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Customers who bought this item also bought. He was the first man in that part of the country whc sent cattle to the markets of the South. For that purpose he bought cattle yearly from the neighbouring estates, and made so much money in his cattle-dealing that " if he was as frugal in keeping as he was industrious in acquiring, he had proven a very rich man in his own country.
This Sir Donald was married to a sister of Kenneth, Lord Kintail, and being on one occasion in the South, along with his lady, he was detained there much longer than he expected, with the result that he ran short of money. In consequence of all this, Sir Donald was obliged to go home for more money in order to enahle his lady to travel in a manner suitable to her rank, and meantime she remained behind in Perth, to await the return of her husband. It so happened, however, that Christopher was at this time in the South with cattle, and hearing that Lady Macdonald, the sister of his own Chief, was in Perth, he went to pay her his respects.
On learning the cause of her delay, he told her that he had with him money and men enough to meet all expenses, and to escort her safely and suitably to her home, if she would do him the honour of accepting his services. Christopher's offer was gladly accepted, and starting immediately for the North, they arrived at Sleat the next day after Sir Donald himself. Sir Donald, who was greatly sur- prised and much delighted, persuaded Christopher to remain with him for some days, with the result that a fast friendship was established between the two families, notwithstanding the fact that on one occasion during the visit, while the cups were circulating far too freely, Christopher made an ill- timed reference to the death of Donald Gorm, and so greatly roused the resentment of some of the Macdonalds who were present, that they would probably have killed him but for the interference and protection of his host.
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Christopher was after- wards greatly ashamed of what he said, and Sir Donald and he continued to be very fast friends. Christopher married a daughter of the Rev. Mur- doch Murchison, 1 Priest of Kintail, and Constable of Ellandonan Castle, who died in , and by her he had seven sons, all of whom were prosperously settled before the death of their father. Duncan, called Uonnacha Mac Gillechriosd, is said to have been one of the biggest and strongest men in the Highlands.
Neither Duncan nor John was in any way concerned in the quarrel, but Duncan thought that such an opportunity of exercising themselves in the art of war was too good to be thrown away, and he easily persuaded his companion to join in the fight. In order to avoid every appearance of injustice or partiality they resolved to take sides.
John joined the Macleods, because his mother was of that clan, while Duncan joined the Macdonalds, and was no doubt very glad to do so because of the friendship which had been established between his father and their Chief. Duncan had the support of a powerful servant, who managed to get possession of a pass across a rough stream for which both parties were con- tending. This position he held against the Mac- leods until the Macdonalds came up in full force, with the result that the Macleods were defeated with great slaughter. Tradition relates that this was a very fierce and deadly struggle, and a large flag-stone, which was covered with blood at the close of the fight, is still pointed out and known as Leac na falla 1 the flag-stone of blood.
As soon as the victory was decided, Duncan, who received the hearty thanks of the Macdonalds, went in search of his companion, John Og, and, when he found him, they resumed and continued their homeward journey as if nothing had hap- 1 The fight at Leac ua falla has been powerfully depicted ou canvas by the well-known Highland artist, Mr Lockhart Bogle.
Both had the good fortune to escape without hurt or wound. Such were the stern amusements in which our bold Highland forefathers took most delight. In his youth Duncan took a prominent part in the great Glengarry feud. On one occasion, during the temporary absence of Kenneth, Lord Kintail, in Mull, Angus Og, son and heir of Macdonald of Glengarry, and one of the bravest and most daring of all his warriors, made a raid on Lochcarron in November, about , and put to death as many of Kintail' s supporters — men, women, and children — as he could lay hold of, seized the cattle and drove them to Slumbay on the north coast of Lochcarron, where his followers had left their boats.
Meantime news of the raid reached Kintail, and a number of men immediately set out for Lochcarron, but before they arrived Angus Og had already put out to sea, and was beyond reach even of their arrows. The Kintail men now returned to Ellan- donan, but a few of the swiftest runners among them took the shortest cut to Inverinate, where they launched a newly-built twelve-oared galley belonging to Duncan's father, and proceeded with all speed to Ellandonan, their plan being, if possible, to intercept Angus Og before he could pass through Kylerea.
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At Ellandonan they found Kintaii's lady superintending preparations for the expedition. The galley was quickly manned by eighteen of the best and the bravest men available, besides the rowers, and placed under the command of Duncan. She then mounted the Castle wall and watched them as they sailed away under cover of the fast gathering shades of the winter night. They had not gone far when they met a boat coming to tell them that the Macdonalds were at Kyleakin, apparently waiting for the turn of the tide to help them through Kylerea, where the tidal current is usually so strong that a boat can make little headway against it.
Shortly afterwards there passed by the Kintail men, without observing them, a small boat which they concluded to have been sent on by the Macdonalds to see whether Kylerea was clear. They allowed this boat to pass un- challenged lest any alarm should be raised. It was a calm moonlight night, with a covering of snow on the ground, which added to the light and made it easy to sail about even in narrow waters.
The Kintail men, therefore, decided to direct their course at once towards the fleet of the Macdonalds, and having filled their row-locks with seaweed to pre- vent the pulsing noise of their oars, they steered towards Kyleakin. As they approached the Cail- leach Rock, which lies off the coast of Skye, and not far from the Lochalsh end of Kylerea, they observed the first of Macdouald's galleys drawing near.
Upon observing the Kintail galley, which was quickly approaching him, Angus challenged it two or three times, but the only answer he received was a broadside from the brass cannon, which, breaking some of the oars, disabled his galley and threw it on the Cailleach Rock. His men, think- ing they were driven ashore, crowded on to the rock. When they discovered their mistake, and found a stretch of water lying between them and the main- land, they became completely confused and fell easy victims to their assailants.
Some of them at- tempted to escape by swimming, but they no sooner reached the shore than they were dispatched by men whom Duncan landed by the little boat for that purpose. Angus had about sixty men on board his galley, every one of whom was either killed or drowned. He himself was taken on board the Kintail boat alive, but was mortally wounded in the head and in the body, and died before the morning. The remainder of his fleet, to the number of about twenty galleys, hearing the sudden uproar and firing at the Cailleach Rock, turned back in confusion, and landing on the coast of Skye they made their way to Sleat, and thence crossed to the Mainland.
Certainly their skill and dexterity in that expedition and their unexpected victory and success ought not to be ascribed to them, but to God, whose vengeance justly followed those persons for their bloody murders of men, women, and children, and who can make any instrument prove powerful and effectual to bring His own purpose to pass.
She heard the tiring of the cannon in the night, and from this she concluded that an engagement had taken place. At daybreak she saw her protectors returning, leading Angus Og's great galley along with them. She rushed down to the shore to salute them, and when she inquired if everything had gone well with them, Duncan replied, " Yes, madam, and we have brought you, without the loss of a single man, a new guest whom we hope is welcome to you.
On the following day Angus Og was buried in a manner suitable to his rank at Kilduich, in the same grave as some of Lady Mackenzie's own children. The common tradition in Kintail used to be that he was buried in the doorway of the church at Kilduich, but in a MS.
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Duncan died without male issue, but left several daughters. The Eev. Farquhar, second son of Chris- topher, will be mentioned hereafter. John, third son of Christopher VI. He was married to a daughter of Dugald Matheson of Balmacarra, and lived to a great age. He left three sons — Christopher, Donald, and Duncan. The following extract, from the Rev. John Macrae's history, is interesting as showing what an expen- sive luxury tohacco was in the days of Mr John : — " I remember that after Mr John's death, when his friends were examining his papers, there was among them a letter directed to him at Edinburgh from Alexander Mackenzie, the first of the family of Kilcoy, and son of Colin Cam, XI.
It need hardly be added that this sum meant much more then than it does now. He was frugal and industrious, and left considerable means to his children. He did not live long, but left four sons, the eldest of whom was viii. Donald, called Domhnull Dubh.
History of the clan Macrae with genealogies. (eBook, ) [threnervabvali.gq]
He is spoken of as an able, strong man, of good sense, and well to live. He had five sons and three daughters — 1. Christopher, "a well-humoured, free-hearted gentleman," died young and without issue. Margaret, who married Farquhar, son of Alexander of Inverinate. A daughter, who married Alexander, brother- german of Murdoch Mackenzie of Fairburn. He is said to have been well known in the North, and in many- parts of the South, for an "affable, generous gentle- man.
He married, first, Anne, daughter of Alexander Macrae of Inverinate, who died within a year of her marriage, without issue. He married, secondly, Isabel, daughter of John Grant of Corri- mony, by whom he had several sons and daughters, though the names of only three are recorded — 1. Alexander, for whom he made liberal pro- visions. Finlay, mentioned below.