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The Clan MacKay

Chlann Mihic Aoidh  The Clan MacKay

The Mackays claim descent from the Royal House of Moray through the line of Morgund of Pluscarden and were originally known as Clan Morgan. The clansmen were removed to Sutherland where they rose to a powerful position, at one time owning lands from Drimholisten to Kylescue. Their later title of MacKay comes from a chief so named living at the time of David II. The first record of the name was in 1326 when Gilchrist M'ay, progenitor of the Mackays of Ugadale, made a payment to the Constable of Tarbert. The Mackays supported Bruce and fought with him at Bannockburn and by 1427 the chief, Angus Dubh Mackay was described as leader of "4000 Strathnaver men". Their fortunes fluctuated over the centuries and many bitter feuds ensued with the Sutherlands and Rosses. In the troubles of the 17th and 18th centuries the Mackays supported the Hanovarian forces against the Jacobites and helped secure the far north for the government. The Mackays of Strathnaver are especially remembered for the famous "Mackay Regiment" raised for the service of the Dutch and Swedish crowns during the 17th century. As a result of this many clansmen settled in Holland and Sweden and gave rise to a number of noble families there. In 1628, Sir Donald Mackay was raised to the peerage of Lord Reay by Charles I. His grandson, Colonel Aenean Mackay of the Scotch-Dutch Brigade, married the heiress of the Baron van Haefton. The Mackays suffered badly in the Strathnaver clearances between 1815 and 1818 and finally in 1829 the Reay estate was sold to the Sutherland family and in 1875 the chiefship passed to Baron Mackay van Ophermett who became 10th Lord Reay. His nephew Baron Aeneas Mackay, prime minister of the Netherlands was the great grandfather of the present chief.

In Rememberance of the 14th Lord Ready Hugh William MacKay

The Death of Hugh, Lord Reay Chief of the Clan Mackay

Hugh William the 27th hereditary Chief of the Clan Mackay died at his home at Whitinghame on 10th May 2013 at the age of 75 years. He was born on 19th July 1937 the only son of Aeneas Alexander Mackay, the 13th Lord Reay and Charlotte Mary Younger. Hugh was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford.

His official introduction to his clansmen was in 1958 at a dinner in Edinburgh to commemorate his 21st birthday. Upon his father's death in 1963, he succeeded him as Chief of the Clan Mackay, as the 14th Lord Reay in the United Kingdom Peerage and as Baron Mackay in the Dutch Nobility. Lord Reay chose to follow a political career. He was a Conservative member of the House of Lords where he had the distinction of being the only male Lord of Parliament to sit in the Lords. In 1973 Lord Reay was selected to be an appointed Member of the European Parliament until the first elections to that Parliament in 1979.

In 1989, the Right Honourable Margaret Thatcher appointed him a Conservative Whip in the House of Lords. Her successor as Prime Minister, John Major, moved Lord Reay to the Department of Trade and Industry as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State. Lord Reay left the government at the 1992 General Election.

With the passage of the House of Lords Act in 1999, Lord Reay along with most other hereditary peers lost his automatic right to sit in the House of Lords, however, he was one of the elected hereditary peers to remain pending the reform of that House.

Lord Reay's political responsibilities prevented him from attending to the routine business of the Clan. His elder sister, the Honourable Elizabeth Fairbairn fulfilled this function as the President of the Clan Council and during his recent illness, she acted on Lord Reay’s behalf on the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. Lord Reay, however, attended the Clan's major functions and gatherings such as the celebration of the Centenary of the formation of the Clan Society, and of the earlier 1806 Mckay Benefit Society. In the Homecoming Gathering he led his clansmen as they marched from the Palace of Holyrood House up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle.

Lord Reay was married twice. By his first wife the Honourable Annabel Terese Fraser, daughter of Simon, Lord Lovat the Chief of the Frasers, he has two sons Aeneas and Edward and a daughter Laura. By his second wife, Victoria, daughter of the 2nd Baron Bruntisfield, he had two daughters Antonia and Grace.

Hugh, Lord Reay was succeeded by his son Aeneas, the Master of Reay, who was born in 1965. He was educated at Westminster School and Browns University in Rhode Island, USA. At present he is a banker in London and married Mia Ruulio, the elder daughter of Markus Ruulio of Helsinki. Their son the Honourable Alexander Shimi Markus Mackay is the future master.

Ian Mackay, Secretary of Clan MacKay Scotland

It is with sadness that we report that Ian Mackay,

our former membership secretary, died on Friday 26th July 2013.

Clan MacKay Germany

Laird of Glencairn

Chieftain of Clan MacKay Germany


The Clan MacKay Germany presents the official German branch of the scotish Clan MacKay.

We are associated in friedship with the Clans of MacKay`s in Scotland, USA, Canada, Australia

and Newzeeland, and with all Clansmen and Clanswomen woldwide.

Castle Varrich of Tongue, Clan MacKay

Tartan of Clan MacKay