Alan G. Macpherson

A clan, in the original Gaelic sense of the term as used by Scottish Highlanders, is really an extended family, broadly based in the present in a great multitude of cousins, tapering to a few dimly-seen ancestors some generations back. Clan history, therefore, is mainly a matter of genealogy, and when individual clansmen are active in the events of their time, and heritable property and personal status are at stake, the clan historian must turn genealogist. Nor can he separate the story of the people from the story of the land. It is for these reasons that the Invereshie Book Genealogy, the subject of this article, is so important for any understanding of the evolution of Clan Macpherson, one of a score of clans that dominated the history of the Scottish Highlands during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

      Scottish clans were territorially based, being predominantly pastoral in their way of life. As in other traditional societies their language reflected the great importance of blood.relationships in a man's day-to-day life. The Gaelic language contained a special vocabulary to cover all events. In Gaelic a man's sloinneadh was his patronymic surname, which served to identify him among his fellows. Thus, among men of other clans a Macpherson was called Mac a' Phearsain, meaning a man of that group of people known to be descended from "the Parson", or Mac Mhuirich, meaning one of the descendants of Muireach.[1] This reference back to a remote ancestor, however, was not particularly useful in social intercourse within the clan. In this case a sloinneadh was used which referred a man to an ancestor four or five generations back from whom a known group of clansmen was descended. This smaller group of close cousins was also called clann: thus the Macphersons of Rothiemurchus were known around 1700


among other Macphersons as Clann mhic Dhomhnaill mhic Nèill (appearing as "Clan vic Coill vic Neill" in contemporary documents), the posterity of Donald, son of Neil. Similarly, the group of close cousins forming the Macphersons of Invertromie were known as late as 1893 (Macpherson 1893 : 315) as Clann mhic Dhonnchaidh Ruaidh, the posterity of Duncan Roy (red-haired) who lived in Invertromie about 1600. Yet a third way of giving a man a sloinneadh was simply to refer to his father and grandfather: Muireach mac Iain Duibh mhic Dhomhnaill, Murdoch son of John Dubh (black-haired), son of Donald. All these recent ancestors were understood to have some relationship to each other and to Muireach, the more remote ancestor.

      Probably every family in the Highlands at one time had a seanchaidh, a man who could recite the descent of that particular family and state its relationship to other families in the larger clan. If we extend the term to include those men who have tried to collect the genealogy of the entire clan, the Clan Macpherson would seem to have been well-endowed with seanchaidhean throughout its history. Sir Aeneas Macpherson of Invereshie (1644-1705) was not the first seanchaidh, but he was the first of the clan to commit his information to paper. The critical eighteenth century was badly served, but in the nineteenth century Allan Macpherson of Blairgowrie (1815- 1901), his son, William Charles Macpherson of Blairgowrie (1855-1936), Provost Alexander "Banker" Macpherson of Kingussie and, more particularly, his brother James Macpherson of the Union Bank, Edinburgh, all of whom were intimately associated with Badenoch, and were all active and left records. The last seanchaidh was William G. D. L. Cheyne Macpherson, author of The Chiefs of Clan Macpherson, but his work is sometimes unreliable as compared with the earlier writers, all of whom were more intimately associated with Badenoch, the historic territory of the clan.

      Before the time of Sir Aeneas Macpherson of Invereshie, and perhaps for a century afterwards, the recitation of genealogy was a part of the oral tradition of the clan, passed on to the children round the fireside. The Highlanders did not think of their descent in the form of a tree, but as the track of a wheel or the imprint of fingers in the dust. Intricate relationships were in all probability explained by making marks in the dust. Sir Aeneas Macpherson's sources were probably old seanchaidhean who could recite the sinnsearachd, the term used for the descent or genealogical track. Douglas of Glenbervie's Baronage of Scotland, published in 1798, provides a badly garbled genealogy


of some Macpherson families, the material dating from about 1766 and including some information from Sir Aeneas' genealogy. Glenbervie's reference to this is very instructive:

          There is a curious MS account of' this family, collected from the bards and senachies, who
      were faithful repeaters of the transactions of their chieftains and forefathers, which may be as
      much depended on as any other traditional history, as they were particularly careful and exact
      in their genealogies. This collection was put into order by the ingenious Sir Aeneas
      Macpherson, advocate in the reign of King Charles II, and is looked upon as a most
      authentic account of this great clan, and is still preserved in the family.

      Sir Aeneas Macpherson of Invereshie was active in the disturbed politics of the Highlands, and, indeed, of Britain., at the time of the Whig Revolution of 1689. He left many other writings, and these were edited by the Rev. Alexander D. Murdoch (at the suggestion of Provost Macpherson of Kingussie) for publication by the Scottish History Society in 1902, under the title, The Loyall Dissuasive and other papers concerning the affairs of Clan Chattan, 1691-1705. In a ferocious criticism of a Farquharson genealogy which he entitled "Vanitie Exposed", published in this volume, Sir Aeneas reveals the names of his informants

      . . . in my younger years I hade the honour to be a kind of disciple to one of the greatest
      Antiquaries in the whole Kingdom. And after his decease, having a strong desire to make
      a further progress in that useful and ingenious science, I made it a part of my business
      to court the conversation of the oldest and wisest, not only of my own, but of all our
      neighbours families, not without success too, as I hope to make appear in a larger tractat
      of more use and value, if God spare me life and health; and shall for the present content
      myself barely to name a few of those I hade at divers times the honour to discourse with
      of the rise and origine of most of the Highland families, as for instance, John Grant of
      Balindalloch, John Grant of Gartinmore, Grigor Grant of Achachiernach, and Sweine Grant
      of Gartinbeg, amongst the Grants. William McIntoshe of Kyllachie, Hector McIntosh of
      Connadge, and John McIntosh of Forter, amongst the McIntoshes. Alexander Fraser, alias
      McKutcher, [2] among the Frasers, and John McDonald (alias


      Lame) [3 ] among the McDonalds, two of the greatest poets and genealogues in the
      Highlands. McPherson of Brecochie, Gillicallum McPherson of Phoyness, Thomas McPherson
      of Eterish, and James McPherson, grand-uncle to the deceast John McPherson of Invereshie,
      amongst the McPhersons. John Robertson of Inverchroskie (alias the barron Reid),
      John Robertson of Faules, Robertson of Fouet, amongst the Robertsons. Donald Shaw
      of Dalnafert, John Shaw of Geuslich, and Robert Shaw the Drover, amongst the Shaws.
      Robert Farquharson of Invercauld and Wardes,[4] William Farquharson of Inverey,
      and James Farquharson of Camdell, amongst the Farquharsons; all of them men of sense
      and reputation.

The Macphersons mentioned in this passage were all born before or around 1600, and were undoubtedly authorities on the seanchas of the clan during the seventeenth century.

      In August 1962 Major J. E. Macpherson, of London, former editor of Creag Dhubh [5 ] deposited a large hand-written ledger in the Clan Museum in Newtonmore. He called it The Invereshie Book, under which title he had already published a list of its contents in Creag Dhubh 12 (1 1960). At that time he noted that 104 pages were taken up with a genealogy of the clan to about 1704. Suspecting that this was Sir Aeneas' genealogy, the present writer had microfilms made which he carried back to America for detailed study.

      The Invereshie Book carries a note of its own history, as Major Macpherson explained when be first introduced it to the readers of Creag Dhubh. He received it from Lord Macpherson of Drumochter, who had been given custody of it in 1946 by Alastair Macpherson-Grant of the Ballindalloch family. It was written about 1913 by Alastair's brother George Bertram Macpherson-Grant and their sister-in-law Mary, wife of Sir George Macpherson- Grant of Ballindalloch and Invereshie. Their book is a copy of about a third to a half of a manuscript collection which had belonged to Provost Alexander Macpherson of Kingussie, now believed to be lost. A cursory examination of the Invereshie Book leaves little doubt that the original was the basis for the Provost's wonderful volume Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands, published in 1893, a veritable mine of information on Badenoch and Clan Macpherson history. The question remains, Where did the Provost get the genealogy included in the Invereshie copy?


      The Rev. Alexander Murdoch supplies part of the answer in The Loyall Dissuasive. On page lxi he quotes a sentence from a "MS Genealogy of Cluny Macpherson, compiled by the late James Macpherson of the Union Bank." The sentence is also present in the Invereshie Book copy. On page xcv Murdoch comments that "The manuscript collections of the late Mr. James Macpherson are valuable, but skill, time and temper will be needed to arrange the materials, to verify the references, and supply the dates". From this it would appear that the Provost's collection contained a copy of his brother's manuscript genealogy.

      Two more clues are available before we look at the genealogy itself. Provost Macpherson was factor of the Cluny Estates in Badenoch, and as such had full access to the documents in the Cluny Charter Chest. A century earlier Douglas of Glenbervie seems to have been indebted to the exiled chief, Col. Ewan Macpherson of Cluny, for access to Sir Aeneas Macpherson's manuscript. Putting these two facts together there seems to be a strong case for arguing that James Macpherson's collection was obtained from the original in the possession of the family of the Chief.

      Within the genealogy itself, as it appears in the Invereshie Book, there is one piece of evidence that makes this conclusion all the more likely. The genealogy covers a period from about the middle of the fourteenth century till the end of the seventeenth century. Its last date is 1704, on the occasion of the marriage of Lachlan Macpherson of Nuide and Jean Cameron of Lochiel: no children are listed as a result of this marriage, although Ewan of Cluny was the firstborn in I 706. Sir Aeneas Macpherson died in 1705.

      Mrs. Grant of Laggan, however, mentions that Ewan Macpherson of Cullachie, a younger son of the family of Uvie, about 1798 "set about to amuse his melancholy by publishing an old manuscript history in his possession, of Sir Aeneas Macpherson, the hero of his clan, but relinquish'd the design, justly fearing that the subject would not have sufficiently general interest" (Macphail 1896 : 278). If this "manuscript history" included the genealogy it seems likely, on Mrs. Grant of Laggan's evidence, that there may have been more than one copy circulating in the Central Highlands by the end of the eighteenth century.

Allan Macpherson of Blairgowrie, who recognised the superiority of the genealogy over the Baronage version as early


as 1873, dated it correctly to 1704-5, but rather curiously failed to associate it with Sir Aeneas Macpherson. He refers to it as "a very lengthy MS, the original of which is believed to be in the possession of Sir George Macpherson- Grant of Inveressie, containing the History of the Clan Chattan from a very early period, and the Genealogy . . ." He admitted ignorance of the actual provenance of the copy in his own possession, expressed uncertainty as to the location of the "original" and implied that Ewan Macpherson of Cluny had no knowledge of the genealogy at that time.[6] It is clear that the history of the genealogy had become ravelled by the late nineteenth century.

The Genealogy: Structure and Evolution of the Clan
[Note: the territorial expansion of the Clann Mhuirich and its acquisition of dùthchas rights in the period 1350-1700 is summarized on the chart shown on page 44.]

      The Invereshie Book Genealogy is a remarkable document. It contains so much information about the organisation of the Clan by blood descent, marriage and territorial holding that it is virtually a manual on the anatomy of Clan Macpherson. As such it is probably unique in Highland archives, and must be regarded as the principal document upon which any future history of the clan must be founded.

      The document announces itself with the title, "The Genealogies of the McPhersons since the Three Bretherine from whom the family is called Sliochd an triùir Bhàithrean". It is organised in three parts, one for the descendants or sliochd [7] of each of the brothers, and each part extends through ten to twelve generations, from about 1350 when Ewan, father of the three brothers, was living, to about 1700. The procedure adopted in each part is to trace the senior family patrilineally, that is, from father to son, mentioning daughters and younger sons from whom branches of the family descended, and then to trace the descent of the branches from the oldest to the youngest in turn. Kenneth, the first of the three brothers, is introduced as "Keneth, eldest lawful son of Ewan Mcpherson of Cluny". His sliochd is then followed to Duncan of Cluny who died in 1722. The genealogist continues with the statement: "Having spoken of the posterity of Keneth Mcpherson in a direct line, now remains to speak of the severall branches descended lineally of the said Keneth, and I shall begin with them as they gradually descended of the said stock." The oldest branches of "Sliochd Kynich" (Sliochd Choinnich) were "Clan vic Ewan duy" (Clann Mhic Eóghain Duibh), "Clan vic Ewan taylor" (Clann Mhic Eóghain Tàillear), and the family of Brin: these he dismisses with the comment that he has "at present no particular


and gradual genealogie". He then proceeds to describe the detailed genealogies of the Macphersons of Essich, Crubenmore-Breakachie and Nessintullich, Pourie, Bellachroan, Ardbrylach and Glengoynack-Pitmain, Blaragie-beg, Crathie-Croy, Pittourie, Old Dalrady, Kingussie-beg-Laggan, Nood [Nuide] and Benchar. It was from Nood, the youngest and closest branch of Sliochd Choinnich that the present line of chiefs sprang in the eighteenth century.

      The descent from John, the second of the three brothers, begins with an account of the Macphersons of Glenelg [sic? probably E. Linwilg] and Rothiemurchus, a family in Bealid, and another in "Strathern" [Strathdearn], representatives of which are mentioned as being contemporary with the genealogist. This is followed by full accounts of the Macphersons of Pitmean, Garvamore-Inverroy and Shiromore, Bealid, Coronach and Invernahaun [Invernahavon], Stramasie [Strathmashie] and Tirfodown, Invertromie, Pitchirn and Clune.

      The descent from Gillès (Gillies), third of the three brothers, gives a detailed description of the Macphersons of Invereshie, New Dalrady and Killihuntly, Knappach, Phoyness [Phoness], Coraldie and Etterish. The three major divisions of the clan are listed as "Sliochd Kynich" (Kenneth), "Sliochd Iain" (John), and "Sliochd Gilliosa" (Sliochd Ghill-Iosa, Gilles), and there is plenty of corroborating evidence in the records of the seventeenth century, and in the manner in which the officer corps of Ewan of Cluny's regiment in the Jacobite Rising of 1745 was organised, to show that these were indeed functional divisions. The patrilineal structure of Sliochd an trùir Bhráithrean is illustrated in the accompanying diagrams (pp 19, 31). It should be noted that the surname and territorial designation "Macpherson of' Cluny", as applied to Ewan, the father of the three brothers, is being applied retroactively by the genealogist: the surname was not in use till the early fifteenth century, and Cluny was acquired even later. Both John and Gilles are mentioned as sons of "Ewan Mcpherson, Chieftain of the Clanchattan", a title contested between the Macphersons of Cluny and the MacIntosh chiefs. Sir Aeneas Macpherson of Invereshie was a "grey eminence" behind Duncan of Cluny in one phase of this contest before the Whig Revolution sent him on his travels, but the tribal designation may have some validity.

      In the absence of an absolute chronology the passage of the generations gives us a scale against which to place events.



Thus it is possible to see the growth of the clan in terms of manpower: counting Ewan as the first generation and the three brothers as the second, the succeeding generations grew slowly at first, but then "exploded". The series to the twelfth generation runs:

1-- 3 -- 7 -- 17 -- 18 -- 28 -- 55 -- 94 -- 164 -- 203 -- 126 -- 8
The low figures for the eleventh and twelfth generations reflect the incomplete nature of the information available to the genealogist on his younger contemporaries (Sir Aeneas was a member of the tenth generation), and also indicate perhaps that these generations had not yet finished growing. Even so, these figures do not represent the whole of Sliochd an triùir Bhràithrean, for the absence of complete genealogies for "Clan vic Ewan duy" and "Clan vic Ewan taylor", the Macphersons of Brin, and others unmentioned, deprives the contemporary clan of 1700 of perhaps a quarter of its numbers. On the other hand it is quite clear that Clan Macpherson, in its growth from 1350 to 1700, represented the emergence of a new leadership élite, a new aristocracy of the soil, in the south-eastern part of the new county of Inverness. It emerged, phoenix-like, from the embers of the Old Clanchattan tribe which had been broken by a century of struggle between the old autonomy of the northern parts of Gaeldom, centred on the Lordship of the Isles, and the new feudalism centred in Edinburgh in the Lowlands.

      The genealogy hints at the origin of the three brothers, and shows us where they and their descendants first settled. It implies that Kenneth and John McEwan were located in Badenoch before Gilles. Gilles is reported to have "lived in Letterfinlay in Lochaber", where part of the Old Clanchattan was established. His son, Donald Bronich,[8] and six of his seven grandsons were "killed fighting with my Lord Marr against McDonald . . . at the battle of Inverlochy". This occurred in 1431. The surviving grandson, John, "not being able, or rather disdaining, for McDonald's cruelty to live in Letterfinlay, assigned the Dachs [sic, Duchas] and possessions thereof to Cameron who married his father's sister, which his posterity enjoy to this day". The "Duchas" (Gaelic dùthchas) was the right of ancient possession as understood throughout the Gaelic world, and the origin of the peculiar rights in land enjoyed nowadays by the Highland crofters. The Camerons of Letterfinlay were in fact the MacMartins, one of the "little clans" of Lochaber (the others being the MacGillonies of

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Glenloy, and the MacMillans of Locharkaig) who had once been part of' the Old Clanchattan (Lang 1898 : 86-90, 166; Allardyce 1893 : 169). Here, then, was rooted the historic affinity between the Camerons and Macphersons which played such an important role in Central Highland history. The genealogy goes on to say that "after he left Letterfinlay John dwelt in Rimore". Rimore was a detached part of the old Lordship of Badenoch in the Forest of Rothiemurchus in eastern Inverness-shire. It will be recalled that it was here that part of the direct line of Sliochd Iain had settled. It was not until the seventh generation that Sliochd Ghill-Iosa moved to Invereshie in Badenoch proper.

      In the mean time the main part of Sliochd Iain had established itself, perhaps as early as the third generation, at three centres in Badenoch: Pitmean, Bealid and Garvamore. In The Loyall Dissuasive, which was addressed to the Laird of Cluny, Sir Aeneas described Garvamore as "one of the ancientest posscssions of your name and family" (Murdoch 1902 : 28). From each of these junior branches hived off in succeeding generations to occupy adjacent farms; Strathmashie was established from Pitmean in the fourth generation and from there Tirfadown was established in the eighth generation; Invertromie and Pitchirn were established from Pitmean in the sixth generation, and Clune from Pitchirn in the seventh. Shiramore was established from Garvamore in the fourth generation, while part of the Garvamore family moved to Inverroy in the Braes of Lochaber in the seventh. Coronach and Invernahaun were established from Bealid in the eighth generation.

      Sliochd Choinnich, the senior division of the clan, which centred in the Chief's township of Cluny, had the peculiarity of establishing its older branches outside Badenoch, its later ones in Badenoch: Brin in the fourth generation, Essich in the fifth, both near Inverness; Blaragie-beg and Crathie-Croy in the sixth, Pittourie, Dalrady and Kingussie-beg in the seventh, Nood in the eighth and Benchar in the ninth, all in Badenoch. Essich, in fact, acted as the centre of a separate development, part of which also became established in Badenoch: Dundelchag was an adjacent growth in the sixth generation, but Crubinmore and Ovie in the sixth, BeIlachroan in the seventh Ardbrylach in the eighth, all represent the continued growth of the clan in Badenoch. In a few instances feu charters were obtained from the feudal superiors, but in most instances the


families were already established on their townships, the head of the family being the principal tacksman or tenant on the farm.

      When we remember that the population of the Highlands was fairly static throughout most of this period, it is obvious that the growth of the Clan Macpherson in Badenoch must have been taking place at the expense of other elements in the population. The genealogy indicates who some of these were, and suggests that marriage was one of the methods used. Donald More [9] of Cluny [Sic, see p. 6] set the example by marrying a "daughter to the Chieftain of McGillchynichs, [10] who were then a strong people in Badenoch". Three centuries later men of this name served in the 'Forty-Five under Colonel Ewan Macpherson of Cluny. In the fourth generation John of Bealid married a daughter of John McKay in Noodmore, almost certainly a survivor of one of the remnants of the Old Clanchattan. In the seventh generation James Macpherson of Bealid married a daughter of one Clerkmore [11] in Dalrady, while in the next generation Alexander Macpherson of Garvamore married a daughter of Clerkmore in Ralea. In the sixth generation Ferquhar, "Invertromie's predecessor", married a daughter of Donald MacIvir "then of' Killihuntly". Alexander Macpherson of Sliochd Ghill-Iosa in Rimore of Rothiemurchus, ancestor of the Macphersons of Phoyness, in the fifth generation married the daughter of "the Baron of Dunachtoun". This personage was probably one of the MacNivens or Clann Mhic Gille Naoimh, another remnant of the Old Clanchattan. The last heiress of MacNiven of Dunachton passed Dunachton on to her husband, William Mackintosh, chief of that clan, about 1500. But there is an old story, told by Capt. Lachlan Macpherson of Bealid, that Breakachie was an old township of the MacNiven chiefs, that all but eighteen were extirpated in one night by the Macphersons under the leadership of one Alaster Caint [sic] , [12] and that Alaster effectcd a final massacre of the survivors at the Cave of Raits some time later (Macpherson 1893 : 408, 409). Marriage and skilful land and stock management, however, rather than massacre, were probably the main reasons for the rise of the Macphersons in Badenoch.

      Until after 1600 the clansmen were tenants-at-will of feudal superiors or barons such as the Earl of Huntly, the Earl of Moray, the Laird of Grant or the Laird of Mackintosh. They held their land for a year at a time, and were theoretically subject to removal or eviction at the end of every twelve-month


"tack" or lease. The "tacks" were unwritten. This purely feudal arrangement was modified rather peculiarly in the Highlands by the survival of certain elements from the older tribal system of landholding. The clan system, in fact, represented a vital compromise between feudalism and tribalism which greatly reduced the annual hazards of the renewal of the "tack". Families who had maintained effective occupancy of a farm or township for three generations were said to have established a dùthchas or right of ancient possession which was generally recognised by the whole community and was therefore supposed to be inviolable. The tacksmen of such farms followed each other in the tenancy by patrilineal succession, and any attempt on the part of the superior to intrude another family would be resisted by the clan, even to the point of bloodshed. A clan chief, even if he himself was only tenant-at-will as Macpherson of Cluny was until 1680, would normally act as spokesman or arbitrator for a clansman threatened with removal from his ancestral farm, and his political power, cutting across the normal feudal structure of society, usually meant that his intervention was effective.

      By the seventeenth century an important modification in the economic relationships of feudal superiors and tenants had appeared. Barons pressed for funds often "wadset" or mortgaged the rents of their farms to the tenant, the interest on the capital sum advanced as a loan by the tenant equalling the annual rent of the farm. Thus was born the wadset right. Essentially the tenant occupied the farm rent-free for an indefinite number of years until the wadset was redeemed by the repayment of the capital sum. Sometimes redemption was not to occur until a specified number of years had elapsed, or, rather significantly, until three generations had occupied the farm. This meant a new kind of security of tenure, and it is readily understood that a tenant with a wadset right, instead of depending upon a dùthchas or customary right of ancient possession, would come to rely more upon the legal efficacy of the document stating the terms of his wadset. This rise of the wadsetters from the ranks of the ordinary tacksmen, "ancient possessors", and tenants-at-will, constituted the first rift in the lute for the clan system as a working compromise in land tenure.

      The retention of rents by the wadsetters meant, of course, that capital accumulation centred in their hands at an accelerating rate. The entire usufruct of the soil in terms of cattle sales and the marketing of salted butter, cheese and other products


of the pastoral farms, no longer had to be shared with the landlord. As Highland proprietors continued to need extra funds many wadsetters were able to convert their wadset rights into feu rights by purchasing a feudal charter to their land outright from the superior, thus completing the evolution away from the clan system of land holding.       The Invereshie Book Genealogy is replete with examples which illustrate phases of this evolution. Many of the families are referred to as "possessors" of their ancestral lands, but the best statement on a family holding by dùthchas right is given for Ewan Oig [13] Macpherson who "lived in Garva and still he and his successors are in possession thereof ". There are three instances given where the dùthchas was broken: Ferquhar [14] Macpherson, a younger brother of Dougall of Essich, "lived in Dundelchag, and of him the late possessors of Dundelchag are descended": they were living at Essich, Brinis, Inverness, Auldearn and Cluny when the genealogy was collected; Malcolm, a younger son of Donald Daul [15] of Cluny is spoken of as the ancestor of "the late possessors of Blaragie-beg"; and John, a bastard brother of Dougall of Essich, Gillicallum [16] of Crubinmore and Ferquhar of Dundelchag, is referred to as "predecessor to the late possessors of Ovie".

      Only four wadsets are mentioned, none of which appears to have been critical to the acquisition of a feu right. Lachlan Macpherson of the Sliochd Choinnich Dalrady family "acquired a right to the lands of Dalifour"; Thomas Macpherson, an uncle of Sir Aeneas of Invereshie "acquired the lands of Killihuntly from the Tutor of Invereshie", that is, from Sir Aeneas himself; and William, a younger son of John of Ovie "lived in Culcaback and did wadset Tullochclourie. The best example is the case of Andrew Macpherson, a younger son of John of Nood, who "acquired the wadset right to the Davoch of Wester Raits". His eldest son John later "excambed [exchanged] his wadset right of Raits for ane wadset right of the lands of Benchar, an ancient possession of the Mackintoshes of Borlum". William Cheyne-Macpherson quotes the dates 1661 and 1678 for the wadsets of Wester Raits and Benchar respectively (1947 : 135).       According to the genealogy most of the feu rights were acquired in one step from customary dùthchas right, although the Gordon Papers and the Sasine Registers bear evidence that the fen charters to Nood, Invereshie and Bellachroan which were confirmed in 1638 were preceded by wadsets, in 1623 in


the case of Nood, and in 1626 in the other two cases. The wadsets of 1626 contained a clause ensuring nineteen-year tacks after redemption. The genealogy records that Angus Macpherson "feued the lands of Invereshie, Killihuntly and Inveruglas". James Macpherson, a younger son of James of Bealid, "lived in Invernahaun", but his son John "feued the lands of Invernahaun". Donald MacPherson of Sliochd Ghill-losa "stayed in Phoyness", but his elder son Gillicallum "feued Phoyness", and his younger son Thomas Roy "acquired the feu rights of the lands of Etterish". Paul Oig Macpherson, the third generation of the Sliochd Choinnich family in Dalrady, "feued the lands of Dalrady". John Macpherson, a brother of William of Invereshie, later "feued the lands of Dalrady from Angus McPherson, then of Dalrady", a grandson of Paul Oig the original feuer. Another case of sale of a feu right, this time within the same family, is afforded by John Macpherson, a younger son of Dougall of Essich who "lived in Bellachroan". His eldest son Donald More "feued Bellachroan", while a younger son Gillicallum "feued the lands of Ardbrylach". Donald More's eldest son Dougall "sold the lands of Bellachroan to John Roy his brother and bought ane lairdship in the Shire of Angus called Pourie". Finally, a more interesting formula was followed by John, a younger brother of Andrew of Cluny, who "bought the feu rights of the lands of Nood and took the right in his eldest son Donald's name". The transfer of the Dalrady feu from Sliochd Choinnich to Sliochd Ghill-Iosa occurred in 1668 (Cheyne-Macpherson 1947 : 176).

      The vital importance of retaining possession of charter evidence of a feu right is shown by the experience of Ewan Oig Macpherson of Garvamore's elder brother Allan. "Allan of Inverroy went to Inverroy and got there a feu right thereof from McIntosh which thereafter was torn by McIntosh's successor when in trust he got it to be read." Inverroy was an outpost of the Clan Macpherson in the Braes of Lochaber, a district traditionally occupied by the MacDonalds of Keppoch, and Macpherson of Cluny was presumably unable to argue his clansman's case on the basis of the dùthchas right. Normally the grant of a newly acquired feu right was followed by the ceremony of sasine (the handing of earth and stone), which was then recorded in an Instrument of Sasine in the official Register of Sasines, and copies were made which could not be ignored without causing grave offence to several substantial witnesses in the community.


      Before leaving the subject of the relationship of patrilineal descent to property holding, the case of the succession of a minor should be mentioned. The guardian or trustee who managed the farm or estate of a minor in Scotland was called a tutor: in the Highlands he was almost invariably the patrilineal uncle or cousin who was next in line to inherit the dùthchas, wadset or feu, should the minor fail to produce a male heir. The Genealogy mentions two instances of this. When Andrew of Ctuny died about 1660 he was succeeded rapidly in turn by his two grandsons, Andrew and Duncan. Their great-uncle William is referred to as "Tutor of Cluny", and William's son Ewan is described as "Tutor to Duncan of Cluny". Sir Aeneas is referred to as "Tutor of Invereshie" for his nephew Elias. [17] It was only after the death of Elias that Sir Aeneas himself became "of Invereshie".

      The Genealogy gives some evidence that status in the community adhered to certain occupations as well as to rights in land. No fewer than five parish ministers are mentioned, suggesting that Badenoch supplied its full quota to the Church. One of the Invertromie family is referred to as "Muriach the Merchant", and several men are mentioned as millers at the Mills of Benchar, Nood and Killihuntly. One position of' considerable responsibility was held by Ewan Macpherson, identified as the third husband of Christian Macpherson of Crubinmore, and described as "sometime Captain of the Country Watch of Badenoch", a vigilante committee organised to circumvent creachan, the cattle rustling forays perpetrated by many of the western clans on other parts of the Highlands. Another man who held a post of some significance was Lachlan Macpherson of the Pitmean family who was "Clunie's grieve". The grieve was the farm manager, and Lachlan was no doubt skilled, not only in the traditional and ubiquitous raising of hill cattle and sheep, but also in the breeding of Highland garrons or hill ponies and the Scottish deerhounds for which the Macphersons of Cluny were famous throughout Scotland in the seventeenth century. It should be noted that the genealogist does not mention any pipers or bards as having status in tihe clan. Nor does he mention men of the law, although several appear in other records and it was his own profession. Duncan lòm [18 ] of the Strathmashie family is distinguished as "a great genealoger", and was probably one of tile principal sources of information for the compiler.

      The genealogy contains almost a thousand Macphersons,


men and women, besides some two hundred non-Macpherson marriage partners. Sliochd Choinnich and Sliochd Iain are about equal in numbers, totalling just over and just under 400 respectively, while Sliochd Ghill-Iosa numbered just over 160. Of the total number of Macphersons about 750 are males, just over 200 are females; and over 300 marriages are recorded. These figures reflect two peculiar features of the document: daughters were ignored or forgotten unless they made a politically useful marriage; and younger sons and their male descendants do not have their marriages recorded if they were not established on separate farms of' their own. This shows the relationship between patrilineal descent, marriage, and property as seen by the genealogist. Thus the genealogy contains sections liberally sprinkled with daughters and wives, while other sections consist solely of men. This partiality in the amount of information offered by the genealogy must be borne in mind in examining the marriages within the clan. The figures are given in the following table:

      Rather more than one-third of the recorded marriages were endogamous, that is, they took place within the clan, both


parties being Macphersons. More surprising perhaps, the genealogy reveals that marriage within the sliochd was permissible. Of the 119 endogamous marriages recorded in the clan, no fewer than 40 took place within one or other of the three major sliochdan. Geographical propinquity was doubtless a factor in the occurrence of some of these marriages, but a more potent force was probably the desire to prevent rights in moveable property, especially stock, and rights in land from passing out of the sliochd. The same argument is probably true for inter-sliochd marriages in the clan. One curious consequence of this, perhaps, was the existence of a custom of concubinage where the rules of the Church forbade marriage. The genealogy provides one possible example of this in the case of John Macpherson of Knappach who took the widow of his deceased uncle Thomas as "his concubine". The woman involved was Connie Macpherson, daughter of Donald Dow [19] Macpherson of Pitchirn and Connie Macpherson of Essich. She was, perhaps, following the example of her father, who, after the death of her mother, "took as his concubine" Eneir Cameron of Glennevis from whom the Macphersons of Clune descended. At any rate it is quite clear that the Highland clans and their major patrilineal divisions entertained no rules enforcing exogamy. Only the prevailing rules of the Church established the degrees of affinity within which marriage was forbidden.

      Sliochd Iain apparently differed from the other two sliochdan in that a much higher proportion of its marriages were endogamous, both within the sliochd and within the clan. Despite the fact that the proportion of women recorded is far smaller than in the other two sliochdan, and that the proportion of unrecorded marriages is higher, its endogamous unions exceeded its exogamous unions by a ratio of 2 : 1, while exogamous marriages were preponderant in the other two sliochdan. Furthermore, while Sliochd Ghill-losa exchanged equal numbers of men and women with both of the other sliochdan, it was the smallest of the three, and the major exchanges of marriage partners occurred between Sliochd Choinnich and Sliochd Iain. More women apparently passed from Sliochd Choinnich to Sliochd Iain than in the reverse direction in a ratio of 2 : 1, and Sliochd Choinnich made more marriages with each of the other two sliochdan than they did with each other. Almost equal numbers of men married women from the other two sliochdan. What these facts seem to add up to is that the solidarity and cohesion of Clan Macpherson depended largely upon the


relationship between the two big sliochdan, and that Sliochd Choinnich, including the chief's family, tended to gather influence within the clan by reason of its greater contribution of women to the other sliochdan. When dutiful daughters became persuasive wives the advantage undoubtedly accrued to their fathers and brothers.

      One curious result of repeated marriage within the clan was that cousin-ship was not a simple matter of two lines of patrilineal descent from a common forebear, but was exceedingly intricate. So complex, indeed, were the relationships established within the clan that many clansmen of the tenth and subsequent generations were able to trace their descent back to, not one, but all three of the original brothers, and often to one of them more than once. The set of relationships shown on the opposite page is a typical example of this.

      Another common feature of the endogamous marriages revealed by the genealogy was the existence of a gap of one generation between husband and wife. There can be little doubt that there was a strong tendency for men to marry women considerably younger than themselves. There are some seven cases where a woman made a second marriage within the clan, and in most of these cases the second husband was a man of her own generation.

      Turning to the exogamous marriages, it is to be expected naturally that these would preponderate in the earlier generations. This, is amply borne out by the genealogy , even though the accuracy of some of the information may be somewhat suspect. None of it is in the least fanciful. It is noticeable, however, that the men of some of the oldest established families in each of the sliochdan (Cluny, Essich, Bellachroan, Garvamore and Invereshie) tended to marry outside the clan, while the women found marriage partners within the clan.       The chiefs' family is a case in point. Of eleven men, including nine chiefs, for whom there is information, only one married inside the clan. Donald Daul of Cluny in the fifth generation married a daughter of William of Rimore, leading man of the Sliochd Ghill-losa. Of seven women on record in the last four generations only one married outside the clan: two even contracted second marriages within the clan. None of nine men in the Essich family married inside the clan, and only two of nine in the Bellachroan family did so, including Archibald of Pourie who was second husband of Marjory, daughter of Ewan of Cluny. Yet only two of eight women in the Bellachroan



family married outside the clan. In seven generations the leading men of the Garvamore-Inverroy family contracted five marriages with MacDonalds, no less than three with MacDonalds of Glencoe. Of fourteen men in the immediate family of Invereshie only three married within the clan, including John of Invereshie, Sir Aeneas' older brother, who was the first husband of Marjory of Cluny. Of eight Invereshie women four married inside the clan.

      It seems significant in view of what was observed above about the cohesive role of Sliochd Iain within the clan, with its high proportion of endogamous marriages, that Pitmean, its leading family, did not follow the pattern. The situation in the Garvamore-Inverroy family, one of its oldest branches, can be explained perhaps by its geographical exposure to the matrimonial advances of the MacDonald clans from the west. It would seem that an exogamous tradition had settled itself in the families of Cluny, Essich, Bellachroan and Invereshie so far as the men were concerned. These families, in fact, appear to have functioned on two fronts, the exogamous marriages of the men providing the clan with a sphere of influence and friends in neighbouring families and clans, while the endogamous marriages of the women maintained the influence of their fathers and brothers in the internal affairs of the clan. Members of these four families are known to have been the most outgoing of the clansmen, Ewan of Cluny, Sir Aeneas of Invereshie and Dougall of Pourie playing parts on the national scene.

      The exogamous marriages were formed with influential families, almost exclusively of the Highlands, and it is interesting to note the geographical location of these. Many marriages were made with the family of the lairds of Mackintosh and its cadets, among the latter being several that lived among the Macphersons in Badenoch: notably the Mackintoshes of Crathiemore, Blargiemore, Gergask, Lynwilg, Strone, Borlum and Kinrara. To the eastward marriages were formed with the Farquharsons of the Braes of Mar, especially by the Invereshie family; to the northward with Gordons, Grants, Frasers and members of the little clans confederated under Mackintosh such as the Shaws, MacQueens, MacBeans and MacGilvrays. Such distinguished families as Forbes of Culloden, Campbell of Calder, Munro of Foulis and Ross of BaInagown appear, as do Provost Robert Ross and Provost Cuthbert of Inverness. To the southward matches were made


with the various families of Stewarts, Robertsons and MacGregors in Atholl and Rannoch, while to the westward MacDonalds of Glencoe, Keppoch and Glengarry, and Camerons of Glennevis and Lochiel were wed. Unions were formed with the families of parish ministers: Mr. Alexander Cumming of Moy, Mr. Lachlan Grant of Kingussie and Mr. William Annand of Bellie. Going further afield, Angus Macpherson, a brother of Paul Oig of Dalrady, married a daughter of James Kinnimonth, "Chamberland to the King in Falkland in Fife". Sir Aeneas Macpherson married a daughter of Colonel Scrimgeour of the family of the King's hereditary standard bearer in Scotland; his daughter Mary married Sir John Maclean of Duart, one of Graham of Claverhouse's paladins and a hero of the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689; and his father's cousin, Mr. Thomas Macpherson, Minister of the Badenoch parishes of Laggan and Alvie, married a daughter of Maxwell, the Irish Bishop of Ross. Dougall of Pourie, however, made the most impressive series of marriages, marrying in turn the daughters of three Scottish lairds: Lyon of Murtle in Angus, Campbell of Glenlyon, and Guthrie of Auchmithie near Arbroath.

      Finally, the genealogy yields some information on the impact of war and emigration. The casualties of war all fell in the Jacobite cause, fighting for the ousted dynasty of the Stuarts, although it is known that Dougall of Pourie, John of Dalrady and Angus of' Killihuntly were all favourable to the Cromwellian Commonwealth and were active in the events leading up to the Whig revolution of 1689. Murdo of Clune's elder brother William "went to the Wars and was killed at the Fight of Worcester". Alexander Macpherson, a brother of John of Benchar, "went to the Wars with William McIntosh of Borlum". William Bain Macpherson, a half-brother of Sir Aeneas' father, was "killed at the Battle of Cromdell", during a disastrous passage of arms at the Haughs of Cromdale in Lower Strathspey 1691 when the Jacobite forces under Major-General Thomas Buchan were surprised and beaten by Sir Thomas Livingstone. Sir Aeneas makes reference more than once to this in The Loyall Dissuasive, indicating that, of a force of two hundred clansmen representing virtually the full fighting strength of the clan at the end of the seventeenth century, no fewer than thirty-six men were killed (Murdoch 1902 : 197, 212).

      Much of the emigration from Badenoch was quite local in


character: one of Murdo of Clune's nephews is reported as "living in the Strines" [Strathdearn], while another is "now in Ardsire" [Ardersier]; two members of the Invertromie family are described as "at present in Clasterinin in the Ensie"; and an unnamed nephew of Ewan Oig of Garvamore "went out of Shiromore to the Barron of Kilravock's house with Morechaum McIntosh, and being in good esteem with the Barron was called by the common people 'Kieule Varrain' ".[20] Two of his descendants are reported as living in Calder and Inverness, "and several others who live about Inverness, Nairn and pretty commonly known by the nickname 'Kieulich' ". [21] All of these places are to the north and north-cast of Badenoch. Southward migration into the Lowlands is suggested by the fact that John, a bastard brother of Andrew of Cluny and John of Nood, "went to the South a boy", one of his grandsons being "now in Isla", one of the Inner Hebrides. This may refer to Strathisla, Banffshire whereAndrew of Cluny acquired Grange. The pull of the Scottish capital is reflected by the fact that James, second son of William of Nood, Donald, a brother of John of Ardbrylach, and John, eldest son of Dougall of Pourie, all "dyed at Edinburgh". Ewan, another brother of John of Ardbrylach, is described as "now living in London", perhaps the first of the clan to live in the rising British metropolis. John, a nephew of John of Invernahaun, is stated to be "married in England and has children there". One of Murdo of Clune's sons, Mr. Lachlan (the appellation denoting the possession of a university degree and the occupation of schoolmaster or parish minister), is reported as "now married in Ireland". Mr. John Macpherson, eldest son to Malcolm of Glengoynack, is described as "Minister of Strathnaver", a parish in the far north of Scotland. Two nephews of Paul Oig of Dalrady, Lachlan and William, are vaguely described as having gone "abroad", probably to Europe, possibly to North America or the Caribbean. Finally, Sir Aeneas' nephew and ward, Elias Macpherson of Invereshie, "went to Flanders in the King's service, where it was his fortune to dye without succession".

      It is clear from these facts that the energies of the clan were already bursting beyond the limits imposed by the traditional society more than half a century before the Jacobite Rising of 1745. The genealogy has demonstrated how the clan emerged as a local élite during the period of three centuries from 1400 to 1700, tightly knit by an intricate web of endogamous marriages and protected by alliances with neighbouring families and clans. It has also revealed how, by acquiring feu


rights and escaping the rigorous obligations of the simple feudal system, leading men in the clan were led to abandon the concept of tribal rights in land. Finally, it sketches the widening of contacts with the world beyond the Highland Line and the first trickle of out-migration which, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, joined the flood of British emigration which engulfed five continents.

The Historical Reliabilly of the Genealogy
      Assuming that the Invereshie Book genealogy is, in fact, a reasonably accurate copy of Sir Aeneas Macpherson of Invereshie's original manuscript, the question now arises as to its trustworthiness as a historical document. Charles Fraser-Mackintosh described its compiler as "one Sir Eneas Macpherson, concocter of a fabulous history of the Macphersons" (1892 : 26), basing his opinion, unfortunately, upon the mistaken identification of Sir Aeneas' work with the badly garbled genealogy of the Macphersons which appears in Glenbervie's Baronage of Scotland. Fraser-Mackintosh's detailed criticisms of the line of Macpherson chiefs in the Baronage version go a long way, in fact, to restore the true genealogy, and it is unfortunate that he found it "not our business to penetrate this obscurity, and detail the correct pedigree" (op. cit.: 46). He implies that there was one, and that it was known to him. It is, more unfortunate that Alexander Macpherson saw fit to republish the Baronage version in 1893, without a hint of criticism (Macpherson 1893 : 485-503).

      It is true that whenever Sir Aeneas Macpherson wrote in his own right, as in The Loyall Dissuasive, he wrote imaginatively, in the style of a polemicist. The Invereshie Book genealogy, however, is couched in sober language, and with remarkably few anecdotal asides. A more general attack upon its authenticity, this time without the intrusion of the Baronage, came from Dr. Alexander MacBain who dismissed the list of names in the succession of the Macpherson chiefs as "purely traditional and utterly unreliable" (MacBain 1922 : 227-8). If this is taken to mean that traditional information is inherently so unreliable as to make it worthless, the findings of historians, and anthropologists would tend to controvert this. MacBain, writing at a later date, described the same list as "their genuine genealogy" (Skene 1902 : 415), but his earlier opinion cannot be passed over lightly. The Invereshie genealogy can, in fact, be


verified effectively, both as to its own internal consistency and in the light of extraneous and contemporary documents.

      As we have seen, endogamous marriages played a large part in the structure and evolution of the clan, and these provide a means of assessing the care with which the genealogy was compiled. They also make us aware of a cultural bias on the part of the compiler, and probably in the society which he was describing. Of 119 endogamous marriages 99 appear in the accounts of both families concerned -- striking evidence of the self-consistency of the document. The twenty marriages which appear but once include ten involving individuals who cannot be identified elsewhere in the genealogy:

      John of Brin, whose daughter married Muriach of the Shiromore family;
      Ewan, "sometime captain of the Country Watch of Badenoch", third husband of Christian of Crubinmore;
      McPherson of Flichatie, whose daughter married Neil of the Shiromore family;
      Angus of Drumnuird married to Isobel of Clune; and whose daughter was married to Neil of the Invernahavon family;
      Mr. Donald McPherson of Calder, whose daughter Jean married Andrew of Wester Raits; and whose daughter Magdalen married
      John of the Clune family and Capt. George of the Sliochd Choinnich Dalrady family;
     James of Bencharoyen, whose daughter Marjory married Alexander "in the Strines" (Clune family);
     Donald McEan vic Innes who married Isabell, daugher of Alexander McDonald Dow of Pitchirn.

Two concern Dougall of the Nessintullich family, whose two marriages appear in the Crubinmore and Pittourie accounts but not in his own part of the genealogy. The remaining eleven concern women who are omitted from their own family accounts and who, in several instances, were either barren or produced only daughters. The indication is that the compiler was strongly influenced by the importance attached to male descent, and this agrees with the evidence of the extraneous sources with which the document can be compared.

      The heads of families and leading men of the clan who are on record in the Macpherson of Cluny Collection [22] and The Mackintosh Muniments (Paton 1903) during the seventeenth century appear each in his appropriate place in the genealogy, .as one would expect from the fact that they were the compiler's contemporaries. Further, the Cluny Collection contains documents relating to at least twenty-eight marriages, many of them in the form of actual contracts: twenty-six of them are


recorded correctly in the genealogy. The two exceptions, however, are instructive under criticism; they concern daughters of Paul Oig of Dalrady (Sliochd Choinnich):

      Janet, according to the genealogy, was married to       Angus Mackintosh of Tullochmagerry, son of Allan Mackintosh, while the Cluny document gives her husband as Alexander, son of William Mackintosh of Strone.
     Isobel , according to the Dalrady and Invernahavon accounts in the genealogy, was married to James of Invernahavon, whereas the Cluny papers show qute categorically that he was married to Isobel, daughter of Donald of Nuide.

      In the latter case an endogamous marriage is involved, providing a ready explanation for the compiler's error. The Cluny papers, however, provide a more adequate explanation: they include two marriage contracts for Isobel of Nuide, one in 1656 to James of Invernahavon, a second in 1663 to John of Coronach; only the latter appears in the genealogy. It has already been observed that remarriage played a significant part in the marital affairs of the clan, and it may be argued that the Dalrady marriages recorded in the genealogy were not errors but represented one of two marriages involving one of the partners. There are also indications that the marriages recorded in the genealogy (Dalrady-Invernahavon and Nuide-Coronach) were fruitful, while extraneous evidence suggests that that omitted (Invernahavon-Nuide) was barren. As the compiler also omitted the old age marriage of Andrew of Cluny to Lillias Dunbar in 1639, of which there is record in the Cluny papers, the implication is clear. We can conclude that for those generations with which Sir Aeneas was personally acquainted the genealogy shows a high degree of accuracy, and the few conflicts with contemporary documents may be explained in terms of cultural bias.

      References to Sliochd Choinnich Macphersons in documents of the sixteenth century are almost non-existent. The Red Book of Clanranald records that Alasdair Macdonald was joined in 1644 "by Clan Vurich of Badenoch, who were led by a captain and good chieftain of their own blood, Eóghain óg mc Andra mic Eóghain" (Cameron 1894 : 179), that is, Ewan of Cluny, son of Andrew, son of Ewan, as in the genealogy. It was specifically with reference to this statement, which he accepted as historically reliable, that Macbain denounced "the Macpherson list previous to Ewan, father of Andrew [as]


purely traditional and utterly unreliable". The Laing Charters of 1606, however, mention "William McConil Oige McPherson in Kingussie" (Anderson 1899 : No. 1493); he may be identified in the genealogy with the fourth son of Donald Oig of Cluny and the founder of "the family of Kinguisiebeag". According to the tradition of the clan in the late seventeenth century, Donald Oig was killed at the Battle of Corrichie in 1562 (Macpherson 1893 :435); this is confirmed in the Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland where a composition for the escheat of the goods of "the late Donald Macphersane in Cluny, killed at the field of Correchie, was recorded in 1562 (Dickson,T., 1877 : 144)." This identification would make him the first Macpherson of Cluny and Chief of Clann Mhuirich in contemporary records. Dougall of Essich, [23] on the other hand, appears on numerous occasions between 1548 and 1572 as witness and attorney for William and Lachlan Mackintosh, successive Lairds of Dunachton (Paton 1903 : Nos. 62, 83, 88, 93, 99). He was assassinated near Dingwall in 1572 (Kinrara MS, Macfarlane 1900 : 240; Paton 1903 : No. 103. [24] In the genealogy he appears as the founder of the Essich-Ballachroan-Ardbrylach branch of Sliochd Choinnich, and as a full cousin of Donald Oig of Cluny. "Gyllccallum McFarchor McFarsoun", who appears on record in 1579, may be identified in the genealogy as Malcolm, a son of Dougall of Essich's brother Ferquhar who "lived in Dundelchag", that is, Dundelchaig in Strathnairn (Paton 1903 : No. 119 ).

      Brin. The Invereshie MS dismisses the family of Brin descended from Bean, only brother of Donald mór of Cluny, with the comment: "at present no particular and gradual genealogie". The first reference to a Macpherson in the Mackintosh Muniments, however, validates Bean's existence in the fourth generation "Donald Makfersone, son of the deceased Beanus McFersone." References to 'Beane McPersone [in] Innermastreane of Stratherne in the Lordship of Petty" in 1499 and 1504 (Rentalia Domini Regis) almost certainly refer to the same individual. In 1504 he also possessed Badfynn (Burnett, G., The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, Vols. 11 and 12). Invermaseran was an intermediate point in the Monadliath hill-grazings between the Strathnairn and Badenoch farms that were occupied early in the history of the clan.

      Sliochd Ghill-Iosa, towards the end of the sixteenth century, was led by William of Invereshie, son of John of Rimore and grandson of William of Rimore, and by Donald, son of Alister Roy, founder of the Phoines family. Both appear as signatories of the Huntlie Band Of 1591, using their patronymics but without their territorial designations: "William Mak ane vic William", and "Donald Makallester Roy" (Spalding Club 1849:246). [25] Both reappear in the Termett Band in 1609 as "William vic-Ian-vic-William in Invereshie", and "Donald vic-Allister-Roy in Phoines", making the identification quite certain (Fraser-Macintosh a. 1892 :43-4; Macfarlane 1900 : 273). William was apparently elderly at the end of the century, and the patronymic reference to his grandfather, William (of Rimore), therefore validates this part of the genealogy at a date prior to 1500.

      It is with respect to Sliochd Iain, however, that the most impressive evidence of the historical authenticity and accuracy of the Invereshie genealogy is to be found. Many of the leading men of this sliochd were involved in the legal affairs of the Mackintoshes of Dunachton during the sixteenth century, and appear frequently in the Mackintosh Muniments. We shall


present the evidence for seven of the leading families in the order in which they appear in the genealogy:
      Pitmain. "Thomas mcallester vc thomas", who appears in the Rental of Badenoch in 1603 as "tenent to the haill [of] Petmeane", [26] is undoubtedly Thomas, son of Alexander, son of Thomas in the genealogy. He appears again in 1609 as a signatory of the Termett Band, as "Thomas vic Allister vic Homas in Pitmean and taking full burden in and upon him of his kin and friends descended of that house" (FraserMacintosh a 1892 : 43-4). [27] The Kinrara MS, in mentioning the same event, designates him "of Pitmean" (Macfarlane 1900 : 272).

      Invertromie. "Alester Mor McFarquhar McThomas. . . . Thomas McFarqubar, . . . [and] Allester Oig McFarquhar" followed the leading men of the Macphersons of Cluny, Breakachy, Pittourie, Sliochd Choinnich Dalrady, Phoness, Invereshie and Strathmashie as signatories of the Huntlie Band of 1591 "at their command" (Spalding Club 1849 : 246). All three apppear in the genealogy as sons of Ferquhar, "Invertromie's predecessor". Alexander More appears as a bastard, and it is perhaps significant as an indication of the way in which elder status tended to outweigh illegitimacy of birth that he signed before his legitimate younger brothers. Another implication of the document is that Strathmashie rather than Pitmain led Sliochd Iain at this particular time. "Alexander vic Farquhar vic Homas", who signed the Termett Band in 1609, can probably be identified with "Alester Mor" in the Huntlie Band. In both documents he signs by notary, whereas his brother "Allester Oig" could write, and was, in fact, his brothers' notary at Huntlie. It should be noted that Thomas, the first-generation patronymic of the Pitmain and Invertromie families, refers to one and the same individual according to the genealogy.

      Ferquhar, "Invertromie's predecessor", appears on his own account in the Mackintosh Muniments as "Farquhard McThomas McAlister in Kellzechontin" (Killiehuntly) in 1568-69 (Paton 1903 : No. 96). These patronymics do not quite conform to the genealogy, which gives him as son of Thomas, son of John, son of Alexander, but there are two clues that make the identification reasonably certain: the genealogy records Ferquhar's wife as a daughter of one "Donald McIvir, then of Killihuntly"; and, more conclusively, his brother Donald Dow, "of whom", according to the genealogy, "the


family of Pitchirn is descended", appears in the Muniments in 1595 as "Donald Dow McThomas McAne McAllistir in Pitmeane of Baendoch" (op. cit.: No. 169). Donald Dow evidently had interests in several adjacent farms in Badenoch between 1546 and 1595, before his family finally became associated with Pitchirn. [28] He may have been the man who appears in the Kinrara MS in 1572 as "Donald Du mac Hamish [sic, read Homish] vic Alister of Badenoch" (Macfarlane 1900 : 240), with the same patronymics as "Ferquhard in Kellzechontin". The omission of one generation in a patronymic designation was, in fact, not uncommon in cases where confusion was clearly improbable. Finally, it should be noted that Alister (Alexander), the first generation in these patronymics, carries the validation of the genealogy back to the third generation and to the first half of the fifteenth century.

      Strathmashie. It has already been noted that the Macphersons of Strathmashie seemed to be the leading family of Sliochd Iain at the end of the sixteenth century. Indeed, between 1567 and 1615 members of this family were prominent in the administration of the western parts of Mackintosh of Dunachton's estates. "John vic Iandhu vic Coil vic Neil in Strathmashie . . . was a signatory of the Termett Band in 1609, while his uncle "Kynache Makconald wic Nele" was the leading signatory for Sliochd Iain at Huntlie in 1591. The generations here correspond exactly to John, John Dow and his brother Kenneth, Donald Brack (Breac), and Neil in the genealogy, which records Neil's father as Paul, "Strathmasie's predecessor". Two younger brothers of John Dow and Kenneth who also appear in the genealogy can be identified with "Neill McConel McNeill in Kenloch" who was a witness for Mackintosh in 1620 (Paton 1903 : No. 296), and "Donald McDonald McNeill" who was Mackintosh's attorney in Glenloy and Locharkaig in 1567 (op. cit. : No. 86), while their father, Donald Brack, appears as "Donald McNeill in Stromayshie" in 1564 (op. cit. : No. 80). That the connection with the Lochaber lands was maintained in the family is strongly suggested by the appearance of "Ewin Baine McMuriche McPhersone Vic Neil" as Mackintosh's attorney in Glenloy and Locharkaig in 1615 (op. cit. : No. 252), although neither Ewan nor his father appears in the genealogy. He may have been Ewan McMuriach vic Ewan vic Neill, father of Ewan of Shiromore. Neill was a younger half-brother of Ewan of Garvamore.

      Shirabeg. "Paul McAne McPhaill in Chyrebeg", who is on record in 1567 (op. cit. : No. 86), carries the genealogy's historical authenticity back to Paul, "Stramasic's predecessor", John, the first patronymic in the designation, being shown as a younger


brother of Neil of the Strathmashie family. In this connection it is worth noting that the genealogy terminates Paul in Shirobeg's family two generations later, and fails to record a granddaughter who appears as a marriage partner in the. Shirornore account. Further, there is evidence that the dùthchas of Shirobeg reverted to the Strathmashie family, and reappeared in a junior branch of that family in the later seventeenth century. [29]

      Inverroy. "Murioch McAllan vic Ewin in Innerroymoir", Mackintosh's chamberlain and officer in Lochaber prior to1619 (Paton 1903 : No. 2 85), can be identified with Muriach, son of Allan of Inverroy, son of Ewan of the Garvamore family. If Ewan is the witness referred to as "Eugene Beg McEwin in Garva" in 1567 his patronymic refers to his grandfather, his father Donald having been an only son according to the genealogy; it carries corroboration back to the latter half of the fifteenth century.

      Beallid. "Wm. McAngus Mc Inla in Bellide" one of the signatories of the 1645 Muchrach Band of Combination between the Macphersons and the Grants (Macpherson 1893 : 431), appears in the genealogy as William, son of Angus, son of Finlay of Beallid who can be placed in the mid-sixteenth century.

      Invernahaun. "Jhone McJarnes Dui of Inwernahawin", another signatory to the Muchrach Bond of 1645, appears in the genealogy as having "feued the lands of Invernahaun" and as the son of James "who lived in Invernahaun"; James was a younger brother of Finlay of Beallid, and therefore also belonged to the mid-sixteenth century. He appears in the Inverness Register of Testaments in 1630 as "James Dow McJames Mc William in lnvernahawine" (Grant, F.J., 1897); his patronymics agree with the genealogy and confirm its accuracy back to the late fifteenth century.

      On the evidence of contemporary documents of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, therefore, the Invereshie genealogy would appear to be a reliable statement of historical fact.

      It would be unreasonable, of course, to test the validity of the genealogy by insisting on finding every individual on record elsewhere. Most of the men recorded without land, wives or daughters, were obscure members of the community and did not participate in public life on their own account. It would be equally unreasonable to expect the genealogy to be complete. The Mackintosh Muniments and the Ardross MS, [30] in fact, provide the names of a score of individuals who do not appear in it. Their omission, however, illuminates once more the cultural bias of the compiler, for in almost every instance it can be demonstrated that the man concerned left no progeny. The Mackintosh Muniments, for instance, refer to "Murioch McAllan Vic Ewin in Innerroymoir, assignee of Ewin McAllan his elder brother" (Paton 1903 : No. 285); Muriach appears in the genealogy, but the elder brother does not. Similarly, "Donald Roye McCuill in Essie", evidently son of Dougal of Essich, appears in 1576 (Paton 1903 : No 112).

      The most interesting example of a man without descent who was omitted from the genealogy, however, concerns Murriach, recorded in the Ardross MS as a brother of the "Three Brothers" who founded the sliochdan of the clan. The record reads: "Evan MacVuirrich had 4 sons: John, Murriach, Gillios and Kenneth. . . . Of Murriach macEwin's posterity there is no mention, only we find that Farqr more vic Vuirrich vic Ewin vic Vuirrich was killed in the feild of Drumylik".


This battle is referred to elsewhere in the Ardross MS as an episode in the contest between William, Laird of Mackintosh, and the Clan Cameron, and is probably to be identified with the battle "in the hill of Drumgli" referred to in the Kinrara MS as occurring prior to 1370 (Macfarlane 1900 : 172, 176).

      At this stage in the validation of the Invereshie Genealogy, where we have virtually reached the limit of contemporary documents, it will be useful to construct a tree (see page 31) showing the alleged relationships of the individuals (in capitals) whose historical existence has been established, including the information just quoted from the Ardross MS.

      In the absence of contemporary documents, of course, it is impossible to validate the genealogy for the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, or prove the historical existence of these earlier individuals. Assuming, however, that they did exist, their alleged relationship one to another must remain a matter of some doubt. On the other hand, this part of the Invereshie genealogy can be corroborated by independent sources of information which were contemporary, or slightly earlier, in date. The Kinrara MS, which was written about 1680, is one of these; the other is the Ardross MS of 1687, just quoted.

      Lachlan Mackintosh of Kinrara was an old adversary of Sir Aeneas of Invereshie (Murdoch 1902 : 31-5). One of his daughters, on the other hand, married William Macpherson of Nuid, while his granddaughter Janet by his illegitimate son Alexander Mackintosh married William Dow Macpherson, a younger brother of Sir Aeneas. The two writers were obviously not unaware of each other. The Kinrara MS ("Epitome of the Origin and Increase of the Mackintoshes"), however, while it deals with a number of individuals and events also found in the Invereshie genealogy, bears not the slightest textual resemblance to the latter. Nowhere does Sir Aeneas use a phrase found in the Kinrara MS, but, quite to the contrary, there are substantial differences of fact in the two documents. It seems fairly certain that the two writers were drawing upon a common tradition, but were relying on different sources of information. The point is important because it makes the one document more valuable in corroborating the other.

      The Kinrara MS has, as one of its themes, the untrustworthiness of friends, among whom the Macphersons were particularly condemned. It is, therefore, singularly unhelpful in matters of early Macpherson history. Scattered and unconnected references to certain individuals, however, indicate that the writer was appealing to knowledge already in the



possession of his intended reader; tacit denigration, within the context of local politics in 1680 -- strictly comparable with the tone of Sir Aeneas' Loyall Dissuasive in 1701 -- is to be understood in the casual nature of these references, rather than deliberate deception of an ignorant reader. [31]       The Kinrara MS identifies the whole Clan Macpherson with "Clan Wurrich" (Clann Mhuirich), ". . . so the Macphersons were formerly called", and acknowledges that this clan "were held to be among the most ancient of the families of the Clanchattan" (Macfarlane 1900 : 254, 338, 342, 356). Curiously enough, Sir Aeneas never uses this old name for the clan in any of his writings. The Kinrara MS, however, corroborates the Invereshie genealogy in referring to the triple division of the clan: "Slighk Kynich vic Ewin" (Ibid. : 254), "Slighk ean vic Ewin", and "Slighk Gillies vic Ewin" (Ibid. : 343, 345, 356), [32] .and the seniority of Sliochd Choinnich and the leadership of the Macphersons of Cluny are implied throughout. In this connection it is noteworthy that all three sliochds were invariably represented among the signatories to agreements which were undertaken by the clan as a whole: the Huntlie Band with the Earl of Huntlie in 1591, the Termett Band with Mackintosh in 1609, the Muchrache Band with the Laird of Grant in 1645 (Macpherson 1893 : 431; see also Fraser 1883 : 3, 238-9), the Kincairne Band with Mackintosh in 1664 (Mackintosh 1903; Fraser-Mackintosh 1898), the Benchar Covenant against Campbell of Calder in 1689, [33] the Kingussie Nomination of Campbell of Cluness in 1699 [34] the protest against Borlum to the Duke of Gordon in 1699 (Spalding Club 1849 : 165-6; also in Macpherson 1893 : 387), the Clune Bond of 1722, [35] and the Bond of Friendship between the Frasers, Camerons and Macphersons in 1742 (Macpherson 1893 : 439-40). The list is formidable evidence of the solidarity of the clan during the century and a half of its ascendancy in Badenoch. Still within the context of the local politics of the seventeenth century, both the Laird of Mackintosh in 1665 (op. cit. : 432; Macfarlane 1900 : 366), and the Earl of Aboyne, Tutor of Huntly, in 1674 (Macpherson 1893 : 433-4), recognised the seniority of the Macphersons of Cluny, Pitmain and Invereshie. The Kinrara MS's first mention of Sliochd Choinnich refers to events in 1592-3 (Macfarlane 1900 : 251-4).

      Sir Aeneas, in The Loyall Dissuasive, makes it clear that Cluny's responsibilities extended to all three sliochds and into Strathnairn: he mentions the disputed possession of Farr

(Sliochd Choinnich) and Craggie (Sliochd Ghill-Iosa), both in Strathnairn, and of Garvamore (Sliochd Iain) (Murdoch 1902 : 28). Kinrara corroborates the Farr dispute, and explains that Andrew of Cluny, in 1664, requested "that all lands which were ever formerly possessed by the Clan Vurrich . . . should be restored to the Clan Vurrich", and that "this half davach land of Farr was formerly possessed by a certain Angus Macpherson sprung from the Brin family, who having exhausted his means, and having no farther right to the place remaining to him but the mere possession of the land , sold his birthright of the place, commonly called Duchis . . ." (Macfarlane 1900 : 338, 353). In 1668 Duncan of Cluny obtained possession of the estate of Brin itself as "lawful heir of tailzie of the late Ewen McPherson of Brin his cousin" (A. M. Mackintosh 1903), a clear indication of Cluny's primacy in the clan, for the Brin family was one of the oldest families of Sliochd Choinnich and the cousinship, in this instance, was a very distant one.

      The Kinrara MS takes us back to the roots of the tradition when it refers to "Kenneth Mak ewn, father of Parson from whom the Clanphersons are named. This Kenneth came from Lochaber into Badenoch, and dwelt first at Tullocher. He was a tenant and retainer of. . . Lauchlan, Laird of Makintosh. But his brothers John, Murriach and Gillies came thither long before that time" (Macfarlane 1900 : 179). Lauchlan was Laird of Mackintosh from 1368 to 1407 (op. cit. : 173, 179). The Kinrara MS also records that Isabel, daughter of Ferquhar, Laird of Mackintosh till 1409, was married to "Duncan Makkynich vic Eun, commonly designated Parson, and bore to him Bean Makpherson from whom the family of Brin took rise". It adds that "Duncan, firstborn of Ferquhard, contracted marriage with the daughter of Donald Makkynich vic Ewn" (op. cit.: 180). In this off-hand way, therefore, Kinrara corroborates Sir Aeneas in the names of the three brothers who founded the sliochdan, and that of their father, and confirms the early marriage relationships between Sliochd Choinnich and the old line of Mackintosh chiefs which terminated in 1409. Kinrara's hint that Ferquhar Mackintosh's abdication in that year in favour of a junior member of his clan was related to these marriages, may simply reflect the politics of 1680; on the other hand, there is evidence to suggest that all these early references to the Macphersons' progenitors were based upon a manuscript written between 1495 and 1513. If the latter is the case, then Kinrara's statement reflects the fact that the political

difficulties between Mackintosh and Cluny in 1680 indeed had roots reaching back to the beginning of the fifteenth century.

      The Kinrara MS differs from the Invereshie genealogy in a number of details: it asserts the Lochaber origin for all the brothers, whereas Sir Aeneas is only explicit in associating Gilles with that district; it insists on Kenneth's early association with Tullochero in Glen Banchor (Fraser-Mackintosh,C : "The depopulation of Aberarder in Badenoch, 1770," (Celtic Magazine II (1877) : 419); it ascribes the designation "Parson" to Duncan, an ascription not found in any of Sir Aeneas' writings; it introduces Murriach, the fourth brother; and it omits mention of Donald More, the progenitor of Cluny, although it refers to his brother Bean. In none of these is there a real conflict of fact between the two versions. When Kinrara insists, however, that Gilles came to Badenoch with his brothers, while the Invereshie genealogy is explicit in delaying the migration from Letterfinlay to Rimore till the time of Gilles' grandson, John, we must rely on the latter; Sir Aeneas was a direct descendant of these men and one would presume that he at least knew the history of his own family.

      Murdoch McKenzie of Ardross's manuscript, The origin of the haill tribes of the Clan Chattan, refers to an early work written by "F.M.T.", who can probably be identified with Ferquhard, Laird of Mackintosh, the chief who was incarcerated in the Castles of Edinburgh and Dunbar between 1495 and 1513. This is the more certain when some of the same detail emerges which appears in the Kinrara MS, and particularly when the Ardross MS makes it clear that "F.M.T.'s" manuscript made extensive reference to the origins of "Clan-vuirrich".

      Corroboration of both the Invereshie genealogy and the Kinrara MS is impressive. The Ardross MS records "Evan MacVuirrich" and his four sons, "John, Murriach, Gillios, & Kenneth"; it refers to the three sliochdan, and ascribes twenty families by territorial designation, including Brin and Essich, to their respective sliochdan; and it follows the descent from Kenneth and Duncan the Parson, generation by generation, to Duncan of Cluny, Ardross's contemporary in 1687. It confirms the descent of "the clan Ewin Taileur & the clan Ewin due" from Lauchlan, Kenneth's third son (second son in the Invereshie version), and the illegitimate origin of the Ovie family. It confirms Donald Daul's marriage to "his own cousin, nin William ic Ean" [36] in Rimore"; Donald Oig's


marriage to "a daughter of James Gordon, tenant in Ardbrylach"; and all subsequent marriages by the Macphersons of Cluny. On the other hand, it agrees with the Kinrara MS that Kenneth came to Badenoch long after his brothers.

      While the Ardross MS provides good corroboration of the Invereshie genealogy in general, it differs from it in some interesting particulars. In the first place, it projects the genealogy back for another three generations and reinforces the indications of an early association with Lochaber. Ewan, the first generation of the Invereshie genealogy, is referred to as "Evan MacVurrich", eldest son of "Muirrach, Gillicattan's 5th son, [who] had his residence in Lochaber". Three of Murriach's brothers are given as "Dugall Daall MacGillichattan, [who] got the possession of Glenlinn [sic, Glenloy] & Locharkaig, in Lochaber"; "Gillespick", whose son "Gillmiol" gave rise to "the clan vic Gillmioll" of Lochaber; and "Nevan MacGillichattan, the first of' Gillicattan's race that came to Badenoch", whose grandson, John MacNiven, "acquired the haill right of the Barronie of Dunnauchtoun". Their father, "Gillicattan More MacGillespick, of whom the Clan-chattan have their denomination", allegedly came from Connaught in Ireland "and fixed his habitation in Lochaber in the year 1215". The Kinrara MS, quoting the same source as Ardross, refers to this eponym as "Gillicattan Makgellespick chlerich" (Macfarlane 1900 : 163), while The Loyall Dissuasive quotes a Beannachadh bàird (Blessing of the Bard) in which he is given as "Gillichattan chlerich" (Murdoch 1902 : 47, 48, 119). This explains a somewhat cryptic appendix to the genealogy, which has been omitted from mention so far, in which Sir Aeneas refers to a family of Macphersons in Benchar and Strone called "Clan-vic-Gillicattan". He recites six generations of this family, with the explanation that "Gillicattan had several sons, whereof one called . . . had a numerous succession". Moreover, a published extract from Sir Aeneas' manuscript history (of which the genealogy was a part) refers specifically to "Murriach Cattanach who was second son to Gillichattan, the undoubted and true chieftain of the Clanchattan". [37] It is undoubtedly with these individuals that the tradition finally passes back into fable.

      The explanation for the failure of Murriach MacEwan and his son, Farquhar More, to found a fourth sliochd has already been mentioned. In recording the four brothers, however, Ardross lists Kenneth after the others, and explains this odd


arrangement by stating: "Kenneth was the eldest, but a bastard, & the other three were lawfully begotten on Greadach nien duil mic Ean in Gaskmore, chieftain of the Clan vickilliniv". In the absence of the earlier manuscripts upon which Ardross based his work there is no way of ascertaining whether the charge of bastardy was an old one, or whether it reflected Ardross's partisan position in 1687. It is noteworthy that Kinrara does not take the opportunity to repeat the charge if it was an old one, derived from the same sources. It is also noteworthy, however, that an article in Collier's Great Dictionary, almost certainly from the pen of Sir Aeneas Macpherson, asserts that Kenneth and Gillies were the sons of "Evan Bane" by a daughter of "'McLean", while John was the son of "another woman" (Collier 1701 : s.v. McPherson). This is at variance with both the Invereshie genealogy and the Ardross MS, and might indicate that there was a good deal of confusion in the tradition by the end of the seventeenth century. It is equally possible that "McLean" is a mistranscription of the patronymic "McEan". It is curious that the Invereshie genealogy does not mention the mother (or mothers) of the three brothers, but does insist that Kenneth was Ewan's "eldest lawful son".

      If there is some doubt about the provenance of the charge of bastardy, the name "Greadach nien duill mic Ean" (Greudach nighean Dùghaill mhic Iain) has all the appearance of authenticity,. Her father, Dougall McEan in Gaskmore, was evidently a leading man of the Clann Mhic Gille Naoimh or MacNivens of Badenoch. It has already been noted that the Macphersons acquired Breakachie, and the Mackintoshes Dunachton, from this clan, and that Alexander Macpherson, progenitor of the Phoness family, married one of the Dunachton MacNivens. It should also be noted that William Mackintosh of Dunachton's father, Lauchlan of Badenoch, "married first a daughter of the chief of the Clan Makgilliniv who possessed Gaskmor in Badenoch" (Macfarlane 1900 : 194, Latin text). [38] It seems clear that both the Macphersons and the Mackintoshes, between 1350 and 1500, grew at the expense of the MacNivens, who, according to the Ardross MS, represented a branch of the Old Clanchattan senior to Clann Mhuirich.       The Invereshie genealogy gives Kenneth's wife as "a daughter of McLean", where the Ardross MS says she was "a daughter of Gill-patrick MacEwan"; no territorial or other designation is attached in either case. The Ardross version rings truer, and


implies perhaps that her father was well known by reputation to the reader. It is therefore interesting to find in the Kinrara MS, immediately preceding the reference to Kenneth and his brothers, a mention of "Gilpatrick mac Ean, commonly called Kean du mak Ean, from whom that family of Clanchattans called Clancheandui derives its origin" (op. cit. : 178). The patronymics, admittedly, are not identical, but the Ardross version may incorporate a mistranscription from an earlier manuscript. The Invereshie version, "McLean", as in the Great Dictionary reference just mentioned, may also be a mistranscription of "McEan". Mistranscription is, perhaps, a plausible argument for an archivist, less so for a historian. Nevertheless, in a remarkably detailed account of the Battle of Invernahavon (1370) the Sobieski Stuarts mention "a celebrated Ceann-tighe of the Macphersons called Maclain Ceann-dubh, the best bowman of that clan" (Sobieski Stuart 1848 : 2, 472-81). [39] If their source involved literary transmission the odd descriptive name here should perhaps be the patronymic 'ic Iain Dubh, in which case we may well have a reference to the same individual. The date is about right.

      The Ardross MS agrees with Kinrara on the designation attached to Kenneth's son, Duncan, and gives an enlightening explanation: "Duncan McChynnich was commonlie called the Parson, because he had the collection of the parsonage, teinds. & viccarage of the Parish of Laggan; and of him that familie of the Clann Vuirrich are commonlie surnamed Mcphersons". It goes on to insist that Duncan's sons, Donald More and Bean, "were the first of the Clan-vuirrich that were called Mcphersons, & their posteritie onlie should be so called, and none else of the Clan-vuirrich". The time is right for the introduction of surnames; the location is right for the future association with Cluny which is in the Parish of Laggan; and the office, appropriately, is a secular one, probably serving the feudal interests of the Bishopric of Moray.

      "Duncan Parson", as Kinrara designates him, may well be the first leader of Clann Mhuirich in contemporary record, for the Scottish Exchequer Rolls contain a tantalising reference in 1430 to one "Duncan Persoun" who was one of four Highland chiefs imprisoned in Tantallon Castle with Alexander of the Isles (Exchequer Rolls 5 : 33; see also Skene 1880 : 297). The occasion followed Alexander's burning of Inverness in 1429, his retreat to Lochaber, his desertion by Clan Cameron and Clan Chattan -- at the instigation of Malcolm Mackintosh,


according to Kinrara (Macfarlane 1900 : 187) -- and his defeat at the first Battle of Inverlochy (Gregory 1881 : 36-7). [40] If the identification of the Lord of the Isles' fellow prisoner with the leader of Clann Mhuirich is correct, then some explanation is called for, and particularly so as an old lament for the defeat of the MacDonalds mentions Clann Mhuirich specifically as part of the desertion.

      In 1431 Donald Balloch of the Glens, a cousin of Alexander of the Isles, defeated the King's forces at the second Battle of Inverlochy, and proceeded to ravish Lochaber. (It will be recalled that the Invereshie genealogy records Donald Bronich in Letterfinlay and six of his sons as slain in this battle.) Alexander of the Isles was released later in the same year, and was subsequently given the office of Justiciar of Scotland north of the Forth. Donald Gregory has surmised that he used the office to "wreak his vengeance on the chief of the Clan Cameron, who had deserted him in 1429", and goes on to say of Malcolm Mackintosh and the Clanchattan that they "were more fortunate in making their peace with their offended superior, and most unaccountably succeeded in retaining the lands formerly possessed by Alexander of Lochaber", an uncle of the Lord of the Isles who was deprived of his lands for aiding Donald Balloch (op. cit. : 37-40) . [41] It seems obvious that Sliochd Ghill-Iosa at Letterfinlay suffered the fate of the Camerons. The Ardross MS makes this association more probable, for it refers to "Clan vic Gillmioll" (Clann mhic Gille Mhaoil), part of the Clanchattan resident in Lochaber, as having already been virtually incorporated into "Clan Cameron". It will be recalled that it was to a chieftain of this clann that John of Rimore assigned the duthchas of Letterfinlay when he migrated to Rothiemurchus. In the original 1521 Paris edition of John Major's De Gestis Scotorum, in fact, the deserting, clans are called "Clankata and Clankauel" (Clankavel), and there is no mention of the Camerons (Major 1892 : 358-9). However the case may be, the bare chronicle of events indicates that there was not a clear distinction between "Clanchattan" and "Clanchameron", and that there were confused loyalties and some strange reversals of fortune. The Loyall Dissuasive (Murdoch 1902 : 52) and the Kinrara MS (Macfarlane 1900 : 176-7) both report a strong tradition that the Clann Mhuirich in Badenoch was a dissident faction of the Clanchattan as early as 1370, at the Battle of Invernahavon, and Sir Aeneas insists in the former that it acted totally independently in 1411, and


fought against Donald of the lsles and Mackintosh with the rest of' the Clanchattan at the Battle of Harlaw (Murdoch 1902 : 50-6; see also Macfarlane 1900 : 184). In all this tangled web there is, perhaps, some room to believe that "Duncan Parson" and those families of Clann Mhuirich and other elements of the Clanchattan that lived in Badenoch remained loyal to Alexander of the Isles after his retreat from Inverness to Lochaber in 1429, while the Lochabermen of the same clans deserted him. It may also explain, in part, the Palm Sunday massacre of 1430 between "the Clanchattans" and "the Camerons", which has always been a somewhat mysterious episode in the chronicles (Major 1892 : 358-9; Buchanan 1582 : 239-41 ; and Macfarlane 1900 : 187),

      One of the few points where the Ardross MS is in direct conflict with the Invereshie genealogy is in its reference to Duncan the Parson's sons: it lists Bean, the progenitor of the Macphersons of Brin, as explicitly the older brother of Donald More. The same reservations may be made as in the case of the charge of bastardy against Kenneth, and it may be further observed that nothing appears in the subsequent relations of the two families that would cast doubt on Sir Aeneas' view that the Macphersons of Cluny were senior. On the other hand, the seniority of the Pitmain family in Sliochd Iain in Badenoch while Clann mhic Dhomhnaill mhic Néill in Rothiemurchus and Clann mhic Dhomhnaill mhic Fhearchair in Strathdearn are both acknowledged to be older in the genealogy, suggests that regional cohesiveness was a factor and lends some support to the Ardross account of the relationship between the families of Cluny and Brin.

      Finally, the Ardross MS corroborates the Invereshie genealogy in the marriage of Donald More to "a daughter to the Chieftain of McGillchynichs, who were then a strong people in Badenoch", and in doing so confirms the relationship between marriage and acquisition of land. It reads: "Donald, the son of Duncan the Parson, commonlie called Donald More, married the onlie daughter of one Micgilchynich who dwelt in Clunie, and after MacGilchynich's decease took possession of Clunie, which his posteritie enjoy to this day". The date of the acquisition was probably about 1450.

      Corroboration of one document by others contemporary with it is not the same thing as its validation by documents contemporary with the facts it contains. But enough has been advanced to show that the reputation of the Invereshie


genealogy, where it refers to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, stands or falls with the Kinrara and Ardross MSS where they deal with the same period. The tradition of "The Posterity of the Three Brothers" may simply represent the political cohesion of several originally distinct families which came from Lochaber and Rothiemurchus and which found themselves with common interests in consolidating newly acquired lands in Badenoch during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The writer is inclined to believe that they were, in fact, one original family. However the case may be, the indication is that the Invereshie genealogy is an authentic and historically reliable document, from which many insights into the growth and structure of a Highland clan can be obtained.


[1] A name scotticised as Muriach or Murdoch, and anglicised sometimes as Maurice.
[2] Evidently a mistranscription of "McKutchen" (i.e. Mac Uisdein).
[3} A mistranscription of "Lome", the reference is to Iain Lom, the celebrated bard of Keppoch.
[4] Sir Aeneas Macpherson's maternal grandfather.
[5] Annual of the Clan Macpherson Association.
[6] Creag Dhubh 11 (1959) : 12.
[7] A collective noun meaning "descendants", or "posterity".
[8] Bronnach, portly. Gaelic proper and descriptive names will be footnoted throughout the article where an explanation is called for, but the seventeenth century designations will be retained in the text.
[9] Mór, big.
[10] Clann Mhic Gille Choinnich.
[11] Gaelic presumably An Clèireach Mór, apparently the "style" of the chieftain of the Clerk sept of Clan Chattan.
[12] Probably we should read "Goint", i.e. Alasdair Goint' (Alexander the Fey or Bewitched).
[13] Og, young, or the younger.
[14] Fearchar, Farquhar; sometimes rendered "Ferquhard".
[15] Dall, blind.
[16] Malcolm.
[17] Gill-losa (Gillies).
[18] Lom, lame or halt.
[19] Dubh, black-haired; sometimes rendered "Dhu".
[20] Gaol a' Bharain (the Baron's Favourite). Sir Aeneas ascribes this individual to the eighth generation, which would place him in the early 17th century. Kinrara, on the other hand, says that William, Laird of MacIntosh between 1346 and 1368, had a daughter "Mora (who was blind of one eye) [whom] he married to Hugh Rose of Kilravock" (MacFarlane 1900 : I, 169, 170). This is obviously the same individual as Sir Aeneas' "Morechaum" (Mór cham, one-eyed


Mora), Kinrara is also confused, however, for the Genealogy of the Roses of Kilravock states that Hugh Rose who built the Tower of Kilravock in 1460 and died in 1494 "married Moir Mackintosh, daughter to Malcolm Beg Mackintosh, Captain of Clanhattan" (MacFarlane 1900 : 2, 487). This would seem to be correct, for "the young baron" who joined the rebellion of Alexander MacDonald of Lochalsh in 1491 was probably their son, and a cousin of "Farquhar Macintosh, son and heir of the Captain of the Clanchattan", who also joined Lochalsh (Gregory 1881 : 56, 57).
[21] Gaolaich.
[22] Scottish Record Office, Edinburgh.
[23] The Kinrara MS. confirms that he was married to Marjory Mackintosh, who is described as a bastard daughter of Lauchlan, brother and successor of Duncan Mackintosh of Dunachton.
[24] An account of 1774-83 refers to Dougal of Essich as Mackintosh's "special good friend and tennent, at that very time employed in the Laird's affairs in the neighbourhood of Dingwall" (Mackintosh 1892 : 52).
[25] Reprinted as "The Clan Farson's Band: Huntlie, 15th May, 1591" in Macpherson 1893 : 429.
[26] "The Rentall of the Lordshipe of Badzenoche at Vitsonday, 1603" (Macpherson 1893 : 505).
[27] Original document is preserved in the Scottish Record Office, and is recorded in the Books of Council and Session, 22nd June, 1762. See also Paton 1903 : No. 218.
[28] Paton 1903 : Nos. 80 ("in Westyrn Rayth", 1564), 92 ("in Petmeane", 1568), 96 ("in Puttury", 1569), and 169 (a wadset of "the third of the Half davoch lands of Schafin", 1592-5) .
[29] Paton 1903 : Nos. 415 (1651), 692 (1707, Tirfodoun), and 699 (1714); Macpherson of Cluny Collection, 1682; and Invereshie Genealogy, Cluny and Tirfodoun Families.
[30] "The origin of the haill tribes of the Clan Chattan, from a MS. written by Murdoch McKenzie of Ardross, 1687" (Macpherson of Cluny Collection No. 965) .
[31] The Kinrara MS. was probably written for Lauchlan, Laird of Mackintosh Kinrara's nephew, to whom he was "tutor" between 1660 and 1667 (Macfarlane 1900 : 323-5).
[32] See also Fraser-Macintosh a 1892:21, for a different and fuller version of the Kinrara MS
Op. cit.
, No. 326.
[35] Op. cit., No. 553; see also A. G. Macpherson 1953 : 25-7. A very defective version of the Bond was printed in Stewart 1860 : 216-18 , and copied uncritically in A. Macpherson 1893 : 429-30.
[36] Nighean Uilleim mhic Iain.
[37] Creag Dhubh 11 (1959 : [ 14-15].
[38] C. Fraser-Mackintosh, using the English mistranslation, ascribed this marriage and the farm of Gaskmore to the Sliochd Ghill-Iosa (a 1892 : 4).
[39] Reprinted in A. Macpherson 1893 : 477.
[40] Following Bower à Hearne 4 : 1286.
[41] Following Bower à Hearne 4 : 1288.



1895     Historical Papers Relating to the Jacobite Period, 1699-1730. Vol. I. New Spalding Club. Aberdeen.

1899     Calendar of the Laing Charters A.D. 854-1837. Edinburgh.

1827     Rerum Scoticarum Historia 1582). Translated by John Watkins.London.

1894     Reliquiae Celticae . . . left by the late Rev. Alexander Cameron, Ed. Alexander MacBain and Rev. John Kennedy. Vol. 2. Inverness.

1947     The Chiefs of Clan Macpherson. Edinburgh.

1701     The Great Historical, Geographical, Genealogical and Poetical Dictionary. 2nd edition. London.

1883     The Chiefs of Grant. Edinburgh.

1892     Dunachton, Past and Present. (Printed privately prior to 1892.)
1898     Minor Septs of Clan Chattan. Glasgow.

1881     The History of the Western Highlands and Isles of Scotland, from A.D. 1493 to A.D. 1625. 2nd edition.

1898     The Highlands of Scotland in 1750 .Edinburgh.

1922     Place Names: Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Ed. W. J. Watson, Stirling.

1900     "De Origine et Incremento Makintoshiorum Epitome". In: Genealogical Collections Concerning Families in Scotland, made by Walter Macfarlane 1750-1751. Ed. J. T. Clark. Vol.I Scottish History Society 33 : 144-404. Edinburgh.

1892     Notes Descriptive and Historical. Privately printed.

1903     The Mackintoshes and Clan Chattan. Edinburgh.

MACPHAIL, J. R. N. (ed.)
1896     "Letters written by Mrs. Grant of Laggan concerning Highland affairs and persons connected with the Stuart cause in the eighteenth century." Scottish History Society 26 : 249-330. Edinburgh.

1893     Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands in Olden Times, and other papers. Edinburgh.

1953     "The 'Just Double' of the Macpherson Bond signed at Clune in 1722." Creag Dhubh 5 : 25-7


1892     A History of Greater Britain as well England as Scotland compiled from the Ancient Authorities by John Major . . . 1521 Scottish History Society 10 Edinburgh.

1902     The Loyall Dissuasive and other papers concerning the affairs of Clan Chattan: by Sir Aeneas Macpherson, Knight of Invereshie 1691-1705 Scottish History Society 41. Edinburgh.

PATON, H. (ed.)
1903      The Mackintosh Muniments, 1442-1820 (Privately printed.)

1880     Celtic Scotland. VOL 3. Edinburgh.

1902     Highlanders of Scotland. 2nd edition. Ed. Alexander MacBain. Stirling.

1848     Lays of the Deer Forest & Traditions of the Clans. Edinburgh.

1849      The Miscellany of the Spalding Club. Vol. 4. Aberdeen.

1860     Lectures on the Mountains, or Highlands and Highlands as they were and as they are. 2nd series. London.



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