William Fraser.

The earls of Cromartie; their kindred, country, and correspondence (Volume 2) online

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woundit err the Monroes fledd, but only three of the Monroes wer kild on the spott,
and tuo of the M'^'Kenzie, John M'^Rory and Kenneth ni Saied wer both greivously
woundit, but recovered and served afterwards ther cheiff to good purpose. Heirupon
Miltoune came with a considerable power to revenge this rufle, but in 24 hours after
him Coline came also with a power tuo great for him to resist. So the castell wes
rendired on conditiones, viz., that it should be presently put in Walter Vrquhart of
Croraertye's hand, who wes brother-in-law to M'^'Kenzie, and M'^Kenzie wes ingadgit nocht
to seik possession on it for 20 dayes, in which tyme Foulls wes obleidgit for Miltoune
that he should make no attempt on the house, but should only adress to Morton, then
Regent, and the Lords, to knowe ther will in the matter. The Regent and Lords, on


tlie Lord Ruthen's accompt, comandit his passing from the possession in favours of
Bughaia and Innermeath, wherupou Bughain recovered that share disponed to Inner-
meath, and, in anno 1577, disponed all to Coline M'^'Kenzie, who all this whill keipt
the possession on Bughaine's accompt till he bought it himselfe, and, as I told formerly,
after the annexatione, he causit Bughaine gett a new dispositione of it in the nam of
on William Leslie, who accumulative . . .

\^Four pcif/es, 41, 42, 43, and 44, ivantiwi of the original il/<S'.]
on all his kirklands. And the Kings calling to mynd the fidelity and service of his
flither, Collin, who haid not tackin a new right from Bishop David Lindsay, causit the
bishop performe to Kenneth what wes promised to Colline, so the bishop gave a new
charter of all the bishop-lands to Kenneth, 1607, which the King confermed, vnder
the Great Seall, that yeir, and renewed it for suplement of some defects, the fyft of
Junii 1610.

Kenneth did accquire the lands of Kinnock from the Lord Elphingstoun anno 1607,
and the superiority of Rasay, on Rasaye's owin resignation in the Bishop of the Illes
hands, anno 1608, both which are confirmed by the King in the former chartor, anno
1610. Thes conquists of the superiority of Ardmeanoch, which is the largest half of
the earldom of Ross, wer purchast to M'^'Keuzie, from Sir William Keith, by the King's
speciall favour, who evidenced a royall respect to him, pairtly on his father's accompt,
but cheifly on a personall kyndnes, occasioned this. The Scots Presbyterian ministers
haid perswadit Queen Elizabeth that the King, perswadit by many Popish Lords, wes
to bring back the Roman profession. Her ambassadors and thes ministers did, by the
mean of the Earl of Bothuell's rebellione and the fanatick humour of the I,othian
people, so oppose the King, and so oft raise seditious troubles, that in May 1594,
in a Parliament called to that purpose, the cheiff of thes, called the Popish Lords, viz.,
Huntly, Erroll, and Angus, wer forfalt, without forme or justice, aleidgit letters only
produced as probatione, and all frivolous presumptiones tacken as evident prooffes, and in
July theraf ter, by the English ambassadors and the ministers t[h]reats, ther wes a neces-
sity imposed on the King, to raise on army for persuit of thes Lords. Argyle wes
commissionat Leivtennent, incited to the acceptance by the Queen of England's gold and
his hatred to Huntly for his killing the Earl of ]\Iurray so inhumanly a litle before.
In persuance of this comissione Argyle convocatt towards 12,000 men of his owin clann
and of the M'-'Leanes, M*^Neills of Barray, Mcintosh, Grants, Clangregor, and others.
With thes he marched to Ruthen, in Badenoch (a house of Huntlyes), and in vaine
beseidged it, then he marched towards the Popish Lords who wer in the brayes of


Balveni. Argyle haveing intelligence of the fewnes of ther number, judged himself stronge
enough, and others assuired him that Huntly dared not abyde him, so albeit Drumin,
the Forbeses, Bugheyn, and the Leslyes, from the south, and M^Kenzie, with a consider-
able force, the D unbars, and other gentlmen of Murray from the north, wer convocatting,
in obedience to the King, whois commands, so to pleas the seditious ministers, wer very
pressing, wer all neir to have joyndit with him, yett consisting already off tuo great a
number for the few that Huntly and Arroll haid, he vent ftn-ward againest them, they
as resolutly mett him at Auldchoinachan, abow Glenlivet, and albeit he haid 12,000
foot, or therby, and Huntly did not exceid 1500, yet he rooted Argyle, kiled McNeill
of Barray and many other gentlmen on the place, and persewed tho amidst the moun-
taines, till most pairt of them wer scattered, only M'Lean marched of in some ordor, and
Huntly, content with victorie on so vnequall termes, did not persew McLean with any
violence. At the tyme of this fight INPKenzie wes with his peopl in Pluscarden, wher,
haveing nottice of the defeat, but withall that the King wes the lenghe of Dundie in
his march againest Huntly, he keipt a select number, sending the rest home, and with
thes he waited till the King came the lenth of Strathbogy, wher he waited on him to give
testimonie of his obedience, but withall did friely tell the King that they beleived Huntly,
on of his best subjects, and that albeit for self defence he haid at that occasion oppose
liimself to his Majestie's yet that not long befor the Earl of Argyle had sollisted

him, with others, to joyne with hun and Bothuell, for the countrye's cause, againest the
King's Counsell, which he refused, and would, if oportunity had served, discovered to his
Majestic, so that it appeired the Earl of Argyle and others, who now used his authority
to ruine the Dowglas, Gordons, and Horyes [1 Hays], wer no other then thos who would have
asisted Bothuell's rebellione if they could have found strenth enough in themselfes or wil-
lingnes in ther fellow subjects to have joyned with them. This did raise in the King a very
good opinion of Kenneth M'^^Kenzie and a very great kyndnes to him, and ever after that he
favoured him as ane vsefull and faithfull subject. And in March therafter, anno 1595, he
caused Sir William Keith to dispone to him the lordship of Ardmeanoch, so to strenghen
him by dependance. This by the King's favour and privat industry this gentlman
prospered in his fortune, which incuradged him to very remarkable vndertacking, but
willing first to secure the purchase made by his authors, he found nothing foundit on so
vnsur establishment as the lands of Lochels and Lochcaron, wherof his father haid
accquired rights from Glengarie and Kildin for CoUine of Kintaill, haid givin letters of
reversione of Glengarie's pairt, so that M< Kenzie wes only a wodsetter of that share in
thes, and as yet Camron of Locheill haid a third pairt of thes countries by the mariadge

of the third of Alexander McGillespick's daughters, by whois sisters Kildin and Glen-
garie haid the other tuo pairts, as I told formerly, a divydit possessione in contigue and
intermixt lands, proweing a with contanuall feuds amongst Highlanders.

M'^Kenzie desyred to accquir Locheill's pairt, and finding a pairt of it wodsett to Glen-
garie, viz., Strom Castell, and other places adjacent, and all of Locheill's pairt and
Glengarie's pairts, both his owin, for what title he haid to it of reversione, as lyck-
wayes that which he haid wodsett from Camron. I say he found all this comprysit be
the laird of Grant for great sowmes, both from Glengarie and Locheill. He did, with
Glengarie's consent (for Locheill, as divested and out of possessione, did not concerne
himself in it), buy this right of comprysing from Grant ; but to evidence Glengarie's
consent he bought first his right, title, and claim to all thes lands, and obtained procu-
ratorie of resignation from Glengarie, elder and younger, at Elgin, on the penult of
May 1606, and on the 23 of Junij therafter he gott procuratorie of resignation from
Grant be wertew of his apprysing on the saids lands, wherby being secured in all thes
former accquests he directs his purpose to a greater project of accquireing the barrony
of the Lewis ; and that this may be the more pleasant to the reader, I sail repeat the
oldir foundationes of this estate and the clan of M'^Leod that inherited it.

In the year 1047, when Harald, son of Goodwin, King of England, at Stam-
firbrig, did give a great defeat to Harald Harfagir, King of Norway, a certaine
comander of the Norvegians, called Godred Cronan, sone to black Harald of Island,
tieed to Godred, sone of Syrir, then King at Mann. This being the yeir of William
the Oonquorer conquest of England, Godred Syrir died, to whom succeidit his sone
Fingall, who, carying vncivily to his guest Godred Cronan, forcit him to queyt the Hie
abruptly without accomendations for his jorney, which did so irritat him that, what by
his privat power in Norway, what by his prince's allowance, he provydit a number of
shipes Weill maned. With thes he urrit in recentment of his wrong agamest Fingall,
in which atempt he wes now worsted by the Manines ; but the third tyme, a litle
from the port Ramsa, at the hill Scafavell, by a weell placed ambush, he rooted the
Manines, and kild Fingall, ther king. The sea, filling in to Ramsa water, stopt ther
retreat, so that they wer all necesitat to queyt ther country for saifty of ther lyftes ;
and so choising Godred Cronan for ther king, and satisffieing his army by exposeing
ther movables to the spoile, he wes established king so absolutly that all renunced ther
heritadges in his and his successors favours, non therafter dareing to acclaime any pairt
of the Ille as heritable, but as the King disposed. This Prince wes victorious in all
rencounters, whither with Irish or Scots, and died at Ila, having reigned twelve yeires,


beginning anno 1506 [1056], at the batle of Scacafell, and dying 1068. He left three
sonnes, Lagman, Harald, and Olaus. Harald, rebelling against his brother, wes by him
tacken, and is demembred of his eyes and genitals. In penance for this cruelty, Lagman
resigned his croun to his youngest brother Olaus, and vent in pilgrimadge to Jeru-
salem, wher he died.

Dureing Olaus' minority, the Manines choosed Donald M°Tada, coosigne to
Murdoch O'Bria, King of Irland, to be governor, whom they shortly banished for
tirany and lust. Then, in the yeir 1077, the King of Norway sent on Ingemund to
be governor, who wes also kild shortly after his comeing in the Lewis by the cheifFes for
his gluttony and lechery ; and on Other, elected governor in the yeir 1098. Magnus,
King of Norway, son to Olaus, son to Harald Harfager, who wes beat at Stamford
Bridge, did, againest the advyce of his clergy and nobility, sacrilegiously inquire into the
tomb of St. Olaus King and Martir, whois body wes reported to remaine incorrupted ;
and the night after this racking into the martyr's sepulcher, St. Olaus appeared to him
in a dream, offiring this vncleiring alternative, viz., aither to queyt the kingdome for
lyfe, or to lose lyfe and kingdome within thirty dayes. Awacking in a teror, and
relating his dream, by advyce he choosing rather to lose the kingdome alone then both,
wherupon he equipped a strong navy of 160 shippes. With thes he passed over to
Orkeney, and swearing in fealty to his persone, he past through all the northern lUes,
ingadging all to his aleadgance, till he came to Mann, wher he found all in disturbance,
for Olaus, ther righteous king, wes yet a childe, Other governor : and a litle befor
Magnus his arrivell, the old inhabitants, after the defeat of King FingaU, wer
obleidged to live in the northern pairt of the Ille, did, in this yeir 1098, raisit a rebel-
lione againest Other, vnder the conduct of on Macmaras. They fought at St. Patrick's
a cruell fight, wher most on both syds wer kild, with both the comanders, Othir and
Macmaras. In this condition did Magnus, King of Norway, find them ; and seeing
the goodlines of the lUe, choosed it for his seat, excluding Olaus, sone to Godred Cronan,
from his right, who fled for refuge to Henry [William] Rufus, King of England. This
Magnus wes a man of excessive couradge, and desyred nothing less as peace. Heiring of
the plenty of Irland, he designed its conquest ; and, for procureing a quarell, he sent ane
envay with his shooes to Murdoch O'Briean, desyring him to cary them (in testimonie
that he recognized him as the better man) on his shoulders through his hall on Christ-
mas day, and in veive of his nobles. The Irish nobles heard this with great disdain ;
but the King Murdoch said, No, err I occassione on province of Irland to be waisted
by this potent rober, he would not only cary, but he would chew his shooes ; yett this

insolent vnjust Prince, who could not find a pretence, resolved to conquier it without
any, and, fitting his fleett, he vent befor to tack possesione of some convenient haven,
and to weive the region. A litle vnconsiderably at some distance from his

shippes, he wes circumveined by the Irish, and he with his party kilt. His body wes
intered at St. Patrick's, in Doun, after he had reigned four yeires in Mann. Imediatly
on his death, the Manines sent to the English Court for Olaus, sone to Godred Cronan,
and installed him ; he wes a peacable mann ; he maryed Africa, daughter to Fergus
of Galloway, by whom he had a sone, called Godred ; by concubines he haid three
sones, Regnald, Lagman, and Harald, and many daughters, on wherof wes maried to
Somarled, Thane or Lord of Hererquidell or Argyle, by whom he haid three sones, viz.,
Dowgall (of whom is M^Dowgall of Lorn), Regnald (of whose sone Donald the Clan-
donald are descended), Angus, who died without successione, in Irland, and Olaus
died also without successione, in Mann. Olaus, King of Mann, sent his sone, Godred,
to Norvay to doe fealty to Ring, then King of Norvay, in whois absence the chil-
drein of Harald, second sone to Godred Cronan, came from Irland with a convocation
of Irishes, and other runegatts ; and, presumeing on the leage and peacable humor of
Olaus, ther vncle, then King, they desyred, with Manines, to have ane equall share of
the kingdom. The peacable Olaus, intending to satisfie them, the[y] mett at Ramsa to
accord in the eff'air, wher Regnall, the second sone to Harald, with ane axe, at on
strock, kild the King whilst he wes communeing with him in freindshipe, in the yeir

This Olaus foundit the Abbacy of Fames and Russin, and inriehed it with severall
lands in the Hies, in the yeir 1134.

Haveing this kild the King, they divyd the [kingdome] amongst them, and for
further conquist invade Galloway, fearing that the Lord therof should asist his sister's
sone, Godred ; but they wer defeat by thes of Galloway, so they returned to Mann, and
exerced great crueltie till the yeir 1143. Godred, the sone of the murthered Olaus,
returned from Norway with a sufficient force, toock thes sonnes of Harald, and demem-
bred tuo of ther eyes and genitales, and execut Regnald the third, who kilt Olaus, the

In the year 1147 thes of Dublin revolted from Murdoch the king, and choosed
this Godred for ther king, wher he kilt Osibiles, brother to King Murdo. Puft up
with this success, he turned tyrant, and, returneing to Mann, he disobleidgit his cheifes.
On of them, called Thorfin M'^Otter, fled from him to Sumerled of Argyle, and stird
him and his sone Dowgall up to invade the kingdome of the Hies. They subdued


severalls of them, wheruf, when Godred had nottice, he armed a fleett, and vent in per-
suit of Sumerled. They mett at sea, on the night of Epphany, anno 1156, and fought
till night separated them. Nixt day they drew to treaty, and accordit on ane equall
divisione of the Illes, whence the ruine of the kingdome proceidit. Somerled, not con-
tent with the half (as indeed kingdomes cannot stand be halfes), in the yeir 1158 he
invaded the Ille of Mann, landed at Ramsa, waisted the lUe, and forced Godred to flee
to Norway for aid, leaveing Somerled in possessione of the Ille, who, not content ther-
with, armed a fleet and invade Gallow\iy, wher he and his sone Dougall wer kilt, with
all ther army, by the Scots, anno 1 164. Regnald, bastard brother to Godred, finding
Somerled defeat, and his brother Godred absent, he posest himself with Mann, but, on
the fourt day therafter, Godred came with a considerable navy, [dejfeated his brother
Regnald, cutt of his genitals, and put out his eyes. Therafter he reigned peacably till
the yeir 1176, at which tyme Vivianus, the Pope's legat, caused him to mary his wyfe
Fingalo, daughter to Maclotlen sone [of] Mucartack, King of Irland. This mariadge wes
promulgat by Silvanus, abbot, for befor that tyme [he] haid cohabited with hir without
the churches ceremonie, and had begott on hir a sone called Regnald. After solemnity
of mariadge, he begott on hir Olaus and Ivar. In the yeire 1187, Godred, King of the
Illes, died 4 Ide of November, and wes buried at the He of Hy. Befor his death he
appoynted Olaus to be his successor as laufully begottin, but the Manines, finding Olaus
young, and judging Regnald eldest and laufull be the subsequent matrimonie, they
owne him as ther King in the yeir 1187 ; and in the yeir 1192 the Abbacy of Russin
wes translated to Duff"glas, and four yeires therafter againe to Russin.

Anno 1204, Hugo de Lacy chased John de Curcy to Mann, wher Regnald inter-
tained him, for Curcye's sone haid formerly maried Africa, daughter to Godred. The
nixt yeir, which wes 1205, John de Curcy, with Regnald, invadit Ihster, and beseidged
Rath castell, but wer defeat. Meaue whill Olaus aclamed a share of the kingdome,
the whole wherof wes awouched his right by ther father. Regnald did voluntarly give
him the Ille of Lewis, which at that tyme wes the worst inhabited, tho' the largest of
the Westren Illes. Who, tho' at first he seemed satisfied, yett addressing afterward to
his brother for a larger share, he wes by him apprehendit and sent to William, King of
Scotland, and freind to Regnald, who keipt him as a prisoner for seven yeires till at
William's death all prisoners, and Olaus, with others, wer sett at liberty. He imediatly
addressed himself againe to his brother Regnald, who of new gives him the Lewes, and
caused him mary on Laven, daughter to a noble man in Kintyre, and sister to his own
Queen, but she being coosigne-german to Olaus first wyfe, Reginandus, Bishop of the Illes,


devorced them imediatly. Glaus came then to the Lewes and mavyed Cristian, sister
to Ferquhar, afterwards Earle of Ross, which did so irritat Regnald's Queen, sister to
Laon, that she sent a comand in hir king's name to Godred, her sone, who then leived
in the lUe of Sky, to kill Olaus, which he prepared foorthwith to obey, and landed with
a force in Lewes, which Olaus not being able to resist, he fleed to his brother-in-law
Ferquhar, afterwards Earl of Ross. Ther wes a cheiffe in the Ille of Sky called Pole
Macboke, who refused to concurr with Godred againest Olaus, wherfor he wes forced to
flee and shelter him with Olaus in Ferquhar's house, when, in the yeir 1223, they
came in a galley to the Ille of Sky, and heiring that Godred wes in St. Colm's Ille in
security, they came hither vnder night and besett Godred. Nixt morneing they fought
valiantly on both sydes, but Godred's pairty wes overcome with number, and himself
tacken, his eyes and genitals tacken from him againest his vncle Olaus will, by Macboke.
On this many of the Westren Illes sided with Olaus, and with them he invaded Mann,
anno 122 , and forced Regnald to ane equall divisione of the kingdome of the Illes at
Rognowhalfe. Olaus returned to posess himselfe with his share, but Regnald repented
his grant, and the nixt yeir, asisted with forces from Galloway, he vent to repossess
himselfe, but finding the Manines and other of the islanders freindly to Olaus, and
vnwilling to haue the contract w-ith him violat, they returned without doeing any thing
remarkable. At this tyme Allan wes Lord of Galloway, and wes with Regnald at this
expeditione. Allan's sone maryed Regnald's daughter. Regnald wes so wedded in
atfectione to Allan, that he bestowed all his tyme and measure at Allan's court, which
so oftended the Manines, that they secretly sent for Olaus, whilst Regnald wes in
Galloway, and proclaimed him King; so in the yeir 1226, after that Regnald haide
reigned yeires, Olaus attained to that kingdome destinat to him by his father.

He keipt it in peace two yeires. In the yeir 1228, Regnald, with the Lords of Gallo-
way and Athole, invaded Mann, when Olaus with most of his Lords wer in the Westren
Illes, and reposest Regnald, but himselfe returned to Galloway, leaveing baylifFes to
manadge his affaires, but Olaus returneing, chased them out, and reposest himself ; but,
on January following, Regnald, with fyve shipjjes, invaded Mann, burned all Olaus
shippes at Ragnolwatch, and, on the 14 of Februar, they fought at Tinguali, wher
Regnald wes beat and kild, and buried at Fournes in a tombe built by himself.

In the yeir 1230, on Haco, sent by Haco, King of Norway, wes killed by a ston
out a Castel Bute, which they wer beseidging. Olaus did give the Ille of Lewis to his
brother Regnald's sone, called Godred Donud. At his first arrivall to it he wes killed
in a tumult, so the whole kingdome returned to Olaus, who died on the 12 calends of


Junij 1237 at St. Patrick's, and is buried at Russin. He reigned elevin yeires two
in Reignold's tyme, and nine after his death.

Harakl, his sone, succeided, being fourtein yeires of adge. He leived most pairt in
the West Hies ; and Lognan, his coosigne, governor of Mann, who fought with clan Neill
thisltie by Harald at Tinguall, and killed the clan Neill, for which Lagnan wes banished
Mann anno 1238. Gospatrick and Gilichmes, the King of Norway's captaines, expelled
Harald, and posest the Hie to the King of Norway's behooffe, but the nLxt yeir, 1239,
Harald wes restored by the King of Norway to his right. He marled the King of
Norwaye's daughter anno 1247, and returneing to ]\lann with hir, and many other
persones of quality, they w^er all drouned neir to Reaeland, anno 1 249. Reignald, sone
to Olaus, toock possessione of the kingdom on the nones of May, and, on the 30 of
that moneth, he wes killed by a knight called Ivar besyd the Trinity Church, and wes
buried at Russin.

Harald, sone to Godred Done, usurped the kingdome, but the King of Norway
imprisoned him anno 1250, and declared Magnus, sone to Olaus, King, who came to
Mann anno 1252, and, in the yeir 1 254, he appoynted him King of all the Hies, and
confirmed it to him and his aires, especially to Harald, his brother. He wes with Haco
or Acho at the batle of Largis, wher the Norwegian, getting a great owrthrow, Acho
returned to Kirkwall, in Orkney, wher he died, and Magnus to Mann, wher he died in
the castell of Russin anno 1265. In the yeir 1270, on the 7 October, the fleet be-
longing to Alexander, King of Scots, arrived at Rognolwath, and the nixt day the Scots
and Manines fought, wher the Manines wer defeat, and 535 kild of ther best men.

On which defeat a poet made this distich : —

L dies X ter et pente duo cecidere
Mannica gens de te, damna futura cave.

Alexander, King of Scots, garrisoned Russin and returned. After this the Norwegians
nevir regained Llann, for King Alexander, by Walter Stewart and others, did imediatly
reduce the rest of the Westren Hies, which wer posest by the Norwegians, and gave to
Harald, sone to Godred Donud (who wes released from j^rison by Acho after Largis),
the Hies of Lewes, and that pairt of the Sky which he found then in the Norwegiane,
possessioun, viz., Vaternes, Meignanes, and the Herries, to be holdin in wassalladge of
him and his successores. Kings of Scotland.

This Harald, after Magnus' death, was righteous successor to the kingdom of Mann,
being grandchild of Regnald and Olaus failling in Magnus.


But ane Englishman, called William Montague, akin and grandchild, by a daughter
to Godred of Mann, moved a suit in behalf of Mary, daughter to Regnald, son to
Olaus, acclaiming the succession befor the King. The King did resist the suit, as
not being judge over the Scots King in any matter that did not relate the countries
of England belonging to the Scots, and held of the croune of England. This of
Mann, being now of thos, the bill wes cast. This Mary was married to the family
of Waldebeef, in England, her nevoy, John Waldebeef, moved the samen suite againest