Alexander MacDonell (1725-1761)

Alexander MacDonell (1725-1761)

Soldier and Jacobite

Alexander MacDonell or Alexander Ruardh (Red Alexander) succeeded his father John as thirteenth chief of Glengarry. He became an officer in the Royal Scots, a regiment in the French army. His plans to lead his clan in Charles Edward Stuart's Jacobite rising were foiled when his ship was taken by the British navy. He was incarcerated in the Tower of London until hostilities ended. After his release he became aware of how little income was generated by his Highland estates and returned to France. Despite petitioning the exiled Stuart court he failed to gain a commission in the French army. His constant to-ing and fro-ing between France and Britain gave rise to suspicions that he was a Hanoverian spy who used the code-name 'Pickle'. This seems unlikely as he died in relative poverty. He didn't marry and his successor was his nephew, Duncan.

Testament of Alexander MacDonell

National Records of Scotland, CC11/1/6 pp 173-174

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