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Articles by Marie Fraser of Canada
The MacLeod Chief & Mrs Fraser of Glenelg


An interesting aspect of being involved in Clan Fraser Society of Canada has been the mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and information with officials of other clan societies. One of the most intriguing enquiries came from a contact in South Africa.

Highlanders"We have a branch of the MacLeod family who went to France in the early fifteenth century to join the Royal Scottish Bodyguard (Gardes de la Manche) of the King of France and later the military of the Princes of Lorraine. Documents, which they took with them to France, confirm their status and as a result some of them became prominent in the French nobility. Their name became altered from MacLeod to Maclot, Macklot and de Macklot.

"Information in their early documents tends to make us believe that the French branch descends from one of the six illegitimate sons of Malcolm MacLeod and the wife of Fraser of Glenelg. According to the Bannatyne MS, Malcolm MacLeod 3rd of Harris & Dunvegan [c1296-1370] had six sons by the young and beautiful wife of Fraser of Glenelg, who became the ancestors of Clan Callum."

Several MacLeod histories mention that Malcolm, who in 1320 succeeded his father Norman, had remarkable strength and was much admired by the fair sex. Notwithstanding the lack of interest in recording the names of Fraser wives, or their daughters who married into other families, it is not surprising that there is no reference in books on Fraser history about ‘the wife of Fraser of Glenelg who was so enamoured of the MacLeod Chief that she absconded from her husband to live with him and bore him six sons, who settled in Argyle, their mother’s country’.

The rage of the Frasers knew no bounds. They over-ran Glenelg; they crossed over to Skye and defeated the MacLeods in battle at Drynoch. A swift galley was sent across the Minch to the island of Pabbay where the brawny Chief was staying at the time. He returned to Skye, and arrived to find himself in the middle of a furious melée in a wood above Broadfoot. Here the invaders were worsted. Verily, in his case, as the Roman poet, Horace, has it:

‘Mulier est hominis confusio’ — women are the confusion of men!


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