VIII. Mary, who, as his second wife, married Alexander Macdonald, XI. of Glengarry, with issue--John, who carried on the succession, and others. She has a life-rent sasine in 1696. Kenneth Mor died in December, 1678, when he was succeeded by his eldest son,
XVI. KENNETH OG, FOURTH EARL OF SEAFORTH,
So described by the Highlanders to distinguish him from his father. At an early age he began to reap the benefits of his predecessor's faithful adherence to the fortunes of Charles II. In 1678, before his father died, his name is found among the chiefs, who, by a proclamation dated 10th of October in that year, were called upon to give their bond and caution for the security of the peace and quiet of the Highlands, which the leaders were to give, not only for themselves but for all the members of their respective Clans. In spite of all the enactments and orders hitherto passed, the inhabitants and broken men in the Highlands were "inured and accustomed to liberty and licentiousness" during the late troubles, and "still presumed to sorn, steal, oppress, and commit other violences and disorders." The great chiefs were commanded to appear in Edinburgh on the last Tuesday of February, 1679, and yearly thereafter on the second Thursday of July, to give security and receive instructions as to the peace of the Highlands. To prevent any excuse for non-attendance, they were declared free from caption for debt or otherwise while journeying to and from Edinburgh, and other means were to be taken, which might be thought necessary or expedient until the Highlands were finally quieted, and "all these wicked, broken, and disorderly men utterly rooted out and extirpated." A second proclamation was issued, in which the lesser barons --heads of the branches of clans--whose names are given, were to go to Inverlochy by the 20th of November following, as they were "by reason of their mean condition," not able to come in to Edinburgh and find caution, and there to give in bonds and securities for themselves, their men, tenants, servants, and indwellers upon their lands, and all of their name descended of their families, to the Earl of Caithness, Sir James Campbell of Lawers, James Menzies of Culdarers, or any two of them. These lists are interesting, showing, as they do, those who were considered the greater and lesser barons at the time. We find four Mackenzies in the former but not one in the latter. [For the full lists see Antiquarian Notes, pp. 184 and 187.]
On the 1st of March, 1681, Kenneth was served heir male to his greatg-randfather, Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, in his lands in the Lordship of Ardmeanach and in the Earldom of Ross; was made a member of the Privy Council by James II. on his accession to the throne in 1685, and chosen a Knight Companion of the Thistle, on the revival of that ancient Order in 1687. The year after the Revolution Seaforth accompanied his Royal master to France, but when that Prince returned to Ireland in the following year to make a final effort for the recovery of his kingdom, he was accompanied thither by the Earl. There he took part in the siege of Londonderry and in other engagements, and as an expression of gratitude James created him Marquis of Seaforth, under which title he repeatedly appears in various legal documents. This well-meant and deserved honour, however, came too late in the falling fortunes and declining powers of the ex-King, and does little more than mark his Royal confirmation of the steady adherence of the chiefs of Kintail to the cause of the unfortunate Stuarts.
Viscount Dundee in a letter to the "Laird of Macleod," dated "Moy, June 23, 1689" [About this time Viscount Tarbat boasted to General Mackay of his great influence with his countrymen, especially the Clan Mackenzie, and assured him "that though Seaforth should come to his own country and among his friends, he (Tarbat) would overturn in eight days more than the Earl could advance in six weeks yet be proved as backward as Seaforth or any other of the Clan. And though Redcastle, Coul, and others of the name of Mackenzie came, they fell not on final methods, but protested a great deal of affection for the cause."--Mackay's Memoirs.] in which he details his own and the King's prospects, gives a list of those who are to join him. "My Lord Seaforth," he says, "will be in a few days from Ireland to raise his men for the King's service;" but the fatal shot which closed the career of that brilliant star and champion of the Stuart dynasty at Killiecrankie, arrested the progress of the family of Seaforth in the fair course to all the honours which a grateful dynasty could bestow; nor was the family of Kintail singular in this respect--seeing its flattering prospects withered at, perhaps, a fortunate moment for the prosperity of the Empire. Jealousies have now passed away on that subject, and it is not our business to discuss or in any way confound the principles of contending loyalties.
To check the proceedings of the Mackenzies, Mackay placed a garrison of a hundred Mackays in Brahan Castle, the principal seat of the Earl, and an equal number of Rosses in Castle Leod, the mansion of Viscount Tarbat, both places of strength, and advantageously situated for watching the movements of the Jacobite Mackenzies. [Life of General Mackay, by John Mackay of Rockfield, pp. 36-37.]
Seaforth seems to have left Ireland immediately after the battle of the Boyne, and to have returned to the Highlands. The greater part of the North was at the time hostile to the Government, and General Mackay was obliged to march north, with all haste, before a general rising could take place under Buchan, who now commanded the Highlanders who stood out for King James. Mackay was within four hours march of Inverness before Buchan, who was then at that place "waiting for the Earl of Seaforth's and the other Highlanders whom he expected to join him in attacking the town," knew of his approach. Hearing of the proximity of the enemy, Buchan at once retreated, crossed the River Ness, and retired along the north side of the Beauly Firth, eastward through the Black Isle. In this emergency, Seaforth, fearing the personal consequences of the part be had acted throughout, sent two of his friends to General Mackay, offering terms of submission and whatever securities might be required for his future good behaviour, informing him at the same time that, although he had been forced to appear on the side of James, he never entertained any design of molesting the Government forces or of joining Buchan in his attack on the town of Inverness. Mackay replied that he could accept no security other than the surrender of his Lordship's person, at the same time conjuring him to comply, as he valued his own safety and the preservation of his family and people, and assuring him that in the case of surrender he should be detained in civil custody in Inverness, and treated with the respect due to his rank, until the will of the Government should become known. Next day the Earl's mother, the Countess Dowager of Seaforth, and Sir Alexander Mackenzie of Coul proceeded to Inverness, to plead with Mackay for a mitigation of the terms proposed, but finding him inflexible, they told him that Seaforth would accede to any conditions agreed to by them in his behalf. It was thereupon stipulated that he should deliver himself up at once and be kept a prisoner in Inverness until the Privy Council decided as to his ultimate disposal. With the view of concealing his voluntary submission from his own clan and his other Jacobite friends, it was agreed that the Earl should allow himself to be siezed at one of his seats by a party of horse under Major Mackay, as if he were taken by surprise. He, however, disappointed those sent to take him, in excuse of which, his mother and he, in letters to General Mackay, pleaded the delicate state of his health, which, it was urged, would suffer from imprisonment; and indeed few can blame him for any unwillingness to place himself absolutely at the disposal of such a body as the Privy Council of Scotland then was--many of whom would not hesitate in the slightest to sacrifice him, if by so doing they could only see any chance of obtaining a share, however small, of his extensive estates. General Mackay became so irritated at the deception thus practised upon him that he resolved to treat Seaforth's vassals "with all the rigour of military execution," and he sent his Lordship a message that if he did not surrender forthwith according to his promise, he should at once carry out his instructions from the Privy Council by entering his country with fire and sword, and seizing all the property belonging to himself or to his clan as lawful prize; and, lest the Earl should have any doubt as to his intention of executing this terrible treat, he immediately ordered three Dutch regiments from Aberdeen to Inverness, and decided on leading a competent body of horse and foot in person from the garrison at the latter place, to take possession of Brahan Castle. The General, at the same time wrote instructing the Earl of Sutherland, Lord Reay, and Ross of Balnagown, to send a thousand of their men, under Major Wishart an experienced officer acquainted with the country, to take up their quarters in the more remote districts of the Seaforth estates, should that extreme step, as he much feared, become necessary. Having, however, a friendly disposition towards the followers of Seaforth, on account of their being "all Protestants and none of the most dangerous enemies," and being more anxious to get hold of his Lordship's person than to ruin his friends, he caused information of his intentions to be sent to Seaforth's camp by some of his own party, as if from a feeling of friendship for him the result being that, contrary to Mackay's expectations, Seaforth surrendered--thus relieving him from a most disagreeable duty, [Though the General "was not immediately connected with the Seaforth family himself, some of his near relatives were, both by the ties of kindred and of ancient friendship. For these, and other reasons it may be conceived what joy and thankfulness to Providence he felt for the result of ibis affair, which at once relieved him from a distressing dilemma, and promised to put a speedy period to his labours in Scotland."--Mackay's Life of General Mackay.]--and he was at once committed a prisoner to the Castle of Inverness.
Writing to the Privy Council about the disaffected chiefs at the time, General Mackay says--"I believe it shall fare so with the Earl of Seaforth, that is, that he shall haply submit when his country is ruined and spoyled, which is the character of a true Scotsman, wyse behinde the hand." [Letters to the Privy Council, dated 1st September, 1690.] By warrant, dated 7th October, 1690, the Privy Council directs Mackay "to transport the person of Kenneth, Earl of Seaforth, with safety from Inverness to Edinburgh, in such way and manner as he should think fit."