William Mackenzie

(5th Earl of Seaforth; Black William, Uilleam Dubh)

1681 - 1740

Jacobite. The eldest son of Kenneth Mackenzie, 4th Earl (1661- 1701), who had converted to Roman Catholicism in the 1680s, and Frances Herbert, another Catholic whose father, the Marquess of Powis, had been accused of conspiring to assassinate King Charles II. His birthplace is unknown, because his parents had gone into exile with King James VII following the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Mackenzie was educated in France and became a staunch Jacobite.

In 1701, on the death of his father, he became the 5th and last Earl of Seaforth. He took part in the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion and the Battle of Sheriffmuir. Following the failure of the rebellion, Seaforth escaped to France but was attaindered the following year, with his estates and titles confiscated. He returned to Scotland for the 1719 Jacobite Rebellion, but was severely wounded at the Battle of Glenshiel and evacuated back to France, via the Outer Hebrides. In 1725, he negotiated the disarming of Clan Mackenzie with General George Wade (1673 - 1748), who sought a pardon for Seaforth, which was granted by King George I, along with monies raised by the government from his estates. However his estates and titles were not restored and he died on the Isle of Lewis, where he lies buried at Ui Church.

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