The Lordship of Badenoch
ALEXANDER MACBAIN

      Alexander MacBain was rector of the Inverness High School and a Gaelic scholar of note. Born in Glenfeshie, Badenoch in 1855, he was educated there and taught in the local school for a time. When nineteen years old he entered Aberdeen Grammar School, and from there progressed to King's College where he was acknowledged as an outstanding student. In 1881 he was appointed to the rectorship of Raining's School in Inverness where he taught for thirteen years, being transferred later to the High School. In 1901 his work in Celtic philosophy, history and literature won him the degree of LL.D. from the University of Aberdeen, and in 1905 he became the recipient of a Civil List pension.

      His principal works consist of articles that appeared in the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness including "The Book of Deer", "Ptolemy's Geography," "The Norse Element in Highland Place-names; Badenoch History and Place-names" (from which the following article is extracted) and "Celtic Burial." In addition to these he edited Skene's Highlanders of Scotland, to which he added a valuable excursus embodying his own views regarding many of Skene's tenets. Along with the Rev. John Kennedy he brought out Reliquiae Celticae, a work of great value begun by that other pioneer Celtic scholar and native of Badenoch, the Rev. Alexander Cameron of Brodick. His crowning work, however, was his well-known Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language first published in 1896. He died at Stirling in 1907 while arranging for the second edition of his dictionary

      As the reader of the following article will discover, Dr MacBain could never be accused of being an advocate of the Macpherson point of view. On the other hand, William Forbes Skene could be so accused. Born in Inverie, Knoydart in 1809, he was educated at Edinburgh, Frankfurt and Aberdeen. He was graduated in law and practiced as a lawyer in Edinburgh but his fame stemmed from the many books he wrote on the early history of Scotland. These stirred much controversy but certainly had something to do with his appointment as Royal Historiographer of Scotland in 1881, a position he held until his death in 1892.

      His first celebrated work, The Highlanders of Scotland came out in 1837 and created something of a sensation because it articulated the Macpherson cause in the Clan Chattan contratemp. His position was not entirely surprising in that he wrote much of it as a resident at Cluny. His youthful positions mellowed some over the years and were reflectted in his chief work -- Celtic Scotland -- A History of Ancient Alba (3 volumes, 1876-80).

      But my purpose here is to set the scene for MacBain's paper that follows, not Skene's works which you will find excerpts from elsewhere on this website. I have him to your attention here only because MacBain refers to him frequently and my suspicion that some readers may not be familiar with his writings. I have done some reformatting of Macbain's text breaking up very long paragraphs and adding sectional headings here and there; I've done this to make the paper less tedious because it provides some excellent insights on the history of Badenoch that shouldn't be eclipsed by nineteenth century literary style.

Rod Clarke, editor

      Badenoch is one of the most interior districts of Scotland; it lies on the northern watershed of the mid Grampians, and the lofty ridge of the Monadhliath range forms its northern boundary, while its western border runs along the center of the historic Drumalban. Even on its eastern side the mountains seem to have threatened to rim a barrier across, for Craigellachie thrusts its huge nose forward into a valley already narrowed by the massive form of the Ord Bain and the range of hills behind it. This land of mountains is intersected by the river Spey, which runs midway between the two parallel ranges of the Grampians and the Monadhliath taking its rise, however, at the ridge of Drumalban. Badenoch, as a habitable land, is the valley of the Spey and the glens that run off from it. The vast bulk of the district is simply mountains.

      In shape, the district of Badenoch is rectangular, with an east-north-easterly trend, its length averaging about thirty-two miles, and its breadth some seventeen miles. Its length along the line of the Spey is thirty-six miles, the river itself flowing some thirty-five miles of the first part of its course through Badenoch. The area of Badenoch is, according to the Ordnance Survey, 551 square miles, that is,about 353,000 acres. The lowest level in the district is 700 feet; Kingussie, the "capital," is 740 feet above sea-level, and the source of the river, Loch Spey is 1142 feet. The highest peak, a shoulder of the Braeriach ridge, is 4149 feet, which is itself outside Badenoch by about a mile, and Ben Macdui by two miles.

      Mountains and rivers, rugged rocks and narrow glens, with one large medial valley fringed with cultivation -- that is Badenoch. It is still well wooded, though nothing to what it once must have been. The lower ground at one time must have been completely covered by wood, which spread away into the vales and glens; we find on lofty plateaus and hillsides the marks of early cultivation, the ridges and the rigs or feannagan, showing that the lower ground was not very available for crops on account of the forest, which, moreover, was full of wild beasts, notably the wolf and the boar. Cultivation, therefore, ran mostly along the outer fringe of this huge wood, continually encroaching on it as generation succeeded generation.

      The bogs yield abundant remains of the once magnificent forest that covered hillside and glen, and the charred logs prove that fire was the chief agent of destruction. The tradition of the country has it that the wicked Queen Mary set fire to the old Badenoch forest. She felt offended at her husband's pride in the great forest -- he had asked once on his home return how his forests were before he asked about her. So she came north, took her station on the top of Stron-na Bhruinn -- the Queen's Ness -- above Glenfeshie, and there gave orders to set the woods on fire. And her orders were obeyed. The Badenoch forest was set burning, and the Queen, Nero-like, enjoyed the blaze from her point of vantage. But many glens and nooks escaped, and Rothiernurchus was left practically intact. The Sutherlandshire version of the story is different and more mythic. The king of Lochlain was envious of the great woods of Scotland; the pine forests especially roused his jealous ire. So he sent his muime, a witch and a monster, whose name was Dubh-Ghiubhais, and she set the forests on fire in the north. She kept herself aloft among the clouds, and rained down fire on the woods, which burnt on with alarming rapidity. People tried to get at the witch, but she never showed herself, but kept herself enveloped in a cloud of smoke. When she had burned as far as Badenoch, a clever man of that district devised a plan for compassing her destruction. He gathered together cattle of all kinds and their young; then he separated the lambs from the sheep, the calves from the cows, and the young generally from their dams; then such a noise of bleating, lowing, neighing, and general Babel arose to the heavens that Dubh-Ghiubhais popped her head out of the cloud to see what was wrong. This was the moment for action. The Badenoch man was ready for it; he had his gun loaded with the orthodox six pence; he fired, and down came the Dubh-Ghiubhais, a lifeless lump! So a part of the great Caledonian forest was saved among the Grampian hills.

      Modern Badenoch comprises the parishes of Laggan, Kingussie and Insh, and Alvie; but the old Lordship of Badenoch was too aristocratic to do without having a detached portion somewhere else. Consequently we find that Kincardine parish, now part of Abernethy, was part of the Lordship of Badenoch even later than 1606, when Huntly excambed it with John of Freuchie for lands in Glenlivet. Kincardine was always included in the sixty davachs that made up the land of Badenoch. The Barony of Glencarnie in Duthil -- from Aviemore to Garten and northward to Inverladnan -- was seemingly attached to the Lordship of Badenoch for a time, and so were the davachs of Tullochgorum, Curr, and Clurie further down the Spey, excambed by Huntly in 1491 with John of Freuchie. On the other hand, Rothiemurchus was never a part of Badenoch, though some have maintained that it was, The six davachs of Rothiemurchus belonged to the Bishops .of Moray, and at times they feued the whole of Rothiemurchus to some powerful person, as to the Wolf of Badenoch in 1383, and to Alexander Keyr Mackintosh in 1464, in whose family it was held till 1539, when it passed into the hands of the Gordons, and from them to the Grants.

     Badenoch does not appear in early Scottish history; until the thirteenth century we never hear of it by name nor of anything that. took place within its confines. True, Skene, in his Celtic Scotland, definitely states that the battle of Monitcarno was fought here in 729. This battle took place between Angus, King of Fortrenn, and Nectan, the ex-king of the Picts, and in it the latter was defeated, and Angus shortly afterwards established himself on the Pictish throne. We are told that the scene of the battle was "Monitcarno juxta stagnum Loogdae" -- Monadh-carnach by the side of Loch Loogdae. Adamnan also mentions Lochdae which Columba falls in with while going over Drumalban. Skene says that Loch Insh -- the lake of the island -- is a secondary name, and that it must have originally been called Lochdae, that the hills behind it enclose the valley of Glencamie, and that Dunachton, by the side of Loch Insh, is named Nectan's Fort after King Nectan. Unfortunately this view is wrong, and Badenoch must give up any claim to be the scene of the battle of Monadh-carno; Lochdae is now identified with Lochy, and Glencarnie is in Duthil. But Dunachton is certainly Nectan's Fort; whether the Nectan meant was the celebrated Pictish King may well be doubted. Curiously, local tradition holds strongly that a battle was fought by the side of Loch Insh, but the defeated leader was King Harold, whose grave is on the side of Craig Righ Harailt.

The Comyns Take Over
      From 729, we jump at once to 1229, exactly five hundred years, and about that date we find that Walter Comyn is feudal proprietor of Badenoch, for he makes terms with the Bishop of Moray in regard to the church lands and to the "natives" or bondsmen in the district. It has been supposed that Walter Comyn came into the possession of Badenoch by the forfeiture and death of Gillescop, a man who committed some atrocities in 1228 -- such as burning the (wooden) forts in the province of Moray, and setting fire to a large part of the town of Inverness. William Comyn, Earl of Buchan, the justiciar, was entrusted with the protection of Moray, and in 1229 Gillescop and his two sons were slain. Thereafter we find Walter Comyn in possession of Badenoch and Kincardine, and it is a fair inference that Gillescop was his predecessor in the Lordship of Badenoch.

      The Comyns were a Norman family; they came over with the Conqueror, and it is asserted that they were nearly related to him by marriage. In 1068, we hear of one of them being governor or earl of Northumberland, and the name is common in English charters of the twelfth century, in the early part of which they appear in Scotland. They were in great favour with the Normanising David, and with William after him, filling offices of chancellors and justiciars under them. William Comyn, about the year 1210, married Marjory, heiress of the Earldom of Buchan, and thus became the successor of the old Celtic Mormaers of that district under the title of Earl of Buchan. His son Walter obtained the Lordship of Badenoch, as we saw, and a year or two after, he became Earl of Menteith by marrying the heiress, the Countess of Menteith. He still kept the lands of Badenoch, for, in 1234, we find him, as Earl of Menteith, settling a quarrel with the Bishop of Moray over the Church lands of Kincardine. Walter was a potent factor in Scottish politics, and in the minority of Alexander III acted patriotically as leader against the pro-English party. He died in 1257 without issue. John Comyn, his nephew, son of Richard, succeeded him in Badenoch; he was head of the whole family of Comyn, and possessed much property, though simply entitled Lord of Badenoch.

      The Comyns at that time were at the height of their power; they could muster at least two earls, the powerful Lord of Badenoch, and thirty belted knights. Comyn of Badenoch was a prince, though not in name, making treaties and kings. John Comyn, called the Red, died in 1274, and was succeeded by his son John Comyn, the Black, and in the troubles about the kingly succession at the end of the century, he was known as John de Badenoch, senior, to distinguish him from his son John, the Red Comyn, the little regent, Baliol's nephew, and claimant to the throne, whom Bruce killed under circumstances of treachery at Dumfries in 1306.

Comyns Out, Randolph In
      Then followed the fall and forfeiture of the Comyns, and the Lordship of' Badenoch was given, about 1313 -- included in the Earldom of Moray -- to Thomas Randolph, Bruce's [nephew and] right-hand friend.

      The Cummings have left an ill name behind them in Badenoch for rapacity and cruelty. Their treachery has passed into a proverb:--

          "Fhad bhitheas craobh 'sa choill
          Bithidh foill 'sna Cuiminich."

Which is equally smart in its English form --

           "While in the wood there is a tree
           A Cumming will deceitful be."

      It is in connection with displacing the old proprietors -- the Shaws and Mackintoshes -- that the ill repute of the Cummings was really gained. But the particular cases which tradition remembers are mythical in the extreme; yet there is something in the traditions. There is a remembrance that these Cummings were the first feudal lords of Badenoch; until their time the Gaelic Tuath that dwelt in Badenoch had lived under their old tribal customs, with their toiseachs, their aires, and their saor and daor occupiers of land. The newcomers, with their charters, their titles, and their new exactions over and above the old Tuath tributes and dues, must have been first objects of wonder, and then of disgust. The authority which the Cummings exerted over the native inhabitants must often have been abeyance, and their rents more a matter of name than reality. However, by making it the interest of the chiefs to side with them, and by granting their charters, these initial difficulties were got over in a century or two. It was now under this feudalising process that the system of clans, as now known, was developed.

Then Came the Wolf
     Earl Randolph died in 1332, and his two sons were successively Earls of Moray, the second dying in 1346 without issue, when "Black Agnes," Countess of Dunbar, succeeded to the vast estates. The Earldom of Moray, exclusive of Badenoch and Lochaber, was renewed to her son in 1372.1 [Note: Superscripts refer to end notes.]

      Meanwhile, in 1371 Alexander Stewart, third son of King Robert II, was made Lord of Badenoch by his father and also Earl of Buchan; and in 1387 he became Earl of Ross through his marriage with the Countess Euphame. His power was therefore immense; he was the king's lieutenant in the North (locum tenens in borealibus partibus regni); but such was the turbulence and ferocity of his character that he was called the "Wolf of Badenoch." He is still remembered in the traditions of the country as Alastair Mor Mac an Righ -- 'Alexander the Great, Son of the King' -- a title which is recorded also in Maurice Buchanan's writings (AD 1461, Book of Pluscarden), who says that the wild Scots (Scotis silvestribus) called him "Alitstar More Makin Re," Naturally enough he gets confused with his famous namesake of Macedonia, also named Alastair Mor, but the more accurate of tradition-mongers differentiate them easily, for they call Alexander the Great Alastair Uabh'rach, Mac Righ Philip -- "Alexander the Proud, Son of King Philip." This epithet of uabhrach or uaibhreach appears as applied to Alexander the Great in that beautiful mediaeval Gaelic poem that begins:--

          "Ceathrar do bhi air uaighan fhir
          Feart Alaxandair Uaibhrigh:
          Ro chausat briathra con bhreice.
          Os cionn na flatha a Fhinnghreic."

Translated --

           Four men were at a hero's grave
          The tomb of Alexander the Proud;
          Words they spake without lies
          Over the chief from beauteous Greek-land. 2

      The Wolf of Badenoch's dealings with his inferiors in his lordship are not known; but that he allowed lawlessness to abound may be inferred from the feuds that produce the Battle of Invernahavon (ca. 1386), and culminated in the remarkable conflict on the North Insh of Perth in 1396. We are not in much doubt as to his conduct morally and ecclesiastically. He had five natural-born sons -- Alexander, Earl of Mar, Andrew, Walter, James, and Duncan -- a regular Wolf's brood for sanguinary embroilments. He had a chronic quarrel with Alexander Bur, Bishop of Moray, which culminated in the burning of Elgin Cathedral in 1390. But in nearly every case the Bishop by the terrors of the Curse of Rome, gained his point. In 1380, the Wolf cited the Bishop to appear before him at the Standing Stones of the Rathe of Easter Kingussie (apud le standard stanys de le Rathe de Kynguey estir) on the 10th October, to show his titles to the lands held in the Wolf's lordship of Badenoch, viz., the lands of Logachnacheny (Laggan), Ardinche (Balnespick, etc.), Kinguey, the lands of the Chapels of Rate and Nachtan, Kyncardyn, and also Gartinengally.

      The Bishop protested, at a court held at Inverness, against the citation, and urged that the said lands were held of the King direct. But the Wolf held his court on the 10th October: the Bishop standing "extra curiam"-- outside the court, i.e., the Standing Stones -- renewed his protest, but to no avail. But upon the next day before dinner, and in the great chamber behind the hall in the Castle of Ruthven, the Wolf annulled the proceedings of the previous day, and gave the rolls of Court to the Bishop's notary, who certified that he put them in a large fire lighted in the said chamber, which consumed them. In 1381, the Wolf formally quits claims on the above-mentioned church lands, but in 1383 the Bishop granted him the wide domain of Rothiemurchus -- "Rathmorchus, viz., sex davatas terre quas habemus in Strathspe et la Badenach" -- six davochs of land it was. The later quarrels of the Wolf and the Bishop are notorious in Scottish history: the Wolf seized the Bishop's lands, and was excommunicated, in return for which he burnt the towns of Forres and Elgin, with the Church of St. Giles, the maison dieu, the Cathedral, and eighteen houses of the canons in 1390. For this he had to do penance in the Blackfriars Church at Perth. He died in 1394, and is buried in Dunkeld where a handsome tomb and effigy of him exist.

And Then It Was the Gordons
      As the Wolf left no legitimate issue, some think the Lordship of Badenoch at once reverted to the Crown, for we hear no more of it till it was granted to the Earl of Huntly in 1451. On this point Sir W. Fraser says:-- "The Lordship of Badenoch was bestowed by King Robert II upon his son, the Wolf of Badenoch, in 1371, and should have reverted to the Crown on the Lord of Badenoch's death in 1394. But there is no evidence in the Exchequer Roll, or elsewhere, of any such reversion, and Badenoch seems to have been retained in possession by the Wolf of Badenoch's eldest son, who became Earl of Mar . . . Alexander, Earl of Mar, and his father, were therefore the successors of the Comyns as Lords of Badenoch."

      The Lordship of Badenoch was finally granted to Alexander, Earl of Huntly, by James II, by charter dated 28th April, 1451, not in recompense for his services at the Battle of Brechin, as is generally stated, but upwards of a year before that event. The great family of Gordon and Huntly originally came from near the Borders. They obtained their name of Gordon from the lands of Gordon, now a parish and village in the west of the Merse, S.W. Berwickshire. There, also, was the quondam hamlet of Huntly, a name now represented there only by the farm called Huntlywood. The parish gave the family name of Gordon, and the hamlet of Huntly gave the title of Earl or Marquis of Huntly. Sir Adam de Gordon was one of Bruce's supporters, and after the forfeiture of the Earl of Athol he got the Lordship of Strathbogie, with all its appurtenances, in Aberdeenshire and Banff.

      The direct male Gordon line ended with Sir Adam's great-grandson and name sake, who fell at the battle of Homildon Hill in 1402, leaving a daughter Elizabeth, who married Alexander Seton, second son of Sir W. Seton of Winton. Her son Alexander assumed the name of Gordon, and was created Earl of Huntly in 1449. His son George was Lord Chancellor, founded Gordon Castle, and erected the Priory of Kingussie (Shaw's Moray). The Gordons were so preeminent in Northern politics that their head was nicknamed "Cock of the North." In 1599, Huntly was created a marquis, and in 1684 the title was advanced to that of Duke of Gordon, George, the fifth and last Duke of Gordon, died in 1836, when the property passed into the possession of the Duke of Richmond and Lennox, as heir of entail, in whose person the title of Duke of Gordon was again revived in 1876, the full title being then Duke of Richmond and Gordon.

      Save the Church lands, all the property in Badenoch belonged to Huntly either as superior or actual proprietor. The Earl of Ross possessed lands in Badenoch under the lord superior in 1338, which he granted to Malmoran of Glencarnie: the lands were Dalnavert and Kinrara, and the grant is confirmed about 1440, while in 1467 we find the Earl of Ross again granting the adjoining lands of Invermarkie to the Thane of Cawdor, in whose name they appear till the seventeenth century, when Invereshie gets possession of them. The Laird of Grant, besides Delfour, which he had for three centuries, also held the Church lands of Laggan and Insh, that is, "Logane, Ardinche, Ballynaspy," as it is stated in 1541, and he is in possession of them for part of the seventeenth century. Mackintosh of Mackintosh had in feu from Huntly in the sixteenth century the lands of Benchar, Clune, Kincraig, and Dunachton, with Rait, Kinrara, and Dalnavert. The only other proprietor or feuar besides these existing in the sixteen century seems to have been James Mackintosh of Gask. The Macphersons, for instance, including Andrew in Cluny, who signed for Huntly the "Clan Farsons Band" of 1591, all are tenants merely.

      We are very fortunate in possessing the Huntly rental of Badenoch for the year 1603. Mackintosh appears as feuar for the lands above mentioned, and there are two wadsetters -- Gask and Strone, both Mackintoshes. The seventeenth century sees quite a revolution in landholding in Badenoch, for during its course Huntly has liberally granted feus, and the proprietors are accordingly very numerous. Besides Huntly, Mackintosh, and Grant of Grant, we find some twenty feus or estates possessed by Macphersons; there was a Macpherson of Ardbrylach, Balchroan, Benchar, (in) Balarach, Breakachie, Clune, Cluny, Corranach, Crathie, Dalraddy, Delfour, Etteridge, Gasklyne, Gellovie, Invereshie, Invemahaven (Inverallochie), Invertromie, Nuid, Phones, and Pitchirn. There was a Mackintosh of Balnespick, Benchar, Delfour, Gask, Kinrara, Lynwilg, Rait and Strone -- eight in all. Four other names appear once each besides these during the century - Maclean, Gordon of Buckie, Macqueen, and Macdonald. The total valuation of Badenoch in 1644 was El 1,527 Scots, in 1691 �23, and in 1789 it was �24, with only seven proprietors Duke of Gordon, Mackintosh, Cluny, Invereshie, Belleville, Grant of Grant (Delfour), and Major Gordon (Invertromie). The "wee lairdies" of the previous two centuries were swallowed up in the estates of the first live of these big proprietors, who long held large estates in Badenoch, the Duke of Gordon being represented by the Duke of Richmond in the nineteenth century. Only one or two other proprietors on any large scale came into the region in the nineteenth century -- Baillie of Dochfour, Sir John Ramsden, and, we may add, Macpherson of Glentruim. The valuation roll for 1889-90 showed a rental of �,165 11s. 7d. sterling.

Clan Chattan and Badenoch
      In the above sections we discussed the political history of Badenoch, under the title of the "Lordship of Badenoch," and in this section we intend to deal with the history of the native population of that district. Badenoch was the principal seat of the famous and powerful Clan Chattan. The territory held by this clan, however, was far from being confined to Badenoch; for at the acme of their power in the fifteenth century, Clan Chattan stretched across mid Inverness-shire, almost from sea to sea -- from the Inverness Firth to near the end of Loch-eil, that is, from Petty right across through Strathnairn, Strathdearn, and Badenoch to Brae Lochaber, with a large overflow through Rothiemurchus into Braemar, which was the seat of the Farquharsons, who are descen-dants of the Shaws or Mackintoshes of Rothiemurchus. The Clan Chattan were the inhabitants of this vast extent of territory, but the ownership or superiority of the land was not theirs or their chiefs', and the leading landlords they had to deal with were the two powerful Earls of Huntly and Moray. From them, as superiors, Mackintosh, Chief of Clan Chattan, held stretches of land here and there over the area populated by the clan, and his tribesmen were tacksmen or feu-holders of the rest, as the case might be, under Moray or Huntly. It was rather an anomalous position for a great Highland chief, and one often difficult to maintain. Major (1521) describes the position, territorially and otherwise, of the Clans Chattan and Cameron in words which may be thus translated:- "These tribes are kinsmen, holding little in lordships, but following one head of their race (caput progenei-ceann cinnidh) as chief, with their friends and dependents." The lordships were held, alas! by foreigners to them in race and blood.

      The Clan Chattan were the native Celtic inhabitants of Badenoch. There are traditional indications that they came from the west-from Lochaber, where the MS histories place the old Clan Chattan lands. The same authorities record that, for instance, the Macbeans came from Lochaber in the fourteenth century, "after slaying the Red Comyn's captain of Inverlochy," and put themselves under the protection of the Mackintosh; and this is supported by the tradition still preserved among the Rothiemurchus Macbeans, whose ancestor, Bean Cameron, had to fly Lochaber owing to a quarrel and slaughter arising from the exaction of the b� ursainn, or 'probate duty' of the time. It may be too bold to connect this eastern movement of Clan Chattan with the advancing tide of Scotic conquest in the eighth century, whereby the Pictish Kingdoms and the Pictish language were overthrown.

      That the Picts inhabited Badenoch is undoubted: the place names amply prove that, for we meet with such test prefixes as 'Pet' (Pitowrie, Pitchirn, Pitmean) and 'Aber' (Aberarder), and other difficulties of topography un-explainable by the Gaelic language. As in most of Scotland, we have doubtless to deal, first, with a pre-Celtic race or races, possibly leaving remnants of its tongue in such a river name as Feshie, then the Pictish or Caledonian race of Celtic extraction, and lastly, the Gaelic race who imposed their language and rule upon the previous peoples. The clan traditions are supported in the matter of a western origin for the Clan Chattan by the genealogies given in the 1467 MS., which deduces the chief line from Ferchar Fota, King of Dalriada, in the seventh century.

Clan Chattan Myths
      The name Cattan, like everything connected with the early history of this clan, is obscure, and has, in like manner, given rise to many absurd stories and theories. As a matter of course, the classical geography of Europe has been ransacked, and there, in Germany, was a people called Chatti, which was taken as pronounced Catti; but the ch stands for a sound like that in loch. The name now appears as Hesse for H聇ti. It was never Katti, be it remembered. Yet the Catti are brought from Germany to Sutherlandshire, which in Gaelic is Cataobh, older Cataib -- a name supposed thus to be derived from the Catti. Cataobh is merely the dative plural of cat (a cat), just as Gallaobh (Caithness) is the same case of Gall (a stranger, Norseman).

      The Cat men dwelt in Sutherlandshire; why they were called the Cats is not known. Clan Chattan is often said to be originally from Sutherland, but beyond the similarity of name, there is no shadow of evidence for the assertion. Others again, like Mr. Elton, see in the name Catan, which means, undoubtedly, "little cat," relics of totemism; this means neither more nor less than that the pre Christian Clan Chattan worshipped the cat, from whom, as divine ancestor, they deemed themselves descended. We might similarly argue that the Mathesons -- Mac Mhath-ghamhuin or Son of the Bear were a "bear" tribe, a fact which shows how unstable is the foundation on which this theory is built. In fact, animal names for men were quite common in early times. The favorite theory-and one countenanced by the genealogies -- connects the Clan Chattan, like so many other clans, with a church-derived name. The ancestor from whom they are represented as deriving their name is Gillicattan Mor, who lived in the eleventh century. His name signifies Servant of Catan, that is, of St. Catan; for people were named after saints, not directly, but by means of the prefixes Gille and Maol. At least, that was the early and most reverent practice. That there was a St. Catan is evidenced by such place names as Kilchattan (in Bute and Lung), with dedication of churches at Gigha and Colinsay. His date is given as 710, but really nothing is known of him. This is probably the best explanation of the name, though the possibility of the clan being named after some powerful chief called Catan must not be overlooked. The crest of the cat is late, and merely a piece of mild heraldic punning.

      It is only about or after 1400 that we come on anything like firm historical ground in the genealogy and story of our chief Highland clans. This is true of the Grants and the Camerons, and especially true of the Clan Chattan. Everything before that is uncertainty and fable. The earliest mention of Clan Chattan -- and it is not contemporary but fifty years later -- is in connection with the fight at the North Insh of Perth in 1396, and here historians are at sixes and sevens as to who the contending parties really were. The battle of Invernahavon (1386?) and the fight at Clachnaharry (1454) are mere traditions, and the battle in 1429 between Clan Chattan and Clan Cameron, in which the former nearly annihilated the latter, is recorded by a writer nearly a century later (1521). In fact, the first certain contemporary date is that of Mackintosh's charter in 1466 from the Lord of the Isles, where he is designated Duncan Mackintosh, "capitanus de Clan Chattan," and next year as "chief and captain" of Clan Chattan, in a bond with Lord Forbes. Henceforth, Clan Chattan is a common name in public history and private documents. It comprised in the period of its comparative unity (ca. 1400-1600) some sixteen tribes or septs: these were the Mackintoshes, Macphersons, Davidsons, Cattanachs, Macbeans, Macphails, Shaws, Farquharsons, Macgillivrays, Macleans of Dochgarroch, Smiths, Macqueens, Gillanders, Clarks, etc. Of this confederation, Mackintosh was for, at least, two centuries "captain and chief," as all documents, public and private, testify. These two centuries (ca., 1400-1600) form the only period in which we see,under the light of history, the Highland clans in their full development.

The Mackintosh-Macpherson Controversy
      The seventeenth century made sad havoc in the unity of Clan Chattan. Huntly, ever an enemy to Mackintosh, "banded" in 1591 the Macphersons to his own person, and, by freely granting charters to them, made them independent, and detached them from Mackintosh. Macpherson of Cluny claimed to be head of the Macphersons, and in 1673 styled himself "Duncan McPherson of Cluney for himself, and taking burden upon him for the heall name of Mcphersons and some others called old Clanchattan as cheeffe and principall man thereoff," in a bond with Lord Macdonell of Morar. In support of this claim, the Macpherson appealed to the old genealogies, which represented Mackintosh as getting the Clan Chattan lands by marriage with the heiress in 1291, and which further showed that Cluny was the heir male descendant of the old Clan Chattan chiefs. The case in its solemn absurdity of appeal to genealogies reminds one of a like appeal placed before the Pope in the claims of King Edward upon the throne of Scotland. He claimed the Scottish throne as the direct successor of Brutus and Albanicus, who lived in Trojan times, every link of genealogy being given, while the Scots repelled this by declaring that they were descended from Gathelus , husband of Scota, daughter of the Mosaic King of Egypt; and here, too, all the genealogical links could have been given. Neither doubted the genuineness of each other's genealogies!

      So with the Mackintosh-Macpherson controversy about the chiefship of Clan Chattan. They each accept each other's genealogies without suspicion or demur. And yet the manufacture of these and like genealogies was an accomplished art with Gaelic seanachies whether Irish or Scottish. We even see it going on under our very eyes. The early chiefs of Lochiel are the de Cambruns of the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century records -- lists and other documents impressed into the Cameron genealogy, which is doubtless correctly given in the 1467 MS. Again, the Macpherson genealogy in the Douglas Baronage is in several cases drawn from charters granted to wholly different families. Dormund Macpherson, twelfth chief, gets a charter under the great seal from James IV; but the charter turns out to be one granted to a Dormund M'Pherson in the Lordship of Menteith, not of Badenoch!

      [MacBain apparently bases his ensuing comments on the Cluny Macpherson genealogy published in 'Douglas's Baronage of Scotland,' of 1798. A copy of this document as presented in Alexander Macpherson's Glimpses . . . can be accessed by clicking here.

      It should be noted that Douglas' genealogy contains many puzzling errors. Among these is his listing of two individuals as the 'fourteenth' Macpherson Chief! The first on this list is 'Andrew' (which is correct); the second 'fourteenth' Chief is supposedly named John. But none of the Macpherson Chiefs was ever named John. Furthermore, Douglas states that Andrew 14 died "soon after his father without issue" which is incorrect. Actually, Andrew 14 had a fairly long life outliving his son, Ewen who led the Macpherson regiment in Montrose's campaigns.

      The confusion was likely due to the fact that the fifteenth chief was also named Andrew. He was the grandson of Andrew 14, and did die after only six years as Chief. He was succeeded by his brother Duncan who served 46 years dying without a surviving son in 1722. It was at this point that the chiefship went to the great grandson, Lahlan, of the first Andrew's brother, John of Nuidbeg. Thus the sixteenth Chief was Lachlan, father of Ewan Og, the Cluny of the Forty-five, and the seventeenth Chief. It would appear that Douglas' John 14 was erroneously inserted into the genealogy due to confusion regarding the role of John of Nuid. I've presented these comments to spare the reader from also being confused by MacBain's commentary that follows. He is correct in at least one respect -- the Douglas genealogy leaves something to be desired.]

      John, fourteenth of Cluny, who "was with the Earl of Huntly at the battle of Glenlivet," [actually, this was Andrew 14]as the voracious chronicler says, to add a touch of realism to his bald genealogical account, gets a charter of the lands of Tullich, etc., -- lands which lie in Strathnairn, and he turns out to be a scion of the well-known family of Macphersons of Brin! Similarly John, fifteenth of Cluny, is son of the foregoing John of Brin; and Ewen, sixteenth of Cluny, who gets a charter in 1623 of the lands of Tullich, etc., is a cousin of Brin. Donald, seventeenth of Cluny, who gets a charter in 1643, turns out to be Donald Macpherson of Nuid. And all this time another and a correct genealogy of the Cluny family has been drawn up by Sir Aeneas Macpherson [of Invereshie; this genealogy can be accessed at www.his.com/rory/colliergen.html/.] toward the end of the seventeenth century, which must surely have been known to the writer. 3 During all the period of the fourteenth to sixteenth chief here given, there was only one man in Cluny, and his name was Andrew Macpherson, son of Ewen. [Correct]

The Meaning of Mackintosh
      The name of Mackintosh signifies the son of the toiseach or chief, which is Latinised by Flaherty as "capitaneus seu praecipuus dux." The Book of Deer makes the relationship of toiseach to other dignitaries quite plain. There is first the King; under him are the mormaers or stewards of the great provinces of Scotland, such as Buchan, Marr, and Moray; and next comes the toiseach or chief of the clan in a particular district. The two clans in the Book of Deer are those of Canan and Morgan, each with a toiseach. The word is represented most often in English in old documents by 'thane,' which, indeed, represents it with fair accuracy. Toiseach is the true Gaelic word for "chief," but it is now obsolete, and there is now no true equivalent of the word "chief" in the language at all.

      And here it may be pointed out that word "chief" itself was not at once adopted or adapted for this particular meaning of chief of a Highland clan. As we saw, the word at first employed was "captain," then "captain and chief," "captain, chief, and principal man," "chief and principal," etc., the idea finally settling down as fully represented by the word "chief" in the sixteenth century. Skene's attempt to argue that captain denoted a leader temporarily adopted, leading the clan for another, or usurping the power of another, while chief denoted a hereditary office, is condemned by his own evidence, and by the weight of facts. Besides, words do not suddenly spring into technical meanings, nor could chief acquire the definite meaning applicable to Highland chiefship, but by length of time and usage for this purpose. Hence arose the uncertainty of the early terms applied to the novel idea presented by Highland clans. The word clan itself appears first in literature in connection with Clan Chattan, or rather, Clan Qwhewyl, at the North Insh of Perth, where Wyntown speaks of "Clannys twa." The Gaelic word clan had to be borrowed for want of a native English term; why should we then wonder at the idea of toiseach being rendered first by captain, and latterly by chief?

     The Mackintosh genealogies, dating from the seventeenth century, represent the family as descended from Macduff, thane of Fife, as they and Fordun call him. Shaw Macduff, the second son of Duncan, fifth Earl of Fife -- who died in 1154 -- in an expedition against the people of Moray in 1160, distinguished himself, and received from the King lands in Petty, and the custody of Inverness Castle. Here he was locally known as Shaw Mac an Toiseich, "Shaw, the son of the Thane." He died in 1179, and was succeeded by (2) Shaw, whose son was (3) Ferchard, whose nephew was (4) Shaw, whose son was (5) Ferchard, whose son was (6) Angus, who in 1291 married Eva, heiress of Clan Chattan, and thus got the Clan's lands in Lochaber.

      So far the genealogy is a pretty story, but it sadly lacks one thing - verisimilitude. Macduff was not toiseach of Fife. In the Book of Deer he is called 'comes,' the then Gaelic of which was mormaer, now moirear. Shaw Macduff would infallibly, as son of the Earl of Fife, have been called Mac Mhoireir. With those who supported this Macduff genealogy, no argument needs to be held; like the humourist of a past generation, one would, however, like to examine their bumps. The statement that the Mackintoshes were hereditary constables of Inverness Castle is totally baseless and false. At the dates indicated (twelfth century) we believe that the Mackintoshes had not penetrated so far north as Petty or Inverness, and that we should look to Badenoch as their place of origin, and their abode at this time. Unfortunately documents in regard to the early history of Badenoch are rare, but an entry or two in the Registrurn of Moray Diocese may help us. In 1234, Walter Comyn, Earl of Monteith, comes to an agreement with the Bishop of Moray, in regard to Kincardine, and Fercard, son of Seth, is a witness, and in the very next document, also one of Walter Comyn's of the same date, appears a witness called Fercard "Senescalli de Badenoch," that is "steward of Badenoch." We are quite justified in regarding him as the person mentioned in the previous document as Fercard, son of Seth.

     Now, one translation of toiseach is 'steward' or 'seneschal' -- the person in power next to the mormaer or earl. We may, therefore, conclude that this Ferchard was known in Gaelic as Ferchard Toiseach . Similarly in 1440 we meet with Malcolm Mackintosh, chief of the clan, as "ballivus de Badenoch," a title of equal import as that of seneschal. We should then say that the Mackintoshes derived their name from being toiseachs of Badenoch, the head of the old Celtic Clan being now under the new non Celtic mormaer or earl Walter Comyn.

      The ease with which the name Mackintosh might arise in any place where a clan and its toiseach existed explains how we meet with Mackintoshes for example in Perthshire who do not belong to the Clan Chattan. Thus there were Mackintoshes of Glentilt, which was held as an old thanage, and whose history as such is well known. Similarly we may infer that the Mackintoshes of Monivaird were descendants of the old local Toiseachs or Thanes. The Mackintosh genealogists had of course annexed them to the Clan Chattan stock with the utmost ease and success. In 1456, John of the Isles granted to Somerled, his armour bearer, a davoch of the lands of Glennevis, with toiseachdorship of most of his other lands there, and in 1552 this grant is renewed by Huntly to "dilecto nostro Donaldo MacAlister M'Toschd," that is, Donald son of Alister, son of Somerled, the toiseach or bailiff, named in 1456.This shows how easily the name could have arisen.

Other Genealogies
      Skene, while unceremoniously brushing aside the Macduff genealogy, advances hypothetically a different account of the origin of the Mackintoshes. In 1382, the Lord of Badenoch is asked to restrain Farchard MacToschy and his adherents from disturbing the Bishop of Aberdeen and his tenants in the land of Brass or Bairse, and to oblige him to prosecute his claim by form of law. Skene thinks that Farchard, whom he finds in the 1467 MS. as one of the "old" Mackintoshes, was descended from the old thanes of Brass, and that hence arose his name and his claim. Being a vassal of the Wolf's, he was a Badenoch man too. Rothiemurchus was a thanage, and the connection of the Mackintoshes with it was always close. Alexander Keir Mackintosh "obtained the feudal rights to Rothiemurchus" in 1464 and a few years later he styles himself "Thane of Rothiemurchus." Skene then suggests that Brise and Rothiemurchus might have anciently been in the hands of the same toiseach or thane, and that from him the Mackintoshes got their name. We have suggested that the name arose with Ferchad, son of Seth or Shaw, who was toiseach under Earl Walter Comyn in 1234, and his name appears in the 1467 MS. genealogy as well as in the Mackintosh genealogies.

      That a revolution took place in the affairs of Clan Chattan, with the overthrow or extrusion of the direct line of chiefs, in the half century that extends from about 1386 to 1436, is clear from two sources -- first, from the 1467 MS., and, second, from the Mackintosh history. The latter acknowledges that Ferquhard, ninth chief, was deposed from his position, which was given to his uncle Malcolm. The reason why he had to retire was, it is said, the clan's dissatisfaction with his way of managing affairs; but the matter is glossed over in the history in a most unsatisfactory manner. If this was the Ferchard mentioned in 1382 as giving trouble to the Bishop of Aberdeen, it is most unlikely that he was an incapable man; in fact he must have been quite the opposite. He is doubtless the same persons, for he is given also in the 1467 MS. genealogy. But further confusion exists in the Mackintosh account. Malcolm, tenth Mackintosh, who died in 1457, is grandson through William seventh (died 1368) of Angus who married Eva in 1291, the three generations thus lasting as chiefs from 1274 to 1457, some 183 years! Malcolm was the son of William's old age, and his brother, Lachlan eighth, was too old to take part in the North Insh fight in 1396, sixty years before his younger brother died! It is thus clear that there is something wrong in the Mackintosh genealogy here corresponding doubtless to some revolution in the clans's history. And this is made clear when we consult the Edinburgh Gaelic MS. of 1467, which gives the genealogies of Highland clans down till about 1450. Here we actually have two genealogies given, which show that the chiefship of the Mackintoshes or Clan Gillicattan was then either in dispute or a matter of division between two families. We print the two 1467 lists with the Mackintosh MS. genealogy between them, in parallel columns, supplying dates when possible:


     
1467 MS
     
     
Mackintosh History
     
     
1467 MS.
     
William & Donald (12) Ferchar (d. 1514)Lochlan
William(9) Ferchar & (11) Duncan (d. 1496)Suibne
Ferchar (1382)(8) Lachlan & (10) Malcolm (d. 1457)Donald Camgilla
William(7) William (d. 1368)Leod
Gillamichol(6) Angus (d. 1345)Scayth (1338)
Ferchar (1234)(5) Ferchar (d. 1274)Ferchard
Shaw(4) Shaw (d. 1265)Gilchrist
GilchristWilliamMalcolm
Aigeol(2) Shaw, (d. 1210)Donald Camgilla
Ewen(1) Shaw (d. 1179) Mureach
--------Macduff (d. 1154)Suibne
--------Earl of FifeTead (Shaw)
NeillNachtain
[Gillicattan?]Gillicattan

                                                                                                  The similarity between the 1467 first list and that of the Mackintosh history is too striking to be accidental, and we may take it that they purport to give the same genealogy. There are only two discrepancies from about 1400 to 1200 between them. Ferchar ninth is given as son of Lachlan in the Mackintosh history, whereas the 1467 list makes him son of William, not grandson. The sixth Mackintosh in the one list is Gillamichael, and in the other he is called Angus. Perhaps he had borne both names, for Gillamichael means "servant of St. Michael," and might possibly be an epithet. Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh has drawn the writer's attention to a list of names published in Palgrave's Documents and Records of Scottish History (1837); this is a list of some ninety notables who, about 1297 made homage or submission to Edward I and among them is Anegosius Maccarawer, or Angus Mac Ferchar, whom Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh claims as the sixth of Mackintosh. There are only two other "Macs" in the list, and Maccarawer is, no doubt, a Highlander, and possibly a chief, and, perhaps, the chief of Mackintosh. In any case, in the middle of the fifteenth century, the direct line of Mackintoshes was represented by William and Donald, sons of William, whereas the chief de facto at the time was undoubtedly Malcolm Mackintosh. How he got this position is a question.

      The second list in the 1467 MS. is a puzzle. Mr. Skene called it the genealogy of the "old" Clan Chattan: why, is not clear. Scayth, son of Ferchard, is mentioned in 1338 as the late Scayth who possessed a "manerium" at the "stychan" of Dalnavert. Mr. Skene thinks that he was of the Shaws of Rothiemurchus, and that this is their genealogy; and this may be true, but what comes of his earlier theories in regard to the Macphersons as being the "old" family here represented? Theories held in 1837 were abandoned in 1880; but in this Mr. Skene could hardly help himself, considering the amount of information that has since appeared in the volumes of such Societies as the "Spalding Club," bearing on the history of the Moravian clans, and especially on that of Clan Chattan.

      The turmoil in the Clan Chattan, which changed the chiefship to another line, must be connected most especially with the events which took place when King James came North, in 1427, when part of the clan stood by the King and part by the Lord of the Isles. We find in a document preserved in the Kilravock papers, that King James grants a pardon to certain of the Clan Chattan, provided they really do attach themselves to the party of Angus and Malcolm Mackintosh; and this shows that Malcolm, who was afterwards chief, stood by the king, and received his favours. Angus possibly was his brother, for a deprecating rascal of the name of Donald Angusson, supported by Lachlan "Badenoch," son of' Malcolm, evidently Lachlan's cousin, gives trouble to various people toward the end of the century. In any case, Malcolm Mackintosh emerged victorious from the troubles that were rending the clan, and his son Duncan was as powerful a chief as lived in the North in his day.

The Battle on the North Insh of Perth
      How much the Clan Battle at Perth in 1396 had to do with the changes in the Clan Chattan leadership it is hard to say. It is accepted as certain that the Clan Chattan had a hand in the fight for the later historians say so and the contemporary writer Wyntown mentions the chiefs on both sides, and one of these bears the name of Scha Ferchar's son, which is an unmistakably Mackintosh name. He says, in Laing's edition:

           "Tha thre score were clannys twa,
           Clahynnhd Qwhewyl, and Clachinya;
           Of thir twa Kynnys ware the men,
           Thretty agane thretty then.
           And thare thai had thair chifttanys twa,
           Schir Ferqwharis sone wes ane of tha,
          The tothir Cristy Johnesone."

      The two clans here pitted against one another are the clans Quhele or Chewil, and Clan Ha or Hay, or according to some, Kay. Bocce has Clan Quhete, which Buchanan and Leslie improve into Clan Chattan. As so much theorising has taken place upon this subject already, and so many positive assertions have been made, it may at present serve the interests of historic science if we can really decide what clan names the above cannot stand for.

      First, there is Clan Quhele or Chewil. This clan is mentioned in 1390 as Clan Qwhevil, who, with the Athole tribes, made a raid into Angus, and killed the Sheriff. They are mentioned again in an Act of Parliament in 1594 as among the broken clans, in the following sequence Clandonochie, Clanchattane, Clanchewill, Clanchamron, etc. What clan they really were is yet a matter if dispute. The form Chewill points to a nominative, Cumhal or Cubhal, or Keval, but no such name can be recognised in the Clan Chattan district, or near it. Dughall or Dugald has been suggested, and the family of Camerons of Strone held as the clan referred to.

      But this, like so much in the discussion of this subject, forgets some very simple rules of Gaelic phonetics, which are not forgotten in the spoken language, and in the English forms borrowed from it. Feminine names ending in 'n' never aspirate an initial 'd' of the next word. We have Clan Donnachie, Clan Donald, Clan Dugald, and so on, but never Clan Yonnachie or Yonald, or such. Similarly, Clan Hay or Ha cannot stand for Clan Dae or Davidsons. Let these simple rules of Gaelic phonetics be understood once for all, and we have made much progress toward a solution of the difficulty. The word Qwhevil evidently commences with a C. Skene suggests it is for Caimgilla, "one-eyed one," the epithet of Donald, Mureach's son, in the 1467 pedigree. But the 'm' of cam is never aspirated. Again, as in Ha or Hay. The H initial may stand for th, sh, or fh; and the only names that can be suggested are those of Shaw and Fhaidh. The Clan Cameron are called, in the 1467 MS. and other places, the "Clann Maclanfhaidh,"the clan of the "servant of the Prophet," a name preserved in the Macgillony of Strone, which originally was Mac Gille-an-fhaidh, equivalent to 'Macl-an-fhaidh' in meaning.

      The name, however, that best suits the English form is that of Shaw or Seadh, that is, Seth. There is really a difficulty about Meal-an-fhaidh and his clan. The form ought to be either Clann-an-fhaidh, which Wyntown would give as 'Clahinanha' or 'Clahan-anna,' or it would be Clann Mhael-anfhaidh, a form which could not be mistaken, were it handed down. The most popular theory is that the combatants were the Camerons and Mackintoshes, who were enemies for three centuries thereafter; the Mackintoshes were represented by the name of Clan Chewill, the chief being Shaw, son of Ferchar, of the Rothiernurchus branch, while the Camerons were the Clan Hay, with Gilchrist Mac Iain as chief. This is practically Skene's view, and it is the position taken up by Mr. A. M. Shaw, the historian of the Mackintoshes. But the phonetics point to a struggle in which the Shaws were the chief combatants, the other side being Clan Kevil, and on weighing all sides of the question, we are as much inclined to believe that it was the beginning of that struggle in the clan which is represented by two lines of pedigree, and which latterly gave the chiefship even to a junior branch of one of the lines.

The Macpherson Claim
      How does the claim of the Cluny Macphersons for the chiefship of Clan Chattan stand in relation to these historical facts? They do not appear at all in the historical documents, but tradition in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had enough to tell of their share in the crisis. At the battle of Invernahavon, fought against the Camerons, the Macphersons of Cluny claimed the right under Mackintosh as chief, but he unfortunately gave this post of honour to Clan Dai or Davidson of Invernahavon; and the Macphersons retired in high dudgeon. The battle was at first lost to Clan Chattan, but the Macphersons, despite anger, came to the rescue, and the Camerons were defeated. Then ensued a struggle, lasting ten years, for superiority between the Macphersons (Clan Chattan) and the Davidsons, the scene of which, in 1396, was shifted to the North Insh of Perth. These, the Macpherson tradition says, were the two clans that fought the famous clan fight. The Macphersons claimed to be descended from Gillicattan Mor, progenitor of the Clan Chattan, by direct male descent, and every link is given back to the eleventh century, thus (omitting "father of") -- Gillicattan, Diarmid, Gillicattan, Muirich -- Parson of Kingussie whence they are called Clann Mhuirich, father of Gillicattan and Ewen Ban. The former had a son, Dougal Dall, whose daughter Eva, "the heiress of Clan Chattan," married Angus Mackintosh in 1291, and thus made him "captain" of Clan Chattan; Ewen Ban was the direct male representative, then Kenneth, Duncan, Donald Mor, Donald Og, Ewen; then Andrew of Cluny in 1609, a real historic personage without a doubt. In this list, not a single name previous to that of Andrew can be proven to have existed from any documents outside the Macpherson genealogies, excepting only Andrew's father, Ewen, who is mentioned in the Clanranald Red Book as grandfather of the heroic Ewen, who joined Montrose with 300 of Clans Mhuirich and Chattan.

      The direct Gillicattan genealogy is given in the 1467 MS., and, such as it is, it has no semblance to the Macpherson list. The fact is that the Macpherson list previous to Ewan, father of Andrew, is purely traditional and utterly unreliable. The honest historian of Moray, Lachlan Shaw, says -- "I cannot pretend to give the names of the representatives before the last century. I know that in 1660 Andrew was laird of Cluny, whose son, Ewan, was father of Duncan, who died in 1722 without male issue." By means of the Spalding publications, the Synod of Moray Records, and other documents, we can now supplement and add to Lachlan Shaw's information, though not much. Macpherson of Cluny is first mentioned in 1591 when Clan Farson gave their "band" or bond to Huntly. He is then called "Andrew Makfersone in Cluny," not of Cluny, be it observed, for he was merely tenant of Cluny at that time. This is amply proved by the Badenoch rental of 1603, where we have the entry -- " Clovenye, three pleuches . . . Andro McFarlen (read Farsen) tenant to the haill." Perhaps Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh's inference is right as to the national importance of Cluny Macpherson then, when he says -- "So little known does he seem to have been that Huntly's chamberlain, who made out the Badenoch rental in 1603, calls him Andro McFarlen."

      "In 1609, Andrew had obtained a heritable right to Cluny, for then he called Andrew Macpherson of Cluny in the bond of union amongst the Clan Chattan, "in which they are and is astricted to serve Mackintosh as their Captain and Chief." Huntly had for long been trying to detach the Clan from Mackintosh by "bands," as in 1591 and in 1543, and by raising the tenants to a position of independence under charter rights, which were liberally granted in the seventeenth century, and which proved fatal to the unity of Clan Chattan. But it was a wise policy, nationally considered, for in 1663-5, when Mackintosh tried to raise his Clan against Lochiel, some flatly refused asking cui bono; others promised to go if Mackintosh would help them to a slice of their neighbour's land, and Macpherson of Cluny proposed three conditions on which he would go -- 1) if the Chiefs of the Macphersons hold the next place in the Clan to Mackintosh; 2) lands now possessed by Mackintoshes and once possessed by Macphersons to be restored to the latter; and 3) the assistance now given was not of the nature of a service which Mackintosh had a right to demand, but simply a piece of goodwill.

      When Mackintosh was in 1688 proceeding to fight the "last clan battle" at Mulroy against Keppoch, we are told that the "Macphersons in Badenoch, after two citations, disobeyed most contemptuously." Duncan Macpherson, the Cluny of that time, had decided to claim chiefship for himself, and in 1672 he applied for and obtained from the Lord Lyon's Office the matriculation of his arms as Laird of Cluny Macpherson, and only true representative of the ancient and honourable family of Clan Chattan. Mackintosh, on hearing of it, objected, and got the Lord Lyon to give Macpherson "a coat of arms as cadets of 'Clan Chattan.'"The Privy Council in the same year called him "Lord of Cluny and Chief of the Macphersons," but Mackintosh got them to correct even this to Cluny being responsible only for "those of his name of Macpherson descendit of his family," without prejudice always to the Laird of Mackintosh. In 1724 Mackintosh and Macpherson came to an agreement that Mackintosh, in virtue of marrying the heiress of Clan Chattan in 1291, was Chief of Clan Chattan, Macpherson renouncing all claim, but there was a big bribe held out to him -- he received the Loch Laggan estates from Mackintosh. In this way the egging on of Huntly, the reputation gained by the Macphersons in the Montrose wars and otherwise, and an absurd piece of pedigree, all combined to deprive Mackintosh of his rightful honour of Chief, and also of a good slice of his estate!

      The renown gained by the Clan Macpherson in the Jacobite wars, compared to the supineness of the Mackintosh Chiefs, gained them public sympathy in their claims, and brought a clan, altogether unknown or ignored until the battle of Glenlivet in 1594, to the very front rank of Highland Clans in the eighteenth century. We see the rise of a clan and its chiefs actually take place in less than a century and a half, and that, too, by the pluck and bravery displayed by its chiefs and members.

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1 Sir W. Fraser, in his History of the Grants, says: ---- 'After the forfeiture of the Comyns, Badenoch formed a part of the earldom of Moray, conferred on Sir Thomas Randolph. In 1338, however, it was held by the Earl of Ross, and in 1372, which granting the earldom of' Moray to John Dunbar -- King Robert II specially excepted Lochaber and Badenoch," Sir W. Fraser's authority for saying that Badenoch was in the possession of the Earl of Ross must be the charter of 1338 granting Kinrara and DaInavert to Melmoran of Glencharny; but a careful reading of that document shows that the Earl of Ross was not superior of Badenoch, for he speaks of the services due by him to the "Lord superior of Badenoch," Besides, in 1467, when Huntly was Lord of Badenoch, we find the Earl of Ross still possessing lands there, viz., Invermarkie, which he gives to Cawdor as part of his daughter's dowry.

2 See Dean of Lismore, p.84; Ranald Macdonald's Collection, p. 133; and Highland Monthly, II p. 336. (The above is a British Museum MS.)

3 See Mr. Fraser-Mackintosh's Dunachton, pp. 46-49 for a full expos� of this remarkable piece of manufacture.