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Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
IX. The Gaels


He was nonetheless the first earl of Fife, probably in right of his wife. His sons included Angus, King of Moray (killed 1130), and also Duff, Malcolm and Gillecoimded. These sons had a number of important inheritances to consider. There was the Kingship of Moray, and also the chiefship of the Clann Duff, and in the male-line, also the senior descent of, or position of precedence within, the royal Kindred of St. Columba in Scotland. The descendants of Duff (who predeceased his father Eth) took the latter two, as the senior line, while the descendants of Malcolm and Gillecoimded "MacEth" threw in their lot with the Moray-men, whose Gaelic laws would prefer the succession of the living brothers of their king, Angus, over his living nephews, the descendents of Duff. On the death of Eth (Aedh), the Moray-men rose under King Angus and his brother Malcolm MacEth (Mac Aedh) in an attempt to put Angus on the throne of the Scots (as a son of the Abbot-Earl Eth, and as representative of the dispossessed Clan Duff). This was a reaction in part to the Normanizing influence at the Scottish court of David I, and in fact they were defeated and Angus killed by David’s Norman mercenaries. Malcolm (called "Jan" or ruler of Moray by the Norwegians) married a daughter of Somerled of the Isles, and carried on the struggle until one of his sons, Donald MacAedh, was captured by the forces of King Malcolm IV in 1156.

At this point Malcolm became nominally reconciled with the King of Scots, and was made Earl of Ross, a post he held till his death in 1168. His grandson, Kenneth MacAedh, made a final attempt at the crown of the Scots in 1215, but was defeated and beheaded by the ancestor of the Ross clan, who subsequently became Earl of Ross (see Chapter IV). During these struggles, in about 1163, King Malcolm IV attempted to deprive Malcolm MacAedh of the earldom of Ross in order to give it to his own foreign brother-in-law, the Count of Holland (many knightly Flemings had already settled in Moray). Accordingly, the King transported many of the Moraymen extramontanas Scociae, that is, beyond the mountains of Scotland into Caithness, which was still under Norse control (Moncreiffe 145). The Jarl of Orkney and Caithness at the time was Harold, son-in-law of Earl Malcolm MacAedh.

It is in the extreme northwest of Scotland, in the district known as Strathnaver in western Caithness, that the later MacAedh chiefs appear in the early thirteenth century, and here the MacAedh chiefs gave rise to a very important clan, later known as the Clann Aodha or MacKays (Mac Aodha, earlier MacAedh), whose chiefs held Strathnaver for many centuries. They were also known as the Clan Morgan, Morgan having been a favorite name in the royal house of Moray. They adopted their current arms in the seventeenth century to reflect their traditional kinship with the Forbes clan, but their original arms were three blue stars on silver, with a hand in chief, that is, the Royal arms and colors of the Kingdom of Moray, surmounted by a hand symbolizing "true family." They also share the "butcher’s broom" plant badge (a symbol of tribalism) with their successors in the Kingdom of Moray, the Murrays and


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