Siege of Dunivaig

“By 1587, atrocities committed between warring west highland clans had escalated to such an extent that Parliament devised what is known as the General Band in an effort to quell hostilities. The band was signed by landowners throughout the Scottish highlands, borders and the islands, requiring them to be responsible for the men who lived within their lands. The signing chiefs were required to come up with sureties equal to their wealth and lands for the peaceful conduct of their followers. In it the laird of Colonsay, “M’Fee of Collowsay” (Murdoch Macfie of Colonsay), is listed as one of the landlords in the Scottish highlands and islands where broken men (or lawless men) dwelt. Despite the Governments actions to secure the peace, about this time Lachlan Mor MacLean of Duart ravaged the MacDonald islands of Islay and Gigha, slaughtering 500–600 men. Maclean of Duart then besieged Angus MacDonald of Dunivaig and the Glens at his Castle Dunivaig. The siege was only lifted when MacDonald of Dunivaig and the Glens agreed with MacLean of Duart to surrender half of his lands on Islay. However, despite his agreement with the MacLeans, MacDonald of Dunivaig and the Glens then invaded the MacLean islands of Mull, Tiree, Coll and Luing. Angus MacDonald of Dunivaig and the Glens was aided in the action by Donald Gorm Mor MacDonald of Sleat and many west highland clans such as the MacDonalds of Clanranald, MacIains of Ardnamurchan, MacLeods of Lewis, MacNeills of Gigha, MacAlisters of Loup and also the Macfies of Colonsay. Supporting MacLean of Duart were the MacLeods of Harris and Dunvegan, MacNeils of Barra, MacKinnons of Strathrodle and the MacQuarries of Ulva.1