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Updated 10/23/2019


The Maid of Eddrachillis

Eddrachillis is a parish in the county of Sutherland, 15 miles (N. N. W.) from Assynt; including the islands of Handa and Scourie, and the late quoad sacra district of Keanlochbervie. The Celtic name of this place, Eadarda- chaolas, signifies “between two kyles or arms of the sea ", and is descriptive of the situation of the main part of the parish between the kyle of Scow, which separates Eddrachillis from Assynt on the south, and the kyle of Laxford. The parish was anciently part of the barony of Skelbo, and was granted by Hugo Freskyn de Moravia, ancestor of the Duke of Sutherland, in the twelfth century, to his brother. Bishop Gilbert Moray, by whom, in 1235, it was transferred to a third brother, Richard Moray, of Culbyn. About the year 1440, it came to the family of Kinnaird of Kinnaird, by an heiress, Egidia Moray; and in 1515, Andrew Kinnaird disposed of it to John Mackay of Eddrachillis, son of Mackay of Strathnaver, the superiority remaining with the Earls of Sutherland. In 1829, it was restored to the Sutherland family by purchase. As early as 1550, another branch of the Mackays seized the territory of Scourie by displacing the McLeods, and located themselves here under the title of Mackays of Scourie. From this family sprang Lieutenant-General Hugh Mackay, the famous commander-in-chief in the time of William and Mary, eminent for his skill and bravery, and who fell in the year 1692, shortly after the siege of Namur, where he commanded the British division of the grand army.