The Bee and Thistle Name

In keeping with true Scottish heritage, the bee and thistle is the trademark of the MacInnis clan which hails from Morvern, Scotland.  At the time of Alexander II, King of Scotland, early in the 13th century, the Morvern area was under siege from the Vikings. The Chief of Kinlochaline, MacInnes, was sent to a location where the enemy was expected to land. They had a long wait and MacInnes fell asleep. In his sleep he touched a nest of bees and was stung. He woke and leaped up just in time to see the enemy landing. Calling his men to battle, they took the enemy by surprise. The Vikings were defeated by the waiting MacDonald’s men. When the fight was over, MacDonald addressed MacInnes: “My blessing on you, Chieftain of Kinlochaline. Whilst MacDonald is in power, MacInnes shall be in favour.” The Chief of Kinlochaline’s answer was: “Friendship will ever be ours, whilst the bee on the thistle is with me and with every member of the Clan MacInnes who carries the favour in his bonnet.”

MacInnis is one of the many derivatives of the name MacInnes. Our mother, Bertha, was able to determine that the first clan member to use the MacInnis spelling in our family was in the late 1700’s.


The MacInnis Crest

The MacInnis clan had two official crests.

The first crest and motto was adopted in the 13th century during the Viking raid on Morvern, Scotland. The traditional emblem of the clan is the bee perched on a thistle flower, with the Gaelic motto: ‘E Labore Dulcedo' - "In labour, we find pleasure”. 

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The second crest and motto was adopted in 1960. It shows the right arm in proper tartan holding a bow, with the motto: GHIFT DHE AGUS AN RICH (By the grace of God and king). This crest pertains to MacInneses of Skye - being that of the extended arm of an archer that relates “Sliochd Neill a’ bhogha” (the line of Neil of the Bow). Photo Celtus (Celtus @ english wikipedia) - cc-by-sa/3.0)

Kinlochaline Castle

The Kinlochaline Castle is located on a rocky summit at the head of Loch Aline in Morvern, Scotland. The MacInnes clan was renowned as the keeper of this castle.

It is from this castle that the Bee & Thistle Winery’s ancestors courageously protected the Morvern residents against rival clans.

Photo © L J Cunningham (cc-by-sa/2.0)

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