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The Camerons and Clan Ranald plan another Raid.—Mackintosh
and Mackenzie of Kintail ordered to protect the Parish.—
League of Loyalty to Queen Mary.—The Men of Urquhart
and Glenmoriston in Arms for her.—Their March into the
South.—Urquhart Feu-duties applied toward the Queen’s
Maintenance in Lochleven Castle.—Patrick Grant of Glen-
moriston invades Ardclach.—He Marries the Thane of
Cawdor’s Daughter.—The Thane Builds Invermoriston House.
—Iain Mor a’ Chaisteil of Glenmoriston.—His Combat with
an Englishman.—His Fir Candles in London.—His Influence
and Acquisitions.—Appointed Chamberlain of Urquhart.—He
Murders a Packman.—Criminal Letters against him.—Feud
between the Macdonalds and the Mackenzies.—The Raid of
Kilchrist.—The Conflict of Lon-na-Fala.—Allan of Lundie’s
Leap.—The Murder of the Mason of Meall-a’-Ghro.—Bonds of
Friendship between the Laird of Grant, and Glengarry, and
Allan of Lundie.—A Big Timber Transaction.—The Laird
saves Allan.

In the olden times the wild inhabitants of Lochaber
and the country of Clan Ranald looked on the fair
reaches of Urquhart and Glenmoriston as a legiti­
mate field for cateran adventure as often as the
depleted glens were again fairly filled with cattle.
It was to those Western reavers that the “ laying
waste” referred to in the Exchequer accounts
of 1478 and 1479 was greatly due. We saw them
clearing Urquhart in 1513, and again in 1545.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                 119

They now began to think of another foray. Ewen
Cameron of Lochiel, who took so prominent a part
in the Great Raid, died about the year 1554, leaving
his estates to his brother Donald Dubh, who, in
his turn, was succeeded by his nephew, Allan.
Allan was a mere child, and his grand-uncles, Ewen
Cameron of Erracht, and John Cameron of Kin-
Lochiel, constituted themselves leaders of the clan,
and, as a bid for popular favour, prepared to
invade our Parish in conjunction with their old
allies the Clan Ranald. A hint of their design, how­
ever, reached the Laird of Grant, and he lost no
time in seeking the protection of the Crown as his
feudal superior. His appeal was not made in vain.
Signet letters, charging the chiefs of Mackintosh
and Kintail to assist him in defending the menaced
lands, were issued on 1st March, 1567, in name of
King James the Sixth, whose mother was now a
prisoner in Lochleven Castle.

“ Forasmuch,” says this writ,1 “ as it is humbly
complained and shown to us by our lovite John
Grant of Freuchie, that whereas he has the lands of
Urquhart and Glenmoriston, with their pertinents,
pertaining to him in feu-farm, heritably holden of
us, as his infeftment thereupon purports ; and as he
is credibly informed divers wicked persons of the
Clan Ranald and Clan Cameron, conspired and con­
federated together, intend shortly to make incursions
upon the said John’s lands, and to burn, harry, and

1 The spelling is here modernised. See Chiefs of Grant, III., 132, for the
writ in its original form.


destroy his poor tenants and inhabitants thereof,
wherethrough the same shall be all laid waste and
desolate, not only to his great skaith and damage,
but to the hurt and detriment of us, the said lands
being of our property, which, being harried and laid
waste, we will want the feu mails [rents or duties]
thereof ;1 which limmars and wicked persons, notwith­
standing, would not be able to execute their malice
and cruelty if the great men and clans adjacent to
the said lands would concur with the said John’s
tenants in their defence when they are invaded, as
they in no way will without compulsion : our will is
herefore, and we charge you [i.e., the messengers or
officers of the law] straitly, and command, that,
immediately these our letters are seen, ye pass, and
in our name and authority command and charge
Lachlan Mackintosh of Dunachton, and Kenneth
Mackenzie of Kintail, and all others of the Clan
Chattan and Clan Kenzie, that they, at all times
when the said John Grant’s lands foresaid shall be
invaded or pursued by the said limmars and wicked
persons, rise, pass forth, and defend the same with
all possible diligence, and in no way suffer or permit
the said lands, or his tenants dwelling thereon, to be
oppressed, sorned, harried, burnt, or destroyed by
them, as they will answer upon their duty and
obedience to us : with certification to them, if they
be found remiss or negligent therein, they shall be
reputed, holden, called, and pursued as partakers,
fortifiers, and maintainers of the said limmars and

1 The feu duties were remitted after the raid of 1545. See p. 105, supra.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH                  121

wicked persons in their cruelty and evil deeds, and
shall be punished therefor as if they had committed
the crimes themselves in their own proper persons.”

The choice of the Mackintoshes and the Mac-
kenzies as defenders of the Parish was a singularly
happy one. The Clan Kenneth had for some
generations been gradually extending their name
and sway on the West Coast, and at the time at
which we have now arrived, territorial disputes of a
serious nature existed between themselves and the
Camerons and Clan Ranald. In like manner the
Clan Chattan had grave questions to settle with the
race of Lochiel in connection with the possession of
Glenluie and Loch-Arkaig ; and with the Keppoch
branch of Clan Ranald in connection with certain
lands in Brae-Lochaber. There was thus, notwith­
standing the formal style of the signet letters, no
great “ compulsion” required to set the Mackintoshes
and the Mackenzies at the throats of the would-be
invaders. Happily the confederates recognised
the fact, and shrank from their threatened enter­
prise. Urquhart and Glenmoriston were spared ;
and the moral, if not active, aid given by
the Chief of Kintail was duly rewarded in 1570,
when he received in marriage the Laird of Grant’s
daughter, whose dower was her father’s territory in

Mary, Queen of Scots, who, as we have seen, was
a prisoner in Lochleven Castle when the letters for
the defence of Urquhart and Glenmoriston were
issued in name of her infant son, was soon forced


to abdicate in his favour, and to nominate her
half brother, the Earl of Moray, Regent during his
minority. The sympathies of the men of the North
were, however, with the ill-fated Queen, and these
measures did not meet with their approval. In
1568, the Earl of Huntly, the Laird of Grant, Ross
of Balnagown, Munro of Fowlis, the Laird of Mac­
kintosh, William Fraser of Struy, and certain others
subscribed a solemn obligation to “ defend the Queen’s
Majesty, our sovereign, in her authority, as faithful
and true subjects ought to do to their native
princess, and to acknowledge no other usurped
authority.”1 In May of that year the Queen escaped
from Lochleven, and, on her defeat at Lang-
side, fled into England ; but Huntly still held out
for her, and with an army in which were the Laird
of Grant, Patrick Grant of Glenmoriston, John
Grant of Corrimony, William Grant in Borlum,
John Grant in Cartaly, and Alexander alias Alasdair
Grant in Urquhart, followed doubtless by the youth
and valour of our Parish, went through the country
with “ displayit baneris”—now marching through
the streets of Inverness, now disturbing the sober
citizens of Aberdeen, or creating terror among the
peaceable inhabitants of Fetteresso and the Haugh
of Meikleour.2 But the Queen’s cause was not to
prosper, and these displays were of no avail.
Huntly surrendered to the Regent at St Andrews
in May, 1569 ; the Laird of Grant submitted

1 Miscellany of Spalding Club, IV., 156.
2 Chiefs of Grant, III., 137.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                 123

at Aberdeen on 7th June ; his example was
speedily followed by Glenmoriston and Corrimony
and their followers ; and on 9th July a remission or
pardon was issued in name of the young King to
the Laird and his clan, including the Urquhart and
Glenmoriston Grants who have just been mentioned.1
The Queen’s supporters bowed to the inevitable, and
the unhappy lady, cast into prison by Elizabeth of
England, on whose compassion she had thrown
herself, was kept in weary confinement until, after
the lapse of nineteen years, the headsman’s axe put
an end to her sufferings on the black scaffold of

While Patrick Grant of Glenmoriston did what
he could for his Queen, he did not forget his own
interests. In 1564 Bishop Hepburn granted the
lands of Farness and Atnach, in the barony of Ard-
clach, to John Wood of Tillidivie. These lands,

1  Chiefs of Grant, III., 137.

2  Our Parish is otherwise associated in an interesting manner with the
last days of Mary in Scotland. During her imprisonment in Lochleven
Castle, the sum of £172 Scots was assigned out of the feu-duties of Urquhart
and Glenmoriston and other Crown lands held by the Laird of Grant, to meet
her expenses there. In reference to this, the Regent wrote as follows to the
Laird on 23rd August, 1569 : —

“ Richt Traist freynd, efter hertlie commendatioun : Forsamekle as the
tyme the Quene, moder to our Souerane Lord, remanyt in Lochlevin, thair
wes assignit to ane part of the furnessing and prouisioun of her house, the
soume of ane hundreth three scoir twelf pundis money of the fewmales [feu-
mails or feu-duties] of the lands of Vrquhart, Glenmoreistoun and vtheris the
Kingis landis, quhairof ye ar fewair ; and seeing our brother, the Lard of
Lochlevin, maid the expenssis and yit wanttis the pament, it is our will, and
we desire yow that ye faill not to deliuer the said sowme of jc. lxxij. li. to
our said brother, the Lard of Lochlevin, or ony in his name, presentar of this
letter to yow, and the same sowme salbe thankfullie diffesit . . .”

The payment was in the same month made to William Douglas of Loch-
levin, whose receipt, with the above letter, is still preserved at Castle Grant.


apparently, were in the possession of Glenmoriston’s
illegitimate brother, John Roy of Carron, who
held them by duchas, or unwritten hereditary title,
and who had acquired what right he had from
his father, Iain Mor. John quietly gave them
up to Wood ; but Glenmoriston conceived that
he had an interest in them as his father’s heir, and,
by way of asserting his right, invaded the disputed
territory, on its sale to Hugh Rose of Kilravock,
in 1567, and slew and harried the tenants. After
“ much jarring,” the matter was referred to the
judgment of Lord Lovat and John Gordon of Carn-
borrow, who decided in favour of Kilravock, and
ordained the Laird of Grant, as Glenmoriston’s chief,
to put an end to the broils, in order that Rose might
enjoy the lands in peace.1

Patrick married Beatrice, daughter of Archibald
Campbell of Cawdor, with whom he is said to have
become acquainted while attending the then noted
school of Petty. Tradition tells that her father,
visiting the young couple at Tom-an­t­Sabhail,2
was so annoyed at the meanness of their wicker
dwelling that he offered to build them a house at
Invermoriston, more befitting the daughter of the
Thane of Cawdor. The offer was accepted ; skilled
workmen were imported from the Thane’s country ;
and Patrick and his wife removed to Invermoriston,
which has ever since been the family seat.3

1  Reg. Morav., 405 ; Family of Kilravock (Spalding Club), 77.

2 Barn-hill—a knoll on the south side of the river Moriston, opposite

3  Before the mansion-house was built on its present site there was probably
a tower on Torran-an-Tur (Tower Hill) at Invermoriston.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                 125

Patrick, from whom his successors took the
patronymic Mac Phadruig, or Mac ’Ic Phadruig, died
in 1581, and was succeeded by his son John, who
soon became one of the most prominent men of his
time in the Highlands of Scotland. Like his grand­
father, he was a man of great stature, and, like him,
too, he was known as Iain Mor—Big John—to
which the words a’ Chaisteil—of the Castle—were
subsequently added, in allusion to the part he took
in adding to and strengthening the house of Inver-
moriston. Of Iain Mor a’ Chaisteil’s marvellous
strength local seanachies have not yet ceased to tell.
During a visit to Edinburgh, says one tradition, he
was tempted to enter the lists against an English
champion, whose insulting challenge no one else had
the courage to accept. At the outset, the com­
batants, as was customary, shook hands, when, to
the amazement of the spectators, Iain Mor crushed
the Englishman’s hand into a jelly, and so ended his

At another time, when he was in London,1 some
one sneeringly referred in his presence to the “ fir-
of his native Glen—

“ Gleanna mm Moireastuinn,
Far nach ith na coin na coinnlean !”2

The Laird retorted by defying the scoffer to
produce in London a more elegant candlestick, or
more brilliant lights, than he could bring from his
Highland estate. A wager followed, and Iain

1 He was in London in 1631 and 1632.
Glenmoriston the smooth, where the dogs cannot eat the candles !”


Mor despatched a servant to the North with a
message for the stalwart Iain Mac Eobhain Bhain—a
Glenmoriston bard distinguished alike for keen wit
and manly beauty. At the appointed time Iain
Mor’s opponent appeared with a magnificent silver
candelabrum furnished with the finest of wax
candles. Glenmoriston had no such work of art to
show ; but on a given signal the bard stepped into
the chamber, dressed in Highland garb, and holding
aloft blazing torches of the richest pines of Corri-
Dho. The effect on the astonished spectators was
even greater than the proud Glenmoriston had
ventured to hope, and he was declared the victor
with acclamation.

Iain Mor a’ Chaisteirs temperament and char­
acter suited the rough times in which he lived, and
he early acquired great influence among his con­
temporaries. In disputes between his neighbour-
lairds he was constantly appealed to. He was
one of the justices and commissioners appointed by
King James the Sixth in 1592 to suppress disorders
among the Clan Ranald ;1 and in 1622 he was
employed in a similar capacity against Lochiel.2 He
extended his territorial possessions by acquiring the
forest of Clunie and Glenloyne in wadset from the
Laird of Grant ;3 by obtaining a similar title in
July, 1624,4 to certain lands in Urquhart, including
Balmacaan, where he had already resided for a

1 See the Commission, in Chiefs of Grant, III., 181.

2 Ibid., 335.           3 Ibid., 427.

4 Memorandum, dated 1681, in Castle Grant.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                 127

number of years ; and by acquiring in the same year
the lands of Pitkerrald, which, however, he only
held for a short time. To add to his influence, the
Laird of Grant appointed him chamberlain and
baron-bailie of Urquhart—an office which made him
virtual master of the whole Parish, and placed the
lives and fortunes of its inhabitants in his hand.

Iain Mor’s power and influence notwithstanding,
his name has come down to us associated with as
contemptible a murder as was ever committed by a
man of his position. In September, 1602, Donald
Mac Finlay Vic Norosiche, “merchant”—one of
those travelling traders who in past days ministered
to the wants of the country people—was passing
through Glenmoriston on his way to or from Kintail.
With Finlay Mac Iain Roy, residing at Inver-
moriston, and Alexander Dubh Mac Iain Roy, his
brother, Big John of the Castle, waylaid the
humble packman “ upone the landis of Glen-
moriestoun,” bound his hands behind his back,
carried him as “ ane malefactour” into a wood,
where, “ as hangmen,” they hanged him on a
tree, and so “ wirriet him to deid”—strangled him
to death. Then cutting down the quivering body,
they “ with thair durkis gaif him dyverse straikis in
the breist and bellie, to the effusione of his blood in
grit quantitie ;” and, having thus made sure of their
victim, they placed the body beneath a “ burn-brae”
—the overhanging bank of a stream—pressed down
the earth upon it, and so buried it out of sight.


Tidings of the dastardly deed soon reached the
ears of the murdered man’s friends in Kintail, and
his brother, Finlay Mac Finlay Vic Norosyche,
resolved to bring the perpetrators to justice. But
the law was slow to move against a Highland
chieftain in the olden time, and twenty long years
vanished into the past before Finlay had the
satisfaction of seeing its cumbrous machinery in
motion. At last, criminal letters, at the instance
of himself and Sir William 01iphant, the Lord
Advocate, were served on Glenmoriston and his
accomplices ; and, on 2nd July, 1623, the cause was
called in Edinburgh, before Alexander Colville,
Justice-Depute. The accused, however, failed to
appear, and their surety, Patrick Grant of Carron,
was ordained to pay a fine of 700 merks, being 500
in respect of Iain Mor’s non-appearance, and 100 for
the absence of each of his associates.1 And with
this payment the outraged majesty of the law was
appeased. Big John not only moved about free and
unmolested, but made his way to Court, and found
favour with the King ;2 while Finlay Mac Finlay
Vic Norosyche was left to meditate in the solitudes
of Kintail on the evils summed up in his own Gaelic
proverb, Is cam ’s is direach an lagh—Crooked as
well as straight is the law.

Our Parish was soon to be the scene of a greater
tragedy than the murder of the merchant of Kintail.
We have seen how, in 1600, the Laird of Grant
finally gave up to Macdonald of Glengarry his right

1 Pitcairn’s Criminal Trials.             2 See next chapter.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                129

to the lands of Strome ; and reference has been made
to the disputes that arose between the Clan Ranald
and the Mackenzies regarding their possessions on
the West Coast. These disputes had now ripened
into a deadly feud. In 1602 the Mackenzies wrested
the castle of Strome from the Macdonalds, who,
under the leadership of Allan Dubh, the young son
and heir of Ranald Mac Ranald of Lundie, resolved
to have their revenge. Allan began by travelling
through the Mackenzie country in the guise of a
pedlar ; and having thus made himself acquainted
with the scenes of his intended operations, he, in
September, 1603, led a party of Glengarry men into
the district of Redcastle. Tradition relates how
he arrived on a Sunday morning at the church of
Kilchrist, and, finding it full of Mackenzies, quickly
surrounded it with his men, and set it on fire ; and
how the distracted worshippers, as they endeavoured
to escape, were received on the swords and dirks of
the Macdonalds, whose piper strutted to and fro,
playing an impromptu pibroch, which, under the
name of “ Kilchrist,” has ever since been the war-
tune of Glengarry. Allan, as a matter of course,
lifted cattle and gave houses to the flames—burning
even the minister’s “ librarie and buikes ”—and then
retired by Glenconvinth with a booty of horses and

On his way through Glen-Urquhart he rested his
men and spoil on the level moss at the base of Meal-
fuarvonie, which for ages furnished the people of
Wester Bunloit with their winter’s fuel. But his



repose was short. Like the fiery cross, the flames of
Kilchrist drew the Mackenzies from far and near ;
and a large number were soon on the track of the
Glengarrymen. As the Mackenzies rounded the
south-eastern shoulder of Mealfuarvonie, they saw
the Macdonalds on the plain below—ever since
known by the name of Lon-na-Fala, the Meadow of
Blood—and swooped down upon them with shouts
of revenge. For a time the Glengarrymen bravely
withstood the onslaught ; but they were weary and
outnumbered, and Allan Mac Ranald had to seek
safety in flight, leaving the bulk of his followers dead
or dying. Wounded and weak, and pursued by his
enemies, he darted across the moor in the direction
of Loch Ness, until, after a run of about half a mile,
he suddenly found himself on a spur of the rock of
Craig Giubhais, from which there was apparently no
escape. To the left, and overhanging the shores of
the loch, was the precipitous face of the Craig, which
it was impossible to descend alive ; to the right, and
curving round in front of him, yawned the wide and
deep gorge through which the burn of Allt-Giubhais
forces its way ; behind, the eager Mackenzies were
at his very heels. Allan had but a moment for
decision. Retracing his steps for a few paces, he
again üew towards the gorge, and, bounding across
landed safely on the pretty green slope which is
known as Ruidh-a’-Bhada-Ghiubhais. His foremost
pursuer attempted to follow ; but his toes barely
touched the opposite bank, and, falling backwards, he
seized a young tree, to which he clung for his life.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                131

Quick as thought Allan turned back, and with one
stroke of his sword severed the strained sapling,
and sent the brave Mackenzie to the bottom,
a mangled corpse. “ I have left much with your
race to­day,” said he to his victim, as he struck the
plant—“ I have left much with your race to­day, let
me leave them that also.”1

But Allan was not yet out of danger. The
Mackenzies, seeing the fate of their too daring com­
panion, retreated for a few yards up the stream, and
crossed it at Beala-nan-Clach—the Stony Ford.
Down the steep and wooded slopes of Ruiskich,
Allan and his pursuers went until they reached the
waters of Loch Ness. Plunging in, Mac Ranald
swam away from his disappointed enemies, and was
picked up by Fraser of Foyers, who had seen him
enter the water. From Foyers he found his way to
an island in his own Loch Lundie, where he con­
cealed himself. In time the Mackenzies came
to know of his retreat, and a large company of them
marched to Glengarry, carrying with them a boat
of the light description known in Gaelic as coit.
Fording the river Moriston at Wester Inverwick,
they rested at the rock still called Craig-a’-choit—
the Rock of the Boat—and then crossed the
mountains to Loch Lundie. They launched their
coit and searched the island ; but Allan had been
warned of their approach, and was now in the

1 By the Glen-Urquhart people the chasm is called Leum a’ Cheannaiche
the Merchant’s Leapin allusion to the character assumed by Mac Ranald.
In Glenmoriston it is called Leum Ailein Mhic Raonail— Allan Mac Ranald’s


recesses of Meall-a’-Ghro, where, with the assistance
of a friendly mason, he made himself a place of
shelter between two ledges of a rock.1

The dangers through which he had passed, and
the hardships which he had endured, made him
suspicious even of his solitary companion ; and when
the lowly hut was finished, he struck off the mason’s
head as he crawled out on all-fours. Allan escaped
the vengeance of the Mackenzies, but he was ever
after the victim of remorse. “ For the burning of
Kilchrist,” said he, “ I hope for pardon ; but I cannot
meet at the Judgment the faithful friend whom
I treacherously slew on Meall-a’-Ghro.”

We have seen that the proprietors of Urquhart
early realised the wisdom of forming alliances
with their troublesome Western neighbours. The
policy which led the Bard to enter into a bond
of friendship with Lochiel in 1520, was followed by
his grandson, who concluded a somewhat similar
treaty with Angus Mac Alasdair of Glengarry in
157l. By this latter contract Glengarry obliged him­
self to cause his son, Donald Mac Angus ’Ic Alasdair,
to marry the Laird of Grant’s daughter, Helen, and to
deliver to the Laird “ ane sufficient bond of manrent
quhilk maye justlie stand by the law of this realme,”
and by which Glengarry and his successors and

1 The traditional account here given of the invasion of Glengarry by the
Mackenzies is not without truth. The first Lord Cromartie recorded that his
grandfather, Sir Rorie Mackenzie of Coigeach, tutor or guardian to Colin,
second Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, “ invaded Glengarry, who was again re-
collecting his forces, but at his coming they dissipat and fled. He pursued
Glengarry to Blairy in Moray, where he took him
—that is, Blairy in
Glenmoriston in the Province of Moray.—Fraser’s Earls of Cromartie, p. xxxi.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                133

kindred would be bound to serve Grant and his
heirs in their quarrels, and especially to protect the
lands and inhabitants of Urquhart and Glen-
moriston. The treaty was renewed with Donald
Mac Angus in 1597, and again in 1600, when Grant
made over to him in feu-farm the castle and lands
of Strome. At the time of the Raid of Kilchrist
Glengarry was thus in the position of vassal to
Grant ; while Grant was on the other hand feudally
bound to protect Glengarry and his kinsmen of
Lundie, “ as becumis ane superiour to do to
his wassail.”1 Allan Mac Ranald’s exploits at
Kilchrist called for the superior’s intervention ;
but the wi]y proprietor of Urquhart set himself, not
to bring the offender to justice, but to befriend him
and his family, and so to bring them all the more
effectually under his own influence and control. On
23rd July, 1606, Allan and his father met the Laird
at Balmacaan, and signed a bond of mutual assist­
ance and defence, by which they bound themselves
to serve and assist Allan Cameron of Lochiel, who
was also present, in such manner as Grant might
“ command or bid them by word or writ.”2 The
friendship with the Lundies was carefully fostered
by the Laird during the rest of his life, and by his
son, Sir John Grant, who succeeded him. Allan
Mac Ranald and Sir John strengthened the alliance
by entering into an interesting mercantile trans­
action. The family of Lundie possessed woods in
Morar, of great natural value, but which were utterly

1 Chiefs of Grant, III., 197. 2 Chiefs of Grant, III., 203.


unprofitable in consequence of the ravages of thiev­
ing neighbours, and of the difficulty of getting
merchants to risk their lives in the attempt to
cut down and remove the timber. Sir John had
experience as a seller of timber on his own well-
wooded estates ; and he resolved to try his fortune
with the woods of Morar. In 1622, the lands which
these covered were let to him by Allan and his
father on a lease for thirty-one years, while he
undertook to cut down the timber gradually, to
bring it to market, and to pay Allan and his heirs
“the tua part” of the price to be obtained for it.1

Among those who suffered from the evil deeds of
the Macdonalds at Kilchrist was Mr John Mac­
kenzie, minister of Killearnan ; and no sooner was
Allan placed in possession of his family estate
than the minister took steps to obtain some
satisfaction for his losses. Letters were issued at
the instance of himself and the Lord Advocate
charging Lundie with having slain several of the
minister’s tenants on the lands of Kilchrist ; burnt
and destroyed twenty-seven dwelling-houses thereon,
with the barns, byres, and kilns belonging thereto ;
burnt and destroyed the reverend gentleman’s whole
library and books, with 400 bolls of oats and 160
bolls of bear belonging to him ; and stolen seventy
oxen and other cattle, and nine horses, including
the minister’s own best horse. Mac Ranald’s part in
the raid was too notorious to admit of defence, and
he refrained from appearing in court. In his

1 Chiefs of Grant, III., 425.

OLDEN TIMES IN THE PARISH.                135

absence—on 28th July, 1622—his property and
possessions were forfeited, and himself declared
an outlaw.1 The Laird of Grant saved him from
the consequences. He instantly purchased the
“ escheat ”—that is, the forfeited estate and effects
—from the Crown, and left Allan in possession ;
and in 1626 the latter acknowledged his indebted­
ness to the friendly knight, in a bond of manrent
by which he bound himself and his heirs to be
leal and true to the Lairds of Grant for ever. And
so the sun continued to shine on Allan Dubh Mac
Ranald, and, so far as the world could see, he lived
and died not much the worse of the Burning of
Kilchrist or the murder of the mason of Meall-a’-

1 Chiefs of Grant, I., 222.

2 Sir William Fraser questions the truth of the story of the burning of
the church—(Chiefs of Grant, I., 222) ; and Mr Kenneth Macdonald, Town
Clerk of Inverness, has made a very able, if not altogether successful, effort to
free his clansman’s memory from the stain of sacrilege—(Transactions of
Inverness Gaelic Society, XV., 11-34).

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