Caithness

Caithness, Scotland

Caithness, Scotland

Though they had been settled in Batavia for several years, the natives were afraid of the Catti people. Their reputation for warfare, and their industrious, thriving occupation of the lands was not welcome by the natives.

They were ordered to leave their country, and seek out one with more space, and less indigenous people.  As it is told, the Catti were surprised by the request. They couldn’t go back to where they had come. Their capital city had been burned by the Romans, who had entirely occupied their lands.

Since Battavia wanted to be rid of them, they supplied them with ships.  The Catti all set sail with their wives and children, but a storm were forced upon different courses. They were separated and some (Cambden calls them Chatti Euchness) were carried into the mouth of the Thames.  The majority was driven by the tempest to the northern parts of Scotland (Fordon calls them Chatti Malibosei). They landed in a country which ever since has been called Chatt-ness, or Caithness.  They found the space and lack of people in it encouraging, and so decided to settle there.

The native Scots, alarmed by the arrival of these strangers, asked where they had come from and what their plans were. The Catti related their story, told them they intended to settle and  pleaded favour, because they had suffered by the Romans, whom the Scots had also vigorously opposed.

Caithness

Caithness

The Scots, acting both from fear, or suspicion, refused them any share of their country, and commanded them to depart. The Catti were unwilling to set to sea after the dreadful storm the had escaped, would not yield, and resolved to make good their settlement.

Upon hearing their decision, the Scots sent a body of men against them.  The Chatti would willingly have declined fighting, but reckoned death preferable to sea danger, and finding that force sent against them was but very inconsiderable, they encountered the Scots, and defeated them.

From the time they landed the Catti began to multiply significantly and adopted the local ways by joining the clan system as Clan Chattan. The clan spread throughout the north of Scotland and , as with all success stories of their time, what the Catti couldn’t win with the sword they won by marriage. Most of all they seemed to have had a sixth sense when it came to making a decision about which side to support in the wars and power struggles of the coming centuries. By this time the family name had changed to Keth or Keith.

Sources:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatti
  2. http://www.clankeithusa.org/history-chiefs-origins.htm
  3.  http://larocheusa.org/deutsch1.htm
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatti
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