Angus Macdonald.

The clan Donald (Volume 3) online

. (page 37 of 48)
Online LibraryAngus MacdonaldThe clan Donald (Volume 3) → online text (page 37 of 48)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

interests of his chief and people. He distinguished
himself as a warrior on many occasions, but the
circumstances are forgotten, save in the conspicuous
instances of Coolin and Carinish, which have been
duly chronicled in the history of the family of Sleat.
At the battle of Carinish he was wounded in the
foot, and judging by the song of Nic Coiseim, his
foster-mother, also in the body. He was conveyed
to a house in Carinish with the arrow sticking in the
flesh, and tradition has it that Nic Coiseim procured
a band of women, whom she arranged around a
waulking board, and who joined in a loud Luinneag
to drown his complaints while the arrow was being
extracted and the wound bound. This is a highly
improbable story about the heroic Mac Iain, which
probably had its origin in the fancy of his foes.

•Donald Mac Iain's occupation in times of peace
was that of a drover or cattle dealer, and he is said
to have been the first man who ever ferried cattle
from Skye to Uist. When he travelled from home
he took with him a staff of " Gilliemores," or big
stalwart fellows who " breathed to do his bidding,"
and we doubt not but in the unsettled state of the
Highlands he needed their warlike prowess and his
own trusty Cuiy Mha^y to protect his herds on the
way to Southern trysts. In his early days he lived
at Eriskay, which he held from Clanranald, and
which was occupied by several generations of his


descendants. He afterwards lived at Carinish, the
scene of one of his greatest exploits, and of this we
have evidence in a contract of marriage in which he
appears as cautioner in 1626.

It must be admitted that Donald Maciain, who
had been such a pillar of the house of Sleat, received
tardy recognition of his valuable services. Many
years passed without his receiving an inch of ground
on the territories of the family for which he had
fought and bled. At last a clansman and fellow
bard, the keen-witted John Lom of Lochaber, took
up the cudgels for his friend. Donald had set his
heart upon the lands of Airdviceolan in Trotternish,
but another was preferred. John Lom, on hearing
how the grand old warrior had been treated, went
all the way from Lochaber to Duntulm and recited
half a dozen verses laden with the fiercest invective
in the hearing of Sir Donald, first baronet of Sleat.
" In the name of the Almighty desist," said Sir
Donald in Gaelic. " I have more," said the per-
sistent wrong-righter. " You have more than
enough," replied the baronet. " Have you a place
for Domhnull Mac Iain 'ic Sheumais ?" returned the
bard. " We will get a place for him," was the
reply. "If not," said the bard, "you will hear of it
on the deafer ear." The scathing tongue of John
Lom won for the Macdonald hero what his own
merits had been unable to secure, and the voice of
tradition has it that Donald got the farm of Cuid-
reach in liferent. Tradition is in this detail amply
supported by documentary evidence. It was, how-
^ever, a tack for a certain number of years, which
certainly extended very considerably beyond the
lifetime of Maciain, for in 1660, long after his death,
we find his" widow P^d son in possession of the lands


in question. These included not only Cuidreach
proper, but also Arnishbeg, Arnishmore, and Glen-
tinistle. Donald appears on record in 1648, but he
must have been pretty well advanced in years, and
we find no further notice of him. He spent a good
deal of his old age in the house of his daughter, wife
of Macleod of Gesto, a bold, irascible, and proud
churl, who used to taunt her with being " Nighean
aireach liath nam bo," or " the daughter of the
grey-headed herdsman." Donald is said to have
died at Gesto, and the date may probably be fixed
as 1650. He married a daughter of Macdonald
of Keppoch, and had issue —

1. Alexander, who appears in 1648 as Alexander Macdonald

of Skirinish, and who carried on the senior repre-
sentation of the line of Donald Mac Iain 'ic Sheumais.

2. John, of whom the Macdonalds of Eriskay. He was a

brave warrior, and fought under Montrose in the Civil
Wars, in the course of which he lost both his legs by
a musket shot. He survived his wounds, and returned
to his native Island of Eriskay. He had a son, James,
who succeeded him there. James married, in 1696,
Ann, daughter of Alexander Macdonald of Heiskir and
Balranald, and had a son, Donald of Eriskay. Donald
married and had a son, Angus, known in his day as
Aonghas Mac Dhomhnuill 'ic Sheumais, who also was
tacksman of Eriskay. He flourished at the time of
the '45, and it was in his house at Eriskay that
Prince Charles Edward spent his first night on Scot-
tish soil after disembarking from the Doutelle. He
died without issue.

3. John, known as Iain Bodach, because he was fostered in

Bute. He had a son who lived in North Uist, and
was drowned while swimming from an islet on Loch
Una in that parish, since which occurrence it has
been known as " Eilean Mhic a' Bh6daich," or " the
islet of the Buteman's son."

4. Hugh, who succeeded his father as tacksman of Cuid-

reach, and of whom the family so designed.
5. Mary, who married Macleod of Gesio.


Donald Maclain 'ic Sheumas was succeeded in the
representation of the family by his oldest son,

IV. Alexander of Skirinish. Along with his
brother John he also took part in the campaign of
Montrose. He died c. 1680. He married a daughter
of James Macdonald of Ostaig, and a niece of Sir
Donald Macdonald, 1st Baronet of Sleat, a second
cousin of his own. By her he had —

L Donald of Scuddiboro, his successor.

, 2. Alexander of Flodigarry, who was Chamberlain of Trotter-

ni&h. He married Mary Macdonald, with issue —
(a) Alexander ; (b) James ; (c) John ; (d) Mary,
who married Archibald Nicolson in Balvicquean ;

(e) Ann, who married John Nicolson in Scuddiboro ;

(f) Margaret, who married Lachlan Mackinnon in
Penefiler. He died before 1697.

V. Donald Macdonald of Scuddiboro. He
also inherited the warlike qualities of his sires, and
was present at the battles of Killiecrankie and
SheriflPmuir. He died about 1720. He married
Margaret, daughter of Rev. Donald Nicolson of
Scorriebreck, Minister of Kilmuir in Skye, and had —

1. Alexander, who carried on the succession.

2. John, who had the farm of Ardnacross, in Kintyre. He

married Grace, daughter of Godfrey Macalister of
Loup, and had a daughter Jane, who married Angus
Macalister of Loup, with issue.

Donald of Scuddiboro was succeeded by

VI. Alexander Macdonald, who occupied a
very prominent position in the x4.nnals of the family
of Sleat during about half a century. He was as
.eminent in the walks of peace as his ancestors were
in warlike prowess. He was born in 1689, the year
of the battle of Killiecrankie, and in 1718, when he
was in his 30th year, was appointed to the important
post of Chamberlain on Sir Donald Macdonald's
Trotter nish estates. In 1722 he obtained a tack of


the lands of Knockcowe and Kilvaxter, which he
seems to have held for a numlier of years. In 1723
he appears as one of the signatories to the " Bond of
Uist men and others " for the preservation of the
forfeited estates — then exposed for sale — in the
possession of the Sleat family. He signs as " son of
the deceased Donald Macdonald of Scuddiboro,"
and no doubt, as Chamberlain for Trotternish, took
a leading part in these negotiations. As represent-
ing his late fither, he was also apparently a
creditor on the estate. Though his race came in
after years to be designated of Kingsburgh, they
never had any connection with it until Alexander's
own time, and it was only in 1734 that, having
apparently given up Knockcowe and Kilvaxter, he
became tacksman of that historic holding. Alex-
ander's connection with the memorable events of
1745-6 have been the well-worn theme of many a
pen, and it is not our purpose now to detail them.
An unwilling actor in that drama, he suffered
imprisonment in Edinburgh for about a year. After
the death of Sir Alexander Macdonald in 1746, most
urgent appeals were made by Lady Margaret Mac-
donald and Macdonald of Castleton to President
Forbes to use his influence with the Government for
the release of one whose management of the Mac-
donald estates during the minority of young Sir
James was regarded as essential to their prosperity.
These appeals were successful, and Kingsburgh was
released from durance on 4th July, 1747, under the
general Act of Indemnity. This decision was taken
not so much out of regard for Kingsburgh or the
family of Sleat as for reasons of State policy. In a
letter of 27th December, 1746, addressed by Presi-
dent Forbes to the Secretary of State, and printed
among the CuUoden papers, there is an exceedingly


good and convincing case made out from this point
of view for the release of Kingsburgh, the President
pointing out " what mav be the consequence if a
kindred lately recovered from disaffection shall see a
person so necessary for the management of Sir Alex-
ander's private fortune after a long imprisonment
tried and if convicted put to death."

Kingsburgh continued as Chamberlain to the
Sleat family till about 1765, when he retired from
active duty owing to the infirmities of advancing
years, and in acknowledgment of his long and
honourable services was awarded a pension of £50
per annum for life. He died on 13th February,
1772. He married Florence, daughter of John Mac-
donald of Castleton, with issue —

1. Allan, his successor.

2. James, tacksman of Knockcowe. He married Margaret,

daughter of Major Macleod of Balmeanach, and bad —

(a) Captain Alexander Macdonald, who died in the island

of St Kitts, in the West Indies, in the British
Service, without issue.

(b) James.

(c) Roderick. These two brothers were engaged as clerks

in shipping offices in Greenock, and having been
pressed into the Service, were never heard of

(d) Jessie, married Captain Norman Macleod, " Cyprus,"

with issue — (a) Elizabeth Pringle, who married
Rev. Roderick Maclean, minister of South Uist,
and had a large family of sons and daughters ;
their 5th daughter, Marion, married Rev. Roderick
Macdonald of Harris, afterwards of South Uist,
with issue — (a^) Rev. Archibald Macdonald,
Kiltarlity ; (b^) Roderick, died young ; (c^)
Charles, died in infancy ; (d^) Alastair ; (e^)
Elizabeth Pringle ; (/^) Susan, married Archibald
Maclauchan, M.B., CM. : he died in the Transvaal;
(g^) Flora Alexandra, married Roderick Maclean,
Esq. of Gometra, Mull ; (h^) Harriet Christina ^ ;

'•^The above family was inadvertently omitted from the Clan Godfrey genealogy-

1. Major Alexander Macdoiiald of 3. Captain Allan IMacdonald of


2. George INIacdonald, Novelist. 4. J. R. M. IVIacdonald of Laigie.

5. John Ranald Alacdonald of vSauda.


(h) Margaret, who married Mr Calder, school-
master, Kilmuir, Skye, without issue; (c) Matilda,
who married a Mr Campbell, Durinish, Skye,
with issue.

(e) Anne, married John Mackenzie, architect, with issue,

among others, Margaret, who married a Mr Mac-
donald, schoolmaster and catechist, with issue.

(f) Margaret, died unmarried.

(g) Flora, died unmarried.

3. Anne. She married Ranald Macalister of Skirinish, who
was for some time factor for Troternisb, with issue a
large family, who have already been detailed under
the Macalister genealogy.
Alexander Macdonald of Kingsburgh was succeeded
in the representation of the family by his older son,
VII. Allan. Having received an elementary
education in his native parish, he was afterwards
sent to Edinburgh to complete his studies, at the
expense of Sir Alexander Macdonald. He lived for
a number of years at Flodigarry, of which his father
had a tack, and continued there until 1772, when,
on his father's death, he succeeded him at Kings-
burgh. On old Kingsburgh's retiral from office in
1765, Allan was installed in his place as Chamber-
lain for Troternish, a post which he held until 1774.
It was while at Kingsburgh that Allan and his
distinguished wife entertained Dr Samuel Johnson
and his biographer, in 1773.

In 1774 a change came over the fortunes of the
family of Kingsburgh. It was a transition time in
the Isles when great economic changes rendered it
difficult for the good old class of gentry to maintain
their ancient state. Animated by the desire to
repair the somewhat shattered family fortunes, Allan
broke up his estabUshment at Kingsburgh and sailed
for the new world. Soon after his settlement in
North Carolina, the American War of Independence
broke out, and Allan was appointed Captain of a


Company in the Royal Highland Emigrant Regi-
ment. With his five sons he pla3^ed a brilliant part
in the campaign of 1777, but on the defeat of the
loyalist army he was captured at Moore's Creek and
taken prisoner to Halifax, where he was confined
till 1783, when, the American War having been
concluded by a Treaty of Peace, he was liberated,
and returned to Scotland after an absence of nnie
years, his wife and other members of the family
havinof returned in 1779. For a short time after
his return to Scotland, Allan lived at Daliburgh in
South Uist, in the neighbourhood of Milton, his
wife's native place. About 1785 he and his wife
and family left South Uist for Skye, and once more
took up their occupancy of the house and farm of
Kingsburgh, Allan in the enjoyment of a captain's
pension. Here he died on the 20th September,
1795, and was buried in the family burying-ground
at Kilmuir. Allan married on the 6th November,
1750, Flora, daughter of Ranald Macdonald of
Milton by his wife, Marion, daughter of Rev. Angus
Macdonald, minister of South Uist, with issue —

1. Charles, a Captain in the Queen's Rangers. He married

in 1787 Isabella, daughter of Captain James Mac-
donald of Aird, son of W'illiam, Tutor of Macdonald,
without issue. He died in 1795.

2. Alexander, Lieutenant 81th Royal Highland Emigrant

Regiment, lost at sea, unmarried. He went down
in the ship " Ville de Paris," captured from the
enemy, at the battle of Eustati in 1782, and in which
he and his brother Ranald were placed to take charge
of the prize and crew.

3. Ranald, Captain Royal Marines. Lost at sea with his

brother Alexander.

4. James, known as Captain James Macdouald of Flodigarry.

He married Emily, daughter of James Macdonald, of
Skeabost, and died in 1807, leaving issue —
(a) James Somerled Macdonald, Lieut. -Colonel of the 45th
Madras Native Regiment of Infantry. He died


unmarried in London in Jan., 1842, and was
buiied in Kensal Cemetery.

(b) Allan Ranald, a Captain in the 4th Bengal Native

Infantry. He married Miss Smith, daughter of
General Smith, of the Bengal Army, with issue —
(a) Reginald Somerled Macdonald, of the Colonial
Office, who married Zeloe, a daughter of Sir
William Grove, an English Judge, and died 1877,
leaving issue — (1) Zeila Flora, who married
Colonel Baker, R.A. ; (2) Leila, Mrs Cracken-
thorpe ; (b) Leila, who died young in Florence ;
(c) Leila Flora, who married Marshal Canrobert,
and died in 1895, leaving issue— (1) Marce
Certin, an officer in the French Army ; (2) Claire,
who married Paul de Navacelle, a naval officer.

(c) John, who died young.

(d) Flora, died unmarried.

(e) Charlotte, died unmarried.

(f) Jessie, married Ninian Jeffrey of New Kelso, Loch-

carron, with issue — (a) Captain James Jeffrey,
who married Mary Irwin, with issue. He died
1875. (b) Captain George Jeffrey of H.M. 32nd
Light Infantry, a very brave soldier, who greatly
distinguished himself in various campaigns in
which the British Arm) were engaged. He
married Annie, daughter of Colonel William
Geddes, H.E.I.C.S., with issne. He died in
China in 1868. (c) William John, stipendiary
magistrate at Demerara, married Sophia, widow
of the Rev. William Hamilton, of the Episcopal
Church at Leguan, Demerara, with issue, (d)
Allan Ranald, who married, and had Allan Ninian
Charles, (e) Thomas Mackenzie, lost at sea ;
unmarried. (/) Alexander Lachlan. (g) Ninian.
(h) John— both the last died in infancy. (/) Amelia
Macdonald, died unmarried, 1864. (j) Agnes
Johanna, married Ranald Livingstone of Drim-
synie, Argyllshire, with issue — (1) Captain
Ranald Livingston Macdonald, 3rd Battalion
Seaforth Highlanders ; (2) Alexander ; (3)
Emily ; (4) Mary ; (5) Flora.
5. John, who became Lieutenant-Colonel of the Clan Alpine
Reo-iment and Commandant of the Royal Edinburgh


Artillery. He contributed largely to the literature of
of his profession, and became a F.R.S. He married —
1st, Mrs Bogle, a widow, with issue, two children,
who died young. He married — 2nd, Frances Maria,
eldest daughter of Sir Robert Chambers, Chief Justice
• of the Supreme Court of Judicature, Bengal, with

issue —

(a) Robert, a Major in the Indian Army. He maiTied,

wiih issue — a son, Somerled, who died young.

(b) John, a Captain in the Indian Army, married, with

surviving issue — (1) Herbert Chambers, Lt.-Col.
108th Regiment. He married first, and had
Clarence Herbert, Major 86th Berar Infantry, who
married, and has several children ; (2) Flora, who
married Colonel Cooke, Q.M.C Madras Army,
with issue. He married, secondly, and had
(a) Percy Edward, (b) Hugh, (c) Annie Flora,
(d) Adrea Louisa, (e) Annabel Gladys.

(c) Allan, died young.

(d) William Pitt, a Major - General in the Indian

Army, who married twice, and had issue —

(1) Reginald Mackenzie, General Madras S.C.
He married, and has issue — (a) Neville Doug-
las, (b) Arthur Gabell, (c) Clarence Regi-
nald, (d) Emily Florence, (e) Flora Mary,
(/) Ethel Clanranald, (g) Grace Elizabeth.

(2) John Collins, General Madras S.C. He
married, and has issue — (a) Reginald Percy, a
Captain in the Army ; (b) Walter Douglas ;

(c) Fanny Julia, who married Robert Watson ;

(d) Florence, who married John Barras, with
issue ; (e) Alice Maud, (3) Charles Frederick.
(4) James Ochterlony. (5) Rev. Reginald
Chambers, Vicar of Frampton, Dorchester.
(6) George E'lward Russell. (7) Rev. Grant
William. (8) Henrietta Frances. (9) Caroline
Eliza. (10) Catherine Austen, who married
Rev. W. Johnson, with issue. (11) Ellen Maria,
who married Colonel Chalon. (12) Alice Susan,
v^ho married Rev. J. Smith, Madras, with issue.

(e) Charles Edward, in the Indian Civil Service, married,

with issue — (1) John, Major-General B.S.C., who


married, and has (a) Charles, Captain 6th B.C. ;
(b) Reginald, (c) Flora, (d) Annie, (e) Agnes.

(f) James, a Captain in the Indian Army, married, with

issue — Augustus and a daughter, both married.

(g) Reginald, Lieutenant 17th Lancers, married Miss

Morris, with issue — Amy, unmarried.

(e) Flora Frances, who married Edward Wylde, of the
Royal Navy, without issue.

(i) Henrietta Louisa Lavinia, married Benjamin Cuff
Greenhill, of Knowle Hall, Somersetshire. Issue—
(«!) Lavinia, married Edward Amphlett, with
issue, a son and daughter ; (6^) Flora, married
Thomas Hussy, with issue ; (c^) Clare, married,
with issue.
Colonel John Macdonald died at Exeter on 16th
August, 1831, aged 72 years.

6. Annie, married Major Alexander Macleod of Lochbay,

Skye, and of Glendale, Moore County, U.S.A., who
fought in the American War of Independence, as also
in European Wars, in all of which he greatly dis-
tinguished himself, and rose to the rank of Major-
General. Issue —
(a) Norman, a Lieutenant, who died from effects of a
wound inflicted by Alexander Macdonald of Glen-
garry in a duel.
(b and c) Sons, one of whom married in India.

(d) Flora, who married Mr Mackay, Forres, with issue.

(e) Mary, who died unmarried in Stein, Skye.
Mrs Major Macleod died in 1834.

7. Frances, who married Lieutenant Donald Macdonald of

Cuidreach, Skye, with issue.


This family is descended from

I. Hugh, youngest son of Donald Mac Iain 'ic
Sheumais, 3rd of the family of Castle Camus.
We do not find much recorded regarding Hugh
of Cuidreach. In 1660 we find himself and
his mother evidently joint tenants of these lands,


Her name is mentioned that year along with his in
a reference made to the approaching close of the
tack, and to a wadset of Sir James Macdonald to his
youngest son, Alexander, to take effect after the
tack expired. For some reason or another, these
proposals were not carried out, and Hugh, the son
of Donald Macian, and his descendants after him,
for generations continued in occupation. Hugh
married and had a son,

II. Donald, who succeeded him. Either in
Donald's or in his father's time, a new wadset of
these lands must have heen obtained, for in 1691 we
find Donald Macdonald of Arnishmore appearing
among the landowners of the Parish of Kilmuir.
He died about 1700. He married and had a son,

III, James, who succeeded him at Cuidreach,
Arnishmore, &c. In 1705, his name appears among
the gentlemen who were delegated by the baron
bailie court of Duntulm to hold courts in their
respective districts in Trotternish. In the will of
Sir James Macdonald of Orinsay in 1713, he is
nominated as one of the tutors to his son and heir,
afterwards Sir Alexander. It was not till 1723 that
he was served heir to his father. Many of the
wadsetters and tacksmen got themselves served
heirs about this time with the view of establishing
their claims as creditors on the Macdonald forfeited
estates. James of Cuidreach married and had three
sons —

1. Donald, who succeeded.

2 Hugh, who was schoolmaster at Blaskhills, and died

without issue.
3. Murdoch, died without issue.

James of Cuidreach died about 1730, and was
succeeded by his eldest son,


IV. Donald, who appears on record frequently
during his father's lifetime. In 1737 he made a
renunciation of Cuidreach and Arnishmore, but he
received a new tack of Cuidreach, as his descendants
continued long afterwards in possession of it. He
died about 1757. He married, and had his successor,

V. Alexander. He went to the army, and
fought in the American War as Captain in the
Regiment of North Carolina Highlanders. He
married, and had his son and successor,

VI. Donald. He was a Lieutenant in the
British Army during the American Revolutionary
War. He married Frances, daughter of Allan Mac-
donald of Kingsburgh, by his wife. Flora Macdonald,
with issue.


This family derives its descent from

I. Donald, second son of James Macdonald of
Castle Camus. He had the same soubriquet as
his grandfather, Donald, 4th Baron of Sleat, and
was known as Donald Gruamach Mac James.
From the frequency of his appearances on record,
he must have been regarded as a man of con-
sequence in the internal economy of the Clan
Uisdein. On 16th May, 1578, John Cunningham
of Drumqiihassal becomes his surety for appearing
before the Council as one of the Chieftains of
Donald Gorm Mor, a position that he occupied
until his death nearly fifty years later. In 1617,
Donald Gruamach Mac James is procurator for
Donald Gorm Mor in a precept of Seasing of that
year, and is referred to as " Donaldus Mac Conal
alias Gruamach Mac James de Ostaig Actornatus."



In 1619, Donald Gorm seeks to disown liability for
Donald Gruamach's compearance before the Privy
Council on the alleged ground that he was a tenant
of Macleod's — but the plea was disallowed, nor have
we any information as to the lands, if any, that he
held from the Chief of Dunvegan. He married, and
had —

1. James, who succeeded him.

2. Colla, who left no descendants.

3. John Og, of whom the Macdonalds of Balvicquean, and

others. He was succeeded by his son,

II. James. The ascertained facts about him and
his descendants are comparatively meagre. On his
father's death in 1 626, he succeeded him as one of
Donald Gorm's principal chieftains available for
yearly presentation at the Privy Council. He
married Mary, daughter of Archibald, the clerk, and
sister of Sir Donald Macdonald, by whom he had —

1. James, who succeeded him.

2. A daughter, who married her second cousin, Alexander,

son of Donald Macdonald of Cuidreach.

He died about 1660, and was succeeded by

III. James of Capstill. He held a command in
the Sleat contingent under Macdonald of Castleton
at Dundee's Rising for King James in 1689, and

Online LibraryAngus MacdonaldThe clan Donald (Volume 3) → online text (page 37 of 48)