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Lament For MacDonald's Tutor


William MacDonald was the third son of Sir Donald MacDonald, 10th Baron of Sleat. He married Catherine, a daughter of Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel.


William fought at the Battle of Killiecrankie, 1689, where his older brother James led his clansmen. Chieftain Sir Donald was too ill to participate. William's other brothers were also out on the Jacobite side in 1715. However, two of William's sons fought against the Jacobites in 1745. A mixed-up situation, not uncommon in the Highlands in those troubled times.


To avoid forfeiture of the Sleat estate after Killiecrankie, William made a deal with King William of Orange whereby he took over the estate in the role of Tutor. Some years later when things had settled down he turned the estate over to Sir James MacDonald, eldest of Sir Donald's sons. As a result of his loyalty to the rightful heir, he was granted a farm near Duntulm, Skye, for life and a generous feu of Vallay, North Uist, for one shilling per year.


Ewen MacDonald composed this tribute to the Tutor, his father, who died in 1730.


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