With the view of cutting off the legitimate male representation of his own Macleod relatives of Gairloch and of Raasay, he invited all the members of both families, and most of them accepted the invitation. Roderick on their arrival feasted them sumptuously at a great banquet. In the middle of the festivities he informed them of his desire to have each man's advice separately, and that he would after-wards make known to them the important business which had to be considered, and which closely concerned each of them. He then retired into a separate apartment, and called them in one by one, when they were each, as they entered, stabbed with dirks through the body by a set of murderous savages whom he had engaged and posted inside the room for the purpose. Not one of the family of Raasay was left alive, except a boy nine years of age, who was being fostered from home, and who had been sent privately by his foster-father, when the news of the massacre became known, to the laird of Calder, who kept him in safety during his minority. He afterwards obtained possession of Raasay, and became known as Gillecallum Garbh MacGillechallum. Macleod of Gairloch's sons, by Hector Roy's sister, were all murdered. Roderick took his own nephew to the room where, walking with his brutal relative, he heard one of his half-brothers cry on being stabbed by the assassin's dirk, and saying "Yon's my brother's cry." "Hold your peace," Rory replied, "yonder cry is to make you laird of Gairloch; he is the son of one of Mackenzie's daughters." The boy, fearing that his own life might be sacrificed, held his tongue, "but afterwards he did what in him lay in revenging the cruel death of his brothers and kinsmen on the murtherers." [Ancient MS.]
In acknowledgment of the King's favour, Hector gathered his followers in the west, joined his nephew, John of Killin, with his vassals, and fought, in command of the clan, at the disastrous battle of Flodden, from which both narrowly escaped but most of their followers were slain. Some time after his return home he successfully fought the desperate skirmish at Druim-a-chait, already referred to, pp. 114-118, with 140 men against 700 of the Munros, Dingwalls, MacCullochs, and other clans under the command of William Munro of Fowlis, on which occasion Sheriff Vass of Lochslinn was killed at a bush near Dingwall, "called to this day Preas Sandy Vass," or Alex. Vass's bush, a name assigned to it for that very cause. [Gairloch MS.]
Hector, during his life, granted to his nephew, John of Killin, his own half of Kintail, the lands of Kinellan, Fairburn, Wester Brahan, and other possessions situated in the Low Country, which brought his son John Glassich afterwards into trouble. [Gairloch MS.]
Hector Roy was betrothed to a daughter of the Laird of Grant - probably Sir Duncan, who flourished from 1434 to 1485 - but she died before the marriage was solemnised. He, however, had a son by her called Hector Cam, he being blind of an eye, to whom he gave Achterneed and Culte Leod, now Castle Leod, as his patrimony. Hector Cam married a daughter of Mackay of Farr, ancestor of Lord Reay, by whom he had two sons Alexander Roy and Murdo. ["These were both succeeded by the son of Alexander, a slothful man, who dotingly bestowed his estate on his foster child. Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Coigeach, in detriment to his own children, though very deserving of them, Captain Hector Mackenzie, late of Dumbarton's Regiment, and also a tribe in the Eastern circuit of Ross, surnamed, from one of their progenitors, Mac Eanin, i.e., the descendants of John the Fair." - "Gairloch MS." Another MS. gives the additional names of - "Richard Mackenzie, vintner in Edinburgh, grandson of Alexander Mackenzie of Calder, Midlothian; Duncan Mackenzie, an eminent gunsmith in London; and James Mackenzie, gunsmith in Dundee." It also adds that of the successors of the Mac Eanins in Easter Ross, were "Master Alexander Mackenzie, an Episcopal minister in Edinburgh; and preceptor to the children of the present noble family of Cromarty, whose son is Charles Mackenzie, clerk to Mr David Munro of Meikle Allan."] Alexander married a daughter of John Mor na Tuaighe MacGillechallum, a brother of Macleod of Raasay, by whom she had a son, Hector, who lived at Kinellan, and was nicknamed the Bishop. This Hector married a daughter of Macleod of Raasay, and left a large family, one of the daughters being afterwards married to Murdo Mackenzie, V. of Achilty, without issue. Hector Cam's second son, Murdo, married a daughter of Murdoch Buy Matheson of Lochalsh, with issue - Lachlan, known as "Lachlainn Mac Mhurchaidh Mhic Eachainn," who married a daughter of Murdoch Mackenzie, III. of Achilty, with issue - Murdoch, who married a daughter of Alexander Ross of Cuilich and Alastair, who married a daughter of William MacCulloch of Park.
Hector Roy, after the death of Grant of Grant's daughter, married his cousin Anne, daughter of Ranald MacRanald, generally known as Ranald Ban Macdonald, V. of Moydart and Clanranald. Her brother Dougal was assassinated and his sons formally excluded from the succession, when the estate and command of the clan were given to his nephew Alexander, "portioner," of Moydart, whose son, John Moydartach afterwards succeeded and became the famous Captain of Clanranald Gregory says, however, that "Allan, the eldest son of Dougal, and the undoubted heir male of Clanranald, acquired the estate of Morar, which he transmitted to his descendants. He and his successors were always styled 'MacDhughail Mhorair,' that is MacDougal of Morar, from their ancestor Dougal MacRanald." This quite explains the various designations by which these Moydart and Clanranald ladies who had married into the Gairloch family have been handed down to us. Anne was the widow of William Dubh Macleod, VII. of Harris, Dunvegan, and Glenelg, by whom she had an only daughter, who, by Hector Roy's influence at Court, was married to Rory Mor of Achaghluineachan, ancestor of the Mackenzies of Fairburn and Achilty, after she bad by her future husband a natural son, Murdoch, who became progenitor of the family of Fairburn. By this marriage with Anne of Moydart and Clanranald Hector Roy had issue -
1. John Glassich, his heir and successor.
2. Kenneth of Meikle Allan, now Allangrange, who married a daughter of Alexander Dunbar of Kilbuyack, and widow of Allan Mackenzie, II. of Hilton, with issue - (1) Hector, who married an Assynt lady, with issue - Hector Og, who was killed at Raasay, in 1611, unmarried; and three daughters, the eldest of whom married, as her second husband, John, son of Alastair Roy, natural son of John Glassich, with issue - Bishop Murdoch Mackenzie of Moray and Orkney, and several other sons. Hector's second daughter married "Tormod Mac Ean Lleaye" - Norman, son of John Liath Macrae - who, according to the traditions of the country, took such a prominent part against the Macleods at that period - and a brother of the celebrated archers Domhull Odhar and lain Odhar mic Ian Leith, of whose prowess the reader will learn more presently. The third daughter married Duncan, son of John, son of Alastair Roy, son of John Glassich, II. of Gairloch. (2) Angus, who married, with issue - Kenneth, who left an only daughter, who married her cousin, Murdo Mac Ian, son of Alastair Roy.
3. John Tuach of Davochpollo, who married with issue - a son, John, who died without lawful issue.
4. Dougal Roy, who inherited Scatwell, and was killed in a family feud in 1550, and
Three daughters, who married respectively, Bayne of Tulloch, John Aberach Mackay, and Hugh Bayne Fraser of Bunchrew, a natural son of Thomas, fourth Lord Lovat, killed at Blar-na-Leine, ancestor of the Frasers of Reelick.
He had also a son, John Beg, who was according to some authorities illegitimate, from whom descended several Mackenzies who settled in Berwick and Alloa.
Hector Roy died in 1528. On the 8th of September in that year, a grant is recorded to Sir John Dingwall, "Provost of Trinity College, beside Edinburgh, of the ward of the lands of Gairloch, which pertained to the umquhile Achinroy Mackenzie." He was succeeded by his eldest lawful son,
II. JOHN GLASSICH MACKENZIE, who, from the above quoted document, appears to have been a minor at his father's death. His retour of service cannot be found, but an instrument of sasine, dated the 24th of June, 1536, in his favour, is in the Gairloch charter chest, wherein he is designated "John Hector-son," and in which he is said to be the heir, served and retoured, of his father, Hector Roy Mackenzie, in the lands of Gairloch, and the grazings of Glasletter and Coirre-nan-Cuilean. He is said to have objected to his father's liberality during his life in granting, at the expense of his successors, to his nephew, John of Kuhn, so much of his patrimonial possessions. According to the Gairloch MS. already quoted Hector gave him his own half of Kintail, as well as Kinellan, Fairburn, Wester Brahan, and "other possessions in the Low Country besides." John thought these donations far too exorbitant, and he "sought to retrench them by recovering in part what with so much profusion his father had given away, and for that, a feud having ensued betwixt him and his Chief, he was surprised in his house by night, according to the barbarous manner of the times, and sent prisoner to Iland Downan, and there taken away by poison in A.D. l550. His brother Dugal, who sided with him, and John (Beg), his natural brother, were both slain in the same quarrel." [Gairloch MS. Another MS. says that his other brother, John Tuach, was assassinated the same night.]
A bond, dated 1544, has been preserved, to which John Glassich's name, along with others, is adhibited, undertaking to keep the peace, and promising obedience to Kenneth, younger of Kintail (Kenneth na Cuirc), as the Queen's Lieutenant. [Spalding Club Miscellany, vol. iv. p.213.] John's obedience does not appear, however, to have been very complete. Kintail having, according to another authority, received information of John Glassich's intention to recover if possible part of the property given away by his father, sent for him to Brahan, where he went, accompanied by a single attendant, John Gearr. The chief charged him with these designs against him, and John's denials proving unsatisfactory, Kintail caused him to be apprehended. John Gearr, seeing this, and feeling that his master had been treacherously dealt with, drew his two handed sword and made a fierce onslaught on the chief who sat at the head of the table, but smartly bowed his head under it, or it would have been cloven asunder. John Gearr was instantly seized by Mackenzie's guards, who threatened to tear him to pieces, but the chief, admiring his fidelity, charged them not to touch him. John Gearr, on being questioned why he had struck at Mackenzie and took no notice of those who apprehended his master, boldly replied that he "saw no one else present whose life was a worthy exchange for that of his own chief." John's sword made a deep gash in the table, and the mark, which was deep enough to admit of a hand being placed edgeways in it, remained until Colin, first Earl of Seaforth, caused the piece to be cut off, saying that "he loved no such remembrance of the quarrels of his relations."
John Glassich, it would appear, was not unduly circumspect at home, or a very dutiful and loyal subject to his King. In 1547 his estate was forfeited for refusing to join the Royal Standard, and the escheat thereof granted to the Earl of Sutherland, as will be seen by the following letter in favour of that nobleman:
"A letter made to John, Earl of Sutherland, his heirs, assigns, one or more, the gift of all goods moveable and unmoveable, debts, tacks, steadings, corns, and obligations, sums of money, gold, silver, coined and uncoined, and other goods whatsoever which pertained to John Hectors - son of Gairloch, and now pertaining to our Sovereign Lady by reason of escheat through the said John's remaining and biding at home from the 'oist' and army devised to convene at Peebles, the 10th day of July instant, for recovering of the house of Langholm furth of our enemies' hands of England, in contrary to the tenour of the letters and proclamations made thereupon, incurred therethrough the pains contained thereuntil, or any otherwise shall happen to pertain to us our Sovereign by reason foresaid with power, etc. At Saint Andrews the 23rd day of July, the year of God, 1547 years." [Reg. Sec. Sig., xxi. fol. 316.]
There is no trace of the reversal of this forfeiture. It does not, however, appear to have affected the succession. Indeed it is not likely that it even affected the actual possession, for it was not easy even for the Earl of Sutherland, though supported by the Royal authority to wield any real power in such an out-of-the-way region in those days as John Glassich's possessions in the west. It has been already stated that, in 1551, the Queen granted to John Mackenzie, IX. of Kintail, and his heir, Kenneth na Cuirc, a remission for the violent taking of John Glassich, Dougal, and John Tuach, his brothers, and for keeping them in prison, thus usurping "therethrough our Sovereign Lady's authority." None of them is spoken of in this remission as being then deceased, though tradition and the family MS. history have it that John Glassich was poisoned or starved to death at Ellandonnan Castle in 1550. [One of the family MSS. says that by his marriage "he got the lands of Kinkell, Kilbokie, Badinearb, Pitlundie, Davochcairn, Davochpollo, and Foynish, with others in the Low Country, for which the family has been in the use to quarter the arm of Fraser with their own. This John, becoming considerably rich and powerful by those different acquisitions, became too odious to and envied by John, Laird of Mackenzie, and his son Kenneth then married to Stewart, Earl of Atholes daughter, that they set upon him, having previously invited him to a Christmas dinner, having got no other pretence than a fit of jealousy on account of the said Earl's daughter, bound him with ropes and carried him a prisoner to Islandownan, where his death was occasioned by poison administered to him in a mess of milk soup by one MacCalman, a clergyman and Deputy-Constable of the Fort."] It is, however, probable that Kintail considered it wise to conceal John's death until the remission had been already secured. Only six weeks after the date of the "respitt" John Glassich is referred to in the Privy Council Records, under date of 25th July, 1551, as the "omquhile (or late) John McCanze of Gairlocht," his lands having then been given in ward to the Earl of Athole, "Ay and till the lawful entry of the righteous heir or heirs thereto, being of lawful age." [Reg. Sec. Con., vol. xxiv., fol. 84.]
Although Hector obtained a charter of the lands of Gairloch in 1494, the Macleods continued for a time to hold possession of a considerable part of it. According to the traditions of the district they had all to the east and south-east of the Crasg, a hill situated on the west side of the churchyard of Gairloch, between the present Free and Established Churches. At the east end of the Big Sand, on a high and easily defended rock, stood the last stronghold occupied by the Macleods in Gairloch - to this day known as the "Dun" or Fort. The foundation is still easily traced. It must have been a place of consider-able importance, for it is over 200 feet in circumference. Various localities are still pointed out in Gairloch where desperate skirmishes were fought between the Macleods and the Mackenzies. Several of these spots, where the slain were buried, look quite green to this day. The "Fraoch Eilean," opposite Leac-na-Saighid, where a naval engagement was fought, is a veritable cemetery of Macleods, ample evidence of which is yet to be seen. Of this engagement, and of those at Glasleoid, Lochan-an-Fheidh, Leac-na-Saighid, Kirkton, and many others, thrilling accounts are still recited by a few old men in the district; especially of the prowess of Domh'ull Odhar Mac Ian Leith, and the other Kintail heroes who were mainly instrumental in establishing the Mackenzies of Gairloch permanently and in undisputed possession of their beautiful and romantic inheritance.
John Glassich married Janet Agnes, daughter of James Fraser of Phoineas, brother of Hugh, sixth Lord Lovat (with whom he got the Barony of Inchlag, etc.), with issue -
1. Hector, his heir and successor.
2. Alexander, who succeeded his brother Hector.
3. John, who succeeded Alexander.
4. A daughter, who married John Mackenzie, II. of Loggie, with issue.
John Glassich's widow married, secondly, Thomas Chisholm, XV. of Chisholm, without issue male.
He had also two natural sons before his marriage, Alexander Roy and Hector Caol.
Alexander Roy had a son John, who lived at Coirre Mhic Cromaill in Torridon, and who had a son, the Rev. Murdoch Mackenzie, Chaplain to Lord Reay's Regiment in the Bohemian and Swedish service, under Gustavus Adolphus. He was afterwards minister of Contin, Inverness, and Elgin, and subsequently Bishop of Moray and of Orkney in succession. His family and descendants are dealt with under a separate heading - MACKENZIES OF GROUNDWATER.
Hector Caol left a numerous tribe in Gairloch, still known as Clann Eachainn Chaoil, and said to be distinguished by their long and slender legs.
John Glassich, who was assassinated in 1550, as already stated, at Ellandonnan Castle, was buried in the Priory of Beauly, and succeeded by his eldest lawful son,
III. HECTOR MACKENZIE. He has a sasine, dated the 6th May, 1563, [Gairloch Charter Chest,] in which he is described as "Achyne Johannis MacAchyne," and bearing that the lands had been in non-entry for 12 years, thus carrying back the date of his succession to 1551, when the estate was given in ward to John, fourth of the Stewart Earls of Athole. Hector died - probably killed, like his brother - without issue, on the 3rd of September, 1566, and was buried at Beauly, when he was succeeded by his next lawful brother,
ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, who has a retour, dated the 2nd of December, 1566, [Ing. Retour Reg., vol. i., fol. 22, and "Origines Parochiales Scotiae,"] as heir to "Hector his brother-german," in the lands of Gairloch, namely, "Gairloch, Kirktoun, Syldage, Hamgildail, Malefage, Innerasfidill, Sandecorran, Cryf, Baddichro, Bein-Sanderis, Meall, Allawdall, with the pasturage of Glaslettir and Cornagullan, in the Earldom of Ross, of the old extent of L8;" but not to any of the other lands which Hector Roy left to his descendants. Alexander did not long possess the estates, for he died - to all appearance assassinated - a few weeks after he succeeded, without making up titles. It is, therefore, not thought necessary to count him as one of the Barons of Gairloch.
It is probable that the brothers, Hector and Alexander, met with the same violent death as their father and uncles, John Glassich, John Tuach, and John Beg and by the same authors. This is according to tradition, and an old MS., which says that their mother Agnes Fraser fled with John Roy "to Lovat and her Fraser relatives," adds as to the fate of his brothers that "In those days many acts of oppression were committed that could not be brought to fair tryales befor the Legislator." "She was afterwards married to Chisholm of Comar, and heired his family; here she kept him in as concealed a manner as possible, and, as is reported, every night under a brewing kettle, those who, through the barbarity of the times, destroyed his father and uncles, being in search of the son, and in possession of his all excepting his mother's dower. He was afterwards concealed by the Lairds of Moydart and of Farr, till he became a handsome man and could put on his weapon, when he had the resolution to wait on Colin Cam Mackenzie, Laird of Kintail, a most worthy gentleman, who established him in all his lands, excepting those parts of the family estate for which Hector and his successors had an undoubted right by writs." Hector was succeeded by his next brother,
IV. JOHN ROY MACKENZIE, John Glassich's third son, who was at the time a minor, although his father had been dead for 15 or 16 years; and the estate was given in ward by Queen Mary in 1567. She "granted in heritage to John Bannerman of Cardeyne, the ward of the lands and rents belonging to the deceased Hector Makkenych, of Gairloch, with the relief of the same when it should occur and the marriage of John Roy Makkenych, the brotherand apparent heir of Hector." ["Origines Parochiales Scotiae" p. 406, and Reg. Sec. Sig., vol. xxxvi. fol. 6.] In 1569, John, being then of "lauchful age," is served and retoured heir to his brother-german, Hector, in the lands of Gairloch [Ing. Retour Reg., vol. i., fol. 22, and "Origines Parochiales Scotiae."] as specified in the service of 1566, passing over Alexander, no doubt because he never made up titles. This retour of 1569 gives the date of Hector's death as 30th September, 1566. In 1574 John has a sasine which bears that the lands had been seven and a half years in non-entry, taking it back to the date of Hector's death, three months before the gift of the ward to John Bannerman. He, in the same year, acquired half the lands of Ardnagrask from Lord Lovat, partly in exchange for the rights he inherited in Phoineas from his mother, and he is described by his Lordship in the disposition as "the son, by her first husband, of his kinswoman Agnes Fraser." From this it may be assumed that John Glassich's widow had during her life made over her own rights to her son or that she had in the meantime died.
It is found from the old inventory, already quoted, that there was a charter of alienation by Hugh Fraser of Guisachan, dated the 29th of May, 1582, from which it appears that John Roy in 1574, acquired Davochcairn and Davochpollo, in Strathpeffer, from this Hugh Fraser, and that in the first-named year he obtained from him also the lands of Kinkell-Clarsach and Pitlundie, in terms of a contract of sale dated the 26th of January, 1581. The charter is confirmed by James VI. in 1523. It appears from his daughter's retour of service [Ing. Retours Reg., vol. viii., fol. 284b.] that Gairloch's eldest son, John, died in 1601. He had been infeft by his father in Davochpollo and Pitlundie, and married Isabel, daughter of Alexander Mackenzie II. of Fairburn, by whom he had a daughter, also named Isabel, who married Colin Mackenzie of Strathgarve, brother to Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, and first of the Mackenzies of Kinnock and Pitlundie. Colin of Strathgarve entered into a lawsuit with Alexander V. of Gairloch, probably in connection with this marriage, "to cut him out of his Low Country estate." ["Colin of Kinnock, who entered a lawsuit against Alexander Mackenzie of Gairloch, meaning to cut him out of his low country estates, and being powerfully supported by Mackenzie of Fairburn and Mr John Mackenzie of Tolly, minister of Dingwall, a plodding clergyman, kept him sixteen sessions at Edinburgh; the last year of which Gairloch and his brother Kenneth seeing Lord Kintail insulted by the Earl of Glencairn, who was supported by most of those on the street, put on their armour and came directly to his assistance, and rescuing him from imminent danger brought him to their lodging. No sooner was the tumult over than they embraced very cordially, and the whole matter in debate was instantly taken away, aud Gairloch got a present of 600 merks to finish the Tower of Kinkell, of which his father (John Roy) only built three storeys." - "Gairloch MS."] In 1657 she mortgaged Davochpollo and Pitlundie to her cousin, Kenneth VI. of Gairloch; and her successor, John Mackenzie of Pitlundie, completed the sale to him, which brought the property back again to the Gairloch family. [Papers in the Gairloch Charter Chest.]
Under date of 11th August, 1587, the following complaint by James Sinclair, Master of Caithness, and James Paxtoun, his servant, against John Mackenzie of Gairloch appears in the Records of the Privy Council - While they "were in a peaceable and quiet manner," in March last, in the Chanonry of Ross, within the house of William Robson, the following persons, viz.: John Mackenzie of Gairloch, Hector Mackenzie in Fairburn, Meikle John Mackenzie, his son, Thomas MacThomais Mac Keanoch's son, Donald Macintagairt, Mr John Mackenzie, son of Murdo Mackenzie of Fairburn, Mr Murdo Mackenzie, parson of Lochcarron, Duncan Mackenzie, John Beg Mackenzie's son, Duncan MacCulloch of Achanault, David Aytoun, master stabler to Colin Mackenzie of Kintail, Finlay Roy, Stewart to the said Colin, William Barbour, burgess in the Chanonry, with convocation of the lieges, to the number of 300, "bodin in feir of weir," and hounded on by the said John Mackenzie of Gairloch, "had come to the said William Robson's house, wherein the said complainers were, and had without any occasion of offence, assegeit the said house and used all means and engines for apprehending of the said James Sinclair and his said servant." Further, "seeing they could not goodly recover the said house," they "cried for fire, and had not failed most treasonably to have risen fire within the same had not the said complainer delivered the said James Paxton in their bands, whom they immediately conveyed and led to the castle of Chanonry pertaining to the said Colin, and kept and detained him captive therein for the space of two hours or thereby." After such detention of the said James "they granted liberty to him to pass home, and the better to cloak their cruel and unmerciful decree, which openly they durst not put to execution, they secretly hounded out a great number of cut-throats to have beset the same James's way and to have bereft him of his life, which they not failed to have done had not God otherwise prevented their doings." Moreover, "at that same time they reft and took away from the said complainers their horses, saddles, and other gear worth five hundred merks." John Mackenzie of Gairloch, master and landlord of the foresaid persons, having been charged to appear personally and enter them this day "to have answered and underlaid punishment for the premises," according to the general band, but making no such appearance or entry, while the complainers appear personally, the Lords order the said Mackenzie of Gairloch to be denounced rebel.
In 1606 John Roy received a charter of resignation in favour of himself in life-rent, and of his son, Alexander in fee, erecting Gairloch into a free barony and in 1619 he obtained another charter, [These charters are in the Gairloch Charter Chest.] under the Great Seal, by which Kinkell is included in the barony and constituted its chief messuage. He built the first three stories of the Tower of Kinkell, "where his arms and those of his first wife are parted per pale above the mantelpiece of the great hall." [Gairloch MS.]
The son of Roderick MacAllan "Nimhneach" of Gairloch, in the absence of young MacGillechallum Garbh of Raasay, who, under the care of the Laird of Calder escaped the massacre of Island Isay, possessed himself of Raasay and took up his quarters in Castle Brochail, the ancient residence of the Chiefs of Macleod, of which the ruins are still to be seen on the east side of the island. Seeing this, Donald Mac Neill, who previously sent young Macleod of Raasay to the protection of Calder brought back the rightful heir, and kept him, in private, until an opportunity occurred by which he could obtain possession of the castle. This he soon managed by coming to terms with the commander of the stronghold, who preferred the native heir to his relative of the Gairloch Macleods. It was arranged that when Mac Neill should arrive at the castle with his charge, access should be given to young Raasay. The commander kept his word, and MacGillechallum Garbh was soon after proclaimed laird.
In 1610 a severe skirmish was fought at Lochan-an-Fheidh, in Glen Torridon, between the Mackenzies - led by Alexander, since his brother's death in 1601, the apparent heir of Gairloch - and the Macleods under John MacAllan Mhic Rory, then the only surviving direct male representative of Allan Macleod of Gairloch and grandson probably of Rory Nimhneach. John Tolmach, John's uncle was also present, but he succeeded in effecting his escape, while John MacAllan and seventeen or eighteen of his followers were taken prisoners. Many more were killed and a few who escaped alive with John Tolmach were pursued out of the district. The slain were buried where they fell, and the graves can still be seen, the nettles which continue to grow over them at the present day indicating the position of the last resting-place on the field of battle of these Macleod warriors, on the west side of the Sgura Dubh, above Glen Torridon, a little beyond the Gairloch estate march.
Shortly after this engagement another attempt was made by the Macleods to regain the lands of Gairloch, the history of which is still a prominent and interesting feature in the local traditions of the parish. The affair is called "Latha Leac-na-Saighead." Mr John H. Dixon gives a good version of it, as related to him by Roderick Mackenzie, locally known as Ruairidh an Torra - an intelligent man of about ninety who only died two years ago - in his interesting book on the history and traditions of the parish of Gairloch. According to Roderick's version, as given by Mr Dixon, many of the Macleods, after they had been driven from Gairloch, settled in Skye. A considerable number of the younger men were invited by their chief to pass Hogmanay night in the Castle of Dunvegan. In the kitchen there was an old woman known as Mor Bhan, who was usually occupied in carding wool, and generally supposed to be a witch. After dinner the men began to drink, and when they had passed some time in this occupation, they sent to the kitchen for Mor Bhan. She at once joined them in the hall, and having drunk one or two glasses along with them, she remarked that it was a very poor thing for the Macleods to be deprived of their own lands in Gairloch, and to have to live in comparative poverty in Raasay and the Isle of Skye. "But," she said to them, "prepare yourselves and start to-morrow for Gairloch, sail in the black birlinn, and you shall regain it. I shall be a witness of your success when you return."
The men trusted her, believing she had the power of divination. In the morning they set sail for Gairloch - the black galley was full of the Macleods. It was evening when they entered the loch. They were afraid to land on the mainland, for they remembered that the descendants of Domhnull Greannach (a celebrated Macrae) were still there, and they knew the prowess of these men only too well. The Macleods therefore turned to the south side of the loch, and fastened their birlinn to the Fraoch Eilean, in the well-sheltered bay opposite Leac-nan-Saighead, between Shieldaig and Badachro. Here they decided to wait until morning, then disembark, and walk round the head of the loch.
But all their movements had been well and carefully watched. Domhnull Odhar Mac lain Leith and his brother Ian, the celebrated Macrae archers, recognised the birlinn of the Macleods, and determined to oppose their landing. They walked round the head of the loch by Shieldaig and posted themselves before daylight behind the Leac, a projecting rock overlooking the Fraoch Eilean. The steps on which they stood at the back of the rock are still pointed out. Donald Odhar, being of small stature, took the higher of the two ledges, and Ian took the lower. Standing on these they crouched down behind the rock, completely sheltered from the enemy, but commanding a full view of the island, while they were quite invisible to the Macleods, who lay down on the island. As soon as the day dawned the two Macraes directed their arrows on the strangers, of whom a number were killed before their comrades were even aware of the direction from which the messengers of death came. The Macleods endeavoured to answer their arrows, but not being able to see the foe, their efforts were of no effect. In the heat of the fight one of the Macleods climbed up the mast of the birlinn to discover the position of the enemy. Ian Odhar observing this, took deadly aim at him when near the top of the mast. "Oh," says Donald, addressing John, "you have sent a pin through his broth." The slaughter continued, and the remnant of the Macleods hurried aboard their birlinn. Cutting the rope, they turned her head seawards. By this time only two of their number were left alive. In their hurry to escape they left all the bodies of their slain companions unburied on the island. A rumour of the arrival of the Macleods had during the night spread through the district, and other warriors, such as Fionnla Dubh na Saighead, and Fear Shieldaig, were soon at the scene of action, but all they had to do on their arrival was to assist in the burial of the dead Macleods. Pits were dug, into each of which a number of the bodies were thrown, and mounds were raised over them which remain to this day, as any one landing on the island may observe.
In 1611, Murdoch Mackenzie, second surviving son of John Roy Mackenze, IV. of Gairloch, accompanied by Alexander Bayne, heir apparent of Tulloch, and several brave men from Gairloch, sailed to the Isle of Skye in a vessel loaded with wine and provisions. It is said by some that Murdoch's intention was to apprehend John Tolmach, while others maintain that his object was to secure in marriage the daughter and heir of line of Donald Dubh MacRory. The latter theory is far the more probable, and it is the unbroken tradition in Gairloch. John Macleod was a prisoner in Gairloch, was unmarried, and easily secured where he was, in the event of this marriage taking place. By such a union, failing issue by John, then in the power of John Roy, the ancient rights of the Macleods would revert to the Gairloch family, and a troublesome dispute would be for ever settled, if John Tolmach were at the same time captured or put to death.
It may easily be conceived how both objects would become combined but whatever the real object of the trip to Skye, it proved disastrous. The ship found its way - intentionally on the part of the crew, or forced by a great storm - to the sheltered bay of Kirkton of Raasay, opposite the present mansion house, where young MacGillechallum at the time resided. Anchor was cast, and young Raasay, hearing that Murdoch Mackenzie was on board, discussed the situation with his friend MacGillechallum Mor MacDhomhnuill Mhic Neill, who persuaded him to visit the ship as a friend, and secure Mackenzie's person by stratagem, with the view of getting him afterwards exchanged for his own relative, John MacAllan Mhic Rory, then a prisoner in Gairloch. Acting on this advice, young Raasay, with Gillecallum Mor and twelve of their men, started for the ship, leaving word with his bastard brother, Murdoch, to get ready all the men he could, to go to their assistance in small boats as soon as the a]arm was given.
Mackenzie received his visitors in the most hospitable and unsuspecting manner, and supplied them with as much wine and other viands as they could consume. Four of his men, however, feeling somewhat suspicious, and fearing the worst, abstained from drinking. Alexander Bayne of Tulloch, and the remainder of Murdoch's men partook of the good cheer to excess, and ultimately became so drunk that they had to retire below deck. Mackenzie, who sat between Raasay and MacGillechallum Mor, had not the slightest suspicion, when Macleod, seeing Murdoch alone, jumped up, turned suddenly round and told him that he must become his prisoner. Mackenzie instantly started to his feet, in a violent passion, laid hold of Raasay by the waist, and threw him down, exclaiming, "I would scorn to be your prisoner." One of Raasay's followers, seeing his young chief treated thus, stabbed Murdoch through the body with his dirk. Mackenzie finding himself wounded, stepped back to draw his sword, and, his foot coming against some obstruction, he stumbled over it and fell into the sea.
Those on shore observing the row, came out in their small boats and seeing Mackenzie, who was a dexterous swimmer, manfully making for Sconsar, on the opposite shore, in Skye, they pelted him with stones, smashed in his brains and drowned him. The few of his men who kept sober, seeing their leader thus perish, resolved to sell their lives dearly; and fighting like heroes, they killed the young laird of Raasay, along with MacGillechallum Mor, author of all the mischief, and his two sons. Young Bayne of Tulloch and his six inebriated companions who had followed him below, hearing the uproar overhead, attempted to come on deck, but they were all killed by the Macleods as they presente themselves through the hold. Not a soul of the Raasay men escaped alive from the swords of the four who had kept sober, ably supported by the ship's crew.
The small boats now began to gather round the vessel and the Raasay men attempted to get on board but they were thrown back, slain, and pitched into the sea without mercy. The shot and ammunition having become exhausted, all the pots and pans, and other articles of furniture on board were hurled at the Macleods, while the four abstainers plied their weapons of war with deadly effect. Having procured a lull from the attempts of the enemy, they commenced to pull in their anchor, when a shot from one of the boats killed one of them - Hector MacKenneth, "a pretty young gentleman." The other three seeing him slain, and being themselves more or less seriously wounded, cut their cable, hoisted sail, and proceeded before a fresh breeze, with all the dead bodies still lying about the deck. As soon as they got out of danger, they threw the bodies of young Raasay and his men into the sea, that they might have the same interment which their own leader had received, and whose body they were not able to search for.
It is said that none of the bodies were ever found, except that of MacGillechallum Mor, which afterwards came ashore, and was buried, in Raasay. The Gairloch men carried the bodies of Bayne of Tulloch and his companions to Lochcarron, where they were decently interred.
The only survivors of the Rausay affair were John MacEachainn Chaoil, John MacKenneth Mhic Eachainn, and Kenneth MacSheumais. The first named lived for thirty years after, dying in 1641; the second died in 1662; and the third in 1663 - all very old men. Amongst the slain was a son of Mackenzie of Badachro, who is said to have signally distinguished himself. The conduct of the Mackenzies of Gairloch was such on this and previous occasions that they deemed it wise to secure a remission from the Crown, which was duly granted to them in 1614, by James VI. [Mackenzie's "History of the Macleods," pp. 361-366.] The document, modernised in spelling, is as follows:
James R. - Our Sovereign Lord understanding the manifold cruel and barbarous tyrannies and oppressions so frequent within he Highlands and Isles, of that (part of) his Highness's Kingdom of Scotland, before his Majesty's departure furth of the same, that one part of the inhabitants thereof being altogether void of the true ear of God, and not regarding that true and loyal obedience they ought to his Majesty in massing and drawing themselves together n troops and companies, and after a most savage and insolent form committing depredations, rieves, "slouthis," and cruel slaughters against the most honest, godly, and industrious sort of people dwelling within and bewest the said bounds, who were a ready prey to the said oppressors, so that the said honest and peaceable subjects were oft and sundry times, for defence of their own lives, their wives and children, forced to enter into actions of hostility against the said limmers and broken men who oft and diverse times invaded and pursued them with tire and sword, reft and spuilzied their whole goods, among whom his Majesty, understanding that his Highness's lovites and true and obedient subjects, John Mackenzie of Gairloch, Alexander, Kenneth, Duncan, and William Mackenzie, his sons, dwelling within the Highlands most 'ewest' the Isles of Skye and Lewis, who many and sundry times before his Majesty's going to England, has been most cruelly invaded and pursued with tire and sword by sundry of the said vagabonds and broken men dwelling and resorting in the Skye and Lewis and other bounds of the Highlands where they dwell, and has there-through sustained many and great slaughters, depredations and heirschips, so that in the very action of the said invasions and hostilities pursued against them, the said persons in defence of their own lives, their wives' and children's, and of their goods, have slain sundry of the said invaders and limmers, taken others of them and thereafter put them to death, to the great comfort of his Majesty's good, honest, and true subjects who were subject to the like inroads, invasions and tyrannies of the said vagabonds and fugitives, and settling of his Majesty's peace within the bounds and his Majesty being noways willing that the said John Mackenzie of Gairloch and his said sons' forawardness in their own defence, and withstanding of the foresaid open and violent hostilities and tyrannies of the said broken men which has produced so much and good benefit to his Majesty's distressed subjects, shall suffer any hurt, prejudice, or inconvenience against the said John Mackenzie of Gairloch and his said sons, which his Highness by these letters decrees and declares to have been good and acceptable service done to his Highness and the country: Therefore, his Majesty, of his special grace, mercy, and favour, ordains a letter to be made under his Highness's Great Seal in due form to the said John Mackenzie of Gairloch, Alexander, Kenneth, Duncan, and William Mackenzie, his sons, remitting and forgiving them and everyone of them all rancour, hatred, action, and crime whatsoever that his Majesty had, has, or anywise may lay to the charge of the said John Mackenzie or his said sons, or any of them, for the alleged taking and apprehending, slaying or mutilating of the said vagabonds and broken men, or any of them, or for art and part thereof, or for raising of tire against them, in the taking and apprehending of them, or any of them, at any time preceding his Majesty's going to England and of all that has passed or that may pass thereupon, and of every circumstance thereanent and suchlike. His Majesty, of his especial grace, taking knowledge and proper motive, remits and forgives the said persons, and everyone of them, all slaughters, mutilations, and other capital crimes whatsoever, art and part thereof committed by them, or any of them, preceding the day and date hereof (treason in our said Sovereign Lord's own most noble person only excepted), with all pains and executions that ought and should be executed against them, or any of them for the same, exonerating, absolving, and relieving the said John and his said sons, and all of them of all action and challenge criminal and civil that may be moved thereupon to their prejudice for ever: Discharging hereby all judges, officers, magistrates, administrators of his Majesty's laws, from granting of any proofs, criminal or civil, in any action or causes to be moved or pursued against the said John Mackenzie or his sons foresaid for anything concerning the execution of the premises: Discharging them thereof and their officers in that employed by them, and that the said letter he extended in the best form with ill clauses needful and the precepts he directed orderly thereupon in form as effeirs. Given at Theobald's, the second day of April, the year of God, 1614 years. [Original in the Gairloch Charter Chest.]
John Roy purchased or rented the tithes of his lands, which appear to have led him into no end of disputes. The Rev. Alexander Mackenzie was appointed minister at Gairloch - the first after the Reformation - and in 1583 he obtained a decree from the Lords of the Privy Council and Session ordaining the teind revenue to be paid to him. At the Reformation Sir John Broik was rector of the parish; after which it was vacant until, in 1583, James VI. presented this Alexander Mackenzie to "the parsonage and vicarage of Garloch vacand in our Souerane Lordis handis contenuallie sen the reformatioun of the religioun within this realme by the decease of Sir John Broik." [Reg. Sec. Sig., vol xlix, fol. 62.] In 1584 the Rev. Alexander Mackenzie let the teinds to John Roy for three lives and nineteen years more, for an annual payment of L12 Scots. In 1588 the Crown granted a similar tack for a like payment. In 1612 the Rev. Farquhar MacGillechriost Macrae raised an action against John Roy and his eldest surviving son Alexander for payment of the teind. A certain Robert Boyd became cautioner for the teind of 1610; but the action went on for several years, and was apparently won by the Rev. Farquhar Macrae, who, in 1616, lets the teind of Gairloch for nineteen years to Alexander Mackenzie, Fiar of Gairloch, for L80 Scots yearly. Alexander thereupon surrenders the tithes of the lands of Letterewe, Inverewe, Drumchorc, and others to Colin Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, who on his part, as patron of the parish, binds himself not to sanction the set of these tithes to any other than the said Alexander and his heirs. [Papers in the Gairloch Charter Chest.]
John Roy married, first, Elizabeth, daughter of Angus Macdonald, VII. of Glengarry, by his wife, Janet, daughter of Kenneth Mackenzie, X. of Kintail, by Lady Elizabeth, daughter of John, second Earl of Athole, with issue -
1. John, who married, as already stated, Isabel, daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, II. of Fairburn, with issu - an only daughter, also named Isabel, who, as his second wife, married Colin Mackenzie of Kinnock, with issue—an only son, who sold back his mother's jointure lands of Davochpollo and Pitlundie in 1666. John died before his father, in 1601, at Kinkell, and was buried at Beauly.
2. Alexander, who succeeded to the estates.
3. Murdoch, killed, unmarried, at Raasay in 1611.
4. Kenneth, I. of Davochcairn, who married, first, Margaret, daughter of James Cuthbert of Alterlies and Drakies, Inverness, with issue, whose male representation is extinct. He married, secondly, a daughter of Hector Mackenzie, IV. of Fairburn, also with issue, of whose present representation nothing is known. Kenneth died at Davochcairn in 1643, and was buried at Beauly.
5. Duncan of Sand, who married a daughter of Hugh Fraser of Belladrum, with issue - (1) Alexander, who succeeded him at Sand; (2) John, who married a daughter of the Rev. George Munro, minister of Urquhart, and resided at Ardnagrask; (3) Katharine, who married, first, a son of Allan Macranald Macdonald, heir male of Moydart, at the time residing at Baile Chnuic, or Hiltown of Beauly, and secondly, William Fraser of Boblanie, with issue. (4) A daughter, who married Thomas Mackenzie, son of Murdoch Mackenzie, IV. of Achilty and (5) a daughter, who married Duncan MacIan vic Eachainn Chaoil. Duncan died at Sand, from the bite of a cat at Inverasdale, in 1635, and is buried at Gairloch.
Alexander, who succeeded his father at Sand (retour 1647), married a daughter of Murdo Mackenzie of Kernsary, fifth son of Colin Cam, XI. of Kintail, by his wife, Barbara, daughter of John Grant, XII. of Grant. Murdoch married the eldest daughter of John Mackenzie, III. of Fairburn, by whom he had, in addition to the daughter who became the wife of Alexander Mackenzie of Sand, an only lawful son, John, killed in 1645 at the battle of Auldearn in command of the Lewis Mackenzie Regiment, whereupon the lineal and sole representation of the Kernsary family reverted to the descendants of Alexander Mackenzie of Sand, through Mary, his wife, by whom he had issue - two sons and two daughters. He was succeeded, in 1656, by the eldest son, Hector, who also succeeded his uncle John in Ardnagrask. He married Janet Fraser, with issue - John Mackenzie, who died in 1759, and left a son Alexander, who got a new tack of Ardnagrask for forty years, commencing in May, 1760; [Gairloch Papers.] and married Helen Mackenzie, daughter of Donald, great-grandson of Murdo Mackenzie, V. of Hilton (by his wife, Jean Forbes of Raddery), by whom he had a large family of five sons and six daughters. The eldest son, John Mackenzie, a merchant and Bailie of Inverness, was born at Ardnagrask in 1762, and married Prudence, daughter of Richard Ord, Merkinch, Inverness, by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of John, third son of Alexander, VII. of Davochmaluag, with issue - five sons and two daughters. Three of the sons died without issue, one of whom was John, a merchant in Madras. Another, Alexander, married Maria Lascelles of Blackwood, Dumfries, with issue - John Fraser Mackenzie, who married Julia Linton, with issue; Alexander, who married Adelaide Brett, Madras, with issue and four daughters, Margaret, Jane, Frances, and Maria, of whom two married, with issue.
Bailie John's second surviving son, the Rev. William Mackenzie, married Elizabeth Maclaren, with issue - John Ord, who married, without issue; James, who married, with issue; Richard, who married Lousia Lyall, with issue Henry, of the Oriental Bank Corporation; Gordon, of the Indian Civil Service; and Alfred, of Townsville, Queensland; also Louisa, Isabella, Maria, and Williamina, all married, the first three with issue.
Bailie Mackenzie's daughters were - Elizabeth, who married Montgomery Young, with issue; and Jane, who married Provost Ferguson, of Inverness, with issue - John Alexander, who married, with issue; Mary, who married the late Walter Carruthers of the Inverness Courier, with issue; and Agnes Prudence, who married the Rev. G. T. Carruthers, one of Her Majesty's Chaplains in India.
6. William Mackenzie of Shieldaig, who married a daughter of the Rev. Murdo Mackenzie, minister of Kintail, with issue - (1) Murdoch, who married Mary, daughter of Roderick Mackenzie, I. of Applecross, with issue - Roderick, who, in 1727, married Margaret Mackenzie, with issue - William Mackenzie, on record in 1736; (2) Duncan, who married a daughter, by his second marriage, of Hector Mackenzie, IV. of Fairburn; (3) John, who married a daughter of Murdo Mackenzie in Sand; (4) Kenneth, who married a daughter of Hector MacIan vic Eachainn Mackenzie; (5) Hector; (6) Roderick; (7) Alexander, the last-named three unmarried in 1669; (8) a daughter, who married Alexander Fraser of Reelick, with issue; (9) a daughter, who married Hector "Mac Mhic Alastair Roy"; (10) a daughter, who married Murdo "Mac Ian Mhic Eachainn Chaoil," a son of one of the Raasay heroes; (11) a daughter, who married Hector Mackenzie, Chamberlain in Lochcarron; (12) a daughter, who married the Rev. Donald Macrae, minister of Lochalsh; and (13) a daughter, unmarried in 1669. He had also a natural son, John Mor "Mac Uilleam," who married a natural daughter or Murdoch Mackenzie, II. of Redcastle.
7. A daughter, who married Fraser of Foyers.
8. Katherine, who married Hugh Fraser of Culbokie and Guisachan.
9. Another Katherine, who married Fraser of Struy.
10. Janet, who married, first, George Cuthbert of Castlehill, Inverness (marriage contract 29th June, 1611); and secondly Neil Munro of Findon marriage contract dated 5th of February, 1627). [Both marriage contracts are in the Gairloch Charter Chest.]
11. A daughter, who married Alastair Mor, brother of Chisholm of Comar.
John Roy married, secondly, Isabel, daughter of Murdoch Mackenzie, I. of Fairburn, with issue -
12. Captain Roderick of Pitglassie, who served in the army of the Prince of Orange, and died, unmarried, in Holland, in 1624.
13. Hector of Mellan, who married, first, the widow of the Rev. John Mackenzie of Lochbroom, without issue and secondly, a daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, IV. of Achilty, with issue, five sons - Alexander, who married a daughter of "Murdo Mc Cowil vic Ean Oig"; Murdo, who married a daughter of Murdo Mackenzie of Sand and three others unmarried in 1669.
14. John, a clergyman, who married a natural daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, I. of Kilcoy, with issue - four sons and two daughters. He died at Rhynduin in 1666, and is buried at Beauly.
15. Katherine Og, who married Fraser of Belladrum, with issue - from whom the Frasers of Achnagairn and Seafield.
16. Isabel, who married first, Alastair Og Macdonald [The marriage contract is in the Gairloch Charter Chest, dated 23rd Jan. 1629. This gentleman, in the month of November, 1625, killed a man in Uist named Alexander Mac Ian Mhic Alastair, for which he received a remission from Charles I., dated at Holyrood, the first of August, 1627, and which Macdonald appears to have deposited in the Gairloch Charter Chest on his marriage with Isabel of Gairloch.] of Cuidreach, brother-german to Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, and ancestor of the Macdonalds of Cuidreach and Kingsburgh, Isle of Skye. She married, secondly, Hugh Macdonald of Skirmish.
John had also a natural son, Kenneth Buy Mackenzie, by a woman named Fraser, who married a daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, IV. of Achilty; and two natural daughters, one of whom married Donald Bain, Seaforth's Chamberlain in the Lewis, killed in the battle of Auldearn in 1645; the other, Margaret, in 1640, married Alexander, "second lawful son" of John Mackenzie, IV. of Hilton.
He died at Talladale in 1628, in the 80th year of his age; was buried in the old churchyard of Gairloch, and succeeded by his eldest surviving son,
V. ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, who was advanced in years at his father's death. He was most active in the duties pertaining to the head of his house during the life of his father, for it was he who led the Mackenzies of Gairloch against the Macleods in their repeated incursions to repossess themselves of their estates, "He was a valiant worthy gentleman. It was he who made an end of all the troubles his predecessors were in the conquering of Gairloch from the Shiel Vic Gille Challum. [Applecross MS.] Very little is known of him personally, his career having been so much mixed up with that of his father. By the charter of 1619 he was infeft in the barony as fiar, and he immediately succeeded on his father's decease. In 1627, while still fiar or feuer of Gairloch, he obtained from his son-in-law, John Mackenzie of Applecross (afterwards of Lochslinn), who married his daughter Isobel, a disclamation of part of the lands of Diobaig, previously in dispute between the Lairds of Gairloch and Applecross. In the Gairloch Charter Chest there is a feu charter of endowment by John Mackenzie of Applecross, in implement of the contract of marriage with his betrothed spouse, Isobel, daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, younger of Gairloch, dated 6th of June, 1622. After John of Lochslinn's death, she married, secondly, Colin Mackenzie of Tarvie and there is a sasine in favour of Margaret, second lawful daughter of this Colin of Tarvie by Isobel of Gairloch and spouse of Matthew Robertson of Davoch-carty, in implement of a marriage contract.
A little piece of scandal seems, from an extract of the Presbytery Records of Dingwall, of date 3rd of March, 1666, to have arisen in connection with this pair - Matthew Robertson and Margaret Mackenzie. "Rorie McKenzie of Dochmaluak, compearing desyred ane answer to his former supplication requiring that Matthew Robertson of Dochgarty should be ordained to make satisfaction for slandering the said Rorie with alleged miscarriage with Matthew Robertson's wife. The brethren considering that by the witness led in the said matter there was nothing but suspicion and jealousies, and said Matthew Robertson being called and inquired concerning the said particular, did openly profess that he was in no wayes jealous of the said Rorie Mackenzie and his wife, and if any word did escape him upon which others might put such a construction, he was heartily sorry for it, and was content to acknowledge so much to Rorie Mackenzie of Dochmaluak, and crave pardon for the same, which the brethren taking into their consideration, and the Bishop referring it to them (as the Moderator reported), they have, according to the Bishop's appointment, ordered the said Matthew Robertson to acknowledge so much before the Presbytery to the party, and to crave his pardon in anything he has given him offence. The which being done by the said Matthew Robertson, Rory Mackenzie of Dochmaluak did acquiesce in it without any furder prosecution of it," and we hear no more of the subject.
In 1637 Alexander proceeded to acquire part of Loggie-Wester from Duncan Bayne, but the matter was not arranged until 1640, during the reign of his successor.
Alexander married, first, Margaret, third daughter of Roderick Mor Mackenzie, I. of Redcastle, by his wife, Finguala or Florence, daughter of Robert Munro, XVth Baron of Fowlis, with issue -
1. Kenneth, his heir and successor.
2. Murdo of Sand, "predecessor to Sand and Mungastle," [There is great confusion about the families of the various Sands which we have not been able to clear up. The following is from the public records: In 1718 on the forfeiture of the Fairburn estate, "Alexander" Mackenzie of Sand appeared and deponed that "Murdoch" Mackenzie of Sand, his father, had a wadset of Mungastle and certain other lands from Fairburn. In May 1730 "Alexander" Mackenzie of Sand purchased Mungastle for 3000 merks from Dundonell, who had meantime become proprietor of it. In January 1744 "Alexander" Mackenzie of Sand, son of the preceding Alexander, was infeft in Mungastle in place of his father. In 1741 the above Alexander (the younger) being then a minor, and John Mackenzie of Lochend being his curator, got a wadset of Glenarigolach and Ridorch, and in 1745 Alexander being then of full age, apparently purchased these lands irredeemably. In March 1765 Alexander Mackenzie of Sand, with consent of Janet Mackenzie, his wife, sold Mungastle, Glenarigolach, etc. One of the witnesses to this deed of disposition is Alexander Mackenzie, eldest son to Alexander Mackenzie, the granter of the deed.] who married the eldest daughter of John Mackenzie, III. of Fairburn, with issue - a daughter, Margaret, who married Colin Mackenzie, I. of Sanachan, brother to John Mackenzie, II. of Applecross.
3. Hector, "portioner of Mellan," and a Cornet in Sir George Munro's regiment, who married a daughter of Donald Maciver, with issue - three sons and a daughter, Mary - of whom under MACKENZIES OF DAILUAINE.
4. Alexander, from whom the author of this History, and of whose descendants under "SLIOCHD ALASTAIR CHAIM."
5. Isobel, who married John Mackenzie of Applecross (afterwards of Lochslinn), brother-german to Colin, first Earl of Seaforth. By him she had issue, a daughter, who married Sir Norman Macleod, I. of Bernera, with issue - John Macleod of Muiravenside and Bernera, Advocate. Isobel, on the death of her husband, who was poisoned at Tam, married secondly, Colin Mackenzie of Tarvie, third son of Sir Roderick Mackenzie, I. of Coigach, Tutor of Kintail, with issue. She married, thirdly, Murdoch Mackenzie, V. of Achilty, without issue.
6. Margaret, who, as his third wife, married Alexander Ross of Cuilich, from whom the family of Achnacloich.
7. A daughter, who married Robert Gray of Skibo, with issue. Alexander married, secondly, Isabel, eldest daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, progenitor of Coul and Applecross, with issue -
8. William of Multafy and I. of Belmaduthy, of whom in their order.
9. Roderick, who married Agnes, second daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, I. of Suddie, without issue.
10. Angus, who married the eldest daughter of Hector Mackenzie, IV. of Fairburn, without issue. Angus "was a brave soldier, and commanded a considerable body of Highlanders under King Charles the second at the Torwood. He, with Scrymgeour of Dudhope and other Loyalists, marched at a great rate to assist the Macleans, who were cut to pieces by Cromwell's dragoons at Inverkeithing, but to their great grief were recalled by the Earl of Argyll, General of the army." [Gairloch Manuscript.]
11. Annabella, who, as his second wife, married Donald Mackenzie, III. of Loggie, with issue - his heir and successor, and others.
12. Janet, who married Alexander Mackenzie, I. of Ardross and Pitglassie, progenitor of the present Mackenzies of Dundonnel, with issue - his heir and successor.
Alexander had also a natural daughter, who, as his first wife, married George, fourth son of John Mackenzie, I. of Ord, without issue.
He died, as appears from his successor's retour of service, on the 4th of January, 1638, [In this service we have "Kirktoun with the manor and gardens of the same," and after a long list of the townships, the fishings of half the water of Ewe and the rivers Kerry and Badachro follows, "the loch of Loch Maroy, with the islands of the same, and the manor place and gardens in the Island of Illiurory, the loch of Garloch, with the fishings of the same," from which it appears that the residence on, Island Rory Beg, the walls of which and of the large garden are yet distinctly traceable, was quite as early as that on Island Suthain in which Alexander died.] in the 61st year of his age, at Island Suthain, in Loch Maree, where traces of his house still remain. He was buried with his wife "in a chapel he caused built near the Church of Gairloch," during his father's lifetime, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
VI. KENNETH MACKENZIE, a strong Loyalist during the wars of Montrose and the Covenanters. He was fined by the Committee of Estates for his adherence to the King, under the Act of 3rd February, 1646, entitled Commission for the moneys of Excise and Process against delinquents," in a forced loan of 500 merks, for which the receipt, dated 15th March, 1647, signed by Kennedy, Earl of Cassilis, and Sir William Cochrane, two of the Commissioners named in the Act, and by two or three others, is still extant. Seaforth was, at the time, one of the Committee of Estates, and his influence was probably exercised in favour of leniency to the Baron of Gairloch; especially as he was himself privately imbued with strong predilections in favour of the Royalists. Kenneth commanded a body of Highlanders at Balvenny under Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine, and his own brother-in-law, the Earl of Huntly; but when the Royalist army was surprised and disarmed, he was on a visit to Castle Grant and managed to effect his escape.
In 1640 he completed the purchase of Loggie-Wester, commenced by his predecessor, but in order to do so he had to have recourse to the money market. He granted a bond, dated 20th of October, 1644, for 1000 merks, to Hector Mackenzie, alias MacIan MacAlastair Mhic Alastair, indweller in Eadill-fuill or South Erradale. On the 14th of January, 1649, at Kirkton, he granted to the same person a bond for 500 merks; but at this date Hector was described as "indweller in Androry," and again, another dated at Stankhouse of Gairloch (Tigh Dige), 24th of November, 1662; but the lender of the money is on this occasion described as living in Diobaig. For the two first of these sums Murdo Mackenzie of Sand, Kenneth's brother-german, became security.
In 1657 Kenneth is collateral security to a bond granted by the same Murdoch Mackenzie of Sand to Colin Mackenzie, I. of Sanachan, brother-german to John Mackenzie, II. of Applecross, for 2000 merks, borrowed on the 20th of March in that year the one-half of which was to be paid by the delivery at the feast of Beltane or Whitsunday, 1658, of 50 cows in milk by calves of that year, and the other half, with legal interest, at Whitsunday, 1659. Colin Mackenzie, I. of Sanachan, married Murdoch's daughter; the contract of marriage is dated the same day as the bond, and is subscribed at Dingwall by the same witnesses.
By letters of Tutorie Dative from Oliver Cromwell, he was, in 1658, appointed Tutor to Hector Mackenzie, lawful son of Alexander Mackenzie, lawful son of Duncan Mackenzie of Sand, Gairloch. There is nothing further to show what became of the pupil, Hector, but it is highly probable that on the death of Alexander, son of Duncan of Sand, the farm was given by Kenneth to his own brother, Murdoch, and that the 2000 merks, borrowed from Colin Mackenzie of Sanachan, who married Murdoch's only daughter, Margaret, may have been borrowed for the purpose of stocking the farm. The dates of the marriage, of the bond, and of the Tutorie Dative, so near each other, strongly support this view.
Kenneth married, first, Katharine, daughter of Sir Donald Macdonald, IX. of Sleat, without issue. The contract of marriage is dated 5th September, 1635, the marriage portion being the handsome sum of "6ooo merks, and her endowment 1000 libs Scots yearly." He married, secondly, Ann, daughter of Sir John Grant of Grant, by Ann Ogilvy, daughter of the Earl of Findlater (marriage contract dated 17th October, 1640). There is a charter by Kenneth in her favour of the lands of Loggie-Wester, the miln and pertinents thereof, with the grazings of Tolly, in implement of the marriage contract, dated 4th of December, 1640, with a sasine of the same date, and another charter of the lands and manor-place of Kinkell and Ardnagrask, dated the 15th of August, 1655, with sasine thereon, dated 5th September following. By her Kenneth had issue -
1. Alexander, his heir and successor.
2. Hector, of Bishop-Kinkell, who married Margaret, eldest daughter of Donald Mackenzie, III. of Loggie, and widow of Roderick Mackenzie, V. of Fairburn, and with her obtained the lands of Bishop-Kinkell, to which his son John succeeded.
3. John, who died unmarried.
4. Mary, who, in 1656, married Alexander Mackenzie, at the time Younger and afterwards III. of Kilcoy, with issue.
5. Barbara, who married, first, Fraser of Kinneries, and secondly, Alexander Mackenzie, I. of Ardloch, with issue by both.
6. Lilias, who married, as his first wife, Alexander Mackenzie, II. of Ballone, with issue.
He married, thirdly, Janet, daughter of John Cuthbert of Castlehill (marriage contract dated 17th December, 1658, the marriage portion being 3000 merks, and her endowment 5 chalders victual yearly), with issue -
7. Charles, I. of Letterewe, who, by his father's marriage contract, got Loggie-Wester, which had been purchased by Kenneth in 1640. In 1696 Charles exchanged it with his eldest half-brother, Alexander, VII. of Gairloch, for Letterewe. Charles married Ann, daughter of John Mackenzie, II. of Applecross, with issue - See MACKENZIES OF LETTEREWE.
8. Kenneth, who died unmarried.
9. Colin, I. of Mountgerald, who married Margaret, second daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, I. of Ballone, and widow of Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Findon, without issue; and secondly, Katharine, daughter of James Fraser of Achnagairn, with issue - See MACKENZIES OF MOUNTGERALD.
10. Isabella, who married Roderick Mackenzie, second son of John Mackenzie, II. of Applecross, with issue, whose descendants now represent the original Mackenzies of Applecross.
11. Annabella, who married George, third son of Roderick Mackenzie, V. of Davochmaluag, with issue.
According to the retour of service of his successor, Kenneth died in 1669, was buried in Beauly Priory, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
VII. ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, who, by a charter of resignation, got Loggie-Wester included in the barony of Gairloch. It had, however, been settled on his stepmother, Janet Cuthbert, in life-rent, and after her on her eldest son, Charles of Mellan and subsequently of Letterewe, to whom, after her death, Alexander formally disponed it. They afterwards entered into an excambion by which Alexander reacquired Loggie-Wester in exchange for Letterewe, which then became the patrimony of the successors of Charles.
A tradition is current in the Gairloch family that when Alexander sought the hand of his future lady, Barbara, daughter of Sir John Mackenzie of Tarbat, and sister-german to the first Earl of Cromarty and to Isobel Countess of Seaforth, he endeavoured to make himself appear much wealthier than he really was, by returning a higher rental than he actually received at the time of making up the Scots valued rent in 1670, in which year he married. This tradition is corroborated by a comparison of the valuation of the shire of Inverness for 1644, published by Charles Fraser-Mackintosh in "Antiquarian Notes," and the rental of 1670, on which the ecclesiastical assessments are still based. In the former year the rental of the parish of Gairloch was L3134 13s 4d, of which L1081 6s 8d was from the lands of the Barony, equal to 34 1/2 per cent., while in the latter year the valued rental of the parish is put down at L3400, of which L1549 is from the barony lands, or 45 1/2 per cent. It is impossible that such a rise in the rental could have taken place in the short space of twenty-six years; and the presumption is in favour of the accuracy of the tradition which imports that the rental was over-valued for the special purpose of making the Baron of Gairloch appear more important in the eyes of his future relatives-in-law than he really was. In 1681 he had his rights and titles ratified by Act of Parliament, printed at length in the Folio edition.
He married, first, in 1670, Barbara, daughter of Sir John Mackenzie, Baronet of Tarbat, with issue -
1. Kenneth, his heir and successor.
2. Isobel, who married John Macdonald of Balcony, son of Sir James Macdonald, IX. of Sleat.
He married, secondly, Janet, daughter of William Mackenzie, I. of Belmaduthy (marriage contract 30th of January 1679), on which occasion Davochcairn and Ardnagrask were settled upon her in life-rent, and on her eldest son at her death, as appears from a precept of date clare constat, by Colin Mackenzie of Davochpollo, in favour of William, his eldest surviving son. By her he had issue -
3. Alexander, who died unmarried.
4. William, who acquired the lands of Davochcairn, and married, in 1712, Jean, daughter of Roderick Mackenzie, V. of Redcastle, with issue - a son, Alexander, of the Stamp Office, London, and several daughters. Alexander has a "clare constat" as only son in 1732. He died in 1772, leaving a son, Alexander Kenneth, who emigrated to New South Wales, where several of his descendants now reside; the representative of the family, in 1878, being Alexander Kenneth Mac-kenzie, Boonara, Bondi, Sydney.
5. John, who purchased the lands of Lochend (now Inverewe), with issue - Alexander Mackenzie, afterwards of Lochend and George, an officer in Colonel Murray Keith's Highland Regiment also two daughters, Lilias, who married William Mackenzie, IV. of Gruinard, and Christy, who married William Maciver of Tournaig, both with issue - See MACKENZIES OF LOCHEND.
6. Ann, who, in 1703, married Kenneth Mackenzie, II. of Torridon, with issue. She married, secondly, Kenneth Mackenzie, a solicitor in London.
He died in December 1694, at the age of 42, which appears from his general retour of sasine, dated 25th February, 1673, in which he is said to be then of lawful age. He was buried in Gairloch, and was succeeded by his only son by his first marriage,
VIII. SIR KENNETH MACKENZIE, created a Baronet of Nova Scotia, by Queen Anne, on the 2nd of February, 1703. He was educated at Oxford, and afterwards represented his native county of Ross in the Scottish Parliament. He strongly opposed the Union, considering that if it should take place, it would be "the funeral of his country." After the succession of Queen Anne he received from her, in December 1702, a gift of the taxed ward, feu-duties, non-entry, and marriage dues, and other casualties payable to the Crown, from the date of his father's death, which, up to 1702, do not appear to have been paid. Early in the same year he seems to have been taken seriously ill, whereupon he executed a holograph will and testament at Stankhouse, dated the 23rd of May, 1702, which was witnessed by his uncle, Colin Mackenzie of Findon, and by his brother-in-law, Simon Mackenzie, I. of Allangrange. He appoints as trustees his "dear friends "John, Master of Tarbat, Kenneth Mackenzie of Cromarty, Kenneth Mackenzie of Scatwell, Hector Mackenzie, and Colin Mackenzie, his uncles, and George Mackenzie, II. of Allangrange. He appointed Colin Mackenzie, then of Findon, and afterwards of Davochpollo and Mountgerald, as his tutor and factor at a salary of 200 merks Scots. In May, 1703, having apparently to some extent recovered his health, he appears in his place in Parliament. In September of the same year he returned to Stankhouse, Gairloch, where he executed two bonds of provision, one for his second son George, and the other for his younger daughters.
He married, in 1696, Margaret, youngest daughter, and, as is commonly said, co-heiress of Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Findon, but the Barony of Findon went wholly to Lilias, the eldest daughter, who married Sir Kenneth Mackenzie, 1st Baronet and IV. of Scatwell another of the daughters, Isobel, married Simon Mackenzie, I. of Allangrange. There was a fourth daughter, unmarried at the date of Margaret's contract of marriage and the four took a fourth part each of Sir Roderick's moveables and of certain lands not included in the Barony. At the date of his marriage Kenneth had not made up titles to his estates; but by his marriage contract he is taken bound to do so as soon as he can. His retour of service was taken out in the following year.
By Margaret Mackenzie of Findon Kenneth had issue -
1. Alexander, his heir and successor.
2. George, who became a merchant in Glasgow, and died unmarried in 1739.
3. Barbara, who, in 1729, married George Beattie, a merchant in Montrose, without issue.
4. Margaret, who died young in 1704.
5. Anne, who, in 1728, married, during his father's life-time, Murdo Mackenzie, VII. of Achilty, without issue.
6. Katharine, who died young.
Sir Kenneth had also a natural daughter, Margaret, who married, in 1723, Donald Macdonald, younger of Cuidreach. Sir Kenneth's widow, about a year after his decease, married Bayne of Tulloch. Notwithstanding the money that Sir Kenneth received with her, he died deeply in debt, and left his children insufficiently provided for. George and Barbara were at first maintained by their mother, and afterwards by Colin of Findon who had married their grandmother, widow of Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Findon, while Alexander and Anne were in even a worse plight.
He died in December 1703, at the early age of 32; was buried in Gairloch, and succeeded by his eldest son,
IX. SIR ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, the second Baronet, a child only three and a half years old. His prospects were certainly not enviable, he and his sister Anne having had for a time, for actual want of means, to be "settled in tenants' houses." The rental of Gairloch and Glasletter at his father's death only amounted to 5954 merks, and his other estates in the Low Country were settled on his mother, Sir Kenneth's widow, for life while he was left with debts due amounting to 66,674 merks, equal to eleven years rental of the whole estates. During his minority, however, the large sum of 51,200 merks was paid off, in addition to 27,635 in name of interest on the original debt; and consequently very little was left for his education. In 1708 he, along with his brother and sisters, were taken to the factor's house - Colin Mackenzie of Findon - where they remained for four years, and received the rudiments of their education from a young man, Simon Urquhart. In 1712 they were all sent to school at Chanonry, under Urquhart's charge, where Sir Alexander remained for six years, after which, having arrived at 18 years of age, he went to complete his education in Edinburgh. He afterwards made a tour of travel, and returning home in 1730 married his cousin, Janet Mackenzie of Scatwell, on which occasion a fine Gaelic poem was composed in her praise by John Mackay, the famous blind piper and poet of Gairloch, whose daughter became the mother of William Ross, a Gaelic bard even more celebrated than the blind piper himself. If we believe her eulogist the lady possessed all the virtues of mind and body but in spite of all these graces the marriage did not turn out a happy one; for, in 1758, she separated from her husband on the grounds of incompatibility of temper, after which she lived alone at Kinkell.
When, in 1721, Sir Alexander came of age, he was obliged to find means to pay the provision payable to his brother George and to his sisters, amounting altogether to 16,000 merks, while about the same amount of his father's debts was still unpaid. In 1729 he purchased Cruive House and the Ferry of Skudale. In 1735 he bought Bishop-Kinkell; in 1742 Loggie-Riach and, in 1743, Kenlochewe, which latter property was considered equal in value to Glasletter of Kintail, sold about the same time. About 1730 he redeemed Davochcairn and Ardnagrask from the widow of his uncle William, and Davochpollo from the widow and son James of his grand-uncle, Colin, I. of Mountgerald. In 1752 he executed an entail of all his estates; but leaving debts at his death, amounting to L2679 13s 10d more than his personal estate could meet, Davochcairn, Davochpollo, and Ardnagrask, had eventually to be sold to make up the deficiency.
In 1738 he pulled down the old family residence of Stankhouse, or "Tigh Dige," at Gairloch, which stood in a low, marshy, damp situation, surrounded by the moat from which it derived its name, and built the present house on an elevated plateau, surrounded by magnificent woods and towering hills, with a southern front elevation - altogether one of the most beautiful and best sheltered situations in the Highlands; and he very appropriately called it Flowerdale. He greatly improved his property, and was in all respects a careful and good man of business. He kept out of the Rising of 1745, and afterwards when John Mackenzie of Meddat applied to him for aid in favour of Lord Macleod, son of the Earl of Cromarty, who took so prominent a part in it, and was afterwards in very tightened circumstances, Sir Alexander replied in a letter dated at Gairloch, 17th May, 1749, in the following somewhat unsympathetic terms:
Sir,—I am favoured with your letter, and am extreamly sory Lord Cromartie's circumstances should obliege him to sollicit the aide of small gentlemen. I much raither he hade dyed sword in hand even where he was ingag'd then be necessitate to act such a pairt I have the honour to be nearly related to him, and to have been his companion, but will not supply him at this time, for which I believe I can give you the best reason in the world, and the only one possible for me to give, and that is that I cannot. [Fraser's "Earls of Cromartie," vol. ii., p. 230.]
The reason stated in this letter may possibly be the true one; but it is more likely that Sir Alexander had no sympathy whatever with the cause which brought his kinsman into such an unfortunate position, and that he would not, on that account, lend him any assistance.
Some of his leases, preserved in the Gairloch charter chest, contain some very curious clauses, many of which would now be described as tyrannical and cruel, but the Laird and his tenants understood each other, and they got on remarkably well. The tenants were bound to sell him all their marketable cattle "at reasonable rates," and to deliver to him at current prices all the cod and ling caught by them; and, in some cases, were bound to keep one or more boats, with a sufficient number of men as sub-tenants, for the prosecution of the cod and ling fishings. He kept his own curer, cured the fish, and sold it at 12s 6d per cwt. delivered in June at Gairloch, with credit until the following Martinmas, to Mr Dunbar, merchant, with whom he made a contract binding himself, for several years, to deliver, at the price named, all the cod caught in Gairloch. [See copy of lease granted by him, in 1760, of the half of North Erradale, to one of the author's ancestors, printed at length under the family of "Alastair Cam."]
Sir Alexander married, in 1730, Janet, daughter of Sir Roderick Mackenzie, second Baronet and V. of Scatwell, with issue -
1. Alexander, his heir and successor.
2. Kenneth, who died in infancy.
3. Roderick, a captain in the army, who was killed at Quebec before he attained majority.
4. William, a writer, who died unmarried.
5. James, who died in infancy.
6. Kenneth of Millbank, factor and Tutor to Sir Hector, the fourth Baronet of Gairloch, during the last few years of his minority. He married Anne, daughter of Alexander Mackenzie of Tolly, with issue - (1) Alexander, County Clerk of Ross-shire, who married, and had issue - Alexander, in New Zealand; Kenneth, who married twice, in India, and died in 1877; and Catherine, who married Murdo Cameron, Leanaig, with surviving issue - one son, Alexander; (2) Janet, who married the Rev. Dr John Macdonald, of Ferintosh, the famous "Apostle of the North," with issue; (3) Catherine, who married Alexander Mackenzie, a merchant in London, and grandson of Alexander Mackenzie of Tolly, with issue - an only daughter, Catherine, who married Major Roderick Mackenzie, VII. of Kincraig, with issue; (4) Jane, who, in 1808, married the Rev. Hector Bethune, minister of Dingwall, with issue - Colonel Bethune, who died without issue; the Rev. Angus Bethune, Rector of Seaham; Alexander Mackenzie Bethune, Secretary of the Peninsular and Oriental Navigation Company, married, without issue; and a daughter, Jane, who married the late Francis Harper, Torgorm. Mrs Bethune died in 1878, aged 91 years.
7 and 8. Margaret and Janet, both of whom died young.
9. Janet, who married Colin, eldest son of David, brother of Murdo Mackenzie, VII. of Achilty. Murdo leaving no issue, Colin ultimately succeeded to Achilty, but he seems afterwards to have parted with it, for in 1784, he has a tack of Kinkell, and dies there, in 1813, with his affairs seriously involved, leaving a son John, who died without issue.
Sir Alexander had also a natural son, Charles Mackenzie, ancestor of the later Mackenzies of Sand, and two natural daughters, one of whom, Annabella, by a daughter of Maolmuire, or Miles Macrae, of the family of Inverinate, married John Ban Mackenzie, by whom she had a daughter, Marsali or Marjory, who married John Mor Og Mackenzie (Ian Mor Aireach), son of John Mor Mackenzie, grandson of Alexander Cam Mac-kenzie, fourth son of Alexander, V. of Gairloch, in whose favour Sir Alexander granted the lease of North Erradale, already referred to. The other daughter, known as "Kate Gairloch," who lived to a very old age, unmarried, was provided for in comfortable lodgings and with a suitable allowance by the heads of the family.
He died in 1766, in the 66th year of his age, was buried with his ancestors in Gairloch, [The old chapel and the burying place of the Lairds of Gairloch appear to have been roofed almost up to this date; for in the Tutorial accounts of 1704 there is an item of 30 merks for "harling, pinning, and thatching Gairloch's burial place."] and succeeded by his eldest son,
X. SIR ALEXANDER MACKENZIE, third Baronet, designated "An Tighearna Ruadh," or the Red-haired Laird. He built Conon House between 1758 and 1760, during his father's lifetime. Lady Mackenzie, who continued to reside at Kinkell, where she lived separated from her husband, on Sir Alexander's decease claimed the new mansion at Conon built by her son eight years before on the ground that it was situated on her jointure lands; but Sir Alexander resisted her pretensions, and ultimately the matter was arranged by the award of John Forbes of New, Government factor on the forfeited estates of Lovat, who then resided at Beaufort, and to whom the question in dispute was submitted as arbitrator. Forbes compromised it by requiring Sir Alexander to expend L300 in making Kinkell Castle more comfortable, by taking off the top storey, re-rooting it, rebuilding an addition at the side, and re-flooring, plastering, and papering all the rooms.
Sir Alexander, in addition to the debts of the entailed estates, contracted other liabilities on his own account, and finding himself much hampered in consequence, he tried, but failed, to break the entail, although a flaw has been discovered in it since, and Sir Kenneth, the present Baronet, having called the attention of the Court to it, the entail was judicially declared invalid. Sir Alexander had entered into an agreement to sell the Strathpeffer and Ardnagrask lands, in anticipation of which Henry Davidson of Tulloch bought the greater part of the debts of the entailed estates, with the view of securing the consent of the Court to the sale of Davochcairn and Davochpollo afterwards to himself. But on the 15th of April, 1770, before the transaction could be completed, Sir Alexander died suddenly from the effects of a fall from his horse. His financial affairs were seriously involved, but having been placed in the hands of an Edinburgh accountant, his creditors ultimately received nineteen shillings in the pound.
He married, first, on the 29th of November, 1755, Margaret, eldest daughter of Roderick Mackenzie, VII. of Redcastle, with issue -
1. Hector, his heir and successor.
She died on the 1st of December, 1759.
He married, secondly, in 1760, Jean, daughter of John Gorry of Balblair, and Commissary of Ross, with issue -
2. John, who raised a company, almost wholly in Gairloch, for the 78th Regiment of Ross-shire Highlanders when first embodied, of which he himself obtained the Captaincy. He rose rapidly in rank. On the 3rd of May, 1794, he attained to his majority; in the following year he is Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment Major-General in the army in 1813; and full General in 1837. He served with distinction and without cessation from 1779 to 1814. So marked was his daring and personal valour that he was popularly known among his companions in arms as "Fighting Jack." He was at the Walcheren expedition; at the Cape; in India; in Sicily; Malta; and the Peninsula and though constantly exhibiting numberless instances of personal daring, he was only once wounded, when on a certain occasion he was struck with a spent ball on the knee, which made any walking somewhat troublesome to him in after life. At Tarragona he was so mortified with Sir John Murray's conduct, that he almost forgot that he himself was only second in command, and charged Sir John with incapacity and cowardice, for which the latter was tried by Court Martial - General Mackenzie being one of the principal witnesses against him. Full of vigour of mind and body, he took a lively interest in everything in which he engaged, from fishing and shooting to farming, gardening, politics, and fighting. He never forgot his Gaelic, which he spoke with fluency and read with ease. Though a severe disciplinarian, his men adored him. He was in the habit of saying that it gave him more pleasure to meet a dog from Gairloch than a gentleman from any other place. When the 78th returned from the Indian Mutiny the officers and men were feted to a grand banquet by the town of Inverness, and as the regiment marched through Academy Street, where the General resided, they halted opposite his residence, next door above the Station Hotel; and though so frail that he had to be carried, he was taken out and his chair placed on the steps at the door, where the regiment saluted and warmly cheered their old and distinguished veteran commander, who had so often led their predecessors to victory; and at the time the oldest officer in and "father" of the British army. He was much affected, and wept with joy at again meeting his beloved 78th - the only tears he was known to have shed since the days of his childhood. He married Lilias, youngest daughter of Alexander Chisholm, XXII. of Chisholm, with issue - (1) Alastair, an officer in the 90th Light Infantry, who afterwards settled down and became a magistrate in the Bahamas, where, in 1839, he married an American lady, Wade Ellen, daughter of George Huyler, Consul General of the United States, and French Consul in the Bahama Islands, with issue - a son, the Rev. George William Russel Mackenzie, an Episcopalian minister, who on the 2nd of August, 1876, married Annie Constance, second daughter of Richard, son of William Congreve of Congreve and Burton, with issue - Dorothy Lilias; (2) a daughter, Lilias Mary Chisholm, unmarried. Alastair subsequently left the Bahamas, went to Melbourne, and became Treasurer for the Government of Victoria, where he died in 1852. General Mackenzie died on the 14th of June, 1860, aged 96 years, and was buried in the Gairloch aisle in Beauly Priory.
3. Kenneth, who was born on the 14th of February, 1765, was a Captain in the army, and served in India, where he was at the siege of Seringapatam. He soon after retired from the service, and settled down as a gentleman farmer at Kerrisdale, Gairloch. He married Flora, daughter of Farquhar Macrae of Inverinate, with issue, three sons and four daughters - (1) Alexander, a Captain in the 58th Regiment, who married a daughter of William Beibly, M.D., Edinburgh, with issue; (2) Hector, a merchant in Java, where he died, unmarried; (3) Farquhar, a settler in Victoria, where he married and left issue - Hector, John, Violet, Mary, and Flora; (4) Jean, who married William H. Garrett, of the Indian Civil Service, with issue - two sons, Edward and William, and four daughters, Eleanor (now Mrs Gourlay, The Gows, Dundee); Flora, Emily, and Elizabeth; (5) Mary, who married, first, Dr Macleod, Dingwall, without issue and, secondly, Murdo Mackenzie, a Calcutta merchant, also without issue; (6) Christian Henderson, who married John Mackenzie, solicitor, Tam, a son of George Mackenzie, III. of Pitlundie, with issue—two sons, both dead, one of whom left a son, Charles; (7) Jessie, who married Dr Kenneth Mackinnon, of the Corry family, H.E.I.C.S., Calcutta.
4. Jean, who died young.
5. Margaret, who married Roderick Mackenzie, II. of Glack, with issue.
6. Janet, who married Captain John Mackenzie Woodlands, son of George Mackenzie, II. of Gruinard, without issue.
Sir Alexander had also a natural daughter, Janet, who married John Macpherson, Gairloch, with issue.