Macleod, Mary (DNB00)

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MACLEOD, MARY (1569–1674), Gaelic poetess, called 'poetess of the Isles,' and in Gaelic 'Mairi Nighean Alasdair Ruaidh,' born in 1569 at Rowdil, Harris, was daughter of Red Alastair, and through him connected with the chiefs of the Macleods. In one of her poems she claims to have nursed five lairds of the Macleods and two lairds of Applecross. Most of her life was spent at Dun vegan, Skye, but at one time she was exiled by her chief to Mull for being too profuse in her praise of his relative, Sir Norman Macleod oi Bernera [q. v.] She was afterwards recalled to Dunvegan and died there in 1674. Only a few of her poems, mostly laudations of the Macleods, have been preserved.

[Mackenzie's History of the Macleods, p. 244; Mackenzie's Beauties of Gaelic Poetry, p. 20 ; Blackie's Language and Literature of the Scottish Highlands, p. 100; MacNeill's Literature of the Highlanders, p. 169.]

J. R. M.