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Sunday, July 1, 2018

MacLeod vs MacDonald "handfasting"

George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence

Posted 15 Oct 2013 by eanittler

British royalty. Born in Dublin the third son of Richard, Duke of York, and Cecily Neville. George was created Duke of Clarence in 1461. After his brother Edward attained the throne, the king placed his two younger brothers, George, Duke of Clarence and Richard, Duke of Gloucester, in the household of his cousin the Earl of Warwick for tutoring and training. In 1469, George married Isabel Neville, elder daughter of the Earl of Warwick. George had actively supported his elder brother's claim to the throne, but following the king’s marriage to a commoner, a widow of a Lancastrian knight, even as Warwick was arranging a marriage for Edward IV to a French princess, many including George and his father-in-law, felt betrayed by Edward and the dynastic struggle known as the War of the Roses reignited. When Warwick deserted Edward to ally himself with Margaret of Anjou, George joined him in France. When Warwick hastily married or betrothed his younger daughter, Anne, to Henry VI's heir, however, George changed sides again. Because of his part in Warwick's rebellion, George was never again fully trusted by Edward IV. Eventually Edward could not afford his brother’s discontented though ineffectual plotting and had him imprisoned in the Tower of London and put on trial for treason, charges that have never been completely explained. Some historians believe that George had evidence that Edward IV's marriage was unlawful and that the king was pressured by his wife or her family to end the threat of exposure by executing his brother. The Duke of Gloucester protested loudly against the action. Following his conviction, George was "privately executed" at the Tower. A tradition grew up that he had been drowned in a butt (a barrel of 105 imperial gallons) of Malmsey wine rather than beheaded. The tradition may have originated as a joke, based on George’s reputation as a heavy drinker. He was buried beside his wife, Isabel, who had died in childbirth two years previously. (bio by: Iola) 

SIR RODERICK “RORY” MACLEOD, 13th CHIEF

Posted 13 Mar 2013 by Robert McClure


1562-1626:  SIR RODERICK “RORY” MACLEOD, 13th CHIEF (1595)

Roderick “Rory” MacLeod was born 1562, the second son from the marriage ofTormod and his first wife, Giles Julia MacLean.  Of Rory Mor’s domestic life, and of his methods of governing his clan we know nothing, but the general impression left by the traditions is that he was a kind man and a wise ruler, who was loved by all who knew him. 

Nearly half the original inheritance of the family had been wrested from Rory’sforebears by the MacDonalds, and were, de facto, (In fact) in their possession, but under the Charter of 1542 they were, de jure, (lawfully) MacLeod property.  Rorywas untiring in his efforts to recover them.  Several letters were written to the King in 1615 to partitioned for their rightful return.  Apparently the King did not interfere, and the dispute was submitted to arbitration.  The lands were assigned to MacDonald, who was ordered to pay a large sum of money for them.  Sir Rory was placed in possession of Sleat until he had paid himself the amount due out of the rents.  Besides arranging these great and difficult matters with remarkable skill and address, Rory managed his estate exceedingly well and in his time its value advance by leaps and bounds.

By the time that Rory began to govern the land in 1590 the old feud with theMacDonalds of Clan Ranald had come to an end.  Hence forth Rory was on excellent terms with Clan Ranald.  Rory and Donald Gorme MacDonald, tired of inaction at home, went to Ireland, each of them taking five hundred men, to assist the Red O’Donnell in his struggle against the troops of Elizabeth.  Nothing much came of the expedition, but it got the Chiefs into trouble with the Government.  Elizabeth complained, and James, anxious to not to do anything to limit his succession to the English throne, ordered the two Chiefs to come home.
But then in 1601 there broke out a war between MacLeods and Donald Gorme MacDonald.   They had been on friendly terms to go together to Ireland, and in an attempt to make peace Rory offered the hand of his sister to Donald Gorme Mor MacDonald. The marriage itself was subject to a contract called handfast. In a handfast arrangement, a man and woman lived together as man and wife for up to a year and a day. If, during this period, the woman bore a male child to be heir, then marriage would result. If not, then both parties returned to their respective families.
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There was always smoldering hostility between the two clans on account of the claims of the MacLeods to Donald Gorme’s estates.  This was brought to a head by a deadly insult which Donald offered to Rory.  After a year and a day, Margaret MacLeod had not borne a child, male or female. Furthermore, at some point during this year, she had lost the sight in one eye. Donald MacDonald, having no further use for Margaret MacLeod, decided to send her back to her brother. He tied her, facing backwards, onto a one-eyed horse, led by a one-eyed servant and followed by a one-eyed mongrel dog, and sent all four back to Dunvegan Castle.  Rory was furious.  He declared that if there had been no bonfires to celebrate the marriage, there should be some very fine ones to celebrate the divorce. 

Rory MacLeod, incensed by the insult to his sister, and ultimately to himself and his clan, once again declared war on the clan MacDonaldHe gathered his clan, and carried fire and sword into Trotternish devastated the Trotternish peninsula in the north of Skye, which prompted MacDonalds to attack MacLeod land in Harris.  They also by invaded Harris, where they killed great number of people and carried away many cattle. 

The battle of Carinish 1601: The MacLeods then invaded North Uist to recover the cattle and other effects that had been placed there for safety.  Rory sent 40 men under his cousin Donald Glas MacLeod to seize goods that the locals had put for safety in the Trinity Temple at Carinish. As the raiders ate breakfast in the church, they were surprised by twelve MacDonalds led by Donald Mac Iain of Clan Ranald, who led the MacLeods into an ambush. Only two MacLeods survived the Battle of CarinishDonald MacLeod was among the dead.  Rory believing that large forces were at hand, withdrew from the island and went to Harris meditating vengeance.  The raids were carried out with so much inveteracy (persistence) that both clans were brought to the brink of ruin, and many of the natives of the devastated districts were force to sustain themselves by killing and eating their horses, dogs, and cats. These battles became known as the Wars of the One-Eyed Woman.   

A fortnight after the battle of Carinish a terrific gale sprang up, and Donald Mac Iain of Clan Ranald, who was on his way back to Skye to report his victory, was forced to seek shelter at Rodel in Harris Rowdell Harbor, where Rory was then living.  Rory’spage alone knew of the strangers arrival.  He was wondering how he should tell his master the unwelcome news, when Rory rose, opened the lattice, looked forth on the howling tempest, and said, “Ah, If my worst enemy, Donald Mac Ian Vich Shamuis were here tonight, I would not refuse him shelter.”  The page saw his opportunity, an told Rory of Donald’s presence.  Rory welcomed his guest with the best grace possible.  At supper he had much ado to restrain his followers, especially when one of the MacDonalds said, “Ah, a fortnight ago we were fighting at Carinish”  But no outbreak occurred during the meal.  Donald refused Rory’s offer of a bed in the house, and went with him men to sleep in a barn.  This barn Rory’smen set on fire, unaware that as the gale had let up, the MacDonalds had decided to sail away.  The MacDonalds saw the flames as they were going out of Loch Rowdell, and were infuriated by the treachery of their host.  (Which was done without Rory’s knowledge or approval.)

The feud continued to escalate, causing a lot of suffering among the people.MacDonald decided to end it with a decisive battle. Rory MacLeod went to seek the assistance of Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll.  MacDonald took the opportunity to launch an all-out invasion of northern Skye. The cattle seized in this attack were driven south to a traditional refuge for raiders.  Alexander, the Chief’s brother, caught up with the MacDonalds. They joined battle late in the day and continued well into the night. The MacLeods were defeated, with the capture ofAlexander MacLeod and 30 of his kinsmen.  However, they inflected heavy damage to the MacDonald’s also. 

The Privy Council now intervened to end the feud. MacDonald was ordered to surrender himself to George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly, and Rory MacLeodwas to surrender to the Earl of Argyll. MacDonald agreed to release his prisoners, and the end of the feud was celebrated with three weeks of feasting and festivities atDunvegan Castle. Aside from a brief flare-up in 1603, that was the end of violence between the two clans.

Rory started out his reign in good favor of the King, however, his invasion of Coigeach and Loch Broom in the company with Torquil Dubh MacLeod, and failing to appear before the Council and produce the titles to his estates as ordered to do by the Act of 1597, put him in bad stead with the King.  But by 1609 when James ordered all the Chiefs to meet at Iona, under the presidency of Bishop Knox, Roryattended and was again restored to the Kings favor.  There the Chiefs agreed with the new rules laid down by the King.  The 10 rules were:
  1.        War between the clans was forbidden.
  2.        Each Chief must send some of his kinsmen to reside in the south as hostages for his good conduct.
  3.        Each Chief was to be held responsible for the malpractices of his clansmen.
  4.        Each Chief must appear annually before the Council in July to answer for his doing during the previous year.
  5.        The Chiefs’ households were restricted to 6 guards and one galley.
  6.        The churches must be repaired and new ones built.
  7.        The Chiefs, and all owners of sixty or more cattle were to send their children to the south for education.
  8.        The consumption of liquor was to be curtailed.
  9.        The Chief was forbidden to receive “sorners” (roving warriors for hire) in his territory.
  10.        Hand fasting was forbidden.
Gradually but quickly clan feuds came to an end, agriculture began to revive, cattle, the staple product of the country, began to be exported, and a state of prosperity was brought about in a short time, which only a few years before had seemed impossible.

In 1613 Rory undertook the long journey to London to see King James, by the Kings own invitation.  The King knighted him, and on June 1, 1613, he wrote three letters to the Council in Scotland.  In the first he says Sir Rory has complained of the wrongs that were inflicted on him by the men of Knoydart, and ordered them to take steps for the punishment of the malefactors.  In the second he commends Sir Roryto the “special favor of the Council.”  In the third letter the King appointed him as a “Justiceof our Peace.”

Little is known of Sir Rory’s latter years except that he was exceedingly prosperous, and highly looked up to, respected, and loved.  In 1623 he was mad a burgess of Edinburgh, a remarkable honor for a Highland Chief to receive.  He was surrounded by a retinue of pipers, harpers, jesters, and bards.  The pipers were MacCrimmons.

In 1626 he went on some business or another, to Fortrose, which was then known as the Cononry of Ross, and which was the great legal center of the Highlands.  There he must have been taken ill, and there he died and was buried beneath a stone on which his coat of arms are cut and his name inscribed.   
Rory married Isabel daughter of Donald MacDonald, 8th of Glengarry.  Little is known of her.   She lived 30 years after Rory’s death.  They had 5 sons and 6 daughters:

  1.      John “Iain Mor” MacLeod, 14th Chief                           (1595-1649)
  2.      Moire, who Married John of Moydart.                         (1596-1660)
  3.      Margaret who married Hector MacLean                       (1598-1650)
  4.      Donald MacLeod, “of Greshornish”                              (1601-1619)
  5.      Mary who married Sir Lauchlan MacLean of Duar      (1605-1660)
  6.      Sir Roderick Rory MacLeod “of Talisker”                      (1606-1675)
  7.      Sir Norman MacLeod, “of Bernera”                              (1614-1705)
  8.      William MacLeod, “of Hamer”                                       (1617-1698)
  9.      Daughter who married Lauchlan MacLean of Coll       (1620-1690)
  10.      Janet who married John MacLeod of Rasay                (1624-1700)
  11.      Florence who married Donald MacSweyn of Roag       (1626-1726)
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About MacDonald of Clanranald

Posted 17 Nov 2016 by dennisjmclaughlin75



MacDonald of Clanranald
Clan Macdonald of Clanranald is a Scottish clan. The clan is one of several branches of Clan Donald. The clan chief of Clan Macdonald of Clanranald is designated Captain of Clanranald. Both chief and clan are recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. Origins of the clan Clan Macdonald of Clanranald descends from Raghnall (d.1207), son of King Somerled (d.1164). Raghnall's eldest son Domhnall became chief of the head Clan Donald while his second son Ruairi became chief of Clanranald. By the early 14th century the direct male line of the chieftainship of Clanranald had died out. John of Islay, Lord of the Isles, 6th chief of Clan Donald inherited lands between the Great Glen and the Outer Hebrides through his marriage to Amie MacRuari, the female heiress to the Lordship of Garmoran and chieftainship of Clanranald. The two distant relatives John of Islay and Amie MacRuari both descended from the first Ranald who died in 1207, son of Somerled. Together they had a son called Ranald (d.1386) who took over as chief of Clanranald and was also expected to succeed his father John of Islay as chief of Clan Donald. However, John of Islay later married Margaret Stewart, the daughter of King Robert II of Scotland and they had a son called Donald who succeeded John of Islay as chief of the head Clan Donald. In 1373, Ranald (d.1386) received a charter confirmed to him by his father John of Islay, Lord of the Isles. The charter was for the greater part of the MacRuari inheritance including the districts of Moidart, Arisaig and Lochaber. Ranald had five sons. The eldest was called Alan (d.1430) who succeeded as Chief of the Clanranald. Alan's younger brother Donald became Chief of the Clan MacDonell of Glengarry. In a bond of manrent, dated 1571, between Angus MacAlester of Glengarry and Clan Grant, Glengarry makes an exception in favour 'of ye auctoritie of our soverane and his Chief of Clanranald only '. This is held by Clanranald of Moydart as an acknowledgment by Glengarry of the Captain of Clanranald as his chief. 15th century Alan MacRanald as he was known died in his Castle Tioram in 1419. He was succeeded by his son Roderick who was a staunch supporter of MacDonald Lord of the Isles. Roderick died in 1481 and was succeeded by his son, Allan Macruari. Allan took part in the Battle of Bloody Bay. Allan was a capable and warlike chief. He led raids into Lochaber and Badenoch in 1491 which culminated in the capture of Inverness Castle. Raid on Ross-shire 1491, Ewen Cameron, 13th Chief of Clan Cameron with a large force of Camerons, joined by Alexander MacDonald of Lochalsh, Clanranald of Garmoran and Lochaber and the Chattan Confederation - who they must have made peace with on a raid into the county of Ross-shire. During the raid, they clashed with the Clan MacKenzie of Kintail. They then advanced from Lochaber to Badennoch where they were even joined by the Clan Mackintosh. They then proceeded to Inverness where they stormed Inverness Castle and Mackintosh placed a garrison in it. The Lords of Lochalsh appear at this time to have had strong claims upon the Camerons to follow them in the field. They were superiors under the Lord of the Isles of the lands of Lochiel in Lochaber, in addition to the claims of a close marriage alliance (Ewen married a daughter of Celestine of Lochalsh). This would serve to explain the quite unusual mutual participation under a common banner between the Camerons and Mackintoshes in this raid. The Clanranald adjusted to the realities of Royal power. On the first visit of King James IV of Scotland to the Highlands, Allen MacRuari chief of Clanranald, was one of the few chiefs to render him homage. 16th century In 1509, Alan MacRuari was tried, convicted, and executed in the presence of the King at Blair Atholl but for what crime is not known. Alan's eldest son, Ranald Bane, married a daughter of Lord Lovat. He obtained a charter for the lands of Moidart Arisaig in December 14, 1540. He died soon afterwards in 1451. He had one son, Ranald Galda, who was fosterd by his mother's relations in the Clan Fraser of Lovat. On the death of Ranald Bane, the 5th chief of Clanranald, the clan resolved to defeat his son's right to succeed as chief. This was because his mother's relations in the Clan Fraser of Lovat and the Clan Fraser itself had joind the Earl of Huntly who was chief of Clan Gordon in fighting against the Clan Donald or MacDonald. The Clanranald people themselves had chosen the next heir, John Moydartach (or John Moydart), Ranald's cousin. However, before this plan could be executed, Ranald, assisted by the Clan Fraser and Clan Fraser of Lovat, marched into Catletirrim and placed Ranald in possession of the lands. The Clanranald, assisted by the MacDonalds of Keppoch and Clan Cameron, then laid waste and plunderd the districts of Abertarf and Stratherrick belonging to Clan Fraser and Clan Fraser of Lovat. They then laid waste the lands of Urquhart and Glenmoriston, property of the Clan Grant and the Earl of Huntly of Clan Gordon. Clanranald , the MacDonalds of Keppoch, and Clan Cameron raised a substantial force in what became known as the Battle of the Shirts against Clan Fraser and Clan Fraser of Lovat. 300 Frasers were ambushed on their march home by 500 MacDonalds. Only five Frasers and eight MacDonalds are said to have survived the bloody engagement. Both the Lovat Chief, Lord Lovat and his son and heir were amongst the dead and were buried at Beauly Priory. Despite this, the Frasers were stronger than ever before within a hundred years. 17th century & The Civil War During the Civil War, the MacDonalds of Clanranald supported the Royalist cause and distinguished themselves when they served under James Graham the 1st Marquess of Montrose. The 14 year old chief of the MacDonalds of Clanranald led 500 clan men at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689. 18th century & Jacobite uprisings Clanranald fought at the Battle of Sheriffmuir during the initial early risings of 1715 where their chief was killed. Clanranald tartan, as published in the Vestiarium Scoticum in 1842. In the later Jacobite uprisings of 1745 to 1746, the MacDonalds of Clanranald were amongst the Macdonalds who fought on the honoured right wing at the Battle of Prestonpans and the Battle of Falkirk (1746). However, at the Battle of Culloden, the three Macdonald regiments of Clanranald, Clan MacDonell of Glengarry, and the Clan MacDonald of Keppoch formed the left wing. It was probably their feeling of dissatisfaction at being placed on the left of the line that caused the Macdonald regiments to leave the field in disgust at lack of acknowledgement of their honourable position among the highland clans. Castle The seat of the Clanranald chief was at Castle Tioram. Castle Tioram was seized by Government forces around 1692 when Clan Chief Allan of Clanranald joined the Jacobite Court in France, despite having sworn allegiance to the British Crown. A small garrison was stationed in the Castle until the Jacobite Uprising of 1715 when Allan Macdonald recaptured and torched the castle, purportedly to keep it out of the hands of the government forces. It has been unoccupied since that time, although there are some accounts suggesting it was partially inhabitated thereafter, including storage of firearms from the De Tuillay in the 1745 Jacobite Uprising and Lady Grange's account of her kidnapping. Clan profile Clan chief: Ranald Alexander Macdonald of Clanranald, 24th Chief and Captain of Clanranald, Mac Mhic Ailein. Crest badge: Note: the crest badge is made up of the chief's heraldic crest and motto, Chief's crest: On a castle triple towered, an arm in armour, embowed, holding a sword, proper. Chief's motto: My hope is constant in thee. Clan badge: Heath. Clan slogan: Dh'aindeoin co'theireadh e (translation from Gaelic: 'Gainsay who dare'). Pipe music: Spaidsearachd Mhic Mhic Ailein (translation from Gaelic: 'Clanranald's March'). Septs of Clanranald Septs of Clan MacDonald of Clanranald may include the following: Allan Allanson Currie MacAllan MacBurie MacEachin MacGeachie MacGeachin MacIsaac MacKeachan Mackechnie MacKeochan MacKessock MacKichan MacKissock MacMurrich MacVarish MacVurrich MacVurie McCrindle Park 

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