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Ciotach

John Munro, the tutor of Foulis, in travelling homeward from Edinburgh to Ross, stopped in a meadow in Strathardle that he and his servants might obtain some rest. While they were asleep, the owner of the meadow cut off the tails of their horses. To revenge this insult, on his return to Ross, he summoned his whole kinsmen and followers, and having selected 350 of the best men among them, he returned to Strathardle, which he wasted and spoiled, killing some of the inhabitants and carrying off their cattle.

In passing by the castle of Moy, on his way home, the laird of Macintosh sent a message to him demanding a share of the spoil. This was customary among the Highlanders when a party drove cattle so taken through a gentleman’s land, and the part so exacted was called a Staoig Rathaid, or Staoig Creich, that is, a road collop. Munro offered Macintosh a reasonable share of the
booty, but the latter would not accept of less than half. This Munro refused, and drove off the cattle. Collecting his clansmen, Macintosh went in pursuit of him, and came up with him at Clach-na-haire, near Inverness. On perceiving his approach, Munro sent home fifty of his men with the cattle, and in the contest that ensued, Macintosh and the greater part of his men were killed. Several of the Munros were also slain, and John Munro
himself was left for dead on the field of battle, when Lord Lovat had him carried to his house in the neighbourhood, where he was cured of his wounds. One of his hands was so mutilated that he lost the use of it, on which account he was called John Bac-Laimh, or Ciotach (Left-handed).
W. Anderson, Scottish Nation (1863). This event ccurred in 1454. The ‘tutor’ of a clan was the guardian of an underage chief.



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