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MacNeil

(MacNeill, McNeil, McNeill)
Vincere Vel Mori (To conquer or die)

MacNeil Tartan
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

MacNeil Tartan

The MacNeil clan are said to descend from Niall of the Nine Hostages, one of Ireland's greatest kings, who lived c.400 and whose dynasty continued for 600 years. Niall, a descendant of the great leader, settled on Barra c.1049 though in later years the MacNeils of Gigha also became prominent.

The MacNeils were involved in the 1263 defeat of the Norwegian King Haakon, freeing the Hebrides of his influence. MacNeils also fought for the Lord of the Isles and alongside Robert I (1274 - 1329) at Bannockburn. Later the MacNeils supported the Jacobite cause in both the 1715 and 1745 uprisings.

In 1838 the 21st chief was forced to sell Barra and he died without children, passing the chiefship to an American cousin. In 1937 the chief returned to Scotland and began rebuilding the estate and Kisimul (Kiessimul) Castle.


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