Clan MacDonald of Keppoch

MacDonald of Keppoch Clan Crest: A crowned golden eagle.

MacDonald of Keppoch Clan Motto: Air Muir's Air Tir (By land and by sea).

History of Clan MacDonald of Keppoch:

The Keppoch branch of Clan Donald descend from Alistair Carrach, the third son of John of Islay 's second marriage to Princess Margaret of Scotland, daughter of Robert II.

On the forfeiture of the Lordship of the Isles in 1493, Angus 2nd MacDonell of Keppoch and his successors had to maintain their position in Lochaber through strength for two and a half centuries. In 1663, Alexander MacDonald, the young Chief of Keppoch and his brother Ranald, were stabbed to death by seven rivals within their clan. Nothing was done to avenge their deaths until Iain Lorn, the Keppoch Bard, persuaded MacDonald of Glengarry and Sir James MacDonald of Sleat to become involved, and two years later, the Privy Council in Edinburgh issued letters of "Fire and Sword" against the murderers. Subsequently, the killers were caught and decapitated at Inverlair.

A long standing feud existed between the Keppoch MacDonalds and the Mackintoshes over rents for lands allegedly held by the MacDonalds in Glenroy and Glenspean. In 1688, having failed to secure his claim from Keppoch, Lachlan Mackintosh obtained a Commission of Fire and Sword from the Privy Council.  Despite this, the Keppochs stood their ground and the Mackintoshes were soundly defeated 
The Keppoch MacDonalds were staunch Jacobites and fought at the Battle at Killiecrankie in 1689 and the Battle of Culloden in 1746, where the Keppoch Chief was killed. When the 21st Chief died without an heir in 1848, his kinsman, Ranald MacDonald, was recognised as Chief within Lochaber, but did not consider it necessary to acquire Letters Patent. On his death, therefore, the Chiefship became dormant.

In 2006, Ranald Alistair MacDonald, great-great grandson of Ranald MacDonell, and a direct descendant of Donald Gorm MacDonald of Inverroy, fourth son of Alistair Buidhe, 14th Chief of the MacDonalds of Keppoch, was recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms as 23rd Chief.

Places of Interest:

The Well of Heads, north side of Loch Oich, Inverness-shire. Legend has it that the seven decapitated heads of the murderers of the Keppoch Chief and his brother were washed in the well here before being taken to Invergarry Castle for display then sent on to be set up on the Gallows Hill in Edinburgh in 1665.

Buy MacDonald of Keppoch membership certificates.