Friday, April 17, 2009

Donald "Gallach" Huchounson MacDonald of Sleat

Donald Gallach may or may not have been a legitimate son of Hugh of Sleat. There does not appear to be any record of Hugh marrying his mother, who was the daughter of a man named Gunn who was either a Crowner or Shefiff of Caithness (Reliquiae celticae says her father was the Coroner of Caithness and Scottish Clans and Their Tartans says she was Elizabeth Gunn, daughter of the Coroner of Caithness).

When Donald Gallach's brother resigned all of his possessions in 1505 to the king, it left Donald and his other brother without legal title to their father's lands. Archibald Mackenzie says this forced Donald and his brothers to become rebels. Donald Gallach and another of his brothers were murdered by their brother Archibald, in 1506.

The following items are what I was able to find concerning the MacDonald lands of Sleat

By a charter under the Great Seal, in August 1498, the office of Bailliary, with two unciates of the lands of Trouterness, was confirmed to Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan,having been formerly held by the Lord of the Isles, and being then in the hands of the crown, being forfeited.

Two months later another charter under the Great Seal, granted eight merks of land to Torquil Macleod of the Lewis. Both of these grants were rendered null by the great revocation in 1498 or 1499.

In 1505, the eighty merk lands of Trouterness were let, by the commissioners of the Crown for three years to Ranald Bane Allanson of Moydert, the Earl of Huntly being surety for the payment of rent by the later.

In 1510, Archibald Dubh, Archibald Dubh, was acting as Bailie of Trouterness and a letter in his favor was directed under the Privy Seal to the tenants of Trouterness.

Ronald Bane of Moydert was executed at Perth in 1513. and Archibald Dubh was killed by his nephews for killing his brothers.

Macleod of Dunvegan, who seems to have been the principle Crown tenant of Trouterness some time before 1517, had a lease continue from that year until the majority of James V. Under the government of the Earl of Angus, Dunvegan appears to have obtained also an heritable grant of the lands of Sleat and North Uist, causing him to become the enemy of the Sleat MacDonalds, under Donald Grumach.

Donald Grumach and his brother by his mothers second husband (History of Skye says her name was Agnes), John MacTorquil Macleod who also had no legal inheritance expelled Dunvegan and his clan from Trouterness. By this method they succeeded in preventing him putting in force his new charter to Sleat and North Uist. Trouterness was again occupied by Clanhuistein, or MacDonald of Sleat. Donald Grumach then aided his step father Torquil Macleod in seizing the whole barony of Lewis, which he held during his life.

Origines parochiales Scotiae says

that these lands were possessed by Donald Gallach and his son Donald Grumach, even though that had been given by James IV to Ranald Alansoun of Yland-Bagrim. The following is an account of how that came to be from the Celtic Monthly:

Donald Gallach MacDonald, third of Sleat. The strict legitimacy of this chief has always been considered doubtful; and we can find no record of any formal marriage by his father to the daughter of Gun, Crowner of Caithness. Even the family historian, Hugh MacDonald, who on all occasions showed such an inclination to bastardise the descendants of all the other branches of the MacDonalds to glorify his own chief, does not assert that there was a formal marriage, and such was hardly possible in the circumstances which he describes. Indeed his MS., already quoted, is strong presumptive evidence the other way. The fact that his brother John made over all his possessions to the Clanranald Allansons past his own half-brother, has been held by some as an element which goes to strengthen the same assumption. In any case Donald appears to have had neither possessions nor influence, whatever may have been the reason. Gregory says on this point:---John, the eldest son of Hugh, having no issue himself, and having probably quarreled with his brothers, made over all his estates to the Clanranald; as well as those which had remained in his own hands. The rest of the Clanhuistein, on John's death were thus left without legal rights to any landed property in the Isles; and being, moreover, viewed with jealousy by the Government, owing to their propinquity to the last Lord of the Isles, they were in a manner forced to become rebels. Donald Gallach, their leader, was, with another of the brothers, murdered by their own bastard brother, Archibald, or Gillespick Dubh, an unprincipled and ambitious man, whose attrocities seem to have been winked at by the Government, on the ground, probably, that his brothers were proclaimed rebels, whom it was desireabel to exterminate. This happened about the year 1506; and Archibald, the fratricide, having endeavored to seize the lands of Sleat, was expelled from the North Isles by Ranald Allanson the heir of Moydart, to whome Sleat had been made over by John Huchonson, the last legal possessor."

In 1531, Donald Grumach MacDonald Gallich of Dunskawich was among several Highland chiefs who were frequently cited by parliament.

In 1542 James V granted the lands of Slait, of the old extent of L20 and extending in the King's rental to 9 Scots marks, in liferent to Alexander MacCloid (of Dunvegan), and in heritage to his son and apparent heir William and his heirs male, with remainder to his second son Donald and his heirs male, to his third son Tormot, to John MacCloid in Myngynnes, to William's heirs male whomsoever, and to the eldest female heirs whomsoever without division.

In 1541 Archibald Ilis, styled Archibald the Clerk (son of Donald Gallach), appears among a number who had remission from James V for various ravages, and in 1545 he appears as Archibald Maconill captain of Clanhustoun and a councillor of Donald Lord of the Isles. (A History of the Scottish Highlands says that Archibald tried to sieze the lands of Sleat but was expelled for the North Isles by Ranald Bane Allanson of Moydart, eldest son of Clanranald).

In 1549 Slait was held by Donald Gormesone the grandson of Donald Gruamach.

In 1533 Queen Mary appointed Archibald Earl of Argyle bailie of the lands of Trouternes and Slait. In the same year that queen granted to her chancellor George Earl of Huntlie the nonentry and other dues of the lands of Slait and all others belonging to the deceased William MacCloid of Dunnevagane.

In 1567 Archibald Earl of Argyle became bound to obtain for Donald MacDonald Gorme (Donald Gormeson) of Slait heritable infeftment in the land of Tronternes, Slait, and the north part of Weist, to be held of Queen Mary, on concition that Donald should pay 1000 marks Scots to the Earl and 500 marks to mary MacClid (the heirss of Dunvegan),and giv his bond of manrent to the Earl.

In 1572 King James VI in lieu of the fulfillment of several promises which he had given with the advice of his successive regents James Earl of Murray and Matthew Earl of Leuenox, to the effect that he would grant to Donald Gormeson of Sky for his good and faithful serveice all the lands in the countries next to him when they should be forfeited by the owners, and also the liberty of presenting to the bishoprick of Ross then vacant, granted to him a yearly pension of 1000 marks Scots out of the fruits of the bishoprick of Aberdeen then also vacant through the forfeiture of Bishop William.

In 1617 Donald Gorme of Slait was served heir to his uncle Donald Gorme of Slait in the lands of Slait, of the old extent of L20, and the new extent of L80 and L6, 13s, 4d, augumentation, and in other lands in the Lordship of the Isles and sheriffdom of Innernes, all held on condition that the castle of Camys (in Slait) should be always open and in readiness for the King, and his lieutenants, chamberlains, and other servitors resorting thither.

The general appearance of these records of Sleat, is that although the MacDonalds didn't outright own Sleat, the held it by whatever means available to them.

Donald Gallach married a daughter of John (Cathanach) MacDonald of Isla and the Glynns and had a son named Donald, another named Archibald the Clerk(Archibald murdered his brothers, but was later killed by his nephews for revenge), and a third named Alexander.

He also had a daughter who married Alexander Keppoch.

The oldest son succeeded him.


Origines parochiales Scotiae: The antiquities ecclesiastical and territorial ...

Origines parochiales Scotiae: The antiquities ecclesiastical and territorial ...‎ - Page 341
by Cosmo Innes, William Anderson, Joseph Robertson, James Brodie Brichan, John McNab - Parishes Scotland History - 1854

Reliquiæ celticæ: texts, papers and studies in Gaelic literature and ...‎ - Page 213
by Alexander Cameron, Alexander Macbain, John Kennedy - 1894

The Celtic monthly: a magazine for Highlanders‎ - Page 11
Art - 1896

The Celtic magazine, conducted by A. Mackenzie and A. MacGregor‎ - Page 422
edited by Alexander Mackenzie - 1880

Donald or Domhnull Gruamach MacDonald was the son of Donald Gallach MacDonald of Sleat. His early history is unknown.

The Scottish Clans and Their Tartans‎
by Anonymous, Kessinger Publishing Company - History - 2005
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