Injustice Mo Baiwang

and of all the fierce and savage band none was more terrible

source:iostime:2023-12-05 10:01:28

The Earl of Cromarty, and other MS. historians of the family fully corroborate this. The Earl says that Hector, incited to revenge by the foul murder of his nephews, made some attempts to oust the Macleods from Gairloch during John of Killin's minority, but was not willing to engage in war with such a powerful chief as Macleod of Lewis, while he felt himself insecure in his other possessions, but after arranging matters amicably with his nephew of Kintail, and now being master of a fortune and possessions suitable to his mind and quality, he resolved to avenge the murder and to "make it productive of his own advantage." He summoned all those who were accessory to the assassination of his sister's children before the Chief Justice. Their well grounded fears made them absent themselves from Court. Hector produced the bloody shirts of the murdered boys, whereupon the murderers were declared fugitives and outlaws, and a commission granted in his favour for their pursuit, "which he did so resolutely manage that in a short time he killed many, preserved some to justice, and forced the remainder to a composition advantageous to himself. His successors, who were both active and prudent men, did thereafter acquire the rest from their unthrifty neighbours." The greatest defeat that Hector ever gave to the Macleods "was at Bealach Glasleoid, near Kintail, where most of them were taken or killed." At this fight Duncan Mor na Tuaighe, who so signally distinguished himself at Blar-na-Pairc, was present with Hector, and on being told that four men were together attacking his son Dugal, he indifferently replied, "Well, if he be my son there is no hazard for that," a remark which turned out quite true, for the hero killed the four Macleods, and came off himself without any serious wounds. [Duncan in his old days was very assisting to Hector, Gairloch's predecessor, against the Macleods of Gairloch, for he, with his son Dugal, who was a strong, prudent, and courageous man, with ten or twelve other Kintailmen, were alwise, upon the least advertisement, ready to go and assist Hector, whenever, wherever, and in whatever he had to do, for which cause there has been a friendly correspondence betwixt the family of Gairloch and the MacRas of Kintail, which still continues."--Genealogy of the MacRas.]

and of all the fierce and savage band none was more terrible

The massacre of Island Isay followed a considerable time after this, and its object was very much the same as the murder of Loch Tolly, although carried out by a different assassin. Ruairidh "Nimhneach" Macleod, son of Allan "Mac Ruairdh" of Gairloch, and nephew of the Loch Tolly assassins, determined not only to remove the children of John Mor na Tuaighe, brother of Alexander Macleod, II. of Raasay, by Janet Mackenzie of Kintail, but also to destroy the direct line of the Macleods of Raasay, and thus open up the succession to John na Tuaighe's son by his second wife, Roderick Nimhneach's sister, and failing him, to Roderick's own son Allan. By this connection it would, he thought, be easier for him to attain repossession of the lands of Gairloch, from which his family was driven by the Mackenzies.

and of all the fierce and savage band none was more terrible

Roderick's name appears as "Rory Mac Allan, alias Nevymnauch," in a decree-arbitral by the Regent Earl of Murray between Donald Macdonald, V. of Sleat, and Colin Mackenzie, XI. of Kintail, dated at Perth, the 1st of August, 1569, in terms of which Macdonald becomes responsible for Roderick and undertakes that he and his kin shall "desist and cease troubling, molesting, harming or invasion of the said Laird of Gairloch's lands and rowmes, possessions, tenants, servants, and goods, while on the other hand Kintail shall see to it that Torquil Cononach shall cease to do the same in all respects to Macdonald's lands." In 1586 Roderick is described as "of Lochgair," but another person is named in the same document as "Macleud, heritor of the lands of Gairloch," which proves that Roderick Nimhneach was not the actual proprietor of even the small portion of that district which was still left to his family. He was the second son, and one of the objects of the massacre on Island Isay was to cut off his father's only surviving son and heir by his first wife--a daughter of Mackenzie of Kintail--who escaped the previous massacre on the Island of Loch Tolly.

and of all the fierce and savage band none was more terrible

With the view of cutting off the legitimate male representation of his own Macleod relatives of Gairloch and of Raasay, he invited all the members of both families, and most of them accepted the invitation. Roderick on their arrival feasted them sumptuously at a great banquet.

In the middle of the festivities he informed them of his desire to have each man's advice separately, and that he would after-wards make known to them the important business which had to be considered, and which closely concerned each of them. He then retired into a separate apartment, and called them in one by one, when they were each, as they entered, stabbed with dirks through the body by a set of murderous savages whom he had engaged and posted inside the room for the purpose.

Not one of the family of Raasay was left alive, except a boy nine years of age, who was being fostered from home, and who had been sent privately by his foster-father, when the news of the massacre became known, to the laird of Calder, who kept him in safety during his minority. He afterwards obtained possession of Raasay, and became known as Gillecallum Garbh MacGillechallum. Macleod of Gairloch's sons, by Hector Roy's sister, were all murdered. Roderick took his own nephew to the room where, walking with his brutal relative, he heard one of his half-brothers cry on being stabbed by the assassin's dirk, and saying "Yon's my brother's cry."

"Hold your peace," Rory replied, "yonder cry is to make you laird of Gairloch; he is the son of one of Mackenzie's daughters." The boy, fearing that his own life might be sacrificed, held his tongue, "but afterwards he did what in him lay in revenging the cruel death of his brothers and kinsmen on the murtherers." [Ancient MS.]

In acknowledgment of the King's favour, Hector gathered his followers in the west, joined his nephew, John of Killin, with his vassals, and fought, in command of the clan, at the disastrous battle of Flodden, from which both narrowly escaped but most of their followers were slain. Some time after his return home he successfully fought the desperate skirmish at Druim-a-chait, already referred to, pp. 114-118, with 140 men against 700 of the Munros, Dingwalls, MacCullochs, and other clans under the command of William Munro of Fowlis, on which occasion Sheriff Vass of Lochslinn was killed at a bush near Dingwall, "called to this day Preas Sandy Vass," or Alex. Vass's bush, a name assigned to it for that very cause. [Gairloch MS.]