Clan leader of the powerful MacDonalds from the island of Islay, Angus Óg MacDonald was a valued ally of Robert Bruce.
He protected Bruce and his men when he was on the run in 1306, and had the power to mobilise large numbers of foot soldiers and fleets of sea-going galleys.
Bruce and MacDonald had a common enemy in the form of the MacDougall lords of Lorne, who supported Balliol and Comyn’s claim to the throne.
When MacDonald and his men from Argyll and the Western Isles arrived at Bannockburn, Bruce is said to have greeted him warmly with the words, ‘is cunbhalach mo dhòchas annad - my hope is constant in thee.’
Bruce was not disappointed. The islanders joined Bruce’s division to the rear, armed with the traditional weapons of shield, axe and spear. As the spearmen attacked the English cavalry, MacDonald’s isanders charged at the chaotic English ranks and slashed them down in brutal hand-to-hand combat.
MacDonald was rewarded with the Lordship of Lochaber from Bruce. He died in 1330 and was buried on Iona.