Sir Hector Mackenzie of Gairloch, 4th Baronet

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Sir Hector Mackenzie of Gairloch, 4th Baronet

Birthplace: Highland, Scotland, United Kingdom
Death: April 26, 1826 (67)
Scotland, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Alexander Mackenzie of Gairloch, 3rd Baronet and Margaret Mackenzie
Husband of Christian Henderson
Ex-husband of Cochrane Chalmers
Partner of Jean Urquhart
Father of Jean McKenzie Muirson; Francis Alexander Mackenzie; Sir Francis Alexander Mackenzie of Gairloch, Baronet; William Mackenzie; Hector Mackenzie and 3 others
Half brother of General John Mackenzie; Captain Kenneth Mackenzie, of Kerrisdale; Janet Mackenzie and Margaret Mackenzie

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:

About Sir Hector Mackenzie of Gairloch, 4th Baronet


First Marriage

MACKENZIE HECTOR BARONET COCHRANE /CHALMERS FR67 (FR67) 25/07/1778 685/1 510 119 Edinburgh

Evidence from the National Records of Scotland

15 and 22 April 1796: Mrs Cochrane Chalmers, daughter of the deceased James Chalmers of Fingland, Esquire, and spouse of Sir Hector McKenzie of Gairloch, Baronet, against the said Sir Hector McKenzie, married August 1778. National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh Commissary Court, reference CC8/6/975

Biographical Summary

"Sir Hector Mackenzie, Baronet [S. 1703], of Gairloch and Couan, 1st s. and h. and only child by 1st wife, b. Sep 1758 ; suc. to the Baronetcy, 13 April 1770, and was served heir to his father as a Baronet. He was Lord Lieutenant of Ross-shire. He m. firstly (when a minor) 29 July 1778, Cochrane, da. of James Chalmers, of Fmgland. They were divorced, 22 April 1796. He m. secondly (contract 9 May 1796), Christian, only child of William Henderson, of Inverness. He d. 26 April 1826, aged 67, and was bur. in the Priory of Beanly. His widow d. about 1838."

SOURCE: Complete baronetage; Cokayne, George E. (George Edward); 1904; Vol. IV; page 412

Biographical Summary

"XI. SIR HECTOR MACKENZIE, the fourth Baronet, generally spoken of among Highlanders as "An Tighearna Storach," or the Buck-toothed Laird. Being a minor, only twelve years of age when he succeeded, his affairs were managed by the following trustees appointed by his father - John Gorry; Provost Mackenzie of Dingwall, and Alexander Mackenzie, W.S., son and grandson respectively of Charles Mackenzie, I. of Letterewe; and Alexander Mackenzie, of the Stamp Office, London, son of William Mackenzie of Davochcairn. These gentlemen did not get on so harmoniously as could be wished in the management of the estate. The first three opposed the last-named, who was supported by Sir Hector and by his grandfather and his uncle of Redcastle. In the month of March, 1772, in a petition in which Sir Hector craves the Court for authority to appoint his own factor, he is described as "being now arrived at the age of fourteen years." The differences which existed between the trustees finally landed them in Court, the question specially in dispute being whether the agreement of the late Sir Alexander to sell the Ardnagrask and Strathpeffer lands should be carried out? In opposition to the majority, the Court decided in favour of Sir Hector that they should not be sold until he arrived at an age to judge for himself. Having secured this decision, Sir Hector, thinking that Mr Gorry had been acting too much in the interest of his own grandchildren - Sir Alexander's children by the second marriage - now appointed a factor of his own, Kenneth Mackenzie, his half uncle, the first "Millbank."

In 1789 he obtained authority from the Court to sell the lands which his father had previously arranged to dispose of to enable him to pay the debts of the entailed estates. He sold the lands of Davochcairn and Davochpollo to Henry Davidson of Tulloch, and Ardnagrask to Captain Rose, Beauly, who afterwards sold it to Mackenzie of Ord.

In 1815 he was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of his native county. He lived generally at home among a devoted tenantry; and only visited London once during his life. He regularly dispensed justice among his Gairloch retainers without any expense to the county, and to their entire satisfaction. He was adored by the people, to whom he acted as a father and friend, and his memory is still green among the older inhabitants, who never speak of him but in the warmest terms for his generosity, urbanity, and frankness, and for the kind and free manner in which he always mixed with and addressed his tenants. He was considered by all who knew him the most sagacious and intelligent man in the county. He employed no factor after he came of age, but dealt directly and entirely with his people, ultimately knowing every man on his estates, so that he knew from personal knowledge how to treat each case of hardship and inability to pay that came before him, and to distinguish feigned from real poverty. When he grew frail from old age he employed a clerk to assist him in the management, but he wisely continued landlord and factor himself to his dying day. When Sir Francis, his eldest son, reached a suitable age, instead of adopting the usual folly of sending elder sons to the army that they might afterwards succeed to the property entirely ignorant of everything connected with it, he gave him, instead of a yearly allowance, several of the farms, with a rental of about L500 a year, over which he acted as landlord or tenant, until his father's death, telling him "if you can make more of them, all the better for you." Sir Francis thus grew up interested in and thoroughly acquainted with all property and county business, and with his future tenants, very much to his own ultimate advantage and those who afterwards depended upon him.

Sir Hector also patronised the Gaelic poets, and appointed one of them, Alexander Campbell, better known as "Alastair Buidhe Mac Iomhair," to be his ground-officer and family bard, and allowed him to hold his land in Strath all his life rent free. [The late Dr John Mackenzie of Eileanach, Sir Hector's youngest son, makes the following reference, under date of August 30, 1878, to the old bard: "I see honest Alastair Buidhe, with his broad bonnet and blue great coat (summer and winter) clearly before me now, sitting in the dining room at Flowerdale quite 'raised' - like while reciting Ossian's poems, such as 'The Brown Boar of Diarmad,' and others (though he had never heard of Macpherson's collection) to very interested visitors, though as unacquainted with Gaelic as Alastair was with English. This must have been as early as 1812 or so, when I used to come into the room after dinner about nine years old." Alastair Buidhe, the bard, was the author's great-grandfather on the maternal side, and he was himself, on his mother's side, descended from the Mackenzies of Shieldaig.] He gave a great impetus to the Gairloch cod fishing, which he continued to encourage as long as he lived.

Sir Hector married, in August, 1778, Cochrane, daughter of James Chalmers of Fingland, without issue; and the marriage was dissolved by arrangement between the parties on the 22nd of April, 1796. In the same year, the marriage contract being dated the "9th May, 1796," within a month of his separation from his first wife, Sir Hector married, secondly, Christian, daughter and only child of William Henderson, Inverness, a lady who became very popular with the Gairloch people, and is still affectionately remembered amongst them as "A Bhantighearna Ruadh," [Dr John, late of Eileanach, writes of her and her father as follows: His second wife was only child of William Henderson, from Aberdeenshire (cousin of Mr Coutts, the London banker, with whom, in consequence of the relationship, my elder brothers, Francis and William, were on intimate terms in Stratton Street, Piccadilly, where Lady Burdett Coutts now lives), who set up a Bleachfield at the Bught, Inverness, by a daughter of Fraser of Bught. Henderson followed his daughter to Conon, as tenant of Riverford, where, till very old, he lived, and then moved to Conon House, till he died about 1816, loved by all, aged 97. I think he is buried in the Chapel-Yard, Inverness."] with issue -

1. Francis Alexander, his heir and successor.

2. William, a merchant in lava, and afterwards in Australia. He died, unmarried, in 1860, at St. Omer France.

3. Hector, who married Lydia, eldest daughter of General Sir Hugh Fraser of Braelangwell; was Captain in H.E.I.C.S., and died in India, without surviving issue.

4. Dr John, of Eileanach. He studied for the medical profession, and took his degree of M.D. He was factor for the trustees of Sir Kenneth, the present Baronet, during his minority, and afterwards for several years, Provost of Inverness. He married, on the 28th of September, 1826, Mary Jane, only daughter of the Rev. Dr Inglis of Logan Bank and old Greyfriars, Edinburgh, Dean of the Chapel Royal, and sister of the late distinguished Lord Justice-General Inglis, President of the Court of Session, with issue - (1) Colonel Hector, who was born on the 24th of August, 1828, and went to India in his twentieth year, fought at Chilianwallah and Goojerat, and was afterwards, until he retired in 1877, in the Civil Service, chiefly as Judicial Commissioner for Central India at Nagpore. He married on the 9th of May, 1855, Eliza Ann Theophila, eldest daughter of General Jamieson, of the H.E.I.C.S., without issue; (2) John Inglis, who died in 1843, in the 6th year of his age; (3) Harry Maxwell, who was born on the 16th of May, 1839, a Colonel in the Royal Artillery. He married on the 7th of September, 1872, Caroline Georgina, eldest daughter of Captain Ponsonby, Indian Staff Corps, Deputy Quarter-Master-General in Scinde, with issue, six sons and four daughters - Hector Ian Maxwell, born on the 14th of June, 1875; Harry Ponsonby, born on the 30th of March, 1877; Kenneth Gordon, born on the 6th of July, 1878; Allan Stewart, born on the 27th of October, 1881, and died in infancy; Colin Ray, born on the 7th of May, 1887 Alastair Ponsonby, born on the 25th of June, 1889 Margaret; Mary; Lillian Kythe; Kythe; and Gladys Georgina. Colonel Mackenzie, after retiring from the Service, resided at Auld Castlehill, Inverness, was Inspector for the Science and Art Department in the North, and died suddenly, at Wick, on the 13th of July, 1891; (4) Mary, who as his fourth wife, married Duncan Davidson of Tulloch, with issue - Eoin Duncan Reginald, a settler in Queensland; Hector Francis, in New Zealand Alastair Norman, in Queensland; Lucy Eleonora, who, in 1873, married Sir Allan R. Mackenzie, Baronet of Glenmuick, with issue, four sons and a daughter - Allan James Reginald, born in 1880; Victor Audley Falconer, born in 1882; Allan Keith, born in 1887; Eric Dighton, born in 1891; and Mary Lucy Victoria. Tulloch's other daughters were Mary Macpherson and Victoria Geraldine. His wife died on the 27th of October, 1867. (5) Christina Isabella, who, on the 23rd of November, 1853, married Charles Addington Hanbury of Strathgarve, Ross-shire, and Belmont, Herts, with issue, four sons and four daughters - Harold Charles, of the Carabineers; John Mackenzie; Basil; David Theophilus; Florence Mary; Kithe Agatha, who on the 10th of April, 1877, married Horace William Kemble, Hon. Major 2nd Cameron Highlanders, of Oakmere, Herts, at present tenant of Knock, Isle of Skye, with issue - Horace Leonard, born on the 22nd of April, 1882, Dorothea Lucinda, Hilda Olive, and Kythe Louisa Elaine; Isabel, who married Major O. F. Annesley, R.A., with issue - two daughters, Daphne and Myrtle; and Marie Frances Lisette (6) Kithe Caroline who on the 12th of April, 1865, married Francis Mackenzie, third son of Thomas Ogilvie of Corriemony, with issue, seven children; (7) Lisette, who on the 28th of June, 1878, married Frederick Louis Kindermann, son of Mr Kindermann, founder of the house of Keith & Co., London and Liverpool, without issue; (8) Georgina Elizabeth, who on the 26th of January, 1860, married the late Duncan Henry Caithness Reay Davidson of Tulloch (who died on the 29th of March, 1889), with issue - Duncan, now of Tulloch, who on the 15th of November, 1887, married Mary Gwendoline, eldest daughter of William Dalziel Mackenzie of Fawley Court, Bucks, and of Farr, County of Inverness; John Francis Barnard Mary; Elizabeth Diana; Adelaide Lucy; Georgianna Veronnica; and Christina Isabella. Dr John of Eileanach died on the 18th of December, 1886. His widow still survives.

5. Roderick, a Captain in the army, who sold out and became a settler in Australia, where he died. He married an Irish lady, Meta Day, sister of the Bishop of Cashel, without issue, and died in 1849.

Sir Hector had also, by his housekeeper, Jean Urquhart, three natural children, which caused his separation from his first wife. He made provision for them all. The first, Catherine, married John Clark, leather merchant, Inverness, and left issue. Another daughter married Mr Murrison, contractor for the Bridge of Conon, who afterwards settled down, after the death of the last of the Mackenzies of Achilty, on the farm of Kinkell, with issue, from whom the Stewarts, late Windmill, Inverness. A son, Kenneth who was for some time in the British Linen Bank, Inverness, afterwards died in India, in the army, unmarried.

Sir Hector's widow survived him for about twelve years, first living with her eldest son Sir Francis, and after his marriage at Ballifeary, now Dunachton, on the banks of the Ness. Though he succeeded to the property under such unfavourable conditions though his annual rental was under L3000 per annum; and though he kept open house throughout the year both at Conon and Gairloch, he was able to leave or pay during his life to each of his younger sons the handsome sum of L5000. When pressed, as he often was, to go to Parliament he invariably asked, "Who will then look after my people?"

He died on the 26th of April, 1826; was buried in the Priory of Beauly, and succeeded by his eldest son,"

SOURCE: History of the Mackenzies, with genealogies of the principal families of the name; Alexander Mackenzie; 1894; pages 435-446

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Sir Hector Mackenzie of Gairloch, 4th Baronet's Timeline

September 6, 1758
Highland, Scotland, United Kingdom
Gairloch, Highland, Scotland, United Kingdom
July 3, 1798
Urquhart and Logie Wester, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
June 9, 1799
Urquhart and Logie Wester, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
December 4, 1799
April 5, 1801
Urquhart and Logie Wester, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
December 7, 1803
Urquhart and Logie Wester, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
December 12, 1808
Urquhart and Logie Wester, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland