The Full Wiki

More info on Col Ciotach

Col Ciotach: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Col Ciotach Mac Domhnaill (English: Left-handed Col Macdonald) (1570–1647) was a Scottish-Irish adventurer of Clan Donald, who became Laird of Colonsay in 1623, by treachery[1]. His name, which means left-handed, was anglicised as Colkitto (Collkitto), and he became a figure of legend. He died aged 77 at Dunyvaig Castle.[2].



He is often confused with his son Alasdair MacColla, who was prominent in the fighting in Western Scotland in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, on the Royalist side. Col Ciotach, an Irish Catholic by birth, was able to recruit troops for that war in Ireland; his birthplace is given as Loughlynch, which is in the parish of Billy, County Antrim[3], mother's name as a local O'Quinn or O'Cahan (O'Kane).

He married Mary MacDonald of Sanda[4]; those MacDonalds were also caught up in related fighting from the 1630s onwards, and lost their position as a result of the Dunaverty Massacre[5].

His father's name was Gillespick[6], a nephew of Sorley Boy MacDonnell.

This family is alluded to in a sonnet of John Milton (Sonnet XI[7]) which has a line referring to three generations:

[...]Colkitto or Macdonnel or Galasp.[8]

Galasp stands in for Gillespie (anglicised name). Properly Col Ciotach can be called Coll Mac Gillespick MacDonald, Coll Keitache MacGillespick M'Donald.[9]

From his marriage with Mary MacDonald of Sanda, they had issue:

  • Gilleasbuig (Archibald), killed at Dunaverty Castle in 1647.
  • Aonghus (Angus), killed at Dunaverty Castle in 1647.
  • Alastair (Alexander), married Elizabeth MacAlister, died at Battle of Knocknanauss in 1647.
  • Seamus (James)


  1. ^ [1], [2]
  2. ^ Overview of Dunyvaig Castle
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ [4]; but there are other theories.
  5. ^ WebEdition 16/4
  6. ^ As Gillaspic, given at[5].
  7. ^ John Milton. Sonnet XI: On the Detraction Which Followed Upon My Writing Certain Treatises
  8. ^ [6]; not the original spelling.
  9. ^ Variants are numerous: Col-Kitto, Col Ciottoch, Colla Ciotach, Coll Kittogh, Col Kittoch, Colla Ciotach, Coll Kiotach, Coll Keitach, Coll Kittagh.


  • Kevin Byrne (1997), Colkitto! A Celebration of Clan Donald of Colonsay 1570-1647 ISBN 1899863192

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address