Uisdein - Macdonald of Sleat
Ian Godfrey Bosville Macdonald of Sleat, 25th Chief of Sleat and
Sir Ian is descended from Hugh, the
younger son of Alexander, 3rd Lord of the Isles and Earl of Ross.
Sir Ian succeeded his father, Sir Alexander Somerled Macdonald of
Sleat, in 1958.
Sir Ian is the premier Baronet of Nova Scotia as his title was
created on July 14, 1625 with precedence over Sir William Douglas of
Glenbervie, who was created in the same year.
During the term of Godfrey Macdonald
of Sleat, the 18th Chief, 3rd Lord Macdonald and 11th Baronet, his
oldest son, Alexander William Robert Macdonald, was considered
illegitimate because of doubts over the validity of his father's
Scottish marriage to Louisa Maria La Coast, a natural daughter of
HRH The Duke of Gloucester and Lady Almeria Carpenter, the daughter
of the Earl of Tyrconnel. Subsequently, Alexander took the name
Bosville, remained in Yorkshire while his younger brother, Godfrey
William, succeed to the Scottish estates and titles becoming 19th
Chief of Sleat and 4th Lord Macdonald.
Since the death of the 3rd Lord
Macdonald (18th Chief) in 1824 in Bridlington, East Yorkshire,
England, Sir Ian's family have lived at Thorpe Hall, Rudston in the
East Riding of Yorkshire, a property inherited from William Bosville,
who died childless and whose sister, Diana, had married Sir
Alexander (16th Chief), the 9th Baronet and 1st Lord Macdonald,
having been raised to the peerage in 1776.
In 1910, Sir Ian's great-grandfather,
Alexander, obtained a decree of the Court of Session in an action of
Declarator which proved that Alexander's grandfather, Alexander
William Robert Macdonald of Sleat, was indeed the eldest lawful son
of the 3rd Lord Macdonald. At that, Alexander resumed the name
Macdonald, becoming the 22nd Chief of Sleat, and 14th Baronet.
Although by bardic tradition, the
Chiefs of Sleat were in their own country always referred to in
Gaelic as "Nan Eilean" (of the Isles), the Lord Lyon could not allow
this because HRH The Prince Charles carries the title Lord of the
Isles. Therefore, Sir Ian's father ceased calling himself Macdonald
of the Isles and adopted Macdonald of Sleat. Interestingly, in 1947,
Sir Ian was baptised "Of the Isles" and will probably be the last
Sleat Chief to be so.
Sir Ian's chosen patronymic is "Mac
Uisdein" (Son of Hugh) which relates back to the original Hugh of
Sleat and the Lordship of the Isles. Sir Ian's slogan, "Carna", is
the name of a small island on Loch Sunart where Donald Balloch
gathered the Clan in 1431 before the Battle of Inverlochy, and also
Donald Dubh in 1545 before his last insurrection. The war cry of
Clan Donald is "Fraoch Eilean".
Sir Ian attended Eton College and the
Royal Agricultural College, and is a Charter Surveyor in Land
Management. He is a Trustee for the British Red Cross, and has been
Chairman for Northern England, Chairman of the National Assembly
Group, which heads 500 to 600 volunteers, and a member of the
Finance and Internal Audit Committee.
Sir Ian is married to the former
Juliet Fleury Ward-Harrison. Sir Ian and Lady Macdonald have three
grown children, Deborah, Somerled, and Isabel. On July 15, 2003,
their son Somerled married the former Charlotte Perkins in the
Cathedral in Derby.
The clan motto for Macdonald of Sleat
is: Per Mare Per Terras.
Sloinneadh: Shir Iain Gorraidh
mac Alasdair Somhairle mhic Gorraidh 'ic Alasdair Uilleam 'ic
Gorraidh 'ic Alasdair Uilleam 'ic Gorraidh 'ic Alasdair 'ic Alasdair
'ic Seumais 'ic Domhnaill Breac 'ic Seumais Mhor 'ic Domhnaill Gorm
Og 'ic Gilleasbuig Cleirich 'ic Domhnaill 'ic Domhnaill Gorm 'ic
Domhnaill Gruamach 'ic Domhnaill Gallach 'ic Uisdean 'ic Alasdair 'ic
Domhnaill 'ic Eoin 'ic Aonghais Og 'ic Aonghais Mhor 'ic Domhnaill 'ic
Ragnhaill 'ic Somhairle.