History of the Clan Macrae


Alexander Ionraic (Alexander the Just), sixth Baron of Kintail

Alexander Ionraic's daughter was the wife and widow of Allan Macleod and the sister of Hector Roy Mackenzie

Alexander Ionraic's son, Hector Roy Mackenzie, helped his sister avenge the murder of her husband by wiping out the Macleods of Gairloch.

See The Connection of the Macraes with the House of Gairloch

The Macraes were mainly instrumental in establishing the family of Gairloch.  About 1480 Allan Macleod, laird of Gairloch, with his two young sons, was barbarously murdered by his own two brothers.  His wife was a daughter of Alexander Ionraic (Alexander the Just), sixth Baron of Kintail, who died about 1490, and sister of Hector Roy Mackenzie, a younger son, who became progenitor of the lairds of GairlochHector Roy took up the cause of his sister, and obtained from the King a commission of fire and sword for the destruction of the Macleods of Gairloch.  In this task, which proved by no means easy, Hector received his main support from the Macraes, one of whom had meanwhile encountered the two murderers and killed them both single-handed in fair fight at a spot in Gairloch, which is still pointed out.   In 1494 Hector Roy received a grant of Gairloch by charter from the Crown, but it was not until the time of his grandson, John Roy (1566-1628) that the Macleods were finally expelled, and the supremacy of the Mackenzies fully established.

See Fionnla Dubh Mac Gillechriosd

According to the Rev. John Macrae, the founder of the Clan Macrae of Kintail was Fionnla Dubh Mac Gillechriosd (Black Finlay, the son of Christopher), who was removed by two or three generations from the man who came from ClunesFinlay Dubh was a contemporary of Murdo Mackenzie, fifth chief of Kintail, who died in 1416, leaving an only child to succeed him.  This child's name was Alexander, and is known as Alister Ionraic (Alexander the Upright).  Alexander being a minor at the time of his father's death, was sent as a ward of the King to the High School in Perth, probably after the Parliment which was held at Inverness by James I. in 1427.  During his absence at school, the Constable of Ellandonan Castle, whose name was Macaulay, appears to have been left in charge of affairs, but through the misconduct and oppression of certain illegitimate relatives of the young chief, serious troubles arose in Kintail.  The Constable's position becoming now somewhat difficult, he became anxious for the return of his young master, and as he was himself unable to leave his post he proposed Finlay Dubh as the most suitable person to go to Perth to bring the young chief home, "who was then there with the rest of the King's ward children."  This choice was approved by the people.  Finlay accordingly went to Perth, and prevailed upon Alexander to escape from school without the consent or knowledge of the master.  To avoid pursuit they went to Macdougal of Lorn instead of going straight home.  Macdougal recieved them kindly, and Alexander made the acquaintance of his daughter, and afterwards married her.   In due time they arrived in Kintail, and by Finlay's councel and help, the oppressors of the people were soon brought under subjection, and order established throughout Mackenzie's land.  The good counsel and judicious guidance of Finlay Dubh was not lost upon Alexander, who became a good, just and prosperous ruler, and greatly increased the power and influence of the House of Kintail.