Derived from the Gaelic name, ‘Mac Coinnich’, meaning, ‘son of the fair bright one’, the MacKenzie name first appeared in Scotland in the northern region of Ross, where the family were known to hold lands.
The clan would grow to be one of the fiercest in the north-west of Scotland and would at one point control lands from the Black Isle to the Outer Hebrides from their seat at Eilean Donan Castle.
It is with this power that the clan chief would be raised to the position of Earl of Seaforth in 1623. The Seaforth Earls would be big supporters of King Charles I and the reformation and the Earl would join Charles II in exile in Holland following the execution of his father.
Seaforth would die in 1651 but would be represented by his heir as the country rose against the rule of the commonwealth in 1653.
Continuing their loyalty to the Stewarts, the family would fight alongside Catholic James VII at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 and the Earl would be made a Marquess by the exiled King following their defeat.
The family would go on to support the Jacobite risings of the 18th century, briefly losing and regaining their titles, before the male line of succession would die out in 1815