Laird of Glenaladale and Glenfinnan, philanthropist, colonizer, soldier, born in Glenaladale, Scotland, about 1742; died at Tracadie, Prince Edward Island, Canada, 1811; he was the son of Alexander and Margaret (MacDonnell of Scotus ). He entered the Scots College, Ratisbon, Bavaria, in 1756, and there completed his education. Returning to Scotland, his high personal character and distinguished mentality were quickly recognized. The MacDonalds of Glenaladale are the senior cadet branch of the MacDonalds of Clanranald, and Captain MacDonald was chosen "Tanister" or second in command to, and representative of, his chief. It was an evil time for Jacobite Scotland, especially for Catholic Jacobite Scotland. The Catholic Jacobite was cruelly persecuted, and Alexander MacDonald of Boisdale, South Uist, a former Catholic, outdid others in severity by compelling his tenants either to renounce their faith or lose their land and homes. They chose to emigrate to America, but, being utterly destitute, found this impossible. Hearing of their pitiable condition, Captain MacDonald went to investigate. What he saw moved him to an act of heroic abnegation. It is said: "As a nursery for the priesthood, no old Highland house can rival that of Glenaladale, from the time Laird Angus became a priest in 1676, to Archbishop Angus, Metropolitan of Scotland, in 1892". Captain MacDonald proved himself a worthy son of his house, when he decided to mortgage his estates to his cousin in order to aid his distressed compatriots. With the money thus obtained he purchased (1771) a tract of land in Prince Edward Island. The following year the South Uist tenants with other Catholics from the mainland of Scotland embarked for Canada. Glenaladale, who had from the first resolved to exile himself with them, came a year later. In the Revolutionary War he and General Small raised the 84th (Royal Highland Emigrant ) Regiment. Captain MacDonald and his men fought so well for the king that he was offered the governorship of Prince Edward Island, but the Test Act being still in force, he could not, as a Catholic comply with the statutory conditions. From this time until his death he was actively engaged in the service of the new colonists, both in regard to their temporal and spiritual affairs. His kindness and generosity knew no bounds and, extending to those of other faiths, did much to create a feeling, rare enough in those days, of mutual toleration and esteem. He himself never became wealthy, and his Scotch estates eventually passed to the cousin to whom they had been mortgaged. His people, however, increased richly in numbers and in fortune. He gave his tenants nine hundred and ninety-nine year leases at a trifling rental, and from this came much of their prosperity.
Captain MacDonald married, first, Miss Gordon of Baldornie, aunt of Admiral Sir James Gordon; second, Marjory MacDonald of Ghernish (Morar). Many of his descendants embraced the religious life, notably his two grandsons, John Alaistir MacDonald and Allan McDonell, both of the Society of Jesus.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online