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Lairg.

Henderson, W. H., & Son, St Andrews.

Hunter, R. W., Esq., bookseller, 19 George IV. Bridge, Edin-
burgh.

Lacourt, Randolp Macdonald, Chili.

Lawlor, Henry Cairnes, 10 Wellington Park Avenue, Belfast.

Livingston-Macdonald, R. M., Esq. of Flodigary, Skye (large
paper).

Mainwaring, Charles, Esq., Eeugh Cottage, Banchory, Aberdeien.

Maitland, Mrs J. Keith, Theresia, Ceylon.

Martin, Adam W., Esq., Knocli, Belfast.

Martin, Colonel Martin, R.E., Ostaig, Skye.

Macalister, Major, C.B., of Glenbarr, Kintyre.

Macallister, James, Esq., wine merchant, Ballymena.

M'Connel, Wm., Esq., Knockdolian, Colmonell — deceased.

M'Crindle, John, Esq., Auchinlee, Ayr.

Macdonald, Lieut. -Colonel A. H., Moreton, Benbridge, Isle of
Wight.

Macdonald, A., Esq., Commercial Bank, Thurso.

Macdonald, A. R., Esq., Ord, Isleornsay, Skye.

M'Donald, Rev. A., F.C. Manse, Ardclach.

Macdonald, Alex., Esq., 65 Oswald Street, Glasgow.

Macdonald, Alex., Esq., solicitor, Portree — deceased (ordered

vols. I., II., III.).

Macdonald, J. A. Ranald, Esq. of Balranald, Edenwoocl House,

Springfield, Fife.
Macdonald, Capt. A. W., Invernevis, Fort- William.
Macdonald, Rev. Alex., Napanee, Ontario, Canada (large paper).



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. XXI.

Macdonald, Alex., Esq., Shannon, Wellington, New Zealand.
Macdonald, Allan, Esq., LL.D., Glenarm, Co. Antrim, Ireland.
Macdonald, Andrew, Esq., slierifT-clerk, Inverness.
Macdonald, Angus, Esq., Cunanibuntag, Benbecula.
Macdonald, Captain, of Watemish, Fasacli, Skye (2 copies, 1 large

paper).
Macdonald, Charles, New York.
Macdonald, Charles, 22 York Street, Glasgow.
Macdonald, Charles D., Esq., Bank of S. America.
Macdonald, Rev. Colin, The Ma.nse, Rogart.
Macdonald, Rev. D. J., The Manse, Killean, Muasdale, Kintyre.
Macdonald, Rev. Donald, Baleloch, Lochmaddy.
M'Donald, Donald, Esq., F.L.S., Cleeve House, Bexley Heath,

Kent.
Macdonald, Donald, Esq., Rajnmerscales, Lockerbie.
Macdonald, Dr, 7 Wellington Square, Ayr.

Macdonald, Dimcan, Esq., 2 Herri ot Row, Edinburgh — deceased.
Macdonald, D. R., Esq., R.H. Academy, Woolwich.
Macdonald, Miss Ellen T., Box 48, Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A.
Macdonald, E., Fiiiit and Flower Depot, 39 Donegall Place,

Belfast.
Macdonald, Ewen, Esq., Ardmor, Lyminge, Kent.
Macdonald, Rev. Finlay R., The Manse, Coupar-Angxis —

deceased.
Macdonald, Frank, Esq., P.O. Box 761, Montgomery, Ala.,

U.S.A.
Mrs Macdonald of Sanda, Rosemary Lane House, The Close,

Salisbury.
M'Donald, George, Esq., Southall, Middlesex.
Macdonald, Captain H., of Kingsburgh, King Edward VII.

Hospital, 9 Grosvenor Gardens, S.W.
Macdonald, Harry, Esq. of Viewfield, Portree.
Macdonald, H. A., 370 Great Western Road, Glasgow.
Macdonald, H. M., Esq., 34 Broad Street, New York (large

paper).
Macdonald, H. L., Esq. of Dunach, Dunach House, Oban (large

paper).
Macdonald, James, Esq., W.S., 4 Wliitehouse Terrace, Edinburgh

(large paper).
Macdonald, James, Esq., Moss Cottage, Benbecula.
Macdonald, J. M., Esq., Harley Street, London.
Macdonald, Colonel J. A., of Glenaladale, Glenfinau, Fort-

William.



xxil. LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS.

Macdonald, J. K. M., Esq. of Largie, Largie Castle, Kintyre,

Argyle.
Macdonald, J., Esq., Bank House, Comrie, Perthshire.
Macdonald, Jolin, Esq., Keppoch, Roy-Bridge.
Macdonald, John, Esq., 39 Broadway, New York (3 copies).
Macdonald, Miss lone, of Milland Place, Sussex.
Macdonald, Dr Keith, 21 Cla.rendon Crescent, Edinburgh.
Macdonald, Lachlan, Esq. of Skaebost, Skaebost Bridge, Isle of

Syke.
Macdonald, Miss, Arderslate House, Hunter's Quay, Kirn, by

Greenock.
Macdonald, Miss, Bamfield Hill, Southampton.
Macdonald, Rev. Mosse, M.A., The Vicarage, West Malvern.
Macdonald, Mrs, of Keppoch, 60 Sternliold Avenue, Streathani

Hill, London.
Macdonald, Peter, Esq., 4 Carlton Place:, Glasgow (large paper).
Macdonald, Rev. Peter, 11 India Street, Glasgow.
Macdonald, Admiral Robertson, 1 Mardale Crescent, Edinburgh.
Macdonald, Roderick, Esq., 22 York Street, Glasgow.
Macdonald, Ronald, Esq., solicitor, Portree.
Macdonald, Ronald, Esq. (now in South Africa).
Macdonald, Ronald Mosse, 220 Ashley Gardens, S.W.
Macdonald, Rev. Thomas Mosse, M.A., Canon of Lincoln

Cathedral.
Macdonald, T., Esq., H.B.M.'s Supreme Court, Shanghai, China.
Macdonald, The Hon. W. J., Armadale House, Vancouver,

British Columbia.
Macdonald, Captain WiUiam Mosse, late 3rd Batt. Queen's Own

Cameron Highlanders, Bank of England, Birmingham.
Macdonald, William, Esq., publisher, Edinbiu'gh.
Macdonald, W. Rae, Esq., 1 Forres Street, Edinburgh.
MacdoneU, A. W., Esq., 2 Rectory Place, Guildford.
Macdonell, Arthur Anthony, M.A., Ph.D., Boden Professor of

Sanskrit in the University of Oxford, and Fellow of Balliol

College, Lochgarry Lodge, Banbury Road, Oxford.
Macdonell, Dr D., 17 Crumlea Road, Belfast.
M'DoneU, Captain Wm. Joseph, of Dunfeirth, Royal Dublin

Fusiliers, Co. Kildare, Ireland.
Macdonnell, Hercules H. G., Esq., 4 Roby Place, Kingston,

Ireland — deceased.
MacdonneU, James, Esq. of Kilsharvan, Murlough, Drogheda,
Ireland.



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. XXlll.

Macdonnell, Colonel Jolm, of Kilmore, Glenariff, County Antrim.

Macdowall, Rev. Jaines, The Manse, Rosemarkie, Fortrose.

M'Grath, D., Esq., postmaster, Beauly.

MacgTegor, D. R., Esq., 104 Queen Street, MelboT.U'ne, Victoria.

Macinnes, Lieut.-Colonel John, Glendaruel, Greenock.

M'Kain, Rev. W. James, 28 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh.

Mackay, Eneas, Esq., bookseller, Stirling.

Mackay, Eric, Esq., 7 Royal Exchange, London, E.G.

Mackay, John, Esq., C.E., Hereford (2 copies).

Mackay, John, " Celtic Monthly," 1 Blythswood Drive, Glasgow
(33 copies).

Mackay, Wm., Esq., solicitor, Inverness.

Mackeachan, J., Esq., 133 St Vincent Street, Glasgow-
Mack emzie, Andrew, Esq. of Dalmore, Alness.

Mackenzie, Colonel Burton, of Kilcoy, Kilcoy Castle, Muir of Ord.

Mackenzie, H. H., Esq., Balelone, Lochmaddy.

Mackenzie, Rev. Kenneth, LL.D., Kingussie.

Mackenzie, N. B., Esq., banker, Fort-William.

Mackenzie, Thomas, Esq. of Daluaine (large paper).

Mackenzie, W. Dakiel, Esq. of Farr, Inverness.

Mackenzie, William, Esq., secretary. Crofters Commission, Edin-
burgh.

Mackillop, James, jun., Polniont.

Maclaverty, Rev. A., Lla.ngattock Manor, Monmouth.

MacLaverty, Graeme Alex., Esq., Chanting Hall, Hamilton.

Maclean, Alex. Scott, Esq., 31 Bank Street, Greenock.

MacLean, Charles, Esq., Milton, Lochboisdale.

Maclean, R., Esq. of Gometra, Aros, Mull.

Macleay, Murdo', Esq., Broom Cottage, Ullapool.

Macleod of Macleod, Dunvegan Castle, Skye.

Macleod, John N., of Kintarbert and Saddell, Glensaddell, by
Campbelltown.

Macleod, Mr Neil, Torran Public School, Raasay, Portree.

Macleod, Norman, Esq., 25 George IV. Bridge, Edinburgh.

Macquarrie, Rev. A. J., The Manse cf Ferintosh, Conou.

Macrae-Gilstrap, Captain John, Northgate, Newark-on-Trent.

Miller, Miss J. Macdonald, Courthill, Hermitage Gardens, Edin-
burgh.

Mihie, A. & R., 299 Union Street, Aberdeen.

Morrison, Dr, Kinloid House, Larkhall.

Morrison, Hew, Esq., Public Library, Edinburgh.

Munro, Sir Hector, of Fowlis, Bart., Fowlis Castle,



XXIV. LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS.

Pearson, Dr A., 4 Middleton Terrace, Ibrox, Glasgow.

Perrins, Mrs Dyson, of Ardross, Daivenham, Malvern.

Philip, Eev. A. M., Tlie Manse, Avoch.

Pilkington, H. W., Esq., K.C., Tore, Tynellspass, Co'. Westmeath,

Irelandj
Pryor, Mrs, Armadale, Cecil Road, Boscombe, Bournemouth.
Rankin, Reiv. E. A., Kilmorack Manse, Beauly.
Rawlins, Rev. J. Arthur, St Andrew's Vicarage, Willesden,

London, N.W.
Roberts, Mrs Vernon, Springwood Hall, Marple.
Robertson, George, & Co., 17 Warwick Square, Paternoster Row,

E.C.
Ross, D. Charles, Esq., Ardvarre, 39 Maxwell Drive, Pollok-

shields, Glasgow.
Ross, John M., Esq., 2 Devonshire Gardens, Kelvinside, Glasgow.
Ryan, Mrs Jaines, Glenomera, Ceylon.
Shaw, Duncan, Esq., W.S., St Aubyn's, Inverness.
Sinclair, The Venerable The Archdeacon Macdonald, of London,

The Chapter House, St Paul's Cathedral, London.
Sinclair, Rev. A. Maclean, Belfast, P.E. Island, Canada.
Smith, Dr J. Pender, Dingwall.
Stechert, G. E., bookseller, 2 Star Yard, Carey Street, London,

W.C.
Stuart, Hugh Macdonald, 220 Ashley Gardens, S.W.
Stuart, Mrs M'Donald, of Dalness, Taynuilt, Argyllshire.
Sykes, Harold P., Esq., 2nd Dragoon Guards.
The International News Coy., 5 Bream's Buildings, Chancery

Lane, London, E.C.
Tod, Ewen M., Esq., 35 Norfo'Ik Square, Brighton.
Tolmie, Rev. A. M. C, M.A., The Manse, Southend, Campbell-
town, Argyle.
Yovmg, Messrs Henry, & Sons, 12 South Castle Street, Liverpool.
Yule, Miss A. F., Tarradale House, Muir of Ord.



THE CLAN DONALD.




CHAPTER I.

THE MACDONALDS OF SLEAT.

Hugh the founder. — Invasion of Orkney. - Charter from Earl of
Ross. — Hugh and the forfeiture of the Lord of the Isles. —
Grant of Superiorities. — Barony of Troternish — Hugh's
Charter of Confirmation. — His death. — John Hucheonson
succeeds. — Scatters the patrimony. — Royal Cliarters to
Macleods. — Sinister influences. — John resigns Slcat and
North Uist. — His death.— Donald Gallach smeceds to the
Chiefship. — The Chief's brothers. — Black Arci)ibald. —
Murders of Donald Herrach and Donald (jfallach. — Archibald
as pirate. — Angus Collach in North Uist.- -His diath. — Death
of Angus Dubh, — Donald Gruamach and Ranald MacDonald
Herrach. — Death of Black Archibald. — Donald assumes chief-
ship. — Bond with Cawdor. — Alliance with Mackintosh.—
Expels Macleods from Troternish. — Is summoned to Edin-
burjrh and submits — Death of Donald Gruamacl'. — Donald
Gorme. — Donald Gormeson. — Archibald the Clerk's tutor-
sliip. — Donald Gurmeson in Lewis and England. — Tack of
North Uist.— Charter of Troternish to William Macieod of
Dunvegan.— Archibald the Clerk signs Commission for
Donald Dubh.— His death.— Grant of Troternish bailiary to
Argyll. — Charge against Donald Gormeson by Kintail. —
Commission of firo and sword against Sleat. — His attitude
towards the Crown. — Adopts Reformed tenets. — Claims

1



2 THE CLAN DONALD.

Lewis. — Contract with Argyll. — Joins Sorley Buy. — Makes
friends with Kintail. — Receives gifts and promises from the
Crown. — Donald Gorme Mor succeeds as minoi'. — James
Macdonald of Castle Camus. — Obligation to Bishop of Isles. —
The Clan Gillespick Clerach. — Their position in Troternish. -
Hugh MacGillespick,-— His outlawry. — His ambition and
treachery. — Donald Gorme Mor's feud with Maclean. —
Skirmish at Inbhir Chnuic bhric— Donald Gorme summoned
to Edinburgh. — His Bonds with FTuntly and Mackintosh. —
Invasion of Mull. — Battles of Cranalich and Bachca — P^nd
of Feud with Duart. — Donald Goime goes to Edinburgh. —
Imprisonment and fine. —Summons of treason. —Goes with
500 men to assist Red Hugh O'Donnell. — His return. —
Proposals to Crown. — Receives Charters and infeftment. —
Donald Gorme's feud with Macleod and its causes. — Macleod
invades Troternish. — Domhnull Maclain 'Ic Sheumais. —
Battle of Cuilean.' — Donald Gorme invades Harris. — Macleod
mvades Uist. — Battle of Carinish. — Privy Council inter-
venes. — Surrender of hoi^tile chiefs. — Reconciliation.-— Hugh
MacGiliespick Clerach. — Conspiracy and death. — - Donald
Gorme at Aros. — Bond for improvement of Isles — Statutes
of I Columkill. ^Charter to Clanranald. — In ward in Glas-
gow. — Ordered to Dunnyveg. — New Charter. — Taken ill at
Chanonry.— Death of Donald Gorme Mor. Dona'd Gorme
Og succeeds. — Settles with Rory Mor.— Obtains titles. —
Baronet of Nova Scotia — Roy;ilist sympathies in Civil Wnr. —
Summoned before Commission of Estates. — Death of Sir
Donald Gorme Og, Bart.

The Macdonalds of Sleat are descended from Hugh,
younger son of Alexander, Earl of Ross and Lord of
the Isles, whence the tribal name of the family is
Clann Uisdein. The first notice we have of Hugh
is contained in the traditional histories of MacVurich
and Hugh Macdonald. We are told by the Sleat
Seanachie, who goes more into detail, that Hugh,
accompanied by William Macleod of Harris and the
young gentlemen of the Isles, went on a piratical
exp3dltion to Orkney. The Orcadians, who seem to
have had notice of the impending invasion, encamped



THE AfACDONALDS OF SLEAT. 3

on a certain promontory on vvhicli the foe was
expected to clisenil)ark, and where they hoped to
defeat them on their attempting to land. The
Western Islesmen, like skilful straten^ists, adopted
different tactics from those expected or desired.
Ohserving another promontory separated from the
defending host by an arm of the sea, Hugh landed
his men there, and marshalled them in order before
the Orcadians could change their position and
manage to attack. The Earl of Orkney, on coming
up with the invaders, attacked them with great
fury, but the onset was repulsed with much loss to
the defenders, who were compelled to retreat, the
Earl himself being among the slain. Hugh pro-
ceeded to ravish the country, and carried off much
booty. ^ On his return, he landed at Caithness, and
became the guest of a prominent member of the
Clan Gunn, who was at the time the Crowner of
that region, and with whose daughter the young
Islesman formed a matrimonial alliance. By tliis
lady he had a son, afterwards known as Domhnull
Callach, on account of his connection with Caith-
ness, which, ])y reason of its Norse population, was
of old and still is in the Gaelic language called
Gallabh, that is, the land of the strangei-. At the
time of his invasion of Orkney, which took place in
14G0, it does not appear that Hugh possessed a
feudal title to any of the lands which were after-
wards in the ownership of his family. 48 a matter
of fact, we find that in 1463 the Earl of Ross gives
a errant of the 28 n»ei-klands of Sleat to Celestine,
Hugh's oldei- brother, in addition to extensive
estates which he had given him the previouL year

1 Hugh MaaloiiMl.l MS. in Cll. de Rcl.. \\h. MacVuridi in Keiici. Celt.,
p. 213.



4- THE CLAN DONALD.

on the West of lioss. To both these grants the
Royal confirmation was given on 2 1st August, 1464.
In 1469 Hugh received from his brother, the Earl
of Ross, a grant of lands which at once gave him a
leading position among the barons of the Isles.
This grant consisted of the 30 merklands of Skeir-
hough in South Uist, the 12 merklands of Benbecula,
and the merkland of Gergryminis, also in Benbecula ;
the 2 merklands of Scolpig, the 4 merklands of
Tallowmartin, the 6 merklands of Orinsay, the half
merkland of Wanylis, all lying in North Uist ; also
the 28 merklands of Sleat — all these lands forming
part of the lordship of the Isles. Hugh was to hold
these lands of the Earl of Ross, and they w^ere
entailed on his heirs male, lawful^ or unlawfully
begotten or to be begotten, between him and
Fynvola, daughter of Alexander Macdonald of
Ardnamurchan, all of whom failing, to the heirs
male of Hugh and any other woman chosen by the
advice of the Earl's Council or relations.^ If the
MacVurich Seanachie is correct in saying that
Celestine died in 1472, then it is apparent that
he must have resigned the lands of Sleat in his
brother's favour before 1469, thougli of this there
is no trace in the State Records of the ag-e. The
earliest residence connected with the barony of
Sleat in occupation of the Clann Uisdein was the
fortalice of Dunskaich, lying on the Soiuid of Sleat,
and a place of considerable strength.

" Hucheon of the His of Slet" appears as one of
the Council of the Earl of Ross in February 1474-5,
probably in succession to Celestine, who was b}^ this
time dead,- and we gather that he took a prominent
part in the proceedings that led to the forfeiture of

' The Great Seal. - Act. Dom. Cou.



THE MACDONALDS OF SLEAT. 5

the Earldom in 147G. 'J'he fact has been liitherto
overlooked by historical writers, but we find that
Hugh of Sleat greatly facilitated the action of
George, Earl of Huntly, in securing the surrender
of the Earl of Ross. He did this, we are told, by
" the expulsion of oure said rebellis and oi)tening of
oure Castle of Dingwall/' This was apparently in
antagonism to his brother John, but in the desperate
position of affairs it may have been the best service
he could render. As a reward for his conduct the
King promised Hugh a grant of " twenty pundis
worth of our landis liand in competent places in the
north partis of our realme and infeft him heretably
therein be charter and seasing before the feast of
Witsonday and attour we sail gev deliuer and pay
to the said George fifty merkis and the said Hucheon
ten pundis of silver," &c. This was given under His
Majesty's Privy Seal at Edinburgh, 23rd October,
1476.^ We find Hugh in Edinburgh the same year
at the drawing up of letters of agreement between
Duncan Mackintosh and Sir Alexander Dunbar, in
which he is described as brother of the Lord of the
isles.

Whether Hugh ever got the 20 pounds worth of
land which was promised him by the King we have
been unable to ascertain. There is a tradition wliich
appears persistently in Hugh Macdonald's MS. that
the early barons of Sleat claimed the lands of
Kishorn and Lochbroom on the West of Koss.
These lands became the property of Celestine by
chartei- from the Earl of iioss in 1462, and it is
possible that Hugh held them, or part of them, as
the reward of his services either directly from the
Crown or as the vassal of the chiefs of Lochalsh.

' Gordou Tapers.



6 THE CLAN DONALD.

Besides the lands granted him by theEail of
Ross, Hugh appears to have received from liini the
superiority of lands in South Uist, Arisaig, and
Morar. Yet while we find him in 1495, on the fall
of the Lordship of the Isles, confirmed in the grant
of 1469, of the grant of superiority we do not find
any confirmation, though it remained in the family
for many generations.

The barony of Troternish, though claimed, and
actually possessed by Hugh's descendants, does not
appear to have belonged to him by any feudal title.
It is interesting, however, to notice that in the
recently discovered cha.rter by Angus Og, son of
John, last Lord of the Isles, to the monks of lona in
1482 (reproduced in Vol. IT. of Clan Donald), Angus
is styled " Master of the Isles and Lord of Troter-
nish." Angus died in 1490, and the family of Sleat,
after the final forfeiture of the Island lordship,
claimed with much show of right to be the heirs of
his property and position by asserting and finally
vindicating their right to the barony of Troternish.

The lordship of the Isles was finally forfeited in
1493, and vested in the Crown, and Hugh, in order
to secure his lands, obtained in 1495 a royal con-
firmation of the grant bestowed on him by the Earl
of E-oss in 1469.^ Hugh would, by this time, have
been advanced in life, and his son John appears the
same year that the confirmation was granted, giving
his submission to the King at the Castle of Mingary.
Hugh died in 1498, and was buried at Sand, in
North Uist. He was succeeded by his oldest son,
who appears in contemporary records as " John
Hucheonson." His career as Chief of Sleat was brief
and inglorious. Having apparently no heirs of his

^ Reg. Mag. Sig.



THE MACDONALDS OF SLEAT. 7

own body, the chief aiin and purpose of his Ht'e
seems to have been to alienate the patrimony of his
house from the just and lawful successors. The
very year of his succession he resigned lands and
superiorities, inljerited fiom his father, to the Crown.
Tlie lands of Kendess, Gergry minis, the 21 merk-
lands of Eigg, and the 24 merklands of Arisaig were
immediately after this resignation bestowed upon
Ranald Bane Allanson of Clanranald in two separate
charters, while the merklands of Benbecula, Eigg,
Arisaig, and the 12 merklands of Moror were
bestowed upon Angus Keochson of the Clanranald
family.^ We also find the lands of Troternlsh dealt
with by royal charters after Hugh's death, but there
is nothing to show that they formed part of the
territory resigned by his successor. In June, 1498,
the King and his Council being in the town of
Stirling, granted to Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan
— known in his day as Alastair Crotach — along with
many other lands in Harris and Skye, two unciates
of the barony of Troternish with the office of bailiary
of the whole lands thereof In October of the same
year the King granted to Torquil Macleod of Lewis
and to his heirs by Catherine Campbell, sister of
Archibald, Earl of Argyll, the very same office of
bailiary of Troternish which in the previous June he
had granted to his namesake of the Siol Tormoid
with 4 merks of the Terunga of Duntulm and
4 merks of Airdmhiceolan.^

The extraordinary facility with which charters
for the same lands and offices were thus given to
different individuals within a limited period of time
seems to suggest that anyone who came with a

1 Clan Donald, vol. 11., p. 238.
- Duuvegau Charter Chest.



THE CLAN DONALD,



plausible story, with lyrima facie evidence of its
truth, to the King, with, perhaps, a bribe to the
leading Councillors, would have a good chance of
obtaining a sheep-skin right. The number of
charters given of lands in the Highlands, and par-
ticularly in Clan Donald territory, which proved
utterly valueless because of the impossibility of
taking sasine and receiving infeftment, seems to
suggest that sinister influences must have often
been at work. Many such instruments of tenure
were granted during the minority of the Stewart
Kings in the 1 5th and 1 6th centuries, and we
are by no means surprised to find James IV.,
on attaining to his majority, revoking in 1498 all
the charters given during the period of his non-
age, including the whole of them, righteous and
unrighteous, in a common condemnation. Keturn-
ing to John Hucheonson, we find him on the 23rd
August, 1505, resigning the lands of Sleat and
North Uist, with the Castle and fortalice of
Dunskaich, to Ranald Allanson of Island Begrim.
The reason for this wholesale impoverishment of
his race is not easy to guess, but it has very natur-
ally been conjectured that there was little love lost
between himself and his half-brothers, whom he thus
desired to rob of their lawful patrimony. Doubtless
much of the territory resigned by John consisted of
superiorities of lands of which his ownership was
more nominal than real. But the abandonment of
Sleat and North Uist must be viewed, in the absence
of evidence to the contrary, as betokening a craven
spirit with little regard for the honour of his house.
As a matter of fact, the proceedings by which they
were alienated seem entirely incompetent. John,
Earl of Ross, entailed these lands of Skeirhough,



THE MACDONALDS OF SLEAT.

Benbecula, North Uist, and Sleat upon Hugh's heirs
whatsoever, legitimate or the reverse, and whatever
view may be taken of the legitimacy of John's
brothers — a point to be considered hereafter — the
terms of the charter were sufficiently wide to
cover all possible contingencies. Hugh's charter
afterwards received a royal confirmation, and no
subsequent events occurred to disturb its validity
or force. It was on this charter that Hugh's
d-escendants continued to insist upon their rights,
and as no forfeiture had taken place, John's resig-
nation and the Crown confirmation to Clanranald
might well be regarded as irregular. Even the
Crown cannot legalize an illegal act, and Hugh's
charter and confirmation maintained their validity
in the face of all other instruments that were or
could be devised. On the death of John Hucheon-
son, which is said to have occurred without
issue, the Chiefship of the Clan Uisdein, and the
legal ownership of the estates, vested in Donald
Gallach, the second son of Hugh of Sleat. Owing,
however, to the manner in which the family inheri-
tance had been disposed of by his predecessor, this
Chief's name has no place in those public records
which detail the tenure of lands, and our entire
information regarding him is based upon tradition.
The first notice we have of him is at the battle of
Bloody Bay in 1484, where, according to the
historian of Sleat, he fought on the side of Angus
Og, Master of the Isles, and against his father, John,
Lord of the Isles. Though his title to his father's
estates was largely discounted by John's action, he
and his brothers, some of whom weie of a turbulent
and ferocious disposition, managed to retain actual
possession of their patrimony both in Skye and Uist.



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