William Macleod, one of the twin sons of John " Borb," who succeeded his father as seventh Chief, was called " Claidheamh Fada," or " Long-sword." In his time the men of the Highlands and Isles were much divided in opinion between the claims of John, Lord of the Isles, and his son Angus, but William Macleod supported John, while the Macleods of Lewis espoused the other side. William was killed at the battle of the Bloody Bay, in 1480, and after his death the Macleods began to give way and fall into confusion, when, it is said, Callum Cleireach, Macleod's almoner, induced Murcha Breac, the keeper of the Fairy Flag, to unfurl the sacred banner. The Lewis Macleods, at the sight of the emblem of their race, joined the Harris Macleods, who renewed the fight with redoubled fury, but it was then too late. A vast number of Macleods were slain in this engagement, and among them were the twelve heroes who stood round the sacred banner. Murcha Breac was mortally wounded in the side by a lance, and finding himself falling, he thrust the staff of the banner into the wound, and thus kept the flag flying until others came to protect it. William was buried at lona, and was the last Chief of Macleods interred there, and Murcha Breac was placed in the same grave with his Chief, as the greatest honour that could be bestowed on his remains.
The Celtic monthly: a magazine for Highlanders - Page 143
Art - 1898
Transactions - Page 62
by Gaelic Society of Inverness - Scottish Gaelic philology - 1900