Thursday, November 25, 2010

A short history of Scotland

The Lord was advised (at least on an occasional basis) by a Council. Dean Monro, who wrote a description of the Western Isles in 1549, described the membership as consisting of four ranks:
* Four "great men of the royal blood of Clan Donald lineally descended" (Macdonald of Clanranald, Macdonald of Dunnyvaig, MacIain of Ardnamurchan and Macdonald of Keppoch)
* Four "greatest of the nobles, called lords" (Maclean of Duart, Maclaine of Lochbuie, Macleod of Dunvegan and Macleod of the Lewes)
* Four "thanes of less living and estate" (Mackinnon of Strath, MacNeil of Barra, MacNeill of Gigha and Macquarrie of Ulva)
* "Freeholders or men that had their lands in factory" (Mackay of the Rhinns, MacNicol of Scorrybreac, MacEacharn of Kilellan, Mackay of Ugadale, Macgillivray in Mull and Macmillan of Knapdale).

In practice, membership and attendance must have varied with the times and the occasion. A commission granted in July 1545 by Domhnall Dubh, claimant to the Lordship, identified the following members:
* Hector Maclean of Duart
* John Macdonald of Clanranald
* Ruari Macleod of the Lewes
* Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan
* Murdoch Maclaine of Lochbuie
* Allan Maclean of Torloisk
* Archibald Macdonald, Captain of Clann Uisdein
* Alexander MacIan of Ardnamurchan
* John Maclean of Coll
* Gilleonan MacNeil of Barra
* Ewen Mackinnon of Strath
* John MacQuarrie of Ulva
* John Maclean of Ardgour
* Alexander Macdonell of Glengarry
* Angus Macdonald of Knoydart
* Donald Maclean of Kingairloch
* Angus Macdonald, brother of James Macdonald of Dunnyveg
Thus, the Western Isles came to be run by an heriditary lord who was advised by a committee, most of the members of which were related to one another.

You will not be surprised to learn that this did not end well.


Peter in Dundee said...

Indeed it did not. The current Lord of the Isles is a right Charlie, who isnae even Scottish.

Anonymous said...

What, no Jacobite succession?

Craig Y