Skip to main content

Copy of a manuscript about the family of Mac Iain vic Hemish [Donald MacDonald, Mac Iain Mhic Sheumais] and accompanying note, 9 April 1866

Identifier: Coll-97/CW112/8

Scope and Contents

Copy of a manuscript about Mac Iain vic Hemish [Donald MacDonald, Mac Iain Mhic Sheumais] originally written by James MacDonald at Kalin [Ceallan/Kallin, Griomsaigh/Grimsay] June 1837. The text describes Mac Iain Mhic Sheumais's prowess as a warrior from an early age including his involvement in the Battle of Cuilen in Skye [An Cuilthionn/Cuillin, An t-Eilean Sgitheanach/Isle of Skye] where he killed the MacLeod of Gesto. There is also a detailed account of a raid by MacLeods of Harris on Carinish [Cairinis, Uibhist a Tuath/North Uist], which owing to Mac Iain Mhic Sheumais's leadership capabilities was turned into a slaughter of all but one MacLeod, despite Mac Iain Mhic Sheumais being badly injured. Mac Iain Mhic Sheumais is described as passing 'his time in constant warfare with the MacLeods by sea and land' and following this is an account of him landing at Roudale [Ròdail/Rodel, Na Hearadh/Isle of Harris] owing to bad weather. His godson MacCruimein [MacCrimmon] who was living on Harris, asks MacLeod if Mac Iain Mhic Sheumais and his men can stay the night unharmed. MacLeod agrees and they are given food and an outer house in which to shelter. In the middle of the night MacCruimein wakes them up and says that the weather is fair enough to set sail again. Understanding that McCruimein is warning them that they should leave, they head for the boat and having set sail, they look back to see the accommodation they had been given on fire. There is also a short note about Mac Iain Mhic Sheumais's descendants. The accompanying note states that the text was 'Copied by Peter Bain from Lieut[enant] James MacDonald's MS [manuscript]' and that Carmichael compared the copy with the manuscript.


  • Creation: 9 April 1866

Language of Materials

English Gaelic

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 183 folios ; 20 x 23.8cm

Physical Location


Physical Location

folio 45v, line 1 to folio 47v, line 25


MacDonald, Rev. A., and MacDonald, Rev. A.,The Clan MacDonald, Vol III (Inverness, 1904) pp 500-504.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379