Jacob MacKenzie was the chieftain of the MacKenzies of Castle Leoch. He was well-known as a fierce and ruthless warrior.

Personal HistoryEdit

Jacob took Castle Leoch by force in 1690 while the previous laird, Donald MacKenzie, was away from home. After Donald died – under mysterious circumstances – Jacob married the widowed Anne MacKenzie, and sired six children by her.[2]

Events of the NovelsEdit


While on the road with the MacKenzies, Ned Gowan tells Claire Beauchamp the story of how he met Jacob MacKenzie many years before – Jacob had robbed the lawyer on the road, after which Ned offered him his professional services. Ned reveals that he was the one that helped Jacob solidify his position as laird of the castle, and stayed on thereafter in service of the MacKenzies.

Alec MacMahon also tells Claire about Red Jacob: that for all Jacob was a ruthless old devil, he had a marked soft spot for his eldest daughter, Ellen, and wouldn't force her to wed any of the suitors that she rejected.


By all accounts, Jacob was a fierce warrior and ruthless leader.

Physical AppearanceEdit

Jacob was tall and was known as Seumas Ruadh "Red Jacob" for his bright red hair.



  • Jacob derives from Ιακωβος (Iakobos), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya'aqov (Jacob). Possible meanings of the name Jacob include "holder of the heel", "supplanter", or "may God protect".[3]
  • MacKenzie is the anglicized form of MacCoinnich, a Gaelic patronymic name meaning "son of Coinneach". The personal name Coinneach means "handsome" or "comely".[4][5]


  • The names Jacob and James both derive from the same Hebrew root Ya'aqov via the Greek Iakobos. The name Hamish comes from the Scottish Gaelic equivalent of James, Seumas (pronounced "SHAYmuss"), via the Gaelic vocative case a Sheumais (pronounced "uh HAYmish"). Thus, both Jamie and Hamish could be considered namesakes of their grandfather, Jacob.


  1. Originally printed as Seaumais Ruaidh in An Echo in the Bone, with corrected spelling in The Outlandish Companion, Vol. II.
  2. The Outlandish Companion
  3. Behind the Name: Jacob – Accessed 19 April 2015.
  4. Behind the Name: Coinneach – Accessed 19 April 2015.
  5. – MacKenzie. Accessed 19 April 2015.

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