“THE CLAN FARSONS BAND,”
Dated May 16, 1591.
From ‘The Spalding Club Miscellany,’ IV. 246.
Be it kend to all men be thir presentis, that we quhais nameis are heir
onder wretin hes maist voluntarlie bund and sworne, and be the tenour heirof
bindis and sweiris theme selfis upone the sacrat euangell, in presence of
the witness heir onderwretin, lealalie, faithfullie, and treulie to serue in
all actioun and causs aganis quhat-sumeuer ane noble and potent lord George
erll of Huntlie, lord Gordoun and Badzenocht, &c., onder the danger of
treuthe and lautie, and tinsell of all richtis and takis of our rowmis and
possessionis presentlie to expyr, efter we faill in our faithfull seruice;
in faithe and witness quharof, we haue sworne and subscryuit thir presentis
witht our handis, at Huntlie the xvi. of May, 1591, befoir thir witness.
Androw Makfersone in Cluny, Jhone Makfersone in Brakaucht, James Mak-fersone,
Pawll Makfersone, Donald Makallester Roy, William Mak ane wic William
Kynache Makconald wic Nele, with our handis at the pen led be Jhone
Makfersone in Brakauche at our command, becauss our selfis culd nocht wryt.
Alester Mor M'Farquhar M'Thomas with my hand at the pen, Allester M'Farquhar
with my hand led, and Thomas M'Farquhar with my hand at the pen led be
Allester Oig M'Farquhar at their command.
COVENANT BY MEMBERS OF THE
Dated May 28, 1628.
From Stewart’s ‘Highlands and Highlanders,’ second series, pp. 216-218.
We, under subscribers, being sensible of the bad consequences and effects of
discord, animosities, and jealousies, amongst relatives, and neighbours,
against the law of God and man, have thought fit for prevention of that and
the like evil, to give our oaths each of us to other, and hereby do swear
that we shall behave to one another as brethren, maintaining, supporting,
and defending one another’s interests, and the one of us not encroaching
upon the other in his means, fame, interest, or reputation, but to the
contrary behaving to one another in brotherly love and unity, as God’s Word
and nature do require at our hands; and in further preservation of the unity
and amity amongst ourselves, it is conditioned betwixt us that in case of
any contravertible debates arising betwixt any two or more of us about
marches, controvertible debts or any delict or wrong done by one of us to
another, that the same and all such cases as may fall in controversie
(excepting heritable rights whereon infeffment has followed), shall be
submitted to the decision of two friends of each side, and an oversman in
case of variance to be chosen by the Arbiters, and in case of variance
betwixt the arbiters in the choosing of the oversman our chief Cluny to be
oversman ; and if the matter be so intricate that it cannot be decided by
untried men, that it shall be referred to one or two lawyers, with power to
them, in case of variance, to choose an oversman; and for the more security
we consent to the registration hereof in the Books of Council and Session or
others competent therein to remain for preservation, and if need be that all
execution necessary may pass hereupon in form as effeirs, and to that effect
constitute our pro’rs. In witness whereof these presents (written by John
Macpherson of Strathmashie) are subscribed by us at Cluny, the Twenty-eighth
day of May Sixteen hundred and Twenty-eight, Sic SubscribituA La. Macpherson
of Clune; Jo. Macpherson of Strathmashie; Paul Macpherson of Clune; And.
Macpherson of Noide; Don. Macpherson of Cullenlin; Don. Macpherson of
Pitcherine; Jo. Macpherson of Ovie; Jo. Macpherson, Benchar, yr.; Jo.
Macpherson, Killihuntly; Mai. Macpherson of Phoiness; Mai. Macpherson of
Ardbrylach ; Jo. Macpherson of Crathie; James Macpherson of Invernahavon;
Alex. Macpherson of Ordhumore; Murdo Macpherson of Eterish; Jo. Macpherson
of Invernahavon; Jo. Macpherson, yr. of Clune; Tho. Macpherson in Pitoure;
Evan Macpherson of Press; Angus Macpherson of Garvabeg; Chas. Macpherson of
Coraldine; La. Macpherson of Lagan ; Danl. Macpherson of Midcoul; Don.
Macpherson of Midcoul; Jo. Macpherson, yr. of Eterish; Don. Macpherson in
Strathmashie; Evan Macpherson in Balidbeg; Jo. Macpherson of Gaskmore; Jo.
Macpherson, elder of Benchar; Angus Macpherson of Killihuntly; Mai.
Macpherson, Gargask; Alex. Macpherson of Crager; Jo. Macpherson in Dullanich;
Don. Macpherson in Phoness; Malcolm Macpherson in Nessintulech; Duncan
Macpherson, broyr. to Phoiness; Jo. Macpherson in Nessintullich; Andrew
Macpherson in Noidmore; Mai. Macpherson, son to Mai. in Nessintullich; Tho.
Macpherson in Dalreach ; Alex. Macpherson of Crubinebeg; Duncan Macpherson,
Dumtallolach; Alex. Macpherson in Lagan; Murdo Macpherson of Shiramore; Jo.
Macpherson of Crubine; Ro. Macpherson of Blarbulorey.1
BOND OF COMBINATION BETWEEN THE LAIRD OF GRANT AND THE MEN OF BADENOCH,
Dated 30th March 1645.
From the ‘The Chiefs of
Grant,’ iii. 238, 239.
“We wndir subscryweris, in respect of eminent dangeris vhiche is lyk to
ensue wnto ws be the crueltie of theis our enemeis now joned against his
Majestie, our dread Sowerane, haw, be the tenour heiroff, solemlie wowed and
suorne, lyk as be the tenour heirof, solemlie wowes and suearis, as we mone
ansuer to the great God at the day of judgment, quhen the secreittis of all
hairtis salbe discloisit, that we all and eweri ilk ane of ws, with our
assistaris, forces, freindis, and followeris, as hawing burding for them,
sail ryise in armes wpon suche adwertisment as may or can possiblie be send
from ather of ws to wtheris wpon anye occasione that sail happine to ather
of ws, offensiwe or defensiwe, against our enemies; and alse, that quhatewer
injurie or harme salbe done hinc inde to ane of ws, salbe reput and holdin
be ws all wndirsubscryweris as done to ws all and our forsaidis; And
lykwayis that we sail extend our selfis and our forsaidis for reparatioune
therof with the haisaird of our lywes and estaitis, according to our powaris
wnder the paine of perjurie, defamatioune, tinsell of credit and honour, and
newer to be holdin famous therafter, bot to be estemed as enemie to the
keiperis of this combina-tioune; as also that we all eweri ane of ws sail
stand in armes at ane head at quhatewer tyme we happin to be conwenit, aie
and quhill they be disbandit be commone consent of ws wndersubscryweris
wnder the painis abow mentioned. In witnes quherof, we haw subscrywit thir
presenttis, at Muchrache, the penult day of Merche jm vie fourtie and fyw
zeires. Wreittin be Ferquherd Cuming, notar publict.”
The first signature to this bond is “ James Grant of Freuquhye,” and the
second is “M'Phersone of Clynie.” The other twenty-one Macphersons signing
the bond are the following :—
“Donald M'Phersone of Nuid; James M'Pherson of Ardbrylach ; Williame
M'Phersoune in Beandagar; James M'Phersone, Dellradie; Wm. M'Phersone in
Dalradie; Lachlan M'Pherson in Dalradie; James Mackpherson in Miltoune;
Angus M'Pherson in Inwereschey; Allexr. M'Phersone of Pitcherine ; Hugo
M'Phersone in Breackachie; Donald M'Phersone, his brother; Sorlle M'Phersone
in Essintullich; James M'Phersone in Inwermarkie; Thomas M'Phersone, his
brother; Malcolme M'Phersone of Phones ; Jhone M'James Dui of Inwernahawin ;
Jhone M'Phersone of Crathie; Donald M'Pherson in Stramasie ; Donald
M'Pherson in Tiersodon; Jhone M'Phersone in Pitindine; Wm. M'Angus M'lnla in
BOND AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT BY LAUCHLIN MTNTOSH OF TORECASTLE TO CLUNY, dated
Sept. 12, 1665; SIR CHARLES ARASKINE, LYON’S CONFIRMATION OF CLUNY’S ARMS IN
1672; and THE LORDS OF PRIVY COUNCIL’S DELIVERANCE ON CHIEFSHIP.
From the Cluny Charter-Chest.
“I Lauchlin M‘Intosh of Torecastle doe declare, That Andrew M'Pherson of
Clunee, Lauchlin M'Pherson of Pitmeans and John M‘Pherson of Invereshie, and
their friends and followers, have out of their meer good will and pleasure
joyned with me at this time for recovering of my lands of Glenlay and
Locharkag from the Clan Chameron and other violent possessors thereof
(according to the King’s commission granted for that effect), and therefor I
bind and obledge me and my friends and followers to assist fortifie and joyn
with the said Andrew, Lauchlin and John M'Phersons in all their lawful and
necessar adoes (being thereto required) by the saids. Subscribed at Kyair
the twelth day of Sept. jajoj and sixtie-fyve years by me before these
witnesses, Alex. MTntosh of Cannodge, and Alex. MTntosh, notar publick in
Inverness, and William MTntosh of Carrybrough. Sic subscribitur.
(Sigd) L. Macintosh of Tore Castle.
Alex. M'Intosh, witness.
Alex. M'Intosh, witness.
William M'Intosh, witness.”
This is a just double of a declaration granted by the laite Macintosh to the
laite Andrew Macpherson of Clunie when he joyned for recovery of Glaslay and
Locharkag from Locheall.
Here follows the writ subjoyned to the Coat of armes.
“This is the Coat armour apertaining to the laird of Clunie MTherson, the
only and true representer of that ancient and honorable familie of the
Clanchattan, extracted and confirmed id infra.
“The antient baron above named his atchievement is this blazoned: he bears
parte per fesse, or and azure, ane Lumfad or Gallie of the first, mast,
oares, and tackling proper flaged, betwixt ane hand cupd fess ways holding a
dagger pale ways, and in the sinister Canton a Cross Croslet fitchie Gules;
above the sheild and helmet befitting his degris Gules doubled argent next
it placed on ane Towe or wreath of his Coulers, ane Catt sejant proper, and
for his motto in ane Escrole above, ‘Tutch not the catt but a glove,’
aproven of and confirmed unto said bearer by Sir Charles Areskine of Cambo,
Knight Baronet, Lyon King-att-arms, as witnes our hands and seals of office
appoynted hereto att Edr the twelth day of March 1672. Sic subscribitur.
Joseph Story, Herauld & herauld painter.
The deliverance of the Lords upon the debait betwixt the Laird of M'Intosh
and Clunie M'Pherson anent the securing of the peace as follows :—
“Edr the 2 %th of November 1672.—The Lords of Privie Counsell upon
consideration of a Petition presented by Duncan M'Pherson of Clunie and the
laird of M'Intosh doe ordain M'Intosh to give bond in these terms, vizt.
those of his clan his vassales these descendit of his familie, his men
tenants and servants or dwelling upon his ground, and ordain Clunie to give
bond for these of his name of M'Pherson, descendit of his familie and his
men tenants and servants but prejudice allways to the Laird of M'Intosh to
have letters of releif off such of the name of M'Pherson, who are his
(Subscribed) “ Rothes, Cancell I.P.De."
Here follows the Lyon’s confirmations of the said Coats armour posterior and
contrar to the Lyon’s declaration in favours of M'Intosh :—
“To all and sundry whom it effairsI Sir Charles Araskine of Cambo, Lyon king
of arms, testifie and make known that the Coatt armour appertaining and
belonging to Duncan M'Pherson of Clunie approven off and confirmed be me to
him is matriculat in My publick Register upon the day and dait of this
presents and is Blazoned as follows, vizt. : The said Duncan M'Pherson of
Clunie for his armorial and ensigne bears perte per fesse, or and azur, ane
Lumfad or Gallie of the first, mast, oares, and tacklings proper flaged,
betwixt ane hand cupd fess ways holding a dagger pale ways, and in the
Senister Canton a Cross Crosslet fitche gules, and for his Crest a Catt
Sejant proper. The Motto is (‘Tutch not the Catt but a Glove ’) which Coatt
above Blazoned I ordain to be the said Duncan M'Pherson his true and
unreapeallable Coatt, and bearing in all tyme comeing. In testimony whereoff
I have subscribed this extract with my hand and have caused append my seal
of office Yr. to. Given at Edr the 26 day November of the Reigne of our
Sovereign Lord Charles the second, be the Grace of God King of Scotland,
Ingland, France, and Ireland the twentee-fourth year 1672. Sic subscribitur.
“Ch. Araskine, Lyon.”
LETTERS FROM LORD HUNTLY TO THE MACPHERSONS.
From the Cluny Charter-Chest.
Gentlemen our very good Friends,—
Last of March 1674.
The Laird of M'Intosh his arrogant demeanors in severall affairs wherein my
Lord Huntly is concerned, and particularly of the Teinds of Badenoch has
brought us to a clear understanding of these differences been betwixt the
Laird of Cluny and him anent the Chieftenry and what endeavours have been
used be him to frusterat Cluny of the Benefide of the Counsells just
determination; and seeing we now understand that most sureptitiously
M'Intosh did borrow our names not only in the prosecution of that action,
but always since when occasion offered as a mean, to rent yourselves and
devyde you ; we have therefore upon Consideration of the justness of Cluny’s
cause (whereof the emptiness of M'lntoshs arguments does sufficiently
convince us) Cluny’s and his predecessors constant fidelity to the famely of
Huntly, thought fitt to make known both to you and him our dislike to his
proceedings togeder with the resolutions we have now (on just grounds) put
on to espouse your quarrell against him and whatever may emargin upon that
point, and that these may be the more manifest we desire this to be
communicat to all your friends of your severall famelies wishing hereby all
the name of M'Pherson and all others called the old Clanchattan, and
whatsomever name and designation within my Lord Huntlys Bounds or ours to
follow our faith herein and the said Laird of Cluny as Chieffe and to pay
the same respect and defference to him that becomes kinsmen ; Certefieing
any lieving within the bounds above specified that does in the contrary they
shall be looked upon not only as unnatural to their chieffe, but likewise as
Complyers with those who have no kyndnes for the famely of Huntly (judged
unworthy to hold of or depend upon the same) and assuredly taken notice of
as such by my Lord Huntly, and Gentlemen, your reall and most asured friend
Directed to John M'Pherson of Invereshy, Lachline M'Pherson of Pittmean,
Donald M'Pherson of Nied and the rest of the surname of M'Pherson.
Last of March 1674.
Sir,—You will find by the enclosed and your Cousine Mr Angus Information our
inclination to doe you all the favour we Can ; whereto we expect a
continuation of that faithfull service your predecessors have shoen to the
famely of Huntly, which will be the greatest obligation you can put upon,
Sir, your most reall friend to serve you. (Signed) Aboyn.
Directed to Duncan M'Pherson of Cluny, Esq.
FROM THE MS. GENEALOGY OF THE MACPHERSONS IN THE CLUNY CHARTER-CHEST.
There is one manuscript written in the year 1680 (which partly treats of the
Clan Vurich), wherein the author designs himselfe ane impartiall hand; but
by reading of several passages thereof it will evidently appear to be
written be one of the name of M'Intoshe; for that manuscript wrytes seldom
or never good of any family but of the family of M'Intoshe.
And forasmuch as the author gives himself the designation of ane impartiall
hand, I think it not amiss to set down here one instance of his partiality,
which upon ane consideration will make any man give the less credite to
severall other passages of the said manuscript of greater concernment. His
partiality extends so high, that in plain terms, one part thereof
contradicts the other, which will appear in the following discourse, &c.,
Said Andrew of Cluny in 1644 to Macintosh :—
First, In the year ijyo (1386?), my predecessor Kenneth did disown your
predecessor at Invernahaun.
Secondly, My predecessor Donald More was with my Lord Marr against MacDonald
at the batall of Harlaw anno 1411, when your predecessor, said he, was with
Thirdly, My predecessor Donald Oig, was with the Marquis of Huntly at the
batall of Corrichie anno 1562, and was killed upon the spott; but, said he,
your predecessor was against the Marquis of Huntly at that time.
Fourthly, said he, My grandfather Andrew held out at the Castle of Ruthven
anno 1594, when Argyll with 10,000 beseidged it, and your predecessor, said
he, was with Argyll at the seidge; and
Lastly, said he, My father Ewan was constantile with Alexander M'Donald
alias M'Coll, and with the Marquis of Montrose with 200 of his kinsmen, and
never deserted Montrose till at the King’s command he laid down arms, and
thereafter my father joined the Marquis of Huntlie in the King’s cause, &c.,
&c. And this showes clearly, said he, that my predecessors joined with
yours, but voluntarly and at pleasure.
DECLARATION AND OBLIGATION BY THE CLAN REGARDING THE CHIEFSHIP,
Dated in 1689.
From ‘The Chiefs of Grant,’ iii. 358, 359.
Wee, undersub[scr]ivers, considering that Duncan M'Pherson of Cluny, our
present cheife, is of full purpose and resolution to talzie not onlie his
whole estate, but also the representation of us, and all others our kinsmen,
by his ryteous air maill, with his daughter to a stranger, and that without
all peradventure our ruine is thereby threatened, if God Almytie by ane
inteir union amongst our selves doe not prevent the same, doe heirby declair
and swear vpon our great oath, that we shall not own nor countenance any
person as the said Duncan M'Pherson his representative, and falyieing aires
maill of his bodie, excepting William M'Pherson of Nuid, who is his true
lineall successor, and the aires maill of his bodie, quhilks falyieing, the
aires maill quhatsomever, and sua forth suc-cessivelie, and that we shall to
the outmost of our power assist and mantain the said William and his
forsaids in attaining and possesseing the said estate by all just means
imaginable; and furder, that we, the saids undersub[scr]ivers, and in
particular, I, the said William M'Pherson, shall second, assist, and mantain
one ane other in all our just and ryteous interests against all mortall, his
Majestie and witnes quhairof, we have subscrivit thir writer in Edinburgh)
with our hands, at teen dayes of
Wm. M'Phersone of Noid.
his auctoritie and our respective superioris being excepted. And we bind and
obleidge us to fullfill and perform the premisses, under the paine of
D. M'Phersone, yor- of Invertromie. A. M'Pherson, Pitmean.
Ja. M'Phersone in Raits.
Ja. M'Pherson of Balachroan. Alexr. M'Pherson of Phones. Mur. M'Pherson of
James M'Pherson, Invernahaine. John M'Pherson of Cronach.
presents (writtin be John M'Pherson, Beanchar and the four-
jmvjc and eightie nyne years
Jo. M'Phersone of Bencher. M'Phersone, yor- of Kyllihuntly.
John M'Phersone in Strone.
J. M'Pherson in Beille.
Will. M'Phersone, brother to Invereshie.
E. M'Phersone, brother to Benchar. Will. M'Pherson in Cloon.3
GENEALOGY OF THE MACPHERSONS.
From Jeremy Collier’s ‘Great Historical, Geographical, Genealogical, and
Mcpherson.—The name of a Scotch Highland Clan commonly called the Clan-Chattan,
fam’d for antiquity and valour. They draw their original from the Chatti, or
Catti, the antient inhabitants of Hessia and Thuringia, in Germany, whence
they were expelled by the Hermondures, with the assistance of the Romans, in
the reign of the Emperor Tiberius. Cattorum Castellum, one of the Landtgrave
of Hesse’s Palaces, and Cattorum Meliboeci or Catzenellebogen, which is one
of the family’s Titles, do still preserve the memory of the antient Catti,
who being forced to leave their Country, came lower down upon the Rhine into
Battavia, now Holland, where Catwick, &c., still bears their name ; thence a
colony of them came for Scotland, and landing in the North of that Kingdom
were kindly received by the King of Scots, who gave them that part of the
Country, where they landed, which from them was called Caithnesse—i.e., the
Catti’s Corner : Being settled here, they did many eminent services against
the Piets, and other enemies of the Scots, till the time of king Alphinus,
when the Chief of the Catti, called Gilly Catton Moir—i.e., the great— for
his extraordinary conduct and valour, being married to a sister of Brudus,
King of the Piets, he was in a streight how to behave himself betwixt both
Kings, who in a little time after fell out, and as the best expedient
resolves upon a Neutrality. In the reign of Kennethus II., who also had war
with the Picts, this Gilly Catton Moir, amongst others of the Scotch
nobility, was summoned to attend the King’s Standard: he excused himself by
reason of his age; but to evidence his loyalty, though allied to the Picts,
he sent one of his sons, with half of his clan, to join the Scots, which did
not a little contribute to that fatal blow that issued in the utter ruin of
the Picts. Most of the Clan Chattan, with their valiant leader, falling in
the battle, the old man died for grief, and the remaining part were, by the
advice of their enemies, prosecuted as favourers of the Picts, expelled
Caithness, and, with much ado, obtained leave to settle in Lochaber, where
they remain to this day ; and the son of the Captain of the clan, who fell
in the battle against the Picts, was in consideration of his father’s merit
created Knight Marshal, from whom the illustrious family of Keith, now great
Earl Marshal of Scotland, are said to be descended. The chief of those who
settled in Lochaber was, in a little time after, made Hereditary steward of
that Country, and the family, for some ages, had a standing Commission from
the crown to suppress rebellions, by virtue of which, they ruined the family
of the Cummins, one of the greatest in the Kingdom, but engaged in an
incurable rebellion in the time of Bruce. Muirach M'Gilly Chattan, called
Albanach abroad, where he travelled, because of his Country, was second son
to Dermond M'Gillychattan, Chief of the Clan, and for his extraordinary
piety had a church preferment, and was made Prior of Kinguishy. Celibacy
having not then obtained amongst the Scotch Clergy, he married the Thane of
Calder’s daughter, by whom he had Dugal Ovir, or the swarthy, his eldest
son, afterwards Captain of the clan; Evan Bane, or the fair, from whom comes
Clunie M'Pherson; Niel Cromb, or the stooping Smith, so called from his
round shoulders and the curious works which he made in Iron and Brass, from
whom comes the family of Breakoe-Smith and others. Farchard Gillybrae, so
called from his swiftness and expedition, of whom are the family of
M'Gillybrayes of Dunmaglash on the river of Nairn, and David Dow, or the
black, from whom are descended the Davidsons of Invernahavine. These, and
some others, were all Muirach’s sons, and besides their petty nicknames from
complexions or temper, and the Patronymicks derived by their posterity, from
their several sects, they were always called Clan Wirich in memory of their
father, and clan Pherson or M'Pherson from his Office. This Muirach’s eldest
brother dying, he succeeded as chief of the clan, and having settled his
affairs, left his eldest son, Dugal Ovir above-named, in possession of the
Estate, and went in Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and arriving there on the third
of May, he kept that day ever after, and bound his family in a curse to do
the like, which they observe to this day. In his return he took Rome, Spain,
and Ireland in his way, and happening to come thither, when there was a
contest for the crown of Leinster, and being in great reputation for his
quality and piety, he was applied to, for reconciling the differing
factions, in which he behaved himself with such extraordinary Conduct, that
though neither of them would yield to one another, they unanimously chose
him a little after, being, by this time a widower and well stricken in
years, he married the daughter of O’Neal, one of the Competitors, and gained
so much love from the people, that they made the Succession Hereditary to
his family. He died in the 23rd of his reign, and was buried in the
Cathedral of Dublin. His son Evar M'Muirach succeeded, governed well, and
died in the 49th of his reign. His son Dermond M'Wirich succeeded, who for
his Tyranny, and particularly ravishing the wife of Maurice O’rock,1 King of
Meath, was expelled his Kingdom, and restored again by Henry II., king of
England, who laid claim to the crown of Ireland afterward ; so that
Muirach’s progeny were outed of the soveraignty, but the family of the
McMuirachs, still remaining in Ireland, derive their pedigree from him.
Dugal Ovir above-mentioned, who was left Chief of the Clan in Scotland, had
only one son, and he an only daughter, who marrying a stranger called
M'Kintosh—i.e., the Thane’s son, being son or grandson to the Thane of
Fife,—the estate was transferred into another family, whence the Laird of
M'Kintosh is lineally descended, and that family pretended to be chief of
the clan Chattan as marrying the Heiress; but the M'Donalds, who were
superiour to all the Clans, determined it often in favour of the Laird of
Cluny’s predecessors, and it was finally determined on his side, by the
Council of Scotland, in the reign of Charles II., who declared the
M'Kintoshes and M'Phersons different families, because M'Kintosh did not
take the name and bearing of the Heiress’s family. Evan Bane,
before-mentioned, had for his Lady a daughter of M'Leans, by whom he had
Kenneth, the eldest Cluny’s predecessor; and Gilly’s, II., of whom the
family of Inveressie, and one John, by another woman, of whom the family of
Pitmean. This family has had many fewds with neighbouring clans, but more
especially with the Clan Cameron’s, having in one battle killed their chief,
the Laird of Lochzell, with about 600 of his clan, and taking the rest,
brought them to Cluny’s house, where some were for cutting them off, but he
generously set them at liberty, saying that his family would grow effeminate
if they wanted an enemy to exercise their valour. It was also the M'Phersons
who fought that bloody combat of thirty on a side in the Inch of Perth, in
presence of the King, and came off with the Victory; and it was that clan
who held out the Castle of Ruthven for the Earl of Huntly against the Earl
of Argile in Queen Mary’s time. This family appeared in the field for King
Charles I., with 600 Men, under the Marquis of Montrose, and Wm. M'Pherson,
Laird of Inveressie, was killed under their command at the Battle of Old
Earn [Auldearn]. They also declared for King James, under the Viscount of
Dundee, and six-and-twenty of them were killed at Crombdale by Sir Thomas
Levingston, Commander of King William and Queen Mary’s Forces; but since
that time they have submitted to the Government, and their chief hath been
ordered to raise men for its service. This clan can bring a regiment of
well-armed men to the Field. In time of peace they are said to be as
courteous and industrious as the lowlanders, and in time of war, can endure
the fatigue of the rudest Highlanders. Their ancient bearing was a ship, in
memory of their voyage by sea; and the cross Croslet, in memory of the
above-mentioned pilgrimage, and the bloody hand, in remembrance of
Exterminating the Cummins. Their Chief’s coat is now party par pale or and
aztire, in the Dexter Canton, a hand holding a dagger Saltirewise, and in
the sinister a cross croslet, fitche Gules, and the supporters are two
Highlanders with their slit doublets, naked from the Girdle downwards, with
their shirts tied betwixt their thighs, their swords, Durks and Helmets
proper, and for his crest a cat Rampant proper, with this motto, “Touch not
the Cat but a Glove.”
Collier adds: “This narrative was collected by a person of quality of the
family, and one of its principal branches.”
BOND OF FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE FRASERS, THE CAMERONS, AND THE MACPHERSONS,
EMBRACING A REVOCATION, Etc., BY THE MACPHERSONS OF THE MINUTE OF AGREEMENT
BETWEEN THEM AND THE MACKINTOSHES IN 1724.
Dated 19th April, 17th June, and 7h July 1744.
From the Cluny Charter-Chest.
Wee, Simon Lord Fraser of Lovat and Simon Master of Lovat, with the special
advice and Consent of the said Simon Lord ffraser of Lovat my ffather,
Donald Cameron of Locheil and Lauchlan M'Pherson Elder, and Evan M'Pherson
Younger of Cluny, Taking into serious Consideration that faithfull
friendship and amity which did of old subsist betwixt our respective
families, kindreds and followings, and we being all exceedingly desirous to
revive, confirm and perpetuate the same reciprocall friendship and
connection with each other, not only during our own Lifetimes But even to
the latest posterity, Have resolved for the further Corroboration thereof To
become and engag’d for ourselves, our respective successors and kindreds in
manner underwritten, That is to say, we have entered and hereby enter, and
engage ourselves and our foresaids In a most strict and solemn friendship
and alliance with one another, and mutually bind and tye down ourselves, our
respective successors, kindreds and followings by all the Tyes of honour,
conscience and friendship, Truely and faithfully from this time forward To
stand by and support each other and our foresaids in all and every
honourable Contraversie, undertaking and Dispute which may at any time
hereafter fall out or arise betwixt either of us the Covenanting Partys and
any of the neighbouring Clanns or any other party or person whatsomever,
except our naturall and lawfull King and superior, and shall forever
henceforward look upon ourselves and our severall Tribes and followings to
be all so strictly Unite and Cemented, That the honour and Interest of any
one shall be the Common Cause of the whole, and which we hereby Engage for
us and our foresaids faithfully and strenuously to support and defend with
all our might and skill: And further, we, the said Lauchlan and Evan
M'Phersons, Elder and Younger of Cluny, with the speciall advice, consent
and approbation of our Clann, and particularly of the severall Cadents of
our family afternamed, seriously considering that we were sometime ago most
unjustly and insidiously induced To own and declare by a Writing under our
hands That our family of Cluny and the Clann M'Pherson are Cadents of the
family of M'Intosh, and on that account to bind and engage ourselves and our
following and Clann forever after to recognize and acknowledge the Lairds of
M'Intosh to be our Chief, and to act the part of dutifull Kinsmen to them
and to their family, as the said writing more fully bears. But as we, the
said Lauchlan and Evan M'Phersons, Elder and Younger of Cluny, do now see
and perceive how dishonourable and injurious this Deed and Transaction is
and must be to us, our family and kindred, who never descended from the
family of MTntosh and have no manner of dependence upon it, But, on the
contrary, are the true and lineall male descendents of the head of Clan
Chattan, and consequently their real Chief, Therefore, and in support and
mantainence of our just and naturall Rights, We, the said Lauchlan and Evan
M'Phersons, with the speciall advice, consent and approbation of George
M'Pherson of Inverishie, James M'Pherson of Killyhuntley, John and Donald
M'Phersons, Elder and Younger of Crubin, John M'Pherson of Stramashie,
Malcom M'Pherson of Phoyniss, John and Andrew M'Phersons, Elder and Younger
of Banchar, Donald M'Pherson of Culline, John M'Pherson of Garvamore, Janies
M'Pherson of Invernahaven, James M'Pherson of Crathie Croy, and William
M'Pherson in Killarchile, Have resolved and be the Tenor hereof Revoke,
rescind and annull the Deed and writing above mentioned Elicite from us by
the family of MTntosh In manner foresaid, and hereby renounce and abjure all
manner of Dependence on or Cadency from the said family, and all attachment,
deference and respect which they may anyways claim or demand as pretended
Captain of Clan Chattan, or in consequence of the Deed and Writing already
mentioned. And we hereby promise and solemnly engage that we will have no
connection with them hereafter, Nor look upon them in any other view than as
kindly neighbours upon an equall footing with ourselves, And we, the hail
forenamed persons, bind and oblige us and our foresaids upon honour, soul
and conscience, To implement, perform and fullfill the premises Ilk one to
another as we stand severally engaged In manner foresaid : And we consent to
the Registration hereof In the Books of Councill and Session, or in any
other competent Register within this Kingdom, therein to remain for
preservation, and to that effect Constitute our, &c.
In Witness Whereof, written upon stamped paper by Hugh ffraser, Secretary to
the said Simon Lord ffraser of Lovat, We have subscribed this presents,
consisting of this and the three preceding pages, in manner underwritten,
vizt.: We, the said Simon Lord ffraser of Lovat, Donald Cameron of Locheil,
and Evan M'Pherson, Yongr- of Cluny, at Beaufort this nyneteenth day of
April, One thousand seven hundred and forty-two years, Before Witnesses
Thomas ffraser of Gortuly and the said Hugh ffraser, Writer hereof,
Witnesses also to the marginal note on the second page, which is signd- by
the said Lauchlan and Evan M'Phersons for and in name of the haill other
partys as above; And we, the saids Lauchlan M'Pherson, Elder of Cluny,
Donald M'Pherson of Breckachie, designed above Younger of Crubine, Andrew
M'Pherson of Benchar, Donald M'Pherson of Cullinline, John M'Pherson of
Garvamore, James M'Pherson of Crathiecroy, and William M'Pherson of
Kyllerchile, at Cluny the seventeenth day of June and year of God above
written, before Witnesses Andrew M'Pherson, Tacksman of Auch-more of Ovie,
and Patrick M'Pherson, Grieve to the said Evan M'Pherson of Cluny. As also
I, the said Simon Master of Lovat, at Beaufort, this seventh day of July and
year of God above written, Before Witnesses the said Thomas Fraser of
Gortuly and Hugh ffraser, Writter hereof.
Don. M'Pherson, Breakachie. James M'Pherson of Crathie Croy. John M'Pherson
Donald Cameron. Lovat. Don. M'Pherson of Culline. And. M'Pherson of Benchar.
Will. M'Pherson of Kylerchil. Simon Fraser, Master of Lovatt.
LETTER ADDRESSED BY JAMES MACPHERSON OF KILLIHUNTLY
TO LORD LOVAT,
Dated April 1742.
From the Cluny Charter-Chest.
My Lord,—After an offer of my most sincere and dutifull respects to your
L°p- and lovely family, I beg leave to inform you that I have had the
perusal of a Bond of friendship entered into by your L°p- & Donald Cameron
of Locheill and Lauchlan and Evan M'Pherson, Elder and Younger of Cluny, of
the date the nyneteenth day of Aprile last, upon honourable and equitable
grounds, as the said Bond itself bears, To which is subjoined a
Desclaimation by the said Cluny Elder and Younger of a Transaction sometime
ago entered into by the Deceast Lauchlan M'Intosh of that ilk and the said
Lauchlan M'Pherson of Cluny Elder, wherein the said Lauchlan M'Pherson has
been so far circumveened and imposed upon as to have acknowledged the said
Lauchlan M'Intosh to have been his Chief and that of the whole Clan Chattan
as descendents of the said Lauchlan M'Intosh’s family, and promising for
himself and successors to act the part of dutifull kinsmen to the said
Lauchlan M'Intosh and the Representatives of his family in time coming,
which Transaction and Write Cluny certainly has all the reason in the world
to disclaim as dishonourable, disadvantageous, falsely and circumveeningly
founded. It being evident and never contraverted that the family of Cluny
were and still are the reall Lineall Representatives of the Heir Male of the
Head of Clanchattan, and consequently Chief of the whole Clan. I say, my
Lord, this being the fact, I not only agree, but also approve of and consent
to Cluny’s Disclaiming the said Transaction and Write to all intents and
purposes so as he may still be esteemed as Independent of the Family of
MTntosh, at least as they are of him, and I assure your L°p- that I will not
be wanting to support him in this his just right, as that is certainly my
Indispensible and unavoidable duty. And nothing in time can be more
agreeable to me than that Cluny and we all should be united in the strongest
Terms and tyes of amity to your L°p- and Clann to latest posterity, as also
to the honourable Donald Cameron of Locheill and his Clann in like manner
being by repeated former good offices and Demonstrations of friendship to us
all besides the principall one now intended from your L°p-, fully convinced
of your sincerity and unalterable good wishes toward us, and particularly
towards, My Lord, Your L°ps- most obliged, most faithful and obedient humble
servant (Signed) James Macpherson.
Killihuntly, Aprile 1742.
Directed on the back, “To the Right Honourable Simon Lord ffraser of Lovat.”
A BRIEF ACCOUNT of the Rise and Progress of the Watch undertaken by Evan
Macpherson of Cluny, Esquire, in the Year 1744, for the Security of severall
Countrys in the North of Scotland
FROM THIFTS AND DEPREDATIONS.
From ‘The Miscellany of the Spalding Club,’ ii. 87-89.
As the generality of the Highlands of Scotland, and of the countries
adjacent to them, have for severall years past been greatly oprest by many
wicked ganges of lawless thives and robbers, inhabitants of the remote
Highlands, who steal, or most audaciously rob, ther horses and cows; and as
the countrie of Bedenoch, in particullar, lyes adjacent to the severall
countries where these ruffians have there residence, great numbers of its
inhabitants have by them been intyrly ruened and reduced to beggarie. The
gentlemen of that countrie made severall attemps to obviat this evil, by a
watch at there own expence; but as that countrie was not able of itself to
raise such a fund as would support a sufficient number of men for its
protection, these watches turned out to be of litle or no service.
Therupon they did frequently in by-past years apply to Cluny, on whoes
inclination and capacity to protect them they greatly relyed, offering him
for doing his endeavour to save them as much encouradgement as they could
afford to give any other who would becom lyable for ther losses; to which
Cluny honestly answered, that as he had no reasonable prospect of protecting
them with the small funds the country of Bedenoch could afford, he would not
pick ther pockets by pretending to do them that service he was not capable
That country therafter suffered most incredible losses ; some possessions
who did not exceed ^15 sterling yearly rent, haveing been damnadged by theft
no less than ^100 sterling. Nor was ther any prospect of reliefe, till at a
generall meeting of the gentlemen of that countrie, in March last, Cluny was
most strongly and earnestly pressed to undertake ther reliefe; they fully
evidenceing to him that unless they were imediately supported, they would be
quite ruened, and there countrie layd west, and that his friends and
neighbours in severall of the adjacent countries were like to rune much the
same fate. Cluny, deeply affected with the miserable circumstances of the
countries, told the gentlemen that without his Majesty would protect them,
he could see no mean for there relief but one—viz., a conjunction of all the
neighbowring opprist countries towards makeing a sufficient fund for setting
up a strong watch for the mutuall security of them all; and that if after
the proper intimation were made for finding ane undertaker in the
neighbowring countries, who would becom layable for the losses of all such
as would contribute, no other person would be found to undertak, on whoes
security the countries could depend; in that case (and that only), for the
want of another proper undertaker, he would himself becom bound and undergoe
the payment of what losses these of the conjunction would happen to sustaine
: the gentlemen did unanimously aprove of the proposall, and caused mak this
intimation; yet as a multitude can never be got of 011 mind, and have
allways different byasses wherby they will not unite in any thing, though
tending wastly to all there interests, severall considderable persons who
were used to suffer by thefts and depredations abstracted themselves and
ther people from the sckame. However, as no other person was found for the
relief of the countries, Cluny, in persuance of his generous intention, gave
his oblidgation to pay the contributers whatever damnadges they would happen
to sustaine during his undertaking, though the funds were evidently so small
as that he behoved to be out of pocket, without the least prospect of
advantage, other than the generall wellfare of his distrest countrymen. He
set out his men on the tunty- second of May last, 1744, whom he pickd out
honest, and everie way adapted to there chairge, and regularly stationd them
on such passes and inlets through which the thievish sett used to make there
incursions, giveing them most strict orders that these passes should be
punctually travelled and watched night and day, for keeping of,
intercepting, seiseing, and imprisoning the villans, as occasion offered,
and as strictly forbiding and dischargeing them to act less or more in the
ordinary way of other undertakers, who instade of suppressing thieft, do
greatly suport it, by currying the favour of the thieves, and gratifying
them for there diverting of the weight of thieft from such parts of the
countrys as pay the undertaker for there protection, to such parts as doe
not pay them.
This most wicked though constant practise of other undertakers, differs from
Cluny’s method, who cuts at the root, and studies the intyre extirpation of
the hellish trade, not suffering the thieves on any pretext to pass or
repass even to or from those he’s not bound to protect.
The thieves finding themselves so strictly hemd in, that though they were
starveing at home, they durst not adventire abroad to rob or steall in any
way formerly practised, divised a new way against which they knew Cluny
could not have been guarded. They stoll a parcell of cows from a town in
Strathnairn, and, instead of driveing them by land as useuely, they ferried
them over Lochness by boats; however, Cluny hase in this detected them,
whereby the goods may be recovered, and the villains prosecuted. But this
new device of the thieves subjects Cluny, who was formerly too much out of
pocket in his generous undertakeing, to the additionall and unexpected
expence of guarding the many boats of Lochness, which is tunty-four miles
The danger of thift is now over for this season; and, except the few cows
above mentioned, which will be recovered, there has not been, since Cluny’s
undertakeing, one cow or hors stolen in the bound of his district; whereas
in former years some thousand pound sterling woud not pay ther yearly
losses. There has, indeed, been severall attempts of carieing off of cows
and horses from bounds which Cluny has not undertaken to protect; but he
generosly caused his watch intercept them, and restored them to the owners.
For instance, he recovered and restored a sett of horeses blonging to the
Laird of Grant’s tenants in Strathspey; at another time, he intercepted and
restored som horses belonging to some persons in the shire of Banff; and did
the like with respect to cows belonging to persons in Strathallan, near
Stirling; as he did also with respect to horses belonging to the Laird of
Luss his tenants, about Dumbartan. These instances may suffice to show what
a generous part Cluny acts in favour of all the countries, without the least
notice or resentments against such as have not acceded to the conjunction.
The thieves being this reduced to the greatis straits by Cluny’s
undertakeing, found means, by second hands, to propose to him that if he
would give up being concerned for the protection of any other countrys but
that of Bedonach, where he dwells, ther woud be security given him for the
safeaty for his own and that country’s goods. This proposition Cluny hasc
generously rejected, and not only has intyrly stoped ther wicked trade, but
has committed the persons of severalls of them to prison, whereby they may
be tryed for ther detestable practises.
MANUSCRIPTS IN THE CLUNY CHARTER - CHEST RELATING TO THE CLAN CHATTAN AND
CLUNY OF THE ’45.
Note.—The three following documents appear to have been all written in
France about the year 1760, but the writer’s name is not known. The first
two are narratives relating to the Cluny family, and of what Cluny of the
’45 did and suffered for Prince Charles Edward. The third document appears
to be a petition to the King of France for the royal bounty on behalf of
The Publisher’s Preface.
Having often heard of the Scots Highlanders as a people remarkablie brave
and singular in their way; that I read also in our Histories of France, and
in most of the Histories of Europe, that the Scots were always esteemed
brave, and that no longer than ten years agoe a handful of them performed
actions which surprised Europe, I acknowledge I have long had a great desire
to learn something more particular concerning these Highlanders, who had not
only drawn on themselves the observation of the world, but had likeways
raised the apprehensions of the Brittish Government so far as to oblige them
to make several Acts of Parliament expressly with intention to disarm them,
and afterwards several other Acts in order to change their dress and their
customs. But my curiosity in that respect was never in any degree satisfyed
untill I happened to become acquainted with the Sieur Macpherson, Siegneur
de Cluny, chieff of one of their tribs, who, in many different
conversations, informed me that they inhabite the large tract of mountains
in the north of Scotland, which run from the west to the east seas, which
surround the island, and likeways inhabite the small islands which ly on the
west and north of Scotland, which, in all, may be computed about a third
part of the extent of that kingdom; That their language, which has always
been termed Gaulick, and which has no other name amongst them to this day,
was once the language of the whole kingdom, untill the course of time, and
the immediate connections many of the Scots in low countries with England,
by degrees introduced the English language into the lower parts of the
kingdom. They have a tradition among them that their origine was from
Sihithia. Sir William Temple, a very distinct English writer, who was
embassador from King Charles the Second to the States Generali, is of that
oppinion, and says that an island in the north of Scotland wher they first
landed from Schithia took thence the name of Schitland, which it retains to
this day; and that wher they advanced further and took possession of the
larger continent, it, for distinction, and by an easie transition, got the
name of Scotland. Chevalier Temple’s oppinion is further supported by an
observation that patre-nimicks were from the beginning in use amongst them,
and continues still to be so, most tribes having no way to distinguish one
person from another but by the name of his father, such as MacDonald, the
son of Donald, MacGrigor the son of Grigor, MacPherson, the son of Pherson,
&c. So in Russia and Poland, parts of ancient Schithia, these patrenimicks
still continue, such as Peter Alexoivitz, Alexander Petroivitz, Ike., which
is not knewon to have been the custom in any other countries of the World.
Yet others are of oppinion their origine is from the ancient Gauls, by
reason that there language was always termed Gaulick, and that many of their
original words have an affinity to the ancient Gaulois. But whatever their
origine may happen to have been, it is certain they have posses’d that part
of the World for so long a time, and without any mixture of foreigners, that
few countries can, in that point, compare with them. For when the Romans
invaded and overran most of Brittain, they found the resistance of the
Highlanders so formidable that they judged it prudent to leave them in the
manner they found them. Ever since that time, and how long before non can
tell, they have been divided into clans or tribes, each tribe governed by
its respective chieff or head of family, and make in all such a body that,
if they cou’d be united under one head, from thirty to fourty thousand men
might be brought together in a few weeks, and are so formidable a militia,
that few, if any, regular troops in Europe could withstand their shock,
supposing numbers equall. Their dress, which, as well as their language,
continues the same from the beginning, is all woollen, of party colours,
consisting in a surtout and vest under it, both reaching only down to near
the tope of the thygh. Hose of the same, which reach no further up than
below the joint of the knee, without any breeches, which are supplied by a
plaid girded by a belt round the waste, the lower part whereof surrounds
their thyghs, in some manner like a woman’s pettycoat, but reach only down
to the knee, which is always left bare; the upper part of the same plaid is
fastened to the shoulder, and waves floating round in some resemblance to
the Roman mantle. Their arms are a pistold, and often two, fixed in their
belt, a durk or poignard, which they never incline to want, a large sabre
slung in the horseman manner from the shoulder, and a fusil, which they
generally wear under their arm.
I wou’d have been extremely pleas’d to have had a distinct account of all
the tribes of a people so remarkable, but Mons. de Cluny found himself in no
condition to afford me it, yet he entertained me very agreeablie, often with
many circumstances of his own tribe, and indeed of his own life, which I
found so singular, and even so curious, while they were told by him without
any ostentation or vanity on his part, that after every conversation I took
notts of it in writing, which when all were put together, I found would bear
printing; accordingly I resolved to put it in the press as an entertainment
for the curiosity of many, without asking his consent or even communicating
to him my intention; and I hope that when it shall come to his knowledge he
will forgive me, having intended no offence to him or to any person. I hope,
at same time, no other person can take offence at it, for I’m certain he
intended non. I am persuaded that he will find likeways that I have not
deviated from the truth of his narration, for I shou’d be greatly concern’d
if the publishing of it should even happen to give any shock to his modesty.
The Sieur Macpherson, Signeur de Cluny, Chieff of one of the most remarkable
clans of Scotland, is male representative of the Clan-chattan or Clan-cattan,
the most distinguished and most numberous clan that ever was in Scotland,
and which tradition, handed down from father to son, and well knowen over
all that kingdom, says came hither from Shithia in a considerable body,
others say more probablie from Germany, and landed in the north of Scotland,
where two extensive provinces took their names from them, that of Cathness,
or the cat’s nest or bay where they first landed, and that of Catto, where
they afterwards extended them selves ; which last-mentioned province, in
more modern times gote the name of Southerland, to distinguish it from
Cathness, as lying to the south of it, but still retains the name of Catto
in the Galick language, which is to this day the language of the Highlands,
and happened during the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar.
In these times, and long after, no sirnames were in use, so the clan went by
the name of the chieff or leader, and of consequence were named Clan Caten.
After having settled in the country, they interchanged marriages with the
first houses in the kingdom, and several very considerable houses there are
of that origine, particularly the honourable and ancient house of Keith, the
present representatives whereof are the two illustrious brothers, well
knowen in Europe, Signeur George Keith, Hereditary Earle Marishal of
Scotland, late Envoye Extraordinary from the King of Prussia to the King of
France, and now Governour of the town and Province of Neuffchatel in Suisse,
with Signeur James Keith, Felt-Mareschal of his Prussian Majestie’s forces
and Governour of Berlin, whose predecessor, a son of the chieff of Clan
Caton, had distinguished himself in the year 839, when King Kenneth the
Second of Scotland conquered the kingdom of the Picks, for his valour on
which occasion King Kenneth gave him lands, and dismissed him with the rank
of one of the great barrons of Scotland, about which time, by a very small
transition, either by accident or with intention to distinguish themselves,
their name changed from Chatan to Keith, and their barrony took the name of
the family. The representatives of that house of Keith farther distinguished
themselves several ages after, about the year 1020, in the reign of Malcolm
the Second, by defeating the Danes upon an invasion they made in Scotland,
and by killing Camus, their king or leader, at the battle of Barry, in the
province of Angus, where the burying monument of Camus is still to be seen,
and a village there takes the name of Camustown from it, for which brave
action they deservedly obtained farther dignities from the kings of
Scotland. So have ever since those times continued to enjoy very extensive
lands and possessions in Scotland, and have been always considered a house
of great dignity and honour. The house of Sutherland, Earls of Sutherland,
whose family name and title are from the provinces, is likeways very
ancient, springs from the same clan, and is term’d in the Gallick language
the Earle of Catto, besides several other houses which would be too tedious
In the year 1291, the chieff of the Clan Catan hapened to have no son, so
his only dayghter married a son of Macduff, Thane or Earl of Fife, the then
most powerfull signeur in the kingdom, and made use of his power to carry
off the family lands of Clan Caton in favor of his son, who had married the
daughter, and in prejudice of the male heir, who by some accident had gote
the name of Pherson; various reasons are assigned for its being given him,
but non of them with such certainty as can be relyed on at this distance of
time. But however it happened, haveing continued to his death, of
consequence his descendants and followers were named Macpherson, which in
that language signifies the son of Pherson, and which name, thus gote by
accident, the clan still retains. The son of Macduff, who had married the
daughter and gote possession of the family fortune, was likewise ambitious,
and considered it his greatest honour that the clan Caton should acknowledge
him for chieff, so with that intention dropt the name of Macduff, and would
willingly have taken that of Catan. But in those times it was no easie
matter to assume or change a name at pleasure, for people then were in use
to term a son by the name or some distinguished tittle of the ffather, so
even against his inclination they continued to name him son of the Thane,
which in the language of the country is Machk in Dochich, which name of
Macintosh his descendants and followers keep to this day. In this manner was
the number-ous and ancient tribe of Caten divided into two great branches,
and afterwards suffered still further subdivisions in smaller trybs of
Davidsons, Farquharsons, MacGillivrays, Murdochs, Smiths, and others, non of
whom bearing the ancient name of Chattan, it is now almost entirely lost,
yet the houses of both MacPher-son and Macintosh bear a catt for the cryst
of their coats of arms, with the moto “Touch not the catt but a glove,”
which was the cryst and moto of the ancient house of Caton. Those two houses
had a dispute for many ages which shou’d be the chieff of the whole Clan
Catan, and the matter was warmly debated before the Privie Councill of
Scotland, at no small expense to both, and no longer ago than the reign of
Charles the Second; but the Council wisely reflecting that the name of
Chattan being lost, and the clan divided in so many branches carrying many
different names, it might make any single house too powerfull to be esteemed
the head, and have the direction of the whole, so disappointed both, and
determined that each should keep his own name, and be chieff of his .own
clan. But no family ever made any pretensions to be chieff save those of
Macpherson and Macintosh. Yet the house of Macpherson Signeur de Cluny is by
all the World acknowledged to be the male representative, and the house of
Macintosh only the female line of the ancient Catan.
The Sieur Evan Macpherson de Cluny, and reall representative of the ancient
line of Catan, was born at Cluny in 1707, from his earliest years lait to
heart the well-being of his country, and regreted much that it was not
improv’d to the degree that it might easily bear. He had long observed that
Industrie and diligence were greatly discouraged by incursions of louse
ungovernable people from different parts of the mountains, who carryed off
in droves the cattle of people of all ranks in the lower and better
cultivated provinces. The too general calamity gave him real uneasiness, and
he was shocked to see those pernicious remains of ancient barbarism reach
down to modern times; he was certain it proceeded only from the remains of
barbarism, for he had many convincing proofs that in other respects the
disposition of the people in those parts were generally as benevolent,
humain, and even generous, as those of any country whatever; but agriculture
having been at all times neglected in those parts, the almost only
employment of the common people were in attending their flocks, in hunting,
and in fishing, which too naturally gave them habits of irregularity and
idleness, handed down from father to son, and not easie to be checqued, so
he often regreted that earlier pains had not been taken to turn their minds
to agriculture, and other usefull Industrie. He had observed that mankind
are generally the same in all countries, too susceptable of being led into
bad practices by custom and example, that even in the most civilized
governments, besides the precepts of the preacher and the authority of the
magistrate, the whipe, the gibet, and the rack, must be too frequently made
use of, and even come short in regulating the morals of many, whereas these
countries were too far removed from the lash of any of these checks. He had
likeways observed that in vice opportunity and conveniency are great
temptations, and so great were these in their favours by vast unfrequented
mountains, reaching almost in ridges from the west to the east sea, and by
their dispersed lonely habitations, that he is convinced if the most
civilized society in Europe were established in that country and disengaged
from any check on their morals, their descendants vvou’d in time be infected
and tempted to make use of the conveniences and opportunities the natural
situation affords. The affection he bore his country in general often
suggested to him these and such reflections, and prompted him to lay the
abuse earnest to. heart. But it still affected him more sensiblie when he
too frequently observed his own herds, and those of his friends, followers,
and dependants, become the prey, which generally landed in the entire ruin
of the poorer sort, and in the no small loss of those who were better able
to bear it. He determined, therefore, that he wou’d endeavour to put a stop
to so pernicious a practice in so far as concern’d his own lands, and the
possessions of his clan; accordingly he rais’d and established a watch or
safeguard of his own trustee followers, and at his own and their expense,
which for several years had a remarkably good effect over that part of the
country where he or his friends and descendants had any possessions. The
neighbouring signeurs, and noblesse, and even many at a greater distance,
such as the Duke of Gordon, Ogilvie Earle of Airly, Stewart Earle of Murray,
Gordon Earle of Aboyne, Gordon Earle of Aberdeen, Fraser Lord Lovat, Duff
Lord Braco, Brodie Lord Lyon ; Forbes of Culloden, Lord President of the
Session ; Campbell of Calder, Barron Farquharson of Invercald, Sir Ludovic
Grant of Grant, The Barron Macintosh of Macintosh ; The Barron Albert of
Castlehill, at that time Sherrif of Inverness-shire ; Sir Robert Gordon of
Gordonstown, Barron Rose of Kilravock, Barron Brodie of Lethen, and Campbell
Duke of Argyle, his vassals in the province of Angus, being either all
chieffs of their respective clans, or of very distinguishing rank in the
country, with innumerable others too* tedious to repeat; but however high
their rank was, they laboured still under the hardship of haveing their
cattle and those of their farmers carried off. They were surpris’d at
Cluny’s success, and enveyed so much his happiness that they applyed to him
with one accord to take them under his protection, and cheerfully offered to
join in a voluntary subscription towards the support and augmentation of his
scheme, and in acknowledgment for his own labour and industrie in a work so
laudable and so universally beneficiall. He listened, and in consequence
doubled his diligence, and his success was in proportion. He never failed to
find out, and bring back, even from the most distant parts, all cattle which
from that period happened to be carried off, in so much that not one single
person in the provinces which he had undertaken to protect suffered in a
sixpence, and he also very effectually serv’d on many occasions even those
who had never applyed to him. The Farmers then followed their industrie in
peace and tranquillity, blessing him in their hearts for the happiness they
enjoyed, and every day brought letters full of grateful acknowledgements
from the signeurs and noblesse for the remarkable and surprizing change he
had so speedily and so effectually made over the whole country. The
subscriptions towards so good a work amounted at that time in his favours to
above twentie thousand livres yearly, yet so many were the contributors,
that it was next to nothing to any particular, and would soon have been very
considerablie more by the addition of the Dukes of Athol and Perth, with the
noblesse to the southward, and by the addition of the Earle of Seaforth and
his clan of Mackenzie’s with the Monros and Rosses, and the noblesse to the
northward. Yet altho’ his success gave general pleasure to most people, it
did not fail to draw upon him the jealousie and envy of some particulars,
all whom, however, he in a short time reconciled by reason, and by a steady
firm conduct, so that those who had been his most inveterate enemies soon
became his firmest friends, gaining the goodwill of all, nor was his name
ever mentioned on any occasion but with esteem ; neither does he omitt doing
justice to all the clans of Scotland in general, for he affirms, that not a
single chieff or leading man amongst them but cheerfully and readily gave
him their assistance in curbing these lawless practices, so dis-tructive as
well as dishonourable; and such was his success in it that the whole kingdom
were witnesses of his doing, more alone in the course of a few years towards
polishing and civilizing the Highlanders in that respect, than all the power
and endeavours of the Government had ever been able to do by their repeated
tryalls, at very great expense, for many generations back, in so much that
he had the agreeable satisfaction to see the agriculture of his own country,
which had in all former times been neglected, augment at least two-thirds in
his own. It may not be amiss to take notice of a pleasant enough occurrence
which happened about this period, and which afterward became a common saying
in the country. A preacher in the Highlands haranging a numberous auditorie
of the common people in their own language, reproved them for, and exhorted
them warmly against, their too well-known practices, when to his surprise he
was interrupted by a gray-hair’d reverend-looking veterane, and an old
transgressor, who rose up in the midle of the assembly and desired him to
save his labour upon that point, for Mons. de Cluny alone wou’d gain more
souls to heaven in one year than all the priests in the highlands cou’d ever
do in fifty. This reputation in that respect reach’d the ears of the
ministrie, who to his great surprise, having never once thought of engaging
in military or government matters, sent him, to his own house, unask’d for a
commission to command a company in the regiment my Lord le Comte de Loudin,
the same who presently goes to America charg’d with the general command of
all the colonies, had at that time authority to raise, and which company
wou’d by its advantages have produc’d him at least six thousand livres a
year. At same time the most remarkable signeurs in the country agreed among
themselves, without his knowledge, to solicite the Government that he and
his company might have liberty to stay at home in order to protect the
country, so that he had reasonable well-founded prospects to have enjoyed
betwixt thirty-and-six thousand livres yearly, besides the whole yearly
produce of his own fortune, which he found daily improve under his own eye,
and whereof neither he nor his predecessors would either know or reap the
full value untill the regulations he had lately made enabled him by degrees
to do both.
This was his situation, living in peace, in affluence, and in esteem at his
own house, at the period the Prince landed in Scotland. The Prince sent him
an invitation to join him with his followers; and as his principles, and
those of his household at all times led them towards a faithfull attachment
to the rightfull royall line of Stewarts, he did not hesitate in sending
back his captain’s commission to the Government in six weeks after he
received it, rais’d his clan, left all, and followed his Prince, who
received him with a hearty welcome, and with a due sense of his merit. He
from that time accompanied the Prince through all his fatigues, during the
long course of a severe winter campagne, during which he had frequent
opportunities to observe, and be much pleased with, many great quallities in
so young a Prince. In deliberations he found him ready, and his oppinion
generally best; in their execution firm, and in secrecy impenetrable; his
humanity and consideration show’d itself in strong light even to his
enemies, whom he cou’d not help still to consider subjects, and, as he us’d
to say, his countrymen. In application and fatigues non cou’d exceed him.
Dress’d like a highlander, he march’d on foot at the head of his army from
Edr to Derby, at least 300 miles by the root taken, sometimes 20 miles a
day, often over mountains of heath in snow and rain ; nor was any single
person in his army so alert, never failing to be on foot in the morning
before the appointed hour, and by his own example giving life and motion to
the whole, in so much that Mons. de Cluny’s attachment to the house of
Stewart was very soon augmented by a personal veneration and esteem ; and in
the return of the army from England, Cluny at the head of his own single
clan attack’d the Duke of Cumberland and his cavalrie at Clifton near
Penrith, and repuls’d them with great loss, on which occasion my Lord George
Murray, lieutenant-general, who had the command off, and brought up the rear
of, the army, gave the orders, went on with Cluny, and fought sword in hand
on foot as keenly as a common soldier. The other actions of the Prince and
his army are well knowen to the World. Cluny never failed his share in all
of them, untill the fatal battle of Culloden, on the 16th April 1746,
dispers’d the whole, and obliged every single man in it to shift for
himself. The Prince then retired privately to the Western Islands, where he
dayly ran great risques of being discovered and apprehended by those who
earnestly sought his life. But Cluny, trusting to the faithfull attachment
of his people, went directly to his own country, where he found means to
conceal himself in safety, as well as Donald Baron Cameron, Lord Locheil,
who had been severely wounded at Culloden, and believing himself far from
safe in his own country, which was too open to the enemy, came to Cluny for
protection, accompanied by Sir Stewart Threpland, who with great attention
acted both the part of a phisitian and surgeon to him, as did severall
others of the Prince’s faithfull friends, who happened to be strangers in
that part of the World, to all whom Cluny afforded entertainment and
security in their greatest distresses. Soon after he had the mortification
to see his own house of Cluny, which he had not long before built from the
ground with great attention, care, and expense, as a seat for his family,
and was by much the best in these parts of Scotland, all in flames by
Cumberland’s orders. Nor was that his only mortification, for his Lady, only
daughter of Lord Lovat, who lost his head the year after on Tower Hill for
the same cause, with his young family were thereby turn’d out to the
inclemency of the weather without knowing where to put their heads in
safety; and a worthy father, who in the 1715 had acted the same part the son
did in the 1745, unable to bear at his years the misfortunes of his royall
master, of his country, and of his own family, grieff brought his gray hairs
to the grave in a month after. Those melancholly circumstances were soon
followed by others of the same kind, for he had the grieff to be spectator
from the mountains and woods of his country being ravaged more than once by
the military, many of his own farms and those of his friends reduced to
ashes by fire, their cattle and other effects carried off beyond a
possibility of being recovered. Yet still he was far from being discouraged,
nor ever lost hopes, believing firmly that providence wou’d sooner or later
send relieff, and put an end to oppression. But forseeing at same time that
no relieff cou’d happen soon, he thought of regulating his manner of living.
He had a certain number of a faithfull watch who always attended him, and
his orders; by their means he and such as were with him were supplied in
provisions, by their means he kept a correspondence with his friends, and by
their means he had dayly intelligence of what passed even in the enemie’s
camps which lay round him in the neighbourhood. In this manner he spent the
summer, and about the beginning of August, to the great satisfaction of all
who wish’d the cause well, he was again joined by the Prince, who from the
time they had parted had undergone innumerable hardships, had been almost
dayly traced and pursued from place to place, often faint with hunger and
fatigue, often without sufficient cloaths to defend him from the cold damps,
and still oftener without a shoe on his foot. But after many miraculous
escapes having at last reach’d Cluny, who had Lord Lochiel with him, he then
found a retreat which might be considered safe, a comfortable bed, and
plentie of provisions, which made so great a difference from his late
uncomfortable way of life, that he chearfully used to say Cluny made him
live like a Prince. In this manner he pass’d the time in ease, or at least
in quietness. No surmise or notice was ever so much as hinted of the place
of his retreat, nor a single person ever appeared to disturb him. In so much
that the Government, who never slackened their earnestness to find him out,
having quite lost the least information, were making keen searches and
enquiries about him in countries, and at places hundreds of miles distant
from where he then happened to be. The season, however, advanced, the nights
became long and cold, so Cluny became anxious for a more comfortable
residence for the Prince during the winter, in the event that no better fate
shou’d befall him. He accordingly laid a plan for that purpose, which he
directly caused execute, and communicated to the Prince; who haveing long
entertained earnest thoughts of means to get beyond sea, pleasantly answered
that his plan would do very well for a last resource. But happily about the
middle of September notice came to Cluny that some ships were arrived from
France in search of the Prince; he urg’d his speedy departure, afforded him
guids, provisions, and everything necessary for a considerable land journey
he had to make on foot towards the place where the ships attended, and which
he reached on the, 19th day of September. Lord Locheil; his broyr, Archibald
Cameron, colonel of Infantrie in the Spanish service, who was executed at
London in June 1753; Macdonell of Lochgarrie, present lieutenant-colloncl to
the Scots Regiment of Ogilvie, in the service of France, with several
others, attended the Prince beyond the seas, and were thereby relieved of
their fatigues and dangers. But on Cluny he laid his commands to stay in
Scotland, both by word and in writing, as the only person in whom he cou’d
repose the greatest confidence; assureing him that he should pay him a visit
soon in a way better supported than formerly, and that at no rate he shou’d
leave the country to such time as he shou’d see himself, or at least have
orders to that purpose under his own hand. Cluny, who well knew the
dangerous situation, wou’d willingly have excused himself, and have
accompanied him along with the others to France. But the Prince being urgent
he obeyed, trusting to providence and a good cause, and was willing to
risque everything rather than fail in his duty. The Prince took accordingly
his departure and arrived safely in France, whereof Cluny had the agreeable
nottice by the voice of fame soon after. Long afterwards did he impatiently
look for the promised visit, but to his great grieff it never happened j at
last he had messages from the Prince that he had been disappointed in his
intended return to Brittain, and that, being entirely sensible of his
faithfull attachment, it gave him real concern that it was not in his power
to provide for him in the manner he wished, but that in the meantime,
haveing obtained a regiment from the King of France in favours of Lord
Locheil and his family, he had named him Lieutenant-collonel, which wou’d
afford him about five thousand livres a year as small bread for him and his
family to such time as it might be in his power to do more for him. But
still that he behooved to remain in Scotland, and that his appointments
wou’d be paid him from the establishing of the regiment as faithfully and
punctually as if he were in France. Cluny complyed with no small reluctance,
and in consequence of his obedience underwent innumerable hardships for a
course of nine tedious melancholly years : woods, mountains, and caves were
generally his best lodgings, and the depth of night the only time of his
movements. The Government were solicitous to find him out, and for that
purpose troops were dayly employed in keen warm searches after him ;
garrisons continually lay in his country, using every means to obtain
informations about him both by threats and promises; even large sums and
high preferments were repeatedly offered to any person who wou’d make the
least discovery; yet so remarkable was the attachment of his people, and the
great good will of his other countrymen, together with his own prudent
conduct and directions, that it never was in the power of the Government for
any premium to trace him so much as one single step, or to discover where he
lodged one single night, which affords an instance of a private person
standing out against the violent resentment of an enrag’d power-full
Government for so long a course of time as no historie or tradition can
paralel. In this manner time passed lonly on from year to year during the
uncomfortable severity of every tedious winter he consol’d himself with
hopes of relieff in the spring or summer, but to his grieff he even then
found his hopes disappointed, and another melancholly winter overtake him.
Here justly may be observed the effects of habite on the humane
constitution, for during the course of nine years in a remarkablie cold
climate, Cluny never once put on a pair of breetches, or a pair of gloves on
his hands, nor scarce ever found he had use for them, while at the same time
he scarce cou’d ever have the conveniency of a fire.
His family fortune had been taken possession of by the Government from the
fatal day of Culoden, but as estates of that kind had always upon such
former occasions been by time brought to a publick sale, his friends
encourag’d him with hopes that it shou’d be purchased for account of his
family. Yet beyond all precedent, and to his lasting concern, resolutions
were taken by Parliament to annex it unalienably to the crown, and he
thereby deprived of all prospects of recovering it, even his relations who
possessed part of it were severely oppress’d from no other motive than the
heat of the Government’s resentment against him, and altho’ he has now been
ten months in France, yet twenty-four gerrisons still lie in that country in
the houses of gentlemen of his blood and name, where they use all the
hienuous liberties of a revengefull enemy and command as masters. At last,
in the beginning of May 1755, the Prince’s orders to come abroad, wrote by
his own hand, reach’d him, which tho’ they mortified him in one respect, by
convincing him that the hopes of a restoration were at a greater distance
than he wished, yet he obeyed with pleasure, in regard that continued
fatigues and hardships had greatly impaired his health, and an advancing age
made him less quallified to suffer more. He accordingly sett out directly,
happly made his way, and arrived in France the beginning of June. He then
never doubted but that his lieutenant-colonel’s appointments would afford
him and his family some reasonable subsistence, and that the punctual
payment of the arrears which were due him upon it wou’d put him in condition
to cleer some debts he had been obliged to contract, and provide him and
them in becoming necessaries suiting their rank. But his surprise and
mortification cannot easily be imagined when he was inform’d that the only
regiment which had been rais’d at the Prince’s request had been referm’d
immediately after the Prince left France, a regiment which had been granted
by the King at the earnest desire of the Prince in favours of the family of
Donald Cameron, Lord Locheil, who was the first who sett footing, made
figure, and showed example in the Prince’s expedition in Scotland, and
without whoes particular active endeavours, and appearing directly in his
favours with nine hunder of his followers, it wou’d never have deserv’d the
name of an expedition, and the Prince behooved to have return’d directly to
France. Yet he finds this regiment referm’d, and John, the present Lord
Locheil, the extremely promising son of a worthy father, and who is well
quallified to act the same part in Scotland his father had done, in some
respects even better quallified by haveing earlier knowen the world and
languages, not only deprived of all hopes of recovering the seat, and large,
extensive, and improveable lands of his ansesters, which can be trac’d back
at least 800 years in their family, besides the following of a very
numberous clan, but likeways deprived of the very regiment that had been
expressly rais’d for the family, and to which his pretentions are but too
well founded, and be reduced to act as Captain referm’d in the regiment of
Royall Scots. By the reduction of the said regiment Cluny finds himself
likeways deprived of the far larger part of the bread the Prince believed he
had provided for him and his family, and gave him full grounds to depend on.
This unexpected stroke bore harder on him than all he had ever hitherto
suffered, and made him almost ballance in his own heart whether he had not
better suffered death in Brittain than live in France, and see his family
and friends in want. Reason, however, and patience by degrees took place,
and the school of sufferings which he had so long been prov’d in quallified
him to suffer more. He then did not in the least question but the arrears of
his appointments of 1800 livres a year as lieutenant-colonel en suite of the
regiment of Royall Scots, to which regiment he was told he had been annexed
upon the reduction of Locheil’s regiment, wou’d be ordered him upon asking
it. Accordingly he made out a memoire of his request, Lord Lewis Drummond of
Melfort, colonel of the Royall Scots, presented him and it to the minister,
who received both with goodness and affability, and gave such assurances
that he wou’d soon consider the case as left Cluny no room to think there
wou’d be the least hesitation in a matter where justice appear’d so much in
his favours that there could be no grounds for hesitating. He waited an
answer for some considerable time with patience, but his patience, tho’ it
had been so often tryed, began at last to wear out j so he then followed the
Court, renewed and continued his solicitations for several months with no
better success, during the intervalls whereof he found so much time on his
hands that many anxious reflections intruded on his mind, even against his
He cou’d not help comparing his present with his former situation ; he saw
himself reduced to solicite low bread at a foreign court; whereas the time
had but lately been that he wou’d not have moved a step from his own house
for the best regiment France cou’d afford him, and that no nation in Europe
could put him at the head of a better regiment than that which his birth and
the custom of the country had given him an unquestionable right to command.
These mortifying reflections were soon after augmented by nottice being
given him that the minister had all the inclination in the world to do him
service, but that he found his hands tyed up by rules which admitted of no
claim to arrears by any person, who had never join’d his regiment. He then
found himself worse than ever; and altho’ he did not doubt but these rules
might be right in their foundation, and very applicable to such as out of
folly or wantoness forbore to join their regiments, yet that being far from
his case, he cou’d not conceive by what rule, either in reason or in
justice, these rules cou’d be applyed to him, who had been made
lieutenant-colonel of Lord Locheil’s regiment, for no other reason than in
consequence of his ready obedience to his Prince’s commands. In consequence
of his obedience to the same commands he stayed in Scotland, and was thereby
absolutely debar’d from haveing it in his power to join the regiment, and in
obeying these commands underwent a continued nine years’ compagne of
hardships and sufferings beyond comparison severer than any officer in the
French service cou’d possibly have occasion to undergo even during the
warmest war; so that it may easily be conceived his stay was no choice in
him, for so obnoxious are he and his followers to the Government that to
this hour they continue their searches for and resentment against him,
scarce allowing themselves to believe that he has left the country, or that,
if he has, he may not still return during these times of disturbance, and
give them more trouble than ever. He is conscious that the Prince well knows
his zeall, and that of his followers, as well as their sufferings, and that
if it were in his power to provide for them he wou’d allow non of them to be
in want. He readily agrees that disobedience to commands deserves
punishment; but to his surprise his punishment comes from giveing a ready
obedience to the person who he believes had the best and only right to
command him, particularly while he remained in Scotland. At last, however,
after eight months’ attendance and almost daily solicitations, notice was
given him by my Lord Clare that the minister had condescended to give him
6000 livres by way of gratification out of the extraordinarries of war, but
even that not to be payed him to such time as he shall join the regiment;
from which time, and not till then, was to have acess to the course of his
pension of 1800 livres. He acknowledges himself under so great obligations
to my Lord Clare that he never mentions his name without all the warmness of
gratitude, believing he ows even the 6000 livres to his sympathysing
disposition and endeavours, tho’ at same time it scarce exceeds a third part
of his well founded claim, and still its not being payed him while at Paris
leaves him in as great straits as ever. By a nine months’ stay and
solicitations he had contracted debt to near the value, and is still obliged
to contract more before it can be in his power to put himself in a condition
to join the regiment. But yet necessity behooved to be complyed with, and
fate submitted to, however hard ; so by the assistance of friends he is
equipt and gone to the regiment, where he is sorrie to find himself tyed
down to an inactive melancholly life, haveing no command nor the least thing
to do; much the reverse of what has always been his practice. But what
affects him most is the present situation of a deserving lady with whom he
has long lived affectionately in great ease, in plentie, and in honour, with
perhaps a hundred servants attending their commands, now reduced to live in
a cottage in Scotland with her young family continually disturb’d with a
captain’s command of the military, one of the 24 garrisons before mentioned,
as speys on her, and he so far from being in a condition to bring her or
them hither, or to support them if brought, that he finds 1800 livres of
appointments, which by retentions scarce exceeds 1600, with difficultie will
allow himself bread, without affording a single servant to clean his shoes.
Before concluding, perhaps the reader would be anxious to have some short
account of Badenach, the country in which Clunie’s estate lies, and in what
manner the Prince lived while there. Its name, Badenach, signifies, in the
language of the country, bushes of wood, by which the face of it in former
times was mostly covered. It lies in the province of Inverness, about midway
betwixt the east and west seas, by which the island of Brittain is
surrounded. It is computed from 28 to 30 miles in length east and west, and
in some places 18 to 20 in breadth south and north, mountains and valleys
included, each of which computed miles may be considered near a league in
France. It is inhabited mostly by his clan and followers, who are generall
observed by strangers to be the talest and most robust men in Scotland.
Somewhat to the westward of the centre of this country was the seat of the
family, the Chateau de Cluny, now reduced to ruins by Cumberland, is
situated in an agreeable manner on a rising ground on the north bank of the
river Spey, which traverses the country from west to east, the south front
of the chateau overlooks the river, makeing many delightfull serpentine
windings along severall miles of the largest beautifull meadows that are to
be found in these parts. The river afforded salmond and other fishes for his
table, the neighbouring mountains and forests afforded him venison and game
of all kinds, and his own flocks and heards boucherie meat at command. Round
this chateau at different distances were the seats and habitations of his
friends and followers, who respected and rever’d him as their common father;
with pleasure they received his commands, which from the ties of affection
and from a personal esteem they obeyed as a duty. In points of property his
decisions were acquiesced in with chearfullness; he was the arbiter of their
differences, the reconciler of their animosities, nor was there any one
marriage or a death-bed settlement believed valid without his approbation.
About five miles to the south-westward of his chateau commenc’d his forrest
of Benalder, plentifully stock’d with dear—red—hares, moorfoul, and other
game of all kinds, beside which it affords fine pasture for his numberous
flocks and heards. There also he keeps a harras of some hundred mares, all
which after the fatal day of Culoden became the pray of his enemies. It
contains an extent of many mountains and small valleys, in all computed
about 1 2 miles long east and west, and from 8 to 10 miles in breadth,
without a single house in the whole excepting the necessary lodges for the
shepherds who were charg’d with his flocks. It was in this forrest where the
Prince found Cluny with Locheill in his wounds and other friends under his
care. Cluny observed on this occasion an instance of the Prince’s
never-failing prudent caution and presence of mind. Lord Locheill, he, and
the others advanced to receive him in the respectfull manner justly due his
Royal Highness; “ My dear Locheill,” says he immediately, “ no ill-plac’d
ceremony at present I beg of you, for it is hard to say who may at this
moment eye us from these surrounding mountains.”
How soon the joy conceived on seeing the Prince in safety and in health gave
room for cooler reflections. Cluny became anxious about his future health
and safety. He was afraid that his constitution might not suit with lying on
the ground or in caves, so was solicitous to contrive a more comfortable
habitation 'for him upon the south front of one of these mountains,
overlooking a beautifull lake of 12 miles long. He observed a thicket of
hollywood; he went, viewed, and found it fit for his purpose 3 he caused
immediately wave the thicket round with boughs, made a first and second
floor in it, and covered it with moss to defend the rain. The uper room
serv’d for salle a manger and bed-chamber, while the lower serv’d for a cave
to contain liquors and other necessaries3 at the back part was a proper
hearth for cook and baiker, and the face of the mountain had so much the
colour and resemblance of smock, no person cou’d ever discover that there
was either fire or habitation in the place. Round this lodge were placed
their sentinels at proper stations, some nearer and some at greater
distances, who dayly brought them notice of what happened in the country,
and even in the enemie’s camps, bringing them likewise the necessary
provisions, while a neighbouring fountain supplied the society with the
rural refreshment of pure rock water. As, therefore, an oak-tree is to this
day rever’d in Brittain for having happily sav’d the grand-uncle, Charles
the Second, from the pursuits of Cromwell, so this holly thicket will
probablie in future times be likeways rever’d for having saved Prince
Charles the nephew from the still more dangerous pursuits of Cumberland, who
show’d himself on all occasions a much more inveterate enemy. In this
romantick humble habitation the Prince dwelt. When news of the ships being
arrived reached him, Cluny convoyed him to them with joy, happy in having so
safely plac’d so valuable a charge3 then return’d with contentment, alone to
commence his pilgrimage, which continued for nine years more. And now
notwithstanding the very great difference of his present situation and
circumstances to what they once were, he is always gay and chearfull3
consious of having done his duty, he defys fortune to make him express his
mind unhappy, or so much as make him think of any action below his honour.
This not being intended as a historie of the Prince’s expedition, the small
beginning it arose from, the two surprising battles he gain’d, the taking
the city of Edinburgh, capitale of Scotland, the taking the city and
citadale of Carlisle, those of Inverness, and Fort-Augustus, besides many
oyr smaller advantages, and marching on foot from the north parts of
Scotland carrying all before him to the city of Derby, a short way of
London, where he made the Ministrie and Government tremble, the publick
funds fall, for non wou’d buy them, the Bank of England stop payments, and
his rival shake upon the throne, in so much that terror seis’d the whole and
shipping was prepared to carry the Prince and Princess of Wales with their
young family to Hanover, and kept the field for near nine months against all
the powers of Great Brittain, which was assisted even by a considerable
foreign force both of Hessians and Hollanders, while he was supported only
by so few that at no time his army exceeded six thousand men ; and money,
the sinnows of war, was even wanting to pay these, while at sametime his
rival had the whole treasure of England at command. Glorious as these facts
are, both for the Prince and those who assisted him in performing them, I
shall leave them to some other hand who is better provided in materials, so
shall only mention one action in which Mons. de Cluny and his tribe haveing
been the only performers, and being a remarkable instance of what the
Highlanders are capable off, sufficiently answers my present purpose.
In the Prince’s return from Derby back towards Scotland, my Lord George
Murray, lieutenant-general, chearfully charg’d himself with the command of
the rear, a post which, altho’ honourable, was attended with great danger,
many difficulties, and no small fatigue; for the Prince being apprehensive
that his retreat to Scotland might be cut off by Marischal Wade, who lay to
the northward of him with an armie much supperiour to what H.R.H. had, while
the Duke of Cumberland, with his whole cavalrie, followed hard in the rear,
was obliged to hasten his marches. It was not therefore possible for the
artillerie to march so fast as the Prince’s army in the depth of winter,
extremely bad weather and the worst roads in England, so mi Lord George was
obliged often to continue his marches long after it was dark almost every
night, while at the same time he had frequent allarms and disturbances from
the Duke of Cumberland’s advanc’d parties. Towards the evening of the 28th
December 1745 the Prince entered the town of Penrith, in the province of
Cumberland. But as Lord George Murray could not bring up the artilrie so
fast as he wou’d have wished, was obliged to pass the night six miles short
of that town together with the regiment of Mons. MacDonel, Baron de
Glengarrie, which that day happened to have the arrear gaurd. The Prince, in
order to refresh his army, and to give mi Lord George and the artilerie time
to come up, resolved a sejour the 29th at Penrith, so ordered his little
army to appear in the morning under arms, in order to be reviewed, and to
know in what manner the numbers stood from his having entered England. It
did not at that time amount to 5000 foot in all, with about 400 cavalrie
compos’d of the noblesse, who serv’d as volunteers; part of whom formed a
first troop of guards for the Prince, under the command of mi Lord Elchoe,
now Comte de Weems, who being proscribed is presently in France. Another
part formed a second troup of gaurds, under the command of mi Lord Balmirino
who was beheaded at the Tower of London. A third part serv’d under mi Lord
le Comte de Kilmarnock, who was likeways beheaded at the Tower. A fourth
part served under mi Lord Pitsligo, who is also proscribed; which cavalrie,
tho’ very few in numbers, being all noblesse, were very brave, and of
infinite advantage to the foot, not only in the day of battle, but in
serving as advanced gaurds on the several marches, and in patrolling dureing
the night on the different roads which led towards the towns where the army
happened to quarter. While this small army was out in a body on the 29th
December upon a rising ground to the northward of Penrith passing review,
Mons. de Cluny, with his tribe, were ordered to the Bridge of Clifton, about
a mile to the southward of Penrith, where, after haveing pass’d in review
before Mons. Pattullo, who was charged with the inspection of the troops,
and was likeways quartermaster-general of the army, and is now in France,
they remained under arms waiting the arrival of mi Lord George Murray with
the artilirie, whom Mons. de Cluny had orders to cover in passing the
bridge. They arrived about sunsett, closely pursued by the Duke of
Cumberland with the whole body of his cavalrie, reckoned upwards of 3000
strong, about a thousand of whom, as near as might be computed, dismounted
in order to cut off the passage of the artillirie towards the bridge, while
the Duke and the others remained on horseback in order to attack the rear;
mi Lord George Murray advanced, and altho’ he found Mons. de Cluny and his
tribe in good spirits under arms, yet the circumstance appeared extremely
delicate. The numbers were vastly unequall, and the attack seem’d very
dangerous, so mi Lord George declined giving orders to such time as he ask’d
Mons. de Cluny’s oppinion. “I will attack them with all my heart,” says
Mons. de Cluny, “if you order me,” “I do order it then,” answered mi Lord
George, and immediately went on himself along with Mons. de Cluny, and
fought sword in hand on foot at the head of the single tribe of Macphersons.
They in a moment made their way through a strong hedge of thorns under the
cover whereof the cavalrie had taken their station ; in the struggle of
passing which hedge mi Lord George Murray, being dress en Montagnard, as all
the army were, lost his bonet and wig, so continued to fight bareheaded
during the action. They at first made a brisk discharge of their firearms on
the enemy, then attacked them with their sabres, and made a great slaughter
a considerable time, which obliged Cumberland and his cavalrie to fly with
precipitation, and in great confusion, in so much that if the Prince had
been provided in a sufficient number of cavalrie to have taken advantage of
the disorder, it is beyond question that the Duke of Cumberland and the bulk
of his cavalrie had been taken prisoners. By this time it was so dark that
it was not possible to view or number the slain who filled all the ditches
which happened be on the ground where they stood, but it was computed that,
besides those who went off wounded, upwards of a hundred at least were left
on the spot, among whom was Colonel Honywood, who commanded the dismounted
cavalrie, whose sabre, of considerable value, Mons. de Cluny brought off,
and still preserves, and his tribe likewise brought off many arms; the
colonel was afterwards taken up, and his wounds being dress’d, with great
difficultie recovered. Mons. de Cluny lost only in the action men, of whom
haveing been only wounded, fell afterwards into the hands of the enemy, and
were sent as slaves to America, whence severals of them returned, and one of
them is now a sergeant in the regiment of Royal Scots. Here soon the
accounts of the enemie’s approach had reach’d the Prince. H.R.H. had
immediately ordered mi Lord le Comte de Nairne, Brigadier, who, being
proscribed, is now in France, with the three batalions of the Duke of Athol,
the batalion of the Duke of Perth, and some other troups under his command,
in order to support Cluny, and bring off the artilirie. But the action was
entirely over before the Comte de Nairn with his command cou’d reach nigh to
the place. They therefore return’d all to Penrith, and the artilirie march’d
up in good order. Nor did the Duke of Cumberland ever afterwards dare to
come within a day’s march of the Prince and his army during the course of
all that retreat, which was conducted with great prudence and safety when in
some manner surrounded by enemies.
Altho’ the Prince, however, acted wonders which astonished all Europe, and
thereby had drawen against him the whole British troups from their campagnes
in Flanders, also the Hessians and Hollanders above-mentioned, yet it was
not possible for him to resist so great a force with his small army, and
whom he had not even money to pay, nor sufficient arms to put in their
hands, neither was he supported by any foreign troups, excepting a very few
from France, which joined him towards the end of the expedition—viz., the
batalion of Royal Scots commanded by mi Lord John Drummond, which did not
consist of full five hundred men, and which, haveing been form’d only that
season, cou’d scarce be so good as his own militia, or at least no better,
and a few picquetts from the Irish brigade, many of whom had been
intercepted and taken prisoners by the British fleet in their passage. So it
need be no surprise that the fatal day of Culloden put a period to the
whole, and obliged every single man to shift in the best manner he cou’d for
Mr Macpherson, Baron of Cluny, a Scotsman, Chief of the clan of his name, is
so bold as to implore the king’s favours, beseeching him to vouchsafe to
hear the relation of what he has done and what he has suffered in the sight,
and to the knowledge of all those of his nation.
He received from his predecessors an inviolable attachment to the Royal
house of Stewart, and having despis’d very advantageous offers which were
made him by the Government for himself, his family, and his clan, before
Prince Edward’s arrivall in Scotland in 1745, he took arms and accompanied
him at the head of his clan during all his expedition.
His R.H., who had advanc’d the length of Derby, within thirty leagues of
London, having at that time General Wade behind him in the County of York,
and the Duke of Cumberland coming down to meet him, both with forces
infinitely superior to his, was oblig’d to retire. This Duke pursued him
with all his cavalry, and had overtaken his rear guard at Clifton, when the
Baron of Cluny fell in upon him sword in hand at the head of his Highlanders
and entirely routed him, which was the Preservation of the Prince’s army,
and enabled him to make a safe retrait into Scotland.
After the unfortunate day of Culloden, the 27th Aprill 1746, which was so
fatall to the just hopes of the Prince, the Baron of Cluny retired to his
mountains of Badenoich, from the top of which he soon had the displeasure to
see his country cruelly ravaged, the houses of his kindred and vassals
reduced to ashes, their effects and their cattle plundered and carried off,
the castle of his predecessors totally committed to the flames.
His wife, and children in the cradle, were reduced to wander from cottage to
cottage, scarcely finding a place to shelter themselves from the injurie of
the weather, his aged father, venerable and respected throughout the whole
country, soon sunk under the weight of so many misfortunes, and he was
deprived of this so valuable a comforter in his adversities.
His R.H. had wandered a long time in the mountains and desarts of the
western isles of Scotland, almost always alone or accompyed with some common
Highlanders, without cloaths or shoes, often lacking even the most homely
sub-sistance, and in continual danger of falling into the hands of his
enemies. At length having got back to the continent of Scotland, he with
much difficulty in the month of August joined the Baron of Cluny in his
Badenoch hills. He found there at least the necessaries that he had for a
long time stood in need of, and especially a secure azilum into a hutt of
water willows which was made up for him, and where he stayed several weeks
in so great secrecy that he was suppos’d to be at the same time eighty miles
from thence, and where the soldiers made the most diligent searches for his
The Baron of Cluny form’d even then a plan by which his R.H. might be kept
in safety all winter in his mountains, secure from being surpris’d by those
who sought after him, and having propos’d it to him, he answered, in a tone
which denoted his satisfaction, that he reserv’d that for his last resource.
Happyly it was not necessary; the Prince got intelligence that two French
ships were arrived upon the coast for to transport him, whereupon the Baron
of Cluny sent immediately to advertize the Prince’s scattered partisans,
such as my Lord Locheill, Colonel Cameron, his brother, and other gentlemen
of note, that he had concealed amongst his kinsmen in divers places of his
mountains in eighteen or twenty miles round. He got them together again
about his R.H. in 24 hours time, and having provided himself with provisions
and guides, he accompany him on foot for the space of sixty miles—that is to
say, near to sixty leagues French— to the place of his embarkation, the 30th
He himself would have wished to attend his R.H. into France, but he
commanded him to stay in Scotland, and to wait there till he shou’d hear
from him ; he obeyed his commands, altho’ he foresaw all the dangers and
inconveniences to which he exposed himself, and he return’d to his Badenoch
About a year after his R.H. found means to send him word to remain still in
Scotland untill he himself shou’d write to him; that in the meantime, for to
help to support himself and his family till he could procure him a more
suitable situation, he had caused him to be appointed lieut.-colonel of his
cousin my Lord Lochiel’s regiment in France, which salary shou’d be
punctually payed him.
He remained then exposed, both he and his family, to the most horrid
miseries, in perpetual danger of falling into the hands of the troups, of
whom there were many detachments night and day in search of him, with
positive orders to bring him in dead or alive, and great rewards were
promised to any one who shou’d discover the place of his retreat, and at
length finding no other means to make themselves easie in regard to him, the
officiers of the troups caused proposals of accommodation to be conveyed
him, which his loyalty made him always reject with disdain.
He lived wandering in the mountains, lying in the woods, in the caves, and
in the rocks, amongst the wild beasts his fellow inhabitants of those savage
places, receiving provisions by some of the most affectionate of his own
clan, who found means in the night from time to time to steal away from the
soldiers to succour; he struggled thus for nine years consecutively without
almost ever setting his foot within a house, without fire, in the hard
winters in the north of Scotland, not changing his place of refuge, but in
the night time, and always afoot, it being impossible to conceal a horse in
his places of retreat, during which time his wife dayly suffered all sorts
of hard usage and reproaches from the troups.
Perhaps it will be thought that this recital is exaggerated; nevertheless,
his fellow countrymen, and even his enemies, know that it comes much short
of what he really suffered, and the extraordinary accidents that he has
escaped in the course of these nine years wou’d be subject for a whole volum.
There is perhaps no example to be found of a man who has been able to remain
so long in a country in spite of all the means that a powerfull and incensed
Government cou’d employ for to catch him, and at the same time always in a
capacity of rendering important services to his R.H. if the occasion had
In the autumn of 1752, Colonel Archibald Cameron, who was executed at London
the year after, and Mr MacDonell of Lochgarry, now lieut.-colonel of my Lord
Ogilvie’s regiment, arrived secretely in Scotland charg’d with particular
orders from his R.H. directed positively to the Baron of Cluny, by which he
recommended to him over again to remain in Scotland.
At length, in the month of May 1755, he received a letter from his R.H.,
wherein he signified to him his concern for the dangers and sufferings to
which he had expos’d him for so many years, and enjoined him to take all
imaginable measures and precautions for to endeavour to escape and get into
France; he complyed with his orders; found the means to arrive here in the
month of June.
But at his arrivall he found that his long absence had made him lose the
small resource that his Royall Highnous’ bounty had procured for him in this
country. The Albany regiment, which was supposed to have been kept on foot,
both in time of peace and war, by the capitulation granted to my Lord
Lochiel at Fontainebleau the 30th October 1747, had been reform’d after the
death of the said lord; and perhaps his Majesty might have kept it up for
his family if the Baron of Cluny, his cousin germain, had not then happened
to be absent, conform to the Prince’s orders, and at the continual peril of
his head in Scotland, and consequently at too great a distance, and perhaps
unknown to this Court, for to represent their misfortunes and their
services. The king, indeed, granted a pension to my Lady Locheil, and to her
children, but nothing to the baron of Clunie’s lady or children, of whom
there was no mention made by anybody.
He hoped at least, as his R.H. had assured him, to be entirely clear’d off
for the bygones of his appointments as lieut.-colonel a la suite of the
Royal Scots. Notwithstanding, and after having followed the Court for nine
months, at the end of which all the favour he obtained was a gratification
of six thousand livres, the most part of which he could not but have spent
beforehand, and that perhaps after what he had lost, and what he had
suffered, he might have expected to receive from the king’s bounty,
independent of his bygone appointments, what his Majestie had been pleased
to grant to almost all those who had served in his R.H. expedition; he
therefore flatters himself his Majesty will not despise his singular
He is personally outlawed; and having entirely lost all the lands and
possessions that he had of his ancestors, he has no other resource but in
his Majestie’s bounty, his salary as lieut.-colonel reform’d being too small
and insufficient to subsist him and his family.
The foresaid detachments were continued in the manner formerly mentioned
amongst his kinsmen and vassals after the Government knew that the Baron of
Cluny was in France, ravaging them with the utmost cruelty and eagerness ;
being more exasperated against him than any other of his R. H. party, and
being bitterly stung that after having dar’d them so very long he has at
last been able to escape them. In revenge of which they so inveterately
harass’d and persecuted his wife that she was forced to apply to the most
affectionate of her friends, by whose assistance she has found means to get
out of their hands, and arrived with her family at Dunkerque in May 1757.
She deserves some attention on her own account, if there is any granted to
the memorie of those who have been martyrs of their loyaltie, she being only
daughter to the late Lord Lovat, beheaded in the tower of London in the year
1746. So she is in the singular case of seeing her father’s family, and her
husband’s both ruined for one and the same cause, and nobody of her name,
nor of her clan, no more than of the Baron of Cluny’s, have since these
sorrowful adventures sued for any favour at his Majestie’s hands.
Note.—From the terms of the following letter in the Cluny Charter-Chest,
addressed to Cluny of the ’45 by Mr 'James Edgar, “Secretary to the
Chevalier de St George,” it would appear Cluny’s Petition or Memorial to the
Court of France was quite unavailing :—
Rome, Dccemr. 12th 1758.
Sr,—The King commands me to acknowlege the receipt of your letter to him of
the 2d Noveinr., and of a Memorial inclosed in it, and, in making you a kind
compliment in his name, to let you know in return that, being well
acquainted with your merit and sufferings, he would be very glad did he
think he could obtain for you at present, by his good offices at the Court
of France, such a pension as you want, but M. is much affraycd that they
would have no effect at this time when the affairs of their Finances are in
so bad a condition. As M., however, would willingly befriend you in this
particular, he would take it into his consideration, and if anything can be
done in it in your behalf I shall do myself the honour to inform you of it.
I beg you would do me the justice to be well persuaded that I shall be
always glad of occasions where I can serve you, and where I can, and that I
am with great respect, Sr> your most obedient and most humble Servant,
(Signed) James Edgar.
LETTER INTIMATING THE DEATH OF CLUNY OF THE ’45 AT DUNKIRK ON 30TH January
1764, and his Burial in the Garden of the Carmelites
From the Cluny Charter-Chest.
Note.—The following letter communicating particulars of the closing scene in
the life of the brave and devoted Chief—worn out by his terrible sufferings
in the cause of “the hapless Stuart line,” and “sick unto death” of the long
and weary exile from his native hills—is very touching, indicating, as it
does, his dying solicitude for his wife and daughter, and his anxiety as to
the payment of any debts he might be owing at Dunkirk. The letter is
addressed to “Archibald Campbell Frazer, Esqre-’ Craven Street, London,” of
the family of Abertarff, and an intimate friend of the Cluny family. The
letter was found among the Abertarff papers, and transmitted by the late Mr
Fraser of Abertarff to “Old Cluny” (the father of the present Chief), on
12th June 1869, “to remain, where it should be, at Cluny Castle:”—
Dunkerque, 3\stjanry. 1764.
Dear Sir,—Ever since I wrote you last, your frind Cluny has been gradually
declining, till, quite attenuated, he at lenth breathed his last yesterday
morning between 8 and 9 o’clock. Some days before his death he sent for Mr
Haliburton, Mr Blair, and me, and recommended his Lady and Daughter to our
as his last request that we would send them over to London, as soon as could
decently be done after his decease, and that we should, after their
departure, dispose of the Houshold furniture in order to pay any debts he
may be owing on this side. The lady' seems resolved to follow this
injunction, and will probably set out in about 14/d. hence, but shall let
you know more exactly when once the time is settled. 1 need not diseribe to
you how disconsolate both she and her daughter are upon this melancholy
occasion. I regret ’tis not in my power to be of such use to them as I could
wish, being still confined with my legg, but both Mr Haliburton and Mr Blair
are acting the part of reall friends towards them. The Corps is to be
hurried this evening in a private manner in the Garden of the Carmelites,
which the Lady prefers to a Publiek buriall attended with the honours of
War. Be assured nothing in my power shall be wanting to assist your
distressed frinds, and that I am with great Sincerity, Dear Sir, your most
obedt. and humb. Servt., (Signed) David Gregorie.
THE CLAN CHATTAN.
From Skene’s ‘Highlanders of Scotland,’ published in 1837.
When the almost universal extinction of the Highland earls threw the
Highland clans into the independent and disunited state in which they
latterly existed, we find few of them in possession of such extensive
territories as the clan Chattan. The whole of Badenoch, with greater part of
Lochaber, and the districts of Strathnairn and Strathdearn, were inhabited
by the various septs of this clan, and previous to the grant made to Cornyn
these districts were held of the crown by the chief of the clan.
From the earliest period, this clan has been divided into two great
branches, respectively following as leaders Macpherson of Cluny and
Macintosh of Macintosh, both of whom claim the chiefship of the whole tribe.
The descent of the former family from the old chiefs of the clan, has never
been doubted, but the latter family has hitherto considered itself as
possessing a different descent from the rest of the clan Chattan. The earl
of Fife, of the name of Macduff, is claimed as its ancestor, alleging that
the chiefship of the clan Chattan was obtained about the end of the
thirteenth century by marriage with Eva, the daughter and heiress of
Gillepatrick, the son of Dugall dall, son of Gillichattan, the chief of the
But independently of the manifest unlikelihood of a tale so clearly opposed
to the Highland principles of succession and clanship, the mere fact of this
family styling themselves captains of the clan, claiming a foreign origin,
and asserting a marriage with the heiress of its chief, leads to the strong
presumption that they were the oldest cadets of the clan by whom the
chiefship had been usurped, while the manuscript of 1450 puts it beyond
doubt that this story is not only an invention, but one subsequent to the
date of the MS., and that the Macintoshes are as radically a branch of the
clan Chattan as the Macphersons; for that invaluable record of Highland
genealogies deduces the Macphersons and the Macintoshes from two brothers,
sons of Gillecattan Mor, the great founder of the clan Chattan. That there
has long existed a keen dispute with regard to the chiefship of the clan
Chattan between the Macphersons and Macintoshes is certain, and while the
Macphersons have hitherto rested their claims upon tradition alone, the
Macintoshes have triumphantly brought forward charters and documents of
every description in support of their alleged title. But the case is now
altered, and the investigations which we have made into the history of the
tribe of Moray, as well as into the history and nature of Highland
tradition, show that the fact of the Macphersons being the lineal and feudal
representatives of the ancient chiefs of clan Chattan rests upon historic
authority, and that they possess that right by blood to the chiefship, of
which no charters from the crown, and no usurpation, however successful and
continued, can deprive them.
The MS. of 1450 puts it beyond all doubt that the Macphersons and the
Macintoshes are descended from Neachtan and Neill, the two sons of
Gillechattan Mor, the founder of the race; while the title of captain, the
assertion of a foreign origin, and of a marriage with the heiress of the
former chiefs, as certainly point out that the Macintoshes were a usurping
branch, and that the Macphersons, whose descent from the old chiefs is not
denied, alone possessed the right of blood to that hereditary dignity. The
history of the earls of Moray is equally conclusive that the descendants of
Neachtan, from whom the Macphersons deduce their origin, were the eldest
branch and chiefs of the clan. The son of Neachtan is Head, or Heth, and
although he married the sister of the last Maormor of Moray, yet that in his
own person he possessed a right to the earldom, independently of his
marriage, appears from the fact that he must have succeeded in 1085, before
the title of earl or the feudal succession was introduced. His grandson, by
his eldest son Angus, was Malcolm Macheth, whose title to the earldom, and
consequently to the chiefship of his clan, was acknowledged by all the
Gaelic part of the population of Scotland, and even by the Norwegian earl of
Orkney, while his grandson by his younger son Suibne, was Muirich, from whom
the Macphersons take their name of the clan Vuirich. On the death of the
last descendant of Angus, his claims were taken up by Gillespie, and as he
unquestionably possessed the districts of Badenoch and Lochaber before the
feudal barons acquired possession of it, he must have been chief of the clan
Chattan, the ancient possessors of these districts. This is singularly
corroborated by the fact that the oldest traditions styled Gillichattan, the
grandfather of Gillipatrick, whose daughter is said to have married
Alexander Mackenzie of Inverness, the editor of ‘ The Celtic Magazine ’ and
of ‘ The Scottish Highlander,’ so well known as the author of so many clan
histories, and intimately conversant with the subject, gives similar
testimony. “There has been,” he says, “a long and warm controversy between
the Chiefs of Mackintosh and the Chiefs of Macpherson, and others interested
in them, regarding the Chiefship of the great Clan Chattan, with the result
that it is allowed by all disinterested parties that Cluny is undoubtedly
the Chief and male heir of that powerful and numerous clan, while the
Mackintoshes were for centuries its actual leaders or 1 Captains,’ in virtue
of the marriage of Angus Mackintosh, sixth Chief of that Ilk, with Eva,
daughter and only child of Dugall Dali, the undoubted and acknowledged Chief
of Clan Chattan in his day. There are various instances in Highland history
where the husband of the heiress of the Chief became the leader or ‘ Captain
’ of the clan, but we are not acquainted with a single instance where the
Chiefship descended through a female.”— Vide ‘Celtic Magazine.’ iii. 1878,
For Skene’s latest views as to the descent of the Mackintoshes, see his ‘
Celtic Scotland,’ vol. iii., second edition, 1S90, pp. 356-358.
MacGillespic, or son of Gillespie, while he must have lived at that very
time. Gillespie was certainly not a descendant of Angus, Earl of Moray, but
his claim to the earldom proves that he must have been a descendant of Head.
The identity of the Machcth family with the ehiefs of the clan Chattan is
therefore clearly established, and at the same time the descent of the clan
Vuirich or Mac-phcrsons from these chiefs is proved by the MS. of 1450.
This statement, supported as it is by the MS., and by documentary evidence
of an antiquity far greater than any which the Macintoshes can produce, at
once establishes the hereditary title of the Macphersons of Cluny to the
chiefship of clan Chattan, and that of the Macintoshes to their original
position of oldest eadets of the clan.
The circumstances which led to the establishment of the Macintoshes as
captains of clan Chattan can likewise be traced, and tend still more
strongly to confirm the position which has been adopted.
As the whole territory of Moray was at this period in the possession of
different Lowland barons, in virtue of their feudal rights only, we know but
little of the history of the various clans inhabiting that district till the
fourteenth century; nevertheless, it is certain that the clan Chattan, with
its different clans, continued to acknowledge the rule of one common chief
as late as that period, for the historian, John Major, after mentioning that
the two tribes of the clan Chattan and clan Cameron had deserted Alexander
of the Isles after his defeat by King James I., in the year 1429, adds,
“These two tribes are of the same stock, and followed one head of their race
as chief.” From other sourees we know that these clans were at this time
separate from each other, and were actually engaged in mutual hostilities.
But, notwithstanding, the passage distinctly proves that these clans had
very shortly before followed one chief as head of their respective raees.
It appears, therefore, that some event must have oecurred about this time to
oceasion disunion among the different branches of the clan, and it is
impossible to avoid being struck with the remarkable coincidence in point of
time between this rupture and the singular conflict between the chosen
ehampions of the two clans upon the North Inch of Perth in the year 1396,
which the works of Sir Walter Scott have recently made so generally
familiar, but which has nevertheless baffled every enquirer into its cause
or as to the lineage of its actors.
According to the oldest authorities, the names of these clans were clan Yha
and the clan Quhele, not the clan Kay and the clan Chattan, as they have
generally been called. At the end of the contest it was found that only one
of the clan Yha had survived, while eleven of the clan Quhele were still
existing although severely wounded, upon which it was determined by the king
that the clan Quhele were the victors. Now there are but three clans in
which any tradition of this conflict is to be found, that of the Camerons,
the Macphersons, and the Macintoshes, and it is obvious that the memory of
so remarkable a circumstance could never have been suffered to escape the
enduring character of Highland tradition. The circumstance which attended
the conflict, however, clearly indicate the Macphersons and Macintoshes as
the actors. From the brief but contemporary accounts which have reached us,
we can only learn two facts connected with its cause : first, that the
dispute had broken out very shortly before; and secondly, that the singular
mode of determining it was carried into effect by Sir David Lindsay and the
earl of Moray. In ascertaining who the clans were who were engaged in this
conflict, we must therefore look for some change in their situation
immediately before the conflict, and for some especial connexion with the
two noblemen who were principally interested in it. These are to be found in
the clan Chattan only; for first, by the death of the Wolfe of Badenoch, in
1394, that district, which was nearly equally inhabited by the Macphersons
and the Macintoshes came into the crown, and thus those clans were suddenly
relieved, but two years before the conflict, from the oppressive Government
of that ferocious baron; and the attention of the clan would be at once
turned from the necessity of defending themselves from the tyranny of their
feudal superior, to their own dissensions, which, if such existed among
them, would then break out; and secondly, it so happens that at that very
period the remaining possessions of these two families were held of these
two barons as their feudal superiors, the Macphersons holding the greater
part of Strathnairn under Sir David Lindsay, and the Macintoshes being
vassals of the earl of Moray, in Strathdearn. Every circumstance, therefore,
leads us to suppose the Macphersons and Macintoshes to have been the parties
engaged in that celebrated conflict. Soon after this period the chief of the
Macintoshes assumes the title of Captain of clan Chattan, but the
Macphersons have always resisted that claim of precedence, and at this
period also the Camerons seem to have separated from the clan Chattan. I am
inclined to assume from these circumstances that the Macintoshes were the
clan Quhele. In the MS. of 1450 the Macphersons are stated to be descended
of a son of Heth, and brother of Angus, earl of Moray, and it will be
observed that the name Heth is a corruption of the same Gaelic name which
has been changed by these historians to Yha. Clan Heth must have been the
most ancient name of the Macphersons, and it follows that they were the clan
Yha of the conflict. The leader of the clan Yha is styled by the old
authorities Sha Fercharson, that of the clan Quhele Gilchrist Johnsone, and
in the old MS. histories of the Macintoshes we find Gilchrist Mac Jan, at
the period, while according to the MS. of 1450, the chief of the Macphersons
was Shaw, and his great - grandfather’s name is Ferchar, from whom he
probably took the patronymic of Fercharson. From all this we may reasonably
deduce, that previous to the fifteenth century the various tribes forming
the clan Chattan obeyed the rule of one chief, the lineal descendant and
representative of Gillecattan Mor, the founder of the clan Chattan; that in
consequence of the rebellion of Gillespie, then chief of that race,
territories of the principal branch were forfeited and given to the Comyn,
and consequently that the family of the chief gradually sunk in power while
that of the oldest cadet of the clan,— i.e., Mackintosh, who was in
consequence, after the chief, the most powerful, and whose principal lands
were held under the easy tenure of the bishop of Moray and the good earl of
Moray—gradually rose in power, until at length they claimed the ehiefship,
and from this cause arose the first disunion among the branches of this
They became divided into distinct factions; on the one side there was ranged
the Macphersons and their dependants, together with the Camerons; on the
other side were the Macintoshes, with the numerous families who had sprung
from that branch of the Clan Chattan; and they were about to settle their
difference by open war when the interference of Sir David Lindsay and the
earl of Moray produced the extraordinary conflict which resulted in the
defeat of the faction adhering to the family of the ancient chiefs, and to
the establishment of the Macintoshes as captains of clan Chattan.
In this manner the Macintoshes became the de facto chiefs of the clan, and
consequently acquired the title of Captain, a title which at once indicates
the absence of any right by blood to the chiefship, and from this very
circumstance is their name derived; Toshoch being unquestionably the title
anciently applied to the oldest cadets of the different clans, and having no
connexion whatever with the Saxon title of Thane, as has generally been
The conflict by which they finally established themselves in the power and
dignity of head of the clan Chattan took place in 1396. From this period
until the latter part of the sixteenth century, they remained as leader of
the clan, willingly followed by the cadets of their own house, and exacting
obedience from the other branches of the clan, often refused, and only given
when they were in no condition to resist. Soon after this period they appear
to have become dependent upon the Lords of the Isles, and to have followed
them in all their expeditions.
The first of the Macintoshes who appears in the records is Malcolm
Macintosh, who obtained from the Lord of the Isles in 1447 a grant of the
office of baillie or steward of the lordship of Lochaber, and the same
office was given to his son, Duncan Macintosh, in 1466, along with the lands
of Keppoch and others in Lochaber.
It is probable that he likewise obtained from the same lord that part of
Loch-abcr lying between Keppoch and Lochaber, for on the forfeiture of the
lord of the Isles in 1475 he obtained a charter from James III.: “Duncano
Macintosh, capitano de clan Chattan, terrarum de Moymore, Fern, Chamglassen,
Stroneroy, Auchen-heroy, &c.,” dated 4th July 1476; and afterwards, in 1493,
he obtained a charter from James IV., “terrarum de Keppoch, Innerorgan, &c.,
cum officio Ballivatus earundem.”
Macintosh having probably rendered the government considerable assistance on
that occasion, these grants were the cause of long and bitter feuds between
the Macintoshes and the Camerons and the Macdonalds of Keppoch, the actual
occupiers of the land.
From this period may be dated the commencement of the rise of the
Macintoshes to the great influence and consideration which they afterwards
possessed. Two causes, however, combined to render their progress to power
slow and difficult, and at times even to reduce the clan to considerable
apparent difficulties. These causes were, first, the dissensions among the
Macintoshes themselves ; and secondly, the continued feud which they had
with Huntly in consequence of their strict adherence to the earl of Moray.
The dissensions in the clan commenced in the early part of the sixteenth
century, with the accession of William Macintosh of Dunachton to the
chiefship. His title to that dignity appears to have been opposed by John
Roy Macintosh, the head of another branch of the family; and after having in
vain attempted to wrest the chiefship by force from William, John Roy at
length murdered him at Inverness in the year 1515. The perpetrator of this
treacherous deed did not, however, attain his object, for having been
closely pursued by the followers of William Macintosh, he was overtaken at
Glenesk and slain, while Lachlan, the brother of the murdered chief, was
placed in possession of the Government of the clan. But Lachlan was doomed
to experience the same fate as his brother, for, according to Lesly, “sum
wicked persones being impatient of vertuous leving, stirrit up ane of his
awn principal kynnesmen, callit James Malcolmsone, quha cruellie and
treasonablie slew his said chief.” On Lachlan’s death his son was under age,
and therefore the clan, in accordance with the ancient system of succession,
chose Hector, a bastard brother, to be their chief.
The earl of Moray, who was the young chief’s uncle, became alarmed for his
safety, and in order to secure him against his brother’s ambition, he
carried him off to be brought up by his mother’s relations. But Hector was
determined to repossess himself of the person of the young heir, and with
that view invaded the lands of the earl of Moray at the head of the clan; he
besieged the castle of Petty, which he took, and put the Ogilvies, to whom
it belonged, to the sword. Upon this the earl obtained a commission from the
king, and having raised his retainers, he attacked the Macintoshes and
seized 300 of them, whom he instantly executed. Hector escaped and fled to
the king, to whom he surrendered himself, and received from him a remission
of his former offences, but he was soon after slain in St Andrew’s; and the
young heir, William Macintosh, after having been brought up by the earl of
Moray, was put in possession of his inheritance.
According to Leslie, “William wes sua well braught up be the meanes of the
earl of Murray and the laird of Phindlater in vertue, honestie, and civil
policye, that after he had received the government of his countrie, he was a
mirrour of vertue to all the Heiland Captains in Scotland; bot fortune did
envye his felicite, and the wicket practises of the dissoluit lives of his
awne kin sufferit him nocht to remaine long amang them; but the same
factious companie that raise againis his fader wes the cause of his
Soon after the accession of William Macintosh to the chiefship, the feud
between the Macintoshes and the earls of Huntly commenced, and it appears to
have been instigated by the acts of Lachlan Macintosh, the son of the
murderer of the last chief, who had heen received into favour, but who was
still bent on the destruction of the family of the chief. But however the
feud may have originated, a subject upon which the accounts given in the
different families are much at variance, it would appear that Macintosh
commenced the hostilities by surprising and burning the castle of Auchindoun.
Huntly immediately moved against the clan, with all the retainers which his
extensive territories could furnish, and a fierce, though short struggle
ensued, in which any clan less powerful than the Macintoshes would have been
completely crushed; as it was, Macintosh found himself so unequal to sustain
the conflict, that despairing of obtaining any mercy from Huntly, he
determined to apply to his lady, and for that purpose presented himself
before her at a time when Huntly was absent and surrendered himself to her
will. The marchioness, however, was as inexorable as her husband could have
been, and no sooner saw Macintosh within her power than she caused his head
to be struck off.
The death of William Macintosh occasioned 110 further loss to the clan, but,
011 the contrary, relieved them from the continuance of the prosecution of
the feud with Huntly; for that nobleman found himself immediately opposed by
so strong a party of the nobility who were related to Macintosh that he was
obliged to cease from farther hostilities against them, and also to place
the son of the murdered chief in possession of the whole of his father’s
territories. The government afterwards found the advantage of restoring
Macintosh to his patrimony, and preserving so powerful an opponent to Huntly
in the north; for when the queen nearly fell into Huntly’s hands at
Inverness in 1562, when that ambitious nobleman wished to compel her majesty
to marry his second son, John Gordon of Findlater, the timely assistance of
Macintosh assisted in defeating this plan. Soon after this the feud between
Huntly and Macintosh once more broke out, and this circumstance was the
cause of the final separation of the Macphersons from the Macintoshes, and
the loud assertion by the former of their right to the chiefship, which they
have ever since maintained; for Huntly, unable to meet the united force of
the clan Chattan, took advantage of the claims of the Macphersons to cause a
division in the clan ; and in consequence of the support of this powerful
nobleman the Macphersons were enabled to assert their right to the ehiefship,
and to declare themselves independent of the Macintoshes, if they could not
compel the latter to acknowledge them as their chief. The history of the
Macphersons posterior to the unfortunate conflict on the north Inch of Perth
becomes exceedingly obscure. As they hold their lands of subject superiors,
we lose the assistance of the records to guide us, neither do they appear in
history independently of the rest of the clan. And it is only when at a late
period they began to assert their claims to the chiefship, that they again
emerge from the darkness by which their previous history was obscured.
Previous to this period, finding themselves in point of strength altogether
unable to offer any opposition to the Macintoshes, they had yielded an
unwilling submission to the head of that family, and had followed him as the
leader of the clan ; but even during this period they endeavoured to give to
that submission as much as might be of the character of a league, and as if
their adherence was in the capacity of an ally, and not as a dependent
branch of the clan. In consequence of Huntly’s support they now declared
themselves independent, and refused all further obedience to the Captain of
clan Chattan, as Macintosh had been styled.
In this they succeeded as long as the feud continued between Huntly and
Macintosh, but when at length Huntly became reconciled to his adversary, and
consequently gave up his unfortunate ally Macpherson when he could derive no
farther benefit from him, the Macphersons found themselves unable to
withstand Macintosh, and many of them were obliged in 1609 to sign a bond
along with all the other branches of the clan Chattan acknowledging
Macintosh as their chief. But the long-continued hostilities in which
Macintosh soon after became engaged with the Camerons and other Lochaber
clans enabled Macpherson again to separate from him; and during the whole of
these wars Macintosh was obliged to accept of his assistance as of that of
an ally merely, until at length in 1672 Duncan Macpherson of Cluny threw off
all connexion with Macintosh, refused to acknowledge his authority as
chieftain of the clan, and applied to Lyon office to have his arms
matriculated as “Laird of Clunie Macphersone, and the only and true
representer of the ancient and honorable familie of the clan Chattane,”
which he obtained; and soon after, when the privy council required all the
Highland chiefs to give security for the peaceable behaviour of their
respective clans, Macpherson obtained himself bound for his clan under the
designation of Lord of Cluny and chief of the Macphersons ; but his legal
proceedings were not so fortunate as his resistance by arms had been, for no
sooner was Macintosh aware of what had taken place, than he applied to the
privy council and the Lyon office to have his own title declared, and those
titles given to Macpherson recalled.
Both parties were now called upon to produce evidence of their assertions,
but while Macintosh could produce deeds during a long course of years in
which he was designated captain of clan Chattan, and also the unfortunate
bond of Manrent which had been given in 1609, Macpherson had nothing to
bring forward but tradition, and the argument arising from his
representation of the ancient chiefs, which was but little understood by the
feudalists of those days. The council at length gave a decision, which
perhaps was as just a one as in the circumstances of the case could be
expected from them. The judgment was in the following terms: “The lords of
privy council, upon consideration of a petition presented by Duncan
Macpherson of Cluny, and the laird of Macintosh, doe ordain McIntosh to give
bond in these terms, viz.:—for those of his clan, his vassals, those
descendit of his family, his men, tenants and servants, or dwelling upon his
ground; and ordaine Cluny to give bond for those of his name of Macpherson
descendit of his family, and his men, tenants and servants, but prejudice
always to the Laird of McIntosh, bonds of relief against such of the name of
Macpherson who are his vassals. (Subd) Rothes.” Upon this decision the arms
were likewise recalled, and those of the Macphersons again matriculated as
those of Macpherson of Cluny.
After this the Macintoshes remained in quiet possession of their hereditary
territories, frequently at feud with Huntly and at other times at peace, and
they appear to have constantly maintained the high station which they had
acquired among the Highland clans with respect to power and extent of
territory. Their feuds with the Camerons, with the accounts of which the
earlier parts of their traditionary history abound, terminated by the place
of that clan becoming supplied by another whose possessions in the Braes of
Lochaber placed them too near to the Macintoshes to avoid collision, and
their natural disposition was of too turbulent a character not to give
speedy cause of feud betwixt them. This clan was that of the Macdonalds of
Keppoch, and the circumstance which gave rise to the feud was this, the
Macdonalds had no other right to the lands they inhabited than that of long
possession, while the Macintoshes held a feudal title to the property which
they had obtained from the lord of the Isles, and which had been confirmed
by the crown on their forfeiture. This feud continued for several years with
various success, but was finally brought to a close by the last considerable
clan battle which was fought in the Highlands. Macintosh had come to the
determination of making an effort to obtain something more than a mere
feudal title to these lands, and with that view if possible to dispossess
the Macdonalds. He accordingly raised as many of the clan as still adhered
to him, notwithstanding the separation which had taken place not long before
between the Macintoshes and the Macphersons, and marched towards Keppoch
with the assistance of an independent company of soldiers furnished him by
On his arrival at Keppoch he found the place deserted, and he was engaged in
constructing a fort in Glenroy, in order to leave a garrison behind him,
believing himself secure from any opposition in the meantime, when he learnt
that the Macdonalds of Keppoch had assembled together with their kindred
tribes of Glengarry and Glenco, and were stationed in great numbers at a
place called Mulroy for the purpose of attacking him at daybreak. Macintosh
immediately resolved upon anticipating this design, and forthwith marched
upon the enemy, whom he found prepared for the conflict. The Macdonalds were
stationed on the upper ridge under Coll. Macdonald of Keppoch, and the
Macintoshes had nearly surmounted the height of Mullroy when the battle
began. The contest though fierce, and maintained with great obstinacy on
both sides, was not of long duration, and ended in the defeat of the
Macintoshes, the capture of their chief and the death of the commander of
the independent company. 15ut the battle had not been long closed when a
large body of the Macphersons, who considering that the honour of clan
Chattan was compromised, had forgotten all former feelings of rivalry,
suddenly appeared and prepared to assail the victors. Keppoch, although
victorious, was in no condition to renew the contest with a fresh party, and
he therefore agreed to surrender Macintosh to them, who accordingly had the
double humiliation of having been captured by the Macdonalds, whom he
despised as mere refractory tenants, and rescued by the Macphersons, whom he
had treated with so little forbearance or consideration.
The Macphersons did not take any advantage of the chance which had placed
Macintosh in their hands, but escorted him safely to his own estates, and
from that time forward Keppoch remained undisturbed in his possessions,
while the Macintoshes and Macphersons continued as separate and independent
clans, the one possessing the title of captain, and the other claiming that
of chief of clan Chattan; for, notwithstanding the decision of the privy
council, the Macphersons have ever since maintained themselves altogether
distinct from the Macintoshes, and took an active share in the insurrections
of 1715 and 1745 as a separate clan, refusing to acknowledge the title of
Macintosh to be either chief or captain of clan Chattan, and asserting their
own preferable title. In the latter insurrection the name of Macpherson has
become celebrated for the distinguished part which their chief took in that
ill-fated expedition, but perhaps still more so for the conduct of the clan
to their chief after the defeat of Culloden had terminated the hopes of the
Stuarts, and exposed Cluny to the vengeance of the government.
There is perhaps no instance in which the attachment of the clan to their
chief was so very strikingly manifested as in the case of the Macphersons of
Cluny after the disaster of “ the forty-five.” The chief having been deeply
engaged in that insurrection, his life became of course forfeited to the
laws, but neither the hope of reward nor the fear of danger could induce any
one of his people to betray him. For tiine years he lived concealed in a
cave at a short distance from his own house ; it was situated in the front
of a woody precipice of which the trees and shelving rocks completely
concealed the entrance. This cave had been dug out by his own people, who
worked by night, and conveyed the stones and rubbish into a neighbouring
lake in order that no vestige of their labour might appear, and lead to the
discovery of the retreat.
In this asylum he continued to live secure, receiving by night the
occasional visits of his friends, and sometimes by day when time had begun
to slacken the rigour of pursuit.
Upwards of one hundred persons were privy to his concealment, and a reward
of one thousand pounds sterling was offered to any one who should give
information against him ; and besides, as it was known that he was somewhere
concealed upon his own estate, a detachment of eighty men was constantly
stationed there independent of the occasional parties that traversed the
country throughout with a view to intimidate his tenantry and induce them by
force or persuasion to disclose the place of his concealment, but although
the soldiers were animated by the hope of reward, and their officers by the
promise of promotion for the apprehension of this proscribed individual, yet
so true were his people, so inflexibly strict to their promise of secrecy,
and so dexterous in conveying to him the necessaries he required in his long
confinement, that not a trace of him could be discovered, nor an individual
base enough to give a hint to his detriment. Many anecdotes are still
related in the country of the narrow escapes he made in eluding the
vigilance of the soldiery, and of the fidelity and diligence displayed by
his clan in concealing him, until after ten years of this dreary existence
he escaped to France, and there died in the following year.
After his death the estate was restored to the present family, in whose
possession it remains, and who are the lineal representatives of the ancient
chiefs of the clan Chattan.
Arms.—Parted per fess, or, and azure, a lymphad or galley, her sails furled,
her oars in action, of the first j in the dexter chief point a hand coupee,
grasping a dagger pointed upwards, gules, for killing Cummine, Lord Badenoch;
in the sinister point a cross croslet, fitchee, gules.
Principal Seat.—Strathnairn and Badenoch.
Oldest Cadet.—Macintosh of Macintosh is oldest cadet, and was captain of the
clan for a period of two centuries.
Force.—In 1704, 1400; in 17 1 5, 1020; in 1745, 1700.
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN MACKINTOSH AND CLUNY OF THE ’45 REGARDING THE COMMAND
OF THE CLAN CHATTAN.
When Cluny of the ’45 joined the forces of Prince Charlie, the Prince
nominated him to the command of the Clan Chattan. That appointment appears
to have roused the jealousy of Mackintosh of the time to such an extent that
on 1st October 1745 he wrote Cluny the following letter :—
Dear Sir,—As I am now fully determined to command my own people and run the
same fate with them, having yesterday reced a letter from the Prince and
another from the Duke of Atholl, I hope, notwithstanding of the order you
have obtained from the Prince, you will not offer to meddle with any of my
men, as wee are booth designed on the same errand. I am resolved to maintain
the rank due to my family, and if you think proper to accept the nixt rank
to me youl be very Wellcome. If you judge otherwise, act as you have a mind.
But do not put me to the necessity of requiring my men of you in a more
publick maner, the consequence of which may be disagreeable to booth. My
kind compliments to Lady Cluny and Miss Fraser, and I am, Dear Sir, your
most humble Serv7 and affectionate cousine (Signed) 7Eneas Macintosh.
Inverness, 1st October.
To that letter Cluny made a vigorous but courteous reply by way of protest.
The original of that reply is in possession of Sir George Macpherson-Grant,
Bart., at Ballindalloch Castle, and so far as I am aware has not hitherto
been published. It is in the following terms :—
10th October 1745.
Dear Sir,—It is my intention to undertake the command of the Clan in terms
of the order received from the Prince, and as the custom has been
heretofore. I know nought of the respect due to your family beyond that
which has been customary among the Chattans, and I know that it is not my
duty to accept the rank second to you, notwithstanding the commands of
Athole. The Clunies have ever held the foremost position, and I as the head
of the family cannot see my way to withdraw from the customary privileges.—I
wish all respect to yourself privately and also to your family, and the
public manner to which you refer in the letter now under answer of resorting
to the choice in public of the clan is not outwith my own ideas. I therefore
send you this protest that you may not pleade ignorance when the time has
arrived for a settlement. I send this letter by your own kinsman, the bearer
of the letter to me.
(Signed) Evan Macpherson.
/Eneas Macintosh, Esq., Inverness.
Whether in consequence of this decisive rebuff, or, as suggested by Mr
Mackintosh Shaw, of the “somewhat weak and vacillating character” of
Mackintosh, the latter would appear to have subsequently considered
“discretion the better part of valour,” and to have held aloof from the
Rising. His famous wife, however (a daughter of Farquharson of Invercauld),
exerted all her influence in aid of the Jacobite cause. While the brave and
noble conduct of this heroic lady on behalf of Prince Charlie excited
general admiration, Mackintosh himself, by “sitting on the fence” more
guardedly than “his friend Lord Lovat” did, “preserved his estates,” and
escaped the sad fate which ultimately overtook Cluny in the cause in which
the latter so devotedly risked life and fortune.
THE BATTLE OF INVERNAHAVEN IN 1386, AND THE CONFLICT ON THE NORTH INCH OF
PERTH IN 1396.
From ‘Lays and Traditions of the Clans,’ &c., by the Sobieski Stuarts.
Published in 1848.
The rout of the Camerons through the hills of Loch-Laggan followed that
action of the clans which gave origin to the. desperate and mortal feud
decided by the ordeal of battle on the Inch of Perth in the year 1396. The
chroniclers who have recorded this event, though they have amplified the
horrors of the civil war by which it was preceded, have given no hint of its
cause; and by their barbarous orthography have so far disguised even the
names of the conflicting clans, that to those otherwise unacquainted with
their identity they are entirely equivocal, or wholly unintelligible. By
Wyntoun they are named the “C/ahymike- Qwhewyl,” and the “Clachinyha." These
words are confused compounds, in which the appellations of the tribes are
blended with their general designation, “Claim" and should be thus
divided—“Clahynn-he-Qwhewyl" and “Clachin-y-ha”—meaning those names
pronounced by the Highlanders, “Clann-ic-Kul,” and “Claniiic-Kdi,” but
written in Gaelic “Clann- ic-Dhughaill" and “Claim-ic-Dhaidh”— “The Clan-Dugaldson,”
and the “Clan-Davidson.” The transition in the false orthography is
sufficiently natural to an ear ignorant of Gaelic; for the final “c” of “ ic”
in both patronymics being blended with the aspirated sound of the same
letter in the initials of the succeeding names pronounced almost as “Kul,”
and “Kai”—according to the Gaelic articulation, and the value of letters in
the days of Wyntoun, should leave to the preceding vowel “i” a sound nearly
expressed either by the synonymous letter “y” or the aspirated vowel “h-e,”
irregularly used by Wyntoun. This reading is corroborated by the universal
tradition of the mid Highlands, according to which the belligerent tribes
were the “Clann-’ic-Dhaidh,” or Davidsons of Badenoch, and the neighbouring
“Clann-a-Pherson,” or male and chief branch of the “Clann-Chattan.” This is
confirmed by the history of Boethius, and the Chartulary of Moray : The
first of which gives the names as the “Clan-Kay” and the “ Clan-Chattan,”
and the last the “ Clan-Hay ” and the “ Clan-Qwhwle.” In both these
authorities the names for the first party are evidently the same with the
“Clann-y-Ha” of Wyntoun, and all are visibly errata from the oral
communication of the Gaelic appellation pronounced “Clann-’ic-Kai”: for the
letter “c” in the word “’ic,” and the similar initial sound in the name by
which it is followed, are so blended, that to unfamiliar ears they would
seem indifferently “’ic-Kai” or “’ic-Ai,” which accidental modification in
the organs of the hearer reconciles to an identity the different modes of
expressing the sound used by Wyntoun, Boethius, and the Chartulary of Moray.
The various names given for the second clan are equally deducible from the
traditionary original; for while by Boethius it is designated after the
general blood-title of the race through all its branches, by the others it
is given in its own local patronymic ; when, at an early period, the
“Clann-a-Pharsoin” bore for a time the appellation of the “Clann-’ic-Dhughail”
from one of its chiefs named “Dughall.” The oral transmission of this title,
“Clann-’ic-Cul,” is—for middle-age orthography— expressed rather more
accurately than usual in the names “Clann-he-Qwhewyl ” and “Clan-Qwhwle,”
pronounced in the old Scots “Clan-’ich-Kuil,” and “Clan-Kcile.” The
repetition of the letter “w,” equivalent to “u,” having been used to
represent the long accent of that vowel in the Gaelic “Dhughaill.”
Without, however, discussing these details, in which none but Highland
genealogists will take any interest, we will relate the tradition of the
first event which gave origin to the celebrated and sanguinary feud so fatal
to the central clans.
When the direct line of the great Clan-Chattan had terminated in the
daughter of Dugald-dall, the estate was conveyed by marriage to the
Cean-tigh of the Macintoshes, the eldest cadet of the race, and consequently
the farthest removed from the succession of the chieftainship. The clan
being thus left without a head in the lineal male line, was divided into
several cadet branches, of which the principals were the Macphersons, the
Davidsons, and the Macgillivrays, three septs descended from three brothers,
the nearest male branches from the stem antecedent to the last direct chief,
and of whom, as well as of the whole race and name of the Clan-Chattan, the
head of the Siol-Pherson, coming from the elder brother, by all the laws and
usages of clanship was the indisputable chief. Macintosh, however, as
possessor of the great body of the clan territory, acquired by his ancestor
through marriage with the heiress, being much more powerful in estate, was
ambitious to be acknowledged chieftain of the blood as well as of the land;
but this assumption being wholly repugnant to the salique law of the clans,
was repelled as an untenable usurpation, and appears to have lain dormant
for a considerable time. All those, however, who adhered to the just
superiority of the Clan-a-Pherson, were by degrees expelled from the domains
of the pretender, and upon the ruins of the Cummings in Badenoch the
Macphersons and the Davidsons acquired a large portion of their territory in
that lordship, where they' finally established themselves. By these
desertions, however, the lands of Macintosh became so much depopulated, that
to recruit his tenants he transplanted from Brae-Mar and the adjoining
country a considerable number of Camerons, whom he settled on the lands of
Loch-Eil, Loch-Lochie, and Loch-Arcaig, and who there laid the foundation of
the present Clan-Cameron. In the course of time, however, these feudatories
desired to acquire independence, and resisting the superiority of Macintosh,
refused to continue the payment of their rents and services. In the period
which had followed their colonisation, they had become so numerous and
powerful that their “ owr-lord,” deserted as he was by the juale branches of
the Clan-Chattan, was unable to reduce them ; and in his apprehension of
losing both his tenants and their lands, he was compelled to seek assistance
from the “Clann-a’-Pharsoin” and the “Clann-’ic-Dhaidh.” These clans,
prompted by the strong claims of their blood, would not refuse aid to the
oldest cadet of their tribe, against a race entirely stranger, and an unjust
insurrection; and, having promised the junction of their forces, a plan was
formed for a united expedition into Loch-Aber. Upon intelligence of this
coalition Mac Dhomhnull-duibh resolved to anticipate the invasion, and,
assembling his clan, marched into Badenoch. Before his arrival, however, the
allied tribes had united, and awaited his approach at “ Inver-na-h-Amhann,”
a small plain at the junction of the Truim and the Spey, and immediately in
front of the residence of the chief of the Clann-’ic-Dhaidh,, When the
Camerons appeared, and the order of battle was forming, it was the universal
understanding that the chieftain of the Clann-a’-Pharsoin should take the
general command, as the undoubted male-heir and blood-chief of the whole
race of the Clan-Chattan. By an artful policy, however, Macintosh defeated
this acknowledgment of his rival. Without provoking his defection by the
unseasonable advancement of his own pretensions, to compromise the supremacy
of Macpherson, and maintain the appearance of an arbitrating superiority in
himself, he prompted the Ceann-tigh of the Clann-’ic-Dhaidh to claim the
command in the battle, not on account of personal title, for, being
descended from a younger brother to the ancestor of Mac-a’-Pharsoin, that
could not be proposed, but as an appointment from Macintosh. The chieftain
of the Davidsons, flattered by this precedence, without perceiving the
policy of his adviser, advanced his claim, which, as might have been
expected, was indignantly repelled by the Mac-a’-Pharsoins. Macintosh
endeavoured to compromise the question by citing his own concession in
yielding the command of his own people to MacDhaidh, adding, that, as
principal in the quarrel, it was reasonable that he should have choice of
the leader of the forces assembled for his aid. The MacPhersons, however,
penetrating his views towards the chieftainship, insisted upon the
blood-right of their own head; and, upon the obstinate combination of the
two “ pretenders,” the Clann-a’-Pharsoin abandoned the line of battle,
crossed the Spey at its confluence with the Truim, and retired to a small
eminence about four hundred yards from the field, where they remained during
the ensuing action. The conflict was short, but very sanguinary; the
Macintoshes and Davidsons were routed with great slaughter. MacDhaidh and
seven of his sons were killed within two hundred yards of his own house, and
the defeated party only escaped a greater loss by crossing the Spey under
command of the hill occupied by the Macphersons, where the Camerons did not
think it prudent to pursue. Immediately after the battle the victors passed
the Truim, advanced along the right bank of the Spey as far as
Beann-Bhreachd; and, with the evident intention of invading Macintosh’s
country, crossed the Spey below Ballachroan, and halted for the night, in a
fine position, upon the height of Briagach. Meanwhile, Macintosh, having
collected his broken followers, retreated by the west side of Craig-dhubh,
and established his bivouac in the glen between Clunie and Dalnashalg, at a
place called ever since “ Reidh an Toiseaich,” “ Macintosh’s plain.” Burning
with revenge both against the Macphersons and the Camerons, and perceiving,
by the march of the last, their intention of invading his country, he
conceived a design for embroiling them with each other, and checking the
advance of the enemy into his territories. For this end he summoned a bard,
and, instructing him to compose a villanous verse against the Macphersons,
directed him to proceed immediately to their head-quarters, and repeat it to
their chief as a message from Mac-Dhomhnull-duibhe. The bard departed on his
mission, and, having reached the gathering of the Macphersons, and obtained
access to the chief, announced that he had something to deliver from the
Clan-Cameron, and claimed freedom and personal safeguard whatever he might
have to repeat. Having received an assurance of full license, he pronounced
the following verse :—
"Bha luchd na foille air an torn
’Sam balg-shuileach do na draip,
Cha b’e bhur cairdeas a bha rium
Ach bhur lamh bhi gu tais.”
“The traytors stood on the knoll
While the dismayed were in jeopardie—
It was not your friendship for me,
But your cowardice which restrained you.”
These lines had the desired effect. The chief and his clan were exasperated
in the highest degree at the wanton insult and challenge thus thrown in
their face, and immediately determined to pursue and attack the Camerons
before daylight. According to the customary respect for the inspired order,
the bard was not only protected but hospitably entertained, and dismissed
with sufficient evidence that the stratagem of his master was about to take
effect. The hours of darkness being short—for it was in the month of
May—immediate preparations were made for pursuit, and about midnight the
Macphersons set forward in silence and with great speed. They arrived at
Briagach before daylight, but when they reached the position which had been
occupied by the Clan-Cameron, they found it deserted, and soon obtained
intelligence that they had suddenly abandoned the height and were in full
retreat towards the west. The cause of this abrupt decampment has never been
understood. By some it has been supposed that the Camerons had received
exaggerated intelligence of a reunion of all the septs of the Clan-Chattan,
and a combined movement to surprise them ; by others, that they feared to
penetrate into a hostile country, leaving the whole Clan-Chattan assembled
on their rear, and that, disagreeing among themselves, they fell into
discordance, and broke up for their return home. As soon as the Macphersons
ascertained the route which they had taken, they pursued them with all
possible speed, marching by the south of Phoiness, Etrage, and Dalanach.
They overtook their rear above the latter place, and immediately attacked
them. The Camerons appear to have been seized with one of those sudden
panics which sometimes accompany a night retreat, and their loss was great
in the first onset. The death of one of their remarkable leaders, named
Charles, is still commemorated in the name of the place where he fell, and
which is yet called “ Coire-Thearlaich ”—Charles’ Coire. From this place a
running fight was maintained for about fifteen miles through the mountains
to Loch Patag, where the pursuit was discontinued from the weariness of the
pursuers and the entire dispersion of the pursued. Along the whole line of
the flight from Dalanach to Loch Patag there is scarcely a burn or a coire
which is not distinguished by the name of some remarkable individual there
killed in the chase. The last distinguished person who fell was the chief of
the Camerons himself. He was remarkable for his skill in archery, and to the
last continued in the rear of his flying people, picking off the pursuers
with his arrows, and protecting the retreat of the fugitives at every burn
and ravine. He was thus engaged when they were overtaken by a celebrated
Ceann-tighe of the Macphersons called Mac Iain Ceann-dubh, the best bowman
of that clan, and perhaps, in some degree, from their common propensity for
the same art, an intimate friend of Mac Dhomh-null-duibhe. In the pursuit he
had severely harassed the fugitives, and killed several of their best men ;
but, when he saw his friend before him, as he drew the bow he cried—“Tluir
am, ’us tharad a Thearlaich” “Over me—and over you, Charles!” Cameron,
seeing the arrow fall beyond him, immediately understood the signal, and
returned his shot with the same forbearance. A few arrows were then
interchanged, but with deadly effect at indifferent persons; when Mac-a’-Pharsoin
coming up, and seeing the fatal shots of the chief, and the misdirected
shafts of Mac Iain, cried out indignantly—“Where is your old hand,
Ceann-dubh? Had you a Cameron to your mother?” Stung with that sarcasm from
his chief, Mac Iain called to his friend—“Uinam, ’us umad a Thearlaich/”
“For me— and for you, Charles!”—and both fell transfixed by the next arrows.
Not far from Loch Patag, at Dal-an-Luncart, by Loch-Errach side, the place
where the chief of the Camerons fell, is still marked by a cairn, called “Carn-Mhic-Dhomh-nuill-duibhe.”
Such was the origin of the deadly and sanguinary feud, which, afterwards
engaging all the neighbouring clans in its animosity, involved the central
Highlands in an exterminating war. According to the traditions which we have
gathered, upon the discovery of the treachery practised by Macintosh, and
executed by his bard, a reconciliation was effected between the Macphersons
and the Camerons; but the insult offered to the former by the Clan-Daidh was
immediately followed by hostilities of the most desperate nature, in which
Macintosh assisted the Davidson; and the Camerons, to advance their own
quarrel against their superior, joined with the Macphersons. In the deadly
contest of these four clans, all their inferiors, kindred, and allies were
soon associated, and a period of vindictive conflicts and fierce devastation
spread desolation through the mid Highlands, until terminated by camp-fight
or ordeal of battle on the Inch of Perth. During the progress of the feud,
the Davidsons, then a very powerful race, were almost exterminated, and ever
since that period they have ceased to exist as a clan ; while the
Macphersons were so reduced that for many generations they were unable to
make any considerable head among their neighbours. Meanwhile, the strength
of the great auxiliaries having been mueh less impaired, Macintosh availed
himself of the reduction of the two principal male branches of the Clan-Chattan
to advance his pretensions to the chieftainship, which have since been
maintained by his descendants —a claim contrary to the laws, usages, and
genius of the Highland clans, and never assumed but in usurpation—precisely
similar to that of Edward the Third to the crown of France, and as justly
repudiated by the male lines of the Clan-Chattan as the dominion of the
English by the people of Philippe de Valois.
PRINCE CHARLIE’S RETREATS IN BADENOCH WITH LOCHEIL AND CLUNY OF THE ’45
From Chambers’s ‘ History of the Rebellion,’ 1745-46. First published in
[After the battle of Culloden, Prinee Charlie, while in a fastness in the
fir-wood of Auchnacarry, belonging to Locheil] received a message from that
Chieftain and Macpherson of Cluny, informing him of their retreat in
Badenoch, and that the latter gentleman would meet him on a eertain day at
the place where he was, in order to conduct him to their habitation, which
they judged the safest plaee for him. Impatient to see these dear friends,
he would not wait for the arrival of Cluny at Auchnacarry, but set out for
Badenoch immediately, trusting to meet the coming chief by the way, and take
him back. Of the journey into Badenoch, a long and dangerous one, no
particulars have been preserved, execpting that, as the Prince was entering
the district, he received from Mr Macdonald of Tullochcroam (a place on the
side of Loch Laggan) a coarse brown short coat, a shirt, and a pair of
shoes—articles of which he stood in great need. It was on this occasion, and
to this gentleman, that he said he had come to know what a quarter of a peck
of meal was, as he had once lived on such a quantity for nearly a week. He
arrived in Badenoch on the 29th of August, and spent the first night at a
place called Corineuir, at the foot of the great mountain Benalder. This is
a point considerably to the east of any district he had as yet haunted. On
the opposite side of Benalder, Loch Ericht divides Badenoch from Athole. It
is one of the roughest and wildest parts of the Highlands, and therefore
little apt to be intruded upon, although the great road between Edinburgh
and Inverness passes at a distance of a few miles. The country was destitute
of wood; but it made up for this deficiency as a place of concealment by the
rockiness of its hills and glens. The country was part of the estate of
Macpherson of Cluny, and was used in summer for grazing his cattle; but it
was considered as the remotest of his grassmgs.
Cluny and Locheil, who were cousins-german, and much attached to each other,
had lived here in sequestered huts or sheilings for several months with
various friends, and attended by servants, being chiefly supplied with
provisions by Macpherson, younger of Breakachie, who was married to a sister
of Cluny. Their residence in the district was known to many persons, whose
fidelity, however, was such, that the Earl of Loudoun, who had a military
post at Sherowmore, not many miles distant, never all the time had the
slightest knowledge or suspicion of the fact. The Highlanders did, indeed,
during this summer exemplify the virtue of secrecy in an extraordinary
manner. Many of the principal persons concerned in the insurrection had been
concealed and supported ever since Culloden in those very districts which
were the most thoroughly beset with troops, and which had been most ravaged
and plundered. After the escape of the Prince through the cordon between
Loch Hourn and Loch Shiel in the latter part of July, the military powers at
Fort Augustus seem to have scarcely ever got a ray of genuine intelligence
respecting his motions. His friends, all except the very few who attended
him, were equally at a loss to imagine where he was, or how he contrived to
keep himself concealed. His enemies “sometimes thought he had got himself
removed to the east coast through the hills of Athole, and laid an embargo
upon all the shipping from that quarter. At other times they had information
that he lurked in the shires of Angus or Mearns, and a search was made for
him in the most suspected places of those shires; and particularly the house
of Mr Barclay of Urie in Mearns, whose lady was aunt to Locheil by the
father, and to Cluny by the mother, was most narrowly searched; while he was
quite safe and unconcerned in Benalder.”
Next day, August 30, Charles was conducted to a place called Mellaneuir,
also on Benalder, where Locheil was now living in a small hut with
Macpherson, younger of Breakachie, his principal servant Allan Cameron, and
two servants of Cluny. When Locheil saw five men approaching under
arms—namely, the Prince, Lochgarry, Dr Archibald Cameron, and two
servants—he imagined that they must be a military party, who, learning his
retreat, had come to seize him. It was in vain to think of flying, even
though the supposed military party had been more numerous, for he was still
a cripple, in consequence of the wounds in his ankles, fie therefore
resolved to defend himself as well as circumstances would permit. Twelve
firelocks and some pistols were prepared; the chief and his four companions
had taken up positions, and levelled each his piece, and all was ready for
saluting the approaching party with a carefully aimed volley, when Locheil
distinguished the figures of his friends. Then, hobbling out as well as he
could, he received the Prince with an enthusiastic welcome, and attempted to
pay his duty to him on his knees. This ceremony Charles forbade. “My dear
Locheil,” said he, “you don’t know who may be looking from the tops of
yonder hills; if any be there, and if they see such motions, they will
conclude that I am here, which may prove of bad consequence.” Locheil then
ushered him into his hovel, which, though small, was well furnished with
viands and liquOrs. Young Breakachie had helped his friends to a sufficiency
of newly killed mutton, some cured beef sausages, plenty of butter and
cheese, a large well-cured bacon ham, and an anker of whisky. The Prince,
“upon his entry, took a hearty dram, which he pretty often called for
thereafter, to drink his friends’ healths ; and when there were some minced
collops dressed with butter for him in a large saucepan that Locheil and
Cluny carried always about with them, and which was the only fire-vessel
they had, he ate heartily, and said, with a very cheerful and lively
countenance, ‘Now, gentleman, I live like a prince,’ ”though at the same
time he was no otherwise served than by eating the collops out of the
saucepan, only that he had a silver spoon. After dinner, he asked Locheil if
he had still lived, during his skulking in that place, in such a good way;
to which Locheil answered, “Yes, sir, I have, for now near three months that
I have been here with my cousin Cluny and Breakachie, who has so provided
for me, that I have still had plenty of such as you see, and I thank heaven
that your royal highness has come safe through so many dangers to take a
Cluny, on reaching Auchnacarry, and finding Charles gone, immediately
returned to Badenoch, and he arrived at Mellaneuir two days after the
Prince. On entering the hut he would have knelt; but Charles prevented him,
and taking him in his arms, kissed him affectionately. He soon after said,
“I'm sorry, Cluny, that you and your regiment were not at Culloden; I did
not. hear till lately that you were so near us that day.”
Cluny, finding that the Prince had not a change of linen, caused his three
sisters 8 to set about making some shirts for him. They did so with
good-will, and soon furnished him with what was wanted. The gentlemen whom
Charles here met for the first time in his wanderings were, like all those
he had met previously, astonished at the elasticity of mind which he
displayed in circumstances of so much discomfort and danger, and under
prospects, to say the least of them, so much less brilliant than what had
recently been before him.
The day after Cluny’s arrival, it was thought expedient that there should be
a change of quarters. They therefore removed two Highland miles farther into
the recesses of Benalder, to a sheiling called Uiskchilra, “superlatively
bad and smoky,” as Donald Macpherson has described it, but which the Prince
never once complained of. It may here be remarked, that the precautions
which Locheil and Cluny had formerly taken for their safety were much
increased after the Prince had joined them. Breakachie had formerly been
intrusted with the power of bringing any one to them in whom he could trust;
but no one was now introduced till after a council had been held, and formal
permission given. Trusty watchmen were planted on the neighbouring hills, to
give notice of the approach of any strangers or military; and Cluny even
contrived to have spies in the Earl of Loudoun’s camp.
After spending two or three uncomfortable days in the smoky sheiling, they
removed to “a very romantic and comical habitation, made by Cluny, at two
miles’ farther distance into Benalder, called the Cage. It was really a
curiosity,” says Donald Macpherson, “and can scarcely be described to
perfection. It was situate in the face of a very rough, high, rocky mountain
called Letternilichk, which is still a part of Benalder, full of great
stones and crevices, and some scattered wood interspersed. The habitation
called the Cage, in the face of that mountain, was within a small thick bush
of wood. There were first some rows of trees laid down, in order to level a
floor for the habitation, and as the place was steep, this raised the lower
side to equal height with the other, and these trees, in the way of joists
or planks, were entirely well levelled with earth and gravel. There were
betwixt the trees, growing naturally on their own roots, some stakes fixed
in the earth, which, with the trees, were interwoven with ropes made of
heath and birch twigs all to the top of the Cage, it being of a round, or
rather oval shape, and the whole thatched and covered over with fog. This
whole fabric hung, as it were, by a large tree which reclined from the one
end all along the roof to the other, and which gave it the name of the Cage;
and by chance there happened to be two stones, at a small distance from
[each] other, next the precipice, resembling the pillars of a bosom chimney,
and here was the fire placed. The smoke had its vent out there, all along a
very stony part of the rock, which and the smoke were so much of a colour,
that no one could have distinguished the one from the other in the clearest
day. The Cage was only large enough to contain six or seven persons, four of
which number were frequently employed in playing at cards, one idle looking
on, one baking, and another firing bread and cooking.”
The hopes of the Prince for an escape from the country were still resting in
the prospect of the arrival of some French vessel in the lonely estuaries of
the west coast of Inverness-shire. He knew that Colonel Warren was exerting
himself to fit out a small armament for this purpose; but still many
accidents might occur to mar the consummation of the design. It would appear
that two other plans were formed for getting him shipped away from Scotland.
The Rev. John Cameron was despatched by his brother to Edinburgh, there to
exert himself to get a vessel hired, to come to some appointed station on
the east coast, and there lie in readiness to take the party on board. Such
a vessel actually was provided; it went to the station ; and Mr Cameron
returned to Benalder to bring away the party, but found them gone.
Breakachie was also sent from Uiskchilra to find out John Roy Stuart, who
was skulking somewhere in the country, with orders to go in company with
John directly to the east coast, and there hire a vessel. Lest both schemes
should fail, and the Prince be obliged to spend the winter in the Highlands,
Cluny, who seems to have had a constructive genius, fitted up a subterranean
retreat, boarded thickly all round, and otherwise provided against the
severity of the season. But all of these precautions, though wisely taken,
proved useless, in consequence of the arrival of Colonel Warren’s
“All about his royal highness, during his abode in Benalder of Badenoch,
were Locheil, Cluny, Lochgarry, Dr Cameron, and Breakachie; one Allan
Cameron, a young genteel lad of Calard’s family, who was principal servant
to Locheil; and four servants belonging to Cluny, particularly James
Macpherson, his piper, Paul Macpherson, his horse-kccper, Murdoch and Duncan
Macphersons. This Murdoch the Prince generally called Murick, who, and Paul,
could speak no English, and were commonly employed in carrying provisions
from Breakachie.”—Donald Mac-pherson’s Narrative MS.
Two vessels of force, PHcrcux and La Princesse de Conti, had been fitted out
by the exertions of this gentleman, who was promised a baronetcy by the old
Chevalier in the event of his bringing off the Prince. Setting sail from St
Malo in the latter part of August, they arrived in Lochnanuagh on the 6th of
September. Next day four gentlemen, including Captain Sheridan, son of Sir
Thomas, and a Mr O’Beirne, a lieutenant in the French service, landed to
make inquiry about the Prince, and were received by Macdonald of Glenaladale,
who had taken his station in that part of the country, for the purpose of
communicating to Charles any intelligence of the arrival of French vessels.
He now lost no time in setting out to the neighbourhood of Auchnacarry,
expecting there to find Cameron of Clunes, who was appointed to be a medium
for forwarding the intelligence to the Prince wherever he might then be.
When Glenaladale arrived at the place where he expected to see Clunes, he
found that gentleman removed he knew not whither, in consequence of some
alarm from the military, who had destroyed his hut. Being himself altogether
ignorant of Charles’s present hiding-place, Glenaladale was thrown by this
accident into a state of great perplexity and distress, for he reflected
that, if the Prince did not quickly come to Lochnanuagh, the vessels might
be obliged to sail without him. He was wandering about in this state of mind
when he encountered an old woman, who chanced to know the place to which
Clunes had withdrawn. Having obtained from her this information, he
immediately communicated with Clunes, who instantly despatched the faithful
Mac-coilveen to convey the intelligence to Cluny, that it might be by him
imparted to the Prince. Glenaladale then returned to inform the French
officers that they might expect ere long to be joined by the royal wanderer.
Charles, meanwhile, had despatched Cluny and Dr Cameron on some private
business to Loch Arkaig. Travelling in a very dark night through the
outskirts of Badenoch, these two gentlemen, by great good fortune, met and
recognised Maccoilveen, as he was proceeding with his message. Had they
missed him, they would have gone on to Loch Arkaig, and as Maccoilveen would
have communicated with none but Cluny, it would not have been till after
their return, and probably then too late, that Charles would have heard of
the arrival of the vessels. It thus appears that he was favoured by two
remarkable chances in obtaining this important information, without either
of which the design of his embarkation would have probably been defeated.
Cluny, though he now turned back with Dr Cameron, was so anxious to forward
the good news to the Prince, that he immediately procured a trusty man, one
Alexander Macpherson, son of Benjamin Macpherson in Gallovie, to run express
with it to the Cage. He and Cameron arrived there about one in the morning,
September 13, when they found the Prince already prepared to start on his
journey. They immediately started, and before daylight, had reached their
former habitation in Uiskchilra.
From the place where he met Maccoilveen, Cluny had also sent off a
messenger, one Murdoch Macpherson, a near relation of Macpherson of
Invereshie, to stop young Breakachie on his mission to the cast coast, and
to desire him to return to the Prince’s quarters . “The said Murdoch came to
Breakachie when going to bed j1 and then Breakachie’s lady, one of Cluny’s
sisters, finding out the matter, began to talk of her dismal situation, of
having so many children, and being then big with child. Upon which
Breakachie said: ‘I put no value upon you or your bairns, unless you can
bring me forth immediately thirty thousand men in arms ready to serve my
“Instantly Breakachie set out on his return to the Prince, and took along
with him John Roy Stuart (whom the Prince used to call the Body), but did
not allow John Roy to know that the Prince was in Badenoch, but only that
they were going to see Locheil, &c. When the Prince heard that Breakachie
and John Roy Stuart were coming near the hut Uiskchilra, he wrapped himself
up in a plaid and lay down, in order to surprise John Roy the more when he
should enter the hut. In the door of the hut there was a pool or puddle, and
when John Roy Stuart just was entering, the Prince peeped out of the plaid,
which so surprised John Roy, that he cried out, ‘O Lord! my master!’ and
fell down in the puddle in a faint.
“Breakachie likewise brought along with him to Uiskchilra three fusees, one
mounted with gold, a second with silver, and the third half-mounted, all
belonging to the Prince himself, who had desired Breakachie to fetch him
these pieces at some convenient time. When the Prince saw the fusees, he
expressed great joy, saying, ‘It is remarkable that my enemies have not
discovered one farthing of my money, a rag of my clothes, or one piece of my
arms ’—an event which the Prince himself did not know till he came to
Benalder, where he was particularly informed that all the above things were
still preserved from the hands of his enemies.
“The Prince (as is already observed) arrived at his old quarters in
Uiskchilra, in his way to the ships, against daylight, on the morning of
September 13, where he remained till near night, and then set off, and was
by daylight, the 14th, at Corvoy, where he slept some time. Upon his being
refreshed with sleep, he, being at a sufficient distance from any country,
did spend the day by diverting himself and his company with throwing up of
bonnets in the air, and shooting at them, to try the three foresaid
favourite fusees, and to try who was the best marksman ; in which diversion
his royal highness by far exceeded. In the evening of the 14th he set
forward, and went on as far as Uisknifichit, on the confines of Glenroy,
which marches with a part of the Braes of Badenoch, in which last place he
refreshed himself some hours with sleep ; and, before it was daylight, got
over Glenroy, the 15th, and kept themselves private all day. As they were
approaching towards Locheil’s seat, Auchnacarry, they came to the river
Lochy at night, being fine moonshine. The difficulty was how to get over.
Upon this Clunes Cameron met them on the water-side, at whom Locheil asked
how they would get over the river. He said: ‘Very well; for I have an old
boat carried from Loch Arkaig, that the enemy left unburned of all the boats
you had, Locheil.’ Locheil asked to see the boat. Upon seeing it, he said:
‘I am afraid we will not be safe with it.’ Quoth Clunes: ‘I shall cross
first, and show you the way.’ The matter was agreed upon. Clunes, upon
reflection, said: ‘I have six bottles of brandy, and I believe all of you
will be the better of a dram.’ This brandy was brought from Fort Augustus,
where the enemy lay in garrison, about nine miles from that part of Lochy
where they were about to cross. Locheil went to the Prince, and said : ‘
Will your royal highness take a dram?’ ‘Oh,’ said the Prince, ‘can you have
a dram here?’ ‘Yes,’ replied Locheil, ‘and that from Fort Augustus too;
which pleased the Prince much, that he should have provisions from his
enemies. He said: ‘Come, let us have it.’ Upon this, three of the bottles
were drunk. Then they passed the river Lochy by three crossings: Clunes
Cameron in the first with so many; then the Prince in the seeond with so
many; and in the last Locheil with so many. In the third and last ferrying,
the crazy boat leaked so much, that there would be four or five pints of
water in the bottom, and in hurrying over, the three remaining bottles of
brandy were all broken. When the Prince called for a dram, he was told that
the bottles were broken, and that the common fellows had drunk all that was
in the bottom of the boat, as being good punch, which had made the fellows
so merry, that they made great diversion to the company as they marched
“After the morning of the 16th, the Prince arrived in Auchnacarry, Locheil’s
seat, where he was as ill-off as anywhere else for accommodation, as the
enemy had burned and demolished the place. All the 16th he stayed there, and
set out at night, and arrived, the 17th, at a place called Glencamger, in
the head of Loch Arkaig, where he found Cluny and Dr Cameron, who had
prepared for him, expecting him. By a very great good chance, Cluny,
understanding that he himself and others of them would be necessarily
obliged to travel often betwixt Badenoch and Locheil’s country, and knowing
that it was scaree possible for people travelling that way—even those that
could be seen, and much less they that could not—to find provisions in their
passage, as all was rummaged and plundered by the enemy, planted a small
store of meal, carried from Badenoch, in the house of one Murdoch
Macpherson, in Coilerig of Glenroy, a trusty man, and tenant to Keppoch, in
the road and about half-way, to be still a ready supply in case of need;
from which secret small magazine he and Mr Cameron brought some with them as
they went forward from Benalder, and had it made into bannocks against the
Prince’s coming to Glencamger; and when he and his company arrived, there
was a cow killed; on which bannocks and beef, his royal highness, with his
whole retinue, were regaled and feasted plentifully1 that night. On the 18th
he set out from Glencamger with daylight, and upon the 19th arrived at the
shipping; what was extant of the Glencamger bannoeks and beef having been
all the provisions till then.”
Cluny and Breakaehie now took leave of the Prince, and returned to Badenoch,
for it was the inclination of this chief to remain eoncealed in his own
fastnesses, rather than seek a refuge on a foreign soil.
Before the arrival of the Prince, a considerable number of skulking
gentlemen and others had assembled, in order to proeeed in the vessels to
France. Amongst these were young Clanranald, Glenaladale, Macdonald of
Dalely and his two brothers. They had seized Macdonald of Barrisdale on the
suspicion of his having made a paction with the enemy to deliver up the
Prince; and this gentleman was actually carried to France, and there kept
for a considerable time as a prisoner. Charles waited upwards of a day, to
allow of a few more assembling, and he then (Saturday, September 20) went on
board Ellercux, accompanied by Loeheil, Lochgarry, John Roy Stuart, and Dr
Cameron. From the vessel he wrote a letter to Cluny, informing him of his
embarkation, and of the excellent state in which he found the vessels.
Twenty-three gentlemen, and a hundred and seven men of common rank, are said
to have sailed with him in the two ships. “ The gentlemen, as well as
eommons, were seen to zveep, though they boasted of being soon baek with an
GENEALOGY OF THE MACPHERSONS.
From ‘Douglas’s Baronage of Scotland,’ published in 1798.
MACPHERSON OF CLUNIE.
The head or chief of this family appears to be the male representative and
real chieftain of that brave and antient race of Highlanders, well known by
the name of the Clan Chattan.
They deduce their descent from a warlike people in Germany called the Chatti,
who long resisted the Roman power; but being at last forced from their
habitations by the Emperor Tiberius Caesar, they embarked for Britain, and,
by stress of weather, were driven to the north of Seotland, where they
landed at a place called, after themselves, Chatti’s-ness or Point, which
afterwards gave the name of Caithness to all that part of the country. This
is said to have happened in the reign of king Corbred II., about the 76th
year of the christian era.
These foreigners greatly increased and multiplied, and soon overspread the
north of Scotland.
The inhabitants of the more southern parts were called South Chatti, and the
country they possessed was called Sutherland, which name it retains to this
The Chatti, or clan Chattan, continued several ages in both these countries
(Caithness and Sutherland). Some of them joined the Picts and some the
From these last, those of the names of Keith and Sutherland deduce their
After the decisive battle gained by king Kenneth II. over the Picts, the
inhabitants of Caithness were forced to leave their country, and by the
mediation of friends, got liberty to settle in Lochaber, where some of their
posterity (still called the clan Chattan) now subsist.
That they were a race of brave and gallant people, sufficiently appears from
all our Scots histories.
There is a curious MS. account of this family, collected from the bards and
senachies, who were faithful repeaters of the transactions of their
chieftains and forefathers, which may be as much depended on as any other
traditional history, as they were particularly careful and exact in their
This colleetion was put into order by the ingenious Sir /Eneas Macpherson,
advocate in the reign of king Charles II., is looked upon as a most
authentic account of this great clan, and is still preserved in the family.
Though in this history their descent is deduced as far back as the reign of
king Kenneth II., yet we shall here begin with
I. Gillicattan Mor, head or chief of the clan Chattan, who, on account of
his large stature, rare military genius, and other accomplishments, had the
epithet Mor assigned him.
Sir vEneas Macpherson's history of the family, penes M. Macpherson de Clunie.
Ibidem, and Nisbet, vol. i. p. 424.
He lived in the reign of king Malcolm Canmore, and left a son,
II. Diarmed or Dormund, captain of the clan Chattan, who succeeded his
father about the year 1090, and was father of
III. Gillicattan, the second of that name, captain of the clan Chattan.
He flourished and made a considerable figure in the reign of King David I.,
and left issue two sons.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
IV. Diarmed, captain of the clan Chattan, who did not long survive his
father; but dying without issue, anno 1153, was succeeded by his brother,
IV. Muriach or Murdoch, who being born a younger brother, was bred to the
church; and was parson of Kingousie, then a large and honourable benefice ;
but, upon the death of his elder brother without issue, be became head of
his family and captain of the clan Chattan.
He thereupon obtained a dispensation from the Pope, anno 1173, and married a
daughter of the thane of Cawdor, by whom he had five sons.
1. Gillicattan, his heir.
2. Ewan or Eugine Baan, of whom the present Duncan Macpherson, now of Clunie,
Esq., is lineally descended, as will be shown hereafter.
3. Neill Cromb, so called from his stooping and round shoulders. He had a
rare mechanical genius, applied himself to the business of a smith, and made
and contrived several utensils of iron, of very curious workmanship, is said
to have taken his sirname from his trade, and was progenitor of all of the
name of Smith in Scotland.
4. Ferquhard Gilliriach, or the Swift, of whom the Macgillivrays of
Drumnaglash in Inverness-shire, and those of Pennygoit in the isle of Mull,
&c., &c., are descended.
5. David Dow, or the Black, from his swarthy complexion. Of him the old
Davidsons of Invernahaven, &c., &c., are said to be descended.
Muriach died in the end of the reign of King William the Lion, and was
succeeded by his eldest son,
V. Gillicattan, third of that name, captain of the clan Chattan.
Hist, of the family, and Nisbet, p. 424.
Ibidem, and history of the family of Macintosh.
He lived in the reign of King Alexander II. (who succeeded to the crown of
Scotland anno 1214) and left issue only one son,
He died in the reign of king Alexander III., leaving issue a daughter,
Eva, his only child and sole heiress, who, anno 1291 or 1292, was
married to Angus Macintosh of that ilk, head or chieftain of the clan
Macintosh, who, with her, got a good part of the clan Chattan estate, as has
been already fully shewn under the title Macintosh of that ilk.
Dougal Phaol dying without sons, as above, in him ended the whole male line
of Gillicattan the third, eldest son of Muriach, No. IV. of these memoirs.
The representation, therefore, devolved upon his cousin and heir-male—viz.,
Kenneth, son of his uncle Ewan, before mentioned, to whom we now return.
V. Ewan or Eugine, called Baan, from his fair complexion, was second son of
the said Muriach the parson.
He lived in the reign of king Alexander II., and, as sirnames about that
time were become hereditary, he was called Macparson, or the son of the
from hence the sirname of the family, which his posterity have enjoyed ever
since, and his clan hath been promiscuously designed Macpherson, Macurichs
[Mac-mhurichs], and clan Chattan.
This Eugine left issue three sons.
1. Kenneth, his heir.
2. John, progenitor of the Macphersons of Pitmean, &c.
3. Gillies, ancestor of the Macphersons of Inneressic, &c.
The cadets and descendants of these two brothers will be mentioned under
their proper titles.
Eugine was succeeded by his eldest son, the reign of king Alexander III.
married Isabel, daughter of Ferquhard Macintosh of that ilk, by whom he had
1. Duncan, his heir.
Ibidem, and history of the clan Macintosh.
Writs of the family, and in pub. archiv. and Nisbet, p. 424.
2. Bean or Benjamin, of whom the Macphersons of Brin and several others arc
descended; and captain Alexander Macpherson, late secretary to Admiral
Boscawen, appears to be the heir-male and representative of the family of
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
VII. Duncan Macpherson of Clunie, who, with his posterity of Clunie, have
always been designed captains of the elan Chattan. He lived in the reign of
king Robert Bruce ; and being a man of a noble spirit, a steady loyalist,
and particularly known to king Robert, obtained a commission from that great
prince (as head of his clan) to reduce the Cumings, and others his rebel
subjects in Badenoch, to his obedience, which he performed so effectually,
that he got a grant of several of these lands to himself, which were long
enjoyed by his posterity; and had also for his special services against the
Cumings, a hand and dagger added to his armorial bearing, &e.
He was succeeded by his son,
VIII. Donald Phaol Macpherson of Clunie, who adhered always firmly to the
interest of king David Bruce against the enemies of his country, and was
father of another,
History of the family.
We must here observe, that the family of Clunie, with good reason, contends
that the thirty combatants of the clan Chattan were all Macphersons; because
(say they) their antagonists, the clan Kay, were followers of the Cumings of
Badenoch, and envied the Macphersons the possession of their lands, which
was the cause of their constant feuds.
The Macintoshes also alledge, that these thirty were of their part of the
clan Chattan, and all Macintoshes. Vide title Macintosh, &c.
Donald Moir married a daughter of Macintosh of Mammore in Lochaber,
History of the family.
by whom he had two sons.
1. Donald Oig, his heir.
2. Gillicattan-Beg or Little Malcolm, of whom the Macphersons of Essich,
Breakachie, &c., Szc., are descended. For which vide their proper titles.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
X. Donald-Oig Macpherson of Clunie, who, in the reign of king James I.
married a daughter of Gordon of Buckie, by whom he had two sons.
1. Ewan or Eugine, his heir.
2. Paul, of whom the Macphersons of Dallifour, &c., &ci, are descended :
Ensign John Macpherson of Colonel Fraser’s regiment of Highlanders, is of
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
XI. Eugine Macpherson of Clunie, who died in the end of the reign of king
James III., leaving issue a son,
Chart, in pub. archiv.
History of the family, penes Clunie.
XII. Dormund, who succeeded him, was captain of the clan Chattan, and got a
charter under the great seal from king James IV., Dormundo Macpherson,
terrarum de Strantheaune, Garnamuck, &c., Szc., dated 6th of February 1509.
He died in the reign of king James V. and was succeeded by his son,
XIII. Ewan Macpherson of Clunie, a man of singular merit, and a firm friend
of the unfortunate queen Mary.
He married a daughter of-Macintosh of Strone, by whom he had two sons.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
XIV. Andrew Macpherson of Clunie, Szc., who dying soon after his father
without issue, was succeeded by his brother,
XIV. John of Clunie, captain of the clan Chattan, who got a charter under
the great seal from king James VI. Johanni Macphersoii villarum et terrarum
de Tullich, Elrich, &’c., in vicecomitatu de Inverness, dated anno 1594.
Chart, in pub. archiv.
Writs of the family.
In October that same year, he was with the earl of Huntly at the battle of
Glenlivet, where the king’s troops were defeated under the command of the
earl of Argyle; but he suffered nothing on that account, for Huntly and all
his adherents were soon thereafter received into the king’s favour.
He married a daughter of Gordon of Auchanassie, and died about the
year 1600, leaving issue a son,
XV. John Macpherson of Clunie, &c., who succeeded him, and got a charter
under the great seal, Johanni Macpherson filio Johann is, arc., terrarum de
Tullich, Elrick, arc., in Inverness-shire, dated anno 1613.
He was succeeded by his son,
Chart, in pub. archiv.
XVI. Ewan of Clunie, who got a charter under the great seal, Eugenio
Macpherson terrarum et villarum de Tullich, Elrick, arc., tore., dated anno
He married a daughter of Duncan Forbes of Culloden, by whom he had three
sons and one daughter.
1. Donald, his heir.
2. Andrew, who succeeded his brother.
3. John of Nuid, who carried on the line of this family, of whom afterwards.
His daughter, , was married to John Macpherson of Inneressie,
Esq.; and had issue.
Ewan died about the year 1640, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
XVII. Donald Macpherson of Clunie, &c., who got a charter under the great
seal, Donaldo Macpherson, arc., of the lands of Middle-Moir, Middle-beg,
arc., dated anno 1643.
Minutes of parliament in pub. archiv.
Writs of the family.
He was a steady friend of king Charles I., and suffered much on account of
his sincere attachment to the interest of the royal family, but dying
without issue, was succeeded by his brother,
XVII. Andrew Macpherson of Clunie, &c., who married a daughter of-
Gordon of Erradoul, by whom he had a son.
Ewan or Eugene, his heir.
This Andrew was also a great loyalist both to king Charles I. and II.
He succeeded to the estate of Brin as heir of entail, anno 1666, and dying
soon thereafter, was succeeded by his only son,
XVIII. Eugene Macpherson of Clunie, &c., who in the reign of king Charles
II. married a daughter of Donald Macpherson of Nuid, a cousin of his own, by
whom he had two sons.
Andrew, the eldest son, died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,
XIX. Duncan Macpherson of Clunie, &c., second son of the said Eugene,
who was captain of the clan Chattan, and married, 1st, a daughter of Rose,
provost of Inverness, by whom he had a son, who died in infancy, and a
Anne Macpherson, married to sir Duncan Campbell, knight, uncle to John
Campbell of Calder, Esq., to whom she had a numerous issue.
He married, 2dly, a daughter of - Gordon of , by whom he had
another son, who also died unmarried.
Duncan died in an advanced age in the year 1721 or 22, without surviving
male issue, and in him ended the whole male line of Donald and Andrew, the
two eldest sons of Ewan Macpherson of Clunie, No. XVI. of this genealogy;
the representation therefore devolved upon Lauchlan of Nuid, the next
heir-male, being lineally descended of John, the third son before mentioned,
to whom we now return.
XVII. John Macpherson of Nuid, third son of Ewan Macpherson of Clunie by a
daughter of Duncan Forbes of Culloden, in the reign of king Charles I.
married a daughter of Farquharson of Monaltrie, by whom he had four sons
and two daughters.
1. Donald, his heir.
2. William, who married twice, and of him there are a great many
descendants, particularly the celebrated Mr James Macpherson who translated
Ossian’s poems, &c., and is now secretary to the province of West Florida,
&c. Of this William are also descended several officers of the name of
Macpherson both in the sea and land service, too numerous to be here
3. Andrew, ancestor of the Macphersons of Crathy-Croy, and many others.
4. Murdoch, of whom there are no male descendants.
1st daughter, Janet, married, 1st, to Fraser of Fouirs in Strather-
rick; 2dly, to Angus Macpherson of Dalraddie; 3dly, to - Grant;
4thly, to Angus Macpherson of Inneressie; 5thly, to - Macqueen,
and had issue to them all.
2. Bessie, married to Donald Macpherson of Phoness, to whom she had five
sons and one daughter.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
XVIII. Donald Macpherson of Nuid, who in the reign of king Charles II.
married, 1st, a daughter of Hugh Rose of Kilravock, by whom he had three
sons and seven daughters.
1. William, his heir.
2. James, who married and had two sons, Andrew and Peter, who both married,
and had several sons and daughters.
3. John, of whom Donald Macpherson of Cullenlian, and Lauchlan Macpherson of
Rawliah, &c., &c., are descended.
1 st daughter, -, married to Grant of Laggan.
2. -, married to- Macgregor of-.
3. -, married to-Macintosh.
4 .--, married to Robert Macintosh.
5. -, married to Ewan Macpherson of Clunie.
6. -, married to John, son of Malcolm Macpherson of Phoness.
7. -, married to Robert Innes of Midkeith.
Donald of Nuid married, 2dly, a daughter of Gordon of Knockspeck, by
whom he had no issue.
He was succeeded by his eldest son.
XIX1. William Macpherson of Nuid, who in the reign of King James VII.
married Isabel, daughter of Lauchlan Macintosh, Esq., by whom he had four
sons and six daughters.
1 There appears to be some confusion as regards the consecutive numbering
from XVII. onwards, but the genealogy, including the numbering, is
reproduced exactly as given in 1 Douglas’s Baronage.’ —A. M.
1. Lauchlan, his heir, afterwards of Clunie, Szc.
2. James, who died unmarried.
3. Andrew, of whom James Macpherson of Crath-Croy, Szc., are descended.
4. William, bred a writer in Edinburgh, and an agent before the court of
session, who married Jean, daughter of James Adamson, merchant in Edinburgh,
whose surviving sons are all mentioned below.9
1 st daughter, Isabel, married to Angus Macpherson of Killiehuntly.
2. Margaret, married to Macintosh of Linvulg.
3. Jean, married to Ewan Macpherson of Pittourie.
4. -, married to-Macdonald of Keyltierie.
5. -, married to-Macintosh of Pharr.
6. Mary, married to Donald, son of Malcolm Macpherson of Brakachie.
William of Nuid died in the end of the reign of queen Anne, and was
succeeded by his eldest son.
XX. Lauchlan Macpherson of Nuid, who upon the death of his cousin, Duncan of
Clunie, without issue-male, succeeded to the chieftainship, Szc., Szc., anno
1722, and was ever afterwards designed by the title of Clunie, as head of
the family, and chief of the clan.
He married Jean, daughter of the brave Sir Ewan Cameron of Lochyell, chief
of the Clan Cameron, by whom he had seven sons and three daughters.
1. Ewan, his heir.
2. John, major to the 78th regiment of foot, commanded by Simon
Fraser, Esq., eldest son of Simon, late lord Lovat, tutor and guardian to
nephew, Duncan of Clunie, during his minority.
3. James, vtois a lieutenant in the army, but died unmarried.
4. Alan, died in Jamaica, also unmarried.
5. Lauchlan, a lieutenant in the army, is married, and hath two sons.
6. Andrew, a lieutenant in the queen’s royal regiment of Highlanders,
commanded by general Graham of Gorthy, is married, and hath issue.
7. Donald, died in the East Indies, unmarried.
1st daughter, Isabel, married to William Macintosh of Aberarder.
2. Christian, married to Donald Macpherson of Brakachie.
3. Unah, married to Lewis Macpherson of Dalraddie.
They all had issue.
Lauchlan of Clunie died anno 17—, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
XXL Ewan Macpherson of Clunie, captain of the clan Chattan, who married
Janet, daughter of Simon, eleventh lord Fraser of Lovat, by whom he had a
son, Duncan, his heir,—and a daughter,
He died anno 176-, and was succeeded by his only son,
XXII. Duncan Macpherson, now of Clunie, descended from Gillicattan Moir (the
first of these memoirs) in a direct male line, as above deduced, and
undoubted captain of the clan Chattan.
He is now a captain on half-pay in the queen’s royal regiment of
Highlanders, commanded by general David Graham of Gorthy, Esq.
Arms.—Parted per fess, or and azure, a lymphad or galley with her sails
furl’d up, her oars in action, of the first. In the dexter chief point a
hand coup’d, grasping a dagger, point upwards, gules (for killing Cuming),
and, in the sinister chief point, a cross crosslet fitched of the last.
Crest; a cat sejant proper.
Motto ; Touch not a cat but a glove.
Supporters; two Highlandmen with steel helmets on their heads, thighs bare,
their shirt tied between them, and round targets on their arms.
Chief Seat.—At Clunie in Badenoch, Inverness-shire.
Follow such of the cadets of the clan Macpherson as have come to our
MACPHERSON OF PITMEAN, &c.
According to sir /Eneas Macpherson’s history of this clan, Ewan Baan
Macpherson, the fifth generation of the preceding title, was the immediate
ancestor of this family, &c.
He left issue three sons.
1. Kenneth Macpherson of Clunie.
Sir /Eneas Macpherson, and Nisbet, p. 424.
History of the family.
2. John, progenitor of Pitmean.
3. Gillies, ancestor of the Macphersons of Inneressie. Vide next title.
also the Macphersons of Balladheg, now represented by Duncan Macpherson of
Balladbeg, who is married and hath four sons 3 and of Balladbeg are
descended the Macphersons of Inneraven, Carnbeg, &c. Of the said John
Macewan are also descended the Macphersons of Craigarnell, the Macphersons
in Banchor, and many others.
John of Pitmean was succeeded by his eldest son,
II. Alexander Macpherson of Pitmean, who lived in the reigns of king Robert
Bruce and his son king David.
He was a brave and gallant man, and was assisting in expelling a lawless
tribe called MacGillimores, out of that part of the country. They were
followers of the Cumings, and had been very troublesome to the Macphersons.
He left issue two sons.
1. John, his heir.
2. Paul, progenitor of the Macphersons of Strathmassie. Vide that title.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
III. John Macpherson of Pitmean, who lived in the reigns of king Robert
II. and III., of whom was lineally descended,
Thomas Macpherson of Pitmean, who lived in the reign of king James V., and
left issue several sons.
1. Donald Macpherson of Pitmean, whose male line failed in the reign of king
2. Ferquhard, progenitor of the Macphersons of Invertromeny, of whom several
families of the name of Macpherson are descended. Alexander Macpherson, the
present representative of this family, married Anne Macintosh, by whom he
had several children. Ferquhard, his eldest son, is an officer in the royal
3. Donald, who was progenitor of the Macphersons of Pitchern, Clune,
Pitgowan, and many others. The present representative of the family of
Pitchern is John Macpherson of Pitchern, Esq., &c., &c.
The Macphersons of Garvamore are also descended of the house of Pitmean,
whose representative in the male line is Angus Macpherson, manufacturer in
Berwickshire, who is married and hath issue.
MACPHERSON OF INNERESSIE.
Gillies or Elias Macpherson, third son of Ewan Baan, as in the preceding
title, was the first of the family of Inneressie, and lived in the reign of
king Alexander III.
Nisbet, vol. i. p. 424, and Sir tineas’ history of the family.
His posterity were designed Slioch Gillies, or the offspring of Gillies, &c.
Tho’ there are many considerable tribes of the clan Macpherson descended of
the family of Inneressie, yet we cannot exactly deduce their succession 3
but of this Gillies was lineally descended,
History of the family, and Nisbet.
Mary and king James VI., and
married, ist, a daughter of Troup of that ilk,
by whom he had no surviving issue.
He married, 2dly, a daughter of John Stewart of Appenby, by whom he had a
II. John Macpherson of Inneressie, who succeeded him, and married a ibidem,
daughter of - Shaw of Dalivert, by whom he had a son and successor,
III. Angus or H£neas Macpherson of Inneressie, who got a charter under
Chart, in the great seal, Angusio Macpherson de Inneressie, terrarum de
Inneressie, &rc., putl' archiv-
crc., anno 1643.
He married a daughter of Ferquharson of Bruickderg, by whom he had
1. William, his heir.
2. John of Dalraddie, whose posterity and succession will be mentioned in
the next title.
3. Thomas, of whom the Macphersons of Killihuntly, &c., are descended.
William of Killihuntly, now representative of that family, has the command
of a battalion of seapoys in the East Indies.
Angus of Inneressie married, 2dly, a daughter of Ferquhardson of Monal
trie, by whom he had two sons.
1. William, father of Mr John Macpherson, who married Christian, daughter of
John Rollo of Muirtown, by whom he had a son, William Macpherson, who
married Jean, daughter of John Kincaid of Saltcoats, by whom he had a son,
John, residenter in Edinburgh, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas
Spens of Lathallan in the county of Fife, by whom he hath a daughter, Janet.
2. Angus, the other son, also married and had issue.
Angus of Inneressie was succeeded by his eldest son,
IV. William Macpherson of Inneressie, who married Margaret, daughter of
Ferquhardson of Wardes, by whom he had three sons.
1. John, his heir.
2. /Eneas, afterwards Sir /Eneas, a man of great parts and learning, and
highly esteemed both by king Charles II. and king James VII. He collected
the materials for the history of the clan Macpherson, which is thought a
valuable MS., is much esteemed, and is still preserved in the family.
He was made sheriff of Aberdeen by a charter under the great seal from king
Charles II., dated in 1684. His only son died a colonel in Spain, without
3. William, who carried on the line of this family, of whom afterwards.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
V. John Macpherson of Inneressie, who married, ist, Marjory, daughter of
Ewan Macpherson of Clunie by a daughter of Duncan Forbes of Culloden, and by
her he had a son,
uncle’s son, as will be further mentioned in the next title, and having
betaken himself to a military life, was an officer in the service of the
states general, and died in Holland, unmarried, anno 1697. His uncle, sir
4Eneas, having no surviving issue, the representation of the family devolved
upon the descendants of his uncle William before-mentioned, to whom we now
V. William Macpherson, Esq., third son of William Macpherson of Inner-essie,
No. IV. of this genealogy, married Janet, daughter of Alexander Macintosh of
Kinrara, by whom he had only one surviving son—viz.,
Attestations from the ministers and justices of the peace in the
VI. Thomas Macpherson, Esq., who married Elizabeth, daughter of John Grant
of Culquhoich, by whom he had a son,
VII. John Macpherson of Inverhall, Esq., undoubted male representative of
the ancient family of Inneressie, and is now barrack-master at Ruthven in
He married Anne, daughter of Hugh Macpherson of Ovie, by whom he hath two
sons and one daughter.
1. yEneas, his apparent heir.
His daughter Margaret.
MACPHERSON OF DALRADDIE, afterwards of INNERESSIE.
IV. John Macpherson, second son of Angus Macpherson of Inneressie, No.
III. of the preceding title, was the first of this family.
He acquired the lands of Dalraddie, and was designed by that title.
He married a daughter of Grant of Garviemore, by whom he had two
sons and four daughters.
1. John, his heir.
2. Robert, father of Lewis, the present wadsetter of Dalraddie, who is
married and hath a numerous issue.
1st daughter, Elizabeth, married to John Macpherson of Banchor.
2. Marjory, married to Malcolm Macpherson of Breakachie.
3. Anne, married to Kenneth Mackenzie of Delnamorc.
4. Isabel, married to Alexander Macpherson of Pitmean.
They all had issue, and he was succeeded by his eldest son,
2. Elizabeth, married to Robert Rose, merchant in Inverness. Both had issue.
3. Magdalene, married, 1st, to Malcolm Macpherson of Nessintilloch, and had
issue; 2dly, to Mr William Gordon, alias Macgregor, minister of the Gospel
at Alvie, without issue.
4. Isabel, married to Thomas Gordon of Fetherletter, and has issue.
He was succeeded by his son,
VI. George Macpherson of Inneressie and Dalraddie, who married Grace,
daughter of colonel William Grant of Ballindalloch, by whom he hath two sons
and four daughters.
1. William, his heir.
1 st daughter, Isabel, married to Andrew Macpherson of Banchor.
2. Anne, married to Dr John Mackenzie of Woodstock.
3. Jean, married to William Grant of Burnside; and all had issue.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
VII. William Macpherson, now of Inneressie, who is an officer in the British
MACPHERSON OF PHONESS.
This is an ancient cadet of the house of Inneressie.
We find Malcolm Macpherson of Phoness, in the reign of king James II., of
whom was lineally descended another,
I. Malcolm Macpherson of Phoness, who was father of
II. Donald Macpherson of Phoness, who left issue three sons.
1. Malcolm, his heir.
2. Thomas Roy Macpherson of Edress, who had two sons—1. Malcolm ;
2. John Macpherson of Lininallan. Malcolm of Edress, the eldest son, was
father of John Macpherson of Edress, who is married and hath issue.
Donald of Phoness’s third son, Alexander Macpherson, settled in Jamaica,
where he acquired a handsome estate, married, and had issue two sons,
Malcolm and William Macphersons.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
III. Malcolm Macpherson of Phoness, who married Anne, daughter of Angus
Macpherson of Killihuntly, by whom he had two sons.
1. Donald, his heir.
2. Angus Macpherson, of whom afterwards.
Malcolm was succeeded by his eldest son,
IV. Donald Macpherson of Phoness, who married, 1st, Isabel, daughter of
Ludovick Grant of Knockando, without issue. He married, 2dly, a daughter of
John Macpherson in Lininallan, by whom he had only one daughter, and dying
without issue male, anno 1766, the representation devolved upon his brother,
IV. Angus Macpherson, before-mentioned, who is an officer in general Mar-joribanks’s
regiment in Holland.
He married Elizabeth, daughter of James Macpherson of Killihuntly, by whom
he hath a son,
William, and two daughters, Townshend and Grace.
Lieutenant John Macpherson in major Johnston’s Highland regiment, and Donald
Macpherson, his brother, who is married and hath issue, are descended of
MACPHERSON OF BRIN.
Benjamin Macpherson, second son of Kenneth, the 6th generation of the house
of Clunie, was progenitor of the Macphersons of Brin.
Though we cannot deduce the succession of this family, yet ’tis certain they
made a good figure in the north of Scotland from the reign of king David
Bruce to that of king Charles II., when Ewan Macpherson, the last laird of
Brin, having no male issue, made an entail of his estate (failing heirs-male
of his own body) in favours of Andrew Macpherson of Clunie his chief, who
succeeded thereto accordingly, anno 1666.
Chart, in pub. archiv.
Captain Alexander Macpherson of London, late secretary to admiral Boscawen,
was a cadet of the house of Brin, &c.
MACPHERSON OF STRATHMASSIE.
I. Paul, second son of Alexander Macpherson of Pitmean, eldest son of the
first John of Pitmean, called John Macewan, was the first of this family.
Sir /Eneas Macpherson’s history of the family.
He lived in the reigns of king Robert II. and III., and married a daughter
of Kennedy of Lininallan in Lochaber, by whom he had a son,
II. Neil Macpherson of Strathmassie, who succeeded him and left a son and
III. Donald Macpherson of Strathmassie, who left issue three sons.
1. John, his heir.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
Paul Macpherson, the last representative of that family, was married at St
Christopher’s, and left issue two sons.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
V. John Macpherson of Strathmassie.
He married, ist, a daughter of Macintosh of Strone, by whom he had
Benjamin, his heir.
He married, 2dly, a daughter of Macintosh of Killacie, by whom he
had no issue.
He was succeeded by his son,
VI. Ben or Benjamin Macpherson of Strathmassie, who married a daughter of
Macqueen of Clunie, by whom he had four sons.
Sir ^Eneas Macpherson’s history of the family.
1. Donald, his heir.
2. John—without succession.
3. Angus, of whom the present Angus Macpherson of Drummanard, Pittounie,
&c., are descended.
4. Murdoch, of whom there are also male descendants.
Benjamin died in the reign of king Charles I., and was succeeded by his
VII. Donald Macpherson of Strathmassie, who was engaged with his chiefs
Donald and Andrew Macphersons of Clunie in the service both of king Charles
I. and II.
He married Anne, daughter of Mr Lauchlan Grant, minister of the gospel at
Kinguissie, by whom he had two sons and one daughter.
1. Alexander, his heir.
2. Benjamin, grandfather of Donald Macpherson of Kinlochlagan, &c., who hath
issue two sons and five daughters, &c.
His daughter, Christian, was married to William Macpherson, brother to
Inneressie, and had issue.
Donald died in the reign of king Charles II., and was succeeded by his
eldest son, •
VIII. Alexander Macpherson of Strathmassie, who married Catharine, daughter
of Archibald Macdonald of Keppoch, by whom he had a son,
IX. John Macpherson of Strathmassie, who succeeded him, and married Jean,
daughter of Lauchlan Macintosh of that ilk, by whom he had a son.
Lauchlan, his heir, and four daughters.
1. Catharine, married to John Campbell of Auchmaddie in Lochaber, and has
2. Anne, married to John Macpherson, wadsetter of Maccoul, who left issue
three sons and three daughters.
3. Florence, married to Alexander Macpherson in Strathmassie, and hath
4. Rachel, married to James Macpherson, schoolmaster in Knoydart, and hath
He was succeeded by his only son,
X. Lauchlan Macpherson of Strathmassie, who married Mary, daughter of
Archibald Butter of Pitlochrie in Athole, by Helen his wife, daughter of sir
Alexander Ogilvie of Forglen, baronet, one of the senators of the college of
justice, by whom he has two sons and two daughters.
i st daughter, Agnes.
MACPHERSON OF BREAKACHIE.
IX. Donald More Macpherson of Clunie, No IX. of the memoirs of that family,
had two sons.
Sir ."Eneas Macpherson’s history of the family.
1. Donald-Oig of Clunie, his successor.
2. Gillicallum-Beg, or Little Malcolm, progenitor of the Macphersons of
Breakachie, Essich, &c.
I. Gillicallum-Beg Macpherson lived in the reign of king James I. and
married a daughter of Macdonald of Shian, by whom he had three sons.
1. Gillicallum More, or Beg Malcolm, progenitor of the Macphersons of
2. Dougal Derg, or Red Dougal, of whom the Macphersons of Essich are
3. Ewan, ancestor of the Macphersons in Breadalbane or Argyleshire.
Though the descendants of Gillicallum More and Dougal Derg contend for
precedency; yet we here, from the traditional history of the family, begin
II. Gillicallum More Macpherson, who appears to have been eldest son of
Gillicallum-Beg, second son of Donald of Clunie, was designed by the title
MS. history of the family.
Breakachie, and married a daughter of Robertson of Aulich in Rannach, an
ancient cadet of the family of Strowan, chief of the name, by whom he had
six sons and seven daughters.
1. John, his heir.
2. Soirl or Samuel.
4. Huiston or Hutcheon.
6. Gillicallum Oig.
1st daughter, married to Donald, brother to - Cameron of Little
2. -, married to-Macpherson of Pitmean.
3. -, married to-Macpherson of Drummanard.
4. -, married to - Macpherson of Balladmore.
5. -, married to Donald Macpherson of Phoness.
6. -, married to-Macgregor of Liaraygach in Rannach in Athole.
7. -, married to-Gordon, a son of Abergeldie.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
III. John Macpherson of Breakachie, who in the reign of king Janies VI.
M.S. hist, of the family.
married a daughter of - Macpherson of Phoness, by whom he had two
1. Donald, his heir.
2. Ewan, whose posterity are extinct. .
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
IV. Donald Macpherson of Breakachie, who married a daughter of-
Stewart of Drumchan in Athole, by whom he had two sons.
1. Hugh or Hutcheon, who married, but left no surviving issue.
2. Donald Oig, who carried on the line of the family.
V. Donald Macpherson of Breakachie, married a daughter of - Macpherson of
Pitowrie, by whom he had four sons.
1. Malcolm, his heir.
3. Soirl or Samuel.
4. John of Ovie.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
VI. Malcolm Macpherson of Breakachie, who married, ist, a daughter of Donald
Macpherson of Phoness, by whom he had four sons.
1. John, his heir.
2. Alexander, married and had issue.
3. Donald, married a sister of Lauchlan Macpherson of Clunie, and had issue.
4. Duncan—no succession. .
He married, 2dly, Marjory, daughter of John Macpherson of Dalraddie, by whom
he had two sons.
1. Malcolm of Crubin-more, who married Isabel, daughter of James Macpherson
of Invernahaven, by whom he has a daughter, married to Donald, second son of
Donald Macpherson of Kinlochlaggan.
- 2. Thomas Macpherson of Messintullich, who married Elizabeth,
daughter of John Macpherson of Banchor, by whom he has sons and daughters.
Malcolm was succeeded by his eldest son,
daughter of William Beatie, an officer in the British dragoons, by whom he
has a son and a daughter.
4. Hugh of Ovie, who married Margaret, daughter of John Macpherson of
Banchor, by whom he has two sons and three daughters.
1st daughter, Isabel, married to Macintosh of Linvulg, and has issue.
2. Helen, married to John Macpherson of Invernahaven, and has issue.
3. married to a son of Macpherson of Phoness, and has issue.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
VIII. Donald Macpherson of Breakachie, who married Christian, daughter of
Lauchlan Macpherson of Clunie, by Jean his wife, daughter of Sir Ewan
Cameron of Lochyell. By her he had four sons and one daughter.
1. Duncan, his heir.
2. Lauchlan, who was bred a surgeon, is now a lieutenant in one of the
British independent companies in Senegal in Africa.
3. John, a merchant in North America.
Marjory, only daughter.
He was succeeded by his eldest son,
IX. Duncan Macpherson of Breakachie, who went a captain in colonel Morris’s
regiment of foot to the East Indies, anno 1760, and returned to Breakachie
1766, and is still unmarried.
There are several considerable families of the name of Macpherson descended
of Breakachie—viz., the Macphersons in Glenorchy, and Glenfine, in
Argyleshire; the Macphersons in Larig, &c.; the Macphersons of Culcherine,
Alexander Macpherson, wadsetter of Culcherine, who acquired the estate of
Gartincaber, &c., married Isabel, daughter of Hugh Campbell, Esq., a cadet
of the family of Ardkinlass, by whom he had four sons.
1. Gilbert, who was bred to the law at Edinburgh.
2. James, a captain on half-pay in the queen’s royal regiment of
Highlanders, is married, and hath issue.
3. Colin, who died young.
4. Ewan, a captain in lord John Murray’s regiment, was killed in Ticonderago,
MACPHERSON OF ESSICH.
The first of this family was,
I. Dougal Derg, so called from his being a brave and gallant man, and often
engaged in warlike exploits. He was the son of Gillicallum-Beg, and brother
of Gillicallum-More, first of the family of Breakachie.
Though this was long a considerable, numerous, and flourishing family, yet
as we are not furnished with materials whereby we can deduce their
genealogy, we shall here briefly mention such of their cadets as have come
to our knowledge.
The Macphersons of Ballichroan in Badenoch, and of Powrie in Forfarshire,
are of the family of Essich.
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