Make your own free website on Tripod.com

1700s: 1. (Scotland—date unknown)Tarbert estate of Urins, consisting of four farms, is sold to a Mr. McFarlan [CMS, p. 19].

2. (Ireland—early) Clintagh MacAllisters (Antrim) move from Moycraig to Kildress (near Cookstown); from Kildress they split into Magheraglass, Roughan, and Ber- agh branches [CMS, p. 48]; see c. 1558.

3. Writings such as Peter MacIntosh’s History of Kintyre (published 1857) and var- ious travellers’ manuscripts show that even as late as the 18th century, “the social intercourse between Kintyre and the north of Ireland [is] sustained by bonds of kin- ship and a common culture” [Martin, p. 2]. These works also go some way to ex- plain the famed hospitality of Highlanders: Visitors were not only the source of songs and tales that could entertain on dark winter nights, but “also bearers of news, and the importance of that service cannot be fully realised without an appre-ciation of the extreme – and seldom relieved – isolation in which a great part of the rural population then existed. Roads were crude and transport primitive; letter-post and newspapers had hardly yet reached them. . . . MacIntosh records a tradition that ‘a vagrant taking his round’ of the communities between Machrihanish and Southend could rely on ‘hospitable entertainment’ for four months, which seems not in the least implausible” [Martin, p. 3].

4. The religious situation in the Highlands at this point is quite varied: “In the eigh- teenth century, the East Highlands [a]re largely Episcopal by religion, the Central Highlands Presbyterian, western Inverness Roman Catholic” [MacLeod, p. 10]. However “Roman Catholicism ha[s] largely vanished – or been extirpated, more accurately – from Kintyre” by this century [Martin, p. 101].

c. 1700: John McAlester [elsewhere Macalister] of Ardnakill and Torrisdale, living at Arinan- uan (head of Barr Glen), is tacksman of these properties [CMS, p. 32].

1704:  (5 August) Alexander of Loup and Archibald of Tarbert named as Commis-sioners of Supply for Argyll ["Fortiter", Jan. 1982, p. 3; Feb. 1982, p. 2; Castleton, p. 171; RSP, 1704/7/69]

1705:  (14 September) “Archibald Mackalester of Tarbert” granted permission by one of the last acts of the Scottish Parliament (before it ceases to exist in 1707) to esta- blish “four yearly fairs and a weekly mercat at the toun of East Tarbert”[1] [Mitchell, pp. 73, 77; Castleton, p. 171; RSP, 1705/6/170].

1706:   Loss of Tarbert Castle

By this time, the ruinous castle has passed to the Macleans:“The maintenance of the Castle over the years proving so expensive the McAlester’s [sic] ceased to live in it and instead built a more appropriate residence” nearby, on the Barrmore pen- ninsula [CMS, p. 9; Clan, p. 205; "Fortiter", Feb. 1982, p. 2; Castleton, p. 171; Mitchell, pp. 79-80].

1715–16: “The ’Fifteen” (jacobite Rebellion)

“There can be little doubt that, so far as the MacDonald group of clans was con- cerned, the ’15 was not really about the restoration of the Stuart dynasty and it cer- tainly was not about Scottish nationhood, freedom or self-determination, for the Old Pretender[2] stood for none of those things. It might have been partially about restoring the Roman Catholic church, . . . but this is unlikely to have been a major motivation. Much more it was to do with a last ditch attempt to . . . restore the power and glory of the ancient chiefdoms now that castles and galleys were no longer such useful tools of warfare” [Feud, p. 95, emphasis mine]. Richard B. Sher adds that "the close association of the Argathelian[3] interest with the government served to encourage Jacobite sentiments among rival Highland clans who resented the growing power of Clan Campbell" [Sher, p. 186]. A list made in this year of the heritors of Argyll indicates that Macalister of Loup and Macalister of Tarbert are among those believed to have signed an address of welcome sent to James VIII [Inventory of Lamont Papers, p. 332].

1716:   Part of Tarbert estate sold to Campbell of Blythswood (some sources believe this occurred before 1685) [CMS, p. 19]

1717:  1. Clan Alasdair established in the Netherlands: Duncan of Loup (youngest of the 8th laird’s sons) marries a Dutchwoman, Johanna; their descendants remain in Holland ["Fortiter", Jan. 1982, p. 4; Castleton, p. 171].

2. More Tarbert lands sold to Campbell of Blythswood (some sources believe this occurred before 1685) [CMS, p. 19]

3. Ronald McAlester of Dunskeig purchases the estate of Balinakill, Clachan, from his brother-in-law, Angus Campbell of Skipness [CMS, p. 5].

1719:  (10 June) Jacobites defeated at Glenshiel

“There [i]s a good turnout of MacDonalds . . . at the battle of Glenshiel . . . , but the Highland charge [i]s completely wasted and the battle end[s] in a fairly pathetic if not too bloody defeat” [Feud, p. 95].

1724:   Charles MacAlasdair of Tarbert petitions the Synod of Argyll for help in bringing ed-
            ucation to the area. The petition, which is preserved in Inverary Castle, says:


"Unto the Very Reverend the Moderator and Promanant Members of the Provincial Synod of Argyll. The peti- tion of Charles MacAlaster of Tarbert. Humbly sheweth: That in the town of Tarbat there are two hundred exammable persons who have many children very fit for School but are so poor that they are neither able to send their children to any place where education may be had, nor to maintain a Schoolmaster at the place but in order to encourage learning there your petitioner is willing to contribute for that purpose something and it is expected that the Reverend Synod will, out of their publick fund, give their assistance for so good a design which must fail should they deny it. May it therefore please you wisdoms to take this promptly to your consideration and grant out of your funds so much as you think will answer our end. And your peti- tioner shall ever pray. Charles MacAlaster, 1724" [CMS, pp. 8-9].


1725:  (18 January) Charles McAlester of Tarbert mentioned in Sheriff’s Court records. The records also mention Hector McAlester of Loup, "eldest son of the late Alex- ander McAlester" (which suggests that Alexander was dead by the beginning of this year), and Robert [probably Ronald] McAlester of Ballinakile [Dobson, Migra- tion, pp. 53-4].

1726:   probable succession of Hector 9th of Loup

1730s–40s: Charles, Captain and 8th Laird of Tarbert, is farming on “an extensive scale”             and rents land on Islay as well as Kintyre (from Duke of Argyll) [CMS, p. 6]

1733:  The Day Book of Daniel Campbell of Shawfield mentions several McAlesters as            tenants in Islay: Charles McAlester, in Ballychillen and Storgag (parish of Kilarrow             & Kilmeny), Proaid, Balyneil, and Arvolhalm (parish of Kildalton) [Note: This is the            Captain of Tarbert, who is renting lands on Islay at this time]; Coll McAlester, "late             baillie" of Islay, who farms at Stoin (Kildalton parish), at Portnellan, and at Skerrols             and Avinogy (Kilarrow & Kilmeny); Donald McAlester farms at Stromnishmore (Kil-

            dalton parish) [Dobson, Migration, p. 53].

1736:  Alexander McAlester or McAllister emigrates from Islay to North Caro- lina; he is later a member of the Provincial Congress (1775–1776) [Settlers, vol. II, p. 90; Carolinas, p. 116].

1737:  (16 December) Commisary Court records show that the testament of Archibald McAlester of Tarbert, parish of Kilcalmonell, is confirmed on this date [Dobson, Migration, p. 53].

1738:  Thirty families from Kintyre and surrounding islands emigrate to New York; they are followed in 1739 and ’40 by others—altogether 423 emigrants to N.Y. from this area  [Settlers, vol. II, pp. 29, 90; Carolinas, p. 116].

1739:  1. Cape Fear settlement: Coll McAlester, son of Ronald of Dunskeig and “tacks- man of Balinakill Estate”, is one of five prominent men who arrange to settle Scots along the Cape Fear River in North Carolina; these men receive large land grants and tax exemptions to help them establish themselves in their new country [CMS (2), p. 30]. Coll sells his lease to his cousin Colin Campbell of Skipness [CMS(2), p. 29]. They leave from Campbeltown on 6 June 1739 aboard the ship Thistle (of Saltcoats, Ayrshire) with about ninety poor families—all together 350 people—from Kintyre and Gigha [CMS(2), p. 29; Settlers, vol. I, p. 112; vol. II, p. 90].

2. (4 December) Death of last Earl of Stirling: Henry Alexander, 5th earl of Stirling, dies childless. Though several have come forward, no claimant to the title has been recognised by the Lord Lyon [CMS, pp. 44-5; "Fortiter", June 1982, p. 2; Montcrieffe, p. 63; Castleton, p. 178].  

1739–41: 1. During this period, “many families emigrat[e] from this parish [i.e., N. Knap- dale] to found the Argyll colony at Cape Fear in North Carolina” [TSA: N. Knapdale, p. 243; Dobson names many such emigrants].

2. “There [a]re already . . . MacDonalds and Campbells settling in Bladen County, by the Cape Fear River in North Carolina” [Feud, p. 97]. 

1741:  1. Charles McAlester of Tarbert named in the Day Book of Daniel Campbell of Shawfield as farming lands in the parish of Kildalton, Islay. Coll McAlester is men- tioned as tenant in Portnellan, Eolobolls, Mill of Kilarrow, and Knockens [Dobson, Migration, p. 53].

            2. death of the 8th Laird of Tarbert, who is buried in the churchyard of Tarbert; Archibald succeeds as 9th laird [CMS, p. 6; Mitchell, pp. 73-4].

         3. (18 December) Comissary Court records show that the testament of Charles McAlester of Tarbert is confirmed on this day [Dobson, Migration, p. 53], but see 1746.

1742:   Ranald Macalister marries Anne MacDonald of Kingsburgh

Ranald Macalister, b. 1715, third son of John Macalister of Ardnakill and Torrisdale Glen, marries Anne MacDonald, whose father, Alexander Macdonald of Kings-burgh, is Chamberlain of Trotternish and factor for MacDonald of Sleat. Ranald farms at Skirrinish and is factor on the Trotternish estate [Burke's, 'McAlister of Loup & Kennox'; A & A Macdonald, p. 196]; see 1745–6, #4; 1750.

1743:   potato introduced to the Hebrides

The potato requires less land and produces greater volume of crop than previous staples; this contributes to a rise in population that soon renders many communi- ties able “to grow and eat little else” [Keay, p. 785]. By the time of the first Statistic- al Account (1799), numerous Highland parish reports specifically mention the reli- ance of tenant farmers on the potato for sustainance and the lack of other crops. In the Highlands as in Ireland, this eventually leads to disaster; see 1836-7, 1846- 9.

1744:  (July) voyage recorded of the Daniel of Campbeltown, under shipmaster Ronald McAlester, from Campbeltown to Belfast [Dobson, Migration, p. 54]