108775: Amy MacRuairi

Amy was the daughter of Ruairi, Chief of the Clan Ruairi. Amy married John of Islay, Lord of the Isles in about 1337. With him she was to have three sons and a daughter.

Amy’s brother Ranald, heir to Clan Ruairi, was slain in 1346, and the lands of Garmoran, Uist, Barra, Eigg and Rum passed to Amy.

It was only four years later, in 1350, that John divorced Amy, making instead an advantageous marriage to Margaret Stewart, daughter of Robert, heir to the Scottish throne. Accounts suggest that Amy was not at fault. John initially retained Amy’s lands and her children were removed from his line of succession. It was at this stage that John declared himself Lord of the Isles. Amy’s name was not mentioned in a charter of David II in 1363, confirming John in possession of the Clan MacRuairi lands.

It was only later that her son Ranald successfully petitioned for the return of her inheritance.

Following the divorce Amy undertook several building works, notably the rebuilding of Teampull na Trianaid at Carinish in North Uist. According to the book The Lords of the Isles, she also

‘ … built the parish church of St Columba on Benbecula, and the little oratory at Grimsay – all at the expense of the Lord of the Isles.’

Additionally Amy is credited with the building of Borve Castle and extending Castle Tioram in Argyllshire.

Record Type:
Record Maintained by: