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Mac Mhaighstir Alastair
The MacDonalds of Morar, styled "Mac Dhughail"


This family long held a prominent position in Inverness-shire. It descended from Allan MacRuari, one of the most famous of the distinguished chiefs of Clan Ranald, who was executed for treasonable actions at Blair-Athole in 1509.

The first of the family was Dugald Macdonald, after whom the lairds had the patronymic, and were in Gaelic styled “Mac Dhughail”—when in conjunction with the territorial designation of Morar, “Mac vic Dhughail,” by and in itself.

There is some doubt as to the connection betwixt Dugald and Allan MacRuari. The historian of CJanranald, writing in 1819, describes him as son of “Angus Reoch,” who was fourth son of Allan MacRuari; and as at that time the unparalleled misfortunes which befel the main line (afterwards alluded to) had occurred, the historian thus feelingly refers to Morar as “a family which has supported the dignity of the name for ages, and whose worth will be long remembered.” Mr Gregory, however, and Mr Alexander Mackenzie, in his History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles, state that Dugald was the only son of Ranald, executed in 1513, eldest son of Allan MacRuari, and thus the real heir, who, in consequence of his cruelties, was murdered shortly after his accession, and his family excluded from the succession. It would be out of place here to enter fully into the matter, and the descendants of Dugald, though they accepted his name, relinquished all title to the chiefship, which remained unchallenged in Ian Muidartach and his descendants.

Before giving some account of the various heads of the Morar family, it may be as well at this point to describe their lands. South Morar was their chief residence, consisting of a 14 merk land of old extent. North Morar, formerly part of Glengarry, was judicially sold in 1768, aud bought by General Fraser of Lovat, who was anxious to add to his political influence. In Gaelic, South Morar was “Morar-vic-Dhughail,” and North Morar, “Morar-vic-Shimmie.” South Morar, in its entirety, was a fine property, extending from the sea to the head waters of Glen Pean, which flow into Loch Arkaig, and to the sources of the river Finnon, which runs into Loch Shiel. It contained all the waters. which run into one side of the historic Loch Morar, including also the whole of Loch Beoraid, in itself a grand sheet of water. There are some pretty islets in Loch Morar, in one of which, it is alleged, Simon Lord Lovat was taken in 1746, concealed in the hollow of an old tree. The tradition is inaccurate; there are no appearances of old trees in the islands, and trees which, I observe, by an account of seeds and labour, were planted in 1802, have been cut down for estate purposes.

The place where Lord Lovat was taken, I am informed by MrAEneas Macdonell of Morar, is called “Druim-a-Chuirn,” situated on the south-east side of Loch Morar, part of the farm of Meople. Mr Macdonell saw the tree some forty years ago, then much decayed, and he understood there are at present no remains. He took it to have been a fir, but those with him made it hardwood.

The river Morar, with its rapids and falls, is most picturesque. In Eigg, the Morar family had Gruillen, Galmistell, Sandiemore, Hollin, Knockeltaig, and Cleadell. They also had the lands of Linaclete in Benbecula, and Machermeanach in South Uist. One of the cadets of Morar founded the family of Garryghoul, afterwards Gerrinish, whose desccniant in 1854 became heir to Morar, and sold the estate When these lands in South Uist and Benbecula were sold to Boisdale by Allan Roy of Morar, it was said he had been outwitted, and I observe a curious statement made in the year 1854, by John Macdonald, cottar in Arisaig, then aged 82, that the Gerrinish family "had money on those lands which had been left to them as Thanishdearachd.” The family has long been out of Fist, but has left some permanent memorials. Miss Mary Macdonald, a member of the family, residing in Glasgow in 1854, aged 60, says, “Ranald of Gerriuish's first wife was Isobel, daughter of Morar. She was drowned in the ford. The rock has ever since been called ‘Isabella's Rack.’ I have seen it myself.” Miss Macdonald’s sister, Mrs Anne Mackinnon, says, “I have often stood in the burying-ground at Howmore, between the graves of Rauald’s two wives. The burying ground is called the Morar family buiring-ground—in Gaelic, Clach or Cille-vic-Coule.”

The Morar family had at times other lands, particularly seven merks of Arisaig, but those I have mentioned were all included in the County Cess Roll, made up in 1691.

I. Dugald Macdonald was succeeded by

II. Allan, designed in 1538 as “Allan Mac-Coull-MacRanald,” who, with his younger brother Lachlan, receive a grant of the nonentry duties of 14 merks of Morar, 9 merks in Eigg, 13 merks in Benbecula, and 7 merks of Arisaig. From this period, at least, commences the distinct connection of the Mac-Coul family with Morar. In a remission, dated 3rd March, 1566, in favour of Clan-ranald and his friends and followers, the first name after that of John, the chief, and Allan, John Og, Roderick, Angus, and Donald Gorme, all his sons, is that of “Allan Mac Coul Vic Ranald de Morar.”

The Clanranald historian seems to make him the same person as Allan MacRanald of Easter Leys, who is found in 1581. I infer that Allan of Easter Leys was of the Keppoch family. His eldest son and apparent heir, named John, appears in 1588, and he himself writes a long letter, dated at the Chanonrie of Ross, as late as 1596. Allan the second was succeeded by

III. Alexander, found in 1610 as “Alexander Mac-Allan-Mac-Coul MacRanald” of Morar. In his time, the Morar family was in the height of its prosperity. He received a Crown Charter of all the lands above particularised, including the seven merks in Arisaig, from James VI., dated Edinburgh, 15th March, 1610.

Alexander, with consent of his eldest son, Allan Mor, feued out ten pennies of Cleadell, Knockiltaig, and Hollin, in Eigg, to his brother Ranald, in life-rent, and the latter’s son Angus, in fee, in the year 1618. This family of Knockiltaig ran on for a long time, and in 1818 its representative, Capt. George Macdonald of the 68th Regiment, was a claimant for the Morar estate, and tried to get himself appointed tutor-at-law to John, 12th of Morar, but the attempt failed, there being some doubt as to the marriage of the Captain’s parents.

IV. Allan Mor. In 1646 Allan styling himself “Allan vic Allister,” Laird of Morar, enters into a Bond of Friendship with John and Donald, elder and younger of Clanranald.

This would imply that the Mac-Couls were independent of Clan Ranald. Allan Mor had three sons, Allan Oig, his successor, John, who died without issue, and Alexander, ancestor of Garrygual and Gerinish, whose descendants, as I have said, ultimately succeeded to the estate. Allan Mor had one daughter, who married Alexander Macdonald of Kinlochmoidart, which Alexander died in 1644. Allan was succeeded by

V. Allan Oig, and he in turn was succeeded by his second son,

VI. Alexander, who had several sons, including Allan Roy, who succeeded, and John, the fourth son, first of the Guidale family, whose grandson James, an idiot, was for a time proprietor of Morar. Alexander, who was out with Dundee, was succeeded by

VII. Allan Roy. He is found party to a deed in 1702; and he, described as yr. of Morar, witnesses a deed in 1683. He died prior to 1759, having been infeft in Morar in 1726. He married Marjory, youngest daughter of Sir Ewtn Cameron of Lochiel, leaving five sons, who all died without issue, save John, the eldest. One of Allan Roy's daughters married John 6th of Glenalladale, and her son, Alexander, young Glenalladale, was one of the first to join Prince Charlie, and proved a most devoted adherent.

Allan was somewhat facile, and in his time the family began to decay. In 1748 he sold his South Uist and Benbecula lands to Boisdale, and feued lihettland, part of South Morar. An old faded document, being an agreement ’twixt Angus Macdonald of Rhett-land, and his son, Allan, is somewhat curious, and may be given, as it relates to the great emigration movement which had then begun :—

“Att Sunisleter, 7th June, 1772.

“It is agreed and contracted betwixt Angus MacDonald of Retland and Allan MacDonald, his eldest son, whereas the said Angus and Allan MacDonald are to sell and dispose of the whole lands, holding feu of John Macdonald of Morar, do hereby bind and oblige us heirs and successors to perform the following articles and conditions. That is to say, that the third part of the price of the foresaid lands are to be employed in making a purchase in whatever part they think most convenient in America, and that the foresaid Allan MacDonald, being the eldest son and heir of the foresaid Angus MacDonald of Retland, is to have the whole of these lands purchased with the foresaid money, except five hundred acres for each of his other four sons, and one thousand to be att the disposal of the foresaid Angus MacDonald of Retland, and the other two parts of the price of foresaid lands to be equally divided betwixt the foresaid Angus MacDonald of Retland, and the foresaid Allan MacDonald his son. I, Angus MacDonald of Retland, and Allan MacDonald, my son, do hereby bind and oblige ourselves to extend the above upon stamped paper when convenient.

“In witness whereof we have signed these presents before these witnesses—Ranald MacDonald, tacksman of Grulin, in Eigg, and Donald MacDonald, in Sunisleter. (Signed) Angus MacDonald, Allan MacDonald, Ranald MacDonald, witness, Donald MacDonald, witness.”

Rhettland was ultimately acquired by the sagacious John Macdonald of Borrodale, who afterwards succeeded to Glenalladale.

By the advice of friends, Allan Roy interdicted himself from acting without their consent, but mischief had already been done.

Both Allan Roy and his son John were out in the ’45, and an account of interviews they had with Prince Charles when a fugitive in the neighbourhood of Morar, is well known. From the account it seems that the old man was more inclined than his son to run all risks for his Prince. One of Allan’s daughters was the Janet before referred to as having been drowned in a ford of Uist. Allan was succeeded by his son

VIII. John Macdonald, commonly termed “Lieutenant John.” He succeeded to an embarrassed estate, and being tempted to enter into litigation, to set aside his father’s sales to Macdonald of Boisdale, he got into great difficulties, finally losing his case in the House of Lords in 1764. He married Mary, thirteenth child of Ranald of Kinlochmoidart, by Margaret, only daughter of John Cameron of Lochiel.

One of Mary’s brothers was the well-known Angus Macdonald, banker in Paris, who disappeared during the French Revolution while Paris was in the hands of the mob. Another was Ranald, who will ever be sympathetically remembered by Highlanders, as that youth who, with hardly suppressed anger against his relatives, Clanranald and Kinlochmoidart, impatiently stood on the deck of the vessel while Prince Charles was vainly striving to get their assent to the rising.—“Home’s History,” p.p. 39 and 40.

Sometime after his legal defeat in 1764, John entered the British Service, and served for years in America. He had to part with his remaining lands in Eigg, viz., Gruelliu and the Knockiltaig feus, to Ranald Macdonald of Clanranald, in the year 1773, for the sum of 1070. There is a curious limitation in the deed of conveyance, to the effect that, though Galmistell and Sandimore were conveyed, it was without warrandice, because, though they appeared in Morar’s charters, they had in fact been always possessed by Clanranald. After his return from the American War John lived at Kinlochmoidart, then at Glenancross, and thereafter at Bunacamb, where he died in the autumn of 1809, at an advanced age.

The sales mentioned did not suffice to clear the encumbrances. General Fraser of Lovat befriended him, and made advances, but the upper end of Morar, now generally comprehended under the one possession of Meople, was sold by John and his son to Ewen Cameron of Fassfern. John wTas a man of considerable ability, as may be seen by the following instructions, which are holograph, to prepare the marriage contract of his daughter :—

“Outlines of the contract of marriage betwixt Lt. Miles M‘Donald, of the late 8th Regiment of Foot on the one part, and Isabella M‘Donald, daughter to John McDonald of Morar, the said J. M‘D. and Lt. Simon M‘Donald, younger of Morar, on the other part, that is to say, the said Lt. M. M‘D. having married the said Isabella M‘D. on the — day of July last, with the consent of her said father and brother. But no contract or mention of agreement being hitherto extended, or mention in any manner except what passed verbally, and the said John M‘D., with consent of Lt. Simon M‘Donald foresaid, obliges them to pay to said Lt. Miles M‘D. the sum of 100 stg., as portion or dowry, with the annual rent thereof, from date of their marriage till paid. In consideration of which, and on the other part, the said Lieut. Miles M‘Donald obliges him and his heirs, &c., etc., &c., to secure to the said Isabella M‘Donald, his spouse, in case she survives her said husband, by good sufficient land security, or by lodging a capital sum equal thereto, the sum of 20 stg. yearly, beginning the first payment thereof the first term after her said husband’s decease, together with an equal half of all the movable stock, household furniture, or silver plate of whatever kind that may happen to belong to them at the dissolution of the marriage, in case no child or children shall then live or be procreate between them; but, in case there are children or child then living procreate betwixt them, in that case she is only to have one-third of the movables, as also of conquest from the time of their marriage, and she is entitled to the best horse, together with thirty pounds stg. in name of a compliment and a grant of mourning.”

The sum of 40 was expended in John Macdonald’s funeral expenses, including half an anker of rum and four casks of whisky. He left two sons and two daughters — Simon, who succeeded Colonel Coll Macdonald, 2nd Battalion of the Royals, one daughter, Isabella, above referred to, and Margaret, wife of that well-known litigant, Dr Donald Macdonald, of Fort-Augustus. John was succeeded in the estate by his eldest son.

IX. Simon, afterwards Major in the army, who married, in 1784, Amelia, only child of Captain James Macdonell of Glenraeddle, younger son of Glengarry, and Jean Gordon, daughter of old Glenbuckett.

Miss Macdonell was highly accomplished, and an heiress, and the romantic circumstances connected with Morar’s successful wooing I have mentioned in another place, as these were related to me by my mother, who was personally acquainted with Major and Mrs Macdonald. Old Morar, at the marriage of his son in 1784, gave over the estates, reserving a liferent.

Simon Macdonald built the house of Tray, afterwards called Morar House, where he and his wife happily resided for some years, he busying himself in the pursuits of a country gentleman. They were both good musicians, and in the small though varied library at Tray at his death, there were 11 volumes of music, and amongst his effects, three violins and a piano. The old mansion of the Mac-Couls was stone built, gabled, and thatched, situated at Glenancross.

When Simon left Glen^ncross, and built Tray, his father John also left it, and, as I have said, resided in a cottage at Bunacaimb, still standing, where he died. No vestige of the Glenancross house remains.

Simon took great interest in urging the opening up of Lochiel, Arisaig, and the two Morars, by good roads, finding then, as is now, the inconvenience of the 20 lands of Lochiel being situated in Argyle.

I give one of his letters as a specimen : —

“Dear Sir,—The Roman Catholic gentlemen in this neighbourhood swore allegiance to His Majesty last week, in compliance to the late Act in their favour, which I here enclose, but wish to have returned by my servant. You’ll find also enclosed a list of the gentlemen, to be delivered to the Sheriff Clerk conformed to the Act; likewise 2 1s, out of which give the clerk 1 7s, the balance to credit of my own account. There is enclosed a paragraph, which please transmit to Edinburgh with all despatch, to be published in three different Edinburgh papers, and in the Glasgow News. Acquaint me of the expense with due convenience, and it will be remitted. I hope, as the gentlemen left it with me to get these things done, you’ll be so good as not neglect them. I always am, dear Sir, yours very sincerely,

(Signed) “ Simon M‘Donald.

“Arisaig, 18th Augt., 1793.”

His family increasing, and the old military spirit still glowing, he again entered the army. His mother-in-law, Mrs Macdonell of Glenmeddle, writing from Inverie, 9th June, 1794, says:—“Mr Macdonald has accepted of a Commission from the Marquis of Huntly. Since it was to be so, I wish it had been sooner. He has got some recruits. God grant all things may do well for himself and family.” He became Major in the 92nd Regt., and after being abroad for some time, retired in bad health. He died on the 12th March, 1800, and in one of his last letters, bearing date the 13th January, he writes, alluding to a notorious quack medicine of the day termed “the Balm of Gilead,” thus—“The Gilead cordial I have found benefit from, so I mean to commission a whole case from Edinburgh. If the effects are so sensibly felt in every complaint to which it is applied as a cure, it must be a blessing to society.” The Major was buried with his fathers within the walls of the ancient chapel at Kilmoire of Arisaig, one of the seven expiatory chapels of “Allan-nan-Creach,” and a handsome tombstone, costing 14 sterling, is ordered from Greenock.

This was the first blow to his widow, left with a young family of five—Elizabeth, James, Mary, Simon, and John. Her next misfortune was in the year 1803, when, having previously removed to Inverness for the sake of her childrens’ education, she lost, in the mouth of July, her daughter Mary, and in November, her clever mother, Mrs Macdonell of Glenmeddle. Both were buried at Inverness. In these dayp, in towns, it was customary to have a funeral dinner or “entertainment” as it was termed, and it needed, with other liquors, the consumption of 28 bottles of port to pay proper respect to the old lady’s memory, at Fraser’s hotel. I give a specimen of her letters:—

“Sir,—I would have wrote you sooner, according to promise, but was detained longer by the way here than I expected, by my relations and friends in Perthshire. I only arrived here last week. I long much to know about your Mrs M‘Donell and how all matters are. I sincerely wish and hope all is weel to your and her comfort. I am very anxious to hear. What can I think not to have had a letter or any accounts from my daughter or from Knoidart since I left Inverness. You cannot imagine my uneasiness, God grant they may be all weel. 1 am amongst my kindest and best friends, but in the midst of all, not happy with my anxiety in not hearing from my daughter, the reason of which I cannot comprehend. I have been at Lord Henderlands mostly since I came here. They are at Murrayfield, about two miles from town. My Lord sets off the 15th for Inverness, from Mercer of Aldies. I dined at St Martins with Remulin, and returned to Mr Mercer’s at night. I only saw Mr Fraser, Gortuleg; he called upon me the day I came to town; he went north next day, but says he returns soon. I beg to hear from you upon receipt of this. Let me know all your news, how they are at Invergarry, what has become of Mrs M‘Cay, but I beg to know when you heard from Knoidart. I shall conclude with my kindest compts. to Mrs M. and you, and am, Dr. Sir, your assured friend, and humble servt., (Signed) “Jean Macdonell.

“Edin., Carrubers Close, Sept. 10th, 1787.

“Direct to me at Mrs Laing’s, Carrubers Close, and care of Mr Angus M'Donell, Merchant, Parliament Close.

“Compts. to Mr John McDonald and Mrs M‘Donald, and to good Miss Gordon. Adieu, write me soon.”

In 1804, when in his 11th year, Mrs Macdonald’s youngest son, John, met with an accident, and began to show signs of fatuousness.

I have placed Major Simon Macdonald as the 9th of Morar, because, though he predeceased his father, he had been put in possession of the estate. He was succeeded by his eldest son

X. James, who, in 1805, like his father and grandfather, betook himself to a military life, entering his fathers regiment, as seen by the following letter addressed to his uncle, Colonel Coll Macdonald :—

“Aberdeen, 28th September, 1805.

“Sir,—The Marquis of Huntly is extremely happy to acquaint you that he has now procured an ensigncy in the 92nd for your nephew, James Macdonald.

(Signed) “Thos. Johnstone, Major of Brigade.”

James Macdonald was sent abroad immediately, saw much service, and went through a deal of hardship. It was reported that he was killed at Corunna, but, in a letter from a friend of the family in Edinburgh, dated 31st January, 1809, it is said—“There has been word from James Morar, who it seems has been lucky enough not to be at the Battle of Corunna. He says the army have lost in all 10,000 men in battle, and left on the road in retreat from fatigue; but it is said confidently that 4500 only have been lost. James Morar was in the rear on the march, and was skirmishing and retreating for three weeks.”

James Macdonald returned home a major, and his mother, writing from Morar House, on 17th October, 1809, says her son Simon had a letter “from James. He is, I thank God, well. His regiment is at Woodbridge, in Suffolk. He is put into the Grenadiers as a mark of distinction.”

His own views are well expressed in a long letter, dated Woodbridge, 18th October, 1809, from which I make an extract:—“I am now the representative of an ancient and honourable family, with hardly a vestige of property, but the name, with a family to support, and debts to be expunged. Providing for the one, and supporting the other, as becomes them, are my objects, and, with the assistance of God, I am determined to overcome all obstacles to effect them. The task is difficult.”

Alas! that such high hopes should be frustrated. He shortly fell into ill health, and died at Edinburgh, after a lingering illness, in the month of October, 1811. On 30th October a youth at college writes to Inverness—“Poor Morar was buried on Tuesday. They got a very bad day, for it incessantly rained all the time of the burial.” The death of her eldest son, of whom she was justly proud, wras a sad stroke to his mother, but she still had the comfort of her second son Simon. James Macdonald was succeeded by his brother.

XI. Simon, 11th of Morar. He was intended for the profession of the law, and carefully educated, first by Mr Ewan Maclachlan, of Aberdeen, and afterwards at the University of Edinburgh. He was the favourite of his mother and only surviving sister. It may be imagined, therefore, what an overwhelming shock it was to these loving ones to hear that in April, 1812, barely six months after his accession, he was killed by the accidental discharge of his gun while visiting a relative in Moidart. Upon his way to shoot at Kinlochmoidart, Simon Macdonald stayed a night at the house of Irin. Starting off after breakfast on 22nd April, in health and spirits, he took up his gun, which had been placed over night against the wall behind a sofa. In doing this the gun went off, the contents penetrating his head, and, though he lived three hours, never spoke. Simon was succeeded by his only surviving brother,

XII. John, 12th of Morar. He, as I have stated, showed signs of fatuousness as early as 1804, and, by the time of his accession, had quite sunk into idiotcy. He attained his majority in 1814.

These unparalleled misfortunes left Mrs Macdonald with only one real comfort—her eldest daughter, Elizabeth. She, like her mother, was highly accomplished and well up to business. I cannot better illustrate this than bv giving a paper drawn out and holograph of herself, early in 1814, in reference to certain accounts of cash and business, which had been laid before her mother and herself—

“Memorandum as to the Accounts :—

“A. These two Accounts, the 60 is not included in which he was due Mrs M.

“B. The Interest of Glengarry’s Bond, which wbs due two years, he sent by Mr J. M. in 1809, which he puts right in his account, but in making up the Interest, he charged her Interest upon from 1807. And the Accounts he paid in the same way at that time.

“C. These two accounts are the same, but that the agency is charged niore in the last sent.

“D. This Account he has put John in place of Simon. In it he charges with an Interview with our Lamented Simon when he was in Morar. It was the day after his coming of age, the 14th of April, when every person knows that he was not at Inverness. In John’s accounts he has charged the Postages much more than they are. As to mine, if he sends the vouchers I shall be satisfied.”

Mrs Macdonald was destined to lose, and that very shortly, as I have said, her last comfort. Borrodale writes on 4th July, 1814:—

“Dear Sir,—Mrs Macdonald, Morar, with her poor reduced family, arrived from Edinburgh on the 23rd of last month. Miss Macdonald was much reduced indeed, but she retained such spirits that I thought she might live a few weeks. The poor mother never despaired of her recovery until Thursday night last, late in the evening, and early on Friday morning she departed this life. The interment is to be on Thursday. You will easily conceive the distress of worthy Mrs Macdonald on losing her last hope and only comfort. I am happy to be able to say she bears this severe trial with a great degree of Christian fortitude, as much so as could be expected from any woman in her situation.—I am, dear Sir, yours very truly,

(Signed) “John Macdonald.

“Morar House, 4th July, 1814.”

Barisdale, writing same day from Auchtertyre, says:—“I am just preparing to set off for poor Betsy Morar’s interment. God help her distressed mother; few women have suffered more in the world, or borne her fate with more resignation and fortitude.”

In 1818, when certain formalities were to be gone through with regard to the management of the estate, an old friend writing by a messenger-at-arms to Mr John Macdonald, priest of Arisaig, and to Mr Macdonell of Rhue, says—“The bearer goes to cite John Morar, the remaining stock of my most affectionate friends, Major and Mrs Macdonald of Morar. That that family should have been so reduced is truly distressing to me.”

Mrs Macdonald did not long survive. Glengarry, writing on 16th May, 1817, states—“He expects setting out for the West to attend the funeral of my poor cousin, Mrs Macdonald of Morar.” She left considerable means, Lord Medwyn, Mr J. A. Murray, afterwards Lord Murray, Wm. Macdonald of St Martins, and Alex. Macdonell of Rhue and Lochshiel, being her executors. Mrs Galbraith, daughter of Ranald Macdonell of Scotos, speaking in 1854, aged over 70, said—“ I lived for three years preceding Mrs Macdonald’s death with her at Morar House.” Space prevents my giving one of her numerous letters. Lord Murray, her maternal cousin, was appointed her residuary legatee, and though a great part of it was laid out by him for the benefit of the people, it did not prove a success. He erected a monumental tablet in one of the walls of Kilmoir chapel, with the following inscription :—

“Sacred to the Memory of Amelia,
Widow of Simon Macdonald of Morar,
Of their Daughter Eliza, and Sons,
James, Simon, and John.

The sorrows of a mother, borne with patience truly Christian, and the sad fate of her family, are here recorded.

RIP

J. A. M., Posuit, 1843.”

Colonel Coll Macdonald, only brother of Simon 9th of Morar, married Miss Frances Cochrane, and left an only child Mary. The Colonel, who was in very good circumstances, had to be placed under restraint in 1814, and died towards the close of 1817. Mary Macdonald married Angus Macdonell, commonly called “Angus Inch,” from his farm in the Brae of Lochaber. Mr Eneas Macdonell, Morar, to whom I am much indebted for information in preparing this paper, describes Mrs Macdonell of Inch in these words, in answer to my specific enquiries, made in respect that she and her descendants became heirs of line of “Mac Dhughail”— “Mrs Macdonell was regarded by every one who saw her as a very handsome and beautiful woman. She retained her good looks and graces to the last. She was little past middle life when she died. The old Macdonalds of Morar were, I have always heard, a good looking race. I am not sure whether Mrs Macdonell died before or after the family emigrated. My impression is that her death took place in this country. Mrs Macdonell was an elegant, agreeable, well-informed woman.” I observe that in August of this present year, 1888, Archie, youngest son of Mr and Mrs Macdonell of Inch, died at Melbourne.

John, 12th of Morar, who died about 1832, was succeeded by his second cousin, of the Guidale family.

XIII. James, 13th of Morar, also fatuous. He died about 1853, and the estate being destined to heirs male, he was succeeded by a very distant cousin of the Gerinish family, which had emigrated to America,

XIV. Ranald, 14th of Morar, who claimed through Alexander, 3rd son of Allan Mor, 4th of Morar. This Ranald’s proof of propinquity was difficult, but it was assisted by a proof taken by an uncle Allan, in 1824-5. Some rather interesting facts which cropped out, may be mentioned. Speaking in 1824, Malcolm Gillies, in Cross of Morar, aged 75, says the Gillieses “had been long in Morar, and, as far as he had learned, were older in the country than even the family of Morar itself.” In the same year, Donald Macdonald of Eignaig, in Moidart, aged 70 years, says— “He is well acquainted with the genealogy of the family of Morar, and can give them from the Lords of the Isles.” In 1825 Miss Margaret Macdonald, only sister of young Clanranald of the ’45, was still alive, and residing at Ormiclate. Her father, Ranald Macdonald, in his youth styled of Benbecula, was born in 1692. Same year, 1824, Donald Macdonald, tenant in Iochdar of South Uist, said that in 1746, when Prince Charles Edward came to the country, after the battle of Culloden, he, Donald, was 18 years of age. In 1854, Donald Thomson at Druim-a-chaillich of Arisaig, aged 74, knew an old man, Donald Maceachin, who resided at Drumindarroch, and who died 20 years ago a very old man. Donald told him he was ten years old when Prince Charles was in hiding on the West Coast. I may mention that I have myself seen a gentleman who was six years old at the battle of Culloden.

Ranald, fourteenth of Morar, sold the estate to Mr Eneas Macdonell, grandson of Ranald Macdonell of Scotas, whose trustees parted with it to an English family which had previously acquired the adjoining estate of Arisaig.

Thus Morar, which had never been out of the race and name of Macdonald since 1120, and the time of Somerled, was lost to them, but it is to be hoped not for ever.


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