Alexander Macrae.

History of the clan Macrae with genealogies online

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not only in spiritual things, but in things temporal
as well. Though the sphere of his work and
activity was limited to a remote Highland parish,
his long life was thus a very eventful and anxious
one, and covered one of the most stirring periods of
Scottish history. It was during his University
career that James VI. succeeded to the throne of
England, and the Royal House of Scotland rose to
the zenith of its ill-starred greatness. Then, in the
course of time there came the Covenanter movement
and the Civil War, which ended in the execution of
Charles I. and the exile of his family. Mr Farquhar
himself was a staunch Royalist and an Episcopalian,
so that he belonged to the losing cause of what, so
far as Scotland as a whole was concerned, was
only the minority ; but though the army of the


enemy overran his country and plundered his
property, he held stoutly to his principles like a good
man and true. Those principles were doomed in
course of time to b2 all but totally renounced
and rejected by the people of the Highlands, and
this is not the place to discuss whether in doing so
thev did rightly or wrongly, hut the steadfastness
with which Mr Farquhar and his family supported
the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Scottish
Royal Family must call forth the admiration of all
who appreciate what is loyal and true in human
nature. He lived for two years after the restoration
of King Charles II., and thus had the satisfaction
in his old age of seeing the Royal House of Stuart
enjoying a fitful return of power and popularity, and
then he died before the true character of the re-
stored King had time to become generally apparent.
And so his end was peace. He died in the midst
of a prosperous grown-up family, regretted and
mourned by all his countrymen, and leaving behind
him memories of goodness and worth which the
lapse of more than two centuries have not effaced.

Mr Farquhar married on the 1st December, 1611,
Christina, eldest daughter of Macculloch of Park,
Strathpeffer, and by her, who died before him, he
had eight sons and two daughters, viz.:— Alexander,
John, "Donald, Miles, Murdoch, John, Christopher,
Thomas, Isabel, and Helen. He died in January,
1662, at the age of eighty-two, and was buried
with his ancestors at Kilduich, in Kintail.

Christopher and Thomas died apparently with-
out issue, as their nephew, Finlay, son of John, is


mentioned as their heir on the 28th July, 1696. 1
The other sons of the Rev. Farquhar Macrae will
be mentioned hereafter.

Isabel, eldest daughter of Mr Farquhar, married
Malcolm Macrae, son of Ian Og Mac Fhionla ldruibh,
"a pretty, young gentleman, bred at school and
college," who was killed at the hattle of Auldearn
in 1645. After his death, she married William, son
of the Rev. John Mackenzie, of the Dochmaluag

Helen, second daughter of Mr Farquhar, married
John, younger son of John Bayne of Knockbain.

1 Register of Retourp.



VII. Alexander of Inverinate. — Chamberlain of Kin tail. — His
Marriages and Family.— Rev. John Maorae, last Episcopalian
Minister of Dingwall.— Difficulties Connected with the Appoint-
ment of his Successor.— Author of Histories of the Mackenzies
and of the Macraes. — His Marriage and Family.— Rev. Alex-
ander Macrae founds a Roman Catholic Mission in Kintail.—
Alexander Macrae, merchant, Bristol, leaves Money for the
Education of Boys of the name Macrae.— Other Descendants
of the Rev. John Macrae of Dingwall.— The Rev. Donald Mac-
rae, last Episcopalian Minister of Kintail.— He supports the
Jacobite Cause.— Battles of SherifFmuir and Glenshiel.— Kintail
Church Destroyed by the Crew of a Mau-of-War.— Episcopal-
ianism in Kintail.— The Rev. Donald Macrae's Marriage and
Descendants.— Farquhar of Morvich and his Family.— Ian Mac
Mhurachidh, the Kintail Poet.— Murdoch, sou of Alexander
of Inverinate.— His Tragic End.— The Ulenlic Hunt.— Tradi-
tions and Poems connected therewith.

VIII. ALEXANDER, son of the Rev. Farquhar
VII. , is commonly known as Alexander of Inver-
inate. His father procured for him a wadset of the
lands of Inverinate, Dorisduan, and Letterinimmer,
for the sum of six thousand marks, and he is men-
tioned in the Valuation Roll of the County of Ross
in 1644, as possessed of lands in the parish of Kintail
of the yearly value of £2G6 13s 4d Scots. He was
Chamberlain of Kintail under Kenneth Mor, third
Earl of Seaforth, who, as already stated, received


his early education at Ellandonan Castle, from Alex-
ander's father, and by whom Alexander himself was
much esteemed. It is stated in the Rev. John Mac-
rae's History of the Mackenzies, that when General
Middleton and Lord Balcarres were in the High-
lands raising an army to support Charles II. against
Cromwell, probably about 1651, they paid a visit to
Seaforth, who welcomed Balcarres in a special man-
ner, and sent Alexander of Inverinate to bring Lady
Balcarres, who was a daughter of Colin, first Earl
of Seaforth, to Kiutail, which, " with some hazard
and difficulty, Alexander performed," bringing the
lady safe to Ellandonan Castle, where she lived for
some time with her husband. Alexander married,
as his first wife, Margaret, daughter of Murdoch y
Mackenzie, second laird of Redcastle, by whom he
had two sons, Duncan and John, and two daughters,^
Catherine (or Christina) and Mary. He married, as
his second wife, Mary, daughter of Alexander Mac-
kenzie, fourth laird of Dochmaluag, by whom he had
seven sons, Alexander, Donald, ( 'hristopher, Far-
quhar, Murdoch, Allan, and Hugh, and at least two
daughters, Isabel and Margaret. The descent of
both his wives can be traced to the Royal Houses of
Stuart and Plantagenet. 1

1. Duncan, eldest son of Alexander by his first
wife, Margaret Mackenzie of Redcastle, will be men-
tioned hereafter.

2. The Rev. John, second son of Alexander by
his first wife, was educated at Aberdeen University,
and was laureated, that is, took his degree, on the

1 See Royal Pedigrees. Appendix F.


12th July, 1660. When the first school was opened

in Dingwall he was appointed master of it, Tins
was before the 21st July, 1663, as he is mentioned
on that date as schoolmaster of Dingwall and < Hexk

to the Session. He was ordained in 1667 to the parish
of Kilmorack, arid was translated in 1C.74 to the
parish of Dingwall, where he lived and laboured for
thirty years, and of which he was the last Episco-
palian minister. He is mentioned in various docu-
ments of the period as Treasurer of Ross. He is
said to have been a great favourite in the family of
the Earl of Seaforth, who gave him a wadset of the
lands of Dornie, Dronaig, Aryugan, &c, in Kintail,
for the sum of seven thousand live hundred marks.
His influence in Dingwall and the neighbourhood
appears to have been very great, and so loyal wae
the feeling of the people, both to his memory and t<
the Church to which he belonged, that on his deatl
they so persistently opposed the introduction
Presbyterianism among them, that, in spit
repeated attempts, it was found impossible to settle
a Presbyterian minister in Dingwall until L716,
twenty-eight years after the Revolution, and this
settlement was made not by patronage or by a
"call" from the people, but by the Presbytery
acting under warrant from the Privy Council. 1

i From the record of a meeting of the Privy Council of Scotland, on
the 25th April, 1704, ami under the heading "The Agent for the Mrk agauiBl
Macrae, and other," we le*™ something of .he fin* attempt, made tomtn *~
Preshvterianism into the Royal burgh of Dingwall alter the death ot h Bev
John Macrae The Rev. William Stewart of Kiltearn, having been delegal ed 1 ■>

to Dingwall accordingly, on Sunday, the 16th January. FWhog U» a-,,, t f
affair., t„ hi. arrival rather threatening, he decided toappeal to the magnate.



The Rev. John Macrae was the author of an
important History of the Mackenzies, to which fre-
quent reference is made in this hook. The clan
historian, Alexander Mackenzie, frequently refers to
it also, in his History of the Mackenzies, as the
Ardintoul MS. He was also the author of a His-
tory and Genealogy of the Macraes, which has
already been described in the first chapter of this

The Rev*. John married, before the 21st July,
1673, Janet Bayne, of Knockbain. There is a
sasine of that date to Mr John Macrae, Treasurer of
Ross, and Janet Bayne, his spouse. By her he had
issue as below. He died in January, t704.

a. Alexander, eldest son of the Rev. John, was
educated for the Church, but, as the Episcopal
Church was proscribed in Scotland after the Revolu-
tion of 1 f>88, he threw in his lot with the Roman
Catholics rather than become a Presbyterian. For
many years he discharged the duties of a Roman
Catholic priest between Brahan and Strathglass,

for protection. The magistrates?, however, could not be found, and meantime
the ringleaders of the mob surrounded the house in which the minister was,
and made the outer door fast with nails. The minister then made a strong
appeal to the people from the window of the house, and eventually succeeded,
by the help of Sir Robert Munro of Foulis and others from Kiltearn, in
regainiug his liberty and effecting an entrance into the church. But when
the " worship was begun and almost finished," there arrived a company of
armed men from the country, among whom the chief ringleaders were John
Macrae vie Alister Oig, Hugh Macrae, father (it ought to be brother) to the
said deceased Mr John Macrae, late incumbent at Dingwall ; Kenneth Macrae,

brother german to Farquhar Macrae rf Inverinate ; and Macrae, son to

Christopher, brother german to the said deceased Mr John Macrae, all in the
parish of Kintail. These men having entered the church "upon pretence
that they were coming to attend the worship," the said John Macrae vie
Alister went up to the door of the pulpit and " presented a pistol to the


and was probably the last who said mass in Brahan
Castle. He was the first Macrae who became a
Roman Catholic after the Reformation, and was the
founder of the mission which that Church still
carries on in Kintail. His first converts were Ins
own cousins, Alexander Macra of Ardintoul and
John Og, son of the Rev. Donald Macrae, last Epis-
copalian minister of Kintail, and another man called
Ian Buidhe Mac Dhonnachaidh (Yellow John, the
son of Duncan). In his old age he retired to the
Scotch Roman Catholic College at Douai, in France,
and there died. The Kintail Mission was well sup-
ported by the Macraes, and was afterwards carried
on by the Rev. John Farquharson, a celebrated
priest of Strathglass, the Rev. Norman Macleod, and

b. John, who married Margaret, daughter of the
Rev. Roderick Mackenzie, minister and Laird of
Avoch. He is also said to have married, as her
second husband, Anne, daughter of Alexander
Mackenzie, third Laird of Applecross, who survived

minister, threatening to kill him until stopped by the hearers, whereupon the
rest of the armed men approached nearer, and scrambling over the seats to
the pulpit with menacing countenances and arms in their hands, they com-
manded Mr Stewart to come down and begone, which constrained him to
retire." The disturbance continued as he passed out. through the churchyard,
until at last li the minister, timling himself like to faint through the violence
he had suffered, prayed some gentlemen, his friends, to carry him off any way,
which was done." Nor did Sir Robert Munro and his friends escape without,
blows, and " further, these rabblers cried loudly and frequently King Willie is
now dead and their King is alive." The ringleaders were summoned by the
Privy Council, but failed to compear, whereupon they were declared rebels,
and their goods and gear forfeited to the Crown. Various other unsuccessful
attempts were made to introduce Presbyterianism iuto Dingwall, and though
the Rev. Daniel Bayne was appointed to the living in 1708, it was not until
1716 that he was able to enter upon possession of it.


him, and afterwards married, as her third husband,
Colin Mackenzie of Inverness. 1

61. Alexander, who was served heir to his
grandfather, the Rev. John Macrae, minister of
Dingwall and Treasurer of Ross, on the 24th of
June, 1741. Having afterwards recovered from
Seaforth the money for certain wadsets which he
held in Kintail, and sold some property which
he held about Dingwall, he went into business in
Bristol, where he became a prosperous and wealthy
merchant, and died without issue in April, 1781.
He left a sum of fifty thousand marks 2 to the
King's College, Aberdeen, for educating boys of the
name Macrae who could be traced in the male
line from his great-grandfather, Alexander of In-
verinate, " in preference to all others." 3 Several
students of the name Macrae held this bursary in
past times.

62. Margaret, who married John Matheson,
Durinish. 4

t>3. Mary, married to James, son of Alexander
Matheson of Bennetsfield, 4 and had, with other issue,
Catherine, who married Alexander Matheson, some

1 Only the first marriage is mentioned iu the MS. history of the Macraes,
but both are mentioned in Sir James Dixon Mackenzie's Genealogical Tables of
the Mackenzies. The probability is that he was twice married, and that his
family was by the first wife.

" Fifty thousand merks Scots mortified by the late Alexander Macrae, of
Dornie, and left under the management of the King's College of Aberdeen, for
educating the children of the nearest descendants from Alexander Macrae, sou
of Mr Farquhar Macrae, the first Protestant minister in the parish of Kintail.
— Old Statistical Account.

3 Appendix L.

4 For the descendants of this marriage, see Mackenzie's History of the



time schoolmaster, Dornie, who has been already
mentioned on page 48.

c. Christopher, baptised at Dingwall in Novem-
ber, 1G82.

d. Roderick, baptised at Dingwall, 18th August,
1692, and mentioned, in 1763, as the deceased Mr
Roderick Macrae in the will of his nephew, Alex-
ander Macrae, some time of Bristol. He married a
daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, Chamberlain of

\ Ferintosh, and had issue —
d\. John.

d2. Duncan, who went to Maryland in America,
was a lieutenant in the "Provincials" during the
American War of Independence, and was killed in
the expedition under General Forbes against Fort
Ducpiesne in 1757.

r/3. Helen, married to Thomas Maclean, a
schoolmaster at Old.