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Murder of the MacVicars

Murder of the MacVicars

This extract from Hebridean Heritage tells of the murder of the sons of Donald MacVicar by Hugh MacDonald:

The reforming authorities on the mainland arrived at the conclusion that as long as the MacVicars were in power there was no chance of the Reformation making headway amongst the people of the Isles. So a plot was hatched to break their power and get rid of them. A tool was ready in the person of Hugh MacDonald, son of Archibald, the clerk of Sleat, a villain of the first order. He was bribed by a promise of money and lands by his uncle Donald Gorm of Sleat and by the head of Clan Campbell. Even the Privy Council in Edinburgh was involved, and it is said that Queen Elizabeth of England herself took an interest in the conspiracy, the aim of which was to murder the MacVicars. Donald, am Phiocair Mor, was invited to a conference in Edinburgh in the autumn of 1581. His wife, a MacDonald of the Isles, but not of Sleat, tried to persuade him not to go, saying that she had a presentiment that something ominous might happen. Donald said it was difficult to make up his mind but in the end he decided to go. Before he left he told his son Donald who lived with his wife and three children in a hunting hut in Carinish, to collect all the documents and papers pertaining to the Lords of the Isles and the Church at Carinish and hide them on Craonaval. When am Phiocair Mor was away, Hugh of Sleat seized his opportunity. He landed at Lochmaddy with a large force and before proceeding to Dun an Sticir in the north of the Island, made for Carinish and murdered Donald. He also set fire to all his houses and burned the valuable documents and papers. Then, by deceit and treachery and, worse still under the pretence of friendship, he lured the other brothers, Angus, Hector, and John, to his headquarters at Dun an Sticir. There, at a banquet, he put them to death in cold blood.

 

Title: Murder of the MacVicars
Record Type: Stories, Reports and Traditions
Type: Extract From Book
Record Maintained By: CGTNT
Subject Id: 109425