Alexander Macrae.

History of the clan Macrae with genealogies online

. (page 25 of 35)
Online LibraryAlexander MacraeHistory of the clan Macrae with genealogies → online text (page 25 of 35)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the more spirited of these men disliked a connection with their
Chief, in which valour was no longer of any account, and of which
the chief feature was the paying of rent.

We find difficulties about the rent as far back as the time of
Colin, first Earl of Seaforth, who lived in far greater state than
any of his predecessors, and was, therefore, obliged to raise the
rents accordingly.' 2 The relations set forth in Ian Mac Mhur-

i Page 210. 2 Page 189.


achaidh's poems, 1 as existing between the people and their chief,
may reasonably be regarded as somewhat exaggerated. The
poems containing references to such relations were evidently
composed with a view to induce as many people as possible
to emigrate with him to America, and it is but natural that
he should dwell somewhat emphatically on the disadvantages of
life iu the old country, as compared with the advantages of the
promised land beyond the seas. But the pointed and practical
advice he gives to the landlords themselves reasonably pre-
supposes some excuse for offering it, and it is interesting as
showing what the class of men to whom he belonged held to be
the landlord's wisest and most practical policy to adopt toward his

Cum na clachan steibhe

Dh'fhag na daoine gleusda 'n coir dhut.

Bidhe aoidheal ris a cheathairne,
Cum taobh nan daoine matha riut,
'S gur mor an cliu gun chleith
A choisininn t-athar air an t-sheol sin.

Gur iomadh bochd 'us dinnleachdan
Thug beannachd air do shinuseara,
Gur maireanach an dilib sin,
'S gur cinntiche na 'n t-or e. 2

On the whole, however, the relations existing between the Sea-
forths and the people of Kintail were usually very cordial, thanks
to the pastoral richness of the country, and the tact and sense of
justice evidently possessed by some of the Macrae Chamberlains,
who were so frequently the real rulers and administrators of the
affairs of Kintail, for during the last two hundred years of their
power the Earls of Seaforth were hardly ever resident in Kintail
themselves. The traditions of the country have preserved frag-
ments of songs in which the virtues of more than one Chamber-

l Appendix J.
2 Preserve the foundation stones left to you by able and generous men. Be
courteous to the yeomanry, keep the good men on your »ide, great and evident

was the renown gained by your father in that way. Many a poor man and
many an orphan invoked blessings on your ancestors. Such things are an
enduring heritage, and more to be relied on than gold.


lain are set forth, and of which the lament for Ian Breac Mac
Mhaighster Fearacher 1 may be taken as an example.

But the social stagnation which seemed to be setting in after
the battle of Culloden was not destined to last long. A change
was rapidly approaching, and scarcely had the emigration com-
menced when the Highlanders were called upon to fight the battles
of their country in all quarters of the globe. To this appeal the
men of Kintail, like the rest of their compatriots, gave a ready and
willing response. A fair number of Highlanders fought in the
great wars of the last century, such as the War of the Austrian
Succession (1740-1748), and the Seven Years' War (1756-1763),
and there were certainly a few Kintail men among them, but it
was not until towards the end of the century that Highlanders
were either encouraged or invited to join the army in large num-
bers, and that the famous Highland Regiments were enrolled.
Between 1778 and 1804, four battalions of about a thousand men
each were raised by the Earls of Seaforth, 2 and each battalion
contained a large number of men from Kintail.

It would seem from the Old Statistical Account that the forty
years following the battle of Culloden was, on the whole, a period
of prosperity for Kintail. There was a steady increase of popula-
tion in spite of emigration, and so well off were the people that the
famine of 1782, which was felt so severely in many parts of the
Highlands, was not felt at all in Kintail. In 1792 there were only
fifteen poor persons in Kintail and twenty-one in Glensheil. These
were supported by the weekly collections in the churches and by the
charity of their neighbours. There was no confirmed drunkard in
cither of the two parishes, and no thieves. A baron-bailie or judge
visited the country quarterly to settle such differences as might
arise among the people. Those differences were usually questions
connected with encroachments on marches, trespassing, and pen-
folding. From the beginning of June to about the middle of
August the cattle were moved from the arable fields and lower
pastures to the sheilings on the upper moorlands. A number of
people went along with the cattle as herds and dairymaids, and
huts were erected for shelter and sleeping accommodation. In fine
summer weather life under such circumstances would not be un-

l Appendix J. 2 Appendix D.


pleasant, and the season spent in the sheiling was usually regarded
as a time of much enjoyment. It was a time of mirth and love
making, and the praise of nigheau na h'airidh (the maid of the
sheiling) forms the theme of many a Gaelic love song. The stock
consisted mainly of Highland cattle. There were hardly any
sheep, but there were about three hundred horses at this time in
the parish of Kintail alone, and probably a corresponding number
in Glensheil. There was a parish school at Cro and another near
the Church of Glensheil. There was a third school in Glenelchaig
supported by subscriptions from the farmers, many of whom were
Roman Catholics, nearly a third of the people of Kintail at
that time being of that creed. 1 It is to the credit of Pro-
testants and Roman Catholics alike that religious differences
did not prevent them from combining to support the cause
of education. Considering all circumstances, it would appear
that at the close of the last century the people of Kintail were in
fairly prosperous circumstances, and quite as advanced in their
views and ways as any of their neighbours.

But there was evidently a marked change for the worse during
the next forty years. The population, which was almost stationary
during the period of the Napoleonic War, when so many of the
men were serving in the army, began to increase rapidly after the
peace of 1815, without any corresponding increase in the means of
sustenance, and we learn from the New Statistical Account in 1836
that at that time there was a considerable amount of poverty in
the country. But the increase of population was not the sole
cause of this change. Francis, Earl of Seaforth, having got into
debt, was obliged to sell considerable portions of his West Coast
estates. When his people came to know of the state of his affairs
they offered to pay his debts if he would reside among them, but
their offer was disregarded. Lochalsh was sold under value in
1803, Kintail and a large portion of Glensheil followed in 1S07,
and the long connection of the Seaforth family with that country
was all but euded before the death of the last Earl of Seaforth,
which occurred at Warriston, near Edinburgh, on the 1 1th of Janu-
ary, 1815 — the last of the direct male representatives of the House
of Kintail. The remainder of the old Kintail estate was sold by his

1 For an account of the founding of the Roman Catholic Mission in Kintail
see page 73.


grandson, Keith William Stewart-Mackenzie, in 1869, and the last
connecting link between the Seaforth family and Kintail was thus
finally severed.

With the severing of the old Seaforth connection, there came
other changes also, changes of an unavoidable nature, which were
only a part of the great social change which, during the last
hundred years, has gradually transformed, either for better
or worse, the circumstances and the condition of the people of the
Highlands. Farms on a larger scale were let to strangers from
the South ; sheep took the place of cattle. The smaller tenants
were gradually dispossessed of their holdings in order to make
way for large sheep farms, and in many instances poverty was the
result. Those who had attained to middle age in the midst of the
free and primitive surroundings to which they had hitherto been
accustomed, could not be expected to take kindly to a change
either of abode or occupation, and when they left the country in
search of a new horns, as many of them did, it was only to
experience failure, disappointment, and poverty.

The young and the enterprising emigrated in large numbers,
chiefly to Canada, and between 1831 and 1841 there began a
steady decrease of the population, which has continued ever siuce.
The decrease of population, however, is not to be attributed solely
to the formation of large farms. It was observed during the
early decades of the present century that the spread of education
and the increased facilities of communication with the South
induced many of the more enterprising young people to seek
opportunities of improving their circumstances elsewhere. This
is equally true at the present time, and small though the popula-
tion is, positions of honour and trust, both at home and abroad,
are occupied by more than one of the sons of Kintail, who could
have found no possible career in their own native parish.

It has already been mentioned that the old church in Kintail
was destroyed in 1719. Another church was built some time
afterwards. Part of the roof of this church fell in during divine
service on Sunday, the 7th October, 1855, without injuring any
one. It was then declared unsafe, and the present church built.
The following is a list of the ministers of Kintail since the Refor-
mation, with the dates of the commencement of their ministry : —


John Murchison (Reader) 1574

Murdoch Murchison 1614

Farquhar Macrae - - - 1618

Donald Macrae - - - - 1662

Donald Macrae - - - - - - - 1681

John Maclean - - - - 1730

Donald Maclean 1774

Roderick Morison 1781

James Morison - - - - 1825

Roderick Morison 1877

Roderick Mackenzie 1898

The Free Church principles of the Disruption of 1843 did not
meet with much favour in Kintail, which is one of the very few
Ross-shire parishes in which the Free Church has no place of
worship. The failure of the Free Church movement in Kintail
was, to a certain extent, owing to the traditional dislike of the
people to the Whigs with whom they believed the movement to
be in some measure associated ; hut the chief cause was the
popularity of the two parish ministers of the time, the Rev. .lames
Morrison of Kintail and the Rev. John Macrae of Glenshcil, whose
fathers, as ministers of the same two parishes, had succeeded in
winning the people over to the Presbyterian Church, and who
were themselves, both of them, men of ability and sound judg-
ment, and of light and leading among the people with whom, by
family and other associations, they had been so long connected.

The Roman Catholic Mission, which is still conducted in Kin-
tail, was founded, as already mentioned, 1 by the Rev. Alexander,
son of the Rev. John Macrae, last Episcopalian minister of Ding-
wall. For many years the mission was conducted by priests who
visted the country from time to time, but towards the close of the
last century a native of Kintail, the Rev. Christopher Macrae, was
appointed priest in charge, and since then there has been a regular
succession of priests resident at Dornie. The present priest in
charge is the Rev. Archibald Chisholm. The handsome Roman
Catholic premises at Dornie were built by the late Duchess of Leeds,
and consist of a church, presbytery, convent, and school. The
church, which is dedicated to Saint Duthac, was opened in 1861.

Although the district of Glensheil was made into a separate
parish in 1726, and a minister appointed in 1730, there was no
l Page 70.


permanent church built until 1758, when the present Church was
erected. The following is a list of the ministers of Glensheil, with
the dates of the commencement of their ministry :—

John Beton (or Bethunc) - - - 1730

John Macrae - - 1777

John Macrae - - - - 1824

Farquhar Maciver 1840

Alexander Matheson - - .- 1864

Duncan Macrae 1891

There is now a Free Church in the parish of Glensheil, which was
built in 1865. The first minister of it was the Rev. Angus Mac-
kay, and he was succeeded by the Rev. Kenneth Macrae, who was
ordained in 1898.

Population of Kintail and Glensheil at various periods : —
Kintail. Glensheil. Total.

1755 ... 693 509 1202

1790 ... 840 721 1561

1801 ... 1038 710 1748

1811 ... 1058 728 1786

1821 ... 1027 768 1795

1831 ... 1240 715 1955

1841 ... 1168 745 1913

1851 ... 1009 573 1582

1861 ... 890 485 1375

1871 ... 753 463 1216

1881 ... 688 424 1112

1891 ... 588 394 982




I. Descent of Margaret Mackenzie, first wife of Alexander Macrae
of Inverinate (page 70) : —

EDWARD I. of England had, by his second wife, Margaret,
daughter of Philip III. of France, a son,

1. Edmund Plantagenet, who married Margaret, daughter of
John, Lord Wake, and was beheaded in 1329. He had a daughter,

2. Joan, the " Fair Maid of Kent," who died in 1385. She
married Sir Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent, and afterwards the
Black Prince. By Sir Thomas Holland she had

3. Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent, who married Alice Pifczalan,
and died in 1397. He had a daughter,

4. Margaret, who married John Beaufort (died 1410), son of
John of Gaunt, son of Edward III., and had a daughter,

5. Jane Beaufort, who married King James I. of Scotland,
and, secondly, Sir James Stewart, the "Black Knight of Lorn/'
She died in 1445, leaving by her second marriage a son,

6. John Stewart, first Earl of Athole, who married, first,
Margaret, daughter of Archibald, fifth Earl of Douglas. He
married, secondly, Eleanor, daughter of William Sinclair, Earl of
Orkney, and died in 1512. By his second marriage he had a son,

7. John Stewart, second Earl of Athole, killed at Flodden in
1513. He married Mary, daughter of Archibald CaKPBIU .,
second Earl of Argyll (killed at Flodden), son of Colin Campbkll,
first Earl of Argyll (died 1493), son of Abchibald Campbell (died
before his father), son of Sir Duncan Campbell (died 1453), by his
wife, Marjory Stewart, daughter of Robert, Duke of Albany,
Regent of Scotland (died 1420), son of Robert II. (died 1390),


son of Walter, Lord High Steward of Scotland, by his wife
Marjory, daughter of Robert Bruce (died 1329). By his
marriage with Mary Campbell, John, Earl of Athole, had a

8. Elizabeth Stewart, who married Kenneth Mackenzie,
tenth Baron of Kintail, who died in 1568, leaving a younger son,

9. Roderick Mackenzie, first of Redcastle, who married
Florence, daughter of Robert Munro of Fowlis, and died shortly
after 1608. He had, with other issue, Colin, of whom below, and
a son,

10. Murdoch Mackenzie, second of Redcastle, who, in 1599,
married Margaret, daughter of William Rose, eleventh of Kil-
ravock, and died before 1629. He had, with other issue, Finguala,
of whom below, and

11. Margaret, who married Alexander Macrae of Inverinate.

II. Descent of Mary Mackenzie, second wife of Alexander Macrae
of Inverinate (page 70), from Jane Beaufort (No. 5 in the
first Table).

Jane Beaufort, as mentioned above, married, first, James I.
of Scotland (died 1437), son of Robert III. (died 1406), son of
Robert II. (died 1390), son of Marjory, daughter of Robert
Bruce. By this marriage Jane Beaufort had a daughter,

6. Annabella, who married George Gordon, second Earl of
Huntly (died 1502), and had a son,

7. Alexander Gordon, third Earl of Huntly, who commanded
the left wing of the Scottish army at Flodden in 1513, married
Joan, daughter of John Stewart, first Earl of Athole (No. 6 in the
above Table), by his first marriage, and died in 1524. He had a

8. John Gordon, who married Margaret, natural daughter of
King James IV. by Margaret, daughter of John Lord Drummond,
and died before his father, leaving a son,

9. George Gordon, fourth Earl of Huntly, " the most power-
ful subject in Scotland," who was killed at Corrichie, near Aberdeen,
in 1562. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert, Lord
Keith, who was killed at Flodden, and had a daughter,


10. Elizabeth Gordon, who married John Stewart, fourth Karl
of Athole (died 1579), and had a daughter,

11. Elizabeth Stewart, who married Hugh Eraser, Lord Lovat
(died 157G), and had a daughter,

12. Anne Eraser, who married Hector Munro of Fowlis (died
1603), and.had a daughter,

13. Margaret Munro, who married Alexander Mackenzie of
Dochmaluag, Strathpeft'er (died 163G), and had a daughter,

11. Mary Mackenzie, who married Alexander Macrae of Inver-

III. Descent of Agnes Mackenzie, first wife of the Rev. John Mac-
rae of Dingwall (page 115), progenitor of the Conchra family,
from Roderick Mackenzie of Redcastle (No. in the first
Table) :—
Roderick Mackenzie of Redcastle had, as mentioned above,

a younger son,

10. Colin Mackenzie, first of Kincraig, who married Catherine
(sasine to her, 15 Sept., 1G17), daughter of the Rev. John Mac-
kenzie of Dingwall, and had a daughter,

11. Agnes, who married, as his first wife, the Rev. John Macrae
of Dingwall.

IV. Descent of Flora Gillanders, wife of John Macrae (page 179),
from Murdoch Mackenzie of Redcastle (No. 10 in the first
Murdoch Mackenzie, second of Redcastle, had, as mentioned

above, a daughter,

11. Finguala Mackenzie, who married Roderick Mackenzie,
first of Applecross (died 1616), and had a son,

12. John Mackenzie, second of Applecross (s.isinc 1GG3),
married a daughter of Hugh Eraser, third of Belladrum, and had
a son,

13. Kenneth Mackenzie, first of Auldenny, married Isabel,
daughter of John Matheson of Bennetsfield, by Mary, daughter of
the Rev. Donald Macrae of Kintail (p. 162), and had a son,

14. Roderick Mackenzie, second of Auldenny (sasine 1709),


married Margaret (or Catherine), daughter of Simon Mackenzie of
Torridon, and had a daughter,

15. Janet Mackenzie, who married John Mackenzie, of the
Dochmaluag family, and had a son,

16. Kenneth Mackenzie, of Torrancullin, near Kinloehewe
(died 1837), who married Kate Mackenzie, of the Torridon family
(died 1848), and had a daughter,

17. Margaret Mackenzie, who was born in 1797, and died at
Strathpeffer, 1888. She married Alexander Gillauders, born at
Kishorn, 1792, died at Strathpeffer, 1877, and had, with other

18. Flora Gillanders, who married John Macrae.

Colonel J. A. STEWART-MACKENZIE of Seaforth




I. Kenneth, or in Gaelic, Coinncach, who gave their name
to the great Clan of Claim Choinnich or Mackenzie. He married
Morbha, daughter of Alexander Macdougall of Lorn. Kenneth
died in 1304, and was buried in Iona. He was succeeded by
his son,

II. John, the first of the race, who was called Mackenzie, led
500 of his vassals at Bannockburn in 1314. He married Margaret,
daughter of David dc Strathbogie, Earl of Atholl, by Joan,
daughter of the Red Comyn who was killed by Robert Bruce in
1306. John died in 1328, and was succeeded by his son,

III. Kenneth, known as Coinneach na Sroine (Kenneth of
the Nose), who was executed by the Earl of Ross at Inverness in
1346. He was succeeded by his son,

IV. Murdoch, called Murachadh Dubh na' h'Uaigh (Black
Murdoch of the Cave). He died in 1375, and was succeeded by
his son,

V. Murdoch, called Murachadh na Drochaid (Murdoch of
the Bridge). It was in his and his son's time that Fionnla
Dubh Mac Gillechriosd, the founder of the Clan Macrae of
Kintail, lived. He died in 1416, and was succeeded by his son,

VI. Alexander, called Alister Ionraic (Alexander the Upright)
to whom, during his minority, Fionnla Dubh Mac Gillechriosd
was guardian. He died in 1488, and was succeeded by his son,

VII. Kenneth, called Coinneach a Bhlair (Kenneth of the
Battle). He died in 1491, and was succeeded by his son,

VIII. Kenneth, who was treacherously killed by the Laird
of Buchanan, in 1497, and was succeeded by his brother,


IX. John, of Killin, who fought at Floddon in 1513, and at
Pinkie in 1547. Ho died in 1561, and was succeeded by his son,

X. Kenneth, called Coinneach na Cuirc (Kenneth of the
Whittle). He died in 1568, and was succeeded by his son,

XI. Colin, called Cailean Cam (One-eyed Colin). He died
in 1594, and was succeeded by his son,

XII. Kenneth, Lord Mackenzie of Kintail. He died in 1611,
and was succeeded by his son,

XIII. Colin, first Earl of Seaforth. He died in 1633, and was
succeeded by his brother,

XIV. George, second Earl of Seaforth, a leading Royalist in
the Civil War, died in Holland in 1651, and was succeeded by
his son,

XV. Kenneth, third Earl of Seaforth, called Coinneach Mor
(Big Kenneth), also a firm Royalist. He died in 1678, and was
succeeded by his son,

XVI. Kenneth, fourth Earl of Seaforth, died in Paris in 1701,
and was succeeded by his sou,

XVII. William, fifth Earl of Seaforth, known as Uilleam Dubh
a Chogidh (Black William of the War). For the prominent part
he took in the Jacobite Rising of 1715, he was attainted, and
his estates forfeited. He died in Lews in 1740, and was
succeeded by his son,

XVIII. Kenneth, for whom the estates were bought from the
Crown in 1741, and who was known by the courtesy title of Lord
Fortrose. He was the Seaforth of the time of Prince Charles, but,
notwithstanding his well-known Jacobite sympathies, he considered
it more prudent to remain loyal to the House of Hanover. He
died in London in 1761, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
He was succeeded by his son,

XIX. Kenneth, created Baron Ardclve and Earl Seaforth
(Ireland). He died near St Helena in 1781 while on the way to
India as Colonel of the old 78th Regiment, raised by him on his
own estates, and now known as the 1st Battalion of the Seaforth
Highlanders. He left no male issue. He was succeeded by

XX. Thomas Frederick Mackenzie-Humberston, Colonel of
the Hundredth Foot, son of William, son of Alexander, son of
Kenneth, third Earl of Seaforth. He was killed in India in 1783,
and, leaving no issue, was succeeded by his brother,


XXI. Francis Humberston Mackenzie, created Lord Seaforth
of the United Kingdom. He sold the greater portion of the Kin-
tail estates, died in 1815 without surviving male issue, and was
succeeded by his daughter,

XXII. Mary Elizabeth Fredrica, who married, first, Admiral
Sir Samuel Hood, without issue. She married, secondly, the
Honourable James Alexander Stewart, with issue, and died at
Brahan in 1862. She was succeeded by her son,

XXIII. Keith William Stewart Mackenzie, who sold what
remained of Kintail in 1869. He died in 1881, and was succeeded
by his son,

XXIV. James Alexander Francis Humberston Stewart-
Mackenzie, Colonel of the Ninth Lancers, and lineal representa-
tive of the Earls of Seaforth.

When Francis Humberston Mackenzie, Lord Seaforth, died
without surviving male issue, in 1815, there was no known male
representative left of any head of the house of Kintail since
Kenneth, Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, who died in 1611. Kenneth
had seven sons, but the male issue of the first six had, so far as
known, become extinct. The seventh son was

Simon, of Lochslin, who died in 1666, having had, with other
issue —

Simon, who died in 1664, leaving an only son,

Simon, first of Allangrange, who died in 1730, and was
succeeded by his son,

George, second of Allangrange, who died in 1773, and was
succeeded by his son,

John, third of Allangrange, who died in 1812, and was
succeeded by his son,

(xxn.) George Falconer, who was served heir male to the
House of Kintail in 1829. He died in 1841, and was succeeded
by his son,

(xxiii.) John Falconer, fifth of Allangrange, win, dud
unmarried, in 1849, and was succeeded by his brother,

(xxiv.) James Fowler, now of Allangrange, lineal representa-
tive of the Chiefs of the great Clan Mackenzie, and heir male to
the dormant honours and ancient titles of the historic family of




1 £

~ +3 jS

tates Com
3 are som
gister Ho

11 1

1 £>'3

Online LibraryAlexander MacraeHistory of the clan Macrae with genealogies → online text (page 25 of 35)