27809: John Roy Macaulay

John Roy Macaulay (born c1490) lived during a time of great lawlessness in Lewis, a period known in folklore as Linn nan Creach, the age of plunder or ruin.

The Macaulays, who were in the holdings of Valtos, Kneep and Beirhe (Reef), were attacked and killed by the sons of Norman Macleod who lived on Pabbay island. John Roy survived the massacre because he was living with his foster-father Finlay Macritchie in Mealista. Another attempt was made on his life when he was thirteen years of age after which he sought refuge with his mother’s people, the Macleans of Lochbuie, Isle of Mull. He returned to Uig in adulthood and killed the sons of Norman Macleod who had wiped out his family. Old Norman Macleod, shamed by his family’s treatment of John Roy, gave him Baile na Cille and Crowlista.

Baile na Cille Cemetery features in a story about John Roy Macaulay, who was pursuing Norman Macleod, son of Norman Og of Pabbay, across the sands to avenge the murder of his brothers. Norman was seeking sanctuary in the burial ground but John Roy caught up with him before he reached safety. Logic dictates that John Roy, who remained nearby when he was given the tack at Crowlista, would have been buried here too.

According to tradition John married a daughter of his protector at Lochbuie and with her he had a son, Dugald, who was in turn father of the notorious Domhnall Cam.

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Brothers Keeper Reference:
CEBL 2202
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