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The Scottish Nation

MACAULAY (additional). The name Aulai, Awlay, or Alzea, is said to be derived from MacAulaidh, the son of Olave or Olaf, the Norse Olla or Olaus. A tribe of Macaulays were settled at Uig, Ross-shire, in the south-west of the island of Lewis (in Gaelic Leodhas, anciently Leoghas, the land of lakes), and many were the feuds which they had with the Morrisons, or clan ‘Ille Mhuire, the tribe of the servant or disciple of Marg, who were located at Ness, at the north end of the same island. In the reign of James VI., one of the Lewis Macaulays, Donald Cam, so called from being blind of one eye, renowned for his great strength, distinguished himself on the patriotic side, in the troubles that took place, first with the Fifeshire colonies at Stornoway (see article MACLEOD), and then between the Lewis men and the Mackenzies. His attacks on the latter were fierce and frequent, so much so that to this day there is a Gaelic saying, Cha robh Cam, mach robh crosd, whoever is blind of an eye is pugnacious,” but really meaning that it is not easy to overcome a one-eyed person. Donald Cam Maclaulay had a son, Fear Bhreinis, “The Man,” or Tacksman of Brenish, of whose feats of strength many songs and stories are told. His son, Aulay Macaulay, minister of Harris, had six sons and some daughters. Five of his sons were educated for the church, and one named Zachary he bred for the bar. One of his sons, the Rev. Kenneth Macaulay, Ardnamurchan, nicknamed Kenneth Drover, wrote a ‘History of St. Kilda.’ Dr. Johnson, on his journey to the Hebrides, turned out of his way to visit him, and paid him a compliment on his ‘History.’ He had an only son, Aulay, who married in England. The Macaulays of Uist and Harris are all descended from the Brenish family.

George Macaulay, a native of Uig, died an alderman of London, in the end of the 18th century.

Another of Aulay Macaulay’s sons was the Rev. John Macaulay, A.M., grandfather of the celebrated orator, statesman, and historian, Lord Macaulay. Born at Harris in 1720, John Macaulay graduated at King’s college, Old Aberdeen, and was ordained minister at South Uist in 1745. The same year he furnished some information through his father, which nearly led to the capture of Prince Charles Edward. In 1756 he was translated to the parish of Lismore and Appin, Argyleshire, and in 1765 to Inverary. He was minister of the latter place when he met Dr. Johnson, on his famous visit to the Hebrides. In 1774 he was translated to Cardross, Dumbartonshire, where he died in 1789. He married Margaret, 3d daughter of Colin Campbell of Inversregan, Ardchattan, and had twelve children.

One of his sons entered the East India Company’s military service, and attained the rank of general.

Another, Aulay Macaulay, known as a miscellaneous writer. Born about 1758, he was educated at the university of Glasgow, where he took the degree of M.A. During his residence at college, he contributed various essays to ‘Ruddiman’s Weekly Magazine,’ under the signature of Academicus. He afterwards became tutor to the sons of J.F. Barham, Esq., of Bedford, in whose family he remained three years. Having entered into holy orders, he obtained the curacy of Claybrook in Leicestershire, where he went to reside in August 1781. To Mr. Nichols’ ‘History of Leicestershire’ he contributed various articles of local interest, particularly a complete account of the parish of Claybrook. In 1789 he was presented to the rectory of Frolesworth, which he resigned in 1790. In the autumn of 1793 he made a tour through South Holland and the Netherlands; of which he furnished a curious description to the Gentleman’s Magazine. In 1794 he attended a son of Sir Walter Farquhar, as tutor, into Germany; and during his residence at Brunswick, he was employed to instruct the young princess, afterwards Queen Caroline, in the rudiments of the English language. In 1796 he was presented to the vicarage of Rothley, by Thomas Babington, Esq., M.P., who had married his sister, Jane. He died February 24, 1819. He had married a daughter of John Heyrick, Esq., town-clerk of Leicester, by whom he had eight sons. He published the following works: -- Essays on Various Subjects of Taste and Criticism. 1780. – Two Discourses on Sovereign Power and Liberty of Conscience, translated from the Latin of Professor Noodt of Leyden, with Notes and Illustrations. 1781. – The History and Antiquities of Claybrook. 1790. – Various detached Sermons. – He was more than thirty years engaged on a Life of Melancthon, which was never completed.

Zachary, a third son, was for some years a merchant at Sierra Leone. On his return to London, he became a prominent member of the Anti-slavery society, and obtained a monument in Westminster abbey. He married Miss Mills, daughter of a Bristol merchant, and had a son, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lord Macaulay.

This nobleman, born October 25, 1800, at Rothley Temple, Leicestershire, was named after his aunt’s husband, Thomas Babington, a wealthy English merchant. He graduated at Trinity college, Cambridge, of which he became, in 1822, a fellow. In the second year of his course he had carried off the chancellor’s medal by his poem ‘Pompeii.’ In the following year a similar distinction was awarded to his poem ‘Evening,’ and in 1821 he was elected to the Craven scholarship. In 1822 he took the degree of B.A., in 1825 that of M.A., and in 1826 he was called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn. He had already won himself some literary fame by his essay on Milton in the Edinburgh Review, by his ballads, and by numerous contributions to the periodical literature of the day. The Whig government conferred upon him a commissioner-ship in bankruptcy, and, under the auspices of the marquis of Lansdowne, he was elected M.P. for Calne in 1830. He took a prominent part in the agitation for reform; in Dec. 1832 he became secretary to the board of control, and was elected M.P. for Leeds. In 1834 he was appointed fifth member of, and legal adviser to the supreme council of India. In 1838 he returned to Britain, with that practical knowledge of Indian affairs of which he afterwards made so efficient use both in speech and essay. From September 1839 to September 1841 he was secretary at war. In January 1840 he was elected M.P., for Edinburgh. In 1842 he published his ’Lays of Ancient Rome.’ His ‘Essays’ appeared in 1843 in 3 vols. In the government of Lord John, afterwards Earl Russell, he was, in July 1846, appointed paymaster-general of the forces, with a seat in the cabinet. In 1847, the electors of Edinburgh, by a majority, declined to re-elect him, and in May 1848 he ceased to be paymaster of the forces. In that year appeared the first two volumes of his ‘History of England from the accession of James II.’ In 1849 he was elected lord rector of the university of Glasgow, and in 1850 the honorary appointment of professor of ancient history in the Royal Academy was conferred upon him. In 1852 he was spontaneously re-elected M.P. for Edinburgh. In 1853 he received from the king of Prussia the order of merit, which had been founded by Frederick the Great. The same year his ‘Speeches’ were published. In 1855 the third and fourth volumes of his ‘History of England’ appeared. He was raised to the peerage of the United Kingdom as Baron Macaulay, Sept. 10, 1857. He died, unmarried, Dec. 28, 1859, and was buried in Westminster abbey. IN 1862, a tablet, containing his name and the dates of his birth and death, and the words “His body is buried in peace, but his name liveth for evermore,” was placed over his grave. At his death his title became extinct.

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