This article needs additional research, citations, and verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations and references. Below is the material that has been gathered, unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
By the mid-16th century, and probably a century earlier, the island was in the possession of the MacLeans of Coll. This transfer may have occurred by extortion, Allan MacRuarie of Clanranald having been held prisoner on Coll for nine months. In 1549 Munro noted that although the island "pertained" to Coll it "obeys instantlie" to the Macleans of Duart, a situation that continued for some time. In 1588 the Small Isles suffered an armed invasion by Lachlan Maclean of Duart and his band of cutthroats, including up to one hundred Spaniards shipwrecked in the aftermath of the English defeat of the Armada. He burnt and put the isles to the sword, sparing neither women nor children. At a later date a report received by King James VI indicated that Clanranald had re-occupied the island, but despite these temporary setbacks the island remained in Maclean of Coll's hands for three centuries or more.