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- History Of The Mackenzies - 20/115 -


IV. Roderick, progenitor of the families of Achilty, Fairburn, Ardross, etc.

V. Kenneth, better know as "the Priest of Avoch," from whom the families of Suddie, Ord, Corryvulzie, Highfield, Inverlaul, Little Findon, and others of lesser note.

VI. Agnes, who married Roderick Macleod, VII. of Lewis, with issue.

VII. Catherine, who married Hector Munro of Fowlis, with issue.

There has been a considerable difference of opinion among the family genealogists as to the date of Sir Kenneth's death, but it is now placed beyond doubt that he died in 1491, having only ruled as actual chief of the clan for the short space of three years. This is clearly proved from his tomb in the Priory of Beauly, where there is a full length recumbent effigy of him, in full armour, with arms folded across his chest as if in prayer, and on the arch over it is the following inscription "Hic Jacet, Kanyans, m. kynch d'us de Kyntayl, q. obiit vii. die Februarii, a. di. m.cccc.lxxxxi." Sir William Fraser, in his history of the Earls of Cromartie, gives, in his genealogy of the Mackenzies of Kintail, the date of his death as "circa 1506," and ignores his successor Kenneth Og altogether. This is incomprehensible to readers of the work; for in the book itself, in various places, it is indubitably established that Sir William's genealogy is incorrect in this, as in other important particulars." [Sir William Fraser appears to have adopted Douglas in his genealogies, who, as already shown, in many instances, cannot be depended upon.]

The following, from the published "Acts of the Lords of Council," p. 327, under date 17th June, 1494, places the question absolutely beyond dispute. "The King's Highness and Lords of Council decree and deliver that David Ross of Balnagown shall restore and deliver again to Annas Fresale, the spouse of THE LATE Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail, seven score of cows, price of the piece (each), 20s; 30 horses, price of the piece, 2 merks; 200 sheep and goats, price of the piece, 2s; and 14 cows, price of the piece, 20s; spuilzied and taken by the said David and his complices from the said Annas out of the lands of Kynlyn (? Killin or Kinellan), as was sufficiently proved before the Lords; and ordain that letters be written to distrain the said David, his lands and goods therefor, and he was present at his action by this procurators." It is needless to point out that the man who, by this undoubted authority, was THE LATE Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail, in 1494 could not have died about or "circa 1506," as Sir William Fraser asserts in his Earls of Cromartie. Kenneth died in 1491, and was succeeded by his only son by his first wife, Margaret of Isla,

VIII. KENNETH OG MACKENZIE,

Or KENNETH THE YOUNGER, who was also known as Sir Kenneth. He was fostered in Taagan, Kenlochewe. [Ancient MS.] When, in 1488, King James the IV. succeeded to the throne, he determined to attach to his interest the principal chiefs in the Highlands. "To overawe and subdue the petty princes who affected independence, to carry into their territories, hitherto too exclusively governed by their own capricious or tyrannical institutions, the same system of a severe but regular and rapid administration of civil and criminal justice which had been established in his Lowland dominions was the laudable object of the King; and for this purpose he succeeded, with that energy and activity which remarkably distinguished him, in opening up an intercourse with many of the leading men in the northern counties. With the Captain of the Clan Chattan, Duncan Mackintosh with Ewen, the son of Alan, Captain of the Clan Cameron with Campbell of Glenurghay; the Macgilleouns of Duart and Lochbuy; Mackane of Ardnamurchan the Lairds of Mackenzie and Grant; and the Earl of Huntly, a baron of the most extensive power in these northern districts, he appears to have been in habits of constant and regular communication - rewarding them by presents, in the shape either of money or of grants or land, and securing their services in reducing to obedience such of their fellow chieftains as proved contumacious, or actually rose in rebellion." [Tytler, vol. iv., pp. 367-368.]

To carry out this plan he determined to take pledges for their good behaviour from some of the most powerful clans, and, at the same time, educate the younger lairds into a more civilized manner of governing their people. Amongst others he took a special interest in Kenneth Og, and Farquhar Mackintosh, the young lairds of Mackenzie and Mackintosh, who were cousins, their mothers being sisters, daughters of John, last Lord of the Isles. They were both powerful, the leaders of great clans, and young men of great spirit and reckless habits. They were accordingly apprehended in 1495 ["The King having made a progress to the North, was advised to secure these two gentlemen as hostages for securing the peace of the Highlands, and accordingly they were apprehended at Inverness and sent prisoners to Edinburgh in the year 1495, where they remained two years." - Dr George Mackenzie's MS. History,] and sent to Edinburgh, where they were kept in custody in the Castle, until a favourable opportunity occurring in 1497, they escaped over the ramparts by the aid of ropes secretly conveyed to them by some of their friends. This was the more easily managed, as they had liberty granted them to roam over the whole bounds of the Castle within the outer walls; and the young chieftains, getting tired of restraint, and ashamed to be idle while they considered themselves fit actors for the stage of their Highland domains, resolved to attempt an escape by dropping over the walls, when Kenneth injured his leg, so as to incapacitate him from rapid progress; but Mackintosh manfully resolved to risk capture himself rather than leave his fellow-fugitive behind him in such circumstances. The result of this accident, however, was that after three days journey they were only able to reach the Torwood, where, suspecting no danger, they put up for the night in a private house.

The Laird of Buchanan, who was at the time an outlaw for a murder he had committed, happened to be in the neighbourhood, and meeting the Highlanders, entertained them with a show of kindness; by which means he induced them to divulge their names and quality. A proclamation had recently been issued promising remission to any outlaw who would bring in another similarly circumstanced, and Buchanan resolved to procure his own freedom at the expense of his fellow-fugitives; for he knew well that such they were, previously knowing of them as his Majesty's pledges from their respective clans. In the most deceitful manner, he watched until they had retired to rest, when he surrounded the house with a band of his followers, and charged them to surrender. This they declined; and Mackenzie, being of a violent temper and possessed of more courage than prudence, rushed out with a drawn sword "refusing delivery and endeavouring to escape," whereupon he was shot with an arrow by one of Buchanan's men. His head was severed from his body, and forwarded to the King in Edinburgh; while young Mackintosh, who made no further resistance, was secured and sent a prisoner to the King. Buchanan's outlawry was remitted, and Mackintosh was confined in Dunbar, where he remained until after the death of James the Fourth at the battle of Flodden Field. [Gregory, p.93; and MS. History by the Earl of Cromartie.] Buchanan's base conduct was universally execrated, while the fate of young Mackenzie was lamented throughout the whole Highlands, having been accused of no other crime than the natural forwardness of youth, and having escaped from his confinement in Edinburgh Castle.

It is admitted on all hands that Kenneth Og was killed, as above, in 1497, and he must, therefore - his father having died in 1491 - have ruled as one of the Barons of Kintail, though there is no record of his having been formally served heir. He was not married, but left two bastard sons - one, known as Rory Beag, by the daughter of the Baron of Moniack; and the other by the daughter of a gentleman in Cromar, of whom are descended the Sliochd Thomais in Cromar and Glenshiel, Braemar, the principal families of which were those of Dalmore and Renoway. ["In his going to Inverness, as I have said, to meet the King, he was the night before his coming there in the Baron of Muniag's house, whose daughter he got with child, who was called Rory Begg. Of this Rory descended the parson of Slate; and on the same journey going along with the King to Edinburgh he got a son with a gentleman's daughter, and called him Thomas Mackenzy, of whom descended the Mackenzies - in Braemar called Slyghk Homash Vic Choinnich. That is to say Thomas Mackenzie's Succession. If he had lived he would be heir to Mackenzie and Macdonald (Earl of Ross)." - Ancient MS.] He was succeeded by his eldest brother by his father's second marriage with Agnes or Anne, daughter of Hugh, third Lord Lovat,

IX. JOHN MACKENZIE OF KILLIN,

Known by that designation from his having generally resided at that place. He was, as we have seen, the first son of Kenneth, seventh Baron of Kintail, by his second wife Agnes, or Anne of Lovat, and his father being never regularly married, the great body of the clan did not consider John his legitimate heir. Hector Roy Mackenzie, his uncle, progenitor of the House of Gairloch, a man of great prudence and courage, was by Kenneth a Bhlair appointed tutor to his eldest son Kenneth Og, then under age, though Duncan, an elder brother by Alexander's first wife, had, according to custom, a prior claim to that honourable and important trust. Duncan is, however, described as one who was "of better hands than head" - more brave than prudent. Hector took charge, and on the death of Kenneth Og found himself in possession of valuable and extensive estates. He had already secured great popularity among the clan, which in the past he had often led to victory against the common enemy. He objected to John's succession on the ground that he was the illegitimate son of Lovat's daughter, with whom his father, Kenneth, at first did "so irregularly and unlawfully cohabit," and John's youth encouraging him, it is said, [MS. History by the Earl of Cromartie.] Hector proposed an arrangement to Duncan, whom he considered the only legitimate obstacle to his own succession, by which he would transfer his rights as elder brother in Hector's favour, in return for which he should receive a considerable portion of the estates for himself and his successors. Duncan declined to enter into the proposed agreement, principally on the ground that the Pope, in 1491, the year in which John's father died, had legitimised Kenneth a Bhlair's marriage with Agnes of Lovat, and thereby restored the children of that union to the rights of succession. Finding Duncan unfavourable to his project, Hector declared John illegitimate, and held possession of the estates for himself; and the whole clan, with whom he was a great favourite, submitted to his rule. [Though we have given this account on the authority of the MS. histories of the family, it is now generally believed that Duncan was dead at this period, and that his son Allan, who would have succeeded, failing John of Killin's legitimacy, was a minor when his father died.]

It can hardly be supposed that Lord Lovat would be a disinterested spectator of these proceedings, and in the interest of his sister's children he procured a precept of clare constat from James Stewart, Duke of Ross, [After the forfeiture of the ancient Earls of Ross, the district furnished new titles under the old names, to members of the Royal family. James Stewart, second son of King James the Third, was created in 1487 Duke of Ross, Marquis of Ormond, Earl


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