History of the Clan Macrae


Finlay (gen 3)

(Previously: Bealach Glasleathaid, and a Druim a Chait)

Finlay, eldest son of Christopher, was the contemporary and chief counsellor of John of Killin, ninth Baron of Kintail, who fought at Flodden in 1514, and at Pinkie in 1547.   John of Killin was a minor at the time of the death of his father, Sir Kenneth Bhlair, in 1491.  He was still a minor when, in consequence of the death of his eldest brother, Kenneth Og (Kenneth the younger), in 1497, he became Baron of Kintail.   Kenneth Og was the only child of Kenneth Bhlair's first wife, Lady Margaret Macdonald, of whom her husband disposed in the ignominious manner already described.   A few days after sending Lady Margaret away, Kenneth, at the head of a large body of his followers, went to Lord Lovat to demand his daughter, Agnes Fraser, in marriage.   Lord Lovat, having no friendly feeling towards the Macdonalds at that time, delivered his daughter over to Kenneth, and they lived together ever after as husband and wife.

Finlay Supports John of Killin against Hector Roy

John of Killin was the first issue of this irregular marriage, and although the marriage is said to have been legitimized by the Pope, Hector Roy Mackenzie declared his nephew, John of Killin, illegitimate, and seized the estates for himself.  Hector being a well known and a very popular man, appears to have received all but the unanimous support of the people of Kintail, and one of the Clann Ian Charrich Macraes, called Malcolm, was made Constable of Ellandonan Castle.  Finlay, however, took up the cause of John of Killin, between whose supporters and those of Hector Roy there arose a feud which lasted for some years.

Finlay's son made Constable of Ellandonan Castle

In course of time, however, John of Killin, young as he was, proved quite a match for his uncle, Hector Roy, whom he surprised one night at Fairburn, by a clever stratagem, and took prisoner.  It was agreed between them that night that Hector should hold the estates until John attained the age of twenty-one, after which Hector promised to restore the estates, and to acknowledge John ever afterwards as his chief.  John's supporters insisted that Ellandonan Castle, being the principle residence of the family, should be given up to him at once.  As Malcolm Mac Ian Charrich refused, however, to surrender the Castle, John's supporters laid siege to it, and had Malcolm's cattle brought down to the seaside and there slaughtered to feed the besiegers.  Malcolm, however, would not surrender without Hector's consent, and even when this was obtained, Malcolm still refused to surrender until compensated for the loss of his cattle.  Hector eventually persuaded Malcolm to yield, whereupon John of Killin dismissed him from the Constableship, to which he appointed Finlay's son, Christopher.  It is said that the Clann Ian Charrich family of Macraes did not afterwards assume much importance in Kintail.

Finlay is said to have had four sons.

1. Christopher, of whom below.

2. Ian Mor nan Cas

3. Gilpatrick is also said to have left issue.

4. Miles, son of Finlay, killed at Kinlochewe

Next: Ian Mor nan Cas