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Barony of Tiotemish was managed by a Government factor of the name of Macleod, alias MacEuairidh Mhic Uilleim, who was a hard, cruel, and merciless man, whose very appearance was abhorred and detested by all the inhabitants of Troternish.t The forfeiture of the Macdonald estates for the part taken by the Chief and his family in the recent Rebellion, was a subject of deep interest to many powerful persons in the kingdom, of whom several were on friendly terms with the Government of the day. Nothing was left undone by these friends to bring influence to bear upon more influential persons at head-quarters on behalf of the powerful family which had been deprived of such a vast and valuable property. The Government yielded after a time so far as to confer a right to the forfeited estate, not directly on the rightful heirs, but on some of the gentlemen who had appealed to Government in behalf of the Clan Domhnuill. The principal among these was Mackenzie of Delvin, and it is said that His Majesty the King and his courtiers agreed to infeft that gentleman in the forfeited estates under a secret understanding that, in due time, the property would be restored to the rightful owners, as the Government did not deem it prudent to make permanent enemies of such a powerful sept as the Macdonalds of the Isles, who might induce other branches of the clan as well as powerful chiefs of other clans to unite with them in refusing allegiance to the reigning dynasty. Be this as it may, "it is well known that the forfeited estates were not made over to the rightful heir, but to his brother, "William the Taightear. No sooner, however, did this take place than the Taightear delivered the estate over to the proper heir, and did not retain any portion thereof to himself, except a free grant of the farm of Aird during his lifetime, and a perpetual lease of the Island of Valay, on the coast of North Uist, for his heirs and successors, for a shilling a year as a feu. The Taightear lived and died at Aird, a place about two miles north of Duntulm Castle, and at the most northern point of Skye. The house he lived in is to this day called 'The Taightear.' When he died his remains were interred in Eelig MhicDhomhnuill, in the parish burying-ground, within seven or eight yards of the Kingsburgh mausoleum, wherein rest the remains of the celebrated Flora Macdonald. The funeral of the Taightear was attended by many thousands from all parts of the Island, and of the surrounding Isles. An idea may be formed of the number present on that occasion, when it is stated that the procession was two miles in length, six men walking abreast. Seven pipers were in attendance, who, placed at certain distances in the procession, severally played the funeral coronach. Upwards of three hundred imperial gallons of whisky were provided for the occasion, with every other description of refreshments in proportional abundance. The only other funeral in Skye that resembled it was that of Mora Macdonald, which was about as numerously attended. Ever since the death of the Taightear, his descendants from sire to son lived at Valay in comfort and happiness, until about fifty or sixty years ago the property became burdened, and had to be left by the only remaining heir, who, when a young man, entered the navy."
Sir Alexander kept out of the Rebellion of 1745, more, no doubt, from motives of prudence than from want of sympathy with the
+ The Rev. Mr Macgregor has also supplied u» with a sketch of this cruel man for a recent number.
Jacobite cause. 'It is beyond question that both Sir Alexander and Macleod of Dunvegan promised to join Prince Charles if he brought over a French army with him, though they afterwards joined the Government against him. Miss Macleod of Dunvegan informs us that she recollects seeing in the Macleod Charter Chest a correspondence which had taken place between the Prince, Sir Alexander Macdonald, and her ancestor the Macleod of 1745, "inviting Prince Charlie to come over several months before he arrived." This "very interesting" correspondence is now unfortunately lost. In the light of these facts the following letter addressed to President Forbes will be found both instructive and interesting :—My Lord,—Probably you'll have heard, before this reaches you, that some of our neighbours of the main land have been mad enough to arm and join the Young Adventurer mentioned in Macleod's letter to you. Your lordship will find our conduct with regard to this unhappy scrape such as you'd wish, and such as the friendship you have always showed us will prompt to direct. Young Clanranold is deluded, notwithstanding his assurances to us lately; and what is more astonishing, Lochiel's prudence lias quite forsaken him. You know too much of Glengarry not to know that he'll easily be led to be of the Party; but, as far as I can learn, he has not yet been with them. Mr Maclean of Coll is here with his daughter, lately married to Tallisker; and he assures us of his own wisdom; and, as he has mostly the direction of that Clan, promises as much as in him lies to prevent their being led astray. You may believe, my lord, our spirits are in a good deal of agitation, and that we are much at a loss how to behave in so extraordinary an occurrence. That we will have no connection with these madmen is certain, but are bewildered in every other respect till we hear from you. Whenever these rash men mept with a check, 'tis more than probable they'll endeavour to retire to their islands; how we ought to behave in that event we expect to know from your Lordship. Their force, even in that case, must be very considerable, to be repelled with Batons; and we have no other arms in any quantity. I pledge Macleod in writing for him and myself. I come now to tell you, what you surely know, that I am most faithfully, my Lord, your most obedient humble servant,
Tallisker, 11 th Aug. 1745. (Signed) Alex. Macdonald.*
The part which Sir Alexander took in the Rebellion of "Forty-five,'' and the interest he and his lady took in the after proceedings—the escape of Prince Charles and the adventures of Flora Macdonald—are so well known to the readers of the papers which have appeared from month to month in this magazine from the pen of the Rev. Alexander Macgregor, as to make it quite unnecessary to enlarge upon them just now.
He was in great favour with President Forbes of Culloden, and with the Duke of Cumberland, who corresponded with him, and complimented him on his loyalty, at the same time assuring him of his friendly regard.
He married, first, on the 5th of April 1733, Anne, daughter of David Erskine of Dun, in the County of Forfar (a Lord of Session and Justiciary), and relict of James, Lord Ogilvie, son of David, third Earl of Airly, and by her (who died in Edinburgh in the 27th year of her ago) had one son—
1. Donald, who, bom 10th January 1734, died young.
* Culloden Papers.
He married, secondly, on the 24th of April 1739, Lady Margaret Montgomery, daughter of Alexander, ninth Earl of Eglintoun, and by her (who died in Welbeck Street, London, on the 30th of March 1799) had issue—
2. James, who succeeded his father.
3. Alexander, who succeeded his brother, Sir James; and
4. Archibald, born, after his father's death, in 1747. He studied for the law, and was called to the English Bar, where he soon distinguished himself, and was early in his career made a King's Counsel. In 1780 he was appointed a Welsh Judge; Solicitor-General, 7th of April 1784; Attorney-General, 28th of June 1788, on which occasion he received the honour of knighthood. In 1777 he was elected Member of Parliament for Hindon. At the general election in 1780 he was returned for Newcastle-under-Lyne, and re-elected in 1784 and in 1790. He was appointed Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1793, and made a Privy Councillor. On the 27th of November 1813, he was created a Baronet. On the 26th of December 1777, he married Lady Louisa Leveson Gower, eldest daughter of Granville-Leveson, first Marquis of Stafford, with issue— (1), James Macdonald, who succeeded his father, on the death of the latter, 10th May 1826, as the second Baronet. Sir James, born on the 14th of February 1784, was elected Member of Parliament, in 1805, for Newcastle-under-Lyne; also in 1806 and 1807. He afterwards represented Calne. In 1829 he was elected M.P. for Hampshire. He married, first, on the 5th of September, 1805, Elizabeth, second daughter of John Sparrow of Bisbton, Staffordshire, without issue. He married, secondly, 10th August 1810, Sophia, eldest daughter of the Earl of Albemarle, with issue (a), Archibald Keppel, the present Baronet; (b), GranvilleSouthwell, born 1821, died 1831. He married, thirdly, on the 20th of April 1826, Anne Charlotte, daughter of the Rev. J. Savile Ogle of Kirkley Hall, Northumberland. Sir James died in 1832, of cholera, in which year he had been appointed, in the month of May, High Commissioner for the Ionian Islands; (2), Francis Macdonald, a Captain in the Royal Navy, born on the 22d of May 1785, and died in the West Indies, on the 28th of June 1804, in the 20th year of his age, without issue; (3), Caroline Margaret, who died young; (4), Susan, who died at Lisbon in 1803; (5). Louisa; (6), Caroline Diana. Sir Archibald Keppel Macdonald, the third Baronet, was born on the 15th October 1820, educated at Harrow, and succeeded his father, Sir James, in June 1832. He married, first, on the 1st of May 1849'Lady Margaret Coke, daughter of Thomas-William, first Earl of Leicester. She died in 1868, without issue. He married, secondly, in 1869, Catherine Mary, eldest daughter of J. Coulthurst of Gargrave Hall, Yorkshire widow of the Hon. Thomas Edward Stonor, eldest son of the third Lord Camoys. Sir Archibald was a captain in the Scots Fusilier Guards, from which he retired in 1849, and Equerry to the late Duke of Sussex.' He is a Deputy-Lieutenant and Magistrate of Hampshire, and was High Sherift of the County in 18G5.
Sir Alexander Macdonald of Sleat died of pleurisy, in the 36th year of his age, at Bemera, Glenclg, on the 23d of November 1746, while on bis wayto London to wait upon the Duke of Cumberland. He was succeeded by his eldest son.
THE TEAGEDY OF IBTNES.
Our story opens in the spring of 1580. A cold blustering March day was drawing to a close; the high wind, which during the day had been blowing round the walls of Cromy House—tearing off pieces of the roof, throwing down chimneys, and every weak bit of masonry, then, as if in despair of doing further damage to the massive building, rushing with a mighty noise through the surrounding woods, where the broken branches, and torn up roots of some of the noblest trees, bore witness to its violence —now only blew in fitful gusts, its sullen roar dying away in melancholy soughings, like an angry child sobbing itself to sleep. The inside of the mansion afforded a bright contrast to the gloom without. The day's work was done, and the numerous domestics and retainers, then considered essential to the proper dignity of a gentleman of wealth and position to maintain, were gathered in the hall, where the evening meal was served with the liberality and open hospitality characteristic of the times. In another apartment sat the lady of the house, a tall, stately woman of about forty. Her only companion was Iter husband's nephew, a young lad of fifteen, whose frank, handsome face was flushed with enthusiasm as the lady recounted some of the doughty deeds of his forefathers. This lad, Alexander Innes, had been left an orphan, and had been adopted by bis uncle the Laird of Innes. The lady of Cromy had but one son, who was now about sixteen, and studying at the College of Aberdeen. It had been a great disappointment to the high-spirited lady that her only son should not have inherited more of the warlike propensities of his ancestors; but the young laird was not of a very robust constitution; which circumstance unfitted him for the rough training and violent exercises of his companions. As he grew up, however, he showed great aptitude for study, and the heart of his fond mother was cheered by the thought, that if her son was not destined to shine as a brave soldier like his grandfather James, who fell fighting gallantly in defence of the liberties of his country at the battle of Pinkie in 1547, at least he would be a great and learned scholar, and in this way worthily sustain the honour of his family. To this end the lad was carefully educated, and at this time was pursuing his studies at Aberdeen.
"Your uncle tarries late. I hope no mischance hath befallen him," remarked the lady to her young companion, as the rain rattling against the casement caused her attention to be drawn to the cheerless weather, and the growing darkness of the evening. "Call for lights, boy, and then run out and see if your uncle is yet in sight"
Alexander executed his aunt's orders with alacrity, and soon returned saying that his uncle was not yet in sight, but would doubtless soon be. "Why," he added, "are you so anxious to-night about my uncle? He has often beeu out in far worse weather than this."
"'Tis not the weather, boy, I fear," rejoined the lady; "but he had an appointment to meet his cousin, Eobert Innes of Innermarky, to-day, and as you well know, there is bitter feeling between them, and Eobert limes is an unscrupulous man, whom I fear almost as much as I mistrust and dislike him."
"Never fear, aunt," laughingly said the lad, " my uncle is more than a match for his cousin Robert any day, and besides, did you not tell me that Laird John was also to be present, and surely he would keep peace between them."
"Yes," answered his aunt, "he is to be with them; but Laird John is a weak-minded man, with no will of his own, and is easily led by the flattering tongue of Innermarky."
The clattering of horses hoofs in the court-yard and the cheery sound of her husband's voice now relieved the lady of all anxiety on his account. The laird was soon seated by the welcome fire, recounting to his attentive and sympathising wife the events of the day, which, to judge by the stern brow of Innes, and the indignant looks of his lady, did not seem to have been of a very pleasant nature.
"And did he indeed dare to threaten you," exclaimed the lady, "the false-hearted villain that he is; but surely you can defy his insolent claims to the lairdship of Innes."
"Yes, yes, I have the bond of tailzie and other papers all right; yet still he can give me a lot of trouble, and it will be necessary for me to go to Aberdeen to consult with the lawyer. Fetch me the box of papers, wife, for me to look over them again." The box was brought, and husband and wife were soon busy poring over the deeds and papers it contained.
"Now, Isabel," said Innes, when at length their inspection of the papers was over, " mind and be careful over this box, and never give it up to any one without special orders from me. These documents are most important, and Innermarky would give much to get possession of them."
The next day Alexander Innes set out for Aberdeen, mounted on his favourite black horse, and accompanied by some half-dozen retainers. As he bade adieu to his wife, and received the last loving messages for their son, he noticed an unusual wistful look in her face and a half-sad tenderness in her manner which somewhat surprised him.
"Why, how now! wife, what ails you to be so dull this morning 1 one would think I was going to London instead of only to Aberdeen."
"I know not what it is," rejoined the lady, "but I do not like the idea of this journey at all; take care of yourself, I dreamed last night"—
"Tut, tut," exclaimed the hearty laird, as he laughingly kissed his wife's anxious face, "never fash me with your dreams; I shall be back in a week's time at least with a present of a bran new gown for you, so cheer up," and with a cheerful smile and a parting wave of the hand, he cantered down the avenue, his handsome figure, and erect easy seat on the noble animal he rode, forming a pleasant sight to his wife, who watched his retreating form with pardonable pride.
The Laird, however, did not return so soon as he expected, his business took him longer than ho anticipated, and then his son Robert got sick with a low fever, brought on by over study, so Innes removed him from College for a time, and took him to his own lodging, a house in the suburbs, or the new town, as it was called, Aberdeen proper being designated the old town. From this house he sent his servants to and fro