A Jacobite Timeline

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A Jacobite

Purpose of this file is a timeline of the 1745 Rebellion, with focus on events at Coigach and wider Lochbroom, and those events elsewhere that involved people from the area. The file is not fully or properly footnoted, as I originally intended it as a short narrative article for submission to the Clan Mackenzie Canada Newsletter about the Jacobite officer, John Mackenzie of the Ardloch family, it has since spiralled into a wider focus and greater length than suitable for that purpose.


William Mackenzie, Fifth Earl of Seaforth, "Caberfeidh", or Chief of the Mackenzies, raised his clan in the 1715 and 1719 Rebellions, and upon defeat lost estates and titles to the Crown. Chastened, in 1726 the lands were returned, and a harsh lesson of unprofitable loyalty to the old dynasty had been learned by his family.

In 1745 William's son and heir Kenneth, known as "Seaforth" though the Earldom was attainted in 1715 (an action of course not recognized by the Jacobites, who also had him with title as "Marquess of Seaforth") decided to sit out the next Rebellion, and rather chose to raise forces for the government. Kenneth was much influenced by Duncan Forbes of Culloden, holder of the highest legal position in Scotland as Lord President of the Court of Session, the supreme civil court.

Though Seaforth raised troops to defend his home, Brahan Castle, and sent 200 of his MacKenzies to garrison Inverness against the Rebels, his views were not universal in the Clan; his own wife was a Jacobite sympathiser and supporter. 1745 was less a Rebellion, more a Civil War.

Seaforth and Forbes' influence kept most MacKenzies from coming out in Rebellion. Their largest worry was the head of the second most powerful MacKenzie family, George Mackenzie, III Earl of Cromartie, generally referred to simply as "Cromartie". ("Cromarty" was the spelling favoured by the Earl and his son, however "Cromartie" is accepted today, and it's use helps difference between the town and it's namesake family).


26 September, 1745
Cromartie writes to Forbes from Tarbat House in reply to a letter the previous day (likely the letter 23 September), politely declining commission to his son for one of the "Independant Companies", because of the "singular" conditions of the offer (Lord MacLeod in the earlier letter only offered a Captaincy).

8 October, 1745
Coll MacDonnell of Barrisdale, generally known as "Barrisdale" was a scion of the MacDonald of Glengarry family who had recently acquired tacks in Assynt Parish. He had gone there and Coigach in neighbouring Lochbroom to raise troops for a rebel regiment. "Fiery crosses" were sent to all the villages summoning battle aged men, with threat of homes burnt and black cattle maimed for the reluctant. As the stick might not be effective Barrisdale also offered the carrot; whisky flowed freely at his recruiting meeting, enticing a hundred to promise to "fly after him and fight like dragons". Sober reflection in the morning caused most of his "dragons" to repent. Cattle were seized and recaptured, he fell out with local leaders, and in the end only had five recruits from Assynt.

MacLeod of Geanies, generally known as "Geanies" was head of the family that had lost Assynt seventy years before to the MacKenzies. He later had better luck there than Barrisdale; raising a hundred men to fight in one of the "Independant Companies" that Forbes was organizing.

11 October
Forbes wrote to Seaforth with details for raising "Independant Companies", for "the service of the Government and for our mutual protection." He also shared the disturbing news of Barrisdale's expedition to Assynt, and noted Barrisdale's plans to march through Seaforth's estates and raise more, "by fair means or foul".

At Assynt Barrisdale would have been acquainted with the family of the Factor, Alexander MacKenzie, III of Ardloch, a second cousin, once removed of Cromartie, and likely tried to influence them to "come out for the Prince". The Factor himself decided to sit out the Rebellion, but his younger brother John, an impetuous 20 year old, leapt at the adventure. Rather than join Barrisdale's Regiment John used his own influence to push his cousin, the Earl, into also becoming a rebel. Though not head of the family himself, John became commonly known in records of the Rebellion as "Ardloch".

Alexander MacKenzie of Keppoch was generally known as "Keppoch", his home in Lochbroom, a naming that has caused some historians to confuse him with "MacDonnell of Keppoch". Through records of the Rebellion he was tied with his first cousin, young Ardloch. The two of them went to Lochbroom to raise men for Cromartie's Regiment. "The Design was concealed", the impression they gave to the people there was Cromartie "was for the King and the men raised to defend my Lord against the Rebells". Many doubted the intent; Keppoch's brother Roderick MacKenzie of Achiltibuie declined their entreaty to enlist, but changed his mind when they threatened to hang him. The recruits taken off to Cromartie's home of Castle Leod deserted a few days later as it became clear they were raised in Rebellion.

19 October
Cromarty writes from Castle Leod to Forbes, noting as Forbes had requested he was raising men for the government cause, and asking Forbes to correct others "misrepresenting" his intent. He had not yet clearly declared himself a rebel.

About 20 October
Ardloch, Keppoch, and others, descended again on Lochbroom, plundered two or three houses, bound some captives, drove off cattle, and generally had a successful re-recruiting drive. Roderick of Achiltibuie was made a prisoner, and his cattle seized. At his trial after the Rebellion the schoolmaster testified about Roderick;

"After Prisoner deserted saw him at home upon which Desertion a party went after them and took the Cattle, Prisoner absconded Orlock and Keppock came to Witnesses House. Prisoner said

"O! I am ill used by you! My Cattle are killed tho' my Lord Cromertie's Servant, I will not go with you. I would follow my Lord if in a right cause. My Lord Cromertie will curse the day you was born"

Upon which Orlock struck him with a Cane and bid his Party take hold of him which they did and carried him off. Orlock's Party were about 60 & armed."

Though at trial after the Rebellion Roderick pled duress, and the Lochbroom Minister and schoolteacher testified to that effect on his behalf, the reluctance might have been somewhat feigned, as he did serve as a senior officer, noted by witnesses as in highland garb; broadsword, pistols, and targe, wearing the white cockade in his cap. Pardoned after the Rebellion, he was one of two Coigach tenants thanked by the Earl of Cromartie for aid while the Earl was under house arrest. (see "Letter from the 3rd Earl of Cromartie" )

23 October
Seaforth included as a P.S. to a letter to Forbes some detail on the preceeding events;

P.S. The Coigach Men came to Castleleod two days ago, to the amount of forty five men, the rest, being about twenty, deserted on the Road. Their Arms consists of four Guns and five swords. Ardloch is I believe come from Assint but without any men. Barisdale got but five.

28 October
Seaforth wrote to Forbes that Cromartie had visited him at Brahan Castle; "pensive and dull". With him was his son John, "Lord MacLeod" (though a Mackenzie, the courtesy title referred to the family's descent from the heiress of Torquil Cononach MacLeod in the late 1500s, normally eldest son of an Earl would assume his primary subsidary title), also with them was Roderick Macculloch of Glastullich (a major Easter Ross tenant of Cromartie), and "Ardloch's Brother" (possibly Kenneth Mackenzie, who was later Tacksman of Inverkirkaig, but more likely John Mackenzie, who as noted above was an ardent Jacobite from the beginning). Seaforth relates that since the visit he had discovered Lord Macleod had then gone to Lochbroom and Assynt to raise men.

After the Rebellion testimony by Rev. James Robertson at the trial of Colin MacKenzie (then eighteen year old brother of the Laird of Ballone, later styled as "Colin, I of Badluachrach") had the recruiting visit of Lord MacLeod to Lochbroom as at the beginning of November, trying "in a soft way to induce them to join", Cromartie's intent to rebel still not declared. The locals sent young Colin to guide Lord MacLeod around the rocky Parish for four days. After the Rebellion it was claimed Colin raised the men of Ballone and Dundonnel for the Earl's Regiment.

Wednsday, 6 November
The Earl of Cromartie and his son Lord MacLeod were at Beaufort. That place near Beauly was seat of "Simon the Fox", chief of Clan Fraser, another Jacobite leader.

Friday, 8 November
Seaforth writes Forbes that Cromartie has crossed the river at Contin, with a hundred followers, but that Lord MacLeod had recruited no one in Assynt and Lochbroom. For his own efforts against the Rebels he writes that he;

"took a ride yesterday to the westward with two hundred men, but find the bounds so rugged that it's impossible to keep a single man from going by if he has a mind. However, I threatened to burn their cornyards if anybody was from home this day, and I turned one house into the river for not finding its master at home."

About the 12th of November
The Earl of Cromartie was reported leading 150 to 160 MacKenzies along the north shore of Loch Ness, looking to meet up with a force of six hundred Fraser rebels in that area. Evidence in trials of Officers note the Regiment went from Castle Leod (the Earl's home) near Strathpeffer to Perth.

Mid November
Testimony at the trial of Lord MacLeod had him march with the regiment to Dunblane.

From the 16th of November
Starting this date pay records of the Jacobite army (pages 136 to 163 of "The Jacobite Lairds of Gask" by Thomas Laurence Kington-Oliphant digitized online at http://books.google.com/books?id=YEoDAAAAYAAJ ) note pay to Cromarty's Regiment at Perth, at a rate of six pence per day for each recruit.

First payment was 16 November "Payment of the bill on Earl of Cromarty's comeing to Perth, £1 16s. 1d."

First noted wage payment for the regiment for the week to 23 November was given to "Alexr Mcenzie of Ardloch", likely the Alexander Mackenzie of Keppoch noted above as recruiting in Coigach including forcing his own brother, Roderick Mackenzie of Achiltibuie, to enlist. Alexander was of the Ardloch family, later payments for the Regiment recorded through to 11 January, 1746 (for the week ending 20 January) are noted as either "Cap. Mcenzie of Ardloch" or simply to "Ardloch" which may have refered to Alexander again, or possibly to his cousin John, also of the Ardloch family.

Saturday, 23 November
Pay for the Regiment increased from £37 19s. 6d. to £41 9s. 6d. indicating twenty more recruits added to the roll.

Monday, 9 December
Seaforth marched his own two companies of MacKenzies into Inverness, and began a spirited correspondance with Forbes trying to arrange payment for his expences on behalf of the government.

Tuesday, 10 December
Payment made for 170 pairs of shoes for Cromarty's Regiment, at 2s. 1/2p. per pair, presumably officers and some men already had shoes.

Tuesday, 17 December
From about this date three recruits added to Cromarty's Regiment.

Wednsday, 1 January, 1746
An express letter sent from Lord John Drummond to Lord Cromartie at Weemys.

Saturday, 4 January
The Jacobite pay records note "Uskyba with Lord Cromarty from Fyffe, one shilling, sixpence." "Uskyba" is "the water of life", "whisky".

Sunday, 12 January
Cromartie's Regiment set out from Dunblane and arrived the same evening at Glasgow. Lord MacLeod later wrote in his reminescinces of the Rebellion;

"I immediately went to pay my respects to the Prince, and found that he was already set down to supper. Dr Cameron told Lord George Murray, who sat by the Prince, who I was, on which the Lord Murray introduced me to the Prince, whose hand I had the honour to kiss, after which the Prince ordered me to take my place at the table.

"After supper I followed the Prince to his apartment to give him an account of his affairs in the North, and of what had passed in these parts during the time of his expedition to England. I found that nothing surprised the Prince so much as to hear that the Earl of Seaforth had declared against him, for he heard without emotion the names of the other people who had joined the Earl of Loudon at Inverness; but when I told him that Seaforth had likewise sent two hundred men to Inverness for the service of the Government, and that he had likewise hindered many gentlemen of his clan from joining my father (the Earl of Cromarty) for the service of the Stuarts, he turned to the French Minister and said to him, with some warmth,

"Hc! mon Dieu! et Seaforth est aussi contre moi!"

Cromartie's Regiment marched from Perth to Stirling, and participated Friday, 17 January at the Battle of Falkirk at Bannockburn where they lost a man.

Tuesday, 21 January
The regiment is noted as still at Bannockburn, then marched to Aberdeen and on to Inverness, where the Regiment disbanded, many returned to Coigach and Lochbroom, then the Regiment was recalled to assemble at Dingwall.

24 February and Saturday, 7 March
The Earl of Cromartie was at Dingwall, signing orders.

About Saturday, 14 March
Prince Charles joined at Inverness by several Mackenzies, headed by Lady Seaforth in defiance of her husband, not known if any of these were from Lochbroom.

Night of Thursday, 19 March
In the dark and fog the Regiment crossed from Easter Ross to Sutherland, capturing Dornoch, then Dunrobin. They were accompanied by Coll MacDonell of Barisdale's force and others, under command of Cromartie.

At Dornoch the Jacobites captured a Hanoverian leader, Captain Aeneas Mackintosh of Mackintosh, 22nd Chief of Clan Chattan. It was decided to parole him, sent to the custody of his wife Anne. The wife was also known as "Colonel Anne", or to Bonny Prince Charlie as "La Belle Rebelle", she had organized the victory known as "the Rout of Moy", and had raised a Regiment of four hundred in opposition to her husband. Anne greeted her captive husband with "Your servant, Captain" to which he replied, "your servant, Colonel". Legend says they addressed each other by those titles the rest of their lives.

Aeneas Mackintosh had ties beyond being captured by Cromartie's Regiment to Lochbroom; his sister Marjory was married to Aulay MacAulay, the Tacksman of Achendrean in Strath Kainaird, who was likely one of the amateur militia organized by Rev. James Robertson to oppose the rebels.

President Forbes, Lord Louden (chief of the government armed force), and MacLeod of MacLeod were sixteen miles to the west of Dornoch when it was taken, they beat a retreat south west across the Highlands, heading to MacLeod's safer home territory on the Isle of Skye.

Saturday, 22 March
Forbes and his party stopped off at Lochbroom, visiting Minister Robertson there.

Lord Macleod took the regiment to Thurso. "Mackenzie of Ardloch", (confusingly this was likely John, brother of the head of that family, or less likely Alexander MacKenzie of Keppoch, as a source refers to him as "Alexander of Ardloch"), was invited by James Fea of Clestrain, went over to Stromness in Orkney to raise men and money. "None of the islanders were willing to go out, and Ardloch declined to take unwilling recruits although Fea offered to press some men." Ardloch did though seize £145 and casks of smuggled brandy.

Alexander MacKenzie of Corrie, generally knoewn as "Corrie", Cromartie's Coigach Factor, was noted as at Thurso in Caithness with two or three hundred men of the Regiment. Lord MacLeod there forced a local resident, George Sinclair, to guide Corrie into the Caithness parishes of Wick and Canesbie, where Corrie threatened the inhabitants to send "cess" (money) and men by a certain day to Thurso.

Saturday, 12 April
Lord MacLeod came to Lady Swiney's house in Reisgill in the parish of Latheron, Caithness, "with a large bag of money, a white cockade in his bonnet, and a pistol by his side, and some officers."

The Regiment continued on to Dunrobin, where they were captured by Lord Sutherland's men Tuesday, 15 April, the day before the Battle of Culloden. (see a good history of the capture of Cromartie's Regiment at http://www.dunrobinschool.co.uk/history.htm ) Two of the prominant officers were not captured; Ardloch and Keppoch,they and some other stragglers escaped back to Lochbroom.

The book "Ships of the '45" [author John S. Gibson, published 1967 by Hutchinson & Co, London] contains some details on Ardloch and Keppoch following Dunrobin, and details of French attempts to rescue Bonny Prince Charlie from Lochbroom. Much of what follows comes from that source.

First week of May
The French Privateer, Le Hardi Mendiant ("The Sturdy Beggar"), arrived in Lochbroom with gold and dispatches for Prince Charles. Disapointed to hear of the defeat at Culloden, decision was made not to land the French volunteer officers aboard, but offloaded Captain Lynch, a 30 year old Irish soldier in the Queen of Hungary's service, and Lieutenant John MacDonnell of Scottos from Knoydart, known as "Eòin Spàinteach" or "Spanish John" who at 18 years of age was already a veteran of European battles. Spanish John was a near relative of Coll MacDonnell of Barrisdale.

Ardloch who seemed to be in command of the Lochbroom Jacobites directed the two officers to Loggie on Little Lochbroom where they were hosted by relatives of MacKenzie of Dundonnell, later identified as having been officers of Cromartie's Regiment; "Major William McKenzie Brother to the Laird of Culoy [Kilcoy] ... Colin McKenzie alias Roy Brother to Dundonald and Murdoch McKenzie [of Dingwall]". An unhappy example of Highland hospitality, the next day Spanish John discovered half the gold he was carrying to aid the Prince had been "liberated" from his saddle bags!

7 March, 1747
A gang of well armed Jacobites, headed by Alexander Mackenzie of Lentron and Colonel John Mackenzie of Torridon (see note below of John meeting 24 June, 1746 at Priest Island the cadets from Le Bien Trouvé, Alexander was his uncle, another nephew of Alexander was Coll MacDonnel of Barrisdale) lifted Murdoch from Dingwall, in search of his share of the stolen gold. (see pages 158 and 159 at http://www.archive.org/stream/cullodenpapersmo05warruoft/cullodenpapersmo05warruoft_djvu.txt )

"Spanish John" wrote his autobiography; "Spanish John, Being a Narrative of the Early Life of Colonel John M'Donell of Scottos", published 1931 by the Royal Celtic Society. A review reads;

"After many adventures, Spanish John was taken prisoner by the ruthless Captain Ferguson of the Furnace, and was detained in Fort William for nine months. For want of evidence against him he was released, and afterwards settled in Knoydart, where he had the tack of Inverguseran. He emigrated, in 1775, to Canada, and died, in 15th April 1810, at Cornwall, Upper Canada (now the Province of Ontario). He married, in 1747, a daughter of D. MacDonell, who was killed at Culloden, with issue."

Late May, early June
Le Levrier Volant ("The Flying Greyhound"), a single masted sloop, stopped off at Lochbroom, "did not tarry", and continued on to Loch Ewe, the ship narrowly missed Charlie, and returned to France 1 July.

Saturday, 28 June
Le Hardi Mendiant again arrived from Dunkirk in France, showing up at Lochbroom. Captain Dumont lied to the chief representative of the government power, the Rev. James Robertson, that he was on government business himself, delivering brandy to the navy. Robertson was suspisious, but provided a pilot to lead Dumont to the British fleet. After leaving the Minister at the head of the Loch the pilot, probably a personal spy of Robertson, was locked in the hold, and Ardloch and Keppoch came down from the hills to join the ship. Likely they had observed the ship pass up loch and rowed out in a small boat from Ullapool or Altnaherrie to board her on the return down loch. Le Hardi Mendiant anchored at Isle Tanera.

Word was that Prince Charlie was on Uist, and so a more trustworthy pilot was required. Ardloch and Keppoch, heavily armed and with twelve sailors from the Mendiant set out in the longboat, and forcefully recruited John MacRieure who was transferring his goats to another of the Summer Isles for grazing. My guess is John was a Coigach MacLeod, and the surname was a patronymic, meaning "son of Roderick". Also I guess the pasture Isle was Goat or Horse Island.

The expedition set out for Uist, on arrival before landing they were spooked by a sail in the distance and fled to remote St. Kilda, then came back Thursday, 3 July to South Uist, releasing MacRieure there and picking up a more local pilot, who led them to Benbecula where the Prince was now reported to be hiding (a rocky isle at the bottom of South Uist, at low tide people could wade between the isles).

Saturday, 5 July
Le Hardi Mendiant arrived at the Isle of Benbecula to find two of the Prince's principal officers, O'Sullivan and O'Neil, who were known to Ardloch and shared news of the Prince with him. The Prince himself had recently departed (28 June) to Skye in care of Flora MacDonald.

The boatmen who had rowed Bonny Prince Charlie to Skye returned with a message to O'Neil saying the Prince had decided to travel on to the Isle of Rassay, and they should rendevous there. O'Neil rowed out to Rassay and then on to Skye after the Prince (in vain), with a meeting planned with Le Hardi Mendiant in four days time. Captain Dumont took Ardloch, Keppoch, and Sullivan far out to sea to avoid the British ships also searching for the Prince. For various reasons (Flora MacDonald claimed because of Sullivan's "timourous nature") the rendevous was not made, and Dumont set sail for Bergen in Norway, Ardloch and Keppoch still aboard on arrival there mid July.

30 May
A brigantine, Le Bien Trouvé ("The Well Met", or "The Well Found"), left France under Captain Anguier, weather and attempting to evade British ships kept them at sea till 17 June when they landed at Cape Wrath at the far north of Scotland, continuing on around the west coast to Lochbroom where they arrived the morning of the 21st. Two former soldiers under Charles (presumably of Cromartie's Regiment) told them the Prince was not in the area, and suggested they move quickly on, as Rev. Robertson was sure to report the presence of their ship. Le Bien Trouvé continued south to Lochewe. Advice there was they should hide out at one of the Summer Isles of Lochbroom; Priest Island.

Monday, 24 June
Le Bien Trouvé left twenty cadets, scions of important French families, on Priest Island, joined by their host, MacKenzie of Gruinard, and shortly by two prominant Jacobite fugitives; Alexander MacLeod, who had been aide de camp of the Prince, and Colonel John Mackenzie of Torridon, who had led men of Gairloch and Loch Ewe in the Regiment of MacDonnell of Keppoch, his uncle. That Regiment fought and suffered greatly at the Battle of Culloden.

After several weeks on that desolate Isle they moved on to Isle Gruinard, closer to the coast and home of their host. One of the cadets, the Chevalier de Dupont, kept a journal, the following excerpt is from Gibson's translation from Dupont's journal. At this point in the narrative the cadets are determined to find Ardloch, who they feel can lead them to the Prince. They were not aware of the adventures of Le Hardi Mendiant, carrying Ardloch and Keppoch off to Bergen.

The "young lady of quality whose brother and husband had fought for Prince Charles Edward" noted below by Dupont was I think undoubtably Katherine MacKenzie, a sister of the Laird of Ballone. Her husband, Roderick of Achiltibuie, and brother, Colin of Badluachrach, had been officers captured at Dunrobin, eventually after trial both were pardoned. The seven year old child with her would be Alexander, later in life styled as "of Achnaclerach" (see descent in the file altimack.htm ).

Saturday, 5 July
That same night we anchored in a big roomy bay. [Loch Kanaird?] At once, we sent the longboat to the shore with two of our cadets and a highlander whom we had brought as a guide from Priest Island. The Scotsman we sought [noted earlier as Ardloch] was not there but the local people thought he was hiding in an island twenty-two miles from there and gave us a messenger to take the letter from Colonel Mackenzie to him. We induced the messenger to set out that night by giving him money, and it was quite clear to us that the Highlanders' "loyalty" was mere cupidity.

At five the following evening he returned with news of the gentleman having embarked in a French cutter which had been in these waters some days before. Anguier thought that he had seen her on Wednesday 29th June among the islands at the mouth of Loch Broom. [See notes above regarding Le Hardi Mendiant] The messenger also told us that four miles from where we were he had crossed a sea loch with a young lady of quality whose brother and husband had fought for Prince Charles Edward. She had followed him to the neighbouring island [Isle Martin?] where she was to spend several days.

When we heard this, three cadets were sent to seek her advice on how we might find a pilot. Our dress did not seem strange to her, for eight days earlier, in another island, [likely Tanera, see above] she had seen three young men wearing a uniform like ours. This was the cutter which had left Dunkirk three days before us. [Le Hardi Mendiant] The Scottish lady wept as she told us that she knew not what fate had befallen her husband and her brother. She had lost everything she possessed and had been wandering from island to island with a seven year old child, for fear of falling into the hands of the English. She had seen some frightful acts of outrage and insult on her sex and the horror of them kept bringing on her melancholy.

At any other time, this sad tale would have moved us, but not now. In the plight we were in we had resolutely to keep to our purpose. The unfortunate lady went on to ask us, sorrow in her voice, whether we thought that the Prince was still in Scotland, and whether, as rumour had it, he had left for France. This she herself believed and begged us not to hide the truth from her. We of course, knew no more than she did of the Prince's whereabouts but we thought it better to talk her out of this and assure her to the contrary. We left her and went on board again but we were greatly perplexed at having to do so. It was all just as difficult as we feared it might be when we left Priest Island. However, our sense of duty and our good spirits kept us going.

Night of Monday, 7 July
Le Bien Trouvé sailed back to Priest Island, expecting to pick up the remaining cadets there. Landing in the morning they were worried to find the Isle abandoned. Preparing to depart, a rowboat appeared; the cadets had fled to another Island in fear of detection.

A plan was laid, that de Lancize with two cadets (one styled as "Lieutenant Dudepot of the Independant Company of Naval Volunteers", the other Lieutenant Berar) and two well paid local guides would hike overland to Lochaber, seeking news of the Prince (eventually de Lancize did find him), de Belieu would take the rowing boat to Lochaber, and the ship would head out to the safety of the wide ocean for ten days, with rendevous set at Priest Island then.

Afternoon of Tuesday, 8 July
The party split up as planned. Winds blew the ship back toward Coigach, where they anchored at an uninhabited Isle (probably Isle Ristol, as later note is made of a mainland cliff within hailing distance) Midnight, 12 July.

Morning of Sunday, 13 July
They enquired on the mainland, and heard Minister Robertson was well aware of their presence, had sent word to the Duke of Cumberland, and had passed on threats against co-operation with the French. The Duke's message to the populance was "if he came to hear that his orders had been disobeyed he would there and then send troops to make mincemeat of them and burn and kill all they owned".

To illustrate the threat, that evening while preparing departure a longboat of armed men approached and demanded they surrender. Wisely the amateur militia the Minister had recruited backed away when Dumont's eager young cadets and hardened privateers presented arms themselves! By the next morning Le Bien Trouvé was well out on the wide sea.

Monday, 14 July
Two British ships, the Greyhound and the Furnace, were close by twenty miles south of Lochbroom at Gairloch. The two officers who had gone south (de Belieu and the Chevalier de Nangis, both Irish officers in the French service) from Le Bien Trouvé at Priest Island aboard a rowing boat to Lochaber were easily captured. The general plot to rescue the Prince became known, and 16 July and the next day the chase began from Gairloch to try to capture Le Bien Trouvé at Lochbroom. Quickly it became apparant their prey had slipped out to sea days ago. De Belieu was to have a sad fate; recognized by an English officer from battles in Europe, he was accused as a spy and hung at Fort William.

Thursday, 17 July
Captain Fergusson took the Furnace into Lochbroom. Frustrated to have missed the French, he attacked the locals, anchoring at Loch Kanaird and leading a raiding party up Strath Kanaird to Langwell. He burnt the home of Kenneth MacKenzie of Langwell, stole and "mangled" fifty cattle (the wealth of the country), and destroyed legal documents and records.

The Scottish Historian, Malcolm Bangor-Jones, notes from a 1758 court case a tenant deponed that "some of these Marines had broke open some of the Claimant’s Keepings, and carried away Some Papers belonging to him, Part of which were afterwards found scattered on board the Ship commanded by one Capt. Parker, then lying in Lochkenaird.” He was told that “some of these Papers were gathered up by Aulay Macaulay of Auchindrean on board said Ship”. It is likely Aulay was one of Rev. Robertson's little militia force, he was noted in 1725 as in a bitter bidding war with Alexander MacKenzie of Corrie for Tack of the Forest of Coigach, that Alexander was one of the officers in Cromartie's Regiment and bad blood can be assumed to have continued.

From genealogy records, I think Isobel, the wife of Kenneth MacKenzie of Langwell, was a sister of Keppoch and Roderick Mackenzie of Achiltibuie. The MacKenzies of Langwell had a burial place at Ullapool, the ancient structure in the cemetery there was long rumoured to have been a hiding place of Bonny Prince Charlie, I wonder if there is a germ of truth in that old myth, with Ardloch and Keppoch hiding out there waiting for French ships.

Saturday, 19 July
The two English ships left to patrol the sea between Lewis and the mainland ("the Minch"), the Greyhound at the south end, and the Glasgow to the north. Le Bien Trouvé played a dangerous game of cat and mouse for several days, waiting to make the arranged rendevous at Priest Island.

Wednsday, 23 July
Le Bien Trouvé is cornered in the Summer Isles off Coigach, Captain Dumont surrenders the ship.

Monday, 4 August
Lieutenant Dudepet who had left Priest Island 8 July from Le Bien Trouvé surrendered at Inverness after becoming separated from de Lancize. He lied to his captors, trying to keep the rendevous point of Priest Island unknown, and protect his MacKenzie hosts at Lochbroom safe from retribution.

De Lancize with the remaining French cadet, Lieutenant Berar, remained at large, and in time found the Prince. At the time the Prince's advisors were pushing the Prince to try an escape from the east coast, but it is thought de Lancize's influence as a French naval officer, aware of the possibilities and challenges of a sea rescue, convinced them to stay on the west coast.

This same date "the three principal Heritors in this Countrey who were not in the Rebellion", Keneth Mackenzie of Dundonell, Murdoch Mackenzie of Achilty, and Alexander Mackenzie of Ballone, wrote to Captain George Monro "Comanding a Detachment of His Majesties Troups in Lockbroom etc.";

Kirktown of Lochbroom 4th August 1746.

In regaurd it hath been reported that the Pretenders Son
Came To the Bounds of this parish of Lochbroom ; We therefor out of
Duty to the Gouernment, and for our own Credit and Interest, do hereby
Declare that Neither we nor any of our people did euer know nor hear
that he Was in this parish, nay We are fully Convinced for our pairt,
that he never came to the Bounds ; nor did any of the Rebells to our
knowledge Sculk or Stay Any tyme in this parish Since His Royall
Highness's Proclamation was publictly Intimated the last Sabath of
May, but William Culcoys Broyr, who Some tyme Skulked in the pairts
of Auch and Coigach in Company wt Colin Roy McKenzie. It is
likeways reported that Mr Alexr McLeod, Son to Mr John McLeod,
Advocate, Was last Week in a Remott hill in the March twixt this and
the parish of Gairloch, called Binchaskan, but upon the forces Comeing
to the Countrey It is thought they left the Bounds.
We are wt regaurd,

Your most obedient Humble Servts

(Sic Subscribitur)


13 August
Ardloch and Keppoch arrive at Dunkirk board Le Hardi Mendiant after an unsuccessful rescue of the Prince launched from Bergen in Norway. Keppoch is not later mentioned, (not a captured and transported Jacobite), except in a 1773 sasine as married to Henrietta Mackenzie of Fisherfield (though the sasine might far postdate the marriage).

20 August
Another expedition was launched from Dunkirk, three small ships; Le Hardi Mendiant again, with Le Prince de Conti, and L'Heureux. Ardloch as pilot in either Le Conti or L'Heureux, probably Keppoch with him. After many adventures the little fleet harboured for two weeks in Loch nan Uamh from the 6th to 19th September, while runners tried to find the Prince and get him to come to the ships.

Coll MacDonnell of Barrisdale with his son Archibald came, and left to settle his affairs before returning to turn refugee.

19 September
The Prince boarded Le Conti, and at his request the sixty Highlanders aboard the ships were disembarked, and Barrisdale and his son were put in chains for claim of double-dealing and lifting Rebel funds. Gibson in "Ships of the '45" implies the Highlanders offloaded were mostly Barrisdale's men. A wise move probably not to have these battle hardened, well armed Highlanders freely roaming the deck on the journey to France while their chieftan was below in chains!

Though Ardloch is not mentionned I think it likely he (with Keppoch?) was offloaded with the other Highlanders, Barrisdale had probably lit the fuse that put Ardloch into rebellion in the first place, and his regiment had been with Cromartie's on the expedition to Sutherland and Caithness. Despite Ardloch's demonstrated loyalty to the Prince through the Rebellion and several rescue attempts, his acquaintance with Barrisdale would have encouraged his being left at Loch nan Uamh.

Presumably Ardloch was captured travelling north from there to Lochbroom and his family in Assynt as he is next noted in "Prisoners of the '45" as:

M'Kenzie, John (1) (Captain)
PRISON CAREER: Carlisle; Lancaster Castle
ULTIMATE DISPOSAL: Transported Antigua 8-May-1747
HOME OR ORIGIN: Ardloch, Assynt
AGE: 22
NOTES AND AUTHORITIES: Gentleman. Obliged to go.- S.P.D., 81-76, 91-77; P.R., 3621-3; T.B.P., 327

8 May, 1747
John Mackenzie, "Ardloch", was "transported" into exile to Antigua in the West Indies aboard the "Veteran", master John Ricky, from Liverpool.

28 June
The Veteran was captured by a French Privateer, the "Diamond", under command of Paul Marsal "in or about the Latitude of Antgua".

A letter is transcribed in a 1998 Clan MacKenzie listserve posting, source noted as "Colonies C/8a/58, fo 86" (note that the following dates are probably in the Gregorian calender then used by the French government and navy);

Le 14 aout 1747, le gouverneur de Martinique, M. de Caylus, ecrit au ministre, en duplicata, une lettre chiffree (dont la transcription par les bureaux du ministere est donnee en interlignes) :

"J'ai eu l'honneur de vous rendre compte, par ma lettre du 12 juillet dernier par la Hollande [lettre non conservee], qu'un corsaire de cette colonie avait pris un vaisseau sur lequel on avait embarque 160 Ecossais qui devaient, par ordre du roi, etre vendus comme esclaves aux Isles sous le Vent, pour avoir pris les armes contre le prince Edouard.
[ I think he meant "pour le prince" ? ]

"Deux capitaines, huit autres, tant sergents que soldats, qui etaient de ce nombre, m'ayant demande de passer en France par ces batiments qui sortent sans convoi, je le leur ai permis et je vous en rends compte afin que vous ayez la bonte de donner, a leur arrivee dans les ports, les ordres que vous jugerez convenables.

"Sur les representations qu'ils m'ont faites, j'ai donne des ordres aux capitaines pour les passer comme prisonniers de guerre et je vous ecris ainsi dans la crainte que, cette lettre tombant entre les mains des Anglais, ces malheureux ne fussent reconnus et maltraites."

My translation, with aid and corrections by Françoise Gaudry, a bilingual descendant of Roderick of Achiltibuie (brother of "Keppoch", first cousin of "Ardloch"), is;

On the 14 August, 1747, the Governor of Martinique, M. de Caylus, wrote to the Minister, in duplicate, a letter Encrypted (Whose transcription by the offices of the ministry is given in interlining)

"I had the honour to report to you in my letter of 12 July by the Hollande [letter not kept, likely refers to a ship called "la Hollande", rather than sent through the land of Holland] that a corsaire [privateer] of this colony had taken a vessel which had 160 Scots on board, who by Orders of the King were to have been sold as slaves in the Windward Isles, for having taken up arms for the Prince Edward.

"Two captains and eight others, some of those sergeants, some soldiers, asked me to arrange their passing to France that these batiments [ ships, not necessarily fighters, but with big or medium size tonnage as opposed to small ships ] can go without convoy, I allowed them to do so, and I and I tell you this so that you be kind enough, when they arrive in port, to give such orders as you deem appropriate.

"On the representations made by them to me, I have given orders to the captains to pass as prisoners of war and I thus write to you in the fear that, should this letter fall into the hands of the English, these unfortunates be recognized and mistreated."

Undoubtably Ardloch was one of the Captains, though nothing further is known of him. The ship might have been captured and he was summarly executed, he may have died of disease and exhaustion from his long captivity, he may have reached France and joined a French-Scottish Regiment, or the Dunkirk privateers he had come to know well, or he may have joined his cousin Lord MacLeod in Sweden. It would be funny to find him later an officer in the French Army, his nephew, next Head of the Ardloch Family, became an Officer in the British Army, and was injured thirteen years later at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham against the French...


The Earl of Cromarty raised much of his Regiment at Coigach in the Scottish Highlands. His tenants suffered; most of the Regiment were captured at Dunrobin, and died in wretched captivity in prison ships, or were transported into exile. Some drowned trying to swim across the firth, some including the officers Ardloch and Keppoch straggled home across the mountains back to Coigach. The first rent roll of the area after the Rebellion shows almost half the district laid waste.

Alexander Mackenzie, "Keppoch", hid in the mountains of Coigach till the general Act of Pardon was passed. With his cousin John Mackenzie of the Ardloch family he actively aided French attempts to rescue Bonny Prince Charlie. "Ardloch" probably with "Keppoch", was pilot on the ship that did eventually retrieve Charlie.

Roderick of Achiltibuie was pardoned, he died in 1762. His widow Katherine, the "young lady of quality" who had met the French cadets in 1746 held onto the Tack of Achiltibuie with her eldest son Alexander, the seven year old boy being dragged from island to island in 1746 to evade the English. In 1767 she fought a spirited battle by letter and petition to hold on to the Tack against a half-pay officer from the British Army, Lieut. Daniel MacKenzie from Lewis, who is thought to have been a first cousin once removed. She was moved on to the more desolate farm of Dalpolly on the north of Coigach, still noted there in the 1795 and 1799 rent rolls.

Captain Colin MacKenzie of the Ballone family, later styled as "of Badluachrach", was a brother-in-law of Roderick, (the brother Katherine above expressed her fear for to the French cadets). He was also pardoned, in large part because of the testimony of the Lochbroom Minister, James Robertson. He returned home, and married the girl who had been fiance of Rev. James Robertson.

Cromarty after trial in the House of Lords was sentenced to have his head cut off, commuted to attainder and a life of House Arrest in England after his pregnant wife with crying children in tow pleaded for mercy from the King.

Cromarty's son, Lord MacLeod, was pardoned on agreeing to surrender his titles and inheritance upon reaching majority, and accepting exile. He led a martial life in Europe, becoming aide de campe to the King of Sweden, who entitled him Count Cromarty. Decades later he returned, raised a Regiment for King George, and after paying off a debt of 19,000 pounds accumulated by the Commission of Forfeited Estates was given the estates (including Coigach) back, though not the attainted titles.

This file, and others dealing with history and genealogy of Coigach, links from my homepage at:


Any suggestions for additions or edits please feel free to email me,

Donald MacDonald-Ross, at:

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