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MacIntyre Targes

Cousins, Ancient Cousins, Gentlemen & Donna,

I thought you might enjoy seeing two museum quality Scottish/Irish Targes (war shields) that I have re-created based upon the oral history of the MacIntyres and a lifetime of research to verify the same. 

The first belongs to Conn Of The Hundred Battles.  He is the direct ancestor of Muirdach, the father of all MacIntyres, and the King from which virtually all of the ancient Royal Irish and Gael King of Scots descend in either the male of female line, sometimes both.  His targe prominently features his rising Red War Eagle symbol.  Conn is most famous for re-uniting Eirinn under one High King, with the four provincial Kings under him.  He was Ard Righ, or High King of Eirinn (Ireland) around 150AD.

The second targe belongs to Muirdach mac Neill/mac Nial/O'Neill who is the father of all MacIntyres and would be his shield after 1140 AD, the date of Somerled's marriage to Ragnhilda, and Muirdach's being made a prince of The Kingdom of Argyll and The Isles by his Uncle Somerled.  Muirdach was Conn's direct descendent in the male line of the High Kings of Eirinn.  The symbols he used explain his derivative ancestry directly from Conn and visibly explain both his  mother and father's lineage (diagonals) along with his fostering to Godred Croven, King of Man.  Hence, his unique Title, "Prince of Three Kingdoms".  Those would be in order, Eirinn by birth, Mann by fostering, and Argyll and the Isles by way of King Somerled and Muirdach's mother (Somerled's older sister).

Please note the outer Celtic knot border which was handed down in each generation from Conn's time among some but not all of his descendants and is also utilized by the main branch of the Clan Donald, and several others Highland Clans who descend from him.  Also note the colors utilized were also handed down, red, black, silver & gold the latter two denoting Royal Blood.

Bruce McIntyre

Cousins, Ancient Cousins, Alastair, and friends:

    I've just finished the two MacIntyre Chieftains targes, circa pre 1440 AD and the much lamented coming of the Campbells and the long arm of feudalism to the Highlands of Scotland (prompting the flitting of Lorn, the end of elected Chiefs, etc).  

    Please note that a Chieftain's Targe was differentiated from the Clan Chief's Targe only by the symbol in the center, while everything else remained the same on the Targe's overall design among MacIntyres. At our zenith we had 20 plus Chieftains on our High Council, plus a Bard and a Seannachie, and could muster well over 2000 Highland fighting men.  There would have been upwards of twenty different Chieftains symbols in the center of those targes so let your Celtic imagination run wild.

    Additionally, the only difference between a Clansman's Targe and one of these is that they were not so lavish with brass nails, gold and silver leafing/paint, etc, so the symbols would be tooled into the leather and painted (if the Clansman had the time, the material, or the means). With this said, where you see the three pointed triscal on Tyson's Targe and the Triscal whorl on Garrett's Targe, those would be replaced by the Red Rising War Eagle in the Center for the elected Chief. 

    Finally, keep in mind that these Targes represent Gaeldom and Tannistry and not the hated feudalism of later, and much sadder times.  The feudalists made these and virtually all other Clan symbols the personal property of the Chief and not a Clan's High Council as had been the case for centuries.

Chieftains Targe 3 pointed triscal

Chieftains Targe triscal whorl

    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hogmany!

Yours Aye,


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