Motto: Pro rege (For the King)

The MacPhies are a branch of the great Siol Alpininch, Clan Alpin, recognised as a Royal Clan, claiming descent from Kenneth MacAlpin King of Scotland.  The name is spelt in a variety of ways: Dubhsith in Gaelic has passed into Duffie in English and into MacPhie/MacFie/MacPhee, the name implying a dark-coloured tribe.  The MacDuffies and MacPhies are the most ancient inhabitants of Colonsay with a descended from the MacGregors and MacKinnons.  

After the Norse occupation, Colonsay fell under the sway of the Lord of the Isles and a Donald MacDuffie is witness to a charter by John Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles at the Earl’s Castle 12 April 1463.  The MacDuffies or MacPhies seem to have possessed the island as late as the middle of the 17th century.  The island then passed into the possession of the MacDonalds and later the MacNeills, from whom it was purchased by Lord Strathcona.  

In 1609 Donald MacFie of Colonsay was on the twelve Chiefs and gentlemen who met the Bishop of the Isles, at Iona when the ‘Statutes of Icolmhill’ were enacted.  Malcolm MacFie of Colonsay joined Sir James MacDonald of Islay in 1615 and became a principal leader in subsequent rebellions.  

After this the MacPhies lost their ancestral lands the greater part followed the MacDonalds of Islay, while others settled in the country of the Camerons of Lochiel in Lochaber.  Others settled near the Firth of Clyde, and others in the North of Ireland, where the name is spelt MacHattie and MacAfee and in Galloway the name took the form of MacGiffie and MacGaffie.  

At the Battle of Culloden the Camerons were one of the few clans who made that furious onset which nearly annihilated the left wing of the Duke of Cumberland’s army.  They suffered severely as did a large number of MacPhies.