Clan Macleod of Macleod and Dunvegan, Scotland. Traditionally descended from Leod, a son of Olaf the Black (died 1237), the Norse King of Man and the North Isles. On the death of his father, Leod inherited the Islands of Lewis and Harris, with part of Skye and established the clan chief's seat at Dunvegan. Following the defeat of King Haakon of Norway at the Battle or Largs in 1263, Leod gained control of half the Hebrides. The two main branches of the clan come from two sons of Leod, Thorkil or Torquil mac Leod of Lewis, and Tormod mac Leod of Skye. The first mentioned was ended when Torquil Macleod of the Lewes, was killed in 1597, and the barony passed to Sir Rory Mackenzie of Cogeach, husband of Torquil’s daughter, Margaret. The clan joined the Macdonalds at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411 in the struggle against the Crown. Later the Macleods were forced to accept a charter of lands from James IV which depleted their territory. During the reign of James V, the Macleods were probably the only Hebridean clan to gain, due to the political prowess of the eighth chief of Dunvegan, Alasdair Crotach. He was created Lord of Trotternish in 1542 and he built the so called fairy tower at Dunvegan Castle. He also rebuilt the church of Rodel in Harris where he was entombed in 1547. His son and heir William died in 1548, leaving his young daughter Mary under the guardianship of the Earl of Argyll. The cheifship was seized by one of Mary’s kinsmen, Iain Dubh, who killed many other clamaints. Iain fled to Ireland in 1599 where he was killed. Mary's uncle, Norman became the next chief, and his son Sir Ruaraidh Mor, succeeded him in1595. Every chief of Dunvegan has to drink the contents of a drinking horn named after Rory Mor, holding one and a half bottles of claret and must be drained at one draft ‘without setting down or falling down’. The eighteenth chief led his clan to fight for the king at the Battle of Worcester in 1651 and more than 500 of his clan were killed by the forces of Cromwell. The clan took no part in either of the Jacobite Risings.
Arms: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, azure, a castle triple-towered and embattled argent, masoned sable, windows and porch gules (MacLeod of that Ilk); 2nd and 3rd, gules, three legs in armour proper, garnished and spurred or, flexed and conjoined in triangle at the upper part of the thigh (Royal House of Man).
Crest: A bull’s head cabossed sable, horned or, between two flags gules, staved of the first.
Motto: Hold fast.