History of the Clan Macrae


Angus Og of Glengarry

(Previously: Fight at the Cailleach Rock)

Death of Angus Og

Angus Og himself was taken on board the Kintail boat alive, but was mortally wounded in the head and in the body, and died before the morning.  The remainder of his fleet, to the number of about twenty galleys, hearing the sudden uproar and firing at the Cailleach Rock, turned back in confusion, and landing on the coast of Skye they made their way to Sleat, and thence crossed to the Mainland.  "At this skirmish or little sea fight," says the Rev. John Macrae in his history of the Mackenzies, "not one drop of blood was shed of the Kintail men's, except of one called John Gauld Mac Fhionnla Dhuibh (John the Stranger, son of Black Finlay), whose dirk, being slippery with blood, ran through his fist and cut his four fingers.  Certainly their skill and dexterity in that expedition and their unexpected victory and success ought not to be ascribed to them, but to God, whose vengeance justly followed those persons for their bloody murders of men, women, and children, and who can make any instrument prove powerful and effectual to bring His own purpose to pass."

His Burial at Kilduich

Meantime Lady Mackenzie was anxiously waiting at Ellandonan for the result of the expedition.  She heard the firing of the cannon in the night, and from this she concluded that an engagement had taken place.  At daybreak she saw her protectors returning, leading Angus Og's great galley along with them.  She rushed down to the shore to salute them, and when she inquired if everything had gone well with them, Duncan replied, "Yes madam, and we have brought you, without the loss of a single man, a new guest whom we hope is welcome to you."  On looking into the galley she at once recognized the body of Angus Og of Glengarry, and immediately gave orders that it should be properly attended to.  On the following day Angus Og was buried in a manner suitable to his rank at Kilduich, in the same grave as some of the Lady Mackenzie's own children.  The common tradition in Kintail used to be that he was buried in the doorway of the church at Kilduich, but in a MS. history of the Mackenzies, written about the middle of the seventeenth century, (4) and which may be regarded as conclusive on this point, the writer tells us that to say he was buried in the church door is a "malicious lie," because he himself had seen "the head raised out of the same grave and returned again, wherein there were too small cuts, noways deep."

Next: Duncan robbed at Elycht Fair


4. This MS, which is frequently quoted in Mackenzie's History of the Mackenzies as the "Ancient MS," together with the Rev. John Macrae's History of the Mackenzies, which is known as the Ardintoul MS, form the chief authorities for this account of the death of Angus Og.