41654: Murdo Mackenzie

Murdo Mackenzie, Murchadh Mor, was the fourth factor or Chamberlain of the Lews under the Seaforth Mackenzies, from about 1640s to the 1690s.

He was the son of Alexander Mackenzie, first Chamberlain, though did not succeed his father immediately. In his long tenure as Chamberlain several new families were introduced to Lewis: George Mackenzie at Baile na Cille, John Maciver at Tolsta Chaolais, Duncan Maciver at Carloway, Murdo Matheson at Arnish and John Maclennan at Kirkibost, most of whom were connected to Murdo by marriage.

Murdo was noted as a skillful sailor and a gifted poet. Among his compositions is An Lair Dhonn. He lived on Eilean Chaluim Chille near Cromore (and presumably maintained a residence in Achilty, to which he was heir.)

Murdo married twice, first a daughter of Hector Mackenzie of Fairburn and latterly the widow of Colin Mackenzie of Tarvie (who may have been a daughter of another Hector Mackenzie, of Gairloch.) He had at least two sons, Alexander and Donald (fostered by John Morrison Bragar), and William Matheson (Mac Gille Chaluim) suggests that Roderick and Hector, tacksmen of Valtos, and Murdo, tacksman of Laxay, were also sons of Murchadh Mor.

Record Type:
Chamberlain of the Lews
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