mac- 
kenzie, VI. of Applecross), with issue — Duncan Shaw, 
W.S. ; James Thomas, a Captain in the Inverness-shire 
Militia ; Charles, married, with issue, in New Zealand ; 
Alexander ; Anne, who married Captain Donald Cameron, 
Cuchullin Lodge, Inverness, with issue; Jane; Margaret; 
Susan Christina; Elizabeth Anne Macdonald; Alexandra; 
and Maggie, who died in 1879. (5) Christian, who died 
unmarried. (6) Marion, who married the Rev. Alexander 
Adam, minister of the United Presbyterian Church at 
Portree, without issue. (7) Margaret, who died unmarried. 
(8) Flora, who married the Rev. D. Maclean, Free Church 
minister of Glenurchy, with issue. (9) Jessie, who married 
Norman Macleod of Scalpa, and IV. of Rigg, with issue, 
for which see The Macleods of Rigg. (10) Anne, who 
married James Douglas, of the Inland Revenue, without 

5. Anne, who, after her father's death, continued to 
reside in the old house at Eyre, until 1746, when she 
went to reside with her cousin, the late Rev. Roderick 
Macleod, at the Free Manse of Snizort, where she died, 
unmarried, in 1849. 


THE male representatives of this family are the senior 
cadets of the Macleods of Lewis. Torquil Macleod, IV. of 
Lewis, married Margaret, daughter of MacNicol, or Nicol- 
son, who then possessed the lands of Assynt. MacNicol or 
" MacKrycul,"— the latter, " MacCricail," being the Gaelic 
form of the name even at the present day — had no male 
issue, and his daughter, as sole heiress, carried his lands 
to her husband, Torquil Macleod, IV. of the Lewis, who, 
about 1343, in the reign of David II., has a Royal charter 
in his favour "terrarum baronie de Assynt, cum fortalicio, 
etc. The terms of the charter are said to have been "as 
long as a cow gives milk and waves beat upon a rock." 
The fortalice is described as in the Island of Assynt, and 
Macleod was to give the service of a ship of twenty oars 
when required. The Thane of Sutherland, then superior 
of the lands, consented to the marriage, and the King 
gave his approval, granting the charter already named ; 
which carried with it the superiority resigned by the 
Thane of Sutherland in favour of Torquil Macleod and 
his bride. Early in the 15th century the lands of 
Assynt were given by Torquil's son, Roderick, V. of 
Lewis (reserving the superiority to himself and to his 
heirs and successors in the Lewis), to his second son, 

I. Tormod or Norman Macleod, the first of that 
family and name who possessed the extensive lands 
of Assynt, which are situated on the mainland, opposite 
the Lewis, in the County of Sutherland. The district 
of Assynt is said to have belonged to the Thanes of 
Sutherland before it became the property of the Mac- 
Nicols, the first of whom received it as a reward for 


having- recovered a great number of cattle carried away 
from the county of Sutherland by a horde of Scandi- 
navians, who, in addition to stealing the cattle, set fire to 
the magnificent fir forest which at that time covered 
Assynt, and other extensive woods in the adjoining dis- 
tricts. Tormod died in the reign of James I. [1406- 1437]. 
He married, with issue — 

1. Angus, who was called " Old Angus " by the men 
of Assynt. 

2. John Riabhach, who possessed Coigeach, and was 
famed for his valour and manhood. He had one son, 
John Mor, of whom the " Sliochd Ian Riabhaich." 

3. Tormod Ban, of whose descendants, if any, nothing 
is known. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

II. ANGUS MACLEOD, second of Assynt, who married his 
cousin, Margaret, daughter of Malcolm Beag Mackintosh, X. 
of Mackintosh, and widow of Alexander Matheson, " Alastair 
MacRuairi," of Lochalsh, beheaded on the Castle Hill, 
Edinburgh, shortly after 1427, in which year he was taken 
prisoner along with the Earl of Ross, and several other 
Highland Chiefs at Inverness. Matheson's widow was left 
Tutrix to her eldest son, John, the young heir of Lochalsh. 
Angus Macleod of Assynt was induced to marry her by 
the extent of property committed to her care, and he 
was apparently determined to take possession of it and 
hold it for himself, right or wrong. The immediate result 
of the marriage was the flight of John Matheson's heir to 
his grandfather, Malcolm Mackintosh, X. of Mackintosh, 
while his younger brother, Donald Ban Matheson, fled to 
Sutherlandshire, where he became progenitor of the Mathe- 
sons of Shinness and Achany in that county. Angus 
Macleod of Assynt was thus left at liberty to enjoy, 
without interference, the property which he had taken 
possession of on his marriage to the heir's mother. This 
enjoyment he continued until young Matheson grew up, 
when he solicited the assistance of his relative, Mackintosh 
of Mackintosh, in the effort which he was about to make 


to regain possession of his father's heritage. Mackintosh 
at once consented, after which Matheson communicated 
his intentions to his friends in Lochalsh, all of whom 
agreed to help him and to enter cordially into his plans. 

Angus Macleod of Assynt feared all along that John 
Matheson, the heir, might return, and be received and 
supported by the people of Lochalsh ; and he placed 
spies throughout the whole district to advise him of any 
approaching danger in that connection. It was at that 
time the custom for a certain class of beggars — outcasts 
from their own district — to seek shelter among other 
Clans, and this was invariably accorded them. It is said 
that many of this class came from Assynt to Lochalsh, 
and that Macleod was naturally, in his peculiar circum- 
stances, "well affected towards them." They were known 
among the natives as " Buthanaich," literally, livers in 
tents, and the class to which they belonged were usually 
ready to perform any task, however degraded, which might 
be allotted to them by those who sheltered them. One 
of these strangers, writes Captain Matheson, author of the 
Bennetsfield manuscript, was on this occasion insinuated 
by Angus Macleod into every family in Lochalsh. "Aware 
of this, it was concerted that on their retiring to rest, 
these noxious parasites should be severally despatched " 
on the night on which young Matheson should introduce 
his body of resolute Mackintosh volunteers into the district. 

On his arrival he formed his doughty little band in a 
hollow between Reraig and Kirkton of Lochalsh, at a 
place still called " Glac nam Fear," and then proceeded 
alone, disguised as a hawker of wool, and carrying a wallet 
of heath, to " Torr-an-t-Slachdaire," where his mother and 
her husband, Angus Macleod, then resided. He sent a 
message to the lady of the house asking if she would 
purchase any fancy wools. She at once requested him 
to go in and submit samples of what he had. While 
exhibiting his varieties, he managed to introduce a refer- 
ence to her eldest son, and artfully contrived to ascertain 
whether she wished to see that young gentleman some 


day reinstated in his ancestral possessions or not. Having 
in this way discovered that his mother still entertained 
friendly feelings towards him, he made himself and his 
designs known to her, and was warmly received. 

During the night all the Buthanaich were slain, in 
accordance with the pre-arranged plan between John and 
his friends, except one named MacEachern, who succeeded 
for a time in escaping capture, but he was finally over- 
taken and slain, as he arrived within a short distance of 
Macleod's house, whither he was proceeding to inform 
him of what had occurred. The place where he was 
slain is still called " Featha Mhic Eachern," or Mac- 
Eachern's Bog. 

Meantime young Matheson surrounded the mansion- 
house and set it on fire, "he himself attending to the 
safe escape of his mother, which she effected ; but not 
before she secured that of her husband, concealed under 
her night-gown, and who, after she had passed those 
placed to intercept him, reached ' Doirre Damh,' in Duir- 
inish, where he engaged a poor boatman to convey him 
to Lewis, under promise to give him a free grant of land. 
On his arrival, however, the Laird of Macleod, indignant 
at what had happened, ordered a gallows to be erected 
by the oars of the boat, and, hanging up the Lochalsh 
man, observed sarcastically, that at the foot of the gallows 
he might enjoy free land for ever in terms of Angus' 

Soon after this Angus Macleod attempted a descent on 
Lochalsh. Having landed at Ardhill, he came to an 
engagement at Kirkton, where he was again beaten at a 
place still called " Blair-nan-Saighdearan," and his retreat 
having been intercepted, a number of the routed force 
threw themselves into the church, trusting to it as a 
sanctuary invariably observed in those days inviolate. 
The sanctuary was, however, disregarded in this instance 
by a man named Duncan Matheson, who set fire to the 
building, and hence he ever after retained the sobriquet 
of " Donnachadh-an-Teampuill." Macleod himself, with a 



broken remnant of his followers, escaped, but he was not 
so fortunate in a subsequent expedition, for, soon after, 
having landed again at Fernaig, he was encountered by 
Matheson and his followers, at Sail Fearna, when he was 
overpowered and killed. 

The origin of the first church erected in the district, 
at Kirkton, at the head of Loch Assynt, is ascribed " to 
Angus Macleod, Laird of Assynt, between 1436 and 1443, 
who, we are informed, travelled into France and Italy, 
and having received favours from the Pope, vowed that 
he would build and endow a church at Assynt."* As 
late as between 1780 and 1793 there remained of the 
original building an arched vault, " the burying place of 
the Macleods of Assynt," with an apartment above it 
supposed to be a place of private devotion. The earliest 
record found of this church is in 1455. f 

It is curious to find that in 1386 Robert II. granted 
in heritage for his service, to " Fearchair Lighich," or 
Farquhar the Healer, described in the charter as " Fer- 
charde Leche," along with numerous other isles, all the 
islands lying between " Rowestornastynge " — Stoer Point, 
in Assynt, and " Rowearmedale " — Armadale Point, on the 
north coast of the county of Sutherland, in the parish of 
Farr. The famous Farquhar is said to have cured the 
King, during a tour to the Western Isles, of some serious 
complaint, and this is the handsome manner in which he 
was rewarded for his services to a grateful Majesty. It 
does not, however, appear that Farquhar ever received 
much benefit from the Royal grant. 

In the beginning of the fifteenth century the lands of 
Assynt were held by Roderick Macleod, V. of the Lewis. 
In 1502 James IV. granted a commission in favour of 
Alexander, Earl of Huntly, Thomas, Lord Fraser of Lovat, 
and William Munro of Fowlis, or two of the three, Huntly 
being always one of the two, to lease the lands of Coig- 
each, Assynt, and all the ferme lands that belonged to 

* Origines Parochiales Scotiae, p. 693. 

t Register of the Great Seal, Book VIII. No. 123. 


Torquil Macleod, VIII. of the Lewis, then in the King's 
hands, "through the being of the said Torquil, his rebel, 
fugitive from the laws, and at his horn," with power to 
give part of the lands to good, true men, for such term 
as the Earl should deem expedient for the King's honour.* 
Six years later, in 1508, the lands of Assynt and Coig- 
each, forfeited by Torquil of the Lewis, were granted by 
the same King for life to Y Dubh Mackay of Strathnaver, 
for his services in resisting and attacking the King's rebels 
and others, with power to sublet them. In 15 n His 
Majesty granted to Malcolm, son and lawful heir of 
Roderick Macleod, VII., and brother of Torquil, VIII. 
of the Lewis, forfeited in 1506, along with the other 
ancient possessions in that island and in Skye, the lands 
of Assynt, "in the earldom of Sutherland," and the lands 
of Coigeach " in the earldom of Ross," with the provision 
that if the lands of Assynt were formerly held of the Earl 
of Sutherland "he should suffer no loss of his superiority 
of the same." In 1525 John Kynnard was seised in the 
lands of Assynt on a precept from Adam, Earl of Suther- 
land. On the 2nd of April, 1538, James V. granted to 
Roderick, son and heir of the deceased Malcolm Macleod, 
IX. of Lewis, the non-entry and other dues of the 
lands and barony of the Lewis, including Assynt. In 
1 541 the lands of Assynt, on the resignation of the same 
Roderick (X. of the Lewis), were regranted to him and to 
his affianced spouse, Barbara Stewart, by James V. In 1572 
James VI. granted to Torquil (Conanach), the son and 
heir apparent of the same Roderick Macleod of Lewis, and 
to the male heirs of his body, with remainder to Gillecallum 
Garbh Macleod, III. of Raasay and his male heirs, and 
to Torquil's male heirs whomsoever bearing the Macleod 
surname and arms, the lands and barony of Assynt, 
included in the barony of the Lewis which Roderick had 
resigned, reserving to Roderick the life-rent, on condition 
that he and Torquil should remain faithful to His Majesty. 
In 1614 Patrick Kynnard of that ilk was served heir to his 

* Register of the Privy Seal, Vol. II. , pp. 108, 111-112. 


great-grandfather in the lands of Assynt, and in 1616 his 
son John was similarly served heir to his father in the 
same lands. In 1633 "George Mackenzie was served 
heir male to Colin Earl of Seafort in the lands and 
barony of Assynt, with the mill, fishings, and adowsons 
of Churches " situated in the district.* During the whole 
of this period, however, the Macleods seem to have held 
actual possession of the lands, either as proprietor, or "in 
tenandry " under the Macleods of Lewis. 

By Margaret Mackintosh of Mackintosh, and widow of 
Alexander Matheson of Lochalsh, Angus Macleod had 
issue — 

1. Angus Mor, his heir and successor. 

2. Roderick ; 3, Norman ; and 4, John. John, the 
youngest, had two sons of his own — Neil and John Mor. 
Neil was killed " by the Sutherland men of Torran-Dow- 
Reawigh," leaving no issue, and John Mor was wounded 
at the same battle. This last-named John left issue, his 
descendants being known as " Sliochd Ian Mhoir." 

On his death in Lochalsh, Angus was succeeded by 
his eldest son, 

III. Angus Mor Macleod, third of Assynt, who 
married Anne Mackenzie of Coigeach, with issue, several 
sons ; of whom survived, 

1. Donald Cam, his heir and successor. 

2. Norman, who succeeded his brother Donald. 

3. Angus Beag, who succeeded his brother Norman. 

4. John Riabhach, who succeeded his brother Angus. 

5. Neil, who succeeded his brother John. 

6. Hucheon, who had issue — Neil, Donald, John, 
Roderick, and Angus. He had also a natural son, 

Angus was slain by his nephew, the son of his brother 
John, at the Stoer. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 

IV. Donald Macleod, fourth of Assynt, called 
" Domhnull Cam " from his being blind of an eye. He 
fought a battle with John Mac Torquil Macleod of the 

* Origines Parochialas Scotiae, pp. 694-695. 


Lewis, in the vicinity of Loch-an-Assaidh, where he 
defeated his opponent and took him prisoner, but he 
was himself mortally wounded, and died shortly after. 
He married Margaret, daughter of Alexander Macdonald, 
VII. of Glengarry, widow of Cuthbert of Castle Hill, 
Inverness. She afterwards married, as his second wife, 
Torquil Conanach Macleod, who makes a grant of lands 
in her favour in 1590, without issue. Donald was suc- 
ceeded by his next brother, 

V. Norman Macleod, fifth of Assynt, who was slain 
by his brother, Angus Beag, at Leth-bhad. He died 
unmarried, and was succeeded by his next brother, 

VI. Angus Beag Macleod, sixth of Assynt. He 
was soon after slain by his bastard brother, Alexander, 
in revenge for the murder of his predecessor, their brother 
Norman, to whom Alexander was devotedly attached. 
Y Roy Mackay of Farr, whose daughter was married to 
Angus Beag of Assynt, was very angry about the death 
of his son-in-law, and he vowed vengeance against Alex- 
ander, who left the district and betook himself to the 
hills of Wester Ross, where he was ultimately captured 
by Mackay, and put to death. From this Alexander 
descended " Sliochd Alastair Mhic Aonghais." 

Norman married Florence, daughter of Y Roy Mackay 
of Farr, without issue. He was succeeded by his next 

VII. John Riabhach Macleod, seventh of Assynt, 
whom Sir Robert Gordon describes as " a valiant gentle- 
man," who " commanded and governed the country of 
Assynt for 15 years, with great commendation; and when 
he died he left the government of his country and children, 
who were under age, to his brother Neil." He married 
Christina, daughter of Macdonald of Keppoch, with issue — 

1. Angus Mac Ian Riabhaich, his heir, who was lame 
of one leg. 

2. John, who had several children. 

3. Duncan, who died without issue. 

For a time Neil Mac Angus, as Tutor for his nephew, 


Angus Mac Ian Riabhaich, had command of the estates 
and the leadership of the Clan. He opposed the claims 
of the Mackenzies and Torquil Conanach in the Lewis 
and fought against them. " Neil Anguson of Assint, and 
the blood-stained Ruari Mac Allan," of Gairloch — Ruairi 
Nimhneach — " were among the leading partisans of the 
Chiefs of Lewis and Sleat ; whilst Torquil Connanach 
Macleod and John Mackenzie of Gairloch were the most 
active on the other side."* His brother Hucheon felt 
aggrieved at Neil for excluding him, for some reason or 
other, during his nephew's minority, from any command 
or position in the government of the district. Hucheon 
took Neil prisoner, but soon after released him on certain 
conditions. Neil, however, never forgave the insult offered 
to him by his imprisonment and, on one occasion, when 
Hugh and his second son Donald were on a visit to him 
at the family residence on the Isle of Assynt, he killed 
them both. For this crime Neil was apprehended by 
Torquil Conanach Macleod of the Lewis and Coigeach, 
who had him sent to Edinburgh, where he was executed 
in 1581. 

Hucheon, who had been killed by his brother Neil, had 
issue — Neil, Donald, John, Roderick, and Angus. 

Neil Mac Angus, executed at Edinburgh in 1581, was 
married to Margaret, daughter of Donald Macdonald, VIII. 
of Glengarry, with issue — 

1. John Riabhach, who died in captivity in Girnigo 
Castle, Caithness, during his father's life, without issue. 

2. Donald Ban, who ultimately succeeded as head of 
the house. 

Neil had also three bastard sons — Tormod, Angus, and 

On the death of Neil MacAngus, 

VIII. Angus Macleod, Mac Ian Riabhaich, "who 
wes impotent of ane leg," having in the meantime come 
of age, succeeded as his father's eldest son and lawful 
heir. In about a year, however, he was dispossessed by 

* Gregory's Highlands and Isles, p. 213. 


Hucheon MacAngus's sons, and by Tormod, Angus, and 
Alexander, the bastard sons of Neil MacAngus, who 
divided the estate among themselves, Angus Mac Ian Riabh- 
aich, his brother John, and the bastard sons of Neil 
MacAngus getting a third of the property between them, 
while Hucheon's children, though he was his father's 
youngest son, had the other two-thirds. Hucheon's eldest 
son, Neil, by the common consent of all parties, was 
chosen leader and commander of their united followers. 
Shortly after this arrangement was entered into, a dispute 
arose among themselves about fishing rents. Neil and 
his brothers proceeded to Ullapool, where the others 
resided, there attacked and after a sharp skirmish defeated 
them, killing Alexander, the son of Neil MacAngus, and 
wounding John Mac Ian Riabhaich. Soon afterwards, 
Tormod, son of Neil MacAngus, was slain by Angus, 
son of Hucheon, at Inch-na-damh. To revenge this, 
Donald Ban Mor, second son of Neil MacAngus, attacked 
John, Hucheon's son, and killed him at Cuileag, Loch- 
inver. Neil, Hucheon's eldest son, still maintained his 
position at the head of the people and possessed the Clan 
lands. But in 1585, Y Mackay, whose sister Donald Ban 
Mor, the second, and now only surviving, son of Neil 
MacAngus, had married, took Donald's part, and, assisted 
by the Gunns, laid siege to the Isle of Assynt, where 
Neil resided. Alexander, Earl of Sutherland, came to the 
rescue and compelled Mackay to raise the siege and retire 
to Strathnaver, in consequence of which Neil was able to 
keep possession for some time longer. These family feuds 
continued, the various claimants in time killing each other, 
until there were scarcely any of themselves or their families 
left, and most of those remaining were slain by others. 
Angus, son of Alexander, Neil's son, who was among 
the last survivors of them, killed his father-in-law Neil, 
Hucheon's son. For that crime he was apprehended in 
Tain, and there executed by the Laird of Balnagown. 
The estates were then taken possession of by 

IX. Donald Ban Mor Macleod, second son of Neil, 


fifth son of Angus Mor, III. of Assynt, and immediate 
younger brother of John Riabhach Macleod, VII. of 
Assynt. There was additional slaughter after Donald's 
accession, but for further details the reader must be 
referred to Sir Robert Gordon's Earldom of Sutherland 
[pp. 262-265], the author of which was contemporaneous 
with the events which he describes ; for he was born in 
1580. He was also closely connected with all the parties 
by family alliances. In June, 1623, Sir Robert was 
appointed Sheriff of Assynt ; the manuscript of the work 
itself is dated 1639, and the author was alive in 165 1, in 
which year his relative, Gilbert Gordon, brings to a close 
his " Continuation " of Sir Robert's History of the Earl- 
dom, which deals with the period from 1639 to 165 1. 

That Donald Ban Mor was not the rightful heir and 
lawful successor to the Chiefship of the Macleods of Assynt 
is clear from what Sir Robert Gordon tells us. Angus 
Macleod, the eighth Chief, who was dispossessed by 
Hucheon MacAngus's sons and their bastard cousins, after 
having ruled for only one year, survived the sanguinary 
feuds and slaughters which afterwards took place among 
his relatives. Sir Robert Gordon says that " Angus Mac 
Ian Riabhaich (who was impotent of one leg) died very 
aged in Assynt, and left a son, Duncan, of great expec- 
tation ; who, claiming that country as due unto himself, 
made diverse incursions in Assynt against Donald Ban, 
Neil's son, until he gave him a fourth part of the country, 
which he possessed until the year of God 1609, that he 
died, leaving four sons ; and thus did Donald Ban, Neil's 
son (alias Macleod), happily bring his troubles to a 
prosperous end, and is at this day [1639] in quiet pos- 
session of the country of Assynt." Sir Robert further 
says that Donald " hath purchased a new title and right 
of the country of Assynt, from Kenneth Mackenzie, first 
Lord of Kintail, and hath settled it upon his own posterity ; 
the Lord only knoweth how long it will continue in his 
line. He is become a provident and industrious gentle- 
man, having, in his time, escaped many dangers and 


troubles." Donald Ban was bred and brought up, away 
from the broils of his kindred, by Robert Munro, fifteenth 
baron of Fowlis. In 1642 he received a charter of con- 
firmation under the Great Seal from Charles I., dated 
the 2 1st of November in that year, in which he is desig- 
nated Donaldo Maeleod de Assynt, confirming to him and 
his heirs the lands of Annat and others in Inverness-shire, 
which were united by the same charter to the barony 
of Assynt. In May, 1646, the family residence, on the 
Isle of Assynt, was besieged by the Mackenzies. It was 
held and defended by Donald Ban, who is described 
as being " then laird of Assint." On the conclusion of 
peace, about the middle of that month, between the King 
and the Kirk, the Mackenzies raised the siege and retired. 
Donald married Marian Mackay, daughter of Donald, first 
Lord Reay, with issue — 

1. Neil, his heir and successor. 

2. Donald, who died without issue. 

3. Angus ; 4, Roderick ; 5, James. 

6. Margaret, who married Sir Alexander Gordon, the 
youngest son of Alexander, Earl of Sutherland, with issue — 
five sons and two daughters.* 

7. Catherine, who married John Gordon, another son of 
the Earl of Sutherland. 

8. Anna, who married Hugh Gunn of Kilearnan, pro- 
genitor of the Macjameses, or Jamiesons of Caithness. 

Donald married, secondly, Christian, daughter of Nicolas 
Ross of Pitcalnie, with issue — 

9. Donald, of whom there is no succession ; and 

10. Hugh Maeleod, first of Cambuscurry, Edderton, who 
married Christina, daughter of Walter Ross of Invercharron, 
with issue — (1) Roderick, his heir, who married a daughter 
of Hugh Munro of Newmore, with issue — (a) ^Eneas, who 
married Janet, daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, VII. of 
Davochmaluag,f with issue — an only daughter, Mary, who 

* Earldom of Sutherland, p. 262, 

t The marriage contract is dated 28 April, 1715 ; tocher 3000 merks— 
Mackenzie's History of the Mackenzies, p. 372. 


married John Urquhart of Mount Eagle. (b) George ; 
(<?) Isabella ; {d) Christina ; (e) Elizabeth ; and (/) Ellen, 
all honourably married. (2) yEneas, first of the MAC- 
LEODS OF CADBOLL, of whom hereafter. (3) Alexander 
Macleod of Sallachy, who married, with issue — several sons 
and daughters. 

Donald Ban Mor Macleod was succeeded by his eldest 

X. Neil Macleod, tenth of Assynt. He does not 
seem to have long outlived his father, and nothing worthy 
of note regarding his life can be ascertained. He married 
Florence, fifth daughter of Torquil Conanach Macleod of 
Lewis, with issue — 

1. Neil, his heir and successor. 

2. John, who, on the death of his brother Neil with- 
out issue, carried on the male representation of the 

3. Alexander, who married with issue — a son John, who 
joined General Murray's regiment in the Dutch Service, 
and afterwards settled at Courtray. Here he married, in 
1710, Jean Cartier, belonging to a family of repute in that 
country. He died in 17 17, leaving issue by his wife, 
two sons — John Baptiste Piere Macleod. The eldest of 
these two sons became a merchant in Courtray, and, in 
1773, married Francois de Clereg, with issue — (1) Louis 
Joseph Macleod, who was also a merchant and linen 
draper in Courtray. In 1759 he married Angelina van 
de Bourde, with issue — three sons and three daughters, 
Francois Louis ; Louis ; Jacques Benoit ; Maria Angeline ; 
Maria Theresa ; and Maria Jeane. (2) Francois Ignace 
Joseph Macleod, who married Constance Nolf, of Court- 
ray, with issue — two daughters, Marie Therese Josephe, 
who joined a religious order (Beggrunch), and Reging 
Joseph, who married John Francois Parmenter, of Bruges, 
with issue — one son, John Antoine, and two daughters, 
Marie Therese and Caroline. 

Neil was succeeded by his eldest son, 

XI. Neil Macleod, eleventh of Assynt, who became 


notorious in connection with the betrayal of Montrose, 
in 1650. Gilbert Gordon in his continuation of the 
Earldom of Sutherland, brought down to 165 1, describes 
the facts of this case from personal knowledge. The 
Sutherland family, who fought against Montrose, Sir Robert 
Gordon, and the author of the Continuation, were all 
friendly towards Macleod of Assynt, who fought under 
the Earl of Sutherland. It may therefore be taken for 
granted that neither of the Gordons would write anything 
derogatory to their own friend, especially when that friend 
was instrumental in capturing the leader of an army which 
was over-running their property and slaughtering their 
people. This writer says that "James Graham [Montrose] 
and the Earl of Kinnoul escaping with six or seven in 
their company, wandered up that river the whole ensuing 
night and the next day, and the third day also, without 
any food or sustenance, and at last came within the 
country of Assynt. The Earl of Kinnoul being faint 
for lack of meat, and not able to travel any further, 
was left there among the mountains, where it was supposed 
he perished. James Graham had almost famished but 
that he fortuned in this misery to light upon a small 
cottage in that wilderness, where he was supplied with 
some milk and bread. Immediately after the fight Captain 
Andrew Monro" [younger of Lemlair], he continues, "did 
write to Neil Macleod, laird of Assynt, who had married 
his sister, desiring him earnestly to apprehend any that 
should come to his country. The laird of Assynt was 
not negligent, but sent parties everywhere. Some of 
them met James Graham [Montrose], accompanied only 
with one Major Sinclair, an Orkney man. The party 
apprehends them, and brings them to Ard Bhreac, the 
laird of Assynt's chief residence. James Graham made 
great offers to the laird of Assynt, if he would go with 
him to Orkney, all which he refused, and did write to 
the Lieutenant-General that he had James Graham in 
his custody, who presently directed Major-General Hol- 
burn, with a party of foot, to bring him to Sutherland 


which was done. James Graham was two nights in Skibo, 
and from thence he was conveyed to Brahan, and so to 
Edinburgh. Being" presented there before the Parliament, 
he was sentenced to be hanged publicly at the Market 
Cross of Edinburgh, and to be quartered ; his head to 
be put above the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, where his uncle, 
the Earl of Gowrie's head was formerly placed, the year 
one thousand and six hundred. His four quarters were 
appointed to be sent to Glasgow, Stirling, Saint Johnston, 
[Perth], and Aberdeen, there to be hung up, and his 
body to be buried in the Borrow- Muir, where the most 
odious malefactors are usually hanged and buried ; all 
which was duly performed." He was executed in terms 
of this horrid sentence on the 2ist of May, 1650, having 
been previously forfeited by Parliament, and excommuni- 
cated by the Church. 

The same writer, who describes Montrose as " a man 
certainly indued with great gifts, if they had been rightly 
employed," says that " the Laird of Assynt went then 
[June 1650] south to the Parliament, to crave his reward 
for the apprehending of James Graham, which he received 
from the Estates. Twenty thousand pounds Scots was 
secured to him ; he was also made Captain of the garrison 
of Strathnaver, with the consent of the Earl of Suther- 
land, who, before James Graham's coming into Orkney, 
had made the Laird of Assynt his Sheriff-Depute in 
Slios-a-Chaolais. The Estates at the same time did bestow 
a reward upon Hackett and Strachan for their good services 
against Graham. One thousand pounds sterling and a 
gold chain was given to either of them."* These are 
the facts as recorded by a contemporary friendly author 
in the very year in which the events occurred, and to 
most minds, keeping that fact in view, they will appear 

Let us now see what a friend of Montrose, also a con- 
temporary writer, says. The famous Bard of Keppoch, 
Ian Lorn Macdonald, in his " Cumha Mhontrois," in the 

* Gordon's Earldom of Sutherland, pp. 555"557- 


poignancy of his grief for the illustrious hero, exclaims — 

Mhic Neill a Assainn chianail, 
Nan glacainn arm an lion thu, 
Bhiodh m' fhacal air do bhinn, 
'S cha diobrainn thu o'n chroich. 

Thu fein as t-athair-ceile, 
Fear-taighe sin na Leime, 
Ged chrochte sibh le cheile, 
Cha b' eirig air mo lochd. 

Craobh ruisgt' de'n Abhall bhreugach, 
Gun mheas, gun chliu, gun cheutaidh, 
Bha riamh ri murt a cheile, 
'N ar fuigheall bheum is chore. 

Marbh-phaisg ort a dhi-meis, 
Nach ole a reic thu'm fir-eun 
Air son na mine Litich, 
As da-thrian di goirt. * 

The sour meal mentioned by Ian Lorn refers to 400 
bolls of damaged meal which Macleod is alleged to have 
received from Leith, in addition to the twenty thousand 
pounds Scots in cash paid to him by the Estates, for 
his betrayal of Montrose. Napier, in his well-known life 
of the hero, also mentions this part of the reward. He 
says Montrose " gave himself up to Macleod of Assynt, 
a former adherent, from whom he had reason to expect 
assistance in consideration of that circumstance, and indeed 
from the dictates of honourable feeling and common 
humanity. As the Argyle faction had sold the king, so 
this Highlander rendered his own name infamous by 
selling the hero to the Covenanters, for which ' duty to 
the public ' he was rewarded with four hundred bolls of 
meal {Macleod 's Indictment, Criminal Records, 1674). He 
was tried for that treachery, but saved by means of 
bribery and the interest of Lauderdale, the enemy of 
Montrose. Ian Lorn, the bard of Keppoch, wrote a 
beautiful lament for the fallen hero, in which he does 
not spare Assynt." 

Soon after the restoration of Charles II., Macleod was 
* Mackenzie's Beauties of Gaelic Poetry, pp. 50-51. 


arraigned before the Scottish Parliament on this charge, 
as appears from the following documents, printed at length 
in the Appendix to Bishop Pocockes Tour in Sutherland 
and Caithness, so carefully and ably edited by Mr. Daniel 
William Kemp, Edinburgh, and published in 1888. 

Letter to the King's Majesty (dated Edinburgh, 8th October, 1663) anent 
Neil Macleod of Assynt (spelling modernised) : — 

"Most Sacred Sovereign, — There being a criminal process depending 
before your Parliament at the instance of your Majesty's Advocate, with the 
concurrence of the Marquis of Montrose as his informer, against Neil Mac- 
leod of Assynt, for his alleged betraying and giving up of the late Marquis of 
Montrose to those who murdered him, and for taking a sum of money from 
them in recompense of that treacherous act. And he being brought to the 
bar, and the dittay, with his answer thereunto, the reply made by your Advo- 
cate and his duplies, being at length read and considered ; we find he 
(Macleod) denies the matter of fact alleged against him. But, supposing the 
same were true, he grounds his defence upon the indemnity granted by your 
Majesty to your Scots subjects in the treaty at Breda in the year 1650, and 
the ratifications of the same passed by your Majesty at your being in this 
kingdom in the years 1650 and 1651 ; though it was instantly offered to be 
proven under his hand that he had received the money above mentioned, and 
that this treaty could be no security to him, it not being produced, and not 
being (if any such thing be) before the deeds quarrelled. And we, con- 
sidering that in all former processes during this Parliament, it was your 
Majesty's express pleasure, and, accordingly, all those crimes which were 
libelled against any person as done before that treaty and these assurances, 
or which had any ground of defence from them, were laid aside and not 
insisted on, having conceived it suitable to our duty and your Majesty's 
commands to forbear further procedure in this particular till your Majesty 
were acquainted therewith ; that your Majesty, upon cousideration of the 
business, may be pleased to give order either for the further prosecution 
thereof before your justice, or for sisting of all further proceeding ; or for any 
other course therein which your Majesty in your Royal judgment shall think 
fittest for your honour and service. This is, in name and by warrant of your 
Parliament, signed by your Majesty's most humble, most obedient, and most 
faithful subject and servant."* 

At a sitting of the Privy Council in Edinburgh on 
1st December, 1663, a petition was presented by Neil, 
stating that he had been a prisoner in the Tolbooth of 
Edinburgh for over three years " upon groundless alle- 
gations of his accession to the betraying of the late 
Marquis of Montrose, by which imprisonment, etc., he is 
redacted to that condition by sickness that it is impossible 
* Acta Parliamentontm Caroli II. , 1663, Vol. VII., p. 500. 


to him to escape death if he remain any longer in that 
place;" and craving - to be released from prison, and to 
have the liberty of the city of Edinburgh, upon sufficient 
surety being found for his appearance when called upon. 
Medical certificates having been laid before the Council, 
their Lordships ordered him to be set at liberty, upon 
finding sufficient caution for his reappearance, and bound 
him not to leave Edinburgh under a penalty of ;£ 20,000 

On the same date (1st December, 1663), we find Neil 
Macleod of Assynt, as principal, and Colin Mackenzie, 
younger of Logie, and Captain William Hardie, as caution- 
ers, acted in the books of the Privy Council, in a bond 
of caution, that Macleod "' shall re-enter my persone in 
prisone within the said tolbuith of Edinburgh whenever 
I shall be requyred by the sds Lords of Council. And 
that in the meantime I shall confine myself within the 
citie of Edinburgh and that under the payne of 20,000 
pounds Scots in case of failzie."f 

The following letter from the King was read by his 
Majesty's commissioner, to the Privy Council, in February, 

Charles R — Right trusty and right entirely cousin and counsellor. We 
greet you well, forasmuch as by one letter dated at Edinburgh the eight of 
October, 1663, sent to us by our Parliament, we were informed that the 
criminal process depending at the instance of our advocate for the time with 
the concourse of the Marquis of Montrose against Neil Macleod of Assynt, for 
the alleged betrayal of the late Marquis of Montrose, and for taking a sum of 
money in recompense of that treacherous act. Which said Neil did deny the 
said crime alleged against him, but yet, supposing the same were true, he 
did defend himself under the indemnity alleged granted by us at Breda in the 
year 1650, and the ratification of the same by us at our being in Scotland in 
the years 1650 and 165 1, and that our parliament ceased doing that in all form 
or process during that parliament. It was our express pleasure that all those 
crimes which had any ground of defence from the treaties and assurance 
aforesaid should be laid aside and not insisted in, which was accordingly 
done in several other crimes against several other persons, and that the 
parliament conceived it their duty and suitable to our commands to forbear 
further procedure in this particular, till we, upon consideration of the business, 

* Register of Privy Council: Acta Decreta, 1663. 
f Register of Privy Council: Acta Cant., 1663. 


might be pleased to give order either for further prosecution thereof before our 
justice, or for sisting of all further proceedings as in our Royal judgment we 
should think fit. 

And we, considering also that by the public indemnity made in the second 
session of our first Parliament, there is no exception of the said Neil Macleod, 
but that he is included within our first general pardon and indemnity, whereby 
all manners of treasons, murders, and offences done by any person by virtue 
of any power or warrant from any pretended Parliament, council, committee, 
commanders of armies, or other pretended authority, under whatsoever title, 
name, or designation, since January 1637 until September 1660, or by any 
their abettors and assisters, are pardoned and discharged. And it being also 
represented to us that, notwithstanding all the foresaid Acts of Indemnity, and 
sure pardon and the sisting of proceedings against him before the Parliament 
as is mentioned in the said letter, yet the said criminal process was of new 
again intented before the justice, and the said Marquis of Montrose, with 
concourse of our advocate, insisting therein. 

And having considered the said letter from our Parliament, and the said 
general Act of Indemnity, and being most tender and careful that the public 
security and free pardon which we have so graciously indulged to our sub- 
jects for liberating them of their minds and composing their minds to cheerful 
affection for our Royal person and government should [not ?] be violat, broken, 
or impeached in any case wherein there may be any ground of defence from 
the said Act of Indemnity granted in the second session of the first Parliament, 
or from any pretended act of indemnity granted at Breda or in Scotland in the 
years 1650 and 1651. 

Wherefore it is our will and pleasure that the foresaid process against the 
said Neil Macleod, for the alleged betraying of the late Marquis of Montrose, 
and taking of the said recompense therefor, should be sisted and no further 
proceeded in before our justice, and that our judges, civil and criminal, 
should be discharged to meddle or proceed in the said matter. 

And that the aforesaid Act of Indemnity ought and should free and 
liberate the said Neil from any for the deed aforesaid. 

And that this our will and order be intimated by you our Commissioner 
and Lord of our Council, to our justices, and the said justices accordingly 
discharged to proceed, and that no be thereafter intented or 

moved against the said Neil Macleod, before whatsoever judges for the afore- 
said crimes and deeds, for sisting and discharging these presents shall be 
a sufficient warrant, which you shall communicate to the Lords and others 
of our Privy Council. 

And so we bid you heartily farewell. — Sub-scribitur sic by His Majesty's 
command. Lauderdale. 

Given at our Court at Whitehall, the 20th day of Feb., 
1666, and of our reign the 13th year. 

The said Lords of Council having heard and considered the aforesaid 
letter, ordain the same to be recorded in the books and to be intimated and 
the judges therein mentioned discharged in manner therein appointed."* 

* Acts of Privy Council, 1666-7, p. 546. 


Macleod, it will be noticed, was thus set at liberty, 
not on the ground that he was innocent of the charges 
made against him, but on the plea set up on his behalf 
that his offence was covered by the Act of Indemnity 
passed by Parliament in the second year after the Restora- 
tion, by which "all manner of treasons, murders, and 
offences done by any person by virtue of any power or 
warrant from any pretended parliament, council, com- 
mittees, commanders of armies, or others, pretending 
authority under whatsoever title, name, or designation, 
since January 1637 until September 1660, or by any 
their abettors and assisters, are pardoned and discharged." 
He was not, however, even yet clear of the matter. 

Fourteen years after, he was again placed upon his 
trial for these and other alleged crimes and offences. 
On the 2nd of February, 1674, he was placed in the 
dock upon an indictment " charging him with several 
treasonable crimes; viz. — 1st, with betraying, under trust, 
the late Marquis of Montrose, his Majesty's Commissioner 
and Lieutenant -General, and delivering him a prisoner to 
the rebels in A.D. 1649, who murdered him, for which 
the said Macleod of Assint received a reward of 400 bolls 
of meal. 2nd, with having in A.D. 1654, assisted the 
English rebels commanded by General Morgan in burning 
and plundering the north. 3rd, with having, in A.D. 1669, 
exacted arbitrary taxations upon all shipping that came 
to anchor in any of the creeks belonging to the prisoner. 
And, 4th, with having, in A.D. 1670, fortified and garri- 
soned his house of Ardbreck, and defended the same 
against the Sheriff of Sutherland, who had His Majesty's 
warrant to eject him. Now, although the two first articles 
in the indictment are by much the deepest of the crimes 
with which Macleod of Assint was charged, His Majesty's 
advocate declared, ' he did not insist upon the two first 
crimes libelled but only as aggravations!"* On this occasion 
Macleod was again acquitted, but the result of this trial 

* Arnofs Criminal Trials, p. 263. Records of "Justiciary, February 2nd, 



and other misfortunes was that he lost the family estates. 

In 1 68 1 Kenneth Mor Mackenzie (eldest son of the 
Hon. Simon Mackenzie of Lochslinn, fourth son of 
Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail), then of Glen- 
markassie, and afterwards first of the Old Mackenzies of 
Dundonnell, is designed as Chamberlain of Assynt, and 
is acting under the orders of Roderick Mackenzie, else- 
where described as " Servitor to the Marquis of Seaforth." 
In 1690, the Hon. John Mackenzie of Assynt, second son 
of George, third Earl of Seaforth, is in possession and is 
designed "of Assynt;" and in that year he grants a 
discharge to the Chamberlain, Kenneth Mackenzie of Glen- 
markassie, for 2448 merks, being the full rent of Assynt 
for crop 1689. 

In the same year the Chamberlain receives orders to 
remove Neil Macleod from the district. We are indebted 
to Mr. Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, M.P., for a copy of 
the order of removal, which bears on the back of it, 
" Orders to Kenneth Mackenzie for removing Neill Mac- 
leod out of the lands of Assint, 5 August, 1690." The 
document itself is as follows — 

" By Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Lumsdaine, in the Lord Strathnaver's 

Regiment of Foot, and Commander-in-Chief of their Majesties' 

Forces in and about Inverness. 

Being informed that Neill Macleod, late Laird of Assint, has violently, at 

his own hand, taken possession of the house and lands of Assint, belonging 

to Peter Forbes, merchant, Edinburgh, and doth thereby molest the tenants, 

and interrupt the herring and salmon fishings : Therefore, you are hereby 

ordered to remove and turn out the said Neill Macleod and his servants furth 

of the said houses and lands, and to take care that he make no disturbance in 

the country ; but if he have any pretence to the said lands, let him take a 

legal course conform to the rights he pretends to have thereto. And in case 

he disobeys, or makes any resistance, you are to secure his person, ay and 

until he gave security for his peaceable behaviour. Given at Inverness, the 

fifth day of August, 1690. 

(Signed) Rot. Lumsdaine. 
For Mr. Kenneth Mackenzie, Glcnmarkness, 
Chamberlain and Bailie to Mr. John 
Mackenzie of Assint. 

We have not ascertained whether Neil had been 
removed or not, but he appears to have secured at least 


nominal possession of the property, for, on the 25th of 
November, 1691, a summons of Reduction, Improbation, 
and Declarator is signetted against him at the instance 
of the Hon. John Mackenzie, and a note on the back of 
the writ shows that a copy of it was served upon 
him personally on the 27th of the same month, two days 
after — a fact which proves that Neil must have been in 
Edinburgh at the time. In 17 16, " Kenneth Mackenzie, 
now of Assynt," is described as the son of the late John 
Mackenzie of Assynt. He died without issue. The Mac- 
kenzies, however, were never in full possession of the 
lands themselves, for almost immediately after getting 
nominal possession they wadsetted Inverkirkaig, Phillin, 
Inver, Badidarroch, Torbreck, Bracloch, Little Assynt, 
Loch Bearnock, Achnaloich, and Clashmore ; and all the 
lands were judicially sold about 1760. 

Sir Robert Douglas puts Neil's case in the most favour- 
able light. He says — "There having been some old incum- 
brances upon the estate of Assynt, incurred through the 
iniquity of the times, and this Neil having become security for 
some of his friends in several small sums, some of his more 
powerful neighbours took advantage of his indolence, and 
of the distance he lived from, and difficulty of access to 
public justice at that time, bought up his debts with an old 
apprising or two, whereby they carried off his whole estate 
for less than half the value ; and though both he and his 
heirs have intented several processes for the recovery of 
their just rights, yet they have never hitherto obtained 
any redress, nor have they recovered any part of their 
paternal inheritance. The spite of his enemies was 
carried so great a length against this unfortunate gentle- 
man, that, not satisfied with having deprived him of his 
estate, a criminal process was intented against him before 
the Court of Justiciary, when he was tried by a jury of 
his countrymen for different dittays laid to his charge, but 
was most favourably acquitted, as appears from the record 
of the Court."* 

* Douglas's Baronage, p. 388. 


Neil married a daughter of Colonel John Monro of 
Lemlair, without issue, and on his death, the representa- 
tion, but not the estates, devolved on his next brother, 

XII. JOHN MACLEOD, who married Jean, daughter of 
Malcolm Ross of Kindeace, with issue — 

i. Captain Donald, designated of Geanies, and first of 
that family, of whom presently. 

2. Neil, a Captain in a foot regiment, and at one time 
governor of Blackness Castle. 

John had also four daughters, all of whom were well 


On the death of Neil Macleod, XI. of Assynt, without male 
issue, he was succeeded as representative of the family, 
but not in the estates, by his brother, John Macleod, 
designated in the account of that family as XII. of Assynt. 
This John became the progenitor of the Macleods of 
Geanies, and they have thus not a drop of the blood of 
Neil, who betrayed Montrose, in their veins. In con- 
sequence of Neil's misfortunes, and the alienation of his 
property to the Earl of Seaforth and others, his brother 
John was obliged to live in comparative obscurity. John 
married Jean, daughter of Malcolm Ross of Kindeace, 
with issue — 

i. Donald, his heir. 

2. Neil, a Captain in a foot regiment, and afterwards 
Governor of Blackness Castle. 

John had also four daughters, who are all said to have 
been well married. 

He was succeeded as representative of the family by 

XIII. Donald Macleod, first of Geanies, a Captain 
in the Scottish Brigade in Holland. He bought the lands 
of Geanies, in Easter Ross, from Sinclair of Dunbeath, 
and to some extent restored the status of the family. He 
married Elizabeth, only child of Walter Ross of Nonikiln, 
and Provost of Tain, with issue — 

1. Hugh, his heir and successor. 

2. William, a merchant in Rotterdam. 

3. Jean, who married the Rev. James Fraser, of Pit- 


calzean, now called Westfield, and minister of Alness from 
1726 to 1769, without issue. 

4. Anne, who died unmarried. 

5. Isabel, who married Thomas Urquhart of Kinbeachy, 
with issue — (1) John, his heir and successor ; (2) the Rev. 
Thomas Urquhart, minister of Rosskeen, who married Miss 
Clunes of Crakaig, with issue. (3) Jean, who married 
D. Mackinnon, with issue ; and (4) Jessie, who married 
D. Macleod, with issue, among- others, Lady Grant and 
Lady Falkner. 

Captain Donald was succeeded by his eldest son, 

XIV. Hugh Macleod, second of Geanies, who 
married Isabel, daughter of James Fraser of Achnagairn, 
and niece of Duncan Forbes of Culloden, Lord President 
of the Court of Session, with issue — 

1. Donald, his heir and successor. 

2. James, who died unmarried in the West Indies. 

3. William, who died unmarried in America. 

4. Duncan, who died unmarried in Holland. 

5. Isabella, who married John Gordon of Carrol, now 
Gordonbush, near Brora, Sutherlandshire, with issue — 
Joseph Gordon, W.S., who sold the property to the Duke 
of Sutherland. He married Anne Clunes of Crakaig, with 
issue — a large family. Isabella had also several other sons 
and daughters. 

6. Mary, who, as his first wife, married Charles Monro 
of Allan, without issue. 

Hugh was succeeded by his eldest son, 

XV. Donald Macleod, third of Geanies, an Advocate 
at the Scottish Bar, and for nearly sixty years — from 
1744 until his death — Sheriff-Principal of Ross and 
Cromarty. He married, first, Margaret, daughter of James 
Craufurd, of Rotterdam, with issue — 

1. Hugh of the H.E.I.C.S., who died in India, before 
his father, unmarried. 

2. James Craufurd, who also died before his father. He 
married Stuart Sutherland, with issue — Donald, a Lieu- 
tenant in the Bengal Army, who, on the death of his 


grandfather, Sheriff Macleod, carried on the representation 
of the family; and Mary Craufurd, who, in 1840, married, 
as his first wife, the late Sir Alexander Matheson, Baronet, 
of Lochalsh, without issue. She died in 1841. 

3. Patrick, appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the 78th 
Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs) on the 17th April, 1804, 
which regiment he commanded at the battle of Maida, 
where he was wounded, in 1806, and was afterwards killed 
in action at El Hamet, in Egypt, on the 21st of April, 
1807, leaving no issue. 

4. William, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, who died 
before his father, without issue. 

5. Duncan, a Lieutenant-General in the Bengal Engin- 
eers, who, on the death of his nephew, Donald Macleod, 
became head of the family. 

6. Elizabeth, who married Dr. Thomas Farquharson, of 
Howden, with issue — (1) George, who died without issue. 
(2) Margaret, who married Alexander Cleghorn, with issue, 
among others, the late Sheriff Cleghorn. (3) Annabella, 
who, in 18 1 5, married Duncan Matheson of Achany, eldest 
brother of the late Sir James Matheson of the Lewis, with 
issue. He was an advocate at the Scottish Bar, and, for 
many years, Sheriff of the burgh of Leith. By this 
lady, who died in 1 829, Sheriff Matheson, who died in 
1838, had issue — Donald Matheson, heir of entail to his 
late uncle, Sir James Sutherland Matheson, Baronet of 
the Lewis. He married in 1849, Jane Ellen, third 
daughter of Horace Petley, R.N., with issue — Hugh Mac- 
kay Matheson, Hampstead, London, who married Agnes, 
daughter of David Macfarlane, with issue ; Thomas Mathe- 
son of Liverpool, who, in 1850, married Anne, daughter 
of John Cropper, without issue ; and two daughters, 
Elizabeth and Isabella. Dr. Thomas Farquharson had 
also five other daughters by Elizabeth Macleod of Geanies. 

7. Isabella, who married Dr. James Gregory, Edin- 
burgh, with issue — (1) John ; (2) Hugh ; and (3) James ; 
all of whom died without issue. (4) William, who married 
Lizette Scott, with issue — James Liebig. (5) Donald 


Gregory, author of the History of the West Highlands 
and Isles of Scotland, so often referred to and quoted in 
this work. He died unmarried. (6) Duncan, a dis- 
tinguished mathematician, who also died unmarried. (7) 
Margaret, who married Dr. Alison, without issue. Dr. James 
Gregory had also four other daughters — Jane, Elizabeth, 
Isabella, and Georgina, all of whom died unmarried. 

8. Mary, who married Sir George S. Mackenzie, Baronet, 
VII. of Coul, with issue — (1) Sir Alexander Mackenzie, 
Baronet, VIII. of Coul, an officer in the Bengal Army, 
H.E.I.C.S., who died unmarried in 1856. (2) Sir William 
Mackenzie, Baronet, IX. of Coul, who married Agnes, 
daughter of R. D. Smyth of Ardmore, Derry, and died 
without issue in 1868. (3) George Mackenzie, who died 
unmarried in 1839. (4) Sir Robert Ramsay Mackenzie, 
Baronet, X. of Coul, born in 181 1, and married, in 1846, 
Louisa Alexandrina, daughter of Richard Jones, a member 
of the Legislative Assembly of Sydney, Australia, with 
issue — Sir Arthur G. Ramsay Mackenzie, Baronet, XI. 
and present of Coul, born in 1865. (5) The Rev. John 
Mackenzie, late minister of Ratho, born in 18 13, and 
married, in 1839, a daughter of the famous Thomas 
Chalmers, D.D., without issue. He died in London in 
1878. (6) Donald Macleod Mackenzie, Admiral, Royal 
Navy, born in 18 1 5, and married, in 1865, Dorothea, 
daughter of Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, G.C.B., with- 
out issue. (7) The Rev. James Mackenzie, who married 
Philadelphia, daughter of Sir Percival Hart-Dyke of Lulling- 
stone, Kent, Baronet, without issue. He died in 1837. (8) 
Margaret; (9) Catherine; and (10) Mary, who died unmarried. 

9. Annabella, who married Charles Carter Petley of 
Riverhead, with issue — (1) Charles Carter Petley, who 
married Martha Woodgate, with issue — three sons and 
three daughters. (2) Patrick Macleod Petley, who^married 
Elizabeth M. Petley, without issue. 

10. Jane, who died unmarried. 

11. Margaret, who died unmarried. 

12. Sheriff Macleod married, secondly, Jane, daughter 


of Charles Petley of Riverhead, and widow of Captain 
Kenneth Mackenzie, V. of Cromarty, without issue. He 
was succeeded, as representative of the family, by his 

XVI. Donald Macleod, eldest son of James Crau- 
furd, second son of Sheriff Macleod, third of Geanies. 
He was an officer in the Bengal Army, and died in 
India, in 1842, when he was succeeded as representative 
of the family by his uncle, a younger, and the only sur- 
viving, son of Sheriff Macleod, 

XVII. Duncan Macleod, fifth of Geanies, a Lieu- 
tenant-General in the Bengal Engineers. He married 
Henrietta Friel, with issue — 

1. Duncan Craufurd Macleod, of the Bengal Civil Service. 
He died in India, unmarried. 

2. Sir Donald Friel Macleod, K.C.S.I. and C.B., of the 
Bengal Civil Service, who afterwards became the male 
representative of the family. 

3. George Forbes, who died before his father, but 
married Anna Butter, with issue — an only son, George 
Edmonstone Macleod, now head of the house. 

4. Jane Alicia, who married Dr. James Innes, of the 
H.E.I.C.S., with issue — James John Macleod Innes, Lieu- 
tenant-General, Royal Engineers, V.C., who served in the 
Defence of Lucknow and throughout the Mutiny in 1857. 
He married Lucy Jane, daughter of Dr. Hugh Mac- 
pherson, Professor of Greek, and sub-Principal of King's 
College, Aberdeen, with issue — (1) James Edgeworth 
Innes. He was in the Indian Civil Service and died" in 
India. (2) Hugh Macleod Innes ; (3) Arthur Donald 
Innes ; and (4) Alicia Sibella Innes. Dr. Innes had<&o 
three daughters — Henrietta Georgina Forbes, who married 
the Rev. Alexander Luke, with issue ; Margaret Clunes, 
who died unmarried ; and Elinor Caroline Pemberton, who 
married Dr. Barclay Scriven, without issue. 

5. Henrietta Peach, who married Captain Robert B. 
Pemberton, with issue — Colonel Robert Charles B. Pem- 
berton, Royal Engineers, who served at the sieges of 


Delhi and Lucknow, and has been twice married with 
issue — two sons and three daughters ; John Macleod 
Pemberton, who died in India, unmarried ; Duncan Scott 
Pemberton, Colonel, Royal Artillery, married and died in 
India, with issue ; Sholto Edmonstone Pemberton, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, Royal Artillery, married, with issue ; and 
a daughter, Henrietta Peach Pemberton, who married Sir 
George Udny Yule, K.C.S.I., with issue. 

6. Margaret, who married John Abraham Francis Haw- 
kins, with issue — two sons, John, who died young, and 
Robert Macleod, married, with issue. 

Duncan Macleod was succeeded as representative of the 
family by his only surviving son, 

XVIII. Sir Donald Friel Macleod, K.C.S.I., and 
C.B., of the Bengal Civil Service. He was Financial Com- 
missioner of the Punjaub during the Indian Mutiny in 1857, 
and afterwards Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjaub. He 
married Frances, daughter of Sir Robert Montgomery, 
without issue. He was killed in a railway accident in 
London in 1872, when he was succeeded as head of the 
house of Assynt and Geanies by his nephew, the only 
son of his deceased brother, George Forbes, 

XIX. George Edmonstone Macleod, sixth and pre- 
sent representative of the family. He was born in 1850, 
and is in the Indian Civil Service, being a Deputy-Com- 
missioner in Assam, Bengal. He married Cara, daughter 
of Admiral Walcot, with issue, two sons and one daughter — 

1. Donald. 

2. George Sholto. 

3. Mona. 


THE Macleods of Cadboll are descended from Donald 
Ban Mor, IX. of Assynt, who was twice married ; first, 
to Marian, daughter of Donald, first Lord Reay, with 
issue — from whom the direct main line, which terminated 
in Neil Macleod, XI. of Assynt, so notorious in connection 
with the betrayal of Montrose, and who died without 
issue towards the end of the seventeenth century. There 
is therefore not a drop of the blood of Neil, the betrayer 
of Montrose, in the veins of the Macleods of Cadboll — a 
fact which, we should think, they have no reason, and are 
not at all likely, to regret. 

Donald Ban Mor, IX. of Assynt, married, as his second 
wife, Christian, daughter of Nicolas Ross of Pitcalnie, with 
issue — 

i. Donald, who died without issue. 

2. Hugh Macleod, I. of Cambuscurry, progenitor of the 
Macleods of Cadboll. Hugh married Christian, daughter 
of Walter Ross of Invercharron, with issue, three sons — 

i. Roderick Macleod, II. of Cambuscurry, who married 
a daughter of Hugh Munro of Newmore, with issue — 
(i) ^neas, who married Janet, daughter of Alexander 
Mackenzie, VII. of Davochmaluag, with issue — an only 
daughter, Mary, who married John Urquhart of Mount 
Eagle. (2) George, who died unmarried. Roderick had 
also four daughters. It will thus be seen that, on the 
death, in 1729, of Roderick's son ^Eneas, without male 
issue, and of his second son, George, unmarried, the repre- 
sentation of the family devolved, as heir of entail, upon 
their uncle, the second son of Hugh, I. of Cambuscurry, 

I. ^Eneas Macleod, first of Cadboll and Cambuscurry. 


He went to Edinburgh ; adopted the profession of the law, 
and became Town Clerk of Edinburgh. About 1680, he 
purchased the estate of Cadboll from the Earl of Cromarty. 
He represented the county of Cromarty in the Scottish 
Parliament from 1703 to 1707, and was one of the Scottish 
members who signed the Treaty of Union with England. 
He married Margaret, eldest daughter of Sir Kenneth 
Mackenzie, first Baronet, and IV. of ScatwelL After 
Cadboll's death, she married, as her second husband, 
Roderick Mackenzie, IV. of Applecross, with issue — an 
only daughter, Lilias, who married Alexander Chisholm 
of Chisholm. 

By his wife, Margaret Mackenzie of Scatwell, ^Eneas 
Macleod had issue — 

1. Roderick, his heir and successor. 

2. George, who died without issue. 

3. Hugh, who also died without issue. 

4. Frances, who married Hugh Rose of Clava. 
JEneas Macleod was succeeded by his eldest son, 

II. Roderick Macleod, second of Cadboll. He took 
part in the Rising of 1745, but the estate was preserved 
to the family through the influence of the Earl of Suther- 
land, on condition, however, that Cadboll should for a 
time live abroad. Possessing a literary taste, he accumu- 
lated a very extensive library while away, and on being 
allowed to return home he brought it to Cadboll, where 
he built four rooms, entirely constructed of stone, to hold it. 
He registered arms in the Lyon office about 1730. He 
married in 175 1, his cousin Lilias, daughter of William 
Mackenzie, III. of Belmaduthy (by his second wife, 
Elizabeth, daughterof Sir Kenneth Mackenzie, IV. of Scat- 
well), with issue — 

1. Robert Bruce JEneas, his heir and successor. 

2. Margaret. 

He died in 1770, when he was succeeded by his only son, 

III. Robert Bruce ^Eneas Macleod, third of Cad- 
boll. He was born on the 23rd of January, 1764, and 
was then only six years old when his father died. He 


was educated at Eton. About 1780, his trustees bought 
Invergordon Castle, formerly called Inverbreakie, and built 
by Sir William Gordon. The library collected by Roderick 
Macleod was removed from Cadboll to the Castle, but 
the latter was burnt down in 1805, and the whole of the 
books were destroyed, along with a large and valuable 
collection of Indian curiosities and silver plate, which 
Roderick Macleod inherited from a relative who had 
been captain of an East India merchant ship. On 
the 23rd of July, 1784, he registered arms differing con- 
siderably from that registered by his father. In 1790, he 
contested Sutherlandshire, and, from 1807 to 18 12, he 
represented the county of Cromarty in Parliament. From 
1794 to 1833, he was the first Lord-Lieutenant of that 
county. On the 27th of July, 1784, he married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Captain Alexander Macleod of Harris, and VI. 
of Bernera, with issue — 

1. Roderick, his heir and successor. 

2. Sophia, who died unmarried. 

3. Elizabeth Letitia, who died unmarried. 

He died in . 1844, and was succeeded by his only son, 
IV. Roderick Macleod, fourth of Cadboll, born in 
1786. He was called to the Scottish Bar in 18 10. He 
represented the county of Cromarty in Parliament from 
18 18 to 1820, and Sutherlandshire from 183 1 to 1837. In 
the latter year he was elected for the Inverness Burghs, 
and continued to represent that constituency until he 
resigned, on the 4th of March, 1840. He was Lord- 
Lieutenant of the county of Cromarty from 1833 until 
his death, and Deputy-Lieutenant of Ross-shire. 

He married, in 18 13, Isabella, youngest daughter of 
William Cunninghame of Lainshaw, Ayrshire (she died on 
15th December, 1878), with issue — 

1. Robert Bruce ^Eneas, his heir and successor. 

2. Henry Dunning Macleod, M.A. of Trinity College, 
Cambridge, Barrister-at-Law. He was born on the 31st 
of March, 1821, and was educated at Eton, and Cambridge 
University, where, at Trinity College, he graduated in 


mathematical honours in 1843. He is a distinguished 
writer on Political Economy, having - devoted himself 
especially to that science as it affects Banking and 
Finance. In 1855 appeared his first work, The Theory and 
Practice of Banking. In 1858 this was followed by his 
Elements of Political Economy; and, in 1875, he published 
an enlarged and improved edition of this work, under the 
title of The Principles of Economical Philosophy, a work of 
which M. Michel Chevalier, by far the most distinguished 
Professor of Political Economy in Europe, wrote that it 
served him " as the guide to all the Philosophy of his 
teaching in the College de France." In 1863 he issued 
a Dictionary of Political Economy. In 1867 the Royal 
Commission, composed, among others, of Lord Chancellor 
Cranworth, Lord Cairns, Lord Westbury, Lord Selborne, 
Lord Hatherley, and Lord Penzance, issued by the Govern- 
ment to prepare a Digest of the Law, did Mr. Macleod 
the distinguished honour of chosing him, after a keen 
competition among the leading members of the English 
Bar, to prepare the Digest of the Law of Bills of Exchange. 
In 1876 he published The Elements of Banking. In 1878 
appeared his Economics for Beginners. These and other 
learned works secured the commendations of all the leading 
legal, political economy, and philosophical authorities of his 
time, and have obtained for their author a world wide repu- 
tation as one of the ablest and very highest authorities on 
the subjects with which they deal ; and some of them 
have been translated into Russian, French, and other 
European languages. Mr. Maclead is an Honorary Mem- 
ber of the Juridical Society of Palermo ; and of the Sicilian 
Society of Political Economy ; Corresponding Member of 
the Political Economy Society of Paris ; and of the Royal 
Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation of Madrid. He 
married on the 18th of August, 1853, Elizabeth Mackenzie 
(who died on the 14th of August, 1885), daughter of 
H. J. Cameron, formerly Provost of Dingwall, with issue — 
(1) Roderick Henry, born on the 27th of June, 1854. 
He came out third in the Indian Civil Service Examina- 


tion, and is now Magistrate and Collector in the North 
West Provinces of Bengal. (2) Henry C. Crichton, a 
clergyman, born on the 20th of June, 1857, He was 
educated at Christ Hospital and gained a Scholarship 
at Balliol College, Oxford. (3) Keith William Bruce, born 
on the 30th of October, 1865. In 1888, he gained a 
place by open competition in the Ceylon Civil Servjce. 
(4) Liebe, Principal Clerk in the Postal Order Depart- 
ment of the Post Office. (5) Mary ; (6) Elizabeth, who 
married Frank Lauder, Collector and Magistrate in the 
Straits Settlements; and (7) Lilias, who died unmarried. 

3. Margaret, who married the Baron de Virte de Rath- 
samhausen of Ripafratta, near Pisa, Italy, and inherited 
Sandridge Park, Devon, under the will of her uncle, Lord 

4. Elizabeth, residing in Florence, Italy, unmarried. 

5. Anna Maria, who married John Wilson of Seacroft 
Hall, Leeds, Yorkshire, with issue. 

Roderick died on the 13th of March, 1853, when he 
was succeeded by his eldest son, 

V. Robert Bruce ^Eneas Macleod, fifth of Cadboll, 
commander, Royal Navy. He was also Deputy-Lieutenant 
of the county of Ross, and Vice-Lieutenant of Cromarty. 
Born on the 10th of May, 18 18, he married, on the 5th 
of March, 1857, Helen Augusta, daughter of Sir John 
Pollard Willoughby, Baronet, of Baldon House, Oxford, 
with issue — 

1. Roderick Willoughby, his heir and successor. 

2. Torquil, Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. 

3. Norman Cranstoun, attending the University. 

4. Edith Eliza, who died in infancy, on the 30th ot 
April, i860. 

5. Cicely Julia. 

6. Ethel Grace, who, in 1888, married William Edward 
Thomas Bolitho, son of William Bolitho of Polwithen. 

7. Olivia Ellen. 

He died in 1888, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 

VI. Roderick Macleod, sixth and present Macleod 


of Cadboll, born on the 29th of May, 1858. He is a 
Captain in the 79th Regiment, Queen's Own Cameron 
Highlanders, and is at present Adjutant of that regiment 
at Inverness. 


It has been found impossible to trace the descent of 
this distinguished modern family from any of the Chiefs 
of Macleod or to show their original connection with any 
of the leading branches of the family. Its members have, 
however, made for themselves a place, not only in the 
history of the Clan, but in the annals of their country, 
second to no other family of the name. Several of them 
have distinguished themselves in literature, in science, and 
in the Church. And this has been fully acknowledged 
by the Sovereign, by the Universities, and by other 
learned institutions throughout the country, in the number 
of Royal favours, honours, and academic distinctions, which 
have been so suitably and deservedly conferred upon many 
of the Macleods of Morven. 

The first of the family of whom we can find any trace 
was Donald Macleod, tacksman of Swordale, in the parish 
of Duirinish, Isle of Skye, and armourer to Norman Mac- 
leod, XIX. of Macleod. According to the current tradition 
among his descendants, Donald came to Skye from the 
Black Isle, where he was born early in the seventeenth 
century. The general idea in Skye is that his ancestors 
came originally from Assynt, and this is likely enough, 
when it is kept in mind how closely connected with that 
district was the Earl of Cromarty of Donald's time, and 
his lordship's connection by marriage with the Macleods 
of Dunvegan. On the other hand, it is equally probable 
that Donald's father may have accompanied the young 
Chief of Macleod and his mother to the Black Isle, where 
Norman, XIX. of Macleod, is said to have spent a con- 
siderable period of his minority, and that the son may 



have returned with him to Dunvegan when he became 
of age and took possession of the patrimonial estates in 
Skye and Harris, in which he was infeft in 173 1 and 1732. 
[See pp. 122-123]. 

Norman Macleod's connection with and residence in 
the Black Isle came about thus. Norman Macleod, XVIII. 
of Macleod, married Anne Fraser, second daughter of 
Hugh, eleventh Lord Lovat. He died soon after ; Nor- 
man, XIX. of Macleod, his only child, being born after his 
father's death. The widow married, as her second husband, 
Peter Fotheringham of Powrie, and, as her third husband, 
John, second Earl of Cromarty. It is said that her son 
Norman, XIX. of Macleod, resided with her first husband, 
at Powrie, and afterwards at Cromarty, during his minority. 
In these circumstances, the probabilities are that Donald 
Macleod's father may have followed mother and son to 
the Black Isle, and that Donald, who was so proficient 
in- his business of smith and sword-maker, accompanied 
his Chief to Skye when Norman succeeded to his estates. 
Donald then got a tack of Swordale, or, as it is sometimes 
called, " Swordland," a most appropriate name for a farm 
tenanted by Macleod's armourer and sword-maker. In 
addition to his duties as armourer, Macleod, who is still 
spoken of in Skye as " An Gobhainn Mor " — descriptive 
of his size, as well as of his position in his profession — 
was appointed manager of several of his Chief's farms in 
Skye and Harris. 

On the evening of the 20th of August, 1745, the day 
on which Prince Charles unfurled his standard at Glen- 
finnan, several gentlemen of the name of Macleod arrived 
upon the scene and offered their services, according to 
Chambers [p. 437], " expressing great indignation at the 
defection of their Chief, and proposing to return to Skye 
and raise all the men they could." CanTeron, in his 
History and Traditions of the Isle of Skye, p. 100, sum- 
marises this paragraph, and adds — " Macleod of Swordland 
engaging to take the fort of Bernera in Glenelg and to 
bring a hundred men to the assistance of Charles, an 


engagement he was not able to perform," with all the 
influence of his Chief against him. 

Donald Macleod, of Swordale, had a brother Neil, a 
minister, who, in 1747, through the influence of Norman, 
XIX. of Macleod, and President Forbes of Culloden, was 
favoured by the Duke of Gordon for the parish of Laggan. 
The Rev. Mr. Neil was Macleod's Chaplain to the Forces 
during the Rising of 1745. On the 18th of December, 
1746, Macleod writes from London to President Forbes 
asking his influence in favour of the reverend gentleman's 
appointment to this parish. " You may remember," 
the writer says, " he was of the Church Militant, 
and attended me in my expedition eastward, and stayed 
with the men constantly till they were sent home, and 
preached sound doctrine, and really was zealous and 
serviceable." Neil was not successful. The " Call " in 
his favour was only signed by four persons, two of whom 
were reputed papists, and the Presbytery unanimously 
declined to sustain it. He, however, continued for some 
time as an itinerant preacher in the parish, and died 
in 1780. He married and had issue (besides a daughter 
Mary, who lived at Tobermory until 1852), a son, 
Alexander Macleod, who also became a minister, and, 
in 1792, emigrated to New York, where he died in 1833. 
Alexander was also married, and had a son — the Rev. 
John Neil Macleod, D.D., for many years a well-known 
Presbyterian minister in New York, where he was still 
alive in 1852. 

During Donald's official visits to Harris he became ac- 
quainted with, and afterwards married, Anne, daughter of 
Kenneth Campbell, of Scalpa, and sister of Colonel Donald 
Campbell, of the H.E.I.C.S., subsequently proprietor of 
Glensaddell, Kintyre. Another brother of Donald's wife 
was John Campbell, father of the Rev. Donald Campbell, 
D.D., minister of Kilninver, whose son, by Mary, daughter 
of John Macleod, X. of Raasay, was the Rev. John Mac- 
leod Campbell, D.D., so well known as the subject of 
the Row Heresy Case. 


By Anne Campbell of Scalpa, Donald had issue — 

1. Norman, who carried on the representation of the 

2. John, who died young - , unmarried. 

3. Donald, of the H.E.I.C.S., who died without issue. 

4. Kenneth, who married Margaret, eldest daughter ot 
Dr. Murdoch Macleod, of Eyre, with issue — the Rev. 
Norman Macleod, late Free Church minister of North 
Uist, who married Julia, daughter of Dr. Alexander Mac- 
leod, the Doctor Ban of North Uist, with issue — a family 
of twelve children. [See MACLEODS OF Eyre.] 

5. Mary, who married the Rev. Malcolm Macleod, 
minister of Snizort, with issue. [See MACLEODS OF 
RAASAY, p. 374.] 

6. Margaret, who married Hector Maclean, tacksman 
of Vatten (who died on the 17th July, 178 1), with issue. 

Donald Macleod was succeeded, as representative of the 
family, by his eldest son, 

II. The Rev. Norman Macleod, who was born in 
1745. He spent most of his earlier years with his mother's 
relations in Scalpa, and in 1760, at the age of fifteen, he 
proceeded to the University of Aberdeen, where he was 
placed under the care of Roderick Macleod, Professor of 
Philosophy, and afterwards Principal of King's College, in 
that city. [See MACLEODS OF TALISKER, p. 232.] After 
completing his Arts course in Aberdeen, Norman entered 
the Divinity Hall, Edinburgh. He was for some time 
Tutor to General Norman, XX. of Macleod, who, at the 
age of eighteen, succeeded to the family estates on the 
death of his grandfather in 1772. On the 21st of April^ 
1771, he was licensed as a minister of the Gospel by the 
Presbytery of Skye. On the recommendation of his uncle, 
Colonel Donald Campbell of Glensaddel, he was afterwards 
presented by the Duke of Argyll to the parish of Morven, 
of which he was duly ordained minister on the 23rd of 
November, 1775. 

On the 22nd of July, 1777, he married Jean, daughter 
of John Morrison of Achnaba, Morven, son of the Rev. 
William Morrison, Chaplain to the Duchess of Argyll, by 


his wife, Jessie Cameron of Glendessaray. John Morrison's 
wife, Mrs. Macleod's mother, was Jessie, daughter of John 
Campbell, of Barnicarry, by his wife, Grace, daughter of 
MacNeil of Colonsay. By this lady, Norman Macleod 
had sixteen children, of whom only three married, and two 
left issue — 

1. Donald, born 27th February, 1782, and died young. 

2. Norman, the future " Caraid nan Gaidheal," and of 
whom presently. 

3. Donald, born 28th of January, 1798, and died un- 

4. The Rev. Dr. John Macleod, who succeeded his father 
as minister of Morven. He was born on the 31st of 
March, 180 1, and was educated at Campbelton, and Glas- 
gow University. On the 5th of November, 1823, he 
was licensed for the ministry by the Presbytery of Mull, 
and, on the death of his father, in April, 1824, was pre- 
sented by George William, Duke of Argyll, to the parish 
of Morven, of which he was ordained minister on the 9th 
of September in that year, as his father's successor. In 
September, 1842, he was appointed clerk to the Synod 
of Argyle ; and, on the 19th of February, 1845, the Uni- 
versity of Glasgow, his Alma Mater, conferred upon him 
the degree of D.D. In the same year he was appointed, 
along with his distinguished nephew, the Rev. Dr. Norman 
Macleod, of the Barony Parish, Glasgow, and several others, 
to visit the churches in the British North American 
colonies. For the manner in which they performed their 
duty on this occasion, they received the thanks of the 
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May 
1846. On the 27th of May, 185 1, John was elected Moder- 
ator of the General Assembly. He was also appointed 
Dean of the Most Noble Order of the Thistle, and Dean 
of the Chapel-Royal. He contributed extensively to his 
brother Norman's Gaelic periodicals — some indeed of the 
best " Comhradhs " that appeared in them. He was the 
tallest man we ever saw — about six feet seven inches — 
with a powerful athletic frame. Of all the Gaelic preachers 


we have ever heard, he was the purest and most idiomatic 
speaker — not a single word nor a trace of English idiom 
to mar his intellectual and rhetorical gifts, as we on one 
occasion closely listened to, his powerful and moving 
eloquence, in his small church, amid the scene of the 
evicting desolations, which he regretted so much, at Loch- 

Dr. John married, in 1834, Margaret, daughter of Donald 
Maclean of Borreray and Drimnin (by his wife, Jessie, 
daughter of the famous Donald Macleod of Bernera, by 
his third wife, Margaret Macleod of Greshornish), with 
issue — (1) the Rev. Norman Macleod, minister of St. 
Stephen's Parish Church, Edinburgh, who married Helen 
Augusta, daughter of John Colquhoun of Luss, without 
issue. (2) The Rev. John Macleod, D.D., minister of 
Govan, Glasgow, who married Alexa, daughter of General 
Duncan Macpherson, of Burgie, with issue — John Norman ; 
Duncan Archibald ; William Arthur ; Charles Patrick ; 
Norman Augustus ; Alexa Evelyn ; and Margaret Eleanor. 
(3) Jessie Ann ; and (4) Jane Mary, both of whom pre- 
deceased their father, unmarried. The Rev. Dr. John of 
Morven died in 1882 ; the combined ministry of the 
father and son in that one parish extending over the 
exfraordinary period of 105 years. 

5. Jane, who married John Neil Argyll Maxwell, son of 
James Maxwell, of Aros, Mull, without issue. 

Norman's other daughters were, Ann, Janet, Ann, 
Margaret, Grace, Archie, Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Janet, 
Catherine, and Archie. 

The Rev. Norman died at Morven on the 5th of March, 
1824, after a ministry of forty-nine years. The Scots 
Magazine has the following obituary notice of him : — "At 
the manse of Morven, on the 5th of March, the Rev. 
Norman Macleod, minister of that parish. The memory 
of this excellent man will long be held in fond rememb- 
rance. Revered and beloved by his heritors and parishioners 
during the long course of his ministry among them, uni- 
versally respected by a wide circle of acquaintances, and 


endeared to all who knew him by his many amiable virtues, 
he died very generally and deeply lamented in the 8oth 
year of his age, and 50th of his ministry, 1824." 

He was succeeded, as minister of the parish, by his 
second surviving son, the Rev. Dr. John Macleod of 
Morven, and as representative of the family by his eldest 
surviving son, 

III. The Rev. Norman Macleod, born on the 2nd 
of December, 1783. During the summer of 1799 he paid 
a three months' visit to his Chief, General Macleod, XX. 
of Macleod, his father's former pupil, on which occasion 
was fulfilled " Coinneach Odhar's " famous prediction, given 
at length, with the details of the manner of its fulfilment, 
in Dr. Macleod's own words, under The MACLEODS OF 
DUNVEGAN, at pp. 112-114. In November following, in 
the sixteenth year of his age, he went to the University 
of GLasgow, and in 1804 entered the Edinburgh Divinity 
Hall. In 1806, he was licensed by the Presbytery of Mull, 
and was soon after appointed Assistant in the parish of 
Kilbrandon. In June, 1808, he was ordained to the first 
charge of Campbelton, where he continued until 1825, 
when he was translated to the Parish Church of Campsie, 
near Glasgow. In 1836 he was elected minister of the 
Gaelic Church of St. Columba, Glasgow, and in the same 
year was made a D.D., and chosen Moderator of the 
General Assembly. He was also appointed Dean of the 
Chapel Royal, and one of Her Majesty's Chaplains, in 
which capacity he preached before the Queen and the 
Prince Consort at Blair-Athole, during their visit to Scot- 
land in 1842. 

It is, however, in connection with his various Gaelic 
publications that the Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod, of Campsie, 
and St. Columba, became so endeared to, and that his 
memory will ever continue green among Highlanders all 
over the world. His first appearance in this way was in 
his Gaelic "Collection" for use in Highland schools. Then 
followed Leabhar nan Cnoc, or the The Mountain Sketch 
Book, containing some of the most amusing and at the 


same time instructive reading in the Gaelic language. In 
1829 he started A?i Teachdaire Gaelach, or the Highland 
Messenger, which continued for two years. In 1840 he 
issued Citairtear nan Gleann, which lasted for two years 
and seven months. He afterwards contributed articles to 
Feat TagJiaich nam Beann, started in 1848, by his son- 
in-law, the late Archibald Clerk, LL.D., minister of 
Kilmallie. By his articles and inimitable translations in 
these monthly periodicals, he made a name for himself in 
Gaelic literature, which will never be forgotten so long a s 
that language is read or studied. In addition to what may 
be described more particularly as his Gaelic literary labours, 
the Rev. Norman had a hand in the preparation of the 
Lexicon so well-known as Macleod and Dewar's Gaelic 
and English Dictionary, and his name appears on the title- 
page as one of its editors. He also prepared a metrical 
version of the Psalms of David for the use of the Protestant 
Church of Ireland, in which he had the assistance of that 
distinguished Irish scholar, Thaddeus Connellan ; and, when 
the work was completed, it was dedicated, by His Majesty's 
special permission, to William IV., and was cordially 
received by the highest ecclesiastical authorities and the 
most erudite Celtic scholars, both in the English and 
Irish Churches. 

During the famine of 1836-37, he visited England, and 
addressed several large and influential meetings in the 
principal towns most successfully, for the purpose of 
creating an interest in, and securing support for, his 
famishing countrymen. In 1847, while another famine, 
in consequence of the potato disease, was raging in the 
Highlands, he was deputed by the General Assembly 
of the Church of Scotland, along with his brother, the 
Rev. Dr. John Macleod, minister of Morven, and the Rev. 
William Ross, Tobermory, to visit Skye and the Outer 
Hebrides, to inquire into the unsatisfactory spiritual state 
of the adherents of the Church of Scotland in those dis- 
tricts, brought about in consequence of the Disruption. 

The Rev. Dr. Norman, who had secured for himself 


the enviable sobriquet of " Caraid nan Gaidheal," — pre- 
eminently "The Highlanders' Friend," married, on the 
2nd of April, 181 1, Agnes, daughter of James Maxwell, 
Aros, Mull, chamberlain to the Duke of Argyll, with issue, 
eleven children — 

1. Norman, afterwards of the Barony Church, Glasgow. 

2. James Maxwell Macleod, who died in 1833, in his 
eighteenth year. 

3. John Neil Argyll Maxwell Macleod, born on the 29th 
of October, 1820. He married, first, Anne Irvine, daughter 
of Admiral Campbell of Barbreck, with issue — (1) Isabella 
Campbell, who married John Macleod Campbell of the 
Bombay Civil Service, second son of the Rev. Dr. John 
Macleod Campbell, of Row, with issue — John, and Anne. 
(2) Agnes Hamilton Maxwell, unmarried. He married, 
secondly, in 1880, Leila, daughter of the late James Robert 
Dennistoun, Glasgow, without issue. He was a banker for 
several years at Kirkcaldy, and is now proprietor of Glen- 
saddell, Kintyre. 

4. Sir George Husband Baird Macleod, M.D., born on 
the 2 1st of September, 1828. He is Regius Professor of 
Surgery in the University of Glasgow, and Surgeon to 
the Queen in Scotland. He received the honour of 
knighthood on the occasion of Her Majesty's Jubilee in 
1888. He married, in 1859, Sophia, daughter of Henry 
Houldsworth, merchant, Glasgow, with issue — (1) Norman 
Maxwell, born in 1861 ; (2) William Houldsworth, born in 
t863 ; (3) James Torquil Magnus, born in 1874; (4) 
George Ranald, born in 1883 ; (5) Mary Trueman ; and 
(6) Sophia Helen. 

5. The Rev. Donald Macleod, D.D., minister of Park 
Parish Church, Glasgow, and one of the Queen's Chaplains 
for Scotland. He was born on the 18th of March, 183 1. 
He is the author of the life of his brother, the late Rev. 
Dr. Norman, of the Barony Parish ; and has, since the 
death of that brother in 1872, edited Good Words. 
He married, in 1868, Isabella, daughter of James Ander- 
son, Port-Glasgow, with issue — (1) Norman, born in 1872 ; 


(2) Donald; (3) James; (4) Kenneth Olaus; and (5) Agnes. 

6. Jessie, who married the late Archibald Clerk, L.L.D., 
minister of Kilmallie, with issue — (1) Norman, M.D., 
Rothesay ; (2) Agnes, who married John Robertson, of 
Golden Grove, Adelaide, without issue. (3) Margaret 
Carmichael ; (4) Jessie, who married C. Cunningham Glass, 
St. Andrews ; (5) Grace, who married the Rev. Alister 
Cameron, minister of Sleat ; (6) Annie ; and (7) Jane. 

7. Jean Morrison, who died unmarried in 1886. 

8. Mary, who died in 1836, in her eighteenth year. 

9. Anne Elizabeth who died in 1840, in her eighteenth 

10. Grace Morrison, now residing at Row, Dumbarton- 
shire, unmarried. 

n. Robina Catherine, also residing at Row, unmarried. 

Dr. Norman, " Caraid nan Gaidheal," died in 1862, 
when he was succeeded, as representative of the family, 
by his even more distinguished son, 

IV. The Rev. Norman Macleod, D.D. He was 
born on the 3rd of June, 18 12, and, educated at the Uni- 
versity of Glasgow. He was first appointed minister of 
Loudon, afterwards of Dalkeith, and then of the Barony 
Parish Church, Glasgow. He had the degree of D.D. 
conferred upon him by his University, and was elected 
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of 
Scotland in 1869. He was one of Her Majesty's Chaplains, 
Dean of the Chapel-Royal, and Dean of the Most Ancient 
and Most Noble Order of the Thistle. For full particulars 
of his noble life and ministry, and of his literary labours, we 
must refer the reader to his Life, written by his brother, 
Dr. Donald, the present editor of Good Words, a periodical 
of which he was himself the first editor, and continued to 
to be so until his death. 

He married, in 185 1, Catherine Anne, daughter ot 
William Mackintosh of Geddes, Inverness-shire, with 
issue — 

1. Norman, who married Jessie, daughter of Hugh 
Gifford, Liverpool, with issue — Norman, Eric, and Norma. 


He went into commercial life in Liverpool in 1868, and 
afterwards emigrated to America. 

2. John Mackintosh, who, on the 4th of January, 
1888, married Edith, daughter of the late Joshua Fielden, 
of Redhill, Surrey. 

3. William Mackintosh. 

4. Jane. 

5. Annie Catherine, who, in October, 1888, married 
James Wilson, of the Bengal Civil Service. 

6. Agnes Mackintosh, 

7. Mary. 

8. Elizabeth. 

Dr. Norman Macleod of the Barony, died in 1872, and 
was buried at Campsie. 


— :o: — 

Achnafala, Battle of, 22 

Ailean, Nan Sop : 16 

Albany, Duke of, 293 

Alexander II., 5 

Alexander III., 6, 283-4, 287 

Anderson, Alex., of Newstead, Australia; his marriage, 154 

Angus, Earl of, 19-20 

Anne, Queen, 125 

Anstruther, Sir James, 63, 307 

Argyll, Earl of, 15, 24, 28, 36-9, 41-3, 53-5, 56 (n), 66, 70-2, 290, 292, 

Armorial Bearings — 

Macleods of Dunvegan, 186 

Macleods of Harris, 10 

Macleods of Lewis, 10 

Macleods of Raasay, 390 
Armstrong, William, of Kershope ; his marriage and issue, 393-4 
Aros Castle, 73 

Arran, Earl of, 27, 38, 295-7, 299 (n) 
Athole, Marquis or Earl of, 122, 297 

Balmerino, James, Lord, 315-7, 336-7 

Bane, Alexander, of Tulloch, 352-5, 363, 365 

Bane, Duncan, of Tulloch ; his marriage, 338 

Bannockburn, Battle of, 11 

Bayne, Clan, 355-6 

Ben-a-Chuilinn, Battle of, 66, 70-1 . 

Berchame, Sir Nichol, presented to Kilmaluag, 344-5 

Bethune, Angus, of Dun-Eillinish, 188 

Bisset, Lord John, 10-286 

Blackness Castle, 74, 420- 1 

Blar-milleadh-garaidh, 47-52 

Blar-nan-leine, 28 

index. 445 

Bloody Bay, Battle of, 14-5 ; 289 

Bolitho, William E. T. ; his marriage, 431 

Boyne, Battle of the, 208 

Brahan Castle, 343 

Breadalbane, Marquis of, 154 

Brereton, General John A.; his marriage and issue, 226 

Brochel Castle, 345-349 

Brook, Langford, ot Mere Hall ; marriages and issue, 221-2 

Buchan, Alexander, Earl of, 285 

Bute, John, Marquis of ; his marriage and issue, 383 

Cairnburgh Castle, 18, 56, (n.) 

Caithness, Earl of, 351 

Cameron, Clan, 88, 322 

Cameron, Allan, XVI. of Lochiel, 88 

Cameron, Duncan, of Inverailort ; his marriage and issue, 226 

Cameron, Sir Ewen, of Lochiel ; his marriage, 92 ; at Dunvegan Castle, 101, 
229 ; forfeited for aiding Donald Dubh of the Isles, 291 

Cameron, Sir Roderick W. , New York, 264 

Camerons of Lochiel, 142 

Campbell, Clan; alleged common ancestry with the Macleods, 2 ; claim the 
estates of Macleod for Mary, daughter of William, IX. of Duns 
vegan, 30, 33 ; their envoys murdered at Kilmuir, 34 ; their chief- 
intermediate between Maclean of Duart and Macdonald of Islay, 55 

Campbell of Ensay, 113, 253, 258, 281 

Campbell of Glendaruel, 100 

Campbell of Lundy, 72, 325 

Campbell of Strond, 204-5, 2 °8, 2 54 

Campbell, Archibald, yr. of Achandarroch, 183 

Campbell, Sir Donald, of Ardnamurchan, 98 

Campbell, Rev. Dr. Donald, Kilninver ; his marriage and descendants, 387-8 

Campbell, Duncan, yr. of Auchinbreck ; his marriage, 38, 43 

Campbell, Sir Duncan, of Lochnell, 116 

Campbell, Sir George, of Lawers, 104 

Campbell, Sir James, of Auchinbreck, 115 

Campbell, Sir James, of Lawers, 100 

Campbell, Sir John, of Ardnamurchan ; his marriage and issue, 390 

Campbell, John, Bishop of the Isles, 301 

Campbell, Rev. Dr, John Macleod, 387 ; his marriage and descendants, 388 

Campbell, John, of Glensaddel ; his marriage and issue, 183 

Campbell, John, of Kildalloig, 154 

Carinish, Battle of, 65, 67-70, 215 

Cassillis, Gilbert, Earl of, 28 

Charles I., 96, 409 

Charles II., 100-2, 228-31, 240-3, 413 

Charles Edward, Prince, 128-34, r 39"42, 158, 210, 234-5, 249-50, 371-3, 
375-7, 39i, 396, 434-5 

Chisholm of Strathglass, 30, 188, 201-2, 214 


Chisholm, Dr. Stewart ; his marriage and issue, 385 

Clan-Mac-Mhic-Alastair Ruaidh, 13 

Clan-Mac-Mhic Uilleam, 13 

Clerk, Dr. Archibald, Kilmallie ; his marriage and issue, 440, 442 

Colbert, Charles, Marquis of Seignelay, 92, 300-1, 338 

Colquhoun, Ludovick, of Luss, 124 

Cope, Sir John, 135 

Cotton, Horace P., of Quex's Park ; his marriage, 233 

Cromarty, Earl of, 116, 122, 135, 142 

Cromwell, Oliver, 100-2, 228, 230, 240 

Crum, William G., of Thornliebank ; his marriage and issue, 388 

Culloden, Batde of, 143, 210, 218, 234-5, 2 5^> 37 2 > 377» 39 1 * 39^- 

Cuthberts of Castlehill, 92, 300, 338, 405 

David II., 9, 11, 285-7, 398 

De Rathsamhausen, Baron de Virte, of Ripafratta ; his marriage, 431 

Dingwall Castle, 10, 286 

Donald of the Isles, 10, 14, 286 

Donald Dubh of the Isles, 17, 23, 290-1, 296 

Donald Galda of Lochalsh, 18, 22, 293, 344 

Douglas, Earl of, 14,, 201 215 

Douglas, Sir Robert, of Glenbervie ; his marriage, 265 

Dounie Castle, 134 

D'Oyley, Sir Charles ; his marriage, 385 

Dumbarton Castle, 74 

Dundee, Viscount, 100, 108-10 

Dunskaich Castle, 18 

Duntulm Castle, 206, 368 

Dunvegan Castle, 6, 15, 24, 29, 32-5, 45, 48-9, 71-2, 90, 101, 105-6, 108, 

1 12-3, 116, 129, 143, 147-8, 155, 157-61, 163, 183-4, 201, 203-4, 

229-30, 237-8, 243, 289 

Edinburgh Castle, 311, 314, 324 

Edward Balliol, 285 

Eigg, massacre of, 25 j 44-7 

Eilandonain Castle, 22, 295, 298 

Eilantyrim Castle, 85 

Frskine, James, of Linlathen ; his marriage and issue, 389 

Fairlie, James Ogilvie, of Williamfield ; his marriage and issue, 183 

Fairy Flag, unfurled at the battle of Waternish, 48, and at Blar-milleadh- 

garaidh, 51, exhibited for the last time, when an old prediction was 

curiously fulfilled, 113 
Falkirk, Battle of, 140, 209 
Farquhar, Bishop of the Isles, 344 

Farquharson, Dr. Thomas, of Howden ; his marriage and descendants, 423 
Ferguson, Dr. Robert; his marriage and issue, 183 
Fife Adventurers, 73, 82, 307-17, 321, 332-6 
Finlayson, Rev. John, Bracadale; his marriage, 375 

index. 447 

Flodden, Battle of, iS 

Forbes, Duncan and John, of Culloden, 123-5, 128-9, I 3 I -6 ) 138, 143-6, 234, 

422, 435 
Fotheringham of Powrie, 122, 149 
Fraser, Clan, 120, 132-3, 135 
Fraser Highlanders (71st Regiment), 166 
Fraser of Glenelg, 202, 214 
Fraser, Alexander, Tutor of Lovat, 99 
Fraser, James, of Achnagairn, 125, 128, 422 
Fraser, James, of Phopachy, 356 
Fraser, John, the " Lovat Claimant," Wales, 100 
Fraser, Hon. Col. Simon, of Lovat, 166 
Frasers of Lovat, 34 
" General Band," The, 57, 351 

Gilbert, Sir Walter R.: his marriage and descendants, 386 
Gillanders, Clan ; descended from Leandruis. 5 
Gillespie, Thomas, of Ardachy ; his marriage and descendants, 226 
Glenelg, Charles, Lord, 183 
Godred Crovan, King of Man, 2 
Godred the Black, 3-5 
Gordon, Duke of, 136-7, 145 

Gordon, Charles, of Greeshop ; his marriage and descendants, 225-6 
Gordon, James W. , of Cairness ; his marriage and issue, 225 
Gordon, John, of Carrol ; his marriage and issue, 422 
Gordon, Lord Lewis, 136, 139 

Gordon, Sir Robert, Tutor of Sutherland, 84, 324, 326 
Grange, Lady, abduction of, 125-7, 249 
Grant, Sir James, of Grant, 123-4, 180 (n) 
Grant, Sir John, of Freuchie, 88, 99 
Grant, Patrick, of Clunymor and Clunybeg, 99 
G.regoiy, Dr. James, Edinburgh ; his marriage and issue, 423-4 
Gunn, Clan ; descended from Guin, 5 
Gunn, Hugh, of Killearnan ; his marriage, 409 

Harlaw, Battle of, 14 

Hastings, Marquis of ; his marriage and descendants, 383-4 
Hawkins. John A. F. ; his marriage and issue, 426 
Hay, Sir Alexander, 320-1 

Hay, Colonel, of Westerton ; his marriage, 278 
Hay, David, of Westerton ; his marriage, 225 
Hay, Sir George, 81-2, 315-6, 336-7 
Head, James, of Newberries ; his marriage, 226 

Heathcote, John M., of Conington Castle ; his marriage and issue, 186 
Hill, Professor, St. Andrews ; his marriage, 154 
Home, David, yr. of Wedderburn, 63, 307 

Humberston, Lieutenant-Colonel Mackenzie, of Seaforth, 167, 170-1 
Huntly, Marquis or Earl of, 27-8, 38, 56, 66, 71, 291-2, 297, 303, 309,311, 
313-4, 322, 329. 


Ian, Clan, of Ardnamurchan, 55, 89 

Icolmkill, Abbey of, 350 

Inchconnel Castle, 290 

Innes, Lieutenant-General J. J. Macleod ; his marriage and issue, 233, 425 

Invergordon Castle, 429 

Inverury, Battle of, 139 

Isay, Massacre of, 48, 289, 341-2, 346-9 

Islay, Lord, 123 

James I., 29, 201, 340, 391 

James III., 286 

James IV., 10, 13, 15-6, 289-90, 344 ,402 

James V., 17-20, 22, 24, 36, 294-5, 345> 4°3 

James VI., 43, 54-6, 59-61, 81-3, 87-8, 291, 298, 300, 314-5, 317, 322, 346, 

349. 358, 366-7, 403 
James VII., 109-11, 208, 288 

Jania, General Wigton P.; his marriage and issue, 384 
John, Lord of the Isles, 15-6, 285-6, 288-9 
Johnson, Dr., at Dunvegan, 157-63 ; on the authenticity of Ossian, 163-5 ; 

meets Colonel Macleod of Talisker, 235 ; his visit to Raasay, 377-83 

Killecrankie, battle of, 100, 108-10, 215 

Kilmuir Church, 33, 120 

Kingsburgh House, 158, 235 

Knox, Bishop of the Isles, 74, 77, 82, 367 

Knox, Thomas, Bishop of the Isles, 359, 367 

Leirmonth, James, of Balcolmly, 63, 307, 310-1, 333 

Lennox, Duke of, 63, 295-6, 307, 309, 311 

Leod or Loyd, progenitor of the Macleods, 5-6, 284 ; his marriage and issue, 

6-7, 284 
Lewis, Island of, history of the, 284-6 
Lindores, Patrick, Commendator of, 63, 307 
Lochgarry, battle of, 101 
Lorn, Lord, 89, 96-7 
Loudon, Earl of, 135-6, 138-42, 383 
Lovat, Hugh, Lord, 10, 17, 23-4, 26, 122, 289, 291 
Lovat, Simon, Lord, 120-1, 123-5, I2 %> I 3 I_ 4i I Z&> 145-6, 272 
Lovat, Thomas, Lord, 100, 120 
Lyon-Mackenzie, Major C. ; his marriage and issue, 281 

Mairi Nighean Alastair Ruaidh, 103-5, 107, 244-5, 2 47> 37° 

Maitland, William F. , of Stanstead ; his marriage and issue, 389 

Mar, Earl of, 12, 100, 125, 301 

Martin, Dr. Donald, of Moidart ; his marriage and issue, 266, 386 

Martin, Martin, of Bealach ; his marriage and descendants, 384 

Mary, Queen of Scots, 23-4, 27-8, 35-6, 38, 40-1, 45, 202, 297, 300, 346 

Matheson, Sir Alexander, of Lochalsh ; his first marriage, 423 

INDEX. 449 

Matheson, Duncan ; his marriage and issue, 423 

Matheson, Sir James S. , of the Lewis, 423 

Moira, Francis, Earl of; his marriage and descendants, 383-4 

Monro, Sir Donald, presented to Snizort and Raasay, 345 ; his description of 

Raasay, 345 
Montrose, James, Marquis of; his betrayal, 41 1-6 
Morrison, Clan, 310, 331, 333 
Morrison, Finlay ; assists Tormod Macleod to escape the massacre of his 

relatives, 205-6 
Morrison, Hucheon, Brieve of the Lews, 299, 305, 331-2 
Morrison, Roderick, " Clarsair Dall," 105-8, 115 
Morrison, Torquil, Brieve of the Lews, 204 
Moy, Rout of, 140-3 
Munro, Clan, 355-6 
Munro of Culcairn, 136-8 
Murray, Sir William K., of Ochtertyre ; his marriage, 384 

Macaulay, Lord, 217, 251 

Macbeath, Clan, 341 

MacCaskill of Ebost, 188; murdered by Macleod of Gesto, 189 

MacCaskills of Rhundunan, 189-90 

MacCrimmon, Donald Ban, 141, 143 

MacCrimmon, Donald Mor, 71-2 

MacCrimmon, Patrick Mor, 90, 102-3, 370 

MacCrotan, Finguala, n 

Macdonald, Clan, descended from Ragnhildis, 3 ; invade Macleods lands, 13 

Macdonald, Alastair Dubh, XL of Glengarry, anecdote of, 215-6 

Macdonald, Alexander, of Balranald ; his marriage, 281, 395 

Macdonald, Alexander, of Isla, 21, 293 

Macdonald, Sir Alexander, of Sleat, 125-6, 128-34, 139 ; elegy upon, 219 ; 

his connection with the slave trade denied, 256-7 
Macdonald, Colonel Alexander, of Treaslane ; his marriage, 393, 395 
iVTacdonald, Allan, of Knock ; his marriage and issue, 252-3 
Macdonald, Angus, of Isla, 55, 57, 66, 71, 74 

Macdonald, Archibald Dubh, Captain of Sleat, 19 ; killed by his nephew, 20 
Macdonald, Charles, of Ord ; his marriage and issue, 196-7 
Macdonald, Donald Maclan Mhic Sheumais, 65, 67-70 
Macdonald, Donald, XL of Clanranald ; his marriage, 99 
Macdonald, Donald, III. of Kingsburgh ; protects Macleod of Gesto after the 

murder of MacCaskill of Ebost, 189-90 
Macdonald, Donald Gruamach, V. of Sleat, 20-1, 25, 207, 215, 293, 347; his 

marriage, 294 ; and death, 295 
Macdonald, Donald Gormeson, VI. of Sleat, 23, 39, 43, 54, 303 
Macdonald, Donald Gorm Mor, VII. of Sleat ; his marriage, 54 ; ordained 

rebel by the Privy Council, 56 ; goes to Ireland to assist Red Hugh 

O'Donell, 59-60 ; quarrels with Sir Rory Mor, 64-71 ; but is at length 

reconciled, 72 ; text of Bond of Forgiveness between him and Macleod, 

79-81, 83 



Macdonald, Sir Donald Gorm Og, of Sleat, 87-8, 93, 96 

Macdonald, Sir Donald, XIX. of Sleat, in 

Macdonald, Harry, of Treaslane ; his marriage and descendants, 393 

Macdonald, Sir James, of Isla, 23, 28, 38, 41, 84, 296, 324-6 

Macdonald, Sir James, IX. of Sleat ; his marriage, 99 

Macdonald, Sir James, XIII. of Sleat ; his marriage and issue, 265 

Macdonald, John, II. of Castleton, 216 

Macdonald, John Moydertach, of Clanranald, 27 ; his son Angus at the 

massacre of Eigg, 45 
Macdonald, John, X. of Clanranald ; his marriage, 92-3, 96 
Macdonald, Lachlan, of Skaebost, 191 ; his marriage, 197 
Macdonald, Ranald, XIII. of Clanranald, 54 

Macdonald, Ranald, XXIII. of Clanranald; his marriage and issue, 272 
Macdonald, Ranald, XXV. of Clanranald ; his marriage, 246 
Macdonald, Ranald Ban Allanson, of Moidart, obtains a lease of Trotemish, 

19 ; executed at Perth, 20 
Macdonald, Reginald, X. of Glengarry ; his marriage, 215 
Macdonalds of Benbecula, 205, 209 

Macdonalds of Clanranald, 36, 49, 51-3, 55, 57, 72-3, 89, 297, 315 
Macdonalds of Kingsburgh, 25, 215 

Macdonalds of Sleat, 19-20, 22-3, 36, 65-71, 215, 294, 297-8 
Macdonell, Angus, of Scotus; his marriage, 247, 371, 375 
Macdonell, ^Eneas, VII. of Glengarry; his marriage, 92 
Macdougall, Clan, descended from Ragnhildis, 3 
Macgregor, Rob Roy, 147-9 

Maclan, Roderick, of Camuscross ; his marriage, 216 
Maclans of Ardnamurchan, 55, 89, 289-90, 293 
Macintyre, Clan, descended from Maurice Macneill, 4 
Macintyre, John (I. R. ) ; his marriage and descendants, 252 
Mackay of Reay, 299, 338 
Mackay, Y. , of Strathnaver, 291 
Mackenzie, Sir Alexander, of Gairloch, 116 (n.) 
Mackenzie, Alexander, VI. of Hilton ; his marriage, 369 
Mackenzie, Alexander, VI. of Kintail, 341, 343 

Mackenzie, Donald, of Hartfield ; his marriage and descendants, 386-7 
Mackenzie, Colin, Lord Kintail, 56, 65, 303, 322, 326, 347, 357, 359, 368 
Mackenzie, Sir George S. , VII. of Coul ; his marriage and descendants, 424 
Mackenzie, Hector Roy, I. of Gairloch ; his marriage, 16 
Mackenzie, Hugh Munro, Whitehaven ; his marriage and issue, 223 
Mackenzie, John Roy, IV. of Gairloch, 341 
Mackenzie, Sir John, of Tarbat, 104, 116 
Mackenzie, Kenneth, Lord Kintail, 38, 40, 58, 81 -2, 99, 287, 289, 305-6, 

308-12, 314-8, 327, 354-5, 357, 359-60 
Mackenzie, Sir Robert R., X. of Coul ; his marriage and issue, 424 
Mackenzie, Sit Roderick, of Coigeach, Tutor of Kintail, 63-5, 72, 83, 304, 

316-9, 322, 324, 326, 331, 337-8, 359, 367 
Mackenzie, Roderick, III. of Fairburn ; his marriage, 338 
Mackenzies of Kintail, 298, 300, 305-6, 310, 322-4, 337, 355-6, 359 

INDEX. 451 

Mackinnon of Strath, 72, 81, 84, 88, 92-3, 96, 188, 207, 215, 296 

Mackinnon, Alexander, of Corry ; his marriage and issue, 225 

Mackinnon, Charles, of Mackinnon; his marriage and descendants, 153 

Mackinnon, Charles Og, I. of Keanuachdrach ; his marriage, 219 

Mackinnon, John, Kyle ; his marriage, 281 

Mackinnon, Lachlan, of Corry ; his marriage, 251 

Mackintosh, Clan, 140, 288 (n) 

Mackintosh, Alexander, XXVI. of Mackintosh ; his marriage and issue, 278 

Mackintosh, ^neas, of Daviot ; his marriage and descendants, 222, 278 

Mackintosh, William, VII. of Mackintosh ; his marriage and issue, 288 

Maclean, Sir Allan, of Duart and Morvern ; his marriage, 100 

Maclean, Alexander, of Davochgarrioch, 368 

Maclean, Donald, of Boreray ; his marriage and descendants, 254-5, 278 

Maclean, Donald, X. of Coll ; his marriage and issue, 231 

Maclean, Hector, of Coll ; his marriage and issue, 246-7 

Maclean, Hector, of Erray ; his marriage, 247 

Maclean, Hector, IV. of Lochbuy ; his marriage, 26 

Maclean, Hector, of Muck ; his marriage, 234 

Maclean, Hugh, XIII. of Coll ; his marriage and issue, 234 

Maclean, Lachlan, of Coll, 54,66, 71, 92, 96 

Maclean, Lachlan Bronach, VII. of Duart ; his marriage, 14, 201 

Maclean, Lachlan, X. of Duart ; his marriage, 16 ; seizes the castles of 
Cairnburgh and Dunskaich, 18 ; intrigues against Sir Donald Galda, 18 

Maclean, Sir Lachlan, of Duart and Morvern ; his marriage. 92, 96 

Maclean, Lachlan, II. of Gruline ; his marriage and descendants, 248-9 

Macleans of Duart, 55, 306 

Macleod, Clan, origin of, 1-5; Chiefship of, 7-9, 202, 228, 284-6; 
correspondence between Macleod of Raasay, Boswell, and Dr. John- 
son on the subject, 3S0-3 ; engaged in a battle in Lochaber, 30, 201 ; 
decimated at the Battle of Worcester, 100-1, m, 241 

Macleods of Harris, Glenelg, and Dunvegan, 7-10, 10-186, 215, 283-4, 294, 
3°6, 315 

Macleod, Tormod, II. of Dunvegan, 7, 10; his marriage and issue, 11 

Macleod, Malcolm, III. of Dunvegan, 9 ; obtains a charter of the lands of 
Glenelg, 11 ; his marriage- and issue, 12 

Macleod, John, IV. of Dunvegan ; his marriage and issue, 12 

Macleod, William, V. of Dunvegan, 12 ; makes a raid into the Aird, 13 ; his 
marriage and issue, 13 

Macleod, John, VI. of Dunvegan, 13 ; at the Battle of Harlaw, 14 ; his 
marriage and issue, 14, 201 

Macleod, William, VII. of Dunvegan, 14; his death, 14-5 ; raid to Orkney, 
15 ; his marriage and issue, 15-6 

Macleod, Alexander, VIII. of Dunvegan, receives grants of lands from James 
IV., 10, 13, 15-6 ; and from James V., 17; seizes the Castle of Dun- 
skaich, 18 ; intrigues against Sir Donald Gallda, 18 ; obtains a lease of 
the lands of Troternish, 19; feud with the Macdonalds of Sleat, 19- 
23 ; obtains grants of the lands of Sleat and North Uist, 20 ; seized 
by James V. , 22 ; receives charters from the King of various lands, 


22-4 ; inscription on his tombstone in Rodel Cathedral, 24-5 ; his 
marriage and issue, 25 

Macleod, Alexander, of Minginish, 53-5, 66, 70-1, 73, 82 

Macleod, William, IX. of Dunvegan, 25 ; receives grants of land on his 
marriage, 22, 24, 16 

Macleod, Donald, X. of Dunvegan, 25 ; seizes the family estates on his 
brother's death, 26, 28, 37; assassinated at Kingsburgh, 29, 37, 203 

Macleod, Tormod, XI. of Dunvegan ; 25, 29 ; returns from France to claim 
the Chiefship and takes Dunvegan Castle, 34 ; orders a wholesale 
massacre of his relatives, 35, 204-5, 214 ; enters into contracts with the 
Earl of Argyle, 39-40, 41-3; the massacre of Eigg, 44-7 ; Blar-milleadh 
Garaidh, 47-52; the battle of Waternish, 52-3 ; Tormod's character, 53; 
his marriages and issue, 53"4j cited after his death to appear before 
the Privy Council, 54 (n.) 

Macleod, Mary, 26-30, 37-44, 91 

Macleod, Ian Dubh, of Minginish, murders Donald, X. of Dunvegan, 29, 31, 
37 ; evades arrest, 32 ; takes Dunvegan Castle, 32, and murders his 
brother, Donald Breac, and his three nephews, 33, 203, 214; assassin- 
ates the Campbell envoys at Kilmuir, 34; is betrayed by Torquil 
MacSween, but escapes from Dunvegan to Ireland, where he is cruelly 
put to death by one of the O'Donell Chiefs, 35, 203, 214; his con- 
nection with the massacre of Eigg, 45 

Macleod, Finlay, of Galtrigil, 49-51