27014: Donald Macaulay

Donald Macaulay(c1560-c1640) was Chief of Macaulay and a notorious renegade who lived in various fortifications around Uig: on the stack that bears his name at Mangersta, at Loch Barabhat by Crowlista, and at the ‘castle’ at Valtos.

Early in his career he fought in the Irish wars as a mercenary, probably in the service of Hugh O’Neill, earl of Tyrone in company of the Lewis Macleods. He returned to Lewis and lived a violent life, battling with the Morrisons and Mackenzies, taking a part in the siege of Stornoway Castle in 1605 and attracting the attention of the authorities, leading to an attempt to expell all Macaulays from their lands in Uig.

Donald had a reputation for being fierce with the sword and quick to anger. He is the subject of many stories still told in Uig today, and many inhabitants trace their lineage from him. His by-name Cam (“squint”) is said to originate from a quarrel with an Gobha Ban, the smith at Kneep, during which the smith put out one of Donald’s eyes with a red-hot poker.

According to tradition, he is buried – like all Macaulay males of the period – at Baile na Cille graveyard.

A sheiling in Lochs parish is named for him, suggesting his cattle were summered there.

Several stories are linked from this record and many appear in more detail in Donald Macdonald’s Tales and traditions of the Lews.



Record Type:
Also Known As:
Donald Cam
Date of Death:
Brothers Keeper Reference:
HC 2171
Record Maintained by:

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