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Iain (John) 'the Good' MacDonald, 7th Lord of the Isles

Male 1326 - 1387  (61 years)


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  • Name Iain (John) 'the Good' MacDonald  [1, 2, 3
    Suffix 7th Lord of the Isles 
    Born 1326  [3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Died 1387  [1, 3, 4
    Person ID I2795  Ghillebride
    Last Modified 8 Apr 2020 

    Family 1 Amie MacRory, heiress of Garmorran,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 1337  [3
    Last Modified 24 Aug 2015 
    Family ID F3733  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Margaret Stewart,   b. Bef 1348,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 1358  [5
    Children 
     1. Agnes MacDonald, of the Isles,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Donald MacDonald, of Harlaw, 8th Lord of the Isles,   d. 1423
     3. John Mhor ('Iain Mhor Tanistair') MacDonald, of Duniveg and Glyns,   b. Abt 1370,   d. 1427  (Age ~ 57 years)
     4. Elizabeth (Margaret) MacDonald,   b. Bef 1380,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Hugh MacDonald, of Glentilt,   b. Bef 1380,   d. Dsp - Died Without Children. Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Angus MacDonald,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. Marcus MacDonald,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Margaret MacDonald,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. Alexander (Alasdair Carrach) MacDonald, 1st of Keppoch,   b. Bef 1380,   d. Abt 1443  (Age ~ 63 years)
    Last Modified 24 Aug 2015 
    Family ID F1828  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • 1 - On a broken cross shaft found on the island of Texa off Islay is carved what is probably the oldest surviving likeness of a Macdonald. It depicts a typical fourteenth- century Celtic prince, wearing a quilted coat with chain-mail and a conical helmet, and armed with a great sword and a battle -axe. This is the Cross of Ranald, son of John of Islay,Lord of the Isles,by his marriage to Amy Macruari, the heiress to the great Lordship of Garmoran, a vast inheritance of lands between the Great Glen and the Outer Hebrides.
      Amy was discarded in 1354 and John was married to Princess Margaret Stewart, daughter of King Robert II , married in 1357.
      In 1335 the Lord of the Isles received Skye from Edward Balliol. The next year the charter was confirmed by Edward III of England. When David II had restored his power he anulled the charter giving Skye to Ross.
      A contract was executed, 12th December 1335, between Baliol and the Lord of the Isles. By it Baliol gave to John, Lord of the Isles, his heirs and assigns, the islands of Mull, Skye, Islay, and Gigha, the lands of Kintyre and Knapdale, with other islands and territories; and also the wardship of the heir of the Earl of Atholl, at that time a child of three years. The Lord of the Isles bound himself, and his heirs, to be the liegement of Baliol, and his heirs. John of the Isles was received into the protection of Edward III . The Lord of the Isles appears to have submitted to David II ., on his return home from France, as he obtained from David a charter, dated at Air, 12th June 1344, granting and confirming the island called Yle (Islay), the islands of Geday, Jura, Colinsey (Colonsay), Tiryad (Tiree), Colla (Coll), and Lewes (Lewis), with all the small islands to them belonging, the lands of Morimare, Louchabre (Lochaber), durdomon, and glenchomyr, and the keeping of the King's castles of Kernoborgh, Iseleborgh, and Dunchonall, with the lands and small islands thereto belonging, to be held by the said John, and his heirs, in fee and heritage. Edward III entered a treaty at Newcastle, 13th July 1354, the Steward of Scotland , the Lord of Douglas , Thomas de Murref , and Johan des Yles, being the principal persons named for its observance. John, Lord of the Isles, in 1354, entered into an indenture with John of Lorne, Lord of Argyll, by which John of Lorne gave up to John of the Isles, all claim to all the lands and castles following, of which John of the Isles had obtained charters from King David II or his father King Robert I , namely, the castles of Kerneburcch and Hystylburch, with all their islands and rights, the whole island of Mule, the castle of Dunconill, with all its pertinents and island in the superior part of Duray, the Island of Tereyd, &c. Edward III . entered a treaty for the liberation of King David II 3rd October 1357, an inviolable truce, for ten years, betwixt England and Scotland, was agreed on, in which truce were to be included Edward Baliol and John of the Isles, and all other allies and adherents of the King of England. John of the Isles obtained a confirmation of all donations and concessions made by whomsoever to him of whatsoever lands, tenements,annualrents, and possessions, 4th July 1362; and John of Yle, Lord of the Isles, signed an instrument at Inverness, 15th November 1369, by which, in consideration of the pardon of his former transgressions, granted by King David II , he became bound to make satisfaction for all injuries or damages done by him to the King's subjects, to give obedience to the laws himself, and to
      oblige his sons, and his vassals, and all the inhabitants of his estates, to do the same, and to answer readily to the King's officers for all taxes and contributions imposed or to be imposed. For fulfilling the premises, he engaged to deliver, as hostages, within the castle of Dunbarton, his son, by a daughter of the Steward of Scotland, named Donald; a grandson, named Angus, being the son of his deceased son, John; together with a natural son of his own, named Donald. And further, the Earl of Strathern, Steward of Scotland, became surety for him, and appended his seal to the instrument, along with the seal of the said John, Lord of the Isles. King Robert II, his father-in-law, now ascended the throne of Scotland, granted a charter, dated at Scone in the time of the parliament held there, 9th March 1371-2, to our beloved son, John del Yle, all the lands of 300 marks, wich were of the deceased Alan, the son of Roderick, within his kingdom, namely, the lands of Modoworth, Arrassag (Arisaig), Moreovyr (Moray), Knodeworte (Knoydart), Oviste, Barrech (Barra), Rume (Rhum), Eggeth (Eigg), and Heryce (Harris). He also granted three charters, 6th June 1376, to our beloved son, John del Yle, of the island of Colonsay, and lands of Lochaber, on John's resignation, and of the King's lands of Kintyre and half of Knapdale, to be held by the said John, and Margaret, our beloved daughter, his wife. He died in 1387-8. He married Margaret, fourth daughter of King Robert II., by whom he had a son, Donald, and two daughters

      2 - John had some dispute with the Regent concerning certain lands which had been granted by Bruce, he joined the party of Edward Baliol and the English king. A formal treaty was concluded on the 12th of December 1335, and confirmed by Edward III on the 5th October 1336, that pledged support in consideration of a grant of the lands and islands claimed by the Earl of Moray. But the intrigues of Edward failed and Scotland was entirely freed from the dominion of the English. In 1341, David II was recalled from France to assume the undisputed sovereignty of his native country. Upon his accession to the throne, David concluded a treaty with John.
      But in 1346, Ranald of the Isles was slain at Perth by the Earl of Ross. John, who had married Ranald's sister Amy, immediately laid claim to the succession. The government was unwilling to allow the claim considering him already too powerful and evaded the recognition of his claim.
      But a remarkable change took place in the different parties which at that time divided Scotland. The king of Scotland now appeared a mere tool or partisan of King Edward, and even covertly allowed the endeavors of the English king to overturn the independence of Scotland. Its effect was to throw into active opposition the party which had supported the throne and the cause of independence. But as soon as the English party became identified with the royal faction, John of the Isles abandoned it, and joined with the party he had openly opposed. The head of the national party, the Steward of Scotland, cemented their union by giving to the Lord of the Isles his own daughter in marriage. In 1366, the northern barons broke out into open rebellion, and refused either to pay the tax imposed, or to obey the king's summons to attend parliament. David applied to the Steward to put down the rebellion. The Steward felt that he would be more effective by steady opposition to the court than by openly taking part with the insurgents. Therefore, he accepted the commission, but his efforts were only partially successful. The Earls of Mar and Ross and other northern barons laid down their arms as well as John of Lorn and Gillespie Campbell. But John, secure in the distance and inaccessible nature of his territories, refused to yield. King Edward was forced to turn his attention to his territories in France; and thus David found himself at liberty to turn his forces against the Isles. Robert the Steward, believing that the continuance of the rebellion might prove fatal to his party, persuaded John to meet the king at Inverness, where an agreement was reached. John agreed to submit to the royal authority and pay his share of all public burdens, and promised to put down all others who should attempt to resist. As token, he gave hostages to the king for the fulfillment of this obligation. The accession of Robert Stewart (the Steward) to the throne of Scotland in 1371 brought the Lord of the Isles into close connection with the court; and during the remainder of his life gave his support to the government as his father Angus had done under that of King Robert Bruce.
      The advice that the Bruce left for the guidance of his successors concerning the Lord of the Isles was clearly dictated by sound political wisdom. He recommended that under no circumstances should the extensive territories ever again be concentrated in the person of one individual. But, John's claim was too great to be overlooked. Robert Stewart had not been on the throne for a year when he granted to his son-in-law a feudal title to all those lands which had formerly belonged to Ranald the son of Roderick. King Robert did, however, persuade John, who had been twice married, to spread his lands amongst his offspring which was the usual practice of families, but also to render the children of both marriages feudally independent of one another. King Robert confirmed a charter granted by John to Reginald, the second son of the first marriage, where the lands of Garmoran (the dowry of Reginald's mother) were to be held by the descendants of the eldest son of the first marriage. A short time afterwards, John resigned into the king's hands nearly the whole of the western portion of his territories, and received from Robert charters of these lands in favor of himself and the issue of his marriage with the king's daughter. After this period, little is known of the history of John, who is supposed to have died about the year 1380.
      (http://www.celtic-twilight.com/atlanta/clans/macdonald/index.htm)

      3 - The Branches of the Clan-Donald here, viz., the children of John, (lord of the Isles), Reginald and Godfrey, the three sons of Amie mac Rory; Donald og and John and Angus and Alexander, four sons of the daughter of Galtur (Robert), king of Alban.
      The Clan Donald, Clan Ranald, and Clan Godfrey meet at John, Lord of the Isles. [3]

  • Sources 
    1. [S101] Burkes Landed Gentry 1937, (1937), p1457.

    2. [S6] Stirnet Genealogy, Peter Barns-Graham, Maclean01.

    3. [S7] E-mail, From Don Thompson rec: 12 Dec 2012 MacFarlane information f rom Bruce MacFarlane: http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ances try.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=mygrtgrt & the Andersons from Ma bel Manz : http://madcitydon.com/candacraig/mabel_manz.ht ml.

    4. [S102] Wanda Thacker, Wanda Thacker, (http://wandathacker.50megs.com/custom3.html).

    5. [S67] Macdonald genealogy, Roddy Macdonald of the Clan Donald Society of Edinburgh, (http://www.clandonald.org.uk/genealogy.htm), genealogy/d0004/g0000050.html#I0045.