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History Of The Mackenzies by Alexander Mackenzie

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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,


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

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.

His apologist makes out a strong case for him, if half his allegations
are true. In any case it is but fair to state them. Neil was in
prison, according to the "Information," when the ejection proceedings
were carried out against him. He was ignorant of the legal steps
taken against him until it was too late, and, in consequence of
his great distance from Edinburgh, he was unable to correspond with
his legal advisers there in time for his defence. His messengers,
carrying his correspondence, were more than once seized, on their
way south, and imprisoned at Chanonry. When in the south, the
contributions of his friends towards his support and the expenses
of his defence were intercepted, and his people at home were put
to great hardships by their new master, the Hon. John Mackenzie,
"for any inclination to succour him in his distress." "By all
these means, the unfortunate gentleman was reduced to great poverty
and misery, and was disabled from procuring the interest or
affording the expense needful in order to obtain justice against
such potent adversaries." And "it was easy for them (the
Mackenzies), being now possessed of his estate, to get in old unjust
patched claims from such as had them, and being possessed of his
charter chest and the retired vouchers of debts therein contained, by
all these means, to make additional titles to the estate of Assynt,
while he, poor gentleman, besides his other misfortunes, was deprived
of his writs and of all his evidences needful to be produced in his
defence against the claims of his adversaries." If a tithe of all
this is true poor Neil deserves to be pitied indeed. But after
giving such a long catalogue of charges, involving the most cruel and
deceitful acts against the Mackenzies, the author of them is himself
doubtful about their accuracy, for he says that, although the
Mackenzies, after possessing the estates, had all the advantages and
means for doing the unjust things which he alleges against them of
inventing new claims and additional titles, "it is not pretended to
be now told what additional titles they made" - an admission which
largely discounts and disposes of the other charges made by Macleod's
apologist. And, notwithstanding all his disadvantages and
difficulties, Neil made another effort "towards obtaining justice
to himself and his family"; and to that end, in 1679 and 1680,
he commenced a new process against Seaforth and all others "whom
he knew to have or pretended to have" claims against him or his
estate. It was, however, objected (1) that he had no title in
his own person to the lands of Assynt, and (2) that he was at the
horn and had no personam standi in judices. Neil made "very
pertinent" answers to these objections in 1682, but he was wisely
advised to stop the proceedings of reduction, and to commence a
Process of Spulzie against the Earl Sinclair, of Mey, the Laird of
Dunbeath, and others. Seaforth having died while these proceedings
were pending, there appears in process an Oath by his successor,
"who swears that he not then nor formerly had the charter chest, nor
knew what was become of it; and as he was not charged with having a
hand in the Spulzie he was freed thereof and of the consequences of
it, by their Lordships. Neil having given in an inventory of the
writs contained in his chest, his oath in litem was taken thereanent,
and he referred his expenses and damages to the judgment of the
Lords," with the result that, in 1692, they decerned in his favour
for the sum of two thousand pounds Scots, in name of damages and
expenses, to be paid to him by the defenders, and at the same time
superseding his further claim until he should give in more
particulars regarding it. He assigned this decree to his nephew,
Captain Donald Macleod of Geanies, and it remained as the basis of
the process which was raised by Norman Macleod, XIX. of Macleod, in
1738, already referred to "for what thereof is unpaid." But Neil,
"being unable by unparalleled bad usage, trouble, and poverty, and at
length by old age, it does not appear that lie went any further
towards obtaining of justice for himself than what is above narrated
in relation to the process of reduction and Spulzie"; and that his
friends failed in their subsequent efforts to punish Mackenzie
or re-possess themselves of the Assynt estates is sufficiently
well-known. [For Neil's connection with the Betrayal of Montrose
see Mackenzie's "History of the Macleods," pp. 410-419.]

In 1648 Seaforth again raised a body of 4000 men in the Western
Islands and Ross-shire, whom he led south, to aid the King's cause,
but after joining in a few skirmishes under Lanark, they returned
home to "cut their corn which was now ready for their sickles."
During the whole of this period Seaforth's fidelity to the Royal
cause was open to considerable suspicion, and when Charles I.
threw himself into the hands of the Scots at Newark, and ordered
Montrose to disband his forces, Earl George, always trying to be
on the winning side, came in to Middleton, and made terms with the
Committee of Estates; but the Church, by whom he had previously
been excommunicated, continued implacable, and would only agree to
be satisfied by a public penance in sackcloth within the High Church
of Edinburgh. The proud Earl consented, underwent this ignominious
and degrading ceremonial, and his sentence of excommunication
was then removed. Notwithstanding this public humiliation, after
the death of the ill-fated and despotic Charles I., Seaforth, in
1649, went over to Holland, and joined Charles II., by whom he
was made Principal Secretary of State for Scotland, the duties of
which, however, he never had the opportunity of performing.

Charles was proclaimed King on the 5th of February, 1649, in
Edinburgh, and it was decided by him and his friends in exile that
Montrose should make a second attempt to recover Scotland; for, on
the advice of his friends, Charles declined the humiliating terms
offered him by the Scottish faction, and, in connection with the
plans of Montrose, a rising took place in the North, under Thomas
Mackenzie of Pluscardine, brother to the Earl of Seaforth, Sir
Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty, Colonel John Munro of Lemlair, and
Colonel Hugh Fraser. On the 22d February they entered Inverness,
expelled the troops from the garrison, and afterwards demolished
the walls and fortifications. On the 26th of February a Council
of War was held, present - Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine,
Preses, Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty, H. Fraser of Belladrum,
Jo. Cuthbert of Castlehill, R. Mackenzie, of Davochmaluak; Kenneth
Mackenzie of Gairloch, R. Mackenzie of Redcastle, John Munro of
Lumlair, Simon Fraser of Craighouse, and Alex. Mackenzie of Suddie.

This Committee made certain enactments, by which they took the
customs and excise of the six northern counties entirely into their
own hands. The Provost of Inverness was made accountable "for all
the money which, under the name of excise, has been taken up in
any of the foresaid shires since his intromissions with the office
of excise taking." Another item is that Duncan Forbes be pleased to
advance money "upon the security which the Committee will grant to
him," to be repaid out of the readiest of the "maintaince and
excise." Cromarty House was ordered to be put in a position of
defence, for which it was "requisite that some faill be cast and
led," and all Sir James Fraser's tenants within the parishes of
Cromarty and Cullicudden, together with those of the laird of
Findrassie, within the parish of Rosemarkie, were ordered "to afford
from six hours in the morning to six hours at night, and one horse
out of every oxengait daily for the space of four days, to lead the
same faill to the House of Cromarty." By the tenth enactment the
Committee find it expedient for their safety that the works and
forts of Inverness be demolished and levelled to the ground, and they
ordain that each person appointed to this work shall complete his
proportion thereof before the 4th day of March following "under pain
of being quartered upon, aud until the said task be performed." They
further enact that a garrison be placed in Culloden House, "which the
Committee is not desirous of for any intention of harm towards the
disturbance of the owner, but merely because of the security of the
garrison of Calder, which, if not kept in good order, is like to
infest all the well-affected of the country circumjacent." [For these
minutes see "Antiquarian Notes," pp. 157-8.] General Leslie having
been sent against them, they retired to the mountains of Ross, when
Leslie advanced to Fortrose and placed a garrison in the castle. He
made terms with all the other leaders except Pluscardine, who would
not listen to any accommodation, and who, immediately on Leslie's
return south, descended from his mountain fastnesses, attacked
and re-took the Castle of Chanonry.

Pluscardine was then joined by his nephew, Lord Reay, at the head
of three hundred men, which increased his force to eight or nine
hundred. General Middleton and Lord Ogilvie, having brought up
their forces, Mackenzie advanced into Badenoch, with the view of
raising the people in that and the neighbouring districts, where
he was joined by the Marquis of Huntly, formerly Lord Lewis Gordon,
and they at once attacked and took the Castle of Ruthven. After
this they were pressed closely by Leslie, and fell down from
Badenoch to Balvenny Castle, whence they sent General Middleton
and Mackenzie to treat with Leslie, but before they reached their
destination, Carr, Halket, and Strachan, who had been in the North,
made a rapid march from Fortrose, and on the 8th of May surprised
Lord Reay with his nine hundred followers at Balvenny, with
considerable loss on both sides. Eighty Royalists fell in the
defence of the castle. Carr at once dismissed the Highlanders
to their homes on giving their oath never again to take up arms
against the Parliament, but he detained Lord Reay and some of his
kinsmen, Mackenzie of Redcastle, and a few leaders of that name,
and sent them prisoners to Edinburgh. Having there given security
to keep the peace in future, Lord Reay, Ogilvy, Huntly, and Middleton
were forgiven, and allowed to return home, Roderick Mackenzie of
Redcastle, being the only one kept in prison, until he was some
time after released, through the influence of Argyll, on payment
of a fine of seven thousand merks Scots.

Carr now returned to Ross and laid siege to Redcastle, the only
stronghold in the North which still held out for the Royal cause.
The officer in charge recklessly exposed himself on the ramparts,
and was pulled down by a well-directed shot from the enemy. The
castle was set on fire by the exasperated soldiers. Leslie then
placed a garrison in Brahan and Chanonry Castles, and returned south.
The garrisons were then expelled, some of the men hanged, the
walls demolished, and the fortifications razed to the ground. Thus
ended an insurrection which probably would have had a very different
result had it been delayed until the arrival of Montrose. The
same year General Leslie himself came to Fortrose with nine troops
of horse, and forwarded detachments to Cromarty and "Seaforth's
strongest hold" of Ellandonnan Castle.

The following account of this period by a contemporary writer
is very interesting: "Immediately after the battle of Auldearn
Seaforth met and communed with Montrose, the result of which
was that Seaforth should join Montrose, for the King against the
Parliament and States, whom they now discovered not to be for the
King as they professed; but in the meantime that Seaforth should not
appear, till he had called upon and prevailed with his neighbours
about him, namely, My Lord Reay, Balnagown, Lovat, Sir James
Macdonald of Sleat, Macleod of Dunvegan, and others, to join him
and follow him as their leader. Accordingly, Seaforth having
called them together, pointed out to them the condition the King
was in, and how it was their interest to rise and join together
immediately for his Majesty's service and relief. All of them
consented and approved of the motion, only some of them desired that
the Parliament who professed to be for the King as well as they,
and desired to be rid of Montrose and his bloody Irish, should
first be made acquainted with their resolution. Seaforth, being
unwilling to lose any of them, condescended, and drew up a declaration,
which was known as Seaforth's Remonstrance, as separate from
Montrose, whereof a double was sent them; but the Parliament was
so far from being pleased therewith that they threatened to proclaim
Seaforth and all who should join him as rebels. Now, after the
battle of Alford and Kilsyth, wherein Montrose was victorious,
and all in the south professing to submit to him as the King's
Lieutenant, he was by the treachery of Traquair and others of
the Covenanters, surprised and defeated at Philiphaugh. In the
beginning of the next year, 1646, he came north to recruit his army.
Seaforth raised his men and advertised his foresaid neighbours to
come, but none came except Sir James Macdonald, who, with Seaforth,
joined Montrose at Inverness, which they besieged, but Middleton,
who then served in the Scots armies in England, being sent with
nearly 1000 horse and 800 foot, coming suddenly the length of
Inverness, stopped Montrose's progress. Montrose was forced to
raise the siege and quit the campaign, and retired with Seaforth
and Sir James Macdonald to the hills of Strathglass, to await the
arrival of the rest of their confederates, Lord Reay, Glengarry,
Maclean, and several others, who, with such as were ready to join
him south, were likely to make a formidable army for the King but,
in the meantime, the King having come to the Scots army, the first
thing they extorted from him was to send a herald to Montrose,
commanding him to disband his forces, and to pass over to France
till his Majesty's further pleasure. The herald came to him in
the last of May, 1646, while he was at Strathglass waiting the rest
of the King's faithful friends who were to join him. For this
Montrose was vexed, not only for the King's condition, but for
those of his faithful subjects who declared themselves for him
and before he would disband he wrote several times to the King,
but received no answer, except some articles from the Parliament
and Covenanters, which after much reluctance, he was forced to
accept, by which he was to depart the Kingdom against the first of
September following, and the Covenanters were obliged to provide
a ship for his transportation, but finding that they neglected to
do so, meeting with a Murray ship in the harbour of Montrose, he
went aboard of her with several of his friends, namely, Sir John
Hurry, who served the States the year before, John Drummond, Henry
Brechin, George Wishart, and several others, leaving Seaforth and
the rest of his friends to the mercy of these implacable enemies;
for the States and Parliament threatened to forfeit him for acting
contrary to their orders, and the Kirk excommunicated him for
joining with the excommunicated traitor, as they called him, James
Graham; for now the Kirk began to rule with a high hand, becoming
more guilty than the bishops, of that of which they charged him
with as great a fault for meddling with civil and secular affairs;
for they not only looked upon them to form the army and to purge
it of such as whom, in their idiom, they called Malignants, but
really such as were loyal to the King; and also would have no
Acts of Parliament to pass without their consent and approbation.
Their proselytes in the laity were also heavy upon and uneasy to
such as they found or conceived to have found with a tincture of
Malignancy, whereof many instances might be given." But to return
to Seaforth. "After he was excommunicated by the Kirk he was
obliged to go to Edinburgh, where he was made prisoner and detained
two years, till in the end he was, with much ado, released from
the sentence of excommunication, and the process of forfeiture
against him discharged; for that time he returned home in the
end of the year, 1648, but King Charles I. being before that time
murdered, and King Charles II. being in France, finding that he
would not be for any time on fair terms with the States and Kirk,
he proposed to remove his family to the Island of Lewis, and dwell
there remote from public affairs, and to allocate his rents on
the mainland to pay his most pressing debts, in order to which,
having sent his lady in December to Lochcarron, where boats were
attending to transport himself and children to the Lewis by way of
Lochbroom, wherein his affairs called him, he, without acquainting
his kinsmen and friends, went aboard a ship which he had provided
for that purpose, and sailed to France, where the King was, who
received him most graciously and made him one of his secretaries.
This did incense the States against him, so that they placed a
garrison in his principal house at Brahan, under the command of
Captain Scott, who (afterwards) broke his neck from a fall from
his horse in the Craigwood of Chanonry, as also another garrison
in the Castle of Ellandonnan, under the command of one William
Johnston, which remained to the great hurt and oppression
of the people till, in the year 1650, some of the Kintail men, not
bearing the insolence of the garrison soldiers, discorded with
them, and in harvest that year killed John Campbell, a leading
person among them, with others, for having wounded several at
little Inverinate, without one drop of blood drawn out of the
Kintail men, who were only 10 in number, while the soldiers numbered
30. After this the garrison was very uneasy and greatly afraid of
the Kintail men, who threatened them so, that shortly thereafter
they removed to Ross, being commanded then by one James Chambers;
but Argyll, to keep up the face of a garrison there, sent ten men
under the command of John Muir, who lived there civilly without
molesting the people, the States were so incensed against the
Kintail men for this brush and their usage of the garrison, that
they resolved to send a strong party next spring to destroy Kintail
and the inhabitants thereof. But King Charles II., after the defeat
of Dunbar, being at Stirling recruiting his army against Cromwell, to
which Seaforth's men were called, it proved an act of oblivion and
indemnity to them, so that the Kintail men were never challenged for
their usage of the garrison soldiers. Though the Earl of Seaforth
was out of the kingdom, he gave orders to his brother Pluscardine to
raise men for the King's service whenever he saw the King's affairs
required it; and so, in the year 1649, Pluscardine did raise
Seaforth's men and my Lord Reay joining him with his men, marched
through Inverness, went through Moray, and crossed the Spey, being
resolved to join the Gordons, Atholes, and several others who were
ready to rise, and appeared for the King. Lesley, who was sent
from the Parliament to stop their progress, called Pluscardine to
treat with him, while Seaforth's and my Lord Reay's men encamped at
Balveny, promising a cessation of hostilities. For some days Colonel
Carr and Strachan, with a strong body of horse, surprised them in
their camp, when they lay secure, and taking my Lord Reay, Rory
Mackenzie of Redcastle, Rory Mackenzie of Fairburn, John Mackenzie of
Ord, and others, prisoners, threatening to kill them unless the men
surrendered and disbanded; and the under officers fearing they
would kill them whom they had taken prisoners, did their utmost to
hinder the Highlanders from fighting, cutting their bowstrings,
etc., so they were forced to disband and dissipate. Pluscardine,
in the meantime, being absent from them, and fearing to fall into
their hands, turned back to Spey with Kenneth of Coul, William
Mackenzie of Multavie, and Captain Alexander Bain, and swam the
river, being then high by reason of the rainy weather, and so
escaped from their implacable enemies. My Lord Reay, Red-castle,
and others were sent to Edinburgh as prisoners, as it were to make
a triumph, where a solemn day of thanksgiving was kept for that
glorious victory. My Lord Reay and the rest were set at liberty,
but Redcastle was still kept prisoner, because when he came from
home he garrisoned his house of Redcastle, giving strict commands
to those he placed in his house not to render or give it until
they had seen an order under his hand, whereupon Colonel Carr and
Strachan coming to Ross, after the defeat of Balvenny, summoned
the garrison to come forth, but all in vain; for they obstinately
defended the house against the besiegers until, on a certain day,
a cousin of Carr's advancing in the ruff of his pride, with his
cocked carbine in his hand, to the very gates of the castle,
bantering and threatening those within to give up the castle under
all highest pain and danger, he was shot from within and killed
outright. This did so grieve and incense Colonel Carr, that
he began fairly to capitulate with them within, and made use of
Redcastle's own friends to mediate and persuade them, till in the
end, upon promise and assurance of fair terms, and an indemnity of
what passed, they came out, and then Carr and his party kept not
touches with them, but, apprehending several of them, and finding
who it was that killed his cousin, caused him to be killed, and
thereafter, contrary to the promise and articles of capitulation,
rifled the house, taking away what he found useful, and then burnt
the house and all that was within it. In the meantime Redcastle
was kept prisoner at Edinburgh, none of his friends being in a
condition to plead for him, till Ross of Bridly, his uncle by his
mother, went south, and being in great favour with Argyll, obtained
Redcastle's liberation upon payment of 7000 merks fine." [Ardintoul

While these proceedings were taking place in the Highlands, Seaforth
was in Holland at the exiled Court of Charles II., and when Montrose
arrived there Seaforth earnestly supported him in urging on the King
the bold and desperate policy of throwing himself on the loyalty
of his Scottish subjects, and in strongly protesting against the
acceptance by his Majesty and his friends of the arrogant and
humiliating demand made by the commissioners sent over to treat
with him by the Scottish faction. It is difficult to say whether
Seaforth's zeal for his Royal master or the safety of his own
person influenced him most during the remainder of his life, but
whatever the cause, he adhered steadfastly to the exiled monarch
to the end of a life which, in whatever light it may be viewed,
cannot be commended as a good example to others. Such vacillating
and time-serving conduct ended in the only manner which it deserved.
He might have been admired for taking a consistent part on either
side, but with Earl George self-preservation and interest appear
to have been the only governing principles throughout the whole of
this trying period of his country's history. The Earl of Cromarty
thought differently, and says that "this George, being a nobleman
of excellent qualifications, shared the fortune of his Prince,
King Charles I., for whom he suffered all the calamities in his
estate that envious or malicious enemies could inflict. He was
made secretary to King Charles II. in Holland, but died in that
banishment before he saw an end of his King and his country's
calamities or of his own injuries." We have seen that his conduct
was by no means steadfast in support of Charles, and it may now
be safely asserted that his calamities were due more to his own
indecision and accommodating character than to any other cause.

Earl George married early in life, Barbara, daughter of Arthur Lord
Forbes (sasine to her in 1637) with issue -

I. Kenneth Mor, his heir and successor.

II. Colin, who has a sasine in 1648, but died young and unmarried.

III. George of Kildun, who married, first, Mary daughter of Skene
of Skene, with issue - (1) Kenneth, who went abroad and was no more
heard of; (2) Isobel; and several others who died young. He
married, secondly, Margaret, daughter of Urquhart of Craighouse,
with issue - Colin of Kildun and several other children of whom
no trace can be found. All his descendants are said to be extinct.

IV. Colin, who has a sasine of Kinachulladrum in 1721, as "only
child now in life, and heir of his brother Roderick." He married
Jean, daughter of Robert Laurie, Dean of Edinburgh, with issue - (1)
Captain Robert Mackenzie, killed in Flanders, without issue, Colin
married, secondly, Lady Herbertshire, with issue, (2) Dr George
Mackenzie, who, in 1708, wrote a manuscript "History of the
Fitzgeralds and Mackenzies," frequently quoted in this work, and
"Lives of Eminent Scotsmen." He, with his father sold the estate
of Kinachulladrum to Roderick Mackenzie, IV. of Applecross, in
1721, and died without issue. (3) Barbara, who married Patrick

V. Roderick, I. of Kinachulladrum, who married, first, Anna,
daughter of Ogilvie of Glencairn, in 1668 (sasine 1670), with
issue - (1) Alexander, II. of Kinachulladrum, who married Anne,
daughter of Alexander Mackenzie, III. of Applecross (marriage
contract 1707), with issue - Anne, his only child alive in 1766;
(2) Kenneth, who died without issue; and two daughters. Roderick
married, secondly, Catherine Scougall, daughter of the Bishop of
Aberdeen, with issue, all of whom died young.

VI. Jean, who married, first, John Earl of Mar, with issue; and,
secondly, Lord Fraser.

VII. Margaret, who married Sir William Sinclair of Mey, with

VIII. Barbara, who married Sir John Urquhart of Cromarty.

IX. John, first of Gruinard, a natural son whose illegitimacy is
fully established in the chapter dealing with the Chiefship of
the clan. When his Lordship received the news of the disastrous
defeat of the King's forces at Worcester he fell into a profound
melancholy and died in 1651, at Schiedam in Holland - where he
had lived in exile since the beginning of January, 1649 - in the
forty-third year of his age. He was succeeded by his eldest son,


Kenneth was born at Brahan Castle in 1635, and when he was five
or six years old his father placed him under the care of the Rev.
Farquhar Macrae, minister of Kintail, and constable of Ellandonnan
Castle, who had a seminary in his house which was attended by the
sons of the neighbouring gentry, who kept young Kintail company.
One of the manuscript historians of the family, referring to this
practical early training of his Lordship, says - "This might be
thought a preposterous and wrong way to educate a nobleman, but
they who would consider where the most of his interest lay, and
how he was among his people, followers, and dependants, on which
the family was still valued, perhaps will not think so, for by this
the young lord had several advantages; first, by the wholesome,
though not delicate or too palatable diet he prescribed to him and
used him with, he began to have a wholesome complexion, so nimble
and strong, that he was able to endure Stress and fatigue, labour
and travel, which proved very useful to him in his after life;
secondly, he did not only learn the language but became thoroughly
acquainted with and learned the genius of his several tribes or
clans of his Highlanders, so that afterwards he was reputed to be
the fittest chief or chieftain of all superiors in the Highlands
and Isles of Scotland; and thirdly, the early impressions of
being among them, and acquaint with the bounds, made him delight
and take pleasure to be often among them and to know their
circumstances, which indeed was his interest and part of their
happiness, so that it was better to give him that first step of
education than that which would make him a stranger at home, both
as to his people, estate, and condition but when he was taken
from Mr Farquhar to a public school, he gave great evidence of
his abilities and inclination for learning, and being sent in the
year 1651 to the King's College at Aberdeen, under the discipline
of Mr Patrick Sandylands, before he was well settled or made any
progress in his studies King Charles II., after his army had been
defeated at Dunbar the year before, being then at Stirling recruiting
and making up his army, with which he was resolved to march into
England, the young laird was called home in his father's absence,
who was left in Holland (as already described), to raise his men
for the King's service, and so went straight to Kintail with the
particular persons of his name, viz., the Lairds of Pluscardine
and Lochslinn, his uncles; young Tarbat, Rory of Davochmaluag,
Kenneth of Coul, Hector of Fairburn, and several others, but the
Kintail men, when called upon, made a demur and declined to rise
with him, because he was but a child, and that his father, their
master, was in life, without whom they would not move, since the
King, if he had use for him and for his followers, might easily
bring him home." [Ardintoul MS.]

Kenneth, like his father in later years, became identified with
the fate of Charles II., and devoted himself unremittingly to the
services of that monarch during his exile. From his great stature
he was known among the Highlanders as "Coinneach Mor." On the
arrival of the King at Garmouth, in June, 1650, his reception
throughout all Scotland was of a most cheering character, but
the Highlanders, who always favoured the Stuarts, were specially
joyous on the return of their exiled king. After the defeat by
Oliver Cromwell of the Scottish army at Dunbar - a defeat brought
about by the interference of the Committee of Estates and the Kirk
with the duties of those in charge of the forces, and whose plans,
were they allowed to carry them out, would have saved Scotland
from the first great defeat it had ever received at the hands of
an enemy - the King resolved to come north and throw himself upon
the patriotism and loyalty or his Highland subjects. He was,
however, captured and taken back to Perth, and afterwards to
Edinburgh, by the Committee of Estates, on whom, it is said, his
attempted escape to the Highlands "produced a salutary effect;"
and they began to treat him with some respect, going the length
even of admitting him to their deliberations. A large number
of the Highlanders were already in arms to support him; but the
Committee, having the King in their power, induced him to write
to the Highland chiefs requesting them to lay down their arms.
This they refused, and to enforce the King's orders a regiment,
under Sir John Drown, was despatched to the North, but it was
surprised and defeated on the night of the 21st of October by Sir
David Ogilvy of Airley. On receiving this intelligence, General
Leslie hastened north with a force of 3000 cavalry. General
Middleton, who supported the King's friends in the Highlands, and
who was then at Forfar, hearing of Leslie's advance, forwarded him
a letter containing a copy of a bond and oath of engagement which
had been entered into by Huntly, Athole, the Earl of Seaforth, and
other leading Highland chiefs, by which they had pledged themselves
on oath to join firmly and faithfully together, and "neither for
fear, threatening, allurement, nor advantage, to relinquish the
cause of religion, of the king, and of the kingdom, nor to lay down
their arms without a general consent; and as the best undertakings
did not escape censure and malice, they promised and swore, for the
satisfaction of all reasonable persons, that they would maintain
the true religion, as then established in Scotland, the National
Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant, and defend the person
of the King, his prerogative, greatness, and authority, and the
privileges of parliament, and the freedom of the subject." Middleton
pointed out that the only object of himself and friends was to
unite the Scots in the defence of their common rights, and that,
as would be seen from this bond, the grounds on which they entered
into association were exactly the same as those professed by Leslie
himself. Considering this, and seeing that the independence of
Scotland was at stake, he urged that all Scotsmen should join for
the preservation of their common liberties. Middleton proposed to
join Leslie, to place himself under his command, and expressed a
hope that he would not shed the blood of his countrymen nor force
them to shed the blood of their bethren in self-defence. These
communications ended in a treaty between Leslie and the leading
Royalists at Strathbogie, dated 4th November, by which Middleton
and his followers received an indemnity, and laid down their arms.
["Balfour," vol, iv., p. 129. "Highland Clans," p. 285]

Immediately after the battle of Worcester, at which Charles was
defeated by Cromwell in 1651 - where we find among those present
Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscardine as one of the Colonels of foot
for Inverness and Ross, and Alexander Cam Mackenzie, fourth son
of Alexander, fifth of Gairloch - Charles fled to the Continent,
and, after many severe hardships and narrow escapes, he found
refuge in Flanders, where he continued to reside, often in great
want and distress, until the Restoration, when in May, 1660,
he returned to England "indolent, selfish, unfeeling, faithless,
ungrateful, and insensible to shame or reproach." The Earl of
Cromarty says that subsequent to the treaty agreed upon between
Middleton and Leslie at Strathbogie, "Seaforth joined the King at
Stirling. After the fatal battle of Worcester he continued a close
prisoner until the Restoration of Charles." He was excepted from
Oliver Cromwell's Act of Grace and Pardon in 1654, and his estates
were forfeited, without any provision being allowed out of it for
his wife and family. He supported the King's cause as long as there
was an opportunity of fighting for it in the field, and when forced
to submit to the opposing forces of Cromwell and the Commonwealth,
he was committed to prison, where, with "much firmness of mind
and nobility of soul," he endured a tedious captivity for many
years, until Charles II. was recalled, when he ordered his old and
faithful friend Seaforth to be released, after which he became a
great favourite at his licentious and profligate Court.

During the remainder of his life little or nothing of any importance
is known of him, except that he lived in the favour and merited
smiles of his sovereign, in the undisputed possession and enjoyment
of the extensive estates and honours of his noble ancestors, which,
through his faithful adherence to the House of Stuart, had been
nearly lost during the exile of the second Charles and his own
captivity. Referring to the position of affairs at this period,
the Laird of Applecross says that the "rebels, possessing
the authority, oppressed all the loyal subjects, and him with the
first; his estate was over-burthened to its destruction, but nothing
could deter him so as to bring him to forsake his King or his duty.
Whenever any was in the field for him, he was one, seconding that
falling cause with all his power, and when he was not in the field
against the enemy, he was in the prison by him until the restoration
of the King." Restored to liberty, he, on the 23d of April,
1662, received a Commission of the Sheriffship of Ross, which was
afterwards renewed to him and to his eldest son Kenneth, jointly,
on 31st of July, 1675; and when he had set his affairs in order at
Brahan, he re-visited Paris, leaving his Countess Isobel, daughter
of Sir John Mackenzie of Tarbat, and sister to the first Earl of
Cromarty, in charge of his interests in the North.

Kenneth married early in life Isobel, daughter of Sir John Mackenzie
of Tarbat, father of George, first Earl of Cromarty, with issue -

I. Kenneth Og, his heir and successor.

II. John Mackenzie of Assynt, who married Sibella, daughter of
Alexander Mackenzie, III. of Applecross (marriage contract 1697).
He has a sasine in 1695 and 1696. They had issue, an only son,
Kenneth, who married his cousin Frances, daughter of Alexander
Mackenzie of Assynt and Conansbay, and died in 1723, without issue.

III. Hugh, who died young and unmarried. There is a sasine to
him as third son in 1667.

IV. Colonel Alexander, also designated of Assynt and Conansbay.
He has a sasine as "third lawful son now in life" of the lands of
Kildin, dated October, 1694. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John
Paterson, Bishop of Ross (marriage contract 1700), with issue - Major
William Mackenzie, who married Mary, daughter and co-heiress of
Mathew Humberston, county Lincoln, whose two sons - Colonel Thomas
Francis Mackenzie, and Francis Humberston Mackenzie, created Lord
Seaforth in 1797, and who died without surviving male issue, the
last of his line in 1815 - succeeded to the family estates.

V. Margaret, who married James, second Lord Duffus, with issue.

VI. Anne, who died unmarried.

VII. Isabel, who married, first, in February, 1694, Roderick
Macleod, XVI I. of Macleod, without issue; and, secondly, Sir Duncan
Campbell of Lochnell, with issue.

VIII. Mary, who, as his second wife, married Alexander Macdonald,
XI. of Glengarry, with issue - John, who carried on the succession,
and others. She has a life-rent sasine in 1696. Kenneth Mor died
in December, 1678, when he was succeeded by his eldest son,


So described by the Highlanders to distinguish him from his father.
At an early age he began to reap the benefits of his predecessor's
faithful adherence to the fortunes of Charles II. In 1678, before
his father died, his name is found among the chiefs, who, by a
proclamation dated 10th of October in that year, were called upon
to give their bond and caution for the security of the peace and
quiet of the Highlands, which the leaders were to give, not only
for themselves but for all the members of their respective Clans.
In spite of all the enactments and orders hitherto passed, the
inhabitants and broken men in the Highlands were "inured and
accustomed to liberty and licentiousness" during the late troubles,
and "still presumed to sorn, steal, oppress, and commit other
violences and disorders." The great chiefs were commanded to
appear in Edinburgh on the last Tuesday of February, 1679, and
yearly thereafter on the second Thursday of July, to give security
and receive instructions as to the peace of the Highlands. To
prevent any excuse for non-attendance, they were declared free
from caption for debt or otherwise while journeying to and from
Edinburgh, and other means were to be taken, which might be thought
necessary or expedient until the Highlands were finally quieted,
and "all these wicked, broken, and disorderly men utterly rooted
out and extirpated." A second proclamation was issued, in which
the lesser barons - heads of the branches of clans - whose names are
given, were to go to Inverlochy by the 20th of November following,
as they were "by reason of their mean condition," not able to
come in to Edinburgh and find caution, and there to give in bonds
and securities for themselves, their men, tenants, servants, and
indwellers upon their lands, and all of their name descended of their
families, to the Earl of Caithness, Sir James Campbell of Lawers,
James Menzies of Culdarers, or any two of them. These lists are
interesting, showing, as they do, those who were considered the
greater and lesser barons at the time. We find four Mackenzies
in the former but not one in the latter. [For the full lists see
"Antiquarian Notes," pp. 184 and 187.]

On the 1st of March, 1681, Kenneth was served heir male to his
great-grandfather, Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, in his lands in the
Lordship of Ardmeanach and in the Earldom of Ross; was made a
member of the Privy Council by James II. on his accession to the
throne in 1685, and chosen a Knight Companion of the Thistle, on
the revival of that ancient Order in 1687. The year after the
Revolution Seaforth accompanied his Royal master to France, but
when that Prince returned to Ireland in the following year to make
a final effort for the recovery of his kingdom, he was accompanied
thither by the Earl. There he took part in the siege of Londonderry
and in other engagements, and as an expression of gratitude James
created him Marquis of Seaforth, under which title he repeatedly
appears in various legal documents. This well-meant and deserved
honour, however, came too late in the falling fortunes and declining
powers of the ex-King, and does little more than mark his Royal
confirmation of the steady adherence of the chiefs of Kintail to
the cause of the unfortunate Stuarts.

Viscount Dundee in a letter to the "Laird of Macleod," dated "Moy,
June 23, 1689" [About this time Viscount Tarbat boasted to General
Mackay of his great influence with his countrymen, especially the
Clan Mackenzie, and assured him "that though Seaforth should come to
his own country and among his friends, he (Tarbat) would overturn
in eight days more than the Earl could advance in six weeks yet
be proved as backward as Seaforth or any other of the Clan. And
though Redcastle, Coul, and others of the name of Mackenzie came,
they fell not on final methods, but protested a great deal of
affection for the cause." - "Mackay's Memoirs."] in which he details
his own and the King's prospects, gives a list of those who are
to join him. "My Lord Seaforth," he says, "will be in a few days
from Ireland to raise his men for the King's service;" but the fatal
shot which closed the career of that brilliant star and champion
of the Stuart dynasty at Killiecrankie, arrested the progress of
the family of Seaforth in the fair course to all the honours which
a grateful dynasty could bestow; nor was the family of Kintail
singular in this respect - seeing its flattering prospects withered
at, perhaps, a fortunate moment for the prosperity of the Empire.
Jealousies have now passed away on that subject, and it is not
our business to discuss or in any way confound the principles of
contending loyalties.

To check the proceedings of the Mackenzies, Mackay placed a garrison
of a hundred Mackays in Brahan Castle, the principal seat of the
Earl, and an equal number of Rosses in Castle Leod, the mansion
of Viscount Tarbat, both places of strength, and advantageously
situated for watching the movements of the Jacobite Mackenzies.
["Life of General Mackay," by John Mackay of Rockfield, pp. 36-37.]

Seaforth seems to have left Ireland immediately after the battle
of the Boyne, and to have returned to the Highlands. The greater
part of the North was at the time hostile to the Government, and
General Mackay was obliged to march north, with all haste, before
a general rising could take place under Buchan, who now commanded
the Highlanders who stood out for King James. Mackay was within
four hours march of Inverness before Buchan, who was then at that
place "waiting for the Earl of Seaforth's and the other Highlanders
whom he expected to join him in attacking the town," knew of his
approach. Hearing of the proximity of the enemy, Buchan at once
retreated, crossed the River Ness, and retired along the north
side of the Beauly Firth, eastward through the Black Isle. In this
emergency, Seaforth, fearing the personal consequences of the part
be had acted throughout, sent two of his friends to General Mackay,
offering terms of submission and whatever securities might be
required for his future good behaviour, informing him at the same
time that, although he had been forced to appear on the side of
James, he never entertained any design of molesting the Government
forces or of joining Buchan in his attack on the town of Inverness.
Mackay replied that he could accept no security other than the
surrender of his Lordship's person, at the same time conjuring him
to comply, as he valued his own safety and the preservation of his
family and people, and assuring him that in the case of surrender
he should be detained in civil custody in Inverness, and treated
with the respect due to his rank, until the will of the Government
should become known. Next day the Earl's mother, the Countess
Dowager of Seaforth, and Sir Alexander Mackenzie of Coul proceeded
to Inverness, to plead with Mackay for a mitigation of the terms
proposed, but finding him inflexible, they told him that Seaforth
would accede to any conditions agreed to by them in his behalf.
It was thereupon stipulated that he should deliver himself up at
once and be kept a prisoner in Inverness until the Privy Council
decided as to his ultimate disposal. With the view of concealing
his voluntary submission from his own clan and his other Jacobite
friends, it was agreed that the Earl should allow himself to be
siezed at one of his seats by a party of horse under Major Mackay,
as if he were taken by surprise. He, however, disappointed those
sent to take him, in excuse of which, his mother and he, in letters
to General Mackay, pleaded the delicate state of his health, which,
it was urged, would suffer from imprisonment; and indeed few can
blame him for any unwillingness to place himself absolutely at
the disposal of such a body as the Privy Council of Scotland then
was - many of whom would not hesitate in the slightest to sacrifice
him, if by so doing they could only see any chance of obtaining
a share, however small, of his extensive estates.

General Mackay became so irritated at the deception thus practised
upon him that he resolved to treat Seaforth's vassals "with all the
rigour of military execution," and he sent his Lordship a message
that if he did not surrender forthwith according to his promise, he
should at once carry out his instructions from the Privy Council by
entering his country with fire and sword, and seizing all the
property belonging to himself or to his clan as lawful prize; and,
lest the Earl should have any doubt as to his intention of executing
this terrible treat, he immediately ordered three Dutch regiments
from Aberdeen to Inverness, and decided on leading a competent body
of horse and foot in person from the garrison at the latter place,
to take possession of Brahan Castle. The General, at the same time
wrote instructing the Earl of Sutherland, Lord Reay, and Ross of
Balnagown, to send a thousand of their men, under Major Wishart an
experienced officer acquainted with the country, to take up their
quarters in the more remote districts of the Seaforth estates,
should that extreme step, as he much feared, become necessary.
Having, however, a friendly disposition towards the followers
of Seaforth, on account of their being "all Protestants and none
of the most dangerous enemies," and being more anxious to get
hold of his Lordship's person than to ruin his friends, he caused
information of his intentions to be sent to Seaforth's camp by some
of his own party, as if from a feeling of friendship for him the
result being that, contrary to Mackay's expectations, Seaforth
surrendered - thus relieving him from a most disagreeable duty,
[Though the General "was not immediately connected with the
Seaforth family himself, some of his near relatives were, both by
the ties of kindred and of ancient friendship. For these, and
other reasons it may be conceived what joy and thankfulness to
Providence he felt for the result of ibis affair, which at once
relieved him from a distressing dilemma, and promised to put
a speedy period to his labours in Scotland." - Mackay's "Life of
General Mackay."] - and he was at once committed a prisoner to the
Castle of Inverness.

Writing to the Privy Council about the disaffected chiefs at the
time, General Mackay says - "I believe it shall fare so with the
Earl of Seaforth, that is, that he shall haply submit when his
country is ruined and spoyled, which is the character of a true
Scotsman, wyse behinde the hand." [Letters to the Privy Council,
dated 1st September, 1690.] By warrant, dated 7th October, 1690,
the Privy Council directs Mackay "to transport the person of
Kenneth, Earl of Seaforth, with safety from Inverness to Edinburgh,
in such way and manner as he should think fit." This done, he was
on the 6th November following confined within the Castle of
Edinburgh, but, little more than a year afterwards, he was liberated,
on the 7th January, 1692, having found caution to appear when called
upon, and on condition that he should not go ten miles beyond the
walls of Edinburgh. He appears not to have implemented these
conditions for any length of time, for shortly after he is again in
prison almost immediately makes his escape is apprehended on the 7th
of May, the same year, at Pencaitland and again kept confined in the
Castle of Inverness, from which he is ultimately and finally
liberated on giving sufficient security for his peaceable behaviour,
["Records of the Privy Council," and "Mackay's Memoirs."] the
following being the order for his release:

"William R., Right trusty and right-well-beloved Councillors, &c.,
we greet you well. Whereas we are informed that Kenneth, Earl of
Seaforth, did surrender himself prisoner to the commander of our
garrison at Inverness, and has thrown himself on our Royal mercy;
it is our will and pleasure, and we hereby authorise and require
you to set the said Earl of Seaforth at liberty, upon his finding
bail and security to live peaceably under our Government and to
compear before you when called. And that you order our Advocate
not to insist in the process of treason waged against him until

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