The clan claim kinship with both King Kenneth mac Alpin> (through his brother Fingon - hence "mac Fhionghinn" meaning "son of the fair one") and with St Columba. The clan slogan was "Cumhnich Bas Alpin" meaning "Remember the death of Alpin".
Their original territory was in the south of the island of Mull (and the clan provided successive abbots at Iona) but in the 15th century they moved to the north of the island, after losing out to the MacLean> clan following a crime by the chief.
The clan also held land in Strathaird in Skye which may have been granted by Robert the Bruce> after the clan had supported him during his time as a fugitive. The Mackinnons supported the efforts to restore the MacDonald Lordship of the Isles and Ewen Mackinnon was part of the council of Donald Dubh in the last rising in 1545.
The clan stronghold was at Dunakin which reputedly belonged to a Norse princess called "Saucy Mary" who married the Mackinnon chief. The castle (initially called Dun Haakon) overlooked the water between Skye and the mainland and the Mackinnons ran a chain across the narrows and levied tolls on passing ships. King Haakon IV gathered his fleet below the castle before sailing to his defeat at the Battle of Largs in 1263.
Later, the Mackinnons supported the Stewart kings and Lachlan Mackinnon, the 28th chief was knighted by King Charles II before the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Later chiefs supported both the Old and Young Pretenders in the Jacobite Uprisings of 1715 and 1745. After the defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the Mackinnons sheltered Prince Charles Edward and took him by ship to Mallaig. The chief was captured and imprisoned on the return voyage. When the chief was later released, he was told the king was being "generous". He replied "Had I the King in my power as I am in his, I would return him the compliment of sending him back to his own country". At that time the king was George II, who had German roots.
Within two generations of the 1745 Uprising, the clan had lost all its lands through debt. The direct line of chiefs died out and the title was claimed by a distant relative.
Some bearers of the name believed that the name came from the Gaelic "mac Ionmhuinn" meaning "son of the loved one" and when their name became anglicised, it became the surname Love.
The Mackinnon clan motto is "Audentes fortuna juvat" which means "Fortune assists the daring".
Surnames regarded as septs (sub-branch) of the Mackinnon clan include MacKinney, MacKinning, MacKinven, MacMorran, Morren, Sherry.
There is a Mackinnon clan Web site here>.
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