Angus Og - ‘young Angus’ - was a son of Angus Mór Macdonald (Aonghas mac Domhnaill) and a descendant of Somerled. Angus Og was a loyal ally and supporter of Robert the Bruce.
When Bruce and his surviving men sought refuge in the west in 1306 he was given safe haven by Angus Og of Islay. Angus Og, along with Christina of the Isles, sheltered Bruce after the Battle of Methven and the capture of Bruce’s wife and family. In his greatest time of need Angus Og offered Bruce friendship and protection.
At the Battle of Bannockburn, Angus Og led the men from the Isles to fight alongside the Bruce. It is said that Robert the Bruce greeted Angus Og warmly, saying, ‘My hope is constant in thee’ which became the motto of Clanranald.
When Edward’s knights were under attack from the Scots spearmen, Angus Og’s Hebridean men were let loose to charge the beleaguered English ranks. After Bannockburn the Bruce remembered his ally and gave the lordship of Lochaber to Angus Og.
Angus Og died in 1330. He was buried on Iona.
Medieval West Highland grave slabs give us a detailed picture of the arms and armour that Angus Og and his men would have worn. The carvings show chainmail and padded cloth armour, helms, spears, shields and swords.
Listen to the Battle of Hara Law, a piece of pipe music adapted to be played on a solo clàrsach, or small harp. This piece was published in the 18th century but may date back to the 15th century, when the Battle of Harlaw was fought.