History Of The Mackenzies
Alexander Mackenzie

Part 6 out of 12

our further pleasure be known therein. For doing whereof this
shall be your warrant, so we bid you heartily farewell. Given
at our Court at Kensington, the first day of March, 1696-7, and
of our reign the eighth year. By his Majesty's command.

During the remaining years of his life, Seaforth appears to have
lived mainly in France. Apart from his necessary absence from his
own country during the long-continued period of political irritation,
the exhausted state of his paternal revenues would have rendered
his residence abroad highly expedient. We accordingly find several
discharges for feu-duties granted by others in his absence, such
as the following:

"I, Maister Alexander Mackenzie, lawful brother to the Marquis of
Seaforth, grants me to have received from John Mathesone, all and
hail the somme of seaven hundred and twentie merks Scots money and
that in complete payment of his duties and or the lands of both
the Fernacks and Achnakerich, payable Martimass ninety (1690),
dated 22d November, 1694."

There is another by "Isobel, Countess Dowager of Seaforth, in 1696,
tested by 'Rorie Mackenzie, servitor to the Marquis of Seaforth,'"
and an original discharge by "me, Isobell, Countess Dowager of Seaforth,
Lady Superior of the grounds, lands, and oyes under-written," to
Kenneth Mackenzie of Dundonnel, dated at Fortrose, 15th November,
1697, signed, "Isobell Seaforth." [Allangrange Service, on which
occasion thc originals were produced.] It may fairly be presumed
that, during the whole of this period, Earl Kenneth was in retirement,
and that be took no personal part in the management of his estates
for the remainder of his life.

His clansmen, however, seem to have been determined to protect
his interest as much as they could. A certain Sir John Dempster
of Pitliver had advanced Seaforth and his mother, the Countess
Dowager, a large sum of money and obtained a decree of Parliament
to have the amount refunded to him. The cash was not forthcoming,
and Sir John secured letters of horning and arrestment against
them, and employed several officers to serve them, but they returned
the letters unexecuted, not finding notum accessum in the Earl's
country, and they refused altogether to undertake the duty again
without the assistance of the King's forces in the district. Sir
John petitioned for this aid, and humbly craved the Privy Council
to allow him "a competent assistance of his Majesty's forces at
Fort-William, Inverness, or where they are lying adjacent to the
places where the said dilligence is to be put in execution, to
support and protect the messengers" in the due enforcement of the
legal dilligence against the Earl and his mother, "by horning,
poinding, arrestment, or otherways," and to recommend to the Governor
at Fort-William, or the commander of the forces at Inverness, to
grant a suitable force for the purpose. Their Lordships having
considered the petition, recommended Sir Thomas Livingstone,
commander-in-chief of his Majesty's forces, to order some of the
officers already mentioned to furnish the petitioner "with competent
parties of his Majesty's forces" to support and protect the
messengers in the due execution of the "legal dilligence upon the
said decreet of Parliament." [For this document see "Antiquarian
Notes," pp 118-119.]

The Earl married Lady Frances Herbert, second daughter of William,
Marquis of Powis, an English nobleman, by Lady Elizabeth Somerset,
daughter of Edward, Marquis of Worcester, with issue -

I. William, his heir and successor.

II. Mary, who married John Careyl, with issue.

He died at Paris,in 1701, and was succeeded by his only son,


Generally known among the Highlanders as "Uilleam Dubh." He
succeeded at a most critical period in the history of Scotland,
just when the country was divided on the great question of Union
with England, which in spite of the fears of most of the Highland
chiefs and nobles of Scotland, ultimately turned out so beneficial
to both. He would, no doubt, have imbibed strong Jacobite feelings
during his residence with his exiled parents in France. But little
information of William's proceedings during the first few years
of his rule is obtainable. He seems to have continued abroad,
for on the 23d of May, 1709, an order is found addressed to the
forester at Letterewe signed by his mother the Dowager, "Frances
Seaforth." But on the 22d of June, 1713, she addresses a letter
to Colin Mackenzie of Kincraig, in which she says - "I find my son
William is fully inclined to do justice to all. Within fifteen
days he will be at Brahan." [Original produced at Allangrange
Service in 1829.]

At this period the great majority of the southern nobles were ready
to break out into open rebellion, while the Highland chiefs were
almost to a man prepared to rise in favour of the Stuarts. This
soon became known to the Government. Bodies of armed Highlanders
were seen moving about in several districts in the North. A party
appeared in the neighbourhood of Inverness which was, however, soon
dispersed by the local garrison. The Government became alarmed,
and the Lords Justices sent a large number of half-pay officers,
chiefly from the Scottish regiments, to officer the militia, under
command of Major General Whitham, commander-in-chief at the time
in Scotland. These proceedings alarmed the Jacobites, most of
whom returned to their homes. The Duke of Gordon was confined in
Edinburgh Castle, and the Marquis of Huntly and Lord Drummond in
their respective residences. The latter fled to the Highlands
and offered bail for his good behaviour. Captain Campbell of
Glendaruel, who had obtained a commission from the late Administration
to raise an independent company of Highlanders, was apprehended at
Inverlochy and sent prisoner to Edinburgh. Sir Donald Macdonald,
XI. of Sleat, was also seized and committed to the same place, and
a proclamation was issued offering a reward of L100,000 sterling
for the apprehension of the Chevalier, should he land or attempt
to land in Great Britain. King George, on his arrival, threw
himself entirely into the arms of the Whigs, who alone shared his
favours. A spirit of the most violent discontent was excited
throughout the whole kingdom, and the populace, led on by the
Jacobite leaders, raised tumults in different parts of the King's
dominions. The Chevalier, taking advantage of this excitement,
issued a manifesto to the chief nobility, especially to the Dukes
of Shrewsbury, Marlborough, and Argyll, who at once handed them to
the Secretaries of State.

The King dissolved Parliament in January, 1715, and issued an
extraordinary proclamation calling together a new one. The Whigs
were successful both in England and Scotland, but particularly in
the latter, where a majority of the peers, and forty out of the
forty-five members then returned to the Commons, were in favour
of his Majesty's Government. The principal Parliamentary struggle
was in the county of Inverness between Mackenzie of Prestonhall,
strongly supported by Glengarry and the other Jacobite chiefs,
and Forbes of Culloden, brother of the celebrated President, who
carried the election through the influence of Brigadier-General
Grant and the friends of Lord Lovat.

The Earl of Mar, who had rendered himself extremely unpopular
among the Jacobite chiefs, afterwards rewarded some of his former
favourites by advocating the repeal of the Union. He was again made
Secretary of State for Scotland in 1713, but was unceremoniously
dismissed from office by George I., and he vowed revenge. He
afterwards found his way to Fife, and subsequently to the Braes
of Mar. On the 19th of August, 1715, he despatched letters to the
principal Jacobites, among whom was Lord Seaforth, inviting them
to attend a grand hunting match at Braemar on the 27th of the same
month. This was a ruse meant to cover his intention to raise the
standard of rebellion and that the Jacobites were let into the
secret is evident from the fact that as early as the 6th of August
those of them in Edinburgh and its neighbourhood were aware of his
intentions to come to Scotland. Under pretence of attending this
grand match, a considerable number of noblemen and gentlemen arrived
at Aboyne at the appointed time. Among them were the Marquis of
Huntly, eldest son of the Duke of Gordon the Marquis of Tullibardine,
eldest son of the Duke of Athole; the Earls of Nithsdale, Marischal,
Traquair, Errol, Southesk, Carnwarth, Seaforth, and Linlithgow; the
Viscounts Kilsyth, Kenmure, Kingston, and Stormont Lords Rollo,
Duffus, Drummond, Strathallan, Ogilvie, and Nairne; and about
twenty-six other gentlemen of influence in the Highlands, among
whom were Generals Hamilton and Gordon, Glengarry, Campbell of
Glendaruel, and the lairds of Aucterhouse and Auldbar. ["Rae," p
189; "Annals of King George," pp. 15-16.] Mar delivered a stirring
address, in which he expressed regret for his past conduct in
favouring the Union, and, now that his eyes were opened, promising
to do all in his power to retrieve the past and help to make his
countrymen again a free people. He produced a commission from
James appointing him Lieutenant-General and Commander of all the
Jacobite forces in Scotland, and at the same time informed the
meeting that he was supplied with money, and that an arrangement
had been made by which he would be able to pay regularly any forces
that might be raised, so that no gentleman who with his followers
should join his standard would be put to any expense, and that
the country would be entirely relieved of the cost of conducting
the war; after which the meeting unanimously resolved to take up
arms for the purpose of establishing the Chevalier on the Scottish
throne. They then took the oath of fidelity to Mar as the
representative of James VIII. and to each other, and separated,
each going home after promising to raise his vassals and to be in
readiness to join the Earl whenever summoned to do so. They had
scarcely arrived at their respective destinations when they were
called upon to meet him at Aboyne on the 3d of September following,
where, with only sixty followers, Mar proclaimed the Chevalier at
Castletown in Braemar, after which he proceeded to Kirkmichael,
and on the 6th of September, raised his standard in presence of
a force of 2000, mostly consisting of cavalry. When in course of
erection, the ball on the top of the flag-staff fell off. This was
regarded by the Highlanders as a bad omen, and it cast a gloom over
the proceedings of the day.

Meanwhile Colonel Sir Hector Munro, who bad served as Captain in
the Earl of Orkney's Regiment with reputation in the wars of Queen
Anne, raised his followers, who, along with a body of Rosses,
numbered about 600 men. With these, in November, 1715, he encamped
at Alness and on the 6th of October following he was joined by
the Earl of Sutherland, accompanied by his son, Lord Strathnaver,
and by Lord Reay, with an additional force of 600, in the interest
of the Whig Government, and to cover their own districts and check
the movements of the Western clans in effecting a junction with
the Earl of Mar, whom Earl William and Sir Donald Macdonald had
publicly espoused, as already stated, at the pretended hunting
match in Braemar. The meeting at Alness was instrumental in
keeping Seaforth in the North. If the Earl and his mother's clans
had advanced a month earlier the Duke of Argyll would not have
dared to advance against Mar's united forces, who might have pushed
an army across the Forth sufficient to have paralyzed any exertion
that might have been made to preserve a shadow of the Government.
It may be said that if Dundee had lived to hold the commission of
Mar, such a junction would not have been necessary, which amounts
to no more than saying that the life of Dundee would have been
tantamount to a restoration of the Stuarts Mar was not trained
in camp, nor did he possess the military genius of Dundee. Had
Montrose a moiety of his force things would have been otherwise.
Mar, trusting to Seaforth's reinforcement, was inactive, and Seaforth
was for a time kept in by the collocation of Sutherland's levies,
till he was joined by 700 Macdonalds and detachments from other
clans, amounting, with his own followers, to 3000 men, with which
he promptly attacked the Earl of Sutherland, who fled with his
mixed army precipitately to Bonar-Bridge, where they dispersed.
A party of Grants on their way to join them, on being informed of
Sutherland's retreat, thought it prudent to retrace their steps.
Seaforth, thus relieved, levied considerable fines on Munro's
territories, which were fully retaliated for during his absence
with the Jacobite army, to join which he now set out; and Sir John
Mackenzie of Coul, whom he had ordered to occupy Inverness, was,
after a gallant resistance, forced by Lord Lovat, at the head of
a mixed body of Frasers and Grants, to retire with his garrison
to Ross-shire. "Whether he followed his chief to Perth does not
appear; but on Seaforth's arrival that Mar seems for the first
time to have resolved on the passage of the Firth - a movement
which led to the Battle of Sheriffmuir - is evident and conclusive
as to the different features given to the whole campaign by the
Whig camp at Alness, however creditable to the noble Earl and
his mother's confederates. But it is not our present province to
enter on a military review of the conduct of either army preceding
this consequential conflict, or to decide to which party the
victory, claimed by both parties, properly belonged suffice it to
say that above 3000 of Seaforth's men formed a considerable part
of the second line, and seem from the general account on that
subject to have done their duty." [Bennetsfield MS.] A great
many of Seaforth's followers were slain, among whom were four
Highlanders who appear to have signally distinguished themselves.
They were John Mackenzie of Hilton, who commanded a company of the
Mackenzies, John Mackenzie of Applecross, John Mac Rae of Conchra,
and John Murchison of Achtertyre. Their prowess on the field had
been commemorated by one of their followers, John MacRae, who
escaped and returned home, in an excellent Gaelie poem, known as
"Latha Blar an t-Siorra," the " Day of Sheriffmuir." The fate of
these renowned warriors was keenly regretted by their Highland
countrymen, and they are still remembered and distinguished amongst
them as "Ceithear Ianan na h-Alba," or The four Johns of Scotland.

During the preceding troubles Ellandonnan Castle got into the hands
of the King's troops, but shortly before Sheriffmuir it was again
secured by the following clever stratagem: A neighbouring tenant
applied to the Governor for some of the garrison to cut his corn,
as he feared from the appearance of the sky and the croaking of
ravens that a heavy storm was impending, and that nothing but a
sudden separation of his crop from the ground could save his family
from starvation. The Governor readily yielded to his solicitations,
and sent the garrison of Government soldiers then in the castle
to his aid, who, on their return, discovered the ruse too late
for the Kintail men were by this time reaping the spoils, and had
possession of the castle. "The oldest inhabitant of the parish
remembers to have seen the Kintail men under arms, dancing
on the leaden roof, just as they were setting out for the Battle
of Sheriffmuir, where this resolute band was cut to pieces." ["Old
Statistical Account of Kintail," 1792.]

Inverness continued meanwhile in possession of the Mackenzies,
under command of the Governor, Sir John Mackenzie of Coul, and
George Mackenzie of Gruinard. Macdonald of Keppoch was on the
march to support Sir John at Inverness, and Lord Lovat, learning
this, gathered his men together, and on the 7th of November decided
to throw himself across the river Ness and place his forces directly
between Keppoch and the Governor. Sir John, on discovering Lovat's
movement, resolved to make a sally out of the garrison and place
the enemy between him and the advancing Keppoch, where he could
attack him with advantage, but Macdonald became alarmed and returned
home through Glen-Urquhart, whereupon Lord Lovat marched straight
upon Inverness, and took up a position about a mile to the west of
the town. The authorities were summoned to send out the garrison
and the Governor, or the town would be burnt and the inhabitants
put to the sword. Preparations were made for the attack, but Sir
John Mackenzie, considering that any further defence was hopeless,
on the 10th of November collected together all the boats he could
find and at high water safely effected his escape from the town,
when Lovat marched in without opposition. His Lordship advised the
Earl of Sutherland that he had secured possession of Inverness,
and on the 15th of November the latter, leaving Colonel Robert
Munro of Fowlis as Governor of Inverness, went with his followers,
accompanied by Lord Lovat with some of his men, to Brahan Castle, and
compelled the responsible men of the Clan Mackenzie who were not
in the South with the Earl of Seaforth to come under an obligation
for their peaceable behaviour, and to return the arms previously
taken from the Munros by Lord Seaforth at Alness; to release the
prisoners in their possession, and promise not to assist Lord
Seaforth directly or indirectly in his efforts against the Government;
that they would grant to the Earl of Sutherland any sum of money
he might require from them upon due notice for the use of the
Government; and, finally, that Brahan Castle, the principal residence
of the Earl of Seaforth, should be turned into a garrison for King

Seaforth returned from Sheriffmuir, and again collected his men
near Brahan, but the Earl of Sutherland with a large number of his
own men, Lord Reay's, the Munros, Rosses, Culloden's men, and the
Frasers, marched to meet him and encamped at Beauly, within a few
miles of Mackenzie's camp, and prepared to give him battle, which,
when my Lord Seaforth saw, he thought it convenient to capitulate,
own the King's authority, disperse his men, and propose the mediation
of these Government friends for his pardon. Upon his submission
the King was graciously pleased to send down orders that upon
giving up his arms and coming into Inverness, he might expect
his pardon; yet upon the Pretender's Anvil at Perth and my Lord
Huntly's suggestions to him that now was the time for them to
appear for their King and country, and that what honour they lost
at Dunblane might yet be regained; but while he thus insinuated
to my Lord Seaforth, he privately found that my Lord Seaforth
had by being an early suitor for the King's pardon, by promising
to lay down his arms, and owning the King's authority, claimed in
a great measure to an assurance of his life and fortune, which he
thought proper for himself to purchase at the rate of disappointing
Seaforth, with hopes of standing by the good old cause, till Seaforth,
with that vain hope, lost the King's favour that was promised
him; which Huntly embraced by taking the very first opportunity
of deserting the Chevalier's cause, and surrendering himself upon
terms made with him of safety to his life and fortune. This sounded
so sweet to him that he sleeped so secure as never to dream of any
preservation for a great many good gentlemen that made choice to
stand by him and serve under him that many other worthy nobles who
would die or banish rather that not show their personal bravery,
and all other friendly offices to their adherents." [Lord Lovat's
Account of the taking of Inverness. "Patten's Rebellion."]

In February, 1716, hopeless of attaining his object, the unfortunate
son of James II. left Scotland, the land of his forefathers, never
to visit it again, and Earl William followed him to the common
resort of the exiled Jacobites of the time. On the 7th of the
following May an Act of attainder was passed against the Earl
and the other chiefs of the Jacobite party. Their estates were
forfeited, though practically in many cases, and especially in
that of Seaforth, it was found extremely difficult to carry the
forfeiture into effect. The Master of Sinclair is responsible for
the base and unfounded allegation that the Earl of Seaforth, the
Marquis of Huntly, and other Jacobites, were in treaty with the
Government to deliver up the Chevalier to the Duke of Argyll, that
they might procure better terms for themselves than they could
otherwise expect. This odious charge, which is not corroborated
by any other writer, must be looked upon as highly improbable."
[Fullarton's "Highland Clans," p 471.] If any proof of the
untruthfulness of this charge be required it will be found in the
fact that the Earl returned afterwards to the Island of Lewis,
and re-embodied his vassals there under an experienced officer,
Campbell of Ormundel, who had served with distinction in the
Russian army; and it was not until a large Government force was
sent over against him, which he found it impossible successfully
to oppose, that he recrossed to the mainland and escaped to France.

Among the "gentlemen prisoners" taken to the Castle of Stirling
on the day following the Battle of Sheriffmuir the following are
found in a list published in Patten's Rebellion - Kenneth Mackenzie,
nephew to Sir Alexander Mackenzie of Coul Joh Maclean, adjutant to
Colonel Mackenzie's Regiment Colonel Mackenzie of Kildin, Captain
of Fairburn's Regiment; Hugh MacRae, Donald MacRae, and Christopher

The war declared against Spain in December, 1718, again revived
the hopes of the Jacobites, who, in accordance with a stipulation
between the British Government and the Duke of Orleans, then Regent
of France, had previously, with the Chevalier and the Duke of
Ormont at their head, been ordered out of France. They repaired
to Madrid, where they held conferences with Cardinal Alberoni, and
concerted an invasion of Great Britain. On the 10th of March, 1719,
a fleet, consisting of ten men-of-war and twenty-one transports,
having on board five thousand men, a large quantity of ammunition,
and thirty thousand muskets, sailed from Cadiz under the command
of the Duke of Ormond, with instructions to join the rest of the
expedition at Corunna, and to make a descent at once upon England,
Scotland, and Ireland. The sorry fate of this expedition is well
known. Only two frigates reached their destination, the rest having
been dispersed and disabled off Cape Finisterre by a violent storm
which lasted about twelve days. The two ships which survived the
storm and reached Scotland had on board the Earl of Seaforth and
Earl Marischal, the Marquis of Tullibardine, some field officers,
three hundred Spaniards, and arms and ammunition for two thousand
men. They entered Lochalsh about the middle of May; effected a
landing in Kintail and were there joined by a body of Seaforth's
vassals, and a party of Macgregors under command of the famous
Rob Roy; but the other Jacobite chiefs, remembering their previous
disappointments and misfortunes, stood aloof until the whole of
Ormond's forces should arrive. General Wightman, who was stationed
at Inverness, hearing of their arrival, marched to meet them with
2000 Dutch troops and a detachment of the garrison at Inverness.
Seaforth's forces and their allies took possession of the pass of
Glenshiel, but on the approach of the Government forces they retired
to the pass of Strachell, which they decided to defend at all
hazards. They were there engaged by General Wightman, who, after
a smart skirmish of about three hours duration, and after inflicting
some loss upon the Jacobites, drove them from one eminence to
another, till night came on, when the Highlanders, their chief having
been seriously wounded, and giving up all hopes of a successful
resistance, retired during the night to the mountains, carrying
Seaforth along with them and the Spaniards next morning surrendered
themselves prisoners of war. [The Spaniards kept their powder magazine
and ball behind the manse, but after the battle of Glenshiel they
set fire to it lest it should fall into the hands of the King's
troops. These balls are still gathered up by sportsmen, and are
found in great abundance upon the glebe. - "Old Statistical Account
of Kintail."] Seaforth, Marischal, and Tullibardine, with the other
principal officers, managed to effect their escape to the Western
Isles, from which they afterwards found their way to the Continent.
Rob Roy was placed in ambush with the view of attacking the Royal
troops in the rear and it is said of him that having more zeal than
prudence he attacked the rear of the enemy's column before they
had become engaged in front his small party was routed, and the
intention of placing the King's troops between two fires was thus
defeated. [" New Statistical Account of Glenshiel," by the Rev. John
Macrae, who gives a minute description of the scenes of the battle,
and informs us that in constructing the parliamentary road which
runs through the Glen a few years before he wrote, several bullets
and pieces of musket barrels were found and the green mounds
which covered the graves of the slain, and the ruins of a rude
breast-work which the Highlanders constructed on the crest of
the hill to cover their position still marked the scene of the
conflict.] General Wightman sent a detachment to Ellandonnan
Castle, which he ordered to be blown up and demolished.

General Wightman advanced from the Highland Capital by Loch-Ness
and a recent writer pertinently asks, "Why he was allowed to pass by
such a route without opposition? It is alleged that Marischal and
Tullibardine had interrupted the movements of the invaders by ill
timed altercations about command, but we are provoked to observe
that some extraordinary interposition seems evident to frustrate
every scheme towards forwarding the cause of the ill-fated house
of Stuart. Had the Chevalier St George arrived earlier, as he
might have done; had William Earl of Seaforth joined the Earl of
Mar some time before, as he ought to have done; and strengthened
as Mar would then have been, had he boldly advanced on Stirling,
as it appears he would have done, Argyll's force would have been
annihilated, and James VIII. proclaimed at the Cross of Edinburgh.
Well did the brave Highlanders indignantly demand, 'What did you
call us to arms for? Was it to run away? What did our own King
come for? Was it to see us butchered by hangmen?' There was a
fatuity that accompanied all their undertakings which neutralised
intrepidity, devotedness, and bravery which the annals of no
other people can exhibit, and paltry jealousies which stultified
exertions, which, independently of political results, astonished
Europe at large." [Bennetsfield MS.]

An Act of Parliament for disarming the Highlanders was passed in
1716, but in some cases to very little purpose for some of the most
disaffected clans were better armed than ever, although by the Act
the collectors of taxes were allowed to pay for the arms given
in, in no case were any delivered except those which were broken,
old, and unfit for use, and these were valued at prices far above
what they were really worth. Not only so, but a lively trade
in old arms was carried on with Holland and other Continental
countries, and these arms were sold to the commissioners as Highland
weapons, at exorbitant prices. General Wade afterwards found in
the possession of the Highlanders a large quantity of arms which
they obtained from the Spaniards who took part in the battle of
Glenshiel, and he computed that the Highlanders opposed to the
Government possessed at this time no less than five or six thousand
arms of various kinds.

Wade arrived in Inverness on the 10th of August, 1723, and in virtue
of another Act passed the same year, he was empowered to proceed
to the Highlands and to summon the clans to deliver up their arms,
and to carry several other recommendations of his own into effect.
On his arrival he immediately proceeded to business, went to Brahan
Castle, and called on the Mackenzies to deliver up their weapons.
He took those presented to him on the word of Murchison, factor
on the estate and by the representation of Sir John Mackenzie Lord
Tarbat, Sir Kenneth Mackenzie of Cromarty, and Sir Colin Mackenzie
of Coul, at the head of a large deputation of the clan, he
compromised his more rigid instructions and accepted a selection
of worn-out and worthless arms, and at the same time promised that
if the clan exhibited a willing disposition to comply with the
orders of the Government he would use his influence in the next
Parliament to procure a remission for their chief and his followers;
and we find, that "through his means, and the action of other
minions of Court (Tarbat was then in power), Seaforth received a
simple pardon by letters patent in 1726, for himself and his clan,
whose submission was recognised in the sham form of delivering their
arms, a matter of the less consequence as few of that generation
were to have an opportunity of wielding them again in the same

General Wade made a report to the Government, from which we take
the following extract: "The Laird of the Mackenzies, and other
chiefs of the clans and tribes, tenants to the late Earl of Seaforth,
came to me in a body, to the number of about fifty, and assured
me that both they and their followers were ready to pay a dutiful
obedience to your Majesty's commands, by a peaceable surrender of
their arms; and if your Majesty would be graciously pleased to
procure them an indemnity for the rents that had been misplaced for
the time past, they would for the future become faithful subjects
to your Majesty, and pay them to your Majesty's receiver for the
use of the public. I assured them of your Majesty's gracious
intentions towards them, and that they might rely on your Majesty's
bounty and clemency, provided they would merit it by their future
good conduct and peaceable behaviour; that I had your Majesty's
commands to send the first summons to the country they inhabited;
which would soon give them an opportunity of showing the sincerity
of their promises, and of having the merit to set the example to
the rest of the Highlands, who in their turns were to be summoned
to deliver up their arms, pursuant to the Disarming Act; that they
might choose the place they themselves thought most convenient to
surrender their arms; and that I would answer that neither their
persons nor their property should be molested by your Majesty's
troops. They desired they might be permitted to deliver up their
arms at the Castle of Brahan, the principal seat of their late
superior. who, they said, had promoted and encouraged them to this
their submission; but begged that none of the Highland companies
might be present; for, as they had always been reputed the bravest,
as well as the most numerous of the northern clans, they thought
it more consistent with their honour to resign their arms to your
Majesty's veteran troops; to which I readily consented. Summonses
were accordingly sent to the several clans and tribes, the inhabitants
of 18 parishes, who were vassals or tenants of the late Earl of
Seaforth, to bring or send in all their arms and warlike weapons
to the Castle of Brahan, on or before the 28th of August. On the
25th of August I went to the Castle of Brahan with a detachment of
200 of the regular troops, and was met there by the chiefs of the
several clans and tribes, who assured me they had used their utmost
diligence in collecting all the arms they were possessed of, which
should be brought thither on the Saturday following, pursuant to
the summons they had received; and telling me they were apprehensive
of insults or depredations from the neighbouring clans of the
Camerons and others, who still continued in possession of their
arms. Parties of the Highland companies were ordered to guard the
passes leading to their country; which parties continued there
for their protection, till the clans in that neighbourhood were
summoned and had surrendered their arms. On the day appointed
the several clans and tribes assembled in the adjacent villages,
and marched in good order through the great avenue that leads to
the Castle; and one after the other laid down their arms in the
court-yard in great quiet and decency, amounting to 784 of the
several species mentioned in the Act of Parliament. The solemnity
with which this was performed had undoubtedly a great influence
over the rest of the Highland clans; and disposed them to pay that
obedience to your Majesty's commands, by a peaceable surrender
of their arms, which they had never done to any of your Royal
predecessors, or in compliance with any law either before or since
the Union."

The following account of Donald Murchison's proceedings and of
Seaforth's vassals during his exile in France is abridged from
an interesting and valuable work. [Chambers's "Domestic Annals of
Scotland."] It brings out in a prominent light the state of the
Highlands and the futility of the power of the Government during that
period in the North. As regards several of the forfeited estates
which lay in inaccessible situations in the Highlands, the
commissioners had up to this time been entirely baffled, never having
been able even to get them surveyed. This was so in a very special
manner in the case of the immense territory of the Earl of Seaforth,
extending from Brahan Castle, near Dingwall in the east, across to
Kintail in the west, as well as in the large island of the Lewis.
The districts of Lochalsh and Kintail, on the west coast, the scene
of the Spanish invasion of 1719, were peculiarly difficult of access,
there being no approach from the south, east, or north, except by
narrow and difficult paths, while the western access was only
assailable by a naval force. To all appearance this tract of ground,
the seat of many comparatively opulent tacksmen and cattle farmers,
was as much beyond the control of the six commissioners assembled at
their office in Edinburgh, as if it had been amongst the mountains
of Tibet or upon the shores of Madagascar.

For several years after the insurrection, the rents of this district
were collected, without the slightest difficulty, for the benefit
of the exiled Earl, and regularly transmitted to him. At one
time a large sum was sent to him in Spain. The chief agent in the
business was Donald Murchison, descendant of a line of faithful
adherents of the "High Chief of Kintail." Some of the later
generations of the family had been entrusted with the keeping of
Ellandonnan Castle, a stronghold dear to the modern artist as a
picturesque ruin, but formerly of serious importance as commanding a
central point from which radiate Loch Alsh and Loch Duich, in the
midst of the best part of the Mackenzie country. Donald was a man
worthy of a more prominent place in his country's annals than he
has yet attained; he acted under a sense of right which, though
unfortunately defiant of Acts of Parliament, was still a very pure
sense of right; and in the remarkable actions which he performed he
looked solely to the good of those towards whom he had a feeling of
duty. A more disinterested hero - and he was one - neverlived.

When Lord Seaforth brought his clan to fight for King James in
1715, Donald Murchison and an elder brother, John, accompanied him
as field officers of the regiment - Donald as Lieutenant-Colonel,
and John as Major. The late Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, the
distinguished Geologist, great-grandson of John, possessed a large
ivory and silver "mill," which once contained the commission sent
from France to Donald, as Colonel, bearing the inscription: "James
Rex: forward and spare not." John fell at Sheriffmuir, in the
prime of life; Donald returning with the remains of the clan, was
entrusted by the banished Earl with the management or estates no
longer legally but still virtually his. And for this task Donald
was in various respects well qualified, for, strange to say, the
son or the castellan of Ellandonnan - the Sheriffmuir Colonel - had
been "bred a writer" in Edinburgh, and was as expert at the business
of a factor or estate-agent as in wielding the claymore. [For a
short time before the insurrection, he had acted as factor to Sir
John Preston of Preston Hall, in Mid-Lothian, then also a forfeited
estate, but of minor value.]

In bold and avowed insubordination to the Government of George the
First, Mackenzie's tenants continued for ten years to pay their
rents to Donald Murchison, setting at nought all fear of ever
being compelled to repeat the payment to the commissioners.

In 1720 his Majesty's representatives made a movement for asserting
their claims upon the property. In William Ross of Easterfearn
and Robert Ross, a bailie of Tain, they found two men bold enough to
undertake the duty of stewardship in their behalf over the Seaforth
property, the estates of Grant or Glenmoriston, and or Chisholm of
Strathglass. Little, however, was done that year beyond sending
out notices to the tenants, and preparing for more strenuous
measures for next year. The stir they made only produced excitement,
not dismay. Some of the duine-uasals from about Lochcarron, coming
down with their cattle to the south-country fairs, were heard to
declare that the two factors would never get anything but leaden
coin from the Seaforth tenantry. Donald went over the whole country
showing a letter he had got from the Earl, encouraging the people
to stand out at the same time telling them that the old Countess
was about to come north with a factory for the estate, when she
would allow as paid for any rents which they might hand to him.
The very first use to be made of this money was to bring both the
old and the young Countesses home immediately to Brahan Castle,
where they were to live as they used to do. Part of the funds
thus acquired, Murchison used in keeping on foot a party of
some sixty armed Highlanders, who, in virtue of his commission as
colonel, he proposed to employ in resisting any troops of George
the First which might be sent to Kintail. Nor did he wait to
be attacked, but in June, 1720, hearing of a party of excisemen
passing near Dingwall with a large quantity of aqua vitae, he fell
upon them and rescued their prize. The collector of the district
reported this transaction to the Board of Excise, but no notice
was taken of it.

In February, 1721, the two factors sent officers of their own
into the western districts, to assure the tenants of good usage,
if they would make a peaceable submission but the men were seized,
robbed of their papers, money, and arms, and quietly sent across
the Frith of Attadale, though only after giving their solemn
assurance that they would never attempt to renew their mission.
Resenting this procedure the two factors caused a constable to take
a military party from Bernera Barracks, Glenelg, into Lochalsh,
and, if possible, capture those who had been guilty. They made a
stealthy night-march, and took two men; but the alarm was given,
the two men escaped, and began to fire down upon their captors
from a hillside; then they set fire to the bothy as a signal, and
such a coronach went over all Kintail and Lochalsh as made the
soldiers glad to beat a quick retreat.

After some further proceedings, all ineffectual, the two factors
were enabled, on the 13th day of September, to set forth from
Inverness with a party of thirty soldiers and some armed servants
of their own, with the design of enforcing submission to their
claims. Let it be remembered that in those days there were no
roads in the Highlands, nothing but a few horse-tracks along the
principal lines in the country, where not the slightest effort
had ever been made to smooth away the natural difficulties of the
ground. In two days the factors reached Invermoriston; but here
they were stopped for three days, waiting for their heavy luggage,
which was storm-stayed in Castle Urquhart, and there nearly taken
in a night attack by a partisan warrior bearing the name of Evan
Roy Macgillivray. The tenantry of Glenmoriston at first fled with
their cattle, but afterwards a number of them came in and made
the appearance of submission. The party then moved on towards
Strathglass, while Evan Roy respectfully followed, to pick up any
man or piece of baggage that might be left behind. At Erchless
Castle, and at Invercannich, seats of the Chisholm, they held
courts, and received the submission of a number of the tenants,
whom, however, they subsequently found to be "very deceitful."

There were now forty or fifty miles of the wildest Highland
country before them, where they had reason to believe they should
meet groups of murderous Camerons and Glengarry Macdonalds, and
also encounter the redoubtable Donald Murchison himself, with
his guard of Mackenzies, unless their military force should be
sufficiently strong to render all such opposition hopeless. An
arrangement having been made that they should receive an addition
of fifty soldiers from Bernera, with whom to pass through the
most difficult part of their journey, it seemed likely that they
would appear too strong for resistance and, indeed, intelligence
was already coming to them, that "the people of Kintail, being a
judicious opulent people, would not expose themselves to the
punishments of law," and that the Camerons were absolutely determined
to give no further provocation to the Government. Thus assured,
they set out in cheerful mood along the valley of Strathglass, and,
soon after passing a place called Knockfin, they were reinforced
by Lieutenant Brymer with the expected fifty men from Bernera.
There were now about a hundred well armed men in the invading
body. They spent the next day (Sunday) together in rest, to
gather strength for the ensuing day's march of about thirty arduous
miles, by which they hoped to reach Kintail.

At four in the morning of Monday, the 2d of October, the party
went forward, the Bernera men first, and the factors in the rear.
They were as yet far from the height of the country, and from its
more difficult passes; but they soon found that all the flattering
tales of non-resistance were groundless, and that the Kintail men
had come a good way out from that district in order to defend
it. The truth was, that Donald Murchison had assembled not only
his stated band of Mackenzies, but a levy of the Lewis men under
Seaforth's cousin, Mackenzie of Kildun; also an auxiliary corps of
Camerons, Glengarry and Glenmoriston men, and some of those very
Strathglass men who had been making appearances of submission.
Altogether he had, if the factors were rightly informed, three
hundred and fifty men with long Spanish firelocks, under his command,
and all posted in the way most likely to give them an advantage
over the invading force.

The rear-guard, with the factors, had scarcely gone a mile when
they received a platoon of seven shots from a rising ground near
them to the right, which, however, had only the effect of piercing
a soldier's hat. The Bernera company left the party at eight
o'clock, as they were passing Lochanachlee, and from this time is
heard of no more; how it made its way out of the country does not
appear. The remainder still advancing, Easterfearn, as he rode
a little before his men, had eight shots levelled at him from a
rude breast-work near by, and was wounded in two places, but was
able to appear as if he had not been touched. Then calling out
some Highlanders in his service, he desired them to go before the
soldiers and do their best, according to their own mode of warfare,
to clear the ground of such lurking parties, so that the troops
might advance in safety. They performed this service pretty
effectually, skirmishing as they went on, and the main body
advanced safely about six miles. They were here arrived at a
place called Ath-na-Mullach, where the waters, descending from the
Cralich and the lofty mountains of Kintail, issue eastwards through
a narrow gorge into Loch Affric. It was a place remarkably well
adapted for the purpose of a resisting party. A rocky boss, called
Torr-a-Bheathaich, then densely covered with birch, closes up the
glen as with a gate. The black mountain stream, "spear-deep,"
sweeps round it. A narrow path wound up the rock, admitting of
passengers in single file. Here lay Murchison with the best of his
people, while inferior adherents were ready to make demonstrations
at a little distance. As the invading party approached, they
received a platoon from a wood on the left, but nevertheless went
on. When, however, they were all engaged in toiling up the pass,
forty men concealed in the heather close by fired with deadly
effect, inflicting a mortal wound on Walter Ross, Easterfearn's son
while Bailie Ross's son was wounded by a bullet which swept across
his breast. The Bailie called to his son to retire, and the order
was obeyed; but the two wounded youths and Bailie Ross's servant
were taken prisoners, and carried up the hill, where they were
quickly divested of clothes, arms, money, and papers.
Easterfearn's son died next morning. The troops faced the
ambuscade manfully and are said to have given their fire thrice,
and to have beaten the Highlanders from the bushes near them; but,
observing at this juncture several parties of the enemy on the
neighbouring heights, and being informed of a party of sixty in
their rear, Easterfearn deemed it best to temporise.

He thereupon sent forward a messenger to ask who they were that
opposed the King's troops, and what they wanted. The answer was
that, in the first place, they required to have Ross of Easterfearn
delivered up to them. This was pointedly refused; but it was at
length arranged that Easterfearn should go forward and converse
with the leader of the opposing party. The meeting took place
at Beul-ath-na-Mullach, and Easterfearn found himself confronted
with Donald Murchison. It ended with Easterfearn giving up his
papers, and covenanting, under a penalty of five hundred pounds,
not to officiate in his factory any more; after which he gladly
departed homewards with his associates, under favour of a guard
of Donald's men to conduct them safely past the sixty men who were
lurking in the rear. It was alleged afterwards that the commander
was much blamed by his own people for letting the factors off
with their lives and baggage, particularly by the Camerons, who
had been five days at their post with hardly anything to eat;
and Murchison only pacified them by sending them a good supply of
meat and drink. He had in reality given a very effective check
to the two gentlemen-factors, to one of whom he imparted in
conversation that any scheme of Government stewartship in Kintail
was hopeless, for he and sixteen others had sworn that, if any
person calling himself a factor came there, they would take his
life, whether at kirk or at market, and deem it a meritorious
action, though they should be cut to pieces for it the next minute.

A bloody grave for young Easterfearn in Beauly Cathedral concluded
this abortive attempt to take the Seaforth estates within the scope
of a law sanctioned by statesmen, but against which the natural
feelings of nearly a whole people revolted.

A second attempt was then made to obtain possession of the forfeited
Seaforth estates for the Government. It was calculated that what
the two factors and their attendants with a small military force
had failed to accomplish in the preceding October, when they were
beaten back with fatal loss at Ath-na-Mullach, might now be effected
by a military party alone, if they should make their approach
through a less critical passage. A hundred and sixty of Colonel
Kirk's regiment left Inverness under Captain M'Neill, who had at one
time been Commander of the Highland Watch. They proceeded by
Dingwall, Strathgarve, and Loch Carron, an easier, though a longer
way. Donald Murchison, nothing daunted, got together his followers,
and advanced to the top of Mam Attadale, by a high pass from Loch
Carron to the bead of Loch Long, separating Lochalsh from Kintail.
Here a gallant relative, Kenneth Murchison, and a few others,
volunteered to go forward and plant themselves in ambush in the
defiles of the Coille Bhan (White Wood), while the bulk of the party
should remain where they were. It would appear that this ambush
party consisted of thirteen men, all peculiarly well armed.

On approaching this dangerous place the Captain of the invading
party went forward with a sergeant and eighteen men to clear the
wood, while the main body came on slowly in the rear. At a place
called Altanbadubh, in the Coille Bhan, he encountered Kenneth
and his associates, whose fire wounded himself severely, killed
one of his grenadiers, and wounded several others of the party.
He persisted in advancing, and attacking the handful of natives
with sufficient resolution they slowly withdrew, as unable to
resist; but the Captain now obtained intelligence that a large
body of Mackenzies was posted in the mountain pass of Attadale.
It seemed to him as if there was a design to draw him into a fatal
ambuscade. His own wounded condition probably warned him that a
better opportunity might occur afterwards. He turned his forces
about, and made the best of his way back to Inverness. Kenneth
Murchison quickly rejoined Colonel Donald on Mam Attadale, with the
cheering intelligence that one salvo of thirteen guns had repelled
the hundred and sixty red-coats. After this we hear of no more
attempts to comprise the Seaforth property.

Strange as it may seem, Donald Murchison, two years after this a
second time resisting the Government troops, came down to Edinburgh
with eight hundred pounds of the Earl's rents, that he might get
the money sent abroad for Seaforth's use. He remained a fortnight
in the city unmolested. He on this occasion appeared in the garb
of a Lowland gentleman; he mingled with old acquaintances, "doers"
and writers; and appeared at the Cross amongst the crowd of
gentlemen who assembled there every day at noon. Scores knew all
about his doings at Ath-na-Mullach and the Coille Bhan; but thousands
might have known without the chance of one of them betraying him
to the Government.

General Wade, in his report to the King in 1725, stated that
the Seaforth tenants, formerly reputed the richest of any in the
Highlands, were now become poor, by neglecting their business,
and applying themselves to the use of arms. "The rents" he says,
"continue to be collected by one Donald Murchison, a servant of
the late Earl's, who annually remits or carries the same to his
master in France. The tenants, when in a condition, are said to
have sent him free gifts in proportion to their circumstances,
but are now a year and a-half in arrear of rent. The receipts he
gives to the tenants are as deputy-factor to the Commissioners of the
Forfeited Estates, which pretended power he extorted from the factor
(appointed by the said Commissioners to collect those rents for the
use of the public), whom he attacked with above four hundred armed
men, as he was going to enter upon the said estate, having with him a
party of thirty of your Majesty's troops. The last year this
Murchison marched in a public manner to Edinburgh, to remit eight
hundred pounds to France for his master's use, and remained fourteen
days there unmolested. I cannot omit observing to your Majesty that
this national tenderness the subjects of North Britain have one for
the other is a great encouragement for rebels and attainted persons
to return home from their banishment."

Donald went again to Edinburgh about the end of August, 1725. On the
2d of September, George Lockhart of Carnwath, writing from that city
to the Chevalier St George, states, amongst other information
regarding his party in Scotland, that Daniel Murchison (as he
calls him) "is come to Edinburgh, on his way to France" - doubtless
charged with a sum of rents for Seaforth. "He's been in quest of
me, and I of him," says Lockhart, "these two days, and missed each
other; but in a day or two he's to be at my country house, where
I'll get time to talk fully with him. In the meantime, I know
from one that saw him that he has taken up and secured all the
arms of value on Seaforth's estate, which he thought better than
to trust them to the care and prudence of the several owners; and
the other chieftains, I hear, have done the same."

The Commissioners on the forfeited estates concluded their final
report in 1725, by stating that they had not sold the estate
of William, Earl of Seaforth, "not having been able to obtain
possession and consequently to give the same to a purchaser."
[In a Whig poem on the Highland Roads, written in 1737, Donald
is characteristically spoken of as a sort of cateran, while, in
reality, as every generous person can now well understand, he was
a high-minded gentleman. The verses, nevertheless, as well as the
appended note, are curious -

Keppoch, Rob Roy, and Daniel Murchison,
Cadets are servants to some chief of clan,
From theft and robberies scarce did ever cease,
Yet 'scaped the halter each, and died in peace.
This last his exiled master's rents collected,
Nor unto king or law would be subjected.
Though veteran troops upon the confines lay,
Sufficient to make lord and tribe a prey,
Yet passes strong through which no roads were cut,
Safe-guarded Seaforth's clan, each in his hu',
Thus in strongholds the rogue securely lay,
Neither could they by force be driven away,
Till his attainted lord and chief of late
By ways and means repurchased his estate.

"Donald Murchison, a kinsman and servant to the Earl of Seaforth,
bred a writer, a man of small stature, but full of spirit and
resolution, fought at Dunblane against the Government, anno 1715,
but continued thereafter to collect Seaforth's rents for his
lord's use, and had some bickerings with the King's forces on that
account, till, about five years ago, the Government was so tender
as to allow Seaforth to repurchase his estate, when the said Murchison
had a principal band in striking the bargain for his master. How
he fell under Seaforth's displeasure, and died thereafter, is not
to the purpose here to mention."]

The end of Donald's career can scarcely now be passed over in
a slighting manner. The story is most painful. The Seaforth of
that day - very unlike some of his successors - proved unworthy of the
devotion which this heroic man had shown to him. When his lordship
took possession of the estates which Donald had in a manner preserved
for him, he discountenanced and neglected him. Murchison's noble
spirit pined away under this treatment, and he died in the very
prime of his days of a broken heart. He lies in a remote little
church-yard in the parish of Urray, where his worthy relative,
the late Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, raised a suitable monument
over his grave. The traditional account of Donald Murchison,
communicated to Chambers by the late Finlay Macdonald, Druidaig,
states that the heroic commissioner had been promised a handsome
reward for his services; but Seaforth proved ungrateful. "He was
offered only a small farm called Bun-Da-Loch, which pays at this
day to Mr Matheson, the proprietor, no more than L60 a year;
or another place opposite to Inverinate House, of about the same
value. It is no wonder he refused these paltry offers. He shortly
afterwards left this country, and died in the prime of life near
Conon. On his death-bed, Seaforth went to see him, and asked how
he was, when he said, 'Just as you will be in a short time,' and
then turned his back. They never met again."

The death of George I. in 1726, suggested to the Chevalier a
favourable opportunity for attempting a second Rising, and of again
stirring up his adherents in Scotland, whither he was actually
on his way, until strongly remonstrated with on the folly and
hoplessness of such an undertaking. It was pointed out to him that
it could only end in the ruin of his family pretentions, and in
that of many of his friends who might be tempted to enter on the
rash scheme more through personal attachment to himself than from
any reasonable prospect they might see of success. He therefore
retraced his steps to Boulogne; and the Earl of Seaforth having
been pardoned in the same year, [By letters dated 12th July, 1726,
King George I. was pleased to discharge him from imprisonment or
the execution of his person on his attainder, and King George II.
made him a grant of the arrears of feu-duties due to the Crown
out of his forfeited estate. An Act of Parliament was passed in
1733, to enable William Mackenzie, late Earl of Seaforth, to sue
or maintain any action or suit notwithstanding his attainder, and
to remove any disability in him, by reason of his said attainder,
to take or inherit any real or personal estate that may or shall
hereafter descend to him. - "Wood's Douglas' Peerage."] felt free
once more to return to his native land, where, according to Captain
Matheson, he spent the remainder of his life in retirement, and
"with few objects to occupy him or to interest us beyond the due
regard of his personal friends and the uninterrupted loyalty of
his old vassals." He must, however, have been in tightened
circumstances, for, on the 27th of June, 1728, he writes a letter to
the Lord Advocate, in which he refers to a request he had made to Sir
Robert Walpole, who advised him to put his claim in writing that it
might be submitted to the King. This was done, but "the King would
neither allow anything of the kind or give orders to be granted what
his Royal father had granted before. On hearing this, I could
not forbear making appear how ill I was used. The Government in
possession of the estate, and I in the interim allowed to starve,
though they were conscious of my complying with whatever I promised
to see put in execution." He makes a strong appeal to his friend
to contribute to an arrangement that would tend to the mutual
satisfaction of all concerned, "for the way I am now in is most
disagreeable, consequently, if not rectified, will choose rather
to seek my bread elsewhere than continue longer in so unworthy a
situation." ["Culloden Papers," pp. 103-4] Notwithstanding the personal
remission granted in his favour for the part he had taken in the
Rising of 1715, the title of Earl of Seaforth, under which alone
he was proscribed, passed under attainder, while the older and
original dignity of Kintail, which only became subordinate by a
future elevation, remained unnoticed, and, consequently unvitiated
in the male descent of Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail,
granted by patent on the 19th of November, 1609, and it has accordingly
been claimed. [This Act (of Attainder) omits all mention of the
subordinate though older title of "Lord Kintail," which he and
all the collateral branches descended of George, the second Earl,
had taken up and assumed in all their deeds and transactions, though
there was no occasion to use it in Parliament, as they appeared
there as "Earls of Seaforth." It is questionable therefore, if the
Act of Attainder of "William, Earl of Seaforth," by that designation
only could affect the "barony of Kintail;" and as the designation to
the patentee of it, "Suisque heredibus maxulis," seems to render
the grant an entailed fee agreeable to the 7th of Queen Anne, c. 21,
and the protecting clause of 26th Henry VIII. c. 13, the claimant
George Falconer Mackenzie, is entitled to the benefit of such
remainder, and in fact such remainder was given effect to by the
succession of Earl George to his brother Colin's titles as his heir
male collateral. - "Allangrange Service."]

Earl William married in early life, Mary, the only daughter and
co-heir of Nicholas Kenet of Coxhow, Northumberland, with issue,
three sons -

I. Kenneth, who succeeded his father.

II. Ronald, who died unmarried.

III. Nicholas, who was drowned at Douay, without issue.

IV. Frances, who married the Hon. John Gordon of Kenmure, whose
father was beheaded in 1715.

He died in 1740 in the Island of Lewis, was buried there in the
Chapel of Ui, and was succeeded by his eldest son,


Which courtesy title he continued to bear as the subordinate title of
his father; and under this designation he is named as a freeholder
of Ross in 1741. In the same year be was elected as member
of Parliament for the Burgh of Inverness, for his own County of
Ross in 1747, and again in 1754. In 1741, the year after Earl
William's death, the Crown sold the Seaforth estates, including
the lands of Kintail, the barony of Ellandonnan, and others, for
L25,109 8s 31/2d, under burden of an annuity of L1000 to Frances,
Countess Dowager of Seaforth. The purchase was for the benefit
of Kenneth, Lord Fortrose. [Fraser's "Earls of Cromartie."] He does
not appear to have passed much of his time in the Highlands, but
about a year after his succession, he seems, from a warrant issued
by his authority to have been in the North. It is signed by Colin
Mackenzie, Baillie," and addressed to Roderick Mackenzie, officer
of Locks, commanding him to summon and warn Donald Mackenzie,
tacksman of Lainbest, and others, to compear before "Kenneth,
Lord Fortrose, heritable proprietor of the Estate of Seaforth, at
Braan Castle, or before his Lordship's Baron Baillies, or other
judges appointed by him there, upon the 10th day of October next,
to come to answer several unwarrantable and illegal things to be
laid to their charge:" Dated at "Stornoway, 29th September, 1741."
There is no doubt that in early life Lord Fortrose, during the
exile of his father, held communications with the representative
of the Stuarts. It is a common tradition in Kintail to this day
that he and Sir Alexander Macdonald of Sleat were school companions
of the Prince in France, and were among those who first imbued
his mind with the idea of attempting to regain possession of his
ancient Kingdom of Scotland, promising him that they would use their
influence with the other northern chiefs to rise in his favour,
although when the time for action came neither of them joined him.

The unfortunate position in which Kenneth found himself by the
Jacobite proclivities of his ancestors, and especially those of
his father, appears to have made a deep impression upon his mind,
and to have induced him to be more cautious in supporting a cause
which seemed certain to land him in final and utter ruin. But
though he personally held aloof, several of the clan joined the
Prince, mostly under George, third Earl of Cromarty, and a few
under John Mackenzie, III. of Torridon. Several young and powerful
Macraes, who strongly sympathised with the Prince, though
unaccompanied by any of their natural leaders, left Kintail never
again to return and, it is said, that several others had to be
bound with ropes by their friends, to keep them at home. The
influence of Lord President Forbes weighed strongly with Mackenzie
in deciding him to support the Government, and, in return for his
loyalty, the honours of the house of Seaforth were, in part,
afterwards restored to his son.

In 1744 an exciting incident occurred in Inverness in which his
Lordship played a conspicuous part, and which exemplifies the
impetuous character of the Highland chiefs of the day. A court of
the Freeholders of the county was being held there at Michaelmas
to elect a collector of the land tax, at which were present, among
others, Lord President Forbes, Norman Macleod of Macleod, Lord
Fortrose, Lord Lovat, and many leading members of the Clan Fraser.
A warm debate upon some burning business arose between Lords Lovat
and Fortrose, when the former gave the latter the lie direct. To
this Mackenzie replied by giving Lovat a smart blow in the face.
Mutual friends at once intervened between the fiery antagonists. But
the Fraser blood was up, and Fraser of Foyers, who was present,
interfered in the interest of the chief of his clan, but more,
however, it is said, in that capacity than from any personal esteem
in which he held him. He felt that in his chief's person the
whole clan had been insulted as if it had actually been a personal
blow to every man of the name, and he instantly sprung down from
the gallery and presented a loaded and cocked pistol at Mackenzie's
head, to whom it would undoubtedly have proved fatal had not one
of the gentlemen present, with great presence of mind, thrown his
plaid over the muzzle, and thus arrested and diverted its contents.
In another moment swords and dirks were drawn on both sides, but
the Lord President and Macleod laid hold of Mackenzie and hurried
him from the Court. Yet he no sooner gained the outside than
one of the Frasers levelled him to the ground with a blow from a
heavy bludgeon, notwithstanding the efforts of his friends to protect
him. The matter was, however, afterwards, with great difficulty,
arranged by mutual friends, between the great clans and their
respective chiefs, otherwise the social jealousies and personal
irritations which then prevailed throughout the whole Highlands,
fanned by this incident, would have produced a lasting and bloody
feud between the Frasers and the Mackenzies.

In the following year, shortly after the Lord President arrived at
Culloden from the south, he wrote a letter to Mackenzie dated the
11th of October 1745, in which he tells him that the Earl of Loudon
had come the day before to Cromarty, and brought some "credit"
with him, which "will enable us to put the Independent Companies
together for the service of the Government and for our mutual
protection." He requested Fortrose to give immediate orders to
pick out those who are first to form one of the companies, that
they might receive their commissions and arms. Alexander Mackenzie
of Fairburn was to command. There was, the President said, a report
that Barrisdale had gone to Assynt to raise the men of that country,
to be joined to those of Coigeach, who were said to have orders to
be in readiness to join Macdonald, and with instructions to march
through Mackenzie's territories in order to find out how many of
his Lordship's vassals could be persuaded, by fair means or foul,
to join the standard of the Prince. "I hope this is not true,"
writes the President; "if it is, it is of the greatest consequence
to prevent it. I wish Fairburn were at home; your Lordship will
let me know when he arrives, as the Lord Cromarty has refused the
company I intended for his son. Your Lordship will deliberate to
whom you would have it given." ["Culloden Papers," pp. 421-2.]

Exasperated at this time by the exertions made by President Forbes
to obstruct the designs of the disaffected, a plan was formed to
seize him by some of the Frasers, a party of whom, amounting to
about 200, attacked Culloden House during the night of the 15th of
October, but the President being on his guard they were repulsed.
[Fraser's "Earls of Cromartie."]

On the 13th of October Mackenzie had written to Forbes that he
surmised some young fellows of his name attempted to raise men for
the Prince, but that he sent expresses to the suspected parts,
with orders to the tenants not to stir under pain of death without
his leave, though their respective masters should be imprudent
enough to desire them to do so. The messengers returned with the
people's blessings for his protection, and with assurances that they
would do nothing without his orders, "so that henceforward your
Lordship need not be concerned about any idle report from benorth
Kessock." In a letter dated "Brahan Castle, 19th October 1745," Lord
Fortrose refers to the attempt on the President's house, which, he
says, surprised him extremely, and "is as dirty an action as I ever
heard of," and he did not think any gentleman would be capable of
doing such a thing. He adds, "as I understand your cattle are taken
away, I beg you will order your steward to write to Colin, or anybody
else here, for provisions, as I can be supplied from the Highlands.
I am preparing to act upon the defensive, and I suppose will soon be
provoked to act on the offensive. I have sent for a strong party to
protect my house and overawe the country. None of my Kintail men
will be down till Tuesday, but as the river is high, and I have
parties at all boats, nothing can be attempted. Besides, I shall
have reinforcements every day. I have ordered my servants to get,
at Inverness, twelve or twenty pounds of powder with a proportionable
quantity of shot. If that cannot be bought at Inverness, I must
beg you will write a line to Governor Grant to give my servant the
powder, as I can do without the shot ... Barrisdale has come down
from Assynt, and was collared by one of the Maclauchlans there
for offering to force the people to rise, and he has met with no
success there. I had a message from the Mackenzies in Argyllshire
to know what they should do. Thirty are gone from Lochiel; the rest,
being about sixty, are at home. I advised them to stay at home and
mind their own business."

On the 28th of the same month his Lordship writes to inform the
President that the Earl of Cromarty and his son, Macculloch of
Glastullich, and Ardloch's brother, came to Brahan Castle on the
previous Friday; that it was the most unexpected visit he had
received for some time, that he did not like to turn them out, that
Cromarty was pensive and dull; but that if he had known what he knew
at the date of writing he would have made them prisoners, for Lord
Macleod went since to Lochbroom and Assynt to raise men. He enclosed
for the President's use the names of the officers appointed to the
two Mackenzie companies, and intimated that he offered the commission
to both Coul and Redcastle, but that both refused it. It was from
Coul's house, he says, that Lord Macleod started for the North, and
that vexed him. On the same day Forbes acknowledges receipt of this
letter, and requests that the officers in the two companies should be
appointed according to Mackenzie's recommedations, "without any
further consideration than that you judge it right," and he desires
to see Sir Alexander of Fairburn for an hour next day to carry a
proposal to his Lordship for future operations. "I think," he adds,
"it would be right to assemble still more men about Brahan than you
now have; the expense shall be made good and it will tend to make
Caberfey respectable, and to discourage folly among your neighbours."
In a letter of 6th November the President says, "I supposed that your
Lordship was to have marched Hilton's company into town (Inverness)
on Monday or Tuesday; but I dare say there is a good reason why it
has not been done."

On the 8th of November Mackenzie informs the Lord President that
the Earl of Cromarty had crossed the river at Contin, with about a
hundred men on his way to Beauly, "owing to the neglect of my spies,
as there's rogues of all professions." Lord Macleod, Cromarty's
son came from Assynt and Lochbroom the same day, and followed his
father to the rendezvous, but after traversing the whole of that
northern district he did not get a single volunteer. "Not a man
started from Ross-shire, except William, Kilcoy's brother, with
seven men, and a tenant of Redcastle with a few more and if Lentran
and Torridon did go off last night, they did not carry between
them a score of men. I took a ride yesterday to the westward with
two hundred men, but find the bounds so rugged that it's impossible
to keep a single man from going by if he has a mind. However, I
threatened to burn their cornyards if anybody was from home this
day, and I turned one house into the river for not finding its
master at home. It's hard the Government gives nobody in the
North power to keep people in order. I don't choose to send a
company to Inverness until I hear what they are determined to do
at Lord Lovat's."

The Earl of Loudon writes to Marshal Wade, then Commander-in-Chief
in the North, under date of 16th November, saying that 150 or 160
Mackenzies, seduced by the Earl of Cromarty, marched in the
beginning of that week up the north side of Loch-Ness, expecting to
be followed by 500 or 600 Frasers, under command of the Master of
Lovat, but the Mackenzies had not on that date passed the mountains.
On the 16th of December Fortrose writes asking for L400 expended by
him during two months on his men going to and coming from the
Highlands, for which he would not trouble him only that he bad a
very "melancholy appearance" of getting his Martinmas rent, as the
people would be glad of any excuse for non-payment, and the last
severe winter, and their having to leave home, would afford them a
very good one. He was told by the President in reply, that his
letter had been submitted to Lord Loudon, that both of them agreed
that his Lordship's expenses must have been far greater than what
he claimed, "but as cash is very low with us at present, all we can
possibly do is to let your Lordship have the pay of the two
companies from the date of the letter signifying that they were
ordered to remain at Brahan for the service of the Government.
The further expense, which we are both satisfied it must have
cost your Lordship, shall be made good as soon as any money to
be applied to contingencies, which we expect, shall come to hand,
and if it should not come so soon as we wish, the account shall
be made up and solicited, in the same manner with what we lay
out of our own purses, which is no inconsiderable sums." This
correspondence will show the confidence which then existed between
the Government and Lord Fortrose.

On the 9th of December the two Mackenzie companies were marched
into Inverness. Next day, accompanied by a detachment from
Fort-Augustus, they proceeded to Castle Dounie for the purpose of
bringing Lord Lovat to account. The crafty old Simon agreed to
come in to Inverness and to deliver up his arms on the 14th of the
month, but instead of doing so he of course made good his escape.

After the battle of Prestonpans, the Government, on the recommendation
of the Earl of Stair, forwarded twenty blank commissions to
President Forbes, with orders to raise as many companies of 100
men each, among the Highlanders. Eighteen of the twenty were sent
to the Earls of Sutherland and Cromarty, Lords Fortrose and Reay,
the Lairds of Grant and Macleod, and Sir Alexander Macdonald of
Sleat, with instructions to raise the Highland companies in their
respective districts. The Earl of Cromarty, while pretending to
comply with the instructions of the Lord President, offered the
command of one of the companies to a neighbouring gentleman, whom
he well knew to be a strong Jacobite, and at the same time made
some plausible excuse for his son's refusal of another of the

When Lord John Drummond landed with a body of Irish and Scotch
troops, in the service of the French, to aid Prince Charles, he
wrote to Mackenzie announcing his arrival and earnestly requesting
him to declare at once for the Stuart cause, as the only means
by which he could "now expect to retrieve his character." All the
means at Drummond's disposal proved futile, and the Mackenzies
were thus kept out of the Rising of 1745.

That Prince Charles fully appreciated the importance of having the
Mackenzies led by their natural chief, for or against him, will be
seen from Lord Macleod's Narrative of the Rebellion. [Printed at
length in Fraser's "Earls of Cromartie."] "We set out," his Lordship
says, "from Dunblain on the 12th of January, and arrived the same
evening at Glasgow. I immediately went to pay my respects to the
Prince, and found that he was already set down to supper. Dr
Cameron told Lord George Murray, who sat by the Prince, who I was,
on which the Lord Murray introduced me to the Prince, whose hand
I had the honour to kiss, after which the Prince ordered me to
take my place at the table. After supper I followed the Prince to
his apartment to give him an account of his affairs in the North,
and of what had passed in these parts during the time of his
expedition to England. I found that nothing surprised the Prince
so much as to hear that the Earl of Seaforth had declared against
him, for he heard without emotion the names of the other people
who had joined the Earl of Loudon at Inverness; but when I told him
that Seaforth had likewise sent two hundred men to Inverness for
the service of the Government, and that he had likewise hindered
many gentlemen of his clan from joining my father (the Earl of
Cromarty) for the service of the Stuarts, he turned to the French
Minister and said to him, with some warmth, "Hc! mon Dieu! et
Seaforth est aussi contre moi!""

At this stage a hero named Mackenzie, who had done good service
to the Prince in his wanderings through the Highlands after the
battle of Culloden, may be mentioned. Such a small tribute is due
to the gallant Roderick Mackenzie, whose intrepidity and presence
of mind in the last agonies of death, saved his Prince from pursuit
at the time, and was consequently the means of his ultimate escape
in safety to France. Charles had been pursued with the most
persevering assiduity, but Roderick's ruse proved so successful on
this occasion that further search was for a time considered
unnecessary. Mackenzie was a young man, of respectable family, who
joined the Prince at Edinburgh, and served as one of his life-guards.
Being about the same age as his Royal Highness, and, like him, tall,
somewhat slender, and with features in some degree resembling his, he
might, by ordinary observers not accustomed to see the two together,
have passed for the Prince himself. As Roderick could not venture
with safety to return to Edinburgh, where still lived his two maiden
sisters, he after the battle of Culloden fled to the Highlands and
lurked among the hills of Glenmoriston, where, about the middle of
July, he was surprised by a party of Government soldiers. Mackenzie
endeavoured to escape, but, being overtaken, he turned on his
pursuers, and, drawing his sword, bravely defended himself. He was
ultimately shot by one of the red-coats, but as he fell, mortally
wounded, he exclaimed, "You have killed your Prince! You
have killed your Prince!" whereupon he immediately expired. The
soldiers, overjoyed at their supposed good fortune, cut off his
head, and hurried off to Fort-Augustus with their prize. The Duke
of Cumberland, quite convinced that he had now obtained the head of
his Royal relative, packed it up carefully, ordered a post-chaise,
and at once went off to London, taking the head along with him.
After his arrival the deception was discovered, but meanwhile it
proved of great assistance to Prince Charles in his ultimately
successful efforts to escape.

Shortly after the battle of Culloden a fleet of ships appeared off
the coast of Lochbroom, under the command of Captain Fergusson.
They dropped anchor at Loch-Ceannard, when a large party went ashore
and proceeded up the Strath to the residence of Mr Mackenzie of
Langwell, connected by marriage with the Earl of Cromarty. Langwell
having supported the Prince, fled out of the hated Fergusson's
way; but his lady was obliged to remain at home to attend to a
large family of young children, who were at the time laid up with
smallpox. The house was ransacked. A large chest containing the
family and other valuable papers, including a wadset of Langwell
and Inchvannie from her relative, George, Earl of Cromarty, was
burnt before her eyes; and about fifty head of fine Highland cattle
were mangled by the swords and driven to the ships of the spoilers.
Nor did this satisfy them. They committed similar depredations,
without any discrimination between friend or foe, for eight days
during which they remained in the neighbourhood. ["New Statistical
Account of Lochbroom."]

It is well known that Mackenzie had strong Jacobite feelings
although his own prudence and the influence of Lord President Forbes
secured his support for the Government. "Though many respectable
individuals of the Clan Mackenzie had warmly espoused the cause of
Charles, Lord Fortrose seems at no time to have proclaimed openly
for him, whatever hopes he might have countenanced when in personal
communication with the expatriated Sovereign, as indeed there is
cause to infer something of the kind from a letter which, towards
the end of November, 1745, was addressed by Lord John Drummond to
Kenneth, pressing him instantly to join the Prince, then successfully
penetrating the West of England, and qualifying the invitation by
observing that it was the only mode for his Lordship to retrieve
his character. Yet so little did Fortrose or his immediate followers
affect the cause, that when Lord Lovat blockaded Fort-Augustus,
two companies of Mackenzies, which bad been stationed at Brahan,
were withdrawn, and posted by Lord Loudon, the commander-in-chief
of the Government forces, at Castle Dounie, the stronghold of
Fraser and, with the exception of these, the Royal party received
no other support from the family of Seaforth, though many gentlemen
of the clan served in the King's army. Yet it appears that a still
greater number, with others whose ancestors identified themselves
with the fortunes of the House of Kintail, were inclined to espouse
the more venturous steps of the last of the Stuarts. George, the
last Earl of Cromarty, being then paramount in power, and, probably
so, in influence, even to the chief himself, having been, for
certain reasons, liable to suspicions as to their disinterested
nature, declared for Charles, and under his standard his own levy,
with all the Jacobite adherents of the clan, ranged themselves,
and were mainly instrumental in neutralizing Lord Loudon's and the
Laird of Macleod's forces in the subsequent operations of 1746,
driving them with the Lord President Forbes, to take shelter in
the Isle of Skye." [Bennetsfield MS.]

Kenneth married on the 11th of September, 1741, Lady Mary, eldest
daughter of Alexander Stewart, sixth Earl of Galloway, with issue -

I. Kenneth, his heir and successor.

II. Margaret, who on the 4th of June, married William Webb.

III. Mary, who married Henry Howard, of Effingham, with issue.

IV. Agnes, who married J. Douglas.

V. Catherine, who on the 1st of March, 1773, married Thomas Griffin
Tarpley, student of medicine.

VI. Frances, who married General Joseph Wald.

VII. Euphemia, who, on the 2nd of April, 1771, married William
Stewart of Castle Stewart, M.P. for the County of Wigton.

His wife died in London on the 18th of April, 1751, and was buried
at Kensington, where a monument was raised to her memory. Kenneth
died, also in London, on the 19th of October, 1761, and was buried
in Westminster Abbey, when he was succeeded by his only son,


Viscount Fortrose, and Baron Ardelve, in the Peerage of Ireland.
From his small stature, he was generally known among the Highlanders
as the "Little Lord." He was born in Edinburgh on the 15th of
January, 1744, and at an early age entered the army. As a return
for his father's loyalty to the House of Hanovar in 1745, and his
own steady support of the reigning family, George III., in 1764,
raised him to the peerage by the title of Baron Ardelve. He was
created Viscount Fortrose in 1766, and in 1771, Earl of Seaforth,
all in the peerage of Ireland. To evince his gratitude for this
magnanimous act, he, in 1778, offered to raise a regiment for general
service. The offer was accepted by his Majesty, and a fine body
of 1130 men were in a very short time raised by his Lordship,
principally on his own estates in the north and by gentlemen
of his own name. Of these, five hundred were enlisted among his
immediate vassals, and about four hundred from the estates of the
Mackenzies of Scatwell, Kilcoy, Redcastle, and Applecross. The
officers from the south to whom he gave commissions in the regiment
brought about two hundred men, of whom forty-three were English
and Irish. The Macraes of Kintail, always such faithful followers
and able supporters of the House of Seaforth, were so numerous
in the new regiment that it was known more by their name than by
that of Seaforth's own kinsmen, and so much was this the case
that the well-known mutiny which took place in Edinburgh, on the
arrival of the regiment there, is still known as "the affair of
the Macraes." [The Seaforth Highlanders were marched to Leith,
where they were quartered for a short interval, though long enough
to produce complaints about the infringement of their engagements,
and some pay and bounty which they said were due them. Their
disaffection was greatly increased by the activity of emissaries
from Edinburgh, like those just mentioned as having gone down
front London to Portsmouth. The regiment refused to embark, and
marching out of Leith, with pipes playing and two plaids fixed
on poles instead of colours, took a position on Arthur's Seat,
of which they kept possession for several days, during which time
the inhabitants of Edinburgh amply supplied them with provisions
and ammunition. After much negotiation, a proper understanding
respecting the cause of their complaint was brought about, and
they marched down the hill in the same manner in which they had
gone up, with pipes playing; and "with the Earls of Seaforth and
Dunmore, and General Skene, at their head, they entered Leith,
and went on board the transports with the greatest readiness, and
cheerfulness." In this case, as in that of the Athole Highlanders,
none of he men were brought to trial, or even put into confinement
for these acts of open resistance. - "Stewart's Sketches - Appendix"
p. lxvviv.] The regiment was embodied at Elgin in May, 1778,
and inspected there by General Skene, when it was so effective
that not a single man was rejected. Seaforth, appointed Colonel
on the 29th of December, 1777, was now promoted to the rank of
Lieutenant-Colonel-Commandant, and the regiment was called the 78th
(afterwards the 72nd), or Ross-shire Regiment of Highlanders.

The grievances complained of at Leith being removed, the regiment
embarked at that port, accompanied by their Colonel, and the
intention of sending them to India having been abandoned, one half
of the corps was sent to Guernsey and the other half to Jersey.
Towards the end of April, 1781, the two divisions assembled
at Portsmouth, whence they embarked for India on the 12th of
June following, being then 973 strong, rank and file. Though in
excellent health, the men suffered so much from scurvy, in consequence
of the change of food, that before their arrival at Madras, on
the 2d of April, 1782, no fewer than 247 of them died. and out of
those who landed alive only 369 were fit for service. Their Chief
and Colonel died in August, 1781, before they arrived at St Helena,
to the great grief and dismay of his faithful followers, who looked
up to him as their principal source of encouragement and support.
His loss was naturally associated in their minds with recollections
of home, with melancholy remembrances of their absent kindred,
and with forebodings of their own future destiny and so strong
was this feeling impressed upon them that it materially contributed
to that prostration of mind which made them all the more readily
become the victims of disease. They well knew that it was on
their account alone that he had determined to forego the comforts
of a splendid fortune and high rank to encounter the privations and
inconveniences of a long voyage and the dangers and other fatigues
of military service in a tropical climate. ["Stewart's Sketches,"
and Fullarton's "History of the Highland Clans and Highland

His Lordship married on the 7th of October, 1765, Lady Caroline
Stanhope, eldest daughter of William, second Earl of Harrington,
and by her - who died in London from consumption, from which she
suffered for nearly two years, on the 9th of February, 1767, at
the early age of twenty, ["Scots' Magazine" for 1767, p. 533.] and
was buried at Kensington - he had issue, an only daughter, Lady
Caroline, who was born in London on the 7th of July, 1766. She
formed an irregular union with Lewis Malcolm Drummond, Count
Melfort, a nobleman of the Kingdom of France, originally of Scottish
extraction, and died in 1547. She is buried under a flat stone
inscribed with her name in the St Pancras (Old) Burial Ground,

Thus the line of George, second Earl of Seaforth, who died in
1633, became extinct; and the reader must therefore now accompany
us back to Kenneth Mor, the third Earl, to pick up the chain of
legitimate succession. It has been already shown that the lineal
descent of the original line of Kintail was diverted from heirs
male in the person of Anna, Countess of Balcarres, daughter of
Colin, first Earl of Seaforth.

Kenneth Mor, the third Earl, had four sons - (1) Kenneth Og, his heir
and successor, whose line terminated in Lady Caroline, as above; (2)
John of Assynt, whose only son, Alexander, had an only son Kenneth,
who died in 1723 without issue; (3) Hugh, who died young; and (4)
Colonel Alexander, afterwards designated of Assynt and Conansbay,
who, as his second wife, married Elizabeth, daughter of John
Paterson, Bishop of Ross, and sister of John Paterson, Archbishop of
Glasgow. Colonel Alexander had no issue by his first wife, but by
the second he had an only son and six daughters. The daughters were
(1) Isabella, who married Basil Hamilton of Baldoon, became the
mother of Dunbar, fourth Earl of Selkirk, and died in 1725; (2)
Frances, who married her cousin, Kenneth Mackenzie of Assynt, without
issue; (3) Jane, who married Dr Mackenzie, a cadet of Coul, and died
at New Tarbat, on the 18th of September, 1776; (4) Mary, who married
Captain Dougall Stuart of Blairhall, a Lord of Session and Justiciary,
and brother of the first Earl of Bute, with issue; (5) Elizabeth,
who died unmarried at Kirkcudbright, on the 12th of March, 1796,
aged 81; and (6) Maria, who married Nicholas Price of Saintfield,
County Down, Ireland, with issue. She was maid of honour to
Queen Caroline, and died in 1732. Colonel Alexander's only son was,

Major William Mackenzie, who died on the 12th of March, 1770. He
married Mary, daughter and co-heir of Matthew Humberston, Lincoln,
with issue, two sons - (1) Thomas Frederick Mackenzie, Colonel of the
100th Regiment of foot, who assumed the name of Humberston in addition
to his own on succeeding to his mother's property; and (2) Francis
Humberston Mackenzie. Both of Major William's sons ultimately
succeeded to the Seaforth estates. He had also four daughters - (1)
Frances Cerjat, who married Sir Vicary Gibbs, M.P., his Majesty's
Attorney-General, with issue; (2) Maria Rebecca, who married
Alexander Mackenzie of Breda, younger son of James Mackenzie, III. of
Highfield, with issue, six sons - William, a Lieutenant in the 78th
Highlanders, who died at Breda, in Holland, from a wound which he
received on the previous day at the taking of Merxein, in 1814 Thomas,
a Midshipman, R.N., drowned at sea; Frederick, R.N., murdered at
Calcutta in 1820; Francis, R.N., drowned at sea in 1828; and Colin,
all without issue; also Captain Alexander, of the 25th Regiment,
subsequently Adjutant of the Ross-shire Militia, who married Lilias
Dunbar, daughter of James Fowler of Raddery, with issue - James Evan
Fowler, who died unmarried; Alexander, now residing at Fortrose, and
three daughters who died unmarried; (3) Elizabeth, who died without
issue; and (4) Helen, who married Major-General Alexander
Mackenzie-Fraser of Inverallochy, fourth son of Colin Mackenzie, VI.
of Kilcoy, Colonel of the 78th Regiment, and M.P. for the County of
Ross, with issue.

Major William died on the 12th of March, 1770, at Stafford, Lincolnshire.
His wife died on the 19th of February, 1813, at Hartley, Herts. His
eldest son,

Colonel Thomas Frederick Mackenzie-Humberston, it will be seen, thus
became male heir to his cousin, Earl Kenneth, who died, without male
issue, in 1781. The Earl, finding his property heavily encumbered
with debts from which he could not extricate himself, conveyed the
estates to his cousin and heir male, Colonel Thomas, in 1779, on
payment of L100,000. Earl Kenneth died, as already stated, in 1781,
and was succeeded by his cousin,


In all his estates, and in the command of the 78th Ross-shire
Highland Regiment, but not in the titles and dignities, which
terminated with his predecessor. When the 78th was raised, in
1778, Thomas Frederick Mackenzie-Humberston was a captain in the
1st Regiment of Dragoon Guards, but he gave this up and accepted
a captaincy in Seaforth's regiment of Ross-shire Highlanders.
He was afterwards quartered with the latter in Jersey, and took
a prominent share in repelling the attack made on that island by
the French. On the 2nd of September, 1780, he was appointed from
the 78th as Lieutenant-Colonel-Commandant of the 100th Foot.

In 1781 he embarked with this regiment to the East Indies, and was
at Port Preya when the outward bound East India fleet under Commodore
Johnston was attacked by the French. He happened at the time to
be ashore, but such was his ardour to share in the action that he
swam to one of the ships engaged with the enemy. Immediately on
his arrival in India he obtained a separate command on the Malabar
Coast, but in its exercise he met with every possible discouragement
from the Council of Bombay. This, however, only gave a man of his
spirit greater opportunity of distinguishing himself, for, under all
the disadvantages of having funds, stores, and reinforcements
withheld from him, he undertook, with 1000 Europeans and 2500 Sepoys
to wage an offensive war against Calicut. He was conscious of great
personal resources, and harmony, confidence, and attachment on the
part of his officers and men. He finally drove the enemy out of the
country, defeated them in three different engagements, took the city
of Calicut, and every other place of strength in the kingdom. He
concluded a treaty with the King of Travancore, who was reinforced
by a body of 1200 men. Tippoo then proceeded against him with
an army of 30,000, more than one-third of them cavalry; Colonel
Mackenzie-Humberston repelled their attack, and by a rapid march
regained the Fort of Panami, which the enemy attempted to carry,
but he defeated them with great loss. He served under General
Matthews against Hyder Ali in 1782; but during the operations of
that campaign, Matthews gave such proofs of incapacity and injustice,
that Colonels Macleod and Humberston carried their complaints to
the Council of Bombay, where they arrived on the 26th of February,
1783. The Council ordered General Matthews to be superseded,
appointed Colonel Macleod to succeed him in command of the army,
and desired Colonel Humberston to join him. They both sailed from
Bombay on the 5th of April, 1783, in the "Ranger" sloop of war; but,
notwithstanding that peace had been concluded with the Mahrattas,
their ship was attacked on the 8th of that month by the Mahratta
fleet, and after a desperate resistance of four hours, captured.
All the officers on board were either killed or wounded, among
them the young and gallant Colonel Mackenzie-Humberston, who was
shot through the body with a four pound ball, and he died of the
wound at Geriah, on the 30th April, 1783, in the 28th year of his
age. A fine monument is erected to his memory in Fortrose Cathedral.
He had only been Chief of the Clan for two years, and, dying
unmarried, he was succeeded as head of the house and in the family
estates by his next and only lawful brother, ["Douglas' Peerage."
He had a natural son, Captain Humberston Mackenzie, of the 78th,
killed at the storming of Ahmadnugger, on the 8th of August, 1803.]


Raised to the peerage of the United Kingdom as Lord Seaforth and
Baron Mackenzie of Kintail, in 1797. This nobleman was in many
respects an able and remarkable man, was born in 1754, in full
possession of all his faculties but a severe attack of scarlet
fever, from which he suffered when about twelve years of age,
deprived him of hearing and almost of speech. As he advanced in
years he again nearly recovered the use of his tongue, but during
the last two years of his life, grieving over the loss of his four
promising sons, all of whom predeceased him, he became unable, or
rather never made the attempt to articulate. In his youth he was
intended to follow the naval profession, but his physical
misfortunes made such a career impossible.

Little or nothing is known of the history of his early life. In
1784, and again in 1790, he was elected M.P. for the County of Ross.
In 1787, in the thirty-third year of his age, he offered to raise a
regiment on his own estates for the King's service, to be commanded
by himself. In the same year the 74th, 75th, 76th, and 77th
Regiments were raised, and the Government declined his patriotic
offer, but agreed to accept his services in procuring recruits
for the 74th and 75th. This did not satisify him, and he did not
then come prominently to the front. On the 19th of May 1790, he
renewed his offer, but the Government informed him that the
strength of the army had been finally fixed at 77 Regiments, and
his services were again declined. He was still anxious to be of
service to his country, and when the war broke out in 1793, he for
the third time renewed his offer, and placed his great influence
at the service of the Crown. On this occasion a letter of
service is granted in his favour, dated the 7th of March, 1793,
empowering him, as Lieutenant-Colonel-Commandant, to raise a Highland
battalion, which, being the first embodied during the war, was to
be numbered the 78th, the original Mackenzie regiment having had
its number previously reduced to the 72d. The battalion was to
consist of one company of grenadiers, one of light infantry, and
eight battalion companies. The Mackenzie chief at once appointed
as his Major his own brother-in-law, Alexander Mackenzie, at
that time of Belmaduthy but afterwards of Inverallochy and Castle
Fraser, fourth and younger son of Colin Mackenzie, VI. of Kilcoy,
then a captain in the 73d Regiment, and a man who proved himself
on all future occasions well fitted for the post. The following
notice, headed by the Royal arms, was immediately posted throughout
the counties of Ross and Cromarty, on the mainland, and in the
Island of Lewis:

"SEAFORTH'S HIGHLANDERS to be forthwith raised for the defence
of his Glorious Majesty, King George the Third, and the preservation
of our happy constitution in Church and State.

"All lads of true Highland blood willing to show their loyalty and
spirit, may repair to Seaforth, or the Major, Alexander Mackenzie of
Belmaduthy or the other commanding officers at headquarters at ,
where they will receive high bounties and soldier-like entertainment.

"The lads of this regiment will live and die together, as they
cannot be draughted into other regiments, and must be reduced in
a body, in their own country.

"Now for a stroke at the Monsieurs, my boys! King George for ever!

The machinery once set agoing, applications poured in upon Seaforth
for commissions in the corps from among his more immediate relatives,
and from others who were but slightly acquainted with him. [Besides
Seaforth himself, and his Major mentioned in the text, the following,
of the name of Mackenzie, appear among the first list of officers:

Major. - Alexander Mackenzie of Fairburn, General in 1809.

Captains. - John Mackenzie of Gairloch, "Fighting Jack," Major in
1794. Lieutenant-Colonel the same year and Lieutenant-General in 1814;
died the father of the British Army in 1860; and John Randoll Mackenzie
of Suddie, Major-General in 1804, killed at Talavera in 1809.

Lieutenant. - Colin Mackenzie, Lieutenant-Colonel 91st Regiment.

Ensigns. - Charles Mackenzie, Kilcoy; and J. Mackenzie Scott, Captain
57th Regiment; killed at Albuera.]

The martial spirit of the people soon became thoroughly roused, and
recruits came in so rapidly that on the 10th of July, 1793, only
four months after the letter of service to Seaforth, the Regiment
was marched to Fort-George, inspected and passed by Lieutenant-General
Sir Hector Munro, when five companies were immediately embarked
for Guernsey and the other five companies were landed in Jersey
in September, 1793, and afterwards sent to Holland.

On the 13th of October, the same year, Mackenzie offered to raise
a second battalion for the 78th, and on the 30th of the same month
the King gave him permission to raise five hundred additional men on
the original letters of service. But this was not what he wanted,
and on the 28th of December following he submitted to the Government
three alternative proposals for raising a second battalion. On the
7th of February, 1794, one of these was agreed to. The battalion
was to be formed of eight battalion and two flank companies,
each to consist of 100 men, with the usual number of officers and
noncommissioned officers. He was, however, disappointed by the
Government; for while he intended to have raised a second battalion
for his own regiment, an order was issued signed by Lord Amherst,
that it was to be considered a separate corps, whereupon the
Lieutenant-Colonel-Commandant addressed the following protest to Mr
Dundas, one of the Secretaries of State:

St Alban Street, 8th February, 1794.

Sir, - I had sincerely hoped I should not be obliged to trouble you
again; but on my going to-day to the War Office about my letter
of service (having yesterday, as I thought, finally agreed with
Lord Amherst), I was, to my amazement, told that Lord Amherst had
ordered that the 1000 men I am to raise were not to be a second
battalion of the 78th, but a separate corps. It will, I am sure,
occur to you that should I undertake such a thing, it would destroy
my influence among the people of my country entirely and instead
of appearing as a loyal honest chieftain calling out his friends
to support their King and country, I should be gibbeted as a jobber
of the attachment my neighbours bear to me. Recollecting what
passed between you and me, I barely state the circumstance; and I
am, with great respect and attachment, sir, your most obliged and
obedient servant,


This had the desired effect the order for a separate corps was
rescinded, and a letter of service was issued in his favour on the
10th of February, 1794, authorising him, as Lieutenant-Colonel-
Commandant, to add the new battalion, the strength of which was to
be one company of grenadiers, one of light infantry, and eight
battalion companies, to his own regiment. The regiment was soon
raised, inspected and passed at Fort-George in June of the same year
by Lieutenant-General Sir Hector Munro; and in July following the
King gave permission to have it named, as a distinctive title,
"The Ross-shire Buffs." The two battalions were amalgamated in
June, 1796. Another battalion was raised in 1804 - letter of service,
dated 17th April. These were again amalgamated in July, 1817.

Although the regiment was not accompanied abroad by its
Lieutenant-Colonel-Commandant, he continued most solicitous for its
reputation and welfare, as we find from the various communications
addressed to him regarding it and the conduct of the men by
Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Mackenzie of Fairburn, appointed its
Lieutenant-Colonel from the first battalion, [John Randoll Mackenzie,
also from the first battalion, was appointed senior Major.] and
then in actual command; but as the history of the 78th Highlanders
is not our present object, we must here part company with it and
follow the future career of Francis Humberston Mackenzie.

As a reward for his eminent services to the Government he was
appointed Lord-Lieutenant of the County of Ross, and, on the 26th
of October, 1797, raised to the dignity of a peer of the United
Kingdom, by the titles of Lord Seaforth and Baron Mackenzie of
Kintail, the ancient dignities of his house, with limitation to
the heirs male of his body. His Lordship, having resigned the command
of the 78th, was, in 1798, appointed Colonel of the Ross-shire
Regiment of Militia. In 1800 he was appointed Governor of Barbadoes,
an office which he retained for six years, after which he held high
office in Demerara and Berbice. While Governor of Barbadoes he was
for a time extremely popular, and was distinguished for his firmness
and even-handed justice. He succeeded in putting an end to slavery,
and to the practice of slave-killing in the island, which at that time
was of very common occurrence, and deemed by the planters a venal
offence punishable only by a small fine of 15. In consequence
of his humane proceedings in this matter he became obnoxious to
many of the colonists, and, in 1806, he finally left the island. In
1808 he was made a Lieutenant-General.

These were singular incidents in the life of a man who may be
said to have been deaf and dumb from his youth but who, in spite
of these physical defects - sufficient to crush any ordinary man -
had been able, by the force of his natural abilities and the favour
of fortune, to overcome them sufficiently to raise himself to such
a high and important position in the world. He took a lively
interest in all questions of art and science, especially in natural
history, and displayed at once his liberality and his love of
art by his munificence to Sir Thomas Lawrence, in the youth and
struggles of that great artist and famous painter, and by his
patronage of others. On this point a recent writer says - "The
last baron of Kintail, Francis. Lord Seaforth, was, as Sir Walter
Scott has said, 'a nobleman of extraordinary talents, who must
have made for himself a lasting reputation had not his political
exertions been checked by painful natural infirmities.' Though deaf
from his sixteenth year and though labouring under a partial
impediment of speech, he held high and important appointments, and
was distinguished for his intellectual activities and attainments
... His case seems to contradict the opinion held by Kitto and others,
that in all that relates to the culture of the mind, and the
cheerful exercise of the mental faculties, the blind have the
advantage of the deaf. The loss of the ear, that 'vestibule of
the soul,' was to him compensated by gifts and endowments rarely
united in the same individual. One instance of the chief's
liberality and love of art may be mentioned. In 1796 he advanced
a sum of L1000 to Sir Thomas Lawrence to relieve him from pecuniary
difficulties. Lawrence was then a young man of twenty-seven. His
career from a boy upwards was one of brilliant success, but he was
careless and generous as to money matters, and some speculations
by his father embarassed and distressed the young artist. In his
trouble he applied to the Chief of Kintail. 'Will you,' he said
in that theatrical style common to Lawrence, 'will you be the
Antonio to a Bassanio?' He promised to pay the L1000 in four years,
but the money was given on terms the most agreeable to the feelings
and complimentary to the talents of the artist. He was to repay it
with his pencil, and the chief sat to him for his portrait. Lord
Seaforth also commissioned from West one of those immense sheets of
canvas on which the old Academician delighted to work in his latter
years. The subject of the picture was the traditionary story of the
Royal hunt, in which Alexander the Third was saved from the assault
of a fierce stag by Colin Fitzgerald, a wandering knight unknown to
authentic history. West considered it one of his best productions,
charged L800 for it, and was willing some years afterwards, with a
view to the exhibition of his works, to purchase back the picture
at its original cost. In one instance Lord Seaforth did not evince
artistic taste. He dismantled Brahan Castle removing its
castellated features and completely modernising its general
appearance. The house, with its large modern additions, is a tall,
massive pile of building, the older portion covered to the roof with
ivy. It occupies a commanding site on a bank midway between the
river Conon and a range of picturesque rocks. This bank extends for
miles, sloping in successive terraces, all richly wooded or
cultivated, and commanding a magnificent view that terminates with
the Moray Firth." ["The Seaforth Papers," in the "North British
Review," 1863, by Robert Carruthers, LL.D.]

The remarkable prediction of the extinction of this highly
distinguished and ancient family is so well known that it need not
be recapitulated here, and its literal fulfilment is one of the
most curious instances of the kind on record. There is no doubt
that the "prophecy" was widely known throughout the Highlands
generations before it was fulfilled. Lockhart, in his "Life of
Sir Walter Scott," says that "it connected the fall of the house of
Seaforth not only with the appearance of a deaf 'Cabarfeidh,'
but with the contemporaneous appearance of various different
physical misfortunes in several of the other Highland chiefs, all
of which are said to have actually occurred within the memory of
the generation that has not yet passed away. Mr Morrit can testify
thus far, that he heard the prophecy quoted in the Highlands at a
time when Lord Seaforth had two sons alive, and in good health,
and that it certainly was not made after the event," and then he
proceeds to say that Scott and Sir Humphrey Davy were most certainly
convinced of its truth, as also many others who had watched the
latter days of Seaforth in the light of those wonderful predictions.
[Every Highland family has its store of traditionary and romantic
beliefs. Centuries ago a seer of the Clan Mackenzie, known as
Kenneth Oag (Odhar), predicted that when there should be a deaf
Caberfae the gift land of the estate would be sold, and the male
line become extinct. The prophecy was well known in the North,
and it was not, like many similar vaticinations, made after the
event. At least three unimpeachable Sassenach writers, Sir Humphrey
Davy, Sir Walter Scott, and Mr Morritt of Rokeby, had all heard
the prediction when Lord Seaforth had two sons alive, both in good
health. The tenantry were, of course, strongly impressed with the
truth of the prophecy, and when their Chief proposed to sell part
of Kintail, they offered to buy in the land for him, that it might
not pass from the family. One son was then living, and there was
no immediate prospect of the succession expiring; but, in deference
to their clannish prejudice or affection, the sale of any portion
of the estate was deferred for about two years. The blow came at
last. Lord Seaforth was involved in West India plantations, which
were mismanaged, and he was forced to dispose of part of the "gift
land." About the same time the last of his four sons, a young man
of talent and eloquence, and then representing his native county in
Parliament, died suddenly, and thus the prophecy of Kenneth Oag
was fulfilled. -

"Of the name of Fitzgerald remained not a male
To bear the proud name of the Chief of Kintail."

--Robert Carruthers, LL.D., in the "North British Review."]

His Lordship outlived all his four sons, as predicted by the Brahan
Seer. His name became extinct, and his vast possessions were
inherited by a stranger, James Alexander Stewart, who married his
eldest daughter, Lady Hood. The sign by which it would be known
that the prediction was about to be fulfilled was also foretold in
the same remarkable manner, namely, that in the day's of the last
Seaforth there should be four great contemporary lairds, distinguished
by certain physical defects described by the Seer. Sir Hector
Mackenzie, Bart. of Gairloch, was buck-toothed, and is to this day
spoken of among the Gairloch tenantry as "An Tighearna storach,"
or the buck-toothed laird. Chisholm of Chisholm was hair-lipped,
Grant of Grant half-witted, and Macleod of Raasay a stammerer.
[For full details of this remarkable instance of family fate, see
"The Prophecies of the Brahan Seer." - A. & W. Mackenzie, Inverness.]

To the testimony of those whose names have been already given we
shall add the evidence of a living witness when the first edition
of this work was in preparation. Duncan Davidson of Tulloch,
Lord-Lieutenant of the county of Ross, in a letter addressed to
the author, dated May 21, 1878, says - "Many of these prophecies I
heard of upwards of 70 years ago, and when many of them were not
fulfilled, such as the late Lord Seaforth surviving his sons, and
Mrs Stewart Mackenzie's accident, near Brahan, by which Miss
Caroline Mackenzie was killed."

It is impossible not to sympathise with the magnificent old Chief
as he mourned over the premature death of his four promising sons,
and saw the honours of his house for ever extinguished in his own

Many instances are related of his magnificent extravagance at home,
while sailing round the West Coast, visiting the great principality
of the Lewis, and calling on his way hither and thither on the
other great chiefs of the West and Western Islands. Sir Walter
Scott, in his "Lament for the Last of the Seaforths," adds his
tribute -

In vain the bright course of thy talents to wrong.
Fate deadened thine ear and imprisoned thy tongue,
For brighter o'er all her obstructions arose
The glow of thy genius they could not oppose;
And who, in the land of the Saxon or Gael
Could match with Mackenzie, High Chief of Kintail?

Thy sons rose around thee in light and in love,
All a father could hope, all a friend cou'd approve;
What `vails it the tale of thy sorrows to tell?
In the spring time of youth and of promise they fell!
Of the line of MacKenneth remains not a male,
To bear the proud name of the Chief of Kintail.

This sketch of the great chief cannot better be closed than in the
words of one already repeatedly quoted: "It was said of him by an
acute observer and a leading wit of the age, the late Honourable
Henry Erskine, the Scotch Dean of Faculty, that 'Lord Seaforth's
deafness was a merciful interposition to lower him to the ordinary
rate of capacity in society,' insinuating that otherwise his
perception and intelligence would have been oppressive. And the
aptness of the remark was duly appreciated by all those who had
the good fortune to be able to form an estimate from personal
observation, while, as a man of the world, none was more capable of
generalizing. Yet, as a countryman, he never affected to disregard
those local predilections which identified him with the County
of Ross, as the genuine representative of Kintail, possessing an
influence which, being freely ceded and supported, became paramount
and permanent in the county which he represented in the Commons
House of Parliament, till he was called to the peerage on the 26th
October, 1797, by the title of Lord Seaforth and Baron of Kintail,
with limitation to heirs male of his body, and which he presided
over as his Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant. He was commissioned, in
1793, to reorganise the 78th or Ross-shire Regiment of Highlanders,
which, for so many years, continued to be almost exclusively composed
of his countrymen. Nor did his extraordinary qualifications and
varied exertions escape the wide ranging eye of the master genius
of the age, who has also contributed, by a tributary effusion, to
transmit the unqualified veneration of our age to many that are
to follow. He has been duly recognised by Sir Walter Scott, nor
was he passed over in the earlier buddings of Mr Colin Mackenzie;
but while the annalist is indebted to their just encomiums, he may
be allowed to respond to praise worthy of enthusiasm by a splendid
fact which at once exhibits a specimen of reckless imprudence
joined to those qualities which, by their popularity, attest
their genuineness. Lord Seaforth for a time became emulous of the
society of the most accomplished Prince of his age. The recreation
of the Court was play; the springs of this indulgence then were
not of the most delicate texture; his faculties, penetrating as
they were, had not the facility of detection which qualified him
for cautious circumspection; he heedlessly ventured and lost. It
was then to cover his delinquencies elsewhere, he exposed to sale
the estate of Lochalsh; and it was then he was bitterly taught
to feel, when his people, without an exception, addressed his
Lordship this pithy remonstrance - 'Reside amongst us and we shall
pay your debts.' A variety of feelings and facts, unconnected with
a difference, might have interposed to counteract this display of
devotedness besides ingratitude, but these habits, or his Lordship's
reluctance, rendered this expedient so hopeless that certain of the
descendants of the original proprietors of that valuable locality
were combining their respective finances to buy it in, when a
sudden announcement that it was sold under value, smothered their
amiable endeavours. Kintail followed, with the fairest portion of
Glenshiel, and the Barony of Callan Fitzgerald ceased to exist, to
the mortification, though not to the unpopularity of this still
patriarchal nobleman among his faithful tenantry and the old
friends of his family." [Bennetsfield MS.]

He married on the 22d of April, 1782, Mary, daughter of the Rev.
Baptist Proby, D.D., Dean of Lichfield, and brother of John, first
Lord Carysfort, by whom he had issue -

I. William Frederick, who died young, at Killearnan.

II. George Leveson Boucherat, who died young at Urquhart.

III. William Frederick, who represented the County of Ross in
Parliament, in 1812, and died unmarried at Warriston, near Edinburgh,
in 1814.

IV. Francis John, a midshipman in the Royal Navy, who died unmarried
at Brahan, in 1813.

V. Mary Frederica Elizabeth, who succeeded her father and of whom

VI. Frances Catherine, who died without issue.

VII. Caroline, who was accidentally killed at Brahan, unmarried.

VIII. Charlotte Elizabeth, who died unmarried.

IX. Augusta Anne, who died unmarried.

X. Helen Ann, who married the Right Hon. Joshua Henry Mackenzie


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