In 1511, Lewis and the other estates of the family were given, to the exclusion of the direct male heir, by charter under the great seal, to
IX.—MALCOLM Macleod, brother of the forfeited Torquil, who is described as Malcolmo Makloid filio et hairedi quondam Roderico M'Cloid. He is granted "the lands and castle of Lewis, and Waternish in the Lordship of the Isles, with other lands, erected in his favour into the barony and lordship of Lewis, the place and castle of Stornochway to be the chief messuage."f In 1515, when the Regent Duke of Albany commissioned John Macian of Ardnamurchan to reduce to obedience the inhabitants of parts of the Isles who had taken part with Sir Donald of Lochalsh in his attempt to gain the Lordship of the Isles, and to promise the less violent of them the favour of the Crown and remission for their past crimes, provided they made their submission, promised obedience in future, and made restitution to those who had suffered by their conduct, Malcolm Macleod of the Lewis was one of those specially exempted from the Royal clemency. He is again on record in 1517.
In 1518-19 Sir Donald of Lochalsh, accompanied by the Macleods of Lewis and Raasay, invaded Ardnamurchan, where, by pre-concerted arrangement, they met Alexander Macdonald of Islay, united their forces, and attacked Macian, whom they overtook at Craig-an-Airgid, in Morvern, where he was defeated and slain with two of his sons, John Suaineartach and Angus, and many of his followers. Sir Donald died very soon after this raid, and we can find nothing further regarding Malcolm Macleod, who appears to have died about 15 28.
From the date of the raid to Ardnamurchan till about 1532 the lands and barony of Lewis were taken possession of and held by John, son and direct male representative of Torquil Macleod forfeited in 1506, and nephew of Malcolm. On the death of his uncle, whose son Roderick was a minor, John Mac Torquil, aided by Donald Gruamach of Sleat and his followers, seized the whole Island. The vassals of the barony followed his banner, and, though excluded from the succession by his father's forfeiture, they acknowledged him as their natural leader by right of birth, and he was able to keep possession of the lands and the command of the Siol Torquil during the remainder of his life. In 1538 his name appears among nine of the Highland chiefs who made offers of submission to the King through Hector Maclean of Duart.
John left no male issue, but after his death the claims of his daughter, who afterwards married Donald Gorm Macdonald, fifth of Sleat, were supported by his kindred, and the Clan Donald of Sleat.
Writing of this John Mac-Torquil, under date of 1532-39, Gregory says, " that chief, the representative of an elder, though forfeited branch of the family of Lewis, had obtained possession of the estates and leading of his tribe; and although he did not hold these by any legal title, the claims of his daughter, after his death, were far from contemptible, especially when supported by the influence of the Clandonald. A compromise seems to have been entered into between Donald Gorme and Ruari Macleod, the legal heir of the Lewis, as formerly held by Malcolm Macleod, his father, and the last lawful possessor."*
Malcolm Macleod married Christian, daughter of Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty, with issue—
1. Roderick, his heir.
2. Malcolm Garve, progenitor of the Macleods of Raasay.
3. Norman, from whom the Macleods of Eddrachilles.
In 1532, on the death of his nephew John MacTorquil, who had been in undisturbed possession since Malcolm's death,*
Malcolm was buried in the Churchyard of Ui, in the immediate vicinity of Stornoway, where many of the Lewis chiefs are interred, " and particularly Malcolm, son of Roderick Macleod, Lord of Lewis, who died in the reign of James V. His tomb is still visible, and the inscription is entire, with the exception of the date."— Collectanea de Rebus Albanicis, p. .).
X.—Roderick Macleod succeeded to the lands and command of the Macleods of Lewis, in terms of an arrangement arrived at between him and Donald Gorm Macdonald of Sleat, who had married Margaret, daughter of John Mac Torquil. In terms of this arrangement, Roderick undertook to assist Donald Gorm in driving the Macleods of Dunvegan, who again managed to gain possession of Troternish, from that contested district . It is also alleged that Roderick became bound to support Donald Gorm in his attempts to establish himself in the Lordship of the Isles and Earldom of Ross.
In May, 1539, Macdonald, accompanied by Macleod and his followers, invaded the lands of Troternish and laid them waste, after which, taking advantage of Mackenzie of Kintail's absence from home, they, with a large body of followers, made a raid upon Kinlochewe and Kintail, and attempted to take the Castle of Eilean Donain, on which occasion Donald Gorm was killed by an arrow shot from the walls of the stronghold.
On the 2nd of April, 1538, James V. granted to Roderick Macleod, the son and heir of the deceased Malcolm Macleod of the Lewis, the nonentry and other dues of the lands and barony of the Lewis, from the 3iDth of June, 1511, till a year after the date of the grant.f When the King, on his famous visit to the Isles in 1540, visited the Lewis, Roderick Macleod and his principal kinsmen met him, and they weie commanded to accompany him in his progress southward. In 1541 King James V. granted Roderick and Barbara Stewart, his affianced spouse, the lands, island and barony of Lewis, with the castle and other lands, resigned by Roderick, when the whole was erected anew into the free barony of Lewis.
We find Roderick's name, on the 28th of July, 1545, among the seventeen of the Barons and Council of the Isles appointed as plenipotentiaries for treating, under the directions of the Earl of Lennox, with the English King, to whom, at this time, they had been arranging to transfer their allegiance, and in consequence of which they had shortly before been charged by the Regent Arran with rebellious and treasonable proceedings, and threatened with utter ruin and destruction, from an invasion by " the whole body of the realm of Scotland, with the succours lately come from France," for their attempts to bring the whole Isles and a great part of the mainland under the obedience of the King of England, in contempt of the authority of the Crown of Scotland. On the 5th of August following these Barons were at Knockfergus, in Ireland, with a force of four thousand men and one hundred and eighty galleys, where, in presence of the Commissioners sent by the Earl of Lennox, and of the leading officials of the town, they took the oath of allegiance to the King of England, at the command of the Earl of Lennox, who was acknowledged by them all as the true Regent and second person of the Realm of Scotland. It was in this capacity and for this reason that they agreed to act under his directions in their treasonable and unpatriotic conduct on this and other occasions. On the 17th of August in the same year he had, with Alexander Macleod of Dunvegan and forty others, a remission from that date to the ist of November following, that they might go to the Regent and Lords of the Privy Council for the purpose of arranging as to their affairs.
On the death of Donald Dubh, without lawful male issue, many of the Island chiefs adopted as their leader James Macdonald of Islay, though his pretentions to the Lordship of the Isles were far inferior to those of Donald Gorm Og of Sleat, who was then a minor. Among those who opposed Islay and who soon afterwards succeeded in effecting a reconciliation with the Scottish Regent, we find Roderick Macleod of Lewis, Macleod of Harris, Macneill of Barra, Mackinnon of Strath, and Macquarrie of Ulva. Roderick is, however, in 1547, absent from the battle of Pinkie, though several of the other Island lords responded to the call of the Regent Arran on that disastrous occasion, but Macleod appears to have been forgiven in 1548 on easy terms with several others outlawed along with him for not joining- the Regent's forces in the previous year when commanded to do so. He is, however, again in trouble within a very short interval. In 1551 Archibald Earl of Argyll was commissioned to pursue with his men Roderick Macleod of the Lewis for " obteening " certain persons out of his lands, and in 1552 Arran determined, on the advice of Mary of Guise, the Queen Dowager, to establish order among the Highlanders. With this object he summoned all the chiefs to meet him at Aberdeen on the I7th of June. Most of them submitted to the conditions imposed, either there or in the following July at Inverness, but in consequence of the disputes which occurred at his time between Arran and the Queen Dowager, regarding the Regency, the Highlanders again broke out. The Queen Dowager assumed the Government in June, 1554, when she at once ordered the Earls of Huntly and Argyll to proceed by land and sea to the utter extermination of the Macdonalds of Clanranald and of Sleat, the Macleods of Lewis, and their associates, who had failed to present the hostages demanded of them for good conduct and loyalty in future. The expedition seems, from various causes, to have turned out a complete failure. The Queen Dowager was determined, however, to secure order among the Highlanders, and in April, 1555, a process of treason was commenced against Roderick Macleod of the Lewis. In the following June a commission was granted to the Earls of Argyll and Athole against the islanders, but soon after, in the same year, Macleod submitted and made certain offers to the Privy Council through Argyll, in consequence of which the Queen Regent granted him a remission "for his treasonable intercommuning with various rebels, and for other crimes."
After this he appears to have led a more peaceful life for several years, for we do not again find any trace of him in the public records until he is summoned with several others, by proclamation, on the 2oth of September, 1565, to join the Earl of Athole in Lorn to put down the Earl of Murray's rebellion, arising out of
his opposition to the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, to Lord Darnley. This rebellion, however, collapsed, and there was no necessity to send the royal forces to Lorn after all. In 1572, during Roderick's life, James VI. granted to Torquil Conanach Macleod, described in the charter as " the son and apparent heir of Roderick Macleod-of Lewis," and to the heirs male of his body, with remainder to Gillecallum Garbh Macleod of Raasay, and his male heirs, and to Torquil's male heirs whomsoever bearing the Macleod surname and arms, the lands and barony of Lewis, which Roderick had resigned, reserving the life-rent to himself on condition that he.and Torquil should not again commit any crime against the King.*
A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and ... - Page 590
by John Burke - Heraldry - 1838