established in 1988 by Ranald Macdonald, younger of Clanranald – the
elder son of The 24th Captain of Clanranald. The original premises
at Boisdale of Belgravia,
a small bar and restaurant now comprise the Restaurant. The Courtyard
Garden and Back Bar were opened in 1996 and The Macdonald Bar and
Jacobite Room were opened in 1999.
In 2002 Boisdale acquired a
second site, in the City of London. Boisdale of Bishopsgate opened
in two stages – the Champagne
and Oyster Bar opened in June of 2002 and the Cocktail Bar and
Restaurant were completed in September the same year.
is named for Loch Boisdale in South Uist in the Hebrides. The
Clanranald is one of the most
ancient and royal of Scottish
clans. John MacDonald, the Lord of the Isles, married Amy MacRuari
and she bore him three sons. The youngest was Ranald and from
him descended the Houses of Clanranald and Glengarry. As the
only surviving child Ranald was to inherit the enormous area
of lands his mother had brought into the family. Instead he agreed
to hold the greater part of the land, including Moidart, Lochaber
and Arisaig, and let the succession go to his younger half-brother
Donald around 1373. Donald’s mother was a Stewart princess,
daughter of Robert II.
Ranald had five sons. Donald founded the Glengarry line. The
eldest, Alan, became Chief of Clanranald. In 1419 Alan died in
his home, the Castle of Tirrim. Roderick, a supporter of the
Lord of the Isles, took his place as Chief and died in 1481.
His son, Alan, became chief and was known for his war skills.
He captured Inverness Castle after a raid launched in 1491.
Dugald, the 6th Chief, was such an evil man that his own men
There was a struggle for rule of the clan in 1544 which ended
in the Battle of the Field of Shirts, so called because the battle
occurred on a day so hot the fighters had to remove their heavy
tartans and fight in their long linen shirts.
Ranald Clanranald led the clan at the battle of Culloden. When
the battle ended in defeat
he fled to France until 1754.
By the end of that century Reginald George MacDonald was the
18th chief and he proceeded to squeeze the people of his great
estate for higher and higher rents. Eventually he bled £25,000
a year from them, which he threw around Regency London, swanking
in the fashionable world on the back of the Hebridean clansmen
who had sworn their support to his family for so long. Their
misery was of no interest to him and between 1828 and 1837 he
sold them and their lands to the Gordons, the most vicious landlords
of the Highland Clearances.