Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Donald MacDonald

The first thing I found on Sir Donald MacDonald was concerning his wife Janet MacKenzie. Skye, By Derek Cooper says, “On 23 January 1639 Dame Janet Mackenzie sat down at her desk somewhere in Sleat, perhaps at Dunscaith or Castle Knock, and write to her her uncle, Alexander Mackenzie of Kilcoy. Lady Janet was the wife of Sir Donald MacDonald, who had been knighted by James I in 1617. He was an ardent supporter of the Stuart cause, and in the year in which his wife wrote this letter he was made the King's Lieutenant in the Isles with authority to suppress anyone who rose up against the crown. From the beginning of the Civil War, Charles I had been in touch with the Earl of Antrim (the 'good friend in Ireland'), who planned to raise a force of Irish soldiers to join up with the Highlanders on the west coasst of Scotland under the command of Sir Donald. The plan came to nothing. Sir Donald was arraigned before the Scottish parliament on a charge of treason; was imprisoned, and died in 1643 shortly after his release. My Lord of Lorne was on the Covenanting side:

Loving Uncle,--My love being remembered to you, I thought meet to write these lines desiring you to send me a part of the surest news that you have for the present, and I hoped for a letter of yours with the best opinions with news long ago, and since you have forgotten me, yet I cannot forget you nevertheless, and although my friends be offended at my husband for the present, yet I hope in God that is without deserving in him except to go to visit his good friend in Ireland. This is not to dishonor or to displease you his best friend in Scotland, which he will prove and testify to you all at his return by the Grace of God.

It is reported to me for certaintie that my Lord of Lorne is to send men to harry our lands. I desire you therefore earnestly to send me your best advice, with the consent of the rest of the friends thereanent, and to acquaint me what to do if the same come to pass, because my husband is afar off, and if my Lord my brother may get this helped, let him use his best endeavors to hold this abode, as I shall write to my Lord myself, because the best friend that I have under God.

As for that little monies you have of mine, I should fain, if you would spare it, have it,and send me sure word when I should send one to receive it. As for count and reckoning we need not, for we are friends and none of us will distress another. I would fain that you would speir at my Lord his Lordship might send me his best opinion within your own letter. I rest and committing you to God, your loving brother's daughter.

[Signed] DAME JANET MACKENZIE,
Lady of Sleat
From Sleat, January 23, 1639

Post Scriptum- You shall send me some powder and lead to keep me from my enemies, because I cannot get none to buy, or else grant me this favour as to buy it on my behalf or send me it with this bearer.




McGehee descendants‎ - Page 12 by Ethel Clyde Woodall Grider, Jane Nicholson Grider - 1991 gives Janet as the daughter of Baron Kenneth Mackenzie and Ann Ross.

Historical and biographical annals of Columbia and Montour counties ...‎ - Page 669
Columbia County (Pa.) - 1915 calls her “fair Janet MacKenzie and says their son was Sir James MacDonald, of Sleat, who joined Montrose in 1644 and fought at Worcester I 1651.

From The Scottish nation, or, The surnames, families, literature, honours, and ...‎ - Page 715
by William Anderson, William Holl, William James Linton -1877

In July of the following year, the latter, who had been knighted, as he is styled Sir Donald, appeared, with other chiefs, before the council, and continued annually to do si, in accordance with the conditions already referred to. In 1622, on his and their appearance to make their obedience to the privy council as usual, several acts of importance, relating to the Isles, were passed, by one of which the chief of Sleat and three other chiefs were bound not to molest those engaged in the trade of fishing in the Isles, under heavy penalties. On 14th July 1625, after concluded, in an amicabel manner, all his deputies with the Macleods of Harris, and another Clanranald, he was created a baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles I., with a special clause of precedency placing him second of that order in Scotland. He adhered to the cause of that monarch, but died in 1643. He had married Janet commonly called “fair Janet.” second daughter of Kenneth, first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, by whom he had several children.
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