Sir William Fraser, who quotes the foregoing narrative from the former edition of this work, says that John Grant, fifth of Freuchie, in whose time this incident is said to have occurred, was not "uncle" but cousin to Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail. But he adds that the "story is so far corroborated by the fact that about the time the incident is said to have happened, the young Chief of Kintail granted a receipt to the laird of Freuchie for the charter of comprising, granted on 4th May, 1548, to James Grant of Freuchie, which, with relative papers, was now handed over to Mackenzie, in terms of a disposition by the Laird to him of lands in Kessoryne, Lochalsh, Lochcarron, etc." The original discharge, dated 1st May, 1606, Sir William says, is at Castle Grant. ["Chiefs of Grant," vol. i. p. 178.] A bond of manrent is entered into between Grant and Mackenzie on the same date, at Inverness.
The day appointed for the meeting of Mackenzie and Glengarry to arrange terms soon arrived. The former had meanwhile brought up several decrees and claims against the latter at the instance of neighbouring proprietors, for "cost, skaith and damage," which altogether amounted to a greater sum than the whole of Macdonald's lands were worth. The two, however, settled their disputes by an arrangement which secured absolutely to Mackenzie all Glengarry's lands in the county of Ross, and the superiority of all his other possessions, but Glengarry was to hold the latter, paying Mackenzie a small feu as superior. In consideration of these humiliating concessions by Macdonald, Mackenzie agreed to pay twenty thousand merks Scots, and thus ended for ever the ancient quarrels which had existed for centuries between the powerful families of Glengarry and Kintail. "Thus ended the most of Glengarrie's troubles tho' there was severall other bloody skirmishes betwixt ym-such as the taking of the Stank house in Knoidart, where there was severalls burnt and killed by that stratagem; as also young Glengarrie's burning and harrying of Croe in Kintail, where there was but few men killed, yet severall women and children were both burned and killed. I cannot forget ane pretty fellow that was killed there, who went himself and three or four women to ane outsett in the Croe, where there was a barn (as being more remote), where they sleept yt night. But in the morning the breaking of the dore was their wakening, whereupon the man, (called Patrick McConochy Chyle) started and finding them about the barn, bad them leave of and he would open it. So, getting his bow and arrow, he opens the door, killed 4 of them there, (before) they took nottice of him, which made them all hold off. In end they fires the barn and surrounds it, which he finding still, started out, and as he did he still killed one of them, till he had killed 11. The barn in end almost consumed and his arrows spent, he took him to his heels, but was killed by them, and two of the women, the third having stayed in the reek of the barn, and a rough hide about her." [Ancient MS.]
On the 18th of July, 1610, Lord Kenneth made over to Sir Roderick Mor Macleod, XIII. of Dunvegan, the five unciate lands of Waternish, which his lordship had previously purchased from Sir George Hay and others, who obtained possession of them on the forfeiture of the Macleods of Lewis, to whom Waternish formerly belonged. As part payment, Sir Roderick Mor Macleod disponed to Mackenzie two unciates of lands in Troternish, Isle of Skye, which belonged to him, along with the Bailliary of the old extent of eight merks which had been united to the Barony of Lewis, and in which William Macleod, XII. of Dunvegan, had been served heir to his father in 1585. On the 24th of the same month the Lords of the Privy Council ordain that Lord Kintail should pay Norman Macleod's expenses in prison in all time coming.
Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, to quote the Earl of Cromarty, "was truly of an heroic temper, but of a spirit too great for his estates, perhaps for his country, yet bounded by his station, so as he (his father) resolved to seek employment for him abroad; but no sooner had he gone to France, but Glengarry most outrageously, without any cause, and against all equity and law convocates multitudes of people and invades his estates, sacking, burning, and destroying all. Kenneth's friends sent John Mackenzie of Tollie to inform him of these wrongs, whereupon he made a speedy return to an affair so urgent, and so suitable to his genius, for as he never offered wrong so he never suffered any. His heat did not overwhelm his wit, for he took a legal procedure, obtained a commission of fire and sword against Glengarry and his complices, which he prosecuted so bravely as in a short time by himself and his brother he soon forced them to retreat from his lands, and following them to their own bills, he soon dissipated and destroyed them, that young Glengarry and many others of their boldest and most outrageous were killed, and the rest forced to shelter themselves amongst the other Macdonalds in the islands and remote Highlands, leaving all their estates to Kenneth's disposal. This tribe of the Clan Ranald seem to have been too barbarous for even those lawless times, while by a strange contumacy in latter times, a representative of that ancient family pertinaciously continued to proclaim its infamy and downfall by the adherence to the wild strain of bagpipe music (their family pibroch called Cillechriost), at once indicative of its shame and submission. Kenneth's character and policies were of a higher order, and in the result he was everywhere the gainer by them." He was supported by Murdoch Mackenzie, II. of Redcastle; and by his own brothers - Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Coigeach, Alexander of Coul, and Alexander of Kilcoy, all men of more than ordinary intelligence and intrepidity.
Lord Kenneth married, first, Ann, daughter of George Ross, IX. of Balnagown, with issue -
I. Colin Ruadh, his successor, afterwards created first Earl of Seaforth.
II. John of Lochslinn, who married Isobel, eldest daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, V. of Gairloch, and died without lawful male issue.
III. Kenneth, who died unmarried.
IV. Barbara, who married Donald, Lord Reay.
V. Janet, who married Sir Donald Macdonald, VIII. of Sleat, Baronet, with issue, his heir and successor, and others.
Kenneth married, secondly, Isobel, daughter of Sir Gilbert Ogilvie of Powrie, by whom he had -
VI. Alexander, who died without issue.
VII. George, who afterwards succeeded Colin as second Earl of Seaforth.
VIII. Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine, whose male line has been proved extinct.
IX. Simon Mackenzie of Lochslinn. Simon was twice married and left a numerous offspring, who will afterwards be more particularly referred to, his descendants having since the death of "the Last of the Seaforths" in 1815, without surviving male issue, carried on the male representation of the ancient family of Kintail.
X. Sibella, who married,, first, John Macleod, XIV. of Harris; secondly, Alexander Fraser, Tutor of Lovat; and thirdly, Patrick Grant, Tutor of Grant, second son of Sir John Grant of Freuchie.
He died in February, 1611, in the forty-second year of his age; was buried "with great triumph" at Chanonry, ["As is proved by an old MS. record kept by the Kirk Session of Inverness, wherein is this entry: 'Upon the penult day of February 1611 My Lord Mackenzie died in the Chanonrie of Ross and was buried 28th April anno foresaid in the Chanonrie Kirk with great triumph.'" - "Allangrange Service"] and was succeeded by his second and eldest surviving son,
XIII. COLIN FIRST EARL OF SEAFORTH,
AND SECOND LORD MACKENZIE OF KINTAIL, a minor only fourteen years old when his father died. On the 16th of July, 1611, a Royal precept is issued under the Signet to the Sheriff of Inverness directing him to have all brieves of inquest obtained by Colin, Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, for serving him nearest and lawful heir to the late Kenneth Mackenzie, Lord of Kintail, his father, in all lands and annual-rents wherein his father died, last vested and seased, proclaimed and put to the knowledge of an inquest, notwithstanding the minority of the said Colin, "whereupon we have dispensed and by these present dispense" with that objection, providing always that the dispensation be not prejudicial to the donator of the ward of the said late Kenneth's lands in the matter of the mails, fermes, and duties of the same during the time of the ward thereof.
On the 16th of August, 1611, a proclamation is issued to the Highland chiefs, following upon one granted to Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Coigeach, as Tutor of Kintail, and four other leaders of the clan, on the 11th of June preceding, against assisting Neil Macleod and the other rebels of the Lewis, who had risen in arms against the Tutor, in the following terms:
Forasmuch as the barbarous and rebellious thieves and limmers of the Lewis, who have been suppressed and in some measure kept in subjection and obedience these years bygone, taking new breath and courage upon occasion of the decease of Kenneth, Lord Kintail, who was his Majesty's justice and commissioner in these bounds, they have now of late risen in arms in a professed and avowed rebellion against the Tutor of Kintail, whom his Majesty and his Council have authorised and constituted in that place of justiciary possessed by his deceased brother within the Lewis, and intend, with their whole power and force, not only to withstand and resist the said Tutor of Kintail in the advancement of his Majesty's authority and service within the Lewis, but to prosecute himself and his Majesty's good subjects attending upon him with all hostility - wherein they presume of farther backing and assistance, upon some foolish apprehension that the clansmen of the Isles who have given their obedience to his Majesty, and now stands under his Majesty's good grace, shall make shipwreck of their faith, credit, and promised obedience, and join with them in their detestable rebellion. And although his Majesty, in the sincerity of his royal heart, cannot apprehend any such disloyalty or treachery in the person of the clansmen of the Isles, who have had so large a proof of his Majesty's clemency, benignity, and favour, that now, so unworthily and unnecessarily, they will reject his Majesty's favour, and, to the inevitable hazard and peril of their estates, join with these miserable miscreants in their rebellion yet to take away all pretext of excuse from them, and to make them the more inexcusable if wilfully, traitorously, and maliciously they will suffer themselves to be carried in such an imminent danger, the King's Majesty and Lords of Secret Council ordain letters to be directed to command, charge, and inhibit all and sundry, the inhabitants of the Isles and continent next adjacent, namely Donald Macdonald Gorm of Sleat, Roderick Macleod of Dunvegan, called Macleod of Harris, Hugh Mackay of Farr, Mackay his son and apparent heir, and MacNeill of Barra, that none of them presume or take upon hand, under whatsoever colour or pretence, to concur, fortify, or assist the said rebellious thieves and limmers of the Lewis, nor to intercommune or join with them, supply them with men, victual, powder, bullets, or any other thing consortable unto them, nor to show them any kind of protection, consort, countenance, reset or supply, under the pain to be reputed, held, and esteemed as art and partakers with them in their rebellion, and to be pursued and punished for the same, as traitors to his Majesty and his country, with all vigour.
On the 28th of May, 1612, a commission, apparently first granted to those named in it on the 11th of June, 1611, but of which the original is not given in the published Records of the Privy Council, "almost expired" at the first-named date, and was renewed to the same persons - the Tutor of Kintail, Colin Mackenzie of Killin, Murdo Mackenzie of Kernsary, Alexander Mackenzie of Coul, and Kenneth Mackenzie of Darochmaluag. It is to the same effect as and in almost identical terms with the commission issued in favour of Kenneth, Lord Kintail, on the 19th of July, 1610 (given at length at pp. 193-94), and it confers full powers on the Tutor and his colleagues for the pursuit and apprehension of Neil Macleod and his fellow rebels in the Lewis.
A complaint is made on the 4th of March, 1613, by Sir William Oliphant, the King's Advocate, that all the chieftains and principal men of the Isles and mainland next adjacent having made their submission to his Majesty, "there only resteth Neil Macleod, called the Traitor, rebellious and disobedient." His accomplices are given as Malcolm Mac Rory MacLeod William Mac Rory Macleod, his brother, John Dubh Mac Angus Mac Gillemhichell, Gillecallum Mac Ian Mhic-ant-Sagairt, Murdo and Donald Mac Ian Mhic-an-t-Sagairt, Donald and Rory, sons to Neil Macleod, and Donald Mac Ian Duibh - the Brieve. They are stated to have maintained open rebellion in the Lewis for some years past, "but after their strength and starting hoill," called Berissay, had been attacked by the Tutor of Kintail and others in the King's name they fled to the bounds and country of Donald Mac Allan of Ellantirrim, where they were received and supplied by him and several others, whose names are given, "despite the proclamation of the commission against the resett of rebels made at Inverness," some time before. The resetters, to the number of nine, are denounced rebels and at the born.
At a meeting of the Council held on the 28th of April Roderick Macleod of Harris is charged to deliver up to the Tutor of Kintail within twenty days after the charge five of Neil Macleod's accomplices who had been apprehended by Roderick's brother Alexander. These are Malcolm and William, "sons to the late Neil Macleod, called the Traitor," Murdo Mac Ian Mhic-an-t-Sagairt, Malcolm Mac Ian Mhic-an-t-Sagairt, and Donald Mac Angus, "who were the chief actors and ringleaders in all the treasonable and rebellious attempts committed and perpetrated upon his Majesty's peaceable and good subjects within the Lewis these divers years bygone.
On the 20th of May a commission is issued in favour of the Tutor, Roderick MacLeod of Dunvegan and Harris, and John Grant of Grant, for the apprehension of Allan Mac Allaster, in Kilchoan, Knoydart, and several others of his relatives, for the murder of Ronald Mac Angus Gearr, and also, at the instance of Donald Mac Angus of Glengarry, for not finding caution to appear before the Justice for going by night armed with "daggs and pistolletts" to the lands of Laggan Achadrom in Glengarry, and setting fire to the houses there and destroying them with all their plenishing. They are afterwards apprehended, and on the 8th of February, 1614, a commission to try them is issued in favour of the Sheriff of Inverness and his deputies. In the meantime they are lodged in the tolbooth of that town.
The Tutor must have become responsible for Donald Gorm Macdonald, for on the 3rd of June, 1613, there is an entry declaring that "in respect of the personal compearance of Donald Gorm of Sleat" before the Privy Council their Lordships "exoner and relieve Rory Mackenzie of Coigeach of the acts" whereby he became acted for the entry of Macdonald before them on the last Council day of May preceding, and he is declared "free of said acts in all time coming." On the 24th of the same month a commission is issued to Roderick, Mr Colin Mackenzie of Killin, Murdo Mackenzie of Kernsary, Alexander Mackenzie of Coul, and Kenneth Mackenzie of Davochmaluag, to pass to the Lewis and apprehend Roderick and Donald Macleod, sons of Neil who had been executed at Edinburgh in the preceding April; William and Roderick Macleod, brothers of Malcolm, son of Rory Macleod, sometime of the Lewis; Donald Mac Ian Duibh - the Brieve, Murdo Mac Angus Mhic-an-t-Sagairt, Donald, his brother, Gillecallum Caogach Mac-an-t-Sagairt, John Dubh Mac Angus Mac Gillemhichell, Murdo Mac Torquil Blair, John Roy and Norman, sons of Torquil Blair, Donald Mac Neill Mhic Finlay, Gillecallum Mac Allan Mhic Finlay, and Donald Mac Dhomhnuill Mac Gillechallum, "actors in the first rebellion in the Lewis against the gentlemen venturers," all of whom bad been denounced as rebels on the 2nd of February the same year. This commission is renewed for twelve months on the 21st of June, 1614, and proclamation is ordered at Inverness and other places, charging all the inhabitants of the North Isles, and within the bounds of the lands, heritages, possessions, offices and bailliaries pertaining to Colin, Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, except persons of the name of Fraser, Ross, and Munro, and their tenants and servants, to assist the commissioners in apprehending those named in the former commission.
On the 30th of July, 1613, in a long list of 121 persons before the Council from the County of Inverness, which then included Ross, and fined for the reset of the Clan Macgregor, Sir Roderick Mackenzie of Coigeach, as Tutor of Kintail, has L4000 against his name, by far the largest sum in the list, the next to him being his own uncle, Roderick Mor Mackenzie I. of Redcastle, with 4000 merks. There seems to have been some difficulty as to the settlement of these heavy fines, for on the 27th of October following, there is a missive before the Council from the King "anent the continuation granted to the Tutor of Kintail, Mr John and Rory Mackenzies, for payment of their fines," and directions are given accordingly that no new continuation be granted.
In 1614, while the Tutor was busily engaged in the island of Lewis, discussions broke out between different branches of the Camerons, instigated by the rival claims of the Marquis of Huntly and the Earl of Argyll. The latter had won over the aid of Allan MacDhomhnuill Dubh, chief of the clan, while Huntly secured the support of Erracht, Kinlochiel, and Glen Nevis, and, by force, placed them in possession of all the lands belonging to the chief's adherents who supported Argyll. Allan, however, managed to deal out severe retribution to his enemies, who were commanded by Lord Enzie, and, as is quaintly said, "teaching ane lesson to the rest of kin that are alqui in what form they shall carry themselves to their chief hereafter." The Marquis obtained a commission from the King to suppress these violent proceedings, in virtue of which he called out all his Majesty's loyal vassals to join him. Kintail and the Tutor demurred, and submitted the great difficulties and trials they had experienced in reducing the Lewis to good and peaceable government as their excuse, and they were exempted from joining Huntly's forces by a special commission from the King. Closely connected as it is with the final possession of the island by the House of Kintail, it is here given -
"James Rex, - James, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, to all and sundry our lieges, and subjects whom it effeirs to whose knowledge this our letters shall come greeting. For as much as we have taken great pains and travails, and bestown great charge and expense for reducing the Isles of our kingdom to our obedience: And the same Isles being now settled in a reasonable way of quietness, and the chieftains thereof having come in and rendered their obedience to us there rests none of the Isles rebellious, but only the Lewis, which being inhabitated by a number of godless and lawless people, trained up from their youth in all kinds of ungodliness: They can hardly be reclaimed from their impurities and barbarities, and induced to embrace a quiet and peaceable form of living so that we have been constrained from time to time to employ our cousin, the Lord Kintail, who rests with God, and since his decease the Tutor of Kintail his brother, and other friends of that House in our service against the rebels of the Lewis, with ample commission and authority to suppress their insolence and to reduce that island to our obedience, which service has been prosecuted and followed these divers years by the power, friendship and proper services of the House of Kintail, without any kind of trouble and charge or expense to us, or any support or relief from their neighbours and in the prosecution of that service, they have had such good and happy success, as divers of the rebels have been apprehended and executed by justice: But seeing our said service is not yet fully accomplished, nor the Isle of the Lewis settled in a solid and perfect obedience, we have of late renewed our former commission to our cousin Colin, now Lord of Kintail, and to his Tutor and some other friends of his house, and they are to employ their whole power, and service in the execution of the said commission, which being a service importing highly our honour, and being so necessary and expedient for the peace and quiet of the whole islands, and for the good of our subjects, haunting the trade of fishing in the isles, the same ought not to be interrupted upon any other intervening occasion, and our commissioners and their friends ought not to be distracted therefrom for giving of their concurrence in our services: Therefore, we, with advice of the Lords of our Privy Council, have given and granted our licence to our said cousin Colin. Lord of Kintail, and to his friends, men, tenants and servants, to remain and bide at home from all osts, raids, wars, assemblings, and gatherings to be made by George, Marquis of Huntly, the Earl of Enzie, his son, or any other our Lieutenants, Justices, or Commissioners, by sea or land either for the pursuit of Allan Cameron of Lochiel and his rebellious complices, or for any other cause or occasion whatsoever, during or within the time of our commission foresaid granted against the Lewis, without pain or danger to be incurred by our said cousin the Lord of Kintail and his friends in their persons, lands or goods; notwithstanding whatsoever our proclamation made or to be made in the contrary whatever, and all pains contained in it, we dispense by these presents, discharging hereby our Justices, Justice Clerk, and all our Judges and Ministers of law, of all calling, accusing, or any way proceeding against them, for the cause aforesaid, and of their officers in that part. Given under our signet at Edinburgh, the 14th day of September, 1614, and of our reign the 12th, and 48 years. Read, passed, and allowed in Council. Alexander, Chancellor. Hamilton, Glasgow, Lothian, Binning."
Having procured this commission, the Mackenzies were in a position to devote their undivided attention to the Lewis and their other affairs at home; and from this date that island principality remained in the continuous possession of the family of Kintail and Seaforth, until in 1844, it was sold to the late Sir James Matheson. The people ever after adhered most loyally to the illustrious house to whom they owed peace and prosperity such as was never before experienced in the history of the island.
The commission proved otherwise of incalculable benefit to Kintail; for it not only placed him in a position to pacify and establish good order in the Lewis with greater ease, but at the same time provided his Lordship with undisturbed security in his extensive possessions on the mainland at a time when the most violent disorders prevailed over every other district of the West Highlands and Isles.
On the 2nd of February, 1615, a commission is signetted in favour of Sir Roderick, Mr Colin Mackenzie of Strathgarve, Mr Alexander Mackenzie of Kinnock, and Alexander Mackenzie of Coul, to receive Malcolm Caogach Mac Jan Mhic-an-t-Sagairt, Callum Dubh Mac Allaster, Donald Mac Angus Mac Gillechallum, Gillecallum Mac Ian Riabhaich, and James Mac Ian Duibh, from the Magistrates of Edinburgh, to carry them north, and to keep them in ward until everything is ready for trying them for murder, mutilation, theft, reset, and other crimes.
At a meeting of the Council held at Edinburgh on the 9th of February, 1615, Neil Macleod's two sons, Norman and Roderick, are set at liberty on condition that they transport themselves out of the King's dominions and never return. They appeared personally "and acted and obliged them that within the space of forty days after their relief furth of their ward, where they remain within the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, they shall depart and pass furth of his Majesty's dominions and never return again within the same during their lifetimes, under the pain of death; and in the meantime, till their passing furth of his Majesty's dominions, that they shall not go benorth the water of Tay, under the said pain, to be executed upon them without favour if they fail in the premises. And they gave their great oath to perform the conditions of this present act; and further, the said Norman declared that he would renounce, like as by the tenour of this present act he does renounce, his Majesty's remission and pardon granted unto him, and all favour and benefit that he could acclaim by the said remission, in case he failed in the premises. In respect whereof the said Lords ordained the said Norman and Rory to be put to liberty and fredom furth of the Tolbooth"; and a warrant was issued to the Provost and Bailies of Edinburgh to give effect to their Lordships' decision. The Tutor appeared personally, and in name of Lord Kintail consented to the liberation of the prisoners. He at the same time protested that neither he nor his chief should be held any longer responsible for the expenses of maintaining Norman, now that lie was at liberty, and he was accordingly relieved from further charge on that account.
On the 26th of April following the Tutor receives a commission for the pursuit and apprehension of Coll MacGillespic Macdonald, Malcolm Mac Rory Macleod, and other fugitives, described as "the Islay rebels," who had fled from justice, should they land in the Lewis or in any other of the territories belonging to Lord Mackenzie of Kintail. In order that he may the better attend to this duty, along with several other heads of clans named in the same commission for their respective districts, and as "it is necessary that the commissioners foresaid remain at home and on nowise come to this burgh (Edinburgh) to pursue or defend in any actions or causes concerning them," their Lordships continued all actions against them until the 1st of November next, ordaining the said actions "to rest and sleep" till that date.
On the same day, a second dispensation under the signet is addressed to the Sheriff of Inverness and his deputes in favour of Lord Colin, requesting that despite his minority he be served heir to his father, the late Kenneth, Lord Mackenzie of Kintail. On the 25th of June following he is ordered to provide twenty-five men as part of an expedition for the pursuit of Sir James Macdonald and Coll MacGillespick. In June, 1616, he is appointed a Commissioner of the Peace for the Sheriffdom of Elgin and Forres.
On the outbreak of a new rebellion in the Lewis another commission, dated the 28th of August, 1616, to last for twelve months, was issued by the Privy Council, in favour of the Tutor and other leading men of the clan, couched in the following terms:
Forasmuch as the King's Majesty having taken great pains and troubles and bestowed great charges and expenses for reducing of the Islands of this Kingdom and continent next adjacent to his Majesty's obedience, and for establishing of religion, peace, justice, order, and government, within the same, in the which his Majesty by the force and power of his royal authority has had such a happy and good success as almost the whole chieftains of clans and headsmen of the Isles are come in and in all dutiful submission doth acknowledge his Majesty's obedience, so that now there is no part of the Isles rebellious but the Lewis - the chieftains whereof, as from time to time they raise up in credit, power, and friendship among the barbarous inhabitants thereof, have been apprehended and by course of justice have suffered their deserved punishment, and at last the traitor Neil, who was last ringleader of that rebellious society, being apprehended and executed to the death, whereby it was presumed that in him all further trouble, misery, and unquietness in the Lewis should have ceased and rested; notwithstanding it is of truth that Malcolm Macleod, son to Rory Macleod, sometime of the Lewis, has embraced that rebellious and treasonable course wherein his treacherous predecessors miserably perished, and having associated himself with the persons following - Rory and Donald Macleod, sons to the said umquhile Neil, and William and Rory Macleod, brothers to the said Malcolm, Donald Mac Ian Duibh-the Brieve, Murdo Mac Angus Mhic-an-t-Sagairt, Donald Mac Angus Mhic-an-t-Sagairt his brother, Gillecallum Caogach Mac-an-t-Sagairt, John Dubh Mac Angus Mac Gillemichell, Murdo Mac Torquil Blair, Norman Mac Torquil Blair, John Roy Mac Torquil Blair, Donald Mac Neil Mac Finlay, Gillecallum Mac Allan Mac Finlay, and Donald Mac Dhomhuill Mac Gillechallum - who were all actors in the first rebellion moved and raised in the Lewis against the gentlemen venturers who were directed by his Majesty there, and did prosecute that rebellion against them with fire and sword and all kinds of hostility, for the which and for other thievish and treasonable crimes committed by them they and every one of them were upon the second day of February, 1612, orderly denounced rebels and put to the horn - they have now combined and banded themselves in a most treacherous, disloyal, and pernicious course and resolution to maintain a public rebellion in the Lewis, and to oppose themselves with their whole power and strength against all and whatsoever courses shall be further taken by his Majesy's direction for repressing of their insolence; whereby is not only all intercourse and trade which by his Majesty's good subjects in the Lowlands would be entertained amongst them, made frustrate and void, but the preparative of this rebellion in consequence and example is most dangerous, and if the same be not substantially repressed, may give further boldness to others who are not yet well settled in a perfect obedience, to break loose. Accordingly, as it is "a discredit to the country that such a parcel of ground possessed by a number of miserable caitiffs shall be suffered to continue rebellious, whereas the whole remanent Isles are become peaceable and obedient; and whereas the said Lords, for repressing of the insolence of the whole of the rebellious thieves and limmers of the Lewis and reducing them to his Majesty's obedience, passed and expede a commission - to Roderick Mackenzie of Coigeach, Tutor of Kintail, Mr Colin Mackenzie of Killin, Murdo Mackenzie, their brother, Alexander Mackenzie of Coul, and Kenneth Mackenzie of Davochmaluag, for reducing of the limmers of the Lewis to obedience," which commission "is now expired, and the said thieves, taking new courage and breath thereupon, are become more insolent than formerly they were, and have lately made a very open insurrection and committed slaughter and bloodshed within the said bounds, in contempt of God and disregard of his Majesty's laws"; therefore his Majesty and the Lords of Council, understanding of the "good affection" of the said persons, now reconstitute them commissioners for the reduction of the said rebels, with full power and authority, etc. (as in previous commissions granted them) and, "for the better execution of this commission, to take the lymphads, galleys, birlinns, and boats in the Lewis and in the next adjacent Isles for the furtherance of his Majesty's service, - the said justices being always answerable to the owners of the said lymphads, galleys, birlinns, and boats for delivery of the same at the finishing of his Majesty's said service." Proclamation was to be made at Inverness and other places charging the lieges within the bounds of the North Isles and within the lands of Colin, Lord of Kintail (except those of the name of Fraser, Ross, and Munro, their tenants and servants), to assist the said commissioners in the execution of their duty.
By a commission dated the same day, Sir Roderick, along with Simon Lord Lovat, and Urquhart of Cromarty, is appointed, for the trial in the Burgh of Inverness of all resetters within thc Sheriffdom of the county of any traitors in the Isles, the commission to last for one year.
In 1618, along with Grant of Grant, he assisted the Mackintosh against the Marquis of Huntly. On the 18th of June, 1622, he is one of the chiefs named in a commission against the Camerons, among the others being Mackintosh of Mackintosh, Sir Roderick Macleod, XIII. of Harris, Grant of Grant, Sir John Campbell of Calder, John Grant of Glenmoriston, Patrick Grant of Ballindalloch, and John Macdonald, Captain of Clanranald. [See Mackenzie's "History of the Camerons," p. 86.]
At the death of Kenneth, Lord Kintail, the estates were very heavily burdened in consequence of the wars with Glengarry and various family difficulties and debts. His lordship, in these circumstances, acted very prudently, as we have seen, in appointing his brother, Sir Roderick Mackenzie I. of Coigeach - in whose judgment he placed the utmost confidence - Tutor to his son and successor, Lord Colin. Knowing the state of affairs - the financial and numberless other difficulties which stared him in the face, at the same time that the family were still much involved with the affairs of the Lewis, and other broils on the mainland - Sir Roderick hesitated to accept the great responsibilities of the position, but, to quote one of the family manuscripts, "all others refusing to take the charge he set resolutely to the work. The first thing he did was to assault the rebels in the Lewis, which he did so suddenly, after his brother's death, and so unexpectedly to them, that what the Fife Adventurers had spent many years and much treasure in without success, he, in a few months, accomplished; for having by his youngest brother Alexander, chased Neil, the chief commander of all the rest, from the Isle, pursued him to Glasgow, where, apprehending him, he delivered him to the Council, who executed him immediately. He returned to the Lewis, banished those whose deportment he most doubted, and settled the rest as peaceable tenants to his nephew; which success he had, with the more facility, because he had the only title of succession to it by his wife, and they looked on him as their just master. From thence he invaded Glengarry, who was again re-collecting his forces; but at his coming they dissipated and fled. He pursued Glengarry to Blairy in Moray, where he took him; but willing to have his nephew's estate settled with conventional right rather than legal, he took Low-countrymen as sureties for Glengarry's peaceable deportment, and then contracted with him for the reversion of the former wadsets which Colin of Kintail had acquired of him, and for a ratification and new disposition of all his lands, formerly sold to Colin, and paid him thirty thousand merks in money for this, and gave him a title to Lagganachindrom, which, till then, he possessed by force, so that Glengarry did ever acknowledge it as a favour to be overcome by such enemies, who over disobligements did deal both justly and generously. Rory employed himself therefore in settling his pupil's estate, which he did to that advantage that ere his minority passed he freed his estate, leaving him master of an opulent fortune and of great superiorities, for be acquired the superiority of Troternish with the heritable Stewartry of the Isle of Skye, to his pupil, the superiority of Raasay and some other Isles. At this time, Macleod, partly by law and partly by force, had possessed himself of Sleat and Troternish, a great part of Macdonald's estate. Rory, now knighted by King James, owned Macdonald's cause as an injured neighbour, and by the same method that Macleod possessed himself of Sleat and Troternish he recovered both from him, marrying the heir thereof Sir Donald Macdonald, to his niece, sister to Lord Colin, and caused him to take the lands of Troternish holden of his pupil. Shortly after that he took the management of Maclean's estate, and recovered it from the Earl of Argyll, who had fixed a number of debts and pretences on it, so by his means all the Isles were composed and accorded in their debates and settled in their estates, whence a full peace amongst them, Macneill of Barra excepted, who had been an hereditary outlaw. Him, by commission, Sir Rory reduced, took him in his fort of Kisemull, and carried him prisoner to Edinburgh, where he procured his remission. The King gifted his estate to Sir Rory, who restored it to Macneill for a sum not exceeding his expenses, and holding it of himself in feu. This Sir Rory, as he was beneficial to all his relations, establishing them in free and secure fortunes, purchased considerable lands to himself in Ross and Moray, besides the patrimony left him by his father, the lands of Coigeach and others, which, in lieu of the Lewis, were given him by his brother. His death was regretted as a public calamity, which was in September, 1626, in the 48th year of his age. To Sir Rory succeeded Sir John Mackenzie of Tarbat; and to him Sir George Mackenzie, of whom to write might be more honour to him than of safety to the writer as matters now stand." [The Applecross Mackenzie MS.]
We shall now draw to some extent on the family manuscripts. The narrative in this form will add considerable interest to the information already given under this head from official sources. Sir Roderick was a most determined man, and extremely fertile in such schemes as might enable him to gain any object he had in view. One of his plans, connected with Mackenzie's possession of the Lewis, in its barbarous and cruel details, almost equalled the Raid of Cillechriost. Neil Macleod, accompanied by his nephews, Malcolm, William, and Roderick, the three sons of Roderick Og; the four sons of Torquil Blair; and thirty of their more determined and desperate followers, retired, when Kintail obtained possession of the whole of the Lewis, to the impregnable rock of Berrissay, at the back of the island, to which Neil, as a precautionary measure, had been for years previously sending food and other necessaries as a provision for future necessity. Here they held out for three years, where they were a source of great annoyance to the Tutor and his followers. On a little rock opposite Berrissay, Neil, by a well-directed shot killed one of the Tutor's followers named Donald MacDhonnchaidh Mhic Ian Ghlais, and wounded another called Tearlach MacDhomh'uill Roy Mhic Fhionnlaidh Ghlais. This exasperated their leader so much that, all other means having failed to oust Neil from his impregnable position, the Tutor conceived the inhuman scheme of gathering together all the wives and children of the men who were on Berrissay, and all those in the island who were in any way related to them by blood or marriage, and, having placed them on a rock exposed only during low water, so near Berrissay that Neil and his companions could see and hear them, Sir Roderick and his men avowed that they would leave them - innocent, helpless women and children - on the rock to be overwhelmed and drowned on the return of the tide, if Neil and his companions did not at once surrender the rock. Macleod knew, by stern experience, that even to the carrying out such a fiendish crime, the promise of the Tutor, once given, was as good as his bond. It is due to the greater humanity of Neil that the terrible position of the helpless women and children and their companions appalled him so much that he decided immediately upon yielding up the rock on condition that he and his followers should be allowed to leave the Lewis with their lives. It cannot be doubted that but for Macleod's more merciful conduct the ferocious act would have been committed by Sir Roderick and his followers; and we have to thank the less barbarous instincts of their opponents for saving the clan Mackenzie from the commission of a crime which would have secured to its perpetrators the execration of posterity.
After Neil had left the rock he proceeded privately, during the night, to his cousin Sir Roderick Mor Macleod, XIII. of Harris. The Tutor learning this caused Macleod to be charged, under pain of treason and forfeiture, to deliver him up to the Council. Realising the danger of his position, Macleod prevailed upon Neil and his son Donald to accompany him to Edinburgh, and to seek forgiveness from the King; and under pretence of this he delivered them both up on arriving in the city, where Neil, in April, 1613, was at once executed and his son afterwards banished out of the kingdom. This treacherous conduct on the part of Macleod of Harris cannot be excused, but it was a fair return for a similar act of treachery of which Neil had been guilty against another some little time before.
When on Berrissay, he met with the captain of a pirate, with whom he entered into a mutual bond by which they were to help each other, both being outlaws. The captain agreed to defend the rock from the seaward side while Neil made his incursions on shore. They promised faithfully to live and die together, and to make the agreement more secure, it was arranged that the stranger should marry Neil's aunt, a daughter of Torquil Blair. The day fixed for the marriage having arrived, and Neil and his adherents having discovered that the captain had several articles of value aboard his vessel, he, when the master of the pirate was naturally off his guard, treacherously seized the ship, and sent the captain and crew prisoners to Edinburgh, expecting that in this way he might secure pardon for himself in addition to possession of all the stores on board. By order of the Council the sailors were all hanged at Leith. Much of the silver and gold taken from the vessel Neil carried to Harris, where probably it helped to tempt Macleod, as it previously tempted himself to break faith with Neil. The official account of these incidents has been already given at pages 194-95.
Sir Robert Gordon writing about this period but referring to 1477, says - "From the ruins of the family of Clandonald, and some of the neighbouring Highlanders, and also by their own virtue, the surname of the Clankenzie, from small beginnings, began to flourish in these bounds; and by the friendship and favour of the house of Sutherland, chiefly of Earl John, fifth of that name, Earl of Sutherland (whose Chamberlains they were, in receiving the rents of the Earldom of Ross to his use) their estate afterwards came to great height, yea above divers of their more ancient neighbours. The chief and head of the family at this day is Colin Mackenzie, Lord of Kintail, now created Earl of Seaforth." [Gordon's "Earldom of Sutherland," p. 77.] If the family was so powerful in 1477, what must its position have been under Lord Colin? The Earl of Cromarty says that "This Colin was a noble person of virtuous endowments, beloved of all good men, especially his Prince. He acquired and settled the right of the superiority of Moidart and Arisaig, the Captain of Clandonald's lands, which his father, Lord Kenneth, formerly claimed right to but lived not to accomplish it. Thus, all the Highlands and Islands from Ardnamurchan to Strathnaver were either Mackenzie's property, or under his vassalage, some few excepted, and all about him were tied to his family by very strict bonds of friendship or vassalage, which, as it did beget respect from many it be got envy in others, especially his equals."
It is difficult to discover any substantial aid which the Mackenzies ever received from the Earls of Sutherland of the kind stated by Sir Robert Gordon. We have carefully perused the whole of the work from which the above quotation is made, and are unable to discover a single instance prior to 1477, where the Sutherlands were of any service whatever to the family of Kintail; and the assumption is only another instance of that quality of partiality to his own family," so characteristic of Sir Robert, and for which even the publishers of his work deemed it necessary to apologise in the Advertisement prefaced to his "History of the Earldom of Sutherland." They "regret the hostile feelings which he expresses concerning others who were equally entitled to complain of aggression on the part of those whom he defends," but "strict fidelity to the letter of the manuscript" would not allow them to omit "the instances in which this disposition appears." After Mackenzie's signal victory over the Macdonalds at Blar-na-Pairc, and Hector Roy's prowess at Drumchait, the Earl of Sutherland began to think that the family of Mackenzie, rapidly growing in power and influence, might be of some service in the prosecution of his own plans and in extending his power, and he accordingly entered into the bond of manrent with him already noticed. It has been seen that, for a long time after, the advantages of this arrangement were entirely on the side of the Sutherlands, as at the battle of Brora and other places previously mentioned. The appointment of Kintail as Deputy- Chamberlain of the Earldom of Ross was due to and in acknowledgment of these signal and repeated services, and the obligations and advantages of the office were found to be reciprocal. The first and only instance in which the Earl's connection with Mackenzie is likely to have been of service in the field is on the occasion when, in 1605, he sent "six score" men to support him against Glengarry, and these, it has been seen, had fled before they saw the enemy. So much for the favour and friendship of the House of Sutherland and its results before and after 1477.
Lord Colin became involved in legal questions with the Earl of Argyll about the superiority of Moidart and Arisaig, and thus spent most of the great fortune accumulated for him by his uncle the Tutor; but he was ultimately successful against Argyll. He was frequently at the Court of James VI., with whom he was a great favourite, and in 1623 he was raised to the peerage by the title of Earl of Seaforth, and Viscount Fortrose. From his influence at Court he was of great service to his followers and friends; while he exerted himself powerfully and steadily against those who became his enemies from jealousy of his good fortune and high position.
He imposed high entries and rents upon his Kintail and West Coast tenants, which they considered a most "grievous imposition." In Lord Kenneth's time and that of his predecessors, the people had their lands at very low rates. After the wars with Glengarry the inhabitants of the West Coast properties devoted themselves more steadily to the improvement of their stock and lands, and accumulated considerable means. The Tutor, discovering this, took advantage of their prosperity and imposed a heavy entry or grassum on their tacks payable every five years. "I shall give you one instance thereof. The tack of land called Muchd in Letterfearn, as I was told by Farquhar Mac Ian Oig, who paid the first entry out of it to the Tutor, paid of yearly duty before but 40 merks Scots, a cow and some meal, which cow and meal was usually converted to 20 merks but the Tutor imposed 1000 merks of entry upon it for a five years' tack. This made the rent very little for four years of the tack, but very great and considerable for the first year. The same method proportionately was taken with the rest of the lands, and continued so during the Tutor's and Colin's time, but Earl George, being involved in great troubles, contracted so much debt that he could not pay his annual rents yearly and support his own state, but was forced to delay his annual rents to the year of their entry, and he divided the entry upon the five years with the people's consent and approbation, so that the said land of Muchd fell to pay 280 merks yearly and no entry." From this account, taken from the contemporary Ardintoul Manuscript, it appears that the system of charging rent on the tenant's own improvements is an injustice of considerable antiquity.
Colin "lived most of his time at Chanonry in great state and very magnificently. He annually imported his wines from the Continent, and kept a store for his wines, beers, and other liquors, from which he replenished his fleet on his voyages round the West Coast and the Lewis, when he made a circular voyage every year or at least every two years round his own estates. I have heard John Beggrie, who then served Earl Colin, give an account of his voyages after the bere seed was sown at Allan (where his father and grandfather had a great mains, which was called Mackenzie's girnel or granary), took a Journey to the Highlands, taking with him not only his domestic servants but several young gentlemen of his kin, and stayed several days at Killin, whither he called all his people of Strathconan, Strathbran, Strathgarve, and Brae Ross, and did keep courts upon them and saw all things rectified. From thence he went to Inverewe, where all his Lochbroom tenants and others waited upon him, and got all their complaints heard and rectified. It is scarcely credible what allowance was made for his table of Scotch and French wines during these trips amongst his people. From Inverewe he sailed to the Lewis, with what might be called a small navy, having as many boats, if not more loaded with liquors, especially wines and English beer, as he had under men. He remained in the Lewis for several days, until he settled all the controversies arising among the people in his absence, and setting his land. From thence he went to Sleat in the Isle of Skye, to Sir Donald Macdonald, who was married to his sister Janet, and from that he was invited to Harris, to Macleod's house, who was married to his sister Sybilla. While he tarried in these places the lairds, the gentlemen of the Isles, and the inhabitants came to pay their respects to him, including Maclean, Clanranald, Raasay, Mackinnon, and other great chiefs. They then convoyed him to Islandonain. I have heard my grandfather, Mr Farquhar MacRa (then Constable of the Castle), say that the Earl never came to his house with less than 300 and sometimes 500 men. The Constable was bound to furnish them victuals for the first two meals, till my Lord's officers were acquainted to bring in his own customs. There they consumed the remains of the wine and other liquors. When all these lairds and gentlemen took their leave of him, he called the principal men of Kintail, Lochalsh, and Lochcarron together, who accompanied him to his forest of Monar, where they had a great and most solemn hunting day, and from Monar he would return to Chanonry about the latter end of July." [Ardintoul MS.]
He built the Castle of Brahan, which he thought of erecting where the old castle of Dingwall stood, or on the hill to the west of Dingwall, either of which would have been very suitable situations; but the Tutor who had in view to erect a castle where he afterwards erected Castle Leod, induced the Lord High Chancellor, Seaforth's father-in-law, to prevail upon him to build his castle upon his own ancient inheritance, which he subsequently did, and which was then one of the most stately houses in Scotland. He also added greatly to the Castle of Chanonry, and "as be was diligent in secular affairs, so be and his lady were very pious and religious." They went yearly to take the Sacraments from the Rev. Thomas Campbell, minister of Carmichael, a good and religious man, and staid eight days with him; nor did their religion consist in form and outward show. They proved its reality by their good works. He had usually more than one chaplain in his house. He provided the kirks of the Lewis without being obliged to do so, as also the five kirks of Kintail, Lochalsh, Lochcarron, Lochbroom, and Gairloch, all of which he was patron, with valuable books from London, the works of the latest and best authors, "whereof many are yet extant" He also laid the foundation for a church in Strathconan and Strathbran, of which the walls are "yet to be seen in Main in Strathconan, the walls being built above the height of a man above the foundation, and he had a mind to endow it had he lived longer." He mortified 4000 merks for the Grammar School of Chanonry, and had several works of piety in his view to perform if his death had not prevented it. The last time he went to Court some malicious person, envying his greatness and favour, laboured to give the King a bad impression of him, as if he were not thoroughly loyal; but the King himself was the first who told him what was said about him, which did not a little surprise and trouble the Earl, but it made no impression on the King, who was conscious and sufficiently convinced of his loyalty and fidelity. After his return from Court his only son, Lord Alexander, died of smallpox at Chanonry, on the 3d of June, 1629, to the great grief of all who knew him, but especially his father and mother. His demise hastened her death at Edinburgh, on the 20th February, 1631. She was buried with her father at Fife on the 4th of March; after which the Earl contracted a lingering sickness, which, for some time before his death, confined him to his chamber, during which "he behaved most Christianly, putting his house in order, giving donations to his servants, etc." He died at Chanonry on the 15th of April, 1633, in the 36th year of his age, and was buried there with his father on the 18th of May following, much lamented and regretted by all who knew him. The King sent a gentleman all the way to Chanonry to testify his respect and concern for him, and to attend his funeral, which took place, on the date already stated, with great pomp and solemnity. "Before his death he called his successor, George of Kildene, to his bedside, and charged him with the protection of his family; but above all to be kind to his men and followers, for that he valued himself while he lived upon their account more than upon his great estate and fortune." [Ardintoul, Letterfearn, and other Family MSS.] On the occasion of his last visit to London the King complimented him on being the best archer in Britain.
Colin married, first, Lady Margaret Seton, daughter of Alexander, Earl of Dunfermline, Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, with issue -
I. Alexander Lord Kintail, who died young.
II. Anna, who married Alexander, second Lord Lindsay, who was created Earl of Balcarres by Charles II. in 1651. By him Lady Anna had two sons, Charles and Colin. Charles succeeded his father, and died unmarried. Colin then became third Earl, and married Jane, daughter of David, Earl of Northesk, by whom he had issue an only daughter, who married Alexander Erikine, third Earl of Kellie. Secondly, the Earl of Balcarres married Jane, daughter of William, second Earl of Roxburgh, by whom he had an only daughter, who married John Fleming, sixth Earl of Wigton. This Earl of Balcarres married a third time Margaret, daughter of James Campbell, Earl of Loudon, by whom he had two sons, Alexander and James. Alexander succeeded his father, but died without issue, and was succeeded by James, fifth Earl of Balcarres, from whom the present line descends uninterruptedly, carrying along with it, in right of the said Anna Mackenzie, daughter of Colin, first Earl of Seaforth, first Countess of Balcarres, the lineal representation of the ancient House of Kintail. Anna married, secondly, Archibald, ninth Earl of Argyll, beheaded in 1685, and died in 1706.
III. Jean, who married John, Master of Berriedale, with issue, George, sixth Earl of Caithness, who died without issue in 1676. She afterwards married Lord Duffus, with issue, and died in 1648. His lordship died, as already stated, at Chanonry on the 15th of April, 1633, and was buried in the Cathedral Church of Fortrose in a spot chosen by himself. His son, Lord Alexander, having died before his father, on the 3d of June, 1629, and Colin having had no other issue male, he was succeeded by his brother,
XIV. GEORGE, SECOND EARL OF SEAFORTH,
THIRD LORD MACKENZIE OF KINTAIL, eldest son of Kenneth, the first Lord, by his second marriage. During the life of his father and brother he was known as George Mackenzie of Kildun. In 1633 he was "served heir male to his brother Colin, Earl of Seaforth, Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, in the lands and barony of Ellandonnan, including the barony of Lochalsh, in which was included the barony of the lands and towns of Lochcarron, namely, the towns and lands of Auchnaschelloch, Coullin, Edderacharron, Attadill, Ruychichan, Brecklach, Achachoull, Delmartyne, with fishings in salt water and fresh, Dalcharlarie, Arrinachteg, Achintie, Slumba, Doune, Stromcarronach, in the Earldom of Ross, of the old extent of L13 6s 8d, and also the towns of Kisserin, and lands of Strome, with fishings in salt and fresh water, and the towns and lands of Torridan with the pertinents of the Castle of Strome; Lochalsh, Lochcarron, and Kisserin, including the davach of Achvanie, the davach of Achnatrait, the davach of Stromcastell, Ardnagald, Ardneskan, and Blaad, and the half davach of Sannachan, Rassoll, Meikle Strome, and Rerag, in the Earldom of Ross, together of the old extent of L8 13s 4d." ["Origines Parochiales Scotiae", p. 401.] He was served heir male to his father Kenneth, Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, in the lands and barony of Pluscardine, on the 14th of January, 1620; and had charters of Balmungie and Avoch, on the 18th of July, 1635; of Raasay, on the 18th of February, 1637 and of Lochalsh, on the 4th of July, 1642.
His high position in the North, and his intimate friendship at this period with the powerful House of Sutherland, is proved by the fact that he and Sir John Mackenzie of Tarbat, on the 2d of November, 1633, stood godfathers to George Gordon, second son of John, Earl of Sutherland; and there cannot be any doubt that to the influence of the latter must mainly be attributed Seaforth's vacillating conduct during the earlier years of the great civil wars which became the curse of Scotland for so many years after. In 1635 the Privy Council, with the view of putting down the irregularities then prevalent in the Highlands, demanded securities from the chiefs of clans, heads of families, and governors of counties, in conformity with a general bond, previously agreed to, that they should be responsible for their clans and surnames, men-tenants, and servants. The first called upon to give this security was the Earl of Huntly; then followed the Earls of Sutherland and Seaforth, and afterwards Lord Lorn and all the chiefs in the western and northern parts of the Kingdom.
In the following year the slumbering embers of religious differences broke out into a general blaze all over the country. Then began those contentions about ecclesiastical questions, church discipline and liturgies, at all times fraught with the seeds of discontent and danger to the common weal, and which in this case ultimately led to such sad and momentous consequences as only religious feuds can. Charles I. was playing the despot with his subjects, not only in Scotland, but in England. He was governing without a Parliament, defying and trying to crush the desires and aspirations of a people born to govern themselves and to be free. His infatuated attempt to introduce the Liturgy of the Church of England into the Calvinistic and Presbyterian pulpits of Scotland was as insane as it was unavailing. But his English as well as Scottish subjects were at the same time almost in open rebellion for their liberties. He tried to put down the rising in Scotland by the sword, but his means and military skill were unequal to the task. He failed to impose the English Liturgy on his Scottish subjects, but his attempt to do so proved the deliverance of his English subjects from high-handed tyranny. It is only natural that in these circumstances Seaforth, though personally attached to the King, should be found on the side of the Covenant, and that he should have joined the Assembly, the clergy, and the nobles in the Protest, and in favour of the renewal of the Confession of Faith previously accepted and confirmed by James VI. in 1580, 1581, and 1590, at the same time that these several bodies entered into a covenant or bond of mutual defence among themselves against all opposition from whatever source.
The principal among the Northern nobles who entered into this engagement were the Earls of Seaforth and Sutherland, Lord Lovat, the Rosses, Munroes, Grant of Grant, Mackintosh of Mackintosh, Innes, the Sheriff of Moray, Kilravock, Cumming of Altyre, and the Tutor of Duffus. These, with their followers under command of the Earl of Seaforth, who was appointed General of the Covenanters north of the Spey, marched to Morayshire, where they met the Royalists on the northern banks of the river ready to oppose their advance. [On May 14, 1639, 4000 men met at Elgin under the command of the Earl of Seaforth, and the gentlemen following, viz.: The Master of Lovat, the Master of Ray, George, brother to the Earl of Sutherland, Sir James Sinclare of Murkle, Laird of Grant, Young Kilravock, Sheriff of Murray, Laird of Innes, Tutor of Duffus, Hugh Rose of Achnacloich, John Munro of Lemlare, etc. They encamped at Speyside, to keep the Gordons and their friends from entering Murray; and they remained encamped till the pacification, which was signed June 18, was proclaimed, and intimated to them about June 22. - "Shaw's MS. History of Kilravock."] An arrangement was here come to between Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine, Seaforth's brother, on behalf of the Covenanters, and a representative from the Gordons for their opponents, that the latter should recross to the south side of the Spey, and that the Highlanders should return home. About the same time Seaforth received a despatch from Montrose, then at Aberdeen and fighting for the Covenant, intimating the pacification entered into on the 20th of June between the King and his subjects at Berwick, and requesting Seaforth to disband his army - an order which was at once obeyed. Shortly after, however, Montrose dissociated himself from the Covenanters, joined the King's side and raised the Royal standard. The Earl of Seaforth soon after this was suspected of lukewarmness for the Covenant. In 1640 the King arrived at York on his way north to reduce the Covenanting Scots, after they had resolved to invade England, and, as a precautionary measure, to imprison or expel all suspected Royalists from the army. Among the suspects are found the Earl of Seaforth, Lord Reay, and several others, who were taken before the Assembly, kept in ward at Edinburgh for two months; and in 1641, on the King's arrival in Scotland, the Earl of Traquair, who had been summoned before Parliament as an opponent to the Lords of the Covenant succeeded in persuading the Earls of Montrose, Wigton, Athole, Hume, and Seaforth (who had meanwhile escaped), and several other influential chiefs, to join in a bond against the Covenanters.
Soon after this Montrose leaves Elgin with the main body of his army, and marches towards the Bog of Gight, accompanied by the Earl of Seaforth, Sir Robert Gordon, Grant of Grant, Mackenzie of Pluscardine, and several other gentlemen who came to him at Elgin, to support the King. After this, however, fearing that depredations might be committed upon his followers by a garrison of two regiments then stationed at Inverness, and the other Covenanters of that district, he permitted Seaforth, Grant of Grant, and other Morayshire gentlemen, to return home in order to defend their estates, but before permitting them to depart he made them swear allegiance to the King and promise that they should never again under any circumstances take up arms against his Majesty or any of his loyal subjects, and to rejoin him with all their available forces as soon as they were able to do so. Seaforth, however, with unaccountable want of decision, disregarded his oath, again joined the Covenanters, and excused himself in a letter to the Committee of Estates, saying that he had joined the Royalists through fear of Montrose, at the same time avowing that he would abide by "the good cause to his death" - a promise not much to be trusted.
He is soon again in the field, this time against Montrose. Wishart says that "the Earl of Seaforth, a very powerful man in those parts (and one of whom he entertained a better opinion) with the garrison of Inver-ness, which were old soldiers, and the whole strength of Moray, Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness, and the sept of the Frasers, were ready to meet him with a desperate army of 5000 horse and foot." Montrose had only 1500 - the Macdonalds of Glengarry and the Highlanders of Athol having previously gone home, against the earnest solicitude of Montrose that they should complete the campaign, according to their usual custom, to deposit the booty obtained in their repeated victories under their great chief, but on the plea of repairing their houses and other property which had been so much injured by their enemies in their absence. The great commander, however, although he knew many of the garrison to be old soldiers, decided to attack the superior numbers against him, correctly surmising that a great many of his opponents were newly raised recruits "from among husband-men, cowherds, tavern-boys and kitchen-boys," and would be raw and unserviceable. Fortunately for Seaforth and his forces, matters turned out otherwise. The gallant Marquis, on his way to Inverness, was informed of Argyll's descent on Lochaber, and, instantly changing his route, he fell down upon him at Inverlochy so unexpectedly, that when Argyll, by an ignominious flight in one of his boats, made himself secure, he had the well-merited reward of personal cowardice and pusillanimity of witnessing fifteen hundred of his devoted adherents cut down, among whom were a great number of the leading gentlemen of the clan, who deserved to fight under a better and less cowardly commander. Among those who fell were Campbell of Auchinbreck, Campbell of Lochnell, his eldest son, and his brother Colin; Macdougall of Rara, and his eldest son, Major Menzies, brother to the Chief of Achattens Parbreck, and the Provost of the Church of Kilmuir. The power of the Campbells was thus broken, and so probably would that of Seaforth had Montrose attacked him first.
After this brilliant victory at Inverlochy, on the 2d February, 1645, Montrose returned to Moray, by Badenoch, where on his march to Elgin, he was met by Thomas Mackenzie of Piuscardine and others, sent by Seaforth and the Covenanters as commissioners to treat with him. They received an indignant answer. The Marquis declined any negotiation, but offered to accept the services of such as would join and obey him as the King's Lieutenant-General. The Earl of Seaforth was then sent by the Committee of Ross and Sutherland, in person, and meeting the Marquis between Elgin and Forres, he was arrested and for several days detained prisoner. He was subsequently released, but all the authorities plead ignorance of the terms.
When the Royalists marched south, the Laird of Lawers, who was then Governor of the Castle of Inverness, cited all those who had communications with Montrose in Moray, and compelled them to give bonds for their appearance, to answer for their conduct, before Parliament, if required to do so. Among them were Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine; and, after the affair at Fettercairn, and the retreat of Montrose from Dundee, the Earls of Seaforth and Sutherland, with the whole of the Clan Fraser, and most of the men of Caithness and Moray, are found assembled at Inverness, where General Hurry, who had retreated before Montrose, joined them with a force of Gordons - 1000 foot and 200 horse - the whole amounting to about 3500 of the former and 400 of the latter, which included Sutherlands, Mackenzies, Frasers, Roses, and Brodies, while the followers of Montrose consisted of Gordons, Macdonalds, Macphersons, Mackintoshes, and Irish, to the number of about 3000 foot and 300 horse. [Shaw's MS. History.] Montrose halted at the village of Auldearn, and General Hurry finding such a large force waiting for him at Inverness, decided to retrace his steps the next morning, and give battle to the Marquis at that village.
The author of the Ardintoul MS. tells how Seaforth came to take part in the battle of Auldearn, and gives the following interesting account of his reasons and of the engagement: "General Hurry sent for Seaforth to Inverness, and during a long conference informed him that although he was serving the States himself he privately favoured the King's cause. He advised Seaforth to dismiss his men and make a pretence that he had only sent for them to give them new leases of their lands, and in case it was necessary to make an appearance to fight Montrose, he could bring, when commanded to do so, two or three companies from Chanonry and Ardmeanach, which the Marquis would accept. It was, however, late before they parted, and Lady Seaforth, who was waiting for her lord at Kessock, prepared a sumptuous supper for her husband and his friends. The Earl and his guests kept up the festivities so long and so well that he 'forgot or delayed to advertise his men to dismiss till to-morrow,' and going to bed very late, before he could stir in the morning all the lairds and gentlemen of Moray came to him, most earnestly entreating him by all the laws of friendship and good neighbourhood, and for the kindness they had for him while he lived among them, and which they manifested to his brother yet living amongst them, that his lordship would not see them ruined and destroyed by Montrose and the Irish, when he might easily prevent it without the least loss to himself or his men, assuring him that if he should join General Hurry with what forces he had then under his command, Montrose would go away with his Irish and decline to fight them. Seaforth, believing his visitors, and thinking, as they said, that Montrose with so small a number would not venture to fight, his opponents being twice the number, and many of them trained soldiers. Hurry told him that he was to march immediately against Montrose and being of an easy and compassionate nature, Seaforth yielded to their request, and sent immediately in all haste for his Highlanders, crossed the ferry of Kessock, and marched straight with the rest of his forces to Auldearn, where Montrose had his camp; but the Moray men found themselves mistaken in thinking the Marquis would make off, for he was not only resolved but glad of the opportunity to fight them before Baillie, whom he knew was on his march north with considerable forces, could join General Hurry, and so drawing up his men with great advantage of ground he placed Alexander Macdonald, with the Irish, on the right wing beneath the village of Auldearn, and Lord Gordon with the horse on the left. On the south side of Auldearn, he himself (Montrose) biding in town, and making a show of a main battle with a few men, which Hurry understanding and making it his business that Montrose should carry the victory, and that Seaforth would come off without great loss, he set his men, who were more than double the number of their adversaries, to Montrose's advantage, for he placed Sutherland, Lovat's men, and some others, with the horse under Drummond's command, on the right wing, opposite to my Lord Gordon, and Loudon and Laurie's Regiments, with some others on the left wing, opposite Alexander Macdonald and the Irish, and placed Seaforth's men for the most in the midst, opposite Montrose, where he knew they could not get hurt till the wings were engaged. Seaforth's men were commanded to retire and make off before they had occasion or command to fight; but the men hovering, and not understanding the mystery, were commanded again to make off and follow Drummond with the horse, who gave only one charge to the enemy and then fled, which they did by leaving both the wings and some of their own men to the brunt of the enemy, because they stood at a distance from them, the right wing being sore put to by my Lord Gordon, and seeing Drummond with the horse and their neighbours fly, they began to follow. Sutherland and Lovat suffered great loss, while on the left wing, Loudon's Regiment and Lawrie with his Regiment were both totally cut off betwixt the Irish and the Gordons, who came to assist them after Sutherland's and Lovat's men were defeated. Seaforth's men got no hurt in the pursuit, nor did they lose many men in the fight, the most considerable being John Mackenzie of Kernsary, cousin-german to the Earl, and Donald Bain, brother to Tulloch and Chamberlain to Seaforth in the Lewis, both being heavy and corpulent men not fit to fly, and being partly deceived by Seaforth's principal ensign or standard-bearer in the field, who stood to it with some others of the Lochbroom and Lewis men, till they were killed, and likewise Captain Bernard Mackenzie, with the rest of his company, which consisted of Chanonry men and some others thereabout, being somewhat of a distance from the rest of Seaforth's men, were killed on the spot. There were only four Kintail men who might make their escape with the rest if they had looked rightly to themselves, namely, the Bannerman of Kintail, called Rory Mac Ian Dhomh'uill Bhain, alias Maclennan, who, out of foolhardiness and indignation, to see that banner, which was wont to be victorious, fly in his hands, fastens the staff of it in the ground, and stands to it with his two-handed sword drawn, and would not accept of quarter, though tendered to him by my Lord Gordon in person; nor would he suffer any to approach him to take him alive, as the gentlemen beholders wished, so that they were forced to shoot him. The other three were Donald the bannerman's brother, Malcolm Macrae, and Duncan Mac Ian Oig. Seaforth and his men, with Colonel Hurry and the rest, came back that night to Inverness, all the men laying the blame of the loss of the day upon Drummond, who commanded the horse, and fled away with them, for which, by a Council of War, he was sentenced to die; but Hurry assured him that he would get him absolved, though at the very time of his execution he made him keep silence, but when Drummond was about to speak, he caused him to be shot suddenly, fearing, as was thought, that he would reveal that what was acted was by Hurry's own directions. This account of the Battle of Auldearn I had from an honourable gentleman and experienced soldier, as we were riding by Auldearn, who was present from first to last at this action, and who asked Hurry, 'Who set the battle with such advantage to Montrose and to the inevitable loss and overthrow of his own side?' to whom Hurry, being confident of the gentlemen, said, 'I know what I am doing, we shall have by-and-bye excellent sport between the Irish and the States Regiments, and I shall carry off Seaforth's men without loss;' and that Hurry was more for Montrose than for the States that day is very probable, because, shortly thereafter when he found opportunity, he quitted the States service, and is reckoned as first of Montrose's friends, who, in August next year, embarked with Montrose to get off the nation, and returned with him again in his second expedition to Scotland, and was taken prisoner at Craigchonachan, and sent south and publicly executed with Montrose as guilty of the same fault."
Montrose gained another engagement at Alford on the 2nd of July, after which he was joined by a powerful levy of West Highlanders under Colla Ciotach Macdonald, Clanranald, and Glengarry, the Macnabs, Macgregors, and the Stewarts of Appin. In addition to these some of the Farquharsons of Braemar and small parties of lesser septs from Badenoch rallied round the standard of Montrose. Thus, as a contemporary writer says, "he went like a current speat (spate) through this kingdom." Seeing all this - the great successes of Montrose and so many Highlanders joining - Seaforth, who had never been a hearty Covenanter, began to waver. The Estates sent a commission to the Earl of Sutherland appointing him as their Lieutenant north of the Spey, but he refused to accept it. It was then offered to Seaforth, who likewise declined it, but instead "contrived and framed ane band, under the name of an humble remonstrance, which he perswaded manie and threatened others to subscryve. This remonstrance gave so great a distast to both the Church and State, that the Earl of Seaforth was therefore excommunicate by the General Assemblie; and all such as did not disclaim the raid remonstrance within some days thereafter, were, by the Committee of Estates, declared inimies to the publick. Hereupon the Earl of Seaforth joined publicly with Montrose in April, 1646, at the siege of Inverness, though before that time be had only joined in private councils with him." [Gordon's "Earldom of Sutherland," p. 529.]
At Inverness, through the action of the Marquis of Huntly and the treachery of his son, Lord Lewis Gordon, Montrose was surprised by General Middleton, but he promptly crossed the river Ness in face of a regiment of cavalry, under Major Bromley, who crossed the river by a ford above the town, while another detachment crossed lower down towards the sea with a view to cut off his retreat. These he succeeded in beating back with a trifling loss on either side, whereupon he marched unmolested to Kinmylies, and the following morning he went round by Beauly and halted at Fairley, where slight marks of field works are still to be seen; and now, for the first time, he found himself in the territories of the Mackenzies, accompanied by Seaforth in person. Montrose, here finding himself in a level country, with an army mainly composed of raw levies newly raised by Seaforth among his own people, and taught by their chief's vacillating conduct and example to have little interest or enthusiasm in either cause, did not consider it prudent to engage Middleton, who pursued him with a disciplined force, including a considerable following of cavalry, ready to fight with every advantage on his side in a level country. He therefore moved rapidly up through the valley of Strathglass, crossed to Loch-Ness, and passed through Stratherrick in the direction of the river Spey. Meanwhile Middleton advanced to Fortrose and laid siege to the castle, which was at the time under the charge of Lady Seaforth. She surrendered after a siege of four days; and having removed a considerable quantity of stores and ammunition, sent by Queen Henrietta for the use of Montrose on his arrival there, Middleton gave the Countess, whom he treated with the greatest civility and respect, possession of the stronghold.
The Committee on Public Affairs, which, throughout the contest, acted in opposition to the Royal authority, and held sederunts at Aberdeen and Dundee as well as at Edinburgh, gratified their malignity, after Montrose gave up the fight in 1646, by fining the loyalists in enormous amounts of money, and decerning them to "lend" to the committee such sums - in many cases exorbitant - as they thought proper. Sir Robert Farquhar, formerly a Bailie of Aberdeen, was treasurer, and in the sederunt held in that city, the committee threw a comprehensive net over the clan Mackenzie. Sixteen of the name were decerned to lend the large sum of L28,666 13s 4d Scots; but from the other side of the balance sheet it is found that they declined to lend a penny; and Sir Robert credits himself as treasurer thus: "Item of the loan moneys above set down there is yet resting unpaid, and wherefore no payment can be gotten, as follows - viz. - Be the name of Mackenzie, sixteen persons, the sum of L28,666 13s 4d Scots." The following are the names and sums decerned against each of them: Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine, L2000; Alexander Mackenzie of Kilcoy, L2000; Roderick Mackenzie of Redcastle, L2000; Alexander Mackenzie of Coul, L6000; Kenneth Mackenzie of Gairloch, L3333 6s 8d; Hector Mackenzie of Scotsburn, L2000; Roderick Mackenzie of Davochmaluag, L1333 6s 8d; John Mackenzie of Dawach-Cairn, L1333 6s 8d; William Mackenzie of Multavie, L1000; Kenneth Mackenzie of Scatwell, L2000; Thomas Mackenzie of Inverlael, L1333 6s 8d; Colin Mackenzie of Mullochie, L666 13s 4d; Donald Mackenzie of Logie, L666 13s 4d; Kenneth Mackenzie of Assint, L1000; Colin Mackenzie of Kincraig, L1000; Alexander Mackenzie of Suddie, L1000. Among the other sums decerned is one of L6666 13s 4d against "William Robertson in Kindeace, and his son Gilbert Robertson," and in Inverness and Ross the loan amounted to the respectable sum of L44,783 6s 8d, of which the treasurer was allowed to retain L15,000 in his own hands. The sum, with large amounts of disbursements by the committee, show that they were more fortunate with others than with the Clan Mackenzie. ["Antiquarian Notes," pp. 307-308-309.]
The Earl of Seaforth taking advantage of being on opposite sides to the Earl of Sutherland, now asserted some old claims against Donald Ban Mor Macleod, IX. of Assynt, a follower of the house of Sutherland, who afterwards became notorious as the captor of the great Montrose himself. In May, 1646, Mackenzie laid siege to his castle, on the Isle of Assynt.
A document written by a friend of the family of Assynt, in 1738, for Norman Macleod, XIX. of Macleod, who, in that year, in virtue of a disposition of all his estates made by Neil Macleod of Assynt to John Breac Macleod, XVI. of Macleod, dated the 24th of November, 1681, commenced a process against Mackenzie, gives a most interesting account of the proceedings, from the Macleod point of view, by which Seaforth obtained possession of the lands of Assynt. This document or "Information" came into the possession of Simon Lord Lovat, with whose papers it found its way to the Rev. Donald Fraser, minister of Killearnan, and is now the property of that gentleman's grandson, the Rev. Hector Fraser, Halkirk. It was read by Mr William Mackay, solicitor, Inverness, before the Gaelic Society there on the 19th of March, 1890, and is published at length in their Transactions for that year, vol. XVI. pp. 197-207. According to the writer of this paper, Neil Macleod was in possession of Assynt from 1650 to 1672, when in the latter year "he was violently dispossessed by Seaforth," and was from 1672 to 1692, when be obtained a "Decree of Spulzie" against Seaforth, endeavouring to recover his right, but without avail. He says that from the time Seaforth got a right, "such as it was," to the Island of Lewis for a payment of ten thousand merks, "and afterwards, in lieu of that, for a mile of the wood of Letterew," he and his family had it in view to make themselves masters of the estate of Macleod of Assynt, who, he erroneously states, "was lineal heir to the estates of Lewis." In order to give effect to this intention Seaforth purchased several old claims, "some of them very unjust," against Assynt, which were made over to Thomas Mackenzie of Plus-cardine, Seaforth's brother. In 1637 the two Mackenzies, in virtue of these claims and the titles founded upon them, gave a wadset of the lands of Assynt to Kenneth Mackenzie of Scatwell in security for forty thousand merks. In 1640 "the Legal of those claims and apprisings being expired, Seaforth did, with his friends and clan, to the number of 1000 men, invade Assynt, and did there commit great outrages. He being for this pursued at law, was decerned in 40,000 pounds Scots of damages," which paid a great part of his claim upon the estate, and it is maintained that the remainder was afterwards paid by the means, which are set forth in the same document, along with somewhat intricate statements, which would occupy too much space here. The "Information" proceeds with the following interesting details, which we give, with very slight alteration, in his own words.
He says that in 1646 Seaforth having joined Montrose at Inverness, where were likewise 100 men of Assynt under his Superior's (Seaforth) command, and Neil of Assynt himself, then a minor, being a friend, in Seaforth's house at Brahan, Seaforth ordered his men in the Highlands to fall upon Assynt's estate, where they made fearful havoc, carried away, as Neil represents, 3000 cows, 2000 horses, 7000 sheep and goats, and burnt the habitations of 180 families. When complaint was made of this in the South, Seaforth was bought off by the interest of General Middleton, and by virtue of a capitulation which he had with Seaforth when in the North.
In the year 1654 Seaforth led a body of his own men, with a part of the broken army under the command of Middleton, to Assynt and made great depredations, destroyed a very great quantity of wine and brandy, which the Laird of Assynt had bought, besides other commodities, in all to the value of 50,000 merks, out of a ship then on that coast, carrying off 2400 cows, 1500 horses, about 6000 sheep and goats, besides burning and destroying many families. Assynt was not liable in law to any such usage from them, having receipts from Seaforth and Lord Reay for his proportion of the levy appointed at that time for the King's service. When Middleton came to that country he declared that he had given no warrant for what Seaforth had done, and that in presence of Lord Macdonald and Sir George Munro, etc. When Assynt pursued Seaforth before the English judges of the time, Seaforth defeated his process by proving that Neil had been in arms against the English, and did then allege no cause for the injuries done by him to Assynt, except a private quarrel. But when Macleod afterwards, at the Restoration, pursued Seaforth, he alleged in defence that he had acted by a warrant from Middleton, who was then commissioner for the Parliament. But Neil says, if there was any such warrant it was certainly given after the injuries had been done to him. However, things stood then in such a way that Neil was not likely to procure any justice.
There was another claim which seems to have brought matters to a crisis. Macleod had become a party to a bond of caution granted by Ross of Little Tarrel in the sum of L150 sterling, for which, in 1656, an apprising was laid upon the estate of Assynt, at the instance of Sinclair of Mey, in Caithness, who subsequently assigned his claim to Sir George Mackenzie of Tarbat and John Mackenzie, second son of Kenneth Mor, third Earl of Seaforth, afterwards known as the Hon. John Mackenzie of Assynt. The matter was contested for a time, but "in the year 1668 or 1669 or 1670, the legal apprising being expired, decree of mails and duties was obtained upon the claim against the estate of Assynt and ejection against himself. Upon pursuing this ejection in 1671, several illegal steps were alleged against Assynt, particularly holding out the Castle of Ard-Bhreac against the King, and his otherwise violently opposing the ejection; whereupon Neil of Assynt, who it seems had been negligent in defending himself against the foresaid accusations, was denounced rebel, and a commission of fire and sword was obtained in July, 1672, against him and his people," granted to Lord Strathnaver, Lord Lovat, Munro of Fowlis, and others, who at once invaded his territories with a force of 2300 men "and committed the most horrid barbarities," until all the country of Assynt was destroyed.
After this raid Neil, "under the benefit of a protection," went to consult Seaforth, who gave him a certificate of having obeyed the King's laws, and fifteen days to consider a proposition which his lordship made to him to dispose of his estates to himself on certain conditions, and so settle the dispute between them for ever. But Macleod, considering that it was not safe for him to return to his own country, resolved to proceed to Edinburgh by sea, and to carry his charter chest along with him. "Seaforth being apprehensive, it seems, of the con-sequences of Assynt's going to Edinburgh, immediately entered into correspondence and concert about the matter with the Laird of Mey, in Caithness. The consequence was: Assynt being driven by unfavourable winds to the Orkneys the Laird of Mey, with a body of men, seized him there, to be sure under the notion of an outlaw, and, by commission from Seaforth, stripped him to his shirt, robbed him of everything, particularly of his charter chest, and of all the writs and evidents belonging to his family and estates, carried them to the castle of Mey; where he was kept prisoner in a vault. From thence he was carried prisoner, under a strong guard, to Tam, and at last to Brahan, Seaforth's house. In Brahan (to which place the charter chest was brought, as was afterwards proved in the Process of Spoilzie) Neil was many months detained prisoner in a vault, in most miserable circumstances, still threatened with worse usage if he would not agree to subscribe a blank paper, probably designed for a disposition of his estates, which was, it seems, the great thing designed to be procured from him by all this bad usage. At last Neil was brought south to Edinburgh, where he arrived after being in thirteen or fourteen prisons, and in the end he obtained the remission formerly mentioned," for the offence of defending the Castle of Assynt, and all the other crimes that were alleged against him.