ANCIENT MACKENZIE, FITZGERALD, AND WELSH LINEAGES AND SOURCES
I have separated these data to avoid cluttering shorter family
descriptions. This is all either historical information which I have acquired
from research, or responses to inquiries for that research. Some of the data
following this introduction relate to historical figures and may be verified
I have provided here four lineal genealogies; two for Coul,
one prepared by my grandmother, the other is from Burke’s Peerage and
Baronage, a third is an extract from Mackenzie Mackenzie’s book documenting
the origins of the Clan; and the last gives Nesta's Welsh Pedigree. The Mackenzie
Mackenzie book is an interesting account because it provides the full background
to the Mackenzie family history. The author provided a convincing bibliography
which appears to consist mainly of primary sources and includes some rare family
manuscripts. He stated that the most valuable source to him was the FitzGerald
History lent to him by the fifth Duke of Leinster, and this could not have been
accessed easily by others . He has also included the descendent peerages for
England, Ireland and Scotland.
The Burke’s genealogy is helpful because it provides
a set of facts which are given in a highly structured manner. The amateur genealogist
must become familiar with both genealogical facts and the arcane structure and
language of the more professional histories. It should be noted that Burke’s
Peerage and Baronage carefully avoids dates where they are not confirmed and
that even professionals can err. That is the value of the FitzGerald data which
comes directly from that family history - there are no better sources: the details
are either there, or lost to us.
The Norman period of British history was filled with opportunity
and it seems that our family needed no encouragement to take an active role.
Of these, the FitzGeralds were in the right place at the right time. In 1169
Dermott MacMurrough, then King of Leinster asked Henry II of England for aid.
Henry’s nobility responded all too quickly and put Dermott back on his
throne - while they took large Irish estates. Henry demanded allegiance from
his own as well as the Irish nobility and the Normanisation of Ireland was on.
One hundred years later the Normans controlled most of Ireland and the FitGeralds
had become a very powerful family. A FitzGerald founded the Mackenzies and demonstrated
both his leadership skills and his followers' clan loyalty at the Battle of
Largs in 1263. Gerald
FitzGerald established a powerful force on the West coast in Kintail. Clearly,
I have relied heavily on Mackenzie Mackenzie’s research for my own interpretation
and I am indebted to his Grace the Duke, and Mackenzie Mackenzie’s heirs
for permission to quote from it.
Not only did the FitzGerald's establish the Mackenzies, they
married well: one married Nesta,
a Welsh Princess. She was related to most of the Celtic kings and through many
of them into the continental monarchies. Celtic power in Briton and Ireland
was exercised by the Druid priests, who seemed to have had limited writing skills
- by chance, or design. Although Welsh pedigrees date back through Biblical
Israel and Rome I have accepted them only slowly and when confirmed by accredited
historians. Notwithstanding my own caution, most of this data has been confirmed
by other sources - up to a point.
Granny Mackenzie's Coul Pedigree
Below is a letter typed and copied herself by my grandmother,
Helen [Moore] Mackenzie. It seems to have been written c1940 and describes
her learning of the Coul claim c1898, during her engagement to George Mackenzie.
This is the first evidence I have of the putative claim. Note there is no specific
description of how my great-grandfather Mackenzie (Kenneth
to Sir George Steuart Mackenzie. Margaret Bechill and Phoebe Mackenzie are probably
niece and sister of Kenneth, Phoebe must then have been a nickname (or second
name) of Anne, Eve, Catherine, or Christy.
In trying to follow up my granny's information I asked a genealogist to track down Kenneth McKenzie. Mrs Corry noted a large number of George Mackenzies, the absence of any apparent likely candidate, and the lack of any indication that George (the third son of the 7th baronet) had married. Notwithstanding Mrs Cory’s official pessimism, the Lochbroom Marriage Register extract
below reflects a marriage of a George Mackenzie and an Anne Mackenzie in 1823, in Lochbroom
Scotland. These are the same George and Anne who parented the only Kenneth George McKenzie,
born (or baptised?) on 17 September, 1837.
Burke's Mackenzie of Coul Pedigree
This is a copy from Burke's.
Sir E Mackenzie Mackenzie's Other Pedigree
I have based this lineage on Sir E Mackenzie Mackenzie's source book The Genealogy of the Stem of the Family of Mackenzie, Marquesses and Earls of Seaforth. There is no doubt that Other and his descendants were historical figures and there existence seems assured. All these personalities are found in my database (accessible at this site). Sir E Mackenzie-Mackenzie clearly stated that he had been granted access to Fitzgerald family papers and documents. There is an alternate origin hypothesis for the Mackenzie Clan.
Further sources are shown in the database.
Other FitzOthoere, Baron of Windsor
He was descended from the Geraldines, Dukes of
Florence in Tuscany, Italy. He funded, constructed and manned sixty
ships which he provided for William the Conqueror and his invasion of
England. This was all prepared at short notice and would have required
considerable organisational skill and resources for both Duke William and his lieutenants like Sir
Other was more likely an effective member of King Edward's court, known to the Normans in 1066. (He may have met Edward in Normandy, during Edward's earlier exile.) He fathered: Walter.
FitzWalter, died 1135
FitzGerald, Baron Lanstephan, died 1177
| Gerald FitzMaurice FitzGerald, 1 Baron of Offaly, died 1204
| Maurice FitzGerald, 2 Baron of Offaly, died 1257
Granted Croom Castle by Henry III
in 1216, he was appointed Lord Justice of Ireland in 1229 and again
in 1232, after fighting in France in 1230. He crushed rebellions by
Cormac Mac Art O’Melaghlin and took him prisoner in 1235, and of O’Donnel
of Tyrconnel in 1245. He built the Irish castles of Ardmagh in 1236
and Sligo in 1242. He fought in the War with Wales in 1244. Maurice
; and Maurice FitzGerald, Justiciar of Ireland
Thomas FitzGerald, Baron Geashill,  died 1271
Gerald (Callan) Fitzgerald's Descendants
This family is also detailed in E Mackenzie-Mackenzie's key source book. There are competing origins for the Mackenzies, but the pedigree outlined below is not common. I have no access to original documents and rely upon others for pedigree details. The lineage below depicts the commonly accepted origins from the Fitzgeralds - save that the Gerald shown as the first baron is often shown as a different Gerald. The potential for confusion is understandable as I have documented 178 Fitzgeralds in my database of whom 22 are named Gerald. Further sources are shown in the database.
The Barons of Kintail
FitzGerald,1 Baron of Kintail, died 1278
A younger son, he fought at the Battle of Callan
in 1261 and left Ireland in 1262 to seek his fortune in Scotland. He
brought a large group of followers and they were accepted into the army
of King Alexander III
fought at the Battle of Largs in 1263
and helped defeat the Vikings. Gerald
was granted the barony of Kintail
in 1266 and was made Castellan of Eilean Donan
Castle in Kintail. He married Margaret
, daughter of Walter Stewart,
Lord High Steward of Scotland
and fathered: Kenneth
FitzGerald, 2 Baron of Kintail, died 1304
Mackenzie, 3 Baron of Kintail, died 1328
Mackenzie, 4 Baron of Kintail, died 1346
Mackenzie, 5 Baron of Kintail, died 1375
Mackenzie, 6 Baron of Kintail, died 1416
Mackenzie, 7 Baron of Kintail, died 1488
He married Agnes
, daughter of Colin Campbell, Earl of Argyll
and fathered Kenneth
; he then married Anna
, daughter of John Macdougall of
, founder of Mackenzies of Hilton,
Glack, and Loggie. He remarried ,Anna
, daughter of John MacDougall of MacDougall, Baron Dunollie
and fathered Hector
, of Gairloch, founder
of Mackenzies of Gairloch Bts, Balavil, Kerrisdale, Millbank, Letterewe,
Portmore, Muirton and Meikle Scatwell, Mountgerald, Belmaduthy, Floerburn,
Pitlundie, Culbo, Drynie, Davochcairne, Sand, Shieldag, Meikle Allan,
Davochpollo, Broomhill, Pitarrow, Groundwater; and a daughter.
Kenneth Mackenzie, Kt, 8 Baron of Kintail, died 1491
He was knighted by King James IV
. He married Margaret
natural daughter of John Macdonald, IV Earl of Ross, Lord of Isles
and fathered Kenneth
. He remarried Agnes
, daughter of Lord Hugh Fraser,
3 Baron Fraser of Lovat
and fathered: John
; Alexander of Davochmaluak
who founded the Mackenzies of Davochmaluak, Whitrices, Attadale, Rivochan,
Park, Inchvannie; Roderick of Achiltie
who founded the Mackenzies of
Achiltie, Kildun and Pitglassie, Ardross, Teaninich, Fairburn, Towie,
Knockbaxter, Corrie; Kenneth of Killchrist and Suddie
who founded the
Mackenzies of Killchrist, Suddie, Inverlael, Little Findon, Keanlochluichart,
Ord, Highfield, Breda, Strathgarve, Darien Bts, Grove House, Ardcharnich,
Langwell, Aldie; and Katherine
Mackenzie, 9 Baron of Kintail, died 1561
Og Mackenzie, 10 Baron of Kintail, died 1568
|Colin Cam Mackenzie, 11 Baron of Kintail, died 1594
He was a member of the Privy Counsel for both Queen Mary
and King James VI
. He fought for Queen Mary
at the Battle of Langside
in 1568. He married Barbara
, daughter of John Grant, Baron of Grant
and fathered: Kenneth
; Sir Roderick of Tarbat
who founded the Mackenzies of Tarbat
Bts and Earls of Cromartie, Grandvale Bts, Royston Bts, Prestonhill,
Fraserdale, Ardloch, Milnmount, Ledbeg, Keppoch, Kildonan, Scatwell
Bts, Scotsburn, Tarvie, Ballone; Alexander Mackenzie, 1 Baron of Kilcoy
who founded the
Mackenzies of Kilcoy Bts (UK), Inverallochy and Castle Fraser, Glenbervie
Bts (UK), Dalvennan, Cullen, Cleanwaters, Muirton, Findon; Colin
Kinnoch who founded the Mackenzies of Kinnoch; Margaret
; daughters; and Mary
. He fathered by Marie
daughter of Roderick MacKenzie, 2 Baron of Davochmaluag
: Alexander Mackenzie Baron of Coul & Applecross
who founded the Mackenzies of Coul Bts, Applecross,
Auldeny, Achavannie, Ardochy, Sannachan, Kinnahaird, Torridon, Lentron,
Tarradale, Rhindoun, Arcan, Delvine Bts (UK), Dolphinton.
Mackenzie of Coul Genealogy is found above and in the Genealogical Database at this site.
The Rise and Fall of Mackenzie Power
All went relatively well in the Mackenzie clan until the Jacobite era. Kenneth Mackenzie, III Earl of Seaforth finished his life with his and the clan's power beginning to fade. Kenneth joined Charles II at Stirling, but the Royalists were defeated at Worcester in 1651. Cromwell then forfeited his estates and the earl was held prisoner until the Restoration, when he was made sheriff of Ross. General Monck arrived in Kintail with his army in June 1654, and he defeated the Highlanders at Loch Garry. Seaforth, Coul, Applecross and Lochslin were allowed freedom after bonds were put up, but much land land was 'burnt' as a lesson. After Cromwell died General Monck let the Earl only serve a further short spell of imprisonment in Inverness. In 1660, King Charles returned to England and the forfeited Seaforth estates were restored. In redress for the Jacobite support by William Mackenzie, 2 Marquess of Seaforth, V Earl of Seaforth an attainder was ordered in 1716, which forfeited the Seaforth titles and precluded further inheritance of those titles.
Further sources are shown in the database.
Marquesses, Earls and Lords
of Seaforth, Viscounts Fortrose, and Barons Mackenzie of Kintail, and Fortrose
Kenneth Mackenzie, 1 Baron Mackenzie of Kintail, 12 Baron of Kintail, died 1611
was created Baron Mackenzie of Kintail in the
Scottish Peerage by King James VI of Scotland and I of England in 1609.
He broke the MacDonalds of Glengarry power and in 1607 he gained a crown
charter for their lands. He invaded the Island of Lewis, gained MacLeod’s
submission and was granted the Barony of Lews in 1610. He married Anne,
daughter of George Ross of Balnagowan and fathered Colin first Earl
of Seaforth; The Honourable John of Lochslin; The Honourables Kenneth;
Barbara; and Janet. He remarried Isobel, daughter of Sir Gilbert Ogilvie
of Powrie and fathered The Honourable Alexander; George second Earl
of Seaforth and founder of the Mackenzies Marquesses of Seaforth, Assynt,
Conansbay Baron Seaforth, Kildun, Kinachulladrum, Gruinard, Castle Leod,
Avoch, Fisherfield; The Honourable Thomas of Pluscarden; The Honourable
Simon of Lochslin founder of the Mackenzies of Rosehaugh, Logie, Allangrange,
Inchcoulter, Dundonnell; and The Honourable Sibella.
Colin Mackenzie, I Earl of Seaforth, 1 Viscount Fortrose, 2 Baron
Kintail, 13 Baron of Kintail, died 1633
Known as Colin the Red, he was created Earl of
Seaforth and Viscount Fortrose by King James VI in 1623. This was in
recognition of his ancestors’ past contributions and loyalty. The Earl
of Seaforth lived in a castle at Chanonry and he built the Castle of
Brahan. Lord Colin had no surviving male children.
George Mackenzie, II Earl of Seaforth, 2nd Viscount Fortrose, 3 Baron Kintail, 14 Baron of Kintail, died 1651
The second Earl was a brother of Lord Colin and
he was evidently a very cautious man, first supporting one side and
then another in the civil wars between the Covenanters and King Charles
II. This was a time of religious passion in Scotland, where the reformist
ideas of Luthor and Calvin arrived late. There were the Catholics, the
reformed Protestant Scottish Kirk and the English Church proposed by
King Charles I. The Covenant protected the Kirk and also was a de-facto
Parliament. The Earl was excommunicated, imprisoned by the Covenanters
and when released was the King’s Secretary. He fathered: Kenneth.
Kenneth Mackenzie, III Earl of Seaforth, 3 Viscount Fortrose, 4 Baron Kintail, 15 Baron of Kintail, died 1678
The Third Earl joined King Charles II at Stirling
and after defeat at Worcester by Cromwell the Seaforth estates were
forfeited and the Earl made a prisoner. The Earl was made Sheriff of
Ross. Two Mackenzies were chief anti-Covenant figures and showed no
mercy to anyone who was considered a rebel, including their relatives.
These men were Sir George Mackenzie of Tarbat who was then Lord Justice-General
and who became the First Earl of Cromartie and Sir George Mackenzie
of Rosehaugh, the Lord Advocate.
He fathered: Kenneth.
Kenneth Mackenzie, Kt, 1 Marquess of Seaforth, 4th Earl of Seaforth, 4th
Viscount Fortrose, V Baron Kintail, XVI Baron of Kintail, died 1701
The Fourth Earl of Seaforth was another loyalist
and supported King James VII, during James’ Revolution against King
William. The Earl took part in the siege of Londonderry and the Battle
of the Boyne and he followed his King to exile in France. James
him with the Marquessate of Seaforth in the Jacobite peerage and also created him a Knight of
the Thistle. He fathered: William Dubh
William Mackenzie, 2 Marquess of Seaforth, V Earl of Seaforth, 5
Viscount Fortrose, 4 Baron Kintail, 17 Baron of Kintail, died c1740
The Second Marquess led 3,000 mainly Mackenzie clansmen to
Sheriffmuir battle in the Stuart cause during the 1715 Rising. He was
joined in the Rising by many Mackenzie Chiefs, including Sir John Mackenzie,
3 Bt of Coul
. They lost again. The Seaforth titles and estates were forfeited
again and the Marquess was attainted with High Treason. He went into exile
but returned in 1719 to support a Spanish invasion. He sailed with the
Spanish invasion force, landed in Kintail and fought at the Battle of
Glenshiel where he was badly wounded. His factor, Donald Murchison,
kept the lands from being confiscated and the rents were forwarded to
Seaforth in exile. In 1726 Seaforth received a pardon, but the Seaforth
titles remained forfeit. He fathered: Kenneth
Kenneth Mackenzie, 1 Baron Fortrose, died 1761
His estates were re-purchased from the Crown on
his behalf and during the Bonnie Prince Charlie’s
Revolution of 1745-1746
he remained loyal to the Hanoverian Government. Earl of Cromartie led
the Mackenzies to Prince Charles’ support. Lady Fortrose and Sir Alex
Mackenzie, Bt of Coul, supported ‘Cromartie’s Regiment’. He fathered:
Kenneth Mackenzie, I Earl of Seaforth, 2 Baron Fortrose , died c1781
A Mackenzie, Kenneth, Lord Fortrose, was again
created the Earl of Seaforth, but in the Irish Peerage in 1771 by George
III. He raised Seaforth’s Highlanders to help bring his Clan out of
the economic poverty of post-Culloden Scotland. He died at sea sailing
with his Regiment to India. He had squandered his fortune and become
indebted and in 1779 he sold his estates to his cousin Thomas. He had
no direct heirs and was succeeded by his cousin.
|Colonel Lord Thomas Mackenzie Humberstone, 3 Baron Fortrose , died c1783
Lord Thomas was killed in an Indian Maharatta
attack after sailing in Indian waters out of Bombay. He had no direct
heirs and was then succeeded by his brother.
|Francis Mackenzie Humberstone, Lord Seaforth,
Kintail, died c1783
Lord Francis raised two battalions of Mackenzies
who were then known as the Ross-shire Buffs. He was rewarded with the
appointment of Lord Lieutenant of Ross-shire. King George III also made
the Earl a Peer of the United Kingdom with the title of Lord Seaforth.
He was later appointed as Governor of Barbados.
It was Lord Francis
who was the subject of the Mackenzie Curse and he was indeed both deaf
and dumb and ‘the last of his line’. The curse was the subject of Sir
Walter Scott’s elegy ‘Lament for the last of the Seaforths’. The Earl
also had four sons who all pre-deceased him, as proscribed by the curse.
Although his titles and estates passed to his daughter Lady Hood, she
married a Stewart, who changed his name to Stewart Mackenzie and so
enabled the succession to continue. In a few generations that died out
and the titles reverted to the Lord Lyon.
The Welsh Link
I have included Princess Nesta's pedigree here, because
her line can be traced by to well before Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain. Nesta was a unique, extraordinarily beautiful and remarkable woman. She had children
by King Henry I and married Gerald FitzWalter, (they are both our direct ancestors) and others. Another man
kidnapped her, gave up his inheritance, and lost his life for her - he was killed by her husband Gerald. I have shown her pedigree here back to
King Merfyn, since I have a high level of confidence to that point. Further sources are shown in the database.
There are claims
that Merfyn was a descendent of Uter Pendragon (legendary parent to King
Arthur of Camelot). Uter is to have been similarly descended from the Roman
emperor Constantine. I have not shown these data, although I have no direct
reason to suspect them. In fact, I am just undecided about their accuracy.
Princess Nesta's Welsh Pedigree
Frych, King of Gwynedd, died 844
paternity traces back to at least c300 BC, but he is
usually taken as a Welsh reference point. Merfyn
was born in Caer
Seiont, Carnarvonshire, Wales. He married twice and by Nest verch Cadell
of Powys fathered: Rhodri
, King of All Wales. (Mawr is ‘great’ in
Mawr, King of All Wales, Died 878
was born in Caer Seiont, Carnarvonshire, Wales
and married Angharad verch Meurig, Queen of Deheubarth
, daughter of Meurig ap Dyfnwallon, King of Seisyllwg
, she was born in 815,
in Ceredigion, Wales. (‘ap’ is ‘son of’ in
Ap Rhodri, King of Seisyllwg
; Merfyn ap Rhodri, King of Powys
; Anarawd ap Rhodri, King of Gwynedd
; Aidan ap Rhodr
; Tudwal ap Rhodri
Meurig ap Rhodri
; Rhodri ap Rhodri,
; Gwriad ap Rhodri
; Gwyddelig ap Rhodri
; Nest verch Rhodrii
, (‘verch’ is ‘daughter of’ in Welsh)
Angharad verch Rhodrii
was killed in battle with the Saxons.
Ap Rhodri, King of Seisyllwg, died c927
Dha Ap Cadell, King of Wales, died 950
Ap Howel Dha, King of Deheubarth, died 988
Ap Owain, King of Deheubarth, died 984
Ap Einion, King of Deheubarth, died 1018.
Mawr Ap Cadell, King of Deheubarth, died c1040
Ap Tewdyr Mawr, King of Deheubarth, died April 1093
verch Tewdwr Mawr, Princess of Deheubarth, died 1154
Ancient British Kings and Source Analysis
This next collection of data requires some explanation. Historians up to late
in the last century decided that the Celts could not have emigrated to either
Britain, or Ireland, until c350 BC. If that were true then clearly ancient sources
were wrong (Geoffrey of Monmouth - see below - amongst them). Later
linguistic analysis noted that immigration to either Britain, or Ireland was
either earlier (c700 BC), or linguistic evidence had to be ignored. The evidence
is that Celtic speech patterns changed over time and migration can be traced
to the recorded local linguistic styles. With this re-evaluation, some earlier
sources have been re-credited.
Although Geoffrey of Monmouth gives a 'Kings List' (complete
with some understandable minor inaccuracies), and not a genealogy, simple
adoption here will not do. Readers will see some commonality between Geoffrey's
list and names in our Mackenzie database, but those included names are based
on other sources. I have not included any names from the list below, based on
the authority of Geoffrey of Monmouth.
The table below was prepared for an entirely separate purpose
in arguing Biblical descent, but the analysis shown seems sound ...to this
point. The following is an extract from Bill Cooper's argument (his
web site is found below). He starts by observing academic complaints about
Geoffrey of Monmouth's data...
...Thorpe complains that Geoffrey of Monmouth provides
too few clues for dating purposes, and that even those that he does provide
only serve to confuse us. Upon examination of Geoffrey's Historia,
however, we find that Thorpe was quite mistaken. The Historia
is rich in clues compared to many other of these early accounts, and far from
confusing us, they actually help us to build a most erudite picture.
Let us begin with Brutus, the very first king of the
Britons and from whom the Britons derived their name. Geoffrey tells us in
Book 1, chapter 18 of his Historia, that Brutus was born
two or three generations after the Trojan Wars. The Trojan Wars having occurred
around 1240 BC, that would place his birth in about the middle of the XII
century, say around 1150 BC. Moreover, Geoffrey goes on to tell us that Brutus
reigned as king for 23 years, and further, that he ruled Britain at the time
that Eli was judge in Israel. We know that Eli judged Israel between the years
1115 - 1075 BC. Thus, we are given two synchronisms, not one, and both of
these confirm each other, thus allowing us to date the reign of Brutus with
much confidence. No cause for complaint there!
Following Brutus's reign, we are told that his son Locrinus
ruled for 10 years, and that his, Locrinus's, widow, Queen Gwendolen, ruled
after him for 15 years at the time when Samuel judged Israel (Book 2, chapter
6.) We know that Samuel judged Israel for the forty year period between 1075
- 1035 BC, and thus Geoffrey's synchronisms begin to take on an unexpected,
and hitherto uncredited, aura of respectability.
Gwendolen abdicated in favour of her son, Maddan, and
he went on to rule for 40 years after her. Then his son, Mempricius, ruled
for 20 years, and his reign, we are told, roughly coincided with that of Saul
(Book 2.6.) Saul was king in Israel between 1030 - 1010 BC.
Likewise Mempricius was succeeded by his son, Ebraucus.
Ebraucus reigned for 39 years, and we are told that his reign corresponded
roughly in time with that of David of Israel (Book 2.7.) Again, we know that
David ruled from 1010 - 970 BC.
(Note: Between 1104 BC and AD 704, there are 1808 years. If we subtract from this the 203 years of civil war then we have 1605 years. From this,
if we deduct the 11 years of Cadwallader's absence when he fled abroad, and a total of 31 years for joint rules, then we have 1563 years. In that
time there was a total of 114 consecutive reigns. Thus, if we divide 1563 by 114, then we are given 13.71, say 14 years, as the average length of
reign for the kings of the ancient Britons. This compares with an average reign of 16.5 years among the Saxon kings of the house of Wessex, and
22.5 years among the English kings and queens since the Norman Conquest. (The above reigns are in strict chronological order. That does not always
necessarily agree with their genealogical order.
Table 1. The Chronology of the early British kings (Below)
The next two kings of the Britons were Brutus Greenshield
and Leil who ruled for 12 and 25 years respectively, and their reigns, Geoffrey
tells us, coincided roughly in time with that of Solomon who ruled between
the years 970-930 BC.
Hudibras and Bladud, the next kings of the Britons, ruled
for 39 and 20 years respectively when Elijah prophesied in Israel (Historia,
Book 2.10.) We know that Elijah was active during the reign of king Ahab,
and that Ahab was king of Israel between 874 - 853 BC. (The chronology in
Table 1 gives these two reigns as running from c.920 - 86l BC.)
Cunedagius, who ruled for 35 years (2 of them jointly
with Marganus I,) reigned during the time of Isaiah according to Geoffrey
(Book 2.15,) and we know that Isaiah was active between 740 - 70l BC. Now,
referring to the chronology in Table 1 where we have followed Geoffrey exactly,
we see that his particular synchronism of Geoffrey's is about 20 years out
by modern reckoning. But, and as anyone who has ever worked on ancient chronologies
will tell you, that is not a bad error for this period! Geoffrey, I think,
can be forgiven such a trivial margin of error, especially as he enjoyed neither
the benefits nor the amenities of modern research, and so far, other than
the much-lamented unreliability so readily laid at Geoffrey's door these days,
we see he shows surprising accuracy and consistency in his dates!
Hereafter, and without synchronisms of any description,
we are given, out of a total of 61 kings, the lengths of reign enjoyed by
only five. Dunvallo Molmutius reigned for 40 years (2.15); Archgallo reigned
during his second term as king for 10 years: Ingenius reigned 7 years (3.9):
Enniaunus ruled for 6 years (3.9) and Heli ruled 40 years (3.9).
It is not until Book 4 of the Historia
that we come to our next synchronism, that of Cassivelaunus who resisted Julius
Caesar's invasions of 55 and 54 BC (4.1-10.)
Thereafter, we read that Guiderius and Arvirargus resisted
the Claudian invasion of AD 44 (Guiderius was killed during that invasion,
Book 4.l2- 15,) and that Vesparsian (AD 69-79) was emperor of Rome when Marius
ruled Britain (4.16).
Lucius, as we have already seen, must have been alive
at least after AD 75, and our chronology allows him a reign of 59 years from
AD 137 - 186.
The death of Arthur we can allow to stand as having occurred
in AD 542, as this fits in very comfortably with the rest of the chronology,
and the reign of Cadwallader we have already corrected to its true dates.
In all, we are given sufficient information in Geoffrey's Historia
to compile the chronology that appears in Table 1. We obviously cannot be
certain about he lengths of reign or even the precise dates of every king.
That is ever possible in these early lists. Rather, the number of years of
any given time-gap is divided up among the number of kings who reigned in
that period, and each king is allotted an equal portion for his reign. This
is an entirely legitimate exercise in perfect accord with accepted historical
For example, between Marganus II, who began to rule c.
289 BC, and Digueillus, whose reign ended c. 113 BC, there reigned 32 kings
within a period of 176 years. That gives an average reign of 5.5 years for
each king within this period. For convenience's sake, therefore Marganus II
is allotted a reign of 5 years, and his successor Enniaunus is given 6 years.
Enniaunus's successor is allotted 5 years, and his successor in turn is given
6, and so on. Now obviously, we know that some of these kings would have reigned
for only a year or so, while others would have reigned for decades, but this
is the best that we can possibly hope for at this remove.
The only thing that we are left to puzzle over is what
on earth Thorpe and his colleagues have been complaining about all these years!
What appears in Table 1 is an extremely comprehensive chronology, and it is,
moreover, one that has been built entirely upon the information given us by
Geoffrey of Monmouth. So why the reluctance to produce a perfectly feasible
chronology similar to that which appears here as Table 1? Could it be that
that would give Geoffrey of Monmouth (and Nennius) a credibility that would
damage, rather than enhance, modern(ist) theories about our past?...
Geoffrey of Monmouth's
Early British Kings Chronology By Bill Cooper
Probable Dates of Reign
| (Bryt) Brutus
|| 23yr reign, (Gave his name to Britain)
|| c1104 - 1O81BC
| (Lloegr) Locrinus
|| c1081 - 1871BC
|| 15yrs, (Oueen)
|| c1071 - 1058BC
|| c1056 - 1016BC
|| c1016 - 996BC
|| c906 - 957BC
| Brutus Greenshield
|| c957 - 945BC
|| c945 - 920BC
|| c920 - 881BC
|| c881 - 861BC
| (Llyr) Leir
|| 60yrs, (Shakespear's play King Lear: king)
|| c861 - 801BC
| (Creiddylad) Cordelia
|| 5yrs, (Shakespear's play King Lear: queen)
|| c801 - 796BC
| Marganus I
|| 2yrs, ** ruled jointly
|| c796 - 794BC
|| 35yrs ** ruled jointly
|| c796 - 761BC
|| c761 - 743BC
|| c743 - 723BC
| Sisillius I
|| c723 - 703BC
|| c703 - 683BC
|| c683 - 663BC
|| c683 - 663BC
| c643 - 400BC
|| c440 - 430BC
|| c430 - 420BC
| Dunvallo Moimutius
|| c420 - 380BC
|| c420 - 380BC
|| c380 - 374BC
|| c374 - 369BC
|| c369 - 363BC
|| c11yrs, (Widow Queen)
|| c369 - 358BC
| Sisillius II
|| c358 - 352BC
|| c352 - 347BC
|| c347 - 341BC
|| c341 - 336BC
|| c336 - 330BC
|| c4yrs, (deposed)
|| c33O - 326BC
| (Elidyr) Elidurus
|| c5yrs, (abdicated)
|| c326 - 321BC
|| c10yrs, (restored)
|| c321 - 311BC
||(Retook crown), c5yrs, (deposed)
||c311 - 306BC
|| 7yrs, ** ruled jointly
|| c306 - 299BC
| (Peredyr) Peredurus
|| c10yrs, ** ruled jointly
|| c3O6 - 296BC
||(Retook crown), 5yrs, (Restored)
||296 - 291BC
| Son of Gorbonianus
|| c291 - 289BC
| Marganus II
|| c289 - 284BC
|| c284 - 278BC
|| c278 - 273BC
|| c273 - 267BC
|| c267 - 262BC
|| c262 - 256BC
|| c256 - 251BC
|| c251 - 245BC
|| c245 - 240BC
|| c24O - 234BC
|| c234 - 229BC
|| c229 - 223BC
|| c223 - 218BC
|| c218 - 212BC
|| c212 - 207BC
|| c207 - 201BC
|| c201 - 196BC
|| c196 - 190BC
|| c190 - 185BC
|| c185 - 179BC
|| c179 - 174BC
| Sisillius III
|| c174 - 168BC
|| c168 - 163BC
|| c163 - 157BC
|| c157 - 152BC
|| c152 - 146BC
|| c146 - 141BC
|| c141 - 135BC
|| c135 - 130BC
|| c130 - 124BC
|| c124 - 119BC
|| c119 - 113BC
|| c113 - 73BC
|| c73 - 58BC
| (Caswallon) Cassivellaunus
|| c58 - 38BC
||c38 - 18BC
||c18 - 12AD
|| c12 - 43AD
|| c43 - 57AD
|| c57 - 97AD
|| c97 - 137AD
|| c137 - 186AD
|| c186 - 221AD
|| c221 - 256AD
|| c256 - 296AD
|| c296 - 306AD
|| c306 - 309AD
|| c309 - 312AD
| Constantine I
|| 312 - 337AD
|| c5yrs, (usurper), (deposed)
|| 330 - 335AD
|| c13yrs, (restored)
|| c335 - 348AD
|| c348 - 362AD
|| c362 - 375AD
|| c375 - 389AD
|| c389 - 402AD
| Constantine II
|| c402 - 420AD
|| c420 - 437AD
|| c18yrs, (deposed)
|| c437 - 455AD
| (Guorthemer) Vortimer
|| c455 - 460AD
|| c20yrs, (restored)
|| c460 - 480AD
|| c480 - 501AD
|| c501 - 521AD
|| c521 - 542AD
| Constantine III
|| c542 - 546AD
| Aurellius Conanus
|| c546 - 549AD
|| c549 - 550AD
|| c550 - 555AD
|| c555 - 563AD
| 3 x unnamed kings
|| c563 - 616AD
|| 616 - 625AD
|| 625 - 633AD
|| 10yrs, (plague)
|| 633 - 643AD
Court fled to Brittany
| 11yrs, (famine)
|| 643 - 654AD
|| 10yrs, (restored)
|| 654 - 664AD
|| c39yrs, ** ruled jointly
|| 664 - 703AD
|| c40yrs, ** ruled jointly
|| 604 - 704AD
Dornie Manuscript Extracts: A Genealogical Account Of The Murchisons
On the banks of the river Lochy in Lochaber resided a Sept
of the Celtic race named Clann Chalamain or MacCalmans of whom Murcadhdubh or
black Murdoch who occupied the farm of Sroinnaba A.D. 1520 was not the least
considerable of the branch.
This Murdochdubh brought up his eldest son John to be a priest
of the Episcopalian persuasion who got his first charge in Lochalsh. He built
a chapel of unhewn stones on a prominent hill above Ardelve and the ruins of
the edifice can be seen at this day.
Here John MacChalmain took his father's Christian name as his
surname which is in English Murchison.
In the harvest of 1537 Donald Gorm MacDonald fifth Baron of
Sleat came with a strong party to Kintail hearing that lslandonnan Castle was
but weakly garrisoned and a conflict ensued between the assailants and defenders
in which John Dubh Matheson the Castellan was killed. At this time there was
none in the castle saving the crier and Duncan MacIllechriest MacRae who knew
Donald Gorm by his garb and main among some other gentlemen of his party looking
where they might easiest make a breach so as to take possession of the castle.
Duncan MacIllechriost took the opportunity of shooting the only arrow he had
left, which happened to be a barbed one, which lighted in and cut an artery
of MacDonald's foot, who being impatient of the pain plucked it out, on which
the blood gushed out so vehemently that it could not be staunched; seeing this,
his followers carried him to one of his boats, as he was evidently dying fast;
they landed him on a sea bank near Avernish, where he died. The bank is called
Larachtaigh MhicDhomhnuill, i.e. The site of MacDonald's house.
But to return to John MacMhurchaidh duibh MacCalman -- after
the Castellan John duibh Matheson was killed, a dispute arose between MacRaes
and MacLennans of Kintail who should have charge of Island Donan Castle. To
compromise the debate of these two clans, whom the Laird MacKenzie found irreconcilable,
fearing they should kill one another, the laird of Faiburn advised Sir Kenneth who was the eleventh laird of Kintail to appoint John MacMhurchaidh duibh as
Castellan of Island Donan Castle, he being a stranger in the country. The charge
he faithfully discharged. Here we may quote the rhyme of a sarcastic old woman
in Kintail who was much against John MacMhurchaidh being appointed;
Mhie'Illichalmain a dhuine
A sroin na-ba an Lochbar!
De rinn thus ad fear comhairle
Deagh Mhac Coinnich so thiagainn?
which may be englified literally though not poetically
Thou MacCalman 0 Man!
From Snoin na ba in Lochaber
what made thee a counsellor?
To the good MacKenzie we have For this trust John MacCalman
the Priest was assassinated; for shortly afterwards Sir Kenneth left the country,
and he, coming on a Sabbath Day from the Kirk of Kintail, the MacLennans sent
a man in ambush near the road, and as he was passing he was shot with an arrow
through the buttocks, so that he fell. The assassin seeing persons coming the
way, and fearing he would be captured, made his escape. The priest was carried
to a boat where he died. From this Priest are descended all the Murchisons in
the Northern countries.
Manuscript History Of The Mackenzies
Transcribed by Colin Mackenzie of
John Murchison the Priest was married to a daughter of Evander
MacKay, Priest of Achgiurain in Glenshiel, and left a numerous family. One of
his daughters was married to Christopher MacDhounchaidh, Chief of the Macraes,
A.D. 1578. His eldest son Murdoch studied for the church, and succeeded his
father as Priest of Kintail and Castellan of Castle Donan, in which trust he
presided until his death, which happened in the year 1618, and he was succeeded
by his nephew, Wm. Farquhar MacRae.
The above Murdoch Murchison the Castellan of Island Donan Castle
commonly went under the name of Maighstir Mor, i.e. Big Master. He had a wad-sett
of Auchtertyre, Lochalsh and left issue Evander, Donald, Mary and Rebecca.
Mary married Murdoch MacKenzie fifth Laird of Hilltown. Rebecca married Maurice
MacRae, Kintail, and left issue.
Donald second son of Murdoch had a portion of the Farm of Auchtertyre.
He left two sons and a daughter viz. John, Donald and Ann. Ann married Christopher
MacRae Tacksman of Araidhbhuachain. Donald left issue viz. Donald father of
Donald og who was an Innkeeper in Kyle of Lochalsh.
John, son of Donald second son of Murdoch, was tacksman of
Bundaloch, Kintail and married a daughter of Alexander MacLennan Morvich, Kintail.
He left issue two sons and two daughters viz. Donald, Murdoch, Margaret and
Christina. Margaret married John Ban MacDomhnuil og MacRae and left issue.
Murdoch married Mary Daughter of Mr. Tulay (Finlay?) MacRae,
Minister of Lochalsh. He resided in Brahan and left issue.
Donald Murchison the eldest son of John was born at Bundalach
about the year 1687. At his birth he happened to be a weakling and had a squint
in one of his eyes. The midwife said of him that if he lived for the space of
four and twenty hours he would survive, and would be as brave a man as any in
his day or generation. He survived, was sent to school and became a classical
scholar, and was afterwards proficient in military tactics.
MacKenzie, Earl of Seaforth, raised his tenants in the year 1715 to join
the Stuart Standard he chose Donald Murchison to be his Lieutenant Colonel;
hence the following stanza by Matheson the Seaforth bard;
The crafty Colonel
Whose name is Donald
Will take the chief lead
Over thy country's people.
Seaforth raised all his tenants, who were able to carry arms,
consisting of three thousand faithful mountaineers; they had been out in the
insurrection of 1715 and fought manfully although their chief fled at the battle
of Sheriffmuir where the flower of his adherents fell; they continued under
arms and stood the field under the direction of Colonel Donald Murchison until
the base Treaty at Perth, when the King fled to Montrose and then to France.
While the Parliament was engaged in devising means for maintaining the public
tranquility the Earl of Seaforth retired to the Island of Lewis where he collected
a considerable body of his men under the command of Brigadier Campbell of Ormidale,
an officer who had just arrived from Muscovy, where he had served in the army
of the Czar. General Cadogan sent a detachment into the island under the command
of Colonel Cholmondeley In order to reduce it. The Earl, on the appearance of
this force, crossed into Ross-shire, whence he escaped into France, and Campbell,
being abandoned by his men after he had formed them in order of battle, was
taken prisoner while standing in a charging posture.
After the flight of Seaforth to France, he left all his affairs
in the hands of Colonel Donald Murchison who, consequently, acted as his Factor
in Ross-shire and was always on the alert in the Highland passes to defend the
Earl of Seaforth's estates from the Government troops.
In the year 1719 another project revived the hopes of the Jacobites
in consequence of the expedition sent from Spain under the Duke of 0rmond which
ended in disappointment, the armada as it was called, being dispersed and disabled
off Cape Finisterre by a violent storm which lasted twelve days; only two of
these ships reached Scotland and had on board the Earl Marischall and Seaforth the Marques of Tullibardine some field officers together with three hundred
Spaniards and arms for two thousand men. This small force landed in Kintail
and the fiary cross was sent through the country to rouse the men to arms --
the Kintail and Lochalsh men, with some forces from the neighbouring clans.
This gallant band marched through the pass of Glenshiel to encounter some regular
troops that were advancing from Inverness under General Wightman. There the
Highlanders and their allies took up their position on an eminence at a defile
of the upper forge of the plain, where they had a good view of the enemy coming.
Colonel Donald Murchison advised them to keep themselves concealed till General
Wightman would come into the pass, where he might be surrounded. But when they
came near the Place where the Highlanders were ensconced one Donald MacLennan
who was of a fiery temper fired his musket and killed a Dutch Colonel, hence
the saying "The Dutch Colonel fell should be worth his weight in gold.
" General Wightman was in the snare and the Highlanders commenced at once
to pour down furious volleys upon him, by which many of his men fell and others
threw their arms into a linn or Pool in the river and fled. There were none
of the Highlanders killed in this skirmish excepting one Finlay MacRae. The Earl of Seaforth
was wounded in the knee from a musket ball and the Highlanders seeing no chance
of a successful issue in consequence of MacKenzie being badly wounded, and he
himself giving no encouragement, dispersed during the night among the mountains
and the Spaniards on the following day surrendered prisoners of war. After the
skirmish General Wightman went a-foraging through Kintail and committed sacrilege
by burning the Church of Kintail.
After this affair the Earl
of Seaforth Marischall and Tullibardine with the other officers lurked in
the braes of Kintail until Seaforth wounds were cured. At this Juncture Colonel
Donald Murchison and Christopher MacRae son of Inverinate were busily engaged
in fortifying the stronghold of Donan Castle and shortly thereafter a Government
ship of war went into Lochduich, and opened a brisk fire on the Castle which
the defenders found to be irresistible. Colonel Donald Murchison with his customary
intrepid and vivid conceptions came to the conclusion that if Government got
possession of the castle, a garrison would be planted there; that it would then
become impossible to defend the country from the depredation of the Red Coats,
and that they (the Sasanachs) would become a source of great annoyance to the
Earl of Seaforth and his faithful adherents; therefore he concluded in the dilemma
that their safest course would be to blow up the castle by setting a match to
the powder magazine in the Fort, which proposition was at once complied with,
so that it was laid in ruins. Tradition says that all the silver plate and other
valuables in the Castle were thrown into the Fort. A view clear and vivid of
this long ruined and deserted picturesque building when in its glory is conjured
up in the mind's eye by the following incident. Writing in the year 1792 seventy
three year afterwards, the minister of Kintail and Rev. relates--"The oldest
inhabitants of the parish remember to have seen the Kintail men under arms,
and dancing on the leaden roof of the castle just as they were setting out for
the battle of Sheriffmure where the most of this resolute band were cut in pieces."
After the battle Seaforth fled for refuge to the Island of Lewis: hence the
following lines by the family Bard Murdoch Matheson:
If you shiped across the sea from us,
Thyself and Colonel Murchison
who was faimed in the courts of Albion,
That was the lion celebrated
whose fame was great at every board!
A choice of port I hale to thee
when you cross from Seaforth's sea
The chief of Harris is a friend to thee
From Lochlin come the thousands
On the Minch to the seat of MacLeod.
After the affair in Glenshiel Seaforth fled a second time to
France and Government became more anxious to secure the estates of the insubordinate
Lairds which were forfeited, and among the most notable of these was the Laird
of Kintail whose domains extended from Brahan Castle to Eastern Ross across
the country to Kintail and including the Island of Lewis. These lands were chiefly
occupied by opulent Tacksmen and cattle grasiers and were difficult of access
but by narrow mountain bye paths. Therefore it was hard for the Commissioners
of King George whom the people considered as usurpers, to march through the
Country, so that they could not survey effectually their fastnesses. The rents
of the district were collected without the slightest difficulty for the benefit
of the exciled Earl and regularly transmitted to him. At one time a large sum
was sent to him to Spain by a desperate fellow from Lochalsh named afterwards
in consequence Donall ban spainteach i.e. Spanish Donald ban. The chief agents
in this business were MacKenzie of Fairburn, and Colonel Donald Murchison. In
the 1720 the commissioners made a movement for substantiating their claim to
the property, and in William Munro of Easter Fearn was found a man bold enough
to take the leadership, but Colonel Donald Murchison, and Murdoch Matheson the
Bard were the means of rescuing Brahan Castle out of the hands of Munro of Foulis
and went round the country encouraging the people to stand out. The high spirited
warriors declared they would stand out to a man.
In 1721 the commissioners Factors sent officers to the district,
who assured the Tenants of good usage if they would yield. This they sternly
resented by abusing the officers. The factor endeavored to retaliate by raising
his own tenants or servants, and a considerable number of soldiers at Inverness
to enforce his claim by force of arms, The commissioners' Factor held a court
in Strathglass in which some people made a verbal promise of submission. Their
next course was to march west to Kintail through Glen Affaric, but the undaunted
Kintail and Lochalsh men headed by Colonel Donald Murchison, being informed
of them, he (the Colonel) met them with sixty sturdy men at " Beulath nam
Muileach i.e. the Mullmens' fords."
Beyond this at the gorge of the mountain stream which empties
into Loch Affaric they concealed themselves in the heather intending to surround
the troops which could not come up the pass but two abreast. Here should be
mentioned lay the Colonel and the best of his few followers. Others stationed
themselves on Toman a Bheatha i.e. bird hillock. The main body of the Royalists
made a halt at a long distance and then moved slowly forward, young Walter Munro
at their head, equipped in a scarlet cloak and riding a white steed. Whenever
the Kintail man noticed him they considered him to be one of the commissioners
and Malcolm MacRae and Donald Dearg MacLennan from Morvich scrambled down through
a rocky burn where they took good aim and both let go the contents of their
muskets by which lovely Walter fell, mortally wounded. After the young leader
was shot Munro's party fled, himself taken prisoner. In this skirmish he found
himself confronted with Colonel Donald Murchison who made him deliver the Commission
he had from King George, besides to swear fealty and that he would not act further
as Factor. Munro implored as a favour of Murchison to get a party to convey
his wounded son till they should overtake the fleeing troops. To this request
the noble Colonel acceded with his wonted generosity. A litter was constructed
the best way they could of birch poles tied together with withes, and broom
and heather laidover it. On this the young wounded man was placed and they retraced
their steps to Beauly. The gallant convoy performed their duty with fidility
and fortitude until they came near Knockfin. Few or none of them could understand
English except Murdoch MacRae from Morvich in Kintail: he discerned from their
conversation that when they got into the level country they would decoy them
into an ambush and kill them, but when they came to Knockfin in the heights
of Strathglass, they returned in consequence of MacRea's remonstrances.
A bloody grave for young Walter Munro of Eastern Fearn in the
Beauly cathedral was the only print of the abortive attempt to take Seaforth
Estates within the scope of the law of King George.
When passing through Beauly with the dead body of young Munroe an old woman
met the procession and exclaimed sarcastically "Let pass the Earl
of Seaforth's rent thou low mob." She composed some Gaelic stanzas
on the occasion which can be translated thus:
Two rents, two rents, ho ro, ho ro,
Ho re, ho re for Donald.
When you met the valiant men
At Balathnam Muilleach joined,
It was down thro' the wolds of Affaric
You felled the lovely Walter,
And many a trust gun there was
Scaring them through the hills.
When the Red Coats saw that
They dispersed and scattered.
There fell in that shattering or battering
The man whose life forsook him;
Donald of the generous heart,
Who rides the steeds with reins,
I joy how it happened thee
And glad am I how ended.
Captain Fearn is aye disgraced.
His son is also mangled,
And the man with the scarlet coats
Made their complaints at Edinboro'
When you saw they were unmanageable,
The valiant Gillies under Donald,
You basely delivered the Commission
You got as a gift from George.
Two rents, two rents, ho ro, ho ro,
Ho re, ho re for Donald.
When you have brought the Marquis' rent
On two horses and a litter.
After Seaforth was restored, he used to glve the old woman
a boll of meal yearly for her loyalty to his cause.
For some time after this affair there were no more demands by the Goverment
commissioners for the rents of these mountainous fastnesses till August 1722
when a considerable body of troops, under Captain John Mac Niell left Inverness
taking a route through Strath Conan considering it the safest. But Donald Murchison
and his gallant band, being informed of their advancing, soon crossed Mam Attadile
and posted themselves in the woods below, till the troops arrived at Allan ba
Duihh where they were saluted by a volley of musketry by wihich several of them
were killed. Malcolm MacRae fractured Captain John MacNeill's arm and the captain
being in great pain desisted from further proceedings and the whole party took
to flight. After this we learn of no renewed attempts to get possession of the
Seaforth's property. The above Malcolm MacRae and Donald MacLennan of Morvich
were such good marksmen that they always took deadly aim, and on their return
from the skirmish they rested in Glenluinge and noticing some butter flowers
growing in a meadow on the opposite side of the River the one said to the other,
"try if you can bring one down of the butter flowers". MacRae cut
the top of the flower and MacLennan did the same with the stalk with their musket
It may be no digression to mention here that when the Earl
of Seaforth was preparing for Sheriffmuir men from ll parts of his extensive
lands were summoned, the fires on Tullochard ceased not night nor day and the
castle which had a leaden roof was destroyed 1719.
Colonel Donald Murchison used to lift the rents of the Earl
of Seaforth while an exile in France, and to go himself with them in the habit
of a beggar to avoid detection. Being thus disguised in the year 1724, he happened
to take up his lodgings in a country inn in England as he was on his way to
Dover. Shortly after he entered, The Duke of Argyle came to the house, and on
sitting, he enquired of the waiter if there were any guests within. She told
him they had none save a mandieant who was sitting at the kitchen fire. He ordered
him to be sent in. The call was at once obeyed, and when the door opened, the
Duke said, "If I am not mistaken you are Colonel Donald Murchison who headed
Seaforth's army at the Battle of Sherrifmuir". Finding that he was recognized
(probably by the squint in his eye), he acknowledged the fact, and threw himself
at the Duke's mercy. That nobleman said: You are one of the most faithful servants
I know in all Scotland, therefore I will let you pass. After the night was spent
over their cups the Duke took him up in his carriage and brought him to Dover,
whence he got him safely ferried across. When he arrived at his destination,
he found the Earl of Seaforth working in a garden for his own and Lady's support.
In the year of 1725, General Wade was waited upon by a body
of about one hundred and fifty gentlemen of the name of Mackenzie, headed by
Sir Colin Mackenzie
of Coul, and Sir Kenneth Mackenzie of Cromarty. The last informed the general
that they had come as the representatives of Seaforth's tenants and vassals
who would not come in themselves until they knew how they were to be received;
that their rents had for several years been uplifted by Colonel Donald Murchison
and that they were not able to pay them a second time, but that if they were
discharged of these rents, they would pay them in future to the Government,
deliver up their arms and live peaceably.
Wade, who according to Lockhart of Carnwath was "a good enough tempered
man", at once acceded to his request, and informed the deputations, that
if the clan performed what had been promised he would endeavor in the next session
of parliament to procure a pardon for Seaforth and all his friends. After being
well entertained for two or three days at Inverness the deputation, accompanied
by Wade and a small body of dragoons, went to Brahan Castle where the arms of
the clan were delivered up, but not until Colonel Donald Murchison had secreted
all those of any value. Shortly after this the Commissioner puts up Seaforth's
estates for sale and the Colonel purchased them so that they virtually became
In 1726 through the King's great clemency Earl
Seaforth received a pardon and returned home. For his services to the Earl,
Colonel Donald Murchison thought he should get either the estate of Lochalsh
or Loch Carron, but the Earl went with a party to his house, broke open a trunk
in which he kept the title deeds of the estate, and offered him only the insignificant
farm of Bundaloch in Kintail or Achadatonalain in Lochalsh. This he sternly
refused, knowing his services deserved a much more liberal grant. He took the
matter so much to heart that he went to bed. While confined there, Seaforth
went to see him and said:-"Colonel Donald, if I have done you any earthly
injury, I hope you will forgive me." The noble minded and faithful hero
replied, "God may forgive you, but I will not." Soon after this conference,
he died in the house of Mr. Morison at Laggy on the banks of the Conan in March
1727. The fidelity and bravery with which the Kintail men stood forth in all
cases of emergency when their chief was interested, and their boldness and success
in keeping the rents from the Government and sending them to him whom they considered
as the lawful owner, are facts of themselves that should shed immortal lustre
on their memories.
Evander Murchison the eldest son of Mr. Murdoch above stated
was Tacksman of Auchtertyre Lochalsh and married Ann, daughter of Colin MacKenzie
son of Sir
Roderick MacKenzie of Cromarty commonly called the Tutor of Kintail. He
left issue John born 1680, Roderick, Murdoch, Duncan, and a daughter Mary who
was married to Farquhar Matheson of Fernaig Duncan, the youngest son, left two
sons, John and William, which latter died in Lochalsh leaving issue Murdoch,
who left Donald, who left two sons, Murdoch and Duncan, the latter presently
at Dunbar and the former resided at Airdinarff in 1840, leaving issue Duncan
Donald Roderick Finlay and Catherine. They all emigrated to New Zealand; John,
son of Duncan, married Christina Murchison, sister of the Colonel Murchison
and left issue Mary, who married Roderick MacKay, Dornie Kintail Murdoch the
third son of Evander, was a cattle dealer and married at Dail na spidail in
Athol and returned to Caplach in Lochalsh where he left a numerous family of
whom were Alexander and Simon and Catherine who married Donald MacRae Cnoc nan
carn i.e. hill of Cairns Camusluinie. Simon left a son Mr. Murdoch Murchison
factor to MacLeod who lived in Glenelg a gentleman well known in many parts
of Scotland. When Doctor Samuel Johnson and Mr. James Boswell on their Highland
tour in 1773 the Doctor says:-Having surmounted the hill (of Ratagan) at last
we were told that at Glenelg on the sea side we should come to a house of lime,
slate and glass. This image of magnificence raised our expectation; at last
we came to our Inn weary and peevish and began to enquire for meat and beds,
of the provisions the negative catalogue was very copious: but however we had
a very eminent proof of Highland hospitality; along some miles of the way in
the evening a gentleman's servant had kept us company on foot with very little
notice on our part. He left us at Glenelg and we thought of him no more till
he came to us again in about two hours with a present of Rum and sugar from
his master. The man had mentioned his company and the gentleman, well knowing
the penury of the place, had thus his attention drawn to two man whose names
perhaps he had not heard by whom his kindness was not likely to be ever repaid,
and who could be recommended to him only by their necessities." This gentleman,
according to Mr. James Boswell, was none else than Mr. Murdoch Murchison of
Beolary, Glenelg and factor to the laird of MacLeod. He married a daughter of
Murdoch MacRae of Morvich Kinttail by whom he left a numerous family. John,
his son, was Tacksman of Beolary Glenelg but left no issue. Duncan, son of Mr.
Murdoch, married a daughter of MacLeod of Scalasaig and left issue viz. Donald,
Magnus and Roderick. The family emigrated to America. Magnus left issue Ludovic
Murdoch Murchison sheep manager Inverguseran Knoydort, 1866.
Murdoch Murchison, third son of Evander Murchison of Auchtertyre,
left a son Alexander who left Murdoch who married Katherine daughter of Kenneth
MacLennan by whom he left issue Duncan and Janet. He married secondly Mary the
daughter of Simon Murchison, issue one daughter, Mary who married Farquhar MacDonald
Letterfearn. Janet married Alexander Ferguson at Montgerald Easter Ross. Duncan
married Ann, daughter of Kenneth MacMillan Dornie issue Murdoch, Alexander,
Ann, Catherine, Janet, Margaret, and Jaen. Ann married Farquhar MacRae pensioner
Dornie. She was mother of the Rev. Alexander. MacRae, late Priest of Beauly.
Both sons jointed the 78 regt. in 1793 Murdoch was a sergeant in the regiment,
and on the eve of being promoted, was unfortunately lost in a transport coming
from Bengal to Bombay which took fire on the 29th February 1804. Alexander,
his brother, returned home from India. He was a strong powerful man and married
Margaret MacKarlich, Bundaloch; he left issue Murdoch, John, and Janet who married
Donald Mac Lennan, Bundaloch. They emigrated to Australia. Murdoch left issue
and died at Bundaloch by his wife Flora MacKerlich namely Duncan, Alexander,
and Margaret. John is married to Ann, daughter of Roderick Finlayson Bundaloch
and has (1866) issue Murdoch and Janet.
Roderick, second son of Evander Murchison of Auchtertyre,
left a son named John who left Roderick and Kenneth. Kenneth left a numerous
family, one of them named Duncan was a tenant at Craig of Lochalsh and married
to Christina, daughter of Roderick MacLennan, Durinish, issue Kenneth John and
John who live presently (1866) at craig of Lochalsh.
Roderick son of John was a tenant at Ardelve Lochalsh where
he died about 1840 aged 90. He was married to Margaret daughter of Kenneth Murchison,
Achmore issue John Kemeth, Isabella, Mary, and Catherine. Isabella married John
Matheson Salacy Lochalsh. and was mother to Dugald Matheson merchant Ardelve.
Kenneth married Chirsty, daughter of Duncan MacRae, Ardelve, and left issue.
He died at Achmore. John emigrated to South America where he lives in good circumstances.
John Murchison, the eldest son of Evander Murchison of Auchtertyre,
comes now to be mentioned. He was very handsome and in bodily strength had very
few equals. He went in the Highlands under the name of one of the four Johns
of Scotland. He was a major in one of Earl William of Seaforth's three regiments
A.D. 1715 and was at the Battle of Sheriffmuir where he fought gallantly defending
his master's cause. Stimulating his brother soldiers to die on the field of
battle rather than yield, he fell mortally wounded when his sword broke, and
urging with his latest breath of life the survivors to continue faithful, he
fell a hero in the prime of life at the age of 35 years; he was born In the
year 1679. Here we may subjoin the poetical effusion so far as concerns him
by an eye witness when he fell.
There was John Auchtertyre a King o'er men,
the real Hero sincere and firm
The wrathful Lion was valiant daring
Before the army when to the field
He was the Champion true and bold
From the Royal tribe of the comely mein
The lovely family whose praise went far
He was no coward who sprang from them.
John Murchison of Auchtertyre was married to Janet, daughter
of Kenneth MacKenzie younger of Lochshiel near Tain by whom he left issue 3
sons and two daughters. The eldest daughter married Murdoch, son of Christopher
MacRae of Araudg dhugain and left issue; the other daughter married John MacRae
in Camusluenie and left issue. The sons were named Alexander, Simon and Kenneth.
Kenneth, the third son, was a man of great bodily strength
and burst a blood vessel in his chest lifting a heavy stone in Glenudalain,
which stone can be seen opposite the house of his great grandson Dugald Matheson
merchant Ardelve. He died at Craig of Lochalsh leaving a family of daughters.
Simon emigrated to North Carolina with a respectable handsome
family of nine sons in the year 1774.
Alexander, the eldest son of John was tacksman of Auchtertyre
and for some time factor to Lord Seaforth A.D. 1773. He married Margaret MacKenzie,
daughter of Alexander MacKenzie Esquire of Lentrom by whom he had issue, Kenneth
and a daughter named Janet who married Captain Duncan MacRae of Inverinate in
Kintail who was the chief of that name. Kenneth the son of Alexander studied
medicine in which he made great proficiency. He went to Calcutta in 1772 as
a surgeon in the Cafay's service. Being a very able man and a great classical
scholar, he obtained the special notice of Warren Hastings, Sir Elija Impey
and other notabilities, and after 12 years of service in the East made a trust
fortune. He became a great favourite of the Habob (Nabob) of Acrot for curing
a distemper in his daughter for which he gave him a heavy sum of Gold. He returned
to Europe in 1784 and first traveled in France, Italy and afterward in parts
of Ireland and England and finally returned to his native country he settled
there by purchasing (1788) the Estate of Taradale from his maternal uncle John
MacKenzie of Lentron and married in 1790 Barbara MacKenzie daughter of Fairburn
the first issue Roderick Impey Murchison born 19 February 1792 second son Alexander
who died a child, third son Kenneth born in 1794 and rose to be governor of
Singapore and Penang and died in 1854 leaving two sons Kenneth and Roderick
and one Daughter Charlott who is married to Colonel Cox R.A.
Roderick Impey Murchison the Eldest son of Doctor Kenneth was
a celebrated Geologist and was created a Baron 1866.
1 Personal notes by my grandmother, Helen Elsie Moore, c1898.
2 Mrs Cory’s letter of 8 September 1992 with Lochbroom Marriage Register extract for George Mackenzies.
3 Burke's, Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage,
Baronetage and Knightage.
4 Sir E Mackenzie Mackenzie, The Genealogy of the
Stem of the Family of Mackenzie, Marquesses and Earls of Seaforth, pp. 8-10. The FitzGerald history is confirmed by Geraldus Cambrensis in his book (written in Latin) The English Conquest of Ireland. The subsequent data are based on Sir E Mackenzie Mackenzie’s data.
5 The italics are mine. On the contrary, I can find no evidence of this. My own research suggests that Other was in Edward the Confessor’s court and was probably helpful to William in preparing the way and in easing the Normans into power, rather than by direct ship-funding and building. Sir Other’s ships may finally prove to have been donated, but the evidence is not yet found. Variations of Other’s name are also Otto, or Odo.
6 FitzWalter descendants were later participants in the later Wars of the Roses drama. See Alison Weir, The Wars of the Roses, pp. 262. Fox-Davies describes FitzWalter arms in The Art of Heraldry, p. 59.
7 I suspect that it was the Baron’s fourth son, also named Maurice, whose heir was in turn his daughter Juliana. At all events; one of these FitzGeralds named Maurice had such a daughter and she married Richard Clare, Earl of Hertford, as the heiress of Inchiquin and Youghal. The FitzGerald arms are described by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies in A Complete Guide to Heraldry, p. 525.
8 Since Thomas was himself the youngest of three sons, it is likely that his father’s title went to the eldest, a Gerald, and that Thomas gained the Geashill barony. One of Thomas'’ sons by Rohesia St Michael, was the first earl of Kildare, thus our ancestor, Gerald, would have had cause to feel a need to prove himself outside the local environment. A serious historian, Goddard Henry Orpen found evidence that Gerald (1 Baron of Kintail) had fought at the northern Irish Battle of Callan in 1262. That would lend credence to the historical assertion that Gerald then migrated to the nearby area of Scotland.
9 Sir E Mackenzie Mackenzie, The Genealogy of the
Stem of the Family of Mackenzie, Marquesses and Earls of Seaforth, and
Burke’s Peerage and Baronage, pp. 1702-1704. The English College of
Arms confirmed that Baronies confer land not title, and that such barons
were considered feudal lords, not peers. The later Barons Mackenzie
were titled lord as a consequence of their elevation to the Scots Peerage.
10 Ibid, pp. 3-4. I have used his spelling of the title marquess throughout for consistency; however, marquis and marchioness are other variations. None of these Mackenzies is our direct relative closer than cousin as Kenneth the first Baron Mackenzie was a step-brother to our ancestor Alexander Mackenzie Baron of Coul & Applecross.
11 Alan McNie, Clan Mackenzie, p.27.
12 Ibid, p. 28.
13 James Anderson, Royal Genealogies, volume II, p. 160, World Family Tree # 2151, and World Family Tree # 4329.
14 Bill Cooper, http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/.
15 Colin Mackenzie of Newburnside, The History
of the Clan Mackenzie, manuscript, 1760, http://www.clanmackenzie.com/history.htm.