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1640s: 1. Death of Godfrey, 5th of Tarbert

2. At this time Kintyre is “in a state of transition. . . . Connexion with Ireland [i]s still close. Old Celtic customs and superstitions di[e] hard” [Fraser, p. 29].

1641:   Irish Rebellion, in which Ulster MacDonnells and their allies play a major role; “within a few weeks much of the Ulster plantation [is] swept away” [Stevenson, Highland, p. 74; McKerral, p. 42].[1] The rising is described by the Privy Council of Scotland as “the great rebellion in Ireland with which diverse of the Clan Donald, specially Coll McGillespick’s [Colkitto’s] sonnes and others followers of the Earl of Antrim, have joyned themselves” [McKerral, p. 38]. It is very likely that some Mac- Alasdairs, who have been fighting for their Irish kinsmen for centuries, are also enlisted in this rebellion.

1642:   King Charles I gives lands of Tarbert to George Campbell, Sheriff of Tarbert [CMS, p. 4].

1643–4: Alasdair MacColla’s second raid in the Western Isles; he brings several hundred men with him, most of them Irish MacDonnells and their allies; they are driven out by the Earl of Argyll and his clansmen by the spring of 1644 [Stevenson, Highland, pp. 99-101].

1644–47: Wars of Religion

Note: The Wars of the Covenant (in the Scottish Lowlands), MacColla’s rebellion (in the Scottish Highlands), the Civil War in England, and the ongoing conflict in Ireland were separate in origin and aim, but they quickly overlapped, with combat- ants in each taking sides and forming alliances with combatants in the others. McKerral notes that “[t]he events of the next four or five years in Kintyre may be described as the backwash of the great civil war then being waged in England and Scotland” [p. 42]; see 1651.

1. Wars of the Covenant

—King Charles I, already under attack by the English Parliament and having alien- ated the Scots with (among other things) tax increases and his support of episco- pacy in the church of Scotland, attempts to impose the Anglican prayerbook on the Scottish kirk. The Presbyterian Scottish Covenanters see this as a challenge by Charles to God’s supremacy over even the King; the more radical of them, led by the Earl of Argyll, go on a murderous rampage across the south of Scotland. They quickly find common cause with the English Parliament in its attempt to overthrow (or at least severely restrict) the king. The Marquis of Montrose leads Charles’s forces against the Covenanters.

—MacDonalds and their west Highland allies, under the leadership of Alasdair MacColla MacDonald (see 1639; 1640, #2), form Montrose’s northern wing [Keay, p. 648]. The Clan Alasdair as a whole sides with Montrose [MacKinnon, p. 162; McKerrall, p. 47]; the chief’s position is unclear.[2]

2. Rebellion by Alasdair MacColla, in which “a mixture of Irish MacDonnells and Scottish MacDonalds beg[i]n burning and looting, releasing years of pent-up jealousy and hatred. . . . MacColla . . . spen[ds] nearly two years in . . . massive depredations of Campbell territory” [Feud, pp. 73-4; "News", no. 14, p. 2; Stevenson, Highland, chapter 6; Fraser, p. 114].

“The western Gaels . . . [a]re aware of the Civil War in England and of the Cov- enanters’ league with the [English] Parliament, even though the constitutional issues [a]re only dimly understood.  But while their own sense of tradition, the re- spect for kingship, or indeed their religion—for many of the Highlanders [a]re still Catholic—inclined them to the royal cause, their overriding motive [i]s to be re- venged upon the Campbells” [Williams, p. 114]; the ultimate goal for MacColla was the recovery of Clan Donald’s preeminence in the Western Highlands and the Isles [Stevenson, Highland, p. 147; Paterson, p. 8].

—MacColla and his followers “ravag[e] the whole district of Knapdale with fire and sword” [New Stat. Acct.: N. Knapdale, p. 638]; Argyll’s forces do the same in re- venge. “The total losses suffered by the [Campbells and MacDonalds] under Alastair [MacColla] and Archibald [Earl of Argyll] [are] in the region of 10,000, with massive devastation of their homes and land” [Feud, p. 77]. “[T]he Western Highlands and Isles as a whole t[ake] years to recover from the systematic destruction and killing that ha[s] taken place” [Stevenson, Highland, p. 240].

1644:   1. Probably in this year, Alasdair MacColla marries the daughter of Hector McAles- ter, 6th of Loup [Stevenson, Highland, p. 220; Burke's, 'McDonnell of Kilsharvan'; Williams (p. 197) gives the date as 1646]. Fraser-Mackintosh reports that MacColla “married one of the daughters of Macallister of Loupe, which family suffered severely through the connection” [pp. 78-9], though he fails to say how they suffer (unless he is amongst those who confuse Loup with Hector of Glenlussa and thus believe him to have been hanged after Dunaverty). 

            2. (24 July) Hector McAlester of Loup appointed by Charles I to be one of the com- missioners for the sheriffdom of Argyll, serving as a committee of war [RSP, 1644/6/225].

1645:   1. (2 February) Battle of Inverlochy Argyll is defeated; at this point Coll Kittoch (Colkitto) MacDonald, the father of Alasdair MacColla, invades and takes posses- sion of Kintyre [New Stat. Acct.: Southend, p. 425].

2. (13 September) Battle of Philiphaugh

After the battle of Kilsyth, MacColla “detache[s] himself and his force from [Mon- trose] . . . and then proceed[s] to wage a private war against his old enemies the Campbells, and to make one more attempt to win back the Macdonalds’ old patri- mony of Islay and Kintyre” [McKerral, p. 43; Fraser, p. 33]. Shortly thereafter, Mont- rose suffers a major defeat at the hands of the Covenanters at Philiphaugh. Though MacColla’s forces in fact left for a variety of reasons completely unrelated to the royalist cause or Montrose himself, their “desertion” is used by Montrose (and most of his biographers) as a convenient excuse for the loss at Philiphaugh [Stevenson, Highland, pp. 204ff.].

3. Birth of Coll macAlasdair macColla MacDonald, son of MacColla, grandson of Hector McAlester of Loup (see 1644); from him descend the McDonnells of Kil- sharvan [Stevenson, Highland, p. 220; Burke's, 'McDonnell of Kilsharvan'].

1646:   1. Under MacColla, “Argyll’s country . . . [i]s raided from end to end. Houses [a]re burnt down, their inhabitants slain, the crops destroyed, and the cattle driven off.” By the end of this year, “Kintyre [i]s a smoking ruin” [McKerral, p. 44].

2. Charles I surrenders to the Covenanters and orders Montrose and MacColla to lay down their arms. “This . . . mean[s] that the main Scottish army under General Leslie c[an] return from England to deal with the rebels” [Feud, p. 76; Stevenson, Highland, p. 229].  MacColla begins his retreat, but he “and most of his followers remai[n] in arms . . . in defiance of both king and covenanters” [Stevenson, Highland, p. 227; New Stat. Acct.: Southend, p. 425; McKerral, p. 43].

1647:   1. General Leslie’s army advances into Kintyre in pursuit of MacColla’s forces, ravaging and burning MacDonald and MacAlasdair lands, among others, in west Kintyre [CMS, pp. 21, 31; "News", no. 14, p. 2]. According to Ian MacDonald, Leslie was sent to punish MacDonald of Largie, who had burned down Inverary, home of the Argyll family; see 1649, #2. The point has been made that in order to do this, Leslie had to get past the isthmus at Tarbert, the defence of which had been entrusted to the MacAlasdairs of Loup by MacColla ["Fortiter", Jan. 1982, p. 3; Stevenson, Highland, p. 234]. Why they did not keep him out is unclear. Some historians assert that the MacAlasdairs failed to make a “do-or-die effort” because the chief’s wife was a Campbell [DMM, Ian MacDonald correspondence]. But McKerral disputes this, and I have my doubts (see note #2).

—Stevenson offers another suggestion: “It is said that [MacColla] ordered the MacAllisters of Loup to guard the passes but they refused to raise the siege of Skipness Castle to do so” [Stevenson, Highland, p. 234; "Fortiter", Jan. 1982, p. 3]. Skipness was one of the Campbell strongholds that MacColla had been trying to capture [Third Stat. Acct.: Saddell & Skipness, p. 264; Roberts, pp. 91-2]. A poem composed by a witness to the siege specifically names 'Macalister of the Loup' as one of the besiegers [Campbell, vol. 2, p. 239].

Contemporary reports seem to suggest that MacColla’s forces were unaware of how close Leslie’s forces were: The French diplomat Montereul reports in a letter home that “Alexander Macdonald . . . believed that David Leslie was yet somewhat prevented by the Gordons, . . . and hence [did not take] the trouble to guard the entry of the peninsula of Kintyre in which he had withdrawn. . . .” [Fotheringham, p. 151]. Sir James Turner, Leslie’s adjutant-general, believed it was divine providence that allowed Leslie access to Kintyre, because in light of the forces MacColla had with him, “I think he might have routed us, at least we should not have entered Kintyre but by a miracle” [Turner, p. 45]. In fact, “[w]e know that a number of the Mackays of North Kintyre, and also of the Macallasters of Loup, followed Sir Alex- ander Macdonald, and that some of them met their deaths at this time[McKerral, p. 47, emphasis mine].

2. (24 May) Rhunahaorine

—Having entered Kintyre, General Leslie’s army camps at Dunskeig Hill some 12 miles south of Tarbert and takes part in the battle of Rhunahaorine Moss the following day [Ian MacDonald correspondence].

—Alasdair MacColla spends the night before this battle in Old Largie Castle, home of his allies the MacDonalds of Largie [Stevenson, Highland, p. 235]; the castle, which stands on rising ground near Rhunahaorine village, is razed to the ground after the battle [Ian MacDonald correspondence].

—Montereul writes that forty of Leslie’s men meet “three hundred of Macdonald’s men, both cavalry and infantry, and having received order from David Leslie to charge them, those forty men f[a]ll upon the former so vigorously that after having killed eighty of them they . . . obliged the remainder to retire in disorder towards the main body of their army. . . .” [Fotheringham, p. 151]. Gen. Leslie reports that 60– 80 of MacColla’s men are killed at Rhunahaorine [Stevenson, Highland, p. 234], while “more than 500" are able to withdraw across the sea to the islands of Gigha and Islay; others go to Ireland, and 300-400 take refuge in Dunaverty Keep [Ian Mac- Donald correspondence; Feud, p. 76; CMS (2), p. 44; Turner, p. 45]. Stevenson sug- gests that the escape of so many so quickly raises the possibility that Alasdair was already in the process of withdrawing from Kintyre: “Perhaps Alasdair’s en- counter with Leslie was simply a delaying operation, undertaken with only part of his forces and designed to cover the escape of most of the rest of his men” [Highland, p. 236].

An attempt by Leslie to send cavalry to cut off forces guarding Rhunahaorine Point fails because they are impeded by boggy ground on the way, and it is not possible for him to summon government ships from Loch Sween in Knapdale to cut off their retreat [Ian MacDonald correspondence; Fraser, pp. 33-4]; “Leslie c[an] not press home his advantage immediately, for night [i]s falling and he need[s] to wait for his infantry to catch up with him. . . . Leslie himself [i]s angry that his lack of ships enable[s] so many rebels to escape” [Stevenson, Highland, pp. 235-6].

3. According to Montereul, the skirmish at Rhunahaorine causes “so much con- fusion and fear that the same night two chiefs of the clans, Macneil and Macalister — for this is how they call the powerful families—sent to David Leslie making offer to him to abandon Macdonald, with all their followers, if they were assured of their lives and of their property, which the Marquis of Argyle . . . promised them” [Fother- ingham, p. 151]. This does not, perhaps, reflect well on Hector MacAlister, but it does suggest that he had not remained uninvolved, as is usually claimed. Further- more, the fact that some of MacAlasdair’s followers not only didn’t abandon Mac- Colla but were willing to die for him, that the clan’s lands are not spared, and that only two years later Argyll is instructing his tenants not to let land to anyone of the name MacAlasdair (see 1649, #2) suggest that the deal was not implemented.

            Note: It’s hard to know how much credence to give Montereul’s report. By his own             admission, he was in Edinburgh at the time of these events and reported them

            secondhand, and he makes factual errors in other places. However, the fact that

            MacAlasdair is mentioned by name suggests that he must have done something

            at this point to bring attention to himself. James Turner points out that Argyll 

            struggled for two days with indecision about how to handle the siege at Dunaverty, 

            that he was very much against killing the castle’s defenders, and that even had he

           wished the massacre, he was only a colonel and did not have the authority to order

           it [p. 46]. This being the case, he probably also lacked the authority to make such

           deals with these clan chiefs.

4. (June) Massacre at Dunaverty Keep

—After Rhunahaorine, “about 300 [Royalists] sta[y] behind in Dunaverty Castle, probably because they belon[g] to Kintyre and ha[ve] nowhere else to go. But Leslie capture[s] the rock-top castle with ease” [Feud, p. 76]; Stevenson agrees that “[t]hose who died were mostly from Kintyre itself” [Highland, p. 237]. “Being reduced to great distress by the want of water, [MacColla’s men[3]] [a]re persuaded to surrender at discretion, after which they [a]re barbarously massacred” [Stat. Acct.: Southend, pp. 365-6]. MacAlasdairs are among those killed at Dunaverty [CMS(2), pp. 44-5; Williams, p. 200]. (It is not, however, the end of Clan Alasdair involvement in support of the king—see 1650, #2; 1651.)

—“The massacre which took place . . . has always been surrounded by controv- ersy as to both the numbers killed and whether or not they had been promised quarter. . . . According to the only truly contemporary account of the massacre by a covenanter who was present, Thomas Henderson, 300 prisoners were killed, but eighty of the men of the castle were spared and sent to serve in the French army” [Stevenson, Highland, pp. 236-7].

5. Hector Macalister of Glenlussa, along with his sons, is among those hanged by Leslie at Whimhill near Campbeltown in the massacre’s wake [DMM; Ian Mac- Donald correspondence; Burke's 'McAlister of Loup & Kennox'; Stevenson, Highland, p. 237; Williams, p. 200]. Williams believes that this Hector was the clan chief; Stev-  enson is less certain, saying he was “evidently Alasdair’s father-in-law”. In fact, however, Hector of Loup is still alive in 1649 (qv.); he is named in parliamentary records as late as 1661 [RSP, 1661/1/160].

6. Charles I turned over to the English by the Scottish Covenanters; hoping to ensure some of their own goals under the new government, they seek to win favour with the English Parliamentarians by giving them the king.

7. MacDonald and MacAlasdair lands are forfeited in favour of Argyll after MacColla’s forces are defeated. Argyll lets them out to new tenants, many of them Campbells [CMS, p. 31; "News", no. 14, p. 2]. These forfeitures remain in effect until 1661 [Ian MacDonald correspondence]. “All the Western Highlands and Isles as far north as Mull [a]re now under Campbell control. . . .” [Stevenson, Highland, p. 240]. Note: MacAlister of Loup seems not to have lost his lands, as he is still called MacAlister of Loup when he appears in parliamentary records in March 1648, qv. Possibly he has a new lease from Argyll?

8. (13 November) Death of MacColla: MacColla, having been taken prisoner by the English at Knock-na-ness in Ireland, is executed without trial [Keay, p. 648; Feud, p. 76; Ian MacDonald correspondence; Fraser, p. 39; Burke's 'McDonnell of Kilsharvan'].

9. At some point this year, MacColla’s second son, Archibald (or Gillespie) is born [Stevenson, Highland, p. 220].

1648:   1. ‘plague’ in Kintyre

100-plus years of conflict have left Kintyre devastated and vulnerable to the plague, which “follow[s] Leslie’s army into Kintyre” [Stevenson, Highland, p. 240;

            Stat. Acct.: Campbeltown, p. 545; New Stat. Acct.: Southend, p. 427]. Recent scholar- 
            ship suggests that this ‘plague’ was more likely to have been an outbreak of   
            typhus fever than the bubonic plague, but “nothing approaching such a scale of
            suffering and death recur[s] until the ninteenth century plagues of cholera”
             p. 111; Maiden, 'Pestilence'
                2. (2 March) Hector MacAlister of Loup named a commissioner of war for Argyll-
            shire in an act of parliament
[RSP, 1648/3/79], proving he is not the Hector exe-
            cuted after Dunavery.

3. Charles I executed

Most Scots, even the anti-royalist Covenanters who had surrendered him to the English, are appalled [Keay, p. 190; Cameron et al., p. 219]. Royalist effort now turns to support his successor, Charles II, against the English parliament now under the command of Oliver Cromwell.

1649:   1. "Hector mc Alister of Lowpe" is one of two "ruleing elders" appointed by the
            Synod of Argyll to go with several ministers "unto Arran" and check up on a
            minister named John Knox. The synod is concerned about Knox's behaviour and
            wants him questioned about his role in the recent rebellion
[Synod of Argyll, I: 126].
MacAlasdairs “blacklisted” with other Royalists by Argyll

Scottish Parliament orders the forfeiture of the MacDonald of Largie family of their Kintyre lands for their role in the 1647 rebellion; these lands are granted to the Earl of Argyll, who gives them in tack[4] to Dugald Campbell of Inverawe on the follow- ing conditions: Dugald is required to reside at the village of Rhunahaorine, main- tain law and order, and to take as tenant on the lands no one bearing the names McDonald, McAlester, McKay, McIan, nor any islander, without the Earl’s written permission [Ian MacDonald correspondence, emphasis mine].

3. Probable year of death of Henry Alexander, third earl of Stirling [Stevenson, Origins, p. 72]

1650:   1. Kintyre Plantation & Clearances

“[I]n an effort to repopulate his family-owned lands in Kintyre . . . Archibald, 9th Earl of Argyll, beg[ins] the importation of large numbers of English-speaking Scots lowlanders from Ayrshire—their loyalty to the Earl above reproach” ["Fortiter", Jan. 1982, p. 3]. Despite earlier attempts at colonisation, moderately successful in the case of Campbeltown, “[m]ajor colonisation by Lowland lairds and their followers beg[ins]” in this year [Martin, p. 2]. MacAlasdair families are among those evicted to make room for the newcomers; most settle in Arran or Ayrshire ["Fortiter", ibid.]. In fact, Ian MacDonald believes that there were more clearances in Kintyre than cur- rently available documentation indicates.

2. Some MacAlasdairs are part of the Scottish army that invades England in support of Charles II; see 1651.

1651:   1. (3 Sept.) Battle of Worcester

Worcester, a Royalist stronghold in the English Civil War, is the site of that war’s final battle: Charles II and his Scottish army are routed by Cromwell. Charles flees to Europe; among the Royalists captured at Worcester: Alister MacAllister, Daniel (or Donal) MacAllister, John MacAllister [Supplement, pp. 100-1; Settlers, vol. V, p. 145; Banished, p. 94].

2. (13 Dec.) Dougall Campbell of Inverawe "given a nineteen-year tack of the fifty-three merklands of Largie in Kintyre. . . . A condition was not to set any part of the lands to anyone named MacDonald, Macalister, MacKay or MacEan or any islander without [Argyll's] written consent [Campbell, vol. 2, p. 260].

3. (Dec.) Royalist POWs Alister MacAllister, Daniel (or Donal) MacAllister, and John MacAllister are transported from London to New England [Supplement, pp. 100-1]. Note: These men are the earliest MacAlasdair immigrants on record, as far as I know.

1652:   1. (26 April) Marquess of Argyll gives Campbell of Lochnell "a fifteen-year tack of Ardnamurchan and Sunart, together with the castle of Mingary. The rent was to be 4,500 merks a year and there were restrictions on subletting to anyone who was called MacDonald, MacRonald, Macalister, MacEan and Mackay [Campbell, vol. 2, p. 262].

            2. (23 May) Royalist POWs Daniel McAlastair and John MacAlastair are trans-ported from Gravesend (Eng.) to Boston, Mass. [Settlers, vol. V, p. 145; Banished, p. 94].

1654:   Hector Macalster, Gowry Macalster, and John Macalster in Westmoreland Co., Va., are named among the early Virginia immigrants [Supplement, pp. 100-1]. Based on the timing of their emigration, Dobson believes these men were most likely Cromwellian transportees [ibid., pp. v-vi].

1657:   Godfrey, future 7th of Loup, signs bond of obligation to Donald MacDonald of  
["Fortiter", Jan. 1982, p. 3]

1660:   Monarchy restored: Cromwellian rule of Britain comes to an end and Charles II takes the British throne.

1661:   1. MacAlasdair lands restored

The Earl of Argyll is executed by Charles II; MacDonald and MacAlasdair lands forfeited in the 1640s are restored [Ian MacDonald correspondence].

2. (1 January) Hector McAlester of Loup appears in parliamentary records for the last time, as a Commissioner of Supply for the county of Argyll [Castleton, p. 171; "Fortiter", Jan. 1982, p. 3; RSP, 1661/1/160].

1663:   The MacAlasdair and the chieftain of Tarbert are appointed Justices of Peace in their districts under an act of Parliament [Castleton, p. 171]. It appears that their personal names were illegible to the transcriber, so we do not know exactly who these men are. I suspect that this is still Hector of Loup, because after this, the Laird of Loup disappears from the records for a few years, and when he reap- pears, it is Gorrie (Godfrey), Hector's son.

1667:   Assessment on land revived in this year as the ‘cess’: “landowners in every shire 

            who alloted it were known as the ‘commissioners of supply’ and these provided

            the basis of county government until late in the nineteenth century” [Rosalind      

             Mitchison, A History of Scotland, p. 295]. Ranald, Laird of Tarbert, who evidently

            succeeded in the 1640s, is on record as commissioner of supply for Argyllshire, in

            relation to an Act of the Convention of the Estates that voted a sum of money to

            the King [Castleton, p. 171; Mitchell, p. 73; CMS puts this in 1668].     

1668:   lands of Ranald of Tarbert appraised at a debt of 4,706 merks [Beaton, p. 15]

1669:   1. Twelve MacAlasdairs are recorded in the Glens of Antrim in this year [Martin, p. 94].

            2. (22 July) Magistrates of Rothesay (Bute) banished the town's jailor for his role in allowing the Laird of Loup (at this point, Godfrey McAlester, 7th of Loup) to escape the Rothesay Tolbooth, where he had been imprisoned for an unspecified crime before "a great body of armed Highlanders arrived privately in the night-time, attacked the magistrates, broke open the prison, and rescued the prisoner" [Reid, History of the County of Bute . . . , p. 110].

1678:   1. Lands laid waste after Dunaverty have been “partly reoccupied by Macalister tenants having tacks from the Earl of Argyll”. Some of these families remain Argyll’s tenants for more than 100 years [CMS, p. 21].

2. Glenbarr lands lost

Of the lands reallocated by Earl of Argyll, Godfrey McAlester, Laird of Loup, re- gains Killagruir but loses all other lands previously held by Barr Glen McAlesters [CMS, p. 31; "News", no. 14, p. 2].

3. Ranald, Laird of Tarbert, on record again as Commissioner of Supply for Argyll [Mitchell, p. 73], as is 'Gory Mcalaster' of Loup [RSP, 1678/6/22].

1682:  Name appears as “McCalister” [Black, p. 450]

1684/5: 1. Rentals for the Waternish estate in Skye show a Donald MacAlister as tacksman over the townships of Trumpanbeg [“little Trumpan”], which he holds alone, and Trumpanmore [“great Trumpan”], which has 11–13 tenants [Dodgshon, p. 134].

            2. (June) "Hector McAlister, son to Kenlochkeillisport" named on a Privy Council list of those permitted to act as cattle drovers from June to October of this year [Campbell of Airds, vol. 3, pp. 38-9].

1685:   1. (3 January) testament of Elizabeth Campbell registered in Argyll. Elizabeth was the wife of John M'Alester of Ceannlochcaolisport

            2. Archibald succeeds as Captain and 7th laird of Tarbert [CMS, p. 4].

3. (May) Argyll Rebellion

“When Charles II die[s] with no legitimate offspring in 1685, Earl [of Argyll] Archi- bald c[an]not tolerate the idea of the Catholic James, Duke of York, succeeding and neither c[an] the old king’s bastard son, the Duke of Monmouth. Together they concoc[t] a rather hare-brained joint invasion plan—Monmouth to land in the south-west of England and Campbell in Argyll. . . . [L]ike a number of subsequent invasions by Scottish exiles, this attempt [i]s woefully ill-prepared. . . . [N]ot all the Campbells joi[n] the cause, not even Argyll’s own elder son” [Feud, pp. 79-80; Mitchell, p. 62]. In fact, most of those who do join him are Lowlanders living in the area, and some are motivated more by the mottoes “For the Protestant Religion” and “Against Popery and Prelacy” than by personal loyalty to Argyll [Stewart,  "Argll Rebellion"]. “Argyll, writing from Campbeltown where his force landed, [tries] to win to his side . . . MacAlister of Loup” [DMM], but instead of passing on the summons to other local gentry, the MacAlasdairs chief sends it to the Privy Council [Hopkins]. Macalister of Ceannlochcaolisport, alone among the clan, joins Argyll [Campbell of Airds, vol. 3, p. 56]. "Argyll [i]s arrested near Renfrew and executed”[5] [Feud, p. 80; DMM; Mitchell, p. 67]. 

4. The execution of Argyll is “the signal for another great Highland invasion of Campbell territory and the MacDonalds naturally pla[y] a major part in this. Three more castles—Dunstaffnage, Dunoon and Carrick—[a]re sacked. Massive quan- tities of livestock [a]re removed from south Argyll to restock Islay, Glencoe and Keppoch. . . . The MacDonalds exac[t] a major revenge for their sufferings of 1647" [Feud, p. 80; Stewart, "Argyll Rebellion]. This time “[r]evenge on the Camp- bells c[an] be exacted under the colour of justice” because of Argyll’s recent rebellion [Fraser, p. 49].

5. Macalister of Tarbert “also seize[s] the opportunity which present[s] of enriching himself by making frequent raids on the territory of his former feudal superiors. Issuing from the shelter of [Tarbert] castle, Innellen and Colintraive on the one hand, and Inverary on the other [a]re laid under contribution. On one occasion, during June and July . . . , articles of a most miscellaneous character, valued at £773 6s 8d Scots, [a]re ‘lifted’ from ‘Neil Campbell of Ellengreig’ and his tenants at Colintraive and its neighbourhood” by Tarbert, his followers, and “their accomplices. . . . Everything that they c[an] lay their hands on seems to have been included in their booty”, from food and weapons to household furniture. After this they continu[e] on to other Campbell lands, killing livestock and stealing  [Mitchell, pp. 75-6].

1686:   Name appears as “McCallaster” [Black, p. 450]

1688:   1. “Glorious Revolution installs William of Orange and his wife Mary as monarchs, deposing Mary’s father, the Catholic James VII/II.[6] “With this event, the rebels of 1685 bec[o]me the ascendant party of 1689. In August of that year, the forfeiture of the Earl of Argyll [i]s rescinded" [Fraser, p. 54], and Campbell lands annexed to the Crown after the Argyll Rebellion in 1685 are completely restored [Mitchell, p. 67; Fraser, pp. 54-5].

            2. (6 Nov.) A number of the 'non-Campbell clans' of Kintyre sign an address of loyalty to King James VII; among them are Alexander Macalister of Loup and a brother of Archibald Macalister of Tarbert [Hopkins].

3. Valuation of Argyll shows estates of McAlester, 8th of Loup, forfeited [Ian Mac- Donald correspondence], probably because of his support for the ousted King James (see 1689). “[T]he fact that heads of the family do not appear as acting in any public capacity in their district, either as Justices or Commissioners of Supply, is an indication that the shadow of the Revolution rest[s] on them, along with all loyal adherents of the House of Stewart" [Castleton, p. 171].

1689/90: Jacobite Rising:

1.  This first attempt at Stuart counter-revolution seem[s] to demonstrate above all else the unpopularity of Jacobitism in the immediate aftermath of the Revolu- tion. Claverhouse . . . manage[s] to attract fewer than 2,000 men. Most of these [a]re drawn from a small number of West Highland clans. . . . Almost certainly there may [be] more latent sympathy for the cause, but not many [a]re yet pre- pared to risk life and property by rising in armed defence of Scotland’s ancient royal dynasty” [Devine, pp. 32-3].  “On this occasion the natives of Kintyre and that Neighbourhood, in accordance with their wonted enmity to the Campbells . . . r[i]se in arms, but [a]re subdued after a few skirmishes” [Mitchell, pp. 68-9]. Among the “small number of West Highland clans” is that of McAlester of Loup, who “set[s] off to join the Viscount of Dundee” along with MacNeill of Gallachoille and MacDonald of Largie and is “probably present at the muster at Dalmacome in Lochaber in May, 1689" [Fraser, p. 60].

2. (16th May) Battle of Loup Hill

Last battle fought in Kintyre, between the Hanoverian forces and the Jacobites (including MacDonald of Largie, McNeill of Gallachoille, and McAlester, 8th of Loup)[7] [Ian MacDonald correspondence]. Gallachoille’s lands are forfeit [Fraser, p. 60], as are McAlester of Loup’s (see 1698). Macalister of Tarbert also took part in this battle, after which he fled to Ireland (as did Loup, but the latter returned in time for Killiecrankie) [Hopkins].

            3. Battle of Killiecrankie (Perthshire)

Alexander, 8th of Loup fights on Jacobite side [Castleton, p. 171; Keay, p. 643; MacKinnon, p. 259]. He survives the battle and escapes to Ireland [Keay, ibid.].[8]

4. Battle of the Boyne (Ireland)

Alexander, 8th of Loup, having “escaped to Ireland . . . then f[ights] for James VII at the Battle of the Boyne” [Keay, p. 643].

“The Boyne mark[s] not just the beginning of the Protestant ascendancy in Ulster but the end of the MacDonald clan as a serious power broker in Ireland” [Feud, p. 82].

--Note: MacAlasdair's presence at the Battle of the Boyne has been questioned by Dr. Paul Hopkins in his article on the Battle of Loup Hill, though it is seemingly accepted by everyone else. I'll have to do some more research on this.

1693:   (19 Sept) Archibald Macalister of Tarbert on record as executor of the estate of John Dow Macalister of Balinakill [Commissariot of Argyle: Inventories, p. 13].

1694:   (2 Feb) Hearth tax lists for Knapdale and Kintyre are presented to the authorities by Alexander McArthur. There are nine Macalister hearths listed in Kintyre and 11 in Knapdale, but the list contains serious omissions, most notably that of the Tarbert family. [National Archives of Scotland: Taxation (]

1697:   the Tarbert lands are “disponed in feuferme perpetually” by Archibald, 7th of Tarbert, to the Campbells of Auchinbreck, in order to pay off debt [Beaton, p. 15].

1698:   1. Alexander 8th of Loup takes the Oath of Allegiance[9]; his forfeited lands are restored [Ian MacDonald correspondence]. Dr. Hopkins claims that Loup had taken the oath by May of 1690, though I would tend to trust MacDonald on this as he is the seemingly universally acknowledged modern expert on Kintyre history. Possi- bly it was Tarbert who took the earlier oath? Again, more research is needed here.

2. (7 Nov.) Charter of Loup recognises Alexander McAlester (8th) of Loup

as rightful heir to his grandfather, Hector McAlester of Loup [CMS, p. 29]. 

3. Archibald MacAlister of Tarbert purchases estate of Balinakill, Clachan (in Kil- calmonel parish) from Sir Duncan Campbell of Auchibreck  [CMS, pp. 4-5].

1699:   Earl of Argyll given “fullest powers against the MacDonalds and their adherents” and appointed keeper of Tarbert Castle [DMM]

late 1600s: “mac” is dropped from the name of the Ayrshire MacAlexanders

            (descendants of Godfrey, son of Alasdair Mòr) around this time [Black, p. 16].