Mary MACLEOD (X Chief)

Father: William MACLEOD
Mother: Agnes FRASER

Family 1: Duncan Dugald CAMPBELL
  1. Dugald CAMPBELL
  2. Donald CAMPBELL
  3. Elizabeth CAMPBELL
  4. Mary CAMPBELL
Family 2: Roderick MACNEIL

                                                                                  _John Iain_Borb MACLEOD _
                                                          _William Dubh MACLEOD _|_Margaret DOUGLAS _______
                    _Alexander Alisdair_Crotach MACLEOD _|
                   |                                     |                        _John MACLAINE __________
                   |                                     |_[Daughter] MACLAINE __|_________________________
 _William MACLEOD _|
|                  |                                                              _________________________
|                  |                                      _______________________|_________________________
|                  |_[youngest_dau] CAMERON _____________|
|                                                        |                        _________________________
|                                                        |_______________________|_________________________
|--Mary MACLEOD 
|                                                                                 _Hugh FRASER ____________
|                                                         _Thomas FRASER ________|_Janet DUNBAR ___________
|                   _Hugh FRASER ________________________|
|                  |                                     |                        _Sir Alexander GORDON ___
|                  |                                     |_Janet GORDON _________|_________________________
|_Agnes FRASER ____|
                   |                                                              _________________________
                   |                                      _______________________|_________________________
                   |_Janet ROSS _________________________|
                                                         |                        _________________________



!BIOGRAPHY: Rev. Dr. Donald MacKinnon, MACLEOD CHIEFS OF HARRIS AND DUNVEGAN, Edinburgh, The Clan MacLeod Society, 1969, pp. 17-18. Alick Morrison, THE CHIEFS OF CLAN MACLEOD, East Kilbride, Scotland, 1986. It is not known where Mary was born, but it was probably at Dunvegan, and probably she spent a part of her early childhood there. Her father, William, the 9th Chief, died in 1551, and his death created a difficult situation. He had held his lands in Harris, Glenelg and Skye (including a part of Trotternish, which was in the possession of the MacDonalds of Sleat) by a charter of 1542 with remainder to heirs general, while the Island of North Uist, Sleat and the rest of Trotternish (also MacDonald lands) had been granted to his father and himself with remainder to heirs male. This meant that the legal owner of the ancient heritage of the Clan MacLeod was Mary, while her father's next brother, Donald, was in name only the possessor of lands occupied by another clan. At a meeting of the Clan MacLeod, which was always held after the funeral of a chief, they put aside Mary's claims, and as her uncles were away, and it was not known whether they were alive or not, the temporary leadership of the Clan was given to Iain a'Chuil Bhain (John of the Fair Cue), who was her great-grandfather. It was felt that a young girl would be of no use in governing the clan and leading it in war. Since the chiefship of a clan,

however, did not and does not depend on the clan's consent, being hereditary and not elective, Mary was Chief DE JURE from the day of her father's death until the return of her uncle Donald, who was the heir male. The clansmen's decision at Rodel in Harris that Iain a'Chuil Bhain should take upon himself the leadership of the clan meant that Mary and her mother had to leave the Castle of Dunvegan, which now became his home, and we have no knowledge where they went after leaving Skye. Agnes Fraser, Mary's mother, probably did not have much say in the upbringing of her daughter, who, being the legal owner of the MacLeod lands, was a ward of the Crown. Her wardship was a prize not beneath the notice of the greatest nobles in Scotland. In 1553 the Earl of Huntly got the coveted wardship, but in 1555 he fell into disgrace with the Queen Regen, who forced him to relinquish his claims to the heiress, whose wardship he was on the point of selling to the Earl of Argyll, and hand Mary over to herself. Argyll, however, did not give up all hope of getting the prize for himself. In 1558, the year after her uncle Donald's murder, the Earl sent a party of Campbells to Skye to ascertain what chance there was of any husband he might choose for her being accepted as Chief of the Clan. The Campbells were received at Dunvegan by Iain Dubh (son of Iain a'Chuil Bhain), who had them all treacherously murdered, [For an account of the massacre of the Campbells, see HISTORY OF THE MACLEODS, pp. 33-34.] and Argyll was convinced that Mary and a Campbell husband would never be acceptable to the MacLeods. Argyll died in this year, but his successor, the 5th Earl, in 1560, entered into negotiations with Mary's uncle, Norman, for the Campbells were determined to get the heiress into their hands to serve their own interests, as we shall see later on. In 1562, the same year as her mother's Contract of Marriage with Alexander Bayne of Tulloch, Mary's person was in the possession of Kenneth MacKenzie of Kintail, illegally it would appear, for Mary, Queen of Scots, ordered him to present her to herself. The MacKenzie Chief appeared on 21st May of that year, and maintained he could not give up the heiress because James MacDonald of Dunnyveg was bringing an action against him before the Lords of Session for her possession. Her Majesty assured MacKenzie that he would not be held guilty by MacDonald of Dunnyveg or anybody else, and insisted on his handing her over to her. Thus Mary MacLeod went to Court. Whether she was one of the Queen's MARIES or not, we do not know, but that she was at the Court of Mary, Queen of Scots, from 1562 to 1565, is proved by entries in the Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer. The Earl of Argyll finally obtained the wardship of Mary in 1566. In that year the Earl made an agreement with her uncle, Norman, in which he promised, among other things, to find Mary a husband. And he implemented his promise by giving her in marriage to his kinsman, Dugald Campbell of Castle Sween, a son of Sir Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck. The marriage is said in Burke's PEERAGE [1938, p. 480] to have taken place in 1573, but this date must be incorrect as there is a discharge, dated 1571, from Mary in existence, in which she states she is the 'spouse of an honourable man Dugald Campbell'. [The discharge is among papers relating to Mary MacLeod in the Muniment Room in Dunvegan Castle. On these papers is based the above account of Mary's life-history, supplemented by an article, entitled: AN HEIRESS OF THE ISLES, by Mrs. Osbaldeston-Mitford (Brenda MacLeod) in THE CLAN MACLEOD MAGAZINE.] By Dugald Campbell of Auchinbreck, she had issue.... It is said that Mary of Dunvegan married Roderick MacNeil of Barra after the death of Duncan [sic? Dugald] Campbell. We do not know the exact date of Mary's death, but she was living in 1602. The Rev. A. MacLean Sinclair, in THE MACNEILS OF BARRA (CELTIC REVIEW, III, p. 217), gives the marriage of Mary to Roderick MacNeil as an established fact without supplying any documentary evidence. Vide MACLEOD MEMORIAL (ca. 1767), p. 15.

Created by Sparrowhawk 1.0 (4/17/1996) on Mon Apr 2 10:50:48 2001