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List of Important Dates in Clan Mackay History

(From the list compiled in 1911 by the late Rev. ANGUS MACKAY, Westerdale,

expanded by the late Dr. GEORGE MACKAY, F.R.C.S.E., Edinburgh)

1160 - Expulsion of the MacEths from Moray.

c.1260 - Iye Mor MacEth married a daughter of Bishop Walter of


1263 - fight with King Haco's troops at Loch Eriboll

1371 - Murder of the Mackay chieftains, father and son, at Dingwall

c.1403 - Battle of Tuiteam Tarbach, in which the Macleods were overthrown by the Mackays.

1411 - Battle of Dingwall, where Macdonald overcame Angus Du Mackay

1425 - Angus Du spoils Moray.

1426 - Angus Du spoils Caithness

1432 - Angus Du defeats Angus Moray at Drum nan Coup, near Tongue

1437 - The Caithness men overthrown at Sandside Chase by Neil Mackay

c.1486 - Angus Roy Mackay overthrown and slain at the Tarbet Church by the Rosses.

1487 - The Mackays defeat the Rosses at Aldicharrish, in revenge for the slaughter of Angus Roy.

1493 - The Mackays invade the Rosses again, and take much spoil.

1513 - John Mackay makes a bond of friendship with Adam Gordon

c.1528 - The Mackays are associated with the Forbes in the feuds of the latter

1542 - The Mackays at Solway Moss, where Iye Du Mackay is taken prisoner

1544 - Mackay joins in the attack of Arran at Glasgow

1548 - Mackay joins in the attack and capture of Haddington

1562 - Mackay at the battle of Corrichie, where Huntly fell.

1566 - Mackay and Macleod of Assint burn Dornoch

1571 - Mackay and the Master of Caithness burn Dornoch again

1585 - Huistean Du Mackay at the siege of Marle

1588 - Huistean Du joins the Earl of Sutherland, and marries his daughter the following year

1612 - His son, Donald Mackay of Farr, captures the coiner Smith at Thurso after some sharp fighting

1616 - (April) - Donald Mackay goes to London with his uncle, Sir Robert Gordon, and is knighted by James VI, at Theobalds

1626 - Sir Donald Mackay embarks 3600 men at Cromarty for the Continental War under Count Mansfeld in the service of Charles IV of Denmark and Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden.

1627 - Sir Donald holds the Pass of Oldenburgh, against overwhelming odds, with his regiment, and in the same year, while abroad, is created a Baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles I

1628 - (June 20) - Sir Donald Mackay created Baron Reay of Reay in the Peerage of Scotland by Charles I

1629 - Christian IV of Denmark is replaced by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden as Leader of the Protestant cause, and Lord Reay having raised fresh troops in Scotland takes service under the latter

1630 - Lord Reay accompanies his Regiment to Germany, and is at the capture of Stettin, Damm and Colberg.

1631 - Reay is empowered by Charles I to raise another 2000 for service with Gustavus Adolphus. He quarrels with David Ramsay at the English Court, and having challenged him to a duel, both are imprisoned in the Tower of London to preserve the peace.

1632 - Gustavus is killed at the battle of Lutzen and Reay is not repaid large sums of money due to him by Gustavus and by Charles I. He has also domestic troubles and has to sell some of his estates, especially in Orkney.

1637 - He transfers his estates to his eldest son, John the Master of Reay.

1638 - The Marquis of Montrose, Lords Home, Boyd and Loudoun invite Lord Reay to meet them and others to consider the religious troubles of the time and sign the Covenant, which he does, unwillingly because of his long attachment to Charles I.

1639 - 1641 - Reay stays at home

1642 - He goes to Denmark and commands the Regiment of his son, Colonel Angus Mackay

1644 - Like Montrose, Reay espouses again the cause of King Charles I, and brings arms and money by sea to Newcastle. He aids Lord Crawford for several months in the defence of the city against the Scots Army. When the town is captured by General Leslie, Reay and Lord Crawford are sent as prisoners to Edinburgh Castle.

1645 - Following Montrose's victory at Kilsyth, Reay is liberated

1646 - Montrose, having been instructed by King Charles I, to disband his forces and seek his own safety, writes to Reay advising him to do likewise. Montrose narrowly escapes from Angus to Norway, and Reay from Thurso to Denmark.

1649 - Charles I executed at Whitehall on January 30th. Reay dies soon after at Bergen in Norway. His remains are sent home in a Danish frigate, and buried in the family vault at Kirkibol, Tongue. Neil Aberach falls at Thurso. John, 2nd Lord Reay, surprised and captured at Balveny Castle on the Spey, and imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle. Lady Reay effects his escape.

1652 - the Mackays at the Battle of Worcester

1654 - The Mackays spoil Sutherland, in the rising under Middleton

1680 - George, 3rd Lord Reay, succeeds his grandfather, and has Sir George Munro of Culrain as his guardian.

1689 - General Hugh Mackay of Scourie, who had served with the Scots Brigade in Holland, is made Commander-in-Chief in Scotland by William, Prince of Orange; is defeated at Killiecrankie but wins the campaign against Claverhouse

1692 - General Hugh Mackay having returned to Holland to aid the Dutch in their confllict with the French under Louis XIV, falls at Steinkirk.

1697 - His nephew, Æneas Mackay, a son of the 2nd Lord Reay, is now Commander of the Mackay Regiment in the Dutch Service. Wounded and worn out with campaigning he dies at Bath at the early age of 30 and is buried in the Chancel of Bath Abbey, where there is a tablet to his memory. His widow, a Dutch lady, returns to Holland with his only son, Donald, who grows up to command his father's regiment and become the founder of the branch of the Clan to which the Reay title passed in 1875

1715 - The Mackays are anti-Jacobites, and help to restrain Seaforth during the rising.

1745 - The Mackays are actively anti-Jacobite

1746 - the Mackays capture, at Tongue, gold sent from France to the Prince, and also capture the Earl of Cromarty at Dunrobin.

1778 - Rob Donn, the Mackay poet, dies

1795 - The Reay Fencibles embodied

1798 - The Reay Fencibles at the Battle of Tara Hill, near Dublin

1802 - The Reay Fencibles disbanded t Stirling

1806 - "Mackay's Society" founded in Glasgow

1815 - 1818 - the Strathnaver Clearances, by which the people were removed to make room for sheep

1829 - The Reay estate sold to the Countess of Sutherland by Eric, 7th Lord Reay

1875 - On the death of Eric, 9th Lord Reay, who was unmarried, the title passed to the branch of the family resident in Holland and descended from John, 2nd Lord Reay (see note under 1697). Æneas Mackay, a Baron of the Netherlands, Vice-President of the Council of State and holder of the Cross of the Order of the Netherlands, became 10th Lord Reay. He died in 1876. His son, Donald James Mackay, succeeded as 11th Lord Reay, left Holland and was made a Peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Reay of Durness (8th October, 1881) with a seat in the House of Lords. Was appointed Governor of Bombay (1885-90) and Under-Secretary of State for India (1894-95) and was Lord Lieutenant of Roxburghshire.

1886 - The passing of the Crofters Act, by which the tenants secured fixity of tenure

1888 - Reconstitution of the Clan Mackay Society

1898 - New holdings formed on Strathnaver, and a considerable portion of the Strath re-peopled from Syre to Carnachy

1900 - Durness and Strathy estates sold to Mr Gilmour by the Duke of Sutherland

1914 - 18 - the Great War, in which at least 1075 Mackays made the supreme sacrifice

1921 - (August 1) - Death of Sir Donald James Mackay, 11th Lord Reay. He was succeeded by his cousin, Baron Eric Mackay, who resided at Arnhem, Holland.

1921 - (November 2) - Death of Eric Mackay, 12th Lord Reay, who was succeeded by his son Æneas Alexander, the past Chief of the Clan.

1924 - (July 19) - Æneas Alexander Mackay, 13th Lord Reay, invested as Chief of the Clan at Reay according to ancient custom by the presentation of the parchment of investiture and a silver box containing soil and pebbles from the ground of title.

1927 - Formation of the Clan Mackay Society of London

1931 - Formation of a Centre of the Clan Mackay Society in Melbourne for Victoria, and of a Centre in Sydney for New South Wales

1932 - Formation by Prof. A. L. Gordon Mackay of an Eastern Centre of Clan Mackay with headquarters at Rangoon (This Centre is temporarily inactive)

1934 - Tragic death of Baron William Mackay of the Hague by a motor accident near Brora, in Sutherland.

1935 - Gift of his Library to the Society by his mother and sisters. Library established in Edinburgh.

1936 - (April 14) - Marriage at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh,of the Rt. Hon. Æneas Alexander Mackay, 13th Lord Reay and Baron Mackay of Ophemert in Guelderland, Chief of the Clan Mackay to Miss Charlotte Younger, of Ravenswood, near Melrose, followed by their World tour.

1937 - Formation of a Centre of Clan Mackay Society in Wellington, New Zealand.

1937 - (July 19) - Birth at Edinburgh of a son and heir, thus reviving the title of "Master of Reay." Baptised on October 7,in St. Giles Cathedral, and received the names of Hugh William.

1938 - (June 21) - Birth at Langlee House, Galashiels, of a daughter to Lord and Lady Reay. Received the names of Elizabeth Mary.

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