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The Chlann Mhic-Ghille-Mhuire, meaning "Devotee of St. Mary" or Morrison clan is said to be Scandinavian in origin, supposedly descending from the natural son of the King of Norway who was shipwrecked of the shores of Lewis. This is the Morrison clan whereas the Morrisons of the Central Highlands, "sons of Maurice", and the Morrisons who descend from the O'Muirgheasain bards from Ireland who settled in Harris have no connection with the Hebridean clan of Lewis. The Morrison chiefs once held the hereditary office of Brilheanh, brieve or judgement, under the Macleods from whom they held Habost in north Lewis. The first recorded Morrison is Uisdean of Hugh who lived in the 16th century, a contempory of the last Macleod of Lewis, Roderick, who was chief till about 1595. He is said to have incurred their wrath when he betrayed Torquil Dubh Macleod, who was beheaded by the Mackenzies in 1597. The Morrisons consequently had to seek refuge on the mainland and about sixty families of Morrisons are said to have settled in the vicinity of Durness in the Mackay country, accounting for the similarity of the Morrison and Mackay tartans. They lost the hereditary brieveship of Lewis in 1613 when they resisted the takeover by the Mackenzies, and by the 19th century it became impossible to even trace the line. A branch of the clan, the Morrisons in Pabbay of Harris were the hereditary smiths and armourers to the Macleods of Harris. John Morrison of this family was a celebrated poet of the 19th century. The Morrisons of Ruchdi in North Uist are descendants of the Morrisons of Pabbay and on petition of the Lyon Court were reinvested in arms as the chiefs of Clan Morrison.



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