Who was born on the 9th of October, 1847, Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding the 9th Lancers, and now of Seaforth. He is still unmarried.
It has been shown at p. 343 that the male line of Colonel Alexander Mackenzie of Assynt, fourth son of Kenneth Mor, third Earl of Seaforth, became extinct on the death, in 1815, of Francis Humberston Mackenzie, who survived all his male issue. It has also been proved that the male line of George, second Earl of Seaforth, who died in 1651, terminated in Kenneth, XIX. of Kintail and sixth Earl of Seaforth, whose only child, Lady Caroline Mackenzie, formed an irregular union with Lewis Drummond, Count Melfort, a French nobleman. It was shown earlier, at p. 246, that the lineal representation of the original line of Kintail was diverted from heirs male in the person of Anna, Countess of Balcarres, eldest daughter of Colin, first Earl of Seaforth, who had no surviving male issue; and the male line of Colonel Mackenzie of Assynt having terminated in "The Last of the Seaforths," who died in 1815, we must go back beyond all these to an earlier collateral branch to pick up the legitimate male succession, and for ever dispose of the various unfounded claims hitherto made to the Chiefship of the clan.
Before the appearance of the former edition of this work there had been several claimants to this highly honourable position; and this is not to be wondered at, for whoever proves his right to the Chiefship of the Mackenzies establishes at the same time his right to the ancient honours of the house and Barons of Kintail. In an earlier part of the work, at p. 316, it is shown that the original title of Lord Mackenzie of Kintail did not come under the attainder of William, the fifth Earl, for the part which he took in the Rising of 1715, and therefore the Chief of the Mackenzies, as heir male of the first Lord Mackenzie of Kintail, is, in virtue of that position, we believe, entitled to assume that ancient title.
The first formal claim to the Chiefship is one by a Captain Murdoch Mackenzie, "of London," who claimed "the titles, honours, and dignities of Earl of Seaforth and Baron Mackenzie of Kintail," in virtue of a pretended descent and pedigree from the Hon. John Mackenzie of Assynt, second son of Kenneth Mor, third Earl of Seaforth. This pedigree and claim is before us. According to that document the Hon. John Mackenzie of Assynt had a son "Murdoch Mackenzie of Lochbroom, who, having shown a disposition of enterprise like his kinsman Earl William, left his native parish in 1729 or 1730, first for Aberdeen and afterwards for Northumberland, where, in consequence of the unsettled state of Scotland, he resided with his family." This Murdoch had a son, John Mackenzie, "born in Beadnall, parish of Bamborough, county of Northumberland, in 1738, who married Miss Isabella Davidson in 1762, and died in 1780, in his forty-second year." John had a son, "Captain Murdoch Mackenzie, the claimant, who was born at Beadnall, county of Northumberland, in 1763, and married in 1781, Miss Eleanor Brown of the same place, and has issue. He commanded the ship Essex, transport 81, of London, during the late war. Being desirous to see his clan in the North, in 1790 he visited the late Francis Lord Seaforth, who in the true spirit of Scotch sincerity, hospitality, and nobility received him with demonstrations of pleasure. After talking over family matters his Lordship candidly said that Captain Murdoch ought to have been the peer in point of primogeniture." A short account of the family accompanies the pedigree and claim, which concludes in these terms--"In consequence of the death of the last peer it has been discovered in Scotland that the titles and family estates have devolved upon Captain Murdoch Mackenzie of London. This gentleman is naturally anxious to establish his rights, but being unable to prosecute so important a claim without the aid of sufficient funds he has been advised to solicit the aid of some individuals whose public spirit and liberal feelings may prompt them to assist him on the principle that such timely assistance and support will be gratefully and liberally rewarded. Captain Mackenzie hereby offers to give his bond for ?00 (or more if required) for every ?00 that may be lent him to prosecute his claim--the same to become due and payable within three months after he shall have recovered his titles and estates." The result of this appeal has not been ascertained, but it is certain that Captain Murdoch Mackenzie did not succeed in establishing any claim either to the titles or estates of the House of Kintail and Seaforth.
It was, on the contrary, placed absolutely beyond dispute by the evidence produced at the Allangrange Service in 1829 that the eldest and only surviving son of the Hon. John Mackenzie of Assynt was not Murdoch but Kenneth, and there is no trace whatever of his having had any son but Kenneth. In an original Precept issued by the Provost and Magistrates of Fortrose on the 30th of October, 1716, the son of the then late John Mackenzie of Assynt is designated "Kenneth Mackenzie, now of Assynt, grandchild and apparent heir to the deceased Isobel, Countess Dowager of Seaforth, his grandmother on the father's side." In the same document Kenneth is described as her Ladyship's "nearest and lawful heir," conclusively showing that he was her son John's eldest son. It is thus fully established that Captain Murdoch Mackenzie's genealogical chain fails at the very outset--is broken in its initial link. The Hon. John Mackenzie of Assynt had only one son. His name was Kenneth, not Murdoch, and he died without issue. If any additional proof be required to show that the male line of the Hon. John Mackenzie of Assynt has long been extinct, it will be found in the fact that on the death of Earl Kenneth, known as "the Little Lord," in 1781, the succession to the representation and ancient honours of the family of Kintail and Seaforth, devolved upon the heir male of Colonel Alexander Mackenzie of Assynt, who was the fourth son of Kenneth Mor, third earl, and a younger brother of the Hon. John Mackenzie of Assynt, apart altogether from the conclusive parole evidence given by very old people at the Allangrange Service in 1829.
This effectually disposes of Captain Murdo Mackenzie.
Now as to the more plausible but equally baseless claim of Captain William Mackenzie of Gruinard, and his cousin, the late Major-General Alexander Mackay Mackenzie of the Indian Army. Captain Murdoch Mackenzie's claim having failed, we must go back another step in the chain to pick up the legitimate succession to the honours of Kintail and Seaforth. Here we are met on the way by another claim, put forward by the late Captain William Mackenzie of Gruinard, in the following letter addressed to George F. Mackenzie, then of Allangrange:--
11 Margaret Street, Cavendish Square, London, 24th October 1829.