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ANGUS

1370 - 1403

Angus, a youth, succeeded his grandfather Iye, and the blood-feud between the Mackays and Sutherlands raged, although somewhat abated, according to Sir Robert Gordon, during the time of Earl Robert of Sutherland who married a daughter of the Earl of Buchan, and succeeded Earl William. It may be significant that Earl William passed away in 1370, the year in which the Mackays, father and son, were murdered [Sutherland Book]. It may be quite true that he got his quietus at the hands of the avenging Mackays, as is suggested in the House and Clan of Mackay.

In 1391 Duncan Stewart, son of the Earl of Buchan, invaded the Braes of Angus at the head of a host of Highland caterans, as Bower calls them. They were met at Gasklune, near the water of Isla, by Walter Ogilvy then sheriff of Angus, Sir David Lindsay of Glenesk, Sir Patrick Gray, etc, when the mail-clad gentry of the east were simply cut to pieces by the tartan-clad mountaineers of the north. Ogilvy with his brother Wat Young of Auchterlony, the lairds of Cairncross, Forfar, and Guthrie, together with 60 men-at-arms were slain, while Sir Patrick Gray and Sir David Lindsay were sorely wounded [Winton's Chron.]. So fiercely did these Highlanders fight that one of them, though transfixed by a spear and pinned through the body to the earth, swinging his claymore cut through the stirrup-iron and steel-boot of his assailant reaching the bone, and then expired. Among these so called caterans were John Mathyson and his adherents, Morgownde Roryson and Michael Mathowson with their adherents [Acts of Parliament Vol I page 579]. The above were clearly, as their names indicate, the Mathiesons of Sutherland and the Morgans of Strathnaver, associated with a son of the Earl of Buchan, now also Earl of Ross.

[Footnote: The name cateran is often applied to Highlanders as a term of reproach by historians even of the middle of last century. It is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic, ceatharnach, a valiant fellow, and cognate with the Latin, quaternion.]

Angus married a daughter of Torquil Macleod of the Lews, and had issue two sons. The said Torquil obtained by charter, during the reign of David II, four davochs of land and a castle in Assynt, on the west coast of Sutherland [Robertson's Index].

The two sons of Angus Mackay were: -

  1. Angus Du, who succeeded, and of whom an account follows
  2. Rorie Gald, or Rorie the islander, so called from the fact that he was fostered by maternal relatives in the Lews. Rorie Gald fell in the battle near Dingwall when Angus Du endeavoured to check Donald, Lord of the Isles, in 1411, as shall appear afterwards

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