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This gentleman, to our surprise and delight, straightway informed us that in the vaults of the office where he had served there were two large boxes with the painted inscrip- tion, " Lord Reay," containing documents bearing upon the north, as he had verified for himself during an idle hour. Forbes Mae Kay of Carskcy very generously entrusted to us the Blackcastle MS. A., of Blackcastle, near Edinburgh, and finished in 1832.
Among Strathnaver people at the present day a person addressed as lye, in Gaelic, signs his name and is addressed, in English, as Isaac. The surname Maelsaac, to be found in the West Highlands, may be a corrupt form of Mackay.
There are unfortunately very few private letters among them. Mac Kay's history appeared in 1829, the very year in which Lord Reay sold his Highland estates ; and as his Lordship was making arrangements some years previous to this for selling the same, all his family papers were in the hands of law agents.
They are referred to in the following pages as Reay Papers. Thomas Middlemore of Melsetter, in Orkney, and of Hawkes- ley, near Birmingham, very kindly put at our disposal for the purposes of this work an elaborate Search of Sasines, Deeds, Testaments, etc., pertaining to Sutherlandshire, and having special reference to such as bore the name Mac Kay in that county, executed for him by the SOURCES OF INFORMATION well-known antiquarian, the Rev. To the genealogist this is an invaluable compilation, which we should gladly see published for the benefit of future writers of our northern history. It was after his estate had been sold and Mac Kay's history had appeared that Lord Eric consulted Mr. Reay, Donald, 1st lord, 12 ; patent of nobility to, 419 ; joins kiug of Sweden, 134 ; in difficulty about Hamilton, 135 ; great loss thereby, 136 ; before the Privy Council, 137 ; relation with covenanters, 138 ; imprisoned in Edinburgh, 139 ; holds Newcastle for the king, 139 seq.; dispute witli Sutherland, 140 ; died in Denmark, 141 ; his children, 142 seq.; armorial bearings of, 278 ; letter complaining of Gordon, 421 ; bond with Seaforth, 431. K., work of, in Strathnaver, 19S seq., 213, 223 seq.
In our account of the said family we follow " Ben Reay " closely, but add a considerable amount of new matter discovered by ourselves in the Reay Papers. George, 3rd lord, frees the estate, 163 ; goes to Holland, 172 ; kindness of his uncles, 173 ; marrried in Holland, 176 ; helps to put down Mar rebellion, 179 ; his men do garrisor 488 INDEX duty, 1S1 ; plants churches and schools, 183, 192 ; reconciliation with .
We have also been studying this subject for some years, and, however imperfect the following pages may be, we have made a careful search of the public records and read as widely as our limited opportunities and means permitted. An examination of the public record shows that the name Mac- Kay was spelt in a great variety of ways. Sutherland, 186 ; activity during the '45 rising, 1S9 ; his family, 192 seq.; letter of, on Fair glebe, 443; document of, regarding erection of parishes, 444 ; letter of, to sheriff of Caithness, 44S ; letter of, to Sutherland, 450 ; bond with Sutherland, 451 ; letter anent Culloden, 456. Roads in the north, 222 ; road acts for Suther- land, 229 ; survey of roads, 463.
Mac Kay of Blackcastle, and gave him the Reay Papers to peruse. John Mac Kay of Herrisdale, commonly known as "Ben Reay," author of An Old Scots Brigade, etc., had a strong desire to write a history of Mac Kay, but old age and frail health prevented him from carrying out his purpose. Presbytery of Tongue erected, 1S2 ; parishes of, 196 ; minute of, 447 ; congratulations of, to Cumberland, 453. John, 2nd lord, captured at Aberdeen, 138, 144 ; enters Inverness, 147 ; captured at Balveny, 147; signs blank bonds, 147 seq.; escapes from prison, 150 ; joins Middleton, 152 ; ravages Sutherland, 153 ; lands of, apprised, 154 ; visited by Lovat, 155 seq.; bond with Seaforth, 156, 439 ; his fool, 156 n; his children, 157 ; letter of, to King Charles II., 433; agreement with Monck, 434; tack of teinds to, 436 ; letters of tire and sword to, 440.