Flies round a honeypot would be nothin' to it, lad! Penniless and nameless as ye are now, the lasses still sigh after ye—I've seen 'em! Even this Sassenach wench can no keep away from ye, and her a new widow!
— Auld Alec, Outlander

Alec MacMahon, commonly known as "Auld Alec", is the Master of Horse at Castle Leoch. He has only one eye and suffers from arthritis, which Claire treats while she's living at the castle.

Events of the NovelsEdit


In 1743, when Jamie goes hunting with the Duke of Sandringham, he asks Alec to keep an eye on Claire. When Claire is taken for the witch trial, Alec rides all night and the next day to find Jamie to tell him.

Dragonfly in AmberEdit

On April 15, 1746, when Jamie and Claire arrive at Culloden House the day before the Battle of Culloden, Alec is the first person they see. They find him close to starvation, lying in the hay in the stables. Alec tells them that the Highland Army has run out of food, all the horses have been slaughtered and eaten, except for Donas who was kept for Charles Stuart to ride on his triumphal return to Edinburgh, and that Charles Stuart has ordered the Highland army to take a stand on Culloden Moor.


Alec has a strong air of authority and no-nonsense attitude. He is of the opinion that women have no natural appreciation for horses, and thus are difficult to talk to, though he does offer perceptive insight about the difference between a girl and a woman.[1]

Physical AppearanceEdit

Alec has a squat figure, with tanned arms and face that contrast sharply with the fair skin of his torso. His hands are gnarled by rheumatism.[2] Alec has one blue eye; he lost the other in an accident and wears a black patch over it.[3]


  • Alexander is the Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξανδρος (Alexandros), which meant "defending men" from Greek αλεξω (alexo) "to defend, help" and ανηρ (aner) "man" (genitive ανδρος).[4]
  • MacMahon is an Irish name, written as Mac Mathghamahna in ancient Gaelic, derived form the word mathghamahn meaning "bear".[5]
  • MacKenzie is the anglicized form of MacCoinnich, a Gaelic patronymic name meaning "son of Coinneach". The personal name Coinneach means "handsome" or "comely".[6][7]


  • In the television series, Alec is not missing an eye.

TV SeriesEdit

Main article: Outlander (TV series)

Irish actor Liam Carney plays Auld Alec in the series.


Season One


  1. Outlander, chapter 8
  2. Outlander, chapter 24
  3. Dragonfly in Amber, chapter 46
  4. Behind the Name: Alexander. Accessed 05 June 2016
  5. House of Names: MacMahon. Accessed 05 June 2016
  6. Behind the Name: Coinneach. Accessed 19 April 2015.
  7. Ancestry: Mckenzie. Accessed 19 April 2015.

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