Alexander Macrae.

History of the clan Macrae with genealogies online

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Online LibraryAlexander MacraeHistory of the clan Macrae with genealogies → online text (page 22 of 35)
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rested for some time. But one night, about a month
after the Battle of Culloden, when Murdoch hap-
pened to be in the house of Macdonald of Leek,
in Glengarry, where a party of the Skye Militia
was stationed at the time, he was suddenly seized
by a party of soldiers under Macleod of Dunvegan,
and sent with a letter from Sir Alexander Mac-
donald to Lord Loudon, who was then stationed at
Fort-Augustus. Loudon sent him to Inverness in
charge of an escort of soldiers. On his arrival at
Inverness, Murdoch was brought before the Duke of
Cumberland, who, at the instigation of Macleod of
Assynt, ordered him to be hanged at once as a spy
from the Pretender. Murdoch was hanged on an
apple tree which grew at the Cross of Inverness,
and which immediately afterwards withered. His
body, which, after his death, had been stripped
naked, was left hanging on the tree for two days,
and then buried at the back of the Church. 1 While
thus exposed, he is said to have " appeared all the
time as if he had been sleeping, his mouth and eyes
being shut close — a very uncommon thing in those
who die such a death." This execution of a, man,
believed to have been innocent, appears to have made
a deep impression in Inverness. There are several
contemporary references to it, and in a poem entitled
"The Lament of the Old Cross of Inverness," in
1768, reference is made to the withering of the tree,

l For a fuller account of the hanging of Murdoch Macrae, see Charles
Fraser-Mackintosh's Antiquarian Xvtcs, first series, pp. 206-U10.


and Murdoch himself is mentioned "as a man of
fame and reputation," who enjoyed the esteem of
men of rank and worth, and had never deserted his
King or his country.


The early connection between the Macraes and
the Mackenzies of Gairloch has been already re-
ferred to (pages 9, 10), and some Macrae traditions
from Gairloch will be found in Appendix K.



rev. john Macrae's account of the origin of the macraes.

As to the origin of the Macras, tradition tells us of a desperate
engagement 'twixt two of the petty Princes of Ireland, in which a
certain young man signalized himself by his prowess, defending
himself from a particular attack of the enemy, which others,
observing, said in Irish words signifying he was a fortunate man
if he could award the danger ; from whence he was afterwards
called Macrath, i.e., the fortunate son.

It is allowed this clan were an ancient race of people in Ireland,
and had of old great estates there, have produced eminent men,
and are still numerous in that island.

The pronunciation of the name here spelled Macra, varying
with the dialect of the country where any of the clan generally
reside, has occasioned various ways of spelling this word, as is the
case with several others j thus in Ireland they use Macrath and
Magrath ; in the North of Scotland, Macrah, Macrae, Maccraw,
Macrow. In England and the south of Scotland the Mac is left
out, from an ill-founded prejudice, and the name Rae, Craw, Crow,
and such like, retained as being of the same stock. A more par-
ticular account might be had from such as conversed with and have
known those historians and genealogists, such as Fergus, Mac-
rourie, Mildonich, Maclean,

Online LibraryAlexander MacraeHistory of the clan Macrae with genealogies → online text (page 22 of 35)