Clan MacKenzie History 1300-1400
The traditional clan histories suggest a close connection between the early MacKenzies and the MacDougalls of Argyll, who vied with their cousins the MacRuairis of Garmoran and the MacDonalds of Islay - all branches of Clann Somerhairle - to be Ri Innse Gall; i.e. Kings of the Isles. Their rivals the Kings of Man had established a member of their family, Leod, on the islands of Lewis & Harris, and some of his clan, the MacLeods, became mainland lords in Assynt and Gairloch. Skye remained a prize for which all of these island dynasties, and the Earls of Ross, contended; and the Matheson-MacKenzie kindred in Kintail, as constables of the strategic castle of Eilean Donan, were key players in these battles - which in the late 1200s became emeshed in the wider struggle for the kingship and independence of Scotland. See Map.