As befits Scottish history, It hadn’t always been thus. In the first years of the fourteenth century, the MacDonalds were supporters of the English Crown, more for mercenary reasons than core belief. However, when Bruce made himself King of Scotland, the MacDonalds switched their allegiance and thus began one of the most trusted alliances on the Bruce’s path to Bannockburn and beyond. MacDonald’s role in sustaining Bruce through all situations was heralded in 1306 when he used his command of the Hebridean Seaways to hide and protect Bruce and his men, on the run from the English.

The pinnacle of that partnership was Bannockburn. In those days, news travelled at the speed of the fastest horse and on the eve of battle, there was no sign that Angus had received or heeded Bruce’s plea. Imagine the hair on the back of a thousand necks at the sound of distant bagpipes, as the Highland hordes appeared around the Castle rock. Legend has it that Bruce greeted Angus with the words, ‘is cunbhalach mo dhòchas annad - my hope is constant in thee.’

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