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Conflicts of the Clans

The Conflict of Clachnaharry

About the year of God 1341, John Munro, tutor of Fowlis, travelling homeward on his journey from the south of Scotland, towards Ross, did repoose himself by the way, in Strathardale, betwixt Saint Johnstone and Athole, where he fell at variance with the inhabitants of that country, who had abused him, which he determined to revenge afterward.

Being come to Ross, he gathered together his whole kinsmen, neighbours and followers, and declared unto them how he had been used, and craves their aid to revenge himself, whereunto they yield. Thereupon he singled out 350 of the strongest and ablest men among them, and so went to Strathardale, which he wasted and spoiled, killed some of the people, and carried away their cattle. In this return home (as he was passing by the Isle of Moy with his prey), Mackintosh, chieftian of the Clan Chattan, sent to him to crave a part of the spoil, challenging the same as due to him by custom.

John Munro offered Mackintosh a reasonable portion, which he refused to accept, and would have no less than half of the whole spoil. whereunto John would not yield. So Mackintosh, convening his forces with all diligence, followed John Munro, and overtook him at Clachnaharry, beside Kessock, within one mile of Inverness. John, perceiving them coming, sent fifty of his men to Ferrindonnell, with the spoil, and encouraged the rest of his men to fight.

So there ensued a cruel conflict, where Mackintosh was slain with the most part of his company. Divers of the Munros were also killed, and John Munro left as dead on the field; but after all was appeased, he was taken up by some of the people thereabout who carried him to their houses, where he recovered of his wounds, and was afterwards called John Back-lawighe, because he was mutilated of an hand.


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