Carr now returned to Ross and laid siege to Redcastle, the only stronghold in the North which still held out for the Royal cause. The officer in charge recklessly exposed himself on the ramparts, and was pulled down by a well-directed shot from the enemy. The castle was set on fire by the exasperated soldiers. Leslie then placed a garrison in Brahan and Chanonry Castles, and returned south. The garrisons were then expelled, some of the men hanged, the walls demolished, and the fortifications razed to the ground. Thus ended an insurrection which probably would have had a very different result had it been delayed until the arrival of Montrose. The same year General Leslie himself came to Fortrose with nine troops of horse, and forwarded detachments to Cromarty and "Seaforth's strongest hold" of Ellandonnan Castle.
The following account of this period by a contemporary writer is very interesting:--"Immediately after the battle of Auldearn Seaforth met and communed with Montrose, the result of which was that Seaforth should join Montrose, for the King against the Parliament and States, whom they now discovered not to be for the King as they professed; but in the meantime that Seaforth should not appear, till he had called upon and prevailed with his neighbours about him, namely, My Lord Reay, Balna-gown, Lovat, Sir James Macdonald of Sleat, Macleod of Dunvegan, and others, to join him and follow him as their leader. Accordingly, Seaforth having called them together, pointed out to them the condition the King was in, and how it was their interest to rise and join together immediately for his Majesty's service and relief. All of them consented and approved of the motion, only some of them desired that the Parliament who professed to be for the King as well as they, and desired to be rid of Montrose and his bloody Irish, should first be made acquainted with their resolution. Seaforth, being unwilling to lose any of them, condescended, and drew up a declaration, which was known as Seaforth's Remonstrance, as separate from Montrose, whereof a double was sent them; but the Parliament was so far from being pleased therewith that they threatened to proclaim Seaforth and all who should join him as rebels. Now, after the battle of Alford and Kilsyth, wherein Montrose was victorious, and all in the south professing to submit to him as the King's Lieutenant, he was by the treachery of Traquair and others of the Covenanters, surprised and defeated at Philiphaugh. In the beginning of the next year, 1646, he came north to recruit his army. Seaforth raised his men and advertised his foresaid neighbours to come, but none came except Sir James Macdonald, who, with Seaforth, joined Montrose at Inverness, which they besieged, but Middleton, who then served in the Scots armies in England, being sent with nearly 1000 horse and 800 foot, coming suddenly the length of Inverness, stopped Montrose's progress. Montrose was forced to raise the siege and quit the campaign, and retired with Seaforth and Sir James Macdonald to the hills of Strathglass, to await the arrival of the rest of their confederates, Lord Reay, Glengarry, Maclean, and several others, who, with such as were ready to join him south, were likely to make a formidable army for the King but, in the meantime, the King having come to the Scots army, the first thing they extorted from him was to send a herald to Montrose, commanding him to disband his forces, and to pass over to France till his Majesty's further pleasure. The herald came to him in the last of May, 1646, while he was at Strathglass waiting the rest of the King's faithful friends who were to join him. For this Montrose was vexed, not only for the King's condition, but for those of his faithful subjects who declared themselves for him and before he would disband he wrote several times to the King, but received no answer, except some articles from the Parliament and Covenanters, which after much reluctance, he was forced to accept, by which he was to depart the Kingdom against the first of September following, and the Covenanters were obliged to provide a ship for his transportation, but finding that they neglected to do so, meeting with a Murray ship in the harbour of Montrose, he went aboard of her with several of his friends, namely, Sir John Hurry, who served the States the year before, John Drummond, Henry Brechin, George Wishart, and several others, leaving Seaforth and the rest of his friends to the mercy of these implacable enemies; for the States and Parliament threatened to forfeit him for acting contrary to their orders, and the Kirk excommunicated him for joining with the excommunicated traitor, as they called him, James Graham; for now the Kirk began to rule with a high hand, becoming more guilty than the bishops, of that of which they charged him with as great a fault for meddling with civil and secular affairs; for they not only looked upon them to form the army and to purge it of such as whom, in their idiom, they called Malignants, but really such as were loyal to the King; and also would have no Acts of Parliament to pass without their consent and approbation. Their proselytes in the laity were also heavy upon and uneasy to such as they found or conceived to have found with a tincture of Malignancy, whereof many instances might be given." But to return to Seaforth. "After he was excommunicated by the Kirk he was obliged to go to Edinburgh, where he was made prisoner and detained two years, till in the end he was, with much ado, released from the sentence of excom-munication, and the process of forfeiture against him discharged; for that time he returned home in the end of the year, 1648, but King Charles I. being before that time murdered, and King Charles II. being in France, finding that he would not be for any time on fair terms with the States and Kirk, he proposed to remove his family to the Island of Lewis, and dwell there remote from public affairs, and to allocate his rents on the mainland to pay his most pressing debts, in order to which, having sent his lady in December to Lochcarron, where boats were attending to transport himself and children to the Lewis by way of Lochbroom, wherein his affairs called him, he, without acquainting his kinsmen and friends, went aboard a ship which he had provided for that purpose, and sailed to France, where the King was, who received him most graciously and made him one of his secretaries. This did incense the States against him, so that they placed a garrison in his principal house at Brahan, under the command of Captain Scott, who (afterwards) broke his neck from a fall from his horse in the Craigwood of Chanonry, as also another garrison in the Castle of Ellandonnan, under the command of one William Johnston, which remained to the great hurt and oppression of the people till, in t
Paragraph 587 has too many words. he year 1650, some of the Kintail men, not bearing the insolence of the garrison soldiers, discorded with them, and in harvest that year killed John Campbell, a leading person among them, with others, for having wounded several at little Inverinate, without one drop of blood drawn out of the Kintail men, who were only 10 in number, while the soldiers numbered 30. After this the garrison was very uneasy and greatly afraid of the Kintail men, who threatened them so, that shortly thereafter they removed to Ross, being commanded then by one James Chambers; but Argyll, to keep up the face of a garrison there, sent ten men under the command of John Muir, who lived there civilly without molesting the people, the States were so incensed against the Kintail men for this brush and their usage of the garrison, that they resolved to send a strong party next spring to destroy Kintail and the inhabitants thereof. But King Charles II., after the defeat of Dunbar, being at Stirling recruiting his army against Cromwell, to which Seaforth's men were called, it proved an act of oblivion and indemnity to them, so that the Kintail men were never challenged for their usage of the garrison soldiers. Though the Earl of Seaforth was out of the kingdom, he gave orders to his brother Pluscardine to raise men for the King's service whenever he saw the King's affairs required it; and so, in the year 1649, Pluscardine did raise Seaforth's men and my Lord Reay joining him with his men, marched through Inverness, went through Moray, and crossed the Spey, being resolved to join the Gordons, Atholes, and several others who were ready to rise, and appeared for the King. Lesley, who was sent from the Parliament to stop their progress, called Pluscardine to treat with him, while Seaforth's and my Lord Reay's men encamped at Balveny, promising a cessation of hostilities. For some days Colonel Carr and Strachan, with a strong body of horse, surprised them in their camp, when they lay secure, and taking my Lord Reay, Rory Mackenzie of Redcastle, Rory Mackenzie of Fairburn, John Mackenzie of Ord, and others, prisoners, threatening to kill them unless the men surrendered and disbanded; and the under officers fearing they would kill them whom they had taken prisoners, did their utmost to hinder the Highlanders from fighting, cutting their bowstrings, etc., so they were forced to disband and dissipate. Pluscardine, in the meantime, being absent from them, and fearing to fall into their hands, turned back to Spey with Kenneth of Coul, William Mackenzie of Multavie, and Captain Alexander Bain, and swam the river, being then high by reason of the rainy weather, and so escaped from their implacable enemies. My Lord Reay, Red-castle, and others were sent to Edinburgh as prisoners, as it were to make a triumph, where a solemn day of thanksgiving was kept for that glorious victory. My Lord Reay and the rest were set at liberty, but Redcastle was still kept prisoner, because when he came from home he garrisoned his house of Redcastle, giving strict commands to those he placed in his house not to render or give it until they had seen an order under his hand, whereupon Colonel Carr and Strachan coming to Ross, after the defeat of Balvenny, summoned the garrison to come forth, but all in vain; for they obstinately defended the house against the besiegers until, on a certain day, a cousin of Carr's advancing in the ruff of his pride, with his cocked carbine in his hand, to the very gates of the castle, bantering and threatening those within to give up the castle under all highest pain and danger, he was shot from within and killed outright. This did so grieve and incense Colonel Carr, that he began fairly to capitulate with them within, and made use of Redcastle's own friends to mediate and persuade them, till in the end, upon promise and assurance of fair terms, and an indemnity of what passed, they came out, and then Carr and his party kept not touches with them, but, apprehending several of them, and finding who it was that killed his cousin, caused him to be killed, and thereafter, contrary to the promise and articles of capitulation, rifled the house, taking away what he found useful, and then burnt the house and all that was within it. In the meantime Redcastle was kept prisoner at Edinburgh, none of his friends being in a condition to plead for him, till Ross of Bridly, his uncle by his mother, went south, and being in great favour with Argyll, obtained Redcastle's liberation upon payment of 7000 merks fine." [Ardintoul MS.]
While these proceedings were taking place in the Highlands, Seaforth was in Holland at the exiled Court of Charles II., and when Montrose arrived there Seaforth earnestly supported him in urging on the King the bold and desperate policy of throwing himself on the loyalty of his Scottish subjects, and in strongly protesting against the acceptance by his Majesty and his friends of the arrogant and humiliating demand made by the commissioners sent over to treat with him by the Scottish faction. It is difficult to say whether Seaforth's zeal for his Royal master or the safety of his own person influenced him most during the remainder of his life, but whatever the cause, he adhered steadfastly to the exiled monarch to the end of a life which, in whatever light it may be viewed, cannot be commended as a good example to others. Such vacillating and time-serving conduct ended in the only manner which it deserved. He might have been admired for taking a consistent part on either side, but with Earl George self-preservation and interest appear to have been the only governing principles throughout the whole of this trying period of his country's history. The Earl of Cromarty thought differently, and says that "this George, being a nobleman of excellent qualifications, shared the fortune of his Prince, King Charles I., for whom he suffered all the calamities in his estate that envious or malicious enemies could inflict. He was made secretary to King Charles II. in Holland, but died in that banishment before he saw an end of his King and his country's calamities or of his own injuries." We have seen that his conduct was by no means steadfast in support of Charles, and it may now be safely asserted that his calamities were due more to his own indecision and accommodating character than to any other cause. Earl George married early in life, Barbara, daughter of Arthur Lord Forbes (sasine to her in 1637) with issue--
I. Kenneth Mor, his heir and successor.
II. Colin, who has a sasine in 1648, but died young and unmarried.
III. George of Kildun, who married, first, Mary daughter of Skene of Skene, with issue--(1) Kenneth, who went abroad and was no more heard of; (2) Isobel; and several others who died young. He married, secondly, Margaret, daughter of Urquhart of Craighouse, with issue-- Colin of Kildun and several other children of whom no trace can be found. All his descendants are said to be extinct.
IV. Colin, who has a sasine of Kinachulladrum in 1721, as "only child now in life, and heir of his brother Roderick." He married Jean, daughter of Robert Laurie, Dean of Edinburgh, with issue--(1) Captain Robert Mackenzie, killed in Flanders, without issue, Colin married, secondly, Lady Herbertshire, with issue, (2) Dr George Mackenzie, who, in 1708, wrote a manuscript History of the Fitzgeralds and Mackenzies, frequently quoted in this work, and Lives of Eminent Scotsmen. He, with his father sold the estate of Kinachulladrum to Roderick Mackenzie, IV. of Applecross, in 1721, and died without issue. (3) Barbara, who married Patrick Oliphant.