Battle of Benvigory

  • Benvigory, a lofty hill in Kildalton parish, E side of Islay island, Argyllshire. About 1600 the Macdonalds were severely defeated by the invader Hector Maclean, who afterwards ravaged the island.1
  • The Battle of Benvigory in 1598 saw invading MacLeans defeat the native MacDonalds and go on to ravage Islay2.
  • “He [Hector Og} ]was about twenty years of age when he became Lord of Duart. He felt it to be his first duty to punish the Macdonalds of Islay for the murder of his father. He was assisted in carrying out his purpose by Rory Mor Macleod of Harris, and especially by Allan Cameron of Lochiel. Maclean of Lochbuie supported Sir James Macdonald. Hector Og and his assistants invaded Islay with a large force. They encountered the Macdonalds and their associates at Benvigory, and inflicted a severe defeat upon them. Sir James was dangerously wounded by an arrow, and Lochbuie taken prisoner by Allan of Lochiel. Immediately after their victory the confederates ravaged the greater part of Islay with fire and sword. The wars between the Macleans of Duart and the Macdonalds of Islay were now over. Benvigory was their last battle. In 1602 Hector Og was summoned to appear before the Privy Council to render obedience to the King, to give security to pay the King’s mails and duties, and to answer ” touching the slaughters, herships, and depredations committed by him upon the King’s own tenants in the Isles of Oronsay and Colon- say.” As he refused to appear he was declared a rebel and put to the horn. The people of Oronsay and Colonsay were active supporters of Sir James Macdonald. That, no doubt, was Hector Og’s reason for attacking them.” 3

1 Gazetteers of Scotland, 1803-1901 > Ordnance gazetteer of Scotland > (157) Page 149 (
3 The Clan Gillean (pages 159-160) by Rev. A. Maclean Sinclair, 1899