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MACNICOL or NICHOLSON
Crest Badge: A hawk’s head
Motto: Sgòrra Bhreac
Gælic Name: MacNeacail
Origin of Name: (Gælic) MacNeacail (son of Nicol, conquering people).
Plant Badge: Trailing azalea
the old Statistical Account, the Rev. William MacKenzie, in his description
of the parish of Assynt, writes : “Tradition and even documents declare that
it was a forest of the ancient Thanes of Sutherland. One of these Prince
Thanes gave it in vassalage to one Mackrycul, who in ancient times held the
coast of Coygach, that part of it at the place presently called Ullapool.”
Mackrycul has been identified as the Gregall mentioned in the genealogy of the
MacNicols in the MS. of 1450, and on the marriage of Torquil MacLeod to the
daughter of the last of the MacNicol chiefs, the lands of Assynt passed to the
When Assynt passed to MacLeod, the Clan MacNicol appear to have emigrated to Skye, where the MacLeods had extensive possessions, and the lands of Scorrybreck near Portree were in possession of MacNicols or Nicolsons for several centuries. The clan played an important part in the history of Skye and from time to time their names appear in local records. The Rev. Donald Nicolson, who was chief of the Scorrybreck family at the end of the 17th century, was minister of Troternish for over thirty years. He was a strong Episcopalian, and resigned his charge in 1696 only because of his opposition to Presbyterianism which had become the established church. Norman, the last chief of Scorrybreck, emigrated to New Zealand.
There was also a strong branch of the MacNicols resident in Argyllshire.
Robert Bain’s THE CLANS AND TARTANS OF SCOTLAND
Published by Collins. London and Glasgow
Fourth Edition, 1959, Revised, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1966
©1964 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd.
Marsha L. Hillson Gerace, BLACK CAT graphics, ©1999-2002
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