Mackay ( 1640-1692)
general, was the son of Hugh Mackay of Scourie, Sutherlandshire,
and was born in Scourie about 1640. He entered Douglass (Dumbartons)
regiment of the English army (now the Royal Scots) in 1660,
accompanied it to France when it was lent by Charles II. to
Louis XIV., and though succeeding, through the death of his
two elder brothers, to his fathers estates, continued to serve
abroad. In 1669 he was in the Venetian service at Candia, and
in 1672 he was back with his old regiment, Dumbartons, in the
French army, taking part under Turenne in the invasion of Holland.
In 1673 he married Clara de Bie of Bommel in Gelderland. Through
her influence he became, as Burnet says, the most pious man
that I ever knew in a military way, and, convinced that he was
fighting in an unjust cause, resigned his commission to take
a captaincy in a Scottish regiment in the Dutch service. He
had risen to the rank of major-general in 1685, when the Scots
brigade was called to England to assist in the suppression of
the Monmouth rebellion.
to Holland, Mackay was one of those officers who elected to
stay with their men when James II., having again demanded the
services of the Scots brigade, and having been met with a refusal,
was permitted to invite the officers individually into his service.
As major-general commanding the brigade, and also as a privy
councillor of Scotland, Mackay was an important and influential
person, and James chose to attribute the decision of most of
the officers to Mackays instigation. Soon after this event the
Prince of Orange started on his expedition to England, Mackays
division leading the invading corps, and in January 1689 Mackay
was appointed majorgeneral commanding in chief in. Scotland.
In this capacity he was called upon to deal with the formidable
insurrection headed by Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee.
the battle of Killiecrankie Mackay was severely defeated, but
Dundee was killed, and the English commander, displaying unexpected
energy, subdued the Highlands in one summer. In 1690 he founded
Fort William at Inverlochy, in 1691 he distinguished himself
in the brilliant victory of Aughrim, and in 1692, with the rank
of lieutenant-general, he commanded the British division of
the allied army in Flanders. At the great battle of Steinkirk
Mackays division bore the brunt of the day unsupported and the
general himself was killed.
Mackay was the inventor of the ring bayonet which soon came
into general use, the idea of this being suggested to him by
the failure of the plug-bayonet to stop the rush of the Highlanders
To Tour Sutherland